Li Qing | Minghui
“Decades ago, I joined many young intellectuals in the ‘Up to the Mountain and Down to the Countryside Movement.’ In the extreme cold wilderness of northeast China, I suffered endlessly with no place to complain,” recalled a Chinese netizen named Qu Hudong recently in his declaration to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) published on the Epoch Times website in March 2020.
Qu lives in Shanghai. Several years ago, he learned how to use software to circumvent the CCP’s internet firewall and access uncensored information. From YouTube, the Epoch Times, and other websites, he learned the how the CCP has deceived people and caused him and other Chinese citizens so much misery in its relentless political campaigns.
“I will show this software to my fellow intellectuals who were exiled to the Northeast wilderness so that they will be clear on who is responsible for our sorrows and tears,” he continued. “I will quit the CCP organizations and tell my children and their children not to join the CCP or its youth organizations.”
Qu’s experience is not uncommon for a Chinese citizen. After decades of violence and brainwashing at the hands of the CCP, they are now clear about what the CCP means for them personally and for China in general. Below are what others have written in their declarations to Tuidang, in Chinese “Quit the CCP” published on the Epoch Times website.
A Retired Military Officer: Two DVDs Changed My Life
A netizen whose pseudonym is Xin Zeqiang submitted his “Quit the CCP” declaration in November 2019. After joining the military and the CCP over 30 years ago, he learned Party history, the CCP’s version of Chinese history, and all the required Marxist teachings. “Although these doctrines made me almost a hardcore Marxist and CCP member, I had a little independent thinking as a gift from my parents.”
One of the turning points came after the CCP’s 16th National Congress in 2002 when it was announced that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be turned into private entities. “I was confused, because I was told that communists would eliminate private ownership. So why weren’t we continuing with SOEs and a planned economy? Why were we switching to a market economy? Plus, it was hard to explain why the wealthy Western countries were all capitalist.”
But he didn’t find any answers. Several years later, after making progress in his career and family, he found more time to ponder these questions. It was then that he suspected something was wrong with the Party narratives, the situation in China, and communist theory itself.
Xin bought many books on democracy and liberty, by Montesquieu (a French philosopher who proposed the theory of separation of powers), Alexis de Tocqueville (a French diplomat who advocated parliamentary government), and Adam Smith (the founder of the free market economy). In particular, The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich Hayek explained that the principle of liberty is the prerequisite for wealth and growth, not the other way around. Xin also consulted encyclopedias to sort out these ideas.
The real change came in 2005. “While I was out shopping, a woman gave me two DVDs in an envelope. One of them was a Shen Yun performance and the other one was software that helped me to circumvent the internet firewall,” he wrote.
Xin went home and opened both DVDs. “The first one helped me see what true Chinese culture really is and the second one opened a window to let in fresh air and views I had never seen before,” he said. “After that, I read lots of uncensored information on the Epoch Times, NTD, and other websites. This helped me to understand how vicious the CCP is and I also began to tell others.
“Here, I solemnly declare that I will forever separate myself from the CCP and any organizations associated with it,” he declared.
A Woman in Her 80s: From a Progressive Youth to Quitting the Party
Zhang Aiyuan from Beijing is over 80. She joined the CCP nearly 70 years ago. She said in her declaration, “Right now, my grandson is helping me circumvent the internet firewall and typing my declaration to sever ties with the CCP.”
Growing up in northeast China, Zhang witnessed the brutality of the Soviet Union. “Soviet soldiers often came to our villages to loot and rape, terrorizing us,” she wrote. Because of poverty, however, she had to leave home at a young age like others to find a job. Shortly after moving to the provincial capital, the CCP seized power. First joining the Youth League and then the Party itself, Zhang was considered a “progressive youth” by her peers. “But in my mind, I just wanted to find food and be fed,” she wrote. “As to our ‘Big Brother’ Soviet Union, I still viewed it as a place of bandits and rapists.”
The Soviet terror soon spread all over China after the CCP occupied the entire nation. One example was 1960 (a “Gengzi” year according to the Chinese lunar calendar and referred to again below), when many Chinese starved to death during the Great Famine, a man-made catastrophe caused by Mao Zedong. Zhang once passed out from hunger and almost died. The situation in the countryside was even worse.
After the Cultural Revolution started, her entire family was sent to rural areas in northwest China in the Party’s “reform-through-labor” program. It was all salty, barren land and it was rare to see another person, even if one walked several miles. “We had no food or potable water. To make things worse, my daughter caught pneumoconiosis working in a paper mill. My young son, on the other hand, often played in a muddy pond to try to learn how to swim,” she wrote. “It was not until years later, after we returned to the city, that my son dared to put his head under the water (no longer muddy) and learned to swim. Those were sad memories, and I’ve never wanted to go back to northwest China.”
