This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.

This article belongs to Summer 2009 theme.

China is country of contradictions.

On one hand there is the China with a growing economy, increasing consumer consumption and better living standards for some of its population while on the other hand there is the Chinese Government, ambitious, oppressive, corrupt and generally afraid of and for its own existence.

In terms of the Chinese economy, it is certainly true that more and more people have become more financially independent and viable in recent years and the fact that China imports large quantities of raw materials turned those materials into consumer goods for its population proves that the Chinese citizenry are looking at other countries in terms of what other countries have enjoyed for years.

The increased well-being of the Chinese is however very selective in terms of mainly being confined to the major cities and industrial centres. The rest of China is poor and millions upon millions of Chinese still live in desperate poverty thanks large due to bad management, corruption and a Government system that is outdated and virtually defunct.

It smells of corrupt conduct, hypocrisy, as well as human right abuses and in the eyes of the international community.
In terms of the internal management of the country, the Chinese are ruled by a Communist regime that is oppressive and corrupt highlighted by the fact that about 1200 people are sentenced to death each year as well as the fact that thousands of people simply disappear each year at the Government's behest. ‘Re-education' camps still exist and people can be held in custody for years, and are, without proper trials and without proper legal representation and in overall terms, human rights abuses are frequent and plentiful. When and if people are eventually charged and sentenced legal processes are more often than not conducted by 'judges' who have difficulties understanding a legal book, let alone able to implement law, or people might be trialled and sentenced by 'tribunal' the members of which often cannot even read let alone pass sentence.

The only firm qualification that one must have before getting a job as either a judge, prosecutor or lawyer in the Chinese legal system is that one is a member of the Communist Party, any knowledge of law or legal processes is not required.

Externally, the Chinese Government is aggressive and two-faced and successive Chinese governments have had no hesitation to invade other countries when it suited and would have no hesitation doing so again.

The examples are clear - the biggest example being Tibet. Tibet is not Chinese territory and never has been but China invaded it anyway causing the displacement of a whole race.

The other example that China would like to solve is the case of Taiwan - the only reason for Taiwan having not been invaded is that Taiwan is too-well armed.

The most recent intention as to retain occupied territory would have its action in Uighur, a mainly Muslim community and potentially an independent territory.

In terms of the Chinese Government's relationship with other countries, the conduct is almost farcical and laced with hypocrisy. Mention the words human rights, democracy and transparency to a Government official and you are told to keep out Chinese internal affairs. Yet the same Government official might well tell you how to conduct your own Government's business without blinking, turning their argument into a matter of total disregard.

The future for the Chinese people though is reasonably good provided the nation focuses on building upon current economic gains, and provided the people start making moves towards replacing the tired old Communist system and its associated clique with a properly conducted and transparent democratic system of Government.

As for the current regime while it is still in power? Well, what can we say?

It smells of corrupt conduct, hypocrisy, as well as human right abuses and in the eyes of the international community some of major players within the Chinese Government are somewhat of a sad-looking bunch of arrogant old turkeys looking for a last feed.

The Chinese Government may well not like what I am saying but then, in response I would just say the words Tianamen Square and that would explain it all.

I am Henk Luf.
And that's the way it is.