Home » Posts tagged 'Wang Bingzhang'
Tag Archives: Wang Bingzhang
From Dr Wang Bingzhang, a Special Prayer on the 15th Anniversary of His Abduction by the Chinese Government
Yaxue Cao, September 18, 2017
Last Friday, Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s family – his wife, children and siblings in Canada and the U. S. – received a letter from him in Shaoguan Prison (韶关监狱), Guangdong. He shared “a special prayer” with them on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of his kidnapping:
My loved ones, June 27, 2017 is the 15th anniversary of when I was abducted and imprisoned. On this special day, I’ve made a special prayer that I’d like to share with all of you:
To my Holy Creator, my Lord in Heaven, God, Heavenly Father, Holy Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit:
Your servant Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) prays to you. On June 27, 2002, 15 years ago now, I was abducted and from that day on have been imprisoned in solitary confinement.
I thank you for staying by my side for these 15 years, offering me support and guidance. I thank you for making use of me, and for giving me a special mission: from the time you created humankind, setting out that it was my mission to help promulgate the natural laws, norms, standards, and truths you established for man to live by, as shown in ancient civilization, the classic texts of the world, and in the works of our ancestors. I have come to realize that you have a grand plan for the salvation of the world and humankind; to make this mad world return once more to norms you established, and to help the lost world of man return to your embrace. I feel greatly honored that I can make a small contribution to the grand plan you have laid out. I know that everything of mine was given by you, and that all glory belongs to you.
I will absolutely not fail in the mission you gave me. I’ll continue to cherish myself, I’ll keep my mind and body in good order, and live the years you allotted me. Under your teaching, inspiration, and guidance, I do your work every day. I guarantee that your selection of me, your deep love, your accompaniment, your divine inspiration, and your grace encourages me to be braver and work without fear, even if I have to spend another 15 years in jail. I will redouble my efforts and leave behind a record that renders glory to your sacred name.
I love you all,
From solitary confinement in Shaoguan Prison
June 27, 2017
Dr. Wang Bingzhang was among the first Chinese students sent overseas to study science and technology by the Chinese government when Deng Xiaoping opened up the country in 1977. He studied medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, from 1979 to 1982, and became the first Chinese from the mainland to receive an overseas Ph.D. after the Cultural Revolution. He was the pride of China and a source of inspiration; his success was reported in the Chinese-language newspapers, both inside and outside China. But no sooner had he completed his degree than he abandoned a medical career for something uncharted and illusive: starting a movement to transform China into a democracy.
In November, 1982, he founded the China Spring magazine and made an announcement in the World Journal (《世界日报》), the largest Chinese newspaper in America: “The new emerging democratic movement in contemporary China needs activists. From now on… 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 magazine laid out five goals for political reform in China at the time when Brezhnev was the head of the USSR and Taiwan would not be lifting its ban on a free press and other political parties for another five years:
- Abolition of one-party rule;
- Separation of party from the government, military and judiciary;
- Separation of the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary;
- Direct election of national leaders; and
It also laid out five goals for economic reform:
- Establishment of a market economy;
- The co-existence of multiple economic systems;
- Protection of private property;
- Independent unions; and
- Farmers’ land ownership and usage rights.
In the next two decades, Dr. Wang Bingzhang moved between United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and founded and led the Chinese Alliance for Democracy (中国民主团结联盟) in the 1980s. He also snuck back to China to form a clandestine opposition party – the Democracy Party of China. Their activities were little known to the English-speaking world. The New York Times only found out in May 1987, with its story “China Opposition Thrives in Queens,” after Beijing denounced the activities of Dr. Wang and colleagues.
Dr. Wang 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》), answering 120 questions having to do with China’s democratic transformation. His essay Rebuilding the Republic of China (《重建中华民国》) advocated “uniting China with democracy” and restoring the Republic of China as a simple and convenient replacement for the CCP regime.
On June 27, 2002, while near China’s border with Vietnam with two others, Dr. Wang 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, giving few details of Dr. 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.”
On February 2003, Dr. Wang 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 the Shenzhen People’s Intermediate Court, the harshest sentence handed out to a political prisoner since 1978.
