Activist Ti-Anna Wang urges the West not to tolerate Chinese "authoritarianism"

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  • Fri, 11/23/2018 - 12:02
Activist Ti-Anna Wang urges the West not to tolerate Chinese "authoritarianism"
  • Claudio Calligaris

Emiliano Castro Sáenz

More than half of his life Ti-Anna Wang has lived with the abstract presence of her father, Chinese opponent Wang Bingzhang. Today she continues fighting for his release and denouncing the human rights violations of the regime and for that reason she urges the West not to tolerate China’s "authoritarianism".

The 29-year-old activist carries in her own name the mark of injustice and the path of memory and truth: the commemoration of the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the year she was born.

She never imagined that the day her father was taken, when she was 13 years old, in 2002, it would be the last time she saw him and the first of an inexhaustible struggle to embrace him again.

Wang told Efe that, with no evidence against him, her father was imprisoned and sentenced to life imprisonment for espionage and terrorism.

With 29 years old, a baby daughter and her eyes focused on the movement of her hands, she does not lose hope to reunite her father and that he knows the four grandchildren that Ti-Anna and her other sisters have left him.

"Tragedy lies in his constant absence," in the "injustice" of having spent "practically another life in prison" for "the simple fact of having been an activist for democracy," she said.

Being considered an enemy of the Chinese Communist cause, Bingzhang was silenced with a "kidnapping" and his life sentence is "a way to teach citizens a lesson".

From Canada, where she has lived most of her life, Wang remembers her father as a traveler who tried to make the western world look at Chinese "authoritarianism", just as she tries to do today.

"My father had a job that kept him traveling and from outside of China he was demonstrating against the government, he met my mom in Canada and there they formed a family, until in one of his returns to his country he could not return with us," she said.

In so many years of accusations and campaigns for his release, "the situation of his father has not changed much". In addition to the fact that there are no conviction appeal processes, there is a "rigidity" to which "the silence of the rest of the world contributes".

Now, even the Wang family is forbidden to enter China in a desire to silence dissenting voices. A situation that, in Wang's eyes, "continues to happen" and therefore "opponents arrest continues."

According to her estimations, the political prisoners of President Xi Jinping are counted by tens of thousands, mostly sent to "reeducation camps", where "they are supposed to be teaching about Chinese values but basically it is being in prison".

Wang's hope is reduced to the internal differences of the Communist Party of China, which shows that "the system is not as strong as it is intended to project", so "it is that same fear that leads them to try to silence the opposition".

But she is aware of the power she faces when she speaks in spaces such as the "College Freedom Forum", which took place on October 26 in Guatemala and where Ti-Anna Wang stood out for her simplicity and patience in the search for her father’s freedom and her fight against the Asian Goliath.

"No other country has the economic influence of China in the world and it is very difficult to criticize it when it is one of the main merchants, so when China acts against human rights it practically enjoys the permission of the western world," she says.

What is not difficult for the United States or Canada is "to condemn North Korea or Iran; to them it is easy to criticize them because nobody has commercial interests there, but when Saudi Arabia or China does it is very difficult for Western governments set position”, she said.

In addition to reducing the opposition and violating their human rights, Wang says that there is an "extreme intrusion on privacy", which means that citizens do not have access to "another" reality, which is not printed on the official paper or in the local media.

Wang accepts that her father is "very unlikely" to be released, but she does not leave behind hope or cease to divulge her story so that "it will never be forgotten". 


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