A Project to Take Root

Sitting on a plane is ample time for thinking. Cramped in a small space, lights dim, faint snoring behind you, the only real noises are your thoughts – and of course the occasional Arcade Fire song. It got me thinking about the corporate leaders, business owners, diplomats, investors around me, which led me to wonder: where are our mentality ill friends?

That’s when I realized, out of the four years I have lived here, I have seen not twenty, not ten, but two mentally ill people in China. TWO. In my public school in California, there were at least four attending the school and they were a vital part of our education and community. I see their posts on Facebook, selfies, pictures of them participating in pep rallies and football games. This is where dichotomy exists, in China, they are not given the chance to coexist and thrive in society. The fact of the matter is, mentally ill people are warded off into undeveloped suburbs, compounds, or even hospitals. Attached are stigmas and even worse, the government turns a blind eye to their rights, health, and living conditions.

According to a 2012 study in the journal Lancet, China has 173 million people with some sort of diagnosable mental disorder and of those, 158 million have never received any treatment. Where are all these people?

  • China is extremely ill-equipped to provide the health care needed, China averages one psychiatrist for every 83,000 people.

These statistics display a stark truth and propose a question:

The truth: The nation requires a 180 degree change in their course of action: the first step being to stop ignoring this population of people.

The question: What came first, the ill-equipped care or the stigmatization?

Did the stigmatization create just cause to ignore this huge population of people and neglect their needs or did the lack of adequate care cause negative generalizations?  

HOWEVER, this is not a hopeless cause.

  • Awareness of autism in China has grown in recent years, fueled by parental advocates and autism organizations.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

China also is carrying out its first two large-scale prevalence studies. One is an eight-city, 120,000-child undertaking expected to be completed this year, says Yi Wang, director of the department of neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, who is involved in the project. The other an 11-city, 200,000-child study through a collaboration including Cambridge University, the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, Peking University and the National Institute of Biological Sciences, says Liping Wei, a prominent autism researcher involved in that study.

Clearly, China is still in its preliminary stages in terms of adequately dealing with mental illness. China only has begun its research, however, this does provide that through legitimate organizations they are attempting to gain understanding and insight on illnesses. However, the progress will be undeniably painstakingly slow, and the hundreds of million mentally ill are still suffering, are being denied of their rights, and are not given the opportunity to exist alongside others in society.

No one in China has mentally ill friends, coworkers, rarely have people seen them enter stores or restaurants. When they do, however, the Chinese are scared. They are unaware of who these people are, they are unaware of how to understand them or to view them as equals.

THE PROJECT

  1. Together with the Mental Health Awareness club leader at my school, we will be researching mental illness in China including:
  • Institutions
    • Hospitals
    • Homes
    • Schools
  • Treatment
  • Stigmas
  • Laws/Policies

2. Upon doing so, I will be conducting interviews in public areas in Beijing about the attitudes and awareness in Beijing, asking a series of questions to assimilate understanding regarding how the general public is exposed to mental illness and compile them into a documentary.

3. We will create a Sina blog (hopefully we won’t be censored), broadcast the video around our school, attempt to spread it throughout the local community

  • I’m also thinking of printing flyers that point to the blog, distributing them and potentially build a following

4. Next, we will visit institutions, facilities, including hospitals, homes, and schools, gather further understanding and create a second documentary for the blog

5. As of now, the last video will aim to educate people on mental illness, how to accept them in society, etc.

Of course this will be an overarching and difficult process that will interfere with schoolwork and being a teenager, but this is a minority that is being overlooked and is thus suffering.

As someone who notices the absence of mentally ill individuals in society, I cannot simply be a bystander.

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Chinese Economy: Deliberate Slowdown?

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China’s economy plunges time and time again, igniting fear and backlash among stockholders, the general public, and, well, most of the world. Concerns have risen regarding the wellbeing of the previously rapidly growing economy. Just a few weeks ago, in the beginning of January, the stock exchanges plunged by 7% in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Less than simple, the decline can be attributed to foreign relations with the Middle East (President Xi recently visited the Middle East, in light of the dropping oil prices), rising tensions between Iran and nations in the region, North Korea’s nuclear test, etc.

With 3.2 trillion dollars being scraped off the Chinese economy, this further exacerbated the state of China’s currency which devalued once again.

However, there is a level of doubt regarding the accuracy of the Chinese economic statistics over the years. This is because reports and information released by China are far from transparent and may not assimilate a full perspective regarding the economic situation. Most economists consider China perhaps understating the state of the economy, only touching the surface of the Chinese economic decline. Thus, leading the economists to predict an imminent recession or economic crisis. One less popularly considered perspective is the likelihood of China deliberately displaying a gradual economic decline, and to consider this the following questions must be asked:

  1. Does China have the means to portray a specific economic portrait? Yes, China is entirely capable of manipulating reports on the economic situation and the pace of which it rises or declines.
  2. How does economic decline benefit China? This answer is less straight forward. First of all, an economic decline allows for China to direct its industry to other nations and improve pollution (something they are under global pressure for), an economic decline also allows China to focus greater on corruption, tackling inequality, and other measures described in the newest five-year plan. An economic decline allows the government to focus power on restructuring aspects of the nation overlooked when overshooting for a high GDP. This will empower the middle class, previously overshadowed by the upper class.
  3. Why would China redirect its attention when it had previously been successful but is now facing speculation? Of course this task is daunting, and a task that will be carried through generations of leaders, but it is essential. The Communist Party roots itself among the middle class, something China has neglected in its struggle for a high GDP.  As a result, inequality has stricken the country and threatens political stability. In order to achieve true development, China requires a level of social harmony, something achievable by returning and smoothing over the inefficiencies overlooked in rapid development. Legal institutions are weak, welfare often falls under criticism, the nation does not offer a safety net economically and socially for anyone but the privileged minority. 

Take it from an expert:

Damien Ma of The Atlantic says on March 12, 2012:

The central priority for the Chinese government is no longer simply about economic growth. Rather, the chief challenge is dealing with the sociopolitical tensions and inequalities that are products of that growth. On these two fronts, the Wen administration record has been far less than stellar. Moreover, facing the unprecedented ferocity of public opinion, the government is increasingly having its feet held to the fire on issues of social equality and quality of life…

… After 35 years of breathless expansion of the economy, the growth story is less compelling for the Chinese public. Growth alone is no longer the panacea that papers over structural problems or ensures political legitimacy of the regime.

Why? Because the Chinese public, particularly the rising middle class, has started to notice that for all the talk of the Chinese economic miracle, they have not miraculously grown wealthy. Some have indeed become obscenely rich, which only serves to reinforce the sentiment that the system is tilted towards the few and stacked against the many. Adding fuel to the fire is that those who have been blessed by the growth miracle happen to be the political class itself or just one degree removed…

Furthermore, as stated by Yukon Huang in the Financial Times on March 3rd, 2012:

For all of China’s economic successes – which lifted some 600m out of poverty – income disparities nevertheless have ratcheted up with the gini coefficient now at 0.47 compared with around 0.25 in the mid-1980s. This has fostered a sense that the system is uncaring, and that opportunities are now being determined by one’s status rather than initiatives.

There is a strong link between the growth in social unrest and the reality that the reform process launched by Deng Xiaoping three decades ago has stalled. Rising social tensions come broadly from two forces, namely limitations of China’s national budget and banking systems in addressing distributional needs and distortions arising from controls over use of land and labour.

These quotes are from 2012, but still are relevant despite the radical changes in the Chinese politics and economy (one change being Xi Jingping’s leadership as compared to Deng Xiaoping). As stated previously, the undertaking of improving conditions in China through a deliberate economic slowdown is a task that must be assimilated by generations of leaders, and as we can see the task has been carried through President Deng to President Xi – where we can see what seems to be the first stages.

Of course the idea that China would deliberately instigate an economic slowdown is absurd, until evaluating the possibility of doing so, the potential benefits of doing so, and comparing it to predictions regarding an economic slowdown in the past.

Is China undertaking a new means to finally turn the nation from “developing” to “developed”? Or are these economic crises simply displaying the government’s inability to maintain its steadfast growth?

