Charter 08 : Wei Jingsheng
I want to talk about "Charter 08" that everyone was interested in.
Even while I was visiting in Europe, politicians in various countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, had already asked me about it. Many politicians have noticed the moderate tone of Charter 08, which was different from the goal of the Chinese opposition to end the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party. Some politicians even were questioning its background.
I told them that there are various possibilities for the future for China, and the Overseas Chinese democracy movement also wants to see a peaceful evolution. Recently, the mode of violent revolution inside China has been surging up, exactly due to the stubbornness of the Chinese Communist Party that insisted on its one party dictatorship.
The rising tide of violent revolution in Chinese society is reducing the chance of a peaceful evolution in China. Exactly due to the concern of avoiding major bloodshed, friends of the democracy movement and the open-minded people inside of the CCP wanted to give the CCP a last chance. They imitated the Charter 77 of the Czech Republic and an open plea submitted to the emperor in ancient China, to push the Hu Jintao - Wen Jiabao clique to initiate political and economic reforms. If they are successful, we may avoid major scale bloodshed and turmoil. This approach not only suits the decades-long pursuit of the Chinese democracy movement, but also fits the interests of the Chinese Communist Party members themselves. The contents of Charter 08 reflect the ideology of the Chinese democracy movement, so there is not much conflict.
The politicians in Europe were relatively satisfied with my explanation, but they also pointed out that the CCP's reaction this time is different than previous ones, including the quick release of some people. I think this is not strange. Various factions within the CCP would try to get involved with the Chinese democracy movement for
various purposes. Unlike the Western political parties, the CCP is no longer a party with a common goal. The fact of the hesitation of the CCP's arrest of persons related to Charter 08 reflects that not only the open minded ones, but even people in the middle of the CCP have noticed the violent tendency of the Chinese society displayed in the incident of Yang Jia's attack on police. If they do not take the reform initiative, a violent revolution will be hard to avoid. This is exactly why they are hesitating now: maybe it is the wisest choice to accept a peaceful evolution.
Otherwise, when a violent revolution starts, the revenge mood will be hard to suppress. To let the angry mass square accounts, or to choose the moderate revolution? Many bureaucrats' minds are becoming clear.
The publicity of Charter 08 provided a chance to choose for these open-minded people, as well as a stepping stone for the bureaucratic clique, which made the people inside the CCP hesitate. This situation provides a good opportunity for the international society to push for a peaceful evolution in China.
But we should also see that the Hu Jintao clique of the CCP is incorrigibly obstinate. The will of the Chinese democracy movement and open-minded people inside of the CCP was given a flat refusal. The Hu Jintao clique is continuing to arrest people and it insisting on its "non-shakable" one party dictatorship. They have clearly stated that they would never give any chance for a "peaceful evolution", not even some possibility of discussion. This reaction will effectively force the general mass to move forward to violent resistance, which will also cut off hopes of reconciliation of the bureaucrats within the CCP. I believe now, to avoid themselves to be brought to account by the people, it is the time for the clear-minded people within the CCP to bring to account the Party, just as what happened in 1976 when Hua GuoFeng brought to account the Gang of Four.
This time's Charter movement met its failure from its beginning, with a shorter life than the Hundred Days Reform in 1898. That is because people have under-estimated the Hu Jintao clique's obstinacy, and over-estimated their wisdom. This Chinese Communist Youth League faction, which came from their political counselors' background, does not have political minds to start with. They even do not know their own danger and that their obstinacy ultimately will guide China over the edge of a deep chasm. Right now, I do not care too much if the CCP will survive or not, but I am most concerned for these people who tried to offer the
CCP a last chance, such as Mr. Liu XiaoBo and other friends who have been detained. They must gain their freedom right away. If the Hu Jintao clique cannot even tolerate these people who hold good will and are trying to save the CCP, then it will indeed bring disaster to itself and will not survive.
I also call on the people who still have a normal way of thinking within the Chinese Communist Party to encourage the earliest release of Mr. Liu XiaoBo and other detained friends. This is also your route to retreat.