Friday, February 24, 2006

China's Sense of Mercy

This image was originally posted at Guy Dow Man. Click to enlarge.

China has graciously granted an early release to one of its many political prisoners. You may remember a story that took place during the Tianamen Square student protests in 1989. A journalist and two off his friends were arrested for throwing eggs filled with red paint at the huge portrait of Mao that hangs near the square.

Yu Dongyue (俞東嶽)was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was benevolently released three years early on February 21st. Maybe I've had the Chinese government all wrong. Maybe they're not such bad guys after all.

Oh, did I forget to mention that 17 years in a Chinese prison for throwing an egg has left him completely insane?

In 2004, Lu Decheng (魯德成), one of the two friends arrested with Yu, visited him in prison and told Radio Free Asia that he was "barely recognizable."

Yu had "a totally dull look in his eyes, kept repeating words over and over as if he was chanting a mantra," Lu said. "He had a big scar on the right side of his head. A fellow prisoner said Yu had been tied to an electricity pole and left out in the hot sun for several days. He was also kept in solitary confinement for two years and that was what broke him."
He wasn't released as an act of kindness, he just serves as a better warning to others this way. The Chinese government is not alone in making these sorts of decisions, the American government did not go to Iraq to help the Iraqi people and the Russian government did not offer to help Iran through its nuclear hassles out of a sense of kindness towards the Persians.

But it is the Chinese government that sits across the water from us pointing, at last count, 784 missiles at Taiwan, has a DC comics like underground submarine base on the Yellow Sea and a spanking new anti-succession law, specially designed for the 'legal' extermination of the Taiwanese, that is worrying. Should we really be considering accepting pandas from these folks?

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