THE POST-JUNE FOURTH GENERATION SUFFERING HARDSHIPS BUT WALKING TOWARD
Helping Political Prisoners’ Children Flee Out Of China
Miss Li Zhuyang is the daughter of a prominent Chinese dissident, Mr. QIN Yongmin. Mr. Qin, a resident of the city of Wuhan, born in 1953, was one of the "veteran political prisoners" from late 1970s on in mainland China. He devoted himself to the democratic movement, and has been imprisoned up to twenty-two years.
Furthermore, within forty-three years since 1970, it is up to 48 times that he has been summoned, under residential surveillance, in administrative detention, interrogated, under re-educated -- either on the labour camp or under criminal charge. In November, 2010, it was the last time he was released, but put under 24-hour surveillance. Even though, he refused to go abroad, and insisted on staying in China to push Chinese democratic transformation.
Jiang Jiaji is the son of Mr. Li.Bifeng As a long-term in-jail, "June Fourth" poet, born in 1964. Mr. Li was once sentenced to a 5-year imprisonment for his participation in 1989 democratic movement and protest against Tiananmen massacre. After he finished it, Mr. Li was, in a second time, sentenced to a 7-year imprisonment for engaging in promotion of citizen consciousness in 1998. He finished it in 2005. In September 2011, the police in Sichuan alleged that he sponsored the exile of Mr. Yiwu Liao, a writer; then, he was arrested a third time. As a result, he was sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment. The last two terms came out as business violations under criminal charge. Mr. Li is a talented writer and poet with prolific works of several millions words, including poetry, novels, dramas, biographies and political essays, most of which were written out in jail, and almost confiscated and destroyed by ward keepers.
I was once selected as the exiled writer of the city Edmonton and the University of Alberta during the annual period between September 2009 and September 2010. As so, I lived in Edmonton for one year. At the beginning of 2010, I was invited to attend an annual conference of a local division of Amnesty International, and delivered a speech. When I learned that they kept a long concern on Yongmin Qin, the Chinese prominent prisoner, and kept sending letters and postcards for him, I told them the story of Mr. Qin and his family. During the conference, I was asked how to effectively help him. I told them that most of the Chinese political prisoners did not want to see their children go to experience whatever they were suffering, namely, persecutions and detentions.
Realistically speaking, how can the children of the Chinese political prisoners avoid or be screened out of the nightmare-like life course? Therefore, to assist their children flee out of China is a practical approach. Responding my speech, two ladies in age of seventy years came to me. We started to help Mr. Qin’s daughter, Miss Zhuyang Li come to Canada. The whole procedure took three and half years.
A person called Paul from Calgary contributed to the utmost in this matter. He was experienced in handling these types of humanitarian cases, with benefit of his detailed consideration and special arrangement. Furthermore, for the sake of safety, he went through much complicated procures. Finally,His Honourable Mr. Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Multiple Culture directed to issue the minister’s permit for Miss Zhuyang Li to enter Canada. She arrived at Toronto on April 11, 2013.
Miss Zhuyang Li: Always too much calm to make people worried
That day at the airport, we received a "cool" girl. She seems calm, cold, and in a distance, wearing a dull face. Miss Li looks like in age of seventeen or eighteen years, graceful, quiet and slim.
At a press conference in her name, she slightly headed down all the time. Her glasses blocked the sparkle of her wisdom and her strands of hair covered the expression of her mood. She explained what she had suffered as the daughter of a prominent political prisoner, though in a plain, subtle and even emotion-proof tune.
In the following days, a close contact grew between us. I gradually touched a warm and kind undercurrent beneath her appearance of indifference, and saw delicate and implicit smiles frequently showing up on her fine-featured face. When she learnt that my mother had suffered brain tumors and hospitalized for several months, and she claimed nursing service every day, she voluntarily gave out a hand. She might go to feed my mother in the hospital. Such carefulness and considerateness released kindness and attentiveness of her feelings.
She began to speak more. Sometimes, she acted as a storyteller about these advocates for democracy and human rights in China, whom she and her mother once met with. In her speech, you may smell her missing and worrying for the people she cherished. When she got to learn the fact that Annie Zhang, a ten-years-old girl who is the daughter of Lin Zhang, a Chinese dissident, could not go to school because of her father’s involvement in advocacy for human rights, she donated one hundred Canadian dollars for Anne through the" Ten Dollar Humanitarian Project". She did not disclose her donation at the press conference.
Miss Li attended the candlelight vigil of the 24th anniversary of the "June Fourth” in Toronto. She held a candle, quietly standing on the side. The last item of the candlelight vigil came out as the public forum. I led her and Jiaji Jiang to the front and encouraged them to make a speech. She said that, nowadays, most of youngsters in China do not know what "June Fourth" denotes. When she talked about the cracks of the soldiers openly firing on Tiananmen Square, the tape-recording of which was played on the candlelight vigil, Miss Li suddenly paused to choke. It is the first time that I saw such a calm girl who let tears flow down her checks. When she mentioned her personal suffering,
Miss Li was too restrained herself to make people feel upset. Later, I came to detect more and more characters of her beauty, kindness, well-cultivated, consideration, tolerance and understanding.
When she found that I was still working on the computer into a midnight, Miss Li would kindly remind me: Aunt, do not be so hard, take an early rest, please, by sending an email message to me.
Jiaji Jiang: Tears running out irresistibly
In running preparation for the "June Fourth" memorial event of this year, the Chinese dissident writer, Mr. Yiwu Liao, and German Literature Festival and Nobel Prize laureate, Ms Herta Muller, jointly launched a global reading campaign of Bifeng Li’s poetry. I invited his son, Jiaji Jiang who is a high school visa student in BC, Canada, to attend the "June Fourth" candlelight vigil and participate in reading his fathers’ poems in Toronto.
Mr. Jiang sounded young and simple on the line when I talked to him at a first time. Physically in front of me, he appears calm and confident. He was tall and thin, well-behaved, sensitive, stiff but polite. In the candlelight vigil, he read his father’s poem “The Son”, impassively, with a profound and serene tone and powerful expression. Mr. Jiang said that his father wrote this poem when he was in jail. As his son, Mr. Jiang said that he had recited this poem in heart numerous times, but it was the first time to read it in public. After he finished reading, Mr. Jiang thanked all the people for their concerns on his father, and then bowed deeply to the audience.
Mr. Jiang is in high school, so he stayed in Toronto only three days. Getting along with him these days, I believe, he gradually released kind of his alert. In that night before he left, I invited him to my study. He talked a lot. He showed me his father’s tweets on Twitter before he was thrown into the prison. Mr. Li’s last tweet was released on August 16, 2011, “Does any friend know about the project of China Red