Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue Number: A171-W81



Release Date: December 5, 2005



Topic: Living and Sacrifice -- Prize Dedication to YU Dongyue, WU Yilong, and CHEN Xi as Awardees of the Second Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:生存与牺牲 -- 第二届“魏京生中国民主斗士奖”对喻东岳、吴义龙、陈西的颁奖词


Original Language Version: English (Chinese version at the end)



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Living and Sacrifice

 -- Prize Dedication to YU Dongyue, WU Yilong, and CHEN Xi as Awardees of the Second Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation


December 5, 2005



At the turn of the 19th century, a young Ernest Hemingway at the front lines of the war encountered an old Italian soldier. The man was over 50 years old, and his hair had already turned grayish white. Hemingway told the old soldier: "You are too old for this war, papa!" The old soldier solemnly replied, "But I can die as well as any man." Hemingway was deeply struck by this remark, which took on a new significance after his own brush with death. Not long after, he chatted with an English military official about sacrifice. The military official quoted a line from Shakespeare: "I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death."


The military official's calm and humble view on death deeply shook Hemingway. This is the attitude heroes have when facing sacrifice - he who sacrifices does not even take it to be a solemn act, but takes it to be a kind of voluntary repayment, and the embodiment of convictions. He who is encouraged both to devote himself and to face destruction does everything quietly, not seeking fame, applause, or to move others' hearts, nor does he take into consideration where he will be buried, or whether or not he will have an epitaph on his grave.


In our time, we have seen the attitudes of a group of Chinese heroes toward sacrifice. They use their silent actions to say, "I care not; a man can die but once; we owe the Chinese people a death." The "God" in their hearts is the happiness of the Chinese people, that is, the democracy and freedom for which the Chinese people have thirsted for so long.


None of us who enjoy freedom and security can stay calm in facing this kind of sacrifice as long as we have a conscience and feeling. When we face those extremely specific brutalities, as well as the near-fatal devastation they bring, all of our hearts are deeply shaken.


Today is the day in which we present the Wei Jingsheng Foundation's 2nd annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize". It is something we use to express this shocking moment in time.  We think of those who over the last several decades have sacrificed for Chinese democracy, those who have died and who have been tortured to the point of being crippled, those who still remain in jail, and those who are risking their lives to strive for democracy. This list will be as long as a lengthy trail of blood spilled across barren and desolate lands, on wind-swept, dusty hardpan soil. Regrettably, some of these names were covered up by the dust, have faded from memory, or were misunderstood, thus giving their sacrifice a heavy tragic hue. We have no way to clearly count the number of these sacrifices, but we hope that from this lengthy list of names we can choose outstanding representatives to honor, thus wiping away the dust covering up the sacrifices and encouraging the wave upon wave of advancing warriors for human rights and democracy.


This year, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation has decided to award a "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Special Prize" to YU Dongyue. WU Yilong and CHEN Xi will share the second annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize". This honor is awarded to these three people primarily to honor their action with dignity and courage, as well as the silence they have manifested over many years in facing sacrifice.


Giving a "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Special Prize" to Yu Dongyue carries great significance. Yu Dongyue is one of the most important heroes of the 1989 Democracy Movement, and one of the June 4th victims who have received the least attention. For many years very rarely did people report or comment on his deeds. Yu Dongyue originally was the Arts Editor of the Liuyang Daily newspaper of Hunan Province's Liuyang County. During the 1989 Democracy Movement period, Yu, who was only 22 years old, went along with Liuyang Elementary School teacher Yu Zhijian and bus driver Lu Decheng to Tiananmen Square, where they hung up two banners. One banner stated, "5,000 Years of Autocracy Will Now Reach to an End", and the other stated, "From Now On, the Personality Cult Must Come to an Stop". They then used paint-filled eggs to smear the huge portrait of Mao Zedong that hangs in Tiananmen Square.


