Photos: Hong Kong Protesters Return to the Streets

PostBy: 殷楚楚-chuchu yin

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens filled the city’s streets for a second weekend of protest against a controversial extradition bill that would allow authorities to send suspected criminals to China. The demonstration took place despite an earlier statement from Chief Executive Carrie Lam indicating that the proposed bill would be suspended indefinitely. Marchers were calling for Hong Kong’s leadership to step down and for a full withdrawal of the extradition bill. Organizers claim that more than 2 million people took part in the march in Hong Kong on Sunday.

A protester clenches his fist as hundreds of thousands of people march on the streets to stage a protest against the unpopular extradition bill in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

People pay their respects at the site where a man fell from a scaffolding at the Pacific Place complex while protesting against a proposed extradition bill, in Hong Kong, on June 16, 2019.

A man takes a selfie with a protest poster before sticking it to the wall of a walkway near the Legislative Council ahead of a speech by Chief Executive Carrie Lam on June 14, 2019.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, holds a press conference in Hong Kong on June 15, 2019. Lam said she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts.

This general view shows thousands of protesters gathered ahead of the start of a new rally against a controversial extradition-law proposal in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Protesters in a subway station, photographed on their way to the rally in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019

Protesters hold placards as they attend a demonstration demanding that Hong Kong’s leaders step down and withdraw the extradition bill, on June 16, 2019.

A large banner protesting against the extradition bill that reads “Fight for HK,” hung by pro-democracy protesters above Hong Kong on June 16, 2019

Protesters march on the streets against an extradition bill in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Protesters hold placards as they prepare to demonstrate against the now suspended extradition bill on June 16, 2019.

A woman takes pictures from a rooftop as protesters march on a street below on June 16, 2019. 

An overhead view shows thousands of protesters marching through the street in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Marchers continue to protest an extradition bill on June 16, 2019.

Protesters march through the streets of Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Protesters hold banners and shout slogans as they fill the streets of Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Protesters dressed in black take part in a new rally against a controversial extradition-law proposal in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Protesters march in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Demonstrators gather along a police barricade on June 16, 2019.

A protester with a mask gathers with others near the Legislative Council as they continue protesting against the unpopular extradition bill in Hong Kong early on June 17, 2019.

A protester holds a flag of Hong Kong between police and demonstrators outside the Office of the Chief Executive in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019.

Mourners hold candles during a vigil for a protester who died the previous night during a rally in Hong Kong, on June 17, 2019.

Protesters gather along a road after taking part in a march and rally on June 16, 2019. 

A helmet and messages of support for the protest against a proposed extradition bill are seen displayed in the early morning in Hong Kong on June 17, 2019.

Barricades, placed in an underground tunnel by protesters, photographed after a demonstration against the now suspended extradition bill on June 17, 2019

Hong Kong Is on the Frontlines of a Global Battle For Freedom

PostBy: 殷楚楚-chuchu yin

Protesters throw back a tear gas canister fired by police during a rally against an extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 12.

Hong Kong Is on the Frontlines of a Global Battle For Freedom

By Feliz SolomonJune 12, 2019 9:00 PM EDT

The crowds weren’t just equipped for a storm, they were counting on one. When rain started to fall on the tens of thousands of mostly young people amassed around Hong Kong’s legislature on the morning of June 12, umbrellas popped open with loud shouts of “Ga yau!” — a Cantonese cheer meaning “Add oil,” as to a fire. Within hours, the flimsy canopies were flipped sideways and turned into makeshift shields against tear gas and pepper spray fired by local police. They proved less reliable against rubber bullets, however, and might offer no protection at all against the authoritarian forces that loom over the entire island.

But the point was to try.

The protests were hardly the first in the former British colony since it was handed over to China in 1997. The specter of greater control by communist authorities on the mainland had driven Hong Kongers onto the streets in 2003, 2012 and 2014. But this time, the numbers were greater than ever before and the escalation carried at least the sense of a showdown.Photograph by Kin Cheung—AP

The specific issue at hand was a bill that would allow the extradition of fugitives to stand trial in mainland China. The legislation, fast-tracked by the city’s leadership, is widely seen as a threat to the unique freedoms this city of 7 million enjoys. Under the terms of the handover, Hong Kong has operated under a customized model called “one country, two systems,” which gave it a 50-year period of effective self-rule, even though it is part of China. Its history as a lucrative colonial port town left a liberal legacy unique in the People’s Republic.

Hong Kongers have long lived a freer, more cosmopolitan lifestyle than most Chinese, and prejudice against mainlanders is pervasive. Free speech and an independent press are enshrined in the Basic Law that has governed the city since the handover. They’re proud of their distinct cuisine and language, speaking Cantonese rather than the Mandarin more common in greater China.

