Thursday, March 19, 2015

Xinna’s Statement to Hohhot Police 新娜报案材料


March 4, 2015. (中文原文在後)
Xibazha Police Precinct
Phone: +86-471-4660 110

To Whom It May Concern

Just before five o’clock this afternoon, my father was picking up his father Hada in front of the Wanda Plaza. When Hada’s taxi arrived, more than 20 plainclothes officers appeared out of the blue and kidnapped Hada. My son Uiles immediately called me for help. The plainclothes officers then robbed his mobile phone, and threatened to take him away. Luckily I went there in time and grabbed my son as he was forced into a car. I demanded several times the plainclothes officers to show their ID but they ignored me... I recognized one of them was Mr. Gao from the Domestic Security of Hohhot, which made me determine this operation was conducted by the Domestic Security of Inner Mongolia.

As the central leadership has been promoting “comprehensively implementing the rule of law”, domestic security officers from Inner Mongolia’s Public Security Bureau kidnapped citizens and robbed their mobile phones in broad daylight. This is such a vicious criminal case!

We look forward to the officers at this precinct to investigating the case as soon as possible and to protect the safety of citizens and their properties!

Sincerely yours,

Xinna

P.S.: Officer who accepted this document was Wu Zhanquan. Police ID 012978

English translation by Rose Tang 唐路英文翻譯
以下中文原文(由新娜提供)

新娜报案材料

今天下午近五点 我儿子在万达广场前接父亲 当哈达从出租车欲下来时 突然出现二十多名便衣强行把哈达绑架走 我儿子威勒斯急忙打电话向我求救 便衣警察又把他的手机抢走 并也要把威勒斯拉走 幸亏我及时赶到才把儿子从车上拽下来 我一再要求便衣者出示证件但置之不理,,,便衣中我认出了一个是呼和浩特市国保的高先生 由此我判断这是内蒙古国保的所为。

在中央提出“全面依法治国”的今天 内蒙古公安厅国保 在公众场合 光天化日之下绑架公民 抢劫手机 是非常恶劣的刑事犯罪!
希望贵派出所依法办案 及早处理为盼!以保障公民的生命和财产安全!
此致

报案人:新娜
2015年3月4日
附:报案材料已交至事发所在地西把栅派出所
接案人 吴占全 西把栅派出所教导员 警号012978
西把栅派出所电话:0471--4660110

Cruelty is Everyday Life - A Mongol Dissident Leader's Story 哈達一家遭遇警察記


There’s an old Chinese proverb, “watching a fire from the other side”, meaning you can’t take action excepting for watching, when an emergency is happening afar. I often think of this and feel helpless and hopeless when I write about and share stories of injustice and cruelty occurring daily on that piece of land named People’s Republic of China. The desperate feeling is the most intense when I’m actually in direct contact with the people who are suffering -- hearing their voices on the phone and reading their words on a screen...

On March 5, I was chatting online with Xinna at our scheduled rendezvous. A few greetings words later,  I saw these: “Wait a minute, I need to address some emergency.” My heart sank. “Not again!” I almost screamed. I sat there, watching the clock tick. The morning before, Xinna and her whole family went missing, as well as a Canadian journalist and his assistant who traveled from Beijing to meet them in Hohhot, capital city of Southern Mongolia (Chinese: Inner Mongolia). 

That morning I sat by my laptop for hours, thinking they might be too busy chatting among themselves. By 5am, which was 6pm in Hohhot, I called the reporter. He said calmly: “I’m in a police station.” He assured me that he and his assistant were fine, and he saw Xinna’s son Uiles was in the same police precinct. Xinna’s husband Hada had been intercepted by the police on the way to the shopping mall where they were supposed to meet. It was a tug of war between Xinna and the police as they were trying to force Uiles into a car. The Canadian reporter and his assistant were mobbed by about eight plainclothes police officers as soon as they left the meeting with Xinna, who’s now unaccounted for.

The reporter asked me to call back in an hour. I sat there, tears spewed out of my eyes. I sobbed for a long time. I couldn’t believe people would vanish just like this. All they wanted was to meet at the McDonald’s...the journalist was about to interview Hada. The day before, Hada had issued an open letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council urging it to pressure the Chinese government to reopen his bank accounts. They had used up all their savings but couldn’t receive donations to them as authorities froze their bank accounts. 

The family has been under 24/7 watch with several surveillance cameras installed outside their apartment and the front gate of their living compound,  their phones tapped and Internet connection blocked. For months, they have to go outside to a wifi zone for sporadic Internet communication.

Hada, Xinna and Uiles are not the average family. Hada was released last December after 19 years of imprisonment. He was convicted for “separatism” and “espionage” for founding the South Mongolian Democratic Alliance, and then jailed for another four years with no charge after his 15-year term was up. When he was sentenced in 1996, Hada was 41, Xinna was 40, Uiles was 11. 

For nearly two decades, Hada suffered from continuous torture and solitary confinement. He had many illnesses and lost almost all his teeth. Xinna, who had co-managed a bookstore with Hada on Mongol culture was detained for a few years under the charge of “illegal business activities”. Uiles was jailed for drug trading, Xinna said it was a set-up as the police had planted the drugs in their home. After Uiles was released, he wasn't allowed to work. The police tailed him when he traveled south to other provinces looking for jobs.

Left to right: Hada, Uiles, Xinna, over Lunar New Year, Feb, 2015
Southern (Inner) Mongolia has been an information blind corner and there’s very little news about or from there. Suffering decades of colonization by China, Mongols have been made minorities in their country. The official Chinese census in 2012 shows 79 per cent of its some 24-million population are Han Chinese, there’re only four million Mongols, counting for about 17 per cent. In other words, they have been made a pathetic minority in their own country, now the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China. Many herders were forced off their land to make way for mines and military bases.

I started to look for information on Southern Mongolia two years ago but found very little. As I was researching for a memoir, I discovered through interviews with relatives, and genealogy and government records that my mother’s side are Mongol descendants from the now Ural Mountains in Russia. They migrated to China at some point and at the fall of the Mongol Empire in the 14th century they changed their surname to  a Chinese name. Now Mongols aren’t allowed to have surnames at all.

Most of the news about Southern Mongolia was a small number of sketchy news reports about Hada from a few years back. Last July, on Facebook I came across an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping from a woman named Xinna who wrote she’s Hada’s wife. Xinna has been very active on Facebook, posting articles, statements and open letters to the United Nations and U.S. Congress and Xi Jinping. We became Facebook friends and chatted online a few times.

Xinna came back online and said eight plainclothes police officers appeared out of the blue when her cousin and nephew arrived at the front gate of their apartment block. The relatives had driven from Beijing to visit the family for the New Year’s celebrations. The police filmed the relatives and demanded their ID. “Visitors to other families were never stopped,” she wrote to me.

She said probably the police had known about the visit from tapping their cell phones. The police abused them with curse words. Her nephew argued back. Xinna scolded the police and pulled the nephew away. She knew the police were trying to provoke the young man so they could have more of an excuse to take them to the police station. “This means the government has mobilized a lot of resources to watch us. They don’t want us to get in touch with people from outside world. They want to eliminate our influence. They’re afraid of us inciting...” she said.

The day before, when I was anxiously waiting in front of a computer in New York, it was a much bigger drama in a shopping mall in Hohhot. When Hada arrived at the Wanda Plaza around 3pm, two cars rammed his taxi from both sides. “About six or seven police from the Domestic Security branch dashed out of their vehicles, shouting and dragging the driver out of the taxi,” Uiles told Radio Free Asia on the phone shortly after his release that night. The plainclothes officers blamed the driver for crashing their cars. 

Uiles who went to greet Hada recognized some officers were the same ones who had detained two French reporters attempting to visit them at their apartment ten days before. “The officers were the ones in charge of foreign affairs and security,” Uiles recalled.  All of a sudden another half a dozen plainclothes officers appeared out of no where, swamped them, opened the back doors of the taxi and tried to push Hada back in. 

Uiles shouted: “Domestic Security officers are kidnapping my father! The Police are hitting us and robbing our phones!” He shouted and shouted until he lost his voice. People gathered and watched but no one came to their rescue. None of the officers showed police ID. Hada later told RFA: “They were pushing me back into the taxi, I refused. My son was dragging me out. But the officers outnumbered us.” 

As the police jammed Hada into the car, locked the doors and guarded both sides, Uiles crawled underneath the taxi in the front and frantically dialed Xinna, who was talking with the Canadian reporter at McDonald’s inside the mall.

About five officers reached under the car, dragged Uiles out and snatched away his phone. By the time Xinna arrived, the police had forced the taxi to drive Hada away. Xinna asked the officers to show ID but was ignored. She shouted: “My husband has been kidnapped and now you’re trying to get my son!” She dashed to grab Uiles from the claws of the officers. 

A few bystanders wondered if it’s mafia and asked Xinna to call the police. Xinna replied: “They ARE the police!” She recognized one officer named Gao, who had visited her in jail years before.  

