Saturday, December 08, 2007
The chairman of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, Mr. Wei Jingsheng, was invited by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group of the European Parliament to attend its conference from December 6 to 7, 2007. He also attended a luncheon as the VIP guest at the European Parliament Members' Restaurant hosted by its European Parliament members.
The organizer at the European Parliament, Marco Cappato, member of the Parliament, told the audience that the Chinese government called all of their Parliament members in an effort to prevent Wei Jingsheng’s participation.
In his speech, Wei Jingsheng said that the group's effort to establish a moratorium on the death penalty, in particular by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, not only received attention in the United Nations, but also had very important effects in China where 90% of the world's executions take in place. The Chinese government's Supreme Court has already decided on resumption of the right to review all death penalty decisions made by lower courts, and has informed the lower courts to reduce the number of death penalties. These actions indicate that although the dictatorial government could be playing games orally, it will quietly reduce its bad actions when there is strong international pressure. The human rights pressure from the international society has its important effect in pushing forward the human rights progress in China.
Wei Jingsheng also said that the huge trade deficit between Europe and China could not be compensated for by the 30 billion Euros worth order that France received from China. More European enterprises have lost their business, and more European workers have lost their jobs. These losses are not because the European business is not competitive, but due to unfair trade relationships and cheap labor. Why is there cheap labor? Because the Chinese workers do not have the rights to demand rightful wages. Why is there unfair trade? Because the Chinese government monopolizes the market. These problems are part of the Chinese human rights issue. So paying attention to Chinese human rights is paying attention on Europeans' own interests as well.
Wei Jingsheng also talked about what people have been talking about France recently, after it received the 30 Billion Euros' order -- that France is trying to persuade other nations of the European Union to lift the arms embargo against the Chinese Communists. Wei said that it is a huge matter related to standards of value, as well as security, that it should not be used to trade politically. The security of Asia is tied to the security of the globe. Should a major war break out in Asia, the security of Europe would be directly threatened. The uprising of Russian extreme nationalism, as well as the massive export of Russia's advanced weapons and technology, are all for the final goal to resume its traditional control over the East Europe. The Europeans should pay attention to this situation.
Near the end of conference, Wei Jingsheng also encouraged the attendees to continuously pay attention to Chinese human rights, especially during the time before Beijing's Olympic Games. The Games offer the best opportunity to push for the progress of Chinese human rights.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
U.S. President George W. Bush:
Madam Speaker; and Senator Byrd; Mr. Leader; members of the congressional delegation, particularly Senators Feinstein and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Senator Thomas -- God rest his soul -- distinguished guests, particularly our friend, Elie Wiesel; and Your Holiness.
Over the years, Congress has conferred the Gold Medal on many great figures in history -- usually at a time when their struggles were over and won. Today Congress has chosen to do something different. It has conferred this honor on a figure whose work continues -- and whose outcome remains uncertain. In so doing, America raises its voice in the call for religious liberty and basic human rights. These values forged our Republic. They sustained us through many trials. And they draw us by conviction and conscience to the people of Tibet and the man we honor today.
Nearly two decades have passed since the Dalai Lama was welcomed to the White House for the very first time. Members of both of our political parties and world leaders have seen His Holiness as a man of faith and sincerity and peace. He's won the respect and affection of the American people -- and America has earned his respect and affection, as well.
As a nation, we are humbled to know that a young boy in Tibet -- as a young boy in Tibet, His Holiness kept a model of the Statue of Liberty at his bedside. Years later, on his first visit to America, he went to Battery Park in New York City so he could see the real thing up close. On his first trip to Washington, he walked through the Jefferson Memorial -- a monument to the man whose words launched a revolution that still inspires men and women across the world. Jefferson counted as one of America's greatest blessings the freedom of worship. It was, he said, "a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support."
The freedom of belief is a yearning of the human spirit, a blessing offered to the world, and a cherished value of our nation. It's the very first protection offered in the American Bill of Rights. It inspired many of the leaders that this rotunda honors in portraits and in marble. And it still defines our way of life.
Consider where we gather today. This great symbol of democracy sits quietly near a Catholic parish, a Jewish synagogue, a Muslim community center, a Greek Orthodox cathedral, and a Buddhist temple -- each with faithful followers who practice their deeply held beliefs and live side by side in peace. This diversity is not a source of instability -- it's a source of strength. (Applause.) This freedom does not belong to one nation -- it belongs to the world.
One of the tragic anomalies of the past century is that in an era that has seen an unprecedented number of nations embrace individual freedom has also witnessed the stubborn endurance of religious repression. Americans cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and close our eyes or turn away. And that is why I will continue to urge the leaders of China to welcome the Dalai Lama to China. They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation. (Applause.)
Throughout our history, we have stood proudly with those who offer a message of hope and freedom to the world's downtrodden and oppressed. This is why all of us are drawn to a noble and spiritual leader who lives a world away. Today we honor him as a universal symbol of peace and tolerance, a shepherd for the faithful, and the keeper of the flame for his people.
I congratulate His Holiness on this recognition. I'm so honored to be here with you, sir. Laura and I join all Americans in offering the people of Tibet our fervent prayer that they may find days of prosperity and peace.
And now I ask the Speaker and Senator Byrd to join me for the Gold Medal presentation. (Applause.)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Byrd, my fellow Laureate Elie Wiesel, Honorable Members of Congress, Brothers and Sisters.
It is a great honor for me to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. This recognition will bring tremendous joy and encouragement to the Tibetan people, for whom I have a special responsibility. Their welfare is my constant motivation and I always consider myself as their free spokesperson. I believe that this award also sends a powerful message to those many individuals who are dedicated to promoting peace, understanding and harmony.
On a personal note, I am deeply touched that this great honor has been given to me, a Buddhist monk born of a simple family from the remote Amdo region of Tibet. As a child I grew up under the loving care of my mother, a truly compassionate woman. And after my arrival in Lhasa at the age of four, all the people around me, my teachers and even the housekeepers, taught me what it means to be kind, honest, and caring. It is in such an environment that I grew up. Later my formal education in Buddhist thought exposed me to concepts such as interdependence and the human potential for infinite compassion. It is these that gave me a profound recognition of the importance of universal responsibility, nonviolence, and inter-religious understanding. Today, it is a conviction in these values that gives me the powerful motivation to promote basic human values. Even in my own struggle for the rights and greater freedom of the Tibetan people, these values continue to guide my commitment to pursuing a nonviolent path.
I have had the honor to be in this hall once before when I visited your country in 1991. Many of the faces that welcomed me then, I can see today, which gives me great joy. Many have retired and some are sadly no longer with us. However, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize their kindness and contribution. Our American friends have stood with us in the most critical of times and under most intense pressure.
Mr. President, thank you for your strong support, and for the warm friendship that Mrs. Bush and you have extended to me personally. I am deeply grateful to you for your sympathy and support for Tibet, and your firm stand on religious freedom and the cause of democracy.
Madam Speaker, you have not only extended an unwavering support to me and the just cause of the Tibetan people, you have also worked hard to promote the cause of democracy, freedom and the respect for human rights in other parts of the world. For this, I would like to offer my special thanks.
The consistency of American support for Tibet has not gone unnoticed in China. Where this has caused some tension in the US-China relations, I feel a sense of regret. Today, I wish to share with you all my sincere hope that the future of Tibet and China will move beyond mistrust to a relationship based on mutual respect, trust and recognition of common interests.
Today we watch China as it rapidly moves forward. Economic liberalization has led to wealth, modernization and great power. I believe that today's economic success of both India and China, the two most populated nations with long history of rich culture, is most deserving. With their new-found status, both of these two countries are poised to play important leading role on the world stage. In order to fulfill this role, I believe it is vital for China to have transparency, rule of law and freedom of information. Much of the world is waiting to see how China's concepts of "harmonious society" and "peaceful rise" would unfold. Today's China, being a state of many nationalities, a key factor here would be how it ensures the harmony and unity of its various peoples. For this, the equality and the rights of these nationalities to maintain their distinct identities are crucial.
With respect to my own homeland Tibet, today many people, both from inside and outside, feel deeply concerned about the consequences of the rapid changes taking place. Every year, the Chinese population inside Tibet is increasing at an alarming rate. And, if we are to judge by the example of the population of Lhasa, there is a real danger that the Tibetans will be reduced to an insignificant minority in their own homeland. This rapid increase in population is also posing serious threat to Tibet's fragile environment. Being the source of many of Asia's great rivers, any substantial disturbance in Tibet's ecology will impact the lives of hundreds of millions. Furthermore, being situated between India and China, the peaceful resolution of the Tibet problem also has important implications for lasting peace and friendly relation between these two great neighbors.
