Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CSN Demands Media Apology

Right on schedule, here is our Op-Ed on the eve of
Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize

By John Kusumi, CSN President

December 8, 2010 (CSN) -- This week has the world-notable occasion of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The entire Chinese democracy movement should be demanding an apology of Western policy makers and media Managing Editors.

This Op-Ed could be submitted to the mainstream 'news' outlets, but we already know how those outlets have been with CSN and with the Chinese dissidents for the past decade. I have described the relationship between U.S. media and U.S. politicians as the corrupt, flacking for the corrupt.

Legacy news media are on the ropes, and desperately need a 'reset moment.' That, for more reasons than just the Chinese democracy movement. (The current Wikileaks episode reveals both the corruption and the flacking, which serves to validate that my observation holds true, even in matters away from the Free China cause. Meanwhile on national leadership, the U.S. President has painted himself into a corner and the media has climbed ever further out on a limb.)

The China Support Network can say to the MSM: We don't believe in you any more. There is more to be expected of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy than from the high and mighty figures who (mis) manage their narratives in the public discourse, while posing as "objective journalists."

The tragic and bloody massacre at Tiananmen Square of 1989 -- ordered by China's government, conducted by the army -- tore at the heart strings of the public and policy makers alike, while inspiring other freedom fighters such as those in Eastern Europe (where the Berlin Wall came down later in 1989). Chinese students could feel short changed because they pushed and yet it was East Germans who got freedom that year.

Did the news media report the massacre? Yes, definitely. In fact, they had coverage of the inspiring, student-led uprising for seven weeks before that massacre. Because the uprising was that lengthy, there was lots of time for word to reach the West, and for all talking heads of the news media to digest and analyze the movement. Television coverage was so riveting that Pew Research reported 45% of Americans were "closely following" the political turmoil in China.

When the army killed some 3,000 people and finally reached the square, this jaw dropping atrocity was a tragedy on television. Similar to Asia's tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina, or Haiti's earthquake -- tragedies motivate the kind hearted to respond. My fellow Americans and I launched the China Support Network. Soon, we were working shoulder-to-shoulder with leading Chinese dissidents.

Think tanks, and the Senate Joint Leadership, and the Republican National Committee all reached out to the newly-exiled dissidents. One, Wu'er Kaixi, was mobbed by women. The China Support Network co-managed his first week in Washington, along with other dissidents. And when news reporters wanted the daybook, or scheduling requests, they called the China Support Network, as a "go-to" organization. I know these stories because I personally accompanied Wu'er Kaixi; I wrote releases, alerts, and advisories; and I fielded those phone calls with media requests. In that week, we got the ear of former Senators Bob Dole and George Mitchell, but not the U.S. President and executive branch.

In fact, the Chinese dissidents had a presence in the news media throughout the 1990s. America's Managing Editors have played a trick. "Now you see them, now you don't" is the trick specifically. One decade the democracy movement had a voice; and the next decade, there was no voice for the pro-democracy people; the true heroes of freedom and human rights.

The 2000s were a time of stories getting squashed. A time of the media's blind eye for human rights abuse. Even while China ramped up its Falun Gong crackdown and added new ones: the Tibetan crackdown of 2008, and the Uighur crackdown of 2009. Squashed stories include dissident opposition to the PNTR free trade deal between the U.S. and China; all word of the Falun Gong crackdown that is still going today; and, the hideous story that China uses Falun Gong prisoners as the unwilling source for organ harvesting and transplant surgery.

Oh, was this supposed to be an Op-Ed about Liu Xiaobo? --Well, in a way, it is. This is an Op-Ed about what became of his cause. This is an Op-Ed about the cause of freedom, democracy, and human rights -- and, how it is received in the U.S. news media.

It is as though U.S. Managing Editors have a message for Chinese people: Death for you is fine by them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

World War, Korean War, or Close Shave?

Notes written from the brink of war

By John Kusumi

Wars can easily start from miscalculation, and as I look at the Korean peninsula, I believe that somebody miscalculated.

News brings word of two matters- - (a.) On November 23, 2010, North and South Korea had an exchange of artillery fire. Who fired first is immaterial, but a South Korean military official said, "We were conducting usual military drills and our test shots were aimed toward the west, not the north." Irrespective of that detail, North Korea took it upon themselves to shell the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing at least two civilians and two military personnel. It is also believed that South Korea returned fire.

As reported in Australian news (ABC News),

"According to North Korean media the country's leader Kim Jong-il visited the artillery base which attacked the South just hours before this week's shelling started.

"The report said he was accompanied by his son and heir Kim Jong-un.

"If true, it would suggest that orders for the artillery attack came right from the top.

"Even if not true, the report shows that North Korea's propaganda machine is placing the country's leader and his son at the front line and in command."

ABC News also reported the number of shells: 50 fired by the North, 80 fired by the South. And, it indicated that the North is demanding a redraw of the maritime border between the two nations.

--On Tuesday evening, Chinese dissidents were speculating that there is political maneuvering in the North. Yet, let's continue onwards to the second news item- - (b.) On November 24, 2010, it was publicized that the U.S. Pentagon / Obama administration is sending the USS George Washington, a Navy aircraft carrier, to join wargames with South Korea in the Yellow Sea (which is west of the Korean peninsula and coastal for China), with its arrival and commencement of exercises slated for Sunday, November 28.

It may be an immaterial factoid to note that the exercises were pre-planned, in the pipeline prior to the island shelling incident, and that the exercises are due to end Wednesday, December 1. Factoids aside, it very much appears that the U.S. is flexing its muscle in the region. Whether welcome or not, those are the optics at hand. On Sunday, the aircraft carrier will be the hardware at hand. And by Wednesday, the "exercises" will have outcomes at hand.

What can be said is, "Welcome to the brink of war." And, welcome to advice from the pro-democracy China Support Network, a very "Generation X*" group (*also known in China as the Tiananmen generation).

At my CSN group, we are on the public record having zero tolerance for communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. When I think of the governmental regimes of China and North Korea, I think, "A pox on both of their houses." At this time, it is worth reviewing some prior advocacy.

2003: Just say no to North Korea

In 2003, "Just say no to North Korea" was an article jointly authored by Tiananmen dissident Zhou Yongjun and myself. At this time, my co-author is unavailable -- he's in a Chinese jail, serving his third term as a political prisoner. For a one line digression, the CSN demands that Communist China immediately release Zhou Yongjun, along with other high-profile prisoners Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, and Wang Bingzhang.

2006: Treachery will get you nowhere

Publishing in 2006, I wrote that "were I George W. Bush, I might now be enunciating five words for Kim Jong Il: 'Treachery will get you nowhere.' If any offers were on the table for North Korea, it is time to take those offers off the table." My 2006 advice included the words, "The imperative for freedom knows no exceptions. Efforts for freedom in Asia need to be more than just speeches and lip service."

2006: Asian dictatorships are a bad thing, and we should oppose them

My bottom line said, "We need a consistent policy about Asian dictatorships. Asian dictatorships are a bad thing, and we should oppose them!"

2006: North Korea must be liberated

We should oppose Asian dictatorships, and at the China Support Network, our narrative carries exactly that tune. My 2006 advice to the Bush administration was accompanied by another article from D.J. McGuire. His title? "North Korea must be liberated."

1989 - present: China must be liberated

It is worth remembering the point and purpose of the China Support Network. While we do not advocate violence, we do advocate liberation: freedom, democracy, and human rights for mainland China. In addition to being pro-democracy, we are anti-communist human rights campaigners. We make common cause with the dissidents from those lands where a Communist Party still rules: China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos. Together with Cuba, they are the remaining Communist lands. In each case, the regime is a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship.

2003: National security angles unmasked

The Chinese democracy movement was very visible around the time of 1989's Tiananmen Square massacre - an occasion when Chinese college students had led an uprising for democracy, and Beijing used its army and live ammunition to storm and retake Tiananmen Square from peaceful, unarmed demonstrators. That brutal crackdown was on world TV at the time, and there is an iconic photograph of one lone man, stopping a line of tanks, that was one of the 20th century's most sensational moments captured on film. The Tiananmen crackdown was a hideous turn of history, by the hand of evil, and then it was swept under the rug by the George H. Bush administration (and then the Clinton administration, and then the George W. Bush administration).

The China Support Network was a popular cause when it began, but we can understandably feel "swept under the rug" along with the balance of the Chinese democracy movement.

When you are swept under the rug by the U.S. establishment, you get to see what else they are keeping hidden under the rug. With all of the friendliness that U.S. administrations have extended to Communist China in the past 20 years, items "swept under the rug" include U.S. national security and America's spine with communism. In 2003, CSN republished an article by the Chinese dissident Fang Jue. It comes from Harvard University's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. Here is an overview of what "the news" has downplayed:

- In Northeast Asia: China is the main (if not sole) supporter of North Korea. China props up the North Korea regime to create a strategic front in Northeast Asia to tie up the forces of America and its allies.

- In the Taiwan Strait: China's military threatens Taiwan. This not only cows independence-minded Taiwanese, but also weakens American prestige in Asia. When tension grows in the Taiwan Strait, China uses this as a bargaining chip to persuade America to concede on other issues.

- In Southeast Asia: China's military encroaches upon disputed islands in the South China Sea in order to punish countries who would align themselves too closely with America. In Southeast Asia China also supports the military dictatorship in Burma. It thus uses aggression to create "allies" or buffers in Southeast Asia that will help it oppose democracy and the West.

- In South Asia: China supports the Pakistan military dictatorship in developing its nuclear and missile programs. The purpose is to encourage Pakistan to distance itself from the West and use Pakistan as a buffer against India, whose success with democracy creates a growing regional competition to China.

- In Central Asia: The new Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a consortium of China, Russia, and other former Soviet republics, wields influence to counterbalance the interests of democratic countries.

- In the Middle East: China supports theocracy and missile development in Iran and proliferates sensitive technology and goods through aid to Syria and Libya. China also supported Iraq's former dictatorship over a long period of time.

- In Russia: China and Russia cooperate to restrain America from playing too large of a leading role in the world. This cooperation serves mutually to bolster the influence of Russia and China in the international community.

We can thank the dissident Fang Jue for his research paper. Notably, he concludes that American leaders have been missing "an unprecedented historical opportunity to end communism and totalitarianism after the Cold War." He advocates a "global strategy to transform China into democracy." When America gets with the program, it will pressure Communist China until it is communist no more.

Let's return now to 2010...

Welcome back to the brink of war. For the record, as the CSN has advocated pressure on Asia's communist regimes, we did not advocate a hot, shooting war. What we had in mind was more of a Cold War II. Communist China can and should be treated in likewise manner as Ronald Reagan treated the Soviet Union. Arguably, Beijing has been following a path that suggests they are already in Cold War II, because of the behaviors noted above in the section, "National security angles unmasked."

But now, it's necessary to consider the present potential of a hot, shooting war. Make no mistake: the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between North and South Korea is a dividing line. It is the boundary between the free world, on the one hand, and the world of tyranny, on the other hand. That boundary should logically cleve (and hence obviate) the paradigm of globalization. This is where we must choose to stand with the free world and not be snookered by the world of tyranny, led by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).

Newbies, if reading this, may question why bring China into this, when the combatants on Tuesday were North and South Korea. The answer is that China already is in this. North Korea may be called a client state, or a puppet state, of Communist China. As noted by Fang Jue above, "China is the main (if not sole) supporter of North Korea. China props up the North Korea regime..." Behind the scenes of North Korea, there is China. And for that matter, we can note that South Korea is a client state of the US. Behind the scenes of South Korea, there is the US defense establishment.

Informed sources are saying the same. From D.J. McGuire, "There's almost no way a move like this wouldn't get green-lighted by the CCP." The Epoch Times (ET) cited Chinese and Taiwanese analysts as indicating that Beijing is pulling strings from behind the scenes. Under their headline, "Attack on South Korea an Elaborate Ploy, Analysts Say," they note that, "A senior media person from Taiwan by the last name Zeng told The Epoch Times in a phone interview, he believes this provocative attack was a deceptive act jointly deployed by the Chinese and North Korean regimes." ET also quoted Sun Yanjun, a China affairs expert and former professor at Beijing Normal University, saying:

"From my view of the relationship between China, North Korea, and South Korea, the regimes in China and North Korea are military partners, so it is very unlikely that this move came from the motive of North Korea alone.

"The regimes in China and North Korea are currently going through very hard times; they have no other cards to play. They must maintain this tension so they can bargain with the international community.

"The regime in China is currently under a lot of international pressure, including the exchange rate issue and also various internal pressures. It is looking for a way out, to divert the internal conflicts and international pressure.

"The recent Diaoyu Island issue [with Japan] is also an attempt of looking for a way out. But the regimes in China and North Korea are not ready for a war, especially China is not ready."

The speculation of the analysts is summed up in the Epoch Times' subheadline: Chinese and North Korean regimes seek to blackmail United States into concessions. The opening paragraph of this article included my view that somebody miscalculated. It wasn't the American side, and CCP tyrants may have expected an America that blinks and accomodates, rather than hangs tough.

The news thus far tells that the US is hanging tough, and it is likely to remain in that posture because, as noted, it's the border of the free world and the stakes include the credibility of US military alliances.

It may complicate matters that the new South Korean president is a militaristic hot head. At the same time, he knows the stakes -- the streets of Seoul -- better than we do.

I kid you not that we are at the brink of war. Yes, in fact, matters have come to this. We will now sort out three possible paths that events may take: World War, Korean War, and Close Shave.

World War

A World War is now unlikely, because China would have to go it alone. The Obama administration has been on a charm offensive to "reset" its relationship with Russia, and has peeled Russia away from the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) military alliance with China. And, Obama recently went on a trip to Asia that was another charm offensive with such places as India and Indonesia. They have their own reasons to be wary of China, and they will not be joining China for the enlargement of a World War.

Governments around the world have been unanimous in condemning North Korea for Tuesday's shelling. That includes Russia. Only China, in its state media, has refrained from condemning North Korea. As noted above, North Korea has no other friend but China. A geopolitical strategy has already isolated and encircled these two "friends."

I conclude that a World War is not happening, but in some calculations, war on the Korean peninsula can still widen into a U.S.-China war. Those who know the history of the Korean War in the 1950s know that the Communist Chinese sent reinforcements to North Korea -- and that there was direct combat between troops of the U.S. and China.

However, a repeat of this scenario is unlikely. One could recall that the U.S. won the arms race with the Soviet Union, and in recent years we have turned our military "up to 11." If there's an arms race with China -- we've already won that. China is the smaller military power.

Korean War

It appears that if they want one, they can have it. We are about to "get up in their face" with an aircraft carrier, and we have more where that came from. However, there is vast risk associated with travelling this path, and it is not advisable. The bigger risk is for the Communist regimes, who may view this matter as existential, but there is also massive risk to South Korea and to Seoul in particular. Seoul is close to the border, and within range of North Korean guns. In addition, North Korea may be haboring nuclear weapons, with some missiles that could hit Tokyo and perhaps Hawaii.

For the West, I think that we don't want to risk war, but that we are doing so now out of necessity. As for the Communist regimes, they know the drill. They are travelling this path of brinksmanship, and they are threatening the peace. They may have to take their lumps in consequence. In any war, the objective would be to disarm North Korea, and neutralize the threat, asap. Further Chinese assistance to the North would prolong the war.

Close Shave

Restraint by all sides could result in this incident passing without war, only to be remembered as a close shave. However, we are contemplating militaries that are on high alert about each other. The various sides will be tempted to project a presence; to probe; to bird-dog; and to test out new weapons. And rules of engagement suggest that if attacked, they may defend themselves. Restraint works when there is not a fight on. When there is a fight on, restraint has failed.

Another challenge to restraint is the fact that North and South Korea are client states, hence they have their own fingers on various triggers. The patron states may not always have complete control over the triggers that may commence a war. In Tuesday's action, it was North and South Korea, not China and the U.S., who were shooting at each other.

As I say, the Communist states know the drill. There are red lines and rules of engagement, and with their brinksmanship they know that they are pushing on those buttons.

A close shave would preserve the status quo ante. But if matters move forward, then there are possible outcomes that are very bad and very good. A U.S.-China nuclear war is an awful outcome to contemplate. It should be unthinkable, and we should fervently hope that matters don't escalate to that point. On the other hand, imagine a reunified peninsula with a single Korea, free and whole. That is the good vision, and the outcome for which we should fervently hope.

Elementary schools sometimes give grades to school children, for the category "works and plays well with other students." For North Korea, they have a grade of F in that column. They have been a menace to society for far too long, with erratic misbehavior that has been odd ball, eccentric, and dangerous to peace and security. If the fight is on, continued tenure of the North's regime should be unacceptable. In 2006, the China Support Network said that North Korea must be liberated. In the long run -- and perhaps the short run -- that is the right ultimate objective to pursue.

One reason why North Korea became belligerent recently may be because of near-rebellion within its own ranks. Senior military leaders are being passed over in favor of Kim Jong-un, a 27 year old who was recently elevated to a four-star general's rank. Perhaps hereditary succession in North Korea is meeting with some resistance, and the Kims needed a foreign crisis to focus attention elsewhere and to compel patriotic loyalty. The regime may be as fragile as eggshells.

I wonder how many North Koreans really want to proceed forward with a hereditary communist dictatorship? Discontent in North Korea may be an ace in the hole, and an interesting card for the West to play.

Before concluding this article, here are two notes. (a.) Reports on Friday indicate that artillery was heard being fired within earshot of the same island that suffered damage on Tuesday. (b.) In any negotiations, my organization stands by the same advice, advanced in a 2003 article by Zhou Yongjun and myself: Just say 'no' to North Korea. We oppose concessions and appeasement, and the taxpayers of the free world should likewise object to any use of their money that props up the regime of Kim Jong-il.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Martyr for Democracy: Hu Changxin

Martyr for Democracy:
Hu Changxin, 1968-2010

- First of three stories in this update -

October 31, 2010

The China Support Network, and the pro-democracy cause more generally, has lost a much-loved friend and compatriot in the cause of freedom, democracy, and human rights. Hu Changxin was a student in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 uprising which led to the infamous June 4 massacre. Initially, he was a rank-in-file student, not recognized as a famous "student leader" of Tiananmen Square.

