Monday, September 19, 2011

Starting the China Support Network:
Radio interview recalls activity of 1989

CSN's John Kusumi recalls starting to help China's democracy movement, in response to the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989

What follows is an excerpt from a radio interview with John Kusumi (JPK), founder of the China Support Network. This was broadcast on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, on American Freedom Radio network, reaching about 20 radio stations across the United States.

Host:  I'm your host, Truther Girl Sonia, and I'm here with John Kusumi, former independent U.S. presidential candidate, and founder of the China Support Network.

...I have a couple of questions for you - how is China different? I mean, obviously it's a communist country, but how does the Chinese political system work? -Economic system, too.

JPK:  China, as we'll remember, the People's Republic was established by Chairman Mao in 1949, and that's by the Communist Party of China. Now, the Communist Party of China was sort of an off shoot, or it was basically encouraged or built up there, with aid from the Soviet Communist Party.  In fact it was like modelled or patterned on the Soviet Communist Party.

So, the trouble in China is that what they have there is anything but freedom.  It's the opposite.  It is a one-party dictatorship.  It's given to brutal totalitarianism.  And in general, we can just say that leading China, at the top in the leadership, is: communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs.

I happened to be the same age as the college students who rose up in Tiananmen Square, and that was 1989 when they had the pro-democracy uprising.  And then the Chinese army was sent in to clear out the approach routes to Tiananmen Square.  About 3,000 people were killed.  We're talking about civilians of Beijing, being killed off in a massacre by the Chinese government.

In China, the thing is that what they have is the Communist Party; and everything else is subordinate to that, which means that the army really is not the army of the state, it's the army of the party.

Certain things like the Constitution of China -- it will bend to the will of the Communist Party.

It's almost like if you tried to install a deity; a God.  Something above all else.  The Communist Party just tries to put itself in there as the top level entity.  And anything else that you hear about -- the army, the Constitution -- it's the Party's army; the Party's Constitution.

China's state apparatus is there in name, but it's just a parallel thing.  In other words, there's a structure of people like, let's say, in the Party who care about business and then there might be "The Ministry of Economic Development" where they supposedly care about business.  And these two structures exist side-by-side, and someone from the Party works inside every office of that ministry.  The ministry is really like a sock puppet; the Party is pulling the strings.

Host:  Have you been there?

JPK:  No, I haven't. I've studied it, and I began in 1989 at the time of the massacre -- this was an eye popping thing on television. 
You know, when you watch a huge tragedy like maybe the earthquake in Haiti, or the tsunami in Asia, you know how people just want to help the cause. Well, Tiananmen Square was like that; it was a tragedy, the difference is that it was a man-made, not a natural tragedy, and to fight it it's a political fight, not just a matter of delivering some aid or something.

Anyway, there were top student leaders from the uprising who escaped out of China and came to the West.  They arrived in Washington DC, where they met me -- I was working on the China Support Network, a response organization that was built up spontaneously from the sentiment that "We've got to help this cause."

Host:  How did they know you were there?

JPK:  I was plugged in.  Somehow, there was a Chinese student group; I think it was graduate students at the University of Maryland.  And they had been given the heads up that these dissidents from Beijing were coming to town.  And so then I was on the phone with someone in the Maryland group, and they said, "I need your help."

So, I went there and a couple of other people - in fact, the China Support Network had, I think, four people in Washington for their first week.

We were a little bit like political handlers.  In other words, when you have a political campaign, there needs to be handlers who arrange things.  So, for their first time when they spoke at the National Press Club, guess who was the one who went down the street to rent out a room at the National Press Club?  I did that.  I was taking the phone calls; people were seeking the daybook, the schedule, and I had to arrange transportation and just everything of -- it was like a campaign swing through Washington DC, and the dissidents were the political stars at that time.

It was a popular cause at first.  America was very sympathetic in those days; we had just finished the Reagan years; we were accustomed to being staunch anti-Communists; and nobody thought that we should sit still, or take it, or countenance -- you know, it was mass murder of civilians in China!

I happen to suspect, if they had killed off 3,000 baby boomers, that we would have a very different China policy.  But the thing is that the student uprising was led by Generation X'ers, and basically that's the younger group that basically had no political voice at the time.

The administration of George Bush senior -- at the time, that was the U.S. executive branch under Bush, senior -- refused to meet with the dissidents as they arrived from China.  You would think that the leader of the free world might want to talk to the pro-democracy forces of China, but no -- the administration was refusing to meet with those dissidents.

However, during that first week, we did arrange that the dissidents had lunch with the Republican National Committee, and they met the Senate Joint Leadership with Bob Dole and George Mitchell.  So, there were Congressional faces who cared about the situation, or they wanted to meet with the dissidents, and there was plenty of news media attention.

Host:  But the government itself would not show any support for them.  But, that doesn't come as a big surprise to me, because China apparently has a lot of power economically over America, I mean, they hold--

JPK:  Well *now* they do.

Host:  Or, how was it back then?  They probably had an alliance though, at high levels all along.

JPK:  Well, of course there's a back story to all of this.  But now, the thing is that in the 1980s, the US trade deficit with China was always less than $5 billion.  It was maybe $2 billion, $3 billion; maybe topped out at $4 billion.  It was tiny; a tiny trade deficit.

And now it's over a quarter of a trillion.  So, the rise of our trade deficit with China has happened *afterwards*; *after* Tiananmen.   Almost like as if it's a reward for bad behavior.

Host:  Yes, that what it seems to me -- like this was probably the plan all along, was to have labor outsourced to the best place for cheap labor, which was China - Communist China.  And help that government to get rich, or their certain corporations, their elites, while benefiting off basically the slave labor, meanwhile undermining our own economy here in North America and turning us into slaves as well.

I tend to think that they had this planned out -- I mean, they couldn't have really thought that it was going to bring prosperity to the middle class, to have some corporations doing what they're doing with the free trade in China. And so, it probably -- it didn't really matter if they killed their own people, because they had America's support, or the government, executive branch -- they had their support.  So the government would just want to sweep it under the rug.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

China revolution planning at weekend convention


Chinese dissidents converge on New York
for revolutionary conference

A large meeting for an important matter

New York May 28, 2011

(China Support Network) -- This year, the world faces revolution in many places, beginning with the Middle East and North Africa. Facing unrest and strong winds of change, many despotic dictators are falling from power.

The world's largest autocratic regime is the one which has ruled and enslaved the Chinese people -- 1/5th of the world's population -- since 1949. A democratic revolution is needed in China more urgently than anywhere. It is time now to overthrow despotism and build a free and democratic China.

Fortunately, the Chinese public is awakening to the ugency and necessity for change. The Chinese youth movement, seeking change, has now called for a Jasmine revolution, to echo those of the Middle East and North Africa, which were also called Jasmine revolutions.

In the free world, overseas Chinese dissidents are meeting in New York this weekend to plot the course of the revolution and to address urgent questions such as how to effectively impel and encourage this revolution; and what objectives, strategies, tactics, and actions will be employed.

With these questions in the air, dissidents planned a two-day conference for May 28 and 29, 2011. The conference coincides with two anniversaries: The 100th anniversary of the 1911 revolution, and the 22nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Accordingly, they have named the conference to reflect democratic revolution from 1911 to the present.

The conference should serve as a forum and a venue for the exchange of views and ideas among China experts, democracy campaigners, and human rights advocates. Also, as word spreads about this gathering, it may serve as a point of encouragement to China's domestic populace. They are invited to join the great movement to bravely oppose the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party.

Rebellions will be planned in open sessions, closed sessions, and sideline sessions, lunches, and dinners. Chinese dissidents with pre-existing "platform" (prominent, famous names) are already in town ahead of the sessions: Feng Congde, Yan Xiong, Tang Baiqiao, and Lianchao Han are among those already known for their lengthy track records in service to Chinese democracy.

Various other guests will include American writers Greg Autry and John Kusumi, filmmaker Bruce Kivo, and a delegation of Burmese dissidents who also seek freedom for their homeland, and who stand in solidarity with Chinese dissidents.

The weekend's conference will highlight and raise the issue of Chinese revolution, and aims ultimately to overthow the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party and to establish a democratic republic in China -- a new addition to the free world.

Conference time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Conference venue: Marco Laguardia Hotel, 137-07 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NYC

We salute all who will join the revolution, at this weekend's events or by other means!

# # #

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dissidents seek to derail the nomination of Gary Locke for U.S. ambassador

Has Locke acted as an agent of persecution for Communist China?

By John Kusumi
NEW YORK | Thursday, May 12, 2011

(China Support Network) - An array of pro-democracy Chinese dissidents, Falun Gong practitioners, and rights groups are lodging vociferous objections to the nomination of Gary Locke for U.S. ambassador to China.

Locke, a Chinese-American, is a former governor of Washington state and currently the Commerce Secretary in the cabinet of U.S. President Barack Obama, who nominated Locke to replace outgoing ambassador Jon Huntsman.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold hearings today on the question of whether to confirm Obama's nominee. Chinese dissidents say that Locke, with pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) leanings and business interests, is anti-Falun Gong and has severe black marks on his own human rights scorecard.

In fact, they have prepared a "bombshell" witness, available to the Committee, accusing Locke of "Complicity in Genocide." The story is detailed in litigation that has been filed demanding a criminal investigation of Gary Locke by the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. Senators Lugar (R-IN) and Kerry (D-MA), who lead the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have been alerted to this controversy by way of letters and pleadings in the case, copies of which were obtained by the China Support Network.

The 'bombshell' witness is renowned cancer researcher and Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Lotus King Weiss, also known as Dr. Tongwen Wang. She is the plaintiff in the mentioned litigation, and Chinese dissident Ning Ye is the attorney representing her.

Dr. Weiss is described as "a well established, nationally prominent life scientist." Her Ph.D in cell development and molecular biology was obtained from the University of Florida in 1992, her work took her to Harvard Medical School and the Benaroya Research Institute. Her credits include various awards and grants, and publication of her work in peer-reviewed outlets including Science, Journal of Biochemistry, Journal of Immunology, etc.

In 1997, Gary Locke became Governor of the state of Washington. In 1999, the Chinese government began to crack down forcibly against all practitioners of Falun Gong. That crackdown is a holocaust of genocidal persecution. The words of Jiang Zemin (former head of the Chinese Communist Party) in ordering the crackdown were, "ruin their reputation; make them financially bankrupt; and eliminate them physically."

In 2002, Weiss undertook research to investigate human immune system responses to the practice of Falun Gong -- research that would use the techniques of Western medicine to perhaps vindicate the reported health benefits of practicing Falun Gong and advance cancer research.

That year, the American Cancer Society awarded a grant of $1 million to Dr. Weiss' laboratory. She was the Principal Investigator at this lab, which was under the Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) and affiliated with the University of Washington in Seattle. Her laboratory also had funding from the National Institutes of Health.

While it may be politically sensitive, it is not a crime to research Falun Gong during a genocidal crackdown. In American society, there is no reason why such research should be stopped -- by someone working for then-Governor Gary Locke.

Any impetus to quash activity related to Falun Gong did not come from American society. As Chinese dissidents now raise complaints, they see the hand of the CCP, directing Gary Locke as their de facto agent to do the bidding of Jiang Zemin: "ruin their reputation; make them financially bankrupt; and eliminate them physically."

The affidavit of Dr. Weiss, in the case filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, directly accuses former Gov. Locke of complicity in genocide, and describes the shutdown of her laboratory in 2003, by saying:
"a representative was sent from Mr. Gary Locke's Office, who mysteriously met with Dr. Gerald Nepom behind the door, for two hours; immediately, Dr. Gerald Nepom completely changed his attitude towards my interest in continuing the projects on the health benefits of practicing Falun Dafa; he officially informed me that I was not allowed to talk about Falun Dafa in the research center, since 'it is too political'...Dr. Gerald Nepom finally decided to dismiss me from the BRI, informing me that my scientific research projects 'no longer conform to the mission of the BRI'"
In addition to working through Governor Gary Locke, it is evident that the CCP directly targeted Dr. Weiss for yet more Falun Gong persecution. This followed on the heels of her presentation at the Boston Future Science Forum in April, 2002. (URL: )

Her affidavit states,
"I became black-listed by the Chinese Communist Government, which started to threat[en] my parents in China, claiming to them, 'We know everything your daughter does in America' and ordered them to pressure me to stop practicing Falun Dafa."
The CCP authorities evidently got through to Weiss' former husband, using their propaganda to warn him about "Falun Gong, the evil cult" -- and this prompted her husband to divorce her and to remove their seven year old boy from her custody.

Also in her affidavit, "the Chinese Communist Government ordered my own family members to force me back to China." Her older brother, Jianxin Bao, "then went to Dr. Gerald Nepom and informed him that I 'found a nice position in China' and asked him to ship all of my research equipments to China." By April of 2005, Dr. Weiss was effectively homeless on the streets of New York.

Such persecution makes for a stark story. However, it is fair to ask questions such as, why did the CCP work through Governor Gary Locke? And, why did he assent to play the role that he did in the saga of Dr. Weiss? If this is not Falun Gong persecution, then can Locke offer another reason why Weiss' career was summarily crushed? Did he receive some payment or any quid-pro-quo from Communist China?

As an agent of persecution, if not the Communist Party, Gary Locke has clearly opened himself up to the present charge of complicity in genocide. Also, since Dr. Weiss operated on the frontiers of science, findings from her laboratory could directly impact the future of the entire life science field and the battle between humanity and diseases. Findings from her laboratory are now suppressed, and all of us may have suffered a loss from the career interference that Dr. Weiss suffered.

The entire Falun Gong community can rightly look upon this incident as a setback for Falun Gong. For that reason, the China Support Network is adding its voice into the mix here, calling for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to postpone and delay approval of Gary Locke's prospective ambassadorship, pending the outcome of a full investigation.

Attorney Ning Ye is deeply suspicious of Gary Locke. In writing to the U.S. Senate, he said that he is "deeply concerned" about the Locke nomination as as "ominous development."

Less formally, he is even more alarmed. To the China Support Network, Ye called the Locke nomination a "lethally dangerous development," and said, "I really suspect that Mr. Locke has been PRC's 'sunken fish' on strategic level."

In his letter to the U.S. Senate, Ye allowed that the case of Dr. Weiss "may not be sufficient to prove [Locke's] affiliation to any potentially hostile foreign power," yet he continued, "however, it may implicate his value system and his bias and loyalty under an undue foreign influence. If his personal involvement in direct persecution against FLG [Falun Gong] practitioners here in the United States is proven true, we then have to question what is his real partisanship, loyalty and affiliation?"

In fact, Ning Ye may have an answer to a question asked above: Did Locke "receive some payment or any quid-pro-quo from Communist China?"

Writing to the Senate, Ye noted, "After Mr. Locke retired from the governor’s office, he was recruited to work as a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine (2005 to 2009)....handling the firm's China related business." This led Ye to ask even more pointed questions:

"Did he use any improper political influence right from his fresh departure from the Governor's office, to unethically help the Chinese Communist clients with Davis Wright Tremaine? --This nominee needs to fully disclose the complete laundry list of his actual, preexisting, potential, and prospective PRC and PRC related clients, and such clients obtained by Davis Wright Tremaine. He may also need to disclose whether or not he has received any direct or indirect profits, benefits, and interests from Davis Wright Tremaine after 2009, or such profits, benefits, and interests from the government agencies of the PRC, or any sort of clients with PRC background via Davis Wright Tremaine.

"The U.S. Congress, and the People of the United States may also be interested to learn of any change of profit margin of Davis Wright Tremaine before, during, and after Mr. Locke's merging his influence -- an intangible asset -- as an investment in that private firm."
It seems that Communist China placed business with Davis Wright Tremaine, and that this may have been quid pro quo; a chance for the CCP to scratch Locke's back after he had run the errand for them, against Falun Gong. In addition, as a trustee of the University of Washington, Locke voted in 2008 to approve a $6 million grant which was given to Dr. Gerald Nepom, the BRI researcher who terminated Dr. Weiss under pressure from the Governor's office. That looks like quid pro quo; a reward to Dr. Nepom for the harm done to Falun Gong research.

As Ye noted in his letter to the Senate, "Dr. Nepom had been Dr. Weiss' staunch supporter for Dr. Weiss' cutting-edge research project funded by NIH and the American Cancer Society, before Mr. Locke got himself involved."

# # #

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Western powers 'Leaving the Jews in the gas chambers'

Western powers
'Leaving the Jews in the gas chambers'

U.S. China policy remains an atrocity of its own

Prepared remarks for
Falun Gong rally, 4/23/2011
By John Kusumi

FLUSHING, NY (CSN) -- Greetings from the China Support Network. Today is an anniversary day for Falun Gong, the group of meditating qi gong practitioners with teachings that seem like a variety of Buddhism. Falun Gong arose in China at a time when China itself is a troubled place.

The evil men of the 20th century famously include Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Chairman Mao Zedong began the regime that has ruled China with an iron fist ever since 1949. Of course, China has 5,000 years of non-Communist history prior to 1949, but most adults today came of age during the reign of Chairman Mao's Chinese Communist Party, the CCP.

The evil of the 20th century didn't end with Mao. Mao was succeeded by Deng Xiaoping and by Jiang Zemin.

Now it is the 21st century, and Falun Gong is still on the receiving end of evil!

Falun Gong is persecuted, but it also has "company on persecution row." Uighurs are persecuted, Mongols are persecuted, house church Christians are persecuted, bloggers are persecuted, journalists are persecuted, and lawyers are persecuted -- indeed, anyone who would stand up for justice is face to face with brutal oppression.

Pro-democracy political dissidents remain on the receiving end of evil. Now the Tiananmen generation is joined by the Jasmine generation in the prisons of Communist China. The famous artist Ai Weiwei has recently been taken into custody.

And we should note that Tibetans are once again on the receiving end of evil -- reports tell us that on Thursday April 21, Chinese authorities rounded up 300 Tibetan monks and killed two civilians who protested that action at Kirti monastery.

Our gathering today is to remember the beginning of the crackdown on Falun Gong. That crackdown remains the largest and deadliest one going. In fact, history will remember it as an ugly holocaust of persecution and genocide.

I believe also that history will remember the silence of Western leaders and news outlets. Through their policies of free trade with Communist China, they have continued to lavish rewards upon the communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs who oppress China. With their deliberate blind eye for this persecution, they have brought shame to a Western world that once vowed, "Never again" in the face of genocide.

Let me be clear. Their China policy is no better than "leaving the Jews in the gas chambers." Their China policy is one of moral cowardice, and reveals craven indifference to human suffering. Western China policy is akin to a crime against humanity of its very own.

Someone such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ought to stop the Western complicity. Freedom will come to China, and the equivalent of the Gates of Auschwitz will be opened up. We will gain a better view of the points that I am making here.

The international human rights community was pleased by the opening of the International Criminal Court in 2002. The upshot of the ICC is to show that genocide has consequences. War crimes have consequences. And crimes against humanity have consequences.

Facing genocide, the Western world once vowed, "Never again." The ICC now provides a tool that can assist in fulfilling that vow. Western leaders should:

• face these facts;

• use that tool and any clatter that's necessary to ultimately:

• Stop this genocide!

This episode of history is disgraceful for China, and it is shameful for the West. Even while that is true, I like to end my speeches by saying:

Thank you for having me -- god bless China -- and god bless America! Thank you again!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Web Sites Under Attack

CONTACT PERSON: Tang Baiqaio, Chinese dissident / former "June 4" student leader


March 1, 2011 (CSN News) -- Chinese dissidents are condemning new cyber attacks - interference from Beijing - and also apologizing to web users for the inconvenience as their pro-Jasmine web sites experience denial-of-service (DOS) attacks.

Online calls for a Middle East-style 'Jasmine' revolution in China first appeared at the web site Over the weekend, Boxun announced that it would no longer disseminate Jasmine-related information, due to heavy-handed tactics deployed by the Chinese government against their servers, their staff, and family members of their staff.

Chinese dissidents promptly condemned the attacks against Boxun, and announced a federation of dissident websites that would carry Jasmine-related material.

Now, member websites of that federation are coming under attack, presumably from Beijing, and dissidents are denouncing the attacks, and asking for patience from the community - web users who would access that material.

The eight web sites of the federation, announced this weekend, are:

Jasmine on Facebook:
China Affairs:
Huang Hua Gang magazine:
Fire of Liberty:
Future China Forum:
Chinese Human Rights:
China Support Network:

At this writing, five of these sites are up-and-running, and a sixth is also working, but the front page (at is not served until the user solves a 'captcha' puzzle. Future China Forum is down, and is returning a blank page.

Organizer Tang Baiqiao praised the enthusiastic response to date, and vowed that all obstacles will be overcome until a Chinese revolution successfully establishes democracy in that land.

# # #

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Dynamics of Jasmine

The Dynamics of Jasmine

By John Kusumi 2011.2.27

At this time, it is not clear who were the originators of the first internet postings which called for a Chinese Jasmine Revolution. We cannot judge their stature; nor the rectitude of their intentions; nor even interview them to inquire about these matters, without knowing who they are.

But as a matter in general, there should logically be a world-wide impact stemming from the wave of people power sweeping away dictatorships in the Middle East.

During Egypt's uprising, there were fears that Tahrir Square would become a Tiananmen Square -- in other words, a bloodbath echoing that of 1989 in Beijing, when the military opened fire with live ammunition to take back the square from civilian pro-democracy demonstrators.

Chinese dissidents remember that time vividly, and they rightly leaned into watching the events in Egypt intently. Early feelings that "We've seen this movie before" changed into feelings of elation when the dictator fell. The army had not opened fire against the crowd of demonstrators! Tahrir Square escaped the fate of Tiananmen Square!

The Arab world had people who were beaten down and abused; and yet they had hope, plus new social media. Their country changed when they also overcame their fear about the dictatorship and the security forces.

The Arab world experienced a change. Instead of people being afraid of governments, suddenly the governments are afraid of people.

That is not a strictly Arab phenomenon, nor should it be. During this Jasmine time -- on the same day Mubarak left power in Egypt -- Governor Scott Walker of the U.S. state of Wisconsin threatened to call out the National Guard for use in the case of dissent in Wisconsin. He was introducing an unpopular rollback of the rights of labor unions.

The people of Wisconsin did not fear the National Guard. They stood up, and now America has more protestors in the streets than it has had in many years. Many labor unions have turned out their members to go to public rallies in all 50 states of the USA.

Similarly, the people of Beijing should not live in fear of Hu Jintao. Who elected him?


And so we come to the story of the efforts for a Chinese Jasmine Revolution. The first attempt was supposed to be Feb. 20, but the invitation only circulated on Feb. 19, which meant that very little time was allowed for the invitation to circulate. On Feb. 20, most Chinese had never heard of the calls for Jasmine gatherings.

It was absurd to promulgate an invitation with such short notice. It would have been wiser to announce a date with one, two, or three weeks to allow the word to get around, and to build up a sense of anticipation and suspense.

So the first Jasmine invitation was on short notice and with scant publicity. The publicity that it did receive was largely due to the government crackdown against it. The government was able to block the word Jasmine on the internet; and pre-emptively detain dissidents on Feb. 19; and increase police presence for Feb. 20. Also, some college students were warned to stay on campus.

The events of last weekend show how nervous the Chinese government is about any spread of the Jasmine Revolution into China. In previous weeks, they had blocked other search terms such as Egypt, Cairo, and Mubarak in their attempt to prevent Egyptian news from reaching China.

The government's over-reaction may have been ham-handed, but it was largely effective. While some tried to gather at the designated locations, the police presence inhibited any chanting or speech making.

The scene caused the more snarky journalists to pronounce dead any hopes of a Chinese Jasmine Revolution, but Chinese dissidents actually valued the occasion as a good start. "It's progress, and we're happy to have it," seems the logical dissident attitude.

Yes, it was progress. It yielded four new things: (1.) The name of the revolution. Prior to Tunisia's events, one might have expected a color revolution. Instead, it's a flower revolution. (2.) Plenty of publicity that reached mainstream news outlets and led to headlines like, 'Middle East domino effect reaches China.' The Chinese efforts gain a boost from the tie-in with the Middle East. (3.) A new government crackdown is keeping this matter in the headlines. (4.) The crackdown has over-reacted by kidnapping human rights lawyers and by charging other detainees with crimes. Therefore, the government side has taken prisoners, and the dissident side must demand the release of the Jasmine prisoners.

Jasmine is here to stay

The internet posters of Jasmine-for-China quickly issued a call to gather again this weekend, and to make these Jasmine gatherings a regular weekly occurrence. They simply updated their hashtag from #cn220 to #cn227, where 227 means Feb. 27.

This time the gatherings have advance notice, and a week of publicity in the run up. There has been time for endorsements to come from pro-democracy groups of Hong Kong and Taiwan, and from Chinese dissident quarters both domestic and international.

In addition, there is the dynamic seen in Item #4, above. We are reminded about how the Tibetan uprising started in 2008.

Every March 10 is Tibetan uprising day, the anniversary of the 1959 occasion which caused the Dalai Lama to go into exile.

But, the uprising in 2008 is known as the 3.14 incident. Why the discrepancy?

Tibetan monks went out to have their usual commemoration of March 10. On that day, the Chinese authorities arrested or detained some monks. Therefore, it was incumbent upon the Tibetan monks to go out again on March 11 to say, "Release our prisoners! Give us our men back!" At that demonstration, more monks were detained or arrested. So, it was incumbent upon the Tibetan monks to go out again on March 12 and say, "Release our prisoners! Give us our men back!" At that demonstration, more monks were detained or arrested. That led to more of the same on March 13. Violence on March 14 only broke out after the Chinese government had been squeezing them incrementally harder for the prior four days.

Right now, Jasmine has the same dynamic. The Chinese government has taken prisoners, and it is incumbent upon the human rights community to demand their release. This week, the Jasmine protestors have more to protest than they did last week. And any new ham-handed abuses of this week will compound into the grievances of next week.

A lot of Chinese dissidents may have been caught unaware, when internet calls for Jasmine popped up on Feb. 19. The calls were promulgated anonymously, and not under the names of long standing groups.

Some people would have felt better, or more confidence, if the call said it was from "The Wei Jingsheng Foundation, the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coaltion, the Federation for Democracy in China, the China Democracy Party (various branches), the China Peace and Democracy Federation, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements, the Party for Freedom and Democracy in China, Initiatives for China, the Tiananmen Mothers, and the signers of Charter 08."

That's a list of groups, and one could add Beijing Spring, the Free China Movement, the Tiananmen Generation Association, the IFCSS (Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars), the LRF (Laogai Research Foundation), and the CIG (China Interim Government).

But really, the overseas dissidents in exile have not had enough unity to put all of their names on one call. [Note: Tiananmen Mothers and Charter 08 are domestic, not exile groups.] The above is an interesting signature list, but it seems unlikely that we will see them all together on the same page, except here.

It no longer matters where the call came from, originally. Jasmine is happening, and the situation draws into it every human rights group that would call for the release of the Jasmine prisoners / detainees. It is fully predictable that even the U.S. State Department must call for the release of those dissidents, and soon we will hear Congressmen on the floor of the House of Representatives calling for their release.

While the original call for Jasmine was anonymous, it drew the response from the Chinese goverment, and then the imprimatur of all the news wires, newspapers, and media organizations that began to report it.

As a result, the Jasmine period in world history sees "people power" standing up against governments world-wide, whether we speak of the Middle East, or China, or the United States.

In fact, there is a Jasmine uprising happening in Iraq, the place where the United States invaded and installed the current government. People power may sweep away the puppet government of Iraq, but that is a profound humiliation for the United States, which thought that it was the occupying power!

Perhaps Jasmine entails a domino effect for dictators; and for the United States, it represents "the emperor's wardrobe malfunction."

In earlier writing for the China Support Network, I have previously called for Hillary Clinton to resign as the U.S. Secretary of State.

At this time, the China Support Network demands that Beijing:

- Stop the Jasmine crackdown;
- Release the Jasmine detainees, and all prisoners of conscience;
- Lift all restrictions on dissidents, allow the exiles to return to China;
- Meet the demands of Charter 08;
- Meet the demands of the Tiananmen Mothers.

The above five demands are intended for a reasonable Chinese government. In the alternative, if the government will not be reasonable, then we have only one demand:

- Hu Jintao, step down!

Internal movement controversy

2002 and 2003 was the winter of discontent for Chinese dissidents. Bill Clinton had started unquestioned free trade with China, and network TV news anchors in the U.S. had basically "turned off the microphone" for Chinese dissidents. September 11, 2001 was a fresh memory, and the War On Terror overshadowed all else in mainstream news.