On the future of Tibet, let me take this opportunity to restate categorically that I am not seeking independence. I am seeking a meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people within the People's Republic of China. If the real concern of the Chinese leadership is the unity and stability of PRC, I have fully addressed their concerns. I have chosen to adopt this position because I believe, given the obvious benefits especially in economic development, this would be in the best interest of the Tibetan people. Furthermore, I have no intention of using any agreement on autonomy as a stepping stone for Tibet's independence.
I have conveyed these thoughts to successive Chinese leaders. In particular, following the renewal of direct contact with the Chinese government in 2002, I have explained these in detail through my envoys. Despite all this, Beijing continues to allege that my "hidden agenda" is separation and restoration of Tibet?s old socio-political system. Such a notion is unfounded and untrue.
Even in my youth, when I was compelled to take on the full responsibility of governance, I began to initiate fundamental changes in Tibet. Unfortunately, these were interrupted because of the political upheavals that took place. Nevertheless, following our arrival in India as refugees, we have democratized our political system and adopted a democratic charter that sets guidelines for our exile administration. Even our political leadership is now directly chosen by the people on a five-year term basis. Moreover, we have been able to preserve and practice most of the important aspects of our culture and spirituality in exile. This is due largely to the kindness of India and its people.
Another major concern of the Chinese government is its lack of legitimacy in Tibet. While I cannot rewrite the past, a mutually agreeable solution could bring legitimacy, and I am certainly prepared to use my position and influence among the Tibetan people to bring consensus on this question. So I would also like to restate here that I have no hidden agenda. My decision not to accept any political office in a future Tibet is final.
The Chinese authorities assert that I harbor hostility towards China and that I actively seek to undermine China's welfare. This is totally untrue. I have always encouraged world leaders to engage with China; I have supported China's entry into WTO and the awarding of summer Olympics to Beijing. I chose to do so with the hope that China would become a more open, tolerant and responsible country.
A major obstacle in our ongoing dialogue has been the conflicting perspectives on the current situation inside Tibet. So in order to have a common understanding of the real situation, my envoys in their sixth meeting with their Chinese counterparts suggested that we be given an opportunity to send study groups to look at the actual reality on the ground, in the spirit of "seeking truth from facts." This could help both sides to move beyond each other's contentions.
The time has come for our dialogue with the Chinese leadership to progress towards the successful implementation of a meaningful autonomy for Tibet, as guaranteed in the Chinese constitution and detailed in the Chinese State Council "White Paper on Regional Ethnic Autonomy of Tibet." Let me take this opportunity to once again appeal to the Chinese leadership to recognize the grave problems in Tibet, the genuine grievances and deep resentments of the Tibetan people inside Tibet, and to have the courage and wisdom to address these problems realistically in the spirit of reconciliation. To you, my American friends, I appeal to you to make every effort to seek ways to help convince the Chinese leadership of my sincerity and help make our dialogue process move forward.
Since you have recognized my efforts to promote peace, understanding and nonviolence, I would like to respectfully share a few related thoughts. I believe this is precisely the time that the United States must increase its support to those efforts that help bring greater peace, understanding and harmony between peoples and cultures. As a champion of democracy and freedom, you must continue to ensure the success of those endeavors aimed at safeguarding basic human rights in the world. Another area where we need US leadership is environment. As we all know, today our earth is definitely warming up and many scientists tell us that our own action is to a large part responsible. So each one of us must, in whatever way we can, use our talents and resources to make a difference so that we can pass on to our future generations a planet that is at least safe to live on.
Many of world's problems are ultimately rooted in inequality and injustice, whether economic, political or social. Ultimately, this is a question of the wellbeing of all of us. Whether it is the suffering of poverty in one part of the world, or whether it is the denial of freedom and basic human rights in another part, we should never perceive these events in total isolation. Eventually their repercussions will be felt everywhere. I would like to appeal to you to take a leadership role in an effective international action in addressing these problems, including the huge economic imbalance. I believe the time has now come to address all these global issues from the perspective of the oneness of humanity, and from a profound understanding of the deeply interconnected nature of our today's world.
In conclusion, on behalf of six million Tibetan people, I wish to take this opportunity to recognize from the depth of my heart the support extended to us by the American people and their government. Your continued support is critical. I thank you once again for the high honor that you have bestowed on me today. Thank you.
(Bush remarks are as found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/; Dalai Lama remarks are as found at http://www.savetibet.org/.)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Cinderella Singer Hides from Communist Goons Trying to Stop Her from Attending International Vocal Competition
From that point forward little Su trained with her vocal teacher, Ms. Li, day in and day out. Overtime her voice became more and more pure and beautiful. In spite of her meager upbringings, she did very well at the statewide competitions.
Then one day they heard news about an International Vocal Competition in New York City hosted by the TV station New Tang Dynasty TV. She really wanted to go. It was her life's dream. But she didn't have any money. Her parents didn't have any money as they had given it to the teacher and were just poor farmers. That night little Su prayed and prayed, and cried and cried, for a way for her to come to America and sing.
When Little Su came to see, Ms. Li she was crying. "What's wrong," Ms. Li asked? "I want to go to America and share my heart with the people of the world, but I have no money!" Little Su said. Ms. Li looked at her with understanding eyes. Ms. Li went into the other room and got out the piggie bank from under her bed where she had put all the money from Little Su's father. She walked across the room and gave it to Little Su: "Here - take this money and fulfill your dream and the dream that was taken from me by the Cultural Revolution." Little Su trembled with the piggy bank in her hands as tears fell down onto her peasant clothing.
Ms. Li looked at her and smiled: "But you can't compete in those clothes." Ms. Li patted her head and went into a trunk. She pulled out a beautiful hand-embroidered dress: "This was the dress that my mother made for me when I was going to compete in an international vocal competition," Ms. Li said. "But the Communist Party wouldn't let me leave the country...and then they killed my mother in the Cultural Revolution. You wear it when you sing for freedom in America." Little Su and Ms. Li hugged as they cried.
Little Su packed her competition dress and her meager belongs to go to the competition in America. Then on October 8, as she was preparing to go to the airport, her music teacher called her: "You must hide; the police are trying to arrest all the contestants. They don't want anyone to go New York and sing about freedom." Taking the advice of her teacher, Little Su hid while police arrested another contestant. In hiding, Little Su cries and cries and prays and prays that the kind people of the world will rescue her so that she can come to America and sing for the people of China...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It was interesting to see the Op-Ed article by Yang Jianli, released by the Washington Post for its September 30 issue.
It is rare for mainstream U.S. news media to let on -- to breathe a word of the existence of the Chinese democracy movement, still active with voices, events, and activism in the United States (the "land of the free," were it not for censorship by the mainstream press). The Post previously rejected a joint Op-Ed from Lian Shengde and John Kusumi.
So. The cat is out of the bag at the Washington Post. Here is an excerpt from what Yang wrote:
All of us in the Chinese democracy movement stand in solidarity with the Burmese people, who are engaged in a life-or-death struggle to free their country from years of oppression and decay. Everything is at stake for the Burmese, but the outcome in Burma will also have a major impact on our struggle in China....
China has a parasitic relationship with Burma. Beijing sucks out Burma's natural resources -- especially oil, gas and timber -- at heavily discounted prices, which it obtains because so few countries are willing to do business with a regime that manages its own economy so poorly and that has such a terrible human rights record. China views the junta's preservation as in its own interest, to ensure that competition for those resources remains minimal. To this end, China is the principal arms exporter to Burma, providing 90 percent of its weapons. Without $1.6 billion in past military assistance from China, Burma would not have been able to create a 400,000-member army, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, behind only Vietnam.
See the whole article at:
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Yang Jianli: Ladies and gentlemen, my dear friends, it is heartening to be able again to stand on this great land as a free man, freely expressing my thoughts and ideas before you. Five years and four months: this moment has not come easily. There's no way to know how many good hearted people have put their efforts to secure my release and my safe return to the United States; how many prayers have been said; how many wishes have been made; and, how many tears have been shed.
At this emotional moment, my heart is filled with thanksgiving. While it is impossible to thank everyone by name now, and I look forward to giving proper thanks to people individually, in person and in good time --there are a few people that I would be remiss if I didn't thank publicly now. It is most appropriate for me to begin with the U.S. Congress. As I stand today in this great democratic institution, I thank its members for their genuine concern, compassion, and perseverence to secure my freedom and family reunion.
My family could not have not been luckier than to have chosen to live in Brookline, Massachusetts, and to happen to have been represented by Congressman Barney Frank. His support to my family and his relentless work has been the backbone of the effort to secure my release. Thank you, Congressman Barney Frank.
In addition, Chairman Chris Cox, prior to leaving the Congress, spent many years --and Chairman Congressman Lantos spent many years-- all from the very beginning, working to secure my release. Thank you, Chairman Cox. Thank you, Chairman Lantos.
I feel deeply indebted to the Bush administration. President Bush, Secretary Rice, Secretary Paulson, Ambassador Rant, and so many others for their tireless work on the front line, which has brought this day to fruition.
Standing with me today also is my dear friend Jared Genser, President of Freedom Now, who has supported my family since the very beginning. He brought my case before the United Nations which prepared the vital and necessary groundwork for this entire endeavor. He pressed the Bush administration and the U.S. Congress to care about my imprisonment. He fought for five long years without one minute of wavering. Just like I knew from within myself that this day would come, he too on the outside was just as resolute in his determination. My special thanks to you, my dear friend Jared. And also to Jerome Cohen as well, who could not be here today but who was a tremendous support to my family.
My gratitude to all of you in the media for publicizing my case, which in turn created enormous support around the world. Thank you all.
And to human rights groups worldwide and my colleagues from the Chinese community, I thank them for their constant and unflagging support.
I also cannot express enough my profound affection and appreciation to my entire family. Without their love, devotion, support, and understanding, I would not have been able to survive these difficult years. My family are here, my wife and my son -- Christina and Aaron -- and my mother. Mother, mom: thank you. And my sister, Junghua[sp?], and my sister Junguo[sp?], and my nephew Daniel. Thank you all.
But my rock, my source of strength, and the person who helped me get through these many years is my devoted wife, Christina. No one, when they get married, quite knows what will be required when they take their wedding vows. I know that was certainly the case with us, and especially for her.
I have only begun to understand --most since my release-- what a vital leadership role she played in this entire effort. Her grace and dignity and her unflagging dedication to get me home inspired countless people to put in an extra effort on my behalf. Without her summoning the inner strength required to persevere, I would not be home today. Christina, I love you, I am blessed, and so proud that you are my wife.
In five years and four months, I have lived a lifetime since I left home in April, 2002 to observe labor unrest in the northeastern China. While I never would have wished for the pain for my family, we all now truly understand that through adversity comes strength.
I am here today, stronger than I have ever been; more determined than I ever thought possible; more convinced that the one party system in China is fatally flawed. And deeply heartened by the knowledge --especially after the four months I spent in Beijing since my release-- that the democratization process in China is irreversible.
While the Chinese Communist Party may choose to fight this process every step of the way, it shouldn't. The Chinese people are increasingly demanding accountability from their government. They want to know that the resources being invested and spent are being used wisely, efficiently and without corruption, fraud, waste, or abuse. They want transparency and good governance. They want to know that their government has their best interests in mind. And most important, they are enducated enough that they want a say in directing how those resources are invested and spent.
One only need to understand that there are literally tens of thousands of protests in China every year to see that the Chinese government is sitting on a powder keg, as frustration with the one party system mounts. The Chinese government claims that what's required is stability to deliver on its promise to the people, and that it needs to control people's lives. But, the tighter the grip onto power, the more difficulty they will have in holding on. If a thirsty man plunges his fist into a bucket of water to get a drink, and then pulls it out, he will have nothing. It is only by extending an open hand into the bucket that he can get the drink he requires. So too it is with the Chinese government.
While counterintuitive for those who are too convinced of the righteousness of their cause, it is only by opening up their hands and trusting the wisdom of its own people that China can reach its full potential.
The answer to China's major challenges is not suppressing the countless protests across the country for fear they will spiral out of control. But rather, it is to acknowledge that they are a symptom of a broader, deeper, and more fundamental problem: that the people do not believe that their government has their best interests in mind. It is only by embracing public debate and placing more power to make the decisions that affect people's lives into the hands of the Chinese people that the Chinese government has the opportunity to relieve the tremendous pressure it is under. And by making these decisions, inevitably China will also play a more responsible, and less self centered, role on the world stage.
Information is power. And with the internet, mobile phones, text messaging, education, trade, and greater travel abroad, the Chinese people have had a taste of freedom. And they like what they see. The Chinese government has a fundamental decision to make. It can swim against the tidal wave, or it can surf it in to shore. I believe that inevitably, we will see vibrant democracy take root in China. And my time in prison only reaffirmed and strengthened my resolve to continue this struggle.
First, as I hope you will understand, I need to take the time to rest and be with my family for the time being. There is so much more that I have to say, but with the freedom to express my views, I will have the time to do that in the right way.
Again, my profound thanks for your years of support. Knowing from inside my cell how much was being done on the outside gave me the strength to persevere.
Thank you all. God bless America. God bless China. Thank you all.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
(May 15 2006)
We recognize and applaud the efforts taken by the various Chinese political opposition factions in lobbying for political change or reform in the People’s Republic of China and in suggesting the various political propositions and proposals presented thus far.
Our suggestion of a “Proposal of Direction and Timeline for Political Reform in China” is but one of the many political initiatives that have been proposed and I warmly welcome any form of criticism, recommendations or additional input on this issue.
One of the most successful measures undertaken in today’s international political arena to achieve political progress is through the formulation of timelines and blueprints.
In the world of today, there is probably no issue more serious and more pressing than the topic of political reform and change in a China that houses 1.3 billion of the world’s population.
As long as political reform is not implemented in China, the Chinese people cannot retain the benefits nor relieve the suffering that has accompanied the recent economic reforms. Neither can China hope to progress towards a future of justice, equality, stability, and prosperity, nor can it dispel the doubts and reservations that nations around the world have regarding China’s future.
Moreover, an article published in the Xinhua Daily on behalf of the Communist Politburo on February 25, 1939 has stated, “They (Kuomintang) think that democracy in China is something that belongs not to the present but somewhere in the distant future. Their hope is for the Chinese people to first elevate their knowledge and educational level to one comparable to the capitalist and democratic nations of the West before they can begin to implement democracy. Actually, it is precisely under a democratic system that people can be more easily trained and educated.”
Additionally, an article from the Xinhua Daily on behalf of the Communist Politburo on February 1 1944 has stated, “In order to maintain our international status, we must begin by guaranteeing the fundamental democratic rights of the people. Fear represents cowardice, doubt represents selfishness, and opposition represents backwardness. We urge once again: Guarantee the fundamental democratic rights of the people.
On October 28, 1941, Liberation Daily published an article on behalf of the Communist Politburo, stating that “Right now, in order to establish a democratic political system, the key is to end a single-party government.”
On April 19, 1944, Xinhua Daily stated on behalf of the Communist Politburo that “Democracy and freedom of speech are inseparable.”
On February 2, 1944, Xinhua Daily once again stated on behalf of the Communist Politburo that “We must completely, fully, and effectively implement popular elections, so the people can realistically enjoy ‘popular’ and ‘equal’ right to election. With regards to the right to be elected, we must adhere to the words of Mr. Sun Yat-sen in that before every election, ‘we must guarantee that every person and organization from every locality has the right to vote and has the freedom to propose, publicize and discuss any policy propositions.’ This necessarily means that ‘we must guarantee that the people have the complete freedom of assembly, of speech, to publish, and to unionize’, otherwise, the so-called right to election is merely a right on paper.”
Therefore, at a point where the Chinese Communist Party has governed Mainland China for 57 years, at a point where economic reforms have been in practice for 28 years, at a point where the economy is growing but social conflict is also increasingly sharpening, immediately urging the Communist party to implement political change or reform is but a natural thing to do.
Thus, we propose that:
1. Beginning from 2007, Mainland China should implement five years of gradual political changes or reforms that will allow the completion of the initial objectives of political reform by 2011, which is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, the first republic in Asia.
2. The Chinese Communist Party should emulate the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and the Vietnamese Communist Party in holding multi-candidate elections for its General Secretary. Democratization should first begin from within the Chinese Communist Party itself.
3. Beginning from June 1, 2007, after all necessary preparation, the People’s Congress should authorize the gradual release of all prisoners that have been arrested for political, ideological, speech, religious, minority rights and other reasons. Additionally, the government should also allow all political dissidents that are exiled overseas to return to their home country.
4. Under the condition that the Chinese Communist government has implemented point number 2, which permits the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, as well as allowing all overseas exiles to return to their home country, all Chinese political opposition factions, whether in China or abroad, will cease all political activities during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, as a gesture of reciprocity.
5. After more than a year of planning and preparations beginning from 2008, the Chinese Communist Party and all Chinese political opposition factions should collaborate in organizing and participating in the “Future of China Conference”, to be held in the fall of 2009 in Beijing. This conference should primarily focus on discussing the vital issues surrounding China’s political development and on charting China’s political direction. A “Constitutional Convention” will be subsequently convened in 2010 upon legitimate authorization by the “Future of China Conference”.
