In preparation for the November 8 convening of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, Citizen Power for China (formerly known as Initiatives for China) is authorized to release an open letter from leading citizens in China to all delegates attending the congress. The letter, entitled “Our Chinese Dream,” details the primary grievances of the Chinese people over the six decades of the Communist Party’s rule, and demands immediate action to rectify these grievances before it is too late.
The serious grievances cited in the letter include the broken promises of a free and democratic China made by the CPC before it took power in 1949. Instead, the Chinese people’s political fate is still controlled and decided by an autocracy shrouded in secrecy, who guard their own privilege and wealth rather than serve the people. The result is the feudal rule of man, gross abuse of power, systemic corruption, inequality before the so-called law, and the deprivation of fundamental human rights. Despite the economic development in the country, rampant pollution and poisonous food and water are killing the Chinese people, particularly children. Today, to survive in China is a major challenge and no one is safe.
According to the letter, these grievances have pushed Chinese citizens close to a tipping point: a revolutionary storm is brewing in China. This restlessness is self-evident in the rash of anti-government protests all over China from Yueqing to Wukan, Shifang to Qidong. “There won’t be a safe island in theinjustice of the rough sea,” the letter warns the delegates.
However, the Chinese dream of democracy has not died, and every Chinese is hoping that China can emerge from this unjust abyss to become an a society of equality, justice and peace.
“The authors of the letter appeal to the conscience of the Party delegates,” said Dr.YANG Jianli, president of Citizen Power for China,” asking their help to realize each citizen’s Chinese dream. They also warn that it now is the critical moment to take action and any delay couldlead to a catastrophe.” The letter entreats the delegates to not fight the inevitable trend toward reform, listen to the will of the people and choose to side with citizens by taking “immediate measures to release all prisoners of conscience, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, and re-build a social atmosphere oftolerance and mutual trust,” that will move China toward a free, democratic country.
Unlike the Charter 08, this open letter does not include the names of those involved in order to protect them from further retaliation and repression. However, we are authorized to state that this open letter was drafted by leading writers, lawyers, public intellectuals, petitioner leaders, human rights activists and many other concerned citizens in China.
My China Dream
– An Open Letter to All of the Representatives of the Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
Members of the Eighteenth National Congress of CCP:
On the eve of the Your Party’s 18th National Congress, I wish you good health and a happy family life.
Your party is not only the ruling party of China, but a monopoly of all the nation’s political powers. Therefore, your Congress is not just an internal affair of your own party, but it will affect the daily lives of ordinary Chinese people and their fate in the future. As Chinese citizens, we are fed up with being politically “spoken for”, and we have the following message to you.
From the founding of your party though coming to power (1921-1949), your party repeatedly claimed that your historical mandate was to establish a free and democratic China. Such claims fueled enthusiastic longing of countless Chinese people for the democracy and freedom. In the February 2, 1944 issue of The Xinhua Daily, there was such exciting declaration as, “we demand full, thorough and effective popular election, so that all people will enjoy equal and universe suffrage. To ensure the validity of the elections, all political groups should be guaranteed the rights to introduce, promote, and debate a bill. That is to say, people should have indisputable freedom of assembly, association, speech, and press.”
Ironically, over sixty years after your party came to power, China still is not a free and democratic country. The fate of the Chinese people is continuously determined by a handful of moguls in the darkroom.
For over sixty years, your party has held a monopoly of national political power, ignored the people’s demand for equal participation of the legitimate demands of the country’s political life, and refused to open the space for citizens’ political participation. As a result, the Chinese people have lived without freedom and dignity, without basic civil rights.
For over sixty years, the country’s legal system has been such a joke that all levels of governments and officials openly fly in the face of their own laws, and in the mind of ordinary citizens, the law enforcement officer bears no difference than a mafia hitman.
For over sixty years, absolute corruption caused by absolute power has spread to every corner of society, eroding people’s economic well-being, social justice and public morality.
For over sixty years, the government’s fiscal spending has not been used to improve the welfare of the people and to help those in genuine need of living a decent and a dignified life, but instead for the various culminations and the extravagance of government officials.
For over sixty years, freedom of speech, publication, press, association, assembly, strikes, and religious beliefs have been only fantasies in a citizen’s dream. People have had no way of positively participating in any civic activities whatsoever. The entire society is facing an overall collapse of morality and civility.
