Saturday, 27 September 2008

Bastards of Beijing seek to add insult to injury

The Chinese government is trying to influence the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, demanding that the prize does not go to Hu Jia (1), under house arrest for daring to discuss things like AIDS, gay rights, the plight of the Tibetan Antelope, and for talking to foreign journalists (2). This falls under the rubric of "incitement to subvert state power," a crime which carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment (3), though Hu Jia was ultimately sentenced to three and a half years under house arrest. Let no-one ever doubt the benevolence of the Maoists.

It is outrageous that the Bastards of Beijing are trying to bully the Nobel Committee in this way. Do they really not understand how this works?

The Nobel Peace Prize has always been a token, given to some put upon victim of tyranny, in lieu of any meaningful action on our part. The Chinese government might slaughter Ughirs, suppress Tibetan monks and their antelopes, exterminate the Ygantze Dolphin and lock up people who have the gall to say "That's not good," all without out the West taking any meaningful action. Indeed, we will sign trade deals and let them host the Olympics, so that we can enjoy cheap consumer goods which we couldn't really afford if they weren't manufactured by ten year old slaves in city-sized industrial zones, working sixteen hour days and denied the rights and privileges that we pretend to value.

In return for this licence to be completely evil, all we ask is that some well meaning Scandinavians get to make a futile gesture in the name of human rights and dignity. This allows the rest of us to pretend to condemn what is being done, while we all (with the exceptions of Hu Jia, the Tibetan Antelope and the luckless people of the P.R.C.) continue to profit from the arrangement.
1 - "Beijing issues warning over peace prize choice," by Clifford Coonan in The Independent, 26th of September, 2008. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/beijing-issues-warning-over-peace-prize-choice-942826.html)
2 - As per his Wikipedia entry, viewed 27th of September, 2008:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu_Jia_(activist)#Activism
3 - "Trial of Chinese activist begins " unattributed BBC article, 18th of March,2008. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7302057.stm)

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