Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue Number: A662-O187



Release Date: October 8, 2011



Topic: "The 1911 Chinese Xinhai Revolution -- Review and Outlook" Forum (reported by: Radio Free Asia)

标题: 《辛亥革命的回顾与前瞻》研讨会(自由亚洲电台报道)


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



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"The 1911 Chinese Xinhai Revolution -- Review and Outlook"

Radio Free Asia reports (http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/)




October 10 this year is the centennial anniversary of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.  More than a dozen organizations lead by the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition and Huang Hua Gang Magazine, etc. held a forum in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to commemorate and review the 1911 Revolution, and to look forward for the democratic future in China.


On Thursday's forum, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition Chairman Wei Jingsheng pointed out that the Xinhai Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1911 is significant.


"Many people who study history are saying that China was a commodity society and a society with market economy for more than two thousand years.  But the Western society of market economies eventually led to the establishment of democratic systems.  Why not China?  China has always had uprisings back and forth, after which it overthrew one dynasty and finally just established another similar dynasty.  I think that a very important point is that the ancient Chinese people did not realize that they could build a democratic system which was better than a dynasty, a system where the people's words are counted.  Now the Westerners are ahead of us, they established democratic systems.  We the Chinese were the first to learn from the Westerners.  We could be said to be the first Democratic Republic in Asia.  Of course recently there are people disputing this claim, saying that Japan should be counted as the first.  But even now Japan is still a constitutional monarchy rather than a democratic Republic, so it is not a very thorough democratic country."


Wei Jingsheng said that at present, there are a variety of critical voices about this revolution.  Some people think that it should not have been an armed uprising at that time, but should have let the Qing Dynasty reform.  Some other people launch personal attacks against Dr. Sun Yat-sen.  There are even people blaming the setback on the road to democracy over the past century as due to the poor quality of the Chinese people, thus China is not suitable to engage in democracy.


Wei Jingsheng said: "Regarding the quality of the Chinese people, from the average people to the elite, their qualities are not bad.  So why in the past one hundred years hasn't a democratic system been able to be established?  I think that there are both internal and external reasons.  First is that the external factor is relatively important."


Wei thinks that after the Xinhai Revolution, for their own commercial interests the Western powers chose to support Yuan Shikai who represented the old authoritarian power.  Meanwhile, many people involved in the 1911 Revolution thought that the authoritarian Qing dynasty had been overthrown and the revolution had been successful, thus they could retire.  This situation provided the opportunity for Yuan to usurp the fruit of the revolution and go on to claim himself as emperor of China.  Only after the success of the Northern Expedition in 1927 did China return to democracy.  Yet 10 years later, the outbreak of the Japanese invasion of China made China's democratic process suffer setbacks again.


However, even in the Sino-Japanese War time, in the area of democracy and freedom of expression, the Nationalist government gave far more space and dimension than today's communist regime.


"Since the Communist Party usurped political power, democracy has become basically an empty word.  Of course, when the Communist regime was newly established, it also engaged in some democratic measures as Yuan did, which looked real to the degree of vigorously promoting election and democracy, etc.  At that time, it had a very powerful propaganda.  But soon after that Communist Party had a firm foothold, it implemented a regime of dictatorship.  This is fundamentally different than the criticism of the Kuomintang Nationalist government as being not democratic enough.  The so-called not democratic enough of the national government was that it was said to have steps of military governance, during the rebellion era, etc.  Regardless what is said, there was still a basic framework of democracy there.  The scale of freedom of speech was as much as possible.  People still had freedom of speech, even to the extent of people like Li Ao, who accused and scolded the KMT every day and was still able to exist publicly.  Even the media provided him with a platform to speak.  However, the fundamental theory of the Communist Party is a theory of tyranny.  The most basic of these theories of the Communist Party is the dictatorship of the proletariat.  Thus it is for sure to engage in authoritarianism.  It would engage in tyranny from its theory.  This is fundamentally different than that the KMT not being democratic enough.