Hu would often tell his story of being in the final group of students which left Tiananmen Square near dawn on June 4, after a tense standoff and negotiations with the army, which had reached Tiananmen earlier overnight. Hu was with those who stayed to the bitter end.

After surviving Tiananmen and making his way to refuge in the United States, Hu had the opportunity to network his way to the center of the democracy movement in exile. He became a consistent and persistent advocate for the political reform of China, without elitism. As a supporter and booster of democracy, he became ubiquitous, assisting many different groups in the pro-democracy cause.

Often, his was not a starring role at pro-democracy events. He would travel hundreds of miles simply to hold a sign, or to be in the audience. We can say that he had no "brand loyalty." His flag was democracy, not specifically the China Support Network, nor the World Chinese Federation, nor the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, nor the China Democracy Party, nor Falun Gong, nor the coalitions outside of Chinese embassies and consulates. Hu would and did help all of these groups, becoming everybody's friend and wing man.

He may have published more often in Chinese, and less often in English. In English, he wrote fond personal remembrances when another dissident, Zhao Pinlu, died of cancer. (Published by the China Support Network in 2004.) There he said, "as a direct survivor of the great incident [June 4's Tiananmen massacre], I had cherished my sincerest hope that the Chinese government would last no longer than ten years after 1989."

Networking with the democracy movement, he was seeking "genuine national heroes, able to sweep away the cruelest power in light of ultimate justice."

In 2008, the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] caused disturbances on the streets of Flushing, New York. Falun Gong practitioners came under attack. Hu rose to their defense, and was quoted in The Epoch Times saying,

"Please take a careful look at their banners—'The Gods bless the Chinese nation.' The Chinese nation includes all Chinese people. So everyone should take a look or they will be fooled again. It is sad for us, the common people, to be fighting each other again as if it was the Cultural Revolution. Our Chinese nation has gone through too many disasters. I hope everyone will finally live a happy life."

Also in 2008, Hu was included in the recording of a new American rock song, 'Chinese Democracy (defiled).' The song is sung in English, but in the middle the musical instruments turn quiet, and for 12 seconds, the voice of Hu Changxin speaks in Mandarin. After the sound bite, the music returns to being louder. A rough translation of the sound bite says, "We students went to the Square extending an open hand to the government, which met us only with violence, tanks, and guns. It was then that we students realized -- the government is nothing but a wolf." As a result, the voice of Hu Changxin will live on in rock music from the China Support Network. (Hear the song at

Hu Changxin spent a life doing right by the Chinese democracy movement. The life of Hu Changxin was a call to the world to heed the noble intentions of China's would-be reformers. It was ultimately a wish that the Chinese nation "will finally live a happy life," and a challenge to the pro-democracy leaders to be "genuine national heroes, able to sweep away the cruelest power in light of ultimate justice."

We can only wish that the world, his nation, and dissident leaders will heed the final wishes of Hu Changxin.

Tang Baiqiao works on a high-octane project

June 4 student leader Tang Baiqiao is teed up to reclaim prominence in the coming new year. Together with a co-author, Damon DiMarco, and publisher Prometheus Books, he is preparing to publish a new book in March, 2011. Tang was the top student leader in Hunan Province during the 1989 uprising, and was able to have 500,000 people go out to the streets to march and rally for democratic political reform. He was captured during the post-Tiananmen crackdown; spent time in prison; and subsequently escaped to exile through Hong Kong. In the early 1990s, he was covered by news outlets including Newsweek magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

While the book is his personal memoir, it is also one part back story on a major world event, and one part follow up -- casting light on the Chinese democracy movement in exile, where the fight continues. The book will add yet another perspective on the Tiananmen story.

The project becomes very high-octane in terms of the people lining up behind it. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is writing a foreword, and AP photographer Jeff Widener (famous for snapping the "tank man" photograph) is the author of a preface. Many noted China experts and high level dissidents are also contributing endorsements for this book.

Even though the book is not released yet, it has already prompted rumblings about a possible movie adaptation to be made of it.

Wei Jingsheng likes the tone of U.S. elections this year

The United States is experiencing a year of political attack ads, knocking Communist China. America's Mao-regime-friendly politicians and media have played out their hand, and they can no longer suppress the sound of American people, raising concerns about trade with Communist China.

The emergence of the Tea Party in U.S. elections is inspiring new hope for leading Chinese dissidents, including Wei Jingsheng.

Translated by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, a recent article in the Chinese Epoch Times explored the newly vocal U.S. angst about Red China.

In part, Wei said: "In the past, Chinese and some U.S. politicians have made a partnership of scheming together....average people of both countries did not get benefit in return. The scheme is the so-called 'China model' that rose [out of private interests]. Many U.S. politicians supported granting China permanent Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) status....But this situation is not bilateral, not free trade. In fact, the U.S. unilaterally offered China the preferential treatment. The CCP did not give the United States an open market."

As Wei sees it, "The result is that American workers lost their jobs, while China is in serious inflation. Now, the Chinese workers get less and less [purchasing power]. Both Chinese people and American people are put at a disadvantage." He reiterated, "Capitalists can buy very cheap in China and sell high in the U.S. market, from which they earn large excess profits. The excess profits exploit the Chinese labor, while harming the American workers as well."

"Then, the Communist regime uses these excess profits to buy Western politicians."

The rise of the Tea Party matters. As Wei said, "the Chinese people cannot do much, they do not dare to speak. But the American people dare; they dare to say they that they do not believe in this gang of politicians anymore. So in this election, American politicians are trying to cleanse themselves."

Wei expressed that, "Now people realize that this trade imbalance is the root cause of the depressed U.S. economy and American workers' unemployment....the politicians of both political parties in the USA are responsible. The rise of the Tea Party in the United States is the result. Though not formal, it has been important. After people realized the politicians' role, they began to organize a new faction."

The situation at hand highlights the fact that U.S. and Chinese political systems are indeed different, even though under the 'China model', "the politics of Western countries increasingly lean toward the Chinese Communist Party." The whole point in this season of China-bashing advertising is that the 'China model' is fracturing and is no longer a consensus for America's powerful.

The Tea Party teaches us that "In the United States, money cannot buy everything the politicians want when the people recognize and agree on the nature of the problem. When the politicians lose votes, they have nothing."

Wei Jingsheng concluded with a hopeful prediction: "This election has publicly exposed this problem....Through this election, there will be a change in policy
about China. Now as this information propagates, starting from the White House politicians will become increasingly hard-line against the Chinese Communist Party."

Also translated were some reader comments from the Chinese blogosphere. They included, "The free American people, go!! Go!!!!" and, "Support the people, wish the success of Tea Party election."

# # #

Friday, October 8, 2010

Free Liu Xiaobo!

Demand to Chinese government:
free Liu Xiaobo!

With Liu's win of Nobel Peace Prize, Chinese dissidents
gain a first down; Chinese government stands indicted

October 8, 2010 (CSN) -- The China Support Network today welcomed the announcement, made in Norway, that jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel Peace Prize and reiterated its call for the Communist party government to release Liu.

"This year, it is time to praise the wisdom of the Nobel prize committee," said the organization's founder John Kusumi. "They are highlighting a very revealing specific case of persecution which is egregious and timely for being yet-ongoing. This is a massive loss of face for Beijing. They were hoping that Liu and related issues would not come to world attention. Conversely, we were hoping for just such an occurrence."

The China Support Network (CSN) has stood with the Chinese pro-democracy movement since 1989, when the infamous June 4 massacre, perpetrated by the Communist party government, forcibly cleared out Tiananmen Square and killed some 3,000 unarmed protestors. Since 2008, when it opposed the Beijing Olympics, CSN has highlighted four high-profile prisoner cases: those of Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, Wang Bingzhang, and Zhou Yongjun.

"I think that Liu would approve of CSN's use of today's occasion to remind the West that the Chinese democracy issue never went away; that Gao, Wang, and Zhou all have family members and children in the United States, which should escalate their cases at the State Department; and that these prisoners are patches in a wider tapestry that is the Chinese pro-democracy movement.

Kusumi opined, "Further, because the Chinese democracy issue never went away, all that changed was the attitude of those in the U.S. news media, which used to accord valuable coverage to China's human rights abuses. As they jumped on a bandwagon called free trade--which gutted the U.S. economy--they decided that human rights issues inconvenienced free trade. They have now delivered 10 years of one-sided news; they've been largely silent about human rights abuses in China. Today's news makes it obvious that those abuses are still ongoing. Coverage is not. 'No film at 11!'

He continued, "I bet that most Americans don't remember the 2009 crackdown against Uighurs in western China (alternately, in occupied East Turkestan). That crackdown got swept under the rug by the U.S. media just like the Falun Gong crackdown, and those crackdowns got less coverage than the 2008 crackdown against Tibet."

He fumed, "If I were a communist, dictator, tyrant, or thug, I would want a DC Beltway managing editor in my corner, because they make the most trusty assistants for the work of oppression out of view of the American public. More specifically, they are why Beijing's oppression has been out of view of the American public."

Elsewhere, the China Support Network blog has the full text of the Nobel Peace Prize citation. The committee correctly noted, "China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights." And it lamented, "freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens."

It noted that on Christmas Day 2009, "Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for 'inciting subversion of state power'." His crime, of course, was no crime. He was the non-violent author of a political tract called Charter 08, which spoke of challenges and necessary reforms which China must face in the near future.

For Americans in the home audience, it won't require deep reading into the issue, because here's the issue on the face of it: Liu Xiaobo, a good guy, is in jail. The immediate conclusion to draw is that China's government should free Liu Xiaobo, and today the China Support Network is demanding exactly that.

Wonks and analysts can note that Charter 08 was criticized by hardline Chinese dissidents for being "way too moderate." (China's dissidents come in moderate and hardline camps. Charter 08 called for reform, not revolution. In theory, Chinese authorities could lead reform, simultaneously ameliorating the perceived need for revolution.)

And yet, even for the hardline Chinese dissidents, there is a victory in today's announcement, which will reverberate in the halls of power around the world. Soviet dissidents once spoke of the relief they felt when U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union "an evil empire." The external pressure was music to the ears of jailed dissidents. Today, the junior evil empire is getting its external wake up call. The China Support Network approves of this year's committee decision for Liu Xiaobo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

While U.S. "gets tough" with China, it's not enough.

While U.S. "gets tough" with China, it's not enough.

Washington has now taken some first baby steps in the right direction.

By John Kusumi
President of the pro-democracy China Support Network

To his credit, U.S. President Barack Obama is carving out a distinct profile on the matter of U.S.-China policy; different than that of his predecessors. The news of this week tells us that Obama is stiffening the spine of the United States in its dispute with Communist China about the matter of currency manipulation. China keeps its currency pegged to the dollar at an exchange rate which is artificially low when compared to where free-market forces would put that rate. The dispute impacts jobs and trade. In a free trade environment, China's behavior amounts to cheating and to gaining an artificial benefit (akin to subsidized exports) at the United States' expense.

The United States has economic problems of its own, and should not be appeasing communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs to its own detriment. We have been carrying the costs associated with bad behavior on the part of China's regime, which is still led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). To be very conservative in China is to be Maoist.

The China Support Network (CSN) has existed throughout an era of U.S. corruption on steroids, ever since the June 4, 1989 massacre of innocents at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. There, the Chinese army used live ammunition on world TV to clear away the crowd of college students, who had occupied Tiananamen Square to demand freedom, democracy, and human rights in mainland China. The CSN arose from shocked Americans, who would care to help the students -- China's Generation Xers -- in the furtherance of the Chinese democracy movement.

We have watched the U.S. government and news media become increasingly more corrupt. The U.S. government used the renewal of 'Most Favored Nation' trade status with China to add life support to the regime: to brace, buttress, stabilize, prop up, and enrich the communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs who continue to run the Chinese government to this day.

In the meantime, on human rights, the Chinese government has become worse, worse, and worse. In addition to the unanswered Tiananmen crackdown, they have since then launched the unanswered Falun Gong crackdown; the unanswered Tibet crackdown; and the unanswered East Turkestan crackdown. This means that after killing Beijing college students, the CCP went on to kill many more innocents and prisoners of conscience, from among Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans in occupied Tibet, and Uighur Muslims in occupied East Turkestan.

How is it that government Chinese behavior on human rights could get worse and worse and worse, while U.S. rewards by way of a trade surplus got larger and larger and larger? There would be a public outcry, but for the stepped up corruption on the part of the U.S. news media, which has swept under the rug all objection and protest about Tiananmen, Falun Gong, Tibet, and East Turkestan.

I have described the U.S. media as "the corrupt, flacking for the corrupt," and indeed the China human rights issue shows us the prime example of "one hand washing the other" in the U.S. establishment, as corrupt media protects corrupt political leaders and their ruinous decisions on such matters as free trade.

So now, as news reports say that the U.S. is "getting tough" with China, how does CSN, the organization I lead, react? It becomes necessary to applaud the U.S. activity on the matter of currency manipulation, while deploring the silence and lack of activity on the matter of slave labor. We see a linkage here which is not reflected by U.S. leaders or media. These twin issues have the same net practical upshot. --China plays economic dirty pool, and as a result there is a tilted playing field which presents the United States with a competitive disadvantage.

- We are boggling at the double standard! -

We are boggling at the double standard, and believe that the existence of this double standard may impugne the motives of the U.S. political leaders and pundits who support the move on currency manipulation. Why the silence on slave labor? Is that silence indicative of a guilty demeanor on the part of the U.S. power structure on this issue?

The preceding two paragraphs already include the key observations that inform the CSN stance. We can conclude once again that the relationship between U.S. media and U.S. political leaders is that of "the corrupt, flacking for the corrupt."

Perhaps, at this juncture, someone will say, "Wait -- I need a primer on the situation." The article might do well to slow down and to explain the underpinnings. That is well and good; let's go.

Slavery abolished in America, not China

The United States, itself, abolished slavery in steps between 1862 and 1865. The first measure, in 1862, was called The Emancipation Proclamation. The last measure, in 1865, was the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At that time, China was ruled by the Qing dynasty, and authorities did not move to match the American measures.

What does abolition of slavery mean?

What does abolition of slavery mean? School children may think, "This question is easy. A freed slave gains liberty, leaves behind chains, and becomes a free man." As far as it goes, that's a fine answer -- but, those of us who are not school children should note that slavery entails another dimension: economics. In an economic sense, the abolition of slavery means that henceforth, the value of labor will be "something" rather than "nothing."

Free trade is for the free world

In 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton was pushing through the U.S. Congress a "free trade" agreement with Communist China. The China Support Network was against that measure, as were leading Chinese dissidents (including veteran campaigners of Tiananmen Square). We were also joined by America's labor unions, and by Congressional leaders such as David Bonior, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Gephardt.

The measure was called PNTR. The establishment says that means "Permanent Normal Trade Relations." CSN says that it means "Permanent Normal Tyranny Reward."

Free trade would be less objectionable if it stayed within the free world. While America's unions have found all such arrangements to be odious, noxious, and objectionable, some measures - like NAFTA, CAFTA, and FTAA - stay within the Western Hemisphere, where the member nations are ostensibly countries of the free world. At least they are not nuclear-armed, communist superpowers.

Abrogating the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment

When free trade extends outside of the free world and in particular to China - a nuclear-armed, communist superpower with slave labor gulags - then it takes odious, noxious, and objectionable to a new level, because it is a way for U.S. corporations to bypass the 13th Amendment. By sourcing their production and procurement to China, U.S. corporate leaders are able to leverage dirt-cheap labor in China to replace American workers (exacerbating U.S. unemployment and trade deficit problems) to pad their profits handsomely. It undermines the economy while it also undermines freedom, democracy, human rights, and U.S. national security.

This also throws U.S. workers into direct competition with the inmates of China's slave labor gulags, which are also known as Laogai concentration camps. In fact, if Washington's "name of the game" was democracy or nationhood, then we would not be implementing free trade with tyrannical regimes. The agenda to trade with China is Prime Example #1 or "the tell" which informs us that Washington's name of the game is not democracy or nationhood. Instead, their game is to enable kleptocracy and looting while turning away from any morals, scruples, values, or ethics.

Discerning readers can already tell that the China Support Network finds the "free trade with China" policy--in toto--to be inexcusable, unforgivable, and morally indefensible, if not literally criminal. (And, on the latter point, one can certainly argue that a "crime against the American worker" has occurred. Unfortunately, there is no statute which criminalizes such manipulation of the economy.)

Even free traders should object

However, if we put aside the CSN's objections to the entire package of China trade, and assume there is no objection to China trade in principle, then there is still room for supporters of free trade to be incensed at the present day circumstances with China.

The employment of slave labor, as occurs in China, is economically just as objectionable as is the Chinese practice of currency manipulation. If the idea with China trade is to allow bidirectional trade on a level playing field for both sides, well then -- slave labor tilts the playing field, just as much as currency manipulation.

In each case, the result is the same. Chinese exports are priced lower than would be the case on a level playing field, and U.S. exports are priced higher than would be the case on a level playing field. By these two means -- currency manipulation, and slave labor -- the Chinese government has tilted the playing field, and engages the U.S. with economic dirty pool. In other words, slave labor is not just a human rights abuse. It is an economic abuse.

Right now, Washington is sounding self-righteous over the matter of currency manipulation, and silent over the matter of slave labor.

The silence is very telling.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Li Lu Recaptures Imaginations on Wall Street

By John Kusumi

On Friday July 30, Dow Jones newswires and the Wall Street Journal reported that Li Lu, a former Tiananmen Square student leader, is likely to be hired as a successor to Warren Buffett, the legendary investor who runs Berkshire Hathaway and manages some $100 billion.

