The Hundredth Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party

The Hundredth Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party
(Chen Guangcheng and William Saunders, July 1)

Transcript available below

About the speaker

Chen Guangcheng is a blind Chinese civil rights activist, known internationally as “the barefoot lawyer.” Blind since infancy, illiterate until his late teens, he taught himself law and became a fierce advocate for his country’s voiceless poor.

For his trouble, he spent more than four years in prison on charges of “disturbing public order” and was then held under strict house arrest in his heavily guarded home in Shandong province from 2010 to 2012. In a daring escape that captured worldwide headlines, he fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. After high-level negotiations between the U.S. and China, Mr. Chen was allowed to leave for America. Since 2013, he has been a senior research fellow at Catholic University of America, the Witherspoon Institute, and the Lantos Foundation.

Chen has written a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, titled The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man’s Fight for Justice and Freedom in China. The Atlantic Monthly said, “This exceptional book will join the ranks of classic accounts of individual bravery, principle, and vision in the face of cruelty and repression. Chen Guangcheng is known around the world for the daring of his escape from captivity; as The Barefoot Lawyer makes clear, his journey and the accomplishments before that were at least as remarkable. Anyone who wants to understand the struggle for China’s future, being waged inside that country and by friends of China around the world, will want to read this book.”

Transcript

Robert R. Reilly:

Hello and welcome to the Westminster Institute. I am Bob Reilly, its director and your host for another in a series of Westminster Zoom lectures. Today we are going to discuss China on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, which has ruled China since 1949. Here to discuss the ramifications of that we have a guest from China, Chen Guangcheng, who is a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Human Rights at The Catholic University of America. Joining him is William Saunders, who is Human Rights Fellow and Director of the Program in Human Rights for the Institute of Human Ecology, also at The Catholic University.

After growing up blind in China, Chen Guangcheng built a reputation for himself as a self-trained barefoot lawyer who advocated against the brutal tactics used by the Chinese government to enforce the state’s One-Child policy. After surveying residents of Shandong province where he lived, Guangcheng learned that there were one-hundred and thirty thousand residents who reported being abducted, intimidated, or beaten for violations of the policy.

As a result of his investigation Guangcheng was imprisoned by the Chinese government for more than four years and placed under illegal house arrest with his family for another seven years. During that time he and his wife suffered beatings and torture. He made a harrowing escape from house arrest in 2012 by scaling walls and feeling his way through farmlands with a broken foot. He was given refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which occasioned a diplomatic crisis. He is the author of The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man’s Fight for Justice and Freedom in China, which gives his account of the escape and the extraordinary life he led prior to it.

Chen Guangcheng and Bill Saunders will talk about the hundredth anniversary of the Communist Party this July 1. Mr. Chen has accused the CCP of, “terrorizing its own people and threatening the well-being of the world.” President Xi Jinping has said, “Time and history are on our side.” And this is why he has called China “invincible.” Billboards across the China announce, “Listen to the Party. Appreciate the Party. Follow the Party.” Chen Guangcheng and Bill Saunders, welcome to the program.

William Saunders:

Very glad to be with you, Bob.

Chen Guancheng:

Hi, everyone. I am so happy to be here to talk with you and today I am so happy to talk with Bob. We are friends with each other. Before we talked a lot about the Communist Party (the Communist Party we just call the CCP), how it uses its long arm to influence the U.S. So today we will talk more about the evil of the Communist Party in mainland China and the whole world. Thank you, my friend.

William Saunders:

Hey, Bob, could I add one thing if you don’t mind? And it is a little bit of a commercial. But Chen Guancheng and I work together in the Center for Human Rights at Catholic University of America. And I also have a Master of Arts in Human Rights at the School of Arts and Sciences. So I just want people I they are listening that if they want to follow Guancheng, he is here at Catholic University and he is part of our Master of Arts in Human Rights program. He addresses the students and the students get to know him. So I just wanted to say that for anybody who is out there who is interested and wants to follow up and maybe become a student.

Robert R. Reilly:

Well, I can even give a personal testimony to that, Bill, because as you well know my oldest daughter is a beneficiary of your program and recently graduated with a Master’s degree from it. So thank you for that.

William Saunders:

It was great to have her.

Robert R. Reilly:

Please, Guancheng, go ahead with your thoughts on the subject you just touched upon.

William Saunders:

Hong Kong and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party.

