Sunday, December 27, 2009
2000 I began the year fully persuaded that I was opening the doors on my new software company. During 2000, those doors slammed shut, and a product offering became abortive. I pulled software off of the market, not because of any intrinsic technical problem, but simply because an unexpected financial blow found me then to be losing my roof. I couldn't keep my business open, because I couldn't keep my lights on, literally. The unexpected financial blow happened with exquisite timing -- I had just spent 2 and a half years doing the research, development, and programming so that I had a product.
At this time, the China Support Network (CSN) was 100% my responsibility, because I had kept it in my back pocket after its founding in 1989. The financial blow managed to stop the forward progress of this author, and hence it closed off an avenue to resources for CSN. Translation: Expected resources were subtracted out of the picture, just at the time when CSN needed resources the most!
Communist China had recently begun the Falun Gong crackdown. Bill Clinton was offering a setback to Chinese dissidents in the form of a free trade deal with Communist China -- something that would reward China's communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs for bad behavior.
In 2000, my software entrepreneuring was rudely interrupted; the Congress passed the PNTR free trade deal for China; and I moved from Arizona back to the east coast, where I was to be better situated for pro-Chinese democracy activism.
And in 2000, George W. Bush was selected to be the next U.S. President, in a foul arrangement where justices of the Supreme Court violated the principle of one man, one vote -- because those nine justices voted a second time for President. The nation got to live with the outcome of their second vote.
2001 I was cut off from software entrepreneuring. But never mind that; I was re-establishing the China Support Network. In 2001, I was able to publish an Op-Ed suggesting that Bush should reconsider China's trade deal, and I gave a speech at the observance for the anniversary of Tiananmen Square's massacre, outside the Chinese embassy in Washington DC. Radio Free Asia broadcast me into China. The International Olympic Committee selected Beijing to be the host city of the 2008 Olympics. That was an affront to Chinese dissidents and gave us something more to protest; and, the Bush administration freed Zhang Hongbao, a dissident who had been detained in Guam as he tried to reach the United States for political asylum.
There was a summer of outrage -- a summer of protests against globalization and the WTO. However, the networks made it the summer of Gary Condit (the Congressman) and Chandra Levy (the missing intern). The networks went "wall to wall" with that coverage to the point where they clearly had changed their format from news. To focus on Condit and Levy was a smooth way to avoid showing the American people the summer of protest against the WTO.
Meanwhile, news organizations had formed a consortium to complete the recount of ballots in Florida. As I understand it, they determined that Gore had won the state of Florida. They were just about to announce the results of their recount, but another matter intervened.
That's when September 11 happened. Yes, I remember well watching the carnage on television from Cheshire, Connecticut. The crime of the century had clearly occurred, but (a) where were the interceptors of NORAD? Why was there no response from America's air defenses? (b) Who gets to hit the Pentagon, of all places? Of all places to be undefended, where were Pentagon defenses? (c) How did those buildings fall so quickly? Why was the scene "too Hollywood," such an exactly fatal blow on such a pristine clear day? (d) Why did the anchormen know that it was Osama bin Laden by lunchtime? (e) Why did the FBI have mug shots of these dead hijackers already on file, like a prepared slide? (f) Why did a third skyscraper, Building 7, that was not hit by an airplane fall? (g) Why were passenger lists not released? (h) Why were the black boxes not recovered, or not released? (i) Why was there no investigation by the NTSB? (j) Why did families have to push for a year before there was any investigation of any sort? (k) Why did no one lose their job?
Three more things happened in 2001: The PATRIOT Act was rushed through Congress; the U.S. invaded Afghanistan; and, there were attacks with military-grade, weaponized anthrax.
2002 George W. Bush decided that he was less interested to get bin Laden, and more interested to get Saddam Hussein. He began to prepare America for another war. And, it's easy to gin up a war when your anchormen are Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather. The drum beat for war proceeded, with no questions seriously asked. Phil Donahue became "a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."
Also in 2002, after a second term as a political prisoner in China, Yongjun "Majer" Zhou made his way back to the United States where he had permanent residency and a young son. Zhou and I both appeared and spoke at a human rights rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, we travelled to Crawford, Texas. We beat Cindy Sheehan to the punch, protesting at the ranch of U.S. President George Bush, as he hosted Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
At the end of 2002, Chinese dissident Xu Wenli was freed and exiled to the United States. In 2002 and 2003, the China Support Network was the premier source for English language news and information about the Chinese democracy movement. CSN had a then-new website, and while the U.S. media wasn't covering us, Taiwan's Central News Agency was. Meanwhile, the Falun Gong crackdown was growing worse and worse.
2003 The U.S. invaded Iraq. Meanwhile, with spokesman David Chu, the China Support Network did a series of talk radio interviews, promoting a boycott of goods 'Made In China.' I met former Soviet dissident Lev Navrozov, who had become a columnist (and still ran the Center for the Survival of Western Democracies). He wrote a glowing column, speaking highly about the China Support Network and myself. Navrozov's assistant Isak Baldwin became a friend to both myself and to Majer Zhou, a Chinese dissident mentioned earlier.
2003 included the development of a nasty rift in the Chinese democracy movement. In California, Zhang Hongbao (the guru of Zhong Gong, another qi gong movement) was arrested for allegedly beating his maid. Other dissidents were adamant that this was not the first time for Zhang Hongbao to beat women. The dissident Majer Zhou chose to move to California and to work with, or for, Zhang Hongbao -- at basically the same time that criminal charges came down. The Free China Movement, based in Washington under dissident Lian Shengde, was split by this maneuver. Lian "fired" Zhou from his position as the North America director for the Free China Movement. There began to be a lot of civil lawsuits and litigation between California dissidents and those based around Washington DC.
2004 George W. Bush was "re-elected," although results in the state of Ohio were statistically implausible. The Democrat's nominee, John Kerry, did not challenge the election results, but the Green Party nominee, David Cobb, did. Once again, America's news anchors asked no questions, and hence smoothed over what was likely a stolen election. Thankfully, this election was the last hurrah for the triumverate of Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather.
In 2004, I visited the dissidents in California, where Zhang Hongbao was open with me as he frankly told me that he wanted to be President of China. I visited his gated mansion in Pasadena, where he was preparing something called the China Shadow Government.
Also in 2004, there appeared an English language edition of the Epoch Times, a newspaper created by Falun Gong sympathizers. Late in 2004, they published the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, and the stage was set for a movement, in which disgusted Chinese citizens would sever their ties and quit their membership in the Communist Party and related organizations.
2005 In 2005, a coalition of Chinese dissident groups was lined up with the China Shadow Government, and the China Support Network joined in to protest as the European Union proposed to lift its arms embargo on China. The arms embargo was a post-Tiananmen Square sanction, and where China had made no progress politically or in human rights, there was no change of circumstances to justify lifting the ban on military arms sales. This coalition of pro-Chinese democracy groups pushed against the "Jacques Chirac" plan. The U.S. White House came around and similarly objected to any lifting of the arms ban. Under U.S. pressure, the EU abandoned the idea.
However, in 2005 the coalition of Zhong Gong and the China Shadow Government (both under the thumb of Zhang Hongbao) was eclipsed by a coalition of Falun Gong and myriad other groups. CSN joined in the Global Coalition to Quit the [Communist] Party, otherwise known as the "tuidang" coalition. At a web site connected with the Epoch Times, the tuidang campaign was registering statements of resignation as Chinese people proceeded to quit from the CCP and two related organizations, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers.
In book form, the Nine Commentaries was smuggled around in China, where it was having a "distribution build." In tandem with that distribution build, increasing numbers of Chinese citizens quit from the party through the tuidang campaign. By April, 2005, they had recorded one million Chinese resigning from the Party. I spoke at a rally to mark the occasion, but CNN refused to cover the event. By June, 2005, the campaign reached two million people quitting. (If you've never heard of this campaign, perhaps it's because CNN won't tell you about it.)
Early in 2005, I had obtained a demo CD with four rock songs recorded by NoManZero. One song, 'Global Warning,' had politically-charged lyrics, and I thought that this band might like to lend its talents to the Chinese democracy movement. I booked them to appear at the annual commemoration of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square. With only a couple of weeks time before the event, they wrote and recorded a new song, 'Remember Tiananmen Square.' I vetted the lyrics as the band's political advisor. Suddenly, CSN's cause was being remembered in American rock music, and the China Support Network got its theme song! :)
NoManZero was a hit with Falun Gong practitioners who were at the anniversary. I had urged them to play the old standby song, 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye' for the Communist Party. That song from 1969 became an anthem familiar to generations of American high school students -- it is commonly played at football games. Here in 2005, NoManZero did play that song, but a well placed woman named Jianmei Yu told them, "I wish you had a Quit CCP song."
By the end of the summer, NoManZero recorded the *new* tune, Bye Bye CCP, and delivered it to New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) -- the television outfit of Falun Gong practitioners -- and NTDTV added a video montage to thereby yield a music video. NTDTV also made a video montage for the Remember Tiananmen Square song, although it did not premier until the next anniversary of Tiananmen in 2006.
By the end of 2005, seven million people had quit from the Communist Party. 2005 was also a time when YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook were beginning to make their presence felt in the world scene.
2006 By 2006, Author D.J. McGuire (author of Dragon In The Dark, a book warning about China) had become the President of the China Support Network.
McGuire's political views were largely neoconservative, but this aspect fit in with the times, as America had a neoconservative administration. Yet, the American people had begun to sour on the Iraq war, as evidenced by Ned Lamont's successful primary challenge to Senator Joe Lieberman.
In the November elections of 2006, McGuire endorsed Republicans, and the American people turned control of Congress over to Democrats. Perhaps feeling repudiated, McGuire abruptly quit from the CSN presidency the next day.