Wei Jingsheng said that the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party since it seized power has made people angry.  After the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping used the slogan of "reform and opening up" to attract a large number of people who still had illusions about the Communist Party.  At that time, the majority of Chinese just wanted to improve the economy, and was not interested in democracy.  Even the democracy movement in 1989 did not shake the basis of Communist rule.  However, in recent years, the situation has changed.


"The Communist Party used various illegal means to plunder the people so that they could form a rich new bureaucratic capitalist class.  The conflict between this bureaucratic capitalist class and the people is not the same as at the end of the 1970's.  It is a very sharp conflict of life and death.  Or to describe it in a simple way: in the late 1970s, people were unhappy, but now the people have hatred against the Communist Party."


Wei Jingsheng pointed out that the revolutionaries under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen had used bombs many times, regardless how many of them were there, and eventually overthrew the tyranny of the Qing dynasty.  Nowadays, a reproduced situation like this is what the Communist Party is most worried about.   Thus the Communist regime demoted the level of commemoration this year.


"This year, they are particularly nervous.  They treat this commemoration of the Revolution as a major event and they want to lower the tone.  They do not want us to talk about this thing.  What are they so nervous about?  It is because China has come to a time of crisis.  The people's mood of resistance is more serious than in the late 1970s."


Wei Jingsheng thinks the way to overthrow the authoritarian regime will be chosen by the people.  It may not necessarily be in the non-violent way advocated by the elite.


"The Jasmine Revolution in North Africa this time had different ways.  In Libya, because Gaddafi is determined to resist and not to delegate the power, he could only be overthrown by force.  Even though the Libyan people sacrificed a lot and thousands of people died, they think it was worth it to overthrow a despotic ruler.  But there are different possibilities.  The rulers of Egypt and Tunisia withdrew and compromised, so of course there was no need to initiate a war.  But is this path easy?  Neither.  Look at Egypt now, it is going back and forth.  No matter which road, it will not be a really easy one.  The most crucial thing is that the understanding of ordinary people remains consistent. "


Dr. Li Jinjin, who participated in the '89 pro-democracy movement and currently practices law in New York, pointed out at the forum that today's Communist Party fears the word of "revolution".


"'Revolution' in the Xinhai Revolution was the favorite word for the Communist Party to use.  That is because they always say that they are revolutionaries themselves.  Other people like us are counter-revolutionary.  But after more than 60 years, the situation has changed.  It has realized that it is wrong -- it has become the object of a revolution.  So today, as they look back in commemoration of Sun Yat-sen's Xinhai Revolution, they say the revolution is over.  They completed a revolution and do not want another one."


Zhang Jian, the assistant to the chairmen of the National Committee of the Democracy Party of China, thinks that the Communist Party has been destroying the traditional Chinese morals and culture, while blocking Western democratic values, since its established the regime.  Today, China has changed from believing its treasures are its people to wealth hidden by the officers; from the "that under heaven is for all the people" to "that under heaven is for the Communists".


Zhang believes that Sun Yat-sen's "drive out the invaders and restore China" still has significance today.


"The invaders are not the foreigners of high noses and blue eyes with strong ships and powerful cannons.  The invader is the Communist party which has been bullying against the Chinese culture and bullying against all the Chinese people, bullying against our motherland China.  We have to expel the invaders to restore China; expel the Communist Party to restore China."


The is a report by Radio Free Asia correspondent, Lin Ping.



Related audio:



Link of the original report:




(Translated by: the Wei Jingsheng Foundation)



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Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue Number: A662-O187



Release Date: October 8, 2011



Topic: "The 1911 Chinese Xinhai Revolution -- Review and Outlook" Forum (reported by: Radio Free Asia)

标题: 《辛亥革命的回顾与前瞻》研讨会(自由亚洲电台报道)


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









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