CPIFC Briefing Series* Dec. 30, 2018
Concerns of Some CCP Members
(Disclaimer: This open letter by A Group of CCP Members does not represent the views of CPIFC. But we believe it meaningful to provide a platform for dissent voices even from within the CCP, especially at the time when even high ranking CCP officials dare not to say anything differing from Xi Jinping’s views. In March of this year, as a response to Xi Jinping’s move to make himself president for life, this same group of CCP members entrusted CPIFC to publish their “Plan for China’s Peaceful Transition to Democracy”. http://www.yibaochina.com/Article/Display?articleId=7538 )
A Group of CCP Members
December 18, 2018
Today is the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. It should be a day of celebration, and an opportunity for China to further deepen its reform. Unfortunately, some practices of the Party and of the government since the 18th National Congress of the CCP have been moving towards the opposite direction of reform in many aspects.
Economically, China’s most dynamic sector—private enterprises—has been experiencing an unprecedented hardship, mostly caused by political factors, rather than economic ones like changes of the international economic environment. Over the past six years since the 18th National Congress of the CCP, the party’s constant emphasis on Party’s dominance and control over all walks of life has caused more resources to be tilted toward inefficient state-owned enterprises, and the fairness of the development environment has significantly regressed. Meanwhile, the argument that the private economy should retreat from the market and the re-emphasizing class struggle often hits the headlines in official media. Therefore, the confidence of private enterprises has been deeply hurt by these extreme speeches in such a degenerated political environment.
Politically, many of Deng Xiaoping’s legacies have been abandoned, such as collective leadership, intra-party democracy, and presidential term limits. The party’s dictatorship has reached its “peak” to the extent that even the leaders at the provincial level or above cannot “discuss party policy openly” (“wangyi zhongyang” in Chinese). This has seriously undermined the party’s image and damaged the party’s solidarity and cohesiveness. We are particularly concerned about the serious consequences of the abolishment of presidential terms. Without institutional transfer of power, it is very difficult to guarantee the long-term stability of the country.
In addition, personality cult is getting worse. Although the people of insight at the top of the party realized the seriousness of this problem and attempted to limit it, it didn’t work. The problem hasn’t been fundamentally resolved so far. As presidential terms are extended and the power of the president is expanding, this issue will become more prominent. In the past, our party has made serious mistakes in personality cult and caused enormous tragic consequences. We must not repeat the same mistakes.
In society, the degree of freedom is now greatly reduced. It is true that China is huge in scale and difficult to govern, so it needs to impose moderate restrictions on various freedoms. However, the key to the issue is moderation. The bottom line is not to damage the vitality and innovation capacity of the society. Therefore, it is necessary to give people a certain degree of freedom of expression and venting channels. However, in the past six years, the certain degree of freedom of the society has been greatly repressed, especially since the Internet has been under unprecedented control. This is also contrary to the concept of Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up. Social freedom should have more room than political freedom.
To conclude, at the time of commemorating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up, we call for inheritance of the essence of Deng Xiaoping’s Theory and innovation in the right direction. At present, China’s great rejuvenation has reached its final stage and must not fall short.
Appendix: Letter to Dr. Jianli Yang from the Author of This Article--A Group of CCP Members
December 18, 2018
Dear Dr. Yang Jianli:
In March of this year, we entrusted Citizen Power Initiatives for China (CPIFC) to publish our “Plan for China’s Peaceful Transition to Democracy” in the name of “the Revolutionary Committee of Chinese Communist Party” (the CCP Revolutionary Committee):
Due to the increased political pressure and risk in China, we have decided to suspend the use of our organization’s name “the CCP Revolutionary Committee,” which we now loosely call “A Group of Members of the Chinese Communist Party”.
Your colleagues in China have already conveyed you and your colleagues’ comments on the “Plan for China’s Peaceful Transition to Democracy,” especially your views on ethnic, religious and regional issues, which we value enormously.
Given the opportunity of your Taiwan visit, we entrust Mr. XXX, who will also visit Taiwan at the same time as you, to present to you an open letter titled “Our Concerns,” and hope that CPIFC will publish it at the end of this year.
A Group of CCP Members
* Citizen Power Initiatives for China’s research arm Citizen Power Institute publishes CPIFC Briefing Series and CPIFC Monograph Series. The former are short essays or succinct scholarly articles that spontaneously reflect the realities of China while the latter are research reports on China’s politics, economics, culture, ethnicity, religion, civil society, human rights and strategies for its transition to democracy.
*公民力量研究所不定期发表中英文双语“公民力量简报“（CPIFC Briefing Series）和“公民力量研究报告”(CPIFC Monograph Series)。前者是简明准确反映中国现实的叙述式或学术简报式的短篇文章，后者则是公民力量研究所有关中国的政治、经济、社会、文化、历史、宗教、国际关系、人权改善、民主变革战略等议题的学术性分析预测文章。