But critics fear that China’s encroachment may bring an end to all that. Beijing might use the law to nab opponents and submit them to its notoriously opaque justice system, they say. The risk could extend beyond residents, even to visitors who pass through the city’s transit hub. “If Hong Kong’s extradition bill becomes law,” says Sean King, a former U.S. diplomat in Asia and currently senior vice president for the consultancy firm Park Strategies, “I’d think very carefully about visiting again anytime soon.”

In other words, the contest for Hong Kong reflects the stakes for the larger world that China seeks to lead.

The rise of Beijing has been the major global story of the new century. But the very breadth of that ascent and the bland labels of the areas where it has edged toward dominance — trade, infrastructure, finance, tech — have served to mask the nature of the system China brings with it. That system is control.

On the mainland, the system appears to go unchallenged, because control is almost total and cast as conformity. Along with a surveillance state, China’s Communist Party has worked to impose a singular vision of Chinese identity in territories where diversity once thrived. In the far western province of Xinjiang, authorities have detained more than a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in concentration camps where they are forced to adopt secular Chinese customs. In Tibet, the party is systematically erasing a rich Buddhist heritage. President Xi Jinping has revived nationalism as a unifying force, in step with a rising tide of authoritarians around the globe that U.S. President Donald Trump has in many cases embraced.A police officer pepper-sprays demonstrators during a protest against the extradition law proposal on June 10.A police officer pepper-sprays demonstrators during a protest against the extradition law proposal on June 10. Lam Yik Fei—The New York Times/ReduxDemonstrators overturn metal barriers on June 10, as protests against the extradition law turn violent.Demonstrators overturn metal barriers on June 10, as protests against the extradition law turn violent. Lam Yik Fei—The New York Times/Redux

Now it appears to be Hong Kong’s turn to feel the heat of a greater power forcing it into conformity — but China’s freest city won’t give in without a fight. Hong Kong has a long history of mass demonstrations. Significantly, just days before the protests erupted, it was host to one of the largest-ever vigils for the victims of Beijing’s bloody 1989 crackdown on democracy activists at Tiananmen Square. It’s the only place on Chinese soil where the massacre is openly commemorated, while government censors try to wipe it from mainland memory. The spirit of the protests snuffed out 30 years before helped inflame the demonstrations seen in Hong Kong.

“We’re furious, we’re angry, some of us are afraid — but we’re here anyway,” says Laurie Wen, a 48-year-old writer who joined this month’s protests. “The thing that infuriates us the most is pointing to the sky during the day and calling it night.”

Read more: ‘I’m in Prison Because I Fought For My City’s Freedom. Hong Kong’s Extradition Law Would be a Victory for Authoritarianism Everywhere’

Hong Kong’s fresh wave of civil disobedience began with a murder. In February 2018, a pregnant 20-year-old woman from Hong Kong was killed by her boyfriend during a trip to Taiwan. The suspect, Chan Tong-kai, then 19, flew back to Hong Kong and has since been jailed for lesser crimes. Unable to prosecute the Hong Kong resident for a murder beyond the city’s jurisdiction and without legal grounds to send him to Taiwan, the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, pushed for a bill that would allow Chan to be extradited.

But the legislation raised alarm bells. Hong Kong’s courts and Lam would have the authority to transfer suspects to jurisdictions with which the territory has no extradition agreement — not just Taiwan but also mainland China. This presents a threat not just to criminals but potentially to anyone whose behavior offends the Communist Party leadership, from human-rights advocates to business executives.Police officers stand guard during a protest on June 12.Police officers stand guard during a protest on June 12. Billy H.C. Kwok—Getty Images

That helps explain why an unusually diverse assemblage of lawyers, students, stay-at-home moms, business-people and others joined the protests against what they see as an existential assault on their rights. On Sunday, June 9, a two-mile stretch of a central avenue was filled with column after column of protesters in a uniform of plain white T-shirts. From above, the mass of slow-moving city dwellers looked like a giant snake sliding through a forest of skyscrapers and wrapping its jaws around Hong Kong’s legislative headquarters.

If the estimates are even close to accurate, the march was the largest protest in the city’s history; organizers say more than a million people — one-seventh of the population — flooded the streets with chants of “No extradition to China!” and “Carrie Lam, step down!”

The reality is, China already feels empowered to grab its adversaries from Hong Kong soil. In 2015, five book-sellers peddling salacious volumes about mainland politics disappeared; all five eventually resurfaced in China. In 2017, a Chinese tycoon was abducted by secret police from one of the city’s luxury hotels. But the extradition bill would render what are now noteworthy exceptions into something entirely routine; if the option to legally extradite people is on the table, Beijing will use it, critics say.Tear gas is released during a protest on June 12.Tear gas is released during a protest on June 12. Billy H.C. Kwok—Getty ImagesProtesters raise their hands during a protest on June 12.Protesters raise their hands during a protest on June 12. Billy H.C. Kwok—Getty Images

Chinese officials have spoken out in full support of the legislation, but Lam steadfastly denies that the amendments were Beijing’s idea. “This bill was not initiated by the central people’s government. I have not received any instruction or mandate from Beijing,” Lam told reporters at a press conference on June 10. “We were doing it, and we are still doing it, out of our clear conscience and our commitment to Hong Kong.”

