A Chinese student in Australia exposed the threats and harassment her family experienced from Chinese authorities after she participated in rights defending activities overseas. She uses the alias “Zoo” to protect her identity.
Zoo began studying in Australia last June. She has organized two memorials in Melbourne for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus victim Li Wenliang, the whistleblower doctor who first publicized information about the outbreak in December 2019. Last October, she joined the Hong Kong demonstrations to protest against a controversial extradition bill before it was formally withdrawn later that month.
Father Harassed in China
In April, the domestic security bureau, a police force tasked with neutralizing those whom the CCP views as political threats, summoned Zoo’s father in the middle of the night. They told him that Zoo allegedly committed the crimes of inciting overseas Chinese people to assemble in front of the Chinese embassy and teaching the Chinese how to bypass the Great Firewall, the Chinese regime’s sophisticated online censorship mechanism. They forced her father to obtain her Twitter password and asked him to persuade her to turn herself in.
Zoo told The Epoch Times that her father was a Communist Party member and a professional scholar studying Marxism. After being threatened by the domestic security bureau, her father recently tried to persuade her to return home, she said.
“My father wants me to turn myself in because that’s his political stance. We haven’t had a family trip for so many years. I did not expect him to talk about how much he’s missed me and hoped to plan a trip together because the police told him to,” said Zoo.
She also said the police had her father keep track of her activities and report her situation on a weekly basis.
Walking her Own Path
When asked what made her choose a different path from her father’s, she said, “Since I was a child, I have always been a troublemaker and I would stand up against injustice. When I was young, I learned the facts of the CCP’s cruelty. People seem to ignore and get accustomed to it, but I find it unacceptable.”
Zoo learned how to bypass the Great Firewall, China’s internet blockade, when she was in high school. Her negative impression of the CCP was confirmed after she saw online videos exposing the truth about the Tiananmen Square massacre—she was shocked and angry.
The Youth Lack a Sense of Identity
On the eve of the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre—when the Chinese regime brutally suppressed pro-democracy protesters in Beijing—Zoo decided to confront the Chinese regime by showing her face on Twitter. She condemned the CCP’s dictatorship.
Zoo said that when she was in China, she would always express her opinions about the Tiananmen Square massacre on various websites through bypassing the Firewall.
“On the 30th anniversary last year, for example, I would not have dared to issue sensitive posts such as opposing Xi Jinping, but just photos or songs related to the June 4 massacre, just as a commemoration, because I was in China,” said Zoo.
For this year’s commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre, she decided to make two placards of the Tank Man.
This June 4 is her first experience to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre overseas. After days of painful struggle, she finally decided to stand up and show her true face. She was determined to expose the CCP’s tactic to manipulate her family and their attempt to abduct a dissident like her.
Zoo indicated that most of her friends know about the June Fourth Incident, but they choose to stay silent about it.
She felt that the generation in 1989 had a sense of identity, they believed the country belonged to them, and they had a sense of responsibility for the country, the people and the future. On the contrary, Zoo said the youth from her generation now feels powerless and pessimistic, “They no longer feel the ownership of this country,” she said.
Zoo blamed the Communist regime for brainwashing its people. She said, “It’s not that they [young people] really believe in communism. They have been following its heresy and sometimes they are neither willing nor interested in learning the truth. Some of them might know that the CCP is bad, but they would still follow its instruction when things happen.”
However, she believes that conscience is the one thing people should follow, including supporting the Hong Kong movement and commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre.
In her video, she shared the following message: “In the face of a dictatorship, everyone could become a victim of persecution. Only when more young people join the democratic social movements with their creativity and passion, will we be able to gather more people sharing the same ideas, resolve the feeling of powerlessness and finally overthrow the CCP regime.”
2/2 在经历很多天的痛苦挣扎之后，我决定站出来，打破中共最常用的: 拿亲人作为人质，绑架异议人士的阴险陷阱！
— 洞物员HorrorZoo (@Horror_Zoo) June 3, 2020
Below is an English translation of Zoo’s Twitter post (1 of 2):
On the 31st anniversary of the June 4 massacre, I decided to publicly show my face and my act against Xi Jinping’s dictatorship!
This video is divided into two parts, talking about my struggles and recent encounters.
I have been trying to hide my identity.
But at the end of April, the domestic security bureau found my parents.
My sixty-year-old father was called to the police station many times late at night.
They accused me of inciting overseas Chinese to fight (against the regime), insulting Xi Jinping, and threatened me to hand over my Twitter password.
Below is an English translation of the Twitter post (2 of 2):
After many days of painful struggles, I decided to stand up and break the most common sinister tactics of the CCP: Hold loved ones as hostages and abduct the dissidents!
In the face of a dictatorship, everyone can become a victim of persecution. Only when more young people join the democratic and social movements with their creativity and passion that will we be able to gather more people who share the same ideas, resolve the feeling of powerlessness and finally overthrow the CCP regime.
Jian Feng contributed to this report.