Four years ago a Hong Kong magazine displayed the photos of 14 Chinese human rights defenders and hailed them for their fight to establish the basis of human rights in Communist China. Instead of being hailed for their efforts, there has been an ongoing campaign to either detain, brutalize, fire or make their lives miserable. Mo Shaoping, one of the 14 says, “now it is only me, Pu Zicheng and Fan Yafeng, the others are dead in prison or physically disabled. To reinforce the point, this week Fan Yafeng, was fired from the prestigious think tank, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A few years ago there was some evidence that China was beginning the process of creating a modern legal system, but the evidence increasingly is the nation is going backwards, not forwards in terms of human rights.
Many now wonder if China’s leaders have abandoned the march toward democracy because they interpret such a change as damaging to their own self interests. It is doubtful a society can progress economically if government denies basic human rights to pursue the quest for knowledge.