“June Fourth dissident poet” Bei Dao for the first time
received invitation from Chinese authorities to return to China.
Bei Dao has been in exile overseas for over 20 years.
Commentators say that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
tries to divide overseas dissidents by inviting Bei Dao back.
They also call on Bei Dao not to be trapped by the CCP again.
Bei Dao, formerly known as Zhao Zhenkai,
was born in Beijing in 1949.
An internationally recognized poet,
he won the Swedish PEN Literary Award,
Free Writing Award of PEN Center in West America,
He is an Honorary Life Fellow of American Academy of Arts.
He was twice nominated for Nobel Prize of Literature.
Due to supporting the students in the Tiananmen movement,
Bei Dao was blacklisted by the CCP,
and has since lived in seven foreign countries.
On August 8, Bei Dao will attend, as a guest,
the third annual “Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival”
held by Chinese authorities.
Then how does the public see Bei Dao’s return to China?
(Chair, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition):
It is no positive signal.
It must be part of the “united front policy” of the CCP.
But Bei Dao’s case is more complicated.
It seems that he tried to go back several times.
While some people wanted to win him over; others objected.
I guess this time he will not be successful either.”
In 1994, Bei Dao planned to return to China,
but upon arrival in Beijing, he was deported to the U.S.
In October 2001, Bei Dao was allowed to return to China
to attend his father’s funeral.
Bei Dao has revealed that he was under close monitoring
in China, forbidden to leave Beijing without permission.
Liu Yinquan (Chief Executive of
Anti-Political Persecution Alliance of China):
No matter in what way, they [e.g. Bei Dao] are happy to
be able to go back,
but when they see things not as they imagined,
they will certainly feel disappointed."
In the past few years,
Bei Dao tried to return to China, but was always rejected.
In 2002, Bei Dao announced to withdraw from
the U.S.-based organization Human Rights in China.
Wei: The CCP has been trying to “buy” overseas dissidents.
This has been the policy since Hu Jintao took office.
This can at least soften their opposing stance.
Bei Dao is no exception.
Since there is chance to return to China,
his criticism of the CCP has been reduced.
Since he came to teach in Hong Kong in 2007,
Bei Dao has maintained a relatively low profile.
The public believes that he has intentionally stayed away
from politics and avoided politically sensitive topics.
Dissident poet Bei Ling, now in Taiwan, says that
the CCP authorities always require dissidents to
“kneel down” being allowing them back.
“They even have you sign an agreement,
promising not to be involved in political activities."
Bei Ling has tried several time to return to China,
but each time he was denied entry and was deported.
Dissident scholar Liu Zaifu, after years of silence,
has also been invited back for academic purposes.
Liu Yinquan: [the CCP] intentionally disintegrates
the dissident groups, inviting back those they can win over,
in order to show its openness.
So as dissidents, we should see through the CCP’s tricks,
not to be deceived, or to be their tool of control."
In recent years, CCP has been forbidding
overseas dissidents from returning to China.
These people include poet Bei Ling,
president of the Independent Chinese PEN Liao Tianqi
and British writer Ma Jian who has a Home Visit Permit.
Well-known writers Wang Ruowang and Liu Binyan
have died overseas.
Apple Daily in Hong Kong commented that
Beijing has kidnapped Chinese people’s right to return home.
This has in turn caused Chinese people
to fight back for that very right.
In 2007, “I want to go home" movement was initiated,
to help overseas dissidents to return to China.
In 2008, Wang Juntao, Wang Dan, Yang Jianli and Hu Ping
started the movement to fight for their rights to return to China.
By 2009, Feng Zhenghu from Shanghai had been
denied entry eight times, but he kept trying,
attracting the attention from international societies.
Feng eventually was allowed to return to China.
NTD reporters Liu Hui, Wang Ziqi and Wang Mingyu