Congressional Hearing: Survivors of Tiananmen Sq. Massacre Testify on 25th Anniversary

Posted on May 30, 2014

Survivors Give Personal Accounts of Bloody Day in 1989 & Their Hopes for a Free China in Future

Washington, May 30 | Jeff Sagnip ((202) 225-3765)    Congressman Chris Smith Office

Survivors of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre-when the Chinese government unleashed tanks and bullets on unarmed and peaceful demonstrators-told their grim accounts of that fateful day and about their hopes and work for a better future for China’s people at a congressional hearing today held by Chairman Chris Smith (NJ-04), head of the global human rights subcommittee in the House of Representatives, and co-chairman of the bipartisan U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

“Twenty-five years ago, the world watched as students from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts unveiled the replica of the Statute of Liberty in Tiananmen Square,” Smith said. “It was an amazing sight to behold, this enduring symbol of liberty standing face-to-face with the dictator Mao Zedong’s portrait.”

“It was a moment when we all dreamed that the Tiananmen Square demonstrations would become a triumph for freedom and democracy.  Unfortunately, China’s Communist leaders sought to hang on to power through force.  They sent tanks and soldiers into Beijing to “clear the Square” on the evening of June 3rd and June 4th. The beating, the bayonetting, torture, and murder of students and the ubiquitous display of tanks turned the dream of freedom into a bloody nightmare.  Click here to read Chairman Smith’s opening statement.
The hearing to mark the 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown was entitled “Tiananmen 25 Years Later: Six Leaders Who Were There.”

The Tiananmen witnesses were:

Chai Ling, Founder, All Girls Allowed. Chai was a student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement. She has previously been named Glamour Woman of the Year and nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. She serves as the Founding President and Chief Operating Officer of Jenzabar, Inc., a higher education software and services provider. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.L.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Peking University.

Dr. Yang Jianli, Ph.D., President, Initiatives for China. A Tiananmen Massacre Survivor and former political prisoner of China (2002-2007), Dr. Yyang is a major leader of the Chinese Democracy Movement. He is the founder of Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China and Foundation for China in the 21st Century, and the founder and organizer of China E Weekly. He co-authored a Democratic Constitution for China (1993) and co-Chaired The Geneva Internet Freedom Declaration (2010). A recipient of multiple international awards including the Harvard Alumni Achievement Award and the U.N. Watch Human Rights Award, Yang was elected to the Top 100 Chinese Public Intellectuals of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

U.S. Army Capt. Yan Xiong, a Tiananmen massacre witness and survivor, he was one of the student leaders who initiated the 1989 Tiananmen Democratic Movement as a chairman of Beijing University Students Independent Council. He was on the Chinese government’s “Twenty-one Most Wanted List” of student leaders.  His involvement at Tiananmen Square led to his arrest and imprisonment at Qin Cheng for 19 months.  He came to the United States as a political refugee in 1992.  He was elected as the Chairman of the Party of Freedom and Democracy of China of the Second Party Representative Conference from 1992 to 1995. He joined U.S. Army in 1994 and was commissioned in 2003. He was deployed to Iraq for a year.

Zhou Fengsuo, Co-Founder, Humanitarian China, key student leader organizing the 1989 democratic movement in Tiananmen Square.  He was the fifth on the twenty-one most wanted list of student leaders. After the Tiananmen massacre he spent one year in prison.

Chen Qinglin, an activist in Tiananmen Square and was imprisoned for several years in the 1990s for his efforts in attempting to form an opposition party in the wake of the massacre. He was one of the first 303 signatories of “Charter 08.”  In 2010 he led a program of psychological support for domestic human rights defenders who have been tortured by the government.  Newly arrived in U.S. in April 2014.