Beijing’s policy of forcibly repatriating people it considers Chinese nationals — some of whom are in fact citizens of other countries — is accelerating. Powerful businessmen, ex-Chinese Communist Party officials, dissidents, and activists have all been targeted as part of what Western intelligence officials say appears to be a large-scale campaign, notes Zach Dorfman, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Several cases of forced repatriation across borders appear to show just how seriously the Communist Party takes its assertion that anyone it regards as a national — no matter where they live, work, or study — is subject to its authority, he writes for Foreign Policy.
The death of Chinese human rights lawyer, Li Baiguang (right), can be described only as suspicious and comes at a time when China continues to tighten the screws against human rights work and democracy, the Washington Post Editorial Board notes:
His early activities included defending peasants who were forced off their land by local Communist Party officials and government authorities. Later, he defended worshipers at unofficial churches that were subject to persecution. He came to Washington in 2006 with a delegation organized by ChinaAid, a Christian human rights group, and met with President George W. Bush twice. When he was given the 2008 Democracy Award by the National Endowment for Democracy, Mr. Li noted that China’s breakneck economic growth had left the country “lagging behind in advancing freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law.”
By his labors, often challenging the powerful, Mr. Li showed that lawyers in China could make a difference against a powerful and entrenched system. That ideal must not be abandoned, the Post insists.