China Change: Just Where Should Gao Zhisheng Live?

China Change

■ – Questions for China’s Thuggish Government
Pastor Bob Fu posted on social media the following note, as well as lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s piece on an incident on November 10.

“Three Internal Security (国保) agents burst into Gao Zhisheng’s (高智晟) cave home on November 10 and stopped him from traveling. Gao had for the last several days been preparing to travel to Xi’an for a long-needed dental appointment but was suddenly prevented from doing so. The agents also told him to inform Yang Hai (杨海), a friend in Xi’an who was helping organize the trip, that Gao himself chose to stay home. Originally, public security agents in Xi’an had told Yang Hai that it was no problem, that they could accommodate Gao’s dentist visit in Xi’an.”

Just Where Should Gao Zhisheng Live? 

— Questions for China’s Thuggish Government 

Photo: AP

Despite all that has passed, I exist—this is a fact. Not only that, but at the current time I have neither the ability nor the wish to change this fact. Even as you stalk and gnash your teeth all day, it appears you also can’t do much to change it. Right now, the big problem staring at you in the face is this: there is just no way to get rid of me—you’ve come to realize this, too, through ten years of trying to. All the methods you could have used, you’ve exhausted, including national policies meant to make me disappear. You did your utmost, you expended the extent of the intellectual faculties of your entire regime. And what was the result? My existence is the proof of the failure of all your efforts. 

“You absolutely cannot return to Beijing; we’re willing to do whatever it takes, no matter the complexity, to see to this.” 

“Xinjiang’s stability maintenance situation is extraordinarily grim, you must leave.”
“You absolutely can’t live here (referring to Yulin City, Shaanxi), and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop you.” 

All these are things your police have said to me over the last year. 

Since you took power in 1949, you’ve used lowly and vulgar means like this to willfully burst into the private space of your own citizens to terrorize them anytime you like. Even rocks change and evolve with time; when are you going to evolve to the point that you can understand that there’s such a thing as personal rights? Or the basic common sense of humanity that the power of the state has its limits? 

With this I interrogated the three police who suddenly burst into my home this afternoon. The most absurd part of it all was when I snapped “What are you doing here?” and those three big men had nothing to say for themselves. They didn’t actually know the point of their intrusion into my home. “I’ll go and ask the leader,” one of them said, running outside to make a phone call. Another added, unconvincingly: “Well, it’s probably just for checking the residency permit of a targeted person.” He lingered uncomfortably for a moment, then also slinked away. 

When the simple fact of a citizen being alive becomes the cause of great vexation for a political regime, when they can figure no good way of dealing with him, then it’s indeed difficult to avoid the occasional embarrassment befalling you. But in any case, you’ve lost the ability to feel shame – that special characteristic that remains the sole province of humankind. 

Gao Zhisheng 

November 10, 2015

Translated by China Change.

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