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  • Documents on Democracy


The Federation for a Democratic China (FDC) was established in Paris on September 24 by more than 150 delegates from Chinese communities around the world, including many who fled China after the crackdown of June 4. The FDC elected as its chairman Yan Jiaqi, formerly director of Beijing's Institute of Political Science and an adviser to deposed General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. Student leader Wuer Kaixi was named vice chairman of the group. The FDC also issued a declaration, excerpts from which follow:

. . .The Chinese people have reached the limits of their patience with the dictatorship of the Communist Party. History shows that the defects inherent in a system of one-party dictatorship can only be overcome by the disappearance of this system. The single party will never yield its position without a democratic awakening of all social groups, the appearance of an independent political force, and an unswerving and ever-growing democratic movement. The FDC has been established to accomplish these historic tasks.

The June 4 massacre has raised the consciousness of Chinese people all over the world, and has brought about the unification of Chinese democratic forces. The FDC is an independent political organization of Chinese people throughout the globe dedicated to the advance of democracy in China. Its principal objectives are to safeguard basic human rights, to uphold social justice, to develop a private enterprise economy, and to end one-party dictatorship.

The FDC upholds the following propositions:

Men are born with certain fundamental and inalienable rights: the rights to life and development, to the pursuit of happiness, and to human dignity and security. These rights are the basis of a civilized, modem society and the sine qua non of democratic politics.

All members of society are equal and are entitled to equal opportunity, regardless of sex, race, profession, and family origin. [End Page 122] Healthy and stable social development is impossible without the elimination of privileges and the maintenance of justice.

Every citizen has the right to own and dispose of the tools and fruits of his labor. The deprivation of individual property rights in the name of the state is an important cause of the economic stagnation and political tyranny found in countries ruled by a communist party. Returning social wealth to the people and developing private enterprise are the sole path to solving China's economic problems and to achieving its modernization.

To end dictatorship and institute democracy, it is necessary to safeguard the citizen's basic rights—freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and association. The armed forces must be controlled only by the state. The judiciary must be independent. Schooling should be freed from ideological control by the government so that academic and educational autonomy is assured. . . .

Adhering to the principles of peace, rationality, and nonviolence, the FDC strongly denounces the terrorist practices employed by the totalitarian regime against the peopIe. . . .

The FDC is convinced that the days of China's dictatorship are numbered. The creation of a democratic China and the reawakening of the Chinese nation are near. . . .

The 21st century will be the century of democracy in China.

Long live a free and democratic China!

The Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation (BWAF) was among the groups which joined prodemocracy student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square last spring. Its founding represented the first time since 1949 that workers openly attempted to organize outside the official All China Federation of Trade Unions. Many of the BWAF's organizers and activists were killed in the massacre in Tiananmen Square or arrested as counterrevolutionaries shortly thereafter. The fate of many others associated with the group is unknown. The following is the preamble to the "guiding principles" issued by the BWAF on May 25:

In the entire people's patriotic democracy movement, led by the students since mid-April, the majority of the Chinese workers have demonstrated a strong wish to take part in politics. At the same time, they also realize that there is not yet an organization which can truly represent the wishes expressed by the working masses. Therefore, we recognize that there is a need to set up an autonomous organization which will speak for the workers and which will...


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pp. 122-127
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