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An open letter to China’s Xi Jinping: ‘Our Chinese Dream is that the June Fourth tragedy will receive a clear accounting’

By the Tiananmen Mothers. Translation courtesy of Human Rights in China.

Dear President Xi Jinping:

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre.

In the turbulent summer of 1989, the gunfire in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the rumble of tanks shattered everyone’s dreams. The people’s protest against official profiteering and corruption, and their call for democracy and freedom, brought on a bloody storm.

The authorities deployed hundreds of thousands of fully-armed field army troops against unarmed students and the general public. They used a bloody massacre to ensure the so-called stability of the country and the smooth progress of reform and opening up.

tiananmen mothers

The Tiananmen Mothers in 2016. Photo: Tiananmen Mothers.

This is an anti-human crime. It has gravely affected the reputation of our nation.

In a single night, our loved ones were shot along the ten miles of Chang’an Street. Since then, great pain has accompanied us in our lifetimes. Although the June Fourth tragedy has become history, the catastrophe it brought has not yet come to an end, and it is difficult for the wounds to heal.

Fifty-one of our fellow family members of June Fourth victims have passed away without getting justice, and most of the others are already in their seventies and eighties, suffering from illnesses.

Among them is Ya Weilin (轧伟林), a down-to-earth and honest old worker who could not stand the sustained psychological pressure of the pain of losing his son. He hanged himself, leaving his sick wife alone, heaping another disaster onto the already broken family.

Another fellow member is Sun Xiuzhi (孙秀芝). Her husband died of illness long ago, and she brought up their two children alone. Her younger son was shot dead during June Fourth, and the older one became mentally disturbed from the fright. She herself suffered from years of depression, and finally died of cancer. Later, her older son died of gas poisoning. The whole family was destroyed because of June Fourth.

Tiananmen

Photo: Citizen News.

There is also a couple: Hao Yichuan (郝义传) and his wife. They are intellectuals in their 90s. Their only son was killed during June Fourth, and the two have only each other for their remaining years.

All these are human tragedies caused by the June Fourth calamity!

No one from the successive governments over the past 29 years has ever asked after us, and not one word of apology has been spoken from anyone, as if the massacre that shocked the world never happened. There was a total disregard for the loss of invaluable human lives. We deeply feel the indifference and coldness of the authorities. The bitter coldness of the human world chills us to our hearts and marrow.

As a group of June Fourth victims, we have since 1995 repeatedly called on the Two Congresses and the country’s leaders to change their attitude, to bravely assume responsibility and consequences. However, government authorities have turned a deaf ear to our call.

As if throwing a stone into the ocean, we never received a response to the letter of complaint we sent to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in 1999.

When the Two Congresses are held every year, we call on the representatives to urge the government to solve the June Fourth issue, but we’ve always been met only with silence.

National People's Congress npc beijing great hall

File photo: Lukas Messmer/HKFP.

As a result, June Fourth is being played down and forgotten in China. The leaders of each administration never mention June Fourth, and the history of June Fourth has actually become a forbidden topic. We, the family members of June Fourth victims, have also become a marginalized group of sufferers. The only people who visit us are the police and state security personnel.

Each year during the days surrounding the Two Congresses, visits to China by foreign dignitaries, major state events, Qing Ming Festival, and June Fourth each year when we would commemorate our loved ones, we are all monitored, put under surveillance, or forced to travel. Such a powerful proletarian dictatorship apparatus is afraid of us: the old, the sick, and the weakest and most vulnerable of our society.

This disrespect for the living and the dead is conduct that Heaven can’t tolerate!

You once said: People’s yearning for a better life is the goal of our struggle. The Communist Party is pursuing happiness for the people. In areas where people feel not happy, cheerful, or satisfied, we must work hard to solve problems and leave worries behind.

Our loved ones have been gone from the world for 29 years. We have never been given an explanation or an account. One-third of our lives has been spent in the shadow of our tragedies. We feel very oppressed and dejected. We are really not happy, cheerful, or satisfied. How can you solve our problems for us? We believe you can do it.

Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping. File photo: S.Korean Gov’t.

You also once said: The times pose questions, we answer questions, and the people review our answer papers. June Fourth, 1989, Tiananmen Square, posed a question for our times. How will the Communist Party offer answers that are worthy of the times and live up to the people’s expectation?! We are waiting to review the answer papers.

During your six years in power, you have traveled all over the country and are concerned about the suffering of the broad masses of the people; you have fully expressed your feelings for our homeland. It is obvious to all. As a leader of a large country, you will certainly not not pay attention to the June Fourth massacre 29 years ago, and certainly not not pay attention to our group of victims.

The 1989 June Fourth bloody massacre is a crime the state committed against the people. Therefore, it is necessary to re-evaluate the June Fourth massacre, and resolve political issues by law. We still insist on three appeals: truth, compensation, and accountability. We demand that the government talk to us as soon as possible; time waits for no one and every minute counts. We are in our late years, and we hope to live to see the day of justice for our loved ones.