Local and overseas political opposition factions and the Chinese Communist Party will each begin to organize and establish a communication group, comprising approximately 20 members. Each group should encompass a sub-team responsible for researching the planning and implementation of political reforms prior to the conference in 2009. The sub-teams should also hold at least two open, honest and friendly discussions between the beginning of 2007 and the fall of 2008, allowing a full year before the 2009 “Future of China Conference”. Ideally, relevant authorities from the United Nations should be involved in the organization, mediation and supervision of these discussions, which will be conducted once in Mainland China and the other abroad, in order to make ample preparations for the topics, schedules and implementation of the conference itself. One of the starting points of discussion could be the return of exiled political dissidents.
The “Future of China Conference” should have no less than 100 representatives from the Chinese political opposition factions. These 100 representatives should be selected through negotiations among the different executive committees of the opposition groups.
6. Members of the Constitutional Convention should first make a public declaration to the Chinese people that they will never seek any form of “dominant authority” in the future.
7. At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party should hold open, peaceful and constructive dialogues with the Taiwanese government and its other political parties, the Tibetan government in exile headed by the Dalai Lama, Falun Gong members, as well as the victims of the June 4th Tiananmen Incident. Their key representatives should be included in the 2009 “Future of China Conference” in Beijing.
8. The legislative procedures of the “News Publication Law” should be completed no later than the beginning of 2009, henceforth allowing freedom of the press in Mainland China.
9. In 2009, one or two provinces, such as Fujian, Guangdong or Hainan, should be designated as Early Political Reform Provinces, allowing for the early implementation of the Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Association legislation in these areas. Direct elections at the county and city district levels should be held no later than 2010. Building upon the foundations of experience, direct elections should also be held at the provincial level in 2011. Direct elections for the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region should be held in 2008.
10. The implementation of political reform in Mainland China should at least achieve these targets as mentioned below:
(1) Any political organization, be it the Chinese Communist Party or any other political groups, must not build up their party apparatus or political organizations within the government’s administrative departments or upon the military might of the Chinese army. Under the stipulations of China’s “Political Organizations Law”, the Chinese Communist Party and other political groupings are entitled to equal access to political power and the right to fair competition. No one political party should enjoy privileged political status or power.
(2) It is only when a parliament arises out of popular, nation-wide elections by the people themselves can it be truly considered as vested with the nation’s highest authority. China’s premier must be selected either through direct or indirect elections by the Chinese people.
(3) A nationalized and neutral military force will be commanded by the democratically elected president of the country. With the exception of the commander-in-chief, no other official within the military is allowed to interfere with the political matters of the country; otherwise he will be most severely punished by military law.
(4) The country will continue to implement open market economic policies.
(5) The country will not pursue regional supremacy and world hegemony, therefore allowing China to become an influential and responsible member of the international community.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
BOYCOTT CHINA’S GENOCIDE OLYMPICS!
Often the question is asked: What can we who are outside Burma do to make a real difference in the struggle for freedom? Other than funding the armed resistance groups, which many people are unwilling to do, there are few choices.
Most of the tactics of modern activism, and which do have a positive effect in other important social movements, achieve nothing with the SPDC. Than Shwe ignores petitions, letters, and even demonstrations and lobbying.
For the democracy movement to have any impact at all, we have to hurt him. We have to hurt the SPDC and its supporters. Anything that we do that doesn’t accomplish this is a waste of time and money.
Recently, an event occurred that revealed an important weakness in the enemy, and therefore a crucial opportunity.
In late March, Mia Farrow, an actress and a goodwill ambassador for Unicef (http://www.miafarrow.org/), together with Ronan Farrow, who is a law student at Yale University, wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled, The ‘Genocide Olympics.’ They called for pressure against China, the host of the 2008 Olympics, and the Games’ corporate sponsors.
Their argument is that China is the leading supporter of Omar al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan, who is committing genocide against the people of the Darfur region. China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil exports, and together with Russia supplies its military with the weapons that are being used in the genocide.
The week after the editorial was published, China sent a diplomatic envoy to Sudan. The week after that al-Bashir relented on a long-standing demand from the international community, and agreed to allow U.N. peacekeeping forces to enter Darfur and join the African Union forces already stationed there.
This event shows that China has great leverage over its clients, and is vulnerable on the issue of the Olympics. The dictators of the Communist Politburo are extremely sensitive and will respond to anything that might threaten the Games.
China should be criticized, and the Genocide Olympics boycotted, for Burma as much as for Sudan. As its veto (together with Russia) of the Security Council resolution against the SPDC demonstrates, it is the bulwark of the junta.
In Darfur, over 2.5 million people have been displaced. In Burma, it’s 2 million. In Darfur, reportedly 200,000 villagers and internally displaced persons have been killed. For Burma, while we do not have accurate comparable information, a huge number of people have been killed by Tatmadaw troops, or died from disease and malnutrition as a result of having their homes and lives destroyed.
Genocide, in any case, is not about numbers. It’s about intent, the intent to destroy all or part of a distinct ethnic, racial or religious group. When the Tatmadaw attacks ethnic villages, if the villagers didn’t have forests to hide in they would be slaughtered outright. It is still attempted genocide, even if they are able to escape mass murder by living rough in the mountains or taking refuge in Thailand.
Darfur has been publicly labeled genocide. Burma has not, but this is largely a matter of semantics. It also reflects the international community’s unwillingness to acknowledge that there is a second genocide underway in the world, as this would force it to become involved.
Some people may say that what is happening in Eastern Burma is not genocide. I question their motives. For damn sure it’s ethnic cleansing, and at a minimum a formal Security Council investigation needs to be opened, and U.N. peacekeeping force organized.
There will be many demonstrations at the end of this month and beyond, on behalf of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burma democracy movement. All of these demos should have placards, banners and chants in opposition to the Genocide Olympics. Everyone who is interviewed by the media should make this a leading talking point.
We should also boycott the corporate sponsors. These include:
Adidas, Coca-Cola, Atos Origin, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Eastman Kodak, Lenova Group, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Samsung, Swatch, Visa, and Voltzwagen.
The Farrow editorial further pilloried film director Steven Spielberg, who is assisting with the Games’ opening ceremony, comparing him to Leni Riefenstahl, who helped Adolf Hitler publicize the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Mr. Spielberg is Jewish, and has documented the Holocaust. It is hypocritical for him to assist China, a co-perpetrator of genocide in other countries, and which brutally subjugates its own people. (Amnesty International recently reported that China is using the Games as an excuse to increase its internal repression.)
Mr. Spielberg is therefore a legitimate demonstration target. In his case protest letters may have an impact. His address is DreamWorks SKG, 1000 Flower Street, Glendale, CA 91201. He would certainly also be a candidate for a biting slogan on a protest sign. [Editor's note. Spielberg was moved by the pressure, and he sent a letter to CCP President Hu Jintao. We should assume that he is against genocide and not a willing collaborator. Maybe the protest signs should target Hu Jintao, not Steven Spielberg.]
As time passes, we should expand this boycott to the athletes, and call upon them not to participate unless there is serious progress made both in Burma and Darfur. Moreover, everyone should boycott anything “Made in China.” It is well documented that the rural residents who migrate to China’s cities are subjected to factory and dormitory conditions that are equivalent to slavery. Everyone would now agree that it was morally reprehensible to benefit in any way from the black Africans who were brought to America to be slaves. Buying Chinese goods from Wal-Mart and other stores in the U.S., and around the world, legitimizes this new example of slavery. It also degrades the morality of anyone who buys such goods.
The Genocide Olympics begin August 8, 2008, which is also the twentieth anniversary of the massacre in the cities of Burma, through which the democracy movement was crushed. This is an insult to all the people of Burma. It also means that this opportunity, to pressure China, has a limited duration. We have just over a year to push on this point again and again, to get China to back down, including in the Security Council, and to leave the SPDC open and exposed.
The people inside Burma can participate as well, by boycotting Chinese merchants. I noted in my article, Lessons from the American Revolution, that American colonists in their protest of British rule launched non-importation movements – boycotts – of British goods.
The Olympics in China are properly going to be contentious and controversial. They should never have been awarded to Beijing. They were a gift from the last dictator of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, to the leading political dictatorship on earth. Everyone has a responsibility to do something about this. We want the Genocide Olympics to completely and utterly fail. What Hitler did in 1936, using the Games to promote his own plans for supremacy, cannot be repeated by China.
There are many Burmese people, and international parties, who do not want Burma to be free. They preoccupy the movement by arguing ad nauseam about such things as sanctions and humanitarian aid programs, as a means to divert our attention from the types of actions that would lead to the defeat of Than Shwe. For everyone who sincerely wants to see the end of the SPDC, there is now something that we can do.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Hundreds of paraders versus hundreds of protestors
More than 500 performers came from Beijing. On the third day at noon they sang and danced on the Hollywood main road, welcoming people to Beijing to visit the Olympic Games and to experience Beijing. But the scene also had several hundred protesters holding various signs protesting the Chinese government's persecution of human rights. They demanded that there be freedom first, then hold the Olympics (Freedom Before Olympics).
