Archive for January, 2009

Xinna’s Statement of January 3, 2009

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

January 3, 2009 Statement

On December 10, 2008, I had a chance to view the “Charter 08” on the internet. December 10th is very special to me because my husband was arrested on this day. December 10, 2008 is the 13th December 10th since my husband’s arrest. To me, seeing the “Charter 08” on this day is highly significant. In my view, “Charter 08” was very well written, particularly the first two parts which took a good look back through history. The reason why this charter appeared at this moment is not a coincidence. It was historically inevitable. Many compare it to the Charter 77 of Czechoslovakia and the Gongche Shangshu Movement of the late Qing. It is a call from the general public.

During the past 30 years, with economic liberalization, numerous problems have failed to find resolution in China because the CCP has refused to implement political reform. As the wife of a political prisoner in China, I am very concerned about China’s political situation. If Charter 08 can be implemented in China, at least my husband’s case could be handled in a just manner. Article 19 of the Charter states: Truth in Reconciliation. We should restore the reputations of all people, including their family members, who were stigmatized during the political campaigns of the past or who have been labeled as criminals because of their thoughts, speech, or faith. The state should pay reparations to these people. All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience must be released. I hope the Charter will be implemented in China as soon as possible.

However, unfortunately, the Chinese Government has arrested those who proposed this document including Liu Xiabo and and has not shown any signs of releasing all of them. Regardless of this difficult situation, reportedly more than 5,000 people signed their names to support the Charter. Mongols who visit my store also expressed their interest in signing their names even though they are not sure where to find the petition drive and how to sign their names. It is up to the rulers as to how to respond to this demand from the general public.

In Southern (Inner) Mongolia, for example, Mongols are afraid to express their opinions and demands. Their rights have been violated but they lack a channel to express their concerns about serious problems. For example, Mongolian herders from the place where I used to live are outraged by the authorities’ “total ban over livestock grazing” policy which in this case is just a pretext to open up mines on the grazing lands of the herders. These herders are afraid to express their discontents and afraid to respond to the situation because of the real possibility of arrest. When I asked them to ask for help from the international community by revealing the situation to the people around the world, they said they are afraid to do so.

In China, people desperately need knowledge and education on how to protect their legal rights. Some of them know a little about their rights, but most know nothing. Even if they have some knowledge about their rights, they don’t know how to exercise those rights because the Government has not informed or encouraged its citizens to protect their legal rights. Let me tell you another example, recently the Inner Mongolia Normal University removed all advertisements and public notices in the Mongolian language from campus. Chinese becomes the only language allowed in written notices and advertisements on the campus of this university where the percentage of Mongolian students is higher than that in any other university of Southern Mongolia. (Even given this fact, the total number of Mongolian students here is still much smaller than the number of Han students). Outraged by the authorities’ ruling, a Mongolian student from the Department of Arts of this university asked for the explanation from the school authorities who failed to provide a reasonable explanation. For having confronted the authorities, the musical concert proposed by the student was cancelled. This is what the situation is in Southern Mongolia.

Our legal rights are arbitrarily suspended and not only have the authorities refused to listen to the legitimate demands of the people, but they have also prosecuted those who try to protect their legal rights. Thus, people are afraid to speak up. This is the situation of China. However, recently there was a Mongolian language speech competition hosted by the CCP controlled Inner Mongolia TV. Many speakers expressed their concerns on various problems the Mongols are facing including the elimination of Mongolian schools, destruction of natural environment and poverty of Mongolian herders. All these are voices and outcries from the Mongols. These voices are now heard on the CCP controlled TV, which means Mongols no longer can tolerate the situation. It is also encouraging that Mongolian journalists have felt the responsibility to publicize the plight of the Mongols. Speakers from all parts of Southern Mongolia discussed in detail the situation, for instance, how many Mongolian schools have been eliminated and how the Mongol way of life has been altered etc. This points to the fact that the most basic rights and fundamental freedoms of the Mongols are not protected in China. In this regard, Charter 08 should not only serve to promote the rights of the Han majority, but also to protect the rights of the minorities.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file

