ROCKVILLE, Maryland—On Sept. 16, two weeks prior to China’s National Day celebration, a group of prominent dissidents gathered to condemn the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
At the aptly titled “Seminar on 60 Years of Crimes by the Chinese Communist Party,” speakers cast back over what they see as the persecution and humiliation suffered by the Chinese people since the CCP gained power 60 years ago. Each brought to the discussion his own perspective informed by personal experience.
“The CCP is forcing the Chinese people to celebrate the ‘60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China,’ but it has put Beijing in a state of high alert,” said Sun Yanjun, a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii.
The state news agency, Xinhua, reported on Sept. 1 that thousands of soldiers are being called into Beijing to maintain order and security. Strict limits have been placed on the movements of people in the capital, and western bloggers living in the city are comparing current preparations with the bizarre choreographed military performances that take place in North Korea.
“The CCP is approaching this anniversary as if it is at war,” Sun said. “[Its actions are] exposing its fear.”
The current emphasis on nationalism, as exemplified in the fiercely nationalistic flavor of the Oct. 1 celebrations, is the third stage of the CCP’s control of China, according to Wei Jingsheng’s analysis.
In his analysis, the CCP has three stages of developing its control over China.
In the first, the CCP convinced people that it wanted to create a democratic society by giving land to farmers and supporting capitalists, he said, adding that in the end, many were deceived.
The second stage, he said, is using the slogan of “a democratic political system and economic reform.” “The CCP illegally deprived people of their property in the name of the law and transferred that property to its corrupt officials,” Wei said.
The final stage is “stirring up nationalism.” Wei said that agitating nationalistic sentiment among Han Chinese is a Nazi tactic. It goes hand in hand, he said, with transferring the Han people’s anger to other ethnic groups. “They used this tactic with the Uyghurs, turning the Han and Uyghur groups into enemies.”
Rebiya Kadir, chairwoman for the World Uyghur Congress, gave an analysis concurrent with Wei’s. She said the Communist Party ordered soldiers to dress in plainclothes and “pretend to be Uyghur demonstrators, destroying property and killing Han Chinese.” She claims the CCP then killed over 10,000 Uyghurs, using the excuse that the Uyghurs had killed the Han people. “They hid their bodies as well,” she claimed. “The conflict between the Han and Uyghur people today was completely set up by the CCP,” she said.
While the human rights abuses continue unchecked, Party propaganda frequently emphasizes the “great achievements during 30 years of economic reforms,” according to Shen Ting, chairman of the Coalition of the Chinese People Facing Injustice from Hong Kong. He pointed out that 20 million people still travel to Beijing every year to appeal injustices they feel they have suffered.
“Farmers have lost their land, and urban homes have been forcibly demolished. The CCP never obeys the constitution; their orders simply replace the law,” he said.
Addressing the forum from another angle was Dr. David Gao, president of the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP. “Each year around Oct. 1, a large group of people quit the CCP, including many CCP officials and officials in the military,” he said.
The movement to renounce the Communist Party was sparked by the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party," an editorial series examining the history of communist rule in China, published by The Epoch Times.
“Some of [those quitting the CCP] apologize for their actions, saying that had no other choice. They are very happy after they declare their withdrawal from the CCP and feel that they are spiritually liberated,” Gao said.
For Dr. Zhang Tianliang, who teaches at George Mason University, the CCP’s opposition to ideas like “spiritual liberation” is a key to understanding how it maintains control.
“The revival of spiritual belief is what frightens the CCP the most,” he said, before giving a contemporary example: “The CCP started the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999 because it was afraid of the principles of Falun Gong,‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance,’” he said.
“With the spread of the ‘Nine Commentaries,’ people have changed their way of thinking. In the past, people turned to the CCP hoping to find resolutions for their problems. Now they understand that the CCP itself is the cause of all the problems.”
The seminars were sponsored by Washington D.C. Seminars, The Epoch Times, and the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP.