The conditions under which Zhao Ziyang (趙紫陽) lived at the time of his death, in utter isolation from Chinese society due to an illegally imposed 16-year house arrest, shames both Chinese justice and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). \nZhao's persecution was the persecution of a leader who dedicated himself for more than a decade to groundbreaking efforts that became the foundations of China's economic reform. In the late 1970s, peasants had long since lost their rights to own their land, owing to collectivization and the establishment of the People's Commune. It is a right they have never regained. Zhao, however, was the first to advocate giving autonomy back to the peasants and so initiated the first pilot tests to abolish the People's Commune. \nChinese industry had been transformed into subsidiaries of government through nationalization and central planning. Zhao was the first to propose "expanded autonomy for Chinese enterprises" and "restoration of a healthy relationship between government and industry." Expanded autonomy for enterprises and the peasantry were critical first steps whose success led eventually to full-blown economic reform. \nThese were among the many incremental victories Zhao won to help China's people break out of the suffocating stagnation of Maoist socialism. As China's premier, Zhao implemented 10 years of economic reforms that brought steady progress in which the people, especially the peasantry, enjoyed tangible improvements. \nBut Zhao was also the only CCP leader to propose a political reform package to tackle China's system of one-party rule. The party's unchallenged monopoly on political power systematically ensured that every mistake it made -- such as the dreadful decade of the Cultural Revolution -- turned into a prolonged nationwide crisis. \nFor genuine and long-term stability, Zhao proposed reforms that ultimately aimed at the legalization and systemization of democracy. He wished to establish the kind of democratic politics that could sup-port and nurture a healthy market economy. Although the short-term practical objectives of Zhao's political reforms were limited by the circumstances in which they were proposed, the measures were all aimed at containing CCP power and represented a concrete step toward returning, peacefully, power to China's people. Zhao's package -- a sharp break with Mao Zedong's (毛澤東) totalitarianism -- was approved by the 13th Party Congress, officially the highest authority within the CCP. \nDuring his 20 months as general secretary, Zhao created a culture in which the Politburo refrained from interfering in the courts, and he halted its attempts to control literature and the arts. He abolished the policy of enterprises being run by party organizations and the system by which fa ren ("legal representatives") were the core of enterprises. \nUnfortunately, Zhao's reforms were terminated upon his fall from power. The dreadful result was the indiscriminate denial of civil rights and the principles of democracy, and the rise of what today's leaders call "socialism with Chinese characteristics" -- a bitter euphemism for unchecked party and government power entwined with commercial interests. \nZhao's fate is also a chilling reminder of other injustices that are on the consciences of those now in power. The only reason for Zhao's continued ill treatment was his opposition to the violent repression of the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. It should have been his decision to make as general secretary, but things were not as they should have been. \nIt should be remembered that former general secretary Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦), who had been forced to step down two years earlier by Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) because of his liberal stance, died in April 1989, triggering spontaneous and peaceful student demonstrations in Beijing, which spread across the country. Half a million college students in Beijing alone were involved in this movement. \nIt lasted 50 days and was heartily supported by Beijing residents and people all around the country, from all walks of life. Zhao pointed out to the Politburo that the sentiments expressed by the students and residents in their commemoration of Hu, in their protests against corruption, and their desire for democracy were really the same sentiments that they themselves held. He believed that it should be possible to resolve the student protests and respect the principles of democracy and the rule of law. \nUnder Zhao's direction, the Politburo and its standing committee called for dialogue with the students. This hopeful direction changed completely, however, when Deng revealed his desire for a violent crackdown. \nIn the end, it came down to a fight among five members of the Politburo Standing Committee: Li Peng (李鵬) and Yao Yiling (姚依林) sought to deploy the military. Zhao opposed this. Qiao Shi (喬石) and Hu Qili (胡啟立) initially sided with Zhao, but then withdrew their support and, instead, asked Deng to make the final decision. \nWith deep divisions evident, Deng chose to bypass all existing institutions, the party's Politburo, the Central Committee and the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. Without further discussion, Deng mobilized 500,000 troops to enter Beijing to crack down on the unarmed students and civilians. The Tiananmen Square Massacre was a tragedy for China, and another tragedy for the 20th century. Sixteen years have passed, but the pain remains, buried in the hearts and minds of the people. \nIn the years that have passed, China's leaders were responsible not only for Zhao's unlawful house arrest but also for a systematic effort to erase his name from history. But their attempts to conceal the truth about the past only reveal their weakness and their shamelessness. For there is one thing they cannot change: Zhao remains with us, in the Chinese people's ongoing struggle for rights and democracy. \nBao Tong, former director of the Office of Political Reform of the CCP Central Committee, was secretary to Zhao Ziyang from 1980 to 1985. \n Copyright: Project Syndicate
Almost as soon as the plane carrying a US delegation led by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi took off from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on Thursday, Beijing announced four days of live-fire military drills around Taiwan. China unilaterally cordoned off six maritime exclusion zones around Taiwan proper to simulate a blockade of the nation, fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles and conducted coordinated maneuvers using naval vessels and aircraft. Although the drills were originally to end on Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command issued a statement through Chinese state media that the exercises would continue,
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week represented a milestone in Taiwan-US relations, but also pricked the bubble of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) big lie that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. During a speech delivered at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Wednesday, Pelosi said: “Forty-two years ago, America made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan,” referring to the US’ Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. On the eve of her visit to Taiwan, Pelosi published an article in the Washington Post in which she stated that “America must stand by Taiwan.” With China
Despite political pressure at home to keep her from doing so, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally visited Taiwan last week, causing quite a stir. As Pelosi stuck to her guns, her visit was of considerable significance. Pelosi was born into the D’Alesandro political family. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, was a US Representative and later mayor of Baltimore for 12 years. Pelosi was elected to the US House of Representatives at the age of 47 after her children were grown, and became the US’ first female House speaker in 2007 after the Democratic Party won the House majority.
In an August 12 Wall Street Journal report, Chinese sources contend that in their July 28 phone call, United States President Joe Biden was told by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping (習近平) that “he had no intention of going to war with the US” over House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s then upcoming visit to Taiwan. However, there should be global alarm that Xi did use that visit to begin the CCP’s active war against democracy in Taiwan and globally, and that the Biden Administration’s response has been insufficient. To hear CCP officials, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesmen, and a