fredag 31. desember 2021

In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy

The US describes its newly announced diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, backed by Britain and other western countries, as a protest against China’s “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang”, where the Chinese Communist party (CCP) is accused of genocide, as well as its evisceration of Hong Kong’s democracy.

Yet a separate, lurking worry informs Washington’s action: that China may turn the games into a propaganda extravaganza, showcasing its growing strength to a global audience. Think Gladiator, and then think Xi Jinping, China’s authoritarian president, acting like a latter-day Roman emperor exercising power over life and death. It’s not a fanciful image. An independent tribunal’s report last week described the ghastly reality facing thousands of Uyghurs who suffer “acts of unconscionable cruelty, depravity and inhumanity”, including torture and organised gang rapes, in Xinjiang’s concentration camps.