(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic has severely damaged China's global image, as people around the world came to realize the CCP's lying nature and disregard for human life.
Based on information from the Pew Research Center, negative views on China hit a new record, with data collected from 14 industrial countries. In the United Nations, 39 countries criticized the CCP for its human rights violations.
“China’s international image has plummeted amid widespread disapproval over how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey of 14 industrialized countries found,” reported Wall Street Journal in an article on October 6, titled “China’s Global Image Dips to New Lows Over Its Coronavirus Response.”
The data came from Pew Research Center through a poll of over 14,000 residents in 14 countries on four continents. On average 73% of the responders had negatives views of China, which is significantly higher than the results obtained a year ago. “It is China’s worst score since the survey began,” wrote the report.
The poll was conducted through phone calls between June 10 and August 3. The three countries that had the most negative views on China were Japan (86%), Sweden (85%), and Australia (81%). Results from other participating countries were Denmark (75%), South Korea (75%), United Kingdom (74%), United States (73%), Canada (73%), the Netherlands (73%), Germany (71%), Belgium (71%), France (70%), Spain (63%), and Italy (62%).
The largest increase came from Australia (24%), followed by Germany (15%) and the United States (13%).
Researchers at Pew believe these changes were mainly caused by the coronavirus pandemic due to the CCP’s mishandling of the disease. About 61% of the responders in these 14 countries think that the CCP is responsible for the global pandemic.
Besides the pandemic, a series of actions by the CCP also worsened its relationships with the West. Such actions included enacting the Hong Kong National Security Law in June, suppressing different opinions (for example, real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang disappeared in March and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in September), arresting Canadians in retaliation for Canada's arrest of the Huawei CFO, and adopting “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy.
Christoph Heusgen, representative of Germany to the United Nations, issued a statement in the Third Committee General Debate on behalf of 39 countries. In particular, the letter focused on the human rights condition in Xinjiang Province and the situation in Hong Kong.
“There are severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief and the freedoms of movement, association, and expression as well as on Uyghur culture,” wrote the statement, “Widespread surveillance disproportionately continues to target Uyghurs and other minorities and more reports are emerging of forced labour and forced birth control including sterilization.”
Similarly, the National Security Law by Beijing in Hong Kong did not conform to China’s international legal obligations. “We have deep concerns about elements of the National Security Law that allow for certain cases to be transferred for prosecution to the Chinese mainland. We urge the relevant authorities to guarantee the rights which are protected under the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, including freedoms of speech, the press and assembly,” Heusgen continued.
Those 39 countries include the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and others. Inside China, however, such information had been filtered out by news media, said Cai Xia, Chinese dissident and former professor in China’s Central Party School. Instead, the CCP-controlled media reported that Korea, Iran, and some African countries supported the CCP’s actions in Hong Kong.
After a long term appeasement policy towards the CCP, the U.S. government has been clearer on the nature and tactics of the CCP.
“Previous administrations made this choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all forms – not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, religious freedom, and the entire family of human rights… but that hope has gone unfulfilled,” remarked the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a speech at the Hudson Institute on October 4, 2018, “The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people. And while Beijing still pays lip service to ‘reform and opening,’ Deng Xiaoping’s famous policy now rings hollow.”
On October 31, 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed Pence's idea. “I must say that the communist government in China today is not the same as the people of China. They’re reaching for and using methods that have created challenges for the United States and for the world,” he said.
The U.S. stance against the CCP has toughened since the coronavirus pandemic. On October 2, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy manual enforcing the admissibility against members of the communist and other totalitarian parties. Bernard Wolfsdorf, former chairman of American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Voice of America that the policy alert was based on provisions added in the 1950s to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
At that time, communism was perceived as a very direct threat to the United States. With the new trend of rejecting the CCP, many people could face visa or entry denials unless there are exceptions. “To an experienced officer, they know who is likely to be a Communist Party member, and they are capable of doing an adequate inquiry to see whether their membership is meaningful,” explained Wolfsdorf.
Zhou Dongfa, an immigration lawyer in Minnesota, agreed. He said the new guidelines did not reflect a change in U.S. immigration laws. Rather, it now requires immigration officers to strictly enforce the law when handling applications concerning CCP membership.
“You look at the law itself—it hasn’t changed. If you are a Communist Party member, you have to declare it on Form 485, which is the application for green card status in the U.S. This policy alert provides a step-by-step overview of the inadmissibility determination,” he added.
Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, referred to the coronavirus as the CCP virus on Twitter on October 6. “China knew about it for a month to a month and a half before they told us,” he said in an interview, “They closed down China, and for months after they allowed thousands and hundreds of thousands of Chinese to travel all over Europe, and all over the United States.”
By mid-October, the coronavirus has infected nearly 40 million people globally with deaths of over 1.1 million. Besides initiatives taken by various governments, a large number of organizations and individual are also putting forth their own efforts to hold the CCP responsible. On September 9, more than 300 NGOs urged Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to launch an international investigation into Beijing's human rights abuses.
More specifically, the letter requested a “decisive action” on human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet and against the majority-Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang. It also included the suppression of vital information in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and attacks on rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and government critics across the country.
The worsening human rights abuse in China also drew attention from news media. “Chen Quanguo, the official directing China’s clampdown in its restive Xinjiang region, has emerged as a pioneer of aggressive policing techniques—setting the tone for the country’s shift toward harsher, technology-driven authoritarian rule,” reported the Wall Street Journal in a report on April 7, 2019, with the title of “China’s Hard Edge: The Leader of Beijing’s Muslim Crackdown Gains Influence.”
The tragedies that Chen caused is not limited to Uyghurs. “After the government outlawed the Falun Gong spiritual group in 1999, Mr. Chen participated in the crackdown as a senior Henan official, with responsibilities over the destruction of the group’s pamphlets, books and CDs,” wrote the article, “He later oversaw efforts to cleanse Henan party ranks of Falun Gong by re-educating and expelling offenders, according to provincial histories.”
Another Wall Street Journal article, published on September 22, 2019 and titled “China’s Main Threat Is a Moral One,” pointed out the moral crisis caused by the CCP. “China is imposing a reign of terror on religious minorities—Christian, Tibetan Buddhist, Uighur Muslim, Falun Gong and others,” the article wrote, “We cannot ignore the Chinese Communist Party’s shredding of human rights and religious freedom. So although we may continue to render some things unto China, we must not allow China to confiscate what belongs only to God: the lives, souls and consciences of vulnerable human beings.”
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