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Foreword to ‘The Martial Law Troops of June Fourth’

Wu Renhua, May 29, 2017

 

Wu Renhua (吳仁華) is a unique scholar. For over 20 years he has been immersed in the primary source materials about what Chinese authorities call “the June 4th incident,” and what is known around the world as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. His academic training of nearly a decade was in ancient Chinese historiography — a set of research methodologies that he never expected he would apply to unraveling the genesis, execution, and aftermath of the bloody slaughter of unarmed students and Beijing residents in 1989. Wu was a junior faculty member of the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing at the time of the protests, in which he was also a participant. He was one of the last to leave Tiananmen Square in the early morning of June 4; on his way back to his college residence he witnessed tanks crushing students in Liubukou (六部口). In February 1990 he swam four hours through the Zhujiang River Estuary from Zhuhai to Macau, then made his way to Hong Kong and finally the United States. He edited Press Freedom Herald  (《新闻自由导报》), a pro-democracy magazine, for 15 years. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

China Change has undertaken a translation, performed by Matthew Robertson, of the first chapter of The Martial Law Troops of June Fourth  (《六四事件中的戒严部队》), one of Wu Renhua’s three books on the 1989 movement. The other two books are: The Bloody Clearing of Tiananmen Square: The Inside Story (《天安门血腥清场内幕》, 2007) and The Full Record of the Tiananmen Movement (《六四事件全程实录》, 2014).

The Martial Law Troops of June Fourth was first published in 2009 in Chinese, and a revised edition was published in 2016. It has not yet appeared in English. It is an exhaustive, meticulous account of the decision-making process behind the command to impose martial law in Beijing and, later, open fire on the students; the command and control structure of the military; the manner in which commands were communicated through the ranks; the marshalling of military forces and their composition; the routes they took to Tiananmen; the countermeasures established by the military to guard against a coup; the clearing of the square; the reasons for the savagery of the troops; the rewards later given to officers and soldiers, and more. The bulk of the book is dedicated to minute analysis of the force composition of each of the group armies mobilized for the massacre, the routes they took, the orders they received, and in some cases the specific actions of specific units, and even individual officers and soldiers.

The foreword to the book and the section headings of the first chapter are presented for readers below as the 28th anniversary of the massacre approaches. — The Editors

 

June 4 martial law troops

 

Foreword

 

The foremost question in any study of the 1989 Beijing massacre is the mobilization of a fully-armed military force for the slaughter of peaceful students and protesters. When discussing the “truth” of the June 4 incident, the most important truth to be discussed is this. As a participant in the protests, a witness to the killings, and a scholar with a background in Chinese historical research, I’ve worked for years to gather documentary materials about the June 4 incident, and to explore the truth of the massacre that took place. My previous book, The Bloody Clearing of Tiananmen Square: The Inside Story, was a careful documentation of the entire process by which the square, and surrounding area, was cleared. The current volume is an examination of the PLA units that were ordered into Beijing to impose martial law. It is therefore testimony to another side of the truth of the June 4 massacre.

This book was conceived in March, 1990, soon after I had escaped the mainland by swimming across the bay to Zhuhai and then to Hong Kong. I’m indebted to the veteran journalist Ching Cheong (程翔) who gave me the book One Day Of Martial Law (《戒嚴一日》)  that provided a preliminary explanation of the June 4 martial law troop deployments. The detailed arrangements for the mass use of lethal force by Party leader Deng Xiaoping and his key supporter and senior military leader Yang Shangkun (楊尚昆) shocked me deeply. At the same time, there was much left to clarify: the order to open fire, the unit designators (番號) of the martial law troops, the number of troops involved, and more. So I made a vow: I would cast a vast net to collect material, begin a detailed study, and write a volume specifically dedicated to the martial law troops of June 4. This would also be a recording of the decision-makers and executors of the June 4 massacre, ensuring that all their names were listed in history’s hall of shame.

FullSizeRenderTo this day, the June 4 massacre remains an area of enquiry forbidden by the Chinese Communist Party. This made writing a book about the subject particularly challenging. The first problem is a grave lack of data, and the absence of officially-produced reliable materials. The second issue relates to the Chinese military itself, and in particular the difficulty in finding information on the units involved in the imposition of martial law. Chinese communist historiography has always regarded military affairs as a state secret. Every PLA unit has a numerical unit designator, and every organizational unit in, for instance, the 38th Army Group (陸軍第38集團軍), has a code name at the regimental level or above. All public references to the unit use this code name. The most well-known is Central Guard Unit (中央警衛團), which goes by the code “8341.” Thus, even the unit designators are secret and not allowed to be used — code names are used instead. On top of this is the extreme political sensitivity of the June 4 massacre, which has been blotted out of official Communist Party literature. This extends to propaganda about the successes of “suppressing the counterrevolutionary riot,” and the material regarding awards given to “Guardians of the Republic” — not only are the unit designators absent, but even the code names for the units are elided, making it almost impossible to determine from the official materials which soldiers and officers were in which units.

To my great fortune, I specialized in classical historical and documentary research at Peking University, undergoing seven years of professional training in bibliographical studies, bibliology, historiography, and textual criticism, first obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and then a Master’s. Furthermore, prior to entering university I was an enlisted soldier in the PLA at a border defense garrison, and thus have a certain foundational knowledge about the Chinese military and its organization. With this background, and after many years of assiduous effort, the secrets hidden in materials about the June 4 martial law troops were slowly revealed, and I was able to verify each and every one of the unit designation numbers, which provided the foundation for this volume. On the basis of this — having cracked the code and discovered the unit designators — related materials fell into place and were able to act as mutual-supporting verification for official documents that had previously been a mystery. Thus, formerly worthless propaganda material celebrating the “suppression of the counterrevolutionary riot” assumed immediate value, and the position of the PLA’s Command Center for Clearing the Square (解放軍戒嚴部隊清場指揮部), as well as the forward deployments of military units, became clear.

Writing this book was a grueling process — but since it involved the constant unraveling of surprises in the primary sources, and the solving of riddle after riddle, it was also a process full of delight and surprise. I regularly commented to my friends, half in jest, half in earnest, that I never thought that I would find myself, exiled in the United States, separated by so many years from my study of classical documentary research and textual criticism, able to put to full use the things I studied at university. Perhaps in all this the hand of providence is at work.

To this day, this is the first work to clarify the unit designators of the martial law troops of June 4, along with the number of soldiers. This includes the 24th Army Group, 27th Army Group, 28th Army Group, 38th Army Group, 63rd Army Group, and 65th Army Group under the Beijing Military District; the 39th Army Group, 40th Army Group, and 64th Army Group under the command of the Shenyang Military District; the 20th Army Group, 26th Army Group, 54th Army Group, and 67th Army Group under the Jinan Military District; the 12th Army Group under the Nanjing Military District; the 15th Airborne Corps under the direct command of the Central Military Commission; the 14th Division Artillery under the Beijing Military District; the 1st and 3rd Security Divisions of the Beijing Garrison Command; the 1st Tank Division of the Tianjin Garrison; and the Beijing Municipal People’s Armed Police Corps. In total, this comprised over 200,000 troops.

吴仁华于洛杉矶

Wu Renhua. Photo by Yaxue Cao.

The current volume devotes one chapter to enumerating these units and describing, blow-by-blow, their actions — from when they received orders to enter Beijing until they received the command to clear Tiananmen Square, including the routes and methods by which they entered the capital, the manner in which they cleared Tiananmen, and so on.

