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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017 in No Category | Comments Off on Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016   Dharamsala, India   We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions.   First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society.   Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of...

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Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November.

Posted on Nov 10, 2017 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November.

Press Advisory Twelfth annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan, 14-17 November. The 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference, organized by Initiatives for China (aka Citizen Power), will be held at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo, Japan on November 14-17, 2017. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Advancing Human Rights, Democracy and Peace: New Tools, New Strategies, New Generation”. The annual InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference was established in 2000 by Dr. Yang Jianli, the founder and president of Initiatives for China, during his chairmanship of the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. The Conference has received guidance and encouragement from Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is financially supported by the US National Endowment for Democracy, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and other non-governmental organizations. Each year, the InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference brings...

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People of China, too, Want Human Rights

Posted on Oct 28, 2017 in News, Publications, Rule of Law in China | Comments Off on People of China, too, Want Human Rights

 People of China, too, Want Human Rights By Yang Jianli Speech at Panel “CLASH OF CULTURES, VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE OR HUMAN RIGHTS?” The 2017 Convention of the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparency Senate, Rome, Italy, Oct. 28, 2017 (Dr. Yang Jianli gave this speech remotely through Skype. He was not able to make it physically to the Convention due to a travel document issue.) Thank you, dear friends at the Non-violent Radical Party, for inviting me to speak at this Convention of Transnational Transparency. It is truly an honor for me. I admire the Nonviolent Radical Party for its commitment to speaking the truth and promoting the rights to know. The first order of truth about China is that the people of China, too, want human rights. This sentence sounds a bit awkward with the...

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Liu Xiaobo’s Shining Example and Stern Warning

Posted on Oct 8, 2017 in International Relations, News, Publications | Comments Off on Liu Xiaobo’s Shining Example and Stern Warning

Liu Xiaobo’s Shining Example and Stern Warning By YANG Jianli For speech at Forum 2000, Oct 2017 This speech would have been made by Dr. Jianli Yang, President of Initiatives for China, on the night of Oct. 8 at the opening ceremony of Forum 2000 held in Prague, Czech. Dr. Yang was not able to make it to the Forum due to a travel document issue. We are sharing the text of the speech for your reference. Dr. Yang Jianli at Forum 2000 in September, 2013 Standing on this Forum 2000 stage created by Václav Havel, I cannot help but thinking of our Václav Havel, China’s Václav Havel, my friend and hero-Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo died a martyr’s death less than three months ago. In this oblivious world, while many people are yet to know him, many others are...

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Guo Wengui’s Press Conference on Chinese Kleptocracy

Posted on Oct 4, 2017 in International Relations, News, Publications, Rule of Law in China | Comments Off on Guo Wengui’s Press Conference on Chinese Kleptocracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2017 CONTACT: Glen Zhang (cell) 240-467-6986 James.chen.ifc@gmail.com   Guo Wengui’s Press Conference on Chinese Kleptocracy and Hudson Institute’s cancellation of his first public appearance Chinese businessman turned whistleblower Guo Wengui, a.k.a Miles Kwok, will hold his first-ever press conference in the U.S. on the high-level corruption in the Chinese Communist regime and its implications for the upcoming 19th Party Congress, as well as the threat China’s kleptocracy poses to the United States and its allies. Mr. Guo will also discuss the Hudson Institute’s last- minute cancellation of its event ” A Conversation With Guo Wengui,” which would have been his first live public appearance in the United States, scheduled for October 4 at 10 am.   WHO: Guo Wengui WHERE:  National Press Club   529 14 St. NW, Washington, DC 20045 WHAT: Chinese Kleptocracy...