2006 had an occasion when Zhang Hongbao pleaded "no contest" to reduced charges in the criminal case against him. This seemed to be the end of the China Shadow Government. Then, in July 2006, Zhang was killed in a highway crash in northern Arizona. Hence, 2006 was the end of Zhang Hongbao all together.
2006 also had a visit by China's President Hu Jintao to the U.S. White House. On the South Lawn of the White House, while Presidents Bush and Hu were exchanging remarks, Falun Gong practitioner Wenyi Wang unfurled a banner and began to shout "stop the killing!" and "Falun dafa hao!" (Falun Gong is good). She instantly became the Rosa Parks of the cause for Chinese civil rights. CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed her on The Situation Room, but did not breathe a word about what Wang was upset about: the killing, and in fact the forcible removal of organs from Falun Gong practitioners for profitable transplant surgery. 2006 will be remembered as the year that Organ Harvesting came to light. Wenyi Wang was working for the Epoch Times newspaper, which broke the story. Wenyi Wang related the story that, when she was in an elevator at CNN, Blitzer's producer instructed her: "Don't talk about organs." The wider world learned that CNN is just as given to news suppression as delivery.
Also during 2006, a further 10 million people quit the Communist Party, for a total of 17 million. And the rock group NoManZero recorded an album (including both Remember Tiananmen Square and Bye Bye CCP), but then had its singer quit during post-production.
2007 Apart and away from my role for the China Support Network -- simply as myself -- I published the article, 'Breaking My Silence on 9/11 Truth.' At this point, I had seen enough material from the 9/11 truth movement to be ready to stand with them in demanding that the U.S. re-open its investigation into the events of 9/11/2001.
Even though I was simply exercising my own right to political free speech, this was too much for some directors of CSN, who quit. I think of them as "fallen freedom fighters," because how can one advocate free speech in China while disapproving of the same for myself, a citizen in the United States? Through being so disapproving of my article, it means that these neoconservative directors had forgotten just what the fight is all about in relation to political freedom. And, the CSN got a board of directors that was now clean of neoconservatives. That's fine. I added a new director, named Robert Gerald Lorge, who had been the 2006 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the state of Wisconsin. His recent election campaign had not succeeded to unseat Senator Herb Kohl (one of the richest men in the Senate), but Lorge was strongly anti-communist and I welcomed him as a new member of the CSN board of directors. --His recent political campaign would be one where he offered a health plan, and other political ideas. Is that okay? Does he have the freedom of speech to express his own politics? Well, yes. At CSN, directors do enjoy their political rights. And the dissenting directors are free to make use of the door if they'd rather not be there. In my view, an organization can be all about political freedom, or it can be all about political correctness, but not both at the same time. CSN continues to be about political freedom.
In fact, CSN started the Freedom First / Olympics Second coalition, to push against the upcoming Beijing Olympics of 2008. I found other groups that would line up with us politically, and did an interview on NTDTV to promote the coalition. The CSN coalition had mostly Chinese dissident groups. Tibetans had their own coalition, and Falun Gong was gearing up a coalition against the Olympics. Separately, the Save Darfur Coalition was also pressing hard for China to change its foreign policy with Sudan.
Now that Democrats had gained control of the U.S. Congress, what can we remember 2007 for? --I think it is best remembered for Nancy Pelosi's line: "Impeachment is off the table." (George McGovern correctly wrote that the crimes of the Bush administration were far worse than Watergate. Evidently not for Pelosi.) This was said as Barack Obama began his campaign for the U.S. White House. Also in 2007, the wheels began to come off of sub-prime lending and the U.S. housing market, and a recession began by the end of the year.
2008 The Olympics were coming. The rock group Light Club -- the new project of NoManZero's guitarist -- wrote and recorded the 'Freedom First / Olympics Second' theme song.
Meanwhile, in March '08, Tibet experienced a new crackdown and uprising against Chinese rule. The Freedom First song became the first rock song to mention the unrest in Tibet. It was debuted at the end of March, as several coalitions coalesced on the Boston Common to launch the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR), an alternative to the Olympic Torch relay. I did a lot of travel and gave a lot of speeches for the HRTR and for the Freedom First / Olympics Second Coalition.
In fact, a recent documentary film about the unrest in Tibet features sound bites from speeches that were given in that time frame. One can go to this URL:
--And there, you will see speech excerpts from Dennis Kucinich, and myself, and several Tibetan speakers. In this short (9.5 minute) film, I am heard scolding the Chinese government: "Stop the killing, release the prisoners, and talk to the Dalai Lama!"
A humanitarian emergency in Tibet put a whole new light upon the 2008 Olympics. The IOC should have moved the games away from China, and failing that, the West should have boycotted the games. That is what should have happened, but instead the Olympics became a festival of depravity. I believe there should be an investigation to determine whether human rights abuse *always* coincides with the Olympics. If they are a quadrennial calamity for human kind, then the Olympics should be discontinued altogether.
During the Olympics, China was covering up its poison baby milk scandal. A large number of infants died from ingesting milk, after milk powder was contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. Milk is not the first deadly product to be 'Made In China.' In 2007, the U.S. received toothpaste spiked with anti-freeze, and pet food was recalled after killing thousands of U.S. cats and dogs. Also the previous year, there were recalls for 450,000 'Made In China' tires, and 19.5 million Chinese made toys, contaminated with lead, nearly made it "the year without a Christmas."
2008 is also when I published my article, 'CNN Caught In Genocidal Correctness.' Immediately after the Olympics, further evidence corroborated the allegations of the deadly practice of organ harvesting in China. As we may remember from the discussion above, CNN knew about this story beginning in 2006. Upon arrival of the further evidence, with organ harvesting confirmed, I wrote my article excoriating CNN.
Also in 2008, the financial system seized up in anticipation of cascading cross-defaults on financial derivatives. Barack Obama supported telco immunity over FISA wiretapping, and he then supported a mugging of the U.S. taxpayers to cover the gambling debts of Wall Street. Just as with 9/11, there is a good question to be asked: Why did no one lose their job? --Then, Obama was elected President of the United States. During the financial crisis, the Chinese dissident Majer Zhou attempted to return to China to see his aging parents. He was arrested by Hong Kong authorities, who then made the secret rendition of turning Zhou over to Mainland Chinese authorities.
Just prior to International Human Rights Day -- December 10, 2008 -- a group of Chinese dissidents released "Charter 08," a petition and manifesto for the reform of China. The authorities of the Mainland arrested Liu Xiaobo, a leading intellectual and writer who had participated in both the Tiananmen Square uprising and the Charter 08 development.
2009 It was the disastrous first year of Barack Obama as the U.S. President. In my view, the Bill Clinton economic team belongs in prison, not in the President's cabinet. But, Obama packed his team with retreads from the Clinton administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an early trip to China, with the message: "Kiss kiss, please buy U.S. T-bonds." U.S. unemployment soared, and Obama blew off many opportunities to create more U.S. jobs. The development of his health reform bill reflected a leadership style that says, "Look Ma, no hands!" The memorable phrases of the year were "cash for clunkers" and "cash for caulkers." The memorable phrases of the year /*should*/ have been "justice for war criminals" and "justice for 9/11."
2009 included a scare about H1N1, or "swine flu." The U.S. government should be a laughingstock after one reviews the comedy of errors that ensued.
In July 2009, another crackdown happened, this time with the Chinese government versus the Uighurs of East Turkestan / Xinjiang. Just like Tibet, it is a colonized and restive region of western China. And just like Tibet in 2008, the Uighur crackdown of 2009 was deadly.
During 2009, along with much material about the Majer Zhou case, new recordings appeared at the China Support Network website. Light Club had recorded 'Chinese Democracy (defiled)' and their remake of the Beatles' 'Revolution.' The tuidang counter approached 66 million resignations from the Communist Party.
In November, 2009, Obama made a trip to China in which Communist Party members were planted in his audience to pretend to be college students. Obama did not bring back so much as a Panda or a ping pong ball, much less gain the release of any Chinese dissidents. Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng published a tract, 'Why Did Obama Fail So Much [in China]?'
In the latter part of the year, China placed Majer Zhou and Liu Xiaobo on trial, choosing International Human Rights Day to indict Liu and Christmas Day to announce that he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. An outcome for Majer Zhou is still pending.
Decade summary It was complete bullshit. On the day before 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon cannot account for $2.3 trillion of money that has gone missing. This decade was good for whoever got away with that money. And, it was good for defense contractors, especially those like Halliburton and KBR who were getting no-bid contracts from cronies inside the U.S. administration. And the decade was mostly good for Bernard Madoff, who was swindling investors out of $50 billion with a ponzi scheme that went undetected for most of the decade.
It's also a decade when the U.S. trade deficit with China swelled beyond a quarter of a trillion dollars annually. At the other end of the trade, the surplus has served to fuel and build up a nuclear-armed, communist superpower. And, it's the decade when the Chinese democracy movement "went dark" on U.S. TV networks. I should announce the China Support Network's award for "Most Corrupt Newscaster of the Decade," but there are so many good candidates, it's hard to choose one.
I am sorely tempted to give that award to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, whose producer famously told Wenyi Wang, "Don't talk about organs." However, another leading candidate is ABC News' Ted Koppel. And actually, I have called for Nuremberg-style trials for Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather. So why pick on Ted Koppel?
Well, here is why Koppel can at least share the prize. --In 2000, as noted above, "Bill Clinton was offering a setback to Chinese dissidents in the form of a free trade deal with Communist China -- something that would reward China's communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs for bad behavior." Chinese dissidents were mobilized against the deal, called PNTR. But, did Ted Koppel check in with any Chinese dissidents? No! He didn't tell you that they were literally making a bus trip across the country to tell anyone who would listen that PNTR was a grievous mistake.