Those were times when the China Support Network was almost the only place where one could turn for news and information of the Chinese democracy movement and human rights abuses in China. Because no one else covered this news beat, the China Support Network (CSN) was very vigorous about publishing any and all relevant news that we could find in English.

Imagine a time with no Twitter, no Facebook, no YouTube, and no Epoch Times (Dajiyuan). Capitol Hill legislative aide Joel Segal praised the CSN, saying, "If it weren't for CSN updates, I wouldn't know what was going on."

Things changed in 2004. The Epoch Times launched its English edition. They had more sources, a larger staff, and they were deeply plugged in to the Falun Gong.

As the Epoch Times began to become "the newspaper of record" for human rights and Chinese dissent, the CSN dialed down to a slower pace of publishing. We have been happy that the Epoch Times is on the scene and covering the news beat of Chinese dissent.

There have been times when the Epoch Times raised an eyebrow on my part. For example, they provided a lot of coverage when disgruntled constituents began to demonize and villify John Liu, a New York politician. I never completely understood the basis of the campaign against Liu.

(Is he a politician that's not listening to the people? 308 million people might say, "Welcome to America." However, unless there is election fraud, then he is duly elected to do his job as he sees fit. To be inattentive, or even to take a different side in a controversy, is not a crime in America.)

For one internal movement controversy, I clearly take the side of the Epoch Times. In 2006, they reported about forced organ harvesting, with just-in-time executions for Falun Gong practitioners who became the unwilling sources of organs removed for profitable transplant surgery.

The Kilgour-Matas report was a study that was later released. It was absolutely impeccable, from towering figures in the Canadian human rights community. Based on careful research and investigation, it concluded that yes, indeed, this crime of organ harvesting was indeed happening in China. And subsequent to its release, even more evidence appeared to corroborate the claim.

Prior to its release, Chinese dissident Harry Wu had expressed his skepticism about organ harvesting at the Sujiatan facility where it was first reported. That skepticism, together with a cursory inspection by the U.S. State Department, became the basis for the mainstream media to write off these reports as discredited.

I knew that (a.) three weeks had passed between the initial report and the show tour that was given to the U.S. State Department. There was plenty of time for the Chinese government to remove evidence from Sujiatan. And (b.) plenty of sources away from Sujiatan were providing evidence that the practice was occuring at dozens of other sites in China.

The mainstream media chose to err on the side against the Epoch Times and the Falun Gong practitioners who cried foul. That also means they erred on the side of believing communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs, while the latter committed systemic murder that will be remembered as crimes against humanity.

I have no doubt that history will reveal that the Epoch Times was right, and the mainstream media was wrong. (And, there is a death toll associated with the media silence on this matter.)

It was very dismaying that Harry Wu chose to very quickly condemn the reporting, before the Kilgour-Matas report was even released. In fact, because his own Laogai Research Foundation was documenting other cases of prisoner organ harvesting, it would have been smarter for Wu to "make hey" out of this story. It could have brought to light more of his own research about China's Laogai.

This was dismaying, and I don't know whether there has ever been a meeting of the minds that heals the rift between Falun Gong and Harry Wu. For the China Support Network, we stood with the Epoch Times and still do so. Organ harvesting remains a strong story and a hideous atrocity of the Communist Party, comparable to Nazi medical experiments that were performed on unwilling prisoners in World War II.

But now, a new matter has dismayed me -- in its English edition, a headline says, 'Jasmine Revolution in China a Trap, Say Analysts.'

I believe that assessment is premature, unhelpful, and moot. The article under your hands presents 'The Dynamics of Jasmine.'

Such a large number -- a wide array -- of dissident groups have been drawn in that, as noted above, "It no longer matters where the call came from, originally." Even on the short notice for Feb. 20, sympathy protests broke out in Hong Kong and New York. Endorsements or echoing or retweeting have come from many quarters, even the former ruling party in Taiwan, the DPP.

This means that, regardless of where the first call came from, many many people are "all in" for having a Middle East-style Jasmine Revolution in China. As this matter escalates, the Epoch Times must either come around, or else begin to appear like the odd man out.

As a matter of editorial judgment, I believe the China Support Network called it correctly when we supported the organ harvesting story. And at this time now, I believe that we are correct to be in alignment with those dissidents who are calling for a Jasmine Revolution to occur in China, now.

Before there was an English Epoch Times (ET), the China Support Network was "the newsletter of record" for Chinese democracy. If ET is falling off the wagon, then that will prompt the CSN to increase its own publishing pace, to continue our best efforts of keeping the story straight for Chinese democracy.

Perhaps the Epoch Times should issue an editorial to clarify where it stands.

# # #

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More calls for Jasmine protests in China

(Repost:) While the Jasmine Revolution is making its way to China, the following open letter, ostensibly from the still-anonymous organizers, has been translated into English and republished by Human Rights In China.

[Note: Elsewhere we have seen an internet posting that urges Beijingers to go to Tiananmen Square, and that expanded the list to 18 cities across China, and the days to include both Saturday and Sunday. The message below is closer to the earlier calls, naming McDonalds in Beijing, 13 cities across China, and protests to occur on Sundays.]

Open Letter to the National People’s Congress
from the Organizers of the Chinese Jasmine Rallies

[English Translation by Human Rights in China]

First, we would like to thank every participant of the Jasmine Rallies. Your participation has already made the authoritarian government very nervous. Your presence has made the Chinese government understand that they must choose between these two paths:

The Chinese government will genuinely fight corruption and accept the supervision of the people.

Suppress popular protest, continue corruption, and continue to refuse the supervision of the people.

Every Chinese person with dreams hopes that China will become prosperous, rich, and powerful, that the people will not have to worry about food and clothing, that the government is upright and honest, and that the judiciary is impartial and just. But twenty years have passed [since the 1989 Democracy Movement], and what we are witnessing is a government that grows more corrupt by the day, government officials who collude with vested interests, and a citizenry that has not benefitted from the reform, opening up, and economic development. On the contrary, the people have to endure high goods and housing prices, and do not have health care, education, or benefits for the elderly. And what about ten years from now? Will we face a government even more corrupt? A judicial system even more opaque? Will vested interests give up their vested interest?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: So much public housing has been sold to individuals, so many state-owned enterprises and so much land have been sold, and nearly all state-owned property has been sold off. But where has all the money from these sales gone? It goes without saying that state-owned property belongs to the entire people. But what did the people get? Led by an authoritarian regime, the opaque process of privatization has made a small number of people rich, but what did the vast number of ordinary people get?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: When Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were in the process of industrializing, they were able to make the overwhelming majority of their people prosperous. Why is it that during China’s industrialization the ordinary people are becoming poorer? Why is it that in just the last few decades China has gone from being a country with the smallest gap between the rich and the poor to one with the largest? It is because the unfair system has made a small number of people incredibly wealthy, and the vast majority of people remain poor.

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: Every year the government uses public money to eat and drink, buy cars, visit foreign places, and raise salaries for officials; yet it doesn’t have money to spend on health care, education, benefits for the elderly, or other basic needs. The vast majority of Chinese people do not have basic health care, education, or benefits for the elderly. Not to mention Europe, America, Japan, or Korea; our welfare system is far behind those of India, Russia, or Brazil. When other countries use the majority of their tax money for the welfare of their people, where does our tax money go?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: At present the renminbi ranks first among world currencies in terms of quantity in circulation. This serious “over-issuing” of currency has brought about a vicious cycle of inflation inside China. The excessive printing of currency is recklessly diluting the value of the people’s wealth. Because the renminbi is not an international currency, it is China’s ordinary citizens who are out of luck. The meager income of China’s ordinary people must support goods and housing prices similar to those in Europe and America. On the one hand the government excessively prints money, and on the other hand it uses administrative means to keep housing prices low is this some sort of mockery?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: It is a matter of course that officials, when disclosing their wealth, should accept the supervision of the people, and that the government, when publishing details of tax revenues, should accept the supervision of the people. However, the Chinese people have no such power. We have been waiting for decades. Even if we wait for another ten years, we will not be able to get this kind of power. Should we keep on waiting? Are you willing to wait another 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?

In short, without pressure from the people, absolutely no authoritarian government would take the initiative to respect the people or accept the people’s supervision. What we need to do now is to put pressure on the Chinese ruling party. If the party does not conscientiously fight corruption and accept the supervision of the people, then will it please exit the stage of history. We call upon each Chinese person who has a dream for China to bravely come out to take an afternoon stroll at two o’clock on Sundays to look around. Each person who joins in will make it clear to the Chinese ruling party that if it does not fight corruption, if the government does not accept their supervision, the Chinese people will not have the patience to wait any longer.

We do not necessarily have to overthrow the current government. As long as the government fights corruption, the government and officials accept the people’s supervision, the government is sincere about solving the problems regarding judicial independence and freedom of expression and gives a timetable, we can give the ruling party time to solve the problems. We can call a stop to the strolling activities. We have been waiting for decades, if the government is sincere about solving the problem, we do not mind waiting a little longer. However, if the government is not sincere about solving the problems, but only wants to censor the Internet and block information to suppress the protests, the protests will only get stronger. As more and more people find out about “jasmine rallies,” there will definitely be more and more Chinese people joining in.

We don’t care if we implement a one party system, a two party system, or even a three party system; but we are resolute in asking the government and the officials to accept the supervision of ordinary Chinese people, and we must have an independent judiciary. This is our fundamental demand.

We do not support violent revolution; we continue to support non-violent non-cooperation. We invite every participant to stroll, watch, or even just pretend to pass by. As long as you are present, the authoritarian government will be shaking with fear.

China belongs to every Chinese person, not to any political party. China’s future will be decided by every person. We ask that the government and officials accept the supervision of the people, that the details of tax collection be published, and that taxes are genuinely "collected from the people, and used for the people." These basic requests are not the least bit excessive. For our country’s future, for the fundamental rights of our children and future generations, please bravely come out. The Chinese people’s thirst for freedom and democracy is unstoppable (as Wen Jiabao said during an interview on CNN).

If you are unable to participate in the strolls, please tell every Chinese person near you: We need an upright and honest government. We need the right to supervise government tax collection. We need the right to scrutinize officials’ wealth. We need the right to publicly criticize the government. These are the fundamental rights of every Chinese person. Please tell every Chinese person near you: Non-violent non-cooperation is the only path for Chinese democratization. Please use word-of-mouth to break through the news blackout and come show your support.

The Chinese people rely on themselves to fight for their rights. We should not even dream that an authoritarian regime would take the initiative to award us these rights. Please join us in non-violent non-cooperation to make the Chinese government respect the basic rights of the Chinese people.

Time: Every Sunday starting on February 20, 2011 at 2 pm. (If the Chinese government is sincere about solving problems such as corruption and public supervision, we will send out a notice stopping the action.)

Rally Locations:

Beijing: in front of the McDonald’s on Wangfujing Street

Shanghai: in front of Peace Cinema at People’s Square

Tianjin: below the Drum Tower

Nanjing, (Jiangsu Province): the entrance of Silk Street Department Store at the Drum Tower Square

Xi’an, (Shaanxi Province): the entrance of Carrefour on Beida Street

Chengdu, (Sichuan Province): under the Statue of Chairman Mao at Tianfu Square

Changsha, (Hunan Province): the entrance of Xindaxin Building at Wuyi Square

Hangzhou, (Zhejiang Province): the entrance of Hangzhou Department Store at Wulin Square

Guangzhou, (Guangdong Province): in front of the Starbucks at the People’s Park

Shenyang, (Liaoning Province): in front of the KFC at North Nanjing Street

Changchun, (Jilin Province): in front of Corogo Supermarket at Democratic Avenue of West Culture Square

Harbin, (Heilongjiang Province): in front of Harbin Cinema

Wuhan, (Hubei Province): in front of the McDonald’s at Jiefang Avenue and the World Trade Plaza

People who are in cities not listed here, please go to the central square of your city.

We ask websites to help spread this statement, thank you!

One of the organizers of China Jasmine Rallies (Posted on Boxun by a friend on February 21, 2011.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Liberate Libya, Bahrain, China +

A call to liberate Libya, Bahrain,
China, and Mainstream journalism!

By John Kusumi

February 20, 2011 (Sunday) was not a slow news day. Uprisings and/or crackdowns were reported in Bahrain, Libya, China, Djibouti, Morocco, and Madison, Wisconsin. There may still be protest/uprising action happening in Algeria, Iran, and Yemen, but it didn't cross my desk Sunday. I did notice that sympathy protests happened in Hong Kong and New York.


Libya must be liberated. Even by Washington standards, this is an easy call. Everybody should lean into giving the full measure of their support to the pro-democracy dissidents who are trying to change Libya for the better. They want to get out from under their despotic tyrant, Moammar Gadhafi.

Recent days have included the news of protest/uprising action and the brutal, deadly crackdown that the tyrant meted out in reply. To me, however, the kicker is this headline:

"Libyan security forces open fire on mourners at funeral for anti-gov't protesters in Benghazi again."

Think of that! In Libya, they can't mourn their dead. They can't go to a funeral, because government thugs are there to mow down any bereaved friends and relatives who have the temerity to think that their deceased loved one deserves recognition.

This is inhuman by any standard. Now reiterating my point, Libya must be liberated.

With my point already made, it remains to note that Sunday's action in Benghazi, Libya was more than a crackdown: it was a massacre. The following tweet, seen Sunday, was poignant and should pull at anyone's heart strings:

"Massacre in Benghazi, Gaddafi is using missiles, killing libyans, help us, help us, help us "

Once again, this is inhuman by any standard.

A group of the Chinese democracy movement, 'Coalition for Citizens Rights' plans to hold a sympathy protest for Libya, condemning that massacre, outside the United Nations (in New York) on Tuesday at 2p.m. (The China Support Network will co-sponsor. All are welcome. It's at the Dag Hamarskjold Park location: 47th St./1st Av.)


Bahrain had its own massacre two days earlier. It filled the hospitals to overflowing, according to the voice of a Dr. Ghassan at Salmaniya Hospital, as heard in this clip from Al Jazeera:

Once again, this is inhuman by any standard. That's not the end of it. Today on Facebook, there appeared a message which says:

"I'm a 16 year old teanager.. We live in fear and pain in bahrain
Our peaceful protest of more than 50,000 if not more got attacked at
night by the bahrain army..
70 people have been missing.. No one knows about them but one
was found brutaly killed and cut into pieces
Also women and children went missing
There was over 600 casualties and 8 martyrs..
The minister of health is covering it up, and not allowing to send
ambulances.. And even if sent it isn't allow to help people
Instead they get beaten up
Its a msacre wats happening here.. The bahrain media wants to have
a media blockout.. 14 reporters r still at the airport..
Also.. The bahrain tv r spreading wrong facts.. And covering up the
masacre and creating plays
I wish you could help us because we really do need help.."

There is something else to say about Bahrain and U.S. foreign policy. Rumors say that the Saudis are ready to dispatch troops "to help" the regime in Bahrain. Frankly, that would never happen unless it was green lighted from Washington, DC. If the Saudis move into Bahrain, that will be as proxies. It's really Washington moving into Bahrain, but letting the dirty work be done by Saudis, who are a puppet state of Washington.

Is the United States, via proxy, about to stomp into Bahrain to further harm these injured people?

As a human rights group, the China Support Network calls upon Obama, Biden, and Clinton to refrain from any assistance to the Bahrain regime and indeed to veto any Saudi move to back up that regime. With fresh blood on its hands, the Bahrain regime has crimes against humanity for which it must answer.

Once again, this is inhuman by any standard. The al-Khalifa ruling family must go. Bahrain must overcome its tyranny. Freedom is the order of the day, and as mentioned in the headline, this is a call to liberate Bahrain.

If the Obama group actually reads this tract, I would repeat words from a former CIA analyst: "Globalisation and improved communications now make possible what once was easily silenced. If regimes are to survive, they must draw a new contract with their peoples."

In light of that, you [Obama folks] might want to dial back or dial down on your own crimes against humanity. Take that as a tip from a human rights group and member of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Together with the ICC, the China Support Network frowns on genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.


Speaking of genocide and crimes against humanity, let's talk about Communist China. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have certainly encouraged hope in the community of Chinese dissidents, and illuminated a way in which people power (plus online connectivity) was able to organize in the face of a tyrant; overcame fear; and was victorious in 18 days without a Tiananmen-style massacre perpetrated by the army.

This is absolutely a pattern and model for Chinese dissidents to follow. Over the weekend just now, some dissidents indeed tried to follow just that formula.

The efforts to organize a Jasmine Revolution for China are the subject of conflicting reports. This first appeared either ten days ago, or else Thursday Feb. 17, depending upon the news source you read. In any case, on Saturday Feb. 19, organizers released a very specific plan for Feb. 20.

The plan named 13 Chinese cities and gathering places, directed participants to appear at 2p.m. on Sunday, and to shout specific slogans, namely: "We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness, we want justice, start political reform, end one-party dictatorship, bring in freedom of the press, long live freedom, long live democracy."

This was bold on the part of dissidents, but the regime was swift in its pre-emptive suppression. Indeed, much is learned from the Chinese government's over-reaction.

A synopsis by Bloomberg News said, "The Chinese authorities responded by arresting some human rights lawyers, shutting university students in their campuses, banning the use of keywords on mobile phone messages and with an overwhelming security presence, according to reports in foreign media.

"Television footage yesterday showed police clashing with small numbers of demonstrators in Beijing and Shanghai, with several protesters struggling as they were bundled away into custody."

The Bloomberg synopsis doesn't do justice to this story, but here at the China Support Network, we'll fill in some more.

They swooped in with a pre-emptive dragnet. Some dissidents were taken away; others were kept under house arrest. The total receiving such treatment exceeded 100, according to the Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy. In still other cases, dissidents were warned against attending, or questioned about it.

The word "jasmine" was blocked by internet filters. Service was suspended in Beijing for multi-recipient text messages, according to the AP. Reports say that a heavy police presence cordoned off the 13 protest sites.

Twitter users and the activist Wan Yanhai also reported that university students were told to stay on campuses and away from trouble.

With all of the above as prelude, Sunday's protests were sparsely attended and anti-climactic. Activity was reported in Beijing and Shanghai, but in the other cities the police presence seemed the only response to the internet calls, which used these hashtags:

#cn220, #jasmine, #freeChina, #cnJasmine

Sympathy protests broke out in Hong Kong and New York. How to take this news, and analysis thereof, can be debated. My group, the China Support Network, did not organize these protests, but we declare solidarity with China's Jasmine Revolution. We call for the liberation of mainland China from its Communist Party oppressors.

Furthermore, we demand the release of all of the Jasmine detainees who were rounded up in the pre-emptive sweep. This echoes the same demand that was made at the Hong Kong protest on Sunday.

The hardline dissident group, China Interim Government, is demanding that Chinese president Hu Jintao step down. China Support Network declares its solidarity and repeats the call: Hu Jintao, step down!

How to spin the news can always be debated. I've noticed that the snarkiest journalists are the fastest ones to file their stories. We don't yet have large crowds marching in the streets, and for that some journalists are already writing off China's Jasmine Revolution. Who's side are they on? Clearly, they are on one side of the battle, and it is the anti-democracy side.

There is a cautionary tale to be told about Richard Spencer of the UK Telegraph. On Jan. 16, his headline said, "Tunisia: Why the Jasmine Revolution won't bloom."

His subheadline said, "Friday's coup in Tunisia sent shockwaves throughout the Arab world. But don't expect it to herald an era of democratic reform."

Spencer said that "It is easy to laugh now," because Tunisian dictator Ben Ali had predicted the demise of Hosni Mubarak, and now instead of Mubarak it was Ben Ali who had just been driven out of power.

We could ask the question, "Who is laughing now?" Is it Ben Ali who has egg on his face, or is it Richard Spencer, who reported with near-metaphysical certitude that the Jasmine Revolution would not spread to Egypt?

My cautionary tale reveals that "the Jasmine Revolution" has been written off as dead before; but, simply because a journalist files such a story does not mean that the story will stick. Journalists should think long and hard before trying to pronounce the demise, or the end, of the Chinese pro-democracy movement.

This movement has people who are "still here" from 1989. The China Support Network was a response group to the atrocity at Tiananmen Square.

Tiananmen Square student leader Wang Dan remains on the scene. Interviewed in Taiwan, he can spin this story like a pro. (Perhaps, with over 20 years' experience in the field, we should allow that he is a pro.)

His interview published by Taiwan's CNA news wire allowed that the revolution did not materialize on Sunday. But, Wang is quoted saying, "The Chinese Communists were indeed frightened this time... Why does a government, which has more information than its people do, believe more than its people that mass protests are likely in China these days?"

He assessed Sunday's campaign as "a very successful 'test and drill' for the future gathering of 'true people power.'"

Writing in the Australian, Leo Lewis said that some people "hailed the day's activities as a useful dry run and suggested that protesters should meet every Sunday."

The New York Times found a Beijinger named Cui, who said that he was not disappointed by the outcome:

"He predicted that many people, emboldened by the fact that an impromptu gathering had coalesced at all, would use social networking technology to stage similar events in the future.

"'It's very difficult to do this in China, but this is a good start,' he said. 'I'm thankful to be able to participate in this moment in history.'"

Mainstream journalism

Above, I wrote a cautionary tale with the example of Richard Spencer, who didn't expect to see a post-Mubarak world when he filed his story on Jan. 16. Journalists can be caught out by their near-metaphysical certitude that received wisdom and outdated rules of thumb can never fail them.

Today, Melissa K. Chan was heedless of my cautionary tale. With her feet on the desk, she tapped out an article titled, "Call me if there's a revolution." She explained that her friend, another journalist, was headed out to central Beijing, but she decided not to go. "Pretty certain nothing would happen," she explained, she didn't want "a waste of my Sunday afternoon."

If that isn't bad enough, within her article Ms. Chan proceeds to telegraph her attitude. An entire section begins, "Here's why I think China won't be having a revolution anytime soon." She then proceeds to regurgitate some hackneyed cliches of received wisdom, faulty rules of thumb, and flawed interpretation of history.

I believe that Al-Jazeera should recall or reassign Ms. Chan, or that she should recuse herself from any future reporting on the Chinese democracy movement.

It is exceedingly clear, in advance of future pro-democracy coverage, that Ms. Chan is biased against the movement. Her absence is not to be missed. For all I care, she can stay in a nail salon for the duration of the revolution. In between pedicures, perhaps she can try some more of her feet-on-the-desk journalism.

When I consider the Melissa Chans of the news world, I wonder, "How much does the Communist Party pay you to ignore the human rights abuse of the Chinese democracy movement? Is that amount more, or less, than what they pay you to ignore the human rights abuse of the Falun Gong on a weekly basis?"

There is a Beiijing Foreign Correspondents' Club, and all of them ignore the human rights abuse of the Falun Gong on a weekly basis. If the long arc of history bends toward justice, then at some point they will be exposed for being tacitly complicit, and silent accessories to the crimes against humanity that have been committed by the Chinese Communist Party in twelve years of the Falun Gong crackdown.

Are they journalists? Or are they press release rewrite analysts? In order to report from Beijing and preserve their access in the Beijing power structure, they have made a pact with the devil. Sold out and soulless, they have abdicated a fuller version of journalism. They have kept Western audiences in the dark about the full extent and scale of the genocide against Falun Gong.

They have served their Communist masters in Beijing. (And the home office overseas never thinks to ask after the Falun Gong.) But they have not served the right side of history, nor the public's right to know. What is the final epithet that I can write in this space? Perhaps I will let them choose from two alterate endings. They may be "filthy sub-human scum." Or they may be "paragons of moral cowardice and trite reporting."

Either way, there is something profoundly foul at the Beijing Foreign Correspondents' Club, and I wouldn't want to be them; nor within smelling distance of that abominable hell hole. I would challenge them simply to tell me: What is the current death toll in the Falun Gong crackdown? And how many people died while you were withholding that number from the public?

If the revolution succeeds, we will soon learn the answers to these interesting questions.

# # #

Saturday, January 15, 2011

China Policy Ossified, Wishful, Ruinous

By John Kusumi and Ning Ye
Jan. 14, 2011

As Barack Obama prepares to welcome Hu Jintao to a White House state dinner, Zbigniew Brzezinski launched a message offensive to frame U.S.-China relations. Regrettably, the policy prescriptions are flawed, faulty, and wishful rather than realistic. They were of arguable merit in the 1970s (the decade when the policy began); they overlook geopolitical changes in the 30 years since then; and in the twenty-teen decade, they are fully divorced from reality.

During forty recent years, U.S.-China policy can be summarized by five words: getting cozy with Communist China. It is against our better interests; it is economically ruinous; and by building up a nuclear-armed, communist superpower, it directly threatens the U.S.' own national security. It is a risky scheme to have a hasty rush to Maoism.

Where does this policy come from? In large part, it comes from Zbigniew Brzezinski. He was the National Security Advisor to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. During that term of office, the U.S. threw Taiwan under the bus and normalized relations with Beijing.

Writing in the New York Times on January 2, Brzezinski waxed nostalgic about former dictator Deng Xiaoping's historic trip more than 30 years ago, as Deng visited the Carter administration to begin collecting China's winnings. It is as though China held a winning lottery ticket. Brzezinski notes that it "marked the beginning of China's three-decades-long economic transformation – one facilitated by its new diplomatic ties to the United States."

Brzezinski's policy advice is old wine in an old bottle. It is as though nothing has changed since November 1969, when the Cohen memo reached the desk of former U.S. President Richard Nixon and hatched the idea of getting cozy with Communist China. Because actual policy then moved in the direction suggested by Jerome Cohen's memo, subsequent pronouncements have all been oriented to reinforce and defend the indefensible policy.

The issue now is that China has risen to being the world's number two superpower, from being the poorest one among the Communist ranks 40 years ago, when U.S. policy made its strategic U-turn to enable the "younger nephew" to fight against the "big brother."

It is always fair to note that the Communist Party is not China – and, China is not the Communist Party. U.S. policymakers have chosen to be cozy with China's government, but not with the wider aspirations of its people, best expressed in its pro-democracy, labor, and religious movements such as Falun Gong. Therefore we are really discussing U.S.-CCP relations, because the CCP is the one party, dictatorial government that stands in for China while victimizing its people, suppressing these movements, and enabling diabolical corruption.

Lip service notwithstanding, the appeasement policy of recent decades has bet against popular aspirations and against the emergence of Chinese democracy. Certainly, the U.S. would be better served with a hedging strategy. What if the CCP is on the wrong side of history? Will the U.S. be remembered for aiding and abetting some of history's worst oppressors?

If we look at policy outcomes on the ground, that's what we're doing: The U.S. is aiding and abetting some of history's worst oppressors. If we include its victims under Chairman Mao, the CCP has killed 80 million Chinese people, in addition to approximately 58,000 U.S. soldiers in the battlefields of Korea. Adding to the death toll, the brutal Falun Gong crackdown (still in progress) may be larger than the Tiananmen crackdown, the Uighur crackdown, and the Tibetan crackdown combined. For the CCP, crimes against humanity are business as usual.

In the worst case, U.S. policy is now analogous to that of Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister of the 1930s who refused to believe the worst of Nazi Germany. Unwilling to treat the Nazi threat as the strategic, lethal adversary that it was, Chamberlain followed policies of appeasement and began to sound like Baghdad Bob, in denial of the actual military situation on the ground. It took a different British prime minister, Winston Churchill, to have a clear eyed view and to exhibit strength against Nazi Germany.

Brzezinski argues for continued, Chamberlain-esque appeasement with complete disregard to a completely changed geopolitical landscape more than 40 years after the Cohen memo. Naturally since the policy is his brainchild, he defends it with this old wine in an old bottle.

In Brzezinski's time as National Security Advisor, this policy weakened the Soviet bloc. But in the decades since then, changes of circumstance now indicate that this policy is weakening the free world.

Absent the Soviet Union, U.S.-China relations have been of, by, and for business, even while the balance of payments has tipped heavily in favor of China and against the U.S. economy. U.S. rhetoric about liberty and rights has been hollow window dressing. The stale policy benefits two groups and hurts two others. The benefit has been for U.S. and CCP elites. The harm has been for U.S. and Chinese laobaixing (a term that means "ordinary citizens").

Brzezinski has failed to justify why the U.S. should be out of step with liberty, itself. He can no longer fall back on the Soviet Union to justify the appeasement of Communist China.

Many Chinese are themselves astonished at the winning lottery ticket that was handed to the CCP in the 1970s. Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng has celebrated the emergence of the Tea Party in U.S. politics. If there is any hope, however slim, that America will move in a different direction, that is to be welcomed.

It is to be admitted that Zbigniew Brzezinski had his day. But now, it is time for the U.S. to dial back on its provision of aid and comfort to a nuclear armed, communist superpower.

John Kusumi is President of the China Support Network. Ning Ye is a Chinese dissident and attorney.