Sources:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/why-china-wants-to-slow-down-its-own-economy/254374/

http://www.chinausfocus.com/political-social-development/chinas-state-of-the-union-a-more-equal-society/

http://blogs.ft.com/the-a-list/2012/03/05/china-must-rethink-its-economic-model-to-calm-growing-social-unrest/?Authorised=false#axzz1ow41TU3Y

 

**UPDATE**

As this blog is for documenting personal experiences, opinions, and perspectives, I was very pleased with myself upon discovering that a post I wrote on May 1, 2015 (9 months prior) actually conferred a similar perspective on China’s economic decline. Of course it would be easy to change my perspective due to the influx of backlash towards China’s economic slump but ultimately I seemed to have retained this belief – this could display foolish stubbornness or intuition, only time will tell.

Check out the post here:

China’s Slowing Development May be the Time to Solve Underlying Issues

 

 

Travel Log: Khmer Rouge in Cambodia: 2015-16

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As a relatively last minute decision, my family decided to visit Siem Reap for winter break in 2015-16. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by a warm influx of hot air and the smiling faces of Cambodians. Compared to China, the locals in Cambodia are very reserved and well-mannered – even when aggressively trying to make a sale off of tourists. In China, the drivers and tour guides often spit on the ground and smoke as much as possible, while in Cambodia, a lot of the tour guides and drivers attempt to converse with the tourists and offer them cold water and towels. At the same time, tourism is likely the largest industry in Cambodia which may explain their behavior to an extent. However, the Khmer culture is generally recognized as extremely polite and could link back to the French colonization and prominence of Buddhism.

The Buddhist nature was especially interesting, as despite the Siamese invasions of Angkor, the Khmer Rouge, and a number of other conflicts throughout history, Buddhism has retained prominence in Cambodia. This is especially seen due to the careful regard towards monks for example, visiting active temples means regulations on women’s clothing and their treatment of monks (there were guidelines on how to speak to them, not to touch them, and to ask to take pictures). There were also Buddhist symbols all over the city, even in the construction of stone railings and bridges. In this situation, the statistics best summarize the influence of Buddhism, as 95% of the Cambodian population practice Thearavada Buddhism, the official religion. On the other hand, visiting Chinese Buddhist sites always ended with a gift shop for tourists to purchase costly jade necklaces. It felt as though these additions degraded the authenticity of religious practice.

DSC_1064 copyThe most interesting part of my trip in Cambodia were the encounters with those affected by land mines in the Khmer Rouge. On the first day there, my family decided to buy a Cambodian travel book from an amputee. Upon buying the travel book, he handed us a slip of paper regarding his amputations and why he chose to sell books. Admittedly, I did not know much about the Khmer Rouge at all and was extremely shocked after reading his story. I was even more surprised to see that countless others in his same generation were injured by the land mines at extremely young ages, and were forced to beg. However, I also encountered a large number of people who performed at tourist sites and sold books or clothing, all trying to support themselves with something more meaningful than begging. Conversely, some others did not have this ability, for example, every night I saw a man whose legs were both amputated and perhaps could only beg in busy tourist areas.

Here is an attachment of the Tok Vanna’s story, which sadly is relatable to a large portion of his generation.

Overview of Khmer Rouge:

The Khmer Rouge was perhaps one of the worst genocides in the 20th century, where human rights were disregarded as part of the Marxist Pol Pot regime. The regime opposed Buddhism and hoped to transform Cambodia into an agrarian utopia by through urban repopulation, moved city dwellers to the country side to be overworked on collective farms. The intellectuals were killed and the middle-class was tortured. The Khmer Rouge ended after Vietnamese troops invaded, but the horrors of the revolution remained on the succeeding generations.

According to BBC’s article Vietnam’s Forgotten Cambodian War, the Cambodians viewed the Vietnamese as liberators for pushing Pol Pot out of the nation until the Vietnamese stayed too long and were eventually viewed as the occupiers. The article later said “Today, many in Cambodia would like to forget that it was Vietnam that saved their country from Pol Pot’s vicious revolution.” This is perhaps because the intentions of freeing the country from the Pol Pot regime turned awry when the Vietnamese attempted to instigate a government within Cambodia.

Though a bustling nation, rich in culture, religion, and beauty, the horrors of the Khmer Rouge still exist and can be seen throughout the city daily. This will likely continue for generations and generations, but this awareness prevents the same atrocities from occurring and gives those affected a platform to become self-sufficient and pursue their interests. The old and young men, women, and the children at the time were stripped of the life they deserved due to this inhumane regime and these horrifying actions.

