Letter to the Editor: China's Economy Shouldn't Be Confused With Freedom

"Communist governments still hold to the fundamental tenet of controlling free expression on politics and religion,"

The following opinion piece is from Edmonds City Councilman Michael Plunkett.

Recently at a small gathering of friends, the subject of Communist China came up. One of the participants was gushing with enthusiasm for the Communist government and economy.

Speaking to the great progress Communism was making for their citizens. My jaw dropped and thankfully the subject as well. However, it does remind me of how some people confuse China’s growing economy with freedom in Communist countries.

I thought of this as I read Sunday's (April 1, 2012) Seattle Times. First I read a story about how Communist Cuba is going to allow this week’s Good Friday holiday to be recognized for the first time since the 1959 revolution. Religious holidays were abolished by Fidel Castro. Imagine, a government dedicated to the proposition that its citizens cannot practice their religion.

Then on the same page of the paper one can read, “China Clamps Down on Social Networks.” It seems there is some political controversy around political Bo Xilai, who was removed from his position.

So how does a Communist government respond to political controversy? A “sweeping” crackdown on social-networking by detaining six people for “re-education,” closing down 16 websites and the largest blog services.

We should not allow ourselves to be leered into the false impression that just because the free world likes to buy Chinese goods that there is freedom for the Chinese people. Communist governments still hold to the fundamental tenet of controlling free expression on politics and religion.

Michael Plunkett


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