Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Why we must, IMHO, support Iraq's democracy

In a thousand or so words, I ask the anti-Communist movement to support the admittedly stumbling liberation of Iraq. I hope all of you will give it serious thought.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday the 10th of Nov.'06

CSN's Exec. Dir., Curry Kenworthy, encourages blog entries that simply share experience, so here I can talk about Friday's events in New York City.

When 15 million people have recently quit from the Chinese Communist Party, and when the Vice President of the European Parliament will appear with Wei Jingsheng (China's most famous dissident), you would think that there ought to be a splash in the news that goes along with the occasion.

America's news media has been noticeably reticent to cover the entire (a.) Chinese democracy movement; (b.) persecution of Falun Gong; (c.) Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party -- a tract that has gone on to greatness; (d.) the "Bye Bye CCP" campaign with 15 million resignations from the CCP; and (e.) the grizzly scandal of organ harvesting that prompted an outburst, on the south lawn of the White House, by Wenyi Wang. --All of the foregoing is huge news! --All of it has been tidily contained by America's mainstream corporate media.

I attended Friday's forum, that was held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. This is New York City! There are numerous news channels, and major international media have bureaus in New York as well. But, just like a good politician upon walking in, my eyes counted the number of television cameras in evidence. The answer? Two. At least one camera was for New Tang Dynasty Television, and it was not evident for whom the other camera was present.

I attended this time as an audience member, or observer for CSN. I was not slated to speak. (On other days, I have given impromptu speeches when I didn't plan to, because the organizers plucked me out of the crowd; but Friday was not like that.) I could just take in the program.

There is an Epoch Times article about the program at
The title, China's Global Strategy and Inner Crisis, meant that discussion went to both foreign policy (North Korea, e.g.) and to the CCP-withdrawal phenomenon. Human rights, of course, were on the program, but the take away was that CCP foreign policy was being used as a diversion to distract attention away from the internal crisis as millions of people withdraw and quit from the CCP.

The star, featured attraction -- the keynote speaker, was Edward McMillan-Scott, a British politician who is also Vice President of the EU European Parliament. He recounted his own investigation into Chinese human rights; earlier this year he went to Beijing and met with some Falun Gong practitioners, who were arrested afterwards for meeting with him. At the time, he did not meet with Gao Zhisheng; that meeting was contemplated, but not carried out. (Gao was arrested three months later.)

China has a human rights emergency, and McMillan-Scott has come to the positioning that the Beijing Olympics of 2008 should be linked to human rights, and pressured against in the absence of same.

He is strongly with the "Bye Bye CCP" campaign, and his European Democracy Initiative has its focus moving to China. He concluded by saying, "Everyone knows that the Chinese regime is coming to an end. I just say to the people in China who are guilty of crimes of genocide, such as harvesting organs from Falun Gong prisoners—we know your names. We know what you're doing… and you will be punished. This is the world of 2006 and beyond. It is a world of human rights and democracy, and a world in which the CCP has no place."

Well, everyone knows WITH THE EXCEPTIONS of AP, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN....all those people who were absent from this forum!

I'll continue to blog my experience, because this was my first time face-to-face with Edward McMillan-Scott. During a break, I gained the introductions with him, and promised that I would insert a question into the Q&A period later.

I'll say that I'm happy that the cause has gained attention from political figures such as David Kilgour (former Canadian MP and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific affairs) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, soon to be US House Speaker), and here was Edward McMillan-Scott. --But, the China Support Network is fully hard-line against Communist China, so I wondered, 'how close are we, really, on the issues'?

My question to him was sort of a firecracker. I mentioned that CSN is in coalitions that say, 'Boycott the Olympics' and 'Boycott Made in China products.' He, in his remarks, said that it took him a while to come around to wanting to use the Olympics as a chip or a card to be played against Communist China. --So, my question was about using trade as a chip or a card against Communist China.

I stressed that China has a pace or a rate of killing of innocent people. I made mine a two part question: (1.) Would he favor using trade against Communist China; and, anticipating that he was hesitant, part (2.) was hypothetical. "If the pace of killing doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or so on, at what point does the human rights emergency justify using trade as a chip against Communist China?"

This was a perilous question, because why accept one rate of killing, but then switch positions if the emergency worsened? (For a human rights person, no rate of killing of innocents is acceptable. So my question sort of set him up for possible embarrassment.) Despite my loaded question, McMillan-Scott is a good politician, and so he sidestepped the pitfall.

He said that he favors that we identify and prohibit the import of products that are made in any way by forced labor, or during incarceration. In this political position, some imports are unacceptable, while other imports are acceptable.

