FREE CHINA MOVEMENT
The Free China Movement is a coalition founded to promote human rights and democracy in China. Established in June 1998 at George Washington University in Washington, DC, FCM is currently comprised of 36 Chinese dissident organizations from around the world, and represents the overseas interests of the China Democracy Party.
FCM’s focus is on political activism, calling the world’s attention to human rights abuses taking place in China today, and working towards the advancement of political pluralism under the banner of the China Democracy Party (CDP), which has consolidated the democratic movement inside China. FCM sponsors activist rallies and protests, Congressional lobbying visits, and international educational forums. We maintain an annual presence at the UN Commission on Human Rights sessions in Geneva, Switzerland, lobbying on behalf of US sponsored resolutions condemning China’s human right’s policies as well as on behalf of the China Democracy Party.
Media is our method. Since FCM was founded, we have had over 300 press stories focusing on FCM activities, or including our comments on events relating to human rights in China. We have received coverage in or on: CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox Television, CBS, AP-TV, AP, AFP, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, Atlanta Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, New York Newsday, The Daily Apple (Hong Kong), The World Journal, Radio Free Asia, VOA, BBC radio, among others, and published editorials in The Washington Times and The Washington Post. Our reports also appear in the Internet on: Bridge News, News Trolls, Inside China Today and other sources.
One of our key elements is VIP Reference Magazine, an internet journal edited by Richard Long, which provides daily news on democracy and human rights to nearly a million addresses inside China.
DECLARATION OF MORAL PURPOSE
The Free China Movement believes that China should be governed by the rule of democratic law, abide by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and respect freedom of speech, thought, religion, and assembly.
We support open and free elections in China.
We call for the immediate release of all political and religious prisoners of conscience in our beloved China.
We stand for the right of all Chinese to live in dignity and to have the freedom to practice their religion without the fear of persecution.
We support the open and free operation of autonomous labor unions throughout China.
We want China to be a country where the government is for the people, by the people, and where the will of the Chinese people determines the government, not the government determining the kind of economic, political, and social system the people will live in through brute force, intimidation, the use of torture, and imprisonment.
As an organized political dissident movement inside and outside of China, we seek to unite all Free China Movement organizations and individuals who are dedicated to these principles.
We strive to become a significant force in world politics, and intend to successfully challenge the People's Republic of China in the media and in all political and academic forums throughout the world in a peaceful manner.
April 8, 1999 - Premier Zhu Rongji’s Visit: White House Protest
"Zhu’s visit is the first by a Chinese premier in 15 years and comes at a time of great strain between the two countries...
"Members of the Free China Movement...carried around a coffin with ‘the death of human rights in China’ written on the side to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square."
AllPolitics, CNN and AP
May 18, 1999 - Response to NATO Bombing of Chinese Embassy
"US-based dissidents on Tuesday slammed the Chinese government for ‘cynically’ allowing angry protests against NATO while forbidding commemoration of these who died in the bloody crackdown of 1989.
" ‘We...mourn the tragic deaths of our fellow countrymen and women, who were killed in the accidental US bombing attack. But we also mourn the lives of those...who were mowed down by tanks in Tiananmen Square,’ the Free China Movement said in a statement."...
" ‘We are challenging the government to permit pro-democracy activists across China...to peacefully demonstrate for their fundamental human rights on June 4th,’ Free China Movement director Timothy Cooper said in the statement. ‘That, more than anything else, will gain China the respect it desires before the world,’ he said."
Agence France Presse
June 3,1999 - 10th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre
"About two dozen people staged a midday memorial service here Thursday outside the Chinese embassy to commemorate the several hundred, possibly thousands of people killed when the Chinese military suppressed pro-democracy protests in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
"Members of the Free China Movement and fledgling China Democracy Party set up white funeral wreaths and wore black armbands as they read aloud the names of those known to have died in the crackdown.
" ‘Tear down the great wall of human rights oppression,’ Free China Movement chairman Tim Cooper urged.’ "
Agence France Presse
Members of the Free China Movement have gathered outside the Chinese embassy in Washington to mark the 10th anniversary of the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. VOA’S Colin Lovett reports the activists launched a new appeal for political reforms in China:
For more than 10 minutes, participants at the rally read the names of those who died when Chinese troops crushed the student-led pro-democracy protests in 1989.
Standing in front of a make-shift memorial to the victims of the crackdown, the activists called on the world to remember those who suffered in the name of freedom.
Exiled dissident Lian Shengde, who served two years in prison for helping lead the 1989 protests, says it is time for the communist government in Beijing to admit the crackdown was a mistake and begin introducing political reforms.
"Only with these measures can the Chinese people forgive their crimes in 1989. Only with these measures China can have a real stable society."
Members of the Free China Movement are also calling for Beijing to release all of its political prisoners. They note a stepped up campaign against activists over the past year, particularly members of the China Democracy Party.
TEAR DOWN THE GREAT WALL OF HUMAN RIGHTS
SUPPRESSION IN CHINA (TEAR DOWN THE WALL)...
TEAR DOWN THAT WALL TODAY
(TEAR DOWN THAT WALL TODAY)....
GIVE LIBERTY, GIVE DEMOCRACY,
GIVE A NEW LIFE TO THE PEOPLE OF CHINA....
Timothy Cooper, International Director of the Free China Movement, wants Beijing to honor its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed last year.
"We want you (China) to honor your human rights commitments under international law. This is no longer strictly an internal matter. You are now subject to the condemnation of the world because of your signature on that covenant."
The activists in Washington are disappointed with President Clinton’s decision to renew normal trade relations with China, saying the US policy of engagement with Beijing should be closely linked to improvements in human rights.
Officials from the Chinese embassy refuse to discuss the protest in Washington.
Voice of America
"As protesters marked the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, President Clinton moved Thursday to extend normal trade relations with China....
"As Clinton’s letter went to Capitol Hill, a small group of demonstrators gathered at the Chinese Embassy in Washington to mark the anniversary of the Chinese government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators 10 years earlier.
"The protesters read the names of those killed in the crackdown, called for the release of pro-democracy demonstrators still jailed and scolded policy-makers for putting trade ahead of democracy."
"Timothy Cooper, Free China Movement, says that President Clinton is demonstrating his willingness to trade with China on an unprecedented level, despite their bad human rights record."
Fox Network News
June 21, 1999 - Missing Chinese Activist in Jail
"A Chinese pro-democracy activist who has been missing for six months is in a Chinese prison where his health is failing, a pro-democracy group said in a statement here Sunday.
"In a letter written from the Huanghua prison to his wife in New York, Yongjun Zhou said his health had deteriorated and feared he would not survive his sentence, the Free China Movement said.
"Zhou was one of the Tiananmen Square student leaders and had served two years in prison for the protest. He was later exiled, but tried to return in December to visit his parents, the group said in a statement from its office here.
"According to the statement, Zhou was secretly sentenced to three years in prison, possibly for illegally returning to China and for carrying a manuscript written by dissident poet Huang Xiang.
"The Free China Movement is a network of Chinese pro-democracy groups around the world."
Agence France Presse
[Zhou Yongjiun is a co-founder of the Free China Movement.]
"An exiled Chinese dissident who disappeared six months ago after sneaking into China is still in jail and in bad health, according to a letter smuggled out of prison and released by dissident groups today.
"In the letter to his wife, Zhou Yongjun said he was sentenced to three years in prison– the first word on his fate since he called her in New York on December 21 to say his arrest was imminent.
"The letter, released by the Washington-based Free China Movement and the New York-based Chinese Democracy and Justice Party did not say why he had been jailed...
"A leading figure in the 1989 democracy movement, Zhou captured world attention by kneeling on the steps of the Great Hall of the people above Tiananmen Square to humbly petition China’s communist leaders to acknowledge the student demonstrators."