The parade was held on the street in front of the Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood. A group of children dressed as prosperity dolls danced in their in-line skates and sang a welcome song composed for Los Angeles. Also, there were beautiful women dressed in Forbidden City clothing, flower drum team neatly lined up, stilts team teasing the audience, as well as different kinds of decorated floats and other performance groups. They also wished the audience a happy new year.
Mayor and council members welcome the visitors from afar
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Councilmember Dennis Zine, Los Angeles Visitors and Tourism Bureau officials delivered speeches welcoming the visiting groups and congratulating the Los Angeles residents on the lunar new year.
Villaraigosa visited Beijing last year and has promoted Los Angeles tourism there. Villaraigosa painted the eyes of the lion and opened the parade prologue. Mayor Villaraigosa said, "Los Angeles is [the] first American city where China established its tourism office. Beijing may choose any city to conduct the lunar calendar new year parade, but has chosen Los Angeles; I feel deeply honored."
The Beijing government's Assistant Deputy Secretary-General Wang Yunfeng said, "The Los Angeles city has twice successfully held Olympic Games, Beijing hopes to benefit from Los Angeles' experience, produce a high standard 2008 Olympic Games."
A face off with demonstrators
The parade attracted many tourists but also brought in a large number of demonstrators. They occupied the sidewalk opposite the grand stand. Some hoisted the Tibetan flag and shouted loudly "Give Tibet Freedom", some holding photos of sentenced reporter Ching Cheong, Shi Tao and blind attorney Chen Guangcheng demanding their immediate release. There were also several hundred Falun Gong supporters protesting the persecution of human rights, all crammed full on two sides of the sidewalks.
The organizer brought in four large-scale tourist buses, and dispatched their parade team members to stand along the roadside in an attempt to block the demonstrators. Several high decibel loudspeakers also loudly broadcast music. The demonstrators could only move their positions, lifting up high the protest signs, waiting for the music to stop and then call out their various slogans.
Falun Gong member Zhang Peixing said that two tall cloth banners were snatched by the people from Beijing. They have reported the incident to the police.
Complaints about Los Angeles' government
The American Visual Artists Guild representative Ann Lau said that they are protesting Los Angeles City Mayor using taxpayers' money to help China promote the Beijing Olympics. Ann Lau said that closing the streets, having police for security, promotion by the Los Angeles Visitors Bureau, are all using the resources of the taxpayers. She has already asked the Mayor's office for a response but has yet to receive a reply.
Ann Lau said that the Beijing Olympic Games is the same as the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, in providing propaganda for that country. China continues in its persecution of human rights, completely violating the basic Olympic spirit of respecting human dignity.
Los Angeles Councilmember Dennis Zine indicated that demonstrations in the US are very common; so long as it is lawful, all have the right to express their opinion. But Zine said that, "China is on the rise. [Los Angeles] maintaining firm economic, trade, tourist relations with China is very important. The mayor and I are very supportive."
Note: This report originally appeared at Voice of America. It was then translated into English and appeared at the web site of ITSN (International Tibet Support Network)'s 2008-Free Tibet campaign, www.games-of-beijing.org. The China Support Network further edited it to upgrade the English before placing it here.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
"A former Chinese official who defected from the Chinese communist party and sought refuge in Indonesia, has now been released by Indonesian officials. On March 9, Indonesian authorities detained Jia Jia and said they planned to deport him back to China. If sent back to China, Jia Jia would have faced grave danger. Jia Jia expressed his gratitude for those who helped him to regain freedom."
From the CSN, I sent one letter to the nearest U.S. consulate. We were about to make that a 'pressure' campaign, with more and more letters, but the good news about Jia Jia's release came quickly, before we were about to re-adjust the web site.
This is good news as far as it goes; but to our knowledge, Jia Jia still does not have a "free world" nation offering him refuge, asylum, or resettlement. The CSN continues to stand by D.J. McGuire's open letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, calling for the U.S. to grant political asylum to Jia Jia. He still needs that.
Friday, March 16, 2007
July 13, 1971
To: KA/ROC – Mr. Charles T. Sylvester
From: L/EA – Robert I. Starr
Subject: Legal Status of Taiwan
You have asked for a comprehensive memorandum analyzing the question of the legal status of Taiwan in terms suitable for Congressional presentation. Attached is a paper that should serve this purpose. It is drawn mainly from the February 3, 1961 Czyzak memorandum, and contains no sensitive information or reference to classified documents.
Concurrence: L – Mr. Salans
L:L/EA:RIStarr:cdj:7/13/71 ex 28900
Legal Status of Taiwan
Prior to the Korean Hostilities
From the middle of the 17th century to 1895, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores (Penghu) were part of the Chinese Empire. China then ceded these islands to Japan in 1895 in the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Shimonoseki1
In the Cairo Declaration of 1943, the United States, Great Britain, and China stated it to be their purpose that “all the territories that Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as…Formosa and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China”.2 These same three governments on July 26, 1945 issued the Potsdam Proclamation declaring that “the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as we determine”.3 On August 8, 1945 the Soviet Union adhered to the Potsdam Proclamation. By an Imperial Rescript of September 2, 1945, the Japanese Emperor accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, and in the Instrument of Surrender signed on the same date, the Japanese Government “and their successors” undertook to carry out the provisions of the Declaration.4
Pursuant to Japanese Imperial General Headquarters General Order No. 1, issued at the direction of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), Japanese commanders in Formosa surrendered to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek “acting on behalf of the United States, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the British Empire, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” Continuously since that time, the Government of the Republic of China has occupied and exercised authority over Formosa and the Pescadores.
The view of the U.S. in the intermediate post-war period was typified by a statement on April 11, 1947 of then Acting Secretary of State Acheson, in a letter to Senator Ball, that the transfer of sovereignty over Formosa to China “has not yet been formalized.”
After a prolonged period of civil strife the Chinese Communists succeeded in driving the Government of the Republic of China off the Chinese mainland. On October 1, 1949 the Chinese Communists proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The seat of the Government of the Republic of China was transferred to Formosa, and in early December 1949, Taipei became its provisional capital.
Shortly thereafter, President Truman, in a statement of January 5, 1950, referred to a U.N. General Assembly Resolution of December 8, 1949, (Res. 291(IV)) which called on all states to refrain from “(a) seeking to acquire spheres of influence or to create foreign controlled regimes within the territory of China; (b) seeking to obtain special rights or privileges within the territory of China.” He said:
“A specific application of the foregoing principles is seen in the present situation with respect to Formosa…
“The United States has no predatory designs on Formosa or on any other Chinese territory, The United States has no desire to obtain special rights or privileges or to establish military bases on Formosa at this time… the United States Government will no pursue a course which will lead to involvement in the civil conflict in China.”5
The Korean Conflict
The outbreak of hostilities in Korea on June 25, 1950 brought to the fore the question of the status of Formosa and the Pescadores. President Truman ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa, and as a corollary called upon the Chinese Government on Formosa to cease all operations against the mainland. In addition, he stated that “the determination of the future status of Formosa must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations.”6
On August 24, 1950 the United States explained its position to the United Nations Security Council in the following terms:
“The action of the United States was expressly to be without prejudice to the future political settlement of the status of the island. The actual status of the island is that it is territory taken from Japan by the victory of the allied forces in the Pacific. Like other such territories, its legal status cannot be fixed until there is international action to determine its future. The Chinese Government was asked by the allies to take the surrender of the Japanese forces on the Island. That is the reason the Chinese are there now.”7
By a letter dated September 20, 1950,8 the United States requested that the question of Formosa be placed on the agenda of the fifth session of the U.N. General Assembly. In an explanatory note of September 21, the United States, citing the Cairo and Potsdam declarations and the Japanese surrender, stated nevertheless:
“Formal transfer of Formosa to China was to await the conclusion of peace with Japan or some other appropriate formal act.”