Xinna’s Statement on November 15, 2008 – Discrimination

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

The Olympic games were really politicized in China. Before, during and even after the Olympics, the Mongols’ rights has been very restricted. Mongols who traveled to Chinese cities have not been allowed to stay in a quality hotel. Some have been refused rooms in hotels upon showing their ID cards that identify them as Mongols. A Mongolian businessman traveling in Beijing was not allowed to stay in a hotel in downtown Beijing, but told to stay in a cheap motel in suburban Beijing. During his stay, the police called him on his cell phone frequently to ask him his whereabouts and what he was doing; an elderly couple visiting Shanghai were not allowed to stay in a hotel when they showed their ID cards noting their Mongol ethnicity; Mongol knives were confiscated from souvenir stores run by Mongols but the very same knives were allowed in stores run by Chinese; Mongols are not allowed to carry milk powder which resembles powder bomb, and wines and other drinks that are suspected as liquid bombs; Mongol students’ application to volunteer in Beijing for the Olympics were turned down due to their ethnicity. This is nothing but discrimination against the Mongols. Mongol students educated in Mongolian were clearly discriminated against for employment. For example, a Chinese company publicly put up a job ad at the campus of the Inner Mongolia Normal University which has the highest percentage of Mongol students, stating that “applications of students educated in Mongolian will not be considered”; another example is that even the Museum of Inner Mongolia, a place to showcase Chinese ethnic policy to foreigners using the Mongolian language, also clearly stated that students who are fluent in English and Chinese are considered but students who have been educated in Mongolian are not considered even though they are fluent in English. In Inner Mongolia, all these things are not new at all. But this ethnic discrimination and racism had not become public knowledge until just recently.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file

Xinna’s Statement on November 15, 2008 – BBC Report

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Oct 13, the Global Times (Huan Qiu Shi Bao), one of China’s official presses, published an article stating that “the BBC is slandering Inner Mongolia”. The report referred to me as “a so-called ‘dissident’s’ wife”. Clearly, the reporter of the Global Times is representing the government view, and trying to restrict the right of free speech and free press. In their words, we are just a handful of “so-called dissidents” and the foreign media reports are “slanderers”. In their view, the foreign media has no right to report on any problems in China, including big events like the Tian An Men Massacre. The report also mentioned that Inner Mongolia is doing well with double digit economic growth. Actually this growth itself is very problematic. Because it is acheived through sacrificing the interest and well-being of the minorities like the Mongols. For example, the Mongol herders of Shiliin-gol League have to give up their traditional way of life to give way to the mining and other industries who are encouraged to occupy their ancestral grazing lands. There is no freedom of speech for the Mongols. For example, the well-known singer Lhajab was interviewed by the Chinese official TV, but he was not allowed to talk about his personal experience during the Cutural Revolution. The report also claimed that “BBC is willfully trying to link Inner Mongolia with Tibet and Xinjiang”. In fact, the problem the Mongols are facing is exactly the same with what Tibetans and Uyghurs are experiencing. There is no need to link them. They are the same issue, the same ethnic issue. What the Chinese authorities are trying to do is to suppress the voices of the Mongols. Actually, their attempts will end up actually proving that there is a real problem and they feel nervous about it.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file

Xinna’s Statement on November 6, 2008

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

I visited my husband at the prison on Oct 27. I was finally able to see him after waiting in a long line. Thanks to the pressure exerted by the outside world, his situation has improved slightly. He is allowed to occasionally read some newspapers including Inner Mongolia Daily (Nei Meng Gu Ri Bao), Southern Weekend (Nan Fang Zhou Mo) and Reference News (Can Kao Xiao Xi) that I ordered for him. Previously Hada was never allowed to read any newspaper. Hada said he still feels strong abdominal pain. The prison authorities said Hada has cholecystitis and neuritis. But they refused to provide Hada and us with any written medical exam results. Food, clothing, medicine, books and writing materials were not allowed to be brought in. Hada lives with nine other inmates, and two of them follow and monitor Hada 24/7. Even when I was talking to Hada the two inmates were standing right behind Hada and listening to our whole conversation. At the same time, the prison authorities video-taped me and recorded our entire conversation. I understood that Hada has been followed and monitored in the prison since a few years ago, a consequence of when a former inmate of the prison revealed the inhumane treatment of Hada and extreme conditions of this prison to the outside world after his release. It looks like the authorities took these measures to prevent Hada from communicating with other inmates who might possibly reveal Hada’s situation after their release.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file

Xinna’s Statement on September 28, 2008

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

China’s Space Shuttle project
A substantial effort is being made on the Chinese space shuttle program. A tremendous amount of resources is being expended in promoting the project. The national news media are promoting national pride in these achievements with a great deal of propaganda touting this as a great accomplishment, placing China now in the ranks of the most technologically advanced countries, being the 3rd such nation to have attained such a great technological achievement. Such a great expenditure is being made despite the fact that the economy is not as stable as it should be, so in thinking about this, it seems to me that there is some unusual motive also in all this, an ominous view of perhaps dominating the world on some level in the degree of national self-aggrandizement that’s being expressed in the propaganda. This is very much an unhealthy national attitude in China today when ordinary citizens are deprived of so much in order to fund this program.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file