tv [untitled] CSPAN June 5, 2009 6:30am-7:00am EDT
remembered as an truth. it is my extreme pleasure to invite to the podium ms. jai stychai ling. she was the commander-in-chief at the democracy movement. a wonderful woman. she will address us ultimately in chinese and english. so please give her a warm welcome. miss chai ling. >> thank you so much. thank you so much for being here with us. remembering tiananmen 20 years later.
i would love to invite my colleague, my dear friends, and all of the friends that have been with us 20 years ago to come to the podium with me. i am not only speaking on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all of us. if so, please, [calling out their names] and many others who were here for the press conference earlier, please join me on the podium. please give them a big round of applause. [applause] thank you. [unintelligible]
>> 20 years later, i still remember the sun rising behind the chinese history museum, setting its bright light on to the square. the morning of june 3, 1989. a student had a broadcasting -- is to the broadcasting center had just begun its newscast. a gentle female voice said, "our peaceful city [unintelligible] and 20 more days remain before the national people's council meeting, where we hoped the representatives will carry out our request, lifting martial law, according to the constitution. we believe that liberty will rise like the sun, arriving in the long-suffering land of the east."
others slowly away. on the golden bridge in front of the forbidden city, of soldiers march toward a flagpole. above the salute of the soldiers, the five stars on the red flag rise smoothly into the sky and, and all the people of tiananmen square, including our students stand up to salute our national symbol. for a beautiful moment, our students and the soldiers, the community workers, and the newly built statue of democracy all seem to be in a state of peace and harmony. nobody knew that it would all come to a tragic and bloody end
>> as i sit here 20 years later living in exile with little hope of ever returning to china i feel compelled for the brutality shown to my people in china. many believe it was one man posole decision garrett i am compelled, also, to the name of the democracy movement and on behalf of those living in china today, to call on the chinese government to bring freedom to our homeland. and to have the courage not to be held captive by the actions of the predecessors on june 4, 1989. [speaking in chinese]
square. they crushed our peaceful demonstration and squashed any hopes that they would not reconsider our peaceful request for economic, social, and other reforms. we had been there for 50 days of protests and hunger strikes. we were prepared for the worst situation, a crackdown more like the 1976, when the police came in and beat the people and arrested the leaders. we never expected a brutal massacre. the world was oucity was outragd the world was shocked. >> [speaking in chinese]
today those of us who have lived in the freedom and opportunity provided by democracy, now appealed to china's leaders to do the following things -- [speaking in chinese] it has been 20 years. the current leadership bears no responsibility for the 1989 event. released from prison the political prisoners from june 4, 1989. get rid of the blacklist and arrest warrants. creatcreate a committee to publa truthful history of the massacre. the first request. [speaking in chinese]
[speaking in chinese] china's current leadership may not feared the well-being of themselves if embarking on reform. the tannin and students grounded in nonviolence and the rule of law and the process used in south africa and taiwan are models that could be easily followed. -- the tiananment student movement is grounded in
nonviolence and the rule of law. [speaking in chinese] in 1989 i hoped the chinese government would realize and understand that different opinions can exist together peacefully liked that beautiful june 3 morning. the transparencthe public demons reasonable. my fellow students and comrades were met by machine guns, blacklisting, and imprisonment. 20 years later, my hope is chinese leaders will demonstrate the courage to change. the world remembers tiananmen and is watching.
the 1989 democratic movement, we are wanting to discuss what happened in 1989. we will never forget that. what we were looking for was the establishment of a democratic china. we will never give up. today the whole world is looking at the beijing passed, based on something evil. for the sake of acknowledged development, everything can be sacrificed, including people's lives. if there is any true meaning of the day, a remembrance of what happened in 1989, that is for the whole world to be aware of this incident. if that is the only way we can
>> thank you. we are most honored. thank you, thank you. i am pleased to call to the podium the president of the national endowment for democracy. the foundation is very important to democracy causes all around the world. thank you. sir? >if there is a gentleman from political productions here, could he or she come up to see me as soon as possible? thank you.