I did not follow up to pin him down; I'm a friendly questioner, not an unfriendly one. But, if we spoke with the Boycott Made In China coalition (where CSN is a member), we would hear that there is no way, from the outside of a product, to tell whether it was made in forced-labor conditions or not. (And even outside of prisons, a lot of the labor conditions are perilous and hazardous exploitation that amounts to human rights abuse anyway.) So, the Boycott coalition would say that the only sure way to avoid such products is to avoid ALL Made In China products. It's part of the justification for boycotting.

If such products could effectively be identified, I would support banning them too. But, the Tibetans (who run the Boycott coalition) have a principled approach. If Chinese products are avoided all together, then so too is the question of trying to identify which ones come from forced (slave) labor conditions.

After the event, I was invited to dinner with top organizers.

I found myself riding in an SUV, driven by Wei Jingsheng, across town in Manhattan. With us was Brian Marple, a good translator. I asked some questions about the loyalties of the Chinese military, and about the Constitution for a future Chinese regime. Apparently, Wei does not feel settled upon one or another draft of Constitution. (More than one draft floats around in the movement.) He would be just as fine with the 1947 Constitution that was made for all of China, but which became the Constitution of Taiwan. That 1947 draft seems to be the default choice, the one that is always there in the absence of agreement about anything newer or upgraded by comparison.

We drove right by 30 Rock, but we didn't stop. Chinese food was in order, and we kept driving. (30 Rock is the home of NBC News. Wei Jingsheng actually lives in Washington. Any time that he sets foot in another city, it would be on business that is of import to the democracy movement. So, in a healthier world, that should be recognized as a newsworthy occasion--he should have been stopping at 30 Rock for a newsmaker interview.) We kept driving, and we chatted some about the impact of Nancy Pelosi as the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

We then arrived at the Chinese restaurant, where more leading figures were already there. The pleasant supper included some top Falun Gong organizers, but not Edward McMillan-Scott, who didn't join us because he was catching a flight.

So, that was my experience of Friday, Nov. 10, 2006. After I parted company with my Chinese friends, I went to a club in Greenwich Village, and took in the concert by a Connecticut group, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Speaking of politics and elections . . .

. . . they can't say we aren't a big tent here at CSN. While the organization's founder (that would be John) seems (mostly) to be rooting for the Democrats this Tuesday; the president (that would be me) is hoping the Republicans can keep the House.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Developing situation about Jia Jia the defector from Communist China

Here is what we know--

October 23, 2006:

This is a Monday. Jia Jia defects, leaving his tour group in Taiwan.

October 26, 2006:

Epoch Times article, "Chinese Official Defects in Taiwan; Seeks Split from CCP"

October 27, 2006:

This is a Friday. Jia Jia makes an appearance at a press conference in Hong Kong.
Epoch Times article, "Chinese Defector in Hong Kong After Taiwan Rejects His Political Asylum Request"
Epoch Times article, "Chinese Defector Reveals Officials' Desire to Quit the Communist Party--UPDATED"
China e-Lobby says,

"Taiwan sends back Communist defector: Given the island democracy's proximity to the Communist mainland and concern for espionage, deporting ex-cadre Jia Jia is an understandable mistake, but a mistake all the same (Epoch Times)."

October 28, 2006:

Epoch Times article, "Correction: Chinese Defector Given His Correct Title"
Epoch Times article, "Top Chinese Official Seeks Asylum"

October 29, 2006:

This is a Sunday. A rally in Vancouver is held in support of Jia Jia.
Epoch Times article, "SOS! My Father Is in Grave Danger From The Chinese Communist Regime for Publicly Supporting Democracy"
Epoch Times article, "Mainland Chinese Defector's Son Asks for Support for Father"
The rally's appeal includes these words:
"For the people who love freedom and democracy please support Jia immediately. We appeal especially to the Hong Kong government to protect Jia and support his democratic agenda so that democracy can be achieved in China."

October 30, 2006:

China e-Lobby

"reports from a Vancouver rally for Jia Jia (for more on Jia, see Epoch Times, Epoch Times again, and eighth item)"

November 1, 2006:

China e-Lobby says,

"Jia Jia denied asylum by the United States, too: The Communist statistician who turned on his party (eighth and lead items) now fears arrest - and worse - in Hong Kong; he talked to Bill Gertz (Washington Times). This decision (by Washington) is a terrible mistake; it should be reversed and Jia should be granted asylum."

See below for a Washington Times article and an Open Letter to President Bush from D.J. McGuire about Jia Jia.

