“Strike Hard” Campaign

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) initiated the “Strike Hard” Campaign in China in 1983. It is a unique campaign which demonstrates China’s hardline approach against its exercise of fundamental human rights. The campaign left huge scars on its people and it dramatizes China’s image of an oppressive and ruthless state. The “Strike Hard” campaign drew huge criticism from the international community, especially from human rights groups. The campaign initially meant to be an iron-fisted crackdown on growing crime in China, however evolved to become a tool of political oppression.

In Tibet, the “Strike Hard” campaign was introduced only in 1996. It had a singular political aim – to stifle political dissent. This began an era of more violence, pain and suffering for the Tibetan people. The high handedness of the police and authorities, impunity, lack of transparency and accountability resulted in ill treatment, torture and many deaths. The People’s Republic of China and its Tibetan surrogates abused fundamental human rights and destroyed people’s lives.

At the time of writing this report, China Tibet Information Center (www.tibetinfor.com) reported that the “Strike Hard” Campaign for the winter (1 November to 30 December 2004 ) had been launched in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). (www.tchrd.org; TCHRD press release, 8 November 2004).

China has come a long way. Today’s Beijing boasts of great progress in its human rights record. Aware of its growing power and influence, it has smugly entered the international scene. The fact remains that it is the only communist authoritarian regime in the world that has done little to initiate any real progression in democracy and respect for human rights.

The following report – Strike Hard Campaign: China’s crackdown on political dissidence is warranted by the relative thinness of literature on the subject and by its notorious repression of the human and political rights of the people of China and Tibet. Considering China’s sophisticated use of human rights diplomacy and, its defense of its policies that violate human rights as an “internal matter”, it has become difficult for the international community to promote and protect human rights in China and Tibet. In short, any examination of China’s human rights record must take into account the use of the Strike-Hard Campaign.

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