Though Lam’s critics describe her as a “puppet” of the mainland, her protests illustrate the importance of maintaining at least the pretense of independence. The Hong Kong government is still haunted by the massive protests of 2003, which forced it to back down on national-security legislation outlawing sedition and criticism of the Chinese government. Scrapping the bill was perceived as an admission that the government knew it was wrong, and Lam is fearful a repeat would destroy both Beijing’s trust in her loyalty and her legitimacy at home. The last time Hong Kongers took to the street in great numbers, in the 2014 student-led occupation of the financial district that became known as the Umbrella Movement, the authorities here and in Beijing refused to grant concessions. Many student leaders were jailed, and some remain behind bars. If Lam gives in now, Hong Kong will have proved that throngs in the street still have currency in the final free enclave of China.Protesters walk through a cloud of tear gas on June 12.Protesters walk through a cloud of tear gas on June 12. Billy H.C. Kwok—Getty Images

This time, unlike in 2014, the protests have taken on a more violent tenor. On the streets, clashes broke out after some demonstrators hurled bricks and bottles at police. The first clouds of tear gas exploded into the crowds just before 4 p.m. on June 12, sending panicked protesters and journalists fleeing for the safety of malls and parking garages. But the demonstrators are defiant, vowing to defy the government until the legislation is dead in the water.

The business and diplomatic communities have answered the call to support them. More than 100 local businesses committed to joining a labor strike on June 12 — an extremely rare event in Hong Kong — fearing the law could even endanger investors and government employees transiting through Hong Kong.

The government has already shown itself willing to punish private companies for offending Beijing; last year, Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet was denied a working visa after chairing a talk by a pro-independence activist.

Protest leaders have shown no sign of backing down. “We ask everyone to continue staying here to support the demonstration,” Claudia Mo, a lawmaker with the pro-democracy Civic Party yelled to cheering crowds shortly before they were dispersed. “During Occupy Central in 2014, we said, ‘We will be back.’ Today, we say, ‘We are back!’”

Read more: ‘Hong Kong Was My Refuge, Now Its Freedom Is at Stake’Police advance toward protesters outside the government headquarters on June 12.Police advance toward protesters outside the government headquarters on June 12. Dale De La Rey—AFP/Getty ImagesDemonstrators transport bricks at a protest site on June 12. Police said some protesters threw bricks at officers.Demonstrators transport bricks at a protest site on June 12. Police said some protesters threw bricks at officers. Lucien Lung—Riva Press/Redux

The rift between Beijing and Hong Kong has now been widening for 22 years, and every attempt by the central government to bring Hong Kong further into its fold has triggered panic and protest. This in turn has deepened Beijing’s distrust of Hong Kong, which it sees as disloyal and subject to foreign interference.

News about the latest protests is being heavily censored in China, where state-controlled newspapers have blamed the unrest on “foreign forces” meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs — but experts say it is China’s own interference that may be further alienating its rogue territory.

“By forcing the issue in such an aggressive and abrupt way,” says James Millward, a professor of history at Georgetown University, “China can actually be creating a population in Hong Kong that will dig in and actually redefine itself in opposition to the mainland even more than it has so far.”Protesters shout after police fired tear gas on June 12.Protesters shout after police fired tear gas on June 12. Anthony Wallace—AFP/Getty Images

That risks putting the two sides on a more overt collision course. At best, more sustained opposition to Beijing will lead to political deadlock. At worst, it could lead to punishment in whatever form it deems fit.

Beijing’s tolerance of Hong Kong ultimately comes down to a cost-benefit analysis, and the city may be becoming more trouble than it’s worth. In 1993, four years before the handover, the coastal enclave was China’s cash cow — a financial gateway between East and West. At the time, the city accounted for roughly 27% of China’s GDP. But 26 years later, the mainland is awash in mercantile centers made in its own image and Hong Kong accounts for only about 2.9% of the Chinese economy.