According to the New York Times, there’s a significant generation gap between those who suffered in the Khmer Rouge and those who are unaware of the atrocities, where despite everyone having stories to tell on starvation, disease, and being overworked, the younger generation seems unable to conceive the horrors or perhaps unwilling. The article Pain of Khmer Rouge Era Lost on Cambodian Youth stated “As much as 70 percent of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 30, and four out of five members of this young generation know little or nothing about the Khmer Rouge years, according to a survey last fall by the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley.”

I urge those who visit Cambodia to seek out information regarding the Khmer Rouge and buy books from vendors affected (even if their prices are just a few dollars higher), to give money to the performers at tourist sites, and to the beggars because these people require the support from tourists to continue their livelihoods and coexist in society, despite perhaps feeling ashamed and ostracized as Tok Vanna had.

 

 

Comment Thread on EU Migrant Post

Here is the original post:

Chinese Migration Situation vs. EU Migrant Situation

where I compared a historic migrant situation in China with the European one.

It led to an interesting comment from a user, who responded to my comparisons:

“There are some major differences between the migration to China and the migration to Europe. Firstly, China, in the 1970s, already had a huge population that was still growing rapidly. Ethnic Chinese were never in danger of becoming minorities in their own lands. Secondly, the Vietnamese shared a somewhat common religion with the Chinese, being primarily Buddhist. Buddhism has strong historic roots in China, even though most Chinese aren’t actually Buddhist. Thirdly, The Vietnamese people have low crime rates. Their entry into China would not have greatly increased the incidence of rape and murder. Furthermore, it sounds like the Vietnamese were willing to assimilate into Chinese culture and become Chinese.”

Interestingly enough, he did point out some aspects I neglected to consider in regards to the similar religious lineage with the Vietnamese and the fact that ethnic purity was not a concern among the Chinese. However, at the same time, what this user failed to consider is the tense relationship between the Vietnamese and Chinese – two neighboring communist countries and the fact that China still accepted 300,o00 refugees. His assumption that the Vietnamese were willing to assimilate into Chinese culture was flawed, as a general attitude in Vietnam is anti-Chinese, especially as of late when the two countries disputed over territory.

However, the roots of the contemptuous relationship between the two nations appear deep, as the Vietnamese ideologically fell towards the Soviet Union after the Vietnamese war with the U.S. and resulted in a short, devastating war in 1978 – also a blow to China’s pride.

So what this commenter has failed to consider is that Buddhism (I’m surprised he didn’t try to use communism as a link) is perhaps the only real tie between the countries in terms of ideology and yet the Chinese still accepted 300,000 refugees.

And moved on to his arguments, which were mainly against allowing migrants into Europe.

“None of this is true of the migration to Europe. Native European peoples have birthrates that are below replacement. In much of western Europe, they are definitely facing a future where they will be minorities in their own ancestral lands. This is calculated to happen within the next few decades, if not sooner. Europeans cannot be expected to rejoice in this – any more so than Native Americans would have.

Most European countries are accepting Muslim migrants. Slovakia is an exception. This Muslim religion comes packaged with a culture that is historically hostile to native European cultures. The way women, sexual minorities, non-Muslims and animals are treated is clearly inferior to the way they’re treated among native Europeans. Freedom of speech is not a value that is cherished in any majority Muslim land. Even as a minority in Europe, the presence of Muslims has taken a toll on freedom of speech.

The difference in crime rates, between native Europeans and Mideastern/African migrants is not just a matter of stereotype. It’s statistical fact. Incidents of rape have increased dramatically everywhere these migrants have arrived. Witness the child grooming scandal in northern England. For many years, and even until today, Pakistani men have groomed native English girls for prostitution. The English media, and law enforcement, turned a blind eye to the abuse for fear of being branded “racist.” A majority of aggravated rapes in Norway are committed by non-Europeans. In fact, almost all of them are. I could go on and on.”

I responded in the comments with a number of human rights (Articles 2, 3, 10, 13, 18) that maintained that the migrants deserve screening and evaluation to seek security in another nation’s borders despite their religion, race, sex, or regardless of any sociocultural factor such as their country’s status.

In response to his other arguments regarding the European nativity, there are 500,000 Europeans and that is likely to be affected by the streams of immigrants that appear in numbers like 1,000. Also, the fear of the EU failing has existed for over a century and the EU has proved resilient.

