China and the Difficulties of Dissent, by Simon Leitch.
It is important to understand that China is a fascist dictatorship. …
China is an ethnonationalist, corporatist, authoritarian state. The government harasses, imprisons, or murders those who demand the right to vote. It engages in cultural genocide and seeks to make the Chinese dictatorship ideologically inseparable from the self-image of the Chinese people. It protects its domestic economy from foreign competition, subsidises all its important industries, mandates that government officials sit on the boards of all large companies, and does not allow independent labour unions.
Despite the use of the word “communist” in both the name of the state and the name of its ruling elite, China is fascist. The label of communism is now merely a historical anomaly, relevant only to the extent that totalitarianism remains an underlying principle, the source code of a regime that has likely killed more people than any other in history.
Censorship and Chinese access to our leftist institutions:
As the world’s most powerful fascist regime, one would expect China to encounter great difficulties spreading its influence on liberal Australian university campuses, the student bodies of which are hypersensitive to right-wing teaching or teachers. The student opposition to the Ramsey Institute teaching UQ students about the achievements of Western civilisation is particularly instructive in this case. China, however, has had no problem spreading its influence.
This is partly because most of its influence is not visible to students or the general public. For instance, China scholars from Western universities require access to Chinese sources and travel visas. In order to secure interviews or travel permits, they must not write anything the Chinese government dislikes. To be critical of the Chinese government’s stance on Taiwan is to be blacklisted. To speak out against China’s treatment of the Uighurs, Falun Gong, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, trade, technology theft, or espionage is dangerous academic territory. Students do not see this influence. Media representatives who interview “China experts” are typically unaware that they are speaking to a self-censored source, even though that source may be an Australian citizen, resident, and not ethnically Chinese.
Most academics speak euphemistically about this self-censorship. They will claim that you “have to be measured” when talking about China and that you have to be “sensitive” to Chinese feelings, which makes acquiescence to Chinese coercion sound warmer and fuzzier than it really is. They will claim that you have to see things from “China’s perspective,” and omit that this is the perspective of a regime that makes dissidents disappear. …
When I was a lecturer it was relatively common to go through an entire semester without a single criticism of the Chinese regime by Chinese students in front of their classmates. Occasionally, a courageous student would privately explain why. Students who voiced objections were monitored by their classmates and denounced to the home government. They in turn had representatives within the student bodies whose job it was to warn students about their activism and remind them of the consequences of dissent. By making sure the students knew they were being watched, the students would self-censor (as a minimum requirement) or defend China in whatever debate was taking place.
In this way, the Chinese students provide something priceless to the cultivation of China’s national image — they make the regime appear to be popular at home. Ask a Chinese student (from the mainland) in public whether or not they approve of Chinese government policies, and you’re likely to get either a nervous and uncertain reply, and possibly a question about why a Westerner cares about Chinese affairs, or you’ll be provided with a vigorous defence of China’s reputation. This isn’t accidental. This is a product of deliberate, well considered policies, crafted by a dictatorship to subvert countervailing foreign policy initiatives. …
What they really believe:
Although Chinese governmental coercion is real and far-reaching, it is important to understand that visiting Chinese lecturers and students often firmly believe in all the fundamental elements of Chinese fascism (although, they do not call it that).
They are brought up in a nationalist education system. They have usually made a lot of money under the regime (otherwise they could not afford to travel). They are taught there is no difference between the people, the Party, and the state. They are taught that all opposition to Chinese policies is either hypocritical, a misunderstanding, or racist. They are taught that China is being contained, hemmed in, limited in its growth by pernicious outside forces. And nothing will persuade them otherwise.
Our openness to Chinese students, immigration, technological cooperation, investment, and trade is meaningless. Chinese victimhood is an ideology crafted for expedience, not because it accords with reality, and it is believed, disseminated, and defended by an indoctrinated, nationalistic establishment that has done rather well out of the regime.
Forewarned is forearmed.
In 1930s Britain much of the left loved the Nazis, because they were socialist and knew how to make it work, and it seemed so shiny, new, and “reasonable”. When war with Germany broke out, the Oxbridge student unions urged people not to fight the socialists (the Germans), to stay out of it. It was not until Germany invaded the Soviet Union, home of international communism, that the leftists at the student unions changed to getting behind the war effort. Naturally, the left chucked this down the memory hole long ago.
By the way, here is a question for the buffs. WWII in Europe started when Germany invaded Poland and Britain then declared war on Germany. But the Soviet Union also invaded Poland, taking the eastern half. Yet Britain did not declare war on the Soviets. Why not? If you know a good source, please send it in.