“Uncomfortably for Hong Kongers, and everyone who loves Hong Kong, the city finds itself on the front lines of a global battle between a resurgent Chinese Communist Party and a world that adheres to liberal democratic values,” says Ben Bland, director of the Southeast Asia Project at the Lowy Institute and author of Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow. “The systems maintained by these two blocs are incompatible when pressed up against each other.”Police rest on a street during a rally near the government headquarters on June 12.Police rest on a street during a rally near the government headquarters on June 12. Dale De La Rey—AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong’s freedoms currently allow it to fight back in ways that other parts of China can’t, but for how long? The state is becoming only more pervasive. -Xinjiang is seen by many as a laboratory for wider application of invasive surveillance. Human-rights groups have reported police methods for harvesting data from Xinjiang residents from phones and ID cards and using it to track and detain supposed threats to public order. “Many people think that Hong Kong may be the next place where it gets rolled out,” says Millward of Georgetown. In the meantime, the memory of Tiananmen — where public protest was ultimately met with tanks and fusillades — is as vivid as it is chilling in Hong Kong.

Like many youths who joined the latest protests, high school student Rachel Liu grew up in a political state scheduled to expire within her lifetime. At 15 years old, she’s tasted the freedom that Hong Kong offers and is afraid of the change an increasingly authoritarian Beijing will bring to the only home she knows. “There are so many officials in China, and they have so much power,” she said. “Even if this amendment doesn’t pass, there will be other amendments, other laws in the future that will bring Hong Kong more and more under China’s control. There’s nothing more important than this movement right now.” — With reporting by Laignee Barron, Aria Chen, Amy Gunia, Abhishyant Kidangoor and Hillary Leung/Hong Kong and Charlie Campbell/Shanghai

六四「最後的秘密」 香港出版中共機密文件再揭權力內幕

PostBy: 殷楚楚-chuchu yin

「六四」資料照片

1989年6月3日深夜至4日凌晨, 中共下令軍隊鎮壓學生民主運動,用武力驅趕佔領北京天安門廣場的大學生,造成至少數百人傷亡。

如何收拾殘局和中共有關「六四」問題的決策內幕一直是中共的最高政治秘密,民間對事件真相追求的努力一直沒有停止,黨內文件不斷以各種渠道公布出來。

「六四」30週年之際,香港新世紀出版社出版《最後的秘密——中共十三屆四中「六四」結論文檔》,公布關於「六四」事件的又一批黨內機密文件,展現「六四」鎮壓後,中共「統一思想」的過程,揭露高層權力運作的機制。

6月19日至21日中共中央政治局擴大會議在北京召開,多位中共元老在會上做了講話或書面發言,隨後,中共十三屆四中全會在西郊賓館召開,489名中共黨內元老和最高級別官員出席。政治局擴大會議上產生的文件,以中央文件的形式下發。這是中共最後一次、也是唯一一次以中央全會的形式對「六四」事件定下結論。

「最後的秘密」

「六四」軍隊開槍20天後,於6月23-24日召開的此次中央全會的主要議題是支持鄧小平的開槍決定,用中央全會的形式,撤銷趙紫陽的總書記職務, 強化 「4.26 社論」對「八九學運」的定性,並集體「學習」鄧小平關於「六四」事件的數個講話和時任總理李鵬關於撤消趙紫陽職務的報告。

數天前舉行的中共政治局擴大會議上的元老講話和高官發言以機密文件的形式發給參會官員,在會議結束時全面回收以確保對外保密。

《最後的秘密》一書收錄了十三屆四中全會下發的27份文件, 共209頁。包括陳雲、楊尚昆、李先念、薄一波、王震、聶榮臻、萬里、彭真、胡啟立、芮杏文等17名中共元老和高官口頭講話和書面表態會議記錄。

鄧小平5月31日和6月16日與高級領導人的談話記錄,以及北京市委李錫銘、市長陳希同和公安部長王芳的報告也在新書文件中。

這些從未公開的內部資料揭露了中共高層政治內幕。深入分析這批珍貴史料,可有助了解中共政權面臨合法性危機時,身處中國最高權力小圈子的中共官員,如何主動或被迫懺悔、站隊和表態,支持鄧小平,批判趙紫陽。

《最後的秘密》

「冒險」出版過程與真實性核實

銅鑼灣書店事件之後,香港的政治類圖書出版業幾乎停滯,獨立出版人面臨極大政治和生存壓力。

在嚴格保密的情況下,新世紀出版社耗時數月對《最後的秘密》一書中披露的文件來源做了考證和說明, 表示本書中的文件由27份文本組成,共209頁,全部來自「六四」天安門事件之後兩次中共高層會議,即北京市委第六屆全體擴大會議和中共十三屆四中全會。但從文件編號缺失5份可看出,本書涵蓋文件並非十三屆四中全會文件的全部。目前估計,缺少中共政治局常委喬石、田紀雲和姚依林的講話。

出版人鮑樸對BBC中文說:「稿件接收時中間人和最終來源為了安全,保密身份,因此來源不能作為出版的條件。是否決定出版最重要的是看稿件的內容,材料必須經過考證和認證,確認文件的真實性。」