Washington Times article:

Chinese defector finds no asylum

By Bill Gertz
Published November 1, 2006

A former high-ranking Chinese technology specialist has defected and is seeking political asylum in the United States in order to promote democratic change in China.
Jia Jia, until recently the head of the government-backed China Shanxi Science and Technology Experts Association in Shanxi, north-central China, said in a telephone interview from Hong Kong that he defected Oct. 23 during a visit to Taiwan because he opposes Chinese Communist Party rule.
"China right now is not free," Mr. Jia said. "I left China because I want to make use of the democratic environment outside the country."
Once China has taken steps to match its economic reform with democratic political reform, Mr. Jia said he will return to China.
Mr. Jia was refused political asylum in Taiwan because, he said, Taiwanese officials feared allowing him to stay would upset China.
The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, where he is staying temporarily, also has rejected Mr. Jia's appeal for political asylum, telling him that he did not meet the qualifications.
The former technology official said he has been granted permission to stay seven days in Hong Kong under rules governing tourist visits, while he seeks permission to move to another country. Because Hong Kong is part of China, he could be arrested after that period.
Mr. Jia said that if he is forcibly repatriated, he faces torture and possible death because he has spoken out against the ruling Communist Party and in support of democracy.
Mr. Jia advocates the creation of a non-communist federal government in China to replace the ruling-party system.
The increase in protests and civil unrest in China is the result of opposition to communist rule, he said.
"I hope President Bush will help me go [to the United States] and that U.S. citizens will help me to realize a democratic China," Mr. Jia said.
"If President Bush can do that, the Chinese people will thank America for generations," he said.
Mr. Bush vowed to support pro-democracy advocates in his 2005 inaugural speech. He said democratic reformers facing repression, prison or exile around the world should known that "America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country."
However, pro-China officials in the White House and elsewhere in the Bush administration have blocked major U.S. government efforts to help Chinese dissidents since doing so would upset relations between Washington and Beijing.
Mr. Jia said he believes "millions" of Chinese Communist Party members want democratic reform, as do millions of others among China's 1.3 billion population.
As many as 14 million of China's 78 million Communist Party members have left the party in recent years, a factor that prompted his defection, Mr. Jia said.
Last year, China's ruling party issued a white paper stating that China will never adopt Western-style democracy.
Mr. Jia said he is not a member of the banned Chinese spiritual group Falun Gong, which advocates the ouster of the Communist Party in China, but he said he has been supported by the group in his efforts to seek asylum.

The Open Letter to President Bush from D.J. McGuire about Jia Jia--

Dear Mr. President,

The fate of a very brave man is in your hands.

In Hong Kong, Jia Jia awaits an almost certain arrest by the Communist Chinese regime for trying to bring democracy to the Chinese people. For reasons that are unknown - and even if they were known, they'd be unfathomable - The American consulate in Hong Kong denied him asylum.

I ask you to order the consulate to reverse that decision and grant Jia asylum in the United States.

Jia may be just one man, but the implications of his situation are enormous. As head of the China Shanxi Science and Technology Experts Association, Jia was a well-placed technology specialist. The information he has learned about Communist China's technological industry could be a tremendous intelligence boon for the democratic world, especially given the fact that the civilian and military technology sectors are so deeply intertwined - it could even be reasonably said that they are not separate sectors at all.

However, this is about more than mere intelligence information. Since the release of the Nine Commentaries two years ago, over 14 million Communist Party members have seen the light and left the Party in disgust. In other words, one in every one hundred citizens of the People's Republic of China is a former Communist (within the Party itself, that is more than two out of every eleven members). For understandable reasons, many high-ranking ex-cadres are too fearful to speak out. Jia is arguably the highest-ranking ex- Communist to go public with his call for a democratic China. Millions of other ex-Communists are watching to see if the democratic world will protect and aid Jia.

By granting Jia asylum and protection, the United States will show that the nations of the democratic world are eager to see China join them. Conversely, continuing to deny him asylum sends the unintended signal that the free world is more worried about the Chinese Communist Party than the Chinese people.

This is not the signal we want to send.

Jia Jia can be more than just a leader in the China democracy movement; he can be a symbol to all who have rejected the Communist Party that they have been noticed by the democratic world, and a symbol of encouragement to those considering leaving the Party to do the right thing. That is the main reason why the Communist Party is so eager to ensure Jia is not granted asylum. It is also the main reason asylum should be granted.

Let Jia Jia become China's symbol, rather than its martyr. Please, Mr. President, grant Jia Jia asylum in the United States.

May I humbly submit a suggestion for 2008?

Or, to put it another way, a new Presidential candidate has me smitten.