What did Ted Koppel do instead? He waited until the night before the vote in Congress, to have his first -- and only -- show looking into trade with China. His guests? --He chose three guests in favor, and zero guests against, PNTR. This was at a time when polls showed the American public 79% against the trade deal. He dutifully put lipstick on a pig, and then the House of Representatives dutifully passed the measure on the floor of Congress. This was a decade in which the establishment was singing "Bye Bye American Jobs," while ignoring those for freedom, democracy, and human rights, who sang "Bye Bye CCP." It should be safe to say that the sorry state of affairs, above, reflects a disconnect between the interests of newscasters and the interests of the American public.
For covering up genocide in China, I think that *all* managing editors and talk producers for network television should jointly share in the China Support Network's "Most Corrupt Newscaster of the Decade" award. And to Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather, I say good riddance. Ding dong, their evil has passed from the scene. (But their replacements walk in the same shoes. That's a shame, and a disservice to the news viewing public.)
I happen to think, enough is enough of this decade. Sheesh!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
In the past 48 hours, U.S. TV "news media" have once again "made my point for me." They have reinforced my disdain, by showing once again why I am boycotting ABC, CBS, and NBC "news."
They have once again downplayed and diminished (suppressed) news that is likely to be a turning point for the Chinese pro-democracy movement. The YouTube video above tells the story -- in more ways than one. It is a montage of television reports that stem from the sentencing of Liu Xiaobo, a top Chinese dissident, to 11 years in prison.
First is a report by AP television. Second is a report by World News Australia. It shows representatives of the U.S. and French governments calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo. Third is a report by France 24. Fourth is a video by PEN American center. That is a branch of International PEN, an organization for writers. Liu Xiaobo was the President of Independent Chinese PEN, another branch of the same organization.
The video montage is notable for more than what it shows -- who is absent from the montage? (Here's a hint: I was already boycotting ABC, CBS, and NBC.) Close analysis of the video reveals that there is no report from ABC, CBS, or NBC.
It's a big story, internationally. Type "Liu Xiaobo" into News.Google.Com, and it indicates 4,793 recent stories on Liu Xiaobo. (His trial was December 23 and his sentence was announced December 25.) 15 different countries had diplomats who went to the trial (and were refused entrance). Headlines at this time include "France berates China over sentencing of dissident," "US Reiterates Call for Release of Chinese Dissident," "Taiwan leaders must push for Liu Xiaobo's freedom," "Switzerland joins protests against China," and "Jailing of writer in China causes concern at UN."
So what's happening at ABC, CBS, and NBC, where the story is dark? Apparently, to shed light on the Chinese democracy cause, they need a permission slip from their Chamber of Commerce minders. Let's face it. The news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC are each "mouthpiece" organizations. They are fastidious to be pro-corrupt status quo, which includes sanitizing the public image of Communist China and being agnostic about China's ugly open secrets like genocide, organ harvesting, and slave labor, not to mention the abuse of Chinese dissidents.
At the networks, they are obedient sock puppets, reading from teleprompters. CNN is just an itty bit better, because they sometimes remember that China in fact has a democracy movement -- something that ABC, CBS, and NBC have not let on since about 2002.
The story is a turning point because it shows that "moderate" Chinese dissent is met with a dead end. The severe sentence for Liu Xiaobo gives new initiative to the "hardline" Chinese dissidents who expect no results from any entreaties to the unreformed Chinese government. Is "further turmoil" ahead? Here is a statement from Wei Jingsheng, previously known as China's most famous dissident:
Statement by Wei Jingsheng
Mr. Liu Xiaobo is an important representative of the moderate faction of the intellectuals inside China. The "08 Charter" he co-drafted is a document meant to push for reform in the way of reconciliation and cooperation, which represents an opinion inside China for an effort to solve social crisis in a peaceful and reconciled approach. In the past many years, the voices and opinions of this faction demonstrated at least some survival space inside China. They illustrated the possibility that the good sensed people within the Chinese Communist government still had the opportunity to present their opinions, thus leaving the option to solve the crisis inside China peacefully.
However, today the severe sentence that Liu Xiaobo received by the Hu Jintao regime releases the message that the regime refuses to reform the political and economic system in a peaceful manner. The regime refuses to reconcile with the people and continues its stand of being the enemy of the people. This kind of policy of being against the historic currents for sure will obstruct the future of reform, and thus result in an even bigger turmoil in China. It will be neither good for the Chinese people, nor for the Communist Party's own existence. It is a policy of extreme stupidity.
We, the members of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, are against this policy by the Hu Jintao clique. We urge the people who still have some intellect inside the Chinese Communist Party to convince Hu Jintao to change this stupid policy. In particular, the Chinese government must reverse Mr. Liu Xiaobo's guilty ruling during the appeal period and release the person as innocent immediately. Only by leaving room for maneuvering for moderate reform can further turmoil be prevented.
Chair, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The last speech in the video is one that I delivered in April, 2008 at the New York stop of the Human Rights Torch Relay. The subject is the crackdown in Tibet which began in March, 2008.
Without mincing words, I told Chinese politicians to (1.) stop the killing; (2.) release the prisoners; and (3.) talk to the Dalai Lama.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Nov. 12-13 -- Tokyo. Obama will meet with new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. (Perhaps they'll commiserate over the recent loss of the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro; Chicago and Tokyo were both finalists.)
Nov. 13-15 -- Singapore, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Nov. 15-18 -- China, with stops in Shanghai and Beijing. The president will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Nov. 18-19 -- Seoul. Obama will meet with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and visit U.S. troops who are stationed near nuclear-armed North Korea.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
In response to media enquiries on the case concerning Mr Zhou Yongjun, a government spokesman said today (October 12): "We do not comment on individual cases. The Immigration Department has the responsibility to uphold effective immigration control. The department handles all entry applications in accordance with the law and immigration policy, having due regard to individual circumstances. In general, a passenger whose travel document does not meet the entry requirements will be repatriated to his or her place of embarkation or origin."
Ends/Monday, October 12, 2009Issued at HKT 17:25
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Zhou travelled from the U.S. to Macao in September, 2008, and tried to enter Hong Kong. Stopped by HK authorities, he was somehow sent to Mainland China to face bogus and politically motivated trumped up charges, in proceedings that violate Zhou's human rights.
Here is the press conference exchange:
Reporter: Did the Hong Kong government return Zhou Yongjun, a student leader from Tiananmen, to the Chinese authorities rather than going back to Macau as his family alleged a few days ago?
Chief Executive: Let me say first of all, I'm not in a position, like every other government, to comment on individual immigration cases.One thing is clear, let me explain very clearly to you, our immigration colleagues operate entirely according to the law of Hong Kong and according to established procedures. Anyone who legally enters Hong Kong will be welcome to do so. Anyone who travels with a false document will be treated accordingly, he'll be sent back to wherever is appropriate, that is established policy.
Thank you very much.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Congressman Chris Smith Remembers the Victims of 60 Years of Communist Rule in China
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), a senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Ranking Member on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, today called on free people every where to reject China's self-aggrandizing "celebrations" of its 60 years of Communist rule and instead remember and honor the millions of people who have been killed and those who endure limited freedoms, harassment and torture at the hands of the Chinese Communist dictatorship.
"The Chinese Communist government will mark the 60th year of the People's Republic of China with massive but highly choreographed celebrations-coupled with a massive ramping-up of police control, and roundup of dissidents," said Smith who was recently nominated by President Obama to be Congressional Representative to the United Nations said. "Over 60 years, the PRC government has shown itself by far the most deadly enemy the Chinese people have ever faced. Scholars estimate that this government has been responsible for killing approximately 65 million people in China.
"Rather than bogus celebration, today should be a day of remembrance," Smith said. "The victims of this government may seem like numberless millions, but each one had a human face, loved ones and a contribution to make. I propose that we remember them today, and resolve to pray and work that what happened and is still happening to the Chinese people will one day be stopped-and the Chinese people can truly say, "never again."
Smith, who traveled to China during the Olympics last year on a human rights trip, said that the current Chinese government routinely and viciously persecutes Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetans, and Christians, as well as activists and journalists promoting human rights and democracy.
"Its most massive crimes were in the 1950s and 60s but even today it perpetrates grave human rights abuses, from widespread use of torture, massive censorship and surveillance of the Internet, jailing of dissidents, across-the-board religious persecution, and ethnic persecution that killed hundreds and jailed thousands of Tibetans in 2008, and Uighurs in 2009. We cannot forget the killing, in the past ten years, of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners.
"October 1 marks 60 years of human rights abuse in China on a scale we can hardly grasp," he said.
Hong Kong - Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was under increasing pressure Tuesday to investigate the case of a former Tiananmen Square dissident sent over the border into China to be arrested.
Zhou Yongjun, 42, a student leader in the 1989 pro-democracy movement who is now in the process of becoming a US citizen, has been held for a year in China after being picked up in Hong Kong.
He faces fraud charges in mainland China after being found allegedly using fraudulent identity documents in September 2008 to enter Hong Kong from neighbouring Macau.
At a press conference Monday, his lawyer said that Zhou, who was jailed after the 1989 demonstrations and then left China for the US, had been tortured and denied family visits since his arrest last year.
Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang was facing renewed pressure Tuesday to investigate the case, which a leading lawmaker said was effectively an illegal extradition.
Speaking on government-run radio station RTHK, Albert Ho, chairman of the Democratic Party, said the case 'constitutes a very serious infringement' of Zhou's rights.
Ho said that Zhou had been picked up by immigration officers, put into a van and driven across the border to mainland China against his will, even though there is no agreement for cross-border extraditions.
