- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Were nations merely the embodiment of automated processes, statistics alone might suffice to predict their futures. Appreciating that they are not, Ronald Reagan brought down a nation many had once predicted would outlast the United States. Simply by loosening some of its Marxist ideology, the Chinese state believes that it can avoid the Soviet Union’s fate by riding a wave of capitalist resurgence.

As Sky News recently documented, trampled beneath China’s economic juggernaut are the lives of thousands of Chinese still denied basic freedoms. The Sky News team took rare footage of police officers violently evicting homeowners from their homes before being forced to watch all that they once owned bulldozed to make way for “economic development.” Given zero compensation, the now-homeless survive in shanty towns in the shadow of newly built skyscrapers.

In northern China, journalist Jin Zhong says he has uncovered a secret detention center that is used to harvest the organs of religious prisoners, many of them from the outlawed Falun Gong sect. As Bill Gertz of The Washington Times reported, as many as 6,000 people are thought to be held prisoner at the underground facility of Sujiatun, where doctors harvest their kidneys, livers and eye parts. “This is murder, and murder sponsored by the state,” said Mr. Jin, whose story is corroborated by hospital workers, despite China’s official denial.

In advance of President.HuJintao’s U.S. visit, China, per usual, released a few political prisoners as a gesture of goodwill. Among the untold thousands still imprisoned are Zhao Yan, a New York Times researcher, who was arrested in October on charges of “divulging state secrets”; journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in April 2005 for “leaking state secrets,” which included a government directive banning the state media from reporting on commemorative events of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre; and Zheng Yichun, who was sentenced to seven years in September for his associations with Falun Gong.

In 2004, there were 74,000 protests in China involving more than 3.5 million people, according to the Chinese government. That was up from 58,000 in 2003. This is the real story of China.

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