That note also stated:
The Government of the United States has made it abundantly clear that the measures it has taken with respect to Formosa were without prejudice to the long-term political status of Formosa, and the United States has no territorial ambitions and seeks no special position of privilege with respect to Formosa. The United States believes further that the future of Formosa and of the nearly eight million people inhabited there should be settled by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”9
Japanese Peace Treaty
From September 4 to 8, 1951 a conference for the conclusion and signature of a Treaty of Peace was held at San Francisco. China was not represented at the Conference because of the disagreement among the participants as to who actually represented the government of that country. Reflecting this disagreement is article 2 of the Peace Treaty, which reads in its pertinent part:
“(b) Japan renounces all right, title, and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.”10
John Foster Dulles, U.S. delegate at the Conference, commented on this provision in article 2:
“Some Allied Powers suggested that article 2 should not merely delimit Japanese sovereignty according to Potsdam, but specify precisely the ultimate disposition of each of the ex-Japanese territories. This, admittedly, would have been neater. But it would have raised questions as to which there are now no agreed answers. We had either to give Japan peace on the Potsdam Surrender Terms or deny peace to Japan while the allies quarrel about what shall be done with what Japan is prepared, and required, to give up. Clearly, the wise course was to proceed now, so far as Japan is concerned, leaving the future to resolve doubts by invoking international solvents other than this treaty.”11
The delegate of the United Kingdom remarked:
“The treaty also provides for Japan to renounce its sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores Islands. The treaty itself does not determine the future of these islands.”12
The USSR refused to sign the Treaty. It objected, among other things, to the provision regarding Formosa and the Pescadores:
“…this draft grossly violates the indisputable rights of China to the return of integral parts of Chinese territory: Taiwan, the Pescadores, the Paracel and other islands…. The draft contains only a reference to the renunciation by Japan of its rights to these territories but intentionally omits any mention of the further fate of these territories.”13
It is clear from these and other statements made at San Francisco, that although the Treaty provision constituted an appropriate act of renunciation by Japan, the future status of Formosa and the Pescadores was not considered to have finally been determined by the Peace Treaty.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations also took this view. In its Report on the Treaty dated February 14, 1952, the Committee stated:
“It is important to remember that article 2 is a renunciatory article and makes no provision for the power or powers which are to succeed Japan in the possession of and sovereignty over the ceded territory.
“During the negotiation of the Treaty some of the Allied Powers expressed the view that article 2 of the treaty should not only relieve Japan of its sovereignty over the territories in question but should indicate specifically what disposition was to be made of each of them. The committee believes, however, that this would have complicated and prolonged the conclusion of the peace. Under the circumstances it seems far better to have the treaty enter into force now, leaving to the future the final disposition of such areas as South Sakhalin and the Kuriles.”14
Although China was not a party to the San Francisco Treaty, a separate Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan was signed in Taipei on April 28, 1952.15 Article II of that treaty provided:
“It is recognized that under Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco in the united States of America on September 8, 1951…, Japan has renounced all right, title and claim to Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores)….”
Explaining this provision to the Legislative Yuan, Foreign Minister Yeh of the Republic of China stated that under the San Francisco Peace Treaty “no provision was made for the return [of these islands] to China.” He continued:
“Inasmuch as these territories were originally owned by us and as they are now under our control and, furthermore, Japan has renounced in the Sino-Japanese peace treaty these territories under the San Francisco Treaty of Peace, they are, therefore, in fact restored to us.”16
At another point, Foreign Minister Yeh stated that “no provision has been made either in the San Francisco Treaty of Peace as to the future of Taiwan and Penghu.”17 During the interpellations of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty in the Legislative Yuan, the Foreign Minister was asked, “What is the status of Formosa and the Pescadores?” He replied:
“Formosa and the Pescadores were formerly Chinese territories. As Japan has renounced her claim to Formosa and the Pescadores, only China has the right to take them over. In fact, we are controlling them now, and undoubtedly they constitute a part of our territories. However, the delicate international situation makes it that they do not belong to us. Under present circumstances, Japan has no right to transfer Formosa an the Pescadores to us; nor can we accept such a transfer from Japan even if she so wishes…In the Sino-Japanese peace treaty, we have made provisions to signify that residents including juristic persons of Formosa and the Pescadores bear Chinese nationality, and this provision may serve to mend any future gaps when Formosa and the Pescadores are restored to us.”18
Chinese Mutual Defense Treaty
Against the background of a Chinese Communist propaganda campaign in July, 1954 for the “liberation” of Taiwan, supplemented in September, 1954 by military action against Quemoy and other offshore islands, the United States and the Republic of China signed a Mutual Defense Treaty on December 2, 1954.19 The first paragraph of Article V of the Treaty reads:
“Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the West Pacific Area directed against the territories of either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.”
Article VI provides that for the purpose of Article V the term “territories” shall mean in respect to the Republic of China, “Taiwan and the Pescadores.” In an exchange of notes accompanying the Treaty, there appears the statement, “The Republic of China effectively controls both the territory described in Article VI of the Treaty… and other territory.”
In its report on the Treaty, the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations discussed the question of the true status of Formosa and the Pescadores:
“By the peace treaty of September 8, 1951, signed with the United States and other powers, Japan renounced ‘all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.’ The treaty did not specify the nation to which such right , title and claim passed. Although the Republic of China was not a signatory to the Treaty, it recognized that it did not dispose finally of Formosa and the Pescadores….
“…he (Secretary Dulles) informed the committee that the reference in article V to ‘the territories of either of the Parties’ was language carefully chosen to avoid denoting anything one way or the other as to their sovereignty.
“It is the view of the committee that the coming in to force of the present treaty will not modify or affect the existing legal status of Formosa and the Pescadores. The treaty appears to be wholly consistent with all actions taken by the United States in this matter since the end of World War II, and does not introduce any basically new element in our relations with the territories in question. Both by act and by implication we have accepted the Nationalist Government as the lawful authority on Formosa.
To avoid any possibility of misunderstanding on this aspect of the treaty, the committee decided it would be useful to include in this report to following statement:
It is the understanding of the Senate that nothing in the treaty shall be construed as affecting or modifying the legal status or sovereignty of the territories to which it applies.20
In presenting the Committee’s report to the Senate on February 9, 1955, Senator Walter George referred to the question of the legal status of Taiwan:
“The view was advance during committee’s consideration of the treaty that it may have the effect of recognizing that the government of Chiang Kai-shek has sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores. On e the one hand, reference was made to the Cairo Declaration which stated that Japan was to be stripped of her island territories in the Pacific and that territories stolen from the Chinese such as Formosa and the Pescadores shall be restored to the Republic of China. On the other hand, reference was made to the fact that while Japan renounced all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores, such title was not conveyed to any nation. After full exploration of this matter with Secretary Dulles, the committee decided that this treaty was not a competent instrument to resolve doubts about sovereignty over Formosa. It agreed to include in its report the following statement
It is the understanding of the Senate that nothing in the present treaty shall be construed as affecting or modifying the legal status or the sovereignty of the territories referred to in article VI. (SIC)
In other words, so far as the United States in concerned, it is our understanding that the legal status of the territories referred to in article VI, namely, Formosa and the Pescadores – whatever their status may be – is not altered in any way by the conclusion of this treaty.”21
Quemoy and Matsu
It may be well to note the special status of the offshore islands, the Quemoy and Matsu groups, in contrast to that of Formosa and the Pescadores as described here. The offshore islands have always been considered as part of “China.” As Secretary Dulles explained in 1954:
“The legal position is different…, by virtue of the fact that technical sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores has never been settled. That is because the Japanese Peace Treaty merely involves a renunciation by Japan of its right and title to these islands. But the future title is not determined by the Japanese Peace Treaty nor is it determined by the Peace Treaty which was concluded between the Republic of China and Japan. Therefore the juridical status of these islands, Formosa and the Pescadores, is different from the juridical status of the offshore islands which have always been Chinese territory” (underscore added)22
Recent Restatement of the United States Position
The position of the United States was set forth by the States Department in connection with the 1970 Hearings before the Subcommittee on the United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (91st Cong., 2d Sess.):
“Legal Status of Taiwan as Defined in Japanese Peace Treaty and Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty
“Article 2 of the Japanese Peace treaty, signed on September 8, 1951 at San Francisco, provides that ‘Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.’ The same language was used in Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace between China and Japan signed on April 28, 1952. In neither treaty did Japan cede this area to any particular entity. As Taiwan and the Pescadores are not covered by any existing international disposition, sovereignty over the area is an unsettled question subject to future international resolution. Both the Republic of China and the Chinese Communists disagree with this conclusion and consider that Taiwan and the Pescadores are part of the sovereign state of China. The United States recognized the Government of the Republic of Taiwan as legitimately occupying and exercising jurisdiction over Taiwan and the Pescadores.”23
The future relationship of Taiwan to mainland China and the resolution of disputes dividing the governments in Taipei and Peking involve issues that the United States cannot resolve. We have made clear that our primary concern is that these issues should be resolved by peaceful means, without resort to the use of force. Until such a resolution is achieved we may continue to deal respectively with the government of the Peoples Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of China on matters affecting mutual interests, accepting the practical situation as we find it.
July 12, 1971
Monday, March 12, 2007
Oppose the threat to Taiwan! If you are in or near New York for Wednesday, 3/14 --this protest is highly recommended by CSN's Taiwan Director--
What: Protesting China's 314 Anti-Secession Law.
