Wang Fanxi (1907-2002)
I am very sorry that I am sick and cannot attend today’s meeting. But I cannot remain silent when the Chinese Communist Party has committed such a horrible crime in Tiananmen Square leading to widespread protests.
I was an early member of the Chinese Communist Party. I joined in 1925 and was expelled in 1929. I was expelled because I disagreed with the policies issued by Stalin from Moscow and carried out by his Chinese followers. I opposed those policies. Among those expelled was Chen Duxiu – a main founder of the Chinese Communist Party and the man who proposed the slogan “Science and Democracy” in 1919.
After being expelled from the Party, I continued my activities as a socialist until today – although I am too old to do much active work now.
Looking back, I am reluctant to say that the Chinese Communist Party, under the leadership of Mao Zedong and his faction, has never done a single good thing for China. That would be untrue. What I want to say is that the Party has done a lot of good things and a lot more bad things in the last 50 years or so. And the recent massacre in Beijing is one of the greatest crimes they have ever committed.
We must oppose this government, protest against it, struggle against it, and call on everyone to rise up and replace it. Such a barbaric rule must be defeated and replaced.
The question is: how to overthrow it and what kind of political system to replace it? Some people accuse the students of trying to restore capitalism to China. I don’t believe that. I think what they want is a socialism with democracy. That’s what I’m fighting for. If capitalism is restored in China, the people of China, especially the working people, will be in a worse position than they are today, and China will most likely be turned into a new colony.
Leeds, England, June 9, 1989
Note by Wang Fanxi.
The Tiananmen Square massacre has aroused condemnations and protests all over the world, and Britain is no exception. In particular, the academic community, both Chinese and foreign, held street demonstrations and mass meetings. On June 9, five days after the tragedy, Chinese and foreign students and other people from all walks of life in Leeds held a protest meeting at the university, which was filmed and recorded by Britain’s Radio 4 and broadcast to the whole of Britain two days later. I was unable to attend the conference due to illness, so I prepared this short speech on the spot and asked a student from Hong Kong to read it out at the conference on my behalf. Two pictures of me were added to the broadcast.
Of course, it was impossible for me to give a full and precise explanation of the Chinese Communist Party, the Tiananmen tragedy, and the future of China in such a speech. A friend told me afterwards that I had failed to point out when and what the CCP had done good things and when and what it had done bad things. He thought I should also have pointed out that the CCP could never do anything good in the future, and that it must be replaced. These suggestions are certainly justified; but he forgot that a short speech at a mass meeting must not be all things to all people.
On February 18, 1992, I translated the speech from English into Chinese at the request of Brother Zichun (i.e., Lou Guohua).