Gao Zhisheng’s Open Letter to the United States Congress
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:
Most respectful greetings from Gao Zhisheng! Allow me to express my sincere gratitude for your kind consideration and support in the past year to me and to the values I am pursuing.
In the past two months, I have twice read theDebates in the Federal Convention of 1787 by James Madison. Freedom, democracy, and rule by law and constitution are the values China has longed for but has not been able to enjoy.
There is a saying in China, “A bite when hungry is better appreciated than a feast when full.” Likewise, your persistence is especially precious given the almost total silence, or even subservience, of the mainstream international world in the past few years in the face of the tyranny of the Chinese communist regime, a parvenu government that stops at no evil.
Your persistence is a symbol that tells the world that the shining side of humanity continues to exist. The persistence you and many others demonstrate in refusing to collaborate with this fascist government is a strong wall that the overbearing communist regime can not surmount. This persistence is a buoy that keeps the oppressed from being completely drowned by darkness, and it is the source of strength for the downtrodden Chinese people who are struggling to resist the atrocities and defend human rights. It is the manna that gives us hope to persevere in our peaceful protest.
You and other people of conscience are an important force that makes it possible for the Chinese people to peacefully abandon the tyranny and to establish a free, democratic, and civilized new China.
I am not a politician. I promise that you won’t see any rhetoric, distortion, or pretence in this letter. Experience teaches us that though the world can be very critical, people often favor counterfeit virtues. This rule is brought to extremes in my country by those who vilify the good and glorify evil. In the past two years, the Chinese communist regime has demonstrated every vile act one can and cannot imagine during its efforts to silence me.
As if to prove its determination to destroy human feelings and conscience at all cost, the regime ordered at least four secret police to maintain continuous intimate man-to-man surveillance on my less-than-3-year-old son. My 12-year-old daughter was “privileged” to an even higher level of treatment with six to ten male and female secret police at her heels day and night, month after month, even when she was in the classroom. All my family members have been followed around by secret police and have been illegally detained at will many times.
During this period, my wife and children suffered repeated brutal assaults. The regime is determined to stop at nothing to persecute me, and made special efforts to reveal its true color of “what’s there to be afraid of, being already so notorious,” only because I stick to my conscience and responsibility as a human being. Behavior that is commonly considered to be too degrading for human beings is enforced in my country as [mere] political tasks.
Today, as we approach the Beijing Olympic Games, I ask you to pay attention to the ongoing human rights disaster in China, and wish you to forward my appeal to the whole world. I ask you to seriously consider the outlook of morality, justice, and humanity for today’s mankind, as well as to what extent such values are undermined in China.
More and more Chinese people are speaking out against the coming Olympic Games in China, which they often refer to as “the bloody Olympics” and “the handcuff Olympics.” They raised the protest, “We want human rights, not the Olympics.” Recently Mr. Jacques Rogge, president of the Olympic Committee, expressed to the Chinese media his determination not to be moved by these “desperate and indignant” voices. Meanwhile, Mr. Rogge asked people not to politicize the Olympic Games.
Though I have very positive feelings about the spirit embodied in the Olympic Games, I am not willing to rebuke Mr. Rogge for his dereliction of duty to defend the ethical values of the Olympics. But it is necessary to remind Mr. Rogge that the Chinese communist regime treated the application and hosting of the Olympic Games exactly as an important political task. Everything related to the Olympics is regarded as a political issue.
Liu Qi, China’s key person in charge of these Olympics, claimed that it is an “overriding political task” to ensure that every need of the Olympic Games is met. This is a simple and commonly recognized fact in China.
What the Chinese authorities failed to predict is how wildly the corrupt officials are taking advantage of this “overriding political task.” Under the name of securing the success of the Olympic Games, all kinds of evils have been committed in broad daylight without any obstruction, including forced eviction, illegal arrests and persecution of people who petition to the authorities, and suppression of religious people.
It is plain as day to all Chinese people that, with successes in hosting the Olympic Games, the communist regime is trying to achieve two goals. First, it tries to prove to the Chinese people that the world is still acknowledging the Party as a legal government despite all the suppressive and bloody tyranny and all the horrible crimes against humanity the Party has committed during the past decades at the cost of at least 80 million Chinese lives. Second, it wants to prove to the world that the Party is still fully competent in reigning over China and still enjoys the people’s full support.
As more Chinese people are waking up and rising up to demand the end of tyranny, the call for human rights is becoming louder and louder. Under such circumstances, the Chinese communist regime has developed a twisted but fragile mentality and a freakish obsession for maintaining stability and ensuring the Olympic Games at all costs.
A recent incident in Beijing fully reflects the regime’s fear of the people. An old man persevered, until his last breath, in petitioning against the forced eviction that robbed him of his home, and died for this cause. At his funeral, Beijing police sent hundreds of policemen and unidentified personnel in 59 police vehicles (mostly vans) to surround the old man’s residence to prevent people from attending the unyielding old man’s funeral (that was being held there).
Such shameful crimes against people of conscience have been going on for decades. A Heilongjiang farmer, Yang Chunlin, was robbed of his land. He was arrested for “instigating others to overthrow the state government” after he cried out, “We want human rights, not the Olympic Games.” In recent years, the illegal arrests of innocent people have gone beyond all limits.