Written by students of FC1750.06
at Founders College, York University
Li Pan, 21, a Chinese exchange student: You state in your memoir that you feel the Tiananmen atrocities would incite the Chinese people to active rebellion against the CCP.It is now 1990, almost a year later, and nothing has really changed. how do you interpret the state of public opinion today?
Liu:Yes, it is true at that time I felt very strongly that the government's killing of innocent student would have terrific ramifications on the future. However, I think it is still premature to be able to view the effect of Tiananmen. A whole generation will be raised in the shadows of this tragedy. Those who are wary of the Communist strong-arm have good reason to suppress their rage at this time. They have lived through purges and violent coercion. It is the children who will learn of the atrocities through their parents' mouths. I feel quite confident that the next generation will be bolder than the present . It is up to us as Chinese adults to educate our children and instill in them the where-with-all to improve the human lot. Rebellion is not an instantaneous event. It must be nurtured and it must grow from a deep love of humanity. Complacency and fear are the natural enemies of positive change.
Bernard Chow, a Chinese-Canadian majoring in Electronics: With all due respect, there have been people questioning your commitment to these ideals that you so zealously preach. What role, if any, do you intend on taking toward the liberation of the Chinese people from Communism?
Liu: I recognize your statement as valid, sir, but I regret to say that at this time I feel utterly powerless. On a personal level, it has not been an easy task to deal with the predicament I have found myself thrust into. Last year I was very eager to return to my home in the country that I love. The Tiananmen incident caused great anxiety to the CCP's leaders. Instantly, I found myself shut out of China. At this distance it is very difficult to bring about any kind of change on the mainland. The best I can do at this point is to help educate the Western world on the realities of the political and social situation in China.
The Chinese government in this day and age can no longer shut the world out. This is not Stalin's age where a dictator can kill millions of his own people without the world community finding out. The Chinese people need to realize that the world is watching. They need to understand that there are also hundreds of thousands of their compatriots living in free countries now. These compatriots have not forgotten China. I not only speak for myself when I say that I still love China, for there are countless more like me.
Ken Yamamoto, 29, majoring in graphic design:As a Japanese educated in Canada, I feel regret for the actions of my country in the Shantung peninsula. It is hard for me to understand how the people of china could move from one oppressor (Japan) to another (CCP). do you feel that the Chinese people are inherently a dominated group?
Liu: Chinese history is full of lessons. the Mongols once ruled my country but were faced with such an overwhelming culture that they themselves became sincized. As far as the Japanese occupation of Shantung and Manchuria, this was but a speck on the continuum of history. Without becoming overly nationalist or extreme, I think I can say that it was China that had the greatest impact on its neighbors. This is proven historically. Chinese communism, however, comes from within. The Chinese people have the power to change this; after all, it is their country.
Hrehory Andreychuk, Ukranian immigrant, assistant professor of Russian Studies, at a Canadian university: I would just like to commend you on your advocacy for the rights of the Chinese people. In my country we have suffered a great extremes under communist rule. Men like you are important to the liberating cause. Don't doubt that one day your brothers and sisters in China will fell pride when they read or hear your words.
Liu: Thank you very much for your comments. I feel that all Chinese can learn much from their counterparts in countries such as yours.
Liu Binyan. A Higher Kind of Loyalty. Translated by Zhu Hong. New York: Patheon Books, 1990
Copyright © 1995 by the author. Information from this article should be attributed to the author.