China Alarm/Uyghur Christian Society Webinar from Amsterdam (jitsi.org)
Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. in Ottawa
9 September 2020
Canada/China bilateral relations for one are currently at rock bottom. A Nanos opinion survey across Canada last year done before the COVID-19 nightmare hit the world indicated that nine in ten Canadians held a “negative” or “somewhat negative” impression of the Government of China.
It is in part due to the ‘hostage diplomacy’ of president Xi Jingping, with the arbitrary arrests of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who remain more than 600 days later in harsh prison conditions, and the suspension of Canadian canola, soybeans and pork imports, following Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou under an extradition treaty request by the U.S. Justice Department.
The published highlights of an academic outreach workshop last year by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) noted: “Under (Xi’s) leadership as well, the Party-state is staging a vehement attack on Western democracy and values.”
For example, the then government of China agreed to special status for Hong Kong in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. It promised a “high degree of autonomy,” and covenanted that basic human rights would be maintained under its “one country, two systems” model for 50 years.
Under Xi, the party-state has systematically violated these commitments. This harms the city economy and the large amounts of foreign investment/exchange that enters China through Hong Kong in large measure because of its still sound legal system . The 2014 White Paper on Hong Kong issued under Xi dismissed the continued applicability of the Joint Declaration.
The renowned Chinese artist and democrat Ai Weiwei’s comments in late 2013 appear even more applicable today: “… The Communist Party is ethically and philosophically too weak to meet any challenge in public discussion. Over the coming years, the Communist government will finally… realize that it can only continue to govern if supported by the constitution and true rule of law…”
Canadian Clive Ansley practised law in Shanghai for 14 years and says: “China does not have a legal system in any meaningful sense. It is a completely bogus system, which was introduced in 1979 for reasons having little or nothing to do with any desire to implement Rule of Law… China is a brutal police state…”
Over two decades, the party-state has been directing a network of organ-harvesting from prisoners of conscience— primarily Falun Gong since 2001, but also Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Christians. Between 1 and 3 million Uyghurs are confined to concentration camps and have all been blood-tested as necessary for organ transplant purposes.
In mid-2006, David Matas and I as volunteers began to investigate persistent claims of organ pillaging/trafficking from Falun Gong. We released two reports and a book, Bloody Harvest. We concluded that for 41,500 transplants done in the years 2000-2005 across China, the sourcing beyond any doubt was predominately Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
Ethan Gutmann, author of The Slaughter (2014), places the persecution of the Falun Gong, Tibetan, Uyghur, and house Christian communities in context. He explains how he arrived at his “best estimate” that organs of 65,000 Falun Gong and “two to four thousand” Uyghurs, Tibetans and house Christians were “harvested” in the 2000- 2008 period.
Matas, Gutmann and I released an Update in 2016 in Washington, Ottawa and Brussels (accessible from http://www.endorganpillaging.org ). It provided a careful examination of the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals across China, drawing on medical journals, hospital websites, and deleted websites found in archives.
We concluded cautiously that a minimum of 60,000 transplants per year were being performed across China as of mid-2016, not the 10,000 range Beijing claimed. We provided much evidence about a state-directed organ harvesting commerce. Gutmann adds: “For governments and the media, our (2016 update) represented the final tipping point. Our report was covered by global press ranging from the New York Times to the (UK) Daily Mail while the US Congress and the European Parliament passed nearly identical resolutions in the summer of 2016 condemning the Chinese State for the harvesting of prisoners of conscience. In short, the Chinese medical establishment effectively lost the argument.”
At this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) held virtually, Taiwan’s health officials and journalists were barred despite its clearly demonstrated pandemic expertise that has (with Germany and New Zealand) set an example for the world. Taiwan learned much from the 2003 SARS epidemic, including the need to merge citizen international travel records with digital health information, the necessity to enforce quarantines, the importance of widespread testing for infection.