Ho appealed to Tsang to make available police records of the incident and to press for Zhou's release, warning that the case could open the door to politically motivated cross-border transfers.
Zhou came to Hong Kong in September 2008 with the intention of visiting his elderly parents in China, using a Malaysian national's passport. He has no Chinese visa since fleeing to the US.
Girlfriend Zhang Yuewei said that Zhou's family only learned of his arrest and detention in Sichuan seven months after he was placed in custody in mainland China.
Zhou, one of the most prominent of the 1989 student demonstrators, was pictured kneeling on the steps of the Great Hall of the People during the Tiananmen Square protests pleading for political reforms.
Asked about the case by reporters Monday evening, however, Beijing-appointed Tsang would only say that he could not comment on individual cases.
Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a 'one country, two systems' agreement, after 150 years of British colonial rule.
The city has a separate legal and political system and a mini- constitution that guarantees freedom of speech and political freedoms. There is no formal rendition agreement with China.
Zhou is said to be facing charges including defrauding the Hang Seng Bank, accusations believed to relate to his use of a bogus identity to attempt to enter China.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students were killed by Chinese troops in June 1989 when the pro-democracy movement was brutally crushed in the streets around Tiananmen Square.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Michael Tsang has words of warning for both Americans and Chinese (and perhaps Australians and others). His speech follows--
The Chinese Communist regime has just celebrated its 60th anniversary. At the same time 60 million of its Chinese people have resigned their membership in the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations in a movement called "Quit the Chinese Communist Party," or "Quit the CCP." --That's the real thing deserving celebration, and a sign that the days of the CCP are numbered.
Why? There is no shortage of reasons why, let me just recount a few:
- Recently the news is that 70,000 Beijing taxis are now equipped with micro-monitors that can monitor conversations of passengers remotely controlled by the CCP. Coupled with a GPS system you are just so damn vulnerable in this Orwellian society.
- It's been a number of years now that the CCP employs fleets of death-mobiles – these are buses equipped to handle harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, or live Falun Gong practitioners. They travel from detention center to detention center; even homeless people today have been increasingly targeted. In the world of human organ trafficking, China is the only country known to operate it as a systemic practice and state-sanctioned though it is an underground operation.
- "United Front" is an operation by the United Front Work Department that sits below the CCP Central Committee. Its mission is to infiltrate Western society and its politicians, to have them curry favor and back Beijing policies at critical times. If a targeted politician could not be bribed by financial means, then entrapment or fabricated evidence are used to coerce them to submission. This works very well on Westerners, as they are terrified when they are set up – fearing for their future career.
- Recently, in a failed attempt to acquire a stake in an Australian mining giant--Rio Tinto--for $19 billion, the CCP arrested the company's executive on charges of stealing state secrets without providing details or evidence and waited 3 days to inform the Australian government. This is a slip up finally coming through on an international level. God knows how many innocent Chinese citizens have been treated this way arbitrarily, many are even tortured and incarcerated and not heard from again. What are State Secrets? They are basically things that cannot see the light of day and they are trying hard to cover up.
- This is just a sample of recent misconducts by this totalitarian regime. You all know about the hazardous products from China right? And the persecution of the Tibetans, Uighurs, Falun Gong, underground Christians, pro-democracy dissidents, taking land from poor farmers. Recent news also pointed to the disbarment of all human rights lawyers in China that defended the oppressed. Here is another item: the rampant rape of women and young girls by Chinese officials is a sign of status and prestige. Not to mention, the regime caused 80 million unnatural deaths in the history of Communist China; the supply of WMD and related technology to rogue countries; the tortured and murdered in Chinese prisons; the list goes on.
If this was an individual or organized crime in the U.S., they would have been stopped, apprehended and imprisoned, with the keys thrown away. But this is a legitimate government of 1.3 or 1.4 billion people, and the world kowtows to them for business. Nothing has been able to put an end to their despicable violence and countless crimes.
Do people know why? Not many have the time, or sufficient interest, to stop and think about it in the Western world. Many are too busy making money, busy buying cheap consumer goods - guess from where? But do stop and think about it, because this is not just a matter of whether the U.S. is going to be displaced as the economic power of the world, or increasingly lose its military edge. My concern is whether America continues to lead the world in freedom and democracy. We are increasingly condoning all of this and in danger of losing our standards without our realizing it. Not cognizant of their tactics, we are conceding to them rapidly on every front.
For those who have suffered and those who know the evilness of this oppressive regime, a momentum is building to stand up and denounce this most despicable regime and move towards a better future. A future where humanity is embraced and evil eliminated.
For the Chinese people who are against this movement, like those who celebrated the Communist flag raising at Boston City Hall Plaza last Saturday, Let me tell you my brothers and sisters, you are continually being duped. The CCP uses lies and nationalism to keep your loyalty, you are loyal to them and protecting their corrupt ways so that they can stay in power to oppress--perhaps not you, as they always needed and keep someone like you to support them and legitimize them, but those less fortunate than you will become their victims and scapegoats. But deep down they don't care about anyone except their own power. Everyone is disposable. Perhaps the tables will turn on you some day and you will taste what everyone else has tasted; then it will be too late.
The CCP is not China and cannot represent China; it has obliterated the real China that had belonged to you and me and replaced it with a false one that has no dignity and no soul. We urge you to reexamine China, its history and heritage so that you can come to truly see and choose a good future.
for Tuidang rally at Boston Common, October 4, 2009
by John Kusumi, China Support Network Director emeritus
I want to thank the organizers for bringing me back to Boston, and of course for your own turnout - I know that soggy weather was forecast.
Well, regardless of rain or snow or sleet or hail, we are gathered here on the Boston Common and we know that China has just marked a grim milestone: It has been 60 years since Chairman Mao established the reign of thuggery that is today's Mainland Chinese government. That is why they gathered in Beijing this week, to have one of those military parades that seems just like North Korea. The military parade in Beijing makes it look like Communist Parties are all the same, and that they use large military parades to wow the gullible and distract the world from their deeper, systemic problems.
The deeper systemic problem is this: Nobody believes in communism anymore. In fact, why is there a Communist Party in charge of China? --All across Eastern Europe, and in the Soviet Union, the Communist Parties all collapsed between 1989 and 1991. I said that military parades make it look like Communist Parties are all the same. Hopefully, they ARE all the same. If so, then the collapse of China's Communist Party is inevitable.
It may be that when a system is completely rigged, and has no elections and no functioning justice system -- that this leads to social pressures, which cannot be reconciled because there is no recourse within the system. China has a building pressure of domestic discontent. The Communist Party has a debt of blood on its hands. Some Chinese people know the record of history, including how many of their countrymen have met with untimely and premature deaths at the hands of the CCP.
Today, we stand here with a solemn understanding that enormous suffering continues in China. That crackdowns are still in progress today. That families are split, and that loved ones are kept in the Laogai camps. The Western world is getting to know that word, Laogai: it represents an evil system known as "reform through labor." These are prison camps, where the prisoners are worked to produce manufactured goods. These are a dark and ugly secret behind the face of China's peaceful rise in the world economy. Incarceration and forced labor imply force; that is
the opposite of a peaceful rise. The peaceful rise is one big lie!
Any dictatorship is only maintained by hurting people. It is mistaken for the United States to make its peace with tyrants and to have an easy, breezy countenance for evil. And in the United States, while Barack Obama sounded like a promising candidate offering change -- well, I describe his administration as "Clinton Lite: Less peace, less prosperity, but the same Clintonian taste." Now, why would I say that at this time? --Well, Obama recently postponed a meeting with the Dalai Lama, so that he can visit Mainland China first. When Obama puts human rights in the back seat to business as usual with Communist China, well -- that *is* the Clintonian policy on human rights.
And yet today, we also stand here with more. We have more than suffering; we have more than lamenting. We have hope, and we have determination.
It's because we have another milestone that we mark here today. The bigwigs of the West -- such as Washington and its media -- don't really have this story. They don't know their Jiuping from their Tuidang. And yet, it is time for them to get this story, and to learn those vocabulary words. Due to a shamefully silent news media, the related news has gone unreported, so I'm sure that Washington is foggy over these matters. Here and now, let me work to dispel their fogginess.
In 2004, a book was produced, called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. That book is an expose about the actual history of the Chinese Communist Party. For Chinese people, it has been an eye-opener. The evil of that Party is laid bare in the pages of the Nine Commentaries. This is where we get the word Jiuping (pronounce "Joe-ping"). Jiuping means "nine commentaries." Jiuping, the book, made its way around China, being smuggled in and passed hand-to-hand. It is classic underground literature, with every story that might inconvenience the Communist Party.
As the book began to get around China, there also came to be a wave of revulsion at the history revealed within. The impulse was there for people to quit the Communist Party -- to resign their membership. In 2005, my group the China Support Network joined the Global Coalition for Quitting the CCP: a coalition with many other Chinese dissident and human rights groups. This coalition put into place the Tuidang campaign. Tuidang means "quit the party." If everyone quit from the Communist Party, then imagine what's next -- they could have a meeting and no one would go. That is the general idea of this campaign; to isolate the evil-doers and constrain their ability to continue their evil ways.
Quitting the party happens in every conceivable way -- by letter, phone, and fax -- but most commonly, it happens on the Web, where the Tuidang campaign has accumulated an enormous database of resignations from the Party. Resignations tend to be accompanied by personal stories, where the ex-Communist might inform the world about evil they have witnessed, or injustices or persecution which befell their family.
That database has continued to accumulate resignations. In 2005, I spoke at the rally to salute the first one million people to quit the Communist Party. Pretty soon, we were having rallies for 2 million, 3 million, 5 million, and 10 million resignations. It is true also, that my group encouraged a rock group, NoManZero, to release the song 'Bye Bye CCP.' That song, and its music video, are now featured at the website of the China Support Network.
