Congressional-Executive Commission on China
June 3, 2004
By Wang Youcai
First, I want to express my appreciation to the Committee for all your help in getting me released from prison. I am very glad to be here today to share my experiences and express my opinions about China's future democracy. In order not to waste your time, I will summarize the following points.
1. It is very important that democratic people and democratic governments help promote a successful transition from dictatorship to constitutional democracy in China. The American people and American government can play a great role in promoting China's democracy. It can be done in two ways. On the one hand, the American government can exert pressure on the Chinese authorities on the issue of human rights; on the other hand, the executive branch of the U.S. government and members of the U.S. Congress should increase contacts with members of the Chinese government, the National People's Congress and the Chinese Communist Party. The American people can assist in building a civil society in China, particularly in supporting the Chinese opposition movement and the China Democracy Party. Contacts with the American government and people as well as with members of the European Union will make it more difficult for the Chinese government to crack down on efforts to build an opposition party in China and will help China build a constitutional democracy.
2. It is also very important that the efforts to promote democracy come from within China. This can be done in a number of ways, such as promoting research and setting up information centers in China on the development of democratic societies and multiparty political systems. Overseas foundations and academic institutions can help to support colleagues in China in these activities.
3. For those working to develop democratic institutions to China, it is important that the people who oppose constitutional democracy in China be condemned, and that the people, who support and work for democracy, in China be recognized. It is also important to help those trying to institutionalize civil society and strengthen the democratic forces in China. Of course, it is most important to isolate and condemn the people who promote dictatorship in the CCP while at the same time, avoiding sharp conflicts in the furthering of democracy.
4. As Chinese citizens fight for their civil and political rights, they should learn how to organize themselves in non-governmental organizations, which bring about the pluralization of society, and institutionalize democratic procedures and the rule of law so that Chinese society will be compatible with democratic changes.
5. As an opposition party, the China Democracy Party (CDP) focuses on grassroots election practices, encourages associations for peasants, workers, intellectuals, and private entrepreneurs and CDP candidates to participate in elections, and work to carry out fair elections from the grass-roots to higher political levels. In this respect, international help and pressure is especially needed. With the improvement in election procedures, China is definitely taking a step in the right direction toward a constitutional democracy. While this kind of transition will proceed slowly at the beginning, as experience accumulates, it will proceed more quickly. Unless China makes the transition from dictatorship to liberal democracy with institutionalized electoral procedures, non-governmental organizations, a new constitution that will truly protect human rights, limitations on government power with checks and balances, and a federal system in the near future, the Chinese people may pay an intolerable price in attempts to overthrow the CCP regime. Such a happening will be very dangerous to the people of the entire world as well as to China. Therefore, I hope the American government will help and support the growth of a reasonable opposition party so that China can follow a path similar to that of South Korea or Taiwan. As the China Democracy Party is strengthened, it can help to introduce modern liberal democracy in China.
6. Because China is such a big country with a huge population, the continuation of the political dictatorship will be dangerous not only for the Chinese people, but for the entire world. If China can become a liberal democracy, the present political map of the world will be greatly changed. This will also be beneficial to the United States. Furthermore, the disruption of a political transition can be relatively low if the transition is gradual and is kept under control. Such a transition is possible because many Chinese people are sympathetic to the promotion of a peaceful transition in China.
7. I hope that the American people and the American government will provide more help to make Chinese democracy a reality. The Committee can play an important role in China's transition from a dictatorship to a constitutional democracy.
Thank you very much.