Many people observing the Chinese people often wonder how this vast East Asian nation differs so much, not only from other Western nations, but from its culturally similar neighbors.
Certainly, it requires a broad and sufficiently informed perspective to describe a specific nation, and even more so for China, given the complex circumstances that characterize it.
In this case, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, after years of witnessing the regime in operation from the highest level and based on his privileged experience, pointed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the biggest obstacle for America.
This is what he states, now as chairman of the Advisory Council of the Hudson Institute’s China Center, through the first of a series of videos whose objective is: “To speak directly to the Chinese people about the U.S.-China relations.”
The Chinese Communist Party does not represent the Chinese people
In the first episode on September 13, Pompeo highlights, “The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t represent the Chinese people,” and then brought together the origins, crimes, and trajectory of this regime, not elected by the citizens, saying, “The CCP is a one-party, totalitarian political organization committed to a foreign, anti-Chinese ideology. It started out as a group of brutal, radical extremists. And frankly, not much has changed.”
He adds, “The worst mass murderer in history was Mao. His victims were mostly Chinese. The same is true of Deng Xiaoping, who murdered pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. And Xi Jinping continues that communist legacy, even today.”
He also states that only the Chinese people are called upon to solve this situation. In his view, the CCP’s only intention is to keep the people subjugated, and that is why they perceive U.S. democracy as an enemy.
Pompeo added, “The CCP hates the United States because they are paranoid that the Chinese people will be inspired by the example of American freedom, the world’s oldest and most influential democracy.”
Also, he recognizes the courage of Chinese citizens who dare to fight for their nation’s freedom. He mentions Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, and media mogul Jimmy Lai, also from Hong Kong, who has been a key figure in the pro-democracy protests there.
He wrote, “There are a lot of heroes, in small ways and big, throughout China. They’re the people who worship in secret houses, who commemorate Tiananmen Square, and who every day refuse to believe the CCP’s lies.”
How most Americans feel about the issue
On the other hand, most Americans agree with Pompeo, despite the fact that the CCP invests vast sums of money in propaganda that presents a favorable image of the regime to the world.
According to a Gallup poll presented six months ago, most Americans see China as a critical threat to their country.
“The 67% who currently view China’s military power as a critical threat is the highest in Gallup’s trend, 16 percentage points above the prior high from 2013 and 26 points higher than the previous measure, in 2016,” according to Gallup comparisons.
Meanwhile, The Brookings Institution, based in Washington, U.S. highlighted the rise of unfavorable opinion toward China in recent years, as 67% of Americans held negative views about China, up from 46% in 2018.
Pompeo added, “Eighty-nine percent of Americans now consider China to be a competitor or enemy.”
The Pew Research Center pollster, said “[We] found that Americans rarely brought up the Chinese people or the country’s long history and culture. Instead, they focused primarily on the Chinese government …”, referring to their own research.
Chinese views on the CCP, in the networks
However, the most important perception is the one expressed by the Chinese themselves. Even though they are tightly censored, manage to break through the Great Firewall from the mainland. Chinese living outside China also give their countrymen voice.
At this point, it is worth quoting a tweet from the Twitter account, @TouBanTouTiao, in which he mentions the words of Hu Yaobang. Hu was a protégé of Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, and a leading advocate of reforms in China. He was blamed for the protests of the 1980s, and forced to resign as CCP general secretary in January 1987.
The Twiiter user wrote, “In February 1979, Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦, in Chinese) said in his speech, ‘If the people know the history of our Communist Party, the people will rise up and overthrow us.'”
It should be recalled that after his death in 1989, hundreds of thousands of students and workers occupied Tiananmen Square in protests for six weeks.
Thousands of these citizens died at the hands of the Chinese army on June 4, due to the bloody repression ordered by the CCP.
Account user, @Ivy01011, bitterly denounced the CCP’s actions, saying, “Mao Zedong made Chinese people kneel! Chinese people were tortured by the Communist Party like mice crossing the street, and everyone was screaming and beating them!”
He added, “China before 1949 was respected by the world, and China’s opinion on major international affairs was sought!”
He concluded by writing, “The Republic of China [Taiwan] had become one of the five permanent members of the United Nations. The CCP has stolen the fruits of the Republic of China. The Republic of China is the first democratic republic in Asia. What nerve does the CCP have to shout about reunification?”
In another tweet, the netizen, @xiaoxin11786630, highlights the words of the protagonist in a video he attaches, who amid tears of despair notes, “The economy has collapsed, the financial system has collapsed, employers are collectively bankrupt and in debt, and it’s better to die one by one, and the bad days have just begun!”
It should be noted that the CCP’s immense propaganda machine has attempted to supplant the will and voice of the nation it rules with the constant image of the regime, as explained by author Guy Sorman, in his article published by The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.
Sorman wrote, “Leaders endlessly repeat, to the Chinese as well as to foreigners, that China is the Communist Party, and vice versa. What do we know of party membership in China? Very little, given the absence of elections and of credible polls.”
For Sorman, too, “The main factor of instability is the current president: Xi has broken the rule, imposed by Deng, of stepping down after ruling ten years.”
He also postulates: “In this case Xi, instead of fulfilling his ambition of creating a third Communist Party, could be sounding the death knell of Chinese Communism. As we have seen in the USSR and in Cuba, Communism always dies from the inside.”
Pompeo himself reiterates his main idea about the CCP not representing the Chinese people, and presents a clear argument. He includes the highest aspiration of many of the citizens of the great East Asia country: Democracy.
“If Beijing thought it represented the Chinese people, it would not spend more on domestic repression and surveillance than it spends on foreign defense,” Pompeo said, and went on to say, “If it represented the Chinese people, it would hold a free and fair election tomorrow. But it won’t. The so-called People’s Republic seems to have a problem with its own people.”