Rights in a left world: An Indian used to routinely being lectured on his country's rights-record in Kashmir, in Gujarat, towards minorities; his treatment of the lower castes, the poor, women, children; his presumed natural tendency to deceit and bribery, and even, his 'racism' in not enthusiastically accepting a foreigner as his prime minister... for such an Indian, the ability of the Chinese to brazen out all external criticism must be an object of envy.
For, China has proven that it is possible to do so and get away with it. For 3 weeks in 1989, civilians—mostly students— gathered in Beijing's Tienanmen Square in protest against a wide variety of social issues. The state moved with alacrity. The details of what happened may be read here, but at the end of it, 2600 lay dead and over 7000 were injured. It was thought that the West would break-off with China on the issue. 15 years down the line the West is an ardent admirer and, London's Economist says "organised dissidence is non-existent". And adds, that many of the survivors are successful capitalists today.
In Kashmir, no 'outsider'—even if he is married to a Kashmiri girl—may buy property under a covenant known as Article 370. In just forty years, China has overwhelmed locals in Tibet by a planned influx of ethnic Chinese.
Charles Horner, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington D C, in a brief and sober history of Christianity in China says that "it is hard to appreciate the scale of the American Protestant effort in China from, say, 1850 until the establishment of the Communist regime in 1949. But it was huge, and drew upon the energies and the funds of Americans in every part of the country. It built schools, universities, and research institutions as well as churches" . Despite that, the harvest of souls, has been poor. The official number of Christians in China is 10 million though very greater number, is said to be covert practitioners. The Pope has applauded them for "not [giving] in to a church that corresponds neither to the will of Christ, nor to the Catholic faith". China's 4 million Muslims have largely subsumed their religious identity within a national one. Clearly, in China only the state has the sole rights to social engineering.
Significantly, Horner adds, "Chinese Catholics are unusually prominent in the ongoing struggle for democratic rights". And that leads us to an understanding of the Chinese mind. Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Sheik were deeply distrusted by nationalists [-who later mutated as communists] due to their Christian faith. That distrust of democracy as being an instrument of the Christian West continues. What chance then, does Falun Gong stand? You will find its clone in every Indian district, promising peace and health. In China, it is feared as a proselytiser that will upset political power.