China finds “cure” for AIDS: Beat the victims to death

I guess nothing can shock me about China anymore, particularly in regard to its psychotic approach to AIDS. As Conrad once posted, the government first infected its populace (via contaminated blood and no controls), then blamed them, then beat them to a pulp, literally.

The latest article from the WaPo shows just how depraved conditions in China truly are, and I choose the adjective carefully.

Here are the opening paragraphs, but read it all; it only gets worse:

XIONGQIAO, China — Xiong Jinglun was lying in bed on the night of the raid, resting his frail, AIDS-weakened body when the shouting outside jarred him awake. The 51-year-old farmer struggled to his feet and shuffled out of his shack to investigate, but someone had cut off the electricity in the village, and it was difficult to see in the pitch dark.

Suddenly, several men wearing riot gear and military fatigues surrounded him, struck his head with a nightstick and knocked him to the ground, he recalled. Xiong begged them to stop hitting him, crying out that he was an old man, that he had AIDS. But he heard one of the assailants shout: “Beat them! Beat them even if they have AIDS!”

A few days earlier, residents of this AIDS-stricken Chinese village had staged a protest demanding better medical care, rolling two government vehicles into a ditch to vent their frustration. Now, local authorities here in central Henan province, about 425 miles northwest of Shanghai, were answering their appeal for help. But instead of doctors, they sent the police.

More than 500 officers, local officials and hired thugs stormed the muddy hamlet of 600 residents on the night of June 21, shouting threats, smashing windows and randomly pummeling people who got in their way, witnesses said. Police jailed 18 villagers and injured more than a dozen others, including an 8-year-old boy who tried to defend his sick mother.

I really savor the posts I read now and then from idealistic dilettantes (something I can be at times myself) who defend the CCP at any cost, no matter what they do. I’d love to hear them defend this. Of course, they’ll say as usual that it is isolated and atypical and they “need more information” before they can comment.

The key to understanding the depravity of the CCP on the AIDS scandal comes mid-way down:

The leadership is reluctant to allow an open discussion about AIDS in part because it fears it would be blamed for the epidemic. Hundreds of thousands of poor farmers like Xiong contracted the virus by selling blood in the early 1990s at state hospitals and private clinics run by local officials and their friends. These programs often used unsanitary collection methods, including a process in which blood was mixed in a centrifuge to remove plasma and then reinjected into donors

Can everyone get that? Can the defenders of the CCP process this? Can anyone at all find a reason to defend what is happening?

I want the non-believers to visualize what happened, to see themselves protesting a gross injustice from the government, and for that being beaten and arrested and treated like animals — all because that very same government helped them contract AIDS.

After several days without a response, five villagers went to the provincial capital, Zhengzhou. But officials there would not see them and instead contacted local authorities, who had the men arrested. Police beat them, tied them up and hauled them back to a local jail, said Xiong Changmin, 31, one of the representatives.

That night, police launched the raid on Xiongqiao. A senior county police official, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Jia, confirmed that about 500 men participated in the raid and that they arrested 13 villagers. He said those detained had attacked a local official. But asked whether his men beat up people in Xiongqiao, he replied, “I’m not clear about that.”

I have referred to China as “the other Evil Empire,” and I stick to it. If we are imposing trade sanctions against Cuba, we should be doing 10 times more when it comes to China. Two years ago I was the government’s biggest sympathizer, and now I am and always will be a very harsh critic. Those of you who remain dazzled by the pyrotechnic display of China’s miraculous growth and prosperity, be forewarned — when the foundation is rotten, the collapse of the entire structure is inevitable. Just pray you’re not around when that day comes.

The Discussion: 14 Comments

If consistency in policy is what you’re looking for, then think about this:

Maybe we should relax the sanctions against Cuba. It thought Clinton made a good case for changing China from the inside out rather than from the top down.

Anyway, sanctions against China simply would never work nor ever happen. If you’re looking to bring down the regime or punish it somehow you’ll have to look elsewhere. Things are getting even more complicated now that the US is depending on China so much to resolve the North Korea crisis.

August 19, 2003 @ 4:11 am | Comment

No one knows better than I that sanctions won’t happen. It’s just droll that we place them on certain countries for their inhumane behavior, but not when the country is strategically important to us, as China certainly is at the moment (or at least asit seems to be).

As to bringing down the regime and punishing it, I have no doubt it will happen in good time, without help from me. All I want is for people to know what really goes on there and to see through the barrage of marketing assaulting our sense with the monolithic message that the current government is liberal and fair and that freedom is right around the corner.

(Oh, and I agree, we should lift the sanctions on Cuba.)

August 19, 2003 @ 4:18 am | Comment

I wonder why the Chinese-American community isn’t more vocal about human-rights abuses in China. I’d love to see them develop the same sort of clout as the Cuban-Americans have done.

