In 1983, during a speech in Orlando, Florida, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan rebuked those critics who suggested that the United States and the Soviet Union were both equally responsible for the arms race occurring between the two nations.
“I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”
Reagan’s words were symbolic of a marked change in American foreign policy that his administration had pursued. The era of diplomacy, treaties, and talks was no more, with the new America taking strong and aggressive steps to counter Soviet influence. The strategy worked. Not long after that speech, the Soviet Union implemented significant democratic reforms and by 1991 the former superpower had dissolved.
Today there is a new evil empire, and unsurprisingly there are still people holding a weak stance on what is truly a struggle between right and wrong. Many outlets and politicians, both western and Indian, are either criticizing India or suggesting that strong action against China isn’t necessary. These critics are as wrong as they were in the 80s. China is an authoritarian, despicable, evil nation – and it must be treated as such.
In the westernmost regions of China, unbeknownst to most people, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is attempting to completely exterminate the Uighur ethnic group. While most understand that China does not have an exemplary record when it comes to human rights, few really grasp the scale of the atrocities China is committing. An Associated Press investigation recently found that the CCP is forcing abortions and birth control on women in a systematic manner. The Associated Press concluded that the CCP’s behavior in those regions likely amounts to demographic genocide.
The Uighurs are not the only ones oppressed by their Chinese overlords. Further south, the Tibetan people, who until the Chinese annexation in 1951 had their own sovereign state, are also being persecuted. In that region, the traditional Tibetan flag is banned, the Tibetan anthem is banned, and peaceful protesters are regularly tortured and imprisoned, among other horrors. According to some sources, 1.2 million people have been killed in Tibet under Chinese rule. For years, China has been pursuing policies in Tibet that one scholar called ‘Nazi-like’ and yet not a single national government has even batted an eye.
While the mass killings in those two regions should be enough to convince anyone that China is a fundamentally vile country, they are not the only injustices committed by the CCP. Hong Kong’s legal status as an autonomous zone has been repeatedly violated, while Taiwan has been routinely subject to Chinese threats of war. China took great lengths to cover up COVID-19 and was extremely irresponsible in the early stages of the pandemic. China’s trade policies have long been criticized for being unfair. Political rights are virtually nonexistent throughout China, while civil rights there are incredibly minimal. And all of these egregious actions are just scratching the surface.
For decades the world has been ignoring China’s crimes in order to obtain cheaper consumer products. For decades the world has been ignoring China’s crimes in order to secure a bit more Chinese money. Just today I have read countless articles arguing that the economic consequences of boycotting Chinese products or placing trade restrictions on China rule out those possibilities. But should we not be willing to spent any amount of money in order to stop a genocide?
Right now, every citizen in India has a choice to make. They must decide whether they want to continue to buy Chinese products and support a country that has committed literal genocide against it’s own civilians, or if they want to take a stand, boycott Chinese products, and using their power as a consumer declare that they will no longer turn a blind eye to the terrible situation that China’s people are in.