If any of you out there have doubts as to the character of authoritarian regimes, look at China. It is the largest of all of them, and absolutely determined to remain a full-on communist one-party state. To do that, it must make its people believe that it is the source of all power and all that is good in the universe. It must control all thought. It must comtrol all communication among its people. It must suppress rights that belong to all people, or else they will rise up and destroy the regime.
What follows is a diatribe of ideological sewage from Zhang Weiwei and published in Seeking Truth. It is an Orwellian play on words because they publish lies, propaganda, and trash that only the most brainwashed Chinese would believe. Zhang Weiwei's words tell is in complete clarity why VPN and other technologies are essential in defeating censorship imposed by authoritarian governments. When censorship is defeated and people can utilize media beyond state control, they may begin to exercise their rights to speak, assemble, specify their grievances with government, and so forth.
Over the past few years, the West has promoted the realization of so-called “universal values” in international politics, which led to a huge debate. A number of Western countries have said that some of their own unilaterally defined values are “universal”, and peddle them through all kinds of methods, they even do not stint to resort to military force, bringing much new unrest to the world. From the angle of international political practice, the result of the Western promotion of “universal values” basically lacks anything good to discuss, it has even been disastrous. “universal values” today face many difficulties.
Webmaster Comment: He is playing word games and spouting propaganda, with no more merit than dog droppings on a Beijing sidewalk. First, be aware that the issue is human rights, not values. Neither do we mean priveleges issued by a government, such as a driver's license or certification to operate a radio transmitter. Human rights are real and respected in most countries of the world. Even if a country doesn't respect human rights, the rights still exist. Zhang Weiwei's first problem is that he has no moral compass. For most of us in the world, we have a belief in a Creator. Creator endowed rights come with being human. Most of the world's troubles come from the disrespect of human rights and the failure of governments to defend human rights. That means rights of each individual person.
As the term implies, “universal values” should be value concepts that the majority of countries and peoples in the world can accept, but exactly with regards to this question, no consensus has been obtained in international society. Western countries’ governments and mainstream media often say that democracy, freedom and human rights are “universal values”, but people can ask one simple question: apart from democracy, freedom and human rights being “universal values” recognized in the West, which values are there in the world that can be “universal values”? For example, the absolute majority of people in the world would identify “peace” as being a “universal value”, but major Western countries, and especially the US, do not accept this. Another example, the Chinese people pay high regard to values such as “harmony”, “benevolence”, “responsibility”, “removing poverty” and other values, could these become “universal values”? If they can, the next step is how to go about this. If they cannot, what is the reason? This first involves a procedural question: with so many countries in the world, and so plural cultures and value system, which values may become “ universal values”? Which values may not become “universal values”? There should at lease be a procedure for selection or rejection that everyone can accept, and every country should at least be permitted to express its own opinion. If such a big thing can only be decided by a small number of Western countries, what justice and morality worth talking about is there in this world?
Webmaster Comment: There is strong consensus in international society of human rights. For starters, Zhang Weiwei, look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights! The China signed the declaration on December 10, 1948. Of course, signing a document means nothing unless it is enforced. In fact China has worked hard to repress the very rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In other words, for “universal values” to be “universal”, the question of “procedural legitimacy” must be resolved first: to say that a certain thing is “universal”, or to say that all countries and peoples accept it, requires that it undergoes some procedure for determination universally accepted in international society, for example the convention of an international conference to discuss or even negotiate on it, where international consensus is formed in the end, and it is determined which values belong to those enjoyed by all of mankind, and which don’t. Only in this way can “universal values” be accepted, and can it be prevented that a small number of countries starting from their own political, economic and strategic interests and needs, say that some values they defined themselves are “universal values”, forcibly push it onto the whole world afterwards, and do not even stint to resort to military force and warfare to bring huge disaster to the interests and welfare of peoples in other countries.
