Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1067-W704



Release Date: December 5, 2017



Topic: "The Spring Silkworm Will Stop Giving Its Silk Only On Its Death, the Wax Torch Will Stop Its Tears Only When It Burns Itself Into Ashes." -- Prize Dedication to Tang Jingling as Recipient of the Fourteenth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:"春蚕到死丝方尽,蜡炬成灰泪始干。" -- 2017年第十四届“魏京生民主斗士奖”给唐荆陵先生的颁奖词


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



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"The Spring Silkworm Will Stop Giving Its Silk Only On Its Death, the Wax Torch Will Stop Its Tears Only When It Burns Itself Into Ashes."

-- Prize Dedication to Tang Jingling as Recipient of the Fourteenth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation



"The spring silkworm will stop giving its silk only on its death, the wax torch will stop its tears only when it burns itself into ashes."  This pair of sentence was written by poet Li Shangyin of the late Tang Dynasty more than twelve hundred years ago when he was a teenager.  This poem is my favorite love poem.  One of the reasons I like it is because of the multitude layers of meaning in this poem, including this pair of sentences.  Perhaps written in a hazy ambiguous adolescent mood, this pair of sentences is also used by people to express their firm beliefs and long-lasting determination that is not love between man and woman, but especially used to portray the painful and beautiful sacrificing for the others.  Of course, in addition to what other people usually comment on the meaning of these sentences, I also read the meaning of a layer of pain while facing the separation of death and life forever.  That alone is enough to make me feel sad.


Spring silkworms and wax torches; one gives silk to others for warmth, one burns itself to bring others light.  This is a portrayal of the need of sacrifice as expense to benefit human society.  This has been corroborated by the civilization and progress of a Western society that has walked out the darkness of the Middle Ages for centuries, as well as evidenced by China, which will eventually make progress in line with human civilization in its future.


This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther.  There are many commemorations of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in many places in the world, especially in Germany.  This year, I was lucky enough to travel to Europe several times and especially to Germany, including to many churches in Mainz and the Rhine River region.  Hovering in the streets and alleys of Germany, admiring the art and architecture of old and new Germany, I pondered over the people and history that propelled social change and progress with a lot of thought and inspiration.  The Protestant movement was not merely an isolated religious reform movement within the Christian Church, but also a social revolution that swept through Europe as a whole.  Its result has been affecting Europe to this today.  This is also the reason why we should review and study historical events from time to time -- the purpose of studying history is not for the past history, but more for current reality.


The Protestant reform not only brought the people of Europe out of the dark medieval times, not only enabled ordinary believers to study the Bible directly, but also helped the modern people acquire the basic rights.  The example of Europe and the United States helped to realize the idea of universal values to be spread all over the world.  In Nuremberg, I noticed that the International Film Human Rights Festival was under way.  I also know there is a human rights street in Nuremberg.  In the old city of Frankfurt, I was surprised to find and visit the Paulskirche where the Frankfurt National Assembly was located in 1848.  Of course, history has its twists and turns.  In Nuremberg, I also visited the Nazi Party Rally Grounds.


I visited Wetzlar, the seat of the Imperial Supreme Court (Reichskammergericht) of the Holy Roman Empire.  The young Goethe was a trainee in the court there, where he wrote his immortal novel The Sorrows of Young Werther that was inspired by real events he experienced in Wetzlar.  What touched me even more in this town is that its cathedral, which has changed from a Romanesque to a Gothic style over the times yet has not been fully completed to date, is shared by Catholics and Protestants both.  People may have different religions, different skin colors, and different nationalities, however, people's love of nature, love of their relatives and friends, love of life and their love for freedom are all common and similar.


This year, the recipient of the "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize," rights defending lawyer Tang Jingling, is a Christian.  During my limited contacts and conversations with him, I learned his sincere conviction and motivation as a devout Christian.  With his conscience and faith, he worked diligently to safeguard the welfare of ordinary people.


Tang Jingling, of Miyan Town, Jingzhou City of Hubei Province, China, was born in December 1971.  In 1989, Tang was admitted to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Department of Applied Chemistry.  After his college graduation in 1993, he was assigned to Guangdong for chemical engineering and technical work.  In 1997, Tang Jingling attended legal training at the law school of the Shantou University.  He passed the lawyer qualification examination in October the same year.  The following year in August he got his lawyer qualification certificate.  In July 2004, Tang Jingling intervened in Dongguan Xingang labor unrest cases.  After that he began to intervene in labor rights and other civil rights cases.  In his spare time, Tang actively promoted the popularization of legal common sense of migrant workers.  In August 2005, Tang Jingling was involved in the famous Taishi village recalls, as a defense lawyer.


Since 2006, Tang Jingling initiated and participated in several initiatives, including:

"Non-cooperation of the Chinese Citizens", in 2006;

"Meditation Action on June 4", in April 2007;

Preparation work of "I Want Direct Election," in June 2010;

Launched "My 583 Operation" with some labor rights activists and agencies, in August 2010;

Initiated "Bid Farewell to Authoritarian 5,000 Days Countdown" action, on October 1, 2009.


This series of actions by Tang Jingling also aroused the hatred of the Communist authorities.  On May 16, 2014, the authorities detained him for criminal suspicion of provocation.  On June 21, 2014, he was officially arrested on suspicion of inciting subversion of state power.  On January 29, 2016, Tang Jingling was sentenced to five years in prison by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.  He is still in jail as of now.  Yet, even during his detention he did not forget to care for others.  He also wrote a long record during the detention to let people know the truth about the conditions there.  In the past couple of years, his wife, Wang Yanfang, persistently urged for him by asking for his release as he is innocent.  People remembering and caring of him are concerned for his suffering.