出版社稱除了對原始圖像做了少許技術處理,「沒有對文本進行任何選擇、刪除或更改」。身份未知的中間人向出版社的編輯提供了USB數字存儲裝置,原始文件中文字的缺陷沒有加以修復,但出版社編輯發現,這些文件已經做了一些數字處理,比如刪去了文件的編號和絶密標記。

據了解,文件被中共黨內姓名不詳的某高級官員複製並保存了多年,所有文件通過中介人提供,「沒有附加或口頭傳達任何解釋或說明」。

但BBC中文無法獨立對文件進行核實。

此書的重要意義在於可為之前面世的自傳文獻和其他官方文本,形成相互佐證,揭示在中共如何克服黨章程序上的限制,強行罷免趙紫陽,合法化武力鎮壓學生運動,並在開槍後統一思想,為接下來中共的權力體系布局。

本書也成為《改革歷程》和《李鵬六四日記》之後,民間獲得的解讀中共權力幕後高層運作的又一重要歷史文獻。

陳雲講話

高官發言:「國內外敵人——該殺的殺,該判刑的判刑」

引人注目的是,在黨內資歷高於鄧小平的元老陳雲未出席會議,以書面的形式提交兩句話:「一、趙紫陽同志辜負了黨對他的期望。二、我同意中央對趙紫陽同志的處理」。陳雲並未明確表示支持鄧小平使用軍隊鎮壓的決定。

87歲的退休元帥徐向前說,學運的根本目的是「妄圖推翻中國共產黨的領導,顛覆社會主義的中華人民共和國,建立一個反共反社會主義的、完全附庸於西方大國的資產階級共和國」。

對於如何處理「敵人」,81歲的前軍人和國家副主席王震言辭最為激烈,如果「鎮壓反革命暴亂就此完結,我很不贊成」。似乎沒說過癮,王震又提交了一份書面講話(王震是唯一有兩份發言稿的人),細數具體措施:「該殺的殺,該判刑的判刑,勞改、勞教一大批……戴了帽子的,勞改勞教的,一律吊銷城鎮戶口,送到偏遠地區,強制勞動。」

王震強調,「這次我們的方針是,一個不放過,一個不擴大。否則,不足以顯示人民民主專政的威力。」

王震將趙紫陽重用或支持的改革派稱為「像(注:原文)林彪那樣的大小艦隊」。他說這些人「控制一大批輿論工具,到處搞政治性沙龍、演講和集會,甚至鑽進黨和國家的核心部門,佔居重要崗位」。

王震用語強硬,接連兩個四字詞語和一連串並列短語描述他認為的嚴峻形勢:「(他們)上下勾連,內外串通,長期以來進行思想的、輿論的、組織的凖備和精心策劃……發動利用社會上的流氓政治團伙和地主官僚、封建軍閥反動階級殘餘及社會渣滓,企圖以動亂直至暴亂,達到推翻中國共產黨(的目的)。」

針對「國外敵人」,宋平說:「美國多方插手,『美國之音』每天造謠、煽動,唯恐中國不亂。」王震逐個列出了他所認為的海外勢力如何影響學運:金錢收買、思想文化滲透、派遣特務、盜竊情報、製造謠言、挑起動亂、扶植內部敵對勢力等,「除了直接出兵,什麼都用上了」。

被鄧小平臨時授命,取代趙紫陽的江澤民, 以總書記的身份發言,借著對其上任起關鍵作用的《世界經濟導報》事件,指責趙紫陽「採取資產階級政客的態度」。

江澤民含糊了鄧小平和保守派之間的分歧,向鄧效忠,為自己在黨內權力之路獲得平衡。 他的講話文件中表示,「鄧小平同志等老一代革命家健在,一般的工作,我們絶不打擾他們, 但是遇到重大問題,我們還是可以隨時向小平同志請教,聽取其他老一輩革命家的意見」。

趙紫陽
圖像加註文字,實質上已被軟禁的趙紫陽參加了政治局擴大會議,但沒有被安排發言(趙紫陽資料照片)。

實質上已被軟禁的趙紫陽參加了政治局擴大會議,但沒有被安排發言。兩天的會議時間,主要請所有參加會議的黨內元老和中共最高官員逐一發言,表態批判。 鄧小平只在第二天出席。 