But perhaps there’s an element of Chinese nationalism that trumps such concerns. I honestly don’t know. There does seem to be a lot more vocal concern for T***t (you know, that large southwestern “province” next to Nepal) among the Hollywood liberal crowd, than among the more traditional anti-Communists.

August 19, 2003 @ 10:23 am | Comment

great post, richard. yes, change has to come from the inside out. all change does. the hypocritical notion of sanctions and the way our gov. uses them may have had a place years ago, but now it seems a tradition that we’re just too proud to rethink. i don’t buy the arguments that sanctions are the main cause the deaths of children, etc., but i do think they do little to really change anything.

August 19, 2003 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

You ascribe this kind of behavior to national policy: “China finds “cure” for AIDS: Beat the victims to death”, when it is clearly not CCP policy. This would be like someone saying “The US finds the solution to urban minorities: kill them” because of the high incidence of beating/shooting deaths by police of minorities. Obviously that is not what is happening.

August 19, 2003 @ 4:01 pm | Comment

Prince, if the US police were to organize a similar coordinated, mapped-out plan to beat up and arrest without charges large numbers of citizens in a US city, there would be an outcry of deafening proportions. The local government would be called to account instantly, and if they did not ameliorate the situation at once there would be a major crisis. No one would be safe. (And in China,as you know, no one is.)

I remember I once posted about arrests of Chinese students who posted essays on the internet. They were given long jail terms. Your response: “How many people do you know who were ever arrested in China?” Brilliant. That’s like someone protesting against the conditions of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and your asking “How many prisoners do you know in Guantanamo Bay?” That I don’t know those people who were beaten in the Chinese village does not mean I cannot empathize and speak out. If it were one aberration, one instance in a generally placid and fair society I’d be much less vocal. But this is a pattern I’ve been writing about for a year now after seeing the insanity with my own eyes. When I did my research into AIDS in China I saw just how culpable the government — I repeat, the government — is. You can go on apologizing for it and telling us all how delighted you are with the Chinese government ’til the cows come home. Luckily, you live in a country where you are free to express your arguments.

Bottom line — the police is the government. As an arm of the government they enforce the government’s laws and decrees. A rogue cop — a cop who kills or steals — is an aberration and they are not tolerated in the US. At least when they commit abuses they can be, and often are, brought to trial. This is now the second time in just a couple of months that we’ve seen the police doing this sort of thing. They are getting their orders from somewhere, and the government sure isn’t making a lot of noise about stopping them. To the contrary, I’ll bet you anything that the government-controlled media in China is squelching the story.

August 20, 2003 @ 12:43 am | Comment


August 20, 2003 @ 5:44 am | Comment

Thank you all for your comments. They help keep this a more robust and interesting place.

August 20, 2003 @ 8:14 am | Comment

You quoted from the story, ” Now, local authorities here in central Henan province, about 425 miles northwest of Shanghai, were answering their appeal for help. But instead of doctors, they sent the police.” So it is the government and not the police who is ordering to beat the AIDS sufferers.

August 20, 2003 @ 10:52 am | Comment

“I wonder why the Chinese-American community isn’t more vocal about human-rights abuses in China.”

Many of us do. The older generation of Americans with Chinese background (the aging folks you see at the Chinatowns of San Francisco, New York, Boston, LA, etc) was solidly anti-communist (not surprising, since they recognised the Taipei government as the legitimate China, and didn’t recognise the Beijing government). The bad news is, most of them have passed out of the scene. And the even-worse news is, most of the “new” Chinese immigrants to the US in the 1990s aren’t vocally critical of the Beijing government. And the self-declared Chinese activists tend to be very pro-Beijing.

There are many sites (in Chinese) that are critical of these practices:

And if you listen to the BBC broadcasts in Chinese, you will notice listeners sending letters openly critical of the Beijing government to the broadcaster (and I heard frequent letters praising Americans from Chinese listeners from Guangdong to Henan to Shenyang during the Iraq war, when Beijing, of course officially sided with Saddam Hussein).

Finally, it must be noted that the real knowledgable Chinese are much more explosive on these matters than any of the expat opinions I have heard of.

“…when it is clearly not CCP policy.”

Oh it is. From what I read the authorities are intentionally letting the Henan province’s patients die.

August 20, 2003 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Thank you for the reality check, Joel.

August 21, 2003 @ 12:47 am | Comment

Gweilo’s China/HK Briefing: 2003-08-26

AUG. 26/03 – Topics: The Chinese Communist Party’s purported policy to embrace capitalists; China’s treatment of AIDS sufferers; its dearth of marriagable women and one doctor’s novel and enterprising solution; The grim job market facing recent Chinese…

August 26, 2003 @ 4:16 am | Comment

congrats mate! Fine job and fine site!

July 10, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Comment

so what is the cure for aids? there are many discoveries but which one is real?

July 17, 2005 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

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