Democracy Party of China
|Founded||June 28, 1998|
The Democracy Party of China (DPC; simplified Chinese: 中国民主党; traditional Chinese: 中國民主黨; pinyin: Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Dǎng) is a political party that started in the People's Republic of China, and was banned by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The history of the DPC and its foundation date is unclear because it has many historical paths under different groups of founders. It is generally recognized to have assembled in 1998 by democracy activists and former student leaders from the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 according to western sources.
While the earliest date listed for the founding to be June 25, 1998, the group registered the party on June 28, 1998 when US President Bill Clinton was visiting China. Wang Youcai, one of the main activists during the 1989 Tiananmen protest along with Wang Donghai and Lin Hui went to the Civil Public Affair Hall of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province to officially register this party. The registration was declined.
Communist Party response
The next day on June 29, 1998, Wang was arrested by the state police at his home. He was charged with creating opposition against the Chinese government. His trial began on December 18, and as he had no lawyer defense, his trial lasted only a few hours. He was quickly sentenced on December 21, 1998 to 11 years of imprisonment and three years of deprivation of political rights for subversion.
On December 22, 1998, Qing Yongmin was sentenced to 12 years to prison for harming state security.
Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at the time proclaimed, "If a group is designed to negate the leadership of the Communist Party, then it will not be allowed to exist."
The Communist party declared the DPC an illegal organization, followed by a crackdown in Beijing in 1998. After the sentencing on December 23, 1998, the Supreme People's Court then declared that, "anyone who knowingly publishes, prints, copies, or distributes material containing incitement to overthrow state power and the socialist system or split the country" could be tried for crimes. Such charges could result in life sentences for film directors, computer software developers, writers and artists, and media and publishing personnel, all of whom are subject to the new directive.
Crackdown on other members
There were hundreds of DPC members who were detained, arrested, and sentenced to prison. Among them:
- Liu Xianbin
- Wu Yilong
- Gao Hongmin
- Zha Jianguo
- Mao Qinxiang
- Zhu Yufu
- Liu Shizhun
- Xu Guang
- She Wanbao
- Chen Shuqing
The above are some of the members of the party. Internet dissident He Depu was also arrested and detained in a correctional facility.
Later Xu Wenli and Wang Youcai were exiled to the US on December 24, 2002 and March 4, 2004. On August 13, 2006, the first congress of the DPC was convened in the Sheraton Hotel of Flushing, Queens, New York in the United States. Ni Yu Xian, the leader of China's democracy movement, one of the founders of DPC and the China Freedom & Democracy Party, presided over the congress. A total of 111 delegates from all the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China attended the Congress. The congress passed the Statutes of Democracy Party of China, Party Program, and some important resolutions.
Democracy Party of China Coordinative Service Platform was founded by the members of Democracy Party of China members who are in China, overseas students, and exiled Democracy Party of China members. The initiative group members are Wang Youcai, Lin Hui, Chen Shuqing, Chen Zhiwei, Gao Yeju, Lv Gengsong, Xu Guang, Shan Chenfeng, along with many other members.
In January 2008, party member Zheng Cunzhu established the Local Committee of Democracy Party of China. Zheng Cunzhu is a former student leader during 1989's pre-democratic movements in Anhui province, and he published an open letter to the leaders of China to advocate the restarting of political reform.
The DPC suggests the ideas of "Prosperity, Fairness, Democracy" (富裕 公平 民主) and "Freedom, Rule-of-Law, Human rights" (自由 法制 人权/人權). The DPC has five unique features:
- The Chinese Democracy Party was founded in mainland China.
- Based on the many documents issued by the Democracy Party of China Zhejiang Organizing Committee and the Beijing-Tianjin Party Office in 1998, especially the “Declaration of the Democracy Party of China for the New Century” issued by Chinese Democracy Party United Headquarter on January 1, 2000, it is clear that the DPC is firmly established on a solid foundation of true democratic ideals.[verification needed]
- The Chinese Democracy Party was founded by a large group of people. Its key members are mainly from participants of the 1978 Chinese Democracy Wall Movement, the 1989 Democracy Movement, and various democracy movements from abroad. The vast majority of its leadership was chosen through fair elections. More than 40 of its leaders have endured the suffering of imprisonment. Until today, more than 20 of its leaders are still in prison.
- The organizing movement of the Chinese Democracy Party occurred in 28 provinces and autonomous regions in Mainland China, as well as various locations abroad; therefore, the Party’s influence and scale is nationwide.
- Since the first day of its founding, the Chinese Democracy Party has been receiving close attention from the government of the United States and other nations. Specifically in 1999 under the leadership of Mr. Wang Xizhe, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights nominated DPC members Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai for the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Gittings, John. The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. (2005). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280612-2
- Edmonds, Richard Louis. (2000). The People's Republic of China After 50 Years. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-924065-5
- Goldsmith, Jack L. Wu, Tim. (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515266-2
- Mackerras, Colin. (2001). The New Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China. ISBN 0-521-78674-6
- "Article". Hrw.org.
- "The Proclamation of the First Congress of China Democracy Party". Cdp2006.org.
- "Article". Taiwantt.org.tw.
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- Future China Coordinative Service Platform of China Democracy Party/Chinese Constitutional Democratic Transition Research
- Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Chronology: China, Hong Kong, Tibet - November-December 1998
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