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In the Prison of China – The Journey of Dr. Wang Bingzhang (2)

By Yaxue Cao, published: October 4, 2013

 

Abandoning Medicine to Become a Democracy Leader

The same day Wang Bingzhang completed his dissertation defense in September 1982, he asked his brother Bingwu, an engineering graduate student also attending McGill University, about future options. To return to China in glory and enjoy boundless prospects was Bingwu’s answer. But he didn’t know his older brother had long made up his mind to be something else.

Wasting no time, Dr. Wang went to New York to look for like-minded people along with a detailed plan for setting up a magazine. On November 17, 1982, he and his friends held a press conference in Room 524 of the Hilton Hotel to announce the founding of China Spring. The same day he published in the World Journal (《世界日报》), the largest Chinese newspaper in America, his announcement to abandon medicine and become a campaigner for democracy in China.

“I am a Chinese physician,” he began. “I took part in the Cultural Revolution during medical school, I was a Red Guard but became disillusioned. Upon graduation I was banished to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.”

He hinted at his involvement in the ill-fated Xidan Democracy Wall Movement in Beijing in the spring of 1979 when he was preparing to studying abroad, and the deep reflection induced by the sudden arrest of Wei Jingsheng who, on the democracy wall, called for China’s “fifth modernization,” or democracy, beyond the four modernizations outlined by Deng Xiaoping.

“The new emerging democratic movement in contemporary China needs activists. From now on, I will put down my beloved physician’s stethoscope and put on that of a social observer to diagnose China’s social ills. I will lay down the cherished scalpels of a surgeon and pick up those of a social reformer to remove the ulcers and tumors of Chinese society. The road ahead will be thorny and arduous, but it will be the road to light and hope.”

The next day, the New York Times ran a story titled Student from China Defects to Establish New Rights Journal. It sounds hesitant as if not knowing what to make of the event, and nearly one third of the 370-word story is spent combing through a string of numbers: how many students China had sent to study abroad, how many applied for political asylum, and how many were rejected.

The word choice “defect” does not help.

China Spring and Chinese Alliance for Democracy

The inaugural issue of China Spring (《中国之春》) was published a month later in December by a group of like-minded Chinese students and members of the overseas Chinese communities and organizations led by Dr. Wang Bingzhang. In its “Letter to Chinese around the World,” it proclaimed to “firmly raise the flag against feudalism and dictatorship, against bureaucracy and privilege, and to push for the realization of true democracy, rule of law, freedoms and human rights in China.”

China Spring, inaugural issue.

China Spring, inaugural issue.

The publication was a big event to New York’s Chinese communities and beyond. It quickly sold hundreds of copies and had to be reprinted. It received so much mail from around the world, even a few from inside China, that the post office had to deliver them in bags.

As the group set up the magazine, it also sent people to universities across the US, and as far as Paris, to hold lectures and recruit followers. According to the New York Times, there were over 10,000 Chinese students studying in the US around that time, and roughly half of them were sent by the Chinese government.

In the second issue in March 1983, China Spring defined what would constitute the first steps of political reform in China: Lift the ban on a free press; lift the ban on forming political parties; freedom from political interference by the military; and freedom from political prisoners.

In an editorial titled Let’s Paint the Future of the Fatherland in the third issue of China Spring in May 1983, Dr. Wang Bingzhang and his co-author Mr. Huan Guocang (宦国苍) proposed five goals for political reform and five goals for economic reform. The five goals for political reform were: 1. Abolish one-party rule; 2. Separation of party from the  government, military and judiciary; 3. Separation of the executive, the legislation and the judiciary; 4. Direct election of national leaders; and 5. Federalism. The five goals for economic reform were: 1. Establish a market economy; 2. The co-existence of multiple economic systems; 3. Protection of private property; 4. Independent unions; and 5. Farmers’ land ownership and usage rights.

This was when the name of Brezhnev was still warm on people’s lips and Taiwan would not be lifting its ban on a free press and other political parties for another five years.

Thirty years later in 2013, China’s state media is crusading against universal values, citizens are locked up in prisons for basic political expression, and liberal intellectuals are being shut up for making calls that are timid compared to that of Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s in 1983.

Dr. Wang Bingzhang travelled to Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere to speak to the Chinese communities and establish connections. He once said that the frontline of China Spring was not in the US but in Hong Kong. In the years to come, he would interact with Taiwan’s Nationalist government (Kuomingtang) under Chiang Chang-kuo. But that connection was eventually severed. It is said that he had the imprudence to propose an opposition party in Taiwan when the authoritarian KMT was scrambling to contain an opposition movement on the island.

On the last day of 1983, China Spring announced the formation of the Chinese Alliance for Democracy (中国民主团结联盟), the first organization dedicated to the democratic movement in mainland China.

Dr. Wang Bingzhang and his friends lived in New York City’s slums, labored long hours, and suffered from chronicle money shortages and through incessant internal strife, in anonymity to much of the English-speaking world. The Alliance was said to have more than 3,000 members in those years.

In May 1987, the New York Times sought out Dr. Wang Bingzhang again, this time  because his organization had been denounced by China as ”politically, economically, culturally, morally and hygienically detrimental to China” as the CCP launched a political “campaign against capitalist liberalization” earlier that year that resulted in the removal of Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦), the then party Secretary. CHINA OPPOSITION THRIVES IN QUEENS, the NYT reported, describing Dr. Wang as a man with “bland manners” who spoke quietly, and China Spring, now over four years old, as “a monthly collection of political analysis, profiles, documents and commentary” that “first caused a stir among Chinese scholars and students in the United States” and then rattled the Chinese government.

(Doesn’t the “campaign against capitalist liberalization” sound familiar? With hardly the need to change a word, it can be re-cycled to describe the vehement campaign in 2013 against constitutionalism and universal values.)

According to NYT, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was criticized for being sensational by some for his criticism of birth control, for the materials his magazine had selected, including “student wall posters lambasting the country’s leaders.” Why—I caught myself thinking, how much Dr. Wang Bingzhang would relish the Never-ending Weibo Spoof Fest these days!

“Dr. Wang predicted that students in China, who in December and January staged anti-Government demonstrations that brought about crackdowns on dissent, were ‘just waiting for another chance.’”

That student movement indeed happened in the spring and early summer of 1989, and remains the single most inspiring event over the last two decades in China and is still feared by the Chinese government. Sadly for Dr. Wang Bingzhang, he was ousted from the chair of Chinese Alliance for Democracy that same spring due to internal strife.

Godfather of Opposition Parties

Dr. Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) in the 1990s.

Dr. Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) in the 1990s.

Ousted but still active in the movement, he became an insurance broker for MetLife, and his clientele consisted of connections he had built over the years in the Chinese American communities. He traveled around the country, giving passionate speeches about the democracy movement he had spearheaded and selling insurance afterward. He was allowed to advertise in China Spring, and in return, he was required to give 70% of what he made beyond $30,000 a year to the organization.

He became a star broker. He bought a little house in Long Island and furnished it with odd pieces of discarded furniture. But he was soon accused of not handing out enough of his earning, and his clients were urged to withdraw their patronage. Two years later, his house was foreclosed on, and his wife returned to Canada with their young children.

Throughout the nineties, as a steady flow of Chinese dissidents and liberal intellectuals arrived in the US following the Tian’anmen movement, Dr. Wang Bingzhang made several attempts to work with them to form new opposition parties without success. In early 1998, he used a falsified ID to sneaked back into China to form the Democracy Party. Two weeks into his trip, he was arrested and subsequently deported, most likely due to China’s eagerness to host President Clinton’s visit that year and its ongoing effort to join WTO. But the Chinese government arrested everyone who had met with him and handed each heavy sentences.

Dr. Wang was roundly condemned by overseas democracy leaders, many of them his former colleagues and friends. On the other hand, the Democracy Party of China still exists today inside China and its members are routinely imprisoned or harassed, and some are serving second or third prison terms, such as Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌) and Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫).

His friend Wang Min (汪岷), an early editor of China Spring, wrote two years ago, “Unlike all of the other overseas democratic movement leaders who sat and pontificated, Wang Bingzhang was the only one who rose and walked the walk. Onward from the Alliance, he was involved in every attempt to form opposition parties. He was, without exaggeration, the godfather of China’s opposition parties.”

I admit that, writing this brief profile of Dr. Wang Bingzhang, I am in no capacity to sort out all the strife and accusations from the 1980s and the 1990s, nor can I say I have learned enough about Dr. Wang Bingzhang. But when people who personally knew or worked with Dr. Wang pointed out that he spoke ill of no one despite the fact that he was often the target of some of the verbal wars, I really appreciate it, to the point of feeling a tenderness toward the man, because even to the most casual observers like myself, the overseas democratic movement is best known for, alas, personal attacks and pettiness and for its steady decline after Dr. Wang.