When the 1989 Democracy movement is brought up, what mostly comes to mind are the students, hunger strikes, and marches. It cannot be denied that the youthful ardor that the young students displayed added to the exciting flavor of the 1989 Democracy Movement in China and to its shocking the world. However, the Movement was not just a student movement, but also a mass, spontaneous movement of the common people to demand an end to autocracy and to implement democracy.  Precisely because of broad support from the people, the students deeply realized the true value of the movement.  Also precisely because of the broad participation, the authorities came to understand how much their autocracy had lost public support. Therefore, the people's participation and support raised the 1989 movement from a students' appeal movement to a movement where the public demanded democracy and freedom. It also helped fuse together the brave deeds of both the students and the common people, creating a moment that will always shine in the annals of history. We cannot forget those who lent support to the students on hunger strike and who, unarmed, warded off the incoming troops.  Many had families and young ones. They had been through various sorts of political suppression, were bearing heavy responsibilities of life, and knew deeply the cruelty of politics. The fearless spirit they displayed in the 1989 Democracy Movement, their clear mind of resisting autocracy, and the even more brutal retribution and suppression they endured afterwards, make them even more deserving of attention and recognition from both society and history!


Yu Dongyue is an outstanding representative among the thousands and thousands of common people. The freelance author Mr. Yu Jie said in a recent article, "The three gentlemen of Hunan had taken the unprecedented step to challenge Mao Zedong, who rests on the sacred altar; their deeds can be considered magnificent feats of opposing dictatorship and tyrants. Their words and behavior are absolutely not a result of what was on impulse but were instead come to after careful consideration... for this they paid a painful price...."


The painful price that Yu Dongyue and the two others paid was their freedom, health, and lives. After the three gentlemen of Hunan were seized and sent to the Public Security Bureau, and were separately sentenced for "Counter-Revolutionary Crime of Damage" and "Crime of Propagating Incitement". Yu Dongyue was sentenced to 20 years. Not long after he was sent to jail he was driven to insanity, and up to this day he is still suffering inhuman torments.


What should be stressed is that challenging the huge portrait of Mao Zedong is an inconceivable act even to this day. In China Mao Zedong is still worshiped and deified. Opposing Mao Zedong is even less acceptable than advocating Western democracy; it is what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has feared the most for many years. Yet Mao Zedong is the root cause of the Chinese autocratic regime. None of us can forget the disastrous result of the tyranny under Mao Zedong's rule: calamities befalling numerous households, the lives of tens of millions of people, the humiliation of over 100 million people, as well as the entire morals of society unknowingly being numbed and distorted. Regretfully, the entirety of China has been sealed within this disaster till this day. Violence becomes sacred after being painted red. The cries of butchers become chants after being covered up and distorted. This situation is a great shame and sorrow for our modern Chinese people! If Mao Zedong's huge portrait is still being revered in Tiananmen Square, how can the spirits of those thousands upon thousands who died from injustice obtain peace and comfort?  We must stress that what Yu Dongyue and the two others assaulted was not a portrait but an iron wall - the last but toughest iron wall still pinning down Chinese democracy. Just like some people with experience and independent thinking, Yu Dongyue was able to see even more clearly and thoroughly the crux of the problem with achieving Chinese democracy. These three heroes from Hunan directly challenged the portrait of Mao Zedong and walked to the forefront of history. Their heroic actions, together with Wang Weilin blocking the tank and the statue of the Goddess of Democracy, stand as the three indelible symbols of the history of 1989 Democracy Movement.


In one aspect, the actions of the three heroes of Hunan represent the strong aspiration of the Chinese people to oppose tyranny and their uncompromising spirit. From another aspect, what was moving about the actions of the three heroes of Hunan was in how they performed that alone. Throughout history there have been many of these simple and solitary actions. In 1958, when the Soviet dissident Boris Leonidovich Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature for "Doctor Zhivago", the Soviet authorities immediately decided to conduct mass criticism against him. They convened a plenary meeting where the chairman, in a well thought-out plan, declared that the plenary meeting had unanimously adopted a motion to clear Pasternak out of the ranks of Soviet writers. At this time, a female voice suddenly appeared offstage. A female Russian writer said loudly, "How can you say that the motion was unanimously adopted? I raise my hand to oppose it!" For her to let out her voice among the silent masses like that is not a simple action, but an embodiment of innate dignity and the heartfelt expression of the power of moral character. The common ground between people who can perform these courageous actions alone is that they possess honest intentions, as well as the tragic spirit of sacrificing for conviction. In the endless river of history, they will forever be glorious, powerful waves.


Now, Yu Dongyue has already developed a mental disorder and is completely unable to take care of his personal matters, such as food and shelter. He does not recognize people, talks to himself everyday, and even eats and drinks his own excrement. The people in jail all say that he has gone insane.  As a matter of fact, originally Yu Dongyue was a strong, determined man, persisting for many years to go swimming during winter. He was always honest and sincere towards others. He was not very good at speaking, but loved to write both poetry and prose. The reason he became the insane and crippled man of today is completely because he was particularly unyielding, and completely because what he faced was a particularly ruthless and powerful government. He refused to admit that he was wrong and to accept being remolded, and even though he was kept alone in a tightly guarded room behind the jail, he still did not change his original believes. He was once tied to an electric pole for many days straight and badly sunburned, and was brutally beaten on many occasions. We have no way to ascertain the specific details of the beatings he received, but when we listened to the description by Yu Dongyue's family members of the severe wound on his head, it is not hard for us to imagine how he was tortured to the point of insanity. Afterwards the CCP refused several times to give him early release, nor even let him be transferred to a hospital for treatment.  This has again fully exposed the brutal nature of the CCP.


Now, Yu Dongyue has already sacrificed the most important organ of his body, and can no longer do what he wishes to do for the democracy movement. This person, who once enjoyed reading, calligraphy, painting, and literature, and who had thinking, conscience, and competence, can no longer use his brain to freely soar into the world of culture he longs for. From one perspective, he is no different from a martyr buried in the earth, different only in that he has no tombstone. Yet, when every one of us that is fortunate to still have a normal thinking process passes by this grave, we have no way to remain stoic or to overlook it. Yu Dongyue's existence makes us face a serious future: every person who wishes to devote himself or herself to Chinese democracy may be silently destroyed like this. Even steel could be broken, and every person's fatigue threshold is different under cruelty.  Yet, steel that finally was broken is still steel, and such kind of people still deserve our respect. The disaster that Yu Dongyue has met with has made us seriously ponder the meaning of life and of sacrifice.


Now, Yu Dongyue has already become handicapped. Yu Dongyue deeply understood the meaning and the consequences of the actions he would take in Beijing before he went there. Thus he wrote a farewell letter to the head of the newspaper agency where he worked. In the letter he said, "I cannot avoid predicting my future, yet it is an unpredictable future." He then resolutely set out on the path of no return. This path of no return brought him to a chaotic world where one knows not whether one is living or dying. Today, we repeat his name over and over, but right now he may be in jail seeing through dull eyes and talking to himself; his situation makes us extremely heartbroken.  However, "Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." From this perspective, today's Yu Dongyue, who has lost his normal thinking process, has a more meaningful and dignified existence than those who are cowardly but who have normal brains and functions.


Awarding Yu Dongyue with the "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Special Prize" is to honor the strong aspiration to oppose tyranny that he represents, is to have this type of sacrifice gain recognition and attention, and is a condemnation against and denunciation of the brutality of the CCP. For many years, the Chinese people have forgotten so much about human nature, life, freedom, and concern about death, to the point that as important as a 1989 Democracy Movement figure as Yu Dongyue is, he receives far too little public concern or even the most basic humanitarian care. We hope that today's Special Prize will make us reestablish this true humanitarian care. Today, our bestowing Yu Dongyue with this "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Special Prize", is not only to honor him, but even more so is it to honor all those people that make unmentioned contributions to the Chinese democracy movement and who Yu Dongyue represents.


This year's "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" will be shared by Wu Yilong and Chen Xi. Both made outstanding contributions to Chinese democracy. Just like Yu Dongyue, they possess independent, brave, and tenacious characters. Their uniqueness is in that they persisted in their independent thinking and made outstanding contributions, such as organizing an opposition party and safeguarding human rights.


Wu Yilong was part of the backbone of the 1989 Democracy Movement when he was in college. When he was in graduate school in Zhejiang, he started to organize a social problems association. Afterwards he organized a scholarly association and forums on real social issues, as well as acting as chief editor of the scholarly club journal "Students and Scholars". Because of this work he was on many occasion summoned or subpoenaed by the National Security Bureau. In 1998 he participated in founding the Chinese Democracy Party Zhejiang Preparatory Committee. Afterwards he contacted people in various provinces, cities, and autonomous regions to encourage them establish their own Chinese Democracy Party Preparatory Committees. He also did a lot of planning work to start a nationwide Preparatory Committee.