Associated Press, in the New York Times on the Web
July 9, 1999 - OP-ED: "China’s human wrongs"
Beijing’s most recent conduct toward its internal democratic political opposition establishes yet another low in its disappointing human-rights conduct...
And, of course, while China takes a walk, Cuba and Iraq catch it in the neck. Why them and not China?.....
As no man should be above the law, neither should any nation.
The Washington Times
writing about the UN Commission on Human Right’s annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (see entire text in ‘Publications’)
July 29, 1999 - OP-ED: "China: a Policy of Realistic
not Unconditional Engagement
"The alternative to the current U.S. policy toward communist China which might be termed unconditional engagement, is not isolation, but rather a policy of realistic engagement. This would use the enormous economic benefits accruing to China from trade with the United States as an incentive for its acting peacefully and cooperatively internationally and its complying domestically with the human rights commitments China has freely assumed...
"But, as the Department of State report on Human Rights makes clear, political, religious and ethnic repression continues and the regime’s ‘human rights record deteriorated sharply’ in 1998. Estimates are that there are 6 million to 8 million confined in forced labor camps, and more than 200,000 in prison without trial..."
Former National Security Council Member and
Board Member, Free China Movement
The Washington Times
August 3, 1999 - Dissidents Question US Support:
Party leader’s sentencing fuels debate
"A Washington-based coalition of 30 dissident Chinese groups called for a national debate of the U.S. policy toward China in response to yesterday’s sentencing of two organizers of the China Democracy Party to eight and nine years in jail.
" ‘We did not support South Africa or the Soviet Union, so why now support China when it’s clear the government has no intention of allowing human rights?’ asked Timothy Cooper, the coalition’s international director.
" ‘Is it a wise and prudent policy to support a totalitarian government? The Free China Movement doesn’t think so,’ he added.
"Since last year, China has been conducting a massive crackdown on members of the outlawed China Democracy Party, seeking to silence dissidents ahead of this year’s 50th anniversary of Communist Party rule.
"Party members Zha Jianguo and Gao Hongming were sentenced yesterday to eight and nine years in jail, respectively, on charges of subverting state power – overthrowing the government.
"But Mr. Cooper said in Washington the two were guilty of nothing more than trying to establish political pluralism and democratic competition in China.
"Lian Shengde, executive director of the Free China Movement, added, ‘We deplore the flagrant violations of human rights by the Chinese government. We simply say: Free Zha Jianguo! Free Gao Hongming!’"
"The Beijing court rules that Mr. Zha and Mr. Gao collaborated with veteran dissident Xu Wenli, a Democracy Party leader sentenced last December to 13 years imprisonment, "in plotting various ways to subvert" state power, the official Xinhua news agency said without providing further details.
"Mr. Cooper said the ‘harsh sentencing’ calls for Americans ‘to comprehend the true totalitarian nature of the government of China’ and to re-evaluate the Clinton administration’s policy toward China.
" ‘We must never compromise our democratic principles... We must not forsake the human rights of anyone, no matter where they live,’ Mr. Cooper said.
"The CDP, which claims an underground membership throughout China, unsuccessfully sought to legally register the party just before the June 1998 visit to China of President Clinton and following China’s signing of the U.N. Covenant on Political and Civil Rights.
"Since early May, more than 200 Chinese dissidents have been rounded up and nine have been sentenced for subversion.
"Mr. Zha and Mr. Gao had been in custody since they were taken from their homes by police in late June.
"Mr. Zha, a former manager of a computer design company and vice chairman of the Democracy Party’s Beijing branch, had expected to be jailed and had readied a bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste and medicine at his Beijing home in anticipation of arrest.
"Mr. Gao was previously detained for two years, including one year in a labor camp, and fired from his job as an office administrator after he was arrested in 1994 while heading to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to distribute leaflets protesting the government’s violent crushing of pro-democracy protests there in 1989."
The Washington Times
August 27, 1999 - Christian Leaders Held in Beijing Crackdown
"Forty leaders of Protestant religious groups have been reported detained by police in China...Reports of the arrests follow closely the crackdown on members of the Falun Gong, a sect that practices deep breathing and meditation and whose practices, the Chinese government insists, ‘have inflicted great harm to the people.’ Falun Gong, which claims l00 million adherents worldwide, was officially banned in China on July 22...
"Free China Movement leader Lian Shengde Thursday called for the United States to implement the International Freedom Act, saying, ‘Before October 1 the government is going to prosecute and sentence to life the leaders of the Falun Gong detained in China. They are trying to scare Chinese citizens.’ "
The Washington Times
September 21, 1999 - Laogai Conference, American University
"More than 80 survivors of mainland labor camps have met in Washington to share their experiences and condemn the Chinese Government for human rights violations.
"The three-day conference, entitled ‘Voices from the Laogai’, ended on Sunday at the American University.
"The term laogai means ‘reform through labor’. It is used to describe the network of labor camps in which many political prisoners are held...
"While many of the conference participants were older men, there were some participants in their 20s and early 30s who were student leaders during the 1989 pro-democracy campaign.
"Lian Shengde, a student leader at Tiananmen, spent two years in the laogai system before he was released and expelled from the mainland. For him, the meeting gave a human face to the victims of the laogai system.
"Mr. Lian said: ‘I think the international community has the ability and tools to help, to stop this laogai system, to stop this totalitarian crackdown on Chinese citizens, because the Chinese Government right now needs international investment, they need international relationships.’"
Associated Press, South China Morning Post
November 23, 1999 - Conference on Human Rights in China
" ‘Despite the persistence of political authoritarianism, China has quietly transformed into an increasingly vibrant diversified and complex society,’ said Richard Long, a member of the student democracy movement who escaped the bloody crackdown at Tiananmen Square 10 years ago.
"Speaking at a conference on human rights in China, sponsored by the non-profit Population Research Institute, Mr. Long said evidence of a new vibrancy in China can be found in ‘a strong strain of self-assertiveness’ in varius sectors of society– from mass media, to higher education, to legal reform and the proliferation of civic associations...
"Dissidents also credited the revolution in global technology with helping to erode the state’s once iron grip on power.
"Mr. Long, for instance, said his Internet-based company, Chinese VIP Reference, was sending dissident news to some one million people in China daily...
"...Mr. [Shengde] Lian, who served two years in prison after his actions in Tiananmen Square, reminded the conference that political repression remains a feature of daily life in China.
"‘More than 150 former student activists are in jail or labor camps. Hundreds of others are dying or being tortured in labor camps,’ he said. ‘This struggle for freedom cannot be won by the Chinese people themselves. We need help from the international community,’ said Mr. Lian, calling for an alliance of forces similar to that which unraveled the apartheid regime of South Africa in 1990."
Agence France Presse
November 4, 1999 - OP-ED: "CDP Rising"
So while the Party flounders, buffeted by rampant disaffection and wholesale corruption, the question arises: what will replace the Communist Party when it implodes?... The answer is the banned and besieged China Democracy Party... the rising star of Chinese politics.
And the essential question for the West boils down to this: will it support the CDP as it once supported Solidarity in Poland and the ANC in South Africa, or will it allow the first viable political opposition party in China to go it alone? In light of the West’s principled history, it should not be such a difficult question to answer.
News Trolls, Inc., (New York) Internet News, over 700,000 hits a month
November 15, 1999 - Leaders of Chinese Movement Visit GW
"Organizers of the Free China Movement talked to GW students and members of GW’s Students for a Free Tibet Wednesday about the possibility of democratic reform in China.
"Shengde Lian, the executive director of the Free China Movement and an exiled dissident from China, spoke about his experiences in China.
