Monday, December 15, 2008

China's Constitutional Crisis Reflected in Charter 08

Chinese Democracy Now!

Dissidents issue manifesto to change the Chinese government

December 15, 2008 (CSN) -- The world in general and China in particular have many troubles these days, but the plucky Chinese democracy movement keeps plugging away. Despite the absence of democracy in China -- its longstanding frustration -- the movement continues to move the needle, sometimes with strokes of good fortune. When one pauses to think about it, the movement has fortuitous blessings that it can count.

On December 10, it was International Human Rights Day, and Chinese people began to take the matter of human rights into their own hands. The news reported scuffles or altercations outside of government offices, where Chinese had appeared to protest for their human rights.

What will be better remembered, and more discussed, is the action taken by intellectuals, dissidents, and others to issue "Charter 08," a document that will serve as a rallying point for dissent as it echoes the "Charter 77" which was a document and group formed by dissidents in Soviet-era Czechoslovakia.

Charter 08 is an analysis of China's situation, and advocacy for its future to include a new constitution, separation of powers, legislative democracy, an independent judiciary, public control of public servants, a guarantee of human rights, election of public officials, rural-urban equality, freedom to form groups, freedom to assemble, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, civic education, protection of private property, financial and tax reform, social security, protection of the environment, a federated republic, and truth in reconciliation.

Over 300 dissidents including some within the government were the initial signatories, and in Charter 08 they say that China "remains mired in authoritarian politics. Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China's own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer."

They add, "We hope that our fellow citizens who feel a similar sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether they are inside the government or not, and regardless of their social status, will set aside small differences to embrace the broad goals of this citizens' movement," and indicate that they aspire to "bring a brilliant new chapter to Chinese civilization."

Admirers of freedom have got to receive this action, charter, and group as a "plus" for freedom. The Federation for a Democratic China expressed its hope that Charter 08 would accelerate the reform of China, and the China Support Network hopes likewise.

However, this declaration did not sit well with the Chinese government, which began arresting dissidents on December 8, even before the issuance of the document which was timed to coincide with human rights day. Arrested and released was Zhang Zuhua. Arrested and detained was Liu Xiaobo, famed for his involvement in the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989.

The U.S. State Department, and the Federation for a Democratic China, responded by protesting the arrest of Liu Xiaobo, and calling for his release. Today, the China Support Network adds its voice in echoing the U.S. State Department call. Spokesman Sean McCormack said, "We call on the government of China to release Liu Xiaobo and cease harassment of all Chinese citizens who peacefully express their desire for internationally-recognized fundamental freedoms."

Bao Tong, former aide to ex-Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang and a signer of Charter 08, objected at length to these new arrests. There is some rhetorical flourish as he wrote,
"I call on the Chinese government to to answer me this: 'Where is the crime in Charter 08?' The basic concepts of the Charter are freedom, human rights, equality, republicanism, democracy, and constitutional rule. So would the powers-that-be please tell 1.3 billion people why freedom is a crime, why human rights, why equality, or republicanism, and what is criminal about democracy and the rule of law under the Constitution?"

In fact, Bao Tong knows how to use the Communist Party's own rhetoric against it, so he did so. China has "ostensible," "official," or "legal" human rights expressed in its Constitution, which the government routinely ignores. He stated, "We do not live in Imperial China, nor do we live in the Bureaucracy of China, nor even in the Communist Party State of China. We live in the People's Republic of China. All that Charter 08 seeks to do is to extend the original meaning and influence of the Constitution."

About the government making its recent arrests, he said "One might say that these actions are a challenge to Chinese citizens, but it would be better to say that they are a challenge to the Republic and to its Constitution."

Bao Tong said, "There should be a mechanism for correcting problems in a republic. A republic in which wrongs are just allowed to be wrong, and in which wrongs are piled upon wrongs is not worthy of being called a republic....I call on all those who have already signed the Charter, and all those who are about to sign, to stay cool-headed and logical, optimistic and resolute."

This is a new and massive challenge to the legitimacy of one-party rule in China. The full text of Charter 08 is inserted below:

I. Foreword


A hundred years have passed since the writing of China‘s first constitution. 2008 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of Democracy Wall in Beijing, and the tenth of China’s signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy student protesters. The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values.


By departing from these values, the Chinese government's approach to"modernization" has proven disastrous. It has stripped people of their rights, destroyed their dignity, and corrupted normal human intercourse. So we ask: Where is China headed in the twenty-first century? Will it continue with "modernization" under authoritarian rule, or will it embrace universal human values, join the mainstream of civilized nations, and build a democratic system? There can be no avoiding these questions.


The shock of the Western impact upon China in the nineteenth century laid bare a decadent authoritarian system and marked the beginning of what is often called "the greatest changes in thousands of years" for China. A "self-strengthening movement" followed, but this aimed simply at appropriating the technology to build gunboats and other Western material objects. China‘s humiliating naval defeat at the hands of Japan in 1895 only confirmed the obsolescence of China’s system of government. The first attempts at modern political change came with the ill-fated summer of reforms in 1898, but these were cruelly crushed by ultraconservatives at China‘s imperial court. With the revolution of 1911, which inaugurated Asia’s first republic, the authoritarian imperial system that had lasted for centuries was finally supposed to have been laid to rest. But social conflict inside our country and external pressures were to prevent it; China fell into a patchwork of warlord fiefdoms and the new republic became a fleeting dream.


The failure of both "self-strengthening" and political renovation caused many of our forebears to reflect deeply on whether a "cultural illness" was afflicting our country. This mood gave rise, during the May Fourth Movement of the late 1910s, to the championing of "science and democracy." Yet that effort, too, foundered as warlord chaos persisted and the Japanese invasion [beginning in Manchuria in 1931] brought national crisis.


Victory over Japan in 1945 offered one more chance for China to move toward modern government, but the Communist defeat of the Nationalists in the civil war thrust the nation into the abyss of totalitarianism. The "new China" that emerged in 1949 proclaimed that "the people are sovereign" but in fact set up a system in which "the Party is all-powerful." The Communist Party of China seized control of all organs of the state and all political, economic, and social resources, and, using these, has produced a long trail of human rights disasters, including, among many others, the Anti-Rightist Campaign (1957), the Great Leap Forward (19581960), the Cultural Revolution (19661969), the June Fourth "Tiananmen Square" Massacre (1989), and the current repression of all unauthorized religions and the suppression of the weiquan rights movement [a movement that aims to defend citizens' rights promulgated in the Chinese Constitution and to fight for human rights recognized by international conventions that the Chinese government has signed]. During all this, the Chinese people have paid a gargantuan price. Tens of millions have lost their lives, and several generations have seen their freedom, their happiness, and their human dignity cruelly trampled.


During the last two decades of the twentieth century the government policy of "Reform and Opening" gave the Chinese people relief from the pervasive poverty and totalitarianism of the Mao Zedong era and brought substantial increases in the wealth and living standards of many Chinese as well as a partial restoration of economic freedom and economic rights. Civil society began to grow, and popular calls for more rights and more political freedom have grown apace. As the ruling elite itself moved toward private ownership and the market economy, it began to shift from an outright rejection of "rights" to a partial acknowledgment of them.


In 1998 the Chinese government signed two important international human rights conventions: in 2004 it amended its constitution to include the phrase "respect and protect human rights"; and this year, 2008, it has promised to promote a "national human rights action plan." Unfortunately most of this political progress has extended no further than the paper on which it is written. The political reality, which is plain for anyone to see, is that China has many laws but no rule of law; it has a constitution but no constitutional government. The ruling elite continues to cling to its authoritarian power and fights off any move toward political change.


The stultifying results are endemic official corruption, an undermining of the rule of law, weak human rights, decay in public ethics, crony capitalism, growing inequality between the wealthy and the poor, pillage of the natural environment as well as of the human and historical environments, and the exacerbation of a long list of social conflicts, especially, in recent times, a sharpening animosity between officials and ordinary people.


As these conflicts and crises grow ever more intense, and as the ruling elite continues with impunity to crush and to strip away the rights of citizens to freedom, to property, and to the pursuit of happiness, we see the powerless in our societythe vulnerable groups, the people who have been suppressed and monitored, who have suffered cruelty and even torture, and who have had no adequate avenues for their protests, no courts to hear their pleasbecoming more militant and raising the possibility of a violent conflict of disastrous proportions. The decline of the current system has reached the point where change is no longer optional.


II. Our Fundamental Principles


This is a historic moment for China, and our future hangs in the balance. In reviewing the political modernization process of the past hundred years or more, we reiterate and endorse basic universal values as follows:


Freedom. Freedom is at the core of universal human values. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom in where to live, and the freedoms to strike, to demonstrate, and to protest, among others, are the forms that freedom takes. Without freedom, China will always remain far from civilized ideals.


Human rights. Human rights are not bestowed by a state. Every person is born with inherent rights to dignity and freedom. The government exists for the protection of the human rights of its citizens. The exercise of state power must be authorized by the people. The succession of political disasters in Chinas recent history is a direct consequence of the ruling regimes disregard for human rights.


Equality. The integrity, dignity, and freedom of every personregardless of social station, occupation, sex, economic condition, ethnicity, skin color, religion, or political beliefare the same as those of any other. Principles of equality before the law and equality of social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights must be upheld.


Republicanism. Republicanism, which holds that power should be balanced among different branches of government and competing interests should be served, resembles the traditional Chinese political ideal of "fairness in all under heaven." It allows different interest groups and social assemblies, and people with a variety of cultures and beliefs, to exercise democratic self-government and to deliberate in order to reach peaceful resolution of public questions on a basis of equal access to government and free and fair competition.


Democracy. The most fundamental principles of democracy are that the people are sovereign and the people select their government. Democracy has these characteristics: (1) Political power begins with the people and the legitimacy of a regime derives from the people. (2) Political power is exercised through choices that the people make. (3) The holders of major official posts in government at all levels are determined through periodic competitive elections. (4) While honoring the will of the majority, the fundamental dignity, freedom, and human rights of minorities are protected. In short, democracy is a modern means for achieving government truly "of the people, by the people, and for the people."


Constitutional rule. Constitutional rule is rule through a legal system and legal regulations to implement principles that are spelled out in a constitution. It means protecting the freedom and the rights of citizens, limiting and defining the scope of legitimate government power, and providing the administrative apparatus necessary to serve these ends.


III. What We Advocate


Authoritarianism is in general decline throughout the world; in China, too, the era of emperors and overlords is on the way out. The time is arriving everywhere for citizens to be masters of states. For China the path that leads out of our current predicament is to divest ourselves of the authoritarian notion of reliance on an "enlightened overlord" or an "honest official" and to turn instead toward a system of liberties, democracy, and the rule of law, and toward fostering the consciousness of modern citizens who see rights as fundamental and participation as a duty. Accordingly, and in a spirit of this duty as responsible and constructive citizens, we offer the following recommendations on national governance, citizens' rights, and social development:


1. A New Constitution. We should recast our present constitution, rescinding its provisions that contradict the principle that sovereignty resides with the people and turning it into a document that genuinely guarantees human rights, authorizes the exercise of public power, and serves as the legal underpinning of China's democratization. The constitution must be the highest law in the land, beyond violation by any individual, group, or political party.


2. Separation of powers. We should construct a modern government in which the separation of legislative, judicial, and executive power is guaranteed. We need an Administrative Law that defines the scope of government responsibility and prevents abuse of administrative power. Government should be responsible to taxpayers. Division of power between provincial governments and the central government should adhere to the principle that central powers are only those specifically granted by the constitution and all other powers belong to the local governments.


3. Legislative democracy. Members of legislative bodies at all levels should be chosen by direct election, and legislative democracy should observe just and impartial principles.


4. An Independent Judiciary. The rule of law must be above the interests of any particular political party and judges must be independent. We need to establish a constitutional supreme court and institute procedures for constitutional review. As soon as possible, we should abolish all of the Committees on Political and Legal Affairs that now allow Communist Party officials at every level to decide politically-sensitive cases in advance and out of court. We should strictly forbid the use of public offices for private purposes.


5. Public Control of Public Servants. The military should be made answerable to the national government, not to a political party, and should be made more professional. Military personnel should swear allegiance to the constitution and remain nonpartisan. Political party organizations shall be prohibited in the military. All public officials including police should serve as nonpartisans, and the current practice of favoring one political party in the hiring of public servants must end.


6. Guarantee of Human Rights. There shall be strict guarantees of human rights and respect for human dignity. There should be a Human Rights Committee, responsible to the highest legislative body, that will prevent the government from abusing public power in violation of human rights. A democratic and constitutional China especially must guarantee the personal freedom of citizens. No one shall suffer illegal arrest, detention, arraignment, interrogation, or punishment. The system of "Reeducation through Labor" must be abolished.


7. Election of Public Officials. There shall be a comprehensive system of democratic elections based on "one person, one vote." The direct election of administrative heads at the levels of county, city, province, and nation should be systematically implemented. The rights to hold periodic free elections and to participate in them as a citizen are inalienable.


8. RuralUrban Equality. The two-tier household registry system must be abolished. This system favors urban residents and harms rural residents. We should establish instead a system that gives every citizen the same constitutional rights and the same freedom to choose where to live.


9. Freedom to Form Groups. The right of citizens to form groups must be guaranteed. The current system for registering nongovernment groups, which requires a group to be "approved" should be replaced by a system in which a group simply registers itself. The formation of political parties should be governed by the constitution and the laws, which means that we must abolish the special privilege of one party to monopolize power and must guarantee principles of free and fair competition among political parties.


10. Freedom to Assemble. The constitution provides that peaceful assembly, demonstration, protest, and freedom of expression are fundamental rights of a citizen. The ruling party and the government must not be permitted to subject these to illegal interference or unconstitutional obstruction.


11. Freedom of Expression. We should make freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and academic freedom universal, thereby guaranteeing that citizens can be informed and can exercise their right of political supervision. These freedoms should be upheld by a Press Law that abolishes political restrictions on the press. The provision in the current Criminal Law that refers to "the crime of incitement to subvert state power" must be abolished. We should end the practice of viewing words as crimes.


12. Freedom of Religion. We must guarantee freedom of religion and belief and institute a separation of religion and state. There must be no governmental interference in peaceful religious activities. We should abolish any laws, regulations, or local rules that limit or suppress the religious freedom of citizens. We should abolish the current system that requires religious groups (and their places of worship) to get official approval in advance and substitute for it a system in which registry is optional and, for those who choose to register, automatic.


13. Civic Education. In our schools we should abolish political curriculums and examinations that are designed to indoctrinate students in state ideology and to instill support for the rule of one party. We should replace them with civic education that advances universal values and citizens' rights, fosters civic consciousness, and promotes civic virtues that serve society.


14. Protection of Private Property. We should establish and protect the right to private property and promote an economic system of free and fair markets. We should do away with government monopolies in commerce and industry and guarantee the freedom to start new enterprises. We should establish a Committee on State-Owned Property, reporting to the national legislature, that will monitor the transfer of state-owned enterprises to private ownership in a fair, competitive, and orderly manner. We should institute a land reform that promotes private ownership of land, guarantees the right to buy and sell land, and allows the true value of private property to be adequately reflected in the market.


15. Financial and Tax Reform. We should establish a democratically regulated and accountable system of public finance that ensures the protection of taxpayer rights and that operates through legal procedures. We need a system by which public revenues that belong to a certain level of governmentcentral, provincial, county or localare controlled at that level. We need major tax reform that will abolish any unfair taxes, simplify the tax system, and spread the tax burden fairly. Government officials should not be able to raise taxes, or institute new ones, without public deliberation and the approval of a democratic assembly. We should reform the ownership system in order to encourage competition among a wider variety of market participants.


16. Social Security. We should establish a fair and adequate social security system that covers all citizens and ensures basic access to education, health care, retirement security, and employment.


17. Protection of the Environment. We need to protect the natural environment and to promote development in a way that is sustainable and responsible to our descendents and to the rest of humanity. This means insisting that the state and its officials at all levels not only do what they must do to achieve these goals but also accept the supervision and participation of non-governmental organizations.


18. A Federated Republic. A democratic China should seek to act as a responsible major power contributing toward peace and development in the Asian Pacific region by approaching others in a spirit of equality and fairness. In Hong Kong and Macao, we should support the freedoms that already exist. With respect to Taiwan, we should declare our commitment to the principles of freedom and democracy and then, negotiating as equals, and ready to compromise, seek a formula for peaceful unification. We should approach disputes in the national-minority areas of China with an open mind, seeking ways to find a workable framework within which all ethnic and religious groups can flourish. We should aim ultimately at a federation of democratic communities of China.


19. Truth in Reconciliation. We should restore the reputations of all people, including their family members, who suffered political stigma in the political campaigns of the past or who have been labeled as criminals because of their thought, speech, or faith. The state should pay reparations to these people. All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience must be released. There should be a Truth Investigation Commission charged with finding the facts about past injustices and atrocities, determining responsibility for them, upholding justice, and, on these bases, seeking social reconciliation.


China, as a major nation of the world, as one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and as a member of the UN Council on Human Rights, should be contributing to peace for humankind and progress toward human rights. Unfortunately, we stand today as the only country among the major nations that remains mired in authoritarian politics. Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China's own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer.


Accordingly, we dare to put civic spirit into practice by announcing Charter 08. We hope that our fellow citizens who feel a similar sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether they are inside the government or not, and regardless of their social status, will set aside small differences to embrace the broad goals of this citizens' movement. Together we can work for major changes in Chinese society and for the rapid establishment of a free, democratic, and constitutional country. We can bring to reality the goals and ideals that our people have incessantly been seeking for more than a hundred years, and can bring a brilliant new chapter to Chinese civilization.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Laogai Museum Opens

Harry Wu Opens New
Laogai Museum in DC

Harry Wu of the Laogai Research Foundation (L) and John Kusumi of the
China Support Network (R) attended the opening of the Laogai Museum
on November 12, 2008 in Washington DC.



November 16, 2008 (CSN) -- A new vocabulary term exists: "The Laogai Museum." And yes, it is an actual museum, newly opened in Washington, DC. To explain it well, we should review the vocabulary term "Laogai" itself. Some Americans and Westerners are still not familiar with the word.

Laogai background

According to the Random House dictionary, Laogai means "the system of forced-labor camps, prisons, etc., in China."

According to the U.S. Congress, Laogai is "the system of forced labor prison camps in the People's Republic of China, as a tool for suppression maintained by the Chinese Government."

According to the China Support Network, Laogai is "a system of deadly prison camps in China, where prisoners are forced to perform slave labor after being sentenced there arbitrarily, through administrative fiat, without due process of law, and with no rights to recourse such as appeals."

At the Laogai Research Foundation, they introduce the term at length:

The Laogai is the vast labor reform system in the People's Republic of China. The Laogai was created by the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong, yet it still serves the one-party dictatorship as the primary instrument for detaining political dissidents and penal criminals. The two major aims of the Laogai are to use all prisoners as a source of cheap labor for the communist regime and to "reform criminals" through hard labor and compulsory political indoctrination. According to the official definition of the Laogai system, there are six main components.

The precise population and the number of camps in the Laogai are considered state secrets, so it is impossible to know with certainty how many inmates are imprisoned in the Laogai or how many camps exist. Additionally, camps often close or change their location depending on economic benefits, making it more difficult to track the number of camps inside China. The Laogai Research Foundation has documented over 1,000 Laogai camps in China. The exact numbers of prisoners in any particular camp is constantly changing according to varying shifts in the political climate.

Counting those imprisoned in five of the six categories listed above (the LRF does not count those in detention centers, as that number the most variable and difficult to ascertain), the Laogai Research Foundation estimates that the Laogai population is between 4 to 6 million prisoners.

The LRF estimates that since the inception of the Laogai, between 40 to 50 million people have been imprisoned. Almost everyone in China is related to someone or has known someone who has been forced to serve a lengthy sentence in the confines of the Laogai.

The Laogai system continues to operate in China today, with millions that are estimated to be there now, and 27 million as the estimated death toll since the beginning of the system under Mao.

It is a human rights abuse and a crime against humanity, still in progress today.

Harry Wu background

Leading Chinese dissident Harry Wu, who has devoted his life in exile to exposing the Laogai, its abuses, and its cruelty, wants "Laogai" to be remembered in the same set of words as "Holocaust" and "Gulag." He endured 19 years in the Laogai, then came to America and launched the Laogai Research Foundation.

In addition to lobbying the U.S. Congress and the parliaments of other nations, Wu also lobbied the publishers of dictionaries. As a result, in 2003, the Oxford English Dictionary added the word Laogai -- and since then, other dictionaries have followed suit. China itself has been playing games for public relations purposes, discontinuing the word Laogai and claiming that a 1997 law ended it. But, PR aside, the practices continue and the human rights community can produce former prisoners as examples who were incarcerated and forced to manufacture more recently than 1997.

A new museum opening

On Wednesday, November 12, Harry Wu presided at the opening of the new Laogai Museum in Washington, DC. In addition to photographs, documents, and explanations, the museum includes actual prisoner uniforms and actual products manufactured in the Laogai. On display were such things as Christmas lights, artificial flowers, a chain hoist, and boxes of tea.

Atonement from Yahoo?

According to the AFP newswire,

The Laogai museum in Washington was set up with the support of a human rights fund established by Internet giant Yahoo.... [Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang] set up the fund after his company came under fire from rights groups for allegedly helping Chinese police to nab and jail cyber dissidents, including a Chinese journalist, Shi Tao, who is still behind bars.

Ahead of the museum's opening, rights group Amnesty International accused Yang of not giving priority to pushing the Chinese authorities to release the journalist.

Shi Tao was convicted in 2005 of divulging state secrets after he posted a Chinese government order forbidding media groups from marking the anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square massacre on the Internet.

Police identified him using information provided by Yahoo. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

"That Shi Tao and others remain in prison after using Yahoo services, as your company remains silent in China, hollows your human rights fund and scholarship into seeming public relations attempts," said Amnesty's USA Executive Director Larry Cox in a letter to Yang.

"Your company's response to the imprisonment of journalists and dissidents who have relied on your services must include a clear focus on their releases," Cox said.

Yahoo had defended its action on the grounds that it had to comply with China's laws in order to operate there.

It had reached a settlement with the families of Shi Tao and another cyber dissident Wang Xiaoning to stop a lawsuit, which charged that Yahoo provided information that enabled Chinese police to identify the duo.

The wife of Wang Xiaoning, Yu Ling, attended the opening of the Laogai Museum and spoke at the reception. The AP newswire has also noted the Yahoo controversy. A recent report by Anick Jesdanun said,

Yahoo and its Taiwan-born chief executive, Jerry Yang, have faced the biggest backlash for handing over e-mails that led to the imprisonment of two Chinese journalists. Besides Sklar's lawsuit, the outcry spurred a congressional hearing during which the late Rep. Tom Lantos likened Yang to a moral "pygmy" for cooperating with the Chinese government.

Yang has since been more proactive about speaking out for human rights. Leading up to the Olympics in Beijing, Yang urged the Bush administration to use its diplomatic influence to obtain the release of jailed political dissidents.
In the Chinese democracy movement, it is hard to forget the open letter written and published by Liu Xiaobo, a famous dissident, to Yahoo's Jerry Yang due to the imprisonment of Shi Tao. In that long, lengthy, and erudite tract -- rhetorically speaking -- Liu skewered Yang and slow roasted him over an open fire (and then worked him over with a tire iron; and then backed over him with a truck; to review that letter, see http://www.chinasupport.net/buzz134.htm).

At any rate, the new Laogai Museum came about due to partnership of the new Yahoo! human rights fund and Harry Wu's Laogai Research Foundation.

Remarks of Harry Wu

Harry Wu himself gave the keynote speech at the reception. In part, he said,

On July 29 I met President Bush, and he said, "Hey Harry! What do you think? What is the problem in China?" I said, "human rights." I right away showed him a bill passed by the American Congress in 2005, in December, a condemnation of the Chinese Laogai. [H. Con. Res 294]

He looked at it carefully, and I said, "Can you make a public announcement, condemning the Chinese government?" And he said, "Well, I will help. I will do it."

And at this time, we have a museum opening [and I said] "we would like to invite you to come." Unfortunately he said well -- he's quite busy and can't come.

[...]

The Laogai is a suppression machine.

Forget about my story. My story was 51 years ago, in 1957. I'm very close to the graveyard. Maybe today I'm standing here; maybe in a couple of days I've disappeared. But do remember some people to follow up.

These young women: The first one is Yu Ling. Her husband was sentenced [to] ten years in the prison camp. And still in the camp. The second one, Qi Jia Zhen, her husband was sentenced eight years. Her husband is still in the jail.

So the Gulag, Chinese Gulag - Laogai - is still running. The Communist system cannot survive without it.

So when we go to visit China, when we go to do business with China, should we care or not care?

Today I'm here, I spent time, I spent energy to work on the Laogai Museum. In the last 18 years we collected so many products. So many classified documents. So many testimonies. And so many materials, including prison uniforms that were there.

Even today, if China becomes a democratic country, it's a fundamental human rights issue. We cannot forget. We still have to talk about it.

Just like, in Washington DC there's a Holocaust museum. It was built in 1993. There's no Holocaust today in Germany. Should we forget it? Should we not talk about it?

Wu continued and mentioned the issue of human organ harvesting, as occurs when prisoners are executed -- another ongoing crime against humanity perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

He also expressed "confusion" about U.S. China policy, which was a talking point to highlight hypocrisy and double standards in U.S. China policy. For example, Fidel Castro is not given a 21-gun-salute at the White House -- but Chinese leaders are!

He concluded by saying,

Anyway, I'm happy today to have this museum. And this is a permanent museum. We bought a house. We have to appreciate one important thing: We got money from Yahoo. Yahoo gave the big money. And this museum will stay here, to tell the people the truth. Thank you. [applause]



- In Washington DC, the Laogai Museum is at 1109 M Street, NW -

Monday, August 25, 2008

Falun Gong Organ Harvesting Confirmed

CNN Caught In Genocidal Correctness


By John Kusumi


Folks, CNN is now caught in its worst nightmare, and I can’t even gloat. It’s tragic and it may cause lost sleep, the blame game, finger pointing, internal review, infighting, or worse. Congressional hearings may be in order, as an outside investigation.


Ordinarily, I seem to be glib while I kick the news media, as has become my habit in copies of my internet column. (The media? Aren’t they the bent, craven, depraved crew of sock puppets, managed by a corrupt cabal? And of course, I work on a book manuscript called Genocidal Correctness....)


Well, something is qualitatively different today, and I take no pleasure in saying “I told you so.” The key man who now occasions the disgrace of CNN (and the rest of America’s MSM) is an individual named Lu Guoping. And, two more essential names in the story are David Kilgour and David Matas.


The occasion is to the disgrace of the media, because it is proving a central theme in my book: Genocide has been occurring in China, and America’s MSM has been sweeping it under the rug. Somehow, I was thinking that my book might be fought off when released, as if it were a proposition simply from the temerity of John Kusumi. However, it now appears that my ringing indictment will also stand as a record of (unfortunately true) history.


The larger matter – that perhaps 40,000 people are dead – will be documented by many historians, and will stand as a black mark against the regime of Communist China, which is the first villain in this case.


As an aside, journalists pride themselves because they file “the first draft of history.” What they too often forget is that historians file the later drafts of history, without the pressure to be politically correct in contemporary context. Historians can say things that, apparently, journalists can’t.


It’s time to review the crime, and the response – or lack of response. The crime is the forced harvesting of vital organs from prisoners of conscience – Falun Gong practitioners – in the gulags and prison system of Mainland China. These people, who shouldn’t even be in prison to begin with, lose their lives in a process of organ harvesting, and the organs are transplanted into paying customers.


They may even still be alive as the organs are removed – they are selected, as healthy specimens, for just-in-time execution. It’s diabolical. It combines theft with murder with profiteering. Capitalist types could note that it monetizes Falun Gong persecution. This is organized, systematic, machine-like evil through deliberately chosen policies of the Chinese government. The only comparable evil might be Nazi Germany’s medical experiments, performed on unwitting prisoners in World War II.


There is plenty of gravity to this matter if it sinks in that this is real – a confirmed crime against humanity that may still be in progress. And, it happens in a context that has also gone unreported – the crackdown against Falun Gong in China. To be fair, it was reported back in 1999 when it began. To be accurate, it dropped out of the news after, late in 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a “free trade” deal with China.


As an aside, when did Bill Clinton ever say that we should be “trading away” our concern for human rights? He didn’t! The deal was ostensibly about trade, and was not about human rights, per se. I believe that news media behavior was decided at the news media level, not the White House. In other words, sociopathic managing editors made their call and took the trade deal “to the next level” of sanitizing China’s public image. If it were mine to arrange, I would have Nuremberg-style trials for Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather – accessories to genocide, each.


Let’s look beyond my aside, so that we can lay out a time table of notable occasions in my narrative.


Before the Organ Harvesting story



  • 1999: Falun Gong persecution begins. Media covers it. Then, White House signs trade deal.

  • 2000: Ted Koppel has three guests for it, and zero against it. Congress passes the trade deal.

  • Each year since: News media dodges many stories emerging from the Falun Gong crackdown.

  • 2003: This author gives a speech and coins the term “genocidal correctness.”

  • 2004: Anti-communist Falun Gong related newspaper, the Epoch Times, debuts in English.

  • 2005: People begin quitting the Communist Party in droves. CNN dodges the story.


The Organ Harvesting story



  • March 9, 2006: The Epoch Times breaks the story of forced organ harvesting at a facility called Sujiatun (in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China).

  • Shortly thereafter: A military doctor of Shenyang military zone corroborates the horror and indicates that a network of 36 facilities participate.

  • April 4, 2006: The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) is launched.


The heckler on the South Lawn of the White House and CNN's Wolf Blitzer



  • April 20, 2006: With an Epoch Times press pass and on the South Lawn of the White House, Dr. Wenyi Wang becomes the “Rosa Parks” of this cause, by shouting at the U.S. and Chinese Presidents who were meeting together, “Stop the killing!”

  • April 21, 2006: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room has Wenyi Wang as a guest. On the way in during the elevator ride, Blitzer’s producer coaches and warns Wang: “Don’t talk about organ harvesting!” On TV, Blitzer proceeds to act like a school headmaster, scolding Wang as though the only story was her disruption at the White House. She was there with a message. CNN didn’t get the message – although they knew enough to say “shush” about that message just before the on-camera appearance.


The Kilgour-Matas report and CNN’s Anderson Cooper



  • May 24, 2006: CIPFG seeks and obtains the help of Canadian public figures, David Kilgour and David Matas, to investigate the allegations of organ harvesting.

  • June 17, 2006: While Kilgour and Matas were investigating, CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a report about “organ tourism,” about a California man who went to China for an organ transplant. Cooper did raise an eyebrow at China, saying that a prison population was “vulnerable.” But, he stopped short of mentioning Falun Gong, so there was no exposure of that persecution / crackdown campaign, and no indication that the organ sources may be prisoners of conscience.

  • July 6, 2006: Kilgour and Matas issue the first edition of their report, later renamed Bloody Harvest. After looking over all available evidence they wrote, “the government of China and its agencies have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices.” They concluded “that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners."


The Kilgour-Matas report is the smoking gun. David Kilgour is a former Member of Parliament in Canada, and was Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region. David Matas is an international human rights attorney. With their political and legal backgrounds, they would know better than to be casual or inexact with public statements. While they knew the stakes in international relations, and while they knew the enormity of the charges against Communist China, they nonetheless undertook to inform the world of their findings.


The Kilgour-Matas report was never debunked by the news media; however, for their own convenience reporters wrote that the entire organ harvesting story was discredited. Apparently, reporters will manufacture lies to suit their convenience and to preclude further research or writing. The Wall Street Journal printed this falsehood, but stopped before citing any source or basis. It’s akin to printing, “They say it’s not true.” That invites the question, who are “they”? Perhaps, do U.S. reporters have communist masters in Beijing?


What sociopathic reporters were doing was clearly an example of genocidal correctness and of making a choice to err on the side of death, rather than to err on the side of life. Their omission is now exposed, at least to history.


And at CNN? The release of the Kilgour-Matas report did not cause a ripple. The point being that Kilgour and Matas got the story, and CNN didn’t. For that matter, the American public was kept in the dark for the next two years.


Around the world, Kilgour and Matas got their points across. At the end of 2006, I analyzed their clip sheet, and I learned interesting things about where their publicity was (and wasn’t):



Australian Broadcasting Corporation (8), The Calgary Herald (6), The Globe and Mail (4), National Post (4), Ottawa Citizen (4), Sydney Morning Herald (4), CBC News (3), China Post (3), NZ Scoop (3), St. Louis Post-Dispatch (3), The Christian Science Monitor (3), The Ottawa Citizen (3), The Toronto Sun (3), Abbotsford News (2), AFP (2), Asia News (2), Canadian Christianity (2), Chronicle Herald (2), CounterPunch (2), Cowichan Valley News Leader (2), CTV (2), Free Market News (2), Langley Times (2), South China Morning Post (2), Taipei Times (2), The Halifax Daily News (2), The Leader-Post (2), The Vancouver Sun (2), Times Colonist (2), Victoria News (2).


The single-mention outlets are a wide variety, including the Times of India, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, the Chicago Tribune, the Irish Medical Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Times.


Who is missing from this list? United States opinion leaders are missing — the Associated Press, UPI, New York Times, and Washington Post. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CNN. There is no sign of these news outlets in the list. Should we write them off as anti-Falun Gong media? Or as closer to Jiang Zemin than to freedom and democracy?



That’s what I wrote at the end of 2006. Later I saw the Wall Street Journal refer, in passing, to the organ harvesting allegation as “discredited.”


Far from discredited, there is more to this story. Kilgour and Matas came out with a second edition of their report in January, 2007. And now, on August 22, 2008, they have come out with more highly damning evidence. What they have now is a video admission from Dr. Lu Guoping combined with a prior audio recording from the same doctor.


In the audio, the doctor admits that he and his colleagues went to prison to select Falun Gong practitioners for involuntary organ donations to be used in transplants. In the video, the doctor admits that he was the person interviewed in the audio recording.


The audio is part of a series of recordings, taken by investigators for Kilgour and Matas. They called hospitals throughout China, posing as relatives of patients who needed transplants. They asked the hospitals if they had organs from Falun Gong practitioners for transplant. The callers got recorded admissions throughout China that hospitals did have Falun Gong organs for sale.


The video is a documentary by Phoenix TV. Kilgour and Matas also note, “The video is being distributed by Chinese embassies and consulates; its authenticity is therefore endorsed by the Chinese government.”


The audio and video, taken together are “an undeniable, inculpatory admission of the harvesting of Falun Gong practitioner prisoners for profit,” according to the investigators.


These investigators hardly needed one more nail in the coffin, but they got it. We may consider it that the Chinese government is “busted” for the practice of Falun Gong organ harvesting.


And, who else is busted is CNN. Yes, Virginia, CNN had this story on April 21, 2006. If the story were well exposed, it would lead to the international community taking action to stop what is akin to a holocaust in progress. (The world swore, “Never again” after the Nazi holocaust….)


Rather than expose the story, CNN left space for the Chinese government to add two more years of killing into the record of history. When my book comes out, the ink will be dry on a true-life, morally reprehensible drama that matches my thesis—genocidal correctness—to a tee.


I take no pleasure in saying “I told you so,” but how well did I hit the mark? Yes in fact, they have been bent, craven, depraved, self-serving, shortsighted, and genocidally correct. And that's only in the United States. In China, it's been deadly. At many news outlets beyond CNN, there is a person who has had the job to circular file, or bury, story after story after story from the Falun Gong persecution. If this were the America of the 1990s, they would never have “just let go” the Falun Gong crackdown. But more recently, genocidal correctness became their M.O.; their standard procedure; business as usual in America’s hideous newsrooms.


Rather than “I told you so,” since I can just about say “checkmate,” instead I would prefer to say, “Game over.” Each newsroom is challenged to find a shred of integrity, and to do the right thing with this story. (The Kilgour-Matas report is at organharvestinvestigation.net.) Perhaps my prediction (first made in 2006) will come true:


Everyone else knows about China’s crimes against humanity; the last to know will be Brian Williams (NBC News anchorman) and Jacques Rogge (IOC President, who cannot be happy as this story tarnishes the Olympics).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics: “We find it abominable…”

The rally speech of the China Support Network as delivered by John Kusumi before the Chinese embassy (and hours before the Olympics' opening ceremony) in Washington DC on August 7, 2008:


An investigation must be launched, because the Olympic Games have sunk to a new low. The Olympics now celebrate genocide; honor the worlds most brutal communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs; and provide a vivid display of the priorities of world leaders. The world is faced with an abomination, a disgrace, a farce, a failure, a calamity, and a tragedy. The critics of Communist China have entirely too many things to complain about, so I can only briefly touch upon the issues that we might find abominable, and soon I will tie it back to the Olympics.


In China, they say do not talk about the “three T’s:” Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen Square. Similarly, they do not want you to talk about East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia, and Falun Gong.


Why are these six topics off limits? It is because they are five places and one spiritual group where innocent people are getting a raw deal, or the short end of a stick. And actually, Tibet is both a place and a spiritual group; and East Turkestan, also known as Xinjiang province, is the home to Uighur Muslims. That is a third spiritual group. Let’s add to our discussion a fourth spiritual group, namely house church Christians. These four religions are persecuted, persecuted, persecuted, and persecuted, respectively. So, speaking for the China Support Network:


We find it abominable that Communist China invaded Tibet, and now persecutes Tibetan Buddhists. The China Support Network demands that China bestow freedom upon Tibet, and deliver to justice those CCP leaders who have wrought havoc and destruction in Tibet. Do not ask the Dalai Lama to acknowledge any special nature in Chinese Communists, if Chinese Communists themselves refuse to acknowledge any special nature in the Dalai Lama. When a prisoner is made to defecate on a picture of the Dalai Lama, Chinese jailers have gone too far!


We find it abominable that Communist China has arrayed over 1,000 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. Between the two, Mainland China is the larger and more powerful nation. Mainland China has no need to fear that Taiwan will attack or invade — hence, the missiles are offensive rather than defensive. The missiles are a provocation and threat to Taiwan, and the China Support Network demands that China must remove and dismantle the missiles that are threatening Taiwan.


We find it abominable that Communist China attacked the students and citizens in Tiananmen Square. The leaders do not want to talk about Tiananmen Square because it is to their shame and disgrace. It was mass murder and a crime against humanity, beamed into the world’s living rooms in full color by television. The China Support Network demands atonement to the victims of Tiananmen Square. An independent investigation, with perpetrators brought to justice, and a full accounting of victims, to victims’ families, is necessary for closure in this matter.


We find it abominable that Communist China invaded East Turkestan, and now persecutes Uighur Muslims. I find it abominable that China under the CCP has used that land for above-ground open-air testing of nuclear weapons, with insufficient protection for the health and safety of nearby residents. It is fair to say that they “nuked” East Turkestan. The China Support Network demands that China bestow freedom upon East Turkestan, and deliver to justice those Communist leaders who have abused and nuked East Turkestan.


We find it abominable that Inner Mongolia is held as a captive nation. It used to be that the Great Wall of China was the boundary of China. Inner Mongolia is on the other side of the wall. These days, Communist Chinese leaders get to have it both ways, and run the government on both sides of the wall. But, too many citizens of Inner Mongolia have suffered persecution under this Communist regime, and the China Support Network demands that China bestow freedom upon Inner Mongolia.


For that matter, we demand that China bestow freedom upon Mainland China, itself! In mainland China, we find persecution of Falun Gong, of underground Catholics and other denominations of house church Christians; and as well, we find persecution of journalists such as Shi Tao and political dissidents such as Wang Bingzhang, and of rights defending lawyers such as Gao Zhisheng. There are recent reports that Gao Zhisheng was tortured in captivity, and he remains there right now!


The pre-Olympic crackdown has made it plain that Chinese citizens are living in a police state. The existence of a police state might be old news, but it has consequences that continue to drive today’s news. The preparations for the Olympics are perhaps more newsworthy, but they are also a cause of action. I began this speech by saying that an investigation must be launched. Questions to investigate include, “What is the relationship of the Olympic Games to human rights abuses?” “In how many instances did the Chinese regime use the Olympics as a pretext for human rights abuse?” “Have earlier Olympics in other lands led to human rights abuse? And if so, can past and present Olympics be compared on quantitative measures of harm caused?”


In other words, a pattern may be emerging. Perhaps the Olympics are a repeat offender, harming the world routinely. Perhaps the IOC can be categorized as an accessory to these crimes against humanity. I would shed no tears if I saw IOC President Jacques Rogge getting prosecuted at the International Criminal Court. He certainly has a chipper and cheerful countenance for crimes against humanity. His legacy is that he is the man who smiled throughout genocide, and brought the Olympic Games to a shameful new low in the increasingly sordid history of these Games.


Genocide is more than just a word. Because it is mass murder, it has implications. And it will have consequences for its perpetrators, accessories, and enablers. Genocide should first of all be stopped, period. But secondly, for bystanders — meaning the rest of the world — we should at least acknowledge that it is reprehensible. To acknowledge the same is a matter of human decency. What does Jacques Rogge say? He says, “Uh — we’re not a political organization.” Really? Let’s be clear: Rogge tells us that mass murder is a political issue, perhaps like any other issue that can have people “for” and “against” it. We’re speaking of a clear and present and not even speculative humanitarian disaster, happening at this minute — and he would refer the topic to a debating society!


Let’s consider the weasel statement of Jacques Rogge: “We’re not a political organization.” More accurately, he should admit that the IOC is “not a human organization.” These Olympics are rewarding genocide, rewarding abuse, rewarding very reprehensible crimes against humanity. It was a mistaken bad move to put these games in the capital city of a nuclear armed, communist superpower — and Rogge’s easy countenance for genocide and crimes against humanity has added an indecent and inhuman character to these games. It’s a good thing that Mr. Rogge is not a world leader; but, oops — guess who’s coming to the Olympics’ opening ceremony? World leaders! They can’t miss this photo op with the modern day Hitlers who are hosting these Genocide Olympics! Imagine a photograph of the bent meeting with the craven, hosted by the depraved! We’ll see it in tomorrow’s newspaper!


It is abominable that the world is now asked to celebrate this boneheaded sporting event. For my part, I will be switching off NBC, staying out of McDonalds, and avoiding Coca Cola and Visa during these games. (Applause) I hope you will do the same. (Applause) Right now, the Communist Party of China is having a propaganda festival, and world leaders are having an appeasement festival, all of which adds up to a sordid spectacle. Because we can already smell the foul stench, we can anticipate the bad aftertaste that these Games will leave behind in the world’s mouth. The investigations and the blowback will begin immediately on the heels of these Games.


But, why is there a crowd of people at the Chinese embassy, here and now? We are the crowd that says, “Stop the killing!” –Because we know that killing continues at this minute in China and in Tibet and in East Turkestan and in Mongolia and in Burma and in Sudan’s Darfur region, and in Vietnam and North Korea. Those places are run by communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs, and among them right now the Chinese Communist Party is the king of the hill. The regime of Communist China qualifies it as the motherlode of evil and the godfather of dictatorships.


We are a crowd of humans, for human rights. And let me say to my fellow humans: Let’s continue to boycott communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. Thank you for being here, and keep the protests going!

Friday, August 1, 2008

White House 'Talking the talk' for Chinese democracy: Bush meets dissidents

United States China policy continues to reward communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs for bad behavior. This was true both before and after a July 29 meeting that happened at the White House, with George W. Bush meeting with leading Chinese dissidents including Wei Jingsheng and Harry Wu. Any change augured by the meeting was symbolic, rather than substantive.

As we know, George W. Bush is on his way to Beijing for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, hosted by communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. United States China policy has been one-sided in favor of the dictators ever since the 1989 occasion of Tiananmen Square's bloody massacre of unarmed civilian demonstrators who were pressing for democracy. That massacre was an occasion that should have found America taking the side of the beleagured Chinese people, due to America's ostensible anti-communism and support for such matters as freedom, democracy, and human rights.

As the world gazed at the iconic image of one lone man stopping a line of tanks, there was clearly a confrontation underway -- and a line to be drawn. About the later course of U.S. China policy, there come to be two stories that must be told. There is what America should have done; and there is what America actually did. The latter is a shameful litany of presidential malfeasance begun by George Bush senior, who renewed Most Favored Nation status; dispatched Brent Scowcroft as a high level emissary to reassure the dictators that 'business as usual' would not be disrupted; and in the face of a Congressional ban on weapons export to Communist China, Bush contravened the sanction by approving a sale of satellites to the regime of the Communist Party, which remains in place to this day.

America should have taken the side of the man who stopped the tanks. All of China policy since then has been a bouquet of lollipops to reward the dictatorship for bad behavior. One cannot help but conclude that America took the side of the tanks and their drivers. No self-respecting (or America-respecting) U.S. president would want to be caught dead hewing to U.S. China policy as it has stood since Tiananmen Square. In light of it, no president since Ronald Reagan has been fully credible when wielding the terms "freedom" and "democracy." America just isn't the same; it suffers from leadership that is more corrupt than Ronald Reagan.

The U.S. news media has likewise been a group of shoeshine boys for communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs. Even while the press has held story after story from the nine-year persecution and holocaust for Falun Gong -- a genocide that is still in progress now -- the White House has been feeling the heat about Chinese human rights. Obviously, rights concerns are getting the short end of the stick, in the faulty China policy which I rightly denounce. In some ways, Chinese dissidents scored a victory by getting Tuesday's meeting at the White House. What was in it for George Bush was saving face. He can step up the lip service for freedom, democracy, and human rights -- and about that, I must applaud and praise him. However, lip service remains the matter of talking the talk, while at the same time not walking the walk.

Because the Chinese regime is one of cunning, conniving, and treachery, it will only respect pressure and stregth. If the U.S. were to walk the walk for Chinese democracy, it would discontinue its PNTR and Most Favored Nation trade favors for Communist China. It would choose not to enrich communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. That even means curtailing tourism to China, while the regime should be isolated, contained, and denounced. Chinese dissidents were bitterly opposed to the unconditional PNTR free trade deal with Communist China, and have continually called for pressure brought to bear on the Chinese regime, for encouraging the reform of its human rights practices.

The July 29 White House meeting with Chinese dissidents can lead to buzz, and can be perceived as a snub to the Chinese regime. That much is helpful, and to be applauded. The Chinese regime may have its grandest moment at the Olympics, but it is recently in a state that is weakened and vulnerable. Falun Gong practitioners, who might be termed "neo-dissidents" for China, have pushed back against the regime and created a wave of members resigning from the Communist Party. That wave is now estimated to include at least 24 million people, while a headline number of 40 million people is reported. With push back from its own citizens, change is in the offing for the Chinese regime.

Short of economic sanctions, is the Bush administration doing all it can? No! I concur with the freedom campaigners that America must escalate its rhetoric in favor of freedom and democracy in mainland China. Wei Jingsheng delivered the message: don't just talk to Hu Jintao (the Communist Party chief), but also talk to the news media. Let all Chinese know of his belief in human rights and democracy. In any case, it's high time for China to change.

Second, the French company Eutelsat has done a "cave in" to the Chinese regime, discontinuing the signal for NTDTV, a U.S.-based independent Chinese language television network. For years, some Chinese have been enjoying NTDTV as a breath of fresh air, with its fearless reporting of regime abuses. It is important to continue the broadcast of free world information into China -- the U.S. should ensure that NTDTV has a satellite channel.

Third, there have been brazen and wanton attacks, conducted by New York's Chinese Consulate, against Falun Gong practitioners including U.S. citizens in Flushing, NY. Assaults and violence should not be within bounds for diplomatic decorum! Thirty six Congressmen have urged Bush to investigate the Flushing violence. The request from the freedom campaigners is to expel Consul General Peng Keyu as persona non grata from the United States. America should not take it lying down!

Monday, June 23, 2008

U.S. Persecution for Falun Gong?

Is Communist-led persecution the latest import that has come to America from Communist China? Flushing, NY has become the flash point for confrontations between CCP-led mobs with tactics from the era of the Cultural Revolution -- as they have engaged in intimidation, scare tactics, and hate crimes against peaceful groups of Falun Gong practitioners, on the other side.

Falun Gong is a spiritual or quasi-religious group. China's Communist Party -- which still runs the Chinese government -- banned the group in 1999, and has gone to genocidal lengths to persecute, eradicate, and eliminate the group. We are facing an example of international religious persecution. In its efforts to push back against the persecution, Falun Gong established print, radio, and television media of its own and then began the "Quit CCP" campaign, in which they have urged members of the Chinese Communist Party to resign from the party.

Their website has recorded nearly 39 million resignations from the Communist Party. In Flushing, NY, the Service Center to Quit the CCP has been running peacefully, without incident, since 2005. Recently -- after the Sichuan earthquake that hit China in May -- the CCP began to organize mobs that are causing incidents and making trouble for the Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing, which is essentially a Chinatown neighborhood, near LaGuardia airport in New York City.

At the invitation of Falun Gong practitioners, on June 14, 2008, the China Support Network's John Kusumi gave the following speech to a rally in Flushing. The situation has drawn Congressional attention, and Kusumi also wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. (See http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-6-4/71377.html)





Hello, I want to thank the organizers and to thank the marching band -- I enjoyed their introduction.

And, I have previously expressed my sympathy, my condolences, and my best wishes to the people of Sichuan Province, where it's my hope that the next generation of buildings will be strong enough to withstand an earthquake. It's regrettable that there's been that tragedy in western China.

And, even when there is a tragedy or these large events in the news -- that is not an excuse to begin illicit or illegal activities in the United States. In other words, I am disappointed to see that the Communist Party has taken advantage of the earthquake --as cover.

It's like "Oh, great, this diverts people's attention. This gives us a great chance to fight with Falun Gong when no one is looking, or when everyone is thinking about the earthquake victims."

It's regrettable to use the occasion in a political way. And, I should say that I am not a Falun Gong practitioner. And so I don't speak from that standpoint, but it is amazing to me [that] those simple words, "Falun Gong" -- within the population of China, to some people that means very very good things. And then on the other side we hear that, "oh, that's a bad thing." There's conflicting thoughts about Falun Gong in the Chinese population.

And so I would recommend that we consider that the people with the "good" thoughts are probably right. In fact, I know that they are -- because Falun Gong is a group that cares about China, and cares about its history and its culture; but also the present and the future -- in other words 'Where is China going?' 'Will China have a better future?'

And, the people from Falun Gong care enough to become active. You know, to be politically active -- especially when there's this government with no political freedom -- it takes great courage. It takes great strength. These people are standing on their principles and their convictions, and they have admirable courage to say, "Yes -- Let's change China for the better." China could enjoy democratic values.

And I come from the United States here, where we have those values. And we know that it's your own business what belief you care to have in terms of religion, or on any political subject. We simply know that there is diversity. There is this pluralism. We expect to hear different opinions from different people.

And that's accepted! That's normal! --The differences do not require fighting in the United States. It does not require civil war; or even the types of tactics I think that we've seen in recent weeks with Falun Gong practitioners who have been assaulted; who have been intimidated; harassed; given death threats; subject to some forms of violence or the property damage; the theft; the vandalism.

And it's been regrettable to see that. I think that there are some people in the Chinese community, and perhaps they are following the Communist Party. But they really ought to learn the democratic value of tolerance.

It's time to understand that yes, you have your side of the matter. You may have your opinion; but that doesn't give you the right to attack the other side.

And I think that Falun Gong understands that. --You don't see them going out there and causing trouble to the members of the Communist Party. In fact, when this group finds a member of the Communist Party, we want to speak to that person. We want that person to understand the crimes of the Communist Party, and to quit the Communist Party!

And so, I think that it's a public service that the Falun Gong really engage in. It's a far better future -- for China and all the way around the world; we will all of us be better off without the Communist Party! --That's a group of basically thugs.

And I have said it before that they are communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs! And they are exactly the type of people whom America stood up against during the Cold War. If we remember the Soviet Union and the approach of Ronald Reagan -- he would never tolerate the Communist methods being applied, right here on the streets of Flushing.

And that is still unacceptable to this day. The consequences may still be enroute; the consequences are on their way. But we do not accept the use of those methods: Violence; the intimidation; the hate crimes; the-- it's like vandalism or property damage --the violence that's been directed to the peaceful Service Center that stands here in front of the library and that presents information to the passers-by.

And so, that's the kind of activity that's allowed; and it's legal; and in America we value -- things like that Service Center with all of the information. That's fair -- that's allowed and that's legal in a democracy. And when China itself changes to be a free nation, then the very same activity WILL BE allowed -- WILL BE legal, and WILL BE welcome in the democracy of the future free China! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

IOC: Move the Olympics to Athens

IOC: Move the Olympics to Athens

Speech commemorating the Tiananmen Square ("June 4") massacre's
19th anniversary, as delivered on June 1 2008, calls for IOC action


By John Kusumi
(video version on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwQnhPFE-k8 now)


Thank you, Ciping.

--Well, I know that Sichuan province has experienced a tragedy. And the residents there have all of my good wishes and my hopes. It is important to mourn for the dead, but it is also important to care for the living. I hope that Sichuan province will return stronger than ever. It's a strong community. We have begun to see the humanity of Chinese people reaching out to help other people who may in fact be strangers. But everyone's hearts go out to the victims of the earthquake. And I hope that the next generation of buildings in Sichuan province will be strong enough to withstand an earthquake.

--I will also say that there are some errors of reasoning that have made their way into the news media. There may be some wishful propagandists on behalf of the Communist Party who think, "You know, gee, there's been an earthquake and now we have all of the world's sympathy and so that means there is no more human rights problem. Or that there is no more public relations problem."

That is a flawed and faulty line of reasoning. The existence of an earthquake or any news event does not erase what came before.

You can imagine, for example, if someone was a bandit or a murderer and stabbed someone to death, and he's caught by the police and he's put into the jail and he's waiting for his trial; And then, an earthquake happens and it shakes up the jail. Well, two weeks later maybe the prisoner goes on trial and stands before a judge to answer for his crime.

If the prisoner makes a plea for leniency and tries to say, "Well, your honor (to the judge) I am 'not guilty by reason of earthquake,' which -- this terrible thing happened to me." That's not an excuse. The judge would not accept that. That man could be laughed out of court.

It's true that Sichuan province has an enormous tragedy. And yes, we want the improvement of that situation in that province. But this does not excuse the Communist Party from the wider questions of human rights. Questions that are raised when we think about the June 4 massacre: the victims whom we are here to commemorate tonight.

These questions about human rights are raised when we think of the Falun Gong persecution that has continued now for far too long: nine years of deadly persecution.

The questions of human rights come up when we hear about the Tibetan uprising, as it just happened two months ago.

These issues do not go away based on one event in the news. The freedom fighters do not go away based on one event in the news. The cause, the movement, the issue in general -- of Chinese democracy and freedom and human rights for the entire region -- that is a very strong cause. That could surprise some observers for being a stronger cause with more staying power than it is sometimes credited for in the news media.

And so I regret to see faulty news reports that suggest 'the Communist Party is off the hook and there's no remaining problem about the Olympics.'

--I know well that there's a problem about the Olympics; I have been putting together the Freedom First Olympics Second Coalition. And that is a group, you just heard the theme song [which] was played by our rock band here, Light Club. [* Performance on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qU-mkCKV58 now] And we have put this together to say, 'No, you cannot have the Olympics without freedom.'

And the Chinese people themselves ought to stand up and say the same thing to Beijing: that they want freedom first, and Olympics second. It's very important. It matters greatly. It would mean much to China; to history; and to future generations. And so we continue to call for the International Olympic Committee to do the right thing and remove these Olympics from Beijing.

Alright, there's one more meeting: on Wednesday, on June 4; the IOC will be meeting. And they still have the power to change the venue of these Olympics.

They could put the Olympics into Athens. Athens is a city which had the Olympics four years ago. That means that they have enough stadiums; they have enough hotels; they have the capacity in Athens to hold the Olympics.

And I hope that the IOC will at last arrive at having a conscience, and an awareness, and [will] admit that there is a problem. And to hold off from holding the Olympics in Beijing China unless and until China has become free and democratic and extends human rights to all that are under its rule.

And so that's the message from the Coalition. I thank you on behalf of myself; on behalf of the Coaltiion; the China Support Network; and the rock band Light Club.

Thank you folks; I value your presence and I will be back here with you next year. We will observe the 20th anniversary of the exact same massacre, unfortunately. Thank you; good night now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Remembering Tiananmen Square 2008

Remembering Tiananmen Square In 2008


Events to be held around the world this week


May 30, 2008 (CSN) -- It is that time of year for the annual commemorations and memorial observances to remember the freedom fighters of Tiananmen Square, including the dead, the wounded, and their families who were victimized by the Chinese government's crackdown against the Chinese democracy movement. It was 19 years ago, on the night of June 3-4, 1989, when the government used "the People's Liberation Army" to shoot its way into Tiananmen Square, unloading live ammunition into unsuspecting civilians -- unarmed demonstrators on the streets of Beijing.


Today, CSN is offering this roundup of expected events. (1.) Washington candle light vigil; (2.) New York consulate protest; (3.) Hong Kong candle light vigil; (4.) Washington rally with Yang Jianli and Nancy Pelosi.


(1.) Washington candle light vigil


The IFCSS (Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars) will hold the 19th annual vigil to observe the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, on Sunday June 1, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, outside the Chinese embassy in Washington DC. The China Support Network and Freedom First Olympics Second Coalition will co-sponsor the event, along with Light Club, the modern rock band that will play American rock music in support of the causes of Chinese freedom, democracy, human rights, and an Olympic boycott.


The Chinese embassy is at 2300 Connecticut Avenue, NW in Washington DC.


(2.) New York consulate protest


Chinese groups including the China Democracy Party World Union will hold a protest opposite the Chinese consulate in Manhattan of New York City, on Tuesday June 3 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The Chinese consulate is on the north east corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue. The protest will be on the west side of 12th Avenue. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(3.) Hong Kong candle light vigil


The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China will hold the candle light vigil for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre "to commemorate those who were killed in the June 4th Massacre in China and express our eagerness for democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law." The vigil will occur on Wednesday, June 4, beginning at 8:00pm. The location is the football fields in Victoria Park of Hong Kong.


(4.) Washington rally with Yang Jianli and Nancy Pelosi


On Capitol Hill in Washington DC, a daytime rally will commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. This will be in the late morning of Wednesday, June 4, from 10:30am to 12:00pm. The venue is the Upper Senate Park, which is on Constitution Avenue next to the Russell Senate Office Building. This rally will also feature the end of Dr. Yang Jinali's 500 mile "GongMin Walk," in which he has walked from Boston to Washington during the month of May, 2008. A 21-foot replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue (originally erected by students in Tiananmen Square) will serve as a backdrop. In addition to Dr. Yang Jianli, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will speak, as will T. Kumar (of Amnesty International), Carl Gershman (of the National Endowment for Democracy), Rebiya Kadeer (of Uyghur American Association). Co-sponsors include Initiatives for China, the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, the Chinese Democratic Party, the Federation for a Democratic China, the Alliance for a Democratic China, Beijing Spring, the Chinese Social Democratic Party, the Uyghur American Association, Falungong Practitioners, the International Campaign for Tibet, Freedom Now, Reporters without Borders USA, Human Rights First, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, and the US Campaign for Burma.


In addition to the events above, Chinese embassies and consulates around the world will be locations for local protests. Check local human rights groups for details. Here are some that we're aware of:


(5.) London rally with Wei Jingsheng


The Chinese embassy in London is at 49-51 Portland Place, W1B 1JL. This event will be Wednesday, June 4, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. The UK section of Amnesty International (AIUK) is responsible for organizing this demonstration, which will include famed Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng. Other speakers include Kate Allen (of AIUK), Xia Ze (of Friends of Tiananmen Mothers in the UK), and Chinese dissident Shao Jiang. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(6.) Oxford demonstration


On Wednesday June 4 AIUK is holding a demonstration at the Martyr's Memorial in Oxford, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(7.) Stratford upon Avon vigil


The Stratford upon Avon Methodist Church in Old Town will be open for 12 hours of vigil, from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Wednesday June 4. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(8.) Belfast (Northern Ireland) demonstration


On Wednesday June 4 AIUK in Northern Ireland is holding a demonstration at the Corn Market in Belfast City Centre, beginning at 12:00 noon. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(9.) Edinburgh (Scotland) demo w/die-in


On Wednesday June 4 AIUK in Scotland is holding a demonstration to include activists performing a dramatic "die in" at 1:00pm. The venue is The Mound, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL. They will have a table, booth, or stall in the open square next to National Gallery throughout the morning, to help the public / activists to make paper red roses. Those will be used in the program that runs from 12:45pm to 3:45pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.


(10.) Siegburg, Germany seminar


On Wednesday June 4, the Federation for a Democratic China will be running a program at Asia B├╝fett Restaurant, Holzgasse 42, 53721 Siegburg, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. This is for the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Condoleeza Rice On Hot Seat Again

Condoleeza Rice On Hot Seat Again

An open letter to the U.S. Secretary of State from the China Support Network; calls for diplomatic demarche to Communist China
By John Kusumi

Dear Secretary Rice,

Perhaps you look upon relations with Communist China as a tight rope or high wire, where one in your position must perform a balancing act. It may also be true, to extend the analogy, that you have wobbled during your act. That would explain why you and I have sometimes agreed and sometimes disagreed. Two examples of where we disagree are the "Countries of Particular Concern" list, and the "worst human rights offenders" list. When you took Vietnam off of the former, I called for you to resign. When you took China off of the latter, I called for you to resign. I continue to feel strongly that those nations belong on those lists.

Conversely, we have been on the same page, as when you were pushing for the freedom of China's dissident, Yang Jianli. And of course I applaud any blandishments for freedom, democracy, and human rights. I run the China Support Network, formed by Americans in 1989 when everyone had the urge to respond to the bloody Tiananmen Square massacre -- the carnage and tragedy that befell China in that year.

Now I have a new matter for you, and this one calls for a diplomatic demarche to Communist China. There has been the sudden onset of "rent a mob" counter demonstrators, confronting and harrassing the peaceful protestors of the Chinese democracy movement and the Falun Gong spiritual movement. In fact, similar "rent a mobs" have been counter demonstrators for pro-Tibetan campaigners. I'm not sure about the Save Darfur coalition; they, too are against the Summer Olympic Games if they are held in Beijing given its current policies. While I can't speak for the latter campaigners, I am regularly found among Chinese dissidents and Falun Gong practitioners -- or just say, human rights campaigners.

In the United States of America, which advertises an environment of free expression, should we be tolerating overt interference, vandalism, and assault directed at human rights campaigners in their peaceful, lawful activities? --No! Very clearly, Communist China is testing its limits, because the recent actions against human rights campaigners have been coordinated and stage managed -- we believe from officials at Chinese Consulates.

Perhaps I can recount my own personal experience, due to my involvement with the human rights campaigners. The Human Rights Torch Relay, an alternative to the Olympic torch, began crossing the United States on March 30. I began a speaking tour at related rallies. The crowds were very supportive, and there were no hecklers, counter demonstrators, or opposition -- at first. I witnessed half a dozen rallies with warm receptions. On April 24 at Princeton University was the first occasion with counter demonstrators. They were Princeton students and they were peaceful and orderly -- not overly disruptive. On April 26 at Yale University, Chinese students did a separate program of their own nearby, using another area of the New Haven Green for a counter demonstration. There may have been tense moments as our parade passed by their area, and "the reds" aggressively crowded "the blues" to jeer the procession.

So far, I would say "no harm, no foul." America is a democratic environment and I support the right of "the other side" to be there (even while I disagree with "the reds"). Also on May 17, I was present at a rally in Flushing Queens of New York City. This was for the "Quit the CCP" campaign, a different effort than the Human Rights Torch Relay. The "blue" rally on our side of the street, of perhaps 50 people, was jeered by a crowd of about 400 "red" Chinese on the other side of the street. While this situation was tense, I thought that Flushing police did a great job of keeping the two sides apart. At least while I spoke, I witnessed no violence.

Jeering can be considered acceptable in a democracy -- if I could tell you, "no harm, no foul" then we wouldn't have this letter. Unfortunately, the "red" crowds have been crossing the line into the area of unacceptable interference, vandalism, and assault. Reports from the scene are that a 70-year-old retired engineer was beaten at that May 17 occasion. The Epoch Times reported, "Peaceful Rally Attacked in New York City's Chinatown." To my knowledge, the Falun Gong presence in Flushing, New York has been attacked repeatedly, each day since May 17. --And reports tell us that similar attacks have simultaneously occurred in Los Angeles and in Japan.

The Flushing police department and City Councilman John Liu can attest to escalation that has happened in recent days. At least two arrests have been made by Flushing police, and Councilman Liu appeared on the scene to lecture through a bullhorn. As expressed by the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDI), "Queens police arrested two men in connection with Tuesday’s assaults.... Both stand charged with assault, and may be prosecuted for a hate crime. The victims’ identity as Falun Gong members is believed to have been the crimes’ motive."

Peaceful human rights activists stand with materials such as their booth and their signs. Whether we speak of vandalism to those materials, or whether we speak of physical assaults and death threats to human rights campaigners, these actions serve to deprive the victims of their freedom of expression. They should not be suffering a penalty in consequence of their use of political free speech. A line has been crossed, and these actions are Communist-organized (see below). Councilman Liu drew the line as he said, "This is a fundamental fact in the United States of America: that everybody has a right to say what they want. There's freedom of speech. But nobody has a right to lay a physical hand on anybody else. Or to even touch their belongings including their own signs that they use to make their statements."

Hence, we and I call upon you, Secretary Rice, to make a diplomatic demarche with Communist China. Their consular officials -- in making trouble for human rights activists -- have crossed a line; have gone too far; and have exceeded the limits of what is acceptable conduct on our soil here in the United States of America. One of our volunteers under attack is a U.S. citizen and mother of two U.S. Marines who are serving the USA in Iraq. She was assaulted and received a death threat. Now she has written an open letter to President Bush. See that letter from Judy Chen at http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-5-23/70945.html. Also for video from Flushing, NY see http://english.ntdtv.com/?c=258&a=3261.

Are we correctly pinning these actions upon the Chinese Communist Party? --You betcha! Think about the PR -- public relations situation. Would mainland Chinese media ever cover the rallies of human rights activists? Not usually. Usually, "the blues" are a verboten taboo in red China. --However, and not by accident, mainland Chinese media arrived at the scene of the attack upon Saturday's rally. According to FDI, "One woman at the Flushing scene identified herself as a reporter sent from Changchun Television, a state-run media entity in northeastern China. A second individual, a male, identified himself as a Beijing journalist assigned to take photos."

As reported by the Epoch Times, "The attack on the rally seems to have been coordinated with Chinese-language media that are controlled or influenced by the CCP. These media outlets, such as CCTV, ordinarily do not cover rallies held to urge people to quit the CCP.

"On Saturday, these media outlets were present in force. Immediately after the event ended, they published and broadcast stories whose themes were that the participants in this rally 'do not care about the victims of the Sichuan earthquake' and 'do not love China.'" The Times also reported that "One of the attackers shouted in Chinese into his cell phone 'Hurry! Bring more people over here. Each person will be paid 90 dollars.'" Hence the term "rent a mob."

To sophisticated Western eyes, the sequence of events is very telling. On the one hand, it is a new day when human rights campaigners get coverage from Mainland news media. But on the other hand, the press coverage amounted to hit pieces to tarnish and slander the human rights campaigners. I can say again that this does not happen by accident. Mainland media does not get dispatched to Flushing, NY unless the assignment is in accordance with wishes of the Chinese Communist Party. The regime has tipped its hand. These incidents are a calling card, and they are testing the United States.

A diplomatic demarche is the least you could do. We continue to call for a boycott of the Olympics and the removal of PNTR trade status from Communist China. Thank you for taking these concerns into consideration.

Cordially,
/s./ John P. Kusumi
China Support Network, Director Emeritus
- Washington DC events will mark our annual observance of the Tiananmen massacre, June 1 and 4 this year -