And lastly, although his specific examples regarding crimes committed by migrants compel him to state that the difference between natives and migrants in crime rates is not simply a stereotype, Germany has released a report to debunk this stereotype showing that there was no difference between the crime rate of migrants and between German natives.“The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) announced that crimes committed by refugees stood at the same level as those committed by native Germans.” Hopefully this piece of evidence seems more holistic to this user than his singular examples and helps him reevaluate his biases against the migrants.

 

 

7/12 RED ALERT: Government calls off school in attempts to improve pollution

On the 7th of December, the Beijing government issued a “red alert” for the first time ever, corresponding with the global climate talks in Paris. As a result, schools were closed, constructed was put on hold, and greater restrictions on cars were implemented. The public reaction was surprise, fury, as well as skepticism, as in the previous week, the particulate matter (PM) was record breaking and detrimental to health: reaching over 2000, whereas on the 7th, the PM rating for pollution was around 200.

The reaction of the Chinese was warranted to an extent, as Beijing previously met high levels of pollution with few measures or solutions. The government only seemed to respond adequately in times of political activity, for example the APEC conferences (click here to read an update from me). Aside from this, the government seemed to do little to deter the outputs of industry and coal polluting the air of cities. Even more interesting, no other cities in China issued a red warning, despite some cities such as ShenZhen experiencing pollution at PM levels nearing 1000. This is attributed to the fact that Beijing is the capital city – and that the government is still inadequate in handling pollution, or perhaps it is not a priority to find a long-term solution.

It’s interesting, as the government is capable of reducing pollution significantly by putting strict controls on traffic and industry for certain events, but of course this isn’t sustainable. However, instead of addressing the true issue and finding a long-term fix, the government seems to be satisfied with concealing the problem at times when Beijing is of political interest.

Of course creating a long-term solution for China’s pollution problem will benefit the environment and societies as a whole, which the global climate talks in Paris discussed. The causes behind climate change and pollution overlap, as pollution is caused by the outputs of burning fossil fuels and climate change is the result of burning fossil fuels. To some progress, China has agreed to mitigate the amount of fossil fuels by 2030 and the government is also increasingly adamant on finding a solution for this problem.

However, as of now, the recent winds have been the only effective solution to decreasing the pollution in Beijing.

Initial analytical thoughts on Paris Attacks.

Philosophical Politics

English: Hideout of Osama bin Laden, the locat... English: Hideout of Osama bin Laden, the location of his death, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following are some initial thoughts on the Paris attacks. The analysis relies on information in the public domain and includes what is known about previous attacks of a similar nature. I hope the following helps others to understand the questions that will need to be answered over the coming months. The goal is to inform the general public about the attacks.

The attackers

As the authorities continue to identify the attackers, we need to analyse the attacks. The attacks were coordinated which raises the questions of how, where, and when were they planned. Were they planned abroad and executed locally? If this is the main operating assumption, then several more questions emerge.

If the attackers coordinated their efforts, how did they communicate? If they relied on an external network for support what…

View original post 1,409 more words

Experience: Being censored in China

I decided to create a blog on sina.cn in order to access an audience within the firewall, as the Chinese population cannot access WordPress blogs. As I attempted to create a post about censorship and its true nature, I was censored!

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Translation: Your content contains illegal words.

This might be as a result of using the word “censor” or “censorship” 15 times. This was interesting to me, since I referred to the measures used by internet content providers in my post and I experienced firsthand how quickly this occurred. I tried to alter the body of my text and I removed the Chinese text that pertained to censorship, but to no ends. I found no solution.

I guess I’ll publish here!


The True Nature of Chinese Censorship

Introduction:

Censorship in China is inherently embedded in the society, to the point where a large portion of the population is willing to accept the news thrown at them because they simply do not know better. Of course, censorship is the means to these ends, where the government is in control of the information released to the public. However, what is the true nature of censorship? Is Chinese censorship aimed to restrict state criticism and expression?

How does China censor so effectively?​

China monitors the population through internet service providers. While social networking sites, blog sites, etc. are owned by private companies, internet content providers are responsible for complying to standards set by the government. These internet content providers may hire around 1,000 workers to ensure compliance to the rules set in place by the government.

What is the nature of censorship?