Wu Yilong's greatest trait was that he did not fight for fame, interest or personal loss or gain. He quietly faced risks and hardships in doing specific tasks.  In the movement to organize the Chinese Democracy Party he made irreplaceable contributions, but up to this day is not well known by the broader democracy movement community. In the process of establishing a party nationwide, on his first trip he traveled to 21 different provinces in only 19 days. On the second trip he went to 15 provinces in only 12 days. In this period he traveled far distances despite being under the scorching sun and having to eat and sleep out in the open for thousands miles. He never talked about these difficulties, but we can imagine the hardships he went through.


After months in detention, in November 1999 Wu Yilong and three others were sentenced for "Subverting the National Regime". Wu Yilong was sentenced for 11 years in jail. By now he has already been in jail for almost seven years. Seven years of isolation, abuse, and violence will force a person to face the essence of his own life nakedly and without any retreat. Nowadays, in facing this essence as he continues to squat in jail, Wu Yilong has manifested a determination, calmness, and consistency that has greatly astounded and moved us. There are not a lot of people who know Wu Yilong, but whoever knows him, or hear mention of his actions, are always stunned and in awe with great appreciation. This admiration shows that Wu Yilong is of rare character of excellence without fault.


Wu Yilong has set an example and established an outstanding model for his fellow democracy colleagues. As long as Wu remains inside a jail cell, his fellow colleagues and friends will never forget him and will continue to further his work. Taking Zhejiang Province where he is now as an example, people from this area, known as China's famous "land of plenty," have not simply satisfied their needs for food and warmth. Not only did Wu and others face great risks in setting a nationwide precedent in the process of establishing a political party in 1998, even after they faced persecution they were unremitting, and put all their efforts together into defending their rights. For many years, they have used different methods to devote themselves to human rights and democracy activities. They did much work for the masses of China, in particular doing a lot to defend the rights of workers and peasants. In these last few years, in the great waves of calling for the release of political prisoners and in individual rights cases, the dozens of public advocates in Zhejiang were the most eye-catching. Zhejiang is also the province that often has the most people participating in rights defending movements nationwide.


Chen Xi from Guizhou has been called the "iron man for freedom and democracy," the "mainstay of the Chinese Democracy movement in the Southwest," the "Rare leader of the Chinese democracy movement". As early as 1995, Chen Xi put forward the idea that "the Guizhou democracy movement should move to the forefront of the nationwide movement. It must dare to be the first and in Guizhou to kindle the first flames of democracy." Along with Lu Yongxiang, Liao Shuangyuan, Huang Yanming, and Zeng Ning, he tried to organize and establish an opposition party, as well as to demand the overthrow of the verdict of the June 4 of 1989. Because of this he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in jail. But none of this has dampened Chen Xi's courage and determination.


After Chen Xi finished serving his sentence and left jail in May of this year, he did not rest, and went non-stop in returning to help friends to jointly start activities for democracy and freedom. Currently, Chen Xi, Li Renke, Du Heping, and others are breaking through layers and layers of barriers in their efforts to prepare for a "Guizhou First Annual Citizen International Human Rights Forum" to be held on the United Nations Human Rights Day.


Through his tenacious, forgiving, modest, and amiable character, as well as his deep theoretical knowledge, Chen Xi has assembled a group of people with good character and lofty ideals who form the mainstay of the democracy movement in the Southwest region. His role as organizer and leader made him the most important democracy advocate to be sentenced for the longest terms in the Guizhou region.


What is praiseworthy about Chen Xi is his unremittance. When he was first sent to jail in 1989, he was sentenced for three years. The second time, in 1995, he was sentenced for ten years. Half of his life was taken up in these 13 years. The first time after he left jail he immediately devoted himself to democracy movement activities. This May, the second time he left jail, he immediately, with firm conviction and without looking back, stood on the front lines of the democracy movement. The road leading to jail's gate is a difficult one.  A commonplace person in that situation would not be able to stop the flow of feelings of terror and despair. For Chen Xi, it was the gate of purgatory; the gleam of blood inside made him even more steadfast and calm. Chen Xi went to jail twice, where his heart was tempered into one of top quality. From how Chen Xi was consistent over the ten-plus years we can see that his heart will not be worn down by time or hardships; he will continue to tenaciously act for the cause of Chinese democracy.


