Born-again Christian Chai Ling, former student leader of 1989 Tiananmen Square Protest in Beijing, testified before U.S. Congress on the eve of 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre her testimony of faith and conviction that both America and China “must repent and return to God” for both countries to be blessed by God.
Ling, 47, addressed the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, and The Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 3, 2013. She called upon leaders in both countries to work together to:
-Reverse the anti-revolutionary verdict against the Tiananmen Square peaceful protesters
-End the One-Child Policy in China
-End gendercide in China and in America
-End abortions in China and in America
-End the imprisonment of political dissidents Liu Xiaobo, Bao Tong, Tan Zuoren, and more
-End the persecution of churches and believers in China and in America
“Despite constant acts of terrorism, threats in the Middle East, and turbulence around the rest of the world, a godly partnership between America and China holds the key to a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,” said Chai, the founder and president of All Girls Allowed. “To understand the truth and lessons from the Tiananmen Square massacre is the beginning of forging such a partnership.”
Read below for the full transcript:
A Message of Hope through Jesus
To the Honorable Chairman Chris Smith, and to the Honorable Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Thank you Chairman Smith, for your tireless effort to uphold the human rights of all people in China, and in the world. I am deeply honored to be given the opportunity to share a message of hope and redemption through Jesus on the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square tragedy and massacre.
My message is a summary of lessons learned from a 47-year life journey of growing up in China, having led the Tiananmen Square movement and now living and observing America for the past 23 years. The longer and fuller version was documented and published in my book: A Heart for Freedom(published in October 2011).
My message is for distinguished Congressional leaders and foreign affairs policymakers like yourseleves. It is for American President Barrack Obama and China's New President Xi Jinping, who will meet on the West Coast in a few days. It is also for church leaders in both countries; for the Tiananmen Square dissidents, victims and their families; and for the people at large.
I believe that despite constant acts of terrorism, threats in the Middle East, and turbulence around the rest of the world, a godly partnership between America and China holds the key to a peaceful, stable and prosperous world. To understand the truth and lessons from the Tiananmen Square massacre is the beginning of forging such a partnership. Allow me now to elaborate on my views here.
The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre
It feels like just yesterday, on that morning of June 3rd, 1989, in Beijing, China, the sun was rising over the newly set up tents that housed thousands of students in peaceful protest. Tiananmen Square was waking up to a soft female announcer's voice declaring the arrival of a new China, as a team of soldiers came across the Golden Water Bridge to raise the Chinese flag. For a moment, the students, the soldiers, the flag and the square, the rising sun and the misty pink blue sky-all co-existed in peace and harmony in great anticipation of hope for a new China. That night, all of this was brought to an end by a brutal massacre.
I was there, with my last five thousand students standing in the Square, surrounded by tanks and troops. We stood until the last hour when we had to leave the Square, about 5 to 6 in the morning of June 4th. There was much loss, death, injury, and imprisonment for all sides: students, citizens, and soldiers. It is a wound that even 24 years later remains wide open in so many millions of Chinese people's hearts. Some are still paying the price with their loss and grief, like the mothers of the victims; others are paying with their freedom, such as Liu Xiaobo, Bao Tong, Tan Zuoren; and I and many others paying the price of living in exile.
After 10 months in hiding for being put on China's most wanted list, I came to America. I spent 20 years tirelessly searching for the truth behind the massacre and the hope for China. It was not until December 4th, 2009, when I gave my life to Jesus, I found both.
The Truth Behind the Massacre
In pain and sorrow, I discovered the truth behind the massacre: unhealed pain and misperceived fear of reality conspired to justify by killing. I learned that Deng Xiaoping, the premier leader who ordered the massacre, had his memory stirred by the peaceful student movements at Tiananmen Square - they reminded him of his pain and suffering during the Cultural Revolution and other previous political movements. I learned that a few other elder leaders were also reminded by similar pain and suffering from the Cultural Revolution, and that is why they agreed with Deng's conclusion: "If we don't stop this (movement) we will have nowhere to back down and we will risk breaking our families and losing our beloved ones." And then Li Peng, the Prime Minister of China at the time, was upset by Zhao Ziyang's labeling him as young and inexperienced. This in turn caused him to determinately follow Deng's decision to execute, together with the military, the massacre in order to crack down on what they labeled an anti-revolutionary movement whose aim was to overthrow the government.