Another chapter is dedicated to a discussion of the order to open fire, as well as other questions about the June 4 massacre that are of widespread interest. This chapter is broken into 14 parts, and includes discussion of: the origin and decision-making process behind declaring martial law in Beijing, the deployments of the martial law troops in Beijing, the military unit designators and number of troops involved, the measures to ward against an internal coup d’état or mutiny in the military, the routes by which PLA troops entered Beijing, the specific orders given in the clearing of Tiananmen Square, the goals and itinerary of the martial law troops, the specifics of the orders to open fire, the circumstances surrounding the clearance of Tiananmen Square, the helplessness of unarmed students in confronting a highly armed opponent, the list of names of officers and soldiers awarded and promoted for their involvement, the deaths of paramilitary and military troops, the reason the martial law troops were so savage in their killing, and the wild retribution visited upon protesters by martial law troops after the incident.

The current volume provides what is to date the most complete list of military officials who were promoted due to their roles in the June 4 massacre, including a partial list of the officers and soldiers involved in the incident. This includes their military unit designators, positions, and ranks — a list of over 2,000 names. These individuals may not all be personally responsible for the June 4 massacre, but they are at the very least eyewitnesses, and they have a responsibility and a duty to testify as to what they did and witnessed all those years ago.

Given China’s current political circumstances, the only way that the full truth of the June 4 incident will be told is through the joint effort and work of scholars and insiders. Obviously, the largest and most important group of insiders knowledgeable about the crackdown are the soldiers and military officials involved. Unfortunately, however, to this day there are only two soldiers involved in the massacre who have emerged to speak about their experiences. The first is First Lieutenant Li Xiaoming (李曉明), a radar station master in the 116th anti-aircraft artillery division, 39th Army Group, who resides in Melbourne, Australia. Li spoke about his experiences at a press conference in New York City on May 30, 2002. The other is Zhang Shijun (張世軍), a soldier in the 162nd infantry division, 54th Army Group, who lives at Number 35, Lane 2, Shanguonan Road, Tengzhou City, Shandong Province; he wrote about his experience in an open letter to then-Chinese leader Hu Jintao on March 6, 2009. In the early  hours of March 30 he was arrested and detained for over 10 days.

I look forward to any material and research leads that readers may be able to provide about the martial law troops of June 4, so that this text may be further revised, supplemented, and updated.

 

Wu Renhua
May 2016

 

Section I | Martial Law in Beijing: Origins and Decisionmaking

Section II | Martial Law Military Deployments

Section III | The Number of Martial Law Troops and Their Designators

Section IV | Precautions Against Coups and Mutinies

Section V | The Units that Entered Beijing and the Routes They Took

Section VI | The Order to Clear the Square

Section VII | The Martial Law Troops Advance Toward Their Objectives

Section VIII | The Order to Open Fire

Section IX | The Clearing of Tiananmen Square

Section X | A War Against an Unarmed Enemy

Section XI | Deaths of Soldiers and Armed Police

Section XII | The Reason for the Martial Law Troops’ Savage Killing

Section XIII | The Soldiers’ Mad Revenge

Section XIV | Promotions for Services Rendered

 

 


Related:

The Historian of the Tiananmen Movement and the June Fourth Massacre –  An Interview With Wu Renhua (Part One of Two), June 3, 2016.

The Historian of the Tiananmen Movement and the June Fourth Massacre – An Interview With Wu Renhua (Part Two of Two), June 4, 2016.

 

 

 

 

One Belt, One Road, Total Corruption

Chang Ping, May 18, 2017

“Corruption is not just the result of money being misused, but the lack of a fair and transparent mechanism itself.”

 

OBOR_gold bridge

 

God said: “Let there be light,” and then there was light. Xi Jinping said: “A ‘Project of the Century’ must be undertaken,” and then there was “One Belt, One Road.” At the just-completed summit in Beijing, Xi Jinping announced that China will invest hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars in 60 countries to lead in the construction of bridges, railways, ports and energy projects. This venture is known as “One Belt, One Road,” and involves more than 60 percent of the world’s population. It’s projected to transform the global political and economic order, and can be said to be the largest overseas investment project undertaken by a single country in history.

Where does such an unprecedented, magnificent, and spectacular plan come from? How many Chinese were aware of it in advance? Was it critically evaluated? And what was the outcome of the evaluation? Other than Xi Jinping, there is probably no one who can answer these questions. And no one knows if he himself has carefully thought about it. People can at least learn about almighty God by reading the Bible. But the “One Belt, One Road” plan of renewing the world only consists of a few pages of empty speeches and some conference documents. According to Chinese media descriptions, the whole world is heralding the birth of a new savior.

‘One Belt, One Road’: Don’t Ask Me Where I Came From

It’s been 500 years since Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, but in China a corrupt “church” still monopolizes everything. Rational Europeans cast a suspicious eye. German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not attend the forum and “join in the festivities,” and the German Minister for Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, who attended the event, criticized the unclear source of capital in China’s acquisition of German companies. Minister Zypries should also see that the lack of clarity does not just apply to the origin of part of the capital, but the whole “One Belt, One Road” project.

Joerg Wuttke, President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said in a recent interview: “I hope China is actually embracing the world and opening up to foreign trade instead of just reaching out.” Risk analyst Andrew Gilholm said: “I don’t think many people are buying the spin that this is all in the name of free trade and global prosperity.” Siegfried O. Wolf, Director of Research at South Asia Democratic Forum in Brussels, was even more candid: “At present there is a lack of an effective platform for ‘One Bridge, One Road’ cooperation between Europe and China. If China is reluctant to build this bridge, and is unwilling to move toward multilateral mechanisms and disregards the values of the European Union based on good governance, rule of law, human rights, and democracy, then European skepticism of ‘One Belt, One Road’ will continue.”

Countries outside Europe aren’t irrational either. U.S. President Donald Trump, a businessman, has adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward China’s Creation Project, and only sent National Security Council Asia Director Matthew Pottinger to attend the meeting. Australia rejected China’s invitation. India boycotted the summit, saying that the “One Belt, One Road” project ignored “core concerns about sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Many of the leaders attending the summit are autocrats who don’t care about the questionable origin of China’s funding, and know the Chinese government doesn’t care how the investment is actually used once it’s given.

Buy One, Give Two Away: Corruption and the Deterioration of Human Rights

Many Chinese believe that Xi Jinping is leading a fight against corruption. What is corruption? Corruption is not just the result of money being misused, but the lack of a fair and transparent mechanism itself. In this sense, the lack of democratic supervision of “One Belt, One Road” is a mechanism for corruption. As with all large projects in China, there is no restriction on power, and this inevitably results in the criminal activities of corruption, rent-seeking, giving and taking bribes and money laundering.

While the Chinese media was obediently singing the praises of “One Belt, One Road” and its benefit to all mankind, a Chinese netizen posted the comment: “Some people lamented that overnight we’ve returned to the Song Dynasty [translator’s note: Song is a homonym for “give away” in Mandarin]. Others asked: the Southern Song Dynasty or the Northern Song Dynasty? Answer: No, it’s not ‘Southern Song Dynasty or Northern Song Dynasty,’ it’s the ‘Eastern Song [Give-Away] Dynasty’ and ‘Western Song [Give-Away] Dynasty!” Without public oversight, an unelected leader can take hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars in taxpayers’ money and give it to authoritarian states. The only thing that taxpayers can do is sneer at and mock it. Can a sane person believe that this is a good thing?