The popular belief is that censorship occurs in order to maintain an image for the Chinese government. This is true, to an extent. For example, a popular TV host named Bi Fujian (毕福剑) criticized Mao Ze Dong(毛泽东)and was suspended. This reaction is not seen in other countries, for example, in the U.S., humor towards Barack Obama is a common occurrence. However, a renowned TV host criticizing Mao seems unprecedented. However, the true nature of Chinese censorship is to prevent a mass uprising against the government.

In reality, someone criticizing the government is not more ​likely to be censored or punished. Chinese censorship is most prevalent in tense situations, where the government restricts social network communication in attempts to prevent groups of people from uprising. For example, during the Hong Kong riots, the Chinese government blocked Instagram in Mainland China in order to prevent Chinese citizens from accessing the ideologies of the rioters.

How can we determine the true nature of censorship?​

In order to underpin the goal or intention behind censorship, statistics released by the government would  have to be distinguished from their true values. However, this is impossible as it would be nonsensical for the government to release true statistics when trying to hinder the public from accessing them.

However, using patterns from past instances of censorship can allow a more thorough understanding of the government’s main intent behind censorship.

Off Tangent Source Analysis

First of all, I would like to say that I will never use the word “bias” to describe a source because everything is biased. Anyways, most of my posts cite The Economist. This is because The Economist is upfront about its political stance, even though it claims to be ambivalent as to whether it is right or left wing (link). While some may argue that economically, The Economist leans towards right wing – supporting privatization and enterprise, yet supports taxes as required. The Economist also claims to support drug legalization and gay marriage, leaning towards the left socially. Evidently, the source isn’t dogmatic towards its stance and advocates for a mixture of both aspects. While I don’t agree with some, the blatant honesty and straight-forwardness presented allows me, as a reader, to acknowledge different stances without feeling overwhelmed.

Aside from the viewpoint presented, The Economist upholds a higher standard of viewers (though I’ve seen some very bigoted viewers) who use sufficient grammar (mostly). The Economist also limits their viewers to 3 articles a week without subscriptions, pretty much negating the “trolls” on the majority of articles. The Economist also presents a lifestyle rather than just a source of news, even providing a page on commenting concisely which indicates the value of discussion on the site. There’s even a new debate platform – something that definitely pertains to my interests.

Lastly, The Economist covers a vast range of topics that most news sources do not cover.

Of course the source has its own point of view and should always be considered when analyzing events, but ultimately, The Economist is a valuable source and online platform for discussion.

Other valuable sources I recommend:

Al Jazeera

The Atlantic

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Policy

New Statesman

 

Chinese Migration Situation vs. EU Migrant Situation

The European migration crisis is obviously facing much controversy, as it’s one of the world’s largest migrations and has been speculated to change the world. However, the scale of hostility in the EU is paralleled in China. 300,000 Vietnamese citizens sought refugee in China after the 1978 war, and so did citizens of North Korea and Myanmar who faced the conflict there. The Chinese Government deported a majority of these North Koreans and citizens of Myanmar, where many faced execution or imprisonment.

However, the Chinese government cleared homes, schools, and other buildings to accommodate the Vietnamese refugees, cited by the UN’s High Commissioner of Refugees, Antonio Guterres as “one of the most successful integration programmes in the world”. The refugees were provided with jobs and housing in factories or farms, created especially for the Vietnamese. They were also granted with registration documents, education, and welfare.

On the other hand, China is still hostile to refugees, with only 583 refugees other than the Vietnamese. The government signed the UN’s convention for refugees, but did not define refugees or create laws to parallel the treaty. 60,000 Burmese refugees entered China to escape conflict, yet were turned away by the government. Same goes for North Korean refugees, who were branded as “criminals” or “illegal economic migrants”.

This situation parallels the mentality of the EU. For example, Slovakia will only accept Christians and the UK has standards for migrants concerning their education, culture, and religion. Evidently, no matter the country, the government (and citizens) turn a blind eye when there are negative associations surrounding groups of people. If they accept people, they choose to accept those who meet their standards, as people who will bolster their economies.

This sort of attitude is understandable, sadly, but it’s flawed in the sense that this is undermining the UN Declaration of Human Rights: Article 13.

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Migration is inevitable, and conflict is a driving factor for this migration. Obviously, human rights are granted only to moral, reasonable people, but those who fit these standards should be granted refuge in other countries, and this is more than likely the majority of those escaping conflict.