Communist Party Virus

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, leads the other six members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in reciting the admission oath as they face the Party flag during their visit to the memorial hall of the first CPC National Congress in Shanghai.

China’s Communist Party Virus
By Sheng Xue

There is a “Communist Party” virus stalking the world. It is a nasty organism that leaves death, destruction and misery in its wake as it spreads contagion across the globe.

It has infected all our lives, changing the way we behave as human beings by challenging our most basic freedoms to live and love, to work and play.

It leaves us bored, confused, dazed, even distrustful of others. I am writing these words having not left my home for five days. Wherever you are reading them, we are all suffering in some way from the consequences of this worldwide pandemic.

Jiaxing South Lake Revolutionary Memorial Boat District Jiaxing City.

It began in China. But do not be fooled. It did not start last year in Wuhan. It dates back almost a century ago when a small group of men declared in 1921 the birth of my country’s Communist Party on a boat on the South Lake in Zhejiang.

I accept we are all battling a new coronavirus that exploded from the city of Wuhan – but the real disease that plagues so many people and has plunged our world into sudden darkness is the “Chinese Communist Party.”

A woman wearing a protective mask is seen past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a street as the country is hit with fresh accusations regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

This is the body that unleashed Covid-19 on the world, whether it began in the wildlife market or bio-laboratory. This is the organization that sought to cover its tracks by suppressing evidence while silencing doctors, journalists and other citizens who tried to warn others.

“The world has ignored this malevolent force’s many crimes against humanity, from killing people to harvest their body-parts and burning down churches, through to locking up millions of Muslim minorities in concentration camps.”

From the day I wanted to understand this world as a teenager, I learnt about the evil of this party and its contagious nature. It infects so many people in China, filling most with fear while others become brutal and cold-blooded.

This affliction drove people to build their country into a magnificent hell on earth. It forced me to flee abroad after the Tiananmen Square massacre, then tormented me for decades as I fought to defeat its poison.

Even as a child I was not immune from its grasp. My family were enemies of the state, cursed in Communist eyes and cruelly persecuted for the “crime” of my grandfather serving as a politician in the previous regime.

My father was accused of being a spy, then deprived of teaching work and sent to a labor camp. My mother, who came from a wealthy family, was abused by officials and forced to work together on building sites for ten years.

When I was five years old, my parents sent me and my younger sister 500 miles from home to live with my grandmother in the countryside to escape the persecution. We were bullied by other boys and girls because we were political outcasts – yet this grew even worse when we returned to Beijing almost four years later.

My childhood was full of abuse and discrimination. I suffered since I refused to bow my head to accept my humble identity. It hurt so much that many times I wanted to commit suicide; the only thing that prevented me was knowing the extra pain it would cause for my parents.

Then I decided to fight back for social justice against the party. When I was 17, there was a brief flickering of freedom with the Democracy Wall where I read excitedly about the protests over political and social concerns. I had so much hope for China to change. But I never trusted the Communist Party, since I knew in my heart that it cannot be cured from the inside itself.

President Xi Jinping has tightened the Chinese Communist party’s grip and restricted the freedom of millions, says Sheng Xue.

A decade later there were the protests in Tiananmen Square, near my home. I went down to join them every day. Then, early on June 4, 1989, I saw soldiers shoot their own people, including two standing near me, on orders of party leaders.

My husband saw a scared teenage girl running in the street who did not even realize the sacred People’s Liberation Army had shot her. A bullet sliced her skull open, her eyes stretched wide open and never closed again.

I left two months later – and 20 days after arriving in Canada, joined my first protest outside the consulate in Toronto. I gave up plans to study journalism and helped form a branch of the “Federation for a Democratic China.” I thought I would be safe and happy in this peaceful Western country.

I had left China – but it had already reached here. This relentless march of the party continues with ceaseless promotion of its business, culture, media and atheism faith.

The bullying and intimidation started immediately. This is why 99 per cent of people stopped pro-democracy activism after the 1989 massacre. In those days, I cried. They abused me as a woman, although it was not so bad since there was no internet.

They would send me dirty pictures cut from magazines or write my name in men’s toilets alongside my telephone number. Then people in my group would turn on me and accuse me of being a spy – one day for the Chinese government, then for Taiwan. It was ridiculous. But at the same time, it was very distressing.

Sheng Xue at a rally for political prisoners in front of the Chinese consulate in Toronto. Credit Ian Willms for The New York Times

It grew worse after I went to a conference in Berlin in 2006. A Chinese man arrived from Denmark, befriended people and joined our organizations. Since then he has written hundreds of abusive articles about me online.

Six years later, I was elected president of the Federation – and the party launched all-out attack. Smears are spread about my private life, even that my mother pimped me out as a child. Sordid fake pictures posted online.

Social media accounts spread lies. Blogs trash my reputation. I must defend myself against vexatious court claims. It is hard to fight back against this stressful campaign, which has affected my health. And I can never go back to my homeland. I tried once in 1996 but was sent back. I have been warned if I try again, I will not leave.

At least I have my freedom – unlike 1.4 billion living in China, where President Xi Jinping has tightened the party’s grip. My friends, along with many activists, journalists and lawyers, have been jailed; some are persecuted to death.

The situation for repressed peoples such as the Uighurs and Tibetans is worse than in war since they cannot fight back. They have no weapons against the all-powerful state and its mass surveillance.

People used to think I was crazy when I warned about China. They did not turn their eyes there, could not imagine what was really going on. Inside the country, no one can resist the party will or refuse its demands.

Meanwhile, it has spread around the planet. Goods in shops have gradually become made in China. Britain is proposing to let Huawei help to build its 5G system – but why is it letting in a foreign state system that uses “spy” software? I have always feared China would do something to destroy the civilized world.

It knew it could not compete with the West with its political system, economic abilities or military forces. We do not know if this pandemic is deliberate or an accident.

We do not know how it began or how it will end. We do not know how many lives will be lost, how many families ruined, how much damage will be done economically. But we do know that the “Chinese Communist Party” does not care about people dying, about people living in freedom, about the rights of humans.

The world must come together to defeat this disease from Wuhan. But then it must stay united to beat another evil. We are not just confronting coronavirus at this moment in history but the even deadlier “Communist Party virus.”

Award-Winning Journalist Sheng Xue.

A Chinese Activist and the Smear Campaign That Followed Her to Canada

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