When: On Wednesday, March 14 from 12-2pm.
Where: New York Consulate of People's Republic of China
42nd Street and 12th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City
How: Subway: Take 1,2,3,7, A,C,E,N,Q,S to Times Square-42nd Street
and walk west toward 12th Avenue.
Bus: To New York Port Authority 42d Street and 8th Avenue
Bus from Flushing:Shu Chin Chou 718-445-7007
Patsy Fang Chen 718-834-8904 CP 917-912-8288 E-mail:email@example.com
Bus/Cars from New Jersey: Grace Hsu 973-851-9833
Bus/Cars from Greater Philadelphia Po-We Wnag: 610-366-0196
Bus/Cars from Central Jersey: Ahlan Hunag 732-266-7761
Endorsed by Taiwanese American Community Organizations:
Taiwanese American Association of New York
Taiwanese Association of America Long Island Chapter
Democratic Progressive Party – America East
Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace Greater New York Chapter
North America Taiwanese Women's Association New York Chapter
Formosa Association for Public Affairs-New York Chapter
New York Hakka Association
The Union of Taiwan Universities and Colleges Alumni Association of Greater New York
Taiwanese American Senior Center
Taiwanese Association of America -New Jersey Chapter
Taiwanese Association of America -North New Jersey Chapter
Taiwanese Association of America -Greater Philadelphia Chapter
DPP Department of Youth Development - America East
Taiwan Youth Democratic Union
Taiwan Studies Inc.
Taiwanese Cultural Society of Westchester
Formosa Association for Public Affairs Albany Chapter
Taiwan Solidarity Union(TSU) -Eastern USA
Friends of A-Bien of The Greater New York and New Jersey
The Greater New York Region Overseas Taiwanese Pen Club
We all know why and we need people at this Demonstration Rally on Wednesday, March 14, 12-2pm in Manhattan.
Please call, e-mail, invite and ship people to the rally.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Saturday, March 10th, 2007
10am: Rally starts at Cadman Plaza near Brooklyn Bridge
12pm: Programs at Dag Hammerskjolk Plaza at the United Nations (47th Street & 1st Ave)
4pm: Vigil and Speeches at Union Square (14th Street)
7pm: Rally ends at Union Square with screening of a 10-minute film
Speakers this year include:
Professor Robert Thurman, America's foremost Buddhist scholar
Jamyang Norbu, Award-winning author, pamphleteer and activist for Tibetan independence
Tenzin Tsundue, Award-winning poet and youth activist based in India
Kalsang Phuntsok, President of Tibetan Youth Congress
Lhadon Tethong, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet
Lhundup la, Former Tibetan political prisoner
Make 2007 the biggest March 10th observation since 1959
Show China, and the world, Tibetan resistance lives on…
For more information, contact:
Tibetan Youth Congress at (917) 696-8662
Students for a Free Tibet at (212) 358-0071
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
This pertains to a campaign, known as "jiuping / tuidang," that began at the end of 2004. Throughout 2005, seven million people quit from the CCP; throughout 2006, ten million more quit, so that 17 million is where we were at the start of this year. Yesterday, that counter flipped past 19 million, which suggests that the pace in 2007 is yet faster, for the second year in a row.
If the CCP is a vehicle, the wheels are flying off of the CCP! :-)
If anybody wants to see that counter, it's at the Epoch Times newspaper,www.theepochtimes.com. ET is being more than a newspaper -- it is the publisher of the "jiuping" [Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party], and sponsor of this "tuidang" [Quit the CCP] campaign!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
News Media Protects Bad Guys
At the Conservative Voice, there were two questions asked of me in comments -- I replied with brief blurbs that I'll repost to preserve here.
The first concerned my take on the prospects for Chinese democracy. I wrote my reply--
Someone here asked about my take on Chinese democracy.
The future course of events is of course a matter of speculation. Future aside, China's government finds itself in an untenable position. I recommend my article, 'Why We Can't Dismiss the China Threat.' That argues back against apologists for China who ballyhoo the "peaceful rise" theory about China as a world power. It is unwise to bank on a peaceful rise FOR THE SAME REASON: China's government finds itself in an untenable position.
That article, of Mar.'05, reviewed the situation and referred to "the train wreck of Chinese government."
I also recommend my speech of Dec.'05, 'China, you got duped!' It reflects another credibility problem for that government, after the Shanwei massacre, an event of Dec.'05.
Those two tracts, when given credence, establish the "train wreck" and the "credibility problem" of Chinese government.
I think that 85-95% of the pressure for Chinese democracy is inside China; it is internal, domestic. Do we want pressure from the outside world? Yes. Should the Olympics be withdrawn? Yes. Should America have a stiffer China policy? Yes. (And, would that likely mean higher tariff rates? Yes -- so, it crosses the "free trade" policy.)
But really, I think that most of the pressure for reform is inside China, and that if the outside world added pressure, it would only be 5-15% of the picture. There are chances that China will be pushed to democracy even without outside intervention.
But, so long as it is still despotic, the outside intervention might be like "the straw that breaks the camel's back." That is to say, the pressure might make all the difference in the world.
If the Chinese leadership saw that we were about to pull the legs out from under their economy, well -- they're smart people. It might take them about three weeks to dust off their own plans for democratic reform. I think they might do it, in preference to having an economic melt down.
So in my view, the potential for Western pressure to make the difference is very real. And, where I know that it is a matter of life and death -- people are losing their lives right now -- I think the West should act, rather than crossing its fingers.
In a crossed-fingers approach, as I say China may tip of its own accord, but it is irresponsible of the West to be "genocidally correct," and to cotton to tyranny, while China is building up its military and threatening Taiwan.
See, I've suggested that there are two ways (internal and external pressure) that China can achieve a good result, but while it is despotic, we have the chance of a bad result -- the war to conquer Taiwan. China has the potential to make such military trouble, and they even have the incentive because the regime can try the old tyrant's playbook of using nationalism and patriotism and crisis to distract the population from domestic problems. The regime might see war as the way to avoid collapse or civil war.
Violent outcomes remain possible; it is too soon to count on democracy, by whatever route it may appear.
The second question and blurb reply was about free trade with Communist China. My answer (drumroll)--
If somebody gave you $200 billion per year, you too could have your own army, navy, air force, and space program.
$200 billion is the size of the U.S. trade deficit with China, and it is a mistaken myth of some in our establishment, to say that a trade deficit can be safely ignored. (A large measure of the problem in this debate is the overhang of ignorance about trade deficits, due to the aforementioned myth of the establishment.)
Upon more discerning analysis, the trade deficit is wealth transfer. It is money added into the economy of China, and it is subtracted from the U.S. economy. It's a fire hose of money going from here to there, and the U.S. economy is the loser being looted.
At the Chinese end of matters, it is like giving them $200 billion per year, and WE have picked up the tab for their army, navy, air force, and space program.
That's disgusting on the face of it, and it's building up a nuclear-armed, communist superpower while it continues to persecute its people--genocidally so--and it thumbs its nose at every Western blandishment that urges respect for human rights.
The U.S. policy of "free trade" leads to the ENLARGEMENT of the trade deficit, at a time when better management of the economy would demand DIMINISHMENT of the trade deficit.
It's gravy for dictators. It enriches communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. If Washington, DC had truth in labelling, --
The Communist Enrichment Act of 2000 was a more true label for China's PNTR (trade status deal that passed Congress in 2000); and,
The Communist Enrichment Act of 2006 was a more true label for Vietnam's PNTR (it just passed in December 2006).
Communists should be laughing all the way to the bank. And surely, nothing is fair about this. "Free trade" also entails a bastardized use of the word "free." It really isn't.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
We will all see and hear a lot of false praise for the Bush Administration's ability to get SNK to agree to "shut down" its nuclear power plant in exchange for fuel oil; none of it is deserved. The President began these negotiations almost four years ago insisting the Stalinists' entire nuclear weapons program be dismantled before they received one cent of aid. Now, not once cent has become one million barrels of fuel oil.
First, let us focus on what this deal will not do: the Stalinists do not have to destroy the nuclear weapons they already have; they will not have to dismantle their uranium nuclear program; they will not have to make any amends to Japan for the numerous Japanese abducted by SNK in the 1970s and 1980s. All of these issues have been "left for later discussion" (BBC), i.e., future opportunities for the Stalinists to extract more bribes.
Now, let's see what the Stalinists will get: the aforementioned fuel oil, talks on "normalizing relations" with both the U.S. and Japan with no strings attached, and - get this - a pledge from the Administration to take SNK off its list of international terrorists, this less than one month after reports of Stalinist aid to the Iranian mullahcracy on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
This might very well be worse than the 1994 Agreed Framework fiasco. At least back then, the Stalinist North had neither nuclear weapons nor a partially developed ballistic missile. Now they have both - and they get off the terrorist list.