據趙紫陽在其《改革歷程》一書中記錄,他堅持在最後進行自辯發言,發言時,與會者「面部緊張,急躁不安」。

正式表決時,據趙回憶,鄧小平說,「到會的人,不管是不是政治局成員,都有權參加表決」。 黨內元老李先念接著說,「這是李鵬給大家的權利(因為李鵬是會議主持人)」。

在趙紫陽看來,這些十分「滑稽」的程序卻意在「以勢壓人」。除趙之外,全體舉手贊成。這場看似合法,但實際無視《黨章》的會議,試圖使中共鎮壓八九學運合法化。

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被迫認錯:「輿論失控」因趙而起

《最後的秘密》涵蓋的機密文件還包括因反對鎮壓而遭到撤職的政治局常委胡啟立,以及主管宣傳的芮杏文和統戰部部長閻明復。他們承認,在危機時執行了趙紫陽的指示。這暴露出黨內80年代對新聞與文藝自由的不同路線。但不少「六四」研究者認為,他們的認錯是迫不得已。

閻明復在講話中說,自己在「八九」學運期間經歷了從「比較清醒」到「嚴重模糊、矛盾重重」的過程。但5月19日戒嚴大會後,聽了彭真、楊尚昆、李鵬、喬石的談話,「特別是聽了傳達小平同志重要講話,才又重新有了比較清醒認識」。

「八九」學運期間,5月20日北京戒嚴前,中國的新聞工作者爭取到了極為短暫的新聞自由。在刊發黨內宣傳講話的間隙,得以客觀、公正地報道學運。

胡啟立的講話為此提供了事實依據。他說,「十二日,我按照紫陽同志的批示,向首都各大新聞單位主編傳達了他的講話」。他被迫承認,這次傳達是「向新聞界燒了一把火」,令「錯誤的輿論導向」出現。

芮杏文也表示,他向首都新聞單位負責人傳達了趙紫陽的批示,因而「給新聞單位負責人鬆了綁,使新聞宣傳決了口,輿論失控越來越嚴重,直至完全失控」。

文藝思想上,芮杏文提到趙紫陽與鄧小平的不同政策。他說,鄧小平的出發點是,「黨對文藝工作要按照文藝創作規律來管,不要亂管,不要亂干涉」。而趙紫陽則認為「少管、不管」。

揭秘的意義

基於此套機密文件和其他資料,對本書做了深入史料考證的「六四」親歷者和旅美作家吳禹論接受BBC獨家採訪時說:「新書完整呈現了一套罕見的歷史資料,揭示了中共高層運作機制。在危機時刻,正是這種機制,完全無視任何事實、意識形態、一切法律或規章制度, 而確保獨一無二的最高領袖掌握權力。這是中共執政的法寶。」

另一位為此書做了導言的美國政治學者黎安友評價:「本書所刊登的文件闡述了中共官方對鄧小平10年改革,1989年危機以及之後黨的方針的看法。 這一立場在其後三十年基本上保持不變, 並是現今習近平領導的共產黨的指導思想。」

「這些黨內學習材料對了解和研究中國黨內高層政治規則,1980年代高層嚴重政策分歧導致幾近崩潰的困境、以及今天仍然面臨的問題,提供了十分難得的機會。這些文件也為了解習近平治下當今共產黨領導心態提供了獨特的視角」。

巴拿马文件:中共资金是如何逃到海外?

PostBy: 殷楚楚-chuchu yin

在香港银行大楼的背景下,有一排排的兑换外币的店铺,进行着快速和匿名的一些交易。

这个景象的背后,是数额更大的资金以史无前例的速度在转移。内地的财富经过香港或海外的外汇交易商外流。去年,有大约一万亿美元资金从中国外流,令外汇储备缩水。

这一变化可能会动摇中国的整体经济。

莫萨克·冯赛卡(Mossack Fonseca)泄露出来的文件,让我们了解到中国领导人的家人如何把钱转到海外。

至少7名现任和前任领导人与这家巴拿马公司所设立的离岸公司有牵连,包括中国国家主席习近平和另两名领导人。

这项丑闻涉及的中国现任及前任领导人家族成员:

现任领导人:

  • 习近平(中国国家主席)——姐夫邓家贵是两家离岸公司的董事及股东。
  • 刘云山(中共中央政治局常委)——儿媳妇贾丽青是一家离岸公司的董事和股东。
  • 张高丽(中共中央政治局常委)——女婿李圣泼是3家离岸公司的股东。

前任领导人:

  • 李鹏(国务院总理:1987年至1998年)——女儿李小琳是一家离岸公司的董事和股东。
  • 贾庆林(中国政协主席:2002年至2012年)——外孙女李紫丹拥有一家离岸公司。
  • 曾庆红(国家副主席:2002年至2007年)——胞弟曾庆淮是一家离岸公司的董事。
  • 胡耀邦(党总书记:1982年至1987年)——三儿子胡德华是一家离岸公司的董事和股东。

这些名字此前在与离岸银行相关的报道中出现。但是,新文件泄露的时机对中国领导人来说比较棘手。

拥有离岸公司在中国并不违法,但这些隐秘金融机构的存在给中国领导人的家庭提出了各种疑问。

根据党章,中国共产党的官员应该“廉洁”,不能从以权谋私,他们的家属也不能从与高层的关系中获利。

香港城市大学政治评论员林和立说,习近平把自己塑造成“一个在道德和廉洁上纯粹的人”。

他说,在海外帐户上存放着大量的资金“明显与习近平的要求和共产党的传统相悖”。

“至于高官子女是否非法取得财富,这很难说,毕竟中国司法体系太隐晦。”

莫萨克·冯赛卡公司帮助习近平的姐夫邓家贵在英属维尔京群岛上设立了三家离岸公司。(资料图片)
图像加注文字,莫萨克·冯赛卡公司帮助习近平的姐夫邓家贵在英属维尔京群岛上设立了三家离岸公司。(资料图片)

资本逃逸

巴拿马文件透露了更多的关于中国权贵阶层海外资金状况。大批的电子邮件显示,莫萨克·冯赛卡(Mossack Fonseca)公司没有按照国际法的要求,在没有做背景调查的情况下,长期帮助一些有政治关系的客户成为离岸公司的股东。

比如,莫萨克·冯赛卡帮助习近平的姐夫邓家贵在英属维尔京群岛上设立了三家离岸公司。

但是,莫萨克·冯赛卡在2004年和2009年帮助邓家贵购买公司的时候,并没有调查邓与中共高层的关联。

尚不清楚这三家公司是被用来做什么的,尽管其中一家已解散,另两家在习近平2012年担任中共中央总书记后成为休眠公司。

这其中的讽刺意味很明显:自从习近平上台后,他在党内展开了密集的反腐运动,仅2015年,就有超过30万官员因违反反腐条例被惩处。

在莫萨克·冯赛卡发生的事情也在别的地方被复制。富有的中国人利用香港作为跳板,将资金挪到海外,以便保护他们的财产。

在香港的独立中国分析员安德鲁·科利尔(Andrew Collier)说:“把钱放在中国通常有两点担心。第一,中国经济放缓;第二,中国领导层试图清理腐败,有些人担心钱放在中国不安全,因此要把资金挪到海外。”

香港成为中国封堵资金外流的焦点。上月,中国反贪官员表示,外流的资金大多途经香港,并表示要阻止这一势头,尽管这可能很难做到。

“出现恐慌”

尽管中国的银行加强管控,去年大约有6.5亿美元的资金离开中国。中国公民每年只能五万美元的外汇额度,超过这个限额的资金转移就是违法。有些人利用复杂的转帐来将资金转移出境。

一名非法外汇交易员告诉我们,他是如何通过在中国、香港、越南和菲律宾的大批“僵尸”账户将资金秘密转到海外。

他利用那些已去世的人的名下账户,来确保无法追查到他自己。

他笑着说:“我将客户的钱存到某个国家的某个账户,然后兑换后将钱存到另一个国家的另一个帐户。”

但是,他不再接受那些试图把人民币从中国转移到海外的生意了。

他皱着眉头说:“我已经有了太多的人民币。”

如果中国对他这样的人采取打压,更严格地执法会怎么样呢?

他说:“恐慌,那就会有恐慌。”

北京国际机场。(资料图片)
图像加注文字,北京国际机场。(资料图片)

钱骡

资本流动的背后是焦虑。

林和立说:“人们对金融和经济决策团队的能力没有信心。如果他们有一、两百万美元,不在海外存放一半的资金那就是愚蠢的,因为他们对党的未来没有什么信心。”

那些无法得到大牌外汇交易员服务的人,就依靠“钱骡”来帮助他们把钱弄到海外。我们见到了一名钱骡,他告诉我们他业务繁忙,帮助焦虑的客户把钱挪到海外。

“如果我的客户想移民,或者在境外投资,他们就需要我的帮助。”

“有时我把现金绑在身上,或者装进一个小袋子里。海关人员经常针对行李很多的人、或看上去紧张的人来检查,所以我就尽量保持镇静。”

中国最富裕的人把钱转移到海外有何影响呢?

钱一旦离开的中国,就必须有一个去向。

大量资金外流推高了全球的房价。根据从事华人海外购房生意的居外海外房产网(juwai.com)介绍,中国买家去年花费520亿美元购买境外房产。

在香港,来自内地的中国人挥重金购买高端房产。这在其它地方也是如此——中国最富裕的人在各地存放和消费他们资金,也许包括最高层的人。

他们试图保护自己,但这让中国变得更脆弱。

Liu Xiaobo: The man China couldn’t erase

PostBy: 殷楚楚-chuchu yin

“There is nothing criminal in anything I have done but I have no complaints.”

So stated Liu Xiaobo in court in 2009, and in the eight long prison years between then and now, he refused to recant his commitment to democracy. No wonder China’s leaders are as afraid of him in death as they were in life.

