On July 1, 2015, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) marked its 94th anniversary with celebrations extolling the “glorious history” of the Party. People in a dyeing and weaving factory in Xiangtan City, Hunan Province chose a different approach. All 1,000 Party members in the factory renounced their membership in the CCP together.
This revealed an ongoing, but not widely reported phenomenon in China: Tuidang (退党), the movement to renounce Communism.
It is not an easy thing for this to happen in China, as the CCP has repeatedly told people that “the Party is one’s mother” and “without the CCP there wouldn’t be a new China.” So in the past, Chinese people have viewed anything against the Party as “getting political” (which has a strong negative connotation in Chinese) and any criticism against the CCP as “being against China.”
Things changed after the Epoch Times ran a series called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party (Nine Commentaries) in late 2004. For many Chinese people it provided the first comprehensive analysis of the nature of the CCP. Its analysis of Communism showed that it is not a political force but a spiritual force bent on controlling people’s minds, robbing them of their humanity, and killing those who stand up to it. Since its inception 94 years ago, it has caused the deaths of an estimated 80 million Chinese people.
The Nine Commentaries ended with a call for people to separate themselves from Communism.
Since then, the Chinese people have started to think about the CCP with their own minds. Many have realized that the Communist Party is not the same as the country of China and criticizing the CCP does not mean that person is against his motherland. In other words, people started to realize that the topics the CCP says are sensitive or taboo can be touched: the Party can be criticized and people can choose whether to stay in the Party.
As time passed, more and more Chinese people have sent letters renouncing the Communist organizations, creating the “Tuidang” movement, which actually covers “san tui (三退)” or the three withdrawals: withdrawing from the Communist organizations which a person has joined, including the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Communist Youth League (for people 14-28 years old) and/or the Young Pioneers (for children 7-14 years old).
By April 2015, over 200 million participants had renounced their associations with Communism. Every day about 120,000 people post their statement of renouncing Communism on a volunteer-based Tuidang online database at http://tuidang.epochtimes.com.
Chinese people may choose Tuidang for different reasons. Some want to oppose and separate themselves from the crimes that the CCP has committed; some want to pursue spiritual freedom; some, as in the case of the Xiangtan factory, want to protest the CCP’s irresponsible governance and its suppression of citizens’ rights to pursue their own well-being.
They all have one thing in common. Tuidang frees people’s hearts and minds. It lets people regain their own conscience and their own thinking. People start to realize that the CCP is not always right, the CCP can be criticized, people can choose whether to stay in the CCP, and many other things that they have never thought of before.
That’s why today, many Chinese people, when outside of China and out of the CCP’s control, will swear openly at the CCP and vent their outrage about how awful it is. Some even renounce their CCP membership publically.
The Tuidang movement is growing in momentum. It has already become a phenomenon in China that cannot be ignored, and it will have a profound impact on China’s future.
Tuidang is an unprecedented development for every Chinese person to join! For that matter, it is a very worthwhile development for the whole world to support!
 Author David Tompkins is the Director of Public Relations of the Tuidang Center, headquartered at New York. Its English site is at: http://en.tuidang.org/
 The story of the entire factory’s Party member renouncing their membership in the CCP can be found in Chinascope’s briefing: http://chinascope.org/main/content/view/7258/