Mere thoughts of a Buffett successor can fire the imaginations of many who watch the tycoon game of Wall Street. Combine that with two loaded words -- Tiananmen Square -- and there is yet another line of thought that fires the imagination.

Those older than 40 will remember the occasion when it happened: College students of China led an uprising in favor of freedom, democracy, and human rights in mainland China. The CCP (Communist Party) sent in the army to remove demonstrators and clear the square, which was student-occupied territory for the seven weeks leading up to June 4, 1989. The oddly-named "People's Liberation Army" opened fire with live ammunition, and now June 4 is remembered as the Tiananmen Square massacre, which killed thousands of unarmed Beijing residents. A crackdown followed, along with many more human rights abuses.

The government of China has still never changed, nor has it ever apologized to this day. In the West, to kill the protestors was seen as an outrage; an eye-popping atrocity; a crime against humanity. In China, to kill the protestors is a part of government policy, tacitly and explicitly. Those who praise Communist China today uphold that policy and that government action, whether or not they care to admit it. And a deeply flawed United States China policy has made every U.S. President from 1989 to the present into an accessory after the fact. One could wonder, what is worse -- the atrocity in China, or the atrocious policy from the U.S. Executive Branch which "extended the service life" of the Communist Party?

I believe that communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs should not abuse with impunity; nor should they rule without accountability. In 1989, I had already studied and admired Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers who drafted the Declaration of Independence. It was evident to me that some Chinese students, who were running Tiananmen Square, had also studied such people as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry. I knew what they were doing; I was down with it; and therefore I launched the China Support Network, together with other American students to support the effort of the Chinese students.

Tiananmen Square was one of those occasions when world television broadcast the tragedy. Just like the Asian tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina, or the earthquake in Haiti, ordinary people mobilized to pitch in and lend a hand. The China Support Network vaulted ahead of most groups, perhaps due to its use of the early internet and the CompuServe Information Service.

In Tiananmen Square, during the uprising, Li Lu was the vice-commander of Hunger Strike Headquarters. Hunger Strike Headquarters dominated one week out of the seven week demonstration in the square. In fact, by going on hunger strike, students had won the hearts and minds of ordinary Chinese citizens, who were jolted into joining the demonstrations. The hunger strike might have continued, but it was called off when Martial Law was declared by the Beijing government in advance of the army action.

Less than two months after the massacre, my CSN organization was called in to Washington DC to help Chinese students host a visit by five Chinese dissidents. For the entire first week of August 1989, CSN worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Chinese student groups and with the five dissidents -- Li Lu was one of them. He had escaped from China by way of France, and the group was now about to reach Washington DC for the first time.

My week had a list of things to do. Rent hotel rooms. Rent wheels. Rent cell phones. Relay scheduling requests. Arrange the daybook. Answer journalist calls. Write press releases. Upload things. Download things. Visit Congress. Rally on Capitol Hill. March to the Chinese embassy. In the evenings, there was also time to socialize and make Sino - U.S. friendships at the Generation X level. I had to struggle with chopsticks, which are unfamiliar if you are raised by an Irish Catholic mother.

I guess that Hippies had the Summer of '69, and GenXers had the Summer of '89. They had Woodstock, and we had Tiananmen Square. (And we won't ever let you forget about it, either! :)

Yet, the pace of CSN slowed after the Summer of '89. It seemed that everybody was returning to college. The Chinese democracy movement had been an extracurricular activity. Those student leaders who had escaped from China and arrived in America got scholarships. Li Lu went to Columbia University, where I visited him upon his invitation to go swimming there. But I myself returned to Arizona State University, and the Chinese democracy movement split into factions: hardline, moderate, and sold out former dissidents who quit the playing field.

Li Lu may have signalled his future course of activity early in the game. Other student leaders, such as Shen Tong, previously advocated the use of "all available means" including sanctions, to put a stop to the Tiananmen crackdown. But, Li Lu articulated a view that "we want human rights, but we don't want sanctions." This remains the great schism in the middle of the Chinese democracy movement. Hardliners want sanctions, or what we'd now call economic pressure brought to bear to encourage human rights. Moderates want the rights, but not the pressure.

By the first week in August, 1989, we were already seeing the divide of factionalism which came to hobble the democracy movement. Li Lu had already planted his feet in the moderate camp. This may be one reason why the Tiananmen crackdown still continues even now, 21 years after the massacre. Two dissidents -- Zhou Yongjun and Liu Xiaobo -- are now in prison, each for his third interval as a political prisoner, post-Tiananmen.

Of course, dissident factionalism always gets the blame, but it is worth remembering that men such as George Bush Sr., Henry Kissinger, and Brent Scowcroft were running United States China policy. They rightly deserve blame for letting China get away with murder, with barely a slap on the wrist. In fact, many Americans were appalled at how President Bush handled (or failed to handle) the Tiananmen matter.

As I put it, Bush (and later Presidents) "extended the service life" of the Communist Party, at a time when we were just out of the Reagan years. We were accustomed to staunch anti-communism coming from the U.S. Executive Branch. But about the Tiananmen matter, there was nobody home at the U.S. Executive Branch.

U.S.-China policy even bothered Li Lu. I recall that he published an op-ed article, with headline "In China, I'd Be Dead." The subheadline said, "And Bush Wouldn't Care." Bush's China policy was so bad that Chinese dissidents lined up behind the challenger, Bill Clinton, in the next presidential election. Clinton promised a tougher China policy, and Americans voted for it.

Americans voted for it (Bill Clinton won). But, U.S. presidential elections had already become fraudulent occasions of fakery. Americans do not get what they vote for. They vote for change, and what happens is more of the same. Bill Clinton reduced, and did not increase, pressure on China. But, Li Lu had given a speech at the Democratic National Convention where Clinton was nominated. Chinese dissidents were used as political props, then discarded. This was Clintonian duplicity.

Li Lu continued at Columbia University until the late 1990s, when he dropped out of politics and started a Wall Street hedge fund, Himalaya Capital. He's been a Wall Street hedge fund manager ever since, and came to the attention of Warren Buffett, who is now reported to be hiring Li Lu for a superstar role in the investment world.

A lot of Wall Street types will now react with sympathy to Li Lu. Does that mean a righteous aversion to the injustice of Tiananmen? Yes, it does. But, what is a trader to think next? Let's imagine filling in the blank: "Tiananmen was bad. ________ " Tiananmen was bad, and we still trade with that same regime -- the politically un-reformed Communist Party. The one that continues to jail, torture, and kill dissidents even right now, today.

Here at the China Support Network, we believe that everyone should be agitating to "cut off the Communists." Mainland China should be on the receiving end of a tariff for tyranny, a tariff for currency manipulation, a tariff for slave labor, a tariff for recklessness with the environment, a tariff for recklessness with consumer safety, and perhaps also a tariff for their disrespect of U.S. intellectual property. In fact, these tariffs are 21 years overdue. Washington still "owes us" a fitting response to Tiananmen Square.

The recent publishing about Li Lu exposes that there has been no justice for the atrocity at Tiananmen Square. There is no closure for victims or their families. The wound of history is still an open sore. The Communist Party and the U.S. Executive Branch both deserve pushback. CSN wants to congratulate Li Lu and invite everyone else to visit us at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Obama's best is not good enough

The China Support Network is not impressed by U.S.-China policy, despite revaluation of the RMB currency

By John Kusumi

In America these days, public opinion polling consistently finds Jobs to be the top concern of Americans, and it very much seems that U.S. President Barack Obama has delayed his long-promised move to "pivot and focus on jobs."

The pivot and focus seemed to be delayed first by health care as a big issue, and then by financial regulation as a big issue, and then by the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps Obama doesn't want to focus squarely on jobs, because then he would see the failure of NAFTA, WTO, PNTR, and the like -- the neo-liberal trade agenda. To regain American industrial jobs, Obama needs to reverse that trade policy, and he is clearly in no hurry to do so.

Or perhaps, in focusing on jobs, Obama would see the failure of his own stimulus. The 2009 stimulus did little to stimulate aggregate demand in America, but Obama succeeded in one thing -- he stimulated the economy of Communist China, where exports have recently surged by nearly 50%.

Due to the neo-liberal trade program, consumption leaks out to Communist China.

Currency adjustment announced

It has long been an objective of U.S. politicians to get the Chinese government to raise the value of its currency, which was artificially pegged to the U.S. dollar -- ensuring that imports would be cheap in the U.S., and that the export sector of China would grow larger than it otherwise would have in the absence of the currency peg.

This past weekend, China announced that it would permit the value of its Yuan / RMB currency to rise. The U.S. side had fostered a consistent drum beat of criticism for China that served to brow beat its leaders about this issue.

This week, Toronto Canada is hosting a summit meeting for leaders of the G-20, a group which represents 42 nations in world economics. China's move permits it to escape criticism at the G-20, which otherwise would have continued the drum beat that was critical of China on this matter.

However, the currency will not be freely floating; it is going to rise slowly with a collar, or trading band, that will serve to slow down the appreciation of the currency.

