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Chinese Frankenstein disappears in the interstices of the partijstaat

He Jiankui, the scientist who two and possibly more babies genetically manipulated, is missing. Or how China’s ‘moral boundaries’ guarded by people without a trace to disappear.

In november garnered the scientist He Jiankui global outrage. He said proudly that he has the genes of two girls, Lulu and Nana, had adapted so that they are resistant to the aids virus. …

In november garnered the scientist He Jiankui global outrage. He said proudly that he has the genes of two girls, Lulu and Nana, had adapted so that they are resistant to the aids virus. He was the first to the experimental crispr-cas technique to apply on people (which have no individual permission, for able to give).

That is not without risk. The eiwitproducerende gene which He morrelde to the twins to protect against the aids virus, protects, for example, also against other diseases such as west nile virus. That can hersenontstekingen cause (see DS 29 november). In addition, genetic manipulation a medicine with two speeds possible. Privileged groups would have the right to genetically distinguish it from the rest of humanity. And no one can predict where all the unexpected consequences can result. He was therefore the onflatterende nickname ‘Chinese Frankenstein.

According to the South China Morning Post , is He gone now. Since he spoke for a conference in Hong Kong, he is nowhere seen more. His employer, the Technical University of Shenzhen (SUSTC) says that they have no statements can do about where he is. There are rumors of house arrest, and that the president of SUSTC He from his house arrest tried to get. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, in each case, an investigation into He. The Chinese Council for Science called the experiment “extremely appalling” and ” in conflict with the Chinese laws and regulations.’

It seems that the partijstaat He disapproves of. He would not be the first one to disappear without trace. Several rich or famous Chinese people, and even the Chinese boss of Interpol went to him this year (see box).

Riches or celebrity can not save you

In the past year did agents of the regime at least 5 well-known or notorious Chinese disappear. Some, such as photographer Lu Guang, is not clear yet disclosed what they did wrong. The others are shortly after their disappearance, publicly branded for what in China ‘deadly sins’ are: corruption, tax evasion, or go against the partijstaat.

That all fits in the framework of Xi Jinpings strict, authoritarian approach. “Those who corrupt is nowhere to hide,” said Xi Jinping recently in a speech. 1.5 million bureaucrats are since 2012 bestrafd for ‘wrong behaviour’. The party has recently took on a special unit (the committee for national surveillance) that would address this kind of actions and judgments. The message is clear: even an important position or international reputation can not save you if you have something misdoet. Who disappears, is probably somewhere without access to a lawyer. That period the victim should be deterred.

Campaigns around virtue

But why does China do that? Why is an ordinary process not enough? That question goes right to the soul of the Chinese society. That is, according to many, in a deep moral crisis. ‘The last ten years, many Chinese people greatly concerned about a lack of values and trust in society, ” says Ian Johnson, an award-winning journalist for over 20 years in China working in China, 21 podcast). There is breedgedeelde disappointment, because ordinary Chinese people see that the powerful are in a brutal way or with impunity to enrich or isolate from the rest of society. “Many Chinese are looking to the national, shared values. They see Xi Jinping as someone who seek for it.’

Xi is indeed a leader who is much more than his predecessors, insists on righteousness and virtue. He has a massive expensive propaganda campaigns dedicated to them. By the arrests, he wants to demonstrate that he has the action to the word, adds, for the most bevoordeelden in the society. He is rejected because he is not the scientific consensus-was added, and because the society there uncomfortable feeling. Most likely it has to do with the fear of an even more unequal society: medicine with two speeds and genes with two speeds.

To China in this high-tech experiment apparently really disapproves of, says maybe something hoopgevends about what a powerhouse the country wants. One of China’s most important long-term objectives (and China plant is indeed much longer than Western democracies) is technological leadership to conquer. China wants to be the number one in the most groundbreaking technological and scientific domains. Some thought, therefore, that He’s experiment to fit in with that ambition. Still it says the partijstaat now (seemingly) not. There are two options. Either dive He back soon, and he is in a process condemned for his actions. Or dive he is never on. And then the mystery is even greater.

The most famous of gone Chinese this year

• Fan Bingbing, wealthy movie star. She disappeared in July this year, and resurfaced in October. She apologized as public for tax evasion.

• Meng Hongwei, chairman of the Interpol. Interpol was surprised to admit that Mix during a trip in China in september, missing hit. There is a process for corruption: according to Mengs women is that a purely political process.

• Lu Guang, socially concerned documentary photographer, disappeared on november 30, in the troubled province of Xinjiang. His international awards as ‘eye on China’s lower abdomen’ could not save him.

• Xiao Jianhua, billionaire tycoon. He was kidnapped from a luxury hotel around Chinese new year 2017, and has since not seen. A trial for corruption would, according to some, begin in 2019.

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