(p. A12) . . . the University of Würzburg in Germany, . . . ranks countries based on variables like independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press and integrity of elections. The most recent put China near the bottom among 176 countries. Only Saudi Arabia, Yemen, North Korea and Eritrea rank lower. Denmark is first; the United States 36th.
In China, the Communist Party controls the courts and heavily censors the media. It has suppressed Tibetan culture and language, restricted religious freedom and carried out a vast detention campaign in Xinjiang.
What’s more, China’s vigorous defense of its system in recent months has done nothing to moderate its prosecution of dissent.
Two of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi, are expected to face trial at the end of this year on charges that they called for more civil liberties, according to Jerome Cohen, a law professor specializing in China at New York University. A Chinese employee of Bloomberg News in Beijing has remained in detention for a year, as of Tuesday, with almost no word about the accusations against her.
Under Mr. Xi’s rule, intellectuals are now warier of speaking their minds in China than at practically any time since Mao Zedong died in 1976.
“This is an extraordinary time in the Chinese experience,” Mr. Cohen said. “I really think that the totalitarianism definition applies.”
For the full story, see:
Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers. “Beijing Claims China Uses Its Own Variety Of Democracy to Govern.” The New York Times (Wednesday, December 8, 2021): A6.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Dec. 7, 2021, and has the title “Ahead of Biden’s Democracy Summit, China Says: We’re Also a Democracy.”)
The most recent (2020) University of Würzburg ranking can be found at: