15 October 2010
Dear members of the standing committee of the National People's Congress:
Article 35 of China's constitution as adopted in 1982 clearly states that: "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration." For 28 years this article has stood unrealised, having been negated by detailed rules and regulations for "implementation". This false democracy of formal avowal and concrete denial has become a scandalous mark on the history of world democracy.
On 26 February 2003, at a meeting of democratic consultation between the standing committee of the political bureau of the central committee of the Chinese Communist party and democratic parties, not long after President Hu Jintao assumed office, he stated clearly: "The removal of restrictions on the press, and the opening up of public opinion positions, is a mainstream view and demand held by society; it is natural, and should be resolved through the legislative process. If the Communist party does not reform itself, if it does not transform, it will lose its vitality and move toward natural and inevitable extinction."
On 3 October, America's Cable News Network (CNN) aired an interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao by anchor Fareed Zakaria. Responding to the journalist's questions, Wen said: "Freedom of speech is indispensable for any nation; China's constitution endows the people with freedom of speech; the demands of the people for democracy cannot be resisted."
In accord with China's constitution, and in the spirit of the remarks made by Hu and Wen, we hereupon represent the following concerning the materialisation of the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and of the press.
Concerning the current state of freedom of speech and press in our country
We have for 61 years "served as master" in the name of the citizens of the People's Republic of China. But the freedom of speech and of the press we now enjoy is inferior even to that of Hong Kong before its return to Chinese sovereignty, to that entrusted to the residents of a colony.