China Support Network takes exception with both East and West

I too have denounced Chinese currency manipulation, from my perch at the China Support Network, a human rights group which was formed to stand in support of China's pro-democracy dissidents. In this video, I said,
The simple fact is that the manipulation of the currency is economic dirty pool. It tilts the playing field. And I believe that any U.S. President ought to care to have a level playing field for the business concerns here vis-a-vis the business concerns in China.

And so to level the playing field, the currency corrective tariff is important, but so too is that labor tariff which I spoke about, simply because the employment of slave labor is another means of tilting the playing field.
American leaders would do well to review the video I quoted, and in particular to study my line above -- "so too is that labor tariff which I spoke about...the employment of slave labor is another means of tilting the playing field." It is factually true that speaking in economic terms, China's labor practices are similar to currency manipulation in that both are economic dirty pool. Both practices result in unnaturally low prices of Chinese exports that become U.S. imports. Both practices add to the U.S. trade deficit, and delete U.S. jobs. It's flatly true.

It's flatly true, but the recent drum beat about Beijing's currency manipulation revealed that something is wrong with U.S. policy makers and opinion leaders. I would really like to confront President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senator Chuck Schumer, and even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner about this. I'd like to hear how they excuse their lack of concern about the issue of slave labor in China.

I am given to believing that in that case, I would be confronting four sociopaths. Why did they fight currency manipulation? --Because it is economic dirty pool. What is slavery in economic terms? --It is economic dirty pool. Just as much so -- both practices are equally vulnerable to criticism on economic grounds. Why, then, make an issue out of one, and treat the other as a non-issue?

I believe that it is entirely due to the evil natures of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Tim Geithner, and for that matter all of the talking heads, chattering class, and analysts in U.S. journalism.

American leaders share an ingrained snooty outlook. They respect white collar jobs, and ONLY white collar jobs. Those jobs are outposts within Corporate America, jobs held by people. Conversely, other kinds of jobs are only held by "unpeople." "Unpeople" are never talked about, except at election time when politicians want the votes of those "unpeople."

Currency manipulation is an issue surrounding foreign exchange (forex). Forex is a white collar job, a job held by people. On the other hand, slave labor in China involves the slaves themselves -- performing work that is blue collar, rather than white collar, in nature. The work involved is performed by "unpeople." U.S. politicians don't even need votes from those "unpeople" in other lands, and (e.g.) CNBC anchors would never lower themselves to talk sympathetically about "unpeople."

So, they'll talk the currency issue and ignore the labor issue. To my eyes, they thereby reveal themselves for being the evil sociopaths that they are. Shame on them.

Before concluding this article, let me restate: The China Support Network demands that Beijing immediately abolish the systems of Laogai (labor/slavery camps) and Laojiao (administrative detention). We will continue to brow beat the powerful on this issue, because we know that currency revaluation is only half the battle. Indeed, China also needs to raise its environmental standards, its consumer protection (including product safety!) standards, and its intellectual property standards. In that light, currency revaluation is LESS than half the battle.

With half or more of the battle still ahead of us, it is too early for U.S. leaders to declare victory and go home. It would be good of them if they would step up and escalate the Chinese labor/slavery issue to equal urgency and prominence as the Chinese currency issue.

If they step up and actually do so, then I would revise my assessment of these U.S. establishment figures. Was it premature for me to call them evil? --Time will tell.

I hope that they prove me wrong by way of deeds. I hope they stand with the China Support Network against Beijing's systems of Laogai and Laojiao.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Goddess-gate Update

Authorities in Hong Kong test the patience
of the pro-democracy movement

The Goddess of Democracy, herself, is the main character in this year's activities surrounding the 21st anniversary of China's Tiananmen crackdown. The Goddess of Democracy was originally created by students at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, and installed during the "June 4" uprising at Tiananmen Square. It stood from May 30, 1989 - June 4, 1989, when the army demolished the statue upon reaching Tiananmen Square after shooting their way through the streets of Beijing, killing at least 3,000 innocent civilians.

What is at hand is a developing story based in Hong Kong. Something new has occurred each day since Saturday, May 29. This update simply repeats the news in chronological sequence, for a timeline or reference of events to date.

Translation note: The China Support Network, in this report, is applying the "gate" suffix to indicate a scandal. It is not standard formal English to do so, but ever after the Watergate scandal brought down the U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974, it became a conventional practice of American journalists to append "gate" as a suffix onto words, for a shorthand way to indicate that a political scandal exists in connection with a word.

Goddess-gate, Day 1, Saturday May 29, 2010:

First Goddess Captured

Hong Kong police arrest 13 and seize the first (6.4 meter) Goddess of Democracy Statue and another piece of artwork. The 13 activists of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China were at the Times Square shopping mall of Causeway Bay, to diseminate information about the pro-democracy cause and this year's activities for the 21st anniversary of the June 4 crackdown. The activists were freed on bail later on Saturday. Via a Facebook group, Alliance members threatened to surround North Point police station - where the art was kept - if the items were not returned by Thursday evening, in time for annual June 4th commemoration in Victoria Park.

The official justification for the action named the Food and Environmental Hygiene department as the department objecting to the unlicensed display of the Goddess. However, it's not just that department. If one looks ahead in the story to “Goddess-gate Day 5,” one can see the Hong Kong immigration department also participating in this episode of political suppression.

Goddess-gate, Day 2, Sunday May 30, 2010:

Second Goddess Captured

Defiant demonstrators paraded a smaller (2.2 meter) Goddess of Democracy Statue through the streets of Hong Kong. This, too, was seized by police. Several protesters tried to prevent the removal by lying on the road. Two activists, Alliance vice chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and member Leung Kwok-wah, were arrested. A group of at least 20 sympathizers gathered outside the North Point police station calling for their immediate release. Some even tried to force their way into the station. Lee and Leung were released on bail at 10:30pm.

Goddess-gate, Day 3, Monday May 31, 2010:

A defiant demonstrator dressed up as the Goddess of Democracy for another march in the streets of Hong Kong. The police could not confiscate the live demonstrator.

Goddess-gate, Day 4, Tuesday June 1, 2010:

Two Goddesses Released

After a two hour negotiation with Alliance activists at the North Point police station, Hong Kong police “free” the two statues. According to the Hong Kong Standard, “Acting Chief Superintendent Anna Tsang Yim- sheung of the Police Public Relations Branch said the statues were released early as a goodwill gesture. Tsang added: ’We understand the organizers had an urgent need to set up the statues for the vigil on June 4. So we made an appropriate arrangement.’”

The Standard also noted that “Alliance officials refused to sign a document in which they would have acknowledged violating the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance with their Times Square activities and pledging to make applications in future.”

The Goddesses were moved to Victoria Park for the upcoming June 4 memorial vigil.

Sculptor Chen Weiming flew to Hong Kong from Los Angeles to inspect his statue for damage.

Goddess-gate, Day 5, Wednesday June 2, 2010:

Chen Weiming Deported; Nancy Pelosi Issues Statement

The government of Hong Kong refuses entry to Chen Weiming and deports him. The Associated Press quoted opposition lawmaker James To as saying, “We are very annoyed. Why is Hong Kong denying him entry for political reasons? He is a very humble sculptor.”

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, issued a statement for the 21st anniversary of Tiananmen, and noted the Goddess-gate controversy in Hong Kong.

She said, “This year for the first time [in Hong Kong], police arrested activists and confiscated the Goddess of Democracy replica statue that is the symbol of the Tiananmen movement. This crackdown on freedom of expression will only succeed in shining a spotlight on the courage of Hong Kong’s democratic movement. The United States must stand solidly with the people of Hong Kong in their desire for democracy and freedom of speech and assembly.”

# # #

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2010 June 4 Events

Events to commemorate
21 years since Tiananmen Square

- Hong Kong police have seized two Goddess of Democracy
statues in advance of June 4, 2010 -

For the Chinese democracy movement, it's the biggest day of the year. For seven weeks in the spring of 1989, the pro-democracy uprising--led by Beijing college students--was in control of Tiananmen Square. On June 3-4, 1989, Chinese troops of the oddly-named 'People's Liberation Army' shot their way into Beijing and retook Tiananmen Square, killing over 3,000 peaceful unarmed civilians in the process. It is famous as the "June 4" massacre. Here are events happening this week around the world to commemorate the 21st anniversary of that bloody June 4:

Remember June 4, Pass On The Flame Vindicate June 4, Persist To The End
Free/Release Wang Bingzhang Free/Release Zhou Yongjun
Free/Release Liu Xiaobo, Support Charter 08 Free/Release Gao Zhisheng
Oppose Political Persecution, Protest Political Suppression

Hong Kong, June 4
Who: Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China
What: Candlelight Vigil
Where: Victoria Park, football fields
Date: Friday, June 4, 2010
Tiime: 8:00pm

This event continues the annual tradition of observances for the June 4 anniversary. In 2009, some 150,000 people attended this event to mark the 20th anniversary of the June 4 massacre.

Note: Police in Hong Kong broke up a demonstration and arrested activists on May 29 as they tried to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Tiananmen Square, outside Times Square shopping mall in Causeway Bay. Because the police also confiscated a statue, the Goddess of Democracy (a replica of the statue which students erected in Tiananmen Square), there is a Facebook group that is threatening to march on the police station, if they do not return the statue by June 3.

From here at CSN, it looks like marching on the police station is not officially on the program of the Alliance. It appears that the Alliance and the Facebook group are two unrelated entities. Because we do not know otherwise, we would suggest that to march on the police station is a separate and distinct matter, "extracurricular" to the Candlelight Vigil. The vigil is the yearly ritual of the Alliance.

Who: Stage64
What: "Edelweiss," a theatrical play in Cantonese (love story centers in Tiananmen Square, '89)
Where: Auditorium of HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity
Date: Five shows on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, June 5, 6, and 7, 2010
Time: 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Tickets: HK$80 through the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union
More: Discounts for students, seniors, disabled, and social security recipients; the first show on June 5 is a "special show for students" at half price.

New York, June 4
Who: New York area China Democracy Party, China Support Network, and other groups
What: Street protest
Where: Chinese Consulate on the west side of Manhattan, 42nd St/12th Ave
Date: Friday, June 4, 2010
Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
More: Speakers may include Wang Juntao, Wang Youcai, and other leading dissidents; event to include musicians playing acoustically

Washington, June 2 and 3
Who: Initiatives for China
What: "A Peek Behind The Wall" open mic forum
Where: "Bus Boys & Poets," 5th and K Street, NW, Washington DC
Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
More: Chinese citizens from the mainland and abroad will speak of what it's like to be a citizen of China today. The open question: "How Has China Changed For Ordinary Citizens Since Tiananmen, 1989?"
Contact: Jim Geheran at 202.290.1423

Who: Initiatives for China, The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS), and co-sponsoring groups
What: Events at the Victims of Communism Memorial
(A.:) From 3:00-6:00, Initiatives for China continues "A Peek Behind The Wall" open mic forum (see above).
(B.:) From 6:00-9:00, IFCSS conducts the Candlelight Vigil in Washington -- an annual tradition to observe the June 4 anniversary.
Where: New Jersey Avenue/G Street, NW, Washington DC
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010
Time: (A.:) 3:00-6:00pm; (B.:) 6:00-9:00pm
More: The Victims of Communism Memorial includes a statue of the Goddess of Democracy. It is found two blocks west of Union Station in downtown Washington, DC.

Mainland China

The activist, Yang Jianli, is known for his "Gong Min Walk" of 2008 in which he walked 500 miles from Boston to Washington, DC. He thanked Americans for their support (he had been a political prisoner, 2002-2007) and raised awareness of China's human rights abuses in advance of the anniversary of the June 4 massacre -- and in advance of the Beijing Olympics that year. Gong Min Walks have been replicated around the world by other activists, and now one is occurring inside Mainland China.

Yang Jianli says, "The idea of Gong Min walking as method of non violent protest is becoming recognized as an effective way for ordinary citizens to express dissatisfaction with government actions and policies while minimizing the threat of arrest....We do not expect a one shot success. We will take one step at a time. I believe citizens' rights have to be earned with patience and perseverance. Gradually China will change and advance towards democracy."

Yang Jianli heads the group, Initiatives for China, where the contact person is Jim Geheran at 202.290.1423. Initiatives for China is withholding the names and locations of Gong Min walkers in China to avoid tipping off the Chinese authorities with these details. The group will release more information upon the completion of related actions.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Hillary Clinton in Beijing; response

Hillary Clinton visits Beijing;
Pro-Chinese democracy groups
run good cop/bad cop response

With open letters to Obama, Clinton, Huntsman, and Posner

By John Kusumi

The China Support Network has been known to email newsletter updates to its list. The updates also get published at its blog and website (, and are public information that may be freely picked up by journalists, bloggers, aggregators, etc.

This time around, the format will vary. Our newsletter has news about U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, and Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner. I want to combine news writing with an open letter to them.

In the concerns of the China Support Network, Obama/Clinton/Huntsman/Posner ("OCHP") somewhat blur together. The common denominator is that they are the villains responsible for running present-day U.S. China policy, which is akin to its very own crime against humanity.

This used to be the China policy of George Herbert Walker Bush ("GHWB"), and then it was the Bill Clinton China policy, and then it was the George W. Bush China policy, and now it is the OCHP China policy. Bush, Clinton, and Bush set a very bad precedent, and now OCHP are carrying the same tune.


The China Support Network is for push back at Chinese Communism. CSN formed 21 years ago upon witnessing the Tiananmen Square massacre, a man made disaster (made by China's PLA Army) and bloodbath (drawing blood from innocent Chinese civilians, in a pro-democracy uprising led by Beijing college students). CSN has been horrified to observe three more bloody Chinese crackdowns in recent years: against Falun Gong, Tibetans, and Uighurs.

The simple fact that we've observed three more bloody crackdowns should tell one and all that China has not gotten better on human rights. That was the sugar coating that Bill Clinton used to sell in his policy: "Trade will bring freedom," Clinton said. Far from it -- instead, China has gotten worse. The human rights disaster, now unfolding there, should be seen as a problem which calls into question the U.S. non-response -- which may also be called the "business-as-usual China policy."

Every year from April 15 to June 4, it is "Tiananmen season." Now it's the 21st anniversary of the seven-week uprising. 21 years ago right now, Beijing college students, not the government, held effective control at Tiananmen Square. Our big day of the year is always June 4, the anniversary of the massacre which cleared out Tiananmen Square. Many campaigners in our cause will deliver speeches on June 4.

In 2010, it seems like these seven weeks are a special time for the Obama administration to deliver insults and pathetic performances in the eyes of pro-Chinese-democracy supporters. We recently observed the farce of a Sino-U.S. human rights dialogue, conducted by Michael Posner behind closed doors, and kept under wraps at his tight-lipped press conference (and summarily buried by the U.S. news media).


There is something like a World's Fair occurring at the Shanghai World Expo. This weekend, Hillary Clinton visited there. It's been reported that the United States pavillion at the Expo is a drab, under-developed embarrassment. At the last minute, they threw together this pavillion with three movie theaters and a gift shop. Visitors will see three corporate sponsored movies and then be invited to "buy here." Products in the gift shop are Made In China. On second thought, maybe the pavillion is accurately reflecting America these days.

The best statesmanship of the 21st century occurred on May 20, 2010, when a TV guest said, "There's ash in the air, oil in the water, and blood in the streets." Mother nature, and the private sector, and the government all seem unable to keep their act clean. At a time like this, where do we find Hillary Clinton, and what do we find her doing? --She was giving teddy bears to children at the Shanghai World Expo!

A report by Reuters did not specify whether those particular teddy bears were Made In China. Reuters said, "After the film, Clinton handed out teddy bears to children in the audience....The U.S. exhibit ends with a gift shop where a great many products -- from teddy bears and stuffed bison to silver lapel pins and pink cowboy hats -- were all marked 'Made in China.'"

To these American leaders, the China Support Network can say, "Heckuva job with U.S. export promotion." In the 2010 Tiananmen season, your administration has displayed failure on human rights, and failure on U.S. export promotion. Also, House Resolution 605 (on 3/16/2010) called for you to escalate the matter of Falun Gong (FG) persecution and for your administration to meet with the FG freedom fighters. You have failed to do so.


After the Cold War, it very much feels like somebody kidnapped America itself, and replaced it with America's evil twin. We used to know that liberals and conservatives alike were in favor of human rights (and for that matter, the U.S. Constitution). Now, after a concerted effort with blue smoke and mirrors, liberals and conservatives have seemingly been supplanted by neo-liberals and neo-conservatives. It may be too generous to call Obama, Clinton, Huntsman, and Posner "American leaders." More accurately, they are neo-American neo-leaders.

I, for one, am getting sick and tired of American government that is anti-American and that works against the best interests of this nation. U.S. China policy is a prime example of a policy that principally benefits the communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs of Communist China. In addition there may be about 25 CEOs in America who benefit from an inexpensive supply chain which China enables through its laogai gulag, its exploitation of labor, and its repression of worker rights and benefits -- and also through disasterous environmental policies and the manipulative currency peg to the dollar.

Those 25 CEOs are extracting profit from China trade, but more accurately, one should say "blood soaked profits." It was the choice of Bill Clinton to value and favor those 25 CEOs over and above the 1.3 billion populace of China and the 300 million populace of America. That was a dangerous, craven choice when Bill Clinton announced it in 1999, and it has been a ruinous, craven policy ever since. It has enriched communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs, and it has financed a military buildup which threatens Taiwan and the allies who would rise to Taiwan's defense; even while it has deindustrialized America and expanded U.S. unemployment and labor woes.

In 2009, it was a pratt fall for this administration's human rights policy when Hillary Clinton travelled to Beijing and minimized the human rights issue -- openly revealing contempt for the issue in her remarks to reporters. That attitude is a marker of "neo-American neo-leaders," as I call them. In response, I issued the CSN response -- perhaps the angriest post ever, to scorch her "dismal and disgusting debut." I accused her of having a tin ear, obliviousness, and an easy countenance for evil. The post was titled "Hillary Clinton Visits Her Communist Masters In Beijing," and referred to the Clintons as "the pro-Maoist first couple."

