SAN FRANCISCO—Many Asian Americans gathered at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to condemn the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Oct. 1, the 71st anniversary of the CCP’s takeover of China.
Hong Kongers, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese held their respective flags and signs. They wanted the public and world leaders to know about the CCP’s human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom of speech.
In China, Oct. 1 is a holiday known as National Day.
“There’s nothing to celebrate,” Jinwei Hu, a volunteer with the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation, told The Epoch Times.
He did humanitarian work in China until he left in 2014, and he was one of the organizers of the event at the consulate.
Before Twitter was banned in China in 2009, he used to post on Twitter to raise awareness about the CCP’s abuses. He realized China isn't portrayed accurately through the media.
“We’re living a virtual life. What we have seen from news and what we have in [real] life is so different,” Hu said.
“When [the state-controlled media] report, they only report the good news, like the economy numbers ... and [how] people are living so happily. When I looked around my life, people were suffering.”
Hu posted his ideas online via Twitter and found that many people shared the same thoughts.
“[When] we are invited to have tea by the Chinese officials, that’s kind of a threat,” Hu explained. “They’re treating you to tea; they are inviting you so they can talk to you, they can threaten you. ‘Stop posting on Twitter, stop posting ... to criticize the government on the internet. Otherwise you will be arrested.’”
He said he has been through that many times. He was afraid at first, but after a while, he stopped being scared. However, he has a wife and daughter and his family feared for his safety, so he left China in 2014.
He was happy at the Oct. 1 event to see so many ethnicities gathering with a common goal.
Ogo, a San Francisco resident of Mongolian descent, told The Epoch Times, “The CCP started a plan to phase out Mongolian language education in Inner Mongolia.”
“So people have been peacefully opposing the idea there. But, unfortunately, it was met with violence and injustice from the CCP,” Ogo said.
Lobsang Dorji, president of the San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, told The Epoch Times that he and his family are refugees. His parents fled Tibet for India when the CCP invaded their country in the 1950s. He was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 2013.
Since then, he has been involved in many activities to raise awareness about human rights.
“The world has witnessed that Tibet has been invaded, and all the Tibetans are going under so many brutal occupations. And so many monasteries, hundreds of thousands of monasteries, have been destroyed,” Dorji said.
“Now these days, they are trying to mine the land,” he said. That forces the nomads off the land and into the city, “but once they move in the city, they cannot afford the expenses and everything. So that’s how the strategy is.”
Tenzin Rangdol, a Tibetan, has been living in the Bay Area since 2010. He was born as a refugee in India and is the former president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California.
He spoke about the hardships and suffering that refugees have had to go through in escaping communist rule. Many countries don't grant them refugee status.
“I’m so glad and feel proud to be united with the people who actually share the same experiences because of the Chinese oppression,” Rangdol told The Epoch Times.
“China needs to understand that we cannot let this happen for long, because Tibetans will never be shuttered by their repressive policies. They might be able to oppress and kill a few Tibetans or thousands of Tibetans, but they can never actually kill the sentiments of the Tibetan people.”
Shoua Lo is from Laos. His home country was invaded by communism after the Vietnam War. He attended the event to speak out against communism.
“In theory, [communism] sounds really good. It’s for the people—make everybody common, there’s no ... different class structures,” Lo told The Epoch Times. “But in reality, what that does is, it separates everybody. So you have the world elite, and then you have the poverty level. There is no in-between. That’s why I’m here, because we do not want communism.”
A lot of his family members were forced into reeducation camps when the communist regime took over.
“Reeducation camp is not really a reeducation camp. It’s more of a torture cell,” Lo said. “‘You now have to follow a set of rules. If you speak out, we will kill your family.’”
“They imprison, a lot of times, the male figures of the family. They torture them, and they make them follow the rules so that when you come back out in society, you fear for your life. So that is truly what communism is,” he said.
“To us, the Hongkongers, there’s nothing to celebrate,” Ms. S, a Bay Area resident, told The Epoch Times. “The CCP is the reason why we are going through this horrible pandemic.”
She was referring to the CCP’s coverup of the COVID-19 situation early on, which allowed the disease to spread worldwide.
An Uyghur, using Kevin Truman as an alias, said he left home.
“The reason is, I just couldn’t stay there because of the way I think different ... the way I look different. I’m ethnic Uyghur,” Truman told The Epoch Times. “There’s documented harassment and arbitrary detention. Just for being Uyghurs, they are taken to concentration camps.”
He still has family back home, which is one reason he preferred not to use his real name.
“I’m afraid for the people back there who are associated with me,” he said.
Ever since he arrived in the United States 20 years ago, he’s been demonstrating at similar events to let the world know about the CCP’s atrocities.
“Look what the Wuhan virus did to the world community,” he said, referring to the virus that causes COVID-19. “We should definitely make sure this won’t happen again, and hold [the] CCP accountable.
“Today is the day that we should stand up and tell the world ... no more. [The] CCP’s true nature is revealed, and it is inhumane for anyone [who has] a conscience to stay silent in front of such an epic tragedy,” he said.
The Chinese Consulate in San Francisco didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.