The Handbook and Rebuilding the Republic of China

In 1997, Dr. Wang Bingzhang published a pamphlet titled The Path to China’s Democratic Revolution (《中国民主革命之路》), also known as the Handbook of the Democratic Movement (《民运手册──中国民主化运动百题问答》). In eight parts and answering 120 questions, he discussed topics such as why China had yet to make the democratic transformation, the legitimate strategies and tactics of the movement, issues about Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet, his ideal China. He also refuted some prevalent misconceptions about the movement.

The book became controversial because it promoted “revolutionary practices” that in today can be regarded as terrorist tactics. He floated the idea of occupying a city, for example, creating the modern-day version of the “Wuchang Uprising” in the 1911 revolution that toppled the Qing Dynasty.

In a 2004 commentary appearing on Radio Free Asia, Zhang Weiguo (张伟国), chief editor of Trend magazine (《动向》) in Hong Kong, put Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s ideas into perspective. “When Wang Bingzhang founded China Spring and the Chinese Alliance for Democracy, he was a moderate and did not promote direct revolution, at least it is not documented,” he wrote. “His revolutionary ideas seemed to have formed after June 4th, 1989 …… as the CCP’s dictatorship had blocked all possible paths to peaceful democratic reform. I believe that, given the current social environment in mainland China, even if there had been no Wang Bingzhang, there would be Li Bingzhang, Liu Bingzhang …who would embrace the idea of revolution.”

“Revolution,” Dr. Wang Bingzhang wrote, “is not a matter of whether you like it or not. It will occur when it becomes inevitable, and it is a matter whether or not the rulers will have created conditions for it.” “Revolution doesn’t have to mean replacing one tyranny with another,” he wrote. He gave the American War of Independence as one of the best examples. “On the other hand,” he continued, “regimes established through peaceful means are not necessarily democratic,” and he gave Hitler in Germany and Marcos in Philippines as examples.

As I write, a heated discussion about violence and non-violence is going on in Twitter’s Chinese community for the 100th time. I can tell you outright there is no shortage of Li Bingzhangs and Liu Bingzhangs, and Dr. Wang Bingzhang was right about the matter being largely in the hands of the rulers, not the people.

In March 2000, Dr. Wang Bingzhang published an essay titled Rebuilding the Republic of China (《重建中华民国》). “Rebuild,” he wrote, “means to restore what was there before it had been destroyed.” The logic for rebuilding the Republic of China, he wrote, was clear: The Chinese nation had a republican, democratic regime before, and the Constitution of the Republic of China, passed in November 1946 in Nanjing by the National Assembly to Formulate the Constitution (制宪国民代表大会), was “more democratic than the American Constitution” (Hu Shi, 胡适).

Dr. Wang Bingzhang advocated “uniting China with democracy” and restoring the Republic of China as a simple and convenient replacement of the CCP regime.

He’s not alone in this. Returning to the pre-1949 era has had a growing following in today’s China. On Weibo and elsewhere, you will catch a glimpse of the flag of the Republic here and there, and dissident Chen Yongmiao (陈永苗) is a representative of this trend.

In the 119th question of the Handbook, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was asked, “For all these years, you have been on the go for your ideals, you have even risked your life, and you have led a very simple material life. So, what are your ideals anyway?”

“Drive off the Marxism and Leninism, restore Sun Yat-sen, overthrow the Chinese communist party, and rebuild the Republic of China.” In 16 Chinese characters, he thus crystallized his answer.

Kidnapped and Sentenced to Life in Prison

On June 27, 2002, while near China’s border with Vietnam with two others, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was kidnapped, according to accounts by his companions, and taken to China. On December 20 of that year, the official Xinhua News Agency announced his arrest, and he was charged with espionage and “violent terrorist activities.”

However, according to the New York Times, “the announcement gave few details of Mr. Wang’s supposed crimes, other than to say that he had passed state secrets to Taiwan and posted essays on the Internet related to terrorist acts, which threatened state security.”

There has been differing speculations regarding what Dr. Wang was doing in Vietnam, one being that he planned to sneak into China to lead an armed uprising, another being that he was in Vietnam to meet leaders of the workers’ movement. And there is a third theory. None has been established.

