East Asia Theater
This wave of peasant protest is the first glimmer of real opposition in China since Tiananmen Square. Yet it is getting little media coverage, and the outside world is largely ignoring it. The protests have been sweeping the industrial heartland along the South China Sea coast for months, and some have been incredibly violent—almost paramilitary in their level of organization and militancy, if not weaponry. But is there any leadership or coordination? Or are the protests all still "spontaneous"? From Reuters, via Environmental News Network, April 13:
From IndyBay.org, March 7:
Pyeongtaek, South Korea - On March 6th, 2006, South Korean military riot police began an attack on the autonomous village of Daechuri. For over four years, Daechuri and the nearby community of Doduri have defiantly resisted the siezure of their homes and fields for the expansion of an United States Army base. Barracaded inside the elementary school, rice farmers, elderly residents, and peace activists are holding out against sporadic, sometimes intense attacks by Korea's elite military police force. International support is needed to pressure the Korean government to halt its brutal assault.
In three days, the Tokyo stock market lost almost $400 billion in value. (ABC, Jan. 20) The crash comes at a moment of converging multiple crises for the Japanese state. On Jan. 19, some 800 protesters, mostly connected to Shinto shrines, gathered in Tokyo to protest government plans to move toward allowing women to assume the imperial throne. The ruling Emperor Akihito has two sons, Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino. The elder has only one daughter, Princess Aiko, born in 2001. The younger has two daughters. (UPI, Jan. 20)
Yet another report of peasant protesters killed by the security forces in (nominally communist) China. Is there any national coordination to the fast-growing peasant movement? Is anyone working in the West to loan them solidarity? From the Jan. 17 New York Times:
SHANGHAI, Jan. 16 - A week of protests by villagers in China's southern industrial heartland over government land seizures exploded into violence over the weekend, as thousands of police officers brandishing automatic weapons and electric stun batons moved to suppress the demonstrations, residents of the village said Monday.
Police removed hundreds of protesters who staged a sit-in that shut down one of Hong Kong's busiest streets Sunday—one day after demonstrators went on a violent rampage outside the venue for the WTO meeting in Hong Kong.
The world is paying little note, but China may have a full-scale peasant revolt on its hands soon. The hideous irony is that the American idiot left, rather than loaning solidarity to the heroic Chinese peasants, will cheer on their oppressors in the name of (a now wholly fictional) "socialism." Bush, meanwhile, will use the Beijing regime's human rights abuses against the peasants as a lever to pry further economic concessions (privatization of land and resources, dropping of trade barriers) which will only make the lot of the peasantry even worse, disenfranchising them of what little autonomy and self-sufficiency they have left. From AFP via al-Jazeera, Dec. 7:
The front-page synopsis below the headline of the New York Times's coverage of Bush's Nov. 20 meeting with President Hu Jintao in Beijing said it all:
Hu Jintao Cedes Nothing on Political Freedoms —Will Act on Trade
Economic "liberalization" without lifting the dictatorship an inch. Contrary to the lingering illusions of the idiot left, the model for the current Chinese regime appears not to be Mao but Pinochet. Bush, for his part, dumbed down the whole notion of human rights by reducing them to one item on a laundry list of concerns, somewhere just below the "intellectual property rights" of US compact-disk manufacturers:
The Epoch Times, an international publication run by Chinese exiles harshly opposed to the People's Republic government, ran a synopsis Oct. 15 of its ongoing coverage of the rural conflict in Taishi, a village in Guangdong now occupied by police following protests against municipal corruption. This story says much about current political dynamics in the People's Republic of China, but it is slightly ironic that Epoch Times insists on casting it in anti-Communist rhetoric. The facts make abundantly clear that China's current rulers are now Communist in name onlythe underlying conflict here concerns the privatization of village agricultural lands for the garish real-estate developments of the burgeoning nouveau riche elite.