Tang Jingling reminds me of many protestant pioneers who suffered and even sacrificed their lives as martyrs for this religious reform.  Among these, I most admire Jan Hus, the first pioneer and martyr of this movement, the nobleman Louis de Berquin, as well as the first French martyr of this Religious reform, Pauvanne, and many other martyrs in other parts of Europe.  Knowing the darkness of the Middle Ages and the deadly consequence when violating the Holy See, they still expressed their own opinions and took action.  They endured torture and sacrificed their lives to defend their faith.  How impassioned this sacrifice!  Although the flesh of these pioneers has long gone, and most people in the world do not even know the names of these martyrs, we are all enjoying the achievements and contributions they made without necessarily consciously knowing it.  We need to carry on their unyielding spirit and continue to bring a new feature to our society.  To create a brand new world, to promote the progress of history, to make people happy and to gain prosperity for our society, we need a lot of Jan Huses.  We must learn the courage and sacrifice of Jan Hus.


Nowadays, people in a free and fair society may not know and perhaps even do not care about the great significance of the sacrifice of these martyrs.  But is it not that the people can enjoy these freedoms and fairness, that is exactly what these martyrs wanted to see.  The vigorous change brought by the religious reforms in Europe to the world's politics and society is the result of the dedication and sacrifice made by many warriors.  Therefore, we recognize that we need such courage and sacrifice to make contributions to the people, not for fame and fortune.  Only in this way can we promote social progress, promote fair and equitable social development, even as we face misunderstanding and even ridicule of the others, even when we face danger and may even lose our lives!


Indeed, there are several factors that are indispensable in promoting new progress successfully, as defined by the Chinese: the time, the place and the people.  However, we must clearly understand that the progress of any society must be promoted and participated in by the people.  Looking back on the beginning of the Protestant movement 500 years ago, it was on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther composed his "95 Theses," which protested the Pope's sale of reprieves from penance, or indulgences.  However, the protestant movement did not simply succeed on that day.  It resulted in two wars in Germany and several wars in the rest of Europe from 1524 to 1648.  It lasted more than 100 years and caused numerous casualties.  Germany, the most important and most active country of the Protestant Reformation, also paid the greatest price for it.  Not only were innumerable numbers of German lives lost during these wars, but also it made the unification of their own country become impossible until the rise of German romanticism in the 19th century.  Despite all the difficulties, eventually Europe got out of the darkness of the Middle Ages.  How many wax torches were needed to bring such light, and how many lives of the spring silkworms to weave such a result?!


Today, to end the rule of the Communist one-party dictatorship, we need the recognition, faith and courage of the pioneers and martyrs of the Protestant Reformation here now.  We need people like Tang Jingling who are selfless devotees adhering to their beliefs.  Today, we award the "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" to Tang Jingling, which is also recognition and support to all kinds of human rights defenders in China, especially those believers who insist on faith and long for freedom.


May the history and experience, along with the faith and courage of people of the Protestant movement, encourage the Chinese people especially Chinese Christians.  I hope everyone can stand up like Tang Jingling, take action together.  Let us work together for the freedom, human rights and social justice deserved by everyone, until China also walks out of its dark medieval age!


Thank you all!


HUANG, Ciping

Executive Director

Wei Jingsheng Foundation



For details, please refer to the award announcement:



Mr. Tang Jingling photos:



More details: www.weijingsheng.org

Contact: hcp@weijingsheng.org or hcp0411wjs@aol.com Tel: 1-202-270-6980


(Note of acknowledgement: part of this dedication uses some of the content and text of Dr. Qian Yuejun.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1067-W704



Release Date: December 5, 2017



Topic: "The Spring Silkworm Will Stop Giving Its Silk Only On Its Death, the Wax Torch Will Stop Its Tears Only When It Burns Itself Into Ashes." -- Prize Dedication to Tang Jingling as Recipient of the Fourteenth Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

标题:"春蚕到死丝方尽,蜡炬成灰泪始干。" -- 2017年第十四届“魏京生民主斗士奖”给唐荆陵先生的颁奖词


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









-- 2017年第十四届“魏京生民主斗士奖”给唐荆陵先生的颁奖词











在韦茨拉尔,我看到了当年神圣罗马帝国(德语:Heiliges Römisches Reich)的最高法庭。年轻的歌德曾在那里任实习生,并在那里写出了不朽的"少年维特的烦恼"。而这个小镇使我更为感叹的是那座从罗曼式变化到哥特式,至今也没有能全部完工的大教堂,是由天主教徒与新教徒共享的。人们的宗教可以不同,肤色可以不同,国籍可以不同,但人们对自然的爱,对亲友的爱,以及对生命的爱,对自由的爱,都是共同的,也是相通的。















唐荆陵让我想起新教运动众多为这场宗教改革而遭难的先驱,乃至被牺牲的先烈们。这其中我最敬仰的是这场运动的第一先驱和烈士:扬·胡斯(捷克语:Jan Hus)以及出生贵族的伯尔金声(法语:Louis de Berquin),及法国的第一位宗教改革殉道者包文(Pauvanne)和许许多多欧洲其它地域的烈士。明知中世纪的黑暗和违反教廷会带来的杀身之祸,他们依然顶风表达了他们的观点并付之于行动。他们承受酷刑并以生命来捍卫他们的信仰。这种牺牲精神是何等地令人感动!虽然这些先驱的肉体早已消亡,甚至大多数世人都不晓得他们的名字,以及他们的业绩与贡献,但他们遗留下来的不屈精神以及因此给社会带来的新面貌,却被我们后人不知不觉地享用着。想要开创一个崭新的世界,推动历史的进步,想要人民幸福,社会繁荣,我们需要许许多多的胡斯,我们必须学习胡斯的勇气与牺牲精神。

























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