A movement in Mainland China calling for people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is growing, said Li Fengzhi at an espionage conference Wednesday.
“It’s a significant movement to quit the CCP. I also quit the CCP in 2009. There are a lot of people. This should be a very good way to peacefully get the CCP out of China,” Li told security professionals in Gatineau, Quebec, at the Canadian Industrial Security Conference.
“Of course I would like to say that there are other ways the Chinese people can fight against the CCP to get democracy and freedom back to China.”
Li was a former intelligence officer with the Ministry of State Security, China’s chief intelligence agency. He defected to the U.S. in 2004, citing political reasons.
He said the influence of the movement was “very big” and gaining strength.
The movement began in 2004 with the publication of a series of editorial by the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times detailing the crimes and abuses of the Chinese Communist Party over its 60-year history.
It calls on Chinese citizens to declare their withdrawal from the party and its affiliated organizations through “Quit the Party” centres run by volunteers overseas. Chinese people can register their withdrawal through a variety of methods including email, telephone calls, faxes or instant messaging.
Although the CCP’s active membership totals some 80 million, almost all Chinese at one point or another are required to pledge their lives to the party and often participate in Communist Party organizations, including the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers. To date over 100 million have declared their withdrawal, according to overseas organizers.
Li said he hopes the Quit the CCP movement combined with other dissident movements can quickly remove the party from power in China.
He said when that happens, China’s relationships with other countries will normalize and rampant espionage carried out by the Party will stop.