Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A612-W376

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A612-W376


Release Date: February 6, 2011



Topic: The Revolution Storms in the Arab World and the Revolution in China -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:阿拉伯世界的风暴和中国革命 -- 魏京生


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



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The Revolution Storms in the Arab World and the Revolution in China

-- Wei Jingsheng




We have seen the news of revolution in Tunisia.  It has affected many Arab countries, thus setting off a wave of demonstrations against the dictatorships.  These demonstrations have come so fast, just like falling dominoes.  After only one month of time, they spread to the Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East.  This phenomenon fits well with the ancient Chinese saying: "three feet of ice is not due to one freezing day", which is the same meaning as "Rome was not built in a day".


These days many friends and media are comparing this revolution going on Egypt with China.  They find a lot of relations between the two.  However, in comparing Egypt with the June 4 crackdown of 1989 in China, there is an extremely important difference.  Between Egypt's national army and China's SS-style army, there are fundamental differences.  When they are facing their own people, a national army like Egypt's cannot be mobilized to shoot the objects that they should defend.  Even if senior officers ordered it, the lower ranking officers and soldiers may not be willing to implement the order.  Further, they might turn their muzzles the other way as what happened in Russian and Romania before.


For decades, the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party has called the Chinese army an army made of sons of the people.  After the end of the civil war between the Communist Party and KMT, logically the Communist Party should have given up command of the army.  The military should have been given to the State, e.g. it should have been nationalized.  Nationalization of the military is not a new concept.  Even the ancient emperor Zhao Kuangyin (917-975) knew that the biggest reason for a collapse of the country would be the military power fall to the other hands.  As the founder of the Song dynasty, Zhao knew that because the military power was in someone else's hands, not only the Tang Dynasty before him collapsed, but also resulted separatist regimes ruled by warlords for as long as two hundred years.


Some people argue that having a "national army" is not exactly a stable condition since China is a Communist one-party dictator state.  From the viewpoint of the Nazis and the Communist system, a one-party dictatorship matched with an SS-style army is a perfect match.  Like the imperial system of "the emperor is the country" matched with a royal army, it seems to be a logical system without any fault.  The June 4 crackdown in China proved that regarding defending the one-party dictatorship of the Chinese Communists, the SS army system is indeed more effective than the nationalized armies of the former USSR and Eastern Europe.  As a matter of fact, the existence of the military ruling governments in Arabic and some third world countries also proves the reliability of the private army in defending a private regime.


Recalling the history of the Chinese army after the founding of Communist China, there was a period which is very important yet often overlooked.  That was related to the political struggle regarding the nationalization of the Chinese army in the 1950's.  The Chinese Communist Party came to power in the name of democracy.  So either in terms of democratic theory, or from the reality of the former Soviet Union, the nationalization of the military is proper without any argument.  However, for the sake of his own dictatorship, Mao Zedong undermined the military nationalization step by step.  By political propaganda in the military, he strengthened the slavery education of his SS army.  With the assistance of Ling Biao, Mao completed the process of turning the armed forces into an SS army.  This made the Chinese army a strong backing of political dictatorship in the so-called Cultural Revolution period.


In the later part of the Cultural Revolution, people rose up against the perverse dictatorship.  This led to the fall of the Gang of Four, and Deng Xiaoping came to power.  However, Deng Xiaoping did not intend to reform the SS system.  He even wanted to strengthen it, exposing his ambition of wanting to be the next dictator.  Meanwhile, people overlooked the importance of the nationalization of the military, while the senior veterans of the Chinese Communist Party were not concerned due to their own self interest or that of their small clique of people.  As the Chinese proverb goes; without concern for the long-term future, there will be worries nearby.  Although Deng Xiaoping's personal dictatorship was not very successful, when the Chinese society had a huge divergence in 1989, the fact that the Chinese SS army suppressed the people including opposition within the Communist Party became the key that decided the historic process and social nature in China.  That was almost a repeat of the Cultural Revolution.  Privatization of the military ensures that the will of the minority overrides the very majority of the people.


But there are mortal weaknesses of a privatized military, which makes the military unstable and thus leads to instability of the country.  The frequent military coups in the third world are the best proof.  That is because it is very clear who holds the power of a national military: the state.  So people often say that there is almost no possibility of a military coup in a democratic country, even in a country like the former USSR.  However, in the case of a privatized military, it is not so clear as who hold the power.  In comparison, the SS system lies between the two systems, probably leaning more toward the privatized army.  Therefore, although China and North Korea are also Communist states as the USSR was, they have a much bigger possibility for a military coup.  Who really holds the army power is not a crystal clear matter.  This uncertainty increases the instability of the regime, as well as the instability of the society.


In addition, when Mao Zedong received support of the whole country, he firmly held the military in his hand.  When Deng Xiaoping was denounced by the whole country, the army was not so firmly in his hand.  In the military, from the top to the lowest ranked soldier, most people opposed Deng Xiaoping's personal dictatorship.  It was only because Zhao Ziyang's do-nothing action gave an opportunity for Deng Xiaoping to regroup, so then the lowest ranked uneducated soldiers were convinced of the possibility of getting military honors by forcibly entering the city and killing the demonstrators.


Indeed, soldiers are people too, and they are closely related to the ordinary citizens.  However, not all people have a conscience, and the soldiers entering the city came from far away and did not understand what was going on.  When a small group of heartless people got the opportunity to apply violence against the others, tragedy without ration happened.  This is nothing new in history.  The Communist Party has always been a dictatorial party that uses mobs to resolve their own political difficulties.  The Agrarian Reform and Anti-rightist Movement of the 1950's, the Red Guards, the Rebel factions and workers militias of 1960's, and the minority of soldiers from the Martial Law troops opening fire to kill in 1989, are all typical in the form of despotic rule by the mobs against the majority people.


However, with the improved education level, the widespread varieties of information, and especially the obvious emerging of social classes, the distance between the soldiers and civilians is getting closer in China.  Just like in Egypt and the former Soviet bloc countries, ordering a massacre of killing their own people would be very risky, and very probably counterproductive.  In this moment, the people's support or opposition will be the main factor determining the direction of the military guns.   Especially from the lessons of Tiananmen massacre, the soldiers of conscience will not be only neutral bystanders.  If someone forced these soldiers to kill people, they will make history like the heroes of the 1911 Revolution.


We are elated for the people in Arab countries.  From their failures and successes, we Chinese can see the future of our own country, and see the importance of military nationalization.  China's military people would more likely to be able to see their own historical responsibility to decide the destiny of our nation.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on February 4, 2011.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A612-W376

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A612-W376


Release Date: February 6, 2011



Topic: The Revolution Storms in the Arab World and the Revolution in China -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:阿拉伯世界的风暴和中国革命 -- 魏京生


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









-- 魏京生




































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