On February 28, 2003, Guangdong Supreme People’s Court maintained the sentence by the first trial court. When the verdict was read, Dr. Wang Bingzhang shouted, “I was kidnapped! I protest the illegal trial!” His youngest sister, allowed to attend the trial, met with him, and he asked for a copy of the Bible. Since then he has been imprisoned in Shaoguan, Guangdong province.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Wang’s siblings and grown children visited him a couple of times every year from North America for a 30-minutes meeting. The most outspoken among them have been denied visas over the years. He has been able to write letters home, and each one evinces a heart-wrenching longing for the day when he can walk out of China’s prison, alive and free.
The loved ones of Dr. Wang sometimes wonders if it’s all been worth it: 35 years after he and his colleagues laid out the goals for political and economic reform, none of them has been realized under communist rule. And now, those in power are richer than kings. Meanwhile, with money, the state-capitalist China has been exporting corruption, censorship, and political influence that undermines democracy.
Dr. Wang is 69 years old. He has been treated for cardiovascular and gastroenterological conditions while in custody. Relatives described symptoms of a mental condition, too. Years of campaigning and diplomatic efforts have not availed. It was an illegal act by a state actor to kidnap Dr. Wang in Vietnam, and the trial has no legitimacy by international standards, or even by China’s own procedural and criminal laws. Fifteen years of solitary confinement is beyond the pale by any humanitarian standard.
China must free Dr. Wang Bingzhang, and governments around the world, the Canadian government in particular, must renew their efforts to bring Dr. Wang out of jail and out of China.
Inside These Walls, a CBC documentary, August 6, 2017.
By China Change, published: November 30, 2014
Eleven years into Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s life sentence for “terrorism” and “espionage,” his family marshalled on, against all odds, to try to free the man who pioneered the Chinese overseas democracy movement in early 1980s. In their latest move, the family filed a petition with the Guangdong provincial High People’s Court for retrying Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s case in light of the evidence they have collected that would exonerate Dr. Wang.
The 66-years-old Dr. Wang Bingzhang was the first Chinese from mainland China to receive a PhD degree after China’s opening up in the late 1970s. But he abandoned medicine after graduating from McGill University in Canada in late 1982 to become a democracy activist based in New York. He founded China Spring magazine and the Chinese Alliance for Democracy, an organization defined by the Chinese communist government as “politically, economically, culturally, morally and hygienically detrimental to China.” On June 27, 2002, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was kidnapped near China’s border with Vietnam and taken to China. On February 2003, Dr. Wang Bingzhang was secretly tried in the southernmost city Shenzhen and subsequently sentenced to life in prison for “espionage” and ten years for “organizing and leading a terrorist group.”
The Verdict found Dr. Wang guilty of many ideas and many plans which Dr. Wang refuted point by point in 2004 in a 90-page long petition to the Supreme Court of Guangdong province. Of course that petition has gone nowhere because the case of Dr. Wang was never criminal but political. Of the two tangible crimes, he was convicted of spying for Taiwanese intelligence and of attempting to bomb the Chinese embassy in Bangkok but “failed because the Thailand police foiled it.”
In December 2009, Dr. Wang’s daughter Ti-Anna Wang and his son Times Wang, an American lawyer, went to Thailand to find out the circumstances of their father’s interactions with the Thai police during his stay in July 2001. According to a document titled “Investigation Summary of Wang Bingzhang” and dated December 30, 2009, the Thai police acted on a tip by a Chinese refugee whoalleged that Wang Bingzhang was a terrorist suspect and investigated Wang and his associates. The summary stated that the “instigation turned up no evidence that Wang had plans of any kind involving terrorist attacks against the Chinese embassy in Bangkok.” “Fearing that his continued presence in Bangkok may endanger him, Colonel Thongboos [the investigator] advised Wang to leave the country.” Dr. Wang Bingzhang did. “Sometime after Wang’s departure,” the Summary continues, “the Thai Royal Police were contacted by [a] Chinese official
who inquired about the investigation and arrest of Wang Bingzhang. Colonel Thongboos and his superiors informed the official that they had investigated such a plot pursuant to existing tips but found the accusation to be baseless.” “No official action was ever taken against Wang by the Thai Government, and no files or reports have been maintained over the years.”
In his own petition in 2004, Dr. Wang Bingzhang wrote sharply, “Taking instruction from those in power, I was convicted of ‘terrorism’ to meet political needs. That is, since 911 terrorist attack in the US, anti-terrorism has become a fashionable word, and terrorists are condemned everywhere. To try and sentence me for ‘terror’ instead of ‘subversion of the government’ or ‘subversion of socialism,’ [the Chinese government] wished to minimize criticism from the international community. On the contrary…the CCP regime was guilty of state terrorism, and I am a victim of China’s transnational terrorist activities.”
