The Washington Post is reporting on China's hunting down of its own citizens, natural or foreign-born, who have spoken out critically against the Communist Party line. It has gotten so bad that a Western diplomat has dubbed it the "worst crackdown since Tiananmen Square."
The Post adds that this "campaign against dissent is going global" and yet, "nobody is stopping it:"
A string of incidents, including abductions from Thailand and Hong Kong, forced repatriations and the televised “confessions” of two Swedish citizens, has crossed a new red line, according to diplomats in Beijing. Yet many foreign governments seem unwilling or unable to intervene, their public response limited to mild protests.
The European Union is divided and appears uncertain about what to do. Hong Kong is in an uproar, with free speech under attack, activists looking over their shoulders and many people saying they feel betrayed by a lack of support from Britain.
American representatives have spoken out against China President Xi Jinping. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), along with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have pushed back against this "hard authoritarianism," saying it "threatens U.S.-China ties."
Rubio has said:
On Xi’s watch, Hong Kong’s autonomy is under threat, and Beijing’s reach is ever-expanding to include foreign soil and foreign nationals living, working and doing business in China. President Xi is ruling by fear, not by the rule of law.
In recent months, Chinese security forces have abducted multiple "dissenters" as families were left worried about these sudden disappearnces. Later, some would appear on state-run media offering "apologies" -- not unlike what we recently saw with U.S. sailors in Iran.
And though there is story after story of citizens, lawyers, journalists, and publishers going missing and finding nowhere to be safe, the U.S. State Department has only expressed "concern," according to documents. The German Foreign Ministry one-upped the United States by voicing "really serious" concern, while others in German government have stated China is in clear violation of the Vienna Conventions.
The hesitation in taking China to task is, of course, its money and investments around the globe. The U.S. is certainly walking on egg shells based on what it owes the country.
But it's also Xi Jinping's reputation. There are those that say his supporters "are furiously creating a Mao Zedong-style personality cult around him" and anything said to the contrary, or if the Communist rule of law is challenged -- POOF! You're gone.