Wei Jingsheng: National Defense Policy and Military Transformation in Democratic China

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Some people criticized: China does not have democracy yet, what are you talking about about the military? This refers to rebuilding the army after democracy, like Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary army in Guangzhou, or Mao Zedong’s communist army in Jiangxi. This is an idea, but not the best idea: and according to the current situation in China, it should be an unnecessary idea. The likelihood of needing to rebuild the army is slim.

Compare the different eras. A hundred years ago, the cultural level of the Chinese people was extremely low. Not many junior officers could read and write, let alone soldiers. At that time, the soldiers were like slaves, machines fighting for themselves, without thinking. In the hands of revolutionaries, it is the revolutionary army; in the hands of Yuan Shikai, it is the imperial army. Therefore, the revolutionaries need to build a revolutionary army completely led by the revolutionaries to become the basic military force of the democratic revolution and the guarantee of revolution and democracy.

Today, a hundred years later, the situation in all aspects has fundamentally changed. Soldiers’ cultural level and acceptance of information dissemination have become the norm, and their thinking can keep up with the progress of the times. Although the Communist Party has repeatedly emphasized obeying orders, as a soldier with independent thinking, in the face of big right and wrong, the possibility of disobeying orders has increased. Following the historical trend, it is the greatest possibility to stand on the side of the people and democracy. When the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were undergoing great changes, the soldiers and even the Minister of Defense refused to accept the order to suppress the people. This is the true face of today’s Chinese soldiers.

Therefore, enlisting the support of the military during the democratic transition is the guarantee for the success of the transition, and it is also a key condition to ensure the success of the transition. After the establishment of democracy, a non-partisan nationalized army is an important force to consolidate the democratic regime and resist the restoration of autocracy. It is also an important force in safeguarding regional and world peace.

To point out the direction and planning of the nationalization of the military now is to plan ahead and let more soldiers understand their responsibilities for China’s future. Also let everyone know what kind of force and what kind of army can be relied on for democratic transformation. Start working now and build up your strength for a smooth transition to democratization. All friends and comrades of the democratic party must understand that we need not only the strength and support of democracy, but also the strength and support of the military. Only in this way can a smooth and relatively peaceful democratic transition be achieved.

That is the importance and necessity of our meeting. For the democratic revolution to succeed, it is necessary to pay a price. If you want to get the best results at the least cost, it is also very necessary to prepare in advance.

Thank you all for contributing your ideas.

Chairman of the Overseas Joint Conference of the Chinese Democracy Movement

Wei Jingsheng
July 29, 2022