Two Chinese activists from the mainland are standing up against the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), demanding the leadership to step down and be held accountable for persecuting the Chinese people. In exclusive interviews, they told The Epoch Times that they want democracy in China and an end to the CCP’s rule.
Rights Activist Demands CCP to Step Down
On Oct. 18, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., human rights activist Xiao Chun held up banners in front of the entrance of Xiamen University, in southern Fujian Province. One banner read “Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law,” and another one had the names of some renowned activists who were illegally detained by the CCP, including Xu Zhiyong, Huang Qi, Li Huaiqing, Wang Zang, Yu Wensheng, Cheng Yuan, Ding Jiaxi, and Zhang Zhan.
— 肖春：新号1 (@xc98669866) October 18, 2020
[Caption: Xiao Chun holding up banners at the entrance of Xiamen University. (Twitter screenshot)]
Xiao told The Epoch Times that he wants to stand up against the CCP because it suppresses free speech, and as a Chinese citizen, he hopes the one-Party dictatorship can be abolished so the mainland can have democracy and rule of law, like Taiwan.
“We are pursuing the rights that citizens should have. This is originally all our rights. The second article of the Constitution stipulates that all rights belong to the people. The people oversee the government, and have the right to take to the streets,” he said.
“We, the people and taxpayers, spend money to support the government. The government should serve the people, not the other way around. We the people must stand up for justice,” he added.
Xiao also wants to hold the CCP accountable for its wrongdoings, such as the cover up of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and the suppression of whistleblowers who exposed the truth about the spread of the virus. He also mentioned the hundreds of thousands of people petitioning in Beijing every day, who have been treated harshly; and some of them have petitioned for more than a decade, but still couldn’t get justice.
Xiao claimed, “The Communist Party has no ability to govern this country well. It is not run well, and so we ask you [CCP] to step down.”
When asked about the repercussions he could face for openly criticizing the CCP, Xiao said he was “psychologically prepared before doing it.”
“Ordinary people would back down when being suppressed or beaten. But I push forward and work even harder and become more motivated. I’m not afraid.”
Xiao is a native of Qu county, Dazhou city, Sichuan Province. He once had a labor dispute consultation business in Shenzhen and he helped to protect the rights of migrant workers. Consequently, he was often harassed by the authorities who restricted his freedom, robbed and beat him.
In July 2008, Xiao organized a large number of petitioners to demonstrate in Tiananmen Square, demanding the release of human rights activists Huang Qi and Hu Jia who were in prison at the time. He was arrested and later sentenced to four years in prison for “using a cult to undermine the implementation of the law.”
Xiao told The Epoch Times that the authorities held a secret trial for him. He was forced to do slave labor in prison, working six days a week, more than ten hours a day, and only got paid two to twenty yuan (about $0.20 to $3.00) a month for it. He also revealed that there were inmates who contracted tuberculosis and other diseases because of the poor working conditions at the prison.
After Xiao was released early in September 2011, he returned to his hometown in Sichuan, where he was harassed and suppressed by Chinese authorities. He said he was stalked, illegally detained, blacklisted, and denied the right to buy train tickets.
‘Angry People Aren’t Afraid Anymore’
Meanwhile, a video on Twitter of an elderly man hanging flags of five democratic countries went viral and has attracted attention from around the world. In the video, 62-year-old Sui Shuangsheng shouted, “The angry people aren’t afraid anymore! They have to speak out. Long live democracy! Dictatorship will perish!”
— 让领导先走🙏 (@xSTWzhymWSkvLx9) October 19, 2020
[Caption: Sui Shuangsheng shares his views on the Chinese regime in a video. (Twitter Screenshot)]
Sui is a rights activist and a native of Qingdao city, Shandong Province. On Oct. 1, he hung up the national flags of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand on his balcony. Oct. 1 was a national holiday that marked the 71st anniversary of the Communist Party’s takeover of China.
In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times on Oct. 20, Sui recalled what happened next. He said his building was surrounded by 20 to 30 police officers and city management sent by the local authorities. “It made me go to the balcony and shout ‘down with the dictatorship’!” he added. That night, two police officers forced their way into his apartment and tore off the flags from his balcony.
Sui believes that he has not violated any law. “Why did they remove the flags? The Chinese can hold the Chinese flag, sing the Chinese national anthem, and drive luxury cars in the United States. Why can’t the Chinese hang an American flag in their homes?”
“Why are you [the CCP] afraid of the flag of a democratic country? You [the CCP] are too shady,” he said. “I am not going to give in. The angry people no longer fear death! They can arrest me.”
In the early years, Sui and his wife owned engineering businesses that specialized in afforestation, earth and stone works. But they suffered huge economic losses after they reported the illegal activities of the local police. They allege that the police in the north district of Qingdao were protecting criminals. Since 2012, they have continued to petition and file complaints.
In March of the following year, Sui exposed dozens of city officials who allegedly accepted bribes from developers.
On Aug. 22, 2014, Sui exposed a scandal involving the secret construction of luxury villas that belonged to the eight deputy mayors of Qingdao Municipal Government.
On Oct. 10, 2014 Sui was arrested on charges of “manufacturing and storing explosives” and was later sentenced to five years in prison by the Qingdao North District Court. While being illegally detained, Sui was tortured and pressured into making a forced confession, but he did not give in.
After his release, the authorities revoked his pension.
Sui does not support the CCP and he told The Epoch Times, “The United States says that the CCP does not represent the Chinese people. It is so right. … I don’t love this Party, and it has nothing to do with me.”
He added, “The CCP has been in power for 70 years. It has not been elected by the three generations of my family, nor by the people. The [CCP’s] propaganda and reports that can be seen now are all false.”
Sui believes that if the CCP’s internet firewall can be taken down, the CCP will fall. The firewall prevents Chinese people in the mainland from having access to censored information that the regime deems sensitive.
“The mainland (people) live in lies, and are being brainwashed by them. People cannot see the truth. The CCP is most afraid of the truth. It uses lies to create lies,” he said.
At the end of the interview, Sui stated that he officially withdrew from the CCP’s Young Pioneers organization.
A grassroots movement of “Quitting the Party,” or Tuidang has gained attention among the global overseas Chinese community since 2004, fueled by the publication of the Chinese-language Epoch Times’ editorial series, “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.” As of Oct. 22, 366 million people have renounced their ties with the CCP and its affiliated organizations, according to the Tuidang Center’s records.