For the past 29 years, we have not feared all kinds of tribulation, despotic power, and intimidation; instead, we have guarded our memory, conscience, and dignity as human beings. Of this—we solemnly assure those who perished in June Fourth and fellow members who have passed away.

Our Chinese Dream is that the June Fourth tragedy will receive a clear accounting, and that justice will be done.

We will not forget our original aspiration, we will hold firm our beliefs, and we will continue to go forward on the road toward pursuing fairness and justice.

May the motherland prosper and the people be happy!

Wishing you good health!

Signer:

You Weijie, Guo Liying, Zhang Yanqiu, Wu Lihong, Yin Min, Hao Yichuan, Zhu Zhidi, Ye Xiangrong, Ding Zilin, Zhang Xianling, Zhou Shuzhuang, Qian Putai, Wu Dingfu, Song Xiuling, Sun Chengkang, Yu Qing, Sun Ning, Huang Jinping, Meng Shuying, Yuan Shumin, Wang Guangming, Liu Meihua, Xie Jinghua, Ma Xueqin, Kuang Ruirong, Zhang Shusen, Yang Darong, He Tianfeng, Liu Xiuchen, Shen Guifang, Xie Jingrong, Jin Zhenyu, Yao Furong, Meng Shuzhen, Shao Qiufeng, Tan Hanfeng, Wang Wenhua, Chen Mei, Zhou Yan, Li Guiying, Xu Baoyan, Di mengqi,Wang Lian, Guan Weidong, Gao Jie, Liu Shuqin, Sun Shanping, Zhang Zhenxia, Liu Tianyuan, Huang Dingying, Xiong Hui, Zhang Caifeng, He Ruitian, Tian Weiyan, Yang Zhiyu, Li Xianyuan, Wang Yuqin, Cao Changxian,Fang Zheng, Qi Zhiyong, Feng Youxiang,He Xingcai, Liu Ren’an, Qi Guoxiang, Han Guogang, Pang Meiqing, Huang Ning, Wang Bodong, Zhang Zhiqiang, Zhao Jinsuo, Kong Weizhen, Liu Baodong, Lu Yubao, Qi Zhiying, Fang Guizhen, Lei Yong, Xiao Shulan, Ge Guirong, Zheng Xiucun, Wang Huirong, Xing Chenli, Gui Delan, Wang Yunqi, Huang Xuefen, Guo Daxian, Wang Lin, Liu Qian, Zhu Jingrong, Jin Yaxi, Zhou Guolin, Mu Huailan, Wang Zhengqiang, Nin Shuping, Cao Yunlan, Sui Lisong, Lin Wuyun, Feng shulan, Fu Yuanyuan, Li Chunshan, Jiang Yanqin, He Fengting, Tan Shuqin, Xi Yongshun, Xiao Zongyou, Qiao Xiulan, Lu Yanjing, Li Haoquan, Lai Yundi, Zhou Xiaojiao, Zhou Yunjiao, Chen Yongbang, Liu Yongliang, Zhang Jingli, Sun Haiwen, Wang Hai, Lu Sanbao, Yao Yueying, Ren Gailian, Ni Shishu, Yang Yunlong, Cui Linsen, Wu Weidong, Jia Fuquan, Wang Deyi, Zhu Yuxian, Shi Jing, Yuan Ren, Bao Limei

(128 people in total)

Based on the suggestions made by the fellow members of June Fourth victims, we decided to append the following list of late fellow members in the signatories as follows to respect the wishes of the deceased:

Wu Xuehan, Su Bingxian, Yao Ruisheng, Yang Shijue, Yuan Changlu, Zhou Suzhen, Wang Guoxian, Bao Yutian, Lin Jingpei, Kou Yusheng, Meng Jinxiu, Zhang Junsheng, Wu Shouqin, Zhou Zhigang, Sun Xiuzhi, Luo Rang, Yan Guanghan, Li Zhenying, Kuang Diqing, Duan Hongbing, Liu Chunlin, Zhang Yaozu, Li Shujuan, Yang Yinshan, Wang Peijing, Yuan Kezhi, Pan Muzhi, Xiao Yichang, Ya Weilin, Liu Jianlan, Suo Xiunǚ, Yang Ziming, Cheng Shuzhen, Du Dongxu, Zhang Guirong, Zhao Tingjie, Lu Masheng, Jiang Peikun, Ren Jinbao, Zhang Shuyun, Han Shuxiang, Shi Feng, Wang Guirong, Tian Shuling, Sun Shufang, Chen Yongzhao, Sun Hengyao, Xu Jue, Wang Fandi, Li Xunwen, Wang Shuanglan (51 people in total)

On the eve of 2018 “June 4th”

Translation courtesy of Human Rights in China.

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An open letter to China's Xi Jinping: 'Our Chinese Dream is that the June Fourth tragedy will receive a clear accounting'