Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A743-W469

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A743-W469


Release Date: December 29, 2012



Topic: In Memory of Mr. Wang Donghai -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:纪念王东海先生 -- 魏京生


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



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In Memory of Mr. Wang Donghai

-- Wei Jingsheng



On April 28 this year, Mr. Wang Donghai, the leader of the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party, passed away.  At that time, many pro-democracy friends inside China and abroad published commemorative articles and speeches.  Now, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation has decided to award this year's Democracy Champion Prize to Mr. Wang Donghai, in recognition of years of contribution to the cause of democracy in China by him and his colleagues of the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party.


Some friends might ask: Who is Wang Donghai?  People have heard of the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party, but never heard of Wang Donghai the person.  That is because Wang Donghai did not deliberately hype himself like some so-called pro-democracy activists.  Like many other pro-democracy activists in China, Wang Donghai did a lot of work without much exposure.  He left the opportunity to be famous to others, but kept the troubles and difficulties for himself.  Because of this kind of leadship, over the years the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party has been the most stable and the most united group among various pro-democracy groups in China.


In the spring of 1998, there was a short period of relaxed environment in Mainland China.  At that time, the Chinese Communist regime believed that it could suppress the Chinese people without problem, that the international community would not place sanctions against the regime because of human rights abuses.  Plus, would it not be the icing on the cake to allow some relaxation to win the applause of the international community, in order to further improve its international environment?  Thus, there was the so-called Indian summer, a short time which gave an illusion of relaxation.


It was a special time.  The pro-democracy movement activists all over China wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to take action.  At that time, Zhejiang Province had the most relaxed environment, and pro-democracy groups in Zhejiang were also the most united.  They modeled on the precedent of the 1979 Beijing Xidan Democracy Wall, and took the initiative to register with the civil authority.  The civil authority was just as confused as in 1979; their answer was that they did not know the formalities of registration.  But afterwards, the public security organs of the Chinese Communists arrested the legal representatives of the registion and put them into prison.


This plan of organizing a political party was doomed to failure.  However, its impact domestically and internationally has played a great role in promoting democracy.  Democratic friends in other provinces imitated with different ways, to the degree that actually confused dictatoroa; authorities who did not know what to do: to avoid the charge of being illegal political parties, these people registered in the name of preparation committees, which did not violate anything; to claim it as legal procedure was contrary to the four cardinal principles of the Communist Party's one-party dictatorship. This strategy of moving forward by way of a half step backward was the creation of the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party with a leader like Wang Donghai.


The most frequently committed errors of various opposition parties and the opposition in general are strategic errors.  The cause of such strategy errors is often due to a wrong estimation of the situation.  Making judgments on what has happened will not be wrong as long as there is sufficient evidence.  But to make an estimate of the things that have not yet occurred can only be conducted with inadequate evidence requires more judgement than judges, which is also what makes politicians different from ordinary folks.


As the leader of the Zhejiang Committee of the Chinese Democratic Party, clearly Wang Donghai was a qualified politician.  At that time, some people whose enthusiasm surpassed reason to mistakenly think that the Chinese Communists had stopped its ban against free publication and free political parties, as Chiang Ching-kuo in Taiwan did, cheered in celebration of the era of openly organizing to the degree of responding to the call of the Communist intelligence by exposing member lists and all the confidential information.  Some others continued in despair and disappointment and did not want to try anything.  However, Wang Donghai and his committee did not give up the chance to try.  Instead, they identified a strategy with a limited risk, and certain possibility of self protection.  This was the half step backward, to apply for registration in accordance with the legal procedures on behalf of the preparatory committee.


This strategy not only seized the opportunity to try, looking forward to the opportunity for a peaceful evolution; but also caught the law enacted by the Communist Party itself, to ensure that there were not enough excuses left for the Communist spy minions.  Even if the Communist Party had to go against its own laws to repress this movement of organizing a political party, it still kept the cannons for public opinion inside China and abroad to criticize the Communist tyranny and thus once again expose the hypocritical face of the Communist Party and maintain the psychological advantage of the opposition movement.  This apparently is a successful example of a deliberate strategy.


In any opposition movement inside an authoritarian country, courage is very important.  In this regard, we Chinese people are never short.  Not even listing the historic examples from long ago, even during the modern day there were many anti-Communist fighters who sacrificed their lives and shed their blood.  Since the 1978 Democracy Wall, although there is no longer the threat of the death penalty, the long-term imprisonments still make democracy fighters spend the best time of their youth in jail.  The hardship of lives and the loss of wives and children, are also expenses that ordinary people are unwilling to endure.  So, many people think that these democratic fighters are not normal, but fools.


But exactly because the efforts and sacrifice of these not so normal people bring changes to the society, the majority "normal people" are able to have their "normal life" and even to improve it.  If everyone avoided risks and only cared for personal gain like mongers, the society could only become worse.


Some people give the credit of China's improvement in the past a few decades to the wisdom of the Communist leaders; that may not be an error.  However, without the "fools" who do not seek fortune and recognition, yet take risks to represent the people and express the will that the normal people do not dare to express, why would these leaders who treat the government as their own private property need to make concessions to the people who do not even dare to speak out?  The people who ridicule others as "abnormal" should ask themseves why.


Today, we commemorate Mr. Wang Donghai and those heroes who made sacrifices for the sake of Chinese democracy and prosperity.  At this time, the Chinese who have the opportunity to get rich, the lucky ones who can study abroad, even the youth who can appreciate modern art, music and culture without hiding in their own homes, are the biggest gainers from the sacrifice of these heroes.  Should not you commemorate them?  When they were relentlessly fighting for your rights and interests even when they became poor as a result, should you support, help, and sympathize with them, or take advantage of the situation as granted, dodging at the side to ridicule them?  This is indeed a moral issue.


When a society and a nation lacks even these rudimentary moral standards, it for sure will quickly wane regardless how much wealth it has.  No amount of wealth is able to save a society that is morally chaotic.  Therefore, a country lacking heroes is a tragic country, and also a country that will perish.  This is not fiction.  This is a law of history.



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



(Written and recorded on December 7, 2012.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A743-W469

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A743-W469


Release Date: December 29, 2012



Topic: In Memory of Mr. Wang Donghai -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:纪念王东海先生 -- 魏京生


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









-- 魏京生








































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