From my point of view, their perception and decision points could not have been further from the truth. As a student leader, I had little interest in either joining or overthrowing the Chinese government. At the time, I was already applying to study in America. All I wanted was to be safe, to not have to relive the injustice, humiliation, defamation and isolation that I suffered when I had tried to overcome an earlier attempted rape by a college classmate. Many other students at Tiananmen Square were inspired by a similar desire for justice and freedom from fear. Feng Congde, another key leader of the movement, was motivated to overcome the fear and terror he experienced when he was imprisoned for 18 hours; Li Lu was there to overcome his grandfather's fate, dying inside China's prison as a "rightist" under Mao's regime. But unhealed pain and misperception led Deng to believe only a massacre would secure their power. Deng was convinced the only option he had was to kill his own people. He also ordered the One-Child Policy out of a fear that it was needed in order to prevent starvation. This exaggerated concentration of power without any democratic process allowed one person, Deng, to order both the killing that took place in Tiananmen Square and the even larger and ongoing massacre of innocent women and babies through the brutal One-Child Policy.
In November 2009, at another hearing chaired by Congressman Smith, my eyes were opened up to the truth and brutality of this One-Child Policy. I realized then that while I was trying to overcome the trauma of the Tiananmen massacre in my life, there was today a daily Tiananmen Square massacre under the One-Child Policy, harming the most vulnerable unborn children and their mothers. In the past 30+ years, over 400 million babies were killed through forced and coerced abortions. Later on, I came to realized that three of these of the 400 million babies were mine. The root of killing people to solve problems is based on not understanding and respecting the sanctity of life. Googling the word "Sanctity" results in the definition: "The state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly. Ultimate importance and inviolability."
In that moment, I realized we were confronting something much bigger than what I had previously understood, much bigger than the Chinese government and individual leaders. We are confronting a huge evil that could kill 400 million babies, yet make the entire world blind to this horrific crime. The Evil One's scheme was exposed by a few faithful leaders and individuals. Chairman Smith, your extraordinary perseverance and dedication to defend human rights for all people is the key that led to the truth!
It was the revelation of the true face of evil that led me to God through Jesus on December 4th, 2009, and helped me discover the true hope for China-for the people, for the leaders, for the victims and for me.
The Hope and Redemption of China
Many of you growing up in America may have heard the story: God created heaven and earth, God created man and woman in His image, but man and woman distrusted and disobeyed God and though this sin humanity fell. Jesus came to be to earth and offered his life on the cross by obeying God all to way to death. Humanity is redeemed through us accepting Jesus as our God and savior. Many of us never were allowed to know this truth. The leadership of China 24 years ago may not know this truth or did not accept this truth but imprisoned and persecuted those who believe. When we protested their corrupt and evil policies we did not know how far we have also fallen short of God's righteous standard. One thing we know for sure, both sides are earnestly searching for the truth to govern a righteous nation. If we had only seen that "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms," (Ephesians 6:12, NIV) and had only understood what Jesus did 2000 years ago to give each of us eternal life, and if we had known how much killing grieves the God who created us and loves us - we would not have seen the Tiananmen Square massacre or the massive killing under the One-Child Policy.
But it is not too late to start a new beginning that will take the first steps to right the wrongs done in Tiananmen Square and to end the One-Child Policy. For Jesus' grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV). "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9, NIV)
June 4, 2013: A New Day
It is my hope that both President Obama and the new President Xi will accept this truth: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV) Because Jesus did it 2000 years ago for us, we are not only given hope, but also freedom, prosperity and peace. That means a new, free China and a China whose leaders will no longer need to fear revolt or losing control. No more massacre for each life was fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14); no more One-Child Policy for God is our provider and he will meet all our needs as Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33: " So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
And even better, eternal joy is ours. (Psalm 16, NIV)
While from the Founding of the Republic, the United States of America has been a country that proclaims this truth saying: In God We Trust and One Nation under God, we have not always lived up to this pledge. Instead we trust first in our own understanding and strength. The employees of the Government may be resistant to lift high the name of Jesus - the name of God and Jesus was systematically removed from schools, companies, media, daily conversations and dialogues, etc. Even one major political party wants to strip God out of the party platform. In both the recent and distant past the first thing a President did entering the Oval Office in the morning was to pray and read the Bible. But here in Congress, I believe we need to look for the secure foundation of our Faith in God to bring a moral, righteous message to remake our world closer to the image God intended. I know this kind of message is not shared often in the U.S. Congress as of late, which I deeply regret. But I understand how many who hear my words will feel them foreign or strange in this setting. I understand and am deeply pained by it because it has taken much too long for me to find this precious truth in America.