How could the Bush Administration, which has shown such resolve and toughness in the Middle East and Central Asia, completely wilt in Eastern Asia? The answer reveals the one flaw that has damaged this Administration from the beginning (and, to be fair, both of its immediate predecessors): its support for "engagement" with Communist China.
Like his father and his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush apparently believes Communist China is a potential American ally, rather than the enemy it really is. That was evident throughout this incredibly sorry episode, in which the Communist regime was given complete trust to "pressure" its de facto colony. Said "pressure" never came to Pyongyang, but Beijing applied plenty of pressure to Washington, and it worked.
Communist China had and has no interest in making Stalinist North Korea a decent member of the world community; it instead used the Stalinists as a tool to wear down American resolve. The result is a deal that enables the Stalinist North to keep its nuclear weapons and receive international aid, all while getting off the terrorist list.
Does anyone think that the Iranian mullahcracy, Communist China's best friend in the Middle East, isn't paying attention? John Bolton believes the mullahs are, saying the deal "sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world." Exactly.
I've talked about how to deal with the new, post-non-proliferation world before, but the correct policies flow from one simple premise: Communist China is the enemy the free world, and has proven it by aiding the enemies we fight even now in the Wahhabist-Ba'athist-Khomeinist War.
We must work with our allies (Japan, Taiwan, India, Georgia, Afghanistan, etc.) - including providing them with nuclear weapons if they wish - to make clear to the Beijing-Tehran-Pyongyang alliance that we will not tolerate its presence, let alone its increasing power. We must economically isolate them as much as possible. We must make it abundantly clear to the Communist regime that we will hold it (along with the perpetrators, of course) responsible for every future act of nuclear terrorism against the free world.
Finally, we must make clear that our policy is liberation (preferably without military force, but with force if necessary) for Iran, North Korea, and China. We will never be secure until the peoples suffering under these regimes can take their respective countries back from the tyrants. Until we do these things, the Second Cold War will never be won, and the W-B-K war itself will be in doubt.
It hurts to write these words, especially since this Administration has worked so hard - and endured so much undeserved criticism - in its attempt to make America safe in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the fact is, its pusillanimity in Beijing has made the world less safe, and the fact that its political opponents would have done little different is no comfort. America will never be secure until Iran, North Korea, and China are free.
Cross-posted to China e-Lobby
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I am reminded of the story of multiple blind men encountering an elephant. Each gets a different idea about the elephant by encountering a different part of it. For example, one man checks out the elephant's leg, and says, "It's like a tree!" Another man checks out the elephant's tail, and says "It's like a rope!" Likewise, the Chinese democracy movement has many different people who experienced things from many different parts of the story. I can't tell you what it was like to be a Chinese student in Tiananmen Square. I can't tell you what it's like to be a political prisoner. But, I can tell you things witnessed from the top of CSN, where I've been throughout its history. My view includes matters both inside the organization, and out my window, where I've seen some of the nuanced history, in the overseas / exile Chinese democracy movement.
So for example, when I read the Wikipedia entry on the Chinese democracy movement, I was able to spot some flaws and inaccuracies, about some matters where I flatly know it better than whomever turned in the previous draft of that article. The whole idea of Wikipedia is to invite community editing, so I clicked 'Edit.'
The (reported) history of the democracy movement has thus changed, and yet not fancifully nor radically. My edits were a tune-up to the pre-existing article and preponderance of information.
I feel like I have clocked (hit) the MSM (mainstream news media) with a rhetorical brick.
That was not my original purpose for peforming the edit. (The earlier piece made it seem like CSN was Chinese-founded, and riven by the same internecine fights as other Chinese democracy groups. To the contrary, CSN was American-founded, and we never fought internally like as reported for other groups.) I guess that my editing expanded from there. As long as I had the piece open for surgery, I added two paragraphs into the History section.
One can imagine that when working with the news media, sometimes you would want to have a meeting behind closed doors, and to say things 'off the record.' Does today's state of affairs reflect a massive exception, and gulf of distance, between CSN and the MSM? Yes. Media people who review CSN material would notice that we have a brick for the media all the time around here. At one time or another, I've decried the "corrupt cabal" that slants the news, spins the issues, and flacks for the Chinese Communist regime. I've indicated that the American spin class has been bent, craven, and depraved on a routine basis (with the trade issue). I've referred to "ersatz journalists."
Why all those bricks, and could this be resolved in a closed-door meeting? Well, I don't see this as a person-to-person issue, nor as an org-to-org issue. On the one side, I see the movement. On the other side, I see the media. Each side is hundreds of groups or organizations. Because the issue is of that nature, it is unlikely that much can be done in a closed-door meeting. Simply to get the parties into one place, it would be more like a convention.
It therefore becomes fitting and appropriate that CSN escalates its concerns into public advocacy. The media criticism is justified, based on the two paragraphs that I put into Wikipedia's history of the Chinese democracy movement. Let me excerpt the prior paragraph, and then lay out the two paragraphs here:
[T]he Tiananmen Square protests...were put down by government troops on June 4, 1989. In response, a number of pro-democracy organizations were formed by overseas Chinese student activists, and there was considerable sympathy for the movement among Westerners, who formed the China Support Network (CSN).
While the CSN was initially a go-to organization for U.S. news media (MSM) to cite, CSN and MSM parted company in a dispute over the casualty count from the June 4 massacre. MSM originally reported 3,000 dead. Here is a citation from the Agence France Press newswire. On June 22, 1989, AFP referred to "the Chinese army's assault on the demonstrators in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an operation in which U.S. intelligence sources estimated 3,000 people were killed..." That casualty count, originally reported as above, was subsequently changed by the news media. CSN repoorted that it was the interest of China's propaganda minister to reduce the casualty count by an order of magnitude, resulting in later reports that "hundreds" were killed at Tiananmen Square. Here is a citation from the November, 1989 CSN news. Editor James W. Hawkins MD wrote, "It appears as if Mr. Yuan Mu [propaganda minister] has gotten his way and when we read reports on the AP wire we are told exactly what Mr. Mu wants us to read."
The rift between CSN and MSM plays into the history of the movement. The principle of estoppel was violated by the MSM, which changed its story. Meanwhile, the CSN held its estimate steady at 3,000, not violating estoppel and maintaining the credibility of consistency. (In January, 2005 upon the death of ousted Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, CSN raised its estimate to 3,001 dead in the Tiananmen crackdown.) CSN proceeded to be critical of the MSM, and MSM proceeded to minimize, downplay, ignore, or underreport movement news and China's human rights abuse.
What we have above is two things: (1.) dispute; (2.) upshot.
In the dispute, we see that there's MSM on the one hand, and CSN on the other hand. In that paragraph above, "CSN held its estimate steady...maintaining the credibility of consistency." That's laudable on the part of CSN, but what did MSM forget to do? MSM forgot to maintain its own credibility of consistency. The climb down (on the casualty count) was shenanigans on the part of MSM, not CSN.
And then there's the upshot. As it says, "MSM proceeded to minimize, downplay, ignore, or underreport movement news and China's human rights abuse."
To be fair, that is the upshot on the side of MSM. On the CSN side, it also says "CSN proceeded to be critical of the MSM," and indeed we see that here and now--18 years later--today's state of affairs still supports my reference to "ersatz journalists." In this light, it's not even a wisecrack -- it's a justified, if cutting, remark.
CSN is standing with better credibility on the casualty count, for having not violated estoppel, which the MSM actually did. (Our web site has more documentation of the AP's climb down on the casualty numbers. They really did change their story, at a time when the propaganda minister in China was pulling strings to "spin down" an atrocity and crime against humanity.) I can look at the MSM, or consider the network anchor men, and I can say that ever since then, "you have been wrong, and you have been wrong, and you have been wrong."
The thing is that the news media didn't stop at verb (1.), lowering the casualty count. As my paragraph notes, we can refer to verbs (2.) minimize; (3.) downplay; (4.) ignore; and, (5.) underreport. It's a pattern where the media generally fell into line with "flacking for the Chinese Communist regime."
I believe that a REAL journalist exposes the truth. Meanwhile, an ersatz journalist may shrug off the truth, and play along with "keeping the regime happy." So, which job is your job? The China Support Network could fill you in on a lot of pro-democracy movement news in the past 18 years, and that's about how far behind the MSM is, on this issue. Also, the whole point of the cause is FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. In the land of the free, this should be mainstream. That this cause "went dark" to the public was not because Westerners lost their considerable sympathy -- I sure saw American enthusiasm for this, when we first started CSN. I don't think that audiences lost sympathy; rather instead, it was MEDIA that "lost sympathy," through a process that I have now chronicled, above.