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Ruling With an Iron Fist

If you rule a country like Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping do, there is not a lot of love lost for your people. Not only do these dictators try to suppress their own people, but they tend to surround themselves with a wide variety of yes-men to cater to their every whim. If a dictator is willing to suppress his own people, imagine what they will do to neighboring countries or people on the other side of the political spectrum.

In an effort to be a supreme ruler, both men have attempted to silence their own people. Putin has waged a war on Ukraine that many of his own people are protesting or even going so far as deserting from the army. And Xi’s endless Covid lockdowns have truly repressed his constituents. The thing about repressing your own people is that you tend to go further and further into cruelty with no end in sight.

In addition to suppressing those they lead, Putin and Xi also have gone after global human rights, and as with most things, they take it to the extreme, whether the people they move against are citizens of their home country or abroad.

“Putin is jailing participants in protests that have broken out in dozens of cities across the country. Xi has silenced public critics throughout the country, while detaining more than a million Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang—a region in northwest China—to force them to abandon their religion, language, and culture.”

Xi is the more forceful of the two, essentially taking away individual rights in order to promote economic stability and “peace.” And because he does not allow any dissenters or people to talk out against his economic and political decisions, he can do what he wants. When Hong Kong, which was under Beijing’s control, spoke out against the dictatorship with protests in the street, Xi squashed the protests and threw the protestors in prison.

Not surprisingly, Xi does not even worry about ensuring that all their people have the necessary resources to live. If they did, they would have to face the fact that Tibetans, Mongolians, and Uyghurs are given few resources to survive.

For his part, Putin has reacted harshly to his own military in the seven-month war waged against Ukraine. He has increased the penalties for dodging the draft, deserting, or voluntarily giving up to the enemy.

Neither man wants to field questions or any push-back about their policies, which makes them dictators in the true sense of the word. They just continue to do what they wish with little to no regard for human life and dignity.

According to Advisor to Berkeley Capital Adnan Zai, “Neither Russia nor China have been pressured successfully by the west on human rights in the past. It is also that fear instilled into its populace as to why they remain in power.”

Western countries need to get tougher in speaking out against human rights violations, as the dictators continue to suppress their people.

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