Pages Navigation Menu

Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

We don’t even know if this heroic Chinese lawyer is alive or dead

Posted on Feb 26, 2018 in News, Op Ed, Prisoners of Conscience | Comments Off on We don’t even know if this heroic Chinese lawyer is alive or dead

By Yang Jianli February 26 at 6:38 PM Yang Jianli is founder and president of Initiatives for China. He was imprisoned in China from 2002 to 2007 for attempting to monitor labor unrest. On Feb. 15, Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang turned 42. It was the 951st day of his imprisonment – and he has had zero contact with the outside world for that entire time. Wang spent his 40th and 41st birthdays likewise incommunicado. Nor has he had any access to his lawyer, Yu Wensheng, who was recently himself detained and charged with “inciting subversion.” Nor was Wang able to be with his son and wife, the fearless Li Wenzu. They haven’t seen him since he was first detained in early August 2015. He could, in fact, already be dead, but his family is clinging to the hope...

Read More

Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

Posted on Feb 24, 2018 in International Relations, News, Op Ed, Publications | Comments Off on Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

By Yang Jianli 2/23/2018  Recently, a poster for Mercedes-Benz by the same-named German auto maker sparked a “public opinion” protest in China. Caving to pressure, on February 6, 2018, Daimler AG (of which Mercedes-Benz is a division) issued a public apology. Although China’s foreign ministry spokesperson did not explicitly state that the apology was made at the behest of Chinese authorities, nevertheless, he still declared in a victor’s tone: “Recognizing one’s mistakes and correcting them is the most basic principle of conduct.” Indeed, there is no need to speculate whether the Chinese government exerted direct pressure on Daimler AG. Under Beijing’s increasingly strict control, no large-scale online media story can develop in China without official permission. The so-called “pressure of public opinion” is, in fact, pressure applied by the Chinese government. I think the most surprising aspects of this...

Read More

Remembering Liu Xiaobo – By Yang Jianli

Posted on Jul 24, 2017 in House Arrest of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's Case, News, Op Ed, Prisoners of Conscience, Publications | Comments Off on Remembering Liu Xiaobo – By Yang Jianli

Remembering Liu Xiaobo By Yang Jianli The world lost a hero when China’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, died of liver cancer in Chinese custody on July 13, 2017. In life as well as in death Liu Xiaobo represents the best of what China can ever be. He possessed a moral authority unimaginable to his persecutors, and his legacy of love, justice, and sacrifice will surely far outlive the deeds of those who persecuted him. His spirit will be an uplifting and unifying force that will inspire more Chinese people to fight to realize his dream-indeed, the common dream of the Chinese people. To the world, he represents the universal values that all democracies embrace, and he stands for the unwavering struggle of unfree people. Liu Xiaobo is a representative of universal ideas that resonate with millions of people all over the world. Chinese human rights and democracy...

Read More

Why the Chinese Communist Party Murdered Liu Xiaobo

Posted on Jul 14, 2017 in House Arrest of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's Case, News, Op Ed, Prisoners of Conscience | Comments Off on Why the Chinese Communist Party Murdered Liu Xiaobo

Steven W. Mosher Liu Xiaobo, China’s most famous dissident, has died after languished in a Manchurian prison since 23 June 2009. Liu has spent decades calling for respect for human rights and far-reaching political reform, efforts that in 2010 won him the Nobel Peace Prize. In awarding him the prize, the Nobel Committee noted “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Liu has even committed the ultimate “counter-revolutionary” act, courageously calling for an end of the one-party dictatorship that rules China. But it was not solely for these crimes that he was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to a prison term of eleven years. Liu’s problems with Chinese political culture–and the Party-State’s problems with him–go much, much deeper. Professor Liu is a polymath-he was literary critic, prolific writer, poet, and human...

Read More

“Red Notices” for Human Rights Abusers

Posted on Jun 23, 2017 in Global Efforts, InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, International Relations, Op Ed, Publications | Comments Off on “Red Notices” for Human Rights Abusers

“Red Notices” for Human Rights Abusers by YANG Jianli Interpol, the intergovernmental organization that facilitates police cooperation among member states, often issues red notices to alert its members to locate and arrest wanted persons with the aim of extradition or similar lawful action.  Interpol’s mission is guided by the principle of neutrality and Article 3 of its Constitution forbids the organization involved in any political activities. However, authoritarian governments have increasingly used this process to target activists and journalists who are critical of the regime, and located outside the country. The governments’ aim is not only to secure their return to face trial on trumped-up charges, but also discredit and intimidate them, thereby damaging their reputation and harming their professional and possible business interests. When Guo Wengui, a Chinese businessman-turned-whistleblower, began to reveal information about corruption among China’s top leadership, Interpol, –whose current...

Read More

Opinion: UCSD Chinese Should Welcome Dalai Lama -Not Parrot Party Line

Posted on Jun 12, 2017 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Op Ed, Publications, Tibet | Comments Off on Opinion: UCSD Chinese Should Welcome Dalai Lama -Not Parrot Party Line

Opinion: UCSD Chinese Should Welcome Dalai Lama -Not Parrot Party Line June 11, 2017 By Yang Jianli What do Richard Spencer, Ann Coulter, and the Dalai Lama have in common? Each of them has been the target of college student protests opposing their speeches on campus. But unlike Mr. Spencer and Ms. Coulter, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was born on a straw mat in a cowshed to a poor Tibetan family, and is now one of the most beloved and sought after world leaders. The most recent college campus speaker controversy involves the University of California at San Diego‘s invitation to the Dalai Lama to deliver the commencement address on June 17. The invitation has triggered strong opposition from some Chinese students on campus. As an ethnic Han Chinese myself, I am deeply troubled by the reaction of these Chinese students. Not because they...

Read More

Remembering Tiananmen Square – Including the Two ‘Tank Men’

Posted on Jun 4, 2017 in News, Op Ed, Tiananmen Anniversaries | Comments Off on Remembering Tiananmen Square – Including the Two ‘Tank Men’

NATIONAL REVIEW Remembering Tiananmen Square – Including the Two ‘Tank Men’ by JAY NORDLINGER June 3, 2017 5:01 PM Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre – the 28th. I’m not much for anniversaries, so I’m writing today. A young man holding grocery bags stepped in front of a column of tanks. The lead tank tried to maneuver around him, but he kept standing in the way of it. Eventually, he climbed up onto the tank. He appeared to chat with someone in the tank. Then he climbed off. To see a video of this remarkable, historic event, go here. At some point, two people pulled him away. And that’s all we know. Who was – who is – “Tank Man,” as he came to be called? No one knows. Where is he? Murdered? Alive? No one...

Read More