In China October 1 marks the day when the Communist Party seized power in 1949. While it remains a trumped-up national holiday, for many it is becoming a day of remembrance and mourning.
It is not surprising that many would choose to refrain from celebrations. More than 80 million people are believed to have died due to unnatural causes in the last 61 years of communist rule.
The number is greater than the deaths in both World War I and II combined. It is also more than three times the population of Australia or almost the size of the entire population of Germany.
In Hong Kong hundreds turned up to a rally held on October 1. They did not hold red flags and did not sing songs of praise for the Party.
Instead the speakers—a mix of government representatives and human rights organizations—spoke in unison that the rule of law must be resumed in China and that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cannot continue its illegitimate leadership.
“I don’t think anything is worthy of celebration today, because it marks 61 years of Chinese people being violated, victimized, and slaughtered. Therefore today is Memorial Day and the entire nation should mourn,” said Choi Suk-fong, spokesperson of the Support Group for Prisoners of Conscience in China.
Compiling information from Chinese writer Huang Heqing’s works and New Epoch Weekly article, “China’s Road to Death”, Choi said: “Conservative statistics based on China’s official data shows that, from 1949 to 1979, 65,000,000 Chinese people died unnaturally under the CCP’s rule.”
She noted that the number did not include the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, 2008 Tibetan unrest, 2009 Uighur riots, persecution of Falun Gong, and recent events including the melamine milk scandal, vaccine scandal, flu scandal, SARS, cancer villages, mud slides, forced demolition and eviction, petitioners, and many who died suddenly in police custody.
Richard Tsoi, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said if China is considered strong, its power is built upon the denial of human rights and repression of the Chinese people as well as people internationally. It is not based on fairness or justice.
“We need to know that China’s progress made over the past 61 years is not because of the Chinese regime, but is rather due to Chinese people’s hard work. In fact, the CCP has hindered China’s progress in many ways,” he said.
The rally also marked a significant milestone—80 million voluntary withdrawals from the CCP.
The grassroots movement, known as “Quit CCP” or Tuidang, started in 2004. Since then the global wave of online withdrawals has climbed exponentially.
It has become the largest peaceful movement that opposes the Communist leadership in China.
Millions have registered their resignations, many breaking through the Internet blockade in China and posting their statements on the official site, quitccp.org. Others have quit with the help of overseas call centers phoning China.
Leung Yiu-chung, member of Neighbourhood and Workers Service Centre, said 80 million was a big number.
“Please pay attention to my question, ‘Why have so many people chosen to leave CCP?’ I think this is most important, because if a group has members departing, it means the group has many problems,” said Leung, while speaking at the Hong Kong rally.