Open Letter to President Xi Jinping

A group of China scholars has drafted a letter to President Xi Jinping asking for the release of Pu Zhiqiang, Gao Yu, and other lawyers, academics and journalists who have been detained in the run-up to the June 4th anniversary. A full list of signatories is below.

An Open letter to Xi Jinping regarding illegal detention of Chinese scholars
President Xi Jinping

Mr President:

We have learned that our fellow scholars Xu Youyu, Hao Jian, and Hu Shigen, and civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and writer Liu Di, were criminally detained for “creating a disturbance in a public place, causing serious disorder”. The alleged reason for their detention was that on 3 May they were among the fifteen participants in a “2014 Workshop on Beijing’s June Fourth” that took place in a private apartment in Beijing.

These detentions raise many disturbing questions. For example, how can a private meeting “create disturbance in a public place”? These citizens were detained because they discussed an event that took place twenty-five years ago and that had a profound impact on the course of Chinese history. How can a discussion among scholars, lawyers and writers at someone’s home be considered a “disturbance”? As you have often reminded your Japanese counterparts, to be strong, a nation must confront its past. As scholars who have devoted our lives to the study of China, we are convinced that this country will only benefit from a free exchange of ideas that helps to establish historical truth.

Three days after these citizens’ detention, we learned that veteran journalist Gao Yu was criminally detained for “leaking State secrets.” She has admitted to having sent a Party document abroad. But, since the end of the Cultural Revolution, the separation of the state and the Party in China has been a fundamental principle. How, then, can a “Party document” be considered a “state” secret?

It is obvious that none of the above-mentioned citizens has committed a criminal offense. Their detention is an injustice to loyal Chinese citizens as well as a harm to the image of China at a time when it is becoming a great power. We therefore ask you respectfully to correct this mistake, and to free unconditionally the citizens who have been wrongfully detained.


兹悉吾辈同仁学者徐友渔、郝建及胡石根,并维权律师浦志强及作家刘荻,以涉嫌“在公共场所起哄闹事,造成公共场所秩序严重混乱的”理由被刑事拘留。其刑拘事由乃是,5月3日,他们偕及其余共十五人,在北京一私人住所参与 “2014北京‘六四’纪念研讨会”。


Signatures (As of June 4, 2014):

Tomoko Ako, Associate Professor, Tokyo University
Séverine Arsène, Researcher, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Hong Kong
Jean-Philippe Béja, Senior Research Fellow at CNRS Paris, CEFC Hong Kong
Lucien Bianco, Professor of Chinese History, Ecole des Hautes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Michel Bonnin, Professor, EHESS, Paris
Elizabeth Brotherton, SUNY New Paltz
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor, Baptist University, Hong Kong
Kevin Carrico, postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University
Anita Chan, Research Professor, University of Toronto, Sydney
Gordon G. Chang, Independent China Scholar
Jonathan Chaves, professor of Chinese, The George Washington University
Joseph Cheng, Professor, City University, Hong Kong
Josephine Chiu-Duke, University of British Columbia
Leila Choukroune, Director, Centre for Human Sciences, New Dehli
Jerry Cohen, Professor of Law, New York University
Francesca Congiu, Post-Doc Research Fellow in East Asian Politics, University of Cagliari (Italy)
Stéphane Corcuff, Research fellow, Institute of East Asia, University of Lyon
Patrizia Dadò, University of Rome, Italy
Michael C. Davis, University of Hong Kong
June Teufel Dreyer, Professor, University of Miami
Michael S. Duke, University of British Columbia
Fredrik Fällman, Associate Professor of Sinology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Feng Chongyi, Associate Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Martin Flaherty, Leitner Family Professor of International Law, Fordham University
Eric Florence, University of Liege, Belgium
Corinna-Barbara Francis, Independent China scholar
Edward Friedman, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Chloé Froissart, researcher at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China, Hong Kong
Fu Hualing, The University of Hong Kong
Robert Gimello, Professor, The University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Guo Jian, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Marie HOLZMAN, FRANCE, President of Solidarité Chine
Charles Horner, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.
Ping-Chun Hsiung, University of Toronto, Canada
Jean-Francois Huchet, Professor,INALCO-Langues’O, Paris
Victoria Hui, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame
Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief, Harvard Business Review
J. Bruce Jacobs, Emeritus Professor, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Susan Jakes, Editor of ChinaFile and Senior Fellow at Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations.
Gabriel Jonsson, Associate Professor Korean Studies, Stockholm University
William A. Joseph, Department of Political Science, Wellesley College
Michi Kakizawa, Public Policy School, Hokkaido University
Ke Xiazhi, University of Hong Kong
Perry Keller, School of Law, King’s College London
Jeffrey C. Kinkley, St. John’s University, New York
Kuan Hsin Chi, Emeritus Professor of Government & Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Steven Levine, University of Montana
Chenwei Lin, Tokoha University, Japan
Perry Link, University of California, Riverside
Torbjörn Lodén 罗多弼, Stockholm University
Roderick MacFarquhar, Harvard University
Victor H. Mair, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
N.G.D. Malmqvist, Professor emeritus, Member of the Swedish Academy
Peter Marolt, National University of Singapore
Barrett L. McCormick, Political Science Department, Marquette University
Marina MIRANDA, Professor, Dpartment of Oriental Studies, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Italy
Jonathan Mirsky, journalist specializng in Chinese affairs
Andrew Nathan, Professor, Columbia University, New York
Junko Oikawa,Visiting Academic Researcher, Hosei University,Japan
Pei Minxin, Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College
Eva Pils, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Pitman B. Potter, University of British Columbia
John Rapp, Beloit College
Joshua Rosenzweig, PhD candidate, Chinese University of Hong Kong
PD Dr Nora Sausmikat, Stiftung Asienhaus, Cologne, Germany
Vera Schwarcz,Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University
Yongyi Song: Professor/Librarian, California State University, Los Angeles
Elliot Sperling, Professor,Indiana University
Klaus Stermann, Ostasiatisches Seminar, Free University of Berlin
Ken Suzuki, Professor of Law, Hokkaido University
Edith Terry, Former Opinion Editor, South China Morning Post
Arthur Waldron, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Wang Chaohua, Dept. Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA
Philip Williams, Montana State University
Xiao Qiang, University of California, Berkeley
Michael Yahuda, Professor Emeritus the London School of Economics; Visiting Scholar,George Washington University
Maochun Yu,China scholar, Maryland, USA
Peter Zarrow, University of Connecticut
Zehao Zhou, York College of Pennsylvania

June 3, 2014 11:49 AM
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