The Harmony of Communist Leadership
"I am the captain of a sunk ship. I will always question of myself, 'Why didn't I die?' I believe, for the rest of my life. ... I will try my best to remember the guilt and try to realize the dreams of those who died that night [Tiananmen Square]."
"I still consider myself as a democracy activist, an active dissident. It just unfortunately doesn't pay, so I have to find another way to support the family."
Wu'er Kaixi, Taiwan
Mr. Wu'er was a 21-year-old protest leader during the June 1989 military crackdown to put an end to the weeks of student protests in Beijing. Since then, twenty-five years have led to a sea change, at least for the Chinese economy and society, as China transformed itself from a purely Communist regime whose brutality became legend, to a somewhat less brutal regime which, using Hong Kong as its blueprint for success, adapted to capitalism.
Mr. Wu'er was a hunger striker in 1989, whose rise to prominence owed to his haranguing then-premier Li Peng at a meeting with protesters that had been televised. Two weeks following that, he spoke of witnessing "the atrocity, the killing" that haunts him yet. Following that fateful day, he escaped China in a boat, was smuggled out of the country, where he ended up in the United States.
He is now, at age 46, with a family and two teen-aged sons, an investment banker in Taipei, Taiwan. Quite the transition that; from a penurious Chinese hunger-striker to an investment banker. But then, as he said, ethics somehow fray at the ends when one has to support a family. Mr. Wu'er was furious when China won the Beijing Olympics, and then trotted itself out again for display at the Shanghai Expo.
"I felt like the world was betraying the idea of democracy ... giving in to China. But we, the Chinese democracy activists, want to carry on our own mission., to finish the unfinished business." The world watched, mesmerized, at the confrontation between the Chinese military and defenceless university students who carried flowers to plug the muzzles of rifles, but whom the military mowed down anyway.
While the image of a lone young man standing against four tanks fascinated and horrified a watching world, it was the mass murders, the indoctrination, the vanishing of intellectuals, the banishment of the learned elite of China to the countryside so they could learn humility, the misery of starvation and privation, the state against the well-being of the people during the Cultural Revolution that took place quietly, behind a wall of private mass atrocity that the world could not see that represents the true picture of Communist China.
Zhao Ziyang, the-then Communist party general secretary, who had expressed some understanding and sympathized with the students, faced accusations of having split the party, and that resulted in his being forced to live the final 16 years of his life under house arrest. His aide, Bao Tong, was imprisoned for seven years, living since his release in 1996, under house arrest in Beijing.Song YongyiThe Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was a historical tragedy launched by Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It claimed the lives of several million people and inflicted cruel and inhuman treatments on hundreds of million people. However, 40 years after it ended, the total number of victims of the Cultural Revolution and especially the death toll of mass killings still remain a mystery both in China and overseas. For the Chinese communist government, it is a highly classified “state secret,” although they do maintain statistics for the so-called “abnormal death” numbers all over China. Nevertheless, the government, realizing that the totalitarian regime and the endless power struggles in the CCP Central Committee (CCP CC) were the root cause of the Cultural Revolution, has consistently discounted the significance of looking back and reflecting on this important period of Chinese history. They even forbid Chinese scholars from studying it independently and discourage overseas scholars from undertaking research on this subject in China.
"Back then, they feared the students, and deployed tanks and guns against these students. Today, they don't dare to tell this to the public. They don't dare to tell the truth to the Chinese people, tell the whole world what really happened."
"I think Deng took this decision [to deploy the army] because he wanted to safeguard one-party rule, and its governing of China. He feared the people would become the masters of this country, and would leave the party out, and then the party would not be able to continue being the master of China."
"He has already passed away, and his successors, his heirs in the party, still do not dare to point out and say, 'Deng Xiaoping made a mistake'."
Bao Tong, loyal aide to former Communist party general secretary Zhao Ziyang