Silent Sheep

A man is holding a portrait of Swedish author Gui Minhai imprisoned by Beijing (AFP)

  

The reaction of the world leaders to the unjust imprisonment of Westerner by Beijing is evidence that the particularism is not a stable foundation for human rights.


 

Two years ago Gui Minhai sat next to two Swedish diplomats on the train to Beijing. A Swedish doctor waited for him at the Embassy. After a train stopped at the station near the capital, ten men broke into the compartment. We are police officers they warned diplomats. They forced Mr Gui to leave the train. Beijing refused to provide any explanation for the incident.
He reappeared this week during his speedy trial, in which he was sentenced to ten years in prison. Mr Gui committed no crime. It became clear a year ago when the Communist China television CCTV broadcasted his forced confession. This method has been a favourite of the Communist tyrants since the early Stalinist times. Beijing reuses this scenario. As many falsely accused in such circumstances before him, the Communist regime blamed Mr Gui for “illegally providing intelligence overseas”. It was a lie. Mr Gui had no intelligence about Beijing regime because he never had access to any classified information.

In 1988, Mr Gui departed Beijing for Sweden where he earned his doctoral degree at the University of Gothenburg. After the Chinese Communist Party massacred Chinese students with the tanks on the Tiananmen Square, he revoked Chinese citizenship and became naturalised Swede in 1996. Five years later, Mr Gui, together with four friends, established a bookstore in Hong Kong, where the literature prohibited by the Communist censors was available. He wrote two hundred books that revealed the immorality and hypocrisy of the top leaders from Beijing.

There the Communist radars detected him. Under the guise of the reforms against corruption, Communist Secretary Xi Jinping launched the secret operation against the anti-communist Chinese who fled to foreign countries. Many Western politicians helped him. For instance, Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbot had misunderstood the Bolshevik hunt for the political enemies for the genuine anti-corruption effort. He allowed at least for one former Chinese official to be extradited and tortured by Beijing People's Armed Police, a special unit of Chinese secret police which was executing Xi's plan.

Chinese secret police, also snatched Mr Gui from his apartment in Thailand soon after Mr Xi's introduced his illegal operations.

Beijing actions violated international laws, and the court sentence confirmed that the regime deplores justice.


Mild Reaction of Western Elites financed by Beijing
Unfortunately, the reactions of the international institutions were mild. European Union Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ms Virginie Battu-Henrikson explained almost apologetically that European Union raised Gui Minhai’s case with the Chinese authorities on numerous occasions, both in private and public, including at the highest level. She added that the EU would “continue” to discuss this issue. But her statement lacked any condemnation of the Beijing actions and a demand to release immediately Swedish citizen. American Senator Marco Rubio, the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, commented on the sentence with the adjective “outrageous”. The State Department that expressed its “concern” when Mr Gui was arrested, this time was silent.

Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that "after Gui had been in custody for 842 days, Margot Wallström mentioned him, also for the first time, on her otherwise very active Twitter account with more than 100,000 followers". Ms Wallström served as Foreign Minister of Sweden. According to that report, "diplomats from other EU countries have long been trying to get Sweden to issue sharper public criticism of China. But the Swedish authorities have resisted." The Swedish reporter concluded that the reason for the resistance were the ambitious measures the government has taken to increase the economic cooperation between the two countries. Communist China has been paying the political and business elites for the silence or even tolerance of its violation of human rights with lucrative contracts, as a remedy for otherwise sloppy economic growth.

No doubt the Financial Crisis of 2008 weakened not only the economy but also the state of Western democracy. The concepts of nationalism and particularism challenged the belief in the Western values, observed Italian philosopher Marcello Pera. The strong conviction of Western society in the universality of personal freedoms, solidarity and free markets weakened.

The particularism affected Western governments. It almost erased public diplomacy. So much visible is the disbelief of world leaders in the power of the open statements in defence of human rights, that the United States Senator Bob Menendez had to remind of it. He told few hundred of high ranking politicians at the Munich Security Conference that they must to commit themselves to challenge those, who violate basic decency of human rights.

“Sometimes a private statement achieves nothing more than the acknowledgement, the public statement on human creates a challenge to that nation, society”, he explained.  The concepts of particularism is not sufficient foundation for the human rights that Beijing has been continuously targeting. The human rights that after World War II have been built into the core of the global world order. The silent reaction of the international actors to the unjust imprisonment of Westerner by Beijing is another evidence.

 

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