Available from Umbrage Books
Review by Roland Watson
September 20, 2009

There has been a growing tendency in recent decades, particularly in diplomatic affairs involving the United States, European Union and Australia, to downplay the extent of the human rights abuses committed in China. The argument behind the position is that the new generation of Communist Party of China (CCP) officials is sincerely reform-oriented, and that given time they will improve the human rights situation in the country to an acceptable standard.

The new book, Laogai - The Machinery of Repression in China, completely discredits this argument. It describes in brutal detail and with shocking photography how the state-sponsored terrorism of the CCP against the people of China, which began in the Mao era, continues unabated.

Laogai means "reform through labor;" put simply, the term designates a prison labor camp. There are over 900 documented Laogai in China, although the true number is believed to be much greater. The total prisoner population is as high as five million. While the majority of this figure are real criminals, it also includes some 500,000 people who have been detained without cause. Indeed, anyone in China can be sentenced to the Laogai, and at any time and for any reason. The camps are the common destination for people who speak up for their rights, either as individuals - to protest wrongs that they or their family have suffered - or on behalf of Chinese society at large. They are also the destination for arrested practitioners of Falun Gong. Camp treatment for prisoners, of whatever background, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and includes hard labor, torture, rape, and execution, and with the harvesting for sale - by the prison commanders - of the organs of the people who are murdered.

The fact that these abuses occur on such an abominable scale, without strong and on-going condemnation by other nations, reflects two factors. The first is that the CCP is now much better at, or perhaps just more concerned about, hiding its crimes. Formerly, the Party would kill millions in broad daylight. Now, with the modern media spotlight, it has decided to be more discreet. Secondly, most nations have become so intertwined economically with China, if not dependent on it - think of the $800 billion portfolio of U.S Treasury Bonds owned by the CCP, that to protect their own interests they have decided it is better to be silent about the abuse.

A similar situation was the acceptance by the Bush Administration of the use of torture in its so-called "war on terror." It is a classic "the ends justify the means" position.

The CCP on October 1st will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its military victory over the Chinese nationalists (who escaped to, and have now established an independent democracy in, Taiwan). This is not a cause for celebration. During the past sixty years, there have been upwards of eighty million unnatural deaths in China, from Party-driven murder and starvation. The rule of the CCP taken as a whole constitutes the worst crime ever committed in human history. Because the Party remains in power, this crime is still in progress. The people of China have yet to receive the justice that they so gravely deserve.

The outrages of the CCP, though, extend beyond its repression within China's borders. The world would do well to reconsider its "realist" stance. The Party is a leading patron of North Korea and Iran, and the developing nuclear threats that they represent (not to mention China’s own DF-31 nuclear armed ballistic missiles, which have a range of 5,000 miles and can reach both Europe and the West Coast of the United States). It also supports the dictatorial regimes in Burma and Sudan, and may be viewed as a sponsor of the crimes against humanity that they are committing. The CCP further is responsible for the enslavement and assimilation of the peoples of Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia.

Laogai - The Machinery of Repression in China, is a compelling and irrefutable resource. It provides the first ever, comprehensive documentation of China's prison camp system, including the use of prison labor to produce consumer goods for sale in the West; the widespread practices of capital punishment, public execution and organ harvesting; and also of the CCP's now international - through the Internet - propaganda and censorship machine.

The book reveals the secrets that the CCP is doing its best to hide, and which the world's political leaders would prefer to ignore. It is an essential bulwark of truth about the present-day situation in China, against the Communist Party's 60th anniversary wave of propaganda lies.