No One Is Safe From The CCP
시진핑 중국 국가 주석이 집권 이후 부패 척결 운동을 강하게 추진하면서 관료들이 순식간에 사라지는 일들이 발생하자 관료 사회가 벌벌 떨고 있다. 해외에서도 유명한 중국 배우 판빙빙은 지난 6월 불가사의하게 자취를 감춘 뒤 석 달여 만인 지난 9월 자신의 탈세 혐의와 관련해 잘못을 고하는 사과문을 SNS에 올렸으나 그녀의 근황을 알리는 사진이나 영상은 아직 공개되지 않으면서 시간이 흐를수록 중국에선 판빙빙 행적에 대한 궁금증뿐 아니라 ‘왜 이렇게 사람들이 별안간 사라지는 일들이 반복되는지’ 의문이 제기되고 있다. 인권운동가이자 노벨 평화상 수상자 류샤오보의 부인 류샤와 중국 재벌 샤오젠화 밍톈 그룹 회장의 실종, 중국 최대 전자상거래 기업 알리바바그룹의 창업자 마윈 회장의 갑작스러운 은퇴 선언은 중국인들에게 ‘나도 어떤 이유로든 언제든 권력에 의해 실종될 수 있다’는 공포를 심어주고 있다. 중국에는 비리 혐의자를 정식으로 형사 입건하기 전에 임의로 구금해 조사하는 초법적인 제도(쌍규)가 있다. 불법 행위 혐의가 있으면 공권력이 조사하고 법정에서 죄를 가려 벌을 받는 것은 정상 사회에서 지극히 당연한 일이다. 하지만 쌍규로 인한 부작용을 우려하는 일부 사람들은 범죄 혐의자도 어떤 조사를 받는지, 어떤 상태에 있는지 공개돼 법적 권리를 보장받아야 한다고 주장한다.
China has been undergoing a makeover economically and politically over the last decade. Its rise to prominence has seen it increasingly scrutinized for its impunities. The Chinese Communist Party has been trying to clean up its act through president’s Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign. While Xi Jinping’s flagship domestic policy has cracked down on 1.5 million government officials for corruption charges, not everything is right as rain.
Like the many flimsy “Made in China” products, the anticorruption movement smells a little fishy and sounds too good to be true. We have to remember that at its core, the CCP is an authoritarian regime and could care less about the fundamentals of human rights. It is difficult for a leopard to change its spots or a zebra to change its stripes and China is simply trying to put wool over other people’s eyes.
It should come as no surprise the corruption crackdown is rife with abuses and is a far cry from the west’s judicial system. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and the National Supervision Commission (NSC) which is supposed to weed out nepotism, is rife with controversy. The organization can arrest individuals at the drop of a hat and are able to detain “suspects” for up to six months without a court order while denying access to a lawyer. There are even rampant rumors the institution commonly uses torture to get what it wants -no pain, no gain.
If being arrested and tormented without due process was not enough to turn stomachs, then its use as a legal hit squad might. Xi Jinping has unsurprisingly used the organization as an opportunity to consolidate power and sideline political rivals. It sounds awfully convenient that every critic and opposition to Xi has been detained and magically has skeletons appear in their closets. The intimidation tactics has gotten so out of hand that every one of the 3,000 delegates who were seated in the 2018 Chinese National People’s Congress voted to re-elect Xi Jinping. Such landslide victories are eerily similar to the poll results of supposedly “democratic” totalitarian dictatorships.
Although the NSC was originally intended to root out government corruption, it is now expanding its operations by going after big fish. Film star Fan Bingbing, head of interpol Meng Hongwei, and China’s wealthiest investor Xiao Jianhua have gone missing simply with all the pushing of the CCP’s buttons. What do all of these people have in common? They spilled the beans on Chinese secrets and criticized the malpractices of Chinese institutions.
While most cultures handle the rich and famous with kid gloves, China has shown it is not afraid to whip out the belt. The CCP is not afraid to play dirty and prosecute anyone who gets in their way. It is simply a matter of if you are not with them, then you are against them.
Who is to say the same practices will not apply to the average Joe. China’s obsession with censorship and monitoring every waking moments of its citizen is the perfect storm for a police state, which would crack down on any dissent. Chinese citizens might have to consider getting their walking papers and skipping town the next time they play devil’s advocate. If they do not run like the wind, then they might have the police dropping by their doors.