As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime continues to commit a wide range of human rights abuses and to crackdown on political dissidents in China, U.S. Congressmen, Chinese dissidents, and Western human rights activists expressed support for the Chinese people repudiating their membership in the CCP or its affiliated organizations, which more than 300 million have done.
On May 9, a panel on “The Tuidang Movement in China and the Ultimate Goal of Communism” sponsored by the Tuidang Center was held at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill..
“Tuidang” translates literally as “quit the [communist] party.”
The Tuidang Center says it is in the business of “freeing hearts and minds in China,” and it works to “assist all Chinese people worldwide to renounce the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.” These include the Young Pioneers and the Communist Youth League—of which nearly all young people in China are members.
The CCP considers such a withdrawal a dissenting act, since the Party does not allow its members to leave. They can only be kicked out by the Party.
Started in 2004, the Tuidang Center has recorded more than 300 million renunciations by Chinese people inside China and around the world. For safety’s sake, those who tuidang usually use pen names.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) gave a strong endorsement for the Tuidang movement. Speaking of the courage of those who oppose the gangster regime in China, he said, “Let us again, in a loud voice, tell the people of China that we are on your side, don’t lose hope!”
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) sent to the panel a proclamation he offered on the floor of the House, entering it into the Congressional record. King said that the Tuidang movement is not a political movement, but “simply helps Chinese people reclaim their God-given conscience.”
The weakening of the CCP from within would be beneficial to the entire world, King said.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and one of the most outspoken critics of the Chinese regime in Congress, sent a letter commending the Tuidang movement for assisting millions of Chinese people to repudiate the CCP.
“Even though the leaders in Beijing get angry when we bring up their persecutions, we need to make sure they know the world condemns their egregious human rights abuses,” Smith wrote.
Rohrabacher, who serves as a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is particularly well-known for being a long-term critic of the CCP and its many abuses of human rights, among which he has repeatedly singled out the persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) as one of the regime’s greatest sins.
“It is time for us to make sure that we reaffirm whose side we are on,” said Rohrabacher, “There are people in this world longing to live in freedom. They know we cannot fight their battle for them, but they have to know we are on their side.”
Change in China
The May 9 forum was moderated by Professor Sen Nieh, vice president of the Tuidang Center, and featured a number of well-known critics of the Chinese regime including famed human rights activist Wei Jingsheng, who said that Chinese people need a movement like Tuidang to serve as a platform to set themselves apart from the CCP’s abuses.
The Tuidang movement, Wei said, was “creating very important conditions for change in China.”
Trevor Loudon, a New Zealand-based author and documentary film maker, said, “There is no greater threat to freedom on the planet today than the Communist Party of China.” He sees the Tuidang movement as playing a crucial role in weakening the CCP and rebuilding the moral character of the Chinese people, which he said had been degraded by the communist regime.
“[T]he Tuidang movement is probably the most important thing that’s being done on this planet right now, because how that goes is going to determine what happens to not just China but freedom-loving people everywhere.”
Loudon described the benefits of a free China.
“You can’t imagine what a free China could contribute to this planet. The industry, the culture, the ethics of the Chinese people, when properly unleashed and free from the controls of the Chinese Communist Party, could contribute more to the betterment of this planet than any other country,” Loudon said.
Among the prominent dissidents who attended the panel was Liu Jianguo, a former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) driver whose former commanding officer Lt. Gen. Xu Qinxian famously refused to carry out orders to move the 38th Group Army into Beijing to suppress pro-democracy students in the lead-up to the 1989 Tiananmen square protests.
Reflecting on his former commander’s decision not to participate in the infamous crackdown on June 4, Liu said that General Xu was later stripped of his command and was persecuted heavily by the Chinese regime. In the years after the bloody crackdown, Xu’s defiance has been widely hailed by the Chinese people who did not wish to see their troops slaughtering their own students and Beijing citizens.
Liu drew a parallel between his former commander’s act of moral courage and the contemporary Tuidang movement, and expressed his gratitude toward the volunteers who helped him complete his own renunciation of CCP membership. Liu escaped China in late 2017 and now resides in the United States.
In a letter sent to the forum, Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, wrote about this was a “necessary event.” He recounted the widespread ignorance about the CCP’s human rights record: “[B]ecause of the self-censorship that the Western media imposes on itself—out of fear of ‘offending’ the Chinese Communist Party—much of the free world is in the dark about the ‘re-education camps’ of Xinjiang, the organ harvesting centers filled with innocent Falun Gong practitioners, and the Orwellian surveillance network under which all Chinese citizens live today.”
Letters of support were also sent by: Prof. Daniel Mark, commissioner and chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; and Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, former head of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and former U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Other participants included: Richard Swett, a former U.S. Congressman (D-NH) and a former U.S. ambassador to Denmark; Göran Lindblad, former Member of Parliament of Sweden who served as the Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Ning Ye, a lawyer and commentator for Radio Free Asia; Rong Yi, president of the Tuidang Center; Dr. Charles Lee, director for public awareness, Global Tuidang Center; and Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, President of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG).