06/23/2005, 00.00
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Wei Jingsheng: "At least 20 million people want to quit the communist party"

Washington (AsiaNews/ET) – Wei Jingsheng, the "father of democracy" in China said in an interview with the Epoch Times that more than 20 million people want to leave the Chinese Community Party (CCP).

Wei is well-known for his proposal to Deng Xiaoping in 1978 to bring about a "fifth modernization": democracy. He spent 16 years in prison because of this. Now he lives in exile in the United States.

In the course of the interview, Wei described China's recent economic boom as "only a mirage": in reality, the majority of the Chinese population continue to suffer the oppression of the regime and even the middle classes cannot escape from the CCP's racketeering. The situation continues to deteriorate because every day, disasters – both natural and manmade – strike people in the lowest strata of society. Many high-ranking CCP representatives feel the same way as he does and are much more scornful: the current moves and methods of Mao's heirs are in open contrast with the original intentions of veteran members, whose goal was the prosperity of the people.

Wei described current defections from the party as a "natural phenomenon" because people lost their faith in the CCP more than 20 years ago: Already on 4 June 1989, he recalls seeing several placards identifying agencies and organisations which were supporting the students' protest for democracy and against corruption. At the time, even the general office of the Central Committee was in favour of the students, a sign of how bad things had become. Since then, the CCP has fallen ever lower in popular favour because the regime continues to go against the will of the people.

Wei underlined a clear signal of the decline of the CCP: its current policy of "keeping its members at any cost". The Party has an internal Constitution which requires automatic expulsion from the party of whoever does not pay membership dues for more than six months. There are members who have not paid the tax for more than 10 years without incurring any penalty. Wei talks about his brother, whose five years of arrears were "condoned" by party representatives to convince him to pay the membership tax at least once. The CCP is desperately seeking new members and targets especially youths just prior to graduation. According to Wei, by now, the Party is on the brink of collapse and only a few fools want to sign up to show their support for the policy running the country.

The recent defection of 37-year-old Chen Yonglin, first secretary of the Chinese consulate in Canberra (Australia) helps Westerners to see how a CCP member really views the Party. Chen used to work in the Chinese Consulate with the responsibility of ensuring that no one from the party defected, yet he himself defected. Many members leave because they do no longer wish to be considered accomplices of the party and the regime generated by it.
There are people who have not yet physically removed themselves from the CCP due to various concerns, but their hearts have already betrayed the CCP. "Both CCP members and ordinary people are counting the remaining days before its demise," Wei said.

Who is Wei Jingshen?

Wei's history in the field of human rights and democracy in China goes back a long way. On 5 April 1976, aged 26, Wei participated in the first anti-government action which erupted in Tiananmen Square. Two years later, the Wall of Democracy (see photo) was set up near one of the main crossroads of the capital: a corner where democracy activists could post their dazibao. On 5 December 1978, Wei posted on the wall the text which would make him famous – "the Fifth Modernisation" – where he developed the idea that the country's economic progress (the "four modernisations" upheld by the communist regime) must pass through democratisation, otherwise the people would not enjoy any benefits. Wei denounced detention for political reasons, the misery of chunks of the population, the political origins of juvenile delinquency, the sale of children on the streets of Beijing. From 1979 to 1993, he was interned in prison at the behest of Deng Xiaoping. On 13 December 1995, a year and half after his re-arrest, Wei reappeared before the People's Court in Beijing, where he was condemned to 14 years in prison for "plotting against the government". One 16 November 1997, he was released by the Chinese authorities following very strong pressure from the international community. Wei was sent abroad for "treatment"; in reality he was condemned to exile. At the moment, he lives in the United States and he is chairman of the Overseas Joint Committee for China Democratic Movement.

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