This has been an interesting week for China watchers, especially for those who keep claiming that the Communist Empire is moving forward to capitalism, libertarianism, Austrian economics or any other dream that wets their laden stomachs and appeased appetites. On Friday four Chinese free-speech activists have been sentenced to prison in the Middle Kingdom: Yang Maodong, Liu Yuandong, Sun Decheng, and Gao Yu, who is already 71 years old. But the Chinese Communist Party is not only scared of old people –there is an actual word for that: gerontophobia– and pigeons –yes, really: columbiphobia–: they also suffer from caligynephobia, or phobia of beautiful women.
Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old Canadian actress who was crowned Miss World Canada last May, is the new “public enemy” in China. A most beautiful woman that probably reminds Mr. Xi Jinping of the perils associated with beauty in the Classical world, where women were seen as agents of chaos that could put an end to a dynastic cycle, Anastasia is also a Falun Gong practitioner and she has testified before U.S. Congress on religion persecution in China with the amazing title Religion With “Chinese Characteristics”: Persecution and Control in Xi Jinping’s China.
But during the run-up to the Miss World Canada competition in 2013, the Canadian organizers “received a mysterious email urging them to ‘seriously reconsider her candidacy,’ warning them that Lin had ‘only entered this contest so that she can attack the Chinese gov’t,’ and that ‘her hatred of the Chinese gov’t will only embarrass and discredit this competition,’ before finishing with a final threat: ‘Don’t be surprised if your sponsors start pulling out due to an insulted Chinese gov’t.’” She disregarded this warning and entered the competition, just to receive a brush off from two Chinese judges who gave her zero out of ten –and who were likewise disregarded by the organizers. As Cong Riyun, from the Chinese University of Politics and Law, has pointed out, the result of this Chinese brainwashing education has been that Chinese people today “firstly, they’re ignorant, their brains are full of prejudice. Secondly, they’re made violent by this education of hatred. Thirdly, they’re xenophobic, not just toward foreigners but also they show their hatred towards domestic traitors.” And so they did.
Even when Anastasia won the competition and her father called her to stop talking about human rights due to government sponsored threats against him, she decided not to negotiate with terrorists –sorry, the Chinese Government. This is basically the same story any Chinese dissident living overseas will tell you, and as the saying goes, where there is smoke, a Chinese factory has blown up. Or something like that.
The main problem for Anastasia’s beauty pageant future is that the International Miss World Finals will take place on December, 19 in –you guessed it right– China, and the Chinese government has ignored her visa application. As we write, Anastasia is currently in Hong Kong, where she has tried to get a landing visa as a Canadian citizen to join the event, but it has been rejected without further explanation. Which basically means that the Chinese government now dictates who (foreign citizens) can attend international events. Ok, it´s Chinese soil, so my soil, my rules. But how about Miss World Ltd., the British enterprise responsible for the event? They have even removed Anastasia’s picture from their website and there is no explanation about the incident.
So, as it seems, Miss World Ltd. is a private enterprise, which means that they can do as they wish with their money, as they did in 2003 when they rejected Miss Taiwan thanks to the intervention of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Does it seem legitimate from a libertarian point of view? Look again. This is a foreign government which happens to be a dictatorship deciding over the private lives of people who live in and are citizens of a different country (as Taiwan will remain as long as any Chinese needs a visa to get in) and which is buying private companies in foreign –British– soil. It looks like the United Kingdom has a long history of selling itself out to the Chinese –*cough* Hong Kong *cough*.
Didn´t the British Miss World Ltd. guys have any other option? Back in the 2001 Perry Link, a sinologist with a spine who took the blacklisted scientist Fang Lizhi and his wife out of China after the Tian’anmen Massacre, published a book entitled The Tiananmen Papers. He was at the time the head of Princeton University’s Chinese-language program in Beijing, so when the Chinese government banned him, instead of confronting China his University basically submitted to the designs of the Middle Kingdom and kicked him out. As another fellow sinologist, Arthur Waldron notes, they could have moved their program to Taiwan. You know, they speak Chinese over there too. Likewise, Miss World Ltd. could have moved to another place, that is, if they care about something else than Chinese dirty money. As Anastasia posted in her FaceBook page:
“Ask them why they won’t let human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng visit a dentist after he lost most of his teeth due to torture.
Ask them how it is that Chinese hospitals perform tens of thousands of organ transplants, even though voluntary organ donation is virtually non-existent, and the numbers of official executions in China is far from sufficient to supply this quantity.
Ask them why they don’t trust their own people to be able to read uncensored information.
Ask why they imprison, torture, and kill grandmothers for practicing meditation.”
I believe both the Chinese government and the British guys behind the Miss World pageant should provide an answer to all these questions. Because by showing how easy it is for the Chinese government to manipulate Western business and institutions, we are not only empowering them and impoverishing the Chinese people –we are also feeding their arrogance and magnifying the nationalistic illusion of racial superiority that they repeat from cradle to the grave in their schools and universities.
Kudos for the Canadians. No wonder they longed for independence from the British government.