In the past 20+ years, I searched everywhere in America. I searched unceasingly, tirelessly, and relentlessly. For if I didn't find the truth and the answer, the screaming and pain in the depth of my soul would not allow me to rest. I searched for truth in Buddhism because it was Buddhists who courageously rescued me. I searched for truth in the overseas democracy movement as we tried to keep the dream alive. I searched for truth in elite American degrees because that is the hope and dream of millions of Chinese and American families. I searched for truth through testifying and working in Congress, interning at the U.N., and studying public affairs, diplomacy and democracy, since many thought the cure for China was a democratic system. I searched for truth in the American media because many believed that with freedom of speech came ultimate freedom. I searched for truth while working at a top management consulting firm and investment banking firm, for these are the top jobs for the most successful students in America. I searched for truth in my internet startup, because entrepreneurship is how dreams are fulfilled and wealth is made and jobs are created. I searched for truth through building a happy family with houses, children, and dogs, since that is the epitome of the "American Dream." Today I can testify with confidence, I have achieved much and I have been given much, but I did not find hope and freedom until I came to know God through Jesus. Then, and only then, I found true lasting freedom for myself, my family and my dearly beloved countries: China and America. As Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)
The Hope for America
Because the God I have come to know is not just a God of word but of power, I am not alone in arriving at this conclusion. Today, out of the debris of the Tiananmen Square massacre, there have emerged tens of millions of Jesus-believers in China who have discovered the same truth that I have. The testimony of Zhao Xiao, a Chinese government economist, is very telling. Zhao was sent to America by a Chinese government think tank to search for the secret of America's success. After the short era of stability following the Tiananmen massacre and prosperity led by reforms in 1992, China was faced with growing corruption and a growing gap of rich vs. poor, challenges that plague China today. Zhao was sent to find truth and bring back hope.
An atheist at the time, Zhao found God in America. He writes the following in his essay, "Free Economy With or Without Church": (with his permission, I will paraphrase his findings) ".... What are the biggest differences between America and China? Was it that they differed in buildings and skyscrapers? No. Was it that they differed in wealth? No. Was it that they differed in science and innovation? No. Was it that they differed in market economy? No. Was it that they differed in political system? No. At the end, it was because they differ in the quantity and presence of churches, which appear everywhere in every corner of America's cities, towns and suburbs. It was the fear of God that compared to China kept America's crime rate lower and relative government corruption down. It was the church and the belief of God that kept America hopeful, peaceful and prosperous, compared to China's economy where people often got rich not because of hard work and innovation, but through open robbery by power and connection. China had no good faith or rule of law in business activities, where people lied and deceived each other for profit, with no fear of facing God's judgment.
It does take a mirror to see what we are and what we have. America is at risk of losing her most precious and priceless treasure-God Almighty through Christ Jesus, and all the blessings, protections and prosperity that come with believing in God. As a new American citizen myself who was treated kindly even when I was an alien, I must speak truth in love in return.
The Foundation of a Godly Partnership between China and America
The cornerstone of any godly partnership between China and America must be built on a foundation of faith in God, in the way of Jesus Christ. "What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8, NIV)
So, President Xi Jinping, unlike Deng Xiaoping, you don't need to use terror and massacre to maintain order. All you need is the love of Jesus. For whoever believes in Jesus is called to love. Even the slightest hatred in our hearts is not pleasing to God. And the peace of God will come if we sow justice. "The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever." (Isaiah 32:17, NIV)
It is after understanding this precious truth that I am testifying about this hope for China and for America. It is after understanding this truth that I am urging the leaders of both countries, political and church leaders, and Jesus-believers, to do the following:
-To reverse the Anti-revolutionary turmoil (Dong Luan) verdict against the Tiananmen Square peaceful protesters
-To end One-Child Policy in China
-To end gendercide in China and in America
-To end abortions in China and in America
-To end the imprisonment of political dissidents Liu Xiaobo, Bao Tong, Tan Zuoren, and more
-To end the persecution of churches and believers in China and in America
Failing that, the word spoken by President Abraham Lincoln is stern warning, as he said during his second inauguration speech: "Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"
Will there be a day when China and America must shed all blood and lose all wealth through war and destruction in order to satisfy the judgments of God? The question is, what makes you think it will not happen, unless we stop and repent for the shedding of innocent blood and acts of injustice in both China and America?
Will that be the future we want to leave to our children?
We don't have to. Jesus has given us a great future into eternity. Twenty-four years in the wilderness is much too long. It is time to enter the promised land of freedom!
I remember on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi hugged me at our memorial event and said to me, "Can you believe it's been 20 years, and we are still protesting?!" I agree! None of us could or want to believe it has been this long and maybe longer.
To many who are still suffering, 24 years waiting for justice has been much too long and the waiting can be discouraging. But we have the hope for a future and we are confident that future is worth waiting because God has promised in His word: "Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore." (Isaiah 65:17, NLT). "God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." (Revelation 21:4, NLT). "All who are victorious will inherit all the blessings, and I will be their God and they will be my children." (Revelation 21:7, NLT)
With this promise, my prayer today is the following : "Father God, do it swiftly." In Jesus' name we pray, Amen!