Webmaster Comment: Here is more of that Chinese Communist Party Propaganda and Kool-Aid. Universal rights, that we are all born with, are not a gift or privelege bestowed by a government. As to procedurally recognizing and making a commitment to defend those rights, we have already seen the Uiversal Declaration of Human Rights. How about recognition of universal rights within a state's constitution? Consider the United States and its Bill of Rights which have been in effect since December 10, 1791. If that isn't enough, look at the many constitutions readable at the The Comparative Constitutions Project. There are only a few countries, most notably China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, which are most steadfastly against the notion of universal rights. China also has issues with constitutionalism, so why should anyone be surprised at your position on this issue? China is indeed forcibly pushing its notion of kleptocracy onto its neighbors, and we shall see world war three develop around the idea of democracy versus kleptocracy.
“universal values” face another difficulty which is the difficulty of the concept itself: Western countries say that democracy, freedom and human rights are “universal values”, but this concept seems to be unable to stand too much discussion. There is no harm in people asking: even in Western societies, where all kinds and varieties of democracy, freedom and human rights exist, which kinds of democracy, freedom and human rights are “universal values”? For example, should the US-style democracy where so much money is spent count as a “democracy” or a “moneyocracy”? The US advocates free speech and at the same time supervises and controls so much of the online discourse and communications domestically and in other countries, should the example of this free speech with US characteristics be followed globally? As for human rights, the Iraq war that the US started, was this for the sake of promoting human rights in Iraq as the US said, or did it gravely violate the human rights of the Iraqi people? I’m afraid that the absolute majority of people globally would believe this to be an illegal war that led to tens of thousands of deaths among the population, with millions becoming destitute and homeless, this should be one of the gravest incidents of violation of international law and armed violation of human rights this century.
Webmaster Comment: Here is where Zhang Weiwei touches the issue that makes Chinese leadership soil their pants. First is free speech. He lies when he claims that the USA (the government or the citizens who exercise their free speech rights?) supervises and controls online discourse. CHINA supervises and controls online discourse. In the United States, online speech is protected by the constitution. Other western countries have the same freedoms - to discuss religion, government, criticize their leaders, organize unions or political action groups, organize protests, organize to support causes, and so forth. It is simply a lie to claim that communication is supervised and controlled by the USA. Then, what does this have to do with regime change in Iraq? A murderous dictator, who did whatever he wanted to citizens of his country, was forcibly removed from power. You must worry that the Chinese communists will suffer a similar fate. Go ahead and continue threatening your neighbors and see what happens. They will not continue to allow the PRC to invade and exploit their exclusive economic zones.
Furthermore, within quite a few areas, such as democracy, freedom and human rights, international society has not formed a consensus. Even if there are some areas in which a basic consensus has been formed in international society, a number of Western countries have hitherto not accepted this consensus. One example in human rights is that the absolute majority of countries in the world have accepted and acceded to the “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and the “Convention on the Rights of the Child”, but the US refuses to accede to them. In terms of concrete human rights, the Swedish social welfare has been established on the basis of high taxation, in the US, this would be believed to infringe the right of private property; the UK until today still has a national religion and it is a mandatory course in schools, in France, this would be intolerable; the French government’s monopoly powers on television stations were maintained until 1982, this would be difficult to accept in the US.
Webmaster Comment: This is a lie. As we have seen above, there is plenty of consensus. Each state does not have an identical framework to protect human rights, but they are quite close. Be aware, Zhang Weiwei, that in none of the countries you mention do the citizens fear their government the way Chinese fear their government. None of the states you mention restrict their citizen's freedom of movement, association, or censor the press the way China does. Your attempt at persuasion will convince only the world's dimmest intellects.
