Op-Ed: Under the Cloud of a Nazified Government: Xi's China

Saturday, August 22, 2020

By Xiaogang Jin

Xiaogang Jin is a Chinese dissident in exile. Now he lives in the United States with his family.

1. Background

Nazism refers to the ideology practiced by the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1945 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Nazism incorporates totalitarian government, racism, nationalism, etc. Nazism advocated for a totalitarian government inside the country and mass expansion of territory and ideology outside the country. Due to several major countries’ appeasement policies, Nazism succeeded in inflaming the Second World War and killing millions of lives around the world, and the whole world paid a heavy price for that war. Unfortunately, history has a tendency to repeat itself. In today’s world, we are seeing this pattern repeat itself in China, where the Chinese Community Party is conducting policies we will term the Nazified social governance mode.

China has gone through a peaceful development period, trying to blend into the world’s mainstream economy through its reform and opening-up policy since 1978. And the country achieved its economic miracle over the past 30 years. The world expected China to achieve democratic transformation while having a more positive interaction with Western countries. However, much to the world’s surprise, China has made a sharp turn in its national policy since Xi Jinping took office in 2012. It discarded its outward-facing policy of prioritizing the economic development and adopted a more aggressive inward-facing policy of political control. The suppression of personal freedom has reached new heights since Xi achieved dictatorship after removing presidential term limits. By large-scale monitoring and censorship, the Chinese Communist Party is now practicing a Nazified social governance mode at home.

This article will discuss the prevailing Nazified social governance mode in China. By analyzing some features of the rise of the catastrophic Nazified social governance mode, the author will explore the damage it has had on its people, its society, and the world. The author calls Chinese people and the international community to work together to stop the rise of this dangerous wave in order to save the lives and future of the Chinese people and of the world.

2. Features of the Nazified social governance mode

First, the most prominent feature of the Nazified social governance mode is the systematic suppression of people’s freedom. Nazi Germany had a similar policy of depriving people of their personal freedom too. But the Chinese Communist Party’s regime goes even further in suppressing personal freedom through their massive use of advanced technology. With extensive use of DNA collection, facial recognition, voice recognition, “big data” analysis, artificial intelligence, and modern communication technology, the Chinese Communist Party is monitoring every phase of people’s lives and is controlling their freedom. Even personal phones and computers are monitored. Since at least 2017, the Chinese Communist Party has conducted the strictest censorship of all social media. For example, any WeChat (China’s most popular social media) account which posts sensitive words or articles against the government’s policies will be frozen or canceled. People are simply not allowed to discuss the country’s public policies and regulations. Discussing the Party’s policies in an open manner—called “Wang Yi Zhong Yang”—has officially been defined as a crime. Criticizing CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) policies either publicly or online will lead to detention or imprisonment under the name of “inciting subversion of state power.” As a result, fear is spreading throughout the country, and no one dares to express his or her opinions freely.

Furthermore, the CCP also restricts people’s freedom to travel through a variety of means. So far, most people’s passports are held by the CCP authorities, making it practically impossible to travel abroad for personal purposes. Inside the country, the CCP uses a new app to track people’s trips and activities under the guise of “pandemic control” after the outbreak of COVID-19. The app, called “green code (Lv Ma),” is attached to WeChat. Anyone who travels in China needs to show both their travel and health records at every entrance and exit of every city.

Considering the above facts, one might say that China has now become a huge electronic prison.

Another feature of this Nazified social governance mode is the systematic crackdown on religious groups and non-governmental organizations. Nazi Germany once systematically eliminated Jews and its opposing parties to their regime; now, the Chinese Communist Party is doing similar things, too. Their most brutal crackdown is the imprisonment of Muslims in Xinjiang’s internment camps (they’re calling them “re-education camps”). The CCP is trying to eradicate the Muslim faith, language, and culture through massive monitoring and forced labor programs in concentration camps. Since 2017, more than 1 million Uyghurs (including Uyghur Christians), Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz were imprisoned in secret internment camps. Worse still, the CCP asks Uyghur women to marry men of Han Chinese descent (the Han are China’s ethnic majority). Uyghur women are forced to undergo forced sterilization, too. In addition, the CCP commands the local Han cadres to live at least one week a month with their designated Uyghur families under the cover of poverty alleviation. Furthermore, the Uyghur schools are forbidden to teach the Uyghur language.

The CCP has, besides these actions against Muslims, also launched massive crackdowns against Christians. The CCP sees Christians as the representatives of opposing forces in the West. Therefore, the CCP has shown increasing hostility towards Christians in recent years. The CCP has also launched a harsh crackdown on Christians and Christian house churches. Since 2014, crosses of most Christian churches have been demolished, and some churches have even been torn down. Many Christian house churches have been forced to close, and their attendees have been either detained or at least monitored. The most influential case of persecution in recent years is Chengdu’s Early Rain Covenant Church. The persecution resulted in a nine-year prison sentence for the well-respected Chinese Christian house church leader, Pastor Wang Yi, and the detention of hundreds of attendees.

The CCP has also cracked down on human rights lawyers and activists who speak or act against their policies of oppression. More than 300 hundred human rights lawyers were affected during the notorious 709 crackdown. Some were arrested, some were stripped of their lawyer licenses, and some are still monitored.

The third feature of the Nazified social governance mode is its nationalistic ideological propaganda and education. The German Nazis developed their propaganda campaign extensively, but the CCP has adopted these practices even “more successfully” than the Nazis had.

In terms of diplomatic propaganda, the CCP employs wolf warrior” diplomacy. Through deceptive rhetoric, the CCP incites nationalistic pride and hatred for opposing countries among the Chinese people. The CCP uses social media, like WeChat, to spread fake news about China and the world both at home and overseas. This cheats its people and manipulates their minds. These sources cover the major social problems in China (like the increasing unemployment problem, the food shortage problem, and even the severe flood in southern China this summer) and portray the Chinese Communist Party as the only savior of the Chinese people. At the outbreak of COVID-19, it claimed that its socialist system’s approach is a better system to combat the pandemic than the democratic systems of the West.

Inside the country, the CCP has adopted a terrorized rule over people’s freedom of speech. The Chinese people are asked to show loyalty to the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party also rewards citizens for reporting other people’s or groups’ disloyal behaviors in their efforts to manipulate people. College students are encouraged to report any “disloyal speech” (anything that might be seen as going against the Communist Party’s values) they hear from their teachers to the university’s authorities. There are also cameras and videos in every corner of classrooms and schools to monitor both teachers and students in colleges. Many professors and instructors who express dissident ideas have already been punished. I will mention only a few names: Professor Xu Zhangrun, Professor Liang Yanping, scholar Xu Zhiyong, business tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, lawyer Zhang Xuezhong, journalist Chen Jieren, citizen Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin, etc. (see more names here).

The CCP has also adopted high-handed ideological policies in cultural and educational fields. Most recently, CCP asked all libraries in China to remove or burn all books and journals that disagree with the CCP’s values. Textbooks and graduate papers in colleges are censored to filter content that doesn’t comply with the CCP’s core values. Furthermore, teachers in higher education institutions are asked to incorporate the Party’s socialist values into every single lesson. This is called “ideological and political education in the specific curriculum” and is already widely practiced in higher education institutions. Those who fail to do so will be reprimanded and/or fired. Words like “God” and “Bible” have been removed from books and textbooks of all levels of schools in accordance with the religious crackdown. The sale of the Bible, both online and in physical bookstores in China, is banned. Teachers who teach anything related to Christianity or use Christian words, like “God” or “Bible,” will be reprimanded or punished. The Chinese Communist Party also has a plan to re-translate the Bible to make it more “in line with the core values of socialism” soon.

3. The consequences of the Nazified social governance mode to China and the world

At this point, the Nazified social governance mode is still in its early stages. The worst is yet to come. But even in this earliest stage, it has already caused great damage to the Chinese people, society, and the rest of the world.

Inside the country, it has deprived Chinese people of most of their fundamental freedoms and has turned China into a huge electronic prison and police state. Everyone, from college professors to ordinary workers, has become a hostage of the Chinese Communist Party. If deemed disobedient, they can lose their freedom at any time or suffer worse treatment.

Furthermore, the government’s deprivation of freedom of speech has harmed the whole world. To show this, just think of how much damage the initial cover up of the outbreak of the coronavirus has done to the rest of the world if you know what happened to the whistleblower doctor from Wuhan, Doctor Li Wenliang.

Outside China, the Nazified social governance mode already poses a threat to the current international order. The recently passed Hong Kong National Security Law is a severe challenge to the international community. It will end the free system in Hong Kong and fatally disrupt the world’s third-largest financial hub. In addition, the Chinese Communist Party is trying to export its international influence and expand its control over some smaller countries through the Belt and Road Initiative. In addition, the Chinese Communist Party also tries every means to export its socialist ideology to the free world by its overseas media propaganda. This does not even mention China’s military threat to Taiwan or the serious consequences of its territorial expansion into the South China Sea.

It is high time for the whole world to stop this dangerous political movement and save their countries and their lives. We cannot suffer the Nazi tragedy to repeat itself.

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