Twenty-six years have passed, but the killing did not end in 1989. Many interested citizens labeled ‘‘Tiananmen thugs’’ have been executed in custody and repa- triation centers, detention centers, prisons, reeducation through labor camps, and various black jails; countless deaths have been due to state violence.

Citizens die at the scenes of forced demolitions or enter the iron face of civil city management. Since 1999, at least 3,860 Falun Gong practitioners have been clearly tortured to death. Since 2009, at least 140 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest of the authorities’ brutal domination.
As the activists are captured and tortured, the gunfire of Tiananmen is echoing in the background. The Tiananmen massacre sustained the Party system, since the Party showed its two faces in 1989, and its rough treatment of the Chinese people has become even more brazen.

Partly because of not having unions and not having the freedom to assemble and go on strike, there is the advantage of the lack of human rights through government collusion and extreme eco-redistribution, China has achieved rapid economic rise. But many social and political problems are behind this economic growth: pollution, ecological crises, and widespread unsafe food products, corruption, and clashes between citizens and authorities.

The Chinese Government has never stopped its crackdown on people’s resistance. Since Xi Jinping came to power, he has issued a harsh, comprehensive crackdown.
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The Chinese Government has never stopped its crackdown on people’s resistance. Since Xi Jinping came to power, he has issued a harsh, comprehensive crackdown.
More than 1,500 human rights defenders have been arrested and detained. Some of them were brave enough to promote political activities, but many focus only on rural libraries, LGBT rights, and so on. Internet censorship is increasingly strict. Document No. 9 re-flects the severe control over ideology in universities, the Internet, and the media. Gao Yu, a 70-year-old renowned journalist, was sentenced to seven years, accused of leaking state secrets.
Three important laws have been drafted and will pass soon. The State Security Law, Ccounterterrorism Law, and Foreign NGO Management Law. This law legitimizes human rights violations. Foreign NGOs will be seriously affected and many will have to leave China.

Public security bureaus inside of the civil affairs bureaus will be given the power to ratify and supervise foreign NGOs. The counter- terrorism law requires Western IT companies to provide encryption keys and source codes.

More recently, a Uyghur Muslim was sentenced to six years in Kashgar for refusing to shave off his beard and his wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa.
The Panchen Lama has been disappeared for 20 years. Some relatives and friends of Tibetan self-immolators were detained and sentenced for assisting in the self-immolation.

 

What is New Citizens Movement? It is intellectual, legal and social initiative by citizens of China. Established in 2010 as loosely organisations of civil rights initiatives focused on the individual, constitution and republicanism as opposed to collective, Communist Party rule and totalitarianism. New Citizens Movement is being perceived as a major component of the civil society movement in mainland China since the beginning of the 21st century. The movement, which helps facilitate transition from servant the society of servants to the society of citizens.

 

Christian churches were destroyed and some pastors were jailed. Falun Gong and other religious group members were detained and tortured, imprisoned in legal education centers and other black jails. Many lawyers were harassed when challenging the legal education centers, with at least four of them suffering broken ribs from beatings. More forced demolitions have happened and petitioners are facing harsher punishments than before.
In general, the current comprehensive crackdown is seen as the worst since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. I do not deny that there are some improvements and reforms, but the major driving force for these changes and reforms has been the people, as a result of probing, pressure, and prices paid by the rights lawyers, democracy activists, and other human rights defenders.

There must be something wrong with the petitioners and business people. So as to not inflame the Chinese Communist Party, they do not dare to meet with the Dalai Lama. To gain Chinese markets, they disregard violations of human rights. To receive large orders for goods, they, one after another, adopt appeasement policies toward the Communist autocratic regime. Democratic countries join in the AIIB [Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank].

Beijing watchers and the researchers self-censor, even to the point that they defend despotism. But now is the time for the West to re-think and adjust its policies toward China. A strong, repressive political power is threatening not just the Chinese people, but the entire world. Only promoting a truly free China comports with the long-term interests of humanity.

The Chinese Communist Party [CCP] will not last forever, but the Chinese people will continue to live on that soil. The day will come when the United States must deal with today’s Chinese prisoners of conscience locked away and filled with suffering, Liu Xiaobo, Xu Zhiyong, Ilham Tohti, Pu Zhiqiang, and others.

 

Who is the tank man? On June 5, 1989 a Chinese man in his solitary effort tried to stop by himself a column of seventeen tanks nearby Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. This most memorable picture of protests ever quickly became an icon of Chinese students protests. The name of the protester is unknown. It is also a mystery what happened to him after the crackdown on protesters. One can imagine that he was executed as one of the reports said but there are also rumours that he survived and managed to escape China.

 

Last, some recommendations. First, pass an act to prohibit Chinese perpetrators who are responsible for human rights violations from entering the United States and other democratic countries. Support Chinese human rights defenders, political prisoners, and real NGOs. Give a voice to permanent activists, just as the West has done with the Dalai Lama, Liu Xiaobo, and Hu Jia.

Stop the cooperation with the Chinese Government’s organized NGOs, or GONGOs, which are helping the Chinese Government to suppress human rights and freedom, for example, the All China Lawyers Association and the Chinese Human Rights Association.

Make sure that the Confucius Institute, scholars and students, federations and other government-sponsored programs do not violate academic freedom and human rights. Punish the American companies and individuals who have cooperated with the CCP to suppress freedom and human rights. Help to develop technology to circumvent Internet censorship.

The Tank Man. July 5th, 1989

After 26 years, the symbolism and meaning inherent in that world-famous picture still needs understanding. A young person, solitary, standing in front of a tank has communicated the terror and blackness of tyranny and communicated the Chinese people’s brave resistance to tyranny. History will require us to answer one question: Do we stand on the side of the tank man or on the side of the tank? Your ideas, your voices, and your votes will influence China and bring more freedom and human rights to this planet.

 

(The testimony given on June 3, 2015 during hearings before Congressional Executive Commission on China in the US Congress. The text was slightly edited. )

 

Teng Biao – lawyer. is a human rights activist and lawyer in China. Teng is a lecturer at the University of Politics and Law in Beijing. He has been a vocal supporter of human rights activists such as Chen Guangcheng and Hu Jia. He has been arrested at least twice, in March 2008 and in February 2011. Dr. Biao is a co-founder and one of the leaders of New Citizens Movement.