In short, whenever we make many abstract concepts appropriately concrete, we may discover that the problems become much more complicated. A number of Western countries like to use abstract concepts to dazzle people, but behind this, there often are considerations of strategic interests to benefit oneself at the expense of others. What we should be doing today, is that we make abstract concepts appropriately concrete, then ask a few whys again, and in this way, we will not be dazzled by Western words. The West propagates everywhere that democracy is a “universal value”, we can clearly respond: democracy may be a value with which a majority of people identifies, but the Western democratic system never was, is not and never will be a “universal value”. The Western democratic system is the product of the unique culture and history of Western societies, and resorts under “local knowledge”, non-Western countries and societies may draw experiences and lessons from Western democratic constructions, but if they indiscriminately imitate the Western democratic model, they will basically copy something, become disappointed, and be defeated. From the financial crisis and debt crisis that engulfs the West these days, it can be seen that the Western democratic system itself contains many flaws, that bad habits die hard, and that reform will be a heavy task over a long period ahead.
Webmaster Comment: That is a crock of sewage. Boiling gutter oil. The stinkiest of stinky tofu. Your first mistake is calling these values Western. They are universal in nature, applicable anywhere in the world. They are doing quite well in the East, as seen in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and to a great degree in HONG KONG. Next, the notion of government based on and tasked to protect universal human rights grew out of people with a concept of morality and several forms of religious beliefs. Thus, it has been seen that universal human rights are bestowed by the Creator, not by governments. Governments exist to protect human rights and enable people to live decent lives and form a functioning free and open society. As to financial crises, this is a function of flawed economic science and a measure of dishonesty. China is on the cusp of its own economic crisis. China's crisis may be as deep or deeper than the one in the so-called West.
Practical difficulties: colour revolutions from “hope” to “despair”
If we say that the procedural and conceptual difficulties of “universal values” often involve what Western counties say in international relations, then the practical difficulties of “universal values” involve what Western countries do in international relations and the consequences emerging from these acts.
Under the name of promoting “universal values”, major Western countries have successively promoted colour revolutions in the three former Soviet republics of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, which led to regime change in these countries. Looking at the situation from the eruption of the “colour revolutions” until today, these countries have undergone political turmoil and sustained economic decline, the living standards of the common people have basically not risen. The “colour revolutions” in these countries have rapidly faded,
Webmaster Comment: They have their difficulties, but at least they are free people. Part of the problem is the people are having a hard time establishing themselves economically without reliance on Russia. Russia is a kleptocracy, like China, and is doing everything it can in order to destroy the independence of democratic neighboring states. Why? To feed the greed of the top kleptocrats. The color revolutions have not faded. You, Zhang Weiwei, are in a dream world. You are high on your own propaganda.
In 2003, the so-called “rose revolution” erupted in Georgia. The US President at the time, Bush, said that the pro-US President Saakashvili who had taken power was a “hero of democracy”, he visited Georgia, and praised it for being a “beacon of democracy” in the Eurasian region. But the lives of the majority of the Georgian population did not change because of the “colour revolution”, and at present, 27% of the population lives under the poverty line.
Webmaster Comment: Mostly because of problems etablishing themselves as independent from Russia. When they free themselves from the old ways, they will indeed be free and able build for themselves a free and prosperous nation. Part of the legacy of failed communist states is that the people don't know what to do when the government is no longer on their backs. By the way, how is that 27% measured? It is probably in error or a lie, judging from the character of your other statements.
In 2004, Western-sponsored polls challenged the official statistics of the elections in Ukraine, which triggered the so-called “orange revolution”, this was acclaimed by the Western world. But good times don’t last long. Because of currency inflation, economic hardship and an increase in corruption, Yanokovych, who had been toppled at that time, made a comeback and won the presidential elections of 2010, this cannot but be said to be a mockery. The attitude of mainstream popular opinion in Ukraine towards the colour revolution has transformed from “hope” into “despair”: a poll by the American Pew Centre in 2009 indicated that among the Ukrainian population, only 30% support “democracy”, which is a full 42 percentage points lower than in 1991. Until today, Ukraine remains deeply bogged down in political and economic crisis, incessant internal strife and thriving corruption, the living standards of the common people have not risen, and regional contradictions have intensified.
Webmaster Comment: Ukraine's political problems are being instigated by Russia. Russia want's it's border buffered by cronies and puppets who are politically and economically dependent on it. There is now a civil war with separatists and Russian cronies on one side and Ukraine nationalists on the other. It is happening not because of democracy, but because of corrupt influences from Russia. Russia, the world's other big kleptocracy, is the Euro-Asian problem that needs to be made to go away.
In 2005, the so-called “tulip revolution” erupted in Kyrgyzstan, which brought elation to US political circles and media, and was seen as the victory of “democracy and freedom”. But what the “revolution” brought was sustained and incessant social turmoil, political forces representing different regions in the South and the North have sunk into internal strive. After the revolution broke out, the development of the national affairs of Kyrgyzstan and Western expectations were fare from unanimous, the new government’s relations with Russia seemed to be even more friendly than their relations with the West. Before five years had passed, another revolution erupted, President Bakiyev was toppled, and armed clashes ensured. This turmoil has brought a huge negative influence on Kyrgyz politics, economy and society that continue to the present.
Webmaster Comment: Here we go again with the lies and fact spinning. The push of democracy is not just the push of a political system. It is actually a push toward economic globalization AND universal respect for human rights. The latter tends to follow the former, hence the internal strife within China as citizens demand respect for their rights after they have become prosperous. Development fosters higher expectatations for quality of life. Chinese still, as a people, do not see human rights as a basic endowment by the Creator. They mostly want their property rights. Kyrgystan is a bit ahead in this regard, and is suffering conflict from traditionalist kleptocrats who benefit from suppression of rights.
In short, the result of the “colour revolutions” can be described in four words: from “hope” to “despair ”> This is not only the personal experience of the majority of people in these countries, it is even the sentiment of many Western governments and personalities who promoted the “colour revolutions”, they feel deep despair about the fading of the “colour revolutions”.
Webmaster Comment: This is a fabrication, a repeated lie from Zhang Weiwei. WTF! If you repeat the lie enough times, it will not be believed. You will be regarded as a pathological liar. Go ahead. Tell some more lies!
Starting in late 2010, a series of anti-government movements appealing for “democracy” occurred in the Arab countries in West Asia and North Africa, spreading to Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and other such countries, many regimes were toppled. This wave of regime changed was called “Arab Spring” by Western media, they cheered that “a new Middle-East will be born”. But after only two years of time, the “Arab Spring” has become the “Arab Winter”: after the civil war in Libya, the various tribes maintain armies and defy central orders, and the entire country has become mired in a state of loss of control; the Tunisian economy has been gravely harmed, domestic secularized and Islamicist forces continue to struggle; they have undergone tribal wars, religious wars (between Sunnis and Shias), wars between the government army and “base” organizations, and it is not impossible that a war for Southern independence may break out.
Webmaster Comment: The conflicts have gone on because the West has chosen to let the combatants fight it out and not decicively push events one way or another. Russia and China have sided with the repressive elements in these conflicts, and do not want to see more open, globalized, and democratic countries. Even if the countries weren't democratic per se, mere economically globalized countries are a therat to the Russian and Chinese systems based on theft and repression of human rights.
As a regional power in the Middle East, Egypt’s experience of continuous ups and downs has attracted attention. In the beginning of 2011, a wave of anti-government demonstration brought the President Mubarak, who had been in power for a long time, to step down. In the 2012 elections, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi took power, but the tension between secular and Muslim factions had not reduced because of the elections, quite the opposite, contradictions between both side aggravated incessantly, and neither side was willing to compromise. The sustained turmoil that regime change brought has gravely harmed Egypt’s economy, not only has capital fled, enterprises closed and industrial production seriously slipped, commodity prices are flying up and the crime rate is skyrocketing. In July 2013, the military deposed the democratically elected President Morsi, leading to new chaos and turmoil, the struggle between secular and Muslim factions is growing in intensity, large-scale and bloody clashes have erupted, and the future brooks no optimism.