[applause] >> thank you. i want to begin by saying that i am both honored and deeply humbled to be here today and to speak immediately after the great heroes. many of them are my friends. later this month here on capitol hill the national endowment for democracy will honor five braved cuban activists, three of goma are in prison, by presenting them with a replica of the goddess of democracy, the statue that was dramatically unveiled in tiananmen square and stood for five days before it was destroyed by a tank 20 years ago today.
that statue embodied the democratic aspirations of the people who gathered in tiananmen square, many hundreds of home were killed in a crackdown, and countless other chinese citizens who had risen in protest in over 370 chinese cities across the country from the northwest all the way to the deep south. it has since become a universal symbol of democracy, which is why we have given it as our democracy award since 1991 to brave people in all regions of the world fighting for democracy. as you all know, there are some people today who think that the united states and/or other countries should not be pressing china on issues of human rights
and democracy. either they think there are more important things to talk about with china or because the chinese people, in their view, are somehow unfit for democracy and require a dictator. so the chinese government today is being appeased, as a result of which there aren't surely some chinese democrats who fieeel forgotten and abandoned. but they should not be discouraged any more than the other is thinking democracy in china is not important or realistic. and for the same reason. what is being overlooked by the disheartened democrats and the so-called realists is the extreme vulnerability of the chinese system of government.
certainly the chinese government feels vulnerable, if one is to judge by its behavior. otherwise, why would it to go to such great lengths to erase all memory within china of the tiananmen uprising and crackdown indeed it has removed any mention of these events in textbooks or the media. it has arrested journalists who intend to write about the events and anyone who would speak to such journalists. it has blocked websites and jammed radiobroadcast. yesterday the government censors blocked access to twitter for the first time after it already blocked out bbc broadcast, blocked all videos on youtube, detained more dissidents. all of this to shield the population from any hint of today's anniversary.
when a man there died four years ago, the regime took drastic precautions to prevent any rallying of dissidents and people with grievances. remembering how the death of one man in 1989 in april was a spark that ignited the tiananmen uprising. they declared a time of extreme sensitivity, put the armed police on special alert and ordered the railways to screen all travelers heading for beijing. these are not the actions of their regime that feels secure. on the contrary, they are the actions of the regima regime ths it is sitting on top of a volcano that is about to erupt, or at the center of an earthquake hazard zone. the reason for this insecurity was spelled out last month in an election in beijing by the well-
known chinese scholar and sociologists. the chinese system, he explained, with deep and obvious concern, is characterized by what he calls "rigid stability." stability that is based on closed and scores of power where there is no rule of law to protect people's legitimate interests or to prevent the rulers from abusing the people and lining their own pockets. the dominant feature of social governance in such a system of rigid stability, he said, is dichotomized black-and-white thinking, in which the expression of people's legitimate interest, land issues for peasants, wages for workers, homeowner rights for urban residents, minority rights for tibetans and others, that
all this becomes a threat to the social order. a rigid system is, by definition, bristled, blacks resilience. it can break understreng-- it l. people have no recourse to the courts, which are controlled. political parties that are distant, and accountable, arrogant and defensive. they are angry about many things beyond their immediate economic interests, such as massive corruption and environmental degradation. given the widespread use of the internet in china today and the fact that over half the population has mobile phones, citizens are, also, more aware of their rights than ever before and more connected with each
other than ever before. on top of all this, as professor observed, the regime has lost its only source of legitimacy, which he said was the revolution. revolution, in his words, revolutionary discourse has distanced itself from us. revolution is no longer legitimate. the only source of real legitimacy, of what he calls "resilience stability" is, in his view, democracy in the framework of a constitution. a system where the government is in constant dialogue with society through elections and independent media, where its authority comes from the people and its governance is subject to popular revue, where conflicts are resolved lawfully, and where
people are treated fairly. such a system will not break apart because it is able to bend. it is not threatened by sparks because it is made of the inflammable material of law, democracy, and respect for rights. such resilience stability or democracy is the only way, the professor said, that china can escape from what he calls "the tragic fate of two millennia of the cycle of alternating chaos and order." >> coming up and 30 minutes, we're joined by a representative from the washington institute for near east policy. .