Dear delegates, the key reason why the Chinese society has been trapped in this unhealthy, abnormal, and unjust situation for over sixty years is the dictatorship of your party. I hereby write to you to ask you make good on your long overdue promise to show a sense of historical responsibility and to make the right choice. I hereby demand your party to return the basic civil rights you have unjustly stripped from us.
We demand these rights, because we have finally realized that the lack of these seemingly absolute political rights has led to miserable consequences, exemplified as follows:
Our surrounding natural environment is deteriorating. We can no longer see a blue sky, touch a clear river, drink clean water, or even breathe fresh air.
There is no guarantee of our food and drug security. Drugs on pharmacy shelves not only fail to heal our diseases, but also may take away our lives away. Our everyday meals may very well be purposely contaminated with poisonous additives. Our baby’s formula powder simply kills.
Travel is becoming increasingly unsafe. Any newly built bridge may collapse at any time. When a not so heavy rain comes, people helplessly drown in the main roads in our capital city.
The pressure to live has become increasingly heavy for us. Many people cannot afford a room in an apartment, basic health insurance, or the expenses for their children’s “free” public education. In addition, many are facing daily harassment from “the urban order keepers” while working hard to earn a living.
We are continuously bullied and oppressed by government officials. Our houses are demolished by force, and money is taken away by the government with various excuses. We also face all kinds of government “entitlements” – “entitled” to go to jail, “entitled” to be disappeared,” and “entitled” to suicide.
Dear delegates, we want to tell you frankly that we are extremely unsatisfied with such a status quo. While we fully hold your party responsible for all of the social injustices we are suffering, we do not write to you today out of anger or hatred. Instead, we are expressing our hope and expectation. We refuse to believe that you have all sold out your souls and humanity for lust and power. We refuse to believe that cycles of slavery and chaos are the fate of the Chinese people.
Dear delegates, we hope that you can truly open your eyes to this reality and address the problems of Chinese society. These problems highlight the growing split between the people and the government, and social atmosphere in China is becoming tenser; social stability has become more and more vulnerable.
Dear delegates, you often stressed the importance of social stability, but social stability can only be achieved by solving social problems, not by covering them. In order to solve these social problems, it is necessary to change the political power structure that causes them. There have been social riots in increasing scale – from Leqing to Wukan, to Shifang, and Qidong. A gigantic storm is developing and eminent.
Dear delegates, it is time to take decisive measures. Any further delay could lead to catastrophic consequences. To avoid sinking again into the abyss, you should not wave big sticks of “maintenance of stability by force”, but instead listen to the grievances of citizens and follow the trend of history.
We have a dream that one day the sturdiest building in a city is not the city hall, but a school where children learn and play.
We have a dream that one day people will not have to protect their home by kneeling down, engaging in self-mutilation and even committing suicide and not have to face being run over by bulldozers or shot with military bullets.
We have a dream that one day people will have opportunities for employment, promotion and education based on their skills and merits, not on their families’ social status.
We have a dream that one day every person can freely think, speak, write and criticize the government and officials without worrying about being censored, jailed or sent to the labor camp.
We have a dream that one day leaders of all levels of the governments will be elected through open and fair elections of one person-one vote and that government officials thus elected behave as humble public servants like those in Taiwan now, rather than arrogant bloodsuckers.
Dear delegates, we believe that our dream is that of every Chinese including yourselves. Remember if the majority of Chinese people are excluded from the political life of the country, those – like you – in power will not be safe, because there can be no dry island in the injustice of the rough sea of unfairness.
Dear delegates we share our dreams with you in good will, and we sincerely hope that you share our dream and not become obstacles on our way to pursuing these dreams.
Dear delegates, we are sure you know that public opinion is more positional power. When successful career entrepreneurs, middle-class bourgeois legal professionals, journalists, school teachers, free-lance intellectuals, and military veterans all start to voice their opinions, you cannot simply bury your heads in the sand. Sending dissidents to prison does not solve the problem. Instead, you should release from jail all the conscience prisoners, including Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Delegates, you will make the choices facing you now, and in the meantime, numerous dream chasers like us will make ours.
We not only have our dream, but will make sure that our dream comes true. And, we will make our dream come true in our generation. Only the most selfish and most hopeless nation will leave a ticking time bomb to the next generation. We do not want to be such a nation. Instead, we want to fight and sacrifice to leave a most precious gift to our children – a free and democratic China governed by rule of law.
Chinese citizens with a dream