On December 2, 2013, Taiwan’s Legislature Yuan held a bipartisan hearing on rescuing Chinese political prisoners. Dr. Wang’s daughter Ti-Anna Wang asked the Taiwanese government to “clarify whether my father was a Taiwanese spy or not. He was serving a life sentence for this charge.” “If he is not,” she told Taiwanese legislators, “please declare my father’s innocence and ask the Chinese government to free him.”
In response to the request of legislators, the Taiwanese National Security Bureau issued a statement on December 10, 2013, that Wang Bingzhang and Peng Ming (another political prisoner serving life sentence for being a spy for Taiwan) have never been retained for intelligence work.
About three weeks ago, the Wangs filed a petition for a retrial with the Supreme Court of Guangdong province, where Dr. Wang has been jailed in solitary confinement for the last 11 years.
The Chinese lawyer retained by the Wang family has been harassed and threatened with disbarment by the Chinese authorities, and has not been able to meet with Dr. Wang despite repeated attempts.
In June 2013, the Wangs launched a publicity campaign in Canada and the United States to seek the release of Dr. Wang. In New York City’s Times Square, nearly 200 people, including Dr. Wang’s siblings, children, and democracy activists, staged the “In Prison with Dr. Wang Bingzhang” for four weeks.
Over the eleven years, family members – all of them living either in Canada or the U. S. – have made over 30 prison visits and lobbied the Canadian and the American governments and international organizations tirelessly. Because of her outspoken campaign for her father’s release, Ti-Anna Wang has not been able to visit her father for the past five years because of visa denial. In February this year, Dr. Wang’s sister, having traveled to the prison, was denied a meeting with him while only Dr. Wang’s brother Bingwu was allowed in. But in May and August, Bingwu’s visa application was twice denied, a punishment Bingwu believes was for the family’s sustained campaign and for his informing his brother of these efforts in his last visit of him.
In March this year, while attending a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ti-Anna Wang was intimidated by a man, ostensibly a representative of a Chinese NGO, who is likely an agent with close ties with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department.
Speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum recently, Ti-Anna Wang said that, while her activism and that of the other daughters of Chinese political prisoners are inherited, their “first-hand experience of the exact types of anti-democratic and anti-human rights practices that they fought so hard to combat and has thus instilled in all of us a very genuine conviction that China must change.”
Interviews with Yuhua Wang and Bingwu Wang.
Fighting for my father’s freedom, October 21, 2014. Speech at Oslo Freedom Forum by Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s daughter Ti-Anna Wang.
In the Prison of China – The Journey of Dr. Wang Bingzhang – part 1, part 2, and part 3, by Yaxue Cao, October, 2013.
Times Square, 47th St. and Broadway, New York.
Ongoing since Sept. 9, 2013.
Dr. Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) was among the first Chinese sent overseas by the Chinese government to study science and technology in late 1970s when Deng Xiaoping opened up China. He was the very first Chinese to obtain a PhD (in medicine) when he graduated from McGill University in Canada in 1982. Upon graduation, he announced that he would devote himself to a democratic movement to change China. He founded the first overseas democratic league, and worked with activists overseas as well as inside China in the pre-Internet era. In 2002, he was kidnapped in Vietnam by the Chinese government, and in 2003, he was sentenced to life in prison (New York Times‘ coverage). He has been kept in solitary confinement since. On June 27, the 11th anniversary of his kidnapping, his family launched a global campaign to free him. As part of the campaign, Dr. Wang Juntao (王军涛), a leader of Chinese democratic movement overseas and a leader of the 1989 democratic movement in Beijing, has staged a protest called “In Prison with Dr. Wang Bingzhang” to demand the release of Dr. Wang. On September 15, the International Democracy Day, a large demonstration will be held in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York. On October 7, a 7-day hunger strike will commence in front of the UN to demand investigation into Chinese government’s inhumane treatment of Dr. Wang.
Wang Mei, sister of Dr. Wang Bingzhang: 1-650-521-1774, Dr. Wang Juntao: 1-347-705-3789.
To learn more about Dr. Wang Bingzhang, visit wangbingzhang.org, website maintained by his youngest child Ti-Anna Wang (王天安).