Open Letter to Chinese Leaders Requesting Political Reform
[Editor's Note: After the publication of the Open Letter of Standing Committee Member of the Anhui Political Consultative Conference Wang Zhaojun to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on October 22, The Epoch Times received a letter from jurist and board chairman Zheng Cunzhu of Jiahe Food Co. Ltd. in Anhui Province. With the author's permission, we publish these excerpts. We will keep the readers informed of any further developments.]
Immediately Start Political System Reform at City and County Levels
Dear President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao:
The 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has concluded. You were again elected to be the main leaders of the ruling party, and will serve for another five years. As a Chinese citizen, according to relevant regulations specified in the Constitution of People's Republic of China, I am writing an open letter to you. As a person who experienced the 1989 “June 4th Incident” personally, as a juristic person and board chairman of a foreign-funded enterprise in China, and as a participant and insider of an overseas democratic movement organization, based on my own growth process and investment experience, and based upon my knowledge of the overseas democratic movement organizations, I would like to offer my personal opinions and suggestions to you, the main leaders of the CCP and Chinese authorities.
The Tight Knots Obstructing Political Reform
1) June 4th Incident
Past leaders all emphasized that the CCP has already decided the nature of it, and that decision has remained unchanged. Although the term has evolved from “June 4th Riot” to “June 4th Turmoil” to “June 4th Incident”, the majority of the Chinese people have never been convinced of its nature by the CCP's definition of what happened. [Editor's Note: The “June 4th Incident” is known by the rest of the world as “The Tiananmen Massacre.”]
2) The Chinese Democratic Party
On June 25, 1998, while former U.S. President Clinton was visiting China, Wang Youcai and others in Zhejiang Province formally filed an application to the Zhejiang Department of Civil Affairs for establishing the “Chinese Democratic Party.” The aim of the Chinese Democratic Party is to implement democratic elections, to establish a constitutional democratic political system, and to establish a mechanism for division of political power.
The CCP's General Secretary at the time decided to arrest these advocates and registrants of the Chinese Democratic Party. Not only were the local contact persons for the Chinese Democratic Party arrested and sentenced for “violating the law,” but even Wang Youcai and others in the preparatory committee, who had followed the legal procedure to apply for the registration of the Chinese Democratic Party, were arrested and sentenced.
3) Falun Gong
In 1999, the same CCP leader again unwisely staged anti-Falun Gong incidents, which created yet another unshakable heavy burden for the CCP.
Why was it unwise? Starting from July 1999, the CCP has used all political and economical national resources it can to carry out the large-scale and long-term persecution on Falun Gong. The CCP originally thought that it could quickly defeat or eliminate its self-designated “opponent” as in previous movements that were political.. However, Falun Gong not only did not give in to the high pressure, but spread across the world and blossomed in many countries. Inside China, Falun Gong members wrote various slogans on paper money and put up stickers upholding their beliefs inside residential buildings. To this “crusade” with such a great disparity in strength, the CCP has devoted eight years and yet still cannot win.
Many of my friends, though not Falun Gong practitioners, like me, draw the same conclusion: Falun Gong cannot but prove beneficial to the entire country in building a harmonious society. It was against the law to persecute Falun Gong and a wrong decision made by very few high-ranking officials in the CCP. The persecution against Falun Gong adherents, such as beating, arrest, brainwash, torture, are serious crimes committed by pubic securities and special officials completely ignoring basic human rights laws and regulations. Those criminal acts shall be prosecuted and punished in the future.
Feasibility Study on Reforms at County and City Levels
It is urgent and feasible to launch reforms of the political structure at the county and city level. Meanwhile the key benefit for the CCP is that its position as the ruling party, especially at levels above provincial, will not be threatened but only consolidated. The procedures are analyzed below:
1) Direct Election of County-Level Officials and People's Representatives
Voting is a basic and effective democratic instrument. At present China has tried the democratic election of town and township leaders. For truly democratic elections, voters should be allowed to choose their candidates except for those candidates recommended by the CCP. Because elections need promotion, organization and planning, political organizations opposed to the Party should be allowed to exist and each candidate be permitted to set up his (her) own organization committee for lawful election.
2) Free Press and Supervision by Public Opinion
Censorship should be lifted for media at the level of county (city). Nongovernmental newspaper, radio and TV should be allowed. Thus the news media can play a positive role in exercising supervision, in addition to the supervisory function of civil representatives and opposition parties.
Radio and TV stations should arrange some regular political programs that aim to invite representatives of various political parties to make comments on the same social issues and also invite officials to announce administrative policies on people's livelihoods and then stand for correction by the people.
With a free press, corruption scandals could not be concealed anymore; any social evils such as criminal syndicates and pornography could be revealed in time; any unjust cases could be exposed and judged by public opinion.
3) Laying Foundations for Provincial-Level Reform
Initial political reforms are only launched at county and city level. The CCP could appoint as people's representatives, those winning the local elections and gaining support from the voters, for having both ability and political integrity, as provincial-level officials. Meanwhile, through implementing direct local elections, democratic reforms and gaining experience in how to put democracy into practice, people could be educated and trained in participating in and discussing state affairs and democratic supervision, and the overall quality of the people in China could be improved. That could lay a solid foundation for reform at the provincial level or even at the national level.
Zheng Cunzhu Board Chairman and Juristic Person Anhui Wuhu Jiahe Foodstuff Co., Ltd. Wuhu Mechanical Industry Park, Anhui Province