More Zintro opinions on Chinese Political Issues in the News

Most recent news cites a potential espionage issue for the US and China. And what about the escape of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng to the US embassy and eventual move to the US? Even the downfall story of Chinese Communist party rising star Bo Xilia has made news here in the US. To learn more, we asked Zintro experts what can we learn about the Chinese political environment, Communist government rule, human rights, and how the Chinese are dealing with these public challenges.

David Gershwin, a public affairs and media relations expert, says that while the Chinese government could have used Chen Guangcheng’s escape as an opportunity to show how far Chinese society has come, instead its words and actions simply highlighted just how far they have to go. “Guangcheng’s escape could have been framed as an anomaly – a single dissident in a nation of 1.3 billion people. This same nation is now enjoying a period of increased standards of living, impressive technological advances, and robust economic development,” says Gershwin “Instead, we saw a Chinese establishment that made threats made to Chen’s family and repressive censorship of any news story that went so far as to mention the blind man. Demonizing the United States in the process, it also fell flat in its predictability and its excessive dogma.”

Gershwin wonders if, instead, the Chinese government had appeared indifferent to Chen’s escape. “What were the upsides of further antagonizing an active, vocal dissident? If anything, the Chinese government could have approached the situation as one of voluntary exile,” he says. “Having a goal of minimizing negative perceptions in the mediasphere is straight out of Public Relations 101.”

Phillip Griffin, who operates a garments export business in China, says that the issues are that the government rules with an iron fist, human rights are extremely bad, and people are scared to say in any public place what they really feel. “People keep their opinions private and discuss only at home with secure family members,” Griffin says. “As far as Bo is concerned, he was very popular with the normal people in the area he controlled and was becoming a major figure in the Beijing hierarchy. The others in the polit bureau saw this as a threat and pinned the killing of the Englishman on him and his wife. Websites do not show anything about this case in China nor the situation of the Blind Lawyer who lived near me in this province. Severe censorship prevails, and it will not improve until the citizens can rebel against the powers in Beijing.”

By Maureen Aylward

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