To make a long story short, we are here today because we have collected 60 million resignations in the Tuidang database! --That means 60 million ex-Communists; people who formerly joined the party and have now renounced it. The ranks of the Communist Party are growing thinner and thinner. It is like the air is going out of their tires. This campaign is taking a substantial bite out of the Chinese Communist Party, and we're not done yet!
It is time to salute the former Communists. They are people who have looked at the situation. They have seen the error of Communist ways. They want something better for their country and for their fellow Chinese. And, they have gathered up their courage and registered their displeasure with the status quo. Washington DC needs to get the memo: The Communist Party is headed for a fall, and is on its way to the ash heap of history. If a U.S. administration was wise, instead of reinforcing business as usual, it would instead help China to transition away from Communism by adding pressure for human rights.
China must end the Tiananmen crackdown. China must end the Falun Gong crackdown. China must end the Tibetan crackdown. And, China must end the Uighur crackdown. That means they must release the prisoners whom they've taken in the course of those crackdowns. Right now, my group focuses on four high-profile prisoner cases. Zhou Yongjun, Liu Xiaobo, Wang Bingzhang, and Gao Zhisheng must be released. But really, our focus on them should not be taken to exclude all of the other prisoners of conscience who are today laboring in China's Laogai camps. For another note about human rights, China must abolish the systems of Laogai and Laojiao. They are hideously evil tools of state repression.
In conclusion, I congratulate you, the campaigners. This is a grand and historic movement, celebrating the milestone of 60 million responses. Chinese people are answering the call and distancing themselves from the Communist Party. That is why, in addition to suffering and lamenting, we also stand here with courage, with determination, and with hope that China will soon experience a bright future with freedom, democracy, and human rights. To everybody here, thank you once again!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
His Excellency Donald Tsang
The Chief Executive of the Government
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Re. Open Letter to Call for Awareness of the On-Going Forfeiture of Hong Kong’s Administrative and Judicial Independence to Beijing
In Re. Matter of Zhou Yongjun
Dear Mr. Tsang:
We, the undersigned, a group of Chinese and American Human Rights Campaigners, are here to express our deep concern over the fate of Mr. Zhou Yongjun, one of the most prominent student leaders of the 1989 Tian An Men Square prodemocracy Movement.
Mr. Zhou has been held in custody behind bars, virtually incommunicado, by the government of the People’s Republic, mostly because the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, under your administration, volunteered the service of extradition of Mr. Zhou, a prisoner of conscience, to the Central Government in Beijing, without even summary judicial proceedings. As the whole world watches, the Hong Kong government’s police action assists Beijing’s on-going, and accelerating human rights abuses targeting political dissidents in and out of China, and has set a bad precedent in forfeiture of Hong Kong’s judicial and administrative independence, having seriously compromised the fundamental freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.
In September, 2008, Mr. Zhou entered Hong Kong from Macao. He was intercepted, detained, and held incommunicado by your government. Shortly afterwards, the Government of Hong Kong, under your administration, secretly and promptly turned Mr. Zhou into the hands of Beijing government, knowing the latter is an internationally condemned murderer and persecutor of Tian An Men Square prodemocracy activists. This serious development occurred one year ago and has come to light only recently. Such a violation of all well recognized international protocols may have shocked all hearts of the international human rights community. We, the undersigned resolutely condemn such an outrageous offense and affront to freedom loving people all over the world. In the wake of such a disgraceful betrayal, we the undersigned call for the international community to launch an immediate investigation into this serious development.
We are here to call for awareness; for the international community to pay close attention such an indecent and disgraceful police cooperation between the government of the P.R.C. and the current Government of Hong Kong, the former British Colony, in their dirty trade of extradition of political prisoners demanded by Beijing in return for forfeiture of Hong Kong’s administrative and judicial independence.
We are here to call for the Hong Kong Government’s immediate self-restraint from continuing such ignominious deals with Beijing, and for it to take all necessary steps to remedy the grave consequences of such lapses in procedure. We are here to appeal to people, the voters of Hong Kong, to stand up and speak out, in urging the government of Hong Kong to preserve its administrative and judicial independence.
Respectfully signed by:
/s./ Ye Ning, attorney and human rights campaigner
/s./ Li Jinjin, attorney and chair of China's Judicial Watch
/s./ Zhang Yuewei, family member of Zhou Yongjun
/s./ John Kusumi, founder of China Support Network
——from Yongjun's families, written by fiance Yuewei Zhang
Yongjun left Los Angeles for China Last year to visit his disabled father and his earthquake-hit hometown, on his 41st birthday, September 26, 2008. Then immediately, he went missing and we couldn't hear from him at all! About two months later in November, 2008, we were relieved to learn that he was arrested secretly in Hong Kong by the Chinese police and then was secretly transferred to Shenzhen and put in secret custody. However, the Chinese police denied that they held him. As we learned about Yongjun's situation on the inside from released inmates, we realized that he was experiencing a replay, quite similar to the last time in 1998, when he was secretly arrested and the Chinese government tried to block all the information about him, until they found a pretext to charge him with a crime. For example, in his 1998 arrest, he was charged with "Secretly Entering China." In May of 2009, he was charged with fraud, a crime that he never committed.
Based on Chinese government officials' harrassment, threats, and intimidation for our family (since the end of November, 2008), we knew that Yongjun was in custody again, but we had no way of knowing his condition (dead or alive?) inside the prison. So we began to write to the Chinese government repeatedly begging them to release Yongjun. Three months, four months, five months passed with no answer -- until seven months passed, there was no reply! Helplessly, we had to cry for help from God, from the media and human-rights-protecting groups and people, from the U.S. government. Ridiculously, we got Yongjun's Arrest Warrant from them--the Chinese government--on May 13, 2009. Then we retained Mr. Mo Shaoping, a well known human rights attorney. But soon thereafter, we received a lot of pressure to fire Mr. Mo.
Under the pressure, Yongjun had to dismiss Mo. In the time since Yongjun's whereabouts were disclosed, we haven't been allowed to visit him. We learned from the released cellmates that Yongjun suffered migraine, chest pain, and extremities pain in Suining Detention Center. Yongjun's sister is herself a government employee and had called international attention to Yongjun's case. She has received warnings and she has to keep silent about Yongjun's case.
It will be Yongjun's 42nd birthday soon, and we don't know how he will celebrate it in China on September 26. He loves his family and his motherland China, however, this motherland, an oriental big "DEMOCRACTIC AND LAWFUL" country has treated him with three imprisonments and cruel tortures within 20 years. Yongjun has been just a hot-blooded youth working hard to seek democracy. What's wrong with this? It's nothing wrong!
Since 1989, Yongjun suffered both mental tortures and physical injuries in the Chinese prisons and the serious consequences. We're quite worrying about his health. We really miss him now, however, we're not allowed to see him. His 80-year-old upright parents need him, and his children need him more. We've been looking forward to his return to the U.S.A.
I am, hereby, expecting everybody here present who loves and supports democracy, freedom, human rights and world peace to keep an eye on Yongjun's third imprisonment by the Chinese government.
Thank you very much,
Yuewei Zhang on behalf Yongjun's daughter, parents, sister and brother
The Southwest Yard Zhong Shan Park, Beijing, 10031 P.R. China
Tel/Fax: 86-10-66058311 Email: email@example.com
June 4, 2009
To: Suining Bureau of Public Security, Sichuan Province
Cc: Economic Investigation Branch
Branch Leader: Desheng Xie; Police Officer: Bo Wang:
We are the attorneys from Beijing’s Mo Shaoping Law Firm, representing Yongjun Zhou, who is the suspect of an alleged fraud case handled by your bureau. We are retained by Mr. Zhou’s family, which was confirmed by Mr. Zhou himself. After the retaining, we met with Yongjun Zhou and acquired information about the case. Here we offer our opinions as to this case based on our knowledge about this case and relevant laws for your reference.
I. Regarding the jurisdiction
We believe the Public Security agency of mainland China has no jurisdiction over this case.
1. The Public Security agency of mainland China has no jurisdiction pursuant to the principle of locality jurisdiction
According to the information provided by Yongjun Zhou, which was confirmed by the police officers handling this case, the basic facts relevant to this case are: When Yongjun Zhou entered Hong Kong from Macau, the Hong Kong police suspected him of being involved in a money laundering scam. The police presented to Mr. Zhou a letter addressing Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank from overseas when he was interrogated. The letter was pursuant to a demand for transfer of money from Hang Seng Bank, and the signor of this letter is the same as the name in English spelling present on Yongjun Zhou’s passport: Wang Xingxiang. It is quite clear that the act and its consequence of this case did not happen within the boundaries of mainland China. Pursuant to “The People’s Republic of China Criminal Law” (“Criminal Law”), Section 6, “This law is applicable to all who commit crimes within the territory of the PRC except as specially stipulated by law ….When either the act or consequence of a crime takes place within PRC territory, a crime is deemed to have been committed within PRC territory,” which is the principle of locality jurisdiction, and “The Basic Law of the People’s Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”, Section 2 says, “The People’s Congress authorizes Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to have high level of autonomy, owns the power of administrative management, legislating and independent judiciary and final review,” China’s Criminal Law is not applicable to this case and China’s Public Security agency has no jurisdiction over this case.
