“China’s Conscience” Silently Returns
China Media Project has translated the remarks by Liu Dahong at the funeral of his father, pioneering Chinese journalist Liu Binyan. The elder Liu was expelled from the Communist Party in 1987 and lived out his life in exile in the United States until his death five years ago. His ashes were recently returned to China and he is buried outside Beijing. From the CMP translation:
My father said before he passed away that he hoped that he could have written on his tombstone the words: “The Chinese man who rests here did what he should have done and said what he should have said.” But the memorial stone standing before us today bears no words at all. And this stone without words makes a measure here and now of the distance that still separates us from a modern civilized society. I am confident that those who come after will some day be able to read these words of my father’s, and that they will hear the stories that lie behind this stone.
Today is the winter solstice. The winter solstice is a day when the Chinese bury their dead, tend to their graves, offer sacrifices to their ancestors, and remember those who came before. Let us remember him. Let us remember the way he spurned the banquets of the rich and powerful and chose to stand on the side of conscience and the people. Let us remember the rough path that his life took, and how he fought unremittingly against the darkness, raising his voice for those who were oppressed and disgraced.