The other side of National People's Congress: a ‘disaster for the Chinese people’

For human rights lawyer Teng Biao, the gathering brings violence to dissidents and activists. At least a thousand are under house arrest or in police custody. A million-strong security force has been deployed to control the event and keep delegates from ordinary people. One Congress member has voted for everything the Party has proposed over the decades: for and later against the Great leap forward, the Cultural Revolution, reforms, Deng Xiaoping, like a “hand-raising automaton”.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The annual lianghui (dual meeting) of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has become "a total human rights disaster for the Chinese people," this according to Teng Biao, a Chinese human rights lawyer currently living in the United States.

In the People’s Republic, Teng often fought on behalf of dissidents and for the democratic transformation of the constitution, going to prison for it. In a long article published yesterday by China Change, he shows that before, during, after the big gatherings in Beijing, "thousands" of dissidents, petitioners, human rights lawyers are "forcibly moved" or are placed under "house arrest".

The "disaster" is also economic because a huge security apparatus is put in place, with the most sophisticated hi-tech tools, to control everyone and prevent delegates in Beijing from meeting ordinary citizens.

He writes: “Which national parliament meeting needs the protection of over a million personnel from the military, police, public security, national security and civilian security personnel? Who holds a meeting with such trepidation, as if walking on thin ice, mobilizing so many public resources? This lays bare the truth that the NPC is a tool to isolate and oppose the people.”

Another point Teng touches is the lack of true representativeness of the delegates, who are chosen by the Party and when they attend the NPC perform like a “hand-raising automaton” to approve ready-made legislation and clap their hands for the leaders.

Shen Jilan, 89, is one example. She was elected 13 times to the PNC, since she was 18. “She supported the Great Leap Forward, the People's Commune and the Cultural Revolution. She was in favor of struggling against Liu Shaoqi, and she agreed to fight Deng Xiaoping.

“Later, she agreed to denounce the Great Leap Forward and the People's Commune, she agreed to the denunciation of the reforms, and she agreed to rehabilitating Liu and Deng.”

“She raised her hand in favor of all these contradictory positions, without fail, for decades.”

Lastly, many if not all those who tried to be elected independently, which is not outlawed by the Party, have been arrested, beaten, and forced to drop out.

Likewise, those who at some point refused to vote for delegates already co-opted by the Party were arrested. Teng Biao was one of them.