China: the true costs of success

As President Hu Jintao arrives in Britain on a controversial state visit, these are the true costs of the economic success story of our age

China executes about 10,000 people a year. Amnesty International says that in any three-month period, it kills more of its people than the rest of the world does over three years. The executed include those found guilty offences such as bribery, embezzlement and stealing petrol. Innocent people are frequently killed. Most executions take place after sentences are imposed at rallies in front of massive crowds.

Tibet

Disappearances and torture of supporters of the Dalai Lama are commonplace. President Hu Jintao ruled as Communist Party secretary with a rod of iron from 1988 to 1992 when hundreds of Tibetans were killed or imprisoned. Last week he said Tibet had been an "inalienable part of Chinese territory" since the 13th century, and he challenged the Dalai Lama to "renounce his Tibetan independence proposition ... and really do something useful and beneficial for his country".

Torture

Police psychiatrists systematically misdiagnose political dissidents, religious nonconformists, persistent complainers and petitioners, independent trade unionists, and whistleblowers against corruption as being "dangerously mentally ill". They are "treated" at mental asylums.

Armed force

While protesting it is a peace-loving country, China is now the third or fourth mightiest military power in the world. China is a strategic nuclear force and its navy is moving into the open seas. In the past two years, China has unveiled a new attack submarine and a new light battleship. There has been sabre-rattling against Taiwan and even Japan.

Xinjiang

In the mostly Muslim autonomous region of Xinjiang China has cracked down on religious practitioners and activists and abused them in prisons and "re-education through labour" camps. Some have been executed. Detainees are beaten with shackles, given electric shocks, and kicked unconscious. China's support for the "war against terrorism" will gain it international support (or at least silence) for its own crackdown.

Bird flu

China's secrecy and initial denials over the 2003 Sars epidemic were criticised by world health officials. Beijing has taken a similar approach to bird flu. There are fears that the culture of secrecy will disguise the scale of outbreak and help the spread of a pandemic that may kill millions.

Environment

As China's economy expands with double-digit growth, it is becoming probably the single greatest threat to the planet. With a population of 1.3billion, it has overtaken the US as the world's leading consumer of grain, meat, coal and steel.

Its drive for coal-fired power stations is vastly increasing the world output of greenhouse gases, and it is resisting limits. Within 20 years, its output will dwarf any cuts the rest of the world can make.

Censorship

Falun Gong and Protestant groups face severe repression. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion are restricted. No organisation is tolerated that could challenge the Communist Party's control over aspects of society it deems crucial. Google has agreed to Beijing demands to exclude 'objectionable' links. Microsoft stops internet users searching for the words for democracy, freedom, human rights or demonstration.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little