Unfortunately all of the bystanders were Han Chinese and none recognized Hada. Xinna told me most Mongols knew about Hada and looked up to him as an icon. “I told them my husband Hada was recently released after being jailed for political reasons but hasn’t been free. I said he was kidnapped and banned from meeting friends.”

Xinna struggled with the police who were trying to push Uiles into a vehicle. Finally she broke him free.  “I was going nuts,” Xinna told me. “The police were also afraid, because they didn’t have any reason (to arrest us). They didn’t want to create a scene because so many people were watching.” Another eight officers appeared, this time in uniforms. They told the bystanders to leave, saying someone had called them. 

“They’re looking for an excuse to disperse the crowds,” she wrote to me.  The officers told Uiles to go to a police precinct to give a witness report and get his phone back. “Their real purpose was to keep him there,” she said.

Concerned for the reporter’s safety, Xinna left and continued her conversation with him in another cafe. Little did she know the reporter and his assistant were rounded up by eight plainclothes officers as they walked out of the cafe after Xinna left. As she returned home, she discovered Uiles was no where to be seen, nor was he answering his phone. She looked around frantically and finally found Uiles at the Xibazha Police Precinct. She filed a complaint to the police, accusing domestic security officers of kidnapping and robbing (Xinna's statement to Hohhot Police). 

By the time Xinna and Uiles returned to their apartment block, Hada was in the same taxi at the front gate, along side a police vehicle. He had returned from the Zhongzhuanlu Police Precinct and was kept in the car for two hours.

It was already after 10pm by the time the family returned home, exhausted and starving. No broken bones but plenty of sore muscles. Xinna contacted me around midnight.

By then, the Canadian reporter and his assistant had been made to go to the airport, flying back to Beijing. They never caught a glimpse of Hada. “At least the foreign media witnessed our life,” Xinna says.

The next morning Uiles’ cell phone started to receive numerous harassing calls and texts. The family had a short “phone break” during the Lunar New Year after months of phone harassment. “Now it’s starting all over again,” Xinna told me. Then another kerfuffle with the police when the relatives arrived.

“Uiles is next to me. I just told him you cried last night. He’s smiling. He said it’s a good physical exercise. His humor,” she wrote. “Cruelty is our everyday life."

Rose Tang Speech on Tibet Uprising Day, 2015 唐路圖伯特抗暴日在芝加哥演講稿


This article is based on my speech and talk on Tibetan Uprising Day, March 10, 2015, Chicago. 

Tashi delek! Thank you for inviting me to speak here. It’s a great honor! First, let me make an apology. It’s my ritual to do this whenever I meet Tibetan people in person. I apologized to His Holiness the Dalai Lama last September in Dharamsala. Here, I apologize to you, for all the atrocities the Chinese Communist government has committed in Tibet. I am very sorry. I’d like to pay tribute to Norchuk, a Tibetan mother of three who recently burnt herself for freedom of Tibet. My condolences to her family.

Rose Tang at Tibet Uprising Day rally, Chicago, 3/10/15
March 10 is not only a special day for YOU, my Tibetan brothers and sisters, but also for the Chinese people and all humanity. The Tibetans were the first in the world to rise up against the Chinese Communist Party since it took power in 1949. And the uprising was the world’s first Occupy Movement. Heroic Tibetan men and women who surrounded Norblingka Palace and protested in Lhasa streets showed us a great example of revolting against a monstrous regime while being severely outnumbered. You were the pioneers and I look up to you!

When the Tibetan people were rebelling against the Chinese rule in 1959, the Chinese people were starving to death in Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, including 12 of my relatives. And while Tibetan protesters were jailed and tortured after the Uprising Day, Chinese intellectuals were being jailed and persecuted in Mao’s Anti-Rightist campaign.

Thirty years later, in March, 1989, again, fearless Tibetans were the first to face off with the Chinese government and were butchered. They sacrificed for freedom, democracy and independence. At that time, I was a college freshman in Beijing. A Chinese friend who returned from a visit in Lhasa told us he witnessed how the Armed Police brutally beat up the Tibetans. I wish more students of Tianananmen had known such stories, and had connected with the Tibetan protesters before the massacres in Lhasa and Beijing happened, along with the people who were demonstrating for democracy in more than one hundred Chinese cities in the spring of 1989. 

Back then, our movements were separate. We could blame the lack of telecommunication, the lack of mutual knowledge and mutual understanding. Now in 2015, in this era of the Internet and smart phones, we have nothing to blame but ourselves, our own fear and loathing. The Chinese Communist Party has been trying very hard to divide us, inciting hatred among us. They spread lies all over China, making the world, including President Obama and Michelle Obama, say publicly Tibet is part of China. What a blatant lie! It infuriates me.

I was nearly killed in Tiananmen Square in the morning of June 4, 1989, for what? For democracy. Hundreds, if not thousands of Chinese were gunned down or crushed by tanks, for this one simple right: to vote for our own leaders. 

Rose Tang in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989
When it was my first time to vote as an American citizen in the United States, I voted for Barack Obama. I was hoping he would bring some change, because he said: “Yes, we can!” But he didn’t bring that much change, especially in polices towards China. He has let us down. I’m not here supporting the Republicans because I criticize Obama. I’m here supporting jhumanity, justice and our basic rights as Americans. 

Here in the United States, supposedly the beacon of democracy, our government leaders have not really represented us. They aren’t going to make huge change. They just want to make money with China. That’s why they spread lies for China and with China, a Nazi-like regime. Chinese President Xi Jinping is the most ruthless ruler since Deng Xiaoping. Under Xi’s leadership, the Chinese government wages a red terror, ruling its people with violence and propaganda, spreading pollution to the environment and humanity. This is very wrong. This is a very dangerous trend. 

It’s up to us to say no to these government leaders. We’re here also as Americans, we need to tell them this is not on. And now, Hong Kong people have been on the forefront of fighting against China’s brutal regime. There’s no such thing as “One Country Two Systems”. Beijing threw it in the waste bin a long time ago, just like how they treated the 17-Point Agreement more than half a century ago.

Prominent Chinese investigative journalist Su Xiaokang who exiled to the U.S. after Tiananmen Massacre wrote in a recent article that the Chinese Communist Party has been nibbling away Hong Kong, by adopting their policies in Tibet and Xinjiang (East Turkestan) where they succeed (Su's article in Chinese 蘇曉康“新戰國策:港台疆藏縱論”). What Beijing has been doing is an expansion of dictatorship, by using bloody violence. I totally agree. This is frightening. It’s been an expansion of an evil super power. We see luxury brands and high value properties around the world being grabbed by corrupt Chinese officials, their mistresses, cronies and family members. Their princelings are in many Ivy League universities. They’re here polluting our whole system, encroaching on our democracy.

Rose Tang & Su Xiaokang, January, 2015
President Obama isn’t willing to stand up against President Xi, but we don’t have to behave like him or other government leaders who are adopting appeasement towards China.  In my open letter to the Tibetans, my speeches and talks, I’ve been calling for all of us, the victims of the Chinese Communist regime, to unite and rise up together. I’m not alone. Now Su, another Chinese, is urging the Tibetans, Chinese, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese and Mongols to form an alliance of resistance.

When we individuals are united, forming our own “United Front Work Department”, we can do something, we can be very powerful, and we can bring change. It’s not up to the big banks, businessmen, politicians to tell us what to do. 

In today’s America, love is no longer in the air, fear is in the air. Everybody is so scared of China, refusing to open their eyes to see it’s a paper dragon, a paper tiger, an emperor without any clothes on. Even the Americans are afraid of this so-called China super power. They censor themselves to make sure they can get a visa to go to China for vacation or business.  China has been cheating, tricking the world to believe it’s a super power, it’s holding the whole world at its hostage. 

Unlike what the Chinese government has coerced the world to believe, Tibet was never part of China. Tibet belongs to the Tibetans, and China belongs to the Chinese people. The People’s Republic of China belongs to the people. Hong Kong belongs to Hong Kongers, and Taiwan has been an independent country since 1949. Uyghurs deserve their independence, and Southern Mongolians deserve independence. 

On March 4, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang mentioned in his speech at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress that China would oppose any Taiwanese independence movements. Why did he say this? He should know, Taiwan has been an independent country since 1949. Is he afraid of Taiwan’s independence, or perhaps he’s afraid of Taiwan acting as a role model for the people in the so-called People’s Republic of China?

A survey conducted by Hong Kong University between March 9 and 12 shows one third of people support Taiwan’s independence. It’s the highest number since 1994 when 36 percent of Hong Kongers said yes. More and more Hong Kongers are debating and publishing thoughts, theories and practical methods of working towards Hong Kong’s independence. 

This is a new trend sparked by the Umbrella Revolution. Many protesters, especially the students, are questioning if Beijing would ever grant them any genuine universal suffrage. Police beatings, tear gas and pepper spray woke up many people and make them think of more alternatives which they didn’t dare to think or dream a few years ago. And what’s happening in Hong Kong already had a direct impact on Taiwan: the pro-Beijing-KMT(the Nationalist party) lost local elections in a landslide last November. When I visited Taipei in mid-December, locals told me the opposition Democratic Progress Party won many seats largely due to its slogan: “Taiwan could become Hong Kong if you vote for KMT.”