" ‘Ten years ago I stood up against the ‘Red Terror,’ Lian said. ‘If we don’t show responsibility our children, our offspring, they will have to fight again.’
"As a student, Lian said, he was a key organizer in the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and was jailed for two years as a dissident. He moved to the United States, where he began working with the Free China Movement Network, the world’s largest Chinese dissident organization.
"Bernard Pollack, co-president of Students for a Free Tibet, said the event was organized to show students that they exist on campus but also that they are directly affecting the mood and policy in China.
"Timothy Cooper, the international director for the group, under scored this point using student unity in Berlin and South Africa as examples. ‘I believe I am looking at a historical possibility that, if we can energize the student population into a grand strategic alliance with pro-democracy groups working within China, Mongolia and Taiwan, we can create an alliance unprecedented in world history,’ Cooper said.
"Both Cooper and Lian urged the students to get involved to positively impact the issues of democracy in China. ‘Twenty percent of the world’s population is disenfranchised, without the protective rights that you and I cherish,’ Cooper said.
"He concluded his talk by pressing the students to make a difference. ‘Move history, change the world, do what you can do better than anyone– demonstrate your commitment to freedom and justice around the world,’ he said. ‘I implore you to go global, to rise and set 1.2 billion people free.’ "
The GW Hatchet
George Washington University,
March 22, 2000 - Chinese Pro-Democracy Dissidents Oppose China Trade Deal
"A group of Chinese pro-democracy dissidents lobbied the US Congress Wednesday not to grant permanent normal trade relations (NTR) to China on the grounds that the human rights violations will get worse if the US relinquishes its annual trade status review.
"The delegation of dissidents, many of whom have served lengthy prison terms in China for their political beliefs, held a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday to discuss their opposition to permanent NTR...
" ‘Clinton’s policy has turned into appeasement of the Chinese government,’ Hu Anning said through a translator. Anning is a member of the China Democracy Party who spent 4 years in jail for pro-democracy activities in Shanghai in 1979.
"Wang Xizhe, the co-chair of the China Democracy party who spent 15 years in jail for dissident activities, argued that Congress should make trade privileges for China conditional on improvements in the country’s human rights situation.
" ‘China must make changes before we give it permanent NTR,’ Xizhe said. Xizhe and other activists argued that Congress’ annual review of China’s trade status has been the most effective forum for criticism of political repression. It is closely watched by Chinese leaders, and in the past it has resulted in lessened political repression."
March 23, 2000 - Chinese Dissidents Urge Congress Not To Abandon Annual Review of China
"A group of Chinese dissidents gathered here Wednesday to urge Congress not to approve a landmark trade accord permanently removing trade barriers with China, abandoning its leverage over Beijing...
" ‘The mechanics of the annual congressional debate are critical,’ said one former Chinese student leader imprisoned following the 1989 Tiananmen Square bloody crackdown on student unrest in China [Shengde Lian].
" ‘We should not give up on this only effective tool, at least not until we have another one,’ said the dissident, asking not to be identified out of fear of repercussions against his family in China.
"Another dissident, Wang Xizhe, repeatedly imprisoned and tortured in China for h is political outspokenness and now a visiting scholar at the prestigious Harvard University, said he would support permanent-NTR China on certain conditions.
"These would include the implementation of international human rights norms and the release of all political prisoners of conscience, he said.
"Without that, and without the tool of the annual review, Wang warned, ‘the human rights situation would massively and quickly deteriorate.’"
Agence France Presse
April 6, 2000 - Outlawed China Democracy Party issues Statement to UN Human Rights Panel
"The outlawed China Democracy Party (CDP) has condemned widespread political persecution and human rights abuses by the ruling Communist Party in a statement to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
"The statement, faxed to media organizations in Beijing Thursday, condemned the Communist Party’s refusal to abide by universally accepted human rights norms, including freedom of association and the right of due process. It called the long-term jailing of leader CDP members Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai in 1998, the ‘harshest crackdown on political dissidents since the brutal treatment of student leaders after Tiananmen Square in 1989.’
" ‘In 1999, during a second wave of oppression launched against CDP leaders, dozens more were rounded up and summarily sentenced for simply this: the peaceable advocating of political pluralism,’ the statement said. ‘Ironically, the only actual crimes in evidence were the flagrant human right abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government against the political dissidents,’ it said.
"The Chinese government’s refusal to allow the CDP to legally register as an organization was a further violation of the right of freedom of association as stipulated in China’s Constitution and in UN human rights treaties signed by the Chinese government, it said.
"During their trials, Xu was not allowed to speak in his own defense, while Qin and Wang had no defense lawyers, violating their right6s to due process as set out in the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and signed by China in 1998, it said.
"The CDP was formed only after Beijing signed the civil and political covenant and the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and represents ‘an historic attempt by pro-democracy forces within China to establish a transparent, peaceful opposition party,’ it said.
"The CDP urged Chinese authorities to quickly ratify the two covenants.
"The statement made no mention of attempts by the US government to table a resolution condemning China’s human rights record at the ongoing UN meeting, but expressed the CDP’s determination to form a political party based on ‘humanism’.
"Such a party would differ fundamentally from the ruling Communist Party which has used ‘class struggle and dictatorship’ as methods to ensure its rule and ‘suppress humanism in every form,’ it said.
" ‘The CDP believes that human rights, political stability and economic development have never been, nor will they ever be, mutually exclusive. To suggest otherwise is to insinuate that China is a primitive state.’ "
Agence France Presse
April 17, 2000 - Undecided on China - For Now:
Both Sides on Trade Clamor for Meeks’ Ear, Vote
"Representative Gregory Meeks wanted to learn more about what was happening in China and quickly discovered that there were plenty of people willing to tutor him...
"Joining organized labor in opposing making permanent China’s trade status are human rights activists, who contend that the current annual review system is the only way to win human rights advances from China.
"Last month, the Free China Movement, a consortium of about 30 organizations supporting democracy in China, dispatched 30 Chinese dissidents from New York to Capitol Hill to meet with Meeks and other undecided members..."
April 20, 2000 - UN Vote Complicates Capitol Hill Debate
"At the UN Commission meeting in Geneva, member nations voted 22-18, with 12 abstentions, to take ‘no action’ on a US-sponsored resolution that condemned recent human rights violations in china. In effect, the vote prevented any significant discussion on the human rights situation in China at the Commission meeting.
"Chinese pro-democracy activist groups denounced the vote, calling the Commission a ‘Trojan horse’ that was incapable of fulfilling its mandate to protect human rights worldwide.
" ‘We deeply regret the Commission’s decision to play politics with the human rights of ordinary Chinese citizens who are struggling against all odds to secure fundamental freedoms,’ Wang Xizhe, activist and chairman of the China Democracy Party, said in a statement.
"The vote comes several months after the State Department issued a withering report, which charged that human rights in China had deteriorated markedly throughout 1999. The report cited, among other transgressions, the imprisonment of leaders from the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Many activists say China’s current human rights situation is the worst since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989."
April 26, 2000 - Opponents Rap China Trade
"BIDDEFORD -A diverse group of union, environmental and religious activists gathered at City Hall Tuesday to protest potential normalized trade agreement with China. Using Biddeford as a launching platform for a protest tour of New England, speakers said human rights abuses in China, and the loss of U.S. jobs expected as a result of increased trade, should prompt Congress to deny the normalized status supported by the Clinton administration. Instead, speakers asserted, Congress should continue its annual review of relations with China in an effort to maintain leverage..."
"Xiao Quian, a Chinese democracy activist, spoke Tuesday against any trade agreement. ‘There is no democracy in China; no freedom in China,’ Xiao said. ‘They rule under a dictatorship. But equality they have achieved a lot, because now everybody is poor in China.’ "
Journal Tribune, Biddeford, Maine
April 27, 2000 - A Caravan of Activist Organizations Stopped Outside U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s Office Wednesday...