2. The agency of Public Security of China has no jurisdiction pursuant to the principle of personam jurisdiction.
Yongjun Zhou obtained his green card in the United States on February 4, 1993, and has lived in the United States for 16 years. Considering his Chinese passport had expired, Yongjun Zhou repeatedly applied for the Chinese passport with China’s consulate general in the United States. He also asked his family to help him get a Chinese passport in China. However, his requests were declined, which should be deemed as the denial of his Chinese citizenship by the Chinese government. Without alternative, Yongjun Zhou applied for the U. S. citizenship with the U.S. Immigration and got it granted. According to Yongjun Zhou’s family, the U.S. Immigration has mailed “the notice for taking oath” to Yongjun Zhou’s home in the United States. Pursuant to “The People’s Republic of China Nationality Law”, Section 6, “the Chinese citizen living in foreign countries should be deemed to lose his/her Chinese citizenship when he/she voluntarily applies for or acquires foreign citizenship,” Yongjun Zhou, who lived in the foreign country for a long time and voluntarily applied for United States citizenship, has no longer had his China citizenship. Pursuant to Criminal Law, Section 7, “the crime committed by the Chinese citizen outside China shall be governed by this law. However, the crime subject to the imprisonment for less than three years shall not be prosecuted under this law. The crimes committed by the employees of The People’s Republic of China and servicemen shall be governed by this law,” which is personam jurisdiction principle, the Public Security agency of mainland China cannot exercise its jurisdiction over this case. Here, we need to bring your attention to “the Rule Related to Cases Involving Foreigners,” issued by Foreign Affairs Ministry, The Supreme Court, the Supreme Procuratorate, the Public Security Ministry and Justice Ministry, on June 20, 1995, Section 2, Subsection 1 (1) “as to the administrative detainment, criminal detainment, judicial detainment, detainment questioning and investigation, arrest, surveillance, bailment, attachment of passport and expulsion within limited time of a foreigner,….public security agency, state security agency, people’s prosecutor, the court and other related agencies should report the case, its handling and the way to handling media to its superior agency within 48 hours after taking the abovementioned measures and also inform the foreign affairs agency.” And Section 3, subsection 4(7) “If no valid ID that could be used to identify the dead or the citizenship of the suspect under bailment, surveillance, detainment questioning and investigation, detainment and arrest,….the handling agency should inform the foreign embassy or consulate general via inquiry,” your bureau should report this case to your superior and notify the foreign affair agency of the government at the same level. In the same time, the relevant agency should notify the United States embassy or consulate general pursuant to the “Vienna Treaty regarding Consulate Relationships.”
3. The agency of Public Security of China has no jurisdiction pursuant to the principle of protection jurisdiction.
As stated above, the victim of this case should be Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank or other overseas individual or organization, neither a Chinese citizen nor China as a country. Therefore, pursuant to Criminal Law, Section 8, “Foreigners who commit crimes against a Chinese citizen or China as a country, subject to imprisonment for more than three years, could be governed by this law, except for that such act is not punishable pursuant to the law of the locality where the crime is committed,” which is the principle of protection jurisdiction, the agency of Public Security of mainland China has no jurisdiction over this case.
II. Regarding the evidence in this case
We believe there is insufficient evidence to charge Yongjun Zhou with fraud.
As stated above, the basic facts relevant to this case are: When Yongjun Zhou entered Hong Kong from Macau, the Hong Kong police suspected him of being involved in a money-laundering scam. The police presented to Mr. Zhou a letter addressing Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank from overseas when he was interrogated. The letter was pursuant to a demand for the transfer of money from Hang Seng Bank and the signor of this letter is the same as the name in English present on Yongjun Zhou’s passport: Wang Xingxiang. There is no other evidence to show that Yongjun Zhou had something to do with this letter or Yongjun Zhou was involved in the fraud. According to Yongjun Zhou, he obtained this Malaysian passport from an immigration service company. Although the name on the passport is the same with the name of the signor of that letter, he did not write such a letter and did not see this letter before. Therefore, we believe, without any other corroborating evidence, it cannot be ascertained that Yongjun Zhou is the person who wrote this letter. It is also worth noting that, according to Yongjun Zhou, after verifying the above, the Hong Kong police not only released Yongjun Zhou but also apologized to him. It indicates that the Hong Kong police, who have the jurisdiction over this case, have already excluded Yongjun Zhou as the suspect!
III. Regarding the procedure used in this case
We believe there is a grave problem of overtime detainment.
Yongjun Zhou was detained by Shenzhen police in early October 2008, when Yongjun Zhou did not disclose his real identity. On November 7 or 8, 2008, Suining City, Sichuan Province Bureau of Public Security sent police to meet with Yongjun Zhou in Shenzhen. According to Zhou, some of the police from Suining City Bureau of Public Security know him from before and at that time Yongjun Zhou had disclosed his real identity to Shenzhen Police. Thus, his real identity could be ascertained no later than November 8, 2008. Pursuant to “The People’s Republic of China Criminal Procedural Law” (“Criminal Procedural Law”), Section 128 (2), “The number of days of the detainment should be counted starting from the day when the real identity of the suspect is ascertained if the suspect refuses to disclose his/her name and address,” Yongjun Zhou has been detained 144 days more than that allowed by the law, starting from November 8, 2008, the day when his real identity was disclosed, to May 8, 2009, the day when the Suining Peoples’ Procuratorate granted the arrest of him, subtracting 30 days, the longest for criminal detainment, and 7 days, the days for the review by the People’s Procuratorate, pursuant to Criminal Procedural Law. Pursuant to Criminal Procedural Law, Sections 75 and 96, “the suspect, defendant and his/her legal representative, relative or the attorney or other defender retained by him/her have the right to demand the release of the suspect or defendant or cancellation of the surveillance or household watch if the court, prosecutor or Bureau of Public Security detains them for longer than that allowed by the law” and “the suspect may retain his/her attorney to provide legal counsel, complain or appeal after he/she is detained or interrogated for the first time,” we will complain on behalf of Yongjun Zhou to Shenzhen Police for their overtime detainment of Yongjun Zhou.
Considering the above, we believe:
1. The Agency of Public Security of Mainland China has no jurisdiction over this case pursuant to Criminal Law, Sections 6, 7 and 8 regarding the jurisdiction of the criminal cases;
2. There is insufficient evidence to charge Yongjun Zhou and his case should not stand;
3. There is a grave problem of overtime detainment of Yongjun Zhou.
Yongjun Zhou was the first president of Autonomous Students Federation of Beijing Universities during the [Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989]. Due to the 20th anniversary of the June 4 event, his prominent case may receive great attention from the international community. We hope that your bureau will enforce the law in compliance with the law, ascertain the case as soon as possible and dismiss the case.
Shaoping Mo, Attorney
Zerui Chen, Attorney
Beijing’s Mo Shaoping Law Firm
Location: Detention Center, Suining, Sichuan
Interviewers: Attorney Shaoping Mo; Attorney Zerui Chen [also transcriber]
Interviewee: Yongjun Zhou
Mo: Are you Yongjun Zhou?
Zhou: Yes. I am Yongjun Zhou.
Mo: I am Attorney Shaoping Mo from Beijing. This is Attorney Zerui Chen.
Zhou: I have heard of Mr. Mo. However, I am not sure that you are really he.
Mo: We are entrusted by your family to be your attorney. It is your father who signed the agreement. Please see if it is your father’s signature.
Zhou: It should be.
Mo: Please sign it if you agree.
Zhou: But I don’t think my family could afford to pay a great attorney like you. I don’t want my father to sell his house for me.
Mo: Oh. Your case has something to do with politics. We haven’t charged your family one cent for this special case as of right now. Don’t need to be worried. Please sign it if you agree. Let’s continue. Were you a student of China University of Political Science and Law? What is your major?
Zhou: Political Science.
Mo: Are you familiar with China’s current law?
Zhou: I know the basics, but the law changes constantly, the specifics of which I don’t know.
Mo: Please check the agreement and sign it.
Zhou: I first have to make sure how much you charge us.
Mo: You don’t need to be worried about it. Your case is special and I will treat it in a special way.
Zhou: I learned politics at China University of Political Science and Laws. I heard about human rights attorneys in China when I was overseas. I never thought that you would be my attorney.
Mo: Let me give you a rundown about your current legal status. Pursuant to “Criminal Procedural Law,” you are still a suspect. Although you have been arrested, you are still in the hands of the Public Security Bureau’s investigation. You are a suspect rather than a defendant. From the date you were detained, you would be detained for 37 days at most. Since you were authorized to be arrested by the prosecution, the Public Security Bureau could detain you for two more months. After then, they have to obtain the authorization from the superior prosecution to detain you for one additional month. If your case is important and complex and the Public Security Bureau wants to detain you for longer, the Public Security Bureau has to obtain the authorization from the provincial prosecution in order to make your detainment extended for two more months. Then the case goes to the prosecution for their review. The prosecution has to make the decision on indictment in one and half a months, during which there are two chances for supplemental investigations, one month each chance. If the evidence is not sufficient, the prosecution may make the no-indictment decision. There was so-called being relieved of indictment, under law which is outdated. If they cannot find sufficient evidence, the only decision they can make is no-indictment.
[The director of the detention center came in unexpectedly.]
Zhou: Good! Director Xie is also here. Mr. Xie told me that I could see all my incoming letters. Please give them to me.
Director: I don’t have any letters for you.
Mo: Oh, let’s continue. We are your attorneys when you are under investigation so your family can engage us on behalf of you. Our job is to provide evidence to prove your innocence, lesser offence or being eligible to be relieved of criminal penalty. The authority law entrusted to the attorney is different from authorities given to the Public Security Bureau, prosecution and court. We can file complaints for you if you were coerced to confess by harsh interrogation or the law enforcement violated the law. We have this authority.
Zhou: I see.
Mo: Are you tortured to confess?
Zhou: Well, I was kind of entrapped to confess. Now, let me take three minutes to give you a clear introduction of this case.