In the process of cooking up “One Belt, One Road,” China’s human rights situation has significantly deteriorated and threatens the whole world. Can all these—the kidnapping of Hong Kong booksellers, the coerced confessions of journalists, NGO workers, dissidents, and activists on China Central Television (CCTV), the disappearance of a Taiwanese human rights worker, and the cruel torture suffered by a large number of Chinese human rights lawyers—make you believe that such a government, which is expanding its economic and political clout through the “One Belt, One Road” program, will bring a New Gospel to mankind?

 

长平_DWChang Ping is a Chinese media veteran and current events commentator now living in political exile in Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a Deutsche Welle column. Translated by China Change.  

 

Also by Chang Ping:

China’s ‘Freedom’ Cage, by Chang Ping, 2015.

We’d Be Satisfied With Any Government!, October, 2015.

Chinese Students Studying Abroad a New Focus of CCP’s “United Front Work” , June, 2015.

Tiananmen Massacre not a “Passing Lapse” of the Chinese Government, July, 2014.

 

An interview with Chang Ping:

The Fate of Press Freedom in China’s Era of ‘Reform and Opening up’:  An Interview With Chang Ping, December 15, 2016

 

 

Another Chinese Propaganda Video Ties Mainland Rights Defense Activism, Protests in Hong Kong, and the Syrian War Into One Anti-U.S. Narrative

December 18, 2016

A verified account belonging to the Ministry of Public Security issued this video on December 15 with the hashtag #警惕颜色革命 (“Beware of color revolutions”) and #是谁最想扳倒中国 (“Who wants to take China down the most”).  Two similar videos issued in August can be seen here and here.  – The Editors

 

 

[Syrian swimmer] Yusra Mardini, fleeing war-ravaged Syria. The boat had a problem, she and her sister pushed it to rescue the refugees packed in it.

[Mardini’s voice]: “It’s hard to believe, but as an Olympic swimmer, I almost died in the water.”

In Rio, she was a member of the Refugee Olympic Team made up of athletes who have lost their homes because of “color revolutions.” Her presence at the Olympics was an indictment of the brutality of war.

Several years ago, she and her compatriots celebrated passionately the beautiful new world brought by the “Arab Spring.”

But behind the flowers and colorful flags are nothing but ruins, turmoil, terror, and despair.

The homes that once were are gone forever.

 

“Color revolutions” have successfully turned many countries to war zones and strife, and the sharp claws of the Devil have also reached China!

In 1953, former U.S. Secretary of State John Dulles said that a strategy of peaceful evolution must bet on the young people.  

In 2000, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright emphasized that, with the internet, America has ways of dealing with China.

In 2011, a former U.S. ambassador to China argued during a presidential debate for the famous “Take-China-Down Theory”:

“We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. They’re called the young people, they’re called the ‘internet generation.’ There are 500 million internet users in China. And 80 million bloggers. And they are bringing about change, the likes of which is gonna take China down.”   

By sending carriers to South China Seas, and by deploying THAAD in South Korea, the U.S. is using multiple approaches to try to contain China.

[Clip of Hong Kong police and protesters.]

[Photo: citizens protesting the shooting of Xu Chunhe (徐纯合) in Heilongjiang in May 2015]

[Photo: Lawyer Wang Yu in court defending Falun Gong practitioners in April, 2015.]

[Photo: Lawyer Wang Quanzhang’s wife Li Wenzu outside a courthouse in Tianjin.]

[Clip: Hong Kong protest scene]

[Photo: citizens protesting in Weifang, Shandong, during Xu Yonghe trial in June 2015.]  

Joshua Wong, Secretary General of Demosisto in Hong Kong, “Now I’m asking all of you to come with us and we are going to charge into the Civic Square.”  

 

anti-us-video-3

A screenshot of the video.

Are these real expression of the people, or the instigation of foreign forces? The facts and the truth are alarming!

[CCTV announcer:]  Tianjin Municipal Second People’s Intermediary Court held a trial of Zhou Shifeng for “subverting state power.” Zhou Shifeng was convicted of the crime of subverting state power, and sentenced to seven years in prison and deprivation of political rights for five years.

August, 2016. Zhou Shifeng, director of Beijing Fengrui Law Firm: “[I] plead guilty. I repent. I accept punishment, and will never appeal.”

[CCTV host]  Strengthening the so-called labor movement and publicizing sensitive cases are the hallmarks of the “topple the wall movement” that Zhou Shifeng and Hu Shigen have been implementing.

 

Hype up mass incidents and use social conflicts as breakthroughs, as the fuse for launching a “color revolution.”

Zhai Yanmin, trouble-making organizer of “petitioners”:  “None of the sensitive cases I participated in publicizing has anything to do with me. It’s publicity for the sake of publicity.”

Criminal suspect Gou Hongguo: “Wherever there was a high profile incident, they’d certainly organize people to protest on site.”

 

Utilize foreign NGOs to train “proxies” to lay the social foundation for a “color revolution”

Illegal religious activist Hu Shigen: “[They recruit young people with potential in the mainland, and train them to be future leaders.”

Fengrui Law Firm’s Wang Yu resolutely refused the first “International Human Rights Award” by the U.S.

[Wang Yu’s voice:]  The content of their training includes smears against the Chinese government. My attitude toward this award is to not acknowledge it, not recognize it, and not accept it. To me, this award is their attempt to use me to attack the Chinese government. I’m a Chinese, and I only accept the leadership of the Chinese government.”

 

Embassies in China are frontline directors that integrate forces to implement “street politics.”

In 2011, U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman “accidentally showed up at the Jasmine Revolution gathering site

Netizen: This is the U.S. ambassador.

Netizen: Do you know that these people are here for the Jasmine Revolution?

Netizen: You are pretending you don’t know, aren’t you?

In February 2016, foreign diplomats again appeared outside Tianjin Municipal Second People’s Intermediary Court.

And Director of Feirui Law Firm Zhou Shifeng has been “good friends” with them.

[Photo: Zhou Shifeng with Swedish ambassador Lars Fredén.]

[Photo: Zhou Shifeng with a member of the Geneva Bar Association*]

[Photo: Zhou Shifeng with an Associated Press journalist.]

 

Utilizing Internet and other media to negate Chinese history and culture and lay the ideological foundation for a “color revolution”

Comprehensively slandering Chinese history [screenshot of a Taiwanese website questioning the existence of the Yuan Dynasty]

Destroying role models [photo of article questioning the truth of communist martyr Lei Feng]

Defiling the image of leaders [photo of the Causeway Bay bookstore]

Questioning the trustworthiness of the government [screenshot of a 2013 article pointing out failures of the government housing information database]

Doomsaying China [screenshot of BBC article about likelihood of a Chinese economic crisis]  

 

Using Hong Kong as a base for a “color revolution”

In 2011, Jimmy Lai was exposed to be the biggest donor to the opposition. The Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption launched an investigation into $40 million in dark political money.

[Voice of Alex Tsui,** former deputy director of operations of ICAC] “It’s obvious that Jimmy Lai plays a very important role in the ‘black money whirlpool.’

[Voice of Benny Tai] “Occupy Central now begins”

It turns out that Occupy Central did not start from the “Trio” and the students, but from Jimmy Lai who, as early as 2012, already secretly sought advice from Shih Ming-teh [Taiwan early opposition leader].

