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In an Open Letter, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Urges Hu-Wen Leadership to Stop Persecuting Spiritual

October 18, 2005, Beijing — Mr. Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer in Beijing, wrote an open letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Wen Jiabao. He called for the two leaders to "stop persecuting spiritual believers and amend ties with the Chinese people." The letter listed many cases in the persecution of Falun Gong and gave his first-hand experiences with Falun Gong practitioners and their families. As an attorney, he called for the two leaders to truly govern China under the rule of law according to China’s Constitution.

Gao is known for his willingness to offer help at no charge to the disadvantaged unable to afford legal fees and for his courage in taking on the "politically sensitive" cases that few in China dare touch. He has been one of the more outspoken critics of China’s legal system.

Mr. Gao wrote in his letter: "The officers and staff who carried out the appalling brainwashing and transformation [1] against Falun Gong practitioners were measured only by the results they achieved in transforming their victims. They completely abandoned their humanity and yielded to the lure of economic gains. They lost their inborn characteristics of sympathy, fear, guilt, shame and morality. They simply ignored common sense and turned the system of values based on human conscience on its head."

In the past year or so, Mr. Gao has received a number of requests from Falun Gong practitioners for legal assistance. Learning of their appalling stories of persecution by the government, he felt that he couldn’t sit back. In order to gain first-hand knowledge of Falun Gong practitioners’ suffering, he set aside a whole week and secretly visited the practitioners. To avoid any unexpected interference, Mr. Gao cut off all outside communication during that week. In his letter, he revealed only part of what he witnessed on his visit:

"People will forever condemn the horrible and inhumane suffering that He Xiuling underwent before her ultimate death. She was dying but was already pronounced dead and was sent to the mortuary. Her relatives, who were not allowed to visit her, finally knelt in front of her dying body. While enumerating the appalling suffering she had endured, her relatives saw tears fall from the eyes of her ‘dead’ body. Relatives wailed and desperately tried to find a doctor. The doctors were indifferent. Their coolness lessened only when one of the villagers who came to the funeral procession knew one of the doctors. When the doctor in question found Ms. He’s heart was still beating, his first reaction was not to resuscitate her, but to tear the electrocardiogram into pieces. ‘I didn’t see anything. I don’t know anything,’ the doctor said as he escaped. He Xiuling died with tears in her eyes while her relatives cried in despair."

He further wrote: "Here I have to say that, with regard to the cause and motivation behind the persecution, I am very confused and bewildered, as are many of my colleagues, friends and neighbors. Why should a citizen’s belief, which is based on his own free choice and involves no pursuit in this mundane world, incur such a lasting, inhumane and illegal crackdown? What on earth is the point?! We cannot rationalize the persecution, other than arriving at the conclusion that those who initiated and continue to assist in it have warped personalities. Their behavior only serves to alienate them, putting them into an illegal position, and continues to pervert their already extremely vile character, the kind of vileness and viciousness that can chill a normal person to the bone…
"During the investigation, we not only learned that the persecution, which was started six years ago, is still going on, but we also learned a more interesting fact, which is that the persecution is failing. Based on our observations at the places we visited, the more brutal and the more long-lasting the suppression is in a given region, the more prominent the signs and extent of its failure. For example, in three cities of Shandong Province, Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai, posters and flyers displayed and distributed by Falun Gong believers and their supporters to protest the suppression and expose the crimes against them are everywhere. Falun Gong posters can be easily spotted at the front entrance of many police departments and police stations. Tenacious and enduring resistance is growing and intensifying, signaling how unpopular the suppression policy is. Conversely, the regions where the suppression isn’t as harsh manifest a different scene. For example, in several districts in Shaanxi Province, the overall situation is relatively calm. In the face of this plain fact, those who love and advocate violence should really feel ashamed.

"Immeasurable capital resources and police manpower are absurdly exhausted on the suppression of Falun Gong practitioners, who simply practice peacefully to cultivate their minds and improve their health. This has further turned the society into chaos. It is an absolute crime to impinge on basic human rights. Frankly, I would like to tell you that neither of you has any reason or excuse not to take immediate action to change the current situation."

By publishing his letter, Mr. Gao is stepping into the most forbidden area in China. The day after his open letter appeared, Mr. Gao received a threatening phone call. The caller said, "You know a lot of truth. We know a lot, too. We know where your daughter goes to school, and which bus she takes."

When asked why he chose to post his letter on the Internet, Mr Gao said helplessly, "The fact that we had to use an open letter to the top leader is a joke in a civilized country, and at the same time is an insult to the lawyers. … because we don’t have trust in the system. …If the letter is not open the world, no one will pay attention to it, and it will be useless. … Unfortunately, the system is so corrupt that it has no value at all, particularly in (listening to) the voice of the people. "

While the authorities are having the "headache" of how to deal with Mr. Gao, the letter has spurred excitement in the society. According to Mr. Gao, after his open letter was publicized in the Chinese language media, many Chinese outside of China called and told him, "We have been reading your articles. We were disappointed at China, but after reading your letter, we think there’s still hope for China!" Mr. Gao referred to this as a force of justice. It encourages everyone. Some high-ranking Chinese communist officials also communicated to Mr. Gao in various ways, "We don’t dare to say the same things you said. We have been following your articles. You are great."