On February 2003, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was given a one-day trial held behind closed doors, during which he was not allowed to speak, no evidence was presented, and no witnesses were called. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by Shenzhen People’s Intermediate Court, the harshest sentence handed out to a political prisoner since 1978.

 

Related reading:

In the Prison of China – The Journey of Dr. Wang Bingzhang (1)

In the Prison of China – The Journey of Dr. Wang Bingzhang (3)

Challenging China: A Father’s Dream and a Daughter’s Destiny: Ti-Anna Wang at TEDxToronto

“In Prison with Dr. Wang Bingzhang”Times Square, New York, 47th and Broadway, ongoing.

Why Is Constitutionalism Impossible Under the CCP?

By Xiaokai Xiang

Published: July 8, 2013

 

The fundamental irreconcilability between constitutionalism and a Leninist political party. 

 

Xiang Xiaokai (项小凯)

Xiang Xiaokai (项小凯)

Recently, China’s state-owned media has issued a number of articles bombarding constitutionalism, starting a war of words. Among these, one that is rather weighty is an editorial in the Global Times, along with an article in the CCP Propaganda Department’s Dangjian magazine (《党建》) that bore the obvious signature of team writing. Several authoritative official media outlets such as the People’s Daily, the Guangming Daily, etc., which represent the standpoint of the central government, also all declared where they stood. We can pretty much conclude that this fully reflects the attitude of CCP top leadership towards “Western Constitutionalism.”

The question I want to ask though is this: Can China implement a constitutional government under the Communist Party? Regrettably, the answer is no if the question predicates on the CCP staying in power as China’s ruling party.

The concept of constitutionalism is quite simple. It requires that the ruler rules within the framework of a constitution. Of course, this extends from two basic principles of constitutionalism: the separation of three powers and law-making power granted by the people. These are not fresh concepts; they were already thoroughly discussed as far back as more than 300 years ago in the English philosopher John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government.

But the issue lies in that the party that rules China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is still a Leninist political party. It is not compatible with a separation-of-three-powers model, nor does it tolerate law-making power granted by the people. This is because in political paradigms, the Leninist party-state system has a fundamental conflict with the constitutional democracy model.

Origins of the Leninist Political Party

In 1912, under the influence of Lenin, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, which believed in Marxism, formally split. A faction with a relatively large number of people, the Bolsheviks, became a new party under the leadership of Lenin. It was seen as the first Leninist political party. In 1918, this party formally changed its name to the Communist Party of Russia.  In time, the word “communist party” became a term specifically used for Leninist political parties.

Leninist political parties use Marxist Communism as their creed. They believe that they represent the most advanced direction of development for humanity, and thus the legitimacy of the party is self-evident. However, the Bolsheviks under Lenin’s leadership were unable to obtain a majority of the seats in the legislative elections following the October Revolution in 1917. The Bolsheviks, who controlled the military, dissolved the legislature and completely banned opposition parties. Also, Lenin established the Cheka, the predecessor to the Soviet Union’s secret intelligence organization, the Committee for State Security (KGB), to purge and eradicate opposition inside and outside of the organization.

From nearly the moment Leninist political parties stepped onto the stage of history, there existed a tense relationship with constitutionalism that was difficult to reconcile. Constitutionalism implies that, in political games under the framework of a constitution, different political parties are in a relationship of peaceful competition. However, Leninist political parties use military force as the basic means of power competition, and they have a built-in hostility toward other apparent or potential political parties as if in a state of war. Peace and war are two totally different systems of political contest.

So then, is it possible for Leninist political parties to evolve in the direction of constitutionalism? Let’s examine two historical examples.

The Pre-1949 Kuomintang Party

The first example is the Kuomintang (KMT) before 1949. Whether or not the KMT was historically a Leninist political party is a topic that has been debated continually without rest. In 1923, under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen, the KMT accepted the guidance of Soviet representative Mikhail Borodin and conducted comprehensive reorganization. In nearly all aspects, it was modeled on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), including the party constitution, party membership, party discipline, party organization, the development of the party and the youth league, the management of party affairs, party-military relations, etc. But, ideologically, Sun Yat-sen and other KMT elites held fast to their own “Three Principals of the People,” rejecting communism. Thus, the KMT was not a Leninist political party in the complete sense.