[Recording, voice of Jimmy Lai] “As long as we are willing to go to jail.”

[Voice of Shih Ming-teh] “Right, you will succeed the moment you are jailed.”

[Voice of Jimmy Lai] “Together we go to prison.”

[Voice of Shih] “This flower, when it blossoms, will be Hong Kong’s flower of freedom, and it could very well also be China’s flower of freedom.”

Jimmy Lai’s “friendship circle” was exposed by the media, and the behind-the-scenes black hand is the U.S.

His “assistant” Mark Simon is the chairman of the Hong Kong branch of the Republican Party. He used to be an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, and his father was a senior agent in the CIA.

[Photo of Raymond Burghardt, Chairman of American Institute in Taiwan, at the Occupy Central site]

[Multiple photos Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy Secretary of Defense]

Towards the end of Occupy Central, the localists gained support, and once peaceful Hong Kong is no more.

Man wearing a black T-shirt with text on his back: “Hong Kong has always been a base for subversion.”

[Clips of Hong Konger clashing with police] “I’m a Hong Konger!” “I’m not a Chinese!”

[Voice of Hong Kong resident Mr. Lee:] “We want to live in peace. We want to have peaceful and happy life. When you don’t have food and have no job, you’ll know, because we have experienced that.”

 

We once experienced the chaos of war and the torment of poverty

The happiness of today is due to the ceaseless efforts and sacrifices of generations

A stable society with good public safety

A sense of security is like water and the air — we’ve long been accustomed to it

Indeed, happiness is not inevitable, because the shadow of war has never been far away

Social progress is never a smooth road

Peace and stability are the most important guarantees to fulfilling our dream of revitalization

Thoroughly expelling from China all “color revolutions” will be a long and arduous battle

It requires the vigilance and resistance of every one of us

Don’t believe lies. Don’t be gullible. Understand history, be resolute in your belief.

The new Great Wall will be forged through the thoughts and actions of all of us

‘If there’s a war, the veterans will answer the call and re-enlist’ is not merely the promise of every veteran soldier

It is the pledge made to the fatherland by every Chinese person

If there’s a war, the veterans will answer the call and re-enlist

In resisting “color revolutions,” everyone must do their part

 

*A delegation of Geneva Bar Association visits Beijing Bar Association in November, 2014. It’s striking how such a photo can be used against a Chinese lawyer.

**Alex Tsui was sacked in 1994 for questionable associations with a man under ICAC investigation.

 


Related:

After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’, China Change, July 15, 2016.

To American Bar Association With Regard to ABA Human Rights Award to Wang Yu, August 2016

The Vilification of Lawyer Wang Yu and Violence By Other Means, July 2015

 

 

China’s Most ‘Radical’ Political Prisoner Dies in Jail

China Change, November 30, 2016

 

image2-2Peng Ming (彭明), one of a handful of Chinese political prisoners serving a life sentence, died in Xianning prison, Hubei Province, on November 29, according to his relatives in China. The head of the prison told Peng’s brother in Wuhan, the provincial capital, that Peng Ming suddenly fell down while watching TV, and died in hospital after being rushed in for emergency treatment. No autopsy or forensic report has yet been performed.

But China Change learned today from a close family friend that Peng Ming’s sister believes he was murdered; a public statement from the family is forthcoming.  

To many who have been tracking human rights in China over the years, the name of the 62-year-old political prisoner may not be a familiar, or have become obscure with the passage of time. But the news of his death is reverberating in the dissident community inside and outside China. Indeed, many expressed doubt over the official version of events, particularly given the fact that Peng’s older brother visited him as recently as November 24, Thanksgiving Day, and reported that he appeared to be in good health. Peng had also recently written encouraging letters to his children in the United States; his daughter Lisa Peng (彭佳音) is a junior at Harvard University majoring in political science.

The brother, according to friends, has since been placed under house arrest to prevent him from speaking about Peng’s death.   

Unlike most dissidents, Peng Ming first enjoyed a successful career until his run-in with the authorities. His achievements, impressive for his age, were mostly forged in the 1990s, a time of opportunity and imagination in China. He was editor-in-chief of “Friends of Entrepreneurs” magazine, CEO of a company under the Ministry of Aerospace Industry known as the Aerospace General Electric Group (航太航空通用电气集团), chairman of Beijing Urban Construction Group (北京城建集团), and director of China Institute for Development and Economic Strategy (中国发展经济战略研究所). The series of appointments represents the paragon of a successful businessman plugged directly into the official system.

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“The Fourth Landmark,” still available online. 

Peng was also the author “The Fourth Landmark” (《第四座丰碑》), sponsored by the Ford Foundation and published in Taiwan in 1999. It argues that, succeeding Sun Yat-sen’s “Three People’s Principles” revolution, Mao Zedong’s communist revolution, and Deng Xiaoping’s reform and open-up, China needs a fourth revolution for the 21st century.

In June, 1998, Peng Ming founded “China Development Union” (中国发展联合会) with Chinese dissidents to promote a path to development through environmentalism and constitutionalism. The organization boasted over 10,000 members and made a splash at the time. According to a TED talk by Lisa Peng in 2014, it was “a think-tank established to address the censored topics of human rights, free speech and democracy.” Merely a few months later, in October 1998, the Chinese government declared the organization illegal and sentenced Peng Ming to 18 months in a labor camp.

Upon his release, Peng was surveilled and threatened with more jail time. The family decided to flee China by escaping to Vietnam, then Thailand. They eventually arrived in the United States in August 2001 as UN refugees.

Based in the Bay Area in California, Peng Ming continued his activism. In early 2003, he established the “China Federal Interim Committee” (中国联邦临时委员会) and an “interim government.” Its mission was to unite anti-communist forces overseas, end one-party rule in China in three to five years using any means, and then establish a Chinese federation. This is what he called “The Democracy Project”(民主工程).

According to Peng Ming’s own defense, he entered Myanmar from Thailand on May 22, 2004, with a travel document issued by the U.S. government to asylees. Once there he was kidnapped by Chinese agents and soldiers of the Burmese communist People’s Army. On May 28, he was taken back to China and on July 23 formally arrested under orders of the Wuhan People’s Procuratorate. On February 23, 2005, he was indicted.

pengming_lisa-peng-on-capitol-hill

Lisa Peng during a Congressional hearing in 2013.

It was widely believed that Peng Ming’s plan was to establish an armed resistance base in the border area of Myanmar and China.

On October 12, 2005, the Wuhan Second Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Peng to life imprisonment, and a lifetime deprivation of political rights, for “the crime of organizing and leading a terrorist organization.” The indictment states that beginning in 2001 Peng published articles online, as well as wrote the book “The Democracy Project,” which called for the violent overthrow of the Chinese regime. The court also declared that Peng was guilty of kidnapping and the possession of counterfeit currency (the evidence on which these charges are based is unclear).

Peng Ming’s story is redolent of that of another overseas Chinese dissident, Wang Bingzhang (王炳章), who was kidnapped from Vietnam in 2002 and is currently serving a life sentence in Shaoguan Prison, Guangdong. Years of campaigning by relatives and human rights organizations have failed to secure his release.

