By Anne Kader
China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Around the Chinese Communist Party’s Tyranny
The book, published by Optimum Publishing International tells the story of Benedict Roger’s fight against human rights abuses by China and its neighboring countries, Myanmar and North Korea. The book describes the Chinese human rights situation and what the free world should do about it.
The Foreword is written by Lord (David) Alton, and the Preface by Nathan Law. The book contains interviews with over eighty people, including Dalai Lama, and comes with an endorsement from the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten of Barnes.
Benedict Rogers, born in London, England, first went to China at age eighteen to teach English for six months in Qingdao, three years after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Currently, the Chinese government is engaged in re-education, cultural assimilation, and multiple genocides.
Photo: Benedict Rogers Twitter
Rogers has dedicated a chapter on Uyghurs and the Uyghur genocide
What prompted you to write the China Nexus?
Rogers: I wrote The China Nexus because I was very conscious that, although there are thousands of books on China, including many excellent books, there are very few that look at the human rights crisis in China today comprehensively, weaving together – as I have tried to do – analysis of the situation in Hong Kong, Tibet, the Uyghurs, the persecution of Christians, forced organ harvesting, the crackdown on civil society, media, bloggers, lawyers, dissidents across mainland China, as well as the threats to Taiwan, the complicity of the Chinese Communist regime with crimes against humanity in neighboring Myanmar and North Korea, and a chapter on what the international community should do.
I felt there was a need and space for this. That is why I wrote it. I also included reflections on my own travels in China over the past 30 years and my experience living in Qingdao and Hong Kong to give it a more personal angle and illustrate that I am not anti-China.
I love China as a country, its culture, civilization, and people, and it is because I love China that I am so passionate about defending the human rights of its people.
It is the Chinese Communist Party regime and its atrocities that I oppose. I also want the world to wake up to the threat the CCP poses, not only to its own people but to our freedoms too.
In your new book, you dedicate a whole chapter to the Uyghurs and the genocide they are facing. When did you first become alarmed about the treatment of Uyghurs?
ROGERS: I first became aware of how serious the situation for the Uyghurs is around 2016, and then acutely aware around 2018/19. I became involved in the Stop Uyghur Genocide campaign in 2020.
When did you first become aware of the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government?
ROGERS: I have always been aware that the CCP regime is repressive, but it was probably around 2014/2015 when I realized that under Xi Jinping, the situation was intensifying, particularly with the crackdown on lawyers and the destruction of churches and crosses, as well as the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Those events, combined with Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK in 2015, when at the time David Cameron welcomed him with a red carpet and no public discussion of the human rights issue, activated my public advocacy. I have always followed the situation in China and have been privately engaged since I first visited the country in 1992.
Have the UK and other Western countries done enough to oppose the genocidal policies of the Chinese Communist Party?
ROGERS: No, they have not done enough. They are starting to wake up and act and have done more in the past year or two than they had before. Their position is changing, but the UK government has still not recognized the Uyghur repression as a genocide, which I believe they should do. They need to do more to sanction those responsible, hold them to account, and ensure that we remove products made by slave labour from our supply chains.
Has being a vocal opponent of the Chinese regime brought you or your family members any retaliation from China?
ROGERS: Yes, though what I have experienced is nothing by comparison with what Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Chinese dissidents, Tibetans, and others face. But I was denied entry to Hong Kong in 2017, I have received many anonymous threatening letters to my home address, and my neighbours have also received such letters, as has my mother. The Chinese Embassy has lobbied British MPs to silence me. Fake emails have been circulating in my name to discredit me. The Hong Kong authorities threatened me with a prison sentence under the National Security Law. I was also the target of verbal abuse by a Chinese agent at the Conservative Party Conference in 2018, and one of my friends at the time got physically assaulted.
What is the goal you wish to accomplish by having written the China Nexus?
ROGERS: I hope the book will better inform people about the severity of the human rights situation in China, and the threats the CCP poses to our freedoms, and that it will mobilise more people to stand up and speak out.”
Being a devout Catholic, what would your message be to the worldwide body of Christians? Should Christians be more vocal about these human rights abuses? What are the practical steps they could take to help the persecuted?
ROGERS: Definitely, I believe Christians should speak out for human rights. Justice, freedom, and human dignity are absolutely at the heart of the Christian faith, and we must not stay silent in the face of severe human rights violations. I have been outspoken in calling on Pope Francis and other Christian leaders to speak out. Christians should pray, advocate, speak out and provide support for the persecuted.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Benedict Rogers is the Co-founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch – www.hongkongwatch.org
Benedict Rogers is the co-founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch. He was also the East Asia Team Leader at the international human rights organization CSW, where he specialized in Myanmar, Indonesia, North Korea, and China.
Rogers is a senior analyst for East Asia at the international human rights organization CSW, co-founder and deputy chair of the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, a member of the advisory group of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), and a board member of the Stop Uyghur Genocide Campaign.
Rogers is the co-founder and Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, a member of the advisory group of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC). He is an advisor to the World Uyghur Congress, Senior Analyst for East Asia at CSW, a trustee of several other charities, author of six books, and a regular contributor to international media. He is also the author of six books.