A milestone has been reached in China, but not the kind the Chinese Communist Party is celebrating. For the past seven years, a peaceful movement has been steadily growing—a movement that encourages Chinese people to renounce all affiliations with the Communist Party. This week, that movement reached the momentous milestone of 100 million participants.
“Having 100 million Chinese people withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party is an occasion to celebrate and a historic milestone in Chinese history,” Yi Rong, chairwoman of the New York-based Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, said at a press conference.
“It means a lot for China’s present and future, as well as for China’s transition toward a future free from the terror imposed by the Communist Party,” she said.
Known as "tuidang" in Chinese, the movement for Chinese to withdraw from the Party began in late 2004, following the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party by The Epoch Times.
The Nine Commentaries is an editorial series which details the CCP’s history, human rights record, and episodes of terror such as the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong—topics that are either ignored or misreported under the CCP’s unceasing regime of censorship and propaganda.
The editorial, which was spread to mainland China via fax, e-mail, and mail, led to an overwhelming amount of letters to the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times from readers who wanted to renounce their ties to the CCP and its affiliated organizations, such as the Youth League and the Young Pioneers.
It is estimated that over 700 million Chinese people have been affiliated with at least one of these three groups.
“These 100 million include people of all social strata, from the top, such as military personnel and government officials, all the way to the lower strata, such as villagers and students, crossing all social classes,” Yi said.
A resident of China’s northeastern province of Liaoning, Li Yumei renounced affiliations with the Youth League and Young Pioneers on Aug. 4.
“After reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, I seemed to have woken up from an illusion,” Li said in her statement. “During the six decades of its rule, [the CCP] has always seen the people as slaves who could be used at any time and in any way. It has used sly words to lure us in our childhood into joining the Party’s affiliated organizations such as the Youth League and the Young Pioneers—something I have the utmost regret for.”
“To cut ties with the evil Party’s lies, brainwashing, and mental control, and for the name of freedom and democracy, for the people who want to be able to make their own decisions, I would like to solemnly renounce from its Youth League and Young Pioneers.”
Li Dayong, executive director of the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, said that the statements are part of a “war between good and evil.”
The U.S. Senate took a leading step in recognizing the Tuidang movement by introducing a bipartisan resolution in July in recognition of the movement. Li said that the resolution represents the international community’s recognition of Tuidang.
While the Tuidang movement implicitly supports regime change in China, it does not come with replacement political prescriptions, and is understood by both its activists and participants as a spiritual and ethical awakening rather than a political revolution.
The movement does not advocate the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party, but calls for Chinese to make a psychological separation between China’s future and the CCP. Chinese who reject the lies and violence inherent in CCP rule are often willing to help spread the word about the movement even in the face of danger imposed by the regime.
“I think the 100 million people who have already withdrawn from the CCP will have a snowball effect,” Yi said. “I think in the near future, China will see a very big social change that is supported by all the good people in the world.”