Why Was The Overseas Democracy Movement Missing In The Xiamen PX Project?

(Observe China)  What Was The Overseas Democracy Movement Collectively Missing In Action During The Xiamen Affair?  By Zhang Heci.  January 25, 2008.

Was the Xiamen PX project incident a freak example of success as asserted by some people?  Was it a minor effortless, riskless affair that did not require the moral resources and selfless spirit of the overseas democracy activists?

The overseas democracy movements have the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party as their goal.  They want to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party because of what they do.  The biggest reason for wanting to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party is that the Chinese Communist Party is the misuse of its immense powers.  The most obvious and also the most detested aspect is corruption, or the exchange of power for money.

So does the Xiamen incident involve the exchange of power and money?

On the side of the authorities, there are the Xiamen city government, the Fujian provincial government, the central government and the State Council.  The people of Xiamen had to deal with: the State Council, the State Land Resources Bureau, the State Environmental Protection Agency, the State Development Committee and the leaders of the Fujian and Xiamen governments.  From the project proposal through the review through the approval through the land acquisition through the commencement of construction, there were dozens or even hundreds of seals of approvals to be stamped by numerous officials.  Perhaps not every one of those approvals made by the numerous officials involved bribery and corruption, but somewhere along the way there was likely to be some corruption and bribery.

On the side of the capital, the Taiwan company Xianglu Group is not an ordinary company and its head Chen Youhao is not an ordinary Taiwanese businessman.  Chen Youhao is the number one most wanted fugitive in Taiwan, and he is being charged with embezzling a huge amount of money from his Taiwan operations.  This is someone who opposes Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian from across the Strait and is an important card to play against the Taiwan Independence moverment.

On the side of the opposition, could it be that they really did not have to do much?  This huge project was already underway.  When the citizens of Xiamen began to voice their objections, the project was accelerated by the Xianglu Group and the government.  Could the citizens of Xiamen have stopped this project with little or no effort?

For the Xiamen and Fujian government officials, this project would represent a great accomplishment on their records and will surely help propel their careers upwards.  The project must have also brought them huge economic interests during the project review phase.  It must therefore be expected that they will come out against the campaign to halt and relocate this project.  For the side of the capital, Chen Youhao had already invested a huge amount of capital.  It must therefore be expected that he will use all his connections, the power of his money and all the tricks of the trade to continue the project.


So why was the overseas democracy movement so disinterested in the Xiamen affair?  And what are they really interested in?


The overseas democracy activists are forming organizations and political parties all the time.  They call meetings and they issue declarations.  They support those who are in jail inside China and those who are about to be jailed.

The long periods of exile mean that they have lost the pulse of China.  Many people are not interested doing solid work and they are only interested in putting on a good show.

Not matter what people think about Harry Wu, I affirm that his efforts over the past few years:  He latched onto one issue and he kept at it until he got results.  Today in China, the laogai (labor reform) teams have different names, prison-made merchandise has disappeared or curtailed; organ transplants from executed prisoners have been stopped or at least curtailed.  So he realized his goal: laogai has entered the consciousness of the people of the world and it is now a proper noun in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The overseas democracy movement and the FLG are working for an Olympics boycott.  Apart from shouting slogans and holding meetings, they are counting on the brave people inside China to rise up.  So how do you expect to achieve a successful boycott?  Even when they hold meetings, they have nothing new to say.

So maybe they cannot go to China themselves, but they can surely go to Africa?  Perhaps someone can go to Darfur.  If that is too dangerous, the person can go to Sudan.  There are many Chinese engineers and technicians over there.  If the Chinese can go, it should be safe.  So have we seen any firsthand information that can support their case for an Olympics boycott?  Never mind going to Darfur or Sudan for firsthand information, because they do not even seem interested in compiling information from newspapers and websites to support their case.

China is exporting poisoned food.  Chinese industrial spies are everywhere overseas.  Corrupt Chinese officials are fleeing overseas with their ill-gotten money.  The state funds are illegally transferred overseas.  The overseas democracy movement is not interested in these issues.  Has any one of them ever any solid work to dig out materials and information?  There are many mainland Chinese people buying up expensive real estate in the United States, and some of these buyers are likely to be corrupt officials.  Has anyone spent any time to check out these people?  These are things that can be done overseas.  We are not asking people to take the risk of going back to China to start a revolution.  We are only asking them for some genuine support of democracy in China.

