The western media is loudly cheering for the Hong Kong protesters. The echoing call of commentators in the US and Europe is about the need for “Democracy in China.” The real goals of these protesters, who face increasing hostility from the Chinese population, are being widely questioned. Interestingly, despite the current words of US leaders, the United States government has a long record of opposing forces that fought for further democratization of Chinese society.
Non-Democratic US Allies in China
The Dalai Lama, who ruled Tibet prior to the Chinese Revolution, was not a democratically elected head of state. He ruled Tibet as an absolute theocratic monarch. Disagreeing with the Dalai Lama, or the class of monks who backed him, could result in having one’s eyes amputated, or simply being killed. Serfs in pre-revolutionary Tibet had no human rights to speak of, and were frequently tortured and raped by the monks who ruled over them. In addition to the intense repression in pre-revolutionary Tibet, there was also extreme poverty for most of the population.
Since this feudal order was overthrown in the 1950s, the US has embraced the Dalai Lama. An army of Dalai Lama supporters was trained in Colorado by the US military, and air-dropped into Tibet with US-made weapons. They waged a campaign of violence and terror in the Tibetan mountains, hoping to defeat the Chinese Communist Party and restore their feudal theocracy. In the book “The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet,” former CIA agents brag about their efforts to aid the absolutely non-democratic Tibetan separatists.
In addition, the US currently supports and funds a religious grouping called the Falun Gong, which works to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party. The grouping practices a bizarre spin-off of Buddhism. They call for public execution of homosexuals and a ban on interracial marriage. They claim that the increasing role of women in Chinese society is a sign that humanity is approaching a “Dharma Ending Period” and that human civilization may collapse.
Like the Tibetan Separatists and the Dalai Lama, the Falun Gong group makes no pretense of being democratic. They long for the days of feudalism, patriarchy, and poverty. They want a China without the radical reforms ushered in by the revolution of 1949.
Does the US Want “Democracy” in China?
Just look throughout the region:
The US-backed regime of South Korea has “National Security Laws” that have landed young people in prison for nothing other than tweeting. For many decades the US supported the rule of military dictators like Park Chung-hee and Syngman Rhee, and did its best to suppress the student protest movement. The US-backed South Korean regime frequently suppresses labor unions, and recently rounded up and imprisoned leaders of the Unified Progressive Party.
In the Philippines, where the US is setting up military bases, democratic and human rights activists are disappeared all the time. Their corpses turn up mutilated, and they are often tortured before being killed. Simply being a member of one of a list of organizations, including the National Democratic Front, is punishable by years of imprisonment.
While the quick snapshots of Chinese life provided by the western media may be deceiving, viewing the bigger picture should make it obvious: the United States, which backed Chiang Kai-Shek, the Dalai Lama, and the Falun Gong, has no real interest in strengthening any kind of actual democracy in China.
Any movement backed and support by the United States government will not improve the lives of China’s people.