Observing a Hero Up Close
The first time I saw Hao Fengjun up close was at the "Chen Yonglin Phenomenon Symposium" held by the Australian Victoria State Chinese Association on July 30, 2005. A certain pro-communist newspaper held the symposium and had used the title “We oppose!” on the front of the program. Other pejorative slogans, such as "One person one letter" and “Arriving Uninvited” were also used to imply that people should try to drive Chen out of Australia. Both Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun attended the symposium. Their arrival seemed to upset the organizers. It was then announced that all speakers were allowed one minute to speak.
To meet this time limit, the speakers hurried through their speeches in high-pitched voices, while the crowd kept interrupting them to remind them "the time is up, the content is not in agreement with the 'no politics' spirit of the symposium." The speakers would shout back loudly, "Then, tell us first what isn’t political!" With all sorts of voices clamoring for attention, the forum quickly degenerated into a melee.
Amidst the disorder, Hao Fengjun quietly stood up, and after receiving permission to speak calmly said: "I can confirm Mr. Chen Yonglin’s statement that 1,000 spies and informants operate in Australia. I did not know anyone here before I came to Australia, but after I arrived, I was able to look up everyone in Australia that was mentioned in the intelligence document I obtained while working at the Tianjin 610 Office. These operatives actually exist, that is, this illustrates that the intelligence that came from these spies and informants is accurate. I thought that the influence of both Chen Yonglin’s and my defections would provide the expatriate Chinese people with a warning that they will be exposed. I betrayed the CCP. I have not betrayed my homeland. Thank you!"
After saying “thank you," he immediately turned around and sat down in a military style, his motion was sharp and splendid and his face looked respectful, without weighing anything he had said. He finished his speech within one minute and hadn’t used any unnecessary words. As we were leaving the symposium, I heard him calmly say to a friend near him: "About the symposium today, the chairman of the Chinese Association is only a puppet; the one who truly controlled the symposium was the woman next to him who spoke English."
As I reflect on the symposium, I cannot help but praise him from my heart: "He is truly a professional, what a sight to behold! The chairman of the Chinese Association seemed truly unaware that the pro-communist newspaper had already widely advertised his somewhat “private symposium” calling his 'fellow Chinese people' to come to the symposium 'to speak enthusiastically.' Could it be that that newspaper simply used a well known Chinese Association as a front, but kept the Chairman in the dark?"
The second time I was able to observe Hao Fengjun was on August 6, 2005 at a "Chen Yonglin Discussion Meeting" in Melbourne. Being an honored guest at the meeting, I was invited, along with Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun, to sit on the podium.
Seemingly unintentionally, Hao Fengjun first selected a side seat to yield the middle "Main Seat" to Chen Yonglin and myself, and we courteously declined the main seat to each other. He yielded to me, because I was a woman; I yielded to him, because he was the meeting’s main speaker.
Remembering last weekend, after the Chinese Association Symposium, Hao Fengjun and Chen Yonglin were surrounded by the media, who wanted to interview them. I suddenly realized that Hao Fengjun had a very unusual inner control and modesty. In front of the media, he seemed to very "naturally" place himself in an unpretentious position; that is, using a very respectful tone, he always talked about Mr. Chen Yonglin first.
Hao Fengjun spoke after Chen Yonglin. His speech was very short and simple, within a few minutes he said: "If some of you hold different political views than the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), your family in China may be monitored by the Chinese police, and possibly arrested, sentenced, and sent to a labor camp where they will be brainwashed. Do you know the situation for detained people in China? I can tell you, they do not have the right to an attorney, the right to meet with the media, nor even the right to see their families."After a short pause, he said: "Whether you reside in Australia, hold an Australian green card, or study in Australia, you may be asked to provide information or intelligence to the CCP. But, do you know that after you provide information about a person and the information is sent back to China, what will happen to the person? He will probably not be allowed to return to his motherland, never see his family again."
As he talked about this, his eyes turned red, tears gradually formed, and slowly started to pour down his cheeks. The entire audience was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Hao Fengjun wiped his eyes, tried to control his emotions and said: "This is my situation. Perhaps I will not be able to see my mother or elder brother again, therefore I can only say, that is... ...after the CCP falls... ... I would go back... ... "
Then, he became silent. He turned back and stepped down from the platform. One of the facilitators was busy looking for some tissues for Mr. Hao, so I wiped my tears and walked to the platform, because it was my turn to speak.
I thought that whoever has a human heart and a little bit of kindness would see and feel Hao’s deep love for his country and relatives, and would be moved.
However, I was wrong. Mr. Hao was challenged shortly thereafter. A person who looked like a visiting student said that his “betraying of the CCP had caused losses to China.” He especially added an idiom, “You want to be a whore and have a chaste memorial stone set for you.”
My heart ached, and the words that Christians often say, “God, please forgive this sinner, because he doesn’t know what he’s saying” came to mind.
Hao Fengjun returned to the platform again. Because he is tall, he had to bow to speak into the microphone. He looked at the student who accused him, and asked him mildly, “May I ask where you are from?” The student said, “Xi’an.” Hao then said, “Oh, Xi’an. The living standard there is similar to Tianjin. I am from Tianjin. My salary was less than 2,000 yuan a month. However hard my wife and I worked, our combined salaries were not enough to send my son to study in Australia.”
Then, he said, “Before I worked for the 610 Office, I was a policeman whose duty it was to stop the use and trafficking of narcotics. If I reveal which channel China uses to monitor the talks between the drug dealers in the Golden Triangle, I am betraying my country. However, what I have done was to disclose how the CCP’s 610 Office persecuted common people and how they ruined people’s lives. The persecuted people are all common people, not criminals!” After his statement, he returned to his seat. It took me several minutes to figure out what his response to the student had meant. He meant that it’s impossible for a common Chinese person like himself to send his child abroad to study, so the student who had rashly accused him, may be the child of a high ranking or corrupt official. The student is benefiting from the CCP, so it’s not strange for him to strongly protect the CCP.
While I was appraising Hao’s wit, he met another challenge. A Chinese person who claimed to be from Singapore asked, “Since your income was only less than 2000 yuan, how did you obtain the money to go abroad?”
Hao went back to the platform. He steadily looked at the Chinese person and said, “Let me tell you where my money came from. I sold my house for 190,000 yuan, which was given to the travel agency as a security deposit for my return. I can never have the money back. When I arrived in Australia, I had 1,000 Australian dollars in my pocket.”
Again, he made his statement without any unnecessary words and stepped down from the platform. My heart started to tremble. I heard that after downloading the secret documents from the 610 Office, to prevent it from being revealed, he went through all the visa and travel formalities to Australia in only three days. How resolute and determined he was, but what a price he had to pay. How will he be able to start a new life all over again with only 1,000 Australian dollars?
Taking a close look at Hao Fengjun, he was calm and reserved. His attitude was moderate, but his thoughts were clear. He is a person who respects actions more than words. Actually, what is the most commendable is the timing that he chose to go public. After Chen Yonglin suddenly appeared at the memorial for the “1989 Tiananmen Democratic Movement” in Sydney and exposed the CCP and dumbfounded all the major media, he “disappeared” for unknown reasons. While the media were trying to obtain more stories from Chen, and could not find him, Hao showed up in Melbourne. He was another defector. He brought many secret documents from China, which would confirm what Chen had revealed about the 1,000 spies in Australia.