Gu Chunqiu | Epoch Times
Before renouncing the Chinese Communist Party became a mass movement, three top Party leaders wished to register their rejection of the Party by withdrawing from it.
When Epoch Times published the editorial series Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party in November 2004, a nerve was touched in the Chinese people. The series helped them see more clearly the true nature and history of the Party, and they have responded in droves.
Since 2004, over 154 million people have renounced membership in the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
Three individuals who had the opportunity to know the CCP as few others have were the former heads of the Party Hua Guofeng and Zhao Ziyang and the former vice chair Rong Yiren.
A little known chapter of CCP history is how each of these, toward the end of his of life, sought to withdraw from the Party.
Zhao Ziyang was a reformist premier serving under Deng Xiaoping from 1980-1987 and was general secretary—the head of the CCP—from 1987-1989.
He was stripped of his positions in May 1989 and put under house arrest due to his sympathy with the student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. He would remain under house arrest for almost 16 years, until his death in January 2005.
According to the online news website Kan Zhong Guo, a source with access to the highest levels of the CCP said that Zhao twice submitted his resignation to Jiang Zemin, who succeeded Zhao as general secretary.
Jiang, who supported the crackdown on the Tiananmen students, and hunted dissidents down after the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, never responded to Zhao’s requests.
In 1978 Hua Guofeng was the CCP’s paramount leader. He held the positions of general secretary of the Party, chair of the central military commission, and chair of the State Council.
He was also said to be Mao Zedong’s illegitimate son and had quickly climbed through the CCP’s ranks with Mao’s patronage.
The Hong Kong-based Chengming magazine reported that in 2001 Hua, who was a member of the Central Committee, did not attend the CCP’s 16th National Congress. Later, Hua issued for the first time his request to quit the CCP.
In a press conference on Nov. 6, 2001 held by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Japanese journalist asked the Ministry’s spokesman Zhu Bangzao, “Did Hua Guofeng ask to quit the Party?”
Zhu replied, “This is beyond the scope of my duty. Never ask this type of question in the future press conferences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Zhu’s evasion made observers believe the reports that Hua asked to quit were true.
In 2005 several media outlets reported that Hua submitted the same request to then-general secretary Hu Jintao. Hua accused the CCP of betraying the legitimate rights of farmers and blue collar workers, while representing the interests of corrupt officials and capitalists.
According to the media reports, Hua’s office manager, bodyguard, secretary, and chauffeur all filed requests to quit with Hua.
Rong Yiren died on Oct. 26, 2005. At the funeral, his coffin was draped with the CCP’s flag, an honorable treatment usually offered only to members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the elite group at the top of the Party. If Rong’s wishes had been respected, the Party would never have been allowed to claim him as one of its own in this way.
According to a November 2005 report in Hong Kong’s Trend magazine, Rong applied four times to become a Party member. The first three applications were rejected because the CCP believed that Rong could do far more for the CCP as a non-party member.
Rong was a wealthy businessman and economic advisor who was loyal to the Party. In 1978, following Deng Xiaoping’s decision to open China’s economy, Rong set up the organization that helped bring the initial Western investment in China.
Rong eventually obtained his Party membership after his fourth application in April 1985.
Later, Rong asked to quit the Party three times. The first time was in response to the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989. Prior to that he had asked the Party’s leadership to negotiate with the students.
Rather than punish Rong for breaking with the Party line, in 1993 he was made vice chair of the National People’s Congress.
His second request to quit was made after a quarrel with Jiang Zemin in 1996. In a Politburo meeting, Rong criticized the Party’s corruption, and his remarks offended Jiang Zemin.
After another dispute with Jiang in June 2000, Rong filed his third request to quit the CCP.
On the morning of Nov. 19, 2005, as Rong was dying, he made a final statement. He said a political party that has lost its principles, is not governed by the law, departs from the people, and pursues money and profits, is hopeless.