Chinese Activists Draft ‘Internet Revolution Declaration’

February 28, 2010 Updated: May 28, 2012

“Declaraton of Internet Revolution,” a document drafted by over 20 Chinese activists, began to circulate the Internet Feb. 12, attracting responses from Chinese around the world. Drafters include pro-democracy activist Wang Dan, Yan Jiaqi, and Feng Congde.

‘Color revolution with Chinese characteristics’

The Declaration states, “No need for close combat, no need for bloodshed or sacrifice … This is the Internet revolution. It is the color revolution with ‘Chinese characteristics.’”

Pro-democracy Tiananmen Square student leader Feng Congde called upon Chinese Internet users to participate and effectively build a “Tiananmen Square” on the Internet.

The Declaration of Internet Revolution comprises close to 2,000 words. It points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), on countless occasions, has refused to accommodate the people’s needs. It refuses to reform politically and instead puts up an imperious countenance, obstinately supporting the one-party dictatorship.

The “Golden Shield Project,” also known as the Great Firewall of China, was launched by the Chinese regime in 1998 to comprehensively monitor information on the Internet, covering almost all networks inside China. It was completed in 2008 with the help of high-tech companies in the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. Over 300,000 network supervisors block information and remove negative remarks about the regime.

China’s Internet Firewall even records Skype chats. TOM-Skype, eBay’s joint venture in China, added encrypted keywords into its list. If a chat includes keywords such as Falun Gong or Tibetan separatists, it immediately records the user’s information and monitors the content of the user’s communication.

Fear of a coalition of the people

“What the CCP fears most is a coalition of the people,” Feng Congde said. “All its violence and lies are efforts to stop people from forming a coalition.”

Feng cited Chinese citizen Feng Zhenghu as an example. When Feng Zhenghu went abroad, the Chinese regime blocked his re-entry into China. He staged a 92-day protest at the Narita Airport in Japan, using the Internet to stay connected with his supporters, and finally won.

Mr. Wang Dan, visiting assistant professor at the Taiwan’s National Chengchi University and one of the drafters of the Declaration, told Radio Free Asia that overthrowing the Great Wall-like Internet blockade set up by the Chinese regime has historical significance equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

He said that the CCP’s efforts to stringently control the Internet only prove that the Internet is a significant threat to the regime in its efforts to suppress freedom. “It is simply impossible to obstruct Internet development,” Wang said. “So from this perspective, of course, the Internet users are bound to win, and the regime that suppresses information is doomed to failure.”

Hong Kong commentator Martin Oei has signed on, noting that although the Internet has improved the lives of the Chinese people, many young people in China do not fully understand the importance of their own freedom of speech.

It is only when they are faced with something like the forced demolition of their home—and they realize there is no where to appeal—do they begin to understand the value of freedom of information. The Declaration provides them an avenue to help break the Internet blockade without having to worry too much for their own safety, Oei said.

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