Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue Number: A438-O129



Release Date: January 24, 2009



Topic: Terms of Endearment:  Shared Affection as the Limbs of a Body (A Joint Memorial to the Father of Dr. QIAN YueJun, the Former President of Chinese Students Association of Germany) -- HUANG Ciping

标题:手足情 -- 记前德国学联主席钱跃君博士兼悼他父亲的去世 (黄慈萍)


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



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Terms of Endearment:  Shared Affection as the Limbs of a Body

(A Joint Memorial to the Father of Dr. QIAN YueJun, the Former President of Chinese Students Association of Germany)

-- HUANG Ciping



Even 20 years ago, I had heard of Qian YueJun.  At that time, he was the president of the Chinese Students Association of Germany of 60 universities and colleges, while I was a founder and senior member of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars of USA (abbr. IFCSS) of 3 times larger.  For all these years, these Chinese students' associations that were formed during the democracy movement of 1989, independent of the Chinese Communist government, have had a friendship like the limbs of a body.  Unfortunately during the first decade we were never able to meet in person.


At that time, Dr. Qian was busy studying and working in Germany while I had a job in the USA, another corner of the world.  Although I visited Europe often those days for vacation, I did not bother to stop any place to visit anyone.  But I have heard that he had attended virtually every annual meeting of the Global Chinese Student Union, including the ones held in the USA, Taiwan, Russia, Canada, etc.  So when I was the president of the Global Chinese Student Union and hosted the annual conference in Washington DC ten years ago in January 1999, I was surprised that he did not come.  Later in 2000 when I attended the annual conference in Taiwan and relinquished my presidency, he was absent again.  So every time when I heard from friends of IFCSS and Chinese students leaders of other countries praising him, I really could not go along much because indeed I did not know him that much.  All I could say was to complain that he did not offer enough courtesy to attend the conference I hosted and give me enough support during my presidency.  In reality, there were representatives from Germany during the two conferences, but just like the impression of the leaders of the Chinese students groups of the other countries, people outside of Germany know YueJun the best.  In some way, he seems to represent the whole Chinese Student Association of Germany.


Not until the end of 2000 did I finally formally meet with YueJun for the first time, at the third conference of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition which was chaired by Wei Jingsheng in Germany.  He came to the conference a little late and made me a little dissatisfied and thus further strengthened my opinion that he was too arrogant.  However, when I saw him bending over to dance with his lovely little daughter at the dance party at the end of the conference, I was quite moved.  It was a beautiful scene at that serious even somehow boring conference.  At that time, I was still mourning my father who just passed away two weeks earlier, who I was forbidden to visit by the Chinese government when he was still alive and later at the funeral.  My heart was so chilled and desperate, so it was very emotional to observe that moving scene of a close-knit family.  That first impression lasted forever, and now I like both YueJun and his virtuous and capable wife, Qian Hong.


After that, we have been meeting each other almost every year.  Sometimes I stayed at his home.  Yet, each meeting has been busy, despite a lot of communications.  We talked so much about official affairs and barely had time for detailed and more sentimental personal exchanges.  Occasionally during our exchanges, some interesting past or friends we share would come into the picture yet quickly were disrupted by the official topic or other people.  If the circumstance permits, we surely have a lot of topics in common.  People like Mr. LIN Fei of Russia/Japan, IFCSS' own Dr. LUO LiShi, Dr. CHEN XingYu and President LIU YongChuan, have all shot through our conversations many times like meteors.


The general evaluation people have of YueJun is that he is open and optimistic, frank and capable, and especially multi-talented.  This is quite true.  I have also heard people comment on him as "the good kind of Shanghainese".  Regardless of the shortcomings of this comment, even its "political incorrectness", it is quite vivid and to the point.  Although I was born in Shanghai and spent my childhood there, I do not have a particular sentiment to Shanghainese due to the complicated history and political persecution I had there.  Yet, when I hear YueJun's Shanghainese accent, it brings me some kind of special endearment.  His way of detail and personal attention in the way of Southern men's style made me particular moved.  Take an example, many people know that my photography hobby, however, he is one of few people who would volunteer to take pictures for me.