Now, she is back in Beijing for the ostensible "U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue." The human rights issue is not a part of that dialogue, because the off-line meeting with Michael Posner got that "out of the way," to enable Hillary to talk about what really interests her. (I think she has predictable talking points: Please buy our bonds. Please float your currency. Please help us with Iran. Please help us with North Korea. She might work in some export promotion, but no human rights concerns.) Basically, I can restate the headline from my earlier post: Hillary Clinton visits her Communist masters in Beijing.

My analysis really hasn't changed since last February, when I wrote:

"Hillary Clinton played her cards by basically folding. She may have inadvertently signaled to Beijing that they have a green light to invade Taiwan. This trip was a loss of face for the United States, and a blazing display of weakness. The only winners from this trip were communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs – they got the signal that they can continue doing business as usual.

"Bill and Hillary Clinton are forever in a hasty rush to Maoism. Barack Obama ought to fire Hillary Clinton."


Recall that this newsletter doubles as an open letter to Obama, Clinton, Huntsman, and Posner -- and that earlier, I described U.S. China policy as "akin to its very own crime against humanity." It is also a crime against the American worker. The China policy that you are running serves to bless the U.S. trade deficit with China, and to bless the related drain of jobs from America's former industrial base. In the news, we keep hearing (maybe after health care; maybe after FINREG?) that Obama will "pivot and focus on the jobs issue."

If and when it finally comes about that your administration pivots and focuses on the jobs issue (Where have you been?), you will find it necessary to stop the flirtatious love affair with the Chinese Communist Party.

My message to you is, "Stop the flirtatious love affair with the Chinese Communist Party."

A large caucus of members in Congress recently wrote to back up Taiwan's request for F-16s. I urge you to approve and conclude that sale.

A large caucus of members in Congress (it was nearly unanimous in the House) passed H.R.605, calling for the end of Falun Gong persecution in China -- and specifically urging the administration to meet with freedom fighters and Chinese dissidents related to this cause. I urge you to heed that resolution, and therefore to meet with people such as Professor Sen Nieh, Doctors Li Dayong, Wenyi Wang and Charles Lee, etc.

For a side note, I've recently had dinner with the freedom fighters mentioned above, and they may ask to bring me in to such a meeting.

I am ambivalent when I think of meeting with you. It is an edgy call, because you might best represent sheer evil and American brain damage. At least I'm on the record with word that I am absolutely not down with the games that you play. If the name of the game was nationhood, America would respect its economic boundaries and close the trade deficit so that you stimulate the American economy rather than the Chinese economy. Under the "neo-American" China policy, nationhood is not the name of the game. More accurately, the game is private sector looting of public goods that should be protected by the public sector -- and, failing to protect American interests, I repeat that you might best represent sheer evil and American brain damage.

You simply must stop the flirtatious love affair with the Chinese Communist Party. Exactly who is well-served by this pattern of behavior on your part? Not America. Not the Chinese democracy movement. Not human rights, world-wide. Not the workers in America. Not the workers in China. The only people who are well served by this policy are the 25 CEOs who are best positioned to profit by this policy.

As you "pivot and focus on jobs" (we've been hearing that for awhile now...) you ought to be able to rebalance priorities and decide that trade deficits are a bad thing. To close the trade deficit, it is time to consider such things as a tyranny tariff, a currency manipulation/corrective tariff, a labor conditions tariff, an environmental conditions tariff, and a consumer protections tariff -- and, perhaps, a tariff that's based on respect for intellectual property. If you cannot stand up for America, its interests, and its values as above --then you ought to step aside, for leadership that can rebalance priorities and redress these grievances.

For the pro-democracy movement, we can run a good cop / bad cop routine. You have just heard from the China Support Network, in its role as the bad cop. There is also a good cop today -- known as the China Interim Government.

More news

A dissident group called the China Interim Government has been busy. They have been on the receiving end of cyber attacks from Beijing, but they have also replied with some of their own -- successfully hacking into websites of the Communist Party and planting their flag.

They have been very appreciative of the righteous move by Google, to abandon the Chinese market and to stand for internet freedom. They appreciated the speech by Hillary Clinton, escalating the priority of internet freedom as an issue.

The Washington Post recently reported, "State Department officials recently called the group, the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, offering it $1.5 million...A State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the offer."

The Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) is a group of Chinese freedom campaigners, and GIFC develops software to overcome the barriers of blockage and censorship that are presented by the Chinese government with its Golden Shield, or "Great Firewall of China."

Basically, the U.S. State Department is providing $1.5 million to an activist group that works in alignment with pro-Chinese democracy and Falun Gong campaigners.

The China Interim Government, where the President is the prominent Chinese dissident Wu Fan, has written to say "thank you" to the U.S. administration. I received their letter in Chinese, and I worked to improve the English from a machine translation. Here, I will insert the letter, allowing this group to speak for itself:

Dear US Government:

Regarding your recent decision to allocate funds of $1.5 million US dollars to fund the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, in pursuit of its goal to develop software that helps users worldwide to bypass the internet filtering of mainland China, we would like to indicate our support and gratitude, and applaud where it indicates your stepped up contribution for America's global promotion of internet freedom and free world values.

We believe that your promotion of internet freedom and free world values enhances the world's peace and prosperity, while also enhancing U.S. national security.

We believe that the overwhelming majority of the world's people, regardless of which country they live in, hope for themselves and their families to live in security, freedom, and a harmonious environment which encourages their hopes for honest and friendly dealings and cooperation with mutual confidence. --It is a natural instinct for humanity to hope so.

However, we have also seen the harsh realities of many forms of crime, terrorism, war, and conflict. Humanity has been through many centuries of suffering such wars and conflict. With modern technology's introduction of Weapons of Mass Destruction, humanity is faced with an impossibly heavy burden.

How to fundamentally eliminate each kind of crime and terrorism, then eliminate the war and the conflict which this produces, is already of immediate concern, and there is no time to avoid this topic!

China Interim Government takes these concerns seriously -- as seriously as we know that U.S. President Barack Obama takes his Nobel Peace Prize.

China's traditional culture believes that human nature is natively friendly -- that each person is born with instincts and tendencies to be good.

The reason we have all sorts of crimes and the terrorism, is because the will of the people has been polluted and human nature has been distorted. Regardless of whether one speaks of communism, fascism, or terrorism, the gravest injury to the world has been the pollution to the will of the people and the distortion to human nature. With violent thoughts and willful instigation, careerists of communism, fascism, and terrorism instill hatred and provoke conflict and war.

Therefore, to fundamentally eliminate such crime and terrorism, and resulting wars and conflicts, one cannot rely on hard military power exclusively. Indeed, it should be more important to purify the will of the people and cure the distortions of human nature as mentioned to solve the basic problem.

Communism, fascism, and terrorism have it in common that they control people's thoughts through brainwashing. Just as darkness fears light, their evil thoughts are frightened of real information and correct ideas. No matter whether we look back to Hitler and Stalin, or presently to Beijing, Pyongyang, or Tehran, these regimes spare no effort to block, censor, and hide the truth, real information, and correct ideas, because they base their political power on ignorance and superstition.

To break the information blockage, there is no better method than promoting and providing the impetus for internet freedom and overthrowing the on-line Berlin Wall. To fight crime and terrorism thoroughly, the best method is to enable and promote the good instincts of human nature and free world values.

Because they believe in good, yet were met by brutal persecution in China, some Falun Gong practitioners set up the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, with the goal to develop software that enables the populace of China's police state to surmount the on-line Berlin Wall. An understanding of information from the free world is a sharp weapon in their battle with evil.

Other Falun Gong practitioners set up the Shen Yun performing arts troupe, to reinvigorate traditional Chinese arts. They have toured the world to high acclaim, winning hearts and minds as they restore the human spirit. Because they fear the power of such revivals and spiritual awakenings, the CCP/mainland government arranged to block, cancel, and obstruct their performances in Hong Kong, which were scheduled earlier this year.

From the internet blockade and from the banning of the Shen Yun performing arts shows, we can clearly read from this how very fearful the CCP/mainland government is. Influence from the free world and from Falun Gong can eradicate the violent thoughts, the brainwashing, the distortion of human nature, the pollution of the people's will, and can thereby challenge the crime, the terrorism, the conflict, and the war.

In this sense, we find it significant that the US Government has allocated funds to the Global Internet Freedom Consortium. This gives a boost to Falun Gong practitioners who would rise above the mundane; it sets them up to succeed; and it signals that the US Government is doing fundamental ground work to combat many kinds of crime and terrorism.

We think this is a great beginning. To the US Government, this is only a half step, but in regard to the many layers of crises in human culture; in regard to solving world conflicts and wars; this is a stride in the right direction.

China Interim Government now admires the acuity of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. These matters give us more hope and anticipation that in the near future, by working together with sincere cooperation, that we and the US Government can build a legacy of peace for the universe, and a prosperous and happy world.

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