Sun Yat-sen and the other first generation KMT elites participated in the founding of a constitutional republic, the Republic of China. Sun Yat-sen’s “Five-Branch Constitution” was one of the core theories of the “Three Principals of the People.” Constitutional thinking had an enormous influence on KMT ideology. The KMT could not use the “proletariat autocracy” theory like the CPSU to conduct single-party rule; it could only use special wartime “political tutelage” to serve as the rational for the mainland’s military dictatorship. The KMT was unable to break away from the “shadow” of constitutionalism in the long run. Constitutionalism is not only the foundation of the values established by the KMT, it is also the legal objective of the KMT’s struggle. Under the constraints of constitutional concepts, even though the KMT conducted a military dictatorship in the mainland, it had no justifiable way to wipe out other democratic political parties.

If one examines the history of Leninist political parties, it is not difficult to discover that in early and medium-stage expansion and construction, the majority of Leninist political parties all go through regular internal purges, such as the CPSU’s “Cheka” and “Great Purge,” the Chinese Communist Party’s “Elimination of the Counterrevolutionaries” and Yan’an Rectification Campaign, the Communist Party of Kampuchea leader Pol Pot’s purges, etc. The outcome of such purges was the elimination of internal dissenters, and the reinforcement of the party’s cohesion. It is a strengthening self-organization method.

Comparatively, the KMT’s party boss Chiang Kai-shek did not accept such “purification” methods. To maintain his power base, he focused more on military than party affairs, strengthening military discipline and sustaining the balance between factions within the party. Therefore, although the early organization of the KMT nearly copied that of a Leninist political party, Chiang Kai-shek continually had a “de-Leninizing” effect on the KMT before 1949. This made the KMT a kind of “half Leninist political party” that entered into the degradation process too early. This is also an important factor in how, during the civil war, the KMT was unable to rival the newer Communist Party, whether in terms of social mobilization or organizational discipline.

The Gorbachev Era CPSU

Another example is the CPSU in the Gorbachev era. In the 1980’s, in order to break away from long term stagnation, Gorbachev, who had just come into office, set about to implement economic reforms. However, following the deepening of these reforms, the disagreement of conservative forces in the CPSU, such as Second Secretary Yegor Ligachev and KGB chairman Viktor Chebrikov, intensified every day. Power struggles and reform setbacks became intertwined. Deep in trouble, Gorbachev gradually moved the focus of the reforms towards the realm of politics, and in 1989 produced an important policy: to establish a truly independent legislative body and introduce open democratic elections.

However, the consequences of democratic elections far exceeded Gorbachev’s expectations. Democratization did not weaken but rather intensified power struggles within the party. Starting during the Lenin Era, power struggles had to be conducted in secret, Stalin was an expert at this. But now, the rules encouraged electoral competitions that are open, frontal, and geared towards the masses. Some prominent political elites, like Boris Yeltsin, discovered that if they were able to get ample legitimacy from public support, there was no more need to subject themselves to the constraints of the old system. This group of people quickly broke away from the CPSU system. In July 1990, Yeltsin declared that he was leaving the CPSU. In June of the next year, Yeltsin was elected as president of the Soviet Union’s Russian Republic.

Constitutionalization inherently demands democratization, and democratization conflicts with the centralized organization principals of Leninist political parties. This conflict is fundamental to the point of utter irreconcilability. Everyone in the world knows the history that followed: the Soviet Union’s conservative faction, the KGB, and military leaders plotted the August 19th coup of 1991 and placed Gorbachev under house arrest. At the moment of crisis, Yeltsin climbed atop a tank and spoke to the masses. He turned the tide, gaining great popularity and becoming the de facto leader. When Gorbachev came out of house arrest, it was already impossible to save the Soviet Union from its fate of collapse.

The Certain Present and Uncertain Future

In order to survive, Leninist political parties not only must prohibit external political challenges, they also must suppress internal power competition. Their system structure, by nature, is incompatible with a constitutional democracy model. In the process of development, the majority of Leninist political parties go through internal purges to “purify” their organizations and strengthen internal cohesion. Although these purge movements were essentially the same, people seem  less willing to accept the Soviet Union’s “Great Purge” or China’s “Anti-Rightist Campaign” and “Cultural Revolution,” which occurred in peacetime, as opposed to the Soviet “Cheka” or China’s “elimination of the counter-revolutionaries,” which happened in wartime. The post-Stalin Soviet Union and post-Mao China basically abandoned this type of purge movement.

Under a constitutional democracy model, the masses and a free press supervise political parties and political parties supervise each other to stem corruption. Leninist political parties do not possess these kinds of mechanisms. And once they stop internal purges, there is likely nothing that can stop the spread of internal corruption. At the same time, ideology degenerates into a code of allegiance that is only a formality, and the actual internal cohesive force yields to a tangled maze of interests and “patron-client” relations. This was the history of mainland-era KMT and Brezhnev-era CPSU. History also tells us that an organization which purely uses interest as its cohesive bond lacks competitive power. Competition in an open environment, regardless of whether in peace or war, creates a fatal threat to its survival.

For present day China, continuing to suppress external challenges on the one hand and prohibiting internal competition on the other will mostly likely be an unavoidable strategy. Under the CCP, China cannot constitutionalize, nor is it able to democratize. It is compelled to go even a step further and block discussions of these topics so as to prevent people from having unrealistic expectations of the future. This is what we are witnessing right now in China in one argument after another against constitutionalism and in Party’s instructions prohibiting discussions of an array of related topics in universities and elsewhere. All of these are perfectly logical and unsurprising. As for what will follow in the future, no one knows.

 

Xiang Xiaokai (项小凯) is a PhD candidate in information science at Tokyo University. He is also emerging as a fresh voice in discussions of China’s political transition. Translated by Jack.

 

Chinese original

Second Trial of Wang Dengchao to Be Held on the 7th

Wang Dengchao (王登朝), a police officer at Luohu Sub-bureau of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau (police ID 054985), was arrested on March 8, 2012 on charges of embezzlement and disruption of public services. After being detained for 8 months, he was tried and sentenced to 14 years in prison on December 4th, 2012.

But he is believed to be arrested and harshly sentenced for attempting to organize a large-scale assembly to commemorate the 87th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s death, to be held in Lianhua Hill Park in Shenzhen on March 10th, 2012. Friends and family said Wang Dengchao had taken out a 500,000 loan from bank for the event. He made T-shirts and banners, and hired people to distribute flies and other promotional materials. He also asked friends to give speeches during the assembly. He had foreseen the possibility of being arrested, but he believed that if the event was held as planned, it would be worth it.

Turning People’s Republic of China back to the Republic of China (民国), or the pre-1949 era, has been a strain in China’s democratic thinking and activism.

Charges against Wang Dengchao have to do his involvement in the security of Universiade (World University Games) held in Shenzhen in 2011. At the time he was the manager of the 7th Company of Shenzhen Security Service Company (深圳保安公司).

During the first trial Wang Dengchao’s lawyers argued that the prosecutors’ charges were unfounded, and there were no evidence to prove Wang Dengchao was guilty of either charge.

Wang Dengchao’s case has not received enough media attention so far, partially because charges against him were non-political. But the Chinese government seems to be using a new strategy lately to punish dissidents without making them “political prisoners” by trumping up other charges against them. Li Bifeng’s case is one of the latest examples.

Wang Dengchao's wife and child (middle) and supporters outside the court.

Wang Dengchao’s wife and child (middle) and supporters outside court.

According to friends, Wang Dengchao is 38 years old and a graduate of Northwest University of Politics and Law (西北政法大学). Friends said he often expressed disapproval of China’s political system and how it was the root of China’s social ills. He had made and distributed fliers and brochures before to promote democratic ideas.

His friends said that, as a mid-level police officer, Wang lived a comfortable life, but, unlike most of his colleagues who used their power for personal gains, Wang was a conscionable man who wanted to take actions to advocate for change of system.

Originally, the second trial was scheduled on February 1, but defense lawyers had not been informed of the trial date at least three days prior to the trial according to the law. The trial is now rescheduled for February 7 following protests by the defense lawyers.

Meanwhile, local activists were summoned and interrogated by police. The guesthouse where Wang Dengchao’s lawyers stayed was “inspected” and their visitors were questioned. Faraway in Guangxi, Wang Dengchao’s mother-in-law was warned not to communicate with others about Wang’s case.

The second trial will be held at 10am, February 7, 2013, in criminal trial area of Shenzhen Intermediary People’s Court (深圳市中级人民法院), located at深圳市罗湖区红岭中路1036号. Postal code 518008 and telephone 0755—83535000.

The defense lawyers can be reached at: 李静林律师 13693283418, 唐吉田律师 13161302848. Wang Dengchao’s wife can be reached at 18898738510.

(Source: http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/02/blog-post_2.html

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2012/12/blog-post_2161.html

http://www.canyu.org/n65433c6.aspx )