Declaration of Unity
Approved by all delegates to the Seventh Interethnic/Interfaith Leadership Conference in Long Beach, California on April 21, 2012
We, the delegates to the Seventh Interethnic/Interfaith Leadership Conference, who are Chinese, Mongolians, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians, and others from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and other regions of the world, and the democratic counterparts from Middle East and Burma, after sincere and friendly discussion and exchange of views, have reached the following consensus and agreed to take the following actions:
1. We believe that the recent series of Tibetan self-immolations is the direct result of the Chinese communist regime’s high-handed policy which has caused a continuous deterioration in the human rights situation in the Tibetan areas, and has increasingly pushed the Tibetans to absolute despair. The Communist regime must change its present course, respect the religion and culture of the Tibetan people, respect the good faith of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s middle way, and allow him to return to his home.
2. We are extremely alarmed that under the guise of “anti-terrorism” and “anti-secession,” the Chinese Communist regime has increased discrimination against and repression of the Uighur people, intensified the problems and conflicts between ethnic Chinese and Uygur, and exacerbated the tension in the Uighur region. We call upon the international community and peoples inside the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly the ethnic Han people, to express concern and support for the struggle of the Uighur people to defend their basic rights, fight for equality and freedom, and seek the truth, as well as support the realization of ethnic harmony through an equal and peaceful dialogue.
3. We have noted that the Chinese government has recently adopted more stringentmeasures to suppress and persecute Mongolian human rights activists. We support the Mongolian people’s peaceful resistances, and their just struggle to defend their homeland, their language and other cultural heritage, and their natural resources.
4. Since the start of the Arab Spring, we are very concerned over the deteriorating human rights situation in the vast areas where Han ethnic Chinese reside. Numerous human rights activists and dissidents have been under police surveillance, detention, arrest, or have been forced to disappear.Others have been tortured and given harsh sentences. There has been violence in implementing family planning as well as illegal and violent demolition of property, illegal imprisonment, illegal house arrest, violent assaults, implication of relatives as a means of punishment, travel bans and other forms of human rights violations. The cruel persecutions of religious groups are countless; and corruption and abuse of power are endemic throughout the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); and its “stability maintenance” system resembles a mafia- style organization. We must press the Chinese Communist regime, through a variety of ways, to improve the human rights situation and to allow freedom of press and speech, and begin fundamental reform of the political system.
5. We are pleased to see that this year’s presidential election in Taiwan was carried out smoothly, which shows that democratic ideals have taken root there. Such progress and perfection of democracy has strengthened the determination of the people inside the PRC to transition to democracy. We sincerely expect that the Taiwan government will continue its openness and transparency, consolidate and expand the fruits of democracy, and take active measures to support the democratic forces in Mainland China and support China’s democratic transition.
6.We are also pleased to note that during the election of the recent Chief Executive in Hong Kong, the Public Opinion Program at Hong Kong University initiated a mock general election which attracted 223,000 residents who cast a symbolic vote, rejecting all candidates, foreshadowing the general election in 2017 for Hong Kong Chief Executive, which will have a profound impact on the democratization of Mainland China.
7.We are greatly inspired and encouraged by the democratic upheaval of the Middle East and the democratic breakthrough in Myanmar, and we will join forces with all pre-democracy/ human rights activists in these areas as well as in other regions, to support each others’ struggle and oppose China’s backing of totalitarian governments around the world, to adhere to the principle of non-violence, committed to the development of civil society, and promote China’s constitutional democratization process.
8. We unanimously agree that the critical path to resolving ethnic problems and conflicts is the democratic transformation of Chinese society, and a truly democratic system will ensure true ethnic equality.
9. The key to China’s democratic transformation is to embrace universal values, respect for human rights and end all forms of ethnic, religious, and political discrimination and persecution and cultural genocide. To achieve this goal, we are committed to the following actions:
–to establish an interethnic democratic/human rights dialogue platform to regularly strategize on China’s democratic transition, exchange views and coordinate actions.
–to establish a dialogue platform among international democratic forces to enhance cooperation and exchange of ideas.
–to jointly launch “the United Nations Petition” campaign to urge the UN and its Human Rights Council to review the human rights situation in China, question China’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council, and challenge its eligibility for re- election.
–to promote legislation in major democratic countries prohibiting entry of individual human rights abusers, andfreeze their directly and indirectly-controlled assets, and seek legal actions against them; at the same time, to establish a profile database of individual human rights abusers.
–to call upon and promote targeted economic sanctions to restrict international companies’ investment and other commercial activities in the areas where serious human rights violations occur.
We believe that the advance of democracy in the world and the recent development of China’s civil society movement in the past year, have demonstrated that democracy and human rights/ universal values are a world-wide trend and the will of all people. We hope that the Chinese Communist regime recognizes this historic trend and popular will, and will actively initiate fundamental reform, end human rights abuses, religious persecution, ethnic discrimination/ oppression, and cultural genocide. We will also continue to promote understanding and communication among ethnic groups, and strive to achieve our common goal of freedom, equality, democracy and peace.