YueJun also chose physics as his major, the most competitive of that time.  He studied acoustics, while my field is optics.  Yet, although I would love to talk about physics with him, we never did.  But YueJun was much more talented and artistic.  He seems to be able to do anything he wants to do.  In the past two decades, he has spent his non-working hours in newspaper publication and has become a self-taught legal expert.  This is how most of people know him.  Although I have seen plenty intelligent and capable people, I have rarely seen a multi-talented person like him.  That maybe the reason that I hold him in esteem.


The other reason that I admire him is more due to the shortcoming of myself.  That is, YueJun would try diligently and seriously do well on everything he wants to do, maybe due to his ability, or his attitude, or even the fact that he received German training, or all the above.  It was my own growing up experience as well as environment that made me conclude that if a talented kid is not working hard, the kid may not do better than the other kids.  For example, one may only need ten percent of the time to solve a mathematical problem, but then waste the other 90% in play and in the end become not very serious about responsibility or discipline.  When I was a kid, my happiest time would be when I was sick, so I could not only have good food, but also did not have to go to school.  This kind of mood lasted in me even when I become adult.  I always try to find a shortcut, or escape from things I should do.  I do not like to wait, and am always the last one to catch the train or airplane.  So at the end of December of 2008 when I brought Wei Jingsheng and others to meet with YueJun in Bonn for another important meeting, he had to criticize me again: "When could you be serious about this kind of important matter?  You were late last time for the hearing in Berlin at the German Parliament, now you almost messed up this one."  I did not rebuff him, although I had my "fair reasons".  It is hard to hide one's own shortcoming in front of another who is smarter.


Although the other people do not know the Chinese Student Association of Germany well, I got to know them better with my increased activities in Europe.  After all, even if YueJun has three heads and six arms and all the ability, it would be hard for him to organize so many activities and maintain such a large group during such a long period.


What moved me most happened in April 2003 when Mr. Wei Jingsheng took his doctor's advice and did not attended the human rights conference of the UN in Geneva as he did every year.  When there was a shortage of manpower, it was YueJun and CHEN NaiLiang, then president of the Chinese Student Association of Germany, along with other members of the association that came to the rescue and helped me to accomplish several projects, include a special two-hour long briefing on Chinese human rights problems inside the UN compound.  That was at the beginning of the Iraq war, and gun smoke also filled the UN hall as the totalitarian countries such as Chinese Communist government tried to take the advantage.  That special program became the only briefing that year presenting Chinese human rights problems inside the UN where all the presenters were Chinese.  It was during the 59th session of UN's human rights commission.


It was not easy for our friends from Germany to join this briefing because not only did they need to make time available and pay for their own expenses, but also their daily language was in German instead of English.  So I had to try hard to adapt myself to their German accented English while moderating the brief.  But I had no reason to laugh at them; it would be much harder for me to mobilize my IFCSS friends to make such an effort and sacrifice.


As a matter of fact, even within the Chinese Students Association of Germany it was not clear-cut, just like IFCSS.  After twenty years of shifting and filtering, very few people could still hold their freedom and democracy ideals, as well as put them in practice at the same time.  Many Chinese student associations have "changed color" to become a puppet permitted by the Chinese government.  The Chinese Communist government used various ways even measures of humiliation and cruelty to force everyone.  Dr. Qian YueJun has had discussions with me about what has happened in his organization in the last 20 years, which is quite similar to what had happened within IFCSS.  Especially the recent Zhang DanHong incident at Deutsche Welle is quite similar to the Gao Zhan incident not long ago in the USA.  Both were taking advantage of a democratic country.  I told him: "This was tough on us.  Gao Zhan was doing the opposite of the IFCSS and  was treated as an honored guest in the Chinese embassy in Washington DC, yet when she turned around, she become 'a freedom fighter' and disgraced the Chinese democracy movement".  In comparison, Zhang Danhong used the reputation of Deutsche Welle to sing praises for the Chinese Communist Party and help the Communists.


Due to the help of YueJun, we were able to have a hearing about Deutsche Welle on December 18, 2008, in the German Parliament.  Mr. Wei Jingsheng testified at this hearing before more than 20 German Parliament members and officials.  What made me anxious was that YueJun was not able to attend that day.  He had to fly eastward to attend his father's funeral in Shanghai.  Although I thought that he would be punished by the Chinese Communist government for what he did for the Chinese democracy movement, including this Zhang Danhong incident, I could not bear to pour cold water over his head, but only kept silent on his "disappearance".


Indeed, despite that YueJun was the only son of his father, he was not allowed to go back to Shanghai to attend his father's funeral and comfort his aged mother.  Since 1999 when I returned to China yet failed to visit my dying father due to the Chinese government's interference by force, the world has move forward for ten years.  Yet the brutal barbarian nature of the Chinese Communist Party has only increased.  When I was stopped at the Shanghai airport by dozens police that day, I questioned them with extreme grief and indignation: "Do not you have your own parents?  If they are ill, will you want to visit them?"  No one answered me - the Chinese Communist Party had kidnapped humanity and the last bit of human nature.  Our parents became the hostages, our devotion to our parents became the target of abuse.


As soon as YueJun got back to his home in Frankfort, he informed us immediately.  I thought he would have a flow of emotion to talk, but I was coward and lacked the courage to say much.  The silence was more than words, for the silence became my strongest expression at that time.  I guess that my heart was not made of steel and thus weak.  When I am emotionally hurt, I just fall to silence.  I did not know what to say when I met him.


On December 22, we finally met in Bonn again.  I was so short of expressing anything, but fortunately the others expressed well for me.  We chatted for about two hours.  YueJun talked a lot about his family, even to the details that every week he would call his father and chat for more than half hour.  He was calm and full of magnanimity.  But I thought, what if one day when he did what I did and pick up the phone to call his father in habit and then realize it was a repeated action no more effective?  I still remember one cold and lonely night, with phone in my hand, I suddenly realized that my father would not be able to hear me anymore and cried my heart out for being unable to meet him the last time, nor to attend his funeral.  Will the sanguine YueJun do the same?


When YueJun learned that Wei Jingsheng's father passed away in Beijing and was unable to see his son for the last time, he wrote a letter to Wei Jingsheng.  In his letter, he said: "Dear Elder brother Wei: I was shocked and extremely sad to learn that your father has passed away.  Your father has suffered in his life for you, but he should be proud to have a son like you.  Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that he left this world alone all by himself.  We are outside of China now because of Chinese democracy - to strictly speak, to keep a strong and straight backbone we came to exile.  However, in front of these dictators, we do not spare even a half-drop of our tears for them..."


Without a doubt, YueJun, your father also "should be proud to have a son like you".  More so, " in front of these dictators, we do not spare even a half-drop of our tears for them."


Yet, last night, I still had a dream when I saw my father walking away.  Despite my repeated calling, he would not turn his head back.  So I cried with my friend sitting next to me.  It was YueJun.  As I awake this morning, I am writing this article to YueJun, as a memorial to his father, and to express my sympathy.  His suffering is my suffering.  Just like limbs of a body, our hearts are connected, we share the same responsibility.  "When one has bosom friends afar, the other side of earth is as close as the neighbor."  I am fortunate to know YueJun, to seek progress together.  Maybe this is a way of compensation for the Chinese Communist Party's depriving of our affection to our fathers.



(Written in the morning of January 17, 2009.)



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Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue Number: A438-O129



Release Date: January 24, 2009



Topic: Terms of Endearment:  Shared Affection as the Limbs of a Body (A Joint Memorial to the Father of Dr. QIAN YueJun, the Former President of Chinese Students Association of Germany) -- HUANG Ciping

标题:手足情 -- 记前德国学联主席钱跃君博士兼悼他父亲的去世 (黄慈萍)


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








手足情 -- 记前德国学联主席钱跃君博士兼悼他父亲的去世
















































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