[1] "Transformation" is the term the Chinese Communist Party uses to describe when a Falun Gong practitioner abandons his/her belief.

From the Editor

On paper, China is well on its way to becoming a regional or even global power—economically, politically, and militarily. Normally, such developments would bring prosperity and stability to a society. China, however, seems to abide by a different rule. Instead of prosperity, we see increased corruption of government officials, an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and a growing number of cases of social injustice. As a result, incidents of social unrest have been erupting one after another. This is evidenced by a report from China’s Ministry of Public Security: There were 8,700 incidents of social unrest in 1993 and 32,000 in 1999; in 2004, the number of such incidents increased to 78,000, involving 3.8 million participants.

The causes for such incidents are quite diverse: forced loss of property, unpaid wages, land pollution, deprivation of the right to employment, and so on and so forth; but the manifestation of them are alarmingly similar. In most of the incidents, government officials or entities were the targets, and the socially disadvantaged were seeking justice. In the past, Chinese people had a tendency to accept their fate passively and wait patiently for the government to straighten things out. After decades of seeing the laws and political system work against them, however, distrust and resentment toward the government is bubbling to the surface. Facing great injustices, the common Chinese people are getting organized and boldly confronting the government, a phenomenon widely referred to in China as "weiquan," or "protecting rights."

So far, the government’s answer to the civil movement has been predictable—suppression at any cost—and there is no sign of compromise in sight. A quick look at China’s public security system is quite telling. Until the late 1980s, China’s riot police was an obscure entity that no one ever heard from. Today, it has become one of the best-equipped governmental arms that number a whopping two million, most of them former military personnel.

The weiquan movement in China is starting to catch the attention of some international observers. However, most believe that the situation is still manageable for the Chinese government. In this issue, we provide a synopsis of the weiquan movement in China and its current status.

China is legendary in its richness and longevity of culture. To enrich our readers with the tradition of this civilization, we are introducing a "Culture" section, with stories that cover various topics ranging from history, medicine, and art, to travel and people. Found in this issue is a topic that is quintessentially Chinese: Tea. It is our hope that this new addition will be both informative and enjoyable.

News Briefs

Pregnant Ph.D. Candidate Unable to Obtain Childbirth Permit

[Beijing Morning Post, October 23, 2005] A married and three-month pregnant female Ph.D. student at a Beijing college has been unable to obtain a childbirth permit because of her student status. Many regions in China have stipulations stating that before a married couple’s first childbirth, they are required to obtain a childbirth permit. The permit requires a fee, and has to be used within a certain period of time. If a couple with a permit does not get pregnant within that period, the permit will expire.

The Ph.D. student was married two years ago, and learned in August that she was pregnant. Because her registered permanent residence is outside Beijing, she had to apply for the permit from her college. But the authorities of the college ignored her request. In despair, she sent her request to the authorities of the Beijing Birth Control Office, who indicated that giving birth requires a childbirth permit, that without the permit, the child’s permanent residence cannot be registered, and that other services related to the pregnant woman and her child cannot be guaranteed. Students’ registered permanent residences should be with their colleges, and therefore the schools should issue the childbirth permits, the staff at Beijing Birth Control Office told her.

Associate Party Secretary of Shanxi Province Removed from Post Due to Gang Ties

[Singtao Daily, October 22, 2005] Hou Wujie, the Associate Party Secretary of Shanxi Province, was recently expelled from the Chinese Communist Party and discharged from his post. Hou was reportedly the backstage boss of the largest underworld organization in Shanxi. He was once arrested in Beijing for engaging a prostitute. According to official charges, during the period when he was the Associate Party Secretary of Shanxi, Hou took cash bribes of US$100,000 and material goods valued at 160,000 yuan (US$19,800). Hou was dismissed from his post in December 2004 and was arrested formally at the end of July 2005.

300,000 New College Grads Seek Jobs in Guangdong

[Nanfang Daily, October 17, 2005] Estimates indicate that more than 220,000 students will graduate from universities, technical schools, and graduate schools in Guangdong Province in 2006. In addition, 60,000 to 70,000 graduating students from other provinces will move to Guangdong to look for jobs, making the sum of those newly entering the employment market close to 300,000. This year, the Guangdong Province Career Consultation Center will hold a series of job fairs beginning from November 20. The exact times and places are being coordinated. There will be more than 30 job fairs held this year, which is many more than former years.{mospagebreak}

China’s Pollution Extends to Hong Kong, Air Quality Deteriorates

[The Epoch Times, October 16, 2005] As China’s economy rapidly develops, pollutants from the factories of Hong Kong’s neighboring Guangdong Province increasingly drift across to Hong Kong. With more and more emissions from the ever-increasing number of automobiles in Guangdong, the smog condition has significantly worsened in Hong Kong.

According to a report from Bloomberg News, CLSA research indicates that the terrible air condition in Hong Kong drives away many foreign management workers, annually costs many companies US$9,000 in medical expenses per employee, and greatly reduces their workforce. Anthony Hedley, chairman of the department of community medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said, "Hong Kong is going backward in terms of pollution…The government has been noninterventionist to the point of being really negligent."

