Jiang Tianyong tweets about Chen Guangcheng

Since the US media broke the story about Chen Guangcheng leaving the New York University, the online Chinese communities have been relatively quiet about the news. This started to change yesterday after the Chinese version of a Wall Street Journal report had appeared. The report contained a statement by a former adviser of Chen named Mattie J. Bekink. Bekink backed several claims of the New York University with regard to the blind activist’s departure from the University. The defamatory accusations in the statement led to an uproar among online dissident communities and had resulted in a deluge of posts on Twitter in support of Chen. The most significant of these online comments came from Jiang Tianyong, a China-based legal expert who has been in regular contacts with Chen. The following is a full translation of a set of 14 tweets that Jiang posted on 20 June 2013.


A translation of China-based lawyer Jiang Tianyong’s tweets – re: Chen Guangcheng vs the New York University


The case of CGC vs NYU:  We regard all those who care about human rights, rule of law, democracy and liberty in China as our friends. Chen Guangcheng (CGC) assures us that he will insist on speaking conscientiously and truthfully to promote human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy, regardless of how politicians from major US political parties and the Communist Party of China (CPC) choose to express their opinions on this matter with regard to his relations with the New York University (NYU).


Let us examine the facts. It is a fact that CGC’s one-year visiting scholar’s appointment at the NYU has come to an end. It is also a fact that the NYU, in expectation of benefits from its engagement with China, has succumbed to pressure from the CPC and has asked CGC to (immediately) leave the University. Another very important fact is that Professor Cohen had more than once reassured CGC that the appointment would be renewed for another year at the end of its current term.

关于光诚与纽约大学(三)Mattie J. Bekink在《华尔街日报》的声明中说的纽约大学对光诚一家的关照都是事实;但说“在即将离开纽约大学的时候,陈光诚选择用虚假陈述中伤他在这所大学的朋友和支持者”不是事实!

Mattie J. Bekink correctly pointed out at her statement published in the Wall Street Journal that the NYU had taken very good care of CGC & his family. But there is no factual substance to her claim “that as his time at NYU comes to a close Mr. Chen chooses to malign his friends and supporters at the university with false statements.” None whatsoever!


The fact is, after CGC’s arrival at the NYU, the CPC did not sever ties with the NYU. Instead, it stepped up networking with the NYU, particularly towards the past six months. The carrot and stick approach towards the NYU had proven to be effective in preventing Professor Cohen from securing another term of appointment for CGC. After all, Professor Cohen is a loyal Democrat supporter.

关于光诚和纽约大学(五)压力除了来自中共、民主党、纽约大学,也来自科恩教授的身边,包括Mattie J. Bekink。科恩教授让光诚延期一年的努力失败。但纽约大学希望光诚不将学校受压屈从一事公开。

The pressure on Professor Cohen came not just from the CPC, the Democratic Party and the NYU, but also from people around Professor Cohen, including Mattie J. Bekink. Professor Cohen eventually failed in his effort to secure another year’s appointment for CGC. And the NYU also wanted CGC not to reveal in public that the University had been under pressure.


CGC is mostly grateful for the help he and his family have received from the NYU and from Professor Cohen. However, CGC is also a very honest man with integrity. It is not possible for him to turn a blind eye to the dishonorable tricks of the CPC and to pretend that evil does not exist. He is also not in a position to shield the NYU against public scrutiny.


Professor Cohen has been a dear friend of CGC for the last 10 years. To CGC, Professor Cohen is both a friend and a mentor. But CGC will not lie or be silenced, not even for the person whom he truly respects. What was even more perplexing for CGC was that the NYU took offense at accusations meant to be directed only towards the CPC and its unruly behavior. Consequently, Professor Cohen was made to step forward to deny that the University had been put under pressure.


This incident is further complicated by the politics the two major US political parties are playing against each other. Suddenly those from the Democrats to the Republicans, from liberals to conservatives, are all expressing their opinion on this matter and are promoting their views based on each other’s interpretation of events. Most significantly, Professor Cohen became the first person to accuse CGC of allying himself with conservative Republicans. The accusation adds another dimension of complexity to this incident.


As a matter of fact, since CGC’s arrival at the NYU, he has been put under strict protection; not everyone can gain access to him. CGC has only had brief meetings with conservative members from the Republican Party and with Bob Fu from a human rights religious organization called ChinaAid. Even senior US congressmen such as Frank Wolf and Chris Smith have experienced some difficulties when they requested to meet with CGC.


Meanwhile, CGC is spending most of his time with Professor Cohen, people at the NYU and members of the liberal Democratic Party. So it is absurd to suggest that CGC is under the influence of conservative Republicans.  To say so is to admit that the liberal Democrats are not influential!


Bekink says, “But his comments suggest that he is having a hard time accepting the reality of his new life. It is not the Chinese communist authorities who “want to make [him] so busy trying to earn a living that [he doesn’t] have time for human rights advocacy.” Rather it is life in capitalist America that requires individuals to support themselves.” These defamatory comments betray the fact that she does not understand CGC and she is too eager to come to the CPC’s defense.


I have recently been in regular contact with CGC. He assures me that he will continue to speak conscientiously and truthfully to promote human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy. CGC is such an honest and sincere person that he will not hesitate to point out there is “an elephant in the room”. His honesty may have upset many people, including Professor Cohen and the NYU.

光诚与纽约大学(十三) 光诚一直希望美国两党超脱党派之争,共同面对中共当局的压力,支持中国人权、法治、自由和民主;但实际上确实非常困难。此次争论中,光诚也希望美国各方面的朋友直面中共当局的压力,而不将矛盾指向科恩教授。

It has long been CGC’s wish that the two major parties in the USA could come to a bipartisan agreement of the need to face up to pressure from the CPC in their supports for human rights, rule of law, liberty and democracy in China. This is obviously not an easy task. In this dispute, CGC also hopes his American friends can face up to pressure from the CPC. Instead, Professor Cohen was put under tremendous pressure to resolve the disagreement.


A special reminder to those who accuse CGC of taking bad advice from “people around him”:  Your allegation is utterly absurd. Both Professor Cohen and the NYU should be well aware that CGC is fully capable of independent thinking and impartial judgment. It is not likely for anyone to persuade him into blindly accepting certain views. If CGC were really as malleable as suggested, perhaps Professor Cohen and the NYU would have had an easier time exerting their influence on him.

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Voices from the Past. Lest We Forget

The Bloodied Face of Democracy: Radio Beijing Audio from the Tiananmen Square Massacre, June 3, 1989. Audio recorded by G. Jack Urso on June 3, 1989 via satellite news feed.

Urso wrote:

“I recorded the audio you are listening to on the evening of June 3, 1989. At the time, the announcer’s name was not reported. 12 years later, with the assistance of a former report for Radio Beijing, who was present at the Tiananmen Square Massacre, I discovered the announcer’s name iw Yuan Neng and he was transferred from his job for broadcasting this report.

The script was by the then head of Radio Beijing’s news service, Wu Xiaoyong, whose father at the time was a high-ranking government official. After the broadcast, Xiaoyong was put under house arrest for two to three years and later moved to Hong Kong.”

Chinese translation of the broadcast script posted by M Wei on YouTube:









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Sound of Silence in Memory of 8964

Thanks to our co-blogger courage89 for alerting me to this brilliant animation.

I’m calling on everyone to wear black tomorrow in memory of those brave and innocent souls who perished in early summer of 1989. May them rest in peace. May those who ordered the killing be brought to justice.


8964 from sofunny on Vimeo.

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June 4: “What is Truth?”

Catherine has asked me to post on our blog, a remembrance of June 4 1989.

So here’s the first thing that came to my mind, from the Gospel of John, 18:38.  That was when Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, and Pilate asked Him, “What is truth?”

It was the ultimate and eternal confrontation between Truth and power.   Jesus personified Truth, but the Powers of the World refused to acknowledge any Truth other than their own power.   Consequently, Truth was murdered by power…

…but then the Truth rose from the dead!

What is Truth?   THIS is Truth!:


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Ivan got Obamaphone!

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On China’s 63rd Birthday

On the sixty-third birthday of the People’s Republic of China, Catherine and I wish to congratulate the Chinese Communist Party for having developed its present international image into imagining sex between Bo XiLai and a creepily skinny Zhang Ziyi.

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Hope 2012

h/t Bad Catholic

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Zhu Chengzhi as the Conscience of Society

The death of labour activist Li Wangyang (李旺阳) under police custody has triggered huge protests in Hong Kong and outraged human rights advocates worldwide. The Hunan authorities in China, in order to quell public anger, have made vague promises to re-open investigation into the cause of death. Many people are questioning the Hunan authorities’ motives, and they have every reason to be skeptical. Family and friends of Li Wangyang have remained under police detention. Among those taken away by State Security was dissident Zhu Chengzhi (朱承志). He was given a 10-day detention initially, on a charge of “disrupting social order”, after Zhu had reportedly refused to sign a guarantee promising not to question the circumstances around Li’s death. The police did not release Zhu Chengzhi when the initial administrative detention period had lapsed. Instead, police informed Zhu’s wife that he had been transferred to a police detention centre awaiting further investigation. Police also told Zhu’s wife that he could face charges for disclosing the news of Li Wangyang’s death to foreign media.

Since the news of Zhu Chengzhi’s further detention was released on Twitter, many fellow human rights activists in China and abroad have come forward to advocate for Zhu’s release. Among them is Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), one of the three Fujianese netizens jailed for spreading information about an alleged gang rape and murder of a young woman in 2008. Below is my English translation of Fan Yanqiong’s recent article on Zhu Chengzhi.


Zhu Chengzhi as the Conscience of Society

Author: Fan Yanqiong
First published in canyu.org

I have been cut off the Internet since I was placed under house detention several weeks ago. News of Zhu Chengzhi’s detention has, nevertheless, reached me through the grapevine.  Mr Zhu is over 60 years of age. Accusation against him has been upgraded, from “public disorder” to “criminal misdemeanour”, simply because he has refused to give a written promise that he will cease advocating an investigation into the death of Li Wangyang.

I am not at all surprised by the news for two reasons. First of all, Zhu Chengzhi is a man of kindness and integrity; he is not the type who will go against his conscience, nor will he easily give up his social responsibility. Secondly, it is not beyond comprehension for a government that has committed crimes against its people to resort to desperate (if not foolish) measures in order to cover up its wrongdoings.

I learnt from my email communications with Mr Zhu that he was originally a well off mine owner. His multi-million dollar assets had unfortunately become a predatory target. He lost everything overnight when a court order had ruled in favour of the greedy government officials.

Again, I am not surprised. I have, on many occasions, covered similar news stories before. So far none of these cases have been resolved. Rampant abuse of power is particularly common in regions rich in mineral resources. Many mine owners have fallen victims in the hands of greedy and powerful local government officials. They end up joining the queue of petitioners. Once I was almost killed in Guizhou for exposing a similarly incident.  The memory of that frightening ordeal still haunts me today.

However, not all mine owners who tread the petitioners’ path manage to transform themselves into a democracy fighter with a firm conviction. In fact Zhu Chengzhi is so far the one and only such petitioner I have ever met. For that, Mr Zhu deserves my deep respect.

http://www.boxun.com; Fan Yanqiong, Front row in wheelchair; Zhu Chengzhi, Back row 1st right

I first met Zhu Chengzhi on 26 August 2010, the second day after I was released from prison. He travelled all the way from Yunnan.  Many netizens and petitioners had come to see me. But none of them had travelled such a long distance to get here. Nor did they stay for as long as Mr Zhu did.

At that time, I thought Zhu Chengzhi would just make a brief appearance, like most people would have done. To my surprise, he turned up again the next day. He sat down with me to carefully review, scene by scene, how “concern groups” from different parts of the country had come forward to show their support outside of the courthouse where I and two Fujianese netizens were tried for defamation in relation to the death of Yan Xiaoling.

That was a much-needed boost of morale for me. A reminder of the love and care I had received proved to be the best medicine to help me overcome depression, so that I could focus on improving my health. Zhu Chengzhi did not live in fantasyland for sure. He did not hesitate to admit that our support base of netizens from Fujian was a mere drop in the ocean when compared to an enormous population of 1.6 billion Chinese people nation-wide. Because of that, he reckoned there would still be a way to go before China could catch up with other civilized countries, and that democracy fighters would have to face a long battle ahead of them.

