Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Open Letter to President Bush: Please Grant Jia Jia asylum in the U.S.

Dear Mr. President,

The fate of a very brave man is in your hands.

In Hong Kong, Jia Jia awaits an almost certain arrest by the Communist Chinese regime for trying to bring democracy to the Chinese people. For reasons that are unknown - and even if they were known, they'd be unfathomable - The American consulate in Hong Kong denied him asylum.

I ask you to order the consulate to reverse that decision and grant Jia asylum in the United States.

Jia may be just one man, but the implications of his situation are enormous. As head of the China Shanxi Science and Technology Experts Association, Jia was a well-placed technology specialist. The information he has learned about Communist China's technological industry could be a tremendous intelligence boon for the democratic world, especially given the fact that the civilian and military technology sectors are so deeply intertwined - it could even be reasonably said that they are not separate sectors at all.

However, this is about more than mere intelligence information. Since the release of the Nine Commentaries two years ago, over 14 million Communist Party members have seen the light and left the Party in disgust. In other words, one in every one hundred citizens of the People's Republic of China is a former Communist (within the Party itself, that is more than two out of every eleven members). For understandable reasons, many high-ranking ex-cadres are too fearful to speak out. Jia is arguably the highest-ranking offical from Communsit China to go public with his call for a democratic China. Millions of ex-Communists are watching to see if the democratic world will protect and aid Jia.

By granting Jia asylum and protection, the United States will show that the nations of the democratic world are eager to see China join them. Conversely, continuing to deny him asylum sends the unintended signal that the free world is more worried about the Chinese Communist Party than the Chinese people.

This is not the signal we want to send.

Jia Jia can be more than just a leader in the China democracy movement; he can be a symbol to all who have rejected the Communist regime that they have been noticed by the democratic world, and a symbol of encouragement to those considering leaving the Party to do the right thing. That is the main reason why the Communist Party is so eager to ensure Jia is not granted asylum. It is also the main reason asylum should be granted.

Let Jia Jia become China's symbol, rather than its martyr. Please, Mr. President, grant Jia Jia asylum in the United States.

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