KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan—Citizens, community groups, officials, and Falun Gong practitioners gathered in a rally here on Sept. 12 celebrating the more than 80 million Chinese who have renounced their association with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Several hundred Falun Gong practitioners with banners, flags, and drums led a parade through the city’s crowded upscale Shinkuchan shopping area, while Taiwanese college students in the Youth Association for International Human Rights Development joined in.
“We come from many colleges and universities. We think human rights education in schools is weak. Through student participation in different fields, we wish to increase human rights awareness in Taiwan,” said Jiang Wan-yun, head of the Association.
Officials of Taiwan’s southern Kaohsiung City also attended and voiced their support, including the Vice Mayor.
The campaign to renounce the CCP began worldwide in December 2004, soon after The Epoch Times published the editorial series “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.” The book delves into the details and legacy of the violent political campaigns that the Party has initiated every few years since it took power in 1949, and argues that communism has been an unameliorated blight on the Chinese people and civilization.
The result of the publication was an open call to the Chinese public and those concerned with China’s future to “renounce” the CCP, a peaceful campaign that has been led by Falun Gong practitioners, one of the most severely persecuted groups in modern China.
In Taiwan, many renunciations are gathered by volunteers who work at major tourist sites. Volunteers encourage Chinese nationals to renounce their ties with the CCP, record the statements, and input them into an online database that continues to grow.
Renunciations are counted for any individual who has ever been a member of the Young Pioneers of China, the Communist Youth League of China, or the Chinese Communist Party proper; the former two mass organizations are used by the CCP to indoctrinate China’s young people, and cover the ages 6-14 and 14-28 respectively.
Though formal membership may have expired, renunciations are still collected from former members of these organizations—which includes a large proportion of China’s population.
There are only 70 million members of the CCP proper, which keeps its own membership records. The renunciations made through this campaign are not correlated with the CCP’s own records, and when made by current Communist Party members are often done so with aliases, since the Party is known to punish those who withdraw.
A representative for the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP, Professor Liu Cheng-Yi, spoke at the rally. “The reason why so many people want to quit the CCP is that they have come to understand that the Party is the cause of all miseries and disasters modern day China is facing. Therefore, these people do not want to be associated with the CCP any longer.”
The Global Service Center is a non-profit organization that coordinates the global volunteer efforts and keeps detailed records of the renunciations it receives. Many renunciations come unbidden to the organization’s website from ordinary Chinese who have heard about the campaign. In other cases volunteers make telephone calls to the mainland, explain the campaign to Chinese, and register renunciations.
“Kaohsiung City is a human rights city. We have established the ‘Kaohsiung Human Rights Self-Governing Regulations’ to emphasize our respect for different religions, beliefs, and culture,” said Vice Mayor Lee Yung-te in a speech at the rally.
Xiao Yong-da, a member of the Kaohsiung city council, said, “I am glad to stand together with Falun Gong practitioners, and with the 80 million people who have renounced the CCP. We work together for a brighter future.”
Another city council member, Huang Zhao-xing said, “The truth about Falun Gong is the best display of democracy in Kaohsiung. We will show the tourists from mainland China not just the night market, but also the truth of Falun Gong.”
Falun Gong has been persecuted in China since 1999; alongside detention, forced labor, torture, the involuntary harvesting of organs, and brainwashing of adherents, a propaganda campaign demonizing the practice saturated the Chinese media, and coverage is banned outside of state directives. According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, tens of thousands of practitioners are feared to have died as a result of the persecution.
The “truth of Falun Gong” mentioned by Huang refers to the revelation of the state’s campaign against the practice, the fact of Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful resistance, and the nature of the practice itself.
“I support and encourage Falun Gong practitioners everywhere in the world. Their perseverance is reaching every corner of the world,” said Councilwoman Zhou Ling-wen.
Read the original Chinese article.