Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A725-W455

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A725-W455


Release Date: August 5, 2012



Topic: Radio Free Asia's Video Series About the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 2)

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


Original Language Version: Chinese (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/report2012/report2012-08/WeiJSprofile120805RFAinterview2A725-W455.htm which contains identical information.




Radio Free Asia's Video Series About the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 2)



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 second part of the special video interview program "Course of Life" about Wei Jingsheng, who challenges authoritarian regimes:


with its video also available at:



The RFA webpage for the first part of the interview:


with its video also available at:



The following is the transcript of Part 2 of the series about Wei Jingsheng.  For the related information on Part 1, please visit:



  __  __  __


Radio Free Asia Mandarin Services Launches a Video Series Introducing the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Transcript of Part 2)



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, part 2.


Narrator: 1978 was a vigorous year for the Chinese democracy movement, as well as the year that Wei Jingsheng lost his freedom for fifteen years.  The third day after he wrote "For Democracy, or a New Dictatorship?" (which targeted criticism directed at China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping) in the "Exploration" magazine, he was put in prison.  That year, he was just 28 years old.


Wei Jingsheng: The Democracy Wall Movement started at 1977 and 1978.  After Down with the Gang of Four, the Communist Party relaxed a little, and a lot of people were petitioning.  Petitioning had been there before, but then there were more, and also bolder petitions.  Some people began to put their posters in many places in Beijing, appealing their own grievances.  The most favored location was Xidan, which was a concentration place of several bus terminuses.  Also, there was a big wall right outside the bus terminals, a wall between the Telegraph Building and Xidan Stadium.  That wall was particularly long, with especially many people coming and going, and it later became the hottest place to put up posters.  This was the so-called Xidan Wall.  Later, from December 1978, we young people started to talk about democracy there.  That was not because we had grievances, but just to express our political views since there were no other channels.  These discussions also included a lot of people from the art circles because their works could not be published, such as poetry and paintings.  The Xidan Wall became the Democracy Wall.  Later on, a group of well-known poets and painters in fact were the people from the Democracy Wall.  Because we had nowhere to publish, including our political opinions, we posted our stuff on the Democracy Wall.  Slowly, that place turned into a place to talk about democracy, freedom, human rights, and the arts.  So people like to call it the "Democracy Wall".


Reporter: But at that time, did you think this movement will succeed for sure?


Wei Jingsheng: Relatively naive people thought that the Communist Party had relaxed, so if they had a movement, they would be successful later on. These people spoke in a well-measured way, and tried their best not to cross the bottom line of the Communist Party.  Of course the degree of each person varied.  However, our "Exploration" magazine was the most straightforward.  After I put up my poster the first time, a group of people found me who were ready to publish a magazine.  Even at that time, I told them, do not think that the Communist Party will not punish you.  During that time, it just happened to be a period when an internal struggle within the Communist Party was very intense, as Deng Xiaoping wanted to oust Hua Guofeng.  This struggle was so intense that no one could take care of our end.  We took advantage of this relaxation to promote our thoughts, to let people read, to get these ideas seeded in people's hearts, thus to be able to take root, to blossom, and to bear the fruit.  Then shortly after we would probably have to go to jail and be beheaded.  There were about 17 to 18 of us in total.  And I said to them: "do not decide today if you will join us or not; I give you 3 days to think about if you are determined to be beheaded with me or not.  If you have such a determination, then you could join in officially.  If you do not have such a determination, then we will just count you as helping us instead of officially joining, so you will not be beheaded with us in the future."  Altogether at the end we only had 4 core members that included myself.  The other three people did have the determination, and said, "Old Wei, we will just follow you to be beheaded, we will sacrifice to do this."  We all knew that our organization would not last long.  When the Communist Party settled its internal conflict, it will turn around to punish us.  So after Deng Xiaoping got rid of Hua Guofeng, and then beat up Vietnam to establish his authority, the first thing he did was to clean up the Democracy Wall.  This also reveals the essence of Deng Xiaoping.


Reporter: At that time, you thought the Democracy Wall was targeting the people, instead of the government?


Wei Jingsheng: It was impossible to target the government.  Of course, many people say that the Democracy Wall movement had a great influence within the Communist Party, that Deng Xiaoping was able to borrow its strength to overthrow Hua Guofeng.  But I think that even if he did not use it, he could still overthrow Hua Guofeng.  What was important is that we had this time to send our ideas to the people's minds.  Not every person could think thoroughly on these issues.  Most people need others to let them know.  When they heard it, then they would take time to think of these issues in their brains and they will understand.  Sowing seeds of thought is very important.  The greatest significance of the Democracy Wall movement is that the seed was sowed in the hearts of the ordinary people in China.  The years of brainwashing by the Communist Party is also very effective, so the majority of Chinese people thought that they could only select leaders from within the Communist Party.  One faction of the Party is better, in comparison to another faction that is bad.  What we pointed out to the Chinese people is that there is a road without the Communist Party.  The Communist Party itself is bad.  I think giving out this idea is very important.


Reporter: This statement is relatively acute, direct saying to get rid of the Communist Party.


Wei Jingsheng: We have various options, why do we have to have the Communist Party to govern us?  Not to say that besides Hu Yaobang, we have to either choose Hua Guofeng, or choose Deng Xiaoping.  Why do we have to choose in this circle (within the Communist Party)?  We could have another system, and not to have the system of the Communist Party.


Reporter: In other words, The Chinese nation is not the Communist Party.


Wei Jingsheng: Yes!  After this idea was released, the ordinary people received it very well.  There were so many people -- seas of people and mountains of people.  When we were selling our magazines, we were squeezed to the ground.  So we had to climb up to top of the wall to sell our magazines.  Even more, many people handed us the money without asking for a change.  At that time, the highest currency value was ten RenMinBi.  The magazine we were selling was pretty expensive.  The (Communist Party's official magazine) Red Flag was selling for only thirty cents then.  But we were selling our magazine for one and half RMB, very expensive.  But many people handed us 10 RMB without wanting change.  In fact, people supported us in their hearts.  Every day, as soon as we posted a new one, immediately there was such a huge crowd that even the buses had trouble getting out their terminals.


Narrator: On December 5, 1978, Wei Jingsheng posted a signed big-character essay "The Fifth Modernization: Democracy and others" on the Democracy Wall.  In his essay, he expressed that freedom and democracy is more important than improving life, asked for soul searching of the personal dictatorship of Mao Zedong, and advocated political democratization.  Wei Jingsheng, Yang Guang, Lu Lin, Liu Jingsheng and others founded the "Exploration" magazine.  On March 25, 1979, Wei Jingsheng put up a big-character poster again, "For Democracy, or a New Dictatorship? ", straightly pointing out that what Deng Xiaoping is doing is a dictatorship.  Wei further stated that, in accordance with the principles of democracy, any authority must bow to the opposition from the people.  On March 29, 1979, Wei Jingsheng was arrested, and later sentenced to 15 years in jail in the name of counter-revolutionary crimes.


Wei Jingsheng: Actually, I think my idea then was right -- to put new ideas into the minds of ordinary people, so China can change slowly.  If people did not recognize the problem, how could China change?


Reporter: You said that you thought you could lose your head.  Or even the fact is that you were imprisoned for fifteen years; do you think it was worth it?  Just to make people understand this truth, you sacrificed so many years of time, do you think it was worth it?


Wei Jingsheng: I think for every country, every nation, if you want it to move forward, someone has to come to sacrifice.  Why?  The nation has to entertain new ideas.  These new ideas will always impact the existing interest groups.  The sacrifice of these people could be big or small.  The greatest advantage of a democratic system is that we can speak easily.  When people have new ideas, they do not have to pay too high a price.  Otherwise, the new ideas are not easy to come out.  However, if a nation does not have new ideas, then it surely will meet its end.  To make this kind of sacrifice, each nation will have a group of people who come forward.  The key is to select a time.  The fact is that, before us, there were many people who sacrificed and their bravery was no less than ours.  Or to put it in another way, we just chose a better time, at least to say a little more.  Finally actually I am still alive.  This is not what I thought of initially.


Reporter: When you were sentenced to fifteen years, had you thought of fifteen years?  Is this figure beyond your expectation?


Wei Jingsheng: It was out of my expectation.  So I swayed once on the court (when the sentence was announced).  The two young judicial police holding me and said: "Old Wei, be calm."  In fact, I swayed because I was happy.  It was because that I thought that I would get a death sentence.  Instead, I will survive after this 15 years time.  That was a good thing that I survived.  Then there was a possibility for me to go out.  The result is that I did come out alive.


Reporter: Is it so ...


