In the new cold war, it could be seen that there are two groups: the autocracy camp, centring around China, Russia and the SCO, and the democracy camp, centring around most western democracies in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea. This article will focus on the autocracy camp.
China: Well-known for persecution of dissidents. Examples: Extralegal house arrest of blind rights activist Cheng Guangcheng; Hunan democracy movement leader Li Wangyang imprisoned for 23 years and died a weird death (described in my post Bizarre “suicide” in Hunan of June 4 leader is suspected murder); and too many other examples, though there are people inside the Party fighting for democracy and human rights.
Russia: Much better than China in having universal suffrage, but Vladimir Putin wants to be always in power by various tricks and restrictions of people’s democratic rights For example, AFP reports: Russian parliament adopted a protest bill on June 6 to increase the maximum penalty for organisers of illegal protests to one million rubles (US$32,100), 150 times higher than before, and the penalty for participants up to 300,000 rubles (US$9,000) each. Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily says that there are also other restrictions concerning the locations and manners of the protests including the restriction that a protester is not allowed to wear a mask.
As for other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) I am not clear and cannot say anything, but since their leaders China and Russian are autocracies, they cannot be much better.
A quite unique member is North Korea, an obvious member of the camp that cannot survive without Chinese support.
North Korea: Worse than any other members as it is a hereditary absolute monarchy. Recently, the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) published an ignorant report on the class division in North Korea, stating that the people there are divided into two different classes: one third are slaves and two thirds are foolish loyalists.
Those people who have never lived in a communist class society can never understand the real situation. There are no non-slaves among the subjects of such a monarchy. Everybody is the slave of the monarch. Even the highest official may be killed by the monarch if he displeases the monarch. Even the loyalists who account for two thirds have no basic rights to choose their jobs, places to live, and other things people in the west take for granted. They have no freedom whatever. When they are told to take part in parades, they have to shout, sing, laugh, smile or cry as they are told, as they are watched by their comrades, the cadres and the secret police all the time.
Are they loyal to the dynasty? No. They will all rise up against the dynasty when there is the chance.
Before Tiananmen Protests, about two thirds (perhaps more) people seemed to be loyal to the Communist regime, but when the students rose up and the authorities seemed helpless in dealing with the students, most of those seemingly loyalists followed the students and the Communist regime would have collapsed if it had not resorted to armed suppression.
The camp is regarded as an autocracy camp not only because its major members are autocracies, but also because it supports other autocracies. China and Russia’s support to the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime by vetoing a UN resolution is quite a clear example.
- The beginning of a new Cold War: Putin’s Beijing visit (chinadailymail.com)
- The new cold war: the democracy camp (chinadailymail.com)