Hong Kong Economist Questions China’s GDP

[Financial Times, October 24, 2005] China’s most recent GDP has just been published, and many economists are already questioning the accuracy of these figures. According to Chinese reports, China’s GDP increased 9.4 percent in the third quarter. The growth is about the same as the numbers of the last two quarters, which were 9.4 percent and 9.5 percent respectively. Hong Kong economist Jim Walker questions this data, as he believes that the GDP listed for the last three quarters does not match the figures obtained from other economic indicators. Walker believes the Chinese officials’ published data is "something from an imaginary world."

About One Million College Graduates Jobless This Year

[Central News Agency, October 13, 2005] With the expansion of college admissions, the number of college graduates in China increases rapidly year after year. Nevertheless, there are few job openings for college graduates. It is reported that among this year’s college graduates, about one million of them remain jobless. In the meantime, there are 4.7 million new college students this year-a record number. Out of the 3.3 million college students who graduated this summer, 70 percent of them are now employed, with 30 percent, or approximately one million young graduates, still unemployed.{mospagebreak}

Pharmaceutical Kickbacks in China Reach 770 Million Yuan Annually

[The Epoch Times, October 17, 2005] The medical system in China has become a disaster area of corruption. According to official data, China’s pharmaceutical industry spends 770 million yuan (US$95 million) of national assets annually, or 16 percent of the tax revenue from the industry, in paying kickbacks for pharmaceutical sales and bribing medical professionals. Some Chinese officials have publicly acknowledged that the ten-year-long reform of China’s medical system ended in failure. In particular, 90 percent of people surveyed are unsatisfied with the medical system reform, while four-fifths indicated that hospitals are now out for profit, not for social welfare. The difficulty in getting medical treatments and the high cost of medicines has become one of the toughest social issues in China.

China Has 15 Percent of World’s Auto Accidents

[The Beijing News, October 16, 2005] According to statistics, China has only 1.9 percent of the world’s cars, but has 15 percent of the world’s car accidents. Hundreds of thousands of people die in car accidents every year. China Machinery Industry Association’s deputy president Zhang Xiaoyu said during the "2005 Shanghai Jiading Auto Forum," that according to international standards, cities in which 20 out of 100 families own a car can be recognized as entering the "automobile society." Chinese cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou have already reached this standard. Zhang added that compared to developed countries, China’s automobile cultural consciousness is still weak. Over 100,000 die of car accidents every year in China, making it one of the worst countries for car accidents.

Cholera Outbreak in Zhejiang Province, Over 100 Sick

[Central News Agency, October 7, 2005] In September of 2005, over 100 incidents of cholera were reported in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. According to Hong Kong’s Wenhui Daily, after the cholera outbreaks in several townships of Jiaxing, the Health Department has sent in staff to monitor restaurants, food stores, and industries, drinking water, and medical facilities. The main reason for the outbreaks is suspected to be contamination in the rivers and water supply systems.{mospagebreak}

China’s Groundwater Pollution Reaches Critical Levels

[The Epoch Times, October 14, 2005] After analyzing groundwater quality data from 118 cities in China, The Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences found that all the cities had polluted groundwater. Sixty-four percent of the cities suffered from heavy pollution, while 33 percent registered light pollution. As reported on Xinhuanet, the Academy’s data shows that China’s pollution problem centers mostly on the continually expanding areas of groundwater pollution. The groundwater of two-thirds of China’s cities is generally decreasing in quality, with some areas already in serious situations. In over 300 cities, groundwater pollution has caused water-supply shortages. The contaminants found in water are increasing, and are also becoming more and more complex. The concentration and extent of contaminants are also continually growing. This situation has made the decreased quality of natural water a large problem. Endemic diseases have also appeared in certain areas, caused by poor water quality.

New Monitoring System to Be Installed on the Streets of Beijing

[, October 17, 2005] Beijing’s Haidian District is now implementing a plan called "Science for Security." In the next three years, the government will install 2,052 surveillance cameras to cover the district. The cameras will be set up at all angles, and will form the monitoring and prevention system for the district. Scholars point out that the tightened monitoring system is a sign that Chinese society wants to avoid the control of the Chinese Communist Party. This is the first district-level monitoring and command center. The related department hopes to carefully control public protests and emergencies.

CCP Approves Five-Year Plan, No Mention of Political Reform

[, October 12, 2005] The Fifth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concluded in Beijing on October 11. At the meeting, the 11th Five-Year Plan for National Economy and Social Development was approved. Some of the goals addressed included reforming development concepts, improving social justice, reducing the wealth gap, and increasing farmers’ incomes. But according to analysts, the new Five-Year Plan did not mention anything about the urgently needed political reform. It is impossible to solve the existing social and economic problems under the current system of state.

This fifth plenary session is the first committee session presided over by current Chinese leader Hu Jintao, so the outside world has paid much attention to what new policies Hu would implement after strengthening his political power. But after the committee session’s bulletin was released, many people were disappointed.{mospagebreak}

Thousands of Workers in Chongqing Protest, Meet Violent Suppression

[The Epoch Times, October 8, 2005] The former workers at Chongqing Special Steel Co. have held appeals for their rights for over two months, but finally encountered violent suppression by the authorities on October 7, with two women beaten to death, a significant number of protesters injured, and all nine representatives of the workers arrested, leaving behind thousands of jobless workers without leadership.