Wei Jingsheng: So I was pleased.  Originally I thought it was the death penalty.  This is a step up in Chinese legal history.  Because prior to this, before me, even for counter-revolutionary crimes that were lighter than mine, people basically were executed by the firing squad.  Some of them even simply speaking for the Communist Party, such as Zhang Zhixin, were executed by the firing squad as well.  I publicly opposed the Communist Party, so not been executed was very unlikely.  However, after me, political prisoners have not been executed, and rarely are there people received longer sentences than me.


Reporter: So you were determined to die when you did it?


Wei Jingsheng: Yes, I held the determination to die.  Not just me, but also those few buddies of mine; we were all holding the determination to die.


Reporter: But you had an old father at home.  How to solve the conflict between loyalty to the people and filial piety to your father?


Wei Jingsheng: There is no reconciliation in between these two.  I am loyal to my country and my people, so I could not do much (with my filial piety).  Of course, my father's generation was like that, so they can understand.


Reporter: You were in prison for fifteen years.  When was the most difficult period of time?  How did you make it?


Wei Jingsheng: The first few years were the most difficult.  The Communist Party has a set of ways to drive people crazy in that first few years, which was to lock you in a room and not allow anyone to talk to you.  Of course, they would not allow the family came to visit for more than one year, nearly two years.  More so, at the beginning, they locked me in a cell on death row for eight months until I wrote a letter to (the Communist leader) Peng Zhen and scolded at him.  A week later, Peng Zhen transferred me to a normal prison; of course, still by myself.  In this way, being locked up alone, without knowing friends and family members outside, one would be very bored and depressed.


Reporter: Without a newspaper to read?


Wei Jingsheng: You were given nothing.  Not allowed to talk, and not even a piece of paper was allowed to get in.  Under this situation, people were very disturbed, to such a degree that you rather to have someone come in to beat you.  It was a pain exploding from inside outwards.  For this reason, many political prisoners such as Wang Guangmei (note by the editor: the wife of the persecuted Chinese President Liu Shaoqi) become crazy and insane.  This is a very classical method.


Once I was lecturing at the French Academy of Social Sciences.  That was 1998.  I said it was a cruel torture invented by the Communist Party.  A white-haired old man, its academician, raised his hand and said that he did not agree.  I asked why.  He said, "These methods you talked about were not invented by the Communist Party, but by the medieval monarchs in Europe to deal with their competitors."  That to be locked alone, after a period of time, a person becomes crazy.  When you are crazy, you will not be competitive.  For example, if the competitor was your brother, he cannot kill you, but he can make you crazy.  This and other brutal methods were invented in medieval Europe, and the Communist Party is just making use of them.  Seems to be the Chinese Communist Party learned them from the Soviet Union.


Reporter: So how did you get through that period of time?


Wei Jingsheng: It was very hard to tolerate.  Of course not everyone will be crazy.  Han AiJing was also a political prisoner, who was sentenced a little later than me.  We were sent to Qinghai together.  He had psychological problems later on.  But not Kuai Dafu (note by the editor: another well-known political prisoner like Han.).  Not everyone becomes crazy.  People are different.  In general, after more than a year to two, if one was ok, one will likely stay ok.  I have my own methods.  Before I went to jail, I interviewed some of the old cadres who were persecuted.  So I knew this is what they use in jail.  The description by these old cadres was that, for a period of time, if you suddenly found that you were thinking of one thing without a way to stop, then you were about to go crazy.  So I found in prison when I thought of an issue for too long, I realized it could be bad.  At that time, I would force myself to think about other issues.  Fortunately, when I was in junior high school, I loved a wide range of topics including science and technology, culture and art, just about everything.  So often I wrote poetry, or calculated algebra, or thought to invent something, pretending to invent something to the least, gradually got rid of this situation.  When a person stays in that kind of totally quiet environment, their mind cannot withstand it.  Because people are social animals, without communication with others they will be mad.


Reporter: You could also sing.


Wei Jingsheng: Yes, singing.  During my junior high years, we were taught Russian.  Later on, I asked my younger siblings to sent me Russian books, which resulted in a big misunderstanding.  There were people who left my jail saying: "Old Wei's Russian was really good."  My Russian was not good at all.  But I held my Russian book and read out aloud, just to divert my mind, instead of keeping thinking of the same thing.  Or singing out loud for the purpose of not constantly thinking about the same issue, to divert attention.  I think this is very important. Later on, I asked Kuai Dafu, and he seemed to use a similar approach.


Reporter: During that time, did you regret doing what you did?


