2008: The Essay that Won Chengdu Activist Chen Daojun a Three Year Prison Sentence

The Chengdu writer Chen Daojun 陈道军  was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for “inciting to subvert state power”. Here in English translation is one of his essays from March 2008.

Chen Daojun praised the Tibetans for standing up against oppression while the ethnic Han “dogs and pigs” are nearly always cowed by the Chinese Communist Party. Even Han Chinese who are sympathetic to his thesis will not be happy at being called “dogs and pigs”. Not really an approach likely to sway public opinion. So why bother to arrest him?

The text translated below appeared in the April 2008 issue of the Hong Kong Chinese affairs magazine Chengming [Contending] and is available in Chinese at 陈道军:官逼民反——向英勇抗争的藏民致敬

Chen Daojun : Officials Forced the People to Rebel — A Salute to the Heroic Resistance of the Tibetan People

The stream of history flows forever onwards. In China, if officials do not oppress people to the point where they have no alternative, the people will not resist. Confucian education and violent authoritarianism has imbued in most people the servile belief that “a lazy life is better than a good death”. Therefore the despotic rule of the Chinese Communist Party has continued for nearly 60 years. Although life for most Chinese is hard, living as they do in fear. They live not with human dignity, but rather as very servile people. That these people, cowardly and docile as they are still can be forced into rebellion by officials is a testament to the brutality of officialdom.

I oppose violence. However when all legal and proper avenues are blocked, all oppressed miserable people, have the sacred right to take emergency action to express their outrage, to make their voices heard and to seek redress for their grievances. Therefore I support and praise the determined and death defying resistance of an enslaved and oppressed people who are standing up for their dignity as human beings. For this they resisted to the extent of their abilities, standing up to the bullets of the People’s Armed Police of the Communist Party and the field armies of the PLA. These forces drove their tanks to oppress the Tibetans of the TAR, Gansu, Ningxia, Sichuan and other areas who were standing up for their beliefs and their autonomy. For this the Tibetans and their monks demonstrated, tore down PRC flags and burned officials buildings.

Every since 1959 when the Chinese Communist Party began its so-called peaceful rule of Tibet , hundreds of billions of RMB have been spent on assistance to Tibet. This assistance has improved transportation and the lives of most Tibetans. One would think from a rational point of view, that this policy of sacrificing the interests of the many ethnic Han for the sake of these liberated serfs would earn the gratitude and even a desire to pay back this kindness on the part of the Tibetans.

But an autocracy runs on its own logic: for its Tibetans and Hans alike, and all the other nationalities are the slaves of the Chinese Communist Party. They all lack freedom of expression and freedom of religion. They what individuals and nationalities living under a democratic form of government have — a great deal of autonomy in their spiritual and daily lives. Therefore after violating traditional Chinese culture, Islamic culture and Mongolian culture, the despotism of the Communist Party towards Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan people came to an irreconcilable contradiction.

From the time of Mao Zedong onwards, with the forcing of the Dalai Lama to leave and put Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme under house and got control over Living Buddhas. Faced with protests by the Tibetan people, in 1959, Chinese Communist troops, shortly after entering Tibet lands opened fire and oppressed great numbers of Tibetans. Again, in 1989 when today’s Communist Party boss Hu Jintao was in charge of Tibetan affairs, again the policy of opening fire on peaceful Tibetan demonstrators was put into practice.

The lessons of history to those in power, and in particular to dictators, have made little impression on the Chinese Communists, who believe that “out of the barrels of guns comes political power.” That group often foolishly believes that in the might of brutality. Therefore, not even 20 years later when Hu Jintao had ascended to the imperial throne, directed the military to once again suppress the peacefully demonstrating monks and people of Tibet. Faced with tyrants, the Tibetan people have opposed them countless times. They don’t want to be, like most ethnic Hans, to be the mere pigs and dogs of the Chinese Communist Party, — the abjectly obedient subjects and underclass ruled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The gunshots of Lhasa have awoken the Chinese people from their sweets dreams about Hu Jintao. They have revealed the ugly face behind China’s “harmonious society”. The Tibetan people, the descendants of serfs, are a people generally content with their lot in life. That they nonetheless continually stand up in resistance is for the Han nationality and for the minorities of China, is an admirable example to any Chinese who would stand up for human rights and against violence.


陈道军:官逼民反——向英勇抗争的藏民致敬

史书不绝。在中国,官府如果不把百姓逼得走投无路,老百姓就不会反抗。儒化教育和暴力专制使大多数国人养成了”好死不如赖活、活着就好”的奴性。于是,只要不死,中共暴政至今近六十年,大多数国人尽管活得艰难辛苦,活得卑贱恐惧,没有人样,仍然奴性十足。这样懦弱、驯服的人民居然被官府逼反,可见官府的暴虐无

我们反对暴力。但是,当一切合法、正常的渠都被堵死时,所有受苦受压受害的人,有神圣的权力,用非常的手段,表达自己的愤怒,发出自己的声音,直至伸冤雪恨。因此,我们支持、赞美受尽奴役和压迫的人民,为了人性的尊严做出的不计生死的反抗。此番面对中共荷枪实弹的武警,开着坦克的野战的疯狂镇压,西藏、甘肃、宁夏、四川等地为了信仰,为了自治的藏民、僧侣以游行示威,摘下中共国旗、焚烧官方机构等方式进行了力所能及的抗争。

中共1959年以所谓”和平”的方式统治西藏后,至今花费上千亿资金援助西藏,改善了西藏的交通和大多数藏人的生活。按理而言,这种牺牲广大汉人利益的绥靖政策应该得到翻身农奴,得到广大藏人的感激甚至回报。然而,专制本能使然,无论藏人、汉人,或其他民族,老百姓都是中共的奴隶,一样没有言论、信仰自由,都不能拥有民主制度下个人或民族最大限度的精神和外在生活的自治。于是,在糟蹋传统的汉文化,伊斯兰文化,蒙古族文化之后,专制的中共党文化又同藏传佛教,同向往自治的藏人发生了不可调和的矛盾。自毛泽东时代始,中共便逼走达赖,软禁阿沛阿旺晋美,掌控活佛。面对藏人的抗议,1959年,中共队踏上西藏那片土地不久,便开枪镇压上万藏人;1989年,当今中共党魁胡景涛主政西藏时,又执行了对和平示威的藏人开枪的政策。历史的教训对当权派,特别是热衷独裁、相信枪杆子里面出政权的中共影响很小。这个集团往往愚蠢地相信暴虐的威力。于是,不到20年,登基为皇的胡景涛又指使队镇压原本和平示威的僧侣、藏民。面对暴政,藏人进行了无数次抗争。他们不愿想大多数汉人一样,做中共的猪,当中共的狗,做中共治下的顺民、贱民。

拉萨的枪声,惊醒了国人寄望胡温新政的美梦,刺破了中共”和谐社会”的丑陋面孔。作为农奴后代的藏民,一个乐天知命的民族,他们的无数次抗争,为我们汉人,为其他少数民族,为中国百姓维权抗暴,树立了尊严的榜样。

(《争鸣》杂志2008年4月号)

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Retired now, translated Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and studying some things. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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