According to people familiar with the matter, the order to suppress the appeal came directly from Beijing. At 7 a.m., around 3,000 police officers marched into Shuangbei Garden, where over 10,000 workers were gathered. After a standoff, police started to arrest the workers’ representatives. During the violent conflict, two old women died from beatings and many people were injured. In the end, all of the workers’ representatives were arrested.

Beijing Youth Daily Management Suspected of Financial Crimes

[Asia Times, October 4, 2005] The first Chinese media group to list its shares on an overseas stock exchange, the Beijing Youth Daily temporarily stopped trading on the Hong Kong Stock Market on October 3 for undisclosed reasons. According to a same-day report from Caijing Magazine, one of China’s most-respected financial magazines, six managing staff members of Beijing Youth Daily have been suspected of financial crimes from July 9 to September 26, 2005. The six staff members were taken away by the anti-corruption bureau for further investigation. Included were Zheng Yijun and Niu Ming, two vice-presidents of Beijing Media, the advertising unit of the Beijing Youth Daily; Yu Dagong and Zhu Weijing, the director and associate director of the advertising unit; Duan Tao, the director of classified advertising; and a staff member of the advertising unit. They are accused of financial crimes and accepting bribes.

Internet Users in China Exceed 103 Million

[Central News Agency, October 4, 2005] According to a report by the China Internet Information Center, the number of Internet users in China has exceeded 103 million, or one-thirteenth of China’s population, signaling how Internet use is becoming part of life in China.

According to electronic media in Hong Kong, China had roughly 50,000 Internet accounts ten years ago. A recent survey of 2,400 people in five cities shows that China’s Internet users spend an average of 2.73 hours online on a daily basis. They mainly spend their time reading news, sending and receiving emails, playing online games, collecting information, and chatting. According to the China Internet Information Center, exceeding 103 million Internet users is a big milestone for China. In as short as seven years, there has been a hundredfold increase in the number of Internet users in China. As of June 30, 2005, 45.6 million computers are being used for Internet activities, a 25 percent increase from the same period last year.{mospagebreak}

Three Thousand Taxi Drivers in Shanxi Province Hold Strike

[Wenhui Daily, Hong Kong, October 14, 2005] Around three thousand taxi drivers and taxi-business owners in Linfen, Shanxi Province, held a large-scale strike, protesting how corrupt officials collude with businessmen to allow a large number of unauthorized vehicles in the taxi service, which negatively affects the legitimate businesses.

The protesters smashed police cars and taxis, damaging dozens of vehicles and injuring several people. The strike was caused by the fact that many unauthorized cars and manned tricycles are illegally in service, and are protected by the traffic police and some public transportation staffers, who sometimes directly run their own taxi businesses or indirectly control the business through their relatives.

Dam Collapse in Yunnan Causes Man-Made Disaster

[Asia Times, October 3, 2005] On July 21, 2005, the three villages of Zuantian, Xiaoyan, and Fengzi in Liliang County, Yunnan Province, suffered an unforgettable disaster. At 6:20 a.m., the dam wall of the local Qixian Lake Reservoir suddenly collapsed, flooding three villages and leaving 16 dead and 23 injured. Fifteen houses were swept away, and 1,000 acres of fields were flooded. The tragedy was described by local authorities as "a regrettable natural disaster." After that, the media suddenly stopped reporting on the disaster. General estimation was that the propaganda department had forbidden further reports about this affair. An Asia Times Online freelance reporter traveled to the scene and discovered that it was another man-made disaster caused by shoddy construction.

Taishi Village’s Attempt at Democracy Ends in Failure

[Voice of America, October 2, 2005] The attempt to recall the head of the Village Committee of Taishi Village, Guangdong Province, ended in failure because of the withdrawal of two-thirds of the villagers, resulting in an insufficient number of voters backing the motion as required by law. Some villagers who were forced to withdraw said that under the intimidation and lures from the village officials, they had no choice but to withdraw against their own will from the fight to defend their rights. Some observers had previously predicted that the recall motion in Taishi Village would have historical significance in pushing forward political reform in China.

In the afternoon of September 29, 2005, the Recall Election Committee posted a notice that out of 584 villagers who once signed on the motion to recall the village head, 396 no longer supported the motion. As the remaining number of supporters did not meet the one-fifths of the village population required by law, the motion automatically became invalid.{mospagebreak}

Taiwanese Investments Flow Back to Taiwan

[Liberty Times, October 4, 2005] Nowadays it has become very common for Taiwanese businesses to bring their investments back to Taiwan. In the Industrial Park of the Department of Economy alone, there are 47 companies who have investments in the industrial park reaching 32.6 billion New Taiwan Dollars (TWD, about US$975 million). Taking into account investments outside the industrial park and those in the service industries, the capital inflow from Taiwanese businesses outside Taiwan exceeds 50 billion TWD (US$1.5 billion).

According to a survey by Taiwan’s Bureau of Industry, five out of the 47 businesses came back to Taiwan to build new factories after closing their factories in China, while 27 of them still have factories in China, but want to diversify their risks by investing in Taiwan. The rest of the 15 manufacturers have evaluated sites on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, but finally decided to base their businesses in Taiwan.

On Sino-U.S. Relations

Below is an excerpt of a commentary on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC’s) 2005 Annual Report to Congress. It was originally from Nanfang Daily and then republished November 13, 2005, on the website of the Xinhua News Agency under the section "Xinhua Comments," with a title of "Why Does the U.S. Think Tank Like to Incite the Cold Wind [bad-mouth China]?"

 "On November 9, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) under the United States Congress submitted its 2005 Annual Report to Congress.

Although the USCC mainly focuses on U.S.-China economic and trade relations, it tends to analyze U.S. security interests from a negative perspective and exaggerates the theory of a China threat. This year is no exception. The Report believes that the United States and China will not become opponents and China has shown ‘some encouraging changes.’ However, the Report concludes that the current situation of China-U.S. relations will have a negative impact on the long-term economic and security interests of the United States. Therefore, in the fields of trade and the appreciation of Renminbi [Chinese currency], non-proliferation and Taiwan issues, the United States must put pressure on China through various means. The Report suggests that on the issues of trade and security the United States and the European Union as well as Japan coordinate to put pressure on China, and that the U.S. forces in the West Pacific be strengthened to counter the continuous increase of Chinese military power. It is not difficult to tell that, while compared to each annual report since 2002 released by the USCC, although the wording of the Report has eased to a certain extent, it continues to play the old tune of exaggerating ‘the theory of a China threat.’

"Led by Chairman D’Amato the USCC visited China toward the end of last summer. I once had a face-to-face exchange with them. These people did not bear anti-China sentiments. They basically are experts and social activists in related fields. When we had the exchanges, although there were differences between two sides, the atmosphere was harmonious. There must be some reasons that the USCC published such a report with ‘the cold war thinking’ again.

"First of all, as two big countries, China and the United States not only have common interests, but indeed also differences and conflicts. This is a fact. The United States is the only super power today while China is a rising developing country. With different national interests and different perspectives, it is not accidental that some frictions happen. What we can emphasize is we hope that both sides push for a healthy bilateral relationship out of consideration of the overall China-U.S. relations. But one cannot impose its own understanding on to the other party.
"Next, ideology affects U.S. understanding of China in every perspective. China and the United States have different values, different political systems, and different cultures and traditions. Moreover, it is very difficult to have fundamental changes in a short period of time. Americans believe that their system is the best. Such prejudice in ideology and the sense of superiority make it hard for most Americans to identify with the Chinese political system. Similarly, it is also very difficult for 12 members of the USCC not to be limited by such ideology.

"Third, the views of this Report reflect public opinion in the United States. The public in the United States differ on the China issue but has been very negative in general about China. We cannot ignore the influence of anti-China forces. Although in recent years China-U.S. relations have become better, the voices warning of a China threat have been on the rise, poisoning the public’s objective understanding of China. The U.S. domestic politics inevitably affects the USCC. Of course, their Report in turn will promote the China threat theory in the U.S. Congress and then in the entire United States.

"Finally, it is the institutional interest that causes the trouble. The mission of the USCC is to monitor and investigate the impact of China-U.S. economic and trade relations on U. S. national security. The USCC naturally puts a lot of efforts in making the Congress and the Administration take the USCC seriously and in attracting media and public attention to promote its own influence. Think about it, if they claim China-U.S. relations are all good, why should the U.S. Congress allocate funds to set up such a commission? The USCC must demonstrate that it is not wasting taxpayers’ money."

Guangming Daily Commentary: (We) Must Be Alert on the Velvet Revolution

Guangming Daily is one of the five biggest Communist Party newspapers in China. The recent democratic movement in Central Asian countries, referred to as the "velvet revolution" or "color revolution," has caused great concerns and worries to the Chinese communist government. Chinese state-run media have followed the events very closely and have published numerous articles both as commentaries and as news reports. A Guangming Daily article "(We) must be alert on the ‘Velvet Revolution’" on May 27, 2005, was a typical one and was one of the most widely posted articles of its kind on Chinese websites.

"Recently, one ‘velvet revolutions’ (a.k.a. ‘color revolutions’) after another took place in Georgia, the Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, attracting attention all over the world. The so-called ‘velvet revolution,’ which is directed by the United States to overthrow incumbent governments, requires us to be on high alert.

"Firstly, the so-called ‘velvet revolution’ has it own characteristics for us to trace. In fact, it is not a revolution, but a coup d’etat to subvert a political power by means of peaceful ‘street politics.’ (Sometimes it does not necessarily exclude use of violence, but mostly it does not resort to violence). Certainly this is not something new. During the end of 1980s and the early 1990s, the dramatic political changes in the former Soviet Union were called a ‘velvet revolution.’ Afterwards, it happened in the former Yugoslavia. Nowadays, these same old tricks have been used in some countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) again. The ‘velvet revolution’ can be put into two categories. One is to change the nature of a regime in a socialist country from the socialist proletariat regime to a capitalist bourgeoisie dictatorship. The other is to change the ruling power in capitalist countries to be pro-U.S. (or more pro-U.S.) ones. For China, it is somewhat more important to learn our lessons from the first type of coup d’etat.

"Although two types of ‘velvet revolution’ are different in nature, they have something in common and they have some characteristics to trace. For those ‘velvet revolutions’ that have taken place already, they roughly followed these steps:

"The first step was to create public opinion favoring subversion of the government. Comrade Mao Zedong had said, to overthrow a government, you must always create public opinion first and then do ideology work. The revolutionary class must do so and so does the counter-revolutionary class. This is an undeniable truth. The same is true with the ‘velvet revolutions’ covertly orchestrated and supported by the United States.

"The second step is to establish a political organization. An opposition organization is then set up on the basis of creating public opinion to confuse people’s thinking. With the organization, you may influence more people. At first, it is an informal organization and the next step is to establish an oppositional party. In a socialist country, to allow the establishment of a so-called ‘informal organization’ is actually to permit the public to carry on anti-communism and anti-socialism activities in an organized manner. And, to go along with the establishment of an oppositional party is to implement a multi-party political system. However, to adopt the multi-party political system will inevitably bring the end of communist party’s leadership, which will create an opportunity for a bourgeoisie political party to take over.
"The third step is to look for an influential person, who is liberal and pro-America with a certain commanding ability, as leader of the oppositional group to bring together those who try to overthrow the ruling power. Once the time is ripe, he can lead the public to attack the ruling power and organize a new regime under his leadership. Preferably, this person is trained by the United States government, or has close contacts with American institutions, and must have a pro-America tendency, and therefore be reliable.

"The fourth step is to use an unexpected event or the election, under the banner of democracy and freedom, to organize activities of ‘street politics,’ such as demonstrations, parades, rallies, worker strikes, student walkouts, taking over public squares, attacking governmental agencies and so on, pressuring the government to give up power. The ‘street politics’ is like a ‘one-way street’ that cannot be negotiated with reason. Whatever the oppositional group does is democratic. For the government not meeting the satisfaction of the United States, whatever it does is against democracy. Then, if the oppositional group receives a small number of votes, they would claim election fraud. A re-election must be held or it is not democratic. If the oppositional group carries on illegal activities, including attacking the presidential office and the congressional building, it is democratic. If the government tries to stop them, it is not democratic. In a word, they use ‘democracy’ to tie the hands of the government that the United States is unsatisfied with, and to set free pro-American oppositional groups.

"It can be said that, for the so-called ‘velvet revolution,’ the ideology work is its foundation, to organize important figures to lead the opposition group is the key and unexpected events are opportunities they can use. And their goal is to establish a pro-America regime.

"The United States has a deep understanding of the regularity of success in each ‘velvet revolution.’ After the success in Georgia, the Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, the United States could hardly wait to do it in Belarus. At the meeting with Belarus oppositional leaders on April 21, 2005, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared, ‘It is the time for Belarus to change now.’ She proposed four main directions: supporting independent media and establishing new public media, speeding up the development of the mass movements, organizing an opposition union and electing single presidential candidate [for the opposition union] to compete against incumbent President Lukashenko in the 2006 presidential election.

Secondly, the United States orchestrated all of them from behind the scenes. The ‘velvet revolution’ which implements the United States’ interest has taken place in various countries. On the surface, their purposes were to pursue ‘democracy’ for the people and to change the ruling regime, but there was a black hand behind it all manipulated them. What they have implemented was totally in the U.S. interest and to serve U.S. strategic needs.
"The United States is an imperialist country ruled by monopolistic bourgeoisie. Its fundamental interest lies in overseas expansion to promote hegemonies. After the Cold War, the United States gained the position of ‘the super power’ and accelerated its steps in a plot to implement hegemony in the world and to build a uni-polar world. International political powers became severely unbalanced. As a result, the American hegemonies appeared aggressive and reckless. ‘To protect the world from past disasters, there must be one leader and only one leader,’ and the United States is ‘most capable to lead this world,’ said former U.S. President Clinton. After the ‘9.11 incident,’ U.S. President Bush said, ‘around the world, all the nations must choose. They are either with us, or they’re with the terrorists.’ These statements fully demonstrate the bullying and overbearing character of the United States. The United States’ position as the super power will not have a fundamental change in a short period of time, and this kind of global hegemonism will not change either. As to the nature of the U.S. imperialism, we should have a clear understanding. Don’t have any unrealistic wishful thinking. As to the danger of a U.S. manipulated ‘velvet revolution,’ we should be highly vigilant and should not lower our guard.

"There was one thing in common while the United States carried out the ‘velvet revolution’ — all under the banner of democracy. The United States would first brand those regimes, which it was not happy with, as ‘being undemocratic,’ ‘dictatorship,’ ‘anti-humanity,’ ‘violating human rights’ and so on. Then they would instigate the opposition groups to stand out for democracy. This is most deceiving. Is there anyone who doesn’t want the democracy? Between the end of 1980s and early 1990s, when East-European countries in the former Soviet Union experienced dramatic political changes, the United States just used this trick. In the beginning of this century, the same trick was still utilized in Georgia, the Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. For example, on October 7, 1989, in Berlin, the capital of democratic Germany, demonstrators who gained support from the United State shouted loudly outside the Republic Palace where the ‘National Day’ reception was held. Their slogan was to demand ‘democracy.’ On October 9, 70,000 people attended the parade and protest in Leipzig. What they demanded was ‘democracy.’ The socialist regimes in East-European countries in the former Soviet Union all collapsed under the impact of ‘democratic street politics.’ After entering the 21st century, the United States also used the tricks of ‘democracy’ and ‘fair election’ to force the rulers of former Yugoslavia Milosevic government and previous regimes in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan to step down be replaced with obedient pro-U.S. regimes. In the Ukrainian election incident, for instance, while supporters of the opposition group were asked: ‘Why did you support Yushchenko?’ Many people replied: ‘Supporting Yushchenko is to support democracy.’ This trick has never failed in each case. The United States wanted to use this trick toward China as well.
‘China’s progress toward democracy should have a time table.’ Rice shouted recently prior to her visit to China. It seemed that she couldn’t wait any longer. Having learned from this historical experience, we must widely educate vast members of the Communist Party, officials, and the public about Marxist democracy ideology, to distinguish the boundary between the proletariat democracy and the bourgeois democracy, to righteously criticize the bourgeois democracy and to expose the real nature of the United States to promote ‘democracy.’ At the same time, we must adopt realistic and effective measures to enhance and glorify the socialist democracy and to truly manifest people being the master of their own country. This is an urgent task while we are confronted by the United States with its aggressive attack of promoting the ‘velvet revolution.’

"To realize the ‘velvet revolution,’ the United States will not hesitate to provide financial support. As long as the ‘velvet revolution’ has taken place in a country, the oppositional groups in that country will have financial support from the United States. Anti-government activities, including ideological propaganda, ‘street politics’ and organizing elections, need a lot of money. But most of the oppositional groups don’t have enough funding. They cannot help but depend on the United States for disbursements. In this aspect, the United States is extremely generous and not concerned about how much it will cost. In the Ukraine, while the opposition groups, led by Yushchenko, organized large-scale demonstrations which needed to gather people from every region to the capital Kiev, the United States provided, through NGOs, such as the Soros Foundation, the money for charter buses and labor. (It is said they paid every person US$10 per day, which is far beyond the local daily wage.) Also, tents were set up on the Square for overnight stays. During the process of the ‘velvet revolution’ in Georgia, in the name of assistance from NGOs the United States had done all the preparation work beforehand, such as how much money they would spend, which anti-government organization should be subsidized, whom they would cooperate with, etc. In 2004, to subvert the Belarus Lukashenko administration, the United States allocated US$89 million to support Belarusian independent media, oppositional groups, domestic organizations, and business groups. In 2005, the U.S. Senate announced that they would allocate special funding of US$5 million to subsidize the opposition groups in Belarus. It is said the funding that the U.S. government allocates to ‘promote democracy’ is as high as US$1 billion.

"It is worth noting that the United States usually accomplishes the preparation for the ‘velvet revolution’ through non-governmental organizations, and the same is true of doing the ideology work. Behind the façade of the cooperation and exchanges, scientific research and so on, various foundations carry on penetration and select candidates who could be of use in the future. This type of covert activity can change and influence quietly. Its impact will not be known until the right time comes. Thus, we must treat this kind of foundations and organizations seriously and scrutinize them carefully. Don’t hanker for a small gain, but forget one’s integrity.
"The United States emphasizes on training ‘backbone members’ who could lead the public. Ukraine’s Yushchenko was selected by the United States as the ‘leader.’ All of them have accepted the overt and covert help from the United States. Some of them also had taken ‘democratic education’ in the United States.

"We should take serious consideration of various methods used by the United States for promoting the ‘velvet revolution.’ We realize that the United States regards China (the only great country of socialism in the world) as a thorn in its eyes and wants to get rid of it badly. Just as what Deng Xiaoping pointed out: the U.S.-led Western countries ‘are engaging in the third world war without gun smoke— to have socialist countries peacefully transformed’ (‘Deng Xiaoping Literature Selections,’ volume 3, page 344). The United States stepped up its strategies of Westernizing and splitting China and tried to plot a ‘velvet revolution’ in China. Under the support from the United States, members of the bourgeois liberalization are also ready to make trouble. The best illustration was the ‘people’s amendment of constitution’ in 2003. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from the ‘velvet revolution’ hat have already happened and prevent them from happening (in China).

"Thirdly, the prevention of the ‘velvet revolution’ is system engineering. Under current international and national situation, the risk of the ‘velvet revolution’ is a reality. To prevent the ‘velvet revolution,’ we must enhance the national dictatorial tool. Under the situation that the political turmoil appears, utilizing law enforcement to keep the stability of the political situation and social order is totally necessary. Just as what Deng Xiaoping pointed out: ‘In a long period of time, the strength of the proletariat, as a newly arisen class to take the power and to establish the Socialism, is weaker than that of Capitalism. Without relying on the dictatorship, it cannot resist the attack of the Capitalism. To firmly insist on Socialism must firmly insist on the proletariat dictatorship, which is called the people’s democratic dictatorship.’ He added, ‘Using the strength of the people’s democratic dictatorship to fortify people’s political power is righteous thing. There is nothing unreasonable.’ (‘Deng Xiaoping Literature Selections,’ volume 3, page 365 and 379). The democracy and the dictatorship are united. Only by adopting dictatorial rule toward the extremely small number of enemies can we fully safeguard most people’s rights of democracy. WE should adopting a dictatorial rule toward the liberalization activists who created the troublesome ‘velvet revolution,’ by requiring them to be obedient and not allowing them to speak and act casually, and dealing with them righteously and reasonable through legal procedure when they violate criminal law. Doing so won’t damage our country’s reputation. We should not have any concern over this matter.