As we award Chen Xi with the second annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize", we hope that this award will express our respect towards the independence and initiative, solidarity, and lofty bearing of all of the Guizhou democracy and rights advocates. For many years, Guizhou's democracy and rights advocates have used the law to arm themselves, have conducted rights defending activities in a beneficial and controlled manner, and have become thorns in the side of the CCP dictatorial regime.


These courageous people make us think of Gandhi. When Gandhi led a large group of people to demonstrate against English colonization, the English military police beat Gandhi on the head over and over with their cudgels. Gandhi fell down, then stood up again; he was then knocked down again, and then stood up again. The beating continued until he completely fainted. Guizhou's democracy advocators' indomitable spirit precisely inherits Gandhi's bloodline: as long as they have one breath left, they will keep fighting.


The monetary award for the Wei Jingsheng Foundation's "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" and "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Special Prize" is only a symbolic gift, a spiritual encouragement. They are not formed by bank notes but by the aspirations of all of us, present or not, who care about the progress of Chinese democracy. They are the concentration of our warmth, respect, hopes, and gratitude. They represent humankind's heartfelt wish for justice. They come from our efforts to promote historical justice. They also remind people that the nameless heroes and fellow advocates that made a stand along with them will never be forgotten.


This monetary award is a consolation to the family members of the victims. It is not to say that we can fully understand the bitter fruit that you swallow every day or the humiliation you suffer, but we are willing to share your suffering as a way to take some of your burden.


At the same time, this monetary award is an encouragement and support to all of those people fighting for Chinese democracy at this moment. What we face is the same tough, thorn-filled path, one that requires that we give wave after wave of unceasing effort.


Martin Luther King Jr. once said "a man who won't die for something is not fit to live." Yu Dongyue, Wu Yilong, Chen Xi, our reciting your names is reciting the meaning of living and of sacrifice, and to show our sympathy to all of those who have been persecuted or humiliated by the Chinese autocracy. We thank you, in a time where we may be puzzled or timid, when we may waver, lose heart or lament, to set such moving examples for us!


Thank you all - this is our sincere, tear-filled gratitude!


Thank you readers for your attention.



Ciping HUANG (signed)

Executive Director

Wei Jingsheng Foundation



(The Wei Jingsheng Foundation is grateful to Yike CHENG for her great contribution of composing this dedication, and for her long time voluntary work and other contributions to this Foundation.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue Number: A171-W81



Release Date: December 5, 2005



Topic: Living and Sacrifice -- Prize Dedication to YU Dongyue, WU Yilong, and CHEN Xi as Awardees of the Second Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:生存与牺牲 -- 第二届“魏京生中国民主斗士奖”对喻东岳、吴义龙、陈西的颁奖词


Original Language Version: English (Chinese version at the end)











2005年12月 5 日









































1999年11月,吴义龙等四人因“颠覆国家政权罪”被判刑。吴义龙的刑期是11 年。至今他已在牢里度过了近7年。近7年的隔离、虐待、施暴,会迫使一个人赤裸裸地、毫无退路地面对自己的生命本质。如今仍然蹲在牢狱里的吴义龙,在这个面对中所表现的坚强、沉静、始终如一,让我们非常惊异和感动。知道吴义龙的人不多,但是凡是接触过吴义龙的人,提起他的表现,都是众口皆碑,这说明了吴义龙是罕见的品行无暇。




来自贵州的陈西,被喻为“追求自由民主的铁骨硬汉”,“西南地区民运的中流砥柱、中国民运难得的将才。” 早在1995年,陈西就提出了“贵州的民主运动要走在全国的前面,要敢为人先,在贵州点燃第一把民主之火”。他和卢勇祥、廖双元、黄燕明、曾宁一起试图组建反对党,并要求平反“6.4”,因而被捕并被判刑十年。但这一切并没有挫伤陈西的勇气及决心。




陈西以坚韧、包容、谦和的人格力量,以及深厚的理论知识, 聚集了一群仁人志士,成为西南地区民主运动的中流砥柱。他的组织者、领导者的身份,使他成为贵州地区民运人士中被判刑最重的一个。





















黄慈萍 (签署)
















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