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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Fang Zheng

Interviewed February 7, 2010

It is like this. We may say, before I was injured, I was an athlete who liked sports, but I was not one of those on the top notch or a professional athlete, just an amateur sports fan. In the incident of 1989, after the suppression, we learned more about the Communist Party. But before, our knowledge of the Communist Party was very incomplete because of the very limited education we received. Because, as everybody knows, the Communist Party has always been relying on lies and propaganda to distort and conceal the truth and its entire history.

Through our personal experience of June 4th [1989], we believed that the Communist Party has had a full exposure of its violent nature and its deceptiveness. So, after June 4th, I withdrew from the Chinese Communist Party. Then I believed, because, after June 4th, the fact that I was attacked by the tank. After June 4th I was in the hospital. The Public Security Bureau was investigating me. They demanded that I keep quiet, did not allow me to speak out, to tell my experience and the truth.

When I returned to school, there were more prosecutions and investigations. One of their goals was to conceal the fact that when we, the students, were evacuating from the square, there were tanks attacking us from behind. I knew in that place many students got injured or died.

But after the violent crackdown the Communist Party returned to relying on lies and propaganda to conceal and distort the truth. This was what I could not accept. So eventually I chose to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party.

Then I started thinking more about Chinese society. After I was injured, I actively participated in many sports activities held for the disabled.

However, even for the sports for the disabled, I won two championships in the domestic games in 1992. But when I was planning to attend the international games on behalf of the disabled in China, for example, the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled, held in Beijing in 1994, or further to attend the Paralympic Games, however, the Chinese government, because of the cause of my injury – in China, you know, the sports have been thickly tainted with political colors. So just because of the cause of my injury, it deprived me of the opportunity to participate in sports.

So after 1994, when China started applying to host the Olympic Games, I always believed that China is not entitled to it; it should not go for it. The human rights conditions and political situation should have disqualified it, and China should not have been entitled to host the Olympic Games. Because we know what the Olympic purpose is. What the Chinese government had been doing was in serious conflict with the spirit of the Olympics.

However, this is my own basic opinion. Though in 2008 Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. But it — at that time, people still had some hopes then, through hosting the Olympic Games, China could be more open, Chinese human rights conditions and its democracy would improve. But to the contrary, though the international community has shown a lot of tolerance to China, and more forgiveness, and made a lot of compromises, the Chinese government, we think it was very disappointing. China’s human rights and democracy did not make the progress as people had expected.

So my personal experience is a typical product when politics are involved in sports, an example of political persecution in the sports area. In 1994, when I wanted to attend the Far East sport games held for the disabled, I was stopped by them relentlessly. Till the last, all sports activities, regardless of whether they were domestic, let alone international games, let alone the Olympic Games, I was totally blocked by them.