In 1945, we said “Never Again” after millions of Jews and other European minorities were systematically exterminated by the German Third Reich. 75 years later we seem to have forgotten the potency of what “Never Again” promises. “Never Again” means never again at any cost and today’s world needs to live up to its promise. The Chinese government is commiting actual genocide according to the United Nations’ own definition of genocide:
“Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”
This week, chilling footage leaked of what can only be described as a modern echo of the Holocaust. Blindfolded and handcuffed, Uighur Muslims were being corralled onto trains like cattle in present-day concentration camps in western China. This video is stomach churning. It is no surprise that the Chinese Communist Party considers human lives expendable to further the goals of the state after almost 45 million people died during the The Great Leap Forward, but today we know better and should be vigilant.
The U.S. Government, along with most Western governments, knows this is happening and is turning a blind eye to the extermination of the Uighur minority in China. Why are the governments that promote liberal freedoms and flourishings of the West so silent? Because the Chinese Communist Party has too great an influence on Western markets and politics. China accounts for 28 percent of global manufacturing, 10 percent more than the US. This allows China to export consumer goods to the rest of the world and create a supply chain reliant on Chinese labor. Further, Chinese labor standards are low and poorly enforced, which allows the laborers to be paid virtually nothing and translates to lower price tags to the consumers around the world. When discussing the genocide of an entire ethnic group, do not discount the power that cheap consumer goods play in diffusing outrage of governments and populations alike.
One serious act of cowardice comes from the German government. The nation that was responsible for the Holocaust and then making amends to make sure crimes on the same scale never occur again. Germany refuses to take serious action against the genocidal Chinese Government. This has to do with China as a market. With all the manufacturing based in China, there has been a large amount of wealth growing there since the nation moved to a more market based economy over the last 30 years. As a result, there is increasing demand for luxury goods as wealth increases. After their biggest market in the US, Germany exports tens of millions of automobiles to China annually, making them partially reliant on the Asian country to maintain economic prosperity.
Condemning or taking any action that offends or accuses the Chinese Communist Party of wrongdoing runs the risk of the unitarian Chinese government banning imports of certain goods and cutting off its market of over a billion potential customers. This grip that China holds as both an exporter of cheap goods and purveyor of foreign goods with an enormous potential market makes them an economic threat to be reckoned with. All of the liberal West knows the genocide is happening, but have no spine to take action because of the economic influence China holds over it.
However, if the West that purports to support human rights meant it, they would back those words up when it mattered. It matters yesterday. It matters now. It matters tomorrow. The West needs to stand up for its values and confront the true evil in our time.
There are a few ways progress could be made. First, the West and the rest of the world needs to economically cut ties with China, or at the very least distance and sanction, while creating stronger trade agreements among allies. Second, a nation needs to formally accuse the Chinese Government of genocide at the UN and submit a motion for their removal from various councils on Human Rights and the Security council. Third, national governments should remind their civilian populations of what is happening in China and why they cannot stand idly by while another genocide happens. While these actions can seriously affect the future of the global economy and politics, it would demonstrate a real commitment to “Never Again” when we were tested.
Shame on all the leaders and governments who intentionally turn a blind eye to the suffering of innocents in pursuit of the almighty dollar. The time to act is now and stalling is cowardice.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.