"However, in regard to the ‘velvet revolution’ that jeopardizes the stability of a political situation, it is far from enough if we rely on the law enforcement authorities to deal with it. We must focus our attention on prevention.
"First of all, we must strengthen the Marxist leadership in our mind and do the ideological work well. Comrade Hu Jintao has mentioned this issue many times. He said, ‘Ideology has long been an important battlefield where hostile forces struggle fiercely with us. Loss of control in this battlefield can cause social turmoil, or even lose power. The hostile forces want to turn a society into chaos and subvert a regime. Usually, they always break open a breach from the ideological domain first and start to confuse people’s thoughts. We may look at the lessons of the dramatic change in Eastern Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. At that time, Gorbachev proposed the ‘multiplicity of ideology,’ the so-called ‘openness’ and giving up Marxism in the instructional position of the ideological domain, which finally caused a clamor for the ideological trend of non-Marxism and the anti-Marxism. It became a very important reason for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Soviet Communist Party.

"Next, in terms of organizations we must ensure all levels of leadership are firmly held in the hands of Marxists. This is the key issue as to whether the Communist Party can strengthen its own ruling status and prevent a ‘velvet revolution.’

"Thirdly, the most fundamental issue is to consolidate and strengthen the class foundation of the Party. In socialist countries, the so-called ‘velvet revolution’ is actually an intense class struggle. The power balance of classes determines winner or loser."

Communist Billionaire Rong Yiren

Rong Yiren, a Chinese billionaire and former vice president of China, and Communist Party member since 1985 died of illness in Beijing on Wednesday night October 26, 2005, at the age of 89.

Top Chinese leaders bade farewell to Rong Yiren in the hospital, where Rong’s body was covered with a Chinese Communist Party flag and surrounded by flowers and cypress leaves.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Communist Party officially declared Rong as an "outstanding representative of the national industrial and commercial circle in modern China," a "superb state leader," and a "great fighter for patriotism and communism."

Rong’s life was closely intertwined with the agenda of the Communist Party and the turbulent history of China.

Rong was born in Wuxi City, China’s Jiangsu Province, on May 1, 1916, five years after Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) was inaugurated in Nanjing as the provisional President of the new Republic of China on January 1, 1912.

<>Rong was educated at Shanghai’s élite British Christian-run St. John’s University, China’s most prestigious college at the time. In 1937, he took over the family business and started to manage flour and textile mills and banking companies.

<>By 1949, when the communists led by Mao took over Shanghai, Rong had become the descendant of Rong Desheng, a Shanghai textile and flour entrepreneur and one of pre-Mao China’s wealthiest men.

For reasons unkown to us all, Rong chose to stay and work with the new communist government, though the majority of his family members and friends had took their wealth to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.

In 1956, when private companies were nationalized, like those who did not flee communism, Rong "surrendered" his wealth to the communists. In 1957, he was appointed Vice Mayor of Shanghai and later moved to Beijing where he became Vice Minister of Textiles.

From 1966 to 1976, Mao Tsedong unleashed the Cultural Revolution in a bid to hang on to power and destroy "capitalist roaders" when millions of Chinese suffered from the protracted harassment and imprisonment. Rong’s background made him an obvious target for "re-education."
According to some accounts, his home in Beijing was ransacked, his art collection smashed and looted, and his assets confiscated. He was reportedly beaten, denounced, humiliated by Red Guards, and made to work menial jobs as a janitor.

At the end of the Cultural Revolution, communist China was at a dead end — the economy was completely grounded. As a last resort to maintain Communist power, Deng Xiaoping "rehabilitated" Rong for Deng’s "open door" policy to attract foreign investments.

In 1979, at the Communist Party’s behest, Rong founded China International Trust & Investment Corporation (CITIC). Based in Beijing, 60 percent of the company was owned by the state and 40 percent was owned by Rong, according to some accounts.

Little known to the world, on July 1, 1985, Rong became a Communist Party member. At a time when membership in the Communist Party was no longer the requisite to survive, one cannot but wonder about the unspoken reason of his admittance in the Communist Party.

Under the auspice of the Communist Party, CITIC quickly grew into a global conglomerate with diverse holdings, from airlines, banks and property, to aluminum smelting factories and timber operations. Rong was instrumental in promoting a new open door image for the Party.

During the pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, Rong issued an open letter calling on the Communist Party’s top leaders to work with the students.

In 1993, Rong was elected Vice President of China and retired in 1998. In 1999, Forbes magazine reported that Rong was the richest man in China, valuing his net worth at US$1 billion.

Some observers outside China dubbed him as the success of capitalism over communism. But there is little doubt: In China, Rong could not have been rich but for the need of the Communist Party. Few, if any, of those who surrendered their wealth together with Rong in the 1950s nationalization are to be found.

Steven Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope.