Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A774-W492



Release Date: August 4, 2013



Topic: Wei Jingsheng and Ai Weiwei Talk About Dreams for China (Voice of America)



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



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Wei Jingsheng and Ai Weiwei Talk About Dreams for China

-- by Natalie Liu, Voice of America




WASHINGTON- The German magazine Der Speigel recently asked Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei: The newly appointed President of China, Xi Jinping said that he has a dream for China: greater prosperity, a better environment, and more people living in dignity, what is your dream for China?


To this, Ai Weiwei replied, "That is very simple: give those without rights or power the right of speech, give them a right to vote. If this is not possible right now, give the people a statement (a timetable), tell everyone that they will have the right to vote in ten days, or ten months or perhaps ten years in the future. Do not tell everyone that, your current life is already the best in the world that can't be better."


Wei Jingsheng lived in China for decades and now fights for Chinese democracy from overseas while exiled in the USA. When Wei was interviewed by Voice of America recently, he spoke about his own China dream. "In fact, those of us grown up from the seventies have been making a Chinese dream. Frankly speaking, everyone has a dream: we all want more respect, a more prosperous life, and each of our rights guaranteed."


* The Meaning of Suffrage: Watershed *


Wei Jingsheng also stated that one of Ai Weiwei's points is that we must fight for the right to vote. To Wei, this makes a lot of sense. "Suffrage, meaning that everyone has the right to select their leaders in all levels, is extremely important. It reflects that in the end, either the government is controlled by the ordinary people or by a dictatorial regime of a small number of people. This is a fundamental divide."


Wei Jingsheng said that the right to vote actually contains many parts including freedom of speech, which is very important. "If there is no freedom of speech, there is no way of knowing the actual facts, so how do we make a choice? If there is only one type of item in the market, how can you make a selection?"


When Ai Weiwei was interviewed by Der Speigel he said that the outside world has an oversimplified view of China's state of affairs. This is because there is no free press. Ai gave a modern example: Chinese people to this day cannot freely exchange ideas regarding affairs in Tibet and Xinjiang.


* Inspirational and Institutional Limitations *


Speaking of the past and present of China's Communist Party, Ai Weiwei said, "Eighty Years ago, when the Communist Party barely started, it obtained massive support of the people and it was very easy to establish a new government. However, the articles that were able to be published before 1949 cannot be published at the present time. Why? Because at that time (before 1949) the Communist Party itself said that it was establishing a democratic society with freedom of speech and human rights. The people of China are very patient. However, those in power betrayed everyone."


In this regard, Wei Jingsheng said, "Impartially speaking, in that period of time inside the Communist Party there was a relatively large group of people that sincerely wanted to set up a democracy. They believed that ordinary people could handle a democracy and wanted to give ordinary people the chance to have a good life."


However, Wei Jingsheng noted that the nature of the Communist Party itself is the "dictatorship of the proletariats (as described by the Communists themselves)." Therefore, the regime is inevitably destined to be an authoritarian dictatorship. This fundamentally makes it impossible to form a democracy. "In this sense, a lot of people who participated in establishing the Communist regime were deceived as well. They are also extremely dissatisfied with the current situation. China has been going back and forward.  After all the bleeding and sacrifice, it comes around with a false democracy finally -- an artificial democracy which is really a dictatorship.  This is what everyone is most discontented with.


In his interview with Der Spiegel, Ai Weiwei spoke of the current situation in Chinese society, which is in a crisis of confidence. People have already lost confidence in a lot of areas, including many types of products, the educational system, and more.


Wei Jingsheng said in his interview with Voices of America that "After going through a bumpy 60 years, particularly with the implementation of a capital system now, it is very hard for the nation to continue." He said, in this context, ordinary people and a considerable number of Party members have now recognized that in order for a person to survive and prosper, this nation must move forward on the path to democracy. Otherwise normal order will be impossible.