"AUSTIN - Congressman Lloyd Doggett speaks with exiled Chinese activist Wang Xizhe through a translator at a rally held in opposition to permanent normal trade relations status for China outside of the congressman’s office Wednesday afternoon...
"Events at the protest included different speakers from the organizations like Wang Xizhe, who was imprisoned in China for 17 years for speaking out against the Chinese government. He spoke to the crowd of about 60 protestors about his experience with the Chinese government.
" ‘If this is passed, Americans will be making an unholy alliance with Chinese tyrants,’ Wang said. ‘In China, the average worker’s wage is 13 to 19 cents an hour, a condition equal to slavery.’
"Wang added that if permanent free trade relations are granted to China, the only people that will gain wealth are Chinese corporations.
" ‘America is the only country still for the people and by the people,’ he said. ‘We cannot sell out to these corporations.’ "
Daily Texan, Austin, Texas
April 28, 2000 - AFL-CIO, Groups Protest Against
Permanent Free Trade with China
"McALLEN - Around 50 people gathered Thursday in front of the office of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes to oppose the approval of permanent free trade relations with China. The rally’s highlighted speaker was Wang Xizhe, a Chinese dissident imprisoned three times, once for 17 years, for speaking in favor of democracy in China.
"Xizhe criticized the assertion that permanently opening trade relations with China would put the United Stat4es in a better position to address human rights violations. ‘It’s absurd,’ he said through a translator. ‘Human rights have only gotten worse since trade has increased under the Clinton administration. The changes have only caused the human right situation to deteriorate.’ He said that the United States should learn from its experiences with the North American Free Trade Agreement. ‘Many jobs went south. The exploitation of Mexican workers is serious and severe.’ "
The Monitor, McAllen, Texas
May 4, 2000 - Chinese Dissidents, US Labor Get Tough on US Trade Bill for China
"Exiled Chinese dissidents and the most powerful US labor alliance are definitely ready to fight against granting China normal trade relations with the United States even if the measure is passed by the Congress.
"The two groups rejected the White House’s latest effort to sell US lawmakers on its trade deal with China: an unprecedented five-point plan to monitor Beijing’s compliance with a landmark trade deal signed in November with China.
" ‘I’m not impressed,’ Said Richard Long, a Chinese dissident and founder of an independent e-mail service covering human rights and democracy in China...
"Long insisted enforcement of the pact would not be simple. ‘It’s not easy to implement it,’ he said, adding that once China joined the world trade body, members would bend the rules to accommodate Beijing and its huge market...
"Timothy Cooper, ambassador at large for the China Democracy Party...said Beijing was not likely to comply with any deal. ‘If China’s compliance with international covenants on human rights is any indication, I think we will have less than adequate compliance,’ said Cooper, whose party advocates political pluralism in China. ‘China has no precedent whatsoever of conforming to the rule of law in international society and there is no reason to believe they will be any more vigilant.’ "...
"Should PNTR pass, Cooper said, human rights groups will have to ‘join together to create a grand strategic alliance to exert considerable political and practical pressure on Beijing to abide by the rule of law and international human rights standards.’ "
Agence France Presse
May 18, 2000 - Chinese Dissidents Warn U.S. - China Trade Deal
Will Strengthen Beijing’s Hand
"Exiled Chinese human rights activists and pro-democracy leaders Wednesday lashed out against granting China permanent normal trade relations, warning it would give Beijing free rein to continue its repressive regime.
" ‘By adding the ‘P’ for Permanent, (Congress) will remove the last effective tool to pressure the communist government to change,’ warned Lian Shengde, one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square movement.
"Arrested and imprisoned for his part in the student uprising, Shengde spent 19 hungry months in the notorious Quinchen prison before being released, weighing just over 41 kilos (90 pounds). He finally managed to escape to the United States in 1994 after buying a passport in Tibet.
" ‘Passage of PNTR would be a betrayal to the people still suffering in China, in jail, in labor camps,’ he told AFP, people like his parents who have been harassed for their son’s political activities and refused permission to leave the country to visit him.
" ‘What’s going on in China is very clear: thousands of Falun gong followers are getting arrested, hundreds of students are still in jail, people are still being deprived of any political rights,’ said Shengde.
"China should not receive normal trade relations unconditionally, he said, while the country is under a repressive regime... ‘We support PNTR for free China in the future. We are against unconditional PNTR for communist China today,’ he said.
"Shengde also dismissed arguments from President Bill Clinton’s administration and echoed by some Chinese dissidents that by granting China PNTR and ushering the country into the World Trade Organization, Beijing will pay heed to international rules of law.
" ‘Investors will play by Chinese government rules to make easy money from labor that does not have any protection,’ the 31-year old dissident stated.
"Wang Xizhe, a founder of the China Democracy Party, made it clear what he believes China must do to earn PNTR. ‘The Chinese authorities have to make a commitment to political reform and ratify the two international treaties on human rights,’ he told AFP.
"Wang, who lives in exile in the United States after being repeatedly imprisoned and tortured for his political writings in China, said if Congress approves PNTR, ‘the Chinese people at home will see the west as giving in to China’s authority. ‘The impact on the Chinese people is they will feel disappointed, discouraged,’ he said, speaking through an interpreter. ‘Surely, the Chinese government will become more repressive.’
Agence France Presse
Dozens of Chinese dissidents have rallied in Washington to protest U.S. efforts to extend permanent trade privileges to China. VOA’s Candace Williams has more on the demonstration, which comes one week before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the controversial bill.
"About 60 Chinese exiles marched across the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, carrying a 30-meter chain with black ribbons to symbolize what they say is political and religious repression in China.
"One demonstrator was Chris Wu, who was jailed for 12 years in China for his pro-democracy activities. Mr. Wu believes permanent trade privileges could give China the financial means to buy weapons to use against Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.
‘If they make a lot of money, they will buy the hi-tech arms to harm Taiwan and the peace of the Asia-Pacific region. Don’t pass this PNTR.’
"Mr. Wu says political differences between China and Taiwan must be resolved before the trade privileges can be extended to China.
"Several U.S. lawmakers took part in the protest, including House minority Whip David Bonior. The Michigan democrat opposes extending permanent normal trade relations, or PNTR, to China, because he says the Beijing government does not respect human rights or the rule of law.
" ‘Will the China trade deal make China a freer, fairer, more democratic nation? I don’t think so. But don’t take my word for it; just ask these dissidents and exiles - the heroes here today. Ask that, and what they’ll tell you is that while this trade deal may lift tariffs, it won’t pry open the door to a single prison cell.’ "
Voice of America
Greenspan Backs China Trade Bill
"With just a week to go, both sides of the China trade debate ratcheted up their lobbying campaigns Thursday, with supporters drawing within striking distance of a win in the House.
"Opponents posed outside the Capitol with a 200-foot metal chain to dramatize the plight of China’s political prisoners. In a competing event, President Clinton gave Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan a Rose Garden podium to pitch the landmark legislation...
"House Democratic Whip David Bonior of Michigan, the chief opponent, and four other House opponents joined about 60 exiled Chinese human rights activists in hoisting the 200-foot chain outside the Capitol. They said it represented imprisoned human rights, religious and labor leaders in China.
" ‘Ask them and what they’ll tell you is that while this trade deal may lift tariffs, it won’t pry open the door to a single prison cell,’ Bonior said.
Associated Press on washingtonpost.com
"About 60 Chinese critics of the Communist regime who oppose the bill gathered outside the Capitol yesterday and held a chain meant to symbolize human rights abuses. Rallying under the slogan ‘No Blank Check for China,’ they were joined by House Democratic Whip David E. Bonior (Mich.) And other congressional opponents of the bill.