 

Sources:

http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/china_dissident-20051014.html
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/pengmin-20051018.html
http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/china_dissident-20051014.html
http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/138898-20040618.html

 

pengming_%e6%b0%91%e4%b8%bb%e5%b7%a5%e7%a8%8b1China Change offers below a translation of the table of contents of Peng’s book “The Democracy Project” (《民主工程》) in order to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the man and his uncanny insights, which ring even truer today than when they were written 15 years ago. The book is meant to be a practical handbook, providing specific advice for the set of institutions that would replace the Chinese Communist Party, as well as the means of a prospective opposition movement to do so. Readers are advised that the presentation of Peng’s ideas does not represent an endorsement of them by China Change. — The Editors

The Democracy Project

By Peng Ming

One of the Greatest Global Projects of Social Change in the Early Years of the 21st Century

Establishing a Provisional Federal Government

Replacing the Chinese Communist Dictatorship

Publisher: China Federal Government Development Committee Publishing House

Table of Contents

 Chapter One: The Chinese Communist Dictatorship Must be Ended as Soon as Possible

Part One: The need to improve human rights in China

  1. The CCP will continue depriving citizens of political rights, crush to the greatest extent possible the space for activism, and eliminate dissident forces in their nascent stages
  2. Ethnic minority protests in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia will be pitilessly and comprehensively crushed
  3. The broad population of middle- and low-income earners will have their basic livelihoods increasingly threatened

Part Two: The need to prevent a large-scale economic and social crisis

  1. China’s economic bloat
  2. A bloated economy is beneficial to the consolidation of regime power
  3. China’s economic maladies
  4. An economic crisis is unavoidable
  5. The international impact of an economic crisis

Part Three: The need to avoid the outbreak of war across the Taiwan Strait

  1. The flames of nationalistic sentiment fanned by the Communist Party among the public, intellectual elite, and military will force the CCP into military confrontation with Taiwan
  2. Provoking a war to divert attention from domestic crises
  3. Jiang Zemin, whether for self-aggrandizement, a show of achievement, or to extend his power, may set off a war with Taiwan
  4. Taiwan’s own conflicted attitudes and behavior may lead to the CCP using military force
  5. The ambiguity of U.S. policy may lead the CCP to take desperate risks

Part Four: The need for long-term security and stability in the Asia-Pacific

  1. A conflict in the South China Sea is unavoidable
  2. Provocations in the Senkaku Islands have already begun
  3. Territorial disputes with India will arise once again
  4. The CCP will proliferate nuclear weapon and guided missile technology to Pakistan, weakening India’s military position and imperiling security in South Asia
  5. The CCP will secretly hinder the unification of North and South Korea, and encourage the North to be militaristic and belligerent

Chapter Two: The Failure of ‘Peaceful Evolution’ and the Uncertainty Ahead

Part One: The West’s strategy of peaceful evolution worked in the Soviet bloc of Eastern Europe, but has failed in China

  1. Differences in people
  2. Differences in culture
  3. Differences in national character
  4. Differences in level of development
  5. Differences in how much effort the West has put into peaceful evolution
  6. Differences in counter-measures

Part Two: The failure of U.S. administrations to change China’s regime through engagement

  1. The result of implementing a policy of regime change through engagement
  2. Why regime change through engagement failed
  3. The consequences of continuing the policy
  4. The choice for America’s China policy in the future: “a high-pressure push for change”

Part Three: A repeat of Taiwan’s peaceful transition can’t take place in China

  1. Differences in basic ideology
  2. Differences in international circumstances
  3. Differences in internal repression
  4. Differences in historical baggage
  5. Differences in levels of development
  6. Differences in blood debts against the people
  7. Differences in vested interest groups

Part Four: Without external pressure, the process of CCP self-reform will be an extremely drawn-out process

  1. Under certain conditions, dictatorships can survive long term
  2. Regimes without popular support can also survive long term
  3. The CCP is an organism with the ability to learn, adapt, self-correct, and extricate itself from crises
  4. The Party has a strict set of regressive mechanisms that weed out high-capability individuals and great leaders from gaining entry to elite politics

Chapter Three: The ‘Gray Path’ to Realizing Democracy in China

Part One: The first path: red

  1. The basic ideology: ‘red’ [revolutionary] culture
  2. Political appeals
  3. The means of operation
  4. Leader type
  5. Those relied upon
  6. International support
  7. Analyzing the evidence
  8. Basic judgments

Part Two: The second path: blue

  1. The basic ideology: blue [democratic] culture
  2. Political appeals
  3. The means of operation
  4. Leader type
  5. Those relied upon
  6. International support
  7. Analyzing the evidence
  8. Basic judgments

Part Three: The third path: green

  1. The basic ideology: green [ecological] culture
  2. Political appeals
  3. The means of operation
  4. Leader type
  5. Those relied upon
  6. International support
  7. Analyzing the evidence
  8. Basic judgements

Part Four: The gray path and the way out

  1. The gray path = red methods + a blue leader + green ideology

Chapter Four: The Design of the Democratic Project and the Establishment of a Provisional Government

Part One: Establishing a provisional government is a precondition and guarantee for realization of the democratic project

  1. Establishing a provisional government is necessary for mobilizing the public
    1. If you want the public involved, they must first recognize and believe in you
    2. If you want the public involved, it needs to benefit them in some way
    3. If you want the public involved, you’ve got to give them a deep and unshakeable hope for the future
    4. If you want the public involved, their risks need to be lowered to the minimum
  2. Establishing a provisional government is essential for integrating all the anti-CCP forces
  3. Establishing a provisional government is necessary for securing international support
  4. Establishing a provisional government is needed to give the CCP a shock
  5. Establishing a provisional government is needed to invigorate the overseas democracy movement.

Part Two: The structure of the provisional government

  1. A Chinese Federation
  2. The Federation of China
    1. Composition and distinctions
    2. Jurisdiction and relationships
  3. The federal government
    1. The presidency
    2. The Cabinet
    3. The legislature
    4. The courts
    5. The military
  4. The federal Cabinet
    1. Operational norms
    2. Permanent structures and functions

Part Three: Getting the democracy project started

  1. Preparing to establish the provisional government
  2. Starting operations: Grasp the central theme, lay a sound foundation, prepare for a comprehensive campaign
    1. Raise a war chest
    2. Set up a headquarters and regional bases
    3. Recruit and train personnel
    4. Set up lines of communication and an intelligence network
    5. Establish an underground governing network
    6. Prepare the ability to strike
  3. Map out the plan for a general offensive
    1. Find and take aim at targets
    2. Designate four primary battle tactics
    3. Deploy measures for toppling the system

Chapter Five: Roll Out the Democracy Project, Gain Power in Three Years

Part One: Launch a surprise attack, shaking the foundations of CCP rule

  1. Use all four battle tactics — publish Nos. 1-4 of the “Announcement to All Chinese People”
  2. Use the momentum to retake the country, comprehensively wresting power by the CCP
    1. Publish “Announcement to All Chinese People” No. 5
    2. The CCP’s collapse
    3. A round-table conference and the unification of the interim government
  3. Restore order and prepare for political reform

Part Two: Carry out the plan for political reform

  1. Promulgate the Constitution, formally establishing the federation
  2. Establish the legislature and hold a legislative election
  3. Directly-elect the president and form a Cabinet
  4. Select members for the Supreme Court
  5. Establish governments in every province
  6. The new Cabinet puts forward the “project to revitalize the federation,” at which point the democracy project is basically complete, and the project for rebuilding the country has begun

Part Three: Implement the project to revitalize the federation — four major programs

  1. Adjust security and defense needs
  2. Establish a comprehensive social security system and plan for regulating the population
    1. Three basic subsistence guarantees for unemployment, retirement, and healthcare
    2. Nine years of free elementary education
    3. Population regulations: control the quantity, optimize the quality
  3. A plan to invigorate the economy and regain territorial integrity
    1. Emergency reform measures: currency, finance and taxation, foreign trade, and state-owned enterprises
    2. Medium to long-range plans: One measure, two projects, three main goals
  4. A plan to re-establish faith and virtue
    1. Restore [freedom of] belief
    2. Awaken the conscience of the people
    3. Rebuild morality — draw up a “China’s Classics of Virtue”
    4. Strengthen the role of grassroots autonomy and family and clan ties

 

(For photos of the Table of Content in original Chinese, check out here.)  

 

 

 

 

The World According to a CCTV Journalist Based in London

Yaxue Cao, November 27, 2016

 

liu-huizhen

 

Ms. Liu Huizhen (刘惠珍) is a villager in the District of Fangshan (房山区), on the southwestern outskirts of Beijing. She’s a victim of forced demolition who fought hard to preserve her property but lost it anyway. This year, she is one of the 70 or so Beijing residents who organized to compete for seats as district People’s Representatives. China held its once-every-five-year grassroots elections for county-district level People’s Representatives on November 15. In a joint statement, Ms. Liu and other independent candidates promised that “they will make sure every voter knows who they are and how to reach them with their problems, and as their representatives, will monitor the government and its functions.”

Financial Times, Washington Post, and other media outlets reported Ms. Liu’s candidacy. On November 17, BBC posted a striking 5-minute video of its Beijing correspondent John Sudworth visiting Ms. Liu, showing him blocked and manhandled by a throng of plainclothes cops, or government-hired thugs. The video went viral on WeChat, and got a lot of play on Twitter too.

On November 19, a CCTV journalist based in London — according to her Twitter bio in any case — with the handle @KongLinlin, accused John Sudworth of making “fake” news. She has since been identified as Kong Linlin (孔琳琳).

Several Twitter users, including BBC’s Stephen McDonell, asked her to point out which part of John Sudworth’s reporting was fake. She replied in Chinese:

“Liu Huizhen has been party to a lawsuit because of a housing demolition, and a BBC journalist in China got himself involved in the Chinese judiciary, trying to artificially lump together Chinese grassroots elections with a demolition suit. When he reported for Western audiences, he made no mention of the woman’s background, misleading people exactly the way he reported the Obama Red Carpet Gate.”

Ms. Kong is referring to the fact that Liu sued Fangshan District Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Committee for unlawful demolition and lost in the first instance and then, in 2015, the appeal.

In his reporting, Sudworth made no mention of the demolition suit, as it’s irrelevant to the elections. So how did Sudworth “artificially lump together Chinese grassroots elections with a demolition suit”?

Does Liu’s “background” matter in the elections, and in her role as an independent candidate? It appears to me that it’s the CCTV reporter who’s lumping together Liu Huizhen’s lawsuit with her participation in the elections.

Ms. Kong went on to explain why the story is supposedly fake:

“Isn’t he deliberately blurring this woman’s lawsuit and using Western political concepts to get involved in China’s rural economic disputes? Hasn’t he been making hate propaganda for BBC?” (Emphasis in original.)

Continuing to explain the alleged falsity of Sudworth’s reporting, she tweeted (English her own): “Deliberately reporting on unclear fact , depend on single resource ,misleading the audience .That is also a fake news.” (A Twitter user commented: “this is not how you type punctuation.”)

She picked it up some two hours later on November 20:

“A Chinese person who doesn’t abide by Chinese election laws but fantasizes that she can ‘participate’ in elections in the American way. It’s inevitable that she’d be ‘locked up’. Ms. Liu also supported Hong Kong independence — how could she have the right to be elected?”

According to Article 3 of China’s Electoral Law, “All citizens of the People’s Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 shall have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence. Persons who have been deprived of political rights according to the law shall not have the right to vote and stand for election.”

Ms. Liu may have lost a civil lawsuit against her local government, but she’s not a criminal and has not been deprived of political rights. In November 2014, Liu and nine others in Beijing were detained for holding signs to support the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, and she was released after seven months in detention.

By now, many Chinese Twitter users were arguing with and ridiculing Kong Linlin.

A few hours later, Ms. Liu Huizhen, who recently joined Twitter, became aware of the unfolding argument and tweeted: “You are a Chinese journalist, and you have no regard for fact. All you do is sing the praise [of the Party]. Have you eaten up your own conscience?”

“I’m Liu Huizhen,” she continued, “they blocked me from leaving my home because I declared that I would take part in the elections as a candidate. The world wouldn’t know such ugliness if the BBC didn’t happen to capture the truth. Ms. Kong Linlin, you may eat you dog food with your conscience unperturbed, but you’ve got no right to insult me!”

“I’ve decided to tweet more details of my candidacy. @KongLinlin, open up your titanium dog eyes to see who’s violating the law,” Liu went on.

I submitted my name [to the district’s electoral committee] in mid-October, 2016 to stand for election. Around 10 am on October 30, I picked up the voter recommendation form and candidate CV form. Around noon on the same day, I began to seek support in the No. 50 electoral zone. By the next day, 24 voters in my zone had signed on to recommend me as a candidate for office of People’s Representative.”

According to Article 29 of China’s Electoral Law, any citizen with the recommendation of 10 or more voters can enter the primary selection.

 

Liu continued, “What the BBC video revealed was only a tiny fraction of my far more complicated experience. The repressive agents were so blatant that not even policemen dared intervene. So you tell me: who is backing them? I can’t imagine there are journalists like Kong Linlin who would defend them! I ask the whole world to judge this. Thank you everyone!”

She attached photographs of the neighborhood posting of five candidates for the No. 50 electoral zone, and her ballot, where she wrote in herself and another candidate.

 

An hour later, the CCTV journalist resumed her attack:

“You should also disclose how you received guidance, and how much funding you received, from overseas anti-China hostile forces.”

How did BBC accidentally videotape you? How did you accidentally have photos as proof when you supported Hong Kong independence? You’ve actively taken part in anti-China political activities. Stop pretending you’re an innocent village woman.”

Ms. Kong provided no evidence for these accusations. To a Twitter user who pointed out her distorted logic, she replied: “I also support legitimate candidates who use the ballot to gain rights, but those who are funded by foreign political forces will have no lawful right to stand for elections in China.”

To a Twitter user who criticized the Chinese government’s use of thuggery to stop independent candidates, Ms. Kong has this to say: “China prohibits the use of illegal assembly to participate in People’s Representative elections. If [she] wants to be elected as a representative the American way, [she] should go to the United States.”

liuhuizhen

On November 3, 50 or so supporters came to Changyang Township to campaign for Liu. I suppose this is the “illegal assembly” Ms. Kong was referring to. 

 

One comment asked Ms. Kong: “How many people together constitute ‘illegal assembly’?” while another comment pointed out: “So far, Ms. Liu’s ‘violation’ of the law only existed in your mouth, but I saw with my own eyes the violation of law by the thugs, I also see that you are defending such violations of the law. …By defending such violations of the law, you don’t show your high ground in rule-of-law thinking, but the lowness of your moral standard.”

To a Twitter user who asked Ms. Kong to explain what a “legitimate” candidate is, she replied:

“First of all, [a candidate] cannot be manipulated by foreign forces. This is a basic requirement for candidates in any country.” She didn’t reply when the same Twitter user asked her: “Which law defines whether or not a candidate is ‘manipulated by foreign forces’? Who has the right to define it? Through what procedures is it defined? Or is it just an arbitrary decision from the lips of the relevant organ?” (i.e. official government body.)

Finally, CCTV’s Kong Linlin had this to say to Ms. Liu Huizhen:

“Ms. Liu, to petition your case, you go to the court. Nobody is blocking you from taking part in the elections, except that you have to go through appropriate procedures and abide by Chinese law. You mix your petition with illegal assembly, and in addition, you collude with foreign forces, and support Hong Kong independence. You are doing so many things, and each one of them endangers the country. Don’t be sold out by those people in the end.”

Because of this prolonged argument between Ms. Kong Linlin and Ms. Liu Huizhen and a good number of Chinese Twitter users, I scrolled down Ms. Kong’s Twitter feed and had a few more peeks into her world:

konglinlin

Ms. Kong in the Calais Jungle, a former refugee camp in France, in October.

  • On UK public opinion against the Hinkley deal: “Very close mind .” (English her own.)
  • She likes to use the word “democrazy” to answer Twitter users who express disgust with her views.
  • On the Hamilton cast reading a statement to Vice President-elect Mike Pence: “Insult your audience is not the real free speech.” (English her own.)
  • On the execution of Jia Jinglong (贾敬龙): “If the case is so easy to judge ,why we need a professional judge .” (English her own.)
  • On Syria: “…it is all because of Obama.” (English her own.)
  • On the CCP and China today: “Chinese young people have to thank that big mountain that blocks the wind for them when they wear high-end earpieces and listen to music and discuss current affairs, spared of the fate of the Iraqi, Libyan, and Syrian refugees who are displaced or die on their journey because of the harm of color revolutions.”
  • On Western media: “To understand the evil side of western media , they try to provoke and make more troubles on the rising China.” [English her own]
  • On the UK: “Hahaha, The British,’ like a lion,they like to roar,but can no longer hunt.'” (English her own.)

 

 

Yaxue Cao edits this website. Follow her on Twitter @YaxueCao

 


Compare Ms. Kong’s worldview to that articulated in these two propaganda videos released during the trials of four lawyers and activists earlier this year:

China Claims Rights Lawyers and Dissidents Are Part of Vast American Conspiracy in 4-Minute Video, August 3, 2016.

China Smears Foreign Diplomats in Another 4-Minute Video, As Trials of Rights Lawyers and Activists Continue in Tianjin, August 4, 2016

 

Related:

‘We Have a Fake Election’: China Disrupts Local Campaigns, the New York Times, Nov. 15, 2016

For Over 36 Years, Grassroots Elections in China Have Made No Progress – An Interview With Hu Ping, China Change, Nov. 1, 2016

 

 

 

 

Open Letter to the Chinese Government and the World Media About the Suppression of Wukan

Zhuang Liehong, November 23, 2016

“Wukan is a big prison now. Scores of villagers have been detained, including my father. Police patrol the streets and roads, and life is difficult.” – Wukan villager Zhuang Liehong

 

wukan-protest-zhuang-liehong

Zhang Liehong arrived early on November 23 to protest on behalf of his village. A U. S.-China trade delegation is here for talks led by Wang Yang (汪洋), who presided over the first Wukan crackdown in 2011.

 

Wukan, a fishing village in eastern Guangdong Province, occupies an area of about 5,765 acres and has a population of 13,000. Since 1993, corrupt officials have conspired with businessmen to secretly sell off the collectively-owned, arable village land, and pocket the proceeds.

This led to large-scale petitions and protests to defend villagers’ rights from 2009 to 2011. As they fought for their land and for democracy in their village, Wukan residents were faced with extreme hardship, and the local government did everything it could — including plots and conspiracies — to deny and block these demands. In 2011, the authorities launched a crackdown on the village, and a number of the key villagers involved in defending their rights, including myself, were arrested. Xue Jinbo (薛锦波) was treated particularly cruelly, and died in prison.

Under the gaze of international media, then-Party chief of Guangdong Province (and current Politburo member and vice premier), Wang Yang (汪洋), made a show of goodwill, sending Zhu Mingguo (朱明国), then-vice Party secretary of Guangdong, to the village to ease tensions, affirm that the villagers’ demands were legitimate, and promise that the demands would be met. Now, however, it appears that all this was simply the government buying time while the world was watching.

 

wukan-protest-stop-the-car

Zhang Liehong and fellow protesters stopped a vehicle of the Chinese delegation on Constitution Avenue. Chinese officials inside covered their faces with briefcases. Shamed?

 

In 2012, after Wukan formed its own democratically-elected village committee, the government used a range of methods to sow discord among villagers, erode the bonds of trust between them, lay traps for the most active village rights defense activists, and manipulate and control public opinion. Four years on, the government has put overwhelming emphasis on “stability maintenance” (meaning police and other security forces), and has not met any of the villagers’ demands for the return of the stolen land. Between 2012 and 2016, the authorities arrested one villager, (Zhang Dejia [张德家]), and sentenced three others — Hong Ruichao (洪锐潮), Yang Semao (杨色茂), and Lin Zuluan (林祖銮) — to prison.

In order to avoid the same fate, I fled to the United States on January 27, 2014, and applied for political asylum. For 85 days between June 19 and September 12, 2016, Wukan villagers organized daily protest marches through the streets, with about 4,000 participants every day.

On September 13, they were violently suppressed by thousands of riot police.

wukan-xuejinbo

Xue Jinbo (薛锦波), one of the leaders of Wukan uprising in 2011, died after two days in custody.

At about 3 a.m. on September 13, a battalion of armed police moved on the village, raiding houses and arresting 13 villagers that the government considered to be the most high-profile, including my father, Zhuang Songkun (庄松坤). Come dawn, thousands of fully-armed People’s Armed Police locked down village street intersections, dividing the crowd and then crushing the protest. They fired countless rounds of rubber bullets, and volleyed canisters of tear gas and shock grenades into the unarmed villagers. Then they began surrounding and violently beating villagers, without regard to whether they were old, women, or children. Faced with this violent, armed suppression, villagers resorted to throwing rocks and bricks. Hundreds of villagers were injured during the conflict, and reports indicate that an old woman died after being shot twice with rubber bullets. Nearly 100 villagers are believed to have been arrested.

Following the incident a large number of armed police, SWAT teams, and plainclothes officers installed themselves on practically every street corner in the village, even organizing patrols along the thoroughfares and back alleys. They severed internet access to block news about what happened from getting out, and stopped Hong Kong and international media from getting in. While all this was taking place, official media published gravely false reports about the suppression of the village. In the nearly three months since then, Wukan has become one big prison. Heavily armed riot police patrol the streets and alleys, members of the village Party committee act as spies, and the arbitrary arrest of villagers continues.

image1-4

“Wang Yang killed Xue Jinbo.”

There are multiple indications that the violent suppression of Wukan this time was carried out on the direct orders of the Guangdong provincial government. Reports say that the vice-secretary of Guangdong was commanding the suppression from the nearby city of Lufeng (陆丰市), and that the thousands of riot and SWAT police deployed had been mobilized from the Huizhou Military District (惠州军区). The only one authorized to bring this level of force to bear is the current Guangdong Party secretary, Hu Chunhua (胡春华), so I’m positive that the violent suppression of Wukan was ordered by him.

