Since its establishment in 1949, the People’s Republic of China has inflicted tremendous suffering upon the Chinese people.
Whether it was the policies of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) that resulted in the deaths of 45 million people or the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, China’s communist government has been at the forefront of squashing the natural rights of its people for decades.
In the name of preserving their Marxist utopia, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued its authoritarian practices into the modern day, with the regime using the most recent outbreak of Covid-19 as justification for instituting unscientific “Zero Covid” lockdown policies. Originally relegated to Shanghai, these lockdowns have spread to multiple Chinese cities across the country, leading to widespread food shortages and starvation among the civilian population. Citizens daring to speak out or resist such policies are summarily detained and disappeared by state authorities.
Despite the government’s attempts to snuff out any semblance of opposition among the Chinese population, individuals within and outside of China are making it their mission to inform citizens that life under CCP rule isn’t their only option.
Known as the “Movement of Declaration of Independence in China,” the primarily online campaign is an effort to cripple communist rule in China by exposing Chinese citizens to the founding principles of the United States, such as the notion that every person is guaranteed certain unalienable rights by God and not government.
While speaking with The Federalist, Dr. Li-Meng Yan, one of the movement’s leaders, said that by introducing documents like the U.S. Declaration of Independence to Chinese civilians, she hopes that Chinese people will “learn the spirit of America” and understand that “[they] have their rights endorsed by God.”
“We encourage people to use their own words to express their opinions to show their attitudes against communist China,” Yan said. “We want the Chinese people to understand they are human, they have their own freedom, they own their human rights and their own mind, and they can express [it] to let people hear their voice.”
A Chinese virologist and immunologist, Yan was one of the first medical professionals to study Covid-19 and come to the conclusion that the respiratory virus likely leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China. After accusing Beijing of hiding crucial information about the virus during the early months of the pandemic, Yan fled to the United States from Hong Kong in April 2020 to “raise awareness” about the origins of Covid and expose the CCP’s attempted cover-up.
During our conversation, Yan went on to detail how the “Declaration of Independence in China” movement aims to rid China of its “evil communist ideology,” with a long-term goal of a democratic China where “Chinese people’s human rights [are guaranteed] under the rule of law like [the] American Constitution.”
In the meantime, however, Yan says that she is focused on helping Chinese citizens “understand the importance of faith” and “how America was founded under the instructions from God.”
“We are fighting for the unalienable rights endowed by God,” she said.
While punishment for dissent remains incredibly dangerous in China, a few citizens have since taken brave actions in speaking out against the state. Earlier this month, for instance, an individual with the surname Ma was taken into custody by CCP authorities for issuing his own “declaration of independence,” with the state-run Global Times accusing him of being “brainwashed by outside anti-China forces.”
“According to information the Global Times has acquired, aside from forming illegal organizations and making political outlines to subvert the state, Ma also targeted young people and university students, inciting them to join in activities that smear the country and the people,” the Times’ staff reporters allege. “Ma’s activities are in violation of China’s laws and the [state security bureau in Hangzhou of East China’s Zhejiang Province] is investigating the case.”
In a copy of the declaration obtained by The Federalist, Ma repeatedly blasts the CCP and Chairman Xi Jinping for their many “crimes” against the Chinese people, while also calling for the abolishment of the country’s communist government and a guarantee of basic human rights under a new democratic system.
“The freedom and openness, the democratic elections, the restoration of the Republic of China … are our demands to overthrow the CCP. We can wait no further,” Ma writes. “We are solemnly pronouncing the independence and autonomy of all provinces of China to break away from the CCP and cut off all connections to the evil regime. Defend freedom, defend human rights, make joint declarations, take the joint oaths.”
Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood