This is bad enough when it happens to businessmen, who presumably fail to bribe adequately, or to political dissidents who must, in some corner of their minds, see arrest and torture as an occupational hazard. Even the persecution of the harmless-seeming Falun Gong, devoted as they are to "truthfulness, forbearance and compassion", is only half surprising. Truth and tyranny were never best pals.
But whole churches full of Christians? Artists? The very people who give the Marxist monster a friendly face? How can that be a good idea, even in strictly self-interest terms?
This stuff happens in Chile, we apply sanctions. In Rwanda or Kosovo, we send in the (admittedly floppy) blue berets. But in China? We have a bit of a snuggle and a comfy TV chat about bilateral trade, like there's some kind of symmetry here.