"Calling China a place ‘that would do Joseph Stalin proud,’ Bonior added, ‘While this trade deal may lift tariffs, it won’t pry open the door of a single prison cell.’
Han Xiazi, who left China after the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen Square democracy demonstrations in 1989, said in an interview that the bill will ‘give benefits to the bureaucratic elite of the Chinese Communist Party, but 90 percent of Chinese workers would be losers.’ "
The Washington Post
Chinese Dissidents Demonstrate Against PNTR
"Some 60 exiled Chinese human rights activists converged on the capital Thursday to call for the defeat of a measure granting China unconditional Permanent Normal Trading Relations, due for a vote next week in Congress.
"Carrying a long chain draped in black streamers as a symbol of the communist regime’s repression, the dissidents called on Congress to strap conditions onto the PNTR legislation which would do away with a yearly review of China’s human rights record in exchange for trade privileges.
" ‘No blank check for China,’ read the blue, white and red posters held by the dissidents, some of whom had come from Hong Kong, Europe and the western United States.
" ‘We are against unconditional PNTR, because to grant it means to
encourage China’s wrongdoing’ on human rights, dissident leader and former political prisoner Wang Xizhe said. But Wang did say his China Democracy Party– China’s banned opposition movement– could support the controversial legislation if it included the preconditions of Beijing ratifying international human rights’ covenants and implanting political reform. ‘If China refuses these simple conditions, we should vote nay to PNTR,’ Wang said through his interpreter.
"Citing the support of the United States’ strongest labor organization, the AFL-CIO, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and human rights organizations, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi made it clear she would vote against the bill next week.
‘This is a bad idea,’ she said, applauded by fellow Democrats David Bonior, Lynn Woolsey, and Bill Pascrell...
" ‘A police state where injustice is law and brutality is order is the China we’re being asked to extend PNTR to,’ stated Bonior.
Agence France Presse
May 19, 2000 - Defusing China Issue: Pro-Trade Side
Touts Rights as Benefit
"Opponents of expanded trade ties with China have long viewed human rights as their signature issue, one of the best reasons not to do business with Beijing. But in the debate over a landmark trade agreement with China now before Congress, business groups and the Clinton administration have touted the benefits of commerce for human rights and aggressively challenged the assumption that all Chinese dissidents reject the measure.
"In advance of a House vote on Wednesday, 100 Chinese dissidents living in the United States staged a rally in front of the Capitol to dramatize their opposition to giving China permanent access to the U.S. market, a status known as normal trade relations (NTR).
" ‘Their voices remind us of a China some are telling this Congress to forget,’ Rep. David E. Bonior said. ‘It is a China where those who dare to speak out for freedom and democracy are, quite literally taking their lives into their own hands.’ "...
"Dissidents yesterday expressed outrage that business would attempt to co-opt human rights activists in the name of expanding commerce. Wang Xizhe, a co-chairman of the China Democracy Party (CDP) who fled the country, said yesterday that the party is ‘unconditionally against permanent NTR for communist China.’
"Mr. Padilla [Christopher Padilla of the Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade] counters with the example of Nie Minzhi, a CDP member under house arrest in Zhejiang, Chiha. Mr. Nie, in an interview with Radio Free Asia backed permanent NTR and urged CDP members in North America to do the same.
"But Mr. Wang scoffs at any suggestion that these statements are at all sincere."
The Washington Times
Conflicting Views Hinder Dissidents on China Trade Vote
"As political jockeying on a China trade bill entered an intensive final stretch, both the Clinton administration and its opponents claimed crucial backing today from persecuted democracy leaders in China and in exile...
"The Capitol Hill rally was intended to refute White House claims that Chinese opposition leaders support elevated trade ties. Participants argued that by ending the annual trade review, Congress would sacrifice the only real leverage it has over China’s behavior toward its own citizens.
" ‘China will never change unless it’s under pressure,’ said Wang Xizhe, a gray-haired veteran of the opposition movement who now lives in the United States, Mr. Wang wrote an influential essay criticizing the excesses of the Cultural Revolution in 1974 and had been in and out of prison for nearly 25 years before he fled China three years ago.
"He said that without the annual review of China trade status, Beijing authorities might never have released him from jail.
" ‘The debate in Congress each year was one of the few things to lift my spirits when I was in jail,’ he said.
"But he acknowledged a deep split in the dissident community and he criticized exiled Tiananmen Square student leaders who support the trade bill as naive. ‘Some of us understand the Chinese people and some of us do not,’ he said."
The New York Times
May 23, 2000 - U.S. Engagement of China Should be
Conditional on Improvement of Human Rights
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: On Capitol Hill, the arm twisting is intense on the eve of House debate and an eventual vote on the bill to grant permanent normal trading status to China. The Clinton administration and the business community are backing the bill. Organized labor is against it, and the vote is expected to be close.
LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: President Clinton says that the reform element in China supports the trade pact. But here in the U.S., Chinese dissident Shengde Lian makes it clear he is against it. He was a student protester at Tiananmen Square and he spent two years in jail in China before coming to the United States. He joins us now from Washington.
Good morning, thank you for being with us today.
SHENGDE LIAN, CHINESE DISSIDENT: Good morning, my honor to be here.
STOUFFER: Well, for so many Americans, this is all about business and all about money, but for you it’s all about principle. How do you explain that?
LIAN: Yes, you know, business is great here, and has probably been this way since its inception. But business is not, you know, regulated in the free world. For example, not use the slavery labor. But as you may know, in China...the whole system is a totalitarian regime. And it’s institutional labor in the slavery labor system. There, you know, labor has no protection, no rights to form independent labor unions, no pension, no welfare, no social security, etc.
So, but we believe...79 percent of polled Americans saying that the U.S. should not grant PNTR to China now. And we believe that the representative of the people should listen to the voices of the people and stand up for the principles of which make this country great, which is: freedom, justice, human rights and democracy.
STOUFFER: Well, President Clinton and the administration say that the way to make that happen is to engage China. Why don’t you think that will work?
LIAN: You know what? Engage with China should be based on conditions and principles, not unconditionally engaging with China no matter what they do. We just do business, we just put money and profit for them to build up their military parts, to build up their armed place to continue the crackdown on citizen’s rights, to continue executing religious leaders, crackdown the student democracy party and honest citizens.
So engage with principles and be realistic. If this PNTR is granted and there’s no rule of law and China has never demonstrated that they would abide by international norms, we can see that will not help the pro-democracy movement at all, and on the other hand, it will not help the workers here...
STOUFFER: Now the vote in the House is scheduled for tomorrow, it looks like it’s going to be very close. But what if it passes and China is granted permanent normal trade relations, what will you do then?
LIAN: I hope that, first of all, the representatives of the people in this great country should be very clear that PNTR should be voted down this time. And we keep up the annual review of MFN and put conditions on China’s communist government. If this is voted... I believe this is a huge mistake that this great nation is making at this time. You’re dealing with communists...a more powerful totalitarian regie, like the People’s Republic of China, militarily and economically will be very confident not only to the freedom-fighting of the Chinese people, but also for the national security and national interest of this great country which should not be supporting, stabilizing and helping this regime to grow and survive while the world is going toward freedom and democracy.
CNN Early Edition, 8:35 am
May 23, 2000 - Dissidents Divided on Trade Vote
"...Shengde Lian, another 1989 protest leader now with the U.S.-based lobbying group the Free China Movement, described the proposal as ‘an equivalent to the offense of treason’ and likened China to a massive gulag in which ‘1.2 billion slaves’ live in constant fear.
"Lian argues that increased trade has not helped the cause of democracy and that granting permanent normal trade relations would only serve to support the ruling Communist party."
