WASHINGTON, DC—Regime collapse in China may not be on the tips of the lips of the many Western observers, but the Chinese dissident community has something else to say.
Gathered on Sept. 27 in the U.S. Capitol to mark the anniversary of the 61st year of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) successful insurgency and seizure of political power, the themes were multiple: a discussion of all things evil the CCP has done; the announcement of the publishing of the book “Lessons in Democracy” in Chinese; a discussion of why the CCP’s monopoly on power is now in jeopardy, or as Wei Jingsheng put it: why “the CCP is like an arrow at the end of its flight”; and a discussion of why the mass of renunciations of the CCP by Chinese people (called “tuidang”) has become more than a headache for the regime.
Organized by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation and the Asia Democracy Alliance, the event featured half a dozen speakers, including: Kama Namgyal, chair of Dokham Chushigandruk, a Tibetan human rights group; Ge Defang, U.S. Director of the League of Chinese Victims; Ni Yuxian, chair of the Chinese Freedom and Democracy Party; and executive director of the Global Service Center for Quitting CCP Dr. Li Dayong, who spoke about the implications of the renunciation campaign he helps coordinate.
Wei Jingsheng began the forum by dismissing Deng Xiaoping’s much vaunted nostrum of “reform and opening up,” which has not actually made the masses of Chinese much richer. “We know that China has two hundred to three hundred million in abject poverty,” he said.
He argued that China’s apparent wealth is concentrated among a small elite, and was obtained through exploiting both the West and the Chinese masses. “Everyone knows that workers’ wages are extremely low in China—and they use cheap products sent to the West to cause trouble with the markets here.”
In sum, Wei said, when the CCP was under Mao, it was a disaster for the Chinese people, but in the thirty years under and since Deng, “they not only bring disaster to the Chinese people, but to the whole world.”
“So here we’re looking at the 61 years of the CCP’s rule from every aspect.”
One such aspect was Mao’s “Little Red Book,” and how everyone used to carry one around; Roland Watson, author of the newly translated “Lessons in Democracy,” suggested this idea be subverted by a sort of “little blue book of democracy.”
“It would be much better in China if everyone had a little book about democracy that they read, that they could study,” Watson said with a wry smile. “It doesn’t have to be mine, it can be any other book about democracy,” sitting at home or in the car.
The last speaker, Li Dayong, thought he had something close to such a book. Called the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” and published by The Epoch Times, it is a volume that has spread similar to how “samizdat” used to spread in the Soviet Union, in unconventional ways that confound the CCP’s strict censorship regime.
The book is a global indictment of communism, and especially the Chinese kind. The campaign to renounce the CCP began in December 2004, soon after the publication of the editorial series. “Nine Commentaries” provides an unvarnished examination of the nature and history of the CCP.