Chinese Scholars Call for Democracy

November 19, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: November 19, 2007 12:00 am

Mr. Wang Zhaojun, a successful businessman and provincial level official from Anhui province, wrote an open letter to the Chinese government advocating political reform. Two more open letters followed within one month. The most recent letter states, “the disintegration of the former Soviet Union is the road of social development, this experience can be useful to China.”

Return the People's Right to Vote

The third letter was published by Mr. Guo Quan, a member of the China Democratic League—a political party in China.

Thirtynine-year-old Guo is an associate professor at Nanjing Normal University. In his open letter he promotes a two-party political system, stating that it does not just belong to western countries. A two-party political system could maximize the out-party's supervision ability while minimizing social instability.

Guo said, “Only when people truly hold the ballot in their hands, can the party in power be a true public servant.”

One-Party Dictatorship Means No Social Harmony

Guo also said in his open letter that in a dictatorship, no other groups have the power to compete with the ruling party. People are forbidden to form political parties or independent media and thus have no way to defend their interests. Guo stated, “The social harmony claimed by such politics, is desperate and meaningless.”

Guo also wrote in the letter that he has studied Chinese political system for many years. He said, “Whenever I review the history of victims under such a political system (those victims ranging from everyday people to the president of the nation) I ask myself, if our country is called The People's Republic of China, as a republic, what is its core? Should it be democracy and rule of law? But what is truly void in the political system of this People's Republic of China is precisely democracy and rule of law.”

Guo urged Beijing to return the power to the people. “Chinese leaders should be elected by Chinese people, not from a weapon or minority party.”

Guo also said that many people in Chinese society know of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. This collapse, in his view, is one step forward in the history of mankind—a step of mankind moving to democracy. Guo urges to make “China a constitutional country with law, justice, and power of the people as soon as possible.”   

The “Era of the Open Letter”

Political commentator Liang Jing believes that Chinese people are tired of the regime, the scholars and elite group are fed up with the official communication channels, and China has entered “an era of the open letter.” Many Chinese scholars are using many different opportunities to speak up.