Zhang’s grandson often shared uncensored information he had read after conquering the internet firewall. Zhang came to realize that the CCP leadership had become very fervent about advancing communist ideology. “If this continues, we will more than likely return to Mao’s era and become another North Korea. This means that we might go back to the dark era when family members turned against each other and everything was in chaos. In fact, although the CCP propaganda boasts about the economy, most of the fortune goes to corrupt officials. In my hometown, my brother’s entire family still lives in poverty,” she wrote.
Another year of “Gengzi” (which occurs once every 60 years) was 2020, during which the CCP’s misinformation and propaganda allowed the coronavirus to spread to the entire world. “That is why I want to quit the CCP and the Youth League. I also want my children to do the same so that they can live in a better, CCP-free China,” she wrote.
College Professor: The Hypocrisy of the CCP
Xiao Jun, a college professor in China, submitted her declaration to quit the CCP on July 29, 2020. She recalled her difficult childhood during the Cultural Revolution. Her grandfather was targeted as an intellectual at the time and died in his 50s. Her family also told her about the nightmare of the Great Famine, which took the lives of her aunt and many others.
Accessing overseas information such as the Epoch Times and NTD helped her reflect on the situation in China. “One word can summarize the nature of the CCP—hypocritical. Everyone says things differently from what he or she thinks due to brainwashing. And the propaganda is often opposite of what actually happens.” For example, many officials’ children have emigrated overseas, but they still publicly advocate for the CCP and denounce Western countries.
Xiao Jun wrote that when she was in graduate school, the Party secretary of the Youth League at her school persuaded her to join the CCP. When she did not know how, he gave her an application template and told her just to copy it. “That’s how I became a CCP member—the most disgraceful thing in my entire life,” she wrote.
After accessing outside information for many years, Xiao said she had come to a much better understanding of the CCP. She wrote, “Here, I declare my resignation from the CCP so that my thoughts and soul can be set free. I also hope more people all over the world will recognize what the CCP really is. By working together, we will achieve a better society and a better future.”
Civil Servant: Writing “No” in the Dirt
Mo Daoke is a civil servant. He submitted his declaration to quit the CCP on July 28, 2020. He wrote that he has no special background, no overseas relatives or assets, and has never traveled outside of China. “Looking back, however, I have to admit I was brainwashed by the CCP and had a vested interest in it,” he wrote. “That is why, as soon as I was able to make ends meet, I was grateful for the Party.”
He was enrolled in the CCP in 1995 when he hadn’t even applied. It wasn’t until two years later that his supervisor had him submit an application retroactively. His father was very upset that he was forced to join the CCP because Mo’s grandfather, a farmer in China, was attacked during the Three-Anti and Five-Anti campaigns in the early 1950s. “During the Great Famine, he died of hunger and we never even found his body,” wrote Mo. “The Qingming Festival (also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day) is the most painful day of the year for my father,” he continued.
Mo said he is a model worker, thanks to his standards of honesty and the value of hard work inherited from his family. “This is exactly what the CCP needs—someone to do the job like a worker ant and not complain,” he explained. Gradually, he realized what the CCP really was—hateful, cruel, and dishonest. He once asked to quit the Party, but higher officials declined to honor his request. “After that, whenever we had ceremonies to ‘renew the Party oath,’ I would write, ‘No’ on the ground with the tip of my toe in protest,” he explained.
As Mo continued to explore life, he accidentally obtained a copy of recent Chinese history written by a Western scholar. “Recalling my family’s experiences, I knew we had all been fooled by the CCP, and this made me very sad and angry,” he wrote. “People often say reading history helps one gain wisdom. I think that is possible only when you read history not written by communists.”
In January 2018, Mo learned how to overcome the internet firewall to access uncensored information. “The CCP is worse than you can imagine. That is why I started to tell others the facts about the regime so that more people can be clear about it,” he said. Some of his friends call him a counter-revolutionary jokingly and he is proud of it.
Enough Is Enough
Zhao Chongshen is a township government official in Zhoukou City, Henan Province. “I know the CCP is lying all the time and I sincerely do not like it,” he wrote in his declaration submitted in July 2019. “But to survive, I have no choice but to acquiescence it and live with it.”
But Zhao found it harder and harder to put up with the CCP. In addition to everyday work and dealing with all kinds of official inspections, Zhao has to spend time on Xueqi Qiangguo, a mandatory phone app for people to study speeches and writings by the current top CCP leader. In a BBC article in February 2019, this app was referred to as a modern version of Mao’s “Little Red Book.”
“Enough is enough! Looking at our helpless citizens, I really want to dump the Party emblem in the trash can and remove the Xueqi Qiangguo app from my phone,” wrote Zhao, “but the CCP monitors things so closely and does not let anyone get away with it. That is why I am glad there is a platform here [on Epoch Times] for people to quit the CCP and I would like to be one of them.”