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Over 5,000 China Scholars Support Charter 08’s Political Reform

Posted by Author on December 20, 2008

By Wang Zhen, Epoch Times Staff, Dec 19, 2008 –

On December 9, one day before the 60th Anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a diverse group of 303 Chinese jointly published an open letter called “Charter 08,” calling for political reform. The letter has attracted wide attention. By December 17, more than 5,000 people had signed petitions to support the letter.

2008 has been a disastrous year for China, man-made and natural disasters have followed one after another. Over 100 million suffered when severe snowstorms hit southern China in January; a new military crackdown started in Tibet in March; 80,000 people died in the Sichuan earthquake in August; and the melamine-contaminated baby food scandal surfaced in September.

After many years of government suppression of social conflicts, the tension between civilians and the regime is like a cloud of explosive gas waiting for any spark to ignite.

Over 30,000 civilians staged a strike at al police and government center in southwest China to protest a female student’s alleged rape and murder; in June; tens of thousands of people protested and smashed government signs over the government’s involvement in an illegal financing scandal in Central China’s Hunan province in September; more than 50,000 protesters fought with police in northwest China’s Longnan, Gansu province in November. The scale and number of protest in China are increasing monthly.

It was a sure sign of change, that the majority of mainland Chinese showed great sympathy towards alleged cop-killer Yang Jia, who was hastily executed by the regime on November 26, just five days after his death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court. Yang’s words“You don’t give me a answer, then I will teach you a lesson” has become the motto of many Chinese living at the lower levels of society. Chinese people now tend to condemn the ruling communist party more openly than ever before, even shouting anti-communist slogans or defacing communist flags to vent their anger.

Compared to the violent civil disobedience mentioned above, “Charter 08” is a gentle appeal; the letter calls for legal reforms, democracy and the protection of human rights, the realization of a power balance, and the nationalization of military power etc.; all ideas which are widely accepted in Chinese scholarly circles.

The letter has been cosigned by many renowned Chinese scholars and activists, such as jurist Yu Haocheng, economist Ma Yishi, attorney Mo Shaoping, writer Liu Xiaobo, journalist Li Datong, attorney and rights activist Zheng Enchong and others.

Political commentator Cheng Pokong said, “Charter 08” is actually a move copying the Czech and Slovak “Charter 77” of 1977. These Chinese scholars appeal to the ones in power with a gentle voice, hoping democracy can be realized in this critical moment in China.

However, the Chinese communist regime could not even tolerate such gentle suggestions; one day before the release of “Charter 08”, the regime detained writer Liu Xiaobo and Constitutional scholar Zhang Zuhua, who took part in drafting the Charter. Although Zhang was released soon after his arrest, Liu’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Immediately, the regime launched a nationwide interrogation and investigation. Many scholars and activists who signed the letter are under surveillance or under house arrest.

Commentators believe, the “Charter 08” incident, once again, proves that the Chinese communist regime cannot improve itself through reform. Visiting Columbia University schola Gao Wenqian, the author of Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary, commented that Liu’s arrest demonstrates that the current ruling regime has no intension of political reform.

The China Interim Government also declared its support of “Charter 08.” Their declaration also made it clear that the existence of the Chinese Communist Party is itself the ultimate obstruction to realizing the goals of  “Charter 08.” Therefore, the China Interim Government believes that eliminating communist tyranny and disintegrating the CCP is the prerequisite for realizing “Charter08.”

The Epochtimes

3 Responses to “Over 5,000 China Scholars Support Charter 08’s Political Reform”

  1. Max Shires said

    I am really interested in this topic can you provide me with any more information on it? Thanks!

  2. Sebastian said

    please join the facebook group “I support charta08 china” and invite friends.

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