"We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy student protesters. The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values."Charter '08
, a public statement signed by hundreds of Chinese citizens, starts with this statement and goes on to advocate these seventeen reforms - amounting essentially to a demand for constitutional democracy - that, if implemented, would fundamentally alter the Chinese regime:
1. A New Constitution.
2. Separation of powers.
3. Legislative democracy.
4. An Independent Judiciary.
5. Public Control of Public Servants.
6. Guarantee of Human Rights.
7. Election of Public Officials.
8. Rural–Urban Equality.
9. Freedom to Form Groups.
10. Freedom to Assemble.
11. Freedom of Expression.
12. Freedom of Religion.
13. Civic Education.
14. Protection of Private Property.
15. Financial and Tax Reform.
16. Social Security.
17. Protection of the Environment.
18. A Federated Republic.
19. Truth in Reconciliation.
The document as been translated and will be published in the NYRB
next month. You can find a pre
-publication version on the web here
Labels: China, democracy, Human Rights, Liu Xiaobo