News & Analysis
Chinese Justice – Or Orwell Circa 2013?
The Ministry of Public Security is working to set up an annual high-level meeting with US judicial officials in a bid to catch and return more Chinese fugitives. "We're negotiating with the US Department of Homeland Security and will try to arrange the first summit this year," said Wang Liqiang, a senior official in the ministry's international cooperation bureau. The meeting is expected to bring together the minister of public security and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with their US counterparts to discuss cooperation on intelligence, operations, suspect repatriations and the recovery of stolen assets. – George Orwell's 1984, p. 76
Dominant Social Theme: The world ought to be a Prison Planet, even if it's not yet.
Free-Market Analysis: Actually, the excerpt leading off this article is not from 1984 but from China's international mouthpiece publication, China Daily. But it might just as well be from 1984. The intent fits right in with the agenda of Orwell's fictional totalitarian society.
The title of the article is actually "China seeks US co-op on fugitives ..." and the idea, as you can see, is that China wants the rest of the world to enforce its penal code. No matter where you are in the world, you ought not to be exempt from Chinese justice or not so long as you are a Chinese citizen.
And poor you for being subject to Chinese justice, which is as arbitrary, unjust and brutal as the Chinese political system itself. That doesn't matter, however. If you are born Chinese – and are thus a Chinese citizen – you are a citizen and subject to Chinese "justice."
This "citizenship thing" is odd, indeed. One can't entirely escape the suspicion that the idea behind citizenship is simply to claim the individual as one of the nation's own for commercial purposes.
Money, after all, is backed by assets currently and thus to some degree a nation-state – and those who run it – need to be able to claim domination over their "resources." And these resources are people. One needs to prove clearly, for a variety of international purposes, then, that one has full control over one's citizens and their earning power.
This necessity in the modern fiat-money era would explain the growing determination of US officials and those from other countries to extend not only their justice system but their taxing (and banking) system worldwide.
And yet ... the idea strikes us as a kind of totalitarian one. Throughout human history people have left their homes to escape abusive and authoritarian governments. Only the modern era with its web of repatriation agreements and fledging global justice system has begun to create a countertrend.
The Chinese are surely – unfortunately – "on board." Here's more from the article:
An annual roundtable has already been held between the international cooperation bureau, the Foreign Affairs Ministry's legal treaty department and several US agencies, including the Department of Justice.
"This is far from enough, and we urgently need a senior-level platform that can help law enforcement in North America better understand Chinese law and legal procedures, and assist us in fugitive repatriation and asset recovery," Wang said.
With the aim of boosting cooperation, China has been sending police liaison officers abroad since 1998. Today, the country has 80 officers stationed at 24 Chinese embassies in 23 countries and regions, including the US, Canada, Russia, France and Japan.
"Police liaison officers work on the front line and serve as the best bridge between Chinese judicial bodies and foreign counterparts," said Liao Jinrong, who is also with the international cooperation bureau.
However, Wang Zhigang, who held such a post in the US from 2004 to 2008, said legal differences, as well as complex and lengthy procedures, remain the biggest hurdles to finding and returning Chinese fugitives from North America.
During his time, he said more than 200 economic fugitives were at large in the US and he was one of only three officers charged with bringing them back.
It all sounds fairly logical ... but is it really? The idea being promulgated is that if one country shall return a "fugitive," then another country will be willing to do the same. The US has perhaps the most aggressive system of treaties around the world to return its "wanted."
However, having the ability to repatriate individuals does not necessarily make governments more trustworthy or fair. In fact, it likely has the opposite effect. Tyranny flourishes where there is no recourse. The idea being put forth is that "justice" is what governments say that it is and if a government proclaims someone a criminal there should be networks in place to ensure that person is returned.
This is part of a larger trend – dominant social theme – that law is not perceived as natural but as "official." The law is simply what the state says it is. It is the reason that the US can confidently dispatch FBI agents around the world to arrest Megaupload's Kim Dotcom on charges that are so flimsy they have all but fallen apart.
And that is just a single, tiny example of the larger trend that is establishing a supra-law enforcement network across the world. The FBI – supposedly a US domestic law enforcement agency – is now established in perhaps 100 countries or more and performing various intelligence gathering with or without the permission of the given country.
Now we read that China is setting up a similar network for criminal repatriation around the world. It really is a good deal like 1984 where the powers-that-be hope to be able to enforce any law or gather any tax – no matter how outrageous – by virtue of a global presence and interlocking treaties.
We have always pointed out the in this era of the Internet Reformation the West's increasingly illogical justice system shall be the last meme to fall. It shall surrender, at last, to its own illegitimacy. This web of international treaties designed specifically to enforce laws around the world only brings that day closer.
This is already taking place in the case of Kim Dotcom. The US criminal justice system intended to capture Kim Dotcom but have instead turned him into a kind of Internet folk hero. (For more on Kim Dotcom just search the 'Net for "Dotcom" and "Daily Bell." )
Conclusion: The more efficient governments get at pursuing so-called criminals, the more abuses will be committed and the more questions will be raised.
Posted by dave jr on 01/28/13 03:39 PM
"More cooperation of this kind will definitely lead to a Brave New 1984, or a world war, and very likely both."
Or to the total collapse of an unworkable scheme. If I had to choose, I'll go with the lesser of all evils, the collapse. I believe in human ingenuity which could rebuild a comfortable standard of living within a generation as opposed to the deeper destructions. The key point is, which scenario is most likely to scrape off the parasites? Not that they should die, but take it from Obama, how about a fundamental transformation, only in reverse of his meaning.
Posted by taxesbyanyothername on 01/28/13 01:38 PM
China is just following the U. S. lead. Our taxes are everywhere, and so are our regulations, and our resource depredation. More cooperation of this kind will definitely lead to a Brave New 1984, or a world war, and very likely both.
Posted by dave jr on 01/28/13 12:04 PM
"During his time, he said more than 200 economic fugitives were at large in the US and he was one of only three officers charged with bringing them back."
I wonder if Wang Zhigang would care to explain exactly what an "economic fugitive" is. Because it sounds alot like an escaped slave to me. China - the new economic model for the world. Doesn't sound so 'new' to me.