The Chinese Communist Party was once a party of conviction, with martyrs prepared to die for their cause, but it’s had nearly 70 years in power to become an ossified and cynical establishment. It imprisons those who demand their constitutional rights, bans all mention of them at home and uses its economic might abroad to exact silence from foreign governments. Under President Xi, China has pursued this repression with great vigour and success. Liu Xiaobo is a rare defeat.

Beijing’s problem began in 2010 when he won a Nobel Peace Prize. That immediately catapulted Liu Xiaobo into an international A-list of those imprisoned for their beliefs, alongside Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Carl von Ossietzky.

The last in that list may be unfamiliar to some, but to Beijing he’s a particularly uncomfortable parallel. Carl von Ossietzky was a German pacifist who won the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize while incarcerated in a concentration camp. Hitler would not allow a member of the laureate’s family to collect the award on his behalf.

Liu Xiaobo was also serving a prison sentence for subversion when he won the peace prize. Beijing would not let his wife collect the award and instead placed her under house arrest. Liu Xiaobo was represented at the 2010 award ceremony in Oslo by an empty chair and the comparisons began between 21st Century China and 1930s Germany.

The empty chair with Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize on it
While in jail, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. An empty chair was left for him at the ceremony

Strict censorship is another shared feature of both cases. Mention of Carl von Ossietzky’s 1935 Nobel peace prize was banned in Nazi Germany and the same is true of Liu Xiaobo’s award in China today. For a time China even banned the search term “empty chair”. So he has been an embarrassment to China internationally, but at home few Chinese are aware of him. Even as foreign doctors contradicted the Chinese hospital on his fitness to travel, and Hong Kong saw vigils demanding his release, blanket censorship in mainland China kept the public largely ignorant of the dying Nobel laureate in their midst.

Selective amnesia is state policy in China and from Liu Xiaobo’s imprisonment until his death, the government worked hard to erase his memory. To make it hard for family and friends to visit, he was jailed nearly 400 miles from home. His wife Liu Xia was shrouded in surveillance so suffocating that she gradually fell victim to mental and physical ill health. Beijing punished the Norwegian government to the point where Oslo now shrinks from comment on Chinese human rights or Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel prize.

An undated handout photo made available through the twitter account of Guangzhou-based activist Ye Du, shows Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (L) with his wife Liu Xia, at an undisclosed location.
Liu Xiaobo (left) is seen here with his wife Liu Xia (right) in this undated photo

But in death as in life, Liu Xiaobo has refused to be erased. The video footage of the dying man which China released outside the country was clearly intended to prove to the world that everything was done to give him a comfortable death. The unintended consequence is to make him a martyr for China’s downtrodden democracy movement and to deliver a new parallel with the Nobel Peace Prize of 1930s Germany.

Liu Xiaobo was granted medical parole only in the terminal stage of his illness, and even in hospital he was under close guard with many friends denied access to his bedside. Nearly 80 years ago, Carl von Ossietzky also died in hospital under prison guard after medical treatment came too late to save him.

Comparisons with the human rights record and propaganda efforts of Nazi Germany are particularly dismaying for Beijing after a period in which it feels it has successfully legitimised its one-party state on the world stage. At the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month, no world leader publicly challenged President Xi over Liu Xiaobo’s treatment. With China increasingly powerful abroad and punitive at home, there are few voices raised on behalf of its political dissidents.

Liu Xiaobo was not always a dissident. An outspoken academic with a promising career and a passport to travel, until 1989 he’d led a charmed life. The Tiananmen Square democracy movement that year was the fork in his path. After the massacre on June 4th, the costs of defying the Party were tragically clear to all.

Most of his contemporaries, and of the generations which followed, judged those costs too high. They chose life, liberty and a stake in the system.

Liu Xiaobo was one of the few who took the other fork. He stayed true to the ideals of 1989 for the rest of his life, renouncing first his opportunities to leave China, and then, repeatedly, his liberty. Even in recent years, his lawyers said he had turned down the offer of freedom in exchange for a confession of guilt.

‘If you want to enter hell, don’t complain of the dark….’

Liu Xiaobo once wrote. And in the statement from his trial which was read at his Nobel award ceremony alongside his empty chair, Liu Xiaobo said he felt no ill will towards his jailers and hoped to transcend his personal experience.

No wonder such a man seemed dangerous to Beijing. For a jealous ruling party, an outsider with conviction is an affront, and those who cannot be bought or intimidated are mortal enemies.

But for Liu Xiaobo the struggle is over. The image of his empty deathbed will now haunt China like the image of his empty chair. And while Beijing continues to intimidate, persecute and punish those who follow his lead, it will not erase the memory of its Nobel prize winner any more than Nazi Germany erased its shame 81 years ago.