* Democracy and Order *


The Communist Party and much of the world have always publicly insisted that, "democracy in China would mean turmoil and chaos." In response to this argument Wei Jingsheng said, "At the present time regarding the social order, the best nations are those that are democratic and the worst countries are almost all authoritarian. This is a very obvious comparison."


* People and System *


A question was raised in Ai Weiwei's interview with Der Spiegel: Will those who replace the people in the Communist Party be better than the Communist Party?


To this, Ai Weiwei replied, "There is no guarantee, and this is why we need artists. People often ask me: When China finally has democracy, then what will you do? My answer is: I will continue to fight, because only in this way, can we explore if there is new paths and possibilities."


Wei Jingsheng said in his VOA interview that those who replace the Communist Party "do not have to be saints and we must not count on them to be good people. What we can hope for, is the system of democracy."


Wei Jingsheng pointed out that the key is not to specifically say that we want specific people to come forward and ban the Communist Party, the key is to demand a democratic system and ban the one party dictatorship.


Wei said, "Even though you use former officials, as in Taiwan, as soon as a democratic system is put into place, those old officials still make up the government. Even now (after so many years), it is still the same situation."


Wei Jingsheng said, in Taiwanese political circles at the present time the KMT (KuoMinTang Nationalist Party) has many officials who are still those people who had power in the past. However, in comparison with the former one-party dictatorship or when one party had significant power, these officials' behavior now is much different.  The reason is due to the democratic system which provides effective checks and balances, with the most noticeable being the existence of an opposition party.


* Every Country Has Good and Bad People *


Wei said, "Relying on people changing for the better, or saying that the Communists are superior to Americans so they do not need an opposition party as a check in power, is total nonsense.  Every country has good people and bad people. Human nature is greedy. In America, government officials are also not necessarily better than Communist Party officials. Everyone is greedy. We ourselves are also the same. But the difference is that you are restricted by the system and you cannot be greedy without a limit or boundary."


Wei Jingsheng emphasized that there must be an opposition party. If not, "cover-ups, or, using the language of ordinary people, 'using a thief to keep an eye on the thieves' will not work". "Citizens must form an opposition party among themselves, and to use the opposition party to supervise the government (of the ruling party). After that, the political parties can alternate holding power. Only with this ‘threat’, the government officials will earnestly carry out the rule." 


* Truth and the Sun *


On the other hand, in his interview with Der Spiegel, Ai Weiwei was asked why he continues to want to make a stand and continue his fight. Ai responded, "The world I live in and the world others live in is closely linked. How can I pretend to be unaware of what is happening in the outside world?" 


Ai Weiwei said that several days before, he watched a NASA produced video of the sun and was deeply moved by the video. "NASA spent many years making this one video but the actual recording is only about three minutes long. After watching it I realized that the more one thinks of some things, the simpler the most fundamental concepts and meaning become.'



Original link of this report:



Related photo: Wei Jingsheng (photo credit: Wei Jingsheng Foundation) and Ai WeiWei (photo credit: Artspeackchina.org)



(The Wei Jingsheng Foundation expresses its gratitude for Jill Lavine’s contribution to the translation of this English version.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A774-W492



Release Date: August 4, 2013



Topic: Wei Jingsheng and Ai Weiwei Talk About Dreams for China (Voice of America)



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









-- 美国之音记者:燕青




华盛顿 — 德国[明镜]周刊(Der Spiegel)日前在对中国艺术家兼活动人士艾未未进行采访期间问到:新上任的国家主席习近平说他对中国有一个梦想:更多的繁荣,更好的环境,人们都活得有尊严,请问,你的中国梦是什么呢?














































魏京生说:“靠人变好了,或者说是共产党人比美国人更优秀,因此而不用反对党来监督,这是完全没有道理,因为全世界的人都是差不多的。每个国家里的人都有好有坏,人性也都是贪婪的。 美国这些官员,也不见得比共产党那些官员'人'更好,大家都是贪婪的,我们自己也都一样,但是区别是,有制度在那里限制你,就使得你不能够无限度、无止境地贪婪下去。"






















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