Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A825-W525

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A825-W525


Release Date: June 22, 2014



Topic: Wei Jingsheng: Xi Jinping Makes Provocative Moves against Chinese Neighbors to Save His Regime (VOA exclusive interview)



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



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Wei Jingsheng: Xi Jinping Makes Provocative Moves against Chinese Neighbors to Save His Regime

-- By Qi ZhiFeng and Wei Zhi, Voice of America


02.06.2014 10:38


WASHINGTON -- In early 1989, Wei Jingsheng, the most famous Chinese political prisoner and one of the famous political prisoners around the world, was still in a prison in western China's Qinghai Province.  In 1979, Wei Jingsheng issued a statement that the most urgent need of China is democratization, that we cannot let the dictatorship be the scourge of China.  Then Wei Jingsheng was given heavy sentences on charges of "counter-revolutionary crimes."


At the beginning of 1989, Chinese scientist Fang Lizhi wrote a letter to the then supreme leader of the Communist Party Deng Xiaoping, requesting the release of Wei Jingsheng and other political prisoners as a way to show that the Chinese Communist regime was a regime that was willing to join the civilized world.


Subsequently, Chinese intellectual groups followed with many letters to the Communist Party and the Chinese legislative bodies, demanding the release of political prisoners, the implementation of political reform, and to promote building of democracy.


The actions of the Chinese intellectuals calling for reform and demand for democracy, became the pilot of the 1989 country-wide demonstrations of democracy and anti-corruption around China initiated by the students.


On the night of June 3 and early morning of June 4 of 1989, the Chinese authorities headed by Deng Xiaoping deployed troops to violently suppress the peaceful demonstrations in Beijing.  Hundreds of people were killed.


In September 1993, Wei Jingsheng, who was put in prison in 1979 by the Communist regime, was released.  After he left prison, Wei Jingsheng did not change his mind.  He continued his call for the implementation of political reforms and the realization of democratization in China.  For that, he was arrested again in April 1994.  In December 1995, Chinese authorities gave him another sentence of 14 years on charges of "conspiracy to subvert the government."


In 1997, the Chinese and the U.S. governments made a deal to send Wei Jingsheng into exile to the USA in the name of medical treatment.


As the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown was approaching, Wei Jingsheng accepted an exclusive interview with the Voice of America.  He believes that the Chinese Communist regime is currently facing a serious crisis of survival, so the leader Xi Jinping has to distract and "unify" the people by provoking around internationally.


VOA reporter: "Politically speaking, 1989 was a special year in contemporary China.  That year, less than a week after New Year's Day, Chinese scientist Fang Lizhi wrote a letter to Deng Xiaoping, the then supreme leader of China, requesting the release of you and political prisoners like you, thus initiating the prelude of the 1989 democracy movement in China.  Subsequently, groups of intellectuals in China published open letters one after another, demanding the release of political prisoners in the Communist China, thus forming a movement.  That kind of movement was the first of its kind since the Chinese Communists came to power in 1949.  You were in prison at that time and did you know these things were happening outside?"


* Around the Release for the First Time *


Wei Jingsheng: At first, I was not fully aware.  But I did know some.  Why?  Because in Qinghai where I was imprisoned, we had to buy lamb every September and October, otherwise we could not get it in the winter.  The winters in Qinghai were very cold.


However, in that year of 1988, there was an old policeman who told me not to buy lamb because I could go home on October 1.  That meant people like Deng Xiaoping had already made the decision to release me.  Deng was not comfortable to carry on like that, when I was in prison.  That is because he was scolded every day by both International and domestic criticism.  So, there was already a plan and I did not buy lamb when they asked me not to.


I waited and waited.  There was still no news after October 1.  I asked what was going on.  They told me that I would be home to celebrate the Chinese New Year after the New Year Day of 1989.  But there was still no news after the New Year Day of 1989.  Then they explained and there were many people writing letters to the Central Committee of the Communist Party that made Deng Xiaoping very unhappy, so the original plan of my release was stopped.


Even at that time, I had heard about it.


VOA reporter: Which year was you released?  After your release, did you meet with Fang Lizhi?


Wei Jingsheng: I met with Mr. Fang in the United States.  We met a few times during all at the gatherings in New York.


Of course, we all think that Mr. Fang's actions were not just for me.  To launch this campaign also had the purpose to push democratization in China.  This is one of the reasons.  The release of political prisoners would be one of the first steps in the process to open expression.


Thus, they all responded with open letters.  People in the fields of technology and culture, as well as all the other communities wrote open letters and formed a movement and a trend of thought.  Initially, I was secretly told about it by the prison guards.


* The 1989 Democracy Movement Would Likely Be Successful *


VOA reporter: Looking back at that campaign of 1989, according to your past experience of engaging in the democratic movement in China (we know you had participated in the democratic movement in China more than 25 years ago), do you think the 1989 pro-democracy movement was likely to succeed?


Wei Jingsheng: Actually it was possible.  Why?  At that time, most Chinese were supporting (the then Secretary-General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party) Zhao Ziyang.


I watched TV every day and was paying close attention to it.  I was in prison then, but we watched TV every day.  One of the measures of improving the living condition for us prisoners, after the former Secretary-General of the Communist Party Hu Yaobang visited Qinghai, was that we could watch TV every day.


At that time, I noticed when I was watching TV, even some cronies of Deng Xiaoping, such as Qin Jiwei and Hong Xuezhi, who had followed Deng Xiaoping since the Red Army period, supported Zhao Ziyang.  They did not support the martial law.  They did not support opening fire to kill.  During the meeting announcing the martial law in May, they were dressed in civilian clothes.


Even from the TV, we could feel the situation within the Chinese Communist Party.  Most people were standing with Zhao Ziyang.  They felt that China should reform, instead of keeping the old way of economic reform without political reform.  When the economy and politics are not matching each other, there are more and more problems, and getting more and more serious.  At that time, most people supported Zhao Ziyang.


If Zhao was determined, this could have been accomplished.  In fact that would be the case.  If he carried it out it would be accomplished, just as Gorbachev was able to accomplish it.


However, Zhao Ziyang had one step back, and then Deng Xiaoping came up and fully reversed it.  Look at the early 1990's, even Deng himself could not stand it anymore; even economic reforms had regressed.  That was because the so-called the reactionaries prevailed.


VOA Reporter: You just said Zhao Ziyang took one step back, what does that mean?


Wei Jingsheng: He did not speak up.  We all felt that he should not let (then Premier) Li Peng commit all kinds of outrages, that the central government should respond to call of the intelligentsia and the people to start the political reforms with drastic measures.


This would completely put aside the power of Deng Xiaoping.  Things would be like this.  Deng blocked it there, so we could not make political reform.  Zhao Ziyang had so much power.  Why couldn't he put Deng Xiaoping aside?  That would be perfectly justified and legal.  Zhao was the legitimate leader, but not Deng.  Why should Zhao be afraid of Deng?


Further, to be honest, when Zhao Ziyang was not speaking up and Deng Xiaoping was, the army could only listen to Deng.  For Zhao to give the order, it would be legitimate.  If Zhao had spoken up, then it would be more than one Xu Qinxian, the commander of the 38th Army who was mobilized to Beijing to suppress the protest, who had refused to execute the order of suppression.  Probably the other officials and soldiers of various armies would not execute the command from Deng Xiaoping either.


Of course it was legitimate for Commander Xu Qinxian to refuse to carry out the repression.  Deng Xiaoping was a retired person, who did not have the power to order the suppression.  Moreover, according to the tradition of the Chinese Communist Party in the past, the military cannot listen to the command of one person.  This was true even during the Mao Zedong era, when at least three people of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Lin Biao were needed.  Later, it would be the signatures from Zhao Ziyang and Li Peng.  Not just Li alone, plus Deng Xiaoping to make the decision.  The order did not even meet the rule of the Chinese Communist regime itself.  So the revolt from commander Xu was reasonable.


* Is There Any Influence to Work for China from Overseas *


VOA reporter: You were sentenced twice to jail time in China.  Your every move makes Chinese Communist authorities worried.  Thus you have your influence.  Do you think you still make political impact on China?


Wei Jingsheng: In 1997, Jiang Zemin (then Secretary-General of the Chinese Communist Party) made a deal with Bill Clinton (then U.S. President).  The deal was that the USA would let Jiang visit the USA and completely abolish sanctions against China, in exchange for the release of me.  So I came to the United States.


When they asked me about this, I also weighed carefully -- was it better off for me to stay in jail, or to come out?  I thought it would be better to come out, because I think at that time of 1997, the overseas democracy movement was at a very low level that was very difficult to influence the international community.  However, for a country to have peaceful evolution, it is absolutely indispensable to have the pressure and influence of the international community.


So, I thought it just as well for me to go abroad.  Although there were a lot of people who told me that they thought that I should not come out, that I should stay in jail to get that year's Nobel Peace Prize.  But I think that was not important.  It is important to be able to promote democracy movement in China.  So I decided to go abroad at that time.


Before that, I was also asked about leaving China.  Then I did not agree.  But in 1997, I thought that I was needed overseas, I felt a responsibility to continue my influence.  I think I made the right decision.  For more than one decade now, I have my influence overseas.


Despite that the international community's concerns about human rights in China is getting weaker and weaker, we also should realize that without the striving of us from overseas, without the support of people of other nations, how much more China would go backwards.


* Tough Time Overseas, but It Will Not Change the Determination *


VOA reporter: Many Chinese viewers and readers are concerned of the exiled life of the leader of the democratic movement then, for you as an individual personally.  They are most interested to know what do your kind of people feel for this forced exile.  Can you talk about it?


Wei Jingsheng: All the people put in exile overseas have more difficult living environments than they had in China.  They have the language barrier, unfamiliar environment, are without relatives or friends, thus invisibly have lost a lot of help.  So, our lives are very hard.  In this situation, you have to come up with considerable effort and time to make a living, usually doing work very different from what was familiar.


Then, you want to make time and effort to participate in various activities of the democratic movement.  It is very difficult.  I think most of us have made great contributions, but not for the sake of being famous.


I think our friends engaging in the overseas democracy movement is not any easier than for friends inside China.  For the people inside China, it is dangerous yet with better environment where people support you.  Outside China are foreigners who do not understand you.  They are just curious.  For example, I was hospitalized due to my illness, the nurses told me that, "wow I heard you are a hero, etc."  But that is about it.


Inside China, it is not the same.  Whatever you do there, you will receive a lot of public support, which makes you full of confidence.  And there will be many people to help you.


Therefore, there are both advantages and shortcomings for engaging in the democratic movement overseas and inside China.  Being abroad is very hard and not relaxed at all.


* The Survival Crisis of the Communist Regime *


VOA reporter: After the Communist regime suppressed people's demand for democracy and anti-corruption, it has stood for 25 years.  Do you think the communist regime will stand for another 25 years?


Wei Jingsheng: Xi Jinping will even have a hard time to survive 10 years.


I think that since Xi Jinping came to power, he has taken a strong attitude against Japan and the South China Sea issues largely because his regime is unstable.


Because during the history since the Communist Party came to power, it has been at war non-stop.  For the Communist regime, the power struggle has two forms.  One is that it kept having coups; the other is that it kept having wars. 


Many people are muddleheaded and claim that the Communist regime has not had coups.  How could that be true?  The Communist Party had coups all the time.  The most serious one was the one with Lin Biao, who almost made it.  Hua Guofeng made his way, which was a coup.


So to the people who claim that the Communist Party did not have wars, let us count.  We will find that the Communists never stopped having wars, which include the one by Deng Xiaoping when he came to power, in an effort to establish his authority.


An authoritarian regime requires a strong authority.  Xi Jinping does not have this authority now.  So his motivation for war is very strong.  The whole world should be wary of this.



Original link of this interview:



Related interview is also available at:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/interviews/interviews2014/WeiJSon1989DemocracyMovement140602VOAexclusive.mp4 and



Related photos: Wei Jingsheng accepts VOA special interview on May 9, 2014:






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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A825-W525

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A825-W525


Release Date: June 22, 2014



Topic: Wei Jingsheng: Xi Jinping Makes Provocative Moves against Chinese Neighbors to Save His Regime (VOA exclusive interview)



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









-- 齐之丰, 魏之


02.06.2014 10:38


华盛顿 - 1989年年初,中国最著名的政治犯,全世界著名的政治犯之一魏京生还在中国西部青海的一所监狱里。他在1979年发表声明,认为中国最迫切需要的是民主化,不能再让独裁统治祸害中国。魏京生随后被判重刑,罪名是"反革命罪"。
















VOA记者问:"从政治上说,1989年是当代中国一个特殊的年份。在那年元旦过后不到一个星期,中国科学家方励之给中国当时的最高领导人邓小平写信,要求释放你和跟你一样政治犯,从而给89年的中国民主运动揭开了序幕。随后中国的知识分子群体纷纷发表公开信,要求中共释放政治犯,形成了一种运动。这是 1949年中共掌权以来头一次出现这样的运动。当时你在监狱里,知道外面发生的这些事吗?"












































徐勤先拒绝执行镇压命令当然也是合法的。你邓小平是一个退休的人,你没有权力下令镇压的。而且,按照中共过去的一贯传统,军队不能听一个人下的命令。就是 毛泽东的时候也不行。至少要三个人,毛泽东,周恩来,林彪。后来,换了人,就要赵紫阳,李鹏都签字才行。不能李鹏一个人,加上邓小平两个人就决定了。这不符合中共的制度。所以,徐勤先的反抗是合理的。



















































http://www.weijingsheng.org/interviews/interviews2014/WeiJSon1989DemocracyMovement140602VOAexclusive.mp4 及













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