Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A591-W359



Release Date: December 5, 2010



Topic: I Shall Leave My Heart to Shine in the History -- Prize Dedication to Xu Wanping as Awardee of the Seventh Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:留取丹心照汗青 -- 魏京生基金会第七届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对许万平的颁奖词


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



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I Shall Leave My Heart to Shine in the History

-- Prize Dedication to Xu Wanping as Awardee of the Seventh Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation


December 5, 2010



Wen Tianxiang lived in a stormy era of bloodshed.  Although the leading intellectual of his time, Wen Tianxiang is even better known throughout Chinese history for his outstanding strong bones in unyielding concern for his country and its people.  Several hundred years later, his heroic deeds are still remembered by the people and receive much praise nowadays.


Facing the strong invasion of the Mongolian armed forces, Wen Tianxiang donated all his wealth to build an army of farmers and intellectuals to resist the aggression.  However, in 1278, with his country and family in disintegration, Wen Tianxiang was captured by the Mongolians.  When the Mongolian Grand Marshal asked him to write to the other resistant leaders to surrender, Wen refused flatly.  Instead, in the prison boat on the Lake of Loneliness, he wrote the poem of eternity "Passage on the Lake of Loneliness", which ended with the farewell sentences: "Since ancient times, who could live forever?  Yet, I shall leave my heart to shine in the history."


Wen Tianxiang ranked the highest in national academic competition when he was only 21.  He was an excellent chess player and poet.  His ability and achievement was even well recognized by his own enemy.  After his capture, the Mongolians used all sorts of strong and soft means to conquer him.  They took his wife and children as hostage in an effort to persuade him.   Wen refused family reunion.  When Wen was tortured yet unable to die, he told the prime minister of the Mongolian emperor who was threatening him: I am not even afraid of death, why should I be afraid of prison?  When the Mongolian conquer, the fifth Great Khan, Kublai Khan (the grandson of Genghis Khan) offered Wen Tianxiang various favors including the position of prime minister and asked him what else he wanted, Wen responded with: I only want death!  Until this date, Wen has passed on not just his excellent ability in both literature and military command, but more in his unbending noble character.


Finally, his enemies had to eliminate Wen's physical presence to declare their own defeat.  On January 9, 1283, thousands of people gathered on the streets to witness the heroic spirit of Wen Tianxiang.  From prison to the execution ground, Wen Tianxiang was calm and confident.  Before Wen’s head was cut off, the execution officer asked: "What does Prime Minister Wen have to say in seeking for mercy?  I could let the emperor (Kublai Khan) know to spare your life."  But Wen Tianxiang refused to say anything and calmly met his death.


Wen Tianxiang was able to withstand the severest test with his firm will.  That was rare in history.  His indomitable courage has become the moral role model for all the Chinese people over all the dynasties.  His spirit of sacrifice for the country and the people is especially deserving for the Chinese intellectuals to learn from.  However, his martyrdom made us sigh and wonder: after consistent suppression and unstoppable killing, will there be any courageous genes left for us the Chinese?  Under the unprecedented reign of horror by the Chinese Communist Party, will there be any hero left who is not afraid of tyranny?


Fortunately, there are tens of thousands of brave people in China.  Mr. Xu Wanping is one of the heroes.


Xu Wanping, from Chongqing of Sichuan Province, was born on April 11, 1961.  Because of his participation in the 1989 democracy movement and establishing the "Chinese Action Party," in 1990 he was sentenced to 8 years with 5 years of deprived political rights for the criminal charges of "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement" and "organizing counter-revolutionary groups".  After he was released in 1997, he was arrested again due to his effort to build the "Chinese Democratic Party" and sentenced to 3 years "Re-education through Labor" camp.  After Xu Wanping was released from the camp, he still held his beliefs and continued to organize and participate in democracy and freedom activities for the Chinese people.  He tried to organize the labor movement, and wrote pro-democracy articles.  He was arrested again in April 2005 and was sentenced on December 21 of that year to 12 years with 4 years of deprivation of political rights under the charges of "subversion of state power".  Still in his 40's, Xu's sentences have totaled to be 23 years.


Although I have had limited contacts with Xu Wanping, I have been deeply touched by his courage and determination.  We are thankful to his nominees from Sichuan who have been giving him strong recommendations for several years.  I am also thankful to him for giving me the opportunity to directly know him.  He has enthusiastically promoted the "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" in China and also has recommended candidates to us.  During a brief contact shortly before he was arrested and sentenced, I expressed my concern to him.  Yet, his sincerity and determination made me feel it was unnecessary.


In his article written in April 2005, the month Xu Wanping was arrested, he expressed his intention and determination: "I think that only when China becomes democratic can we really get equality, freedom, and love, and then we will be able to completely resolve these social defects such as city registration, children's schooling, equal rights to live, etc.  As a matter of fact, this is also why I am still willing and determined to take all the risks to engage in the pro-democracy movement despite that I have been in jail for more than one decade already.  Fight!  Fight for our country to realize democracy, the rule of law, equality, and freedom, as soon as possible; for the true happiness of our next generation, and for my wife not to have to complain to me for doing all these.  I firmly believe that we must realize our goal with determination.  I also firmly believe that, one day, China will realize democracy!"


Xu Wanping's talk about the risks and his fighting spirit reminds me of an experience years ago, an encounter with a bear in middle of the night.  When I was camping, I was suddenly awakened.  With a thin layer of cloth between me and it, I could feel a monster leaning over with its giant palm pushing my shoulder tentatively but with alertness.  Unable to reach any weapon for defense but a flashlight, I hold my breath and kept motionless despite my heart was pounding, while calculating how to resist the possible attack and strike it back.  These minutes were the longest minutes of my life.  Fortunately, that monster lost its patience and left.


This summer, three campers lost their lives outside the east gate of Yellowstone National Park.  However, a woman whose arm was broken by the bear survived when she was able to deal with the emergency calmly and courageously.  This makes me think of the true democracy advocators in China, who are facing a mighty enemy even stronger and more sinister.  They do not surrender.  They do not beg for mercy.  They are true fighters for their democratic ideals and beliefs.  They have the same courage and calm in facing the tyranny.


A few years ago, there were several Japanese students in a wildlife park in Africa.  They would not listen to others' advice and insisted on taking photos with lions.  So they were bitten and killed by the lions.  People who hold a fantasy of "no enemy", even wanting to be friendly with big bears who look very cute and lovely, will lose their lives for that illusion.  In the brutal environment of the Communist tyranny, advocating "no enemy" could result in people losing their essential vigilance, and thus bringing harm to themselves along with their relatives and friends, and even damage the whole society and democratic movement.


Fortunately, Xu Wanping and our heroes clearly recognize the existence and dangers of the tyrannical enemy.  So they do not retreat, nor pretend that they could not see the enemy, or do not even know the existence of the enemy.  Instead, they have the courage to fight back.  In the labor camp, the Chinese authorities adopted a way to torture Mr. Xu both physically and spiritually in an attempt to make him surrender.  After a period of time of hunger, cold, and beatings, Xu Wanping struck back: going on a hunger strike, fighting with death, and public censure.  For this action, Xu Wanping wrote a poem entitled "fight back":


Numerous provocations

Forced me to fight back

Willing to seek a solution

Even if it is a death trap

I will not evade

Too weak

Will only lead to

Irreparable consequences

Life is a battle

In front of my enemy

Keep silence

Is equal to give the enemy space to be haughty

I want to fight back

to fight back its arrogant bluster

But not by means of violence

I am not a coward

Never expect I will yield


I would like to share this poem with all the fighters for human rights and democracy movement as a way of encouragement.


HUANG Ciping (signed)

Executive Director, Wei Jingsheng Foundation



For the Seventh Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" Award Announcement:



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A591-W359



Release Date: December 5, 2010



Topic: I Shall Leave My Heart to Shine in the History -- Prize Dedication to Xu Wanping as Awardee of the Seventh Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:留取丹心照汗青 -- 魏京生基金会第七届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对许万平的颁奖词


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









-- 魏京生基金会第七届"魏京生中国民主斗士奖"对许万平的颁奖词

















































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