May 24, 2000 - OP-ED: China’s Pyrrhic Victory
"With the United Nations Human Rights Commission now relegated to the status of a Trojan horse, incapable of even remotely addressing wide-spread human rights violations in China that even a schoolchild would have the good sense of roundly condemn, Mr. Clinton stands on the world stage like a schoolmaster without a paddle. In other words, only the annual MFN debate in Congress remains as a potent forum in which to decry China’s brutal regime. It may not be much, but if American’s care about the human rights conduct of nations – which they do – it is everything."
The Washington Times
OP-ED: Trade-offs for democracy?
"The current president of China, Jiang Zemin, the head of the National People’s Congress, Li Peng, and virtually the entire military leadership of present-day China all were leaders in the Tiananmen repression and the subsequent dual policy of economic-military modernization combined with more stringent political controls and religious-ethnic persecution... China has chosen not liberalization but intensified political and religious repression and international aggressiveness. Therefore, the United States Congress should not approve PNTR for China. Instead, the United Stats should use access for Chinese products to our consumers (44 percent of China’s exports are to the U.S. vs. 2 percent of U.S. exports to China) as an incentive for China to: stop selling weapons of mass destruction; cease its aggressive actions and military threats; end its strategic nuclear buildup; and, implement the provisions of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights which China freely accepted."
Free China Movement Board Member
May 26, 2000 - Chinese Dissidents Bitter on U.S. Approval of PNTR
"Chinese dissidents in the United States, bitter about U.S. congressional approval of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China, said Thursday those who voted in favor of the bill would be responsible for any human rights abuses in China.
" ‘China will become a stronger, more powerful, more defiant human rights oppressor,’ warned dissident Wang Xizhe in a written statement here.
"Wang, who spent years in Chinese jails for his political outspokenness and is co-chair of the China Democracy Party, said that the United States ‘had lost its moral compass during the course of the PNTR debate.’
"The House of Representatives passed the measure by a wider-than-expected margin of 237-197 on Wednesday.
" ‘All of those Democrats and Republicans who voted for PNTR now bear a special responsibility for the welfare of China’s pro-democracy dissidents and religious practitioners,’ said Timothy Cooper, international director of the Free China Movement, a coalition of human rights and pro-democracy advocates. ‘Whatever happens next to victims of human rights abuse in China will be on their conscience,’ Cooper said in a statement."
Agence France Presse
May 26, 2000 - Having Lost China Trade Fight,
Activists Turn to International Alliance
"Picking themselves up after their stinging defeat in the fight against the US granting Beijing permanent normal trade relations, pro-democracy groups plan to join forces to peacefully change China’s political profile, a spokesman said Friday.
" ‘In light of the loss of the annual review of China’s human rights policies in Congress, the time has come to unite the overseas pro-democracy movement to stand against China’s systematic oppression,’ said Timothy Cooper, spokesman for the Free China Movement. The movement is a worldwide coalition of Chinese pro-democracy organizations. Cooper also represents China’s outlawed opposition China Democracy Party.
" ‘To accomplish this, we must first promote mutual dialogue and understanding among the overseas groups,’ Cooper explained in a statement. To that end, an array of human rights organizations are to meet for a two-day conference here over the weekend, focusing on human rights, democracy and religious freedom in China, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan. Conference participants will also attempt to forge an international alliance of pro-democracy activists ‘dedicated to peacefully achieving perpetual human rights and democracy in China,’ the statement said."
Agence France Presse
May 30, 2000 - OP-ED: Trade Alone Won’t Do It
"...How can we bring about democratic change in the People’s Republic of China?...
"Now that economic engagement with China is working to deepen that country’s economic transition toward a free market, we must implement a policy that promotes its political transition toward democracy.
"The key components of a ‘Marshall Plan for Chinese Democracy’ should include: public diplomacy that promotes debate on political reform in China; exchanges that transfer democratic ideas and values; support for democratic forces; support for the free flow of information, including e-mail and Internet projects and expansion of the China service of Radio Free Asia; and vigorous international moral and diplomatic pressure on human rights...
"Assistance for democratic forces and democratic exiles should be provided in the form of expanded funding for the National Endowment for Democracy, which works effectively in closed societies.
"Support for the free flow of information should include a major book publishing program that makes available writings of democratic activists, political movements and human rights monitors. New technologies should also be a part of the program mix. A project run on a shoestring budget called VIP Reference provides more than 1 million e-mail addresses in China with a 10-page digest of uncensored news and information on China, making it the largest free and uncensored newspaper ever to circulate inside a dictatorship. Such cost-effective programs should be aided and significantly expanded. "
President, Freedom House
The Washington Post
June 3, 2000 - Chinese Dissidents Launch US Hunger Strike
on Tiananmen Anniversary
"Chinese dissidents exiled in the United States launched a two-day hunger strike Saturday to mark the moment in 1989 when tanks rolled into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to crush mass pro-democracy protests.
"Thirty activists, many of whom fled China after playing key roles in the protests, gathered outside the Chinese embassy here, chanting ‘We want freedom, we want democracy.’
" ‘We have to let the world know that the massacre of June 4 will not be forgotten,’ said Lian Shengde, a former political prisoner and prominent dissident. ‘The Chinese government still denies there was a massacre, still denies that any students were killed,’ he said.
"Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army opened fire on unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square 11 years ago on the night of June 3-4, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of demonstrators. The protests, which called for greater democracy and an end of corruption and nepotism in government, have been labeled an ‘anti-revolutionary rebellion’ by the communist authorities.
"Another dissident at the Washington protest, Zhao Pingu, fought back tears as he remembered the events in Tiananmen Square. ‘I feel very, very bad that there are still people from 11 years ago in jail and labor camps,’ he said.
"Activists planned to remain in a grassy grove opposite the US embassy here throughout the hunger strike, which will include a candlelight vigil."
Agence France Presse
June 3, 2000 - Tiananmen Massacre Crushed Chinese Democracy
Movement, Not Activists
"It’s been 11 years since Lian, riding on a wave of youthful passion and optimism, led thousands of students from his university into Tiananmen Square. His action was repeated in campuses across China and within Beijing, until hundreds of thousands of students and supporters had crowded into the square demanding political reform.
"It was May 1989 and Lian, like hundreds of others in the square, had repeatedly been on hunger strike, ending up with an intravenous drip in his arm six times while trying to negotiate with the government on the reform demands.
"But the government refused to bend, and by the end of May the climate of optimism in Beijing was quickly beginning to turn.
" ‘The government was showing no signs of concession and martial law was announced,’ recalled Lian, now in exile in the United States. ‘I was in a hospital bed in Tiananmen Square talking about stopping the hunger strike.’ But it was too late.
"On June 3 the military, riding tanks, stormed in, killing hundreds of students in a shocking massacre that quickly became a symbol of Chinese government oppression. ‘I felt something like sadness, not fear, all else was gone, only sadness and a sense of powerlessness,’ said Lian, sitting in a paper-crowded office here earlier in the week.
"Now he’s planning to go on hunger strike on Saturday outside the Chinese embassy here, ‘to commemorate the victims of Tiananmen Square who senselessly lost their lives 11 years ago in a massacre initiated by the Chinese government.’
"Every detail of the days leading up to the confrontation and the months he spent in the notorious Qinchen prison afterwards are etched into this thin young man’s mind. ‘I feel guilty that I could not convince them all to leave’ the square, the former computer science major turned student activist told AFP.
"Visiting the hospitals afterward seeing the bodies piled up in the hallways, talking to the wounded, searching for survivors, an outraged Lian put his organizational skills into high gear. He mass copied press reports of the massacre and with a team of helpers gave them out to trusted people at the national train station to take into the countryside. ‘We had to let people outside Beijing know what had happened.’
"But 11 years later, it’s hard to keep the names and purpose of those who died at Tiananmen in the international spotlight, and in Beijing the anniversary is unlikely to cause much upheaval– most of the dissidents have been mopped up and thrown in jail or forced into exile. As the US ambassador to Beijing, James Prueher said in Washington recently when asked about expected anniversary commemorations, ‘I think things will be all right.’
"But Lian is not about to give up that easily. ‘Although the movement was physically crushed, many people still have the ideals, and there are still some activists advocating for changes and are brave enough to stand up in China. And we are going to speak for those colleagues who cannot.’
"Reflecting on the last 11 years and the changes in his life, he added: ‘I feel a sense of obligation to the voiceless in China, that I have to continue the fight, in a more professional and consistent way. ‘I will never forget those friends in Tiananmen Square of their ideals, although many others have.’"
Agence France Presse
AT THE 56TH SESSIONS OF
THE UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Believing that the current widespread campaign of political and religious persecution launched by the government of the People’s Republic of China against members of the Falun Gong, evangelical Christians, Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims, and repression against human rights and democracy advocates, constitutes de facto violation of international human rights law under specific provisions of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which protect, among other things, the right to freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion, we, the undersigned members of the international NGO community, call upon the UN Commission on Human Rights to vote against China’s "no-action motion" and to vote for the resolution condemning China for its systematic and continuing human rights abuses against its citizens.
Association for the Prevention of Torture
International Association for Religious Freedom
Pax Christi International
Australian Council for Overseas Aid
Franciscans International and Dominicans
Jubilee Campaign/International Association for Defense of Religious Liberty
International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Poland
Polish Association of Tibetan Friendship
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Europe Osflerhistaarische Union
Women’s League of Burma
World View International
Laogai Research Foundation
Free China Movement
Free China Forum
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights
Observatoire Des Libertes en Asie Orientale
Society of Threatened People
World Democratic Youth
Norwegian Helsinki Committee
International Catholic Migration Commission
Movement Against Racism Among All People
International Peace Bureau
Romanian Independence Society for Human Rights
Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace
Human Rights in China
International Fellowship of Reconciliation
Toronto Association for Democracy in China
Network for North Korean Human Rights and Democracy
Richard Gere, International Campaign for Tibet
Wang Dan, 1989 student leader
Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy to the Dalai Lama
Wang Xizhe, China Democracy Party
Hu Anning, China Democracy Party
Nainger Opleala, Tibetan Community
Ambassador Mark Palmer
Erping Zhang, Falun Gong
Gail Rachlin, Falun Gong
Feng Yuan, Falun Gong
Shengde Lian, former Tiananmen student leader and political prisoner
Timothy Cooper, International Director, Free China Movement
*RESOLUTION ON THE SUBJECT OF CONTINUING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Expressing the sense of the NGO community
Human Rights in China Conference
November 20, 1999
Whereas,all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights;
Whereas, these rights are human rights, endowed by the laws of nature on individuals in accordance with the evolving standards of the world community;
Whereas, human rights inure to the benefit of individuals, not by virtue of their nationality, but by virtue of their humanity;
Whereas, human rights are universal, created for the protection of the individual against arbitrary and repressive governmental power;
Whereas, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Convention Against Torture (CAT), constitute an emerging body of world law, which guarantee human rights under international law;
And whereas, the People’s Republic of China is bound by the provisions of the UN Universal Declaration, as a founding member of the United Nations;
And whereas, the People’s Republic of China is bound by the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights under the terms of the Vienna Convention, therefore prohibiting it to act in any manner which undermines the treaty’s object and purpose;
And whereas, the People Republic of China is bound by the Convention Against Torture, as ratified by its national legislature;
Wherefore, the People’s Republic of China violates these universal human rights standards when its citizens are
1) denied the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right of individuals to adopt a religion or belief of his or her own choosing, either individually or collectively, in public or private, and to manifest his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching,
2) denied the right of peaceful assembly;
3) denied the right to freedom of associations;
4) denied the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds;
5) denied the right to hold opinions without interference;
6) denied the right to enter their own country;
7) denied the right to equal protection under the law without discrimination of any kind;
8) denied the right to equality before the courts and the right to a fair and impartial trial;
9) denied the right to due process;
10) denied the right to self-determination;
Whereas, the government of the People’s Republic of China violates international human rights standards when it practices
1) torture, or in cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;
Resolved,That it is the sense of the international NGO community that the government of the People’s Republic of China should comply with its human rights treaty obligations under international law; that it should end the religious persecution of the Fulan Gong, the House Church, the Catholic Church, and all Buddhists and Muslims; that it should terminate the Laogai System; and that it should welcome political pluralism and grant self-determination to all its peoples.
Timothy Cooper, International Director, Free China Movement
Joel Segal, American Director, Co-founder, Free China Movement
Shengde Lian, Executive Director, Free China Movement
Wei Jingsheng, Chinese dissident
Liu Nianchun, Chinese dissident
Richard Long, VIP Reference
William Saunders, Family Research Council
Steven W. Mosher, Population Research Institute,
Wang Juntao, Chinese dissident
Zhao Pinglu, International Association of Chinese Workers,
Shen Tong, Chinese dissidents
William Meyers, Writer/Editor & Desktop Publisher, Columbia University Press
Diva, CEO, Bew Trolls, Inc.
Wen Xing, Chinese dissident
JP Hackworth, Newstrolls, Inc.