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IFC/Citizen Power statement on Sulu Sou’s Victory

Posted on Sep 21, 2017 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, Macao, News, Publications | Comments Off on IFC/Citizen Power statement on Sulu Sou’s Victory

On September 18th, 2017, Macau’s semi-democratic elections resulted in an unprecedented victory for the democratic movement, securing 5 of the available 14 seats. This victory included the appointment of 26-year-old Sulu Sou, making him the city’s youngest-ever lawmaker. IFC team celebrates Sou’s unprecedented victory and congratulate him for his unwavering passion to bring democracy to Macau. Sulu Sou is the deputy director of New Macau Student Association and attended the 8th and 9th Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conferences. The conference was founded in 2000 by then Foundation for China in the 21st Century president, Dr Yang Jianli. The conference empowers young leaders from Han Chinese, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, to build trust, understanding, and friendship for a common goal of democratic change in PRC. Mr. Sou speaks at the 8th Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference in Taiwan....

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A Celebration of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, October 19th at the Washington National Cathedral

Posted on Sep 18, 2017 in Empty Seat at Nobel Peace Prize, House Arrest of Liu Xia, News, Publications | Comments Off on A Celebration of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, October 19th at the Washington National Cathedral

Invitation A Celebration of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia October 19th at the Washington National Cathedral Please RSVP Here DESCRIPTION A memorial service commemorating the life and work of Liu Xiaobo, the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and one of China’s foremost pro-democracy activists and writers, and celebrating Liu Xia, the Beijing-based poet, artist, and activist. Open to the public, seating limited. DATE AND TIME Thu, October 19, 2017 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM EDT LOCATION Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20016 National Cathedral in Washington (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)...

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Citizen Power for China statement on the imprisonment of Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong

Posted on Aug 20, 2017 in Hong Kong, News, Publications | Comments Off on Citizen Power for China statement on the imprisonment of Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong

Citizen Power for China  statement  on the imprisonment of  Alex Chow, Nathan Law, and Joshua Wong On August 17, 2017, an appeal by the Chinese-controlled Hong Kong prosecution officially imprisoned three young student leaders, Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong, for their leadership in the 2014 umbrella movement. They were on the forefront of the Umbrella Movement, and were present during the only dialogue with the Hong Kong Government. The grim ending to their case gravely saddens us, and we express our solemn protest against the evil intentions of Chinese authorities. It has now been three years since the protests that saw millions of young Hong Kong citizens flood to the streets and take up the fight for democracy, and against the meddling hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Citizen Power, and other Pro-democracy activists will never forget...

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Senate set to pass resolution calling on China to release Liu Xiaobo’s widow

Posted on Aug 3, 2017 in House Arrest of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's Case, News, Prisoners of Conscience | Comments Off on Senate set to pass resolution calling on China to release Liu Xiaobo’s widow

By Josh Rogin August 3, 2017 As one of its final acts before leaving town, the Senate is set to pass a resolution Thursday calling on China to allow Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, to leave China. The nonbinding resolution would also declare the view of the Senate that the U.S. government should give Liu Xia permanent resident status in the United States. The bipartisan resolution was introduced Thursday by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and was placed on the Senate hotline. If no senator objects before the end of the day, the resolution will pass by unanimous consent and the Senate will have spoken in a clear voice about Liu’s case for the first time. Liu has been under house arrest in China since 2010 and has publicly declared she is not...

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CP/IFC Statement on Uyghur Human Rights Activist’s Dolkun Isa Detention by Italian Authorities

Posted on Aug 1, 2017 in News, Publications, Uyghur | Comments Off on CP/IFC Statement on Uyghur Human Rights Activist’s Dolkun Isa Detention by Italian Authorities

August 1, 2017 We are deeply troubled and highly alarmed at the news that the General Secretary of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, Dolkun Isa, was detained on July 26th by plainclothes policemen of the Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali (DIGOS). Isa had been walking with colleagues to the Italian Senate to deliver a speech at a press conference on the worsening human rights situation in the Uyghur region under China’s rule. A similar incident occurred in April when Mr. Isa was removed from a United Nations forum in New York by security guards without explanation and was later denied participation in the forum, which was organized by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), and to which Mr. Isa had duly registered. We strongly condemn the Chinese regime for its trans-border repression of human rights...

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