In their current work, they are trying to manufacture heroes and martyrs in China.  That was why they have no interest whatsoever in the successful example of the Xiamen rights defenders forcing the central government to back down.  They have no interest in a successful defense of rights, because there is no hype value for them.  When someone gets beaten up by the Chinese police, it becomes their headline news.  They need heroes and martyrs for the purpose of gathering money and resources for themselves.

They do not want to face the reality that is China, with all the huge changes in recent years.  This is not even about differences in interpreting these changes.  Rather, they dare not acknowledge these huge changes -- China's rapid economic rise; the general raising of standards of living for the people; the progress in freedom and liberty; etc.  The problem is that these so-called democracy activists do not actually know what is democracy, as they still subscribe to Mao Zedong's theory of class struggle.

They need to portray China today as the darkest and cruellest era.  They need to posit that the Chinese people cannot live any longer under the brutal rule of the Chinese Communists.  They only accept that an oppressed people with nothing left to live will rise up.  Just like the Chinese Communists, they believe that human rights is actually the right to exist.

Why are they afraid to say that the Chinese people have become wealthy?  One reason is that they still subscribe to Mao Zedong's theory of class struggle.  The proletariat stands for the truth and they are the most revolutionary class.  Unfortunately, the history textbooks have been manipulated by the Chinese Communists.  Access to the truth has nothing to do with whether you are rich or poor.  Instead, the proletariat is even less likely to gain the knowledge and information.  They may be desperadoes, but they are not revolutionaries.  In the French Revolution, it was the rise of the capitalist class that enabled the revolution to succeed.  In the American Independence War, the leaders were the farm owners and capitalists.  In the modern history of China from the late Qing dynasty to the Republic, from the Nationalists to the Communists, which revolutionary can claim to be a proletariat?  The proletariat and the grassroots people were always exploited and driven by the ambitious manipulators.

The need for democracy and freedom does not lessen with the increase in wealth.   Instead, this desire for political rights increases with economic power.  Human rights do not equal the right to exist or the right to live.  When their material life improves, people do not lose the urge to pursue freedom but their spiritual needs are actually increased ...

So why are the overseas democracy activists afraid to say that the people of China are freer today?  Isn't a freer space easier to promote democratization?  When China gets more contact with the rest of the world, isn't it easier to promulgate democratic ideas?  The diversification of the economy and the emergence of private ownership meant that the Chinese Communists can no longer control society and people.  The cultural diversity is challenging the Chinese Communist ideology.  The diversity in lifestyles has also slowly caused democracy to seep into society and people.

A deeper reason for not wanting and not daring to face up to the changes in China is the fear of losing the legitimacy of their own revolution.  Actually, this only reveals their own lack of self-confidence and their adherence to Mao Zedong's theory of class struggle ...

But even if there have been huge changes in China, why shouldn't it be legitimate to want to overthrow the one-party rule of the Chinese Communists?  No matter how you look at it, there is no basis for supporting the undemocratic system ...

On one hand, you can compare China with North Korea.  Anyone can see the differences between the living standards and freedom of the people.  But just because China is so much stronger than North Korea does not mean that political reform is unnecessary in China.  There is no need to denigrate China to the level of North Korea in order to press for political reform.  If anything, this approach destroys the credibility of the argument because the audience can see the real China for themselves.  Lies and distortions can never carry force.

On the other hand, you can compare China today with old days of the Red Terror of class struggles and rectification campaigns.  You have to live through those days in order to understand how things have changed today.  But nobody is saying that the changes have been completed.  Instead, the changes are only beginning.  Nobody is saying that the political system of China is already close to the rest of the world and therefore no work is necessary.  Instead, the most urgent task in China is political reform and democratization.  There is no need to denigrate China to say that things now are even worse than during the Mao Zedong era in order to press for political reform.  If anything, this approach destroys the credibility of the argument because the audience can see the real China for themselves.  Lies and distortions can never carry force.

Getting back to the Xiamen model for rights defense.  The overseas democracy movement is contemptuous of the Xiamen rights movement.  But are they able to make the State Council bow their heads in China for once?  Many overseas political parties claim to have long-term developments plans inside China.  If these parties can come up with successful examples such as the Xiamen rights defense, then the color revolution in China is ready to emerge, if not already present.  If it was possible in Xiamen, then it should also be possible in coastal and central China as well.