Mo: You are good; you can take only three minutes to give us a clear introduction? Oh, even I cannot do it.
Zhou: This case is political. I went to Hong Kong from Macau on September 28, 2008, with a Malaysian passport, which they said was falsified. I bought this passport from an immigration service company, with which I went to Taiwan and Macau without any problem. The name on the passport is not Yongjun Zhou. It is quite accidental that I was detained in Hong Kong.
Mo: Do you have a U.S. green card?
Zhou: Yes, my green card started from February 4, 1993. I haven’t been naturalized. Since 9/11 the hurdle of immigration was getting higher. I applied for citizenship in 2002. It took a longer time. At the time I left the U.S., I was ready to be a citizen except for an oath taking. Therefore, I am only a national [permanent resident], a “quasi-citizen.” But I was very much homesick because my parents are in China, especially when the big Sichuan earthquake occurred last year. I tried to get a passport via my sister Sufen Zhou, but she tried in vain. Later I applied for a visa through China’s consulate general but was refused. The Chinese government took this matter politically rather than criminally. On September 28, I went to Hong Kong from Macau with the Malaysian passport. I thought there should be no problem with going to Hong Kong. However, the customs officers of Hong Kong found a problem with my passport. I did not disclose to them who I was. At noon of September 30, the Hong Kong Immigration office gave me a notice of denial of entry. I stayed at the police station at Hong Kong-Macau entry for 48 hours, when I was sick and treated. Later they said ‘sorry’ to me that they misidentified me and turned me back over to immigration. The immigration said they needed to verify my identity before letting me go. Then I was sent to a small hotel in Shenzhen by a vehicle, where I was shown a notice of detainment, on which the name shown on the passport was listed. I did not tell them my real name. On November 7 or 8, someone from Suining Public Security Bureau came to Shenzhen. Two of them came, one elder and another younger, one of whom was known to me. They interrogated me continuously on Saturday and Sunday, with Shenzhen police aside. On the 27th, they transferred me to Yantian detention center and forcefully changed my name to Hua Wang. I had told them of my real identity, but they wanted me to sign Hua Wang as my name, to which request I disagreed. I signed my name as Yongjun Zhou. Since November 27, I wrote many letters to my family and asked the police officers to forward. I went on a hunger strike when they refused to forward them for me. However, they refused my requests. They did not interrogate me any more and such situation continued until April. Later, the director told me that someone from superior authorities demanded them to detain me here. Thereafter, Shenzhen police came again to verify something, after which they showed me a notice of detainment. Later, I was moved to Suining on May 4.
Mo: Yes, your family told us all already. Your former cellmate told your family after he was released.
Zhou: Shenzhen Public Security police went to the hotel room in Macau where I lived and took away my belongings without my permission, against my will. They lost my belongings in the process. The list of attached belongings was lost because a new list was issued every time I was transferred. However, Hong Kong Immigration is in possession of an original list of attached belongings. It was shown on that document that my bank cards, credit cards, computer and documents were all gone.
As to the financial fraud case, the only reason for my investigation was something in the transcript of the interview conducted on me by Hong Kong police. My mistake is that I brought with me one copy. It was Hong Kong police who gave me such a copy. If I had not brought it with me, probably nothing would have happened. Hong Kong police showed me a copy of a letter, addressing Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank from an overseas address. They said the name on the letter is the same as that on my passport, and the letter demanded Hang Seng Bank to transfer 2 million Hong Kong dollars to an account with Citibank. I have nothing to do with this letter. I did not write the letter and I’ve never seen it. I denied involvement related to this letter when I was in the Public Security Bureau. I have nothing to do with it. (So they detained me.)
Mo: This is the only matter you are involved in?
Zhou: As to the financial fraud, this is the only reason why they accuse me.
Mo: Is what you told me here consistent with what you told the police? Any changes?
Zhou: Consistent. There is no change in the story; I have said it as it is consistently.
Mo: That is to say, you did not see this letter before, and you had nothing to do with this letter?
Zhou: No. I’ve never seen this letter.
Mo: You are suspected of committing criminal financial fraud. Pursuant to the Chinese law, the financial fraud is to make false representation or conceal material facts to induce others to rely on them to dispose of property.
Zhou: I did not do it. Hong Kong police did not think I had a problem. However, the Mainland police continued to pursue this case because it is related to politics.
Mo: According to what you said, you failed to disclose your identity to Shenzhen police. Pursuant to the law, the dates of the detainment would not be counted if the identity was not verified. The dates of the detainment would be counted from the date when the identity could be verified.
Zhou: Suining police came to Shenzhen in mid-November and they should have known my identity by then at the latest. As to why they detained me, the only thing I can say is for political reasons.
Mo: Okay, this is all for today. Please take care of your health. If you want to see us, you may tell Mr. Xie. How is your health? What do you want your family to send to you?
Zhou: My heart has a problem. Last time my sister mailed me some money [On May 8 the police called Zhou’s sister to deposit money for him]. I still have them now; I don’t need anything else.
Mo: Your friends overseas and the media paid attention to your case. What do you want to say to them?
Zhou: I thank them very much! Although I am in jail now without any freedom, I wish them living a happy life.
Mo: Ok. Please sign the agreement. Take care!
Zhou: Yes. Thanks!
No. SPCL (2009) 097
Defendant Zhou, Yongjun, a./k./a. Zhou, Yazhou, male, born on September 15, 1967 in Pengxi County, Sichuan Province. Zhou is an ethnic Han Chinese, and his identification number is 11010819670915631X. He received undergraduate education and his recorded address in his household registration book is Unit 3-5, 39 South St., Chicheng District, Pengxi County, Sichuan. On April 10, 2009, he was detained by Shenzhen municipal Public Security Bureau as a suspect of committing fraud. On May 8, 2009, he was arrested by Suining municipal Public Security Bureau, with the order of arrest approved by Suining People’s Procuratorate.
The investigation of this case was completed by the Public Security Bureau of Suining, and it was determined that defendant Zhou, Yongjun is suspected of committing the crime of fraud. The case was refered to Suining City People’s Procuratorate on July 7, 2009 to review for pending prosecution. The Procuratorate appoints this court for prosecution. This court received the case, questioned the defendant according to the law, has heard the opinions and defense of the defendant and his representative, and reviewed all the materials pertaining to the case.
It has been determined according to the law:
On May 8, 2008, Defendant Zhou, Yongjun fraudulently used the name Wang Xingxiang to have sent a letter in to Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank, requesting the bank to transfer 4 million Hang Kong Dollars in Account 239-082258 (0002) belonging to Wang Xingxiang at the said bank into Account 031027915031 at HSBC’s Australian Branch. On May 19, 2009, Defendant Zhou, Yongjun once more fraudulently used Wang Xingxiang to have requested via a letter to Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank for a wire transfer of 2 million Hong Kong dollars from Account 239-082258 (0002) at the said bank into Account 89730410 at Citibank’s Hong Kong Branch. On May 24, 2009, since the Defendant Zhou Yongjun saw the said two transfers were unsuccessful, he once again fraudulently used the name of Wang Xingxiang to send postal letters to Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank, requesting that the bank send 4 million Hong Kong dollars in Account 239-082258 (0002) at the said bank into Account 031027915031 at HSBC’s Australian Branch and also requesting that the said bank to transfer 2 million Hong Kong dollars from the said account into Account 89730410 at Citibank’s Hong Kong Branch. Since the signatures did not match with the record, the requests were denied.
On October 1, 2008, Defendant Zhou Yongjun used a Malaysian passport with Wang Xingxiang’s name, attempted to enter Hong Kong, and was detained by Hong Kong’s Immigration Affairs Bureau.
The evidence admitted in support of the said facts includes: physical evidence, correspondence, expert opinions, testimonies from witnesses and the defendant’s personal confession, etc.
This court has determined that Defendant Zhou Yongjun has committed fraud, and the amount is considered very significant. The deeds have violated the statutes stipulated Article 266 of Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, and have committed the crime of fraud. The expected outcomes were not fulfilled due to causes unrelated to his original intent, which conforms to Article 23 of Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and should be considered criminal attempt. The facts pertaining to his crime are clear and recognized, the evidence sufficient, and his criminal liabilities should be prosecuted under the crime of attempted fraud. According to the statutes in Article 141 of Criminal Procedural Law of the People’s Republic of China, the case should be prosecuted according to the law.
People’s Procuratorate of Shehong County, Sichuan Province
Acting Inspector: Hongzhi Li
Acting Inspector: Mingzhe Lan
August 3, 2009
No. Sui Gong Bu Tong  04
For Suspected Crime of Fraud, Yongjun Zhou was arrested by Suining Public Security Department at 17:00pm, on May 8, 2009, under the approval from Suining People's Procuratorate, and he has been detained at Suining Detention Center.
Suining Public Security Bureau
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Person in charge of this case
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Zhou Yongjun, a./k./a. Zhou Yazhou and Majer Zhou, a student leader of 1989 pro-democracy movement of China, who is a legal permanent resident of the USA, was sent back to China from Hong Kong by Hong Kong’s immigration authorities with no legal reason on or about September 30, 2008 and was secretly detained without any legal action under the law over seven months. Zhou’s whereabouts were not released by the Chinese authorities until May 8, 2009 and he was then officially arrested by the local police department with a charge of fraud. He was recently indicted and the trial was postponed due to the coming event of the PRC’s 60th Anniversary.
This is Zhou’s third arrest since 1989, when he was first arrested as a student leader (Zhou was the first elected leader of the Autonomous Students Federation of Beijing Universities) and as a leader of the Beijing Autonomous Workers Federation. Unfortunately, his third arrest has not gained much attention in the international community. His family has not been allowed to visit him; his circumstances in detention were unclear; his right to counsel has been interfered with; and his family members have also been threatened.
Who is Zhou Yongjun
Zhou Yongjun was born in Pengxi County, Sichuan Province, China on September 26, 1967. He was the first elected chairman of the Autonomous Students Federation of Beijing Universities in the student movement which occupied Tiananmen Square in 1989. At the time, he was in his last year of study at the University of Political Science and Law of China. In May of 1989, he joined the Beijing Autonomous Workers Federation (BAWF). Just before the June 4 massacre, he was elected a member of the Standing Committee of the BAWF.
After the June 4 massacre, he was arrested and detained from 1989 to 1991. In June 1992, he fled to Hong Kong. He was then admitted as a refugee by the United States after arriving there in February 1993. Based on his refugee status, he was subsequently adjusted to the status of Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) of the United States. He had already applied for and had been awaiting the citizenship swearing-in. He is the father of two US citizen children.
Zhou Yongjun’s Previous Arrests
Zhou’s First Arrest
Zhou Yongjun’s first arrest took place in June, 1989 after the June 4 massacre, when he was placed in prison along with other movement leaders. In March 1990, he was officially charged with a crime of Counter-revolutionary Propaganda and Incitement. However, under pressure from the international community, Mr. Zhou was released without prosecution in January 1991. After the release, he was under surveillance of the local Chinese government until his flight to Hong Kong in 1992.
Zhou’s Second Arrest
In December 1998, Zhou secretly entered China via Hong Kong and was arrested in Guangzhou. He was intensely interrogated by Chinese police about his political activities in the United States. After six months of arbitrary detention in Guangzhou, he was transferred to the police of his hometown in Sichuan province. The local authorities there sentenced him to three years of Re-education-through-labor, an administrative punishment without trial, for the original illegal exiting of China in 1992. During the three years in the labor camp, he was subjected to degrading conditions, forced to labor, and was also tortured. After being released, he was not allowed to register in the Household Registration under his real identity and therefore could not obtain proper identification under the Chinese Resident Identification Regulations. With the help of the US Embassy in China, he returned to the US in 2002.
Zhou’s Current Arrest, Detention, and Charge
Zhou left Los Angeles on September 26, 2008 to attempt to return to China to visit his family, particularly when his father who is stricken with debilitating heart disease. Because he was not able to obtain a return permit from the Chinese consulate in the US, he tried to enter Hong Kong from Macau with a Malaysian passport. However, Hong Kong police held him at the airport to investigate several alleged fraudulent letters under the name on his Malaysian passport, Wang Xingxiang, which requested two transfers from Hang Seng Bank to two separate accounts of the same owner at other banks. The Hang Seng Bank found out that the signature did not match their records. The Hong Kong police got involved. After a few hours of questioning with the signature verification, Hong Kong police authorities released Zhou with a conclusion that Zhou did not engage in fraud. However, the Hong Kong immigration authorities notified him that he was not allowed to enter Hong Kong, but also was not allowed to return to Macau or the US. He was held for 48 hours at the airport, when he became sick severely.
On September 30, 2008, Zhou was secretly sent to Shenzhen, a city in mainland China over the border from Hong Kong, and his case was handed over to the Chinese police authorities or State Security authorities. From then, Zhou was put into secret detention.
Mr. Zhou revealed his real identity on November 7, 2008, but the Chinese authorities refused to book him under his real identity in the jail despite knowing his real identity as Zhou Yongjun from the beginning. He was given a prisoner number of #20 in the First Detention Center of Shenzhen city. In late November 2008, he was transferred to the Yantian Detention center of Shenzhen city under the name of Wang Hua, an alias given to him by the police. Mr. Zhou refused to sign the transfer papers under the name of Wang Hua, and instead signed his real name, Zhou Yongjun. Nonetheless, he was still booked under the name of Wang Hua after the transfer to the Yantian Detention Center.
His family had been looking for him after his disappearance in late September 2008. In November 2008, Zhou through his cellmates passed information to his sister, who is a judge in Chengdu in Sichuan Province. Zhou’s sister flew to Shenzhen, trying to visit him in the First Detention Center. The jail authorities denied her visit application with the reason that there was no such inmate of Zhou Yongjun or under number 20 in the facilities.
After seven months of secret detention, Zhou Yongjun was transferred to Suining city in Sichuan province. On May 8, 2009, Suining police processed the arrest procedure under the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC (official arrest) with the charge with fraud related to the fraudulent letter that Hong Kong police had already investigated and dismissed. The police department of Suining City notified Zhou’s sister about his arrest. This was the first time that Chinese authorities admitted to holding Zhou Yongjun.
The case was later transferred to Shehong County. The Shehong County People’s Procuratorate indicted Zhou on August 4, 2009. Zhou was charged with attempted fraud under Article 266 of the Criminal Law of PRC with the allegation that Zhou sent several letters to Hang Seng Bank of Hong Kong under the name of Wang, Xingxiang attempting to transfer two sums of the money under Wang’s account in Hang Seng Bank. Please refer to Indictment in the attached Appendix.
The Chinese authorities have refused to let Zhou’s family visit him since he was detained, and had not allowed him to meet with an attorney until May 25, 2009. His family hired Mo Shaoping, an attorney renowned for defending political dissidents in Beijing. Mr. Mo and his associate lawyer Chen Zerui met with Zhou on May 25, 2009 at the Suining detention center. From the attorney’s notes at the meeting, please refer to Transcript of Interview in the attached Appendix. However, Mr. Mo Shaoping was dismissed from the representation while his assistant Mr. Chen has remained counsel of record.
Concurrently, a local attorney Mr. Tang was also retained to represent Zhou. The local Suining authorities refused to let Mr. Tang review Zhou’s file and meet him until August 6, 2009. After meeting with Zhou, however, this attorney became fearful to take on the case, expressing that this involved complicated political matters, though he did comment that there is no evidence to support the criminal charge of fraud. Further, Shehong county court did not let Mr. Chen and Tang review the complete file. Many important documents listed as evidence in the Court file were withheld.
Zhou’s sister, a judge in Chengdu, tried to represent him as a family member, which under Chinese law is allowable. The local Suining authorities refused her to represent Zhou, alleging that she did not establish the sister-brother relationship. Further, Zhou’s sister has received threats to her life and her job.
From Zhou’s cellmates, we learn that Zhou was severely tortured in the detention center.
Zhou Yongjun’s case alerts us about the legal treatment accorded to political dissidents in the following aspects, which demonstrate that the Chinese authorities are more aggressively violating its law and regulations and ignoring the international criticisms, even involving the cooperation of Hong Kong authorities in violation of Hong Kong’s law and international responsibility to protect human rights.
1. No reason but the political motivation is behind the case. Hong Kong police’s investigation on alleged counterfeit signatures on letters looks like a normal criminal investigation, which was one of hundreds of such investigation. The Chinese government would not have been interested in such a routine criminal investigation unless the Government of China was interested in the person, a political dissident. Zhou’s political background and contacts with groups such as Falun Gong and Zhong Gong are the true reason behind it.
2. This is the first case in which the HK immigration directly transferred a political dissident to Mainland China from the airport. Hong Kong authorities have no legal basis for directly handing Zhou Yongjun to the Chinese police. There is no question of extradition or rendition (on which there is no agreement between Hong Kong and the Chinese Central Government) as Zhou never entered into Hong Kong. Normally a non-HK resident refused entry to Hong Kong would be sent back to his place of origin i.e. the place from which he travelled to Hong Kong. In this case, Zhou would be sent back to Macau, Malaysia, or to the US. For this legal concern, the HK government shall have to answer.
3. The Mainland China has no jurisdiction for prosecuting Zhou. Zhou is currently charged with attempted fraud with alleged letters requesting a Hong Kong bank to transfer a sum of money to two other bank accounts. If Zhou were a criminal suspect, only Hong Kong police have jurisdiction to make investigation and/or referral to prosecute this case. The Hong Kong police in this case questioned and lost interest in Zhou and returned him to the care of HK immigration authorities.
Even if under the jurisdiction of person under Article 7 of the Criminal Law of the PRC, there are some contradictions in this case. First of all, Zhou held a Malaysian passport. The Chinese government would not have jurisdiction over a Malaysian where the alleged crime occurs in Hong Kong. Second, if the Chinese authorities knew Zhou’s identity, the Chinese government should notify his family and the U.S. consulate under protocols. Third, Zhou has maintained U.S. legal permanent resident status and his domicile is in California, USA. He had no relationship to Shehong County.
Further, personal jurisdiction must relate some interests. The crime was alleged in Hong Kong. The potential victim is Hang Seng Bank of Hong Kong. There is no explanation of why a county government in Sichuan would take on a case that Hong Kong authorities declined to prosecute.
4. The Chinese police authorities had secretly detained Zhou without disclosure of his identification for over seven months. According to the procedure law of China, the police authorities must inform Zhou’s family with 48 hours and prosecute Zhou in 7 days or 37 days by extension. This time limit for prosecution might be tolled when the identity of the suspect remains unclear. However, the Chinese government claims the jurisdiction of person in this case, indicating that the Chinese authorities knew the identity of Zhou at the very beginning. From the record, it is also clear that police officers from Sichuan province met Zhou on November 27, 2008. One or two officers knew about Zhou when Zhou was arrested in 1998 and served in a labor camp in Sichuan for over two years. Thus, from November 27, 2008, this prosecution time limit should start running. However, Sichuan local police did not disclose the arrest until May 8, 2009, over seven months into this case.
5. The Chinese authorities have violated Zhou’s right to counsel by pressuring Zhou’s family and Zhou, disallowing the services of Mo Shaoping from Beijing. Further, the Court did not permit Zhou’s attorney to review the complete file.