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Why CDP was an open form of the CDJP?

It was Wang Youcai's idea to form an political opposition party called "China Justice Party" in 1997. Wang Bingzhang, from New York, supported the same idea and went into China using false document. The two Wangs met with each other. Later in 02/98, a "Chinese Democracy and Justice Party" (CDJP) formed in China, headed by anonymous China dissidents and established overseas office in New York with Wang Bingzhang as its speaker. While CDJP could only take its underground form, Wang Youcai, as a strategic concern, announced "China Democracy Party" seeking legal registration with the ruling China Communist Party in China. To the CDJP, CDP was an open form of its own. But when joined by many other dissidents both in China and abroad, some people disagreed with the CDJP because only CDP would have the room to work openly inside China. But after Dec. 1998 China Communist government crushed down the CDP, there left no difference for the CDP with the CDJP