Cheap Chinese goods carry a steep human rights price

How do you write a letter regarding, or talk about, victims of persecution without sounding like you belong to some offbeat organization or cult of some sort?

How do you write a letter regarding, or talk about, victims of persecution without sounding like you belong to some offbeat organization or cult of some sort?

The more implausible a situation might appear, the more likely we are to sweep it away and imagine that there is “no way that could be happening.” Or, we accept that something may be taking place and deem it almost as normal, and what can we do about it anyway?

Daily, in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing human rights violations to a degree not seen before in our history.

Imagine for a moment that your mother, or brother, or friend has been picked up by the local police and brought to a cell. The reason given for the arrest is that your friend or relative was meditating, or maybe they were seen going to church on Sunday.

Now, for the crime of participating in a peaceful practice they will be incarcerated and tortured on an ongoing basis, and most likely beaten to the point of death.

Am I starting to sound like someone you’d be uncomfortable talking very long with? “Oh, that’s interesting. Gotta go now!”

There are thousands of people, of all ages, involved in the peaceful Buddhist practice of Falun Gong in China who are wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, put into labour camps, brainwashing centres, and much worse.

I’m uncomfortable writing about this. It doesn’t seem like it can be real. We have a good life over here, in Canada. How can these atrocities occur in today’s world?

The CCP has maintained this reign of violence for over 10 years now. How can you or I support their crimes against humanity?

They are filling their pockets with money and power at the expense of good people. How can we put money in their wallets, knowing the kind of unjust practice we are now indirectly supporting?

As a small example, that soccer ball you purchased at the local store has stamped on it “Made in China.” That ball may have been sewn together by hand in a forced labour camp by a Falun Gong practitioner with torn, aching fingers and hands who does this work for endless hours each day.

By supporting the CCP in our purchasing, we are aiding an organization guilty of the worst human indecencies. I have a child, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to buy her a new toy or sports item that doesn’t have the “Made in China” stamp on it.

Several of our local stores are filled with products from China, and of course all are quite reasonably priced. While I might be saving by purchasing these products, the human price is far too high for me to ignore.

I would encourage all to look at where your store-bought items are coming from and educate yourself on the situation overseas. It does seem inconceivable, and the unfair practices behind these human rights violations will change in the near future as the Chinese are becoming increasingly aware of the propaganda that they have been subjected to for many years.

Let’s keep innocent people from unnecessary harm by supporting peaceful efforts to put an end to this wrongdoing and through our own daily choices. Thanks for reading.

Erik Simanis

Whitehorse