Paul Maas Risenhoover, Board member, free China Movement
Mark Richards, Socilogist
Jennifer Ellingston, DC Statehood Green Party
Mike Binder, DC Democracy Activist
Mary Flanner, Documentarian
Natalie Liu, former NBS Beijing correspondent
*AT THE 55TH SESSIONS OF
THE UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
ON THE SUBJECT OF CONTINUING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
Expressing the sense of the international NGO community regarding the December 21 and 22, 1998 summary prison sentences imposed by Chinese courts on China Democracy Party leaders Wang Youcai, Xu Wenli and Qing Yongming; the December 27, 1998 prison sentence of labor activist Zhang Shanguang; the January 1999 sentence of computer programmer Lin Hai; and the deteriorating health condition of democracy dissident Cheng Meng, who, while serving a 12-year sentence, contracted hepatitis, and is currently suffering from the severe effects of cirrhosis of the liver; the December 21, 1998 disappearance of Zhou Yongjun in China, the first elected leader of the 1989 Tianamen Square student protests; and the 1999 detention of Peng Ming, the first General Secretary of the China Development Union, which has over 10,000 members;
Whereas,on December 21, 1998, a Hangzhou court sentenced Wang Youcai to 11 years in prison for "plotting to overthrow state power"; Mr. Wang was attempting to establish the China Democracy Party; during his trial he was permitted no legal representation because Chinese security personnel intimidated his lawyer;
Whereas on December 22, 1998, Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate Court sentenced Xu Wenli to 13 years in prison after a three hour trial for "plotting to overthrow state power"; Mr. Xu was attempting to establish the China Democracy Party; when Mr. Xu rose to speak in his own defense, he was shouted down by the trial judge; his prison sentence was imposed in 20 minutes;
Whereas on December 22, 1998, a Wuhan court sentenced Qing Yongming to 12 years in prison for "plotting to overthrow state power"; he was attempting to establish the China Democracy Party; during his trial he was permitted no legal representation because Chinese security personnel intimidated his lawyer;
Whereas on December 27, 1998, a Xupu County court sentenced Zhang Shanguang to 10 years in prison for passing information to Radio Free Asia; the information was about farmer protests over high taxes in Xupu province, where one of the demonstrations ended in violence;
Whereas on January 20, 1999, the Shanghai Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Lin Hai to two years in prison for "inciting the overthrow of state power"; Mr. Lin supplied Internet VIP Reference Magazine with 30,000 e-mail addresses; in addition to his prison sentence he was fined $1,200; the "tools of his crime" were also confiscated, including two desktop computers, one laptop, a modem and a telephone;
Whereas, in 1995 Cheng Meng was sentenced to 12 years in prison for "betrayal of state secrets"; Mr. Chen transmitted a confidential file named "49 Especially Controlled Exiles and Members of Reactionary Organizations" to the overseas media in 1995; this action exposed the fact that the Chinese government was denying democracy dissidents the right to return to their homeland; while in prison Mr. Cheng contracted hepatitis B and C; until recently he was denied any medical treatment whatsoever; currently he is experiencing cirrhosis of the liver;
Whereas, on December 21, 1998, Zhou Yongjun, a founder of the Free China Movement and a member of the executive committee, disappeared while visiting his parents inside China; later it was confirmed by sources in Taiwan that he was arrested; Mr. Zhou had been working in New York City for the past six years; neither his family nor his friends have heard from him since the date of his disappearance;
Whereas, in October, 1998, the Government of the People’s Republic of China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the world’s leading human rights treaty, ratified to date by 137 countries, including the United States;
Whereas, under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which the Government of the People’s Republic is bound by law to observe, a State "is obligated to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty when... it has signed the treaty or.... until it shall have made its intention clear not to become a party to the treaty";
Whereas, Article 22 of the ICCPR provides that "[e]veryone shall have the right to freedom of association.... [and that] no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national society or public safety.... or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
Whereas, the right to freedom of association is also guaranteed under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);
Whereas, the European Commission on Human Rights has previously held that the refusal to register an organization and, by implication, a political party, could constitute an interference with the right of freedom of association; therefore, the right to form a political party is a matter of settled international law, and therefore an implicit right guaranteed under Article 22 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, the arrests and prison sentences of Wang Youcai, Xu Wenli and Qing Yongming for attempting to register the China Democracy Party constitute a violation of Article 22 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, Article 19 of the ICCPR also guarantees "the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print... or through any other media of his choice";
Whereas, the arrest and prison sentence of Zhang Shanguang for passing information to Radio Free Asia about farmer protests, and the arrest and prison sentence of Lin Hai for supplying 30,000 e-mail addresses to VIP Reference Magazine, constitute de facto human rights violations under Article 19 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, while the arrest and prison sentence of Cheng Meng for transmitting a confidential file to the overseas media was handed down prior to the signing of the ICCPR by the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Cheng’s arrest and sentence nevertheless violates the letter and spirit of Article 19 of the ICCPR, as well as contravenes Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which asserts the right of everyone "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"; the UDHR shrines the international human rights standards of the United Nations, of which the People’s Republic of China is a founding member;
Whereas, Article 10 of the ICCPR guarantees that "[a]ll persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity"; under Article 7 of the ICCPR, "[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"; the prolonged denial of humane and essential medical assistance to Mr. Cheng in prison constitutes de facto human rights violations of under Articles 10 and 7 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, Wang Youcai and Qing Yongming were convicted and sentenced to prison without the benefit of legal counsel; under Article 14 of the ICCPR, everyone is entitled to "communicate with counsel of his own choosing," and "[t]o be tried in his presence, and to defend himself.... through legal assistance of his own choosing"; the denial of counsel to the defendants during the course of their trials constitutes de facto human rights violations under Article 14 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, Xu Wenli rose to speak in his own defense during his 3 hour trial, the trial judge shouted him down; under Article 14 of the ICCPR, everyone has a right "to defend himself in person"; the denial of the right to defend himself constitutes a de facto human rights violation under Article 14 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, Article 9 of the ICCPR provides that "[a]nyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody.... [a]nyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful";
Whereas, the disappearance of Zhou Yongjun inside China and his subsequent arrest, and the failure of the Chinese government to bring Mr. Zhou to trial, constitutes a de facto human rights violation under the Article 9 of the ICCPR;
Whereas, the 1.5 year sentence of "detention for the purposes of education" imposed on Peng Ming by the Chinese police without due process, constitutes a de facto human rights violation under Article 9 of the ICCPR;
Resolved,That it is the sense of the international NGO community that the 55th session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights
1) should urge the People’s Republic of China to fully comply with all articles of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it is bound to observe by the Vienna Convention;
2) should urge the People’s Republic of China to release Wang Youcai, Xu Wenli, Qing Yongming, Zhang Shanguang and Lin Hai from prison, and to support the registration and formation of the China Democracy Party;
3) should urge the People’s Republic of China to release Cheng Meng from prison on humanitarian grounds, and continue to provide him with medical assistance;
4) should urge the People’s Republic of China to reveal the whereabouts of Zhou Yongjun, and allow him the right to due process; and
5) should urge the People’s Republic of China to grant Peng Ming the right to due process;
6) should publicly demonstrate its support and encouragement for peaceful political reform in the People’s Republic of China, including the transition to a multi-party system.
7) should ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as soon as practicable.
Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
Que Me, Action for Democracy in Vietnam
Free China Movement
Free China Forum
*Resolutions written by Timothy Cooper, international director, Free China Movement
THE FREE CHINA MOVEMENT IS:
Shengde Lian, Executive Director & Co-Founder
A well-known student leader in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he served two years in prison before fleeing China for the US in 1993, where he has continued his activism on behalf of the China democracy movement.
Timothy Cooper, International Director & Ambassador-at-Large, China Democracy Party
Long-time human rights activist and specialist in media and lobbying efforts, he has published extensively on the China democracy movement, and represents FCM and CDP at conferences around the world, including the UN Commission on Human Rights and, most recently, the World Forum on Democracy in Warsaw, Poland. He is also the Chairman of the Free Asia Conference Preparatory Committee, a group working to find common language and cause among pro-democracy groups in Asia.
Richard Long, Editor, VIP Reference Magazine
Founder and editor of VIP Reference Magazine, an on-line journal of un-censored pro-democracy news reaching approximately 1,000,000 email addresses inside China.
Ming Wong, Spokesperson for Fr
Wang Xizhe, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the China Democracy Party
Joel Segal, Co-Founder & Former American Director
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
World Council of Chinese Pro-democracy Organizations, Alliance for Democratic China, and their member organizations: China Democratic Party Overseas Committee, China Democracy Party New York Branch, North American Branch of China Democracy Party, China Democracy Party Co-ordinating Committee Europe, China Spring Magazine, Southern California Branch of Federation for a Democratic China, China Civic Forum, Free China Forum, Americans for a Free China, International Association of Chinese Workers, Party for Freedom and Democracy in China, Eastern American Asylum Association of Chinese, Visual Artists Guild, Freedom Forum Magazine, Zhong Shan Comrade Committee, China Spring Europe and Asia Union, China Comments Magazine, Worldwide Chinese Magazine, Human Rights Appeal (Mainland), Sino-Hong Kong Promoting Democracy Association, Long March Foundation, Modern Chinese Problem Research Forum, Hong Kong Democrats, Ma Cao Club, China Watch Magazine, VIP Reference, and Small Reference On-Line Magazine, Reforming China Network, China Liberal Democratic Party in Australia, Taiwan Straight Peace Promoting Committee, New Zealand Promoting Democracy Committee, Human Rights Union (Mainland China), Public Opinions Magazine (mainland China),Tian Nu Magazine (mainland China), China Labor Party Forming Committee (mainland), Human Rights Voice (mainland).
For the past two years, Freedom House has provided office space, telephone and related overhead support for Free China Movement. We wish to gratefully acknowledge Freedom House for their continued support.
Former American Director of Free China Movement and staff member of Congress
(To be continued)