Experts on China and human rights activists came together to discuss the emerging challenges from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at a webinar titled ‘Emperor Has No Clothes: China Under Xi Jinping’. The speakers at the event were Co-founder and President of Humanitarian China and Tiananmen Student Leader Zhou Fengsuo; Special Appointee for Human Rights at The Tibet Bureau, Geneva, Thinlay Chukki; and journalist Aditya Raj Kaul.
Recalling his struggle during the days of Tiananmen Square protests, Zhou Fengsuo said, “My story begins from the Tiananmen protests in 1989, which represents the dream for freedom and democracy in China. It was for the first time in China that Chinese people were able to express their love for freedom. Since then I have been working to take forward the legacy for freedom of democracy in China in the future. That’s why I am here today.”
He continued, “My organisation Humanitarian China works for supporting human rights in China. Every year we support 100-200 political prisoners from China. The number is quite large. We try to reach out to everyone and try to extend our support from our side of the world. The number of such political prisoners is increasing day by day. Our idea is to provide moral support of connecting people outside with people facing persecution in China – supporting the freedom movement.”
Zhou Fengsuo also drew comparisons between the CCP’s handling of the Tiananmen protests and the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. He said, “Very recently, a Professor of Peking University, was sentenced to several years in prison and during the pandemic he wrote an open letter criticising China for spreading the virus and asked the world to take action. Wuhan is somehow like Tiananmen. People were not allowed to talk. There is no way for people to speak out. This pandemic has become a global threat because of the totalitarian CCP regime. It is shocking to learn that a Medical General said that China released the vaccine on February 26. This is extremely shocking!”
The human rights activist also emphasised that China is a threat to the whole world. He applauded India for banning Chinese apps and said that other countries should take India’s lead and take similar steps. He also expressed his desire to see a formal diplomatic relationship between India and Taiwan. He raised concerns about the Chinese firewall as well.
Zhou Fengsuo is currently living in exile after being forced to move away from China. He was a young college student at the time of the Tiananmen Massacre. He was jailed for his involvement in the protests. The Tiananmen Massacre witnessed the Chinese State crushing protests in favour of reform by unleashing the might of its military. Even after all these years, the death toll is not precisely known.