My mom is in the hospital. I called her last night, and she described the chaotic and miserable life faced by thousands of patients seeking treatment. “Patients have to wait for months in order to see a doctor for important examinations, such as CAT scans, or surgeries. You need to buy a ticket to see a doctor. Normally, it is very cheap. But hospitals constantly tell patients there is no ticket and there’s nothing they can do for you. If patients cannot wait, they pay 600 to 6000 yuan (roughly US$100 to 1,000) for a ticket in the black market. Your brother had to give a lot of money to a doctor he knows so that he could ‘help’ me to get an in-patient spot.”
My mom is one of the ordinary women in China who experience unequal treatment due to their gender, age and political status (a simple member of the Communist Party or a commoner without Party membership). She used to work at a steel mill in Beijing, and like any male colleagues of hers, she worked both day and night shifts. However, her wages were lower than her male counterparts. She had to retire five years earlier than her male colleagues, because Chinese laws force women to do so on the ground that women after 45 are physically weak and unfit for labor force. My mom rarely complained about her life situation in China. Yet, she told me today, “the situation in China now is chaotic and many people are sick because of polluted food.”
On September 30, 2016, China Daily, the propaganda media of the Chinese government, published the “National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020).” If the Chinese government truly respected human rights as it is claimed, my mom and millions of other patients who need urgent medical treatment would not have suffered serious pollution and would not have to wait for months on end on the street before being able to be admitted into a hospital.
This human rights action plan is merely another lie. The Chinese government published such an action plan to deceive the international community, create an illusion for those countries that choose to believe this lie, and garner votes at the United Nations. It is one of the attempts for the Chinese Communist Party to cover their ugly acts of oppressing political dissidents and justify their recent violation of human rights (e.g. putting human rights lawyers and scholars in prison and demolishing hundreds of church buildings and burning crosses, the holy symbol for Christians).
The Chinese government uses rule of law as a disguise to fool Chinese people and cheat the international community. On Oct. 28, the UN General Assembly will elect 14 new members to the 47-member Human Rights Council. China, together with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, are seeking to be reelected to the select body whose three pillars of work are peace and security, development, and human rights.
The Chinese government not only lies to the world outside China, but also lies to the Chinese people by censoring the media and the Internet. The Chinese government praised Saddam Hussein as one of the best friends of the Chinese people. When I lived in China, I, like millions of Chinese, could not figure out the reason why Iraq was attacked and Saddam was arrested. Recently, I asked my neighbor, a family from Iraq, for such reason. They showed me pictures of innocent Kurdish people slaughtered by Saddam.
I believe that even today, the majority of Chinese people don’t understand why Americans condemned China for the Darfur genocide. In 2008, the BBC found the first evidence that China helped Sudan’s government militarily in Darfur. Yet, I learned about this report only in 2016. We, the Chinese people, have been so used to being lied to by our government, that we have gradually started to lose the precious human behavior – curiosity, inquiry and truth seeking – that represents wisdom and intelligence. The same situation is happening in Syria. When thousands of Syrian people were suffering war and death, the Chinese government told us that the United States and other Western countries were interfering in the domestic affairs and sovereignty of the Syrian people. The propaganda has always been aimed at indoctrinating the idea that the United States and other Western counties are “the bad guys” and enemies of the Chinese people; in fact, the enemies of humanity.
Historians will “justify” the role that the Chinese government played in Iraq, Darfur, and Syria. I believe the day will come, when the Chinese people will know all the truth. As the old Chinese saying goes, fire cannot be wrapped in paper. And, as The Bible says “ The Truth Shall Make You Free.”
(The photo was taken by DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW, published on APRIL 8, 2015 http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/in-china-a-climate-of-mistrust-in-medicine/?_r=0)