Webmaster Comment: As usual, the Chinese equate freedom to chaos. To China, the best order is authoritarian order. It is a brainwashed attitude. Turmoil in Asia and the Middle East is largely the result of conflict between repressive authorities and peolple who want their rights respected. The good old feeling, among the elites, of security that comes from repression is long gone.
To sum up, the countries involved in the “colour revolutions” and the “Arab Spring” have all experienced political chaos, social turmoil and economic hardship. Furthermore, this sort of process from “hope” to “despair” could have been expected. First, the Western “universal values” model is fundamentally unable to resolve the profound issues of these countries; it can not resolve the ethnic contradictions, regional contradictions and economic difficulties of ex-Soviet countries, neither can it resolve the population explosion, poverty and economic structural issues in the Arab world. Promoting the “universal values” model instead has caused these countries to become bogged down in turmoil, to divide already divided societies even more, and make the various problems that they face more broad, more complex and more protracted.
Webmaster Comment: Resisting the demand for governments to respect human rights is the cause of turmoil, not your fantasy concept of "western universal values." Societies were divided due to the powerful oppressing the weak, and then being made equal through failure of the regimes that protected the powerful. The issues of the countries in question will be addressed by globalization and establishment of transparent, democratic regimes and an economic system which relies on open markets. Manipulation and central planning will fail.
Second, countries are organisms that include the three levels of politics, economics and society, “universal values” bring on political reforms that can, at the most, only touch upon some changes in this organism’s political area, and makes changes in the other two areas difficult to realize, this is also why the “universal values” model promoted by the West in all places in the world, in the end “fails to acclimatize in the new environment”, and one defeat follows another.
Webmaster Comment: You speak nonsense, Mister Zhang Weiwei. You can't convincingly defend these statements, and continue to argue that these are "Western universal values." These are values that are above and beyond the label of "Western" and are quite visible in the East, the South, and the North. Only a few countries, such as China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, and Iran, are fighting the trend toward respect for basic human rights. You can't stop globalization without sealing your country off from the world in a manner similar to North Korea and Iran.
Third, international political practice demonstrates that, in a country that is economically considerably backwards, if governments cannot concentrate a consensus in society for economic development and improving the people’s livelihood, and promote political reform on this basis that conforms to the conditions of the nation and the country, but the hopes to resolve all problems are placed on so-called “universal values” and “ democratization”, their success rate will be zero. This sort of unilateral political change can only bring people to harbour unrealistic expectations, and the government will never be able to satisfy these expectations, the result being that hope turns into despair, and this despair is hugely destructive, consequently, society gets bogged down in turmoil, the economy marches towards hardship, and the entire country may match towards dissolution, so that in the end, it can only rely on large Western countries to pick up the pieces. This probably will be the original intent of these Western counties, and they may continue to support a faction or oppose a faction under the name of “universal values” to ensure that these countries remain bogged down in sustained internal strive, so that in the end, the entire country can only become their tributary, and can never rise again.
Webmaster Comment: Either human rights matter, or they don't. Either human rights are applicable at birth to all people, or they are applicable to no one at any time. Pick your side. Most of the world believes human rights matter. China's ruling Communist Party, and its supporters do not.
Fortunately, today’s China has explored its own path to success. We can confidently look at the various kinds of problems and difficulties brought on by the so-called “universal values”, this will help us to even more firmly march our own path to success, and at the same time, we can pray for the blessing of those countries and peoples that have become bogged down in turmoil because of their superstition in “universal values”, wholeheartedly look forward to their learning lessons and engaging in bold exploration after experiencing grave setbacks, and in the end, find a development path that conforms to their own national conditions, and realize the flourishing of the country and the happiness of the people.
Webmaster Comment: Your entire premise is a fabrication designed to legitimize state power over human rights. It is a fabrication designed to legitimize a murderous system that does what it wants to its population, rewarding corruption and cronyism, and snuffing out any moral foundation which threatens state power. Fabrications are eventually seen as they are, and then the fabrication is cast aside, along with the regime built upon it. Look at the history of the Soviet Union, and you see the future history of the People's Republic of China (with Chinese characteristics).