By Chang Ping, March 27, 2016
On March 27, 2016, my two younger brothers and a younger sister were abducted by the Chinese police, becoming the latest victims in the incident surrounding the open letter demanding Xi Jinping’s resignation.
Since the reposting of the open letter on a state-controlled website, about 20 Chinese citizens have been disappeared.
On March 19, 2016, I published an article in Deutsche Welle titled “Jia Jia Was Disappeared for the Crime of Seeing,” criticizing these illegal abductions carried out by Chinese authorities. I was also interviewed by Radio France Internationale in which I shared my views on the Communist Party’s ongoing power struggle.
Following my article and interview, my direct family members and numerous relatives in China have been subject to investigation, harassment, and threats. On March 27, during a trip back to my father’s home in Duofu Township, Xichong County, Sichuan province (四川省西充县多扶镇) to celebrate my father’s birthday, my two younger brothers and a younger sister, who are based in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, were taken away by officers from the township police station. The police showed no legal warrant for detaining them. I have not been able to contact my family members directly, but through other sources I’ve learned that the police asked my family to contact me and demand that I immediately cease to publish any articles that criticize the Chinese Communist Party, especially my Deutsche Welle column known as “Chang Ping Observation” (“长平观察”) or the government would find ways to charge my family members.
I hereby state:
1) All of my family and relatives in China have no understanding of my political beliefs, columns, and the media work I engage in, nor are they in any way related to it. Currently they have no communication with me, therefore they will be unable to meet the unreasonable demand of the police. I’d be in support of them, should they wish to cut off all ties with me at any point.
2) Apart from the above column and interview, I personally have no other connection to the open letter. I didn’t help draft it, I didn’t publicize it, and I only read it after it had already been widely promulgated. It’s just like I said in my column: I don’t get involved in internal Party power struggles, and I’ve no interest in doing so.
3) Every citizen has the freedom of speech to engage in comment or criticism of the political activities of state leaders. The Communist Party should immediately stop investigating the people they believe are behind the letter demanding that Xi Jinping resign, and cease the abductions, harassment, and investigations of media personnel, commentators, and netizens, and their family members.
4) I’ve been involved in news reporting and commentary for over 20 years, and I’ve always taken to it in a spirit of professionalism, and with independence and autonomy and the conscience of an intellectual. I’ve always done what I think is right, and have always been willing to accept whatever fate brings as a result of that. The harassment and threats of the authorities allow me to see even more the value of my writings, and encourage me to work harder in future.
5) I strongly condemn the Communist Party’s attempts to interfere with the freedom to publish of Western media like Deutsche Welle and RFI. I call for the international community to speak out against these barbaric kidnappings by Chinese police.
March 27, 2016
Chang Ping (长平) is the former chief commentator and news director of Southern Weekend. In January, 2011, he was forced to leave the Southern Media Group, and in late 2011, while working at the now-suspended news weekly iSun Affairs (《阳光时务周刊》) in Hong Kong as the editor-in-chief, he was denied of work permit and forced to live in exile in Germany.
Also by Chang Ping on China Change:
We’d Be Satisfied With Any Government!, October, 2015.