Morality, the CCP’s Global Threat, and the Coronavirus Pandemic
(Minghui.org) A short film titled “Bus 44” sent shock waves through the audience at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. The film won the “Special Jury Award” in Venice and, later on, a number of other film festival awards.
The film was based on something that actually happened in a mountainous region in China.
On the day of the incident, a female driver was steering a medium bus on a winding road when three “passengers” suddenly took out knives and demanded money from everyone else on the bus. After they collected the money, they made the driver stop the bus and ordered her to get off, telling her they were going to rape her. She yelled for help as the thugs dragged her off the bus. No one responded to her desperate appeal, except for a skinny, middle-aged man, whom the thugs easily knocked to the ground.
The man shouted to the other passengers to help the driver, but no one seemed to care. They just sat there in silence while the young woman was dragged into the brush and gang-raped. One passenger said, “It's all her fault (that we’re stuck here).”
Half an hour later, the three thugs brought the driver back. She had blood on her face and her clothes were a mess. Still, nobody seemed to care and urged her to drive on.
The traumatized woman pulled herself together, then told the man who’d tried to help her, “Get off the bus!” When he refused, saying he didn't do anything wrong and had tried to help her, she said she would not start the engine unless he got off.
Everybody on the bus turned to the man, urging him to get off so that they could be on their way. A few men even got up to try to push him off the bus, while the three thugs were joking about how they’d enjoyed raping the driver.
The driver threw the man's bag out of the window, and when he got off to get it, she shut the door and drove on.
As the bus neared the top of the mountain, the driver accelerated. She looked calm, but tears were streaming down her face. The passengers began to get nervous and told her to slow down. She didn't say a thing, just kept going at full speed until the bus went off the cliff.
The only survivor was the man who had been forced off the bus earlier–the only one who tried to help her.
This story provides a glimpse into the sad reality of moral degeneration in China. After 70 years of totalitarian rule by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), traditional Chinese culture and ethical beliefs have been replaced by atheism and the Party doctrines of class struggle, violence, and deceit. So many people in today's China have become selfish and unfeeling when it comes to the suffering of others. But as we can see in this story, silence in the face of gross injustice comes at a price.
“A Form of Evil Yet to Be Seen on This Planet”
Of all the horrible crimes that are taking place in China, the most evil and shocking one would be the forced, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong is a mind and body cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It has benefited tens of millions of people both in China and around the world.
Viewing the popularity of Falun Gong as a “threat” to its control of people's minds, the CCP launched a brutal persecution of the practice in July 1999. It continues to this day. Innocent people are subjected to unlawful arrest, detention, imprisonment, and torture, and many have been killed for their organs.
That horrendous crime first came to light in 2006 when the ex-wife of a surgeon who was involved in such operations in a hospital in Tianjin came forward and testified.
In July 2006, David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, and David Matas, Canadian human rights lawyer, released an investigative report that concluded “...the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centers and 'people's courts,' since 1999, have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries.” In the report, it refers to the crime committed by the Chinese regime as “a form of evil yet to be seen on this planet.”
Shen Zhongyang, top liver transplant surgeon and former director of the Center for Organ Transplantation in Tianjin Central First Hospital and the Liver Transplant Institute of Armed Police General Hospital, was recognized as having “completed almost 10,000 liver transplants by 2014, making up a quarter of the country’s total liver transplants” in the introduction about him on a Baidu Baike (Baidu Encyclopedia) page.
Given the short wait time (from one week to 3 months) for organs in China, many patients from nearly 20 countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, rushed to China for organ transplants.
When the holocaust was brought to light, many people vowed to never let it happen again. But decades later, when the systematic crimes of organ harvesting are taking place in China, many world leaders and media, due to the CCP’s political and economic clout, have kept silent about it.
Such silence has given the CCP tacit permission to continue it unscrupulous practices.
But such silence does come at a cost. According to David Matas, renowned human rights lawyer and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, the current coronavirus pandemic the whole world is now dealing with is the consequence of turning a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses.
In an interview with Minghui.org, Matas said, “If the rest of the world had been more aggressive in combating all this misrepresentation and cover-up and denial and counterfactual narrative in dealing with organ transplant abuse; if the global system had insisted on transparency and accountability in dealing with organ transplant abuse; and if China had [faced] global pressure for transparency and accountability in its health system in dealing with organ transplant abuse, we wouldn't have this coronavirus now. And we are suffering the consequences now of turning a blind eye to organ transplant abuse.”
Matas also said that, despite the tremendous work that has been done over the past decade to stop the forced organ harvesting, it’s far from enough, because it is still going on in China today.
“It certainly hasn’t reached the governmental and inter-governmental level the way it should have done. And the reason is that we’re dealing with a geopolitical power, an economically powerful, politically powerful [power], who is not just throwing its weight around in China to keep its position secure in China, but it’s throwing its weight around globally to propagandize, to pressure, to intimidate, using economic and political leverage to cover up, deny, obfuscate, present a counterfactual narrative.
“For far too many people around the world, it’s just been politically and economically convenient to go along.”
