Last comment on AIDS in China (for tonight, anyway)

Thanks to Conrad, I just discovered a fine article on China’s handling of the SARS and AIDS crises and the amazing similarities in the CCP’s approach to each.

The article is from several months ago, and it closes with the reporter presenting two option which, he says, the CCP must choose between:

When the Chinese people ask Beijing to explain why there were so many people with AIDS, the new leadership under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will have two options. One option is to continue the state-sanctioned disinformation campaign regarding AIDS and its origins in China. This is unlikely, as not only has Beijing pledged to be more open with SARS, but nobody inside or outside of China is likely to believe Beijing’s deceptive dismissals and denials. The other option is to throw the closet door wide and bring out the skeletons for all to see: the Chinese would have to be told that just as they had been duped regarding SARS, they had previously been deliberately kept in the dark regarding members of the CCP collecting profits as they spread the seeds of HIV in Henan.

Isn’t this amazing — that the reporter assumed that it would be, in the wake of SARS, literally unthinkable that the CCP would go on pulling the wool over its citizens’ eyes in relation to AIDS. After all, look how it backfired with SARS. Look at the damage in terms of dead citizens (nothing the CCP has ever cared much about in the past, granted) and political embarrassment.

Any rational human being would have agreed at the time with the reporter. Repeating such a fiasco would be tantamount to insanity. And look now at the story of Henan. Look at how the one hero is put in prison. Not just arrested but sentenced to serve in a dungeon for ten years in a secret trial. Look at how, instead of the openness that the report predicted as inevitable, information on AIDS in China is more restricted than ever before.

There is only one possible consequence: More death and more discrimination. If it were anywhere else but China, it would simply be beyond all belief.

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