Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A569-W337

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A569-W337


Release Date: September 24, 2010



Topic: Announcing the Chinese Translation of Lessons in Democracy



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



Note: Please use "Simplified Chinese (GB2312)" encoding to view the Chinese parts of this release.  If this mail does not display properly in your email program, please send your request for special delivery to us or visit:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2010/report2010-09/LiDreleases100924ChineseA569-W337.htm which contains identical information.







Contact: Roland Watson, roland@lessonsindemocracy.org





September 24, 2010



We are very pleased to announce the Chinese translation of Lessons in Democracy, by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation. The translation is available in two Chinese character sets, Simplified and Traditional.


The translation will be launched at a press conference in Room HC-6 of the United States Capitol, from 2.00pm - 3.30pm, September 27th. The conference will be followed by a seminar on The Sixty-One Years of Communist China, by the Asia Democracy Alliance, from 3.30pm - 5pm.





Wei Jingsheng is a leading pro-democracy advocate for China. He spent eighteen years as a political prisoner. His first imprisonment followed Deng Xiaoping's formal announcement of the "four modernizations," in agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology.


Mr. Wei wrote an article saying that China needed democracy as well, which article he titled the Fifth Modernization, and which he posted in 1978 on Beijing's Democracy Wall. He was arrested, for the first time, after taking this courageous step.


The lessons were translated by Huang Ciping, Director of the Foundation. Ms. Huang, a scientist in optical physics, was previously President of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars in the United States, and the Global Chinese Students and Scholars' Union.


The translation was edited by Cheng Yike. Ms. Cheng is an author and has published seven books in China, including five children's books, a book of essays, and a biography.


Please forward these links, if possible right now, to all your Chinese friends. Please also post the links on as many China email lists, blogs and websites as possible.


The basic idea for the translation is that if the people of China want democracy, they should be interested to learn about it. Then, when they understand how their lives would be changed, practically, with freedom and human rights, they should be willing to fight for it.


This means that the lessons are not solely an educational initiative. They will have a political impact as well.


The lessons are "A" democracy guide, not "The" democracy guide. There are many approaches to teaching democracy - ours is only one of them. Our approach begins with an emphasis on the underlying principles. When people who live in dictatorships ask about democracy, they don't start with questions about the system's formal mechanisms, like elections and political parties, or its presidential and parliamentary alternatives. Instead, they want to know about the ideas: What is democracy, really?

What would it mean to me? How would my life in a democratic nation be different, and better?


Again, for China, this implies that the initiative will have a political impact as well as educational. At present, many individuals and groups in China are protesting for their rights, but without a simultaneous demand for democracy. They have yet to learn that such rights can never be established and preserved unless the dictatorship that rules the country - the Communist Party of China - is replaced with democratic government.


Lessons in Democracy is a long-term initiative. It takes years to devise ways to expose a national population to the ideas of democracy, certainly in a dictatorship like China. If you can help us promote and distribute the translation, we will be off to a good start. (Thanks!)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A569-W337

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A569-W337


Release Date: September 24, 2010



Topic: Announcing the Chinese Translation of Lessons in Democracy



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








民主课程 (www.lessonsindemocracy.org)





































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