Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A724-W454

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A724-W454


Release Date: July 15, 2012



Topic: Radio Free Asia Mandarin Service's Launches a Video Series Introducing the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 1)

标题:自由亚洲电台访谈节目“历程” -- “挑战独裁的魏京生”专题(上集的录像及文字)


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



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Radio Free Asia Mandarin Service's Launches a Video Series Introducing the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 1)



Radio Free Asia Mandarin service has launched a video series on its homepage introducing the life story of Wei Jingsheng (at http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/).  The following is the text content and the web link of the first part of the special video interview program "Course of Life" about Wei Jingsheng, who challenges authoritarian regimes: http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/duomeiti/tebiejiemu/lic-06252012153247.html


This part of the video is also available at:



The following is the transcript of Part 1 of the series about Wei Jingsheng.

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Radio Free Asia interview program "Course of Life": Wei Jingsheng Challenging Authoritarian Regimes (transcript of Part 1)



Radio Free Asia: Why has Mr. Wei Jingsheng, as a child of a high-ranking official, called out "for democracy or a new dictatorship"?  Why did he spend his youth in prison without regrets?  Please join us to listen to his course of life.


Wei Jingsheng: (on being in jail) Deng Xiaoping talked about two things: the first was to release me if it should be, as it was not meaningful to keep me locked up; the second was to delete the 49 parts with my name in his Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, which he remembered quite clearly.  Therefore, in the Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping that was published afterwards, my name does not appear anymore.  Then they had (one of the top Communist leaders) Chen Yun's sister-in-law came to our home to tell my father the whole process, saying that Deng Xiaoping's daughter asked to tell my father.  Of course I would know if they told my father.  That was meant to ease the relationship between us so I would not criticize him again.


RFA Reporter: And then you came out and still criticized him.


Wei Jingsheng: I said what I should say, right?  What I said were facts, why not?


Narrator: His parents were senior Communist Party cadres.  He grew up receiving his education in the so-called red elite aristocrat schools in Beijing.  Favorable conditions gave him the chance to witness high-level power struggles within the Chinese Communist leadership.  Yet to the end, with the expense of his youth, he suffered the pain of prison.  He did so in order to greet a truly democratic China.  He is Wei Jingsheng, who published a series of articles such as "the Fifth Modernization -- Democracy" at the Democracy Wall movement, and challenged the Chinese Communist dictators openly with his real name.


RFA Reporter: Considering your family background, you are what we call "the second generation of officials".  In fact, you could have quietly enjoyed a prosperous life, without caring about other human beings.  What prompted you to think of democracy in China?


Wei Jingsheng: In fact, this description of "the second generation of officials" now is different from it was thirty years ago.  At that time, there was not much distance from us, the so-called offspring of the Communist cadres, and the ordinary people.  Now, the "second generation of officials" and "the second generation of the rich" are high above the people and very different from the ordinary people.  Then, not only were we, the so-called offspring of the Communist cadres, not very different from the ordinary people, but also our parent's generation did not join the Communist Party when they were young for the purpose of being officials.  Just like the Kuomintang officials, they wanted a good future for China, although they choose a different doctrine and participated in the Communist Party.  So we were taught the subjects of democracy, freedom, and caring for the people, etc. as a very natural part of education.  But when we saw the reality, we were not satisfied at all.  Of course that produced the difference in our thought.  Of course, these thoughts were also associated with the Cultural Revolution.  During the Cultural Revolution, we were against (the paramount leader) Mao Zedong.  We may be the first to have risen up against Mao Zedong.  At the end of 1966, we had a fairly large organization with a lot of people participating, to oppose Jiang Qing, which actually was opposing Mao Zedong.  We were against the Cultural Revolution Group led by the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. 


RFA Reporter: At that time you thought against the CCP already?


Wei Jingsheng: It was not very clear at that time.  But since then, I gradually recognized the reality and the propaganda of the Communist Party were completely different.  Before that, when I was at school, teachers told me very good things about the Communist Party; my parents also spoke well for the Communist Party.  But the reality I saw was not so.  There was one episode that impacted greatly on me particularly when I was touring during the Cultural Revolution period.  It was near TianShui of Gansu Providence, when the train made a temporary stop at the station.  I saw the people were so poor, that beggars did not even have any clothes on them.  They were right under my train window.  When I got some food for them, I saw a young girl of 17 or 18 years old, with her younger brother.  She was totally naked and very dirty.  Of course I did not see that in the distance until they approached me.  I was shocked.  This experience really touched me.  At that time, many young people started thinking why did the Communist Party say good things, but the reality was not the case?  The Communist Party said that it will save China, but people still suffered such poverty and hardship.  These things triggered many of our young people.  From the 1960's to 1970's, we started to think and become rebellious.  We studied Marxism-Leninism, and tried to think what was wrong with Mao Zedong Thought.  Then we studied and tried to figure out what was wrong with Leninism, finally what was wrong with Marxism.  Some people finally realized that while the Communist Party said that democracy is a good thing, in the end it wants the dictatorship, so the result could only be like what is now.  Of course, this thought process was slow.  We had limited books and limited materials in China, thus it took a long process to understand the society.


We had a political teacher, who was a professor at People's University but was demoted to our middle school when he was categorized as "a rightist".  He would often guide students to be interested in politics during his teaching.  He would raise some issues and talk about Marxism-Leninism, and debate with us the students.  Thus even before the Cultural Revolution, my classmates had begun to be interested in politics, and interested in Marxism-Leninism.  That was purely for the need for debate with the teacher.


RFA Reporter: The teacher was orthodox, and you were against him?


Wei Jingsheng: Not necessarily.  Sometimes the two sides swapped.  Sometimes we had heated debate.  Later, during the Cultural Revolution, we were all very concerned about politics.


RFA Reporter: Did CCP want to arrest you back then, or your activity had danger?


Wei Jingsheng: I spent time in jail even that time.  Due to Lian-Dong (i.e. the Joint Action Committee of the Red Guards from Capital's Middle Schools), I went to jail in 1967.  When I went to jail due to the Democracy Wall, it was my second time in prison.


Narrator: Lian-Dong is the abbreviation of the Joint Action Committee of the Red Guards from Capital's Middle Schools.  It was established on December 5, 1966, and headquartered in the Auxiliary Middle School of the Beijing University.  It was composed of a group of youth of 16 or 17 years old.  Wei Jingsheng at that time was one of the members.  They were mostly the children of the martyrs of the Communist Party, and offspring of high-level Communist officials and military officers.  They were the earliest old Red Guards once affirmed by Mao Zedong.  Their main purpose was to oppose the Cultural Revolution Group led by the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, and they were against arbitrary arrests of the veterans of the revolution.  Because its activities interfered with Mao Zedong's strategic plan "Down with the capitalist roaders", on January 17, 1967, Xie Fuzhi, the then Minister of Public Security announced: "Lian-Dong is a reactionary organization, its leaders are counter-revolutionary."


Wei Jingsheng: Our practice was that we were not afraid even when we were banned.  Initially, the government detained several of our people.  We went to attack the Ministry of Public Security and really messed it up.  The result was several hundred of us were arrested.


RFA Reporter: All young people?


Wei Jingsheng: All young people.  At the beginning when we were arrested, it was not very long.  Mao Zedong ordered the release of all of them.  Mao is relatively cunning.  He did not want to offend all the cadres.  Most of our members were the children of the cadres, especially the cadres in various ministries and the central government in Beijing.  So Mao ordered the release of all these people.  But we continued our action after we were released.  Many of us were that kind of character that we would not stop.  But we were not allowed to continue.  At the end of 1967, they started arrests again, mainly the leaders.  They caught all on the list of eighty some people, except me.  I went to hide everywhere, all over the country.  In the end, I really could not find a place to hide.  Their efficiency in their work was quite high.  After I spent a couple days in a new place, they would follow my footsteps.  At the end, I had gone to the countryside.  So I was several months earlier to go to the countryside before the call by Mao Zedong.


RFA Reporter: How long did you hide?


Wei Jingsheng: I simply decided to go to the countryside.  My father said: Do not come back, there is news that the Ministry of Public Security has been waiting for you.  So I decided to forget about returning to Beijing and returned to the countryside of our ancestor hometown as a young intellectual.  I spent two years in the countryside, until 1969.


RFA Reporter: As a senior official of the Communist Party, what was your father's treatment of your advanced democratic ideas?  Did he support them or oppose them?


Wei Jingsheng: In that generation of communists, they were also for democracy when they were young.  However, as they walked on this road of Communism further and further, they got stuck deeper and deeper.  Like my father, the older generation Communist Party has strong feelings.  When I returned home from jail in 1993, I had a lot of profound thoughts and feelings for that older generation of communists like my father.  I met a lot of people who were of that generation that I call aunts and uncles.  They were almost all extremely unhappy with the status quo.  They were so critical of the Communist Party that they called it names even worse than we used.  As least when we cursed the Communist Party, we would not use the four lettered dirty words, but when they cursed it, it was hard to listen to.  In fact, when they were young, they also wanted the Chinese people have a better life; they all knew that China needs democracy and freedom, and also were fighting for these ideas.  Otherwise, with their good life such as my father had who was a college professor, why should they bother to join the Communist Party for the revolution with all the personal risks?  They could die any day.  They also had a whole cavity of hot blood for the people in China.  Yet, as they went down this road, following Mao Zedong, they departed further and further from their original goal.  The Chinese people have such a bitter life, even worse than in the past, worse than in the KMT period.  Of course these cadres also have thoughts and feelings.  Looking back, they were also very upset.  Many of these cadres were very high ranked and joined the Communist Party very early, they would tell me: "You are a good boy!"  When I returned home in 1993 from jail, they said to me: "what you did, was what we wanted yet were unable to accomplish when we were young."


In fact, the Chinese have been pursuing democracy, by many people, generation to generation.  The problem is that both the Kuomintang and the Communist Party went down the wrong roads.  We should not blame the Chinese people, or say the Chinese people are not good.  So many people had lost their lives and shed their blood to fight for democracy and freedom.  But eventually China went down the road of corrupt officials.  It must need us the Chinese to think carefully about it.


RFA Reporter: Had your father personally praised you?


Wei Jingsheng: In 1998 (Editor's note: It should be the year 2000) when he came to see me, when I was already in the United States, he praised me: "Well done!"


RFA Reporter: He praised you only after 1998?


Wei Jingsheng: I was never praised when I was young.  My dad was especially strict, with his old-fashioned teacher background.  He was very strict, very serious.  When he was home, he made "en, en" sound (out of his nose to express his authority)."


RFA Reporter: But you could feel his support from his attitude, right?


Wei Jingsheng: In fact, before I went to jail in 1979, these old Communists already saw reality very clearly.  I met some of the old Communists who were very interested in our Democracy Wall.  This interest is what I just talked about.  These people worked all their lifetime, only made a large circle to come back to the starting point.  They went down a wrong road, and even a lot of them went to jail.  They did so much for the Communist Party, to sacrifice their lives and shed their blood, some of them were very famous and high-level, and finally only ended their fate in such a way.  So at that time, they were very concerned about the Democracy Wall, at least they were very supportive in fighting for democracy, freedom, and human rights.  Because when they were young, they were engaged in exactly this.  Of course, regarding our certain argument, they sometimes felt very nervous.  Some people said that there was a little problem with what I said.  Some people, like my father, said: what you said may have been all right, but your way will land you in jail and die soon.  Thus it would be better to stop.


RFA Reporter: He was worrying about you.


Wei Jingsheng: Yes, from this perspective, he was worrying about me.  Some uncles and aunts advised me the same: what you said certainly is right, but you will soon go to jail.  At that time, we all understood that the Communist Party would not allow you to tell the truth, or you would have to go to jail for telling the truth.


RFA Reporter: But they still like to listen to the truth, right?


