The Chinese people, lacking any right to elect and be elected, persist in expressing their dissatisfaction with the authoritarian regime that governs their destinies. To do so, they use all the resources at their disposal, defying the iron censorship of information.

But now, it is no longer just the citizens, because three former members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) present a surprising request, and even worse, through an open letter instead of a secret document.

It is nothing more and nothing less than the request for an amendment to the CCP’s Constitution, which opposes the “the Party leads everything” and the “cult of the individual,” in order to avoid a repetition of the tragedy of the Cultural Revolution, as summarized by the Aboluowang media on August 26.

The promoters of this amendment even reside in Handan, Hebei province, China, and not abroad, as do the dissidents who take care of their personal protection and that of their families. The petitioners are: Dong Hongyi, Ma Guiquan, and Tian Qizhuang. 

With less than three months to go before the 20th CCP Congress, the burning unknown is about the repercussions it may have, especially the request to ban the “cult of the individual,” a very clear allusion to the leader, Xi Jinping.

“With the widespread belief that Xi Jinping’s re-election is assured, will these calls from within the party sink in?” asks Aboluowang. 

The open letter seeks to reform a provision instituted by the leader, Mao Zedong, himself during the Cultural Revolution. He said, “The Party is the leader of everything in the Party, government, army, people, and academia, east, west, north, south and center.”

The “reformers” argue that Mao’s indications were pertinent in that turbulent time, but now the Chinese regime’s bodies make it unnecessary to grant absolutist prerogatives to the CCP.

Are they claiming democracy?

In one of their risky suggestions, the three petitioners make proposals that could mean a rapprochement to democracy, something that would threaten the very existence of the communist regime as it is known.

“They suggested that the Party constitution should promote the separation of Party and government, require that ‘major leaders in important positions’ be subject to questioning from all sectors, and encourage cadres to compete for jobs,” Aboluowang continues to report.

They also propose to change chapter 2, paragraph 6, of the Party’s statutes, as they find it ‘vague’, and it should now say: “Party members who use their authority to engage in personal worship shall be expelled from the Party and recommended for dismissal from public office.”

In fact, among the multiple accusations heaped against Xi weighs that of having risen so high in the leadership of the CCP and gathered as much power as leader Mao himself. 

For some critics, the fact that in the third historic resolution adopted by the CCP last year, Xi’s name appears 22 times in the text, Mao’s name 18 times, and Deng Xiaoping’s (Mao’s successor) name only six times, is a clear indicator of the ‘dangerous’ cult of Xi.

It should be remembered that Deng appointed his successor, Jiang, who was considered to be the essential “core” of power (he xin, in Chinese). However, once Xi succeeded him in power, he took that privileged designation for himself.

Although Jiang gave up all official positions, he retained a lot of political and economic influence, enough to become Xi’s most powerful rival. That is why, starting in 2013, Xi, launched a fierce campaign of allegedly prosecuting corrupt officials.

Interestingly, Jiang’s main allies fell under the relentless effects of those campaigns.

Thus, the open letter calling for the reform of the CCP’s rules and regulations seems to directly attack Xi’s possible re-election. 

Earlier, Tian Qizhuang, one of the signatories of the reform, a retired writer, was repressed by the Hebei police for openly condemning the secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Autonomous Region, Liu Ning, to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection for possible cult of personalities.

The devastating Cultural Revolution and its aftermath

One of the justifications for the reform of the CCP Constitution is the prevention of a repetition of a campaign of terror known as the Cultural Revolution that was promoted by Mao.

This campaign left a deep and painful imprint on the psyche of the Chinese people who experienced it. So it is understandable that there are those who try to avoid repeating it. 

“After a national leader has established authority, people below him may start to blow and pat and deify him, and the leader may run the risk of losing himself,” Beijing commentator Hua Po comments on this risk.

In addition to all the lives and cultural treasures lost during the long period of the Cultural Revolution, the impact on people’s morality is considered socially shattering.

We have some short videos, explicit enough, to illustrate the abyss of inhumanity into which many Chinese have fallen, apparently, because of the negative impact of the brutality with which they have been shaped by the Chinese regime.

In a tweet, contributed by the netizen, @rosapantin1301, dozens of children are seen in military training. They are submerged in mud and are forced to push a heavy log, while shouting, between sobs, the slogans of the Party. 

The tweet points out: “Patriotic camp for children in the new and booming “democracy” China, you know the story, until victory always, in communist regimes, your children belong to them and without the right to complain.”

In the next, a little girl is being driven to school by an adult on a motorcycle. Turning at an intersection, the girl falls off and desperately runs after the adult, who seems unfazed and waits for her up ahead. When the little girl approaches he knocks her down with a brutal kick instead of comforting her or checking to see if she has been hurt. 

Obviously, the situation is no less frustrating and cruel for the adults. In this video a young girl sinks into frustration at losing access to university exams, because of the unexpected closure of her locality, in prevention of the pandemic.

“This girl spent a lot of time preparing for her CPA exam. As a result, on the day of the exam, the community closed and prevented her from leaving. How many people have been affected by the stupid epidemic control policy? How many young people’s futures have been ruined?” commented user @xiaoxin11786630.

The police also have no qualms about using full force against a poor woman whom they detain to the distress of her young child, who cries inconsolably with no one to attend to her despair. 

And it is not only individuals, entire groups of the population suffer at any time the sudden dispositions of the CCP. As seen in this video, where many people flee in a stampede, at the announcement that there will be a pandemic lockdown.

“Lanzhou Chengguan district will be closed on August 28, 2022! When people heard that the city was going to be closed, they fled everywhere,” shared the netizen identified as @TouBanTouTouTiao.

These are just some of the distressing moments to which the Chinese are subjected to, by a political system that ignores their rights and freedoms, and that has deteriorated the national culture to the extreme, carefully generated over millennia.

Definitely, the social, economic, and political situation that China has been going through in the last months and years does not seem to be the most propitious for Xi to ask to be re-elected for the third time. Dissidents seem to be very clear about this.

For some dissidents, such as author Xin Haonian, it is important to distinguish between the high culture developed by China as a nation over 5,000 years and the CCP. So he said, “If we clarify Chinese culture, there will be no market for Marxist-Leninist culture.”

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