Chen Guancheng:

Yes, I think first of all I want to talk now about Hong Kong. That is big news and very hot on the internet in the whole world. You know last year the Communist Party created an evil law because – I just call it an evil law. On the internet a lot of people call it an evil law. In fact, that is not a real law. That is just a tool the Communist Party uses to control Hong Kong.

You know since last year the Communist Party used that evil law to destroy the judiciary in Hong Kong, and since one month ago the Communist Party used that evil law to destroy the free speech, free media in Hong Kong. Thirteen days ago the Communist Party ordered five hundred special police to go to the building of the Apple Daily newspaper to check their office. They caught five leaders and put them in jail. Four days ago the Communist Party caught two journalists who work for Apple Daily newspaper. They just wrote editorials for the newspaper. So because they write the news, they let people know what is happening in mainland China, in Hong Kong, in the whole world. The Communist Party hates them so they try to use this law to punish that.

Just today I talked with some people in Hong Kong. I know you know one journalist. Her name is Zou Xingtong. Before she worked for Radio Free Asia in the U.S. When I was in mainland China and when I came here she interviewed me several times. But today the Communist Party caught her and put her in jail. So the Communist Party uses this evil law as a tool to control Hong Kong’s media. Now Hong Kong is becoming mainland China. They lost the judiciary and the free speech, so I hope the U.S. government, the U.S. people, stand up with other democratic countries and stand with Chinese people to fight the authoritarian regime to help Chinese people to protect their rights. So that is very important now.

Another thing is the Communist Party uses that law to ask the banks to freeze money of the yiquanmei, including Apple Daily newspaper. So now the workers in Apple Daily newspaper cannot get their salaries. So last June 24 the Apple Daily newspaper had to stop printing and the final day they printed one million newspapers. The Hong Kong people came to the store to buy all of them. So it was very sad that the Communist Party used this evil law to control the media. The Hong Kong people hope in the future the Apple Daily will come back to Hong Kong soon and continue to print the newspaper. So this is a new situation in Hong Kong. The Communist Party has not stopped doing evil there.

Robert R. Reilly:

As Guangcheng said, Hong Kong unfortunately now is part of mainland China. The elements of social control in China exercised by the Communist Party seem extensive enough that one Sinologist says it is now a semi-totalitarian country. The social credit system that is being implemented, the vast facial recognition system that is being emplaced. I suppose it is in Xinjiang where that is implemented most thoroughly; the human rights abuses there as well as in Tibet. The Communist Party seems to be clamping down to the extent that the people in China do not have any space within which to exercise rights or protest the abuse of them.

William Saunders:

Guangcheng and I were talking that with the anniversary coming up on July 1, that the Communist Party has put all of the activists in jail. And what else is it doing in Beijing?

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes. About the Communist Party’s birthday, the Communist Party now tried to stop any activists from going outside. All of my friends and colleagues [are under] house arrest now. So you know in Beijing the Communist Party stopped the delivery of mail. And [as for] the people who live around the central government office [, to make sure they do not disrupt the anniversary celebration, the CCP] stop[ped] giv[ing] them gas. So the people ask the Communist Party how we can cook? The Communist Party said, ‘Okay, I just give you a little money, so you can use this money to buy food from the restaurant. After twelve weeks we will give the gas back to you.’ So now it looks very dangerous in Beijing and the people cannot come to Beijing. And you cannot buy any knives in stores. And in Shanghai you cannot go outside in some special parts.

For the religions you have to stop to do anything, so that is very dangerous. So a lot of Chinese people wrote a message, saying ‘happy birthday to you, the CCP, a hundred years.’ It sounds good, but in fact, that is not good. The peoples’ meaning is only a hundred birthdays, no 101.

William Saunders:

What Guangcheng is saying is that they put on the internet, happy hundredth birthday, which sounds like they support the CCP, but what it really means is this is your last birthday. There will be no 101.

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, this is the final one.

Robert R. Reilly:

Alright, well, let’s continue with that conversation. As I am sure you know, President Xi had senior Party members take the oath of loyalty to the party again. Now, on what pillars does the Party rest today, which means also the country? People usually say there are two main pillars. One is nationalism that President Xi has been stroking nationalism and the Chinese dream is to come out of the century of humiliation. And the other major pillar is prosperity, that people will continue to support the Party so long as their prosperity continues to grow; so nationalism and prosperity. Guangcheng and Bill, do you agree with that? Are those the two pillars and does the actual ideology not have any serious believers left?