Wei Jingsheng: Of course, everyone knows in his heart.  For people of my father's rank, they could read "internal references".  Even though they were able to read something much more than ordinary people could, they still liked to hear some broadcasting from the outside.  But they did not support their children listening to these foreign broadcasts.  When their children listened, they warned the children.  But they listened themselves, because they got different things by listening to the foreign broadcasting.  People are all the same, regardless right or wrong.  If I hear everything, I will make a judgment to know what is right.  If I am only allowed to listen to a little bit, then I will feel cheated.  If one is only allowed to hear one thing, it is certainly not reliable.  Regardless if it is true or not, the impression is not reliable.  In fact, many Communist Party cadres were just like ordinary people, they were also "eavesdropping enemy broadcasting."


In 1993, when I went back home, my father told me that he always listened to several stations.  In 1998 (note by the editor: it should be 2000) when he came to visit me, he told me that he listened daily to 4 stations: one was the Voice of America, one was Radio Free Asia, one was BBC, and another one was FRI.  These four were what he must listen to.  When my brother and sister came back home, he would tell them what was on the radio.  My father had very good memory.


RFA Reporter: Listening to four stations would make him very busy.


Wei Jingsheng: He was a retired old man, without much to do everyday.  As soon as I was sent to the prison, they made him retire immediately.  At that time, his career was flourishing.  Even Jiang Zemin (who later took the top post in China) was still in my dad's office to assist and learning.  It was the second rise of his career.  The first time was around 1949.  But later, he was hit and demoted.


RFA Reporter: Did he blame you?


Wei Jingsheng: No.  My family did not blame me.  They understood what I was doing.  Not only my father, but also my brother and sisters, including my brother-in-law understood.  My brother-in-law already had his visa to England representing the Chinese shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom.  Three days before his departure, his trip was canceled.  That was end of his lifelong career in technology.  People like me are not just the ones who sacrifice, but also our family members including our siblings, parents, children, all are affected and receive the persecution of the Communist Party.  The whole family pays this price.


RFA Reporter: But they still continuously support you.


Wei Jingsheng: Yet.  We are a family.  They also understand me.  What I do is a good thing, not a bad thing.



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A724-W454

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A724-W454


Release Date: July 15, 2012



Topic: Radio Free Asia Mandarin Service's Launches a Video Series Introducing the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 1)

标题:自由亚洲电台访谈节目“历程” -- “挑战独裁的魏京生”专题(上集的录像及文字)


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








自由亚洲电台访谈节目“历程” -- “挑战独裁的魏京生”专题(上集的录像及文字)









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自由亚洲电台访谈节目“历程” -- “挑战独裁的魏京生”















魏京生:其实官二代这个词,现在和三十年前不一样。那个时候共产党的干部和普通老百姓的生活差别不是很大,所以我们所谓的这些干部子弟,和老百姓的距离并不是很远。 而现在的官二代、富二代已经是高高在上了,和老百姓差别非常大。那个时候,一个是差别不大,一个是我们的父代当年年轻时不是为了当官才参加共产党的。和国民党的官员差不多,都是为了让中国有个好前途,只不过大家选择了不同的主义,参加共产党。所以我们从小受到的教育,像民主啊,自由啊,关心老百姓这些等这些,都是很自然的一种教育。看到现实,完全不满意,当然就产生思想上的差别。当然这和文革有关系。文革时,反对毛泽东。我们可能是最早起来反对毛泽东的。六六年底的时候,有一个相当庞大的组织,很多人参加,反对江青,实际上就是反对毛泽东,反对中央文革。我们就是那个组织的。












































魏京生:其实一九七九年我进监牢之前,这些老共产党人也看得很清楚了。我碰到一些老共产党他们对我们民主墙很感兴趣。就是我刚才讲的。他们干了一辈子,绕了一大圈, 走了斜路,甚至很多人进了监狱。给共产党干了那么多事情,抛头颅洒热血的,都是很有名气,级别很高的,最后也是落到这么一个下场。所以他们那个时候对民主墙也很关心,至少对争取民主、自由、人权,他们都支持。因为他们年轻时候自己搞的就是这个。当然对我们的具体说法,他们有时觉得很紧张,有的人说你这个说法有点问题。有的人,像我父亲就说:你说的这些可能都是对的,但是你这么搞,很快你就要进监狱、掉脑袋,所以你最好不要搞了。





























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