Wei Jingsheng: There is nothing to regret, because everything was thought out ahead.  I am different than some people.  Some people did not think ahead and thought it would be all right.  So when they were arrested, of course it was hard to bear.  This is normal.  Originally, they thought that the Communist Party would not arrest them.  But when they were arrested and treated miserably, of course they would regret it.  But people like me would have no regrets.  The several core members of our "Exploration" magazine would not regret anything, because we were prepared ahead to lose our heads.  When we kept our heads, it was really a good deal.  So what is there to regret?  Nothing.



This is a message from WeiJingSheng.org


The Wei Jingsheng Foundation and the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition are dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democratization in China.  We appreciate your assistance and help in any means.  We pledge solidarity to all who struggle for human rights and democratic governance on this planet. 


You are welcome to use or distribute this release.  However, please credit with this foundation and its website at: www.weijingsheng.org


Although we are unable to afford to pay royalty fees at this time, we are seeking your contribution as well.  You may send your articles, comments and opinions to: HCP@weijingsheng.org.  Please remember, only in text files, not in attachments.


For website issues and suggestions, you may contact our professional staff and web master at: webmaster@Weijingsheng.org


To find out more about us, please also visit our websites at: www.WeiJingSheng.org and www.ChinaLaborUnion.org for news and information for Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition and human rights and democracy movement as whole, especially our Chinese Labor Union Base.


You may contact Ciping Huang at: HCP@Weijingsheng.org or

Wei Jingsheng Foundation office at: 1-202-270-6980


Wei Jingsheng Foundation's postal address is:

Wei Jingsheng Foundation, P. O. Box 15449, Washington, DC 20003, USA


You are receiving this message because you had previous shown your interest in learning more about Mr. Wei Jingsheng and the Chinese Democratic Movement.  To be removed from the list, simply reply this message and use "unsubscribe" as the Subject.  Please allow us a few days to process your request.





Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A725-W455

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A725-W455


Release Date: August 5, 2012



Topic: Radio Free Asia's Video Series About the Life of Wei Jingsheng, Who Challenges Authoritarian Regimes (Video Links and Transcript of Part 2)

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


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(中集的录像及文字)















  __  __  __


自由亚洲电台访谈节目“历程” -- “挑战独裁的魏京生” (中集)







魏京生:民主墙运动最早是七七、七八开始。打倒四人帮以后,共产党放松了一些,有很多人上访。上访很早就有,不过那个时候上访的人多,胆子也比较大。有的人就开始在北京的很多点贴大字报,申诉自己的冤情。最集中的一个点是西单,那是多个公共汽车总站的交集处。而且总站外面有很大的一道墙,电报大楼和西单体育场之间的一道墙。那道墙特别长,而且来来往往的人特别多。那个地方后来成为最火、最热的贴大字报的地方。这就是所谓的西单墙。后来从78年12月起,我们这些小青年开始在那里谈民主,不是因为自己有冤情,而是为了发表自己的政见,因为没有别的渠道。还包括好多文艺界的人,作品没法发表,比如诗歌、绘画等。 后来一批很有名的诗人、画家,其实都是民主墙的人。因为大家无处发表,包括有政治见解的人,都到民主墙去贴。慢慢地,这块地方就以谈论民主、自由、人权,艺术为主了。所以大家喜欢称之为“民主墙”。








魏京生:不可能(针对政府)。当然,很多人说民主墙运动对中共内部影响很大,邓小平借用这个力量打倒了华国锋。但是我觉得他不借用这个力量,照样能打倒华国峰。重要的是我们有这段时间把我们的想法送到老百姓的脑子里。不是每个老百姓都会把问题想透,大多数老百姓总得需要别人去告诉他们。他们听到了,放在脑子里慢慢想, 然后就明白了。所以播思想的种子非常重要。当时民主墙运动最大的意义,就是在中国老百姓内心里播了一个种子。共产党多年洗脑工作也很有效,大部分中国人都认为只能在共产党里面选,这拨好点,那拨坏点。我们给老百姓指出,还有不要共产党的那条路呢,共产党本身就不好。我觉得给出这个思想非常重要。


























































欢迎投稿(暂无稿费)或批评建议,请寄信箱:  HCP@WEIJINGSHENG.ORG



Wei Jingsheng Foundation, P. O. Box 15449, Washington, DC 20003, USA

电话: 1-202-270-6980






倘若阁下希望不再收到类似信息,请回复本信并用 unsubscribe 作为主题(Subject)。