The CCP's Ambition and the Danger of Appeasement by the West
The Western world has held high hopes for the CCP to take a turn for the better along with China's staggering economic development over the last few decades, especially after China was admitted into the WTO in 2001. They offered the CCP regime favorable trade terms and provided loans and other forms of financial support to boost China's economy.
However, instead of embracing the fundamental values, ethics, and the rule of law upheld in the free world, the CCP seems to have become even more belligerent in its avaricious ambition to ultimately dominate the world by way of economic power and military supremacy.
It has been vigorously pushing towards this goal through the controversial “One Belt, One Road” initiative and the ambitious “Made in China 2025” effort, a state-backed industrial policy aimed at having China dominate global high-tech manufacturing. To that end, the CCP imposed coercive technology transfer on companies as a pre-condition to enter the Chinese market as well as unequal trade conditions thanks to huge government subsidies. At the same time, the CCP unscrupulously steals valuable intellectual properties from the Western world, particularly the U.S.
On the military front, the CCP has steadily increased its military budget, with USD237 billion for 2020, the second-highest out of 138 countries. Its aggressive build-up of military-grade artificial islands in the South China Sea region, which has been in territorial disputes with Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, is also perceived by many as unruly aggression that undermines the peace and stability in the region, to say the least.
While building up its economic and military muscles, the CCP has also intensified its soft power infiltration into the Western society on a wide social and economic spectrum by way of corruption and bribery in order to exert its influence and gain more ground for the promotion of its narratives.
It is fair to say that the CCP has been quite “successful” in pushing toward its ultimate goal in the past few decades, to a large extent due to the help of political and business leaders in the Western world.
Truth be told, for decades, many government leaders and big business entrepreneurs around the world have adopted an “appeasement” policy in dealing with the CCP for short-term trade and economic benefits, thereby turning a deaf ear to the CCP's human rights abuses and to the danger that such collaboration might, in the long run, be detrimental to their own nation’s economic development, intellectual property, and/or sovereign integrity.
A Wake-up Call
Oftentimes, people only wake up when their own lives are in imminent danger, and the current pandemic seems to have indeed awakened many to begin to see the CCP for what it truly is in view of its conduct during the outbreak. They are beginning to see the danger of dancing with a wolf, especially an aggressive wolf in sheep's clothing.
We have noticed that the international community, especially democratic countries, have begun to share a common understanding that the CCP cannot be trusted and that the policy of appeasement when it comes to the CCP's totalitarian regime will only lead to more danger, danger that could eventually erode the fundamental principles and values that their freedoms and the rule of law are built upon.
For example, Australia's push for an international, independent inquiry into the outbreak of coronavirus has secured the backing of 116 countries, including 54 African states, even though the CCP was strongly opposed to any independent investigation and has threatened Australia with a huge tariff on barley and blocked some of its beef imports.
European officials, who are traditionally less willing to be openly critical of the CCP regime, partly out of fear of retaliation, have also paid attention to the CCP's behavior during the coronavirus crisis.
“Over these months, China has lost Europe,” said Reinhard Buetikofer, a German Green party lawmaker who chairs the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with China. He cited concerns, from China’s “truth management” in the early stages of the virus to an “extremely aggressive” stance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing and “hard-line propaganda” that champions the superiority of Communist Party rule over democracy.
The European Union's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell also called for talks between Europe and the U.S. to counter China. According to international reports, Borrell said that the two sides should make a common cause in order to “defend values and interest.”
Borrell suggested launching a “distinct bilateral dialogue” focused on China and the challenges it poses to the EU and the U.S. by its “actions and ambitions.” He said, “For us, it's important to stay together with the U.S. in order to share concerns and to look for common ground to defend our values and our interest.”
Revival of Humanity
The outbreak of coronavirus that has come down on us like an avalanche has caused us very real pain and suffering, physically and mentally, socially and economically. Many people have lost their lives, and the numbers are continuing to increase.
But times of crisis also provide us with opportunities to pause in our busy lives and reflect on ourselves.
Tu Long, a millennial in Beijing, said in an interview with Voice of America, that when bad things happened to his fellow Chinese, he told himself not to care about it and just to “keep calm and carry on.” But the coronavirus pandemic completely changed his view.
“When they expelled the migrant workers in Beijing, I said to myself, ‘I’ve worked very hard, I’m not a migrant, I will not be expelled.’
“When they built the concentration camps in Xinjiang [for the minority-Muslim Uighurs], I thought, ‘I’m not an ethnic minority, I don't have any religious beliefs, I will not be in trouble.’
“I sympathize with the suffering of the people in Hong Kong, but I thought, “I will not go out and protest [for democracy]--it has nothing to do with me.’
“This time it hit my hometown. Many people I know have gotten sick, and some have died—I can’t stand it any longer.”
A friend once said to him, “If you want to live in China, you have to do either of these two things, and if you can do both, that’s the best: Number one, disregard your rationality. Number two, disregard your conscience.”
Tu Long said he could do neither and he is now preparing to flee China. “As a survivor of the Wuhan epidemic, for the rest of my life, I have an obligation to speak for the dead.” he said.