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An open letter to G20 leaders attending the 2016 Hangzhou summit

An open letter to G20 leaders attending the 2016 Hangzhou summit

 

Dear G20 leaders,

 

As you get ready for your two-day summit in Hangzhou, China on September 4 and 5, we would like to bring to your attention precisely how the Chinese Communist regime’s preparation for this summit has become unconscionably disruptive and abusive to that city’s and region’s residents.

 

Ever since China’s decision to host the 11th G20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhenjiang Province, the city has been under de facto martial law. In the name of “G20 leaders’ security”, the Chinese regime is reportedly spending over $100 billion to launch a massive construction and renovation program in Hangzhou. The city’s underway “Zhengqian Qingling(征迁清零)” operation, a special action that the Government takes to expropriate land, resettle the households and clear all holdouts, has forced many residents to lose their ancestral homes to ruthless demolition.

 

The Government’s array of other draconic measures include: shutting down all churches and prohibiting any religious gatherings; harassing underground “house church-goers” and human rights activists; delaying all students from returning to their schools during the summit — even closing daycare centers; ordering all non-local permanent residents and those critical of official misdeeds, whom the regime deems “political dissidents”, to leave Hangzhou; prohibiting passengers without national ID cards to take the subway; creating a food-cooking crisis by drastically limiting propane gas sales; and halting production of hundreds factories within 300 km radius of the city to provide clean air for the G20 leaders, thereby causing huge economic hardship to the factory owners as well as workers.

 

It is understandable that necessary and reasonable measures would be taken to protect G20 leaders’ safety and ensure a successful summit. But as you can clearly see, what the Chinese Communist regime is doing has gone far beyond that.  The obvious true intent for this harsh crackdown — made in your name — is to create a positive image of today’s China under President Xi Jinping who will, for the first time, chair the Summit. Xi hopes that such an artificially pristine image of Hangzhou will help him continue to consolidate his power; to further whitewash his mushrooming acts of repression; and to legitimize China’s one-party autocracy.

 

The sacrifice that the regime has demanded of the Hangzhou citizens and the high daily costs it has forced them to pay have not only severely disrupted their life, but also constitute serious violations of human rights guaranteed by the several international conventions that your Nations have signed.

 

The G20 summit’s cruel impacts have now spread to the entire province and even neighboring provinces. As the result, there is a widespread general outcry from the distraught citizen victims. They manage to express their grievances in everyday conversations and on cyberspace, despite the regime’s strict censorship and information policing.

 

But the regime’s response simply has been to more harshly clamp down on the people’s voice. For example, Guo Enping, a local government worker in Taizhou district of Zhejinag Province, made a moderate criticism about the G20 summit preparation work’s the extravagant wastes, and the excessive burdens imposed on ordinary citizens. He was fired from his job, arrested, and charged with the crime of “creating a disturbance.”

 

Clearly, such blatant suppression of free speech, abuse of other human rights, damage of the local economy and enforcement of the de-facto martial law in Hangzhou will worsen as the G20 summit approaches, running completely contrary to the summit’s original intention and proclaimed principles which are to help, not hurt, the people of the G-20 nations.

 

As G20 leaders who plan to attend the Hangzhou summit and represent your respective Nations, you have a moral responsibility not to cause harms and hardship to the people in the hosting city. We therefore urge you to press the current Chair of the summit, President XI and his local organizers immediately to allow Hangzhou residents to return to their normal life, restore local economic activities, lift bans on religious gatherings, and stop human rights abuses.

 

Should the Chinese regime defiantly continue these shameful practices, we appeal to all of you to put the people’s interest first, distance yourselves from this disgraceful oppression, and boycott the Hangzhou summit. That will spare the G20 organization, and yourselves, the condemnation of this betrayal of conscience and morality.

 

Yours truly,

 

Citizen Power in China/Initiatives for China

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