AIDS in China, follow-up

Superb opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal by Brad Adams, executive director of the Asian division of Human Rights Watch, about the Chinese government’s spectacularly evil efforts to cover up the story of AIDS spreading through the province of Henan from 2000-02. The epidemic was the result of illegal plasma collection in the province’s rural villages (a topic I wrote about at length here). The party member who ordered the incident hushed up was promoted and honored recently for his “important contributions to the development of the province’s sanitation industry.”

Adams describes how journalists travelling to Henan were detained by the police and expelled, while the Chinese press was ordered not to report anything at all about the epidemic. He writes:

Why would anyone lie about such a vast epidemic? The answer is simple: Covering up the spread of a stigmatized disease like AIDS might help to ensure that investment continued to pour into impoverished provinces like Henan. The Henan blood scandal sent a clear message to other local officials: if you have an epidemic, cover it up, and you’ll be rewarded.

[Sorry I can’t link; this is from the print version.]

It’s kind of amusing that there is a whole fringe that equates the CCP with the government of the US. As any reader of this site knows, I am no fan of President Bush, but to write that citizens in America are treated by their government in a manner that in any way resembles the way the Chinese are treated by the CCP — it’s not only laughable, it’s scary. And infinitely dumb. Three of our big-name whistleblowers were named Time’s Man of the Year recently; in China, they’d be wasting away in jail unsung and unknown, if not shot in the head.

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