Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1396-W999


Release Date: June 13, 2021


Topic: Voice of America Profiles Wei JingshengDemocracy Activist


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


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Narrator: Wei JingshengDemocracy Activist

-- Voice of America



Wei Jingsheng was born in 1950. His parents were both senior cadres of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). From an early age, he received the red education of loving the Chinese Communist Party in the best school in Beijing, and at the same time he heard and witnessed the power struggles within the high-level CCP.

When the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, 16-year-old Wei Jingsheng joined the Red Guards. He said that the enthusiasm was very high at that time -- for the purpose of defending the Communist Party and Chairman Mao, these youths were really not afraid of death. In the "big tandem" of traveling all over China, this senior cadres child saw for the first time the suffering of the Chinese people at the bottom, and was shocked by the poverty in remote areas.

In order to avoid persecution by the authorities, his parents sent him to his ancestral hometown in Anhui to work as a farmer. The previously prosperous land of fish and rice was devastated. The devastation was the result of a famine in which tens of millions of Chinese starved to death in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Wei Jingsheng said that this experience in the countryside made him become very suspicious of the Communist regime.

In 1970, like many children of cadres, Wei Jingsheng was able to join the army as a result of his parents' status and relationships. After he retired from the army in 1973, Wei returned to Beijing and became an electrician at the Beijing Zoo. He said that the period during hin being a soldier and a worker was the most precious period in his life. He had contacted people from all walks of life, read a lot of books, and had a deep understanding of China, as well as its history and social reality, along with the major change in his understanding of the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1978, the Xidan Democracy Wall movement broke out. Some workers and intellectuals spontaneously promoted democracy and freedom in the form of big-character posters in Xidan, Beijing. Wei Jingsheng was one of the leaders. He successively published a series of articles such as "The Fifth Modernization: Democracy and Others", and participated in the creation of the underground publication "Exploration".

In March of the following year, he posted a big-character poster "Do we want democracy or a new dictatorship", naming and criticizing the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping for taking a path of dictatorship. A few days later, he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for "counter-revolution". The Xidan Democracy Wall was also banned.

In 1993, Wei Jingsheng was arrested for the second time and sentenced to 14 years. Under strong pressure from the international community, He was allowed to go to the United States for medical treatment in 1997 and was sent directly from his jail cell to a flight to the United States.

The Democracy Wall was the first public dissident movement to be suppressed in the history of Red China. Wei Jingsheng told VOA that even though he knew it could have resulted in execution, he never regretted participating in that movement. After the Democracy Wall, there have been waves of movement for democracy and freedom in China. Even if he didn't jump out back then, he probably wouldn't have been able to escape in the future.

After Wei was exiled overseas, one day, he received a call from his father. The veteran Communist member who had urged him to stop told him that many "elder sisters" in Beijing (the term for senior female cadres in the Chinese Communist Party) wanted to visit him in the United States. They said: "Jingsheng is a good boy. He did what we wanted to do but didn't accomplish."


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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1396-W999


Release Date: June 13, 2021


Topic: Voice of America Profiles Wei JingshengDemocracy Activist


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






2021613 04:39

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