Wei Jingsheng: We should consider influencing US policy towards communist countries to enable the United States to have a more reasonable, realistic policy towards totalitarianism. We can see that there are some US presidents who have been effective towards totalitarianism, for incidence, Eisenhower and Reagan, but we have also witnessed some US presidents who have carried out counterproductive actions, like Obama and Bill Clinton. The United States has a very unclear and unfocused policy towards totalitarianism, but you can see clearly that communist countries have a very realistic policy towards democracy. Xi Jinping and the Communist Party have now become very rich. The tentacles that they can spread out to control international society are much greater than they used to be.
Dimon Liu: Hong Kong is a city where I lived for fifteen years and had a very good life. Hong Kong is a city I love. But since I left, there has been a slow erosion of freedom. The good news is that it has been slow. The bad news is that the speed has increased in the last few years. On July 18, the Hong Kong court, which under British rule was independent, but now much less so, has disqualified four pro-democracy legislative members. They basically expelled them, invalidated the election, which took place about a year ago.
The violence towards protestors is much more severe now. For instance, a friend of mine just got his face pressed onto Astroturf. Astroturf, if any of you have ever touched it, is pretty hard, and his face got really smashed. This is not something that used to happen before.
China is the largest tyranny on Earth. Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the US have enabled the Chinese Communist Party—not the people—to become very, very wealthy. There are still 800 million Chinese living under poverty.
I understood when I became a human rights activist that human rights have to be universal; there cannot be exceptions. As a human rights activist from China, from Hong Kong, I worked for everybody, at the UN, at the US Congress. I supported all the people who were being discriminated against, pressurized, and tortured. Partly, I see the responsibility as a Chinese for Chinese communism, which is an extreme form of tyranny. If you defeat Chinese communist tyranny, all the smaller tyrannies, which China supports, will also be free. This is what Wei has spent his life focusing on, and this is what I have pledged to support.
These remarks were delivered at events held by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to commemorate Captive Nations Week in Washington, D.C. on July 19, 2017.