Early this year, when COVID-19 first appeared, Taiwan’s government was able to move quickly with almost 100 initiatives, including screening Wuhan flights as early as Dec. 31, banning Wuhan residents on Jan. 23, and barring all visitors from China on Feb. 6. Although both Italy and Taiwan confirmed their first cases in about the same week, by April 7, Italy tragically had about 132,500 active cases and 16,500 deaths, while Taiwan had about 373 confirmed cases and only five fatalities.
The University of Southhampton (UK) concluded in its study that 95 per cent of the infections could have been avoided if Beijing had acted three weeks earlier.
If the WHO and its 194 member-nations had adapted Taiwan’s practices in confronting COVID-19 in early 2020, many of the confirmed cases and deaths worldwide to date could have been avoided, along with enormous economic hardship for virtually the entire world.
I’ll quote here from an opinion piece carried in the Globe and Mail on April 14, 2020 by Irwin Cotler and Judith Abitan of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Montreal ( https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-chinese-communist-partys-culture-of-corruption-and-repression-has/ ) ):
“For 40 days, Mr. Xi’s CCP concealed, destroyed, falsified and fabricated information about the rampant spread of COVID-19 through its massive state-sanctioned surveillance and suppression of data; misrepresentation of information; silencing and criminalizing of dissent; and the disappearance of whistleblowers – all of which reflect the breadth of criminality and corruption in the party.
In late December 2019, Dr. Ai Fen, director of the emergency department at the Central Hospital of Wuhan, shared the lab results of a patient suffering from “SARS coronavirus” with relevant departments in her hospital and with a former medical school classmate; her information was then disseminated in medical circles. For this, she suffered an “unprecedented and severe rebuke” two days later.
Dr. Ai also detailed efforts to silence her in a story titled, “The one who supplied the whistle,” published in China’s People (Renwu) magazine in March. The article has since been removed – and Dr. Ai has herself recently disappeared…After (she shared the information) eight doctors were arrested, including Dr. Li Wenliang, now regarded by many in China as a “hero” and “the awakener.” They were reprimanded for spreading rumours and summoned to sign statements admitting to making false statements that disturbed the public order. Dr. Li died of COVID-19 on Feb. 7, prompting national outrage. The fate of the other seven people remains unknown.”
The world paid dearly for Beijing’s acts. The big influx to Europe was approximately 260,000 Chinese nationals, many working in Italy’s garment industry, who returned to Wuhan for New Year on Jan. 25 and were then allowed to fly back to their jobs. As of May 20, there were 227, 364 confirmed cases in Italy and 32,330 deaths.
The 27 E.U. nations, Australia and the United States demanded an independent investigation into WHO’s alleged complicity with Beijing. Xi Jinping offered $2 billion to help nations deal with lost lives and economic calamities caused by his government’s misfeasance.
German intelligence reported that Xi pressured the WHO director general to delay issuing a global warning about COVID-19 in January. Both the CIA and Homeland Security Dept. in the U.S. concluded that Beijing suppressed information about the outbreak so it could buy up medical supplies around the world.
How democracies should deal with Xi’s China.
Francis Fukuyama of Stanford U and former board member of the National Endowment for Democracy wrote recently:
“While we need to understand that Xi’s China is a totalitarian power, we should temper that with understanding that it is not a necessary or inevitable future for China. The regime is totalitarian in aspiration, but not necessarily in reality, that Americans need to keep in mind is that their enemy and rival right now is not China, but a Chinese Communist Party that has shifted into high-totalitarian mode. We are not dealing with the China of the 1990s or even the 2000s, but a completely different animal that represents a clear challenge to our democratic values. We need to hold it at bay until some point in the future when it returns to being a more normal authoritarian country, or indeed is on its way to being a liberal country. That will not necessarily eliminate the challenge that China represents; a more liberal China could easily be more nationalistic. But it will nonetheless be easier to deal with in many ways”.