Mr Zhu finally departed on day three. Before he bid farewell, he said to me, “I am glad to see that you can eat without throwing up today. I can leave now resting assured that you are going to be fine.” [Note: While in prison, I had developed a food disorder that caused me to vomit every time I ate.]

I was deeply moved by Mr Zhu’s caring gesture. Even more commendable was that after his return to Yunnan, he rang to check on me daily, until my condition finally improved after I had received medical treatment in Hangzhou.

Zhu Chengzhi is not only a man of integrity who perseveres with acts of kindness; he has also demonstrated on many occasions that he has a deep sense of social responsibility.

It was around 5:00PM, the next day after the “Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) concern group” had staged a mass gathering outside the courthouse where Ms Wang was put on trial for “creating a disturbance”. I fell ill and was in bed at home.  Zhu Chengzhi rang from Beijing to let me know that everyone had retreated from the courthouse safely. He was on the way to catch a train home. But there was one thing he worried about: three Fujianese netizens, who were supposed to join the mass gathering, had not been seen since their arrival in Beijing. They were Lin Lanying (林兰英), Wu Huaying (吴华英) and A-Fu (阿福). Mr Zhu made me promised to look into this matter and informed him as soon as I heard from those missing people.

Once again he was the last person to retreat from a protest!

Once again he persevered with his activism to the very end!

I also learnt from the Internet earlier how Zhu Chengzhi had made a public statement to the effect that he had committed “the same crime” as Wang Lihong. It was his intention to share the load with Wang Lihong, with a hope that he would be able to rescue her from imprisonment. These, undoubtedly, are the traits of a truly noble person who has exhibited moral clarity and courage.

After the phone call, I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of respect towards this wonderful person. I thought at that time I should write an article about Zhu Chengzhi to show my admiration, but did not get around doing so until today. For this, I feel a strong remorse within.

As a man of compassion, vision and wisdom, Zhu Chengcheng is well aware of problems facing China today. He therefore plays an active role to ensure the nation is making progress in redressing those problems. Mr Zhu very seldom talks about his own grievances in my presence. He has never requested me to write any articles to expose how authorities have violated his rights. Instead, he focuses on what is lacking in China today and makes noises about them accordingly.

Zhu Chengzhi called me one day about two months ago. He said to me on the phone, “We need more people like Lin Zhao (林昭) today.” Ever since Mr Zhu has learnt about the story of Lin Zhao, he has insisted on publicly and openly mourning Li Zhao every year at the anniversary of her execution. It is his hope that the memorial services will motivate more people to show their concerns, to reflect upon history and to act together in order to change the rotten political system. It is most regrettable that this year State Security has moved in to stop him from attending. It is even more regrettable that today he is locked up because he firmly and unequivocally defends his basic human rights to integrity and morality.

I have no doubt that Zhu Chengzhi personifies the conscience of our society today.

Therefore, I believe no one with a conscience today should remain silent about the persecution befallen on Zhu Chengzhi.

Silence is not gold!

To remain silent is to be a willful accomplice to the perpetrator.

On this topic, an English poet John Donne (1572-1631) has once made this famous remark: “No man is an island, entire of itself. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Indeed, Zhu Chengzhi is suffering for us today! He suffers for us as a nation! What is happening to him today may well be what is going to happen to us tomorrow. I am therefore calling upon rights activists and petitioners from all over the country to travel there to stage a mass gathering. Let us take action to propel our nation forward! Let us help advance social reforms! Remember, we are not doing it just for Zhu Chengzhi, we are doing it for ourselves, and for the future of our nation!

May social conscience prevail!

May Zhu Chengzhi be reunited with his family soon!!

May Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao (温家宝) make great, great, great strides forward with his political reforms!!!

Fan Yanqiong

20 June 2012

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Crazy Emperor Caligula was assassinated

for less offensive deeds than this.   Personally I am against assassination – um, quite unlike Obama the Assassin-in-Chief – but the time is overdue to arrest this evil maniac, put him on trial for mass murder and send him to a prison isolation cell until his he dies a natural death in obscurity.

Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?

Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.

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Sick perverts…

…just ask to be hated when they do sh– like this.

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. There… some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger.

…“Yeah, fuck Reagan,” reiterates Hart one week after the reception.

…Switching gears, Hart describes the reception as “fantastic” and notes that the White House staff seemed “giddy.”

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