And today’s Hong Kong is quickly deteriorating into another Tibet. When I unfurled a Tibetan national flag at Hong Kong’s Umbrella Square last December, locals recognized the flag and said immediately: “We don’t want to be Tibet!”

The cruel reality has been forcing more and more people to abandon the idea of negotiating with the CCP or waiting for it to conduct internal political reforms. We students of Tiananmen Square learned a hard lesson almost 26 years ago. We went on hunger strike, we marched and rallied for almost two months. We were slaughtered instead, for asking for what? A dialogue with the government. There was never meant to be any dialogue. 

Hong Kong students went on hunger strike, camped in the streets for more than two months and were savagely beaten up by the police. They’re mostly teenagers, high school students. Many are even younger than us, the students of Tiananmen. Until they were driven out of the protest sites by large police forces, they were still hopeful Beijing would keep its promise to grant them genuine universal suffrage. But the student leaders weren’t even allowed to board a flight to Beijing when they planned to talk to the officials up north. 

When Hong Kong police were driving us out of the Umbrella Square, a number of protesters told me: “They can clear our protest sites, but they can never diminish our spirit.” The Umbrella Revolution is far from over, the largest protests sites were cleared out by the police by last December, but dozens of people have been occupying sidewalks outside the government headquarters and the legislative council building. 

3 Hong Kong protesters named Uncle Wong, the one in center is 91
They’ve been staying in tents and are planning to be there for a long time. The oldest protester is a 91-year man nicknamed Uncle Wong. He spent the Chinese New Year in his tent. Uncle Wong escaped China after the Communist troops took over and he knows the price of freedom. They need our support badly, please send them messages by Facebook or other social media outlets. And it’s very easy to gain a visa at the Hong Kong airport if you happen to pass through the city, please go say hello. They’d be so thrilled to see you.

Look at the Basic Law of Hong Kong and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They only exist on paper, so does the Chinese Constitution.  Article 33 of the Constitution says: “All citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law. The State respects and preserves human rights. Article 34 says: “All citizens of PRC who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election...” Article 35 says: “Citizens of PRC enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” Article 36 says: “Citizens of PRC enjoy freedom of religious belief.” 

If Tibet is part of PRC, as the Chinese government insists, then why are Tibetans treated so badly? We can go through all the articles and see how much has been ignored and violated by the Chinese government.

Back in 1989, some protesters, including myself, were calling for a rewrite of the Constitution. Little did we realize, our rights and freedoms had already been in print but have been ignored by the Chinese Communist Party in practice. So why are we here asking for a dialogue with Beijing, to work within the framework of the Chinese Constitution that the Chinese government itself doesn’t even follow?

The Chinese government has been cracking down on dissent harder than ever. "Under President Xi, China is rapidly retreating from rights reforms and the Party's promise to 'govern the country according to law,"' Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch said, adding "Repression of critics is the worst in a decade, and there appears to be no end in sight." 

A few days before the March 8 International Women’s Day, Chinese police arrested about ten women’s rights activists who were planning to launch a campaign to prevent sexual harassment on public transport. It’s Cultural Revolution all over again.

The world needs to wake up and realize this is a Nazi regime. Xi Jinping is worse than Hitler. It’s time to abandon wishful thinking and false hopes. Instead of asking for a dialogue, we should demand our countries back. We should form our own resistance forces and fight against them, by peaceful means, not with violence. This is a great historical moment for us, because the Chinese Communist Party has seen all of us as enemies, either the “overseas enemy forces” or domestic criminals who “pick quarrels and cause trouble” (a criminal offense). They are forcing us to unite!

A few hours ago, I put out a message on Twitter asking the Chinese what they would like me to say in this speech.  A college student replied: Don’t forget to say different Chinese provinces and regions want our own independence. 

One Chinese man openly Tweeted back: “Do not forget history. Please tell our Tibetan friends we know they’ve been fighting for freedom. Today’s Chinese people aren’t that easy to be fooled. We’re are gradually waking up. This is where the future of China holds. When all the people take action together, that’s the end of the Communist Party. China at this moment today is in the darkness before the crack of dawn. We’re anxiously waiting for the ray of morning sun. Let’s join our hands and work together!

We should demand our independence and basic human rights back,  instead of asking them nicely. It’s not a nice battle here. It’s going to be nasty and messy, because it has been nasty and messy. Tens of millions of Tibetans, Chinese, Uyghurs and Mongols have died under this tyranny. We have to hang on to our battle and keep on fighting, Bhod Gyalo!