An Open Letter to All Charter 08 Signatories
November 25, 2009
Dear Charter 08 signatories and friends:
Since its publication in December 9, 2008, Charter 08 has been signed by over 10,000 people who are not afraid of standing to the arbitrary power, and thus Charter 08 has become the most important fundamental human rights declaration that has been published in the past two decades in the mainland China.
However, until today, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities have not made any positive responses to this significant document, which provides constructive proposals to the future of our country. On the contrary, they launched a series of notorious propagandas asserting that the principles of free election, representative government, multi- party system, and the nationalization of the army do not fit the situation in China. In addition, merely after 16 days of the publication of Charter 08, the Chinese authorities have completely blocked it on the internet. Any information about Charter 08 is not searchable by any search engines, such as Baidu and Google. This is completely unacceptable. What more irritating is that while Charter 08 has been enjoying more signatories and spreading more widely, Mr. Liu Xiaobo, an important launcher of the Charter, was arbitrarily arrested by the CCP. Liu’s fate is entirely in the hands of the CCP. Meanwhile, a great deal of the Charter 08 signatories have been harassed and threatened in various hideous ways by the police. These actions are brutal violations of the Chinese citizen’s basic human rights and political rights. Nevertheless, what is encouraging is that despite the high political pressure from the autocratic regime, there has not been a single signatory to Charter 08 withdrawing his or her signature. Charter 08, though officially blocked on Chinese websites, is still wide spreading on the internet via various social networks. The universal values and fundamental principles in Charter 08 are getting more and more recognition in the Chinese society.
With the first anniversary of Charter 08 soon to come, and with Liu Xiaobo still being arrested, we, some signatories to Charter 08, hope to work together with all other signatories, share the spirit of Charter 08 to pursue liberty, promote democracy, defend human rights, and bear courageously the responsibilities for the future of our nation. In order to fulfill the obligations of Charter 08 signatories, we here issue this open letter, inviting all Charter 08 signatories and other citizens who are concerned about China’s democratic future, to play our role in promoting and distributing Charter 08 and laying down the intellectual basis for the democratic transition in China. We are proposing:
1. Introduce Carter 08 in various networks to friends who care about public affairs and social progress, and encouraging those who agree with Charter 08 principles to sign it and also asking them to encourage their friends to sign it. In commemorating the first anniversary of the publication of Charter 08, introduce the Charter to one to ten friends and encourage at least one of them to sign it.
2. In your daily life, initiate conversations and discussions about the ideas of Charter 08 with friends and co-workers, and pay attention to their opinions and suggestions concerning Charter 08.
3. When meeting with those who disagree with Charter 08, listen to them and encourage them to express their opinions. We value their opinions in order to improve Charter 08.
4. For Chinese citizens who traveling abroad, use the opportunities to get a copy of Charter 08, which was published in Hong Kong, to visit Charter 08 website http://www.2008xianzhang.info/ and to read the monthly Charter 08 e-journal, and share your ideas about how to promote Charter 08.
5. Write articles or commentaries on different media at your convenient time to express your understanding of Charter 08 and use Charter 08 principles to analyze the social facts in China to stimulate more discussions and debates.
6. Raise awareness of Liu Xiaobo’s arrest on the basis of initiating Charter 08 and the police harassments and intimidations of other Charter 08 signatories. Use every opportunity appealing for Liu Xiaobo’s release, and help, encourage, and support other Charter 08 signatories.
7. Make friends and communicate with other Charter 08 signatories when convenient, exchange ideas of your comprehension of Charter 08, and sharing your confidence and hope in China’s democratic future.
Dear friends, today, what lies behind the official disguised facade of “flourishing times” are various well-known causes of crises, the accumulation of social discontents and the decaying system. The 21 century is unfolding its second decade. It has been almost 100 years since the Xinhai Revolution which many Chinese people sacrificed their lives in effort to establish a republic. Memorizing our democracy conscientious fathers and facing our contemporaries and our descendants, we should bravely shoulder our inescapable historical responsibilities. Let’s join hands in promoting the cause of liberty and democracy in China rationally, peacefully, responsibly, and consistently. Let’s make every effort to turn China into a great home where everyone can live freely, have equal opportunity, and enjoy social justice.
Some Charter 08 Signatories