Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A755-W481

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A755-W481


Release Date: March 24, 2013



Topic: Is Democracy Feasible in China? -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:在中国民主是否可行? -- 魏京生


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



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Is Democracy Feasible in China?

-- Wei Jingsheng



Is democracy feasible in China?  This question has been speculated on for more than a century.  There has always been a group of so-called intellectual elite in China, who repeatedly propagate the "democracy is not feasible in China" theory while holding their publicity rights.  Taking a closer look of the status of these elite, one will find that most of them are associated with people in power.  As these elite enjoy their own life, they praise the dictatorship to be better than democracy.  Some of them are embarrassed to say so too obviously.  So they will say, although democracy is good the quality of the Chinese people make democracy impossible.


There is something that went even further.  During the era when Jiang Zemin was in power, he got the Academy of Social Sciences of China to help him demonstrate a set of sophistry to say that the unique values of Asia are not suitable for democracy.  Singapore dictator Harry Lee Kuan Yew treasured this theory so much.  He went all over the world to help the Communist Party to publicize this theory of special Asian values.  After I pointed out that this is a typical racist theory, he had to hide in the hotel room to avoid seeing me.  Since then, he has not dared to blatantly promote this racism.  Of course, he and his son Lee Hsien Loong, who is governing Singapore, therefore never welcomed me to enter Singapore.  Beyond the pseudo-democratic government of Russia, only the authoritarian countries of Arabia and Singapore do not welcome me to visit.


Are the unique values in Asia indeed not suitable for democracy?  In the past, at least one could claim that there are some problems with the Muslim countries in West Asia.  However, the Muslim countries of Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia have long implemented the democratic system.  And indeed, there is also the Arab Spring movement that began two years ago showing that people of Muslim cultures can also get on the road to democracy.  Even though there is fierce fighting, even though the countries and the societies are suffering huge loss, they are still determined to establish democratic systems.  We cannot say that because these people are not Christian they therefore cannot implement democracy.  This argument of pseudo-Christians is simply a typical fallacy.


Now let us talk about the Chinese cultural circle in East Asia.  Japan, South Korea and the Philippines have long established democratic systems.  Even Taiwan of the same Chinese people with authentic unique Asian values has already established a democratic system.  To say that China cannot establish a democracy is totally lacking in evidence and simply sophistry.  Nevertheless, the various pseudo-theories stating that China can not establish a democratic system that are manufactured by the Communist Party still have their market and still confuse many Chinese people.


Both Chen Guangcheng and Lu Haitao who recently escaped to the USA with a great sensation in the press, have made similar remarks.  Chen Guangcheng claimed that the central government of the Chinese Communist Party is good, but not the grass-roots officials.  Mr. Lu Haitao directly stated that his a few months experience abroad has already made him lose hope for a democratic China, claiming China is "too far from a democratic society".  What these two well-known human rights activists said does have some representation, which at least illustrates that a large portion of the rights-defending intellectual elite does not hold hope for establishing democracy in China.  This claim is a huge contrast to the strong demand for democracy from the majority Chinese both in upper and lower classes.


One reason may be due to the strong governmental pressure against the rights-defending people inside China.  They have to hide their true thoughts in order to adapt to the environment.  After a while, it becomes a self-fulfilling lie.  In particular are these grass-roots right defenders who came to participate in the movement relatively later.  It is relatively easier for them to accept all sorts of pseudo-theory in the atmosphere that tells lies, and then treat these lies as the truth.


In contrast, within the Communist Party that is relatively better at distinguishing the fake from genuine, very few people believe these pseudo-theories.  Recently, during an interview of the well-known TV program in the USA "60 Minutes", the wife of a well-known businessman in China suddenly said that all the Chinese people want democracy.  That really shocked the producer and interviewer of the program.  Inside the Chinese Communist Party, there are also a large number of people publicly making initiatives to implement a genuine democratic system.  Even the antidemocratic diehards are willing to spend funding that is more than the military budget to "maintain stability" in China.  This also shows that they are very clear-minded about what the majority of Chinese want.


Knowing that the whole country wants democracy, yet saying that China is "too far from a democratic society," is more like an argument from the Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party, instead of a statement from a pro-democracy or rights-defending activist.  What do you rely on for defending rights?  That is the rule of law.  What could maintain a legal system to function normally?  Only democratic politics.  Only when the political power is in the hands of the people, can we insure that rule of law in not just a shield for a few, but a shield for all the people.


If there is no hope to establish democracy in China, then how could rule of law serve ordinary people?  What rights are they trying to defend?  Or is it simply a rights-defending show with foreign funding?  This kind of unhealthy trend within the rights-defending community in China has made average Chinese very disappointed.  It also makes the international friends who promote the democratization of China very disappointed.  It makes us, who strive for democracy in China from overseas, and people who have sacrificed greatly very disappointed.


I heard them holding hope for the Communist leaders to discipline the grassroots corruptive officials even though it was for the purpose of extending the Communist regime's life; I heard them holding hope to the lies of high officials who promise reform without sincerity; I heard them not holding hope to the strong demand of democracy from the Chinese people, and even dampening people's enthusiasm by pouring icy cold water over others' heads.  I have heard enough.  These pseudo-intellectuals' running dog type of philosophy is a major hazard for the Chinese community.  It has confused and poisoned many youths.


If we let this set of false theories replace the tendency of the whole country demanding democracy, then after the fall of communism in the future, instead of democracy, a new type of autocracy will be formed in China just like what happened in Russia.  I want to ask, what would happen to those of you pseudo-democracy activists?  When the rabbits are all hunted, the dogs will be cooked.  When the birds are all gone, the bows will be stored away.  Will you still be able to make a popular and easy life with foreign aid?  Even though one might get a teaching position overseas to spend the rest of one's life, it will not be so easy.  This world is always very realistic.


Mr. Lu Haitao was disappointed after he received some "not just unfair treatment" in Taiwan.  This is easy to understand. But one should not lose one's ideals and beliefs due to temporary difficulties, thus unconsciously helping the Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party to propagate -- being sold by the Communist Party yet still counting the money of the sale for the Party.  This stupid unhealthy trend must be corrected.  To avoid pressure while defending rights inside China, one might try to avoid a high-pitched tune of democracy.  However, one should not go in the opposite way, to pour the cold water over people's desire for democracy.  This conduct of pouring cold water indeed illustrates that many people do not know who they are.


Especially when the Western public opinion in support of democracy is focusing on you, you must weight on your own conscience when you speak.  Please do not fail to live up to the expectation of these friends and people who have supported and assisted you, both inside and outside of China.



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



(Written on March 21 and recorded on March 22, 2013.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A755-W481

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A755-W481


Release Date: March 24, 2013



Topic: Is Democracy Feasible in China? -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:在中国民主是否可行? -- 魏京生


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









-- 魏京生








































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