Chen Guangcheng:

I think, in fact, in mainland China more than half do not believe anything from the Communist Party’s propaganda, but if you just get information from the internet, it looks like a lot of people still support the Communist Party. But that is wrong, that is not what the people are really thinking. You know because of the censorship if you write something on the internet, if the Communist Party likes it, the Communist Party will keep it on the internet. If the Party does not like it, the Party will delete it. Even if you write some message, the Communist Party will delete your account.

For example, the Communist Party just [on] May 31 changed the Two Child Policy to a Three Child Policy. The meaning is because of forced abortions in mainland China now there are not enough children. The society has become older and older. So that is very dangerous for the future, so the Communist Party hopes people will have a third baby, but when the Communist Party released the information, 90.34% of people said I will not follow your policy.

So the Communist Party published an article in its mouthpiece, trying to encourage people to follow that policy. But you can see more than 90% of people disagree about that. Later the Communist Party deleted that article because a lot of comments criticized the Communist Party. That is proof, in fact, only a few people continue to support the Communist Party and the Communist Party prepared the people to write the article or message on the internet to make it look like people still support it, but that is not true.

Robert R. Reilly:

Chen Guangcheng, it is extremely ironic that the Party has reached this new position of a Three Child Policy and is even discussing removing any limits to family growth when this is the very issue on which you made your reputation in exposing the forced abortions and the terrible punishments meted out to to Chinese people in your province of Shandong who were not complying with the One Child Policy. That this many years later the Party should now at least tacitly admit that this was a policy that is not good for China. Can you discuss other bad effects of this One Child Policy that China is going to have to live with for a long time? For instance, that there are so many more males than females and that kind of thing. How is this going to effect China’s future?

Chen Guangcheng:

Because the Communist Party did the forced abortions for around forty years that made a lot of problems in society. You just mentioned the male-female [imbalance], right? That is very, very dangerous. A lot of people in mainland China some people said more than ten million men will not have wives. And another thing is because the Communist Party killed a lot of babies in the past forty years the people do not respect the life. Life is not very important.

So now in mainland China, for example, if a car hits some people on the street, no one comes to help them. That is very, very dangerous. I saw a video from Henan province. A woman walked on the street. The first car hit her and made her fall down. More than one minute [passed]. She tried to sit up, but she was not successful. Some people went for a walk on the street, but no one came to help her. After one minute [passed] another SUV came and hit her again, making her die. That is just so sad. That is just because the Communist Party’s evil policy to make people not believe human life is very important; for society, for everyone. That is so sad. And not just this, a lot of things like this happened in China just because the Communist Party created the evil policy.

At that time the Communist Party made women kill their babies, but now it gives society a lot of problems. In the future more and more problems will happen in China. A society should have 2.1 new babies [per family] every year, but now [families] in mainland China only have 1.3 babies born every year. In the future society will be old and after five years, even seven years, the population will decline more and more.

Robert R. Reilly:

Let’s say, Guangcheng, that the Communist Party is not able to celebrate a 101st anniversary. What is there in China that could replace it? Your story about the lack of respect for human life is very discouraging if the moral fiber of the Chinese people has been eroded. What is left that can replace the Communist Party?

Chen Guangcheng:

Okay, I think now a lot of Chinese people are awake, but just because the Communist Party controls the military and can use force to stop them. So the people understand. The Communist Party understands that the people understand it. The people know but they do not write something on the internet. If they write something on the internet, the Communist Party will send a police car to your house to take you and put you in jail. So now, in fact, a lot of people understand and they prepare for the future. If the Communist Party goes, the people will stand up to help the country to become a democratic country. I think we should not worry about that. The only problem is how to take down the CCP. If we can tear down the CCP, China will [get] better and better. Free speech [and things] like that are very important for the society.

They know how to create a new system for the future, but the problem is Western countries, Western governments, cannot connect with them. They do not know a lot of people have woken up and work for the country in the future now. But we know, we use secret apps to connect with each other every day. We know a lot of people discuss this in secret rooms on the internet. They use secret apps [because] the Communist Party cannot come in to listen to them. They cannot stop them from using them. So this is why the Communist Party is very scared of people [being] against them.

Robert R. Reilly:

I know from my own experience working in U.S. government public diplomacy, the Voice of America and other institutions, that the United States really has no means to reach the Chinese people because the CCP is so effective in blocking our transmissions. It is very hard to get through, so it is very hard for the United States to judge the character of people in China today, and all that is seen is the increasing control that Xi Jinping, President for life, is exercising over the people. And of course this huge celebration of the hundredth anniversary is a demonstration of its control and of his power, so you are telling a very different story about a very different China.