On September 19, activist Yao Cheng (姚诚), a friend, and I were on our way to the United Nations headquarters in New York City to protest, when we were accosted and harassed by over a dozen men in identical black suits and blue raincoats — apparently national security agents from Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s (李克强) security detail. After we all got into an argument, one of the men took an open letter I handed to him, addressed to the Chinese Consul General in New York. We proceeded to the designated area at the UN and held our protest as planned. The following morning, however, I was shocked to receive a telephone call from the Lufeng public security bureau, who had detained my father, and were forcing him to tell me to keep quiet. On the one hand I was so glad to be in America, yet also realized that my right to express myself freely here is still limited by the Chinese authorities, and my own personal safety is even put at risk.

image1-5

“Hold Hu Chunhua accountable.” The current Party secretary in Guangdong province, Hu presided over the brutal crackdown on Wukan in 2016.

Wukan is still fraught with tension and conflict: the villagers have had two thirds of their land stolen from them, and this already put their basic livelihood under enormous pressure. Now, the entire area has been turned into a jail. So many villagers have been badly injured and arrested, which is another severe blow. Many families don’t even have the money to pay for proper medical treatment, and now rely on relatives from nearby villages to send them rations just so they can survive.

For all these reasons, I make the following demands of the Chinese authorities:

I. Cease the suppression and detention of Wukan villagers;

II. Release Lin Zuluan, Hong Ruichao, Yang Semao, Wei Yonghan (魏永汉), Zhang Xiangkang (张向坑), Yang Jinzhen (杨锦贞), Yang Shaoji (杨少集), Liu Hanchai (刘汉钗), Hong Yongzhong (洪永忠), Zhuang Songkun, Lin Desheng (林德升) and all other Wukan villagers who sought to defend their legal rights to the village land, and release the body — or, if still alive, the person — of the 80-year-old grandmother who was shot twice at close range with rubber bullets and reportedly killed;

III. Arrange for the immediate medical care of the roughly 100 villagers who were severely injured by riot police, and who are now hiding in their homes attempting to recover;

IV. Return the stolen land to Wukan village;

V. Hold accountable the chief culprit that orchestrated the violent suppression of peaceful Wukan villagers on September 13: Guangdong Party Secretary Hu Chunhua.

Wukan villager Zhuang Liehong (庄烈宏)
Washington, D.C.
November 22, 2016


乌坎村民庄烈宏

 就乌坎镇压致汪洋和国际媒体的公开信

 

乌坎,是一个位于中国广东省东部的自然渔村,拥有土地面积约3.5万亩;人口1.3万。自1993年起,官商勾结暗中盗卖我乌坎村集体土地(耕地)资源,从而引发自2009年至2011年乌坎村集体上访和与当局政府的维权抗争。乌坎村人民在争取土地和民主途中所遇极其困难,政府以各种形式和阴谋阻止乌坎实现诉求。2011年政府对乌坎村进行镇压,包括我本人在内的几名维权首要村民被抓捕,薛锦波更在被捕后惨死狱中。在国际媒体的关注下,时任广东省委书记汪洋政府释出善意,特派时任省副书记朱明国进村平息民愤,承认乌坎村民的诉求是合法的,并承诺解决乌坎诉求。现在看来这只是政府面对国际舆论的一个暂时让步而已。

在2012年乌坎成立民选村委会后,政府利用各种手段,对牵头维权的村民布局陷阱,分化村民之间的信任关系,控制舆论自由等。4年以来当局以维稳为重,并未兑现乌坎村民的土地诉求。在2012年至2016年间,当局分别逮捕和判处一名村民(张德家)和三名维权领导人徒刑(洪锐潮、杨色茂和林祖銮)。我本人为了躲避迫害而于2014年1月27来到美国寻求政治庇护。2016年6月19日至9月12日共85天期间,村民自发每天在乌坎村道游行抗议,每天参与人数4千多人,直至9月13日乌坎村遭几千警力暴力镇压。

9月13日凌晨3点钟大批武装部队分别同时入屋抓捕13名政府认为在游行抗议中比较高调的村民,当中包括本人的父亲(庄松坤)。天亮后几千名全武装武警部队分别封锁村各个路口,并对我乌坎村人民进行切割式镇压,对村民展开无数次橡胶子弹枪射击、投放催泪弹和震撼弹,镇压中没有顾忌地对老人、村妇、孩童等实施围殴等暴力手段。面对全武装的军警镇压,手无寸铁的村民以路边砖块还击,事发中造成几百名村民身受重伤,拟似一名老太太身中两枪死亡。70多名村民在对峙中被捕。

事后,大批武警、特警和便衣警察在通往村里的每个路口、乃至村内的大街小巷布防和巡逻,同时切断网络,封锁现场消息流出,以及阻止香港和世界各地的境外记者进村采访。与此同时,国内官方媒体对乌坎镇压做了严重失实的报道。自九月以来的三个多月以来,乌坎村如同一个大监狱,村中大街小巷每天都有全副武装的武警分批巡逻,村党总支部人员充当间谍,当局对村民的任意抓捕行为仍在继续中。

各种迹象表明,此次对乌坎村的镇压是由广东省政府下令。据悉广东副省长坐镇陆丰市政府指挥,几千名镇压乌坎村的武警、特警由广东省惠州军区调遣,然而能行驶这等权利者唯有广东省现任省委书记(胡春华)。因此我肯定对此次乌坎暴力镇压是胡春华所为。

9月19日,我与姚诚先生以及一名好友前往纽约联合国总部前举标语抗议的途中,受到十几名身穿统一黑色西装和蓝色雨衣、貌似李克强跟从的国保人士的阻挠。在与他们一番争吵后,其中一人接过了我的一封《致中国驻纽约领事馆公开信》。 随后我们按计划前往纽约联合国总部前的示威区域举标语抗议。没想到第二天早上我即收到陆丰公安局人员打来电话,让在看守所中的父亲劝我封口。我庆幸自己来到了美国,然而虽然身在美国,但自由表达权利仍然受中国当局干扰,甚至感到人身安全受到威胁。

乌坎如今是一个千疮百孔的村庄。乌坎人民因无法追回近两万亩失地,本来已面临巨大的生存压力,如今更是活在一个大监狱中。许多村民受伤和被捕,导致经济严重受创,很多家庭无法给伤者提供正常治疗,甚至靠向外村亲戚借口粮维持生存。

诉求1:停止镇压、停止看守乌坎人民。

诉求2:释放林祖恋、洪锐潮、杨色茂、魏永汉、蔡加磷、张向坑、杨锦贞、杨少集、刘汉钗、洪永忠、庄松坤、林德升等所有参与土地维权的乌坎村民,归还对乌坎镇压中拟似受两枪近距离橡胶子弹射击至死的80岁老奶奶(钱秀香)的尸体,或释放其人。

诉求3:帮助治疗对乌坎镇压中100多名身受重伤的村民及其家庭度过难关。

诉求4:归还乌坎村被盗卖的土地。

诉求5:问责9月13日暴力镇压乌坎人民的刽子手——广东省委书记胡春华。

乌坎村民:庄烈宏

发于:华盛顿D.C.

2016年11月22日