There appear to be fewer people in China. In a disturbing trend, the government has recently seemingly lost track of some of its most ardent critics. Most recently, the government’s inability to “locate” prominent human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng and 20 Uyghurs who were forcibly returned to China from Cambodia has become a cause for great concern in the international community.
Despite its immense system of internal travel controls and required registration, known as the Hukou system , the CCP has an extensive history of “losing” those who are hard to ignore. Prominent figures such as Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng were lost for significant periods of time during discord within the government, the Panchen Lama has been missing for over a decade, and, more recently, China has continued to lose NGO workers and protestors who portray the regime in a less than flattering light.
Largely, the cases of these “missing” persons have been met with outrage in the international community. Rosanne Rife of Amnesty International put it best when she offered, “It is a disgrace that Chinese law enforcement agencies disobey the law in such a blatant manner.” Not only is “losing” people against Chinese domestic law, but it is a blatant violation of international law as well. Hopefully, pressure from the international community can render these lost persons found before the CCP’s absent-mindedness continues.