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, that is very different. This is why I hope Western governments should work with us. If they cannot work with us, they will not understand the real situation in mainland China. It looks like the Communist Party is very powerful, but in fact, the people are very powerful in mainland China now. We can connect with the activists in mainland China, but it looks like Western governments do not know that. Maybe they think that, oh, no one can replace the Communist Party if the Communist Party [falls], but that is not true. I think the Western governments, especially the U.S. government, the Biden administration, they do not want [to go] against the Communist Party. They still want to continue to make a deal with the devil.

That is not good. If we continue to make a deal with the devil, the devil will use different means to destroy our freedom, free speech, the democratic system. That is very dangerous for our country. For example, the coronavirus, right? You can see a lot of people died in our country, much, much more than Pearl Harbor. Why does the U.S. government continue to dialogue with the devil? It does not work. We should think of another way to punish it to stop the Communist Party threat to the well-being of the world. We have to do that so we should use our influence to encourage Western countries to stand up to do that, not just use their efforts to influence the Communist Party. That does not work.

Robert R. Reilly:

It is very interesting that public opinion in the United States and indeed, in most of Europe, has turned very much against China. In fact, the negative opinion of China and the CCP has risen to historic heights. So one result of President Xi, let us say ‘showing the muscle,’ the military muscle and the economic muscle of China, has frightened many in the West and produced this negative opinion. On the other hand, China has gained huge leverage over the West, including the United States; economic leverage because of its huge economy, and let us say military leverage through the massive modernization of its military forces, the construction of what is now the largest navy in the world, its militarization of the islands in the South China Sea, and so forth. So there is kind of a double effect here. One is there is almost unanimity that China presents an enormous problem for the West, but there is also this incapacity to react because of the leverage China already exercises.

Chen Guangcheng:

I think the U.S. has a lot of ways to stop the Communist Party. For example, now if it just uses the Global Magnitsky Act to punish some officials of the Communist Party, that is not enough to stop the Communist Party [from] doing evil things in the future. For example, if the U.S. tries to stop the Communist Party, [from] using the dollar system, that will be very, very powerful.

I know that the Communist Party’s influence is very deep in the U.S., but we have to think [about] how to stop that. If the Communist Party continues to influence the universities, the middle schools, the high schools, even the elementary schools, that is very, very dangerous. It’s not just schools. You can see now in the U.S., for example, in Hollywood no one wants to make a film about human rights in China. I think the U.S. knows how to do that because the Trump administration did a lot. For example, you can see Pompeo gave several speeches about that in the U.S., in Europe. That is very, very important. If the U.S. continues to follow that policy, in the future the U.S. will win, but if it continues to use an appeasement policy, the U.S. will fail. So I think the U.S. knows how to do that. The problem is we should push them to do that, not just talk, do that. U.S. citizens should push the U.S. government to do that.

Robert R. Reilly:

As I mentioned there does appear to be a bipartisan consensus in the United States to do that, and the Biden administration so far has largely kept a great deal of the Trump policy toward China, so we will see. Now, the subject of human rights raises a subject, one on which you, Bill, have spent a great deal of your life, and that is religious freedom. Can both of you discuss what religious freedom in China is like today?

William Saunders:

Yes, I was just going to say religious freedom is a fundamental – maybe foundational – plank of a just society and a democratic system, and China, the CCP, is oppressing religion everywhere it can be because it wants Chairman Xi to be worshiped essentially, and to have no other gods but Chairman Xi. And Guangcheng will tell you more details in a second, but it has been very hard against the Christians, Catholics and Protestants, the Tibetan Buddhists, the Muslim Uyghurs, the Falun Gong. All of them it is trying to crush.

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, in fact, the Communist Party does not want any religions except communism. In mainland China the Catholics and Christians are persecuted. A lot of churches and crosses were torn down by the Communist Party. I remember just Zhejiang province more than a thousand churches and crosses were destroyed by the Communist Party. Now that spread to Henan province, and Shandong, Henan, and Fujian provinces. So now even the Communist Party has made its own version of the Bible. It thinks the religions, the Christians, should obey the leader of the Communist Party. The Communists tried to replace God. That is dangerous.

More than I think one million Uyghurs [were put in] concentration camps and shipped by train to another prison in mainland China. And more than I remember 156 Tibetans have self-immolated. They put a lot of Falun Gong in jail, and detained and tortured more than three thousand Falun Gong prisoners. They killed them in prison, so that is very, very dangerous. So now if the Communist Party asks the religion to come to the Party’s church, if you are not doing that, the Party will find a way to put you in jail. So that situation is [getting] worse and worse. I think if the Communist Party continues to control the public in mainland China, [there will be] no space for religions, no freedom about religions.

Robert R. Reilly:

I have heard that in certain Christian churches Party members have removed the crucifix or the cross and replaced it with pictures of President Xi.

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, that is true.

Robert R. Reilly:

That is true?

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, if you come in the church, you have to sing in some songs for the Party. You have to mention President Xi first, the Communist Party first, then you will talk about God. That is the situation in mainland China.

Robert R. Reilly:

Well, if so few if any people actually continue to believe in communism, in Marxism-Leninism, it seems implausible that communism could replace religion. On the other hand, perhaps it is less that and more a Neo-Maoism with Xi as the new Mao. In other words it is a cult of personality. Would that be accurate to say that?

Chen Guangcheng:

Xi wants that. I do not think that will be successful because now the people know what is true, what is justice, and what is injustice. I can give you a detail, a story. When the Communist Party put me under house arrest in mainland China, the Communist Party tried to use the Cultural Revolution way to give me trouble. They prepared more than fifty people to come to the farmer’s house. They came to every farmer’s house to tell them that, ‘You know, Guangcheng works for the U.S. Yeah, he is a very bad person. You cannot support him. You should find a way to give him trouble.’

But none of our neighbors and none of our neighboring villages believed them. After that the people came to my relation, my family members, and told them, ‘You know, the Communist Party came to my house and tell me Guangcheng is an evil person.’ But they said I have seen for several years what Guangcheng is doing. I know what is right or what is wrong. I do not believe what the Communist Party said.

So you can see around fifty years ago even the farmer did not believe the Communist Party. So now a lot of people in the city can use the internet. They can get a lot of information from Western countries, so if the Communist Party tries to use their propaganda to influence them, that is very, very difficult. So even if Xi Jinping wants to become the second Mao and use the Cultural Revolution to control the whole country, that does not work.

William Saunders:

Guangcheng, the firewall does not keep Chinese people from getting information?

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, the firewall sometimes works, but because the Chinese people know how to use apps to climb the firewall. So of course, the firewall gives a lot of people trouble to visit free websites, but still more and more people know to use the apps to climb the firewall to get the information. I talk with my friends in mainland China every day. They know how to climb the firewall to get information from Western countries. Even in mainland China they can use the secret apps to build rooms to discuss with each other. The Communist Party cannot control that.

Another way, if the U.S. spent some money to create the apps for the climbing firewalls or for tearing down the firewall, that would be very powerful. That is our goal. We can push the U.S. people to push the government to do that.

Robert R. Reilly:

Well, from your contacts in mainland China how effective is the social credit and surveillance system in intimidating people in China to follow the Party line?

Chen Guangcheng:

My friends cannot travel, but if the Communist Party does not take their money away, they can still use iPhones to contact us. I know that is dangerous for them under house arrest to continue to use apps to contact me, but a lot of people still use apps.

William Saunders:

He is asking particularly about the social credit system.

Chen Guangcheng:

Oh, the social credit system. The Communist Party tried to use that, but until now it looks like it is not very useful because if the people are not very dangerous for the Party, they do not want to make all of the people their enemies, so if they continue to use that to punish [people]- For example, if the Communist Party just punishes around five percent of people, it is okay. If [they punish] more than ten percent, that is dangerous for the Communist Party. This is why last week, for example, the Communist Party tried to stop the Apple Daily newspaper in Hong Kong and in mainland China some people wrote a message, saying, oh, why seventy years ago the Kuomintang forgot to use that Communist-controlled mouthpiece.

Another person on the internet said because the Kuomintang still held morals but the Communist Party does not have [morals]. The meaning is the Communist Party do not have morals now. The Communist Party understands, but the Communist Party just ignores that because a lot of people mentioned about that. They cannot punish more than half the people in mainland China. So if you do not stand up very strong to the Communist Party, they have to ignore that. So this is why the social credit the Communist Party sometimes sees not as a real use to punish the people.

Robert R. Reilly:

Speaking of the Kuomintang, what are your thoughts on Taiwan? We have had a couple of generals speak recently to the Westminster Institute and both agreed that the way things look now, there will be a war, certainly within five years. What do you think about Taiwan and what Xi is going to do with respect to Taiwan?

Chen Guangcheng:

The Communist Party has tried to give Taiwan trouble not just today, but since long ago, but it looks like this year the Communist Party tried to do more about this. I think importantly the Communist Party tried to know what the U.S. government is thinking about that. That is very important. If the U.S. gives some raw information to the Communist Party, maybe they will do more evil things in Taiwan. If you do more for Taiwan, you will get in trouble. The Communist Party will [act] to stop you [from] doing that.

William Saunders:

So if the U.S. stands up for Taiwan, the CCP will stop them?

Chen Guangcheng:

Yes, sure, not just talk, really stand with Taiwan. I can show that. For example, last year when the Communist Party used the evil law to give Hong Kong trouble, if the U.S. had stood up very strong to do something to stop the Communist Party, this year something would not have happened for the Apple Daily newspaper. But because since last year the U.S. has had trouble happening, so this is why the bad things are happening in Hong Kong.

Another thing that is very important about Taiwan is the U.S. tech companies sell a lot of new technology to the Chinese Communists. The Chinese Communists work with the Communist Party’s military, so the Communist Party used the West’s new technology to develop weapons to fight back the U.S. aircraft carriers and destroyers. That is very, very dangerous. That means the U.S. used new technology to beat itself, so you can see Taiwan is important for technology. Taiwan is important for the Western countries. I think Taiwan’s political system should replace the Communist Party’s system, not the other way around.

Robert R. Reilly:

Let me ask this as a closing question, Guangcheng, and that is China followed a policy for many years of remaining quiet while it built its strength. However, President Xi is not quiet. He is very bold in proclaiming China’s goals, its military strength, its power, and when I have asked people who study China and indeed Chinese why Xi did not also remain quiet while continuing to build his strength because in five, ten years it would be too late for the United States to do anything about it? And the answer I received is President Xi already thinks it is too late for the United States. China has already achieved such a position of superiority that it is too late for the United States.

Chen Guangcheng:

No, no, no, that is not true.

Robert R. Reilly:

Is is true that he thinks that?

Chen Guangcheng:

Let’s compare the Trump administration and the Biden administration. There was an official, Liu He. He came here to have a dialogue with the U.S. government. At that time the Trump administration was in office. You can see he is very, very careful to say something with the U.S. government, to speak politely. He said okay, we will buy some soybeans. He said we will do something that let’s us talk about business. That is very, very careful, but when after that several years ago the U.S. tried to make a dialogue with the Communist Party in Alaska, you can see the State Department person. His name is Yang Jiechi. He looked like he was very strong, speaking for more than fifty minutes, criticizing the U.S., but after that he said, okay, through his translator, that he just said that for the Chinese people. The next thing netizens said is it looks like Yang Jiechi is a dog.

William Saunders:

So does President Xi believe the CCP is stronger than America and America cannot do anything?

Chen Guangcheng:

No, no, no, and that is next up. Just because Xi looks like that because Xi understands the Biden administration is very different than the Trump administration. They know, for example, the U.S. is much stronger than the Communist Party, but they know the U.S. will not use the military to give them trouble, just for dialogue, just for talking. The Communist Party is never afraid of talking. If you want to talk, okay, we can talk. You can say one and one is two. I can say one and one is one hundred, no problem, continue to do that. So I think no one believes, including Xi Jinping, that they are stronger than the U.S.

Robert R. Reilly:

This will be my last question. What is Xi most afraid of? In other words what are the greatest vulnerabilities of the CCP?

Chen Guangcheng:

I think the Communist Party is afraid of two things. One is the Chinese people waking up. They know the democratic system is much better than an authoritarian regime. They say why is the Communist Party preparing a lot of money to stop that? That is one thing that makes the Communist Party very, very scared. Another thing is now Western countries understand how to influence the Communist Party. The Communist Party persecuted the Chinese people. They are threatening the well-being of the whole world. So now the Western countries have tried to join hands to fight back against the Communist Party, to stop the party from doing evil things internationally. So if the Western countries joined hands with the Chinese people, the Communist Party will lose power. They are very scared of this.

Robert R. Reilly:

I am afraid we are out of time. I would like to thank Chen Guangcheng and William Saunders for joining us to discuss the significance of the hundredth anniversary of the Communist Party of China today. And thank you for joining us in the audience, and I hope you will go to the Westminster Institute website and see the other videos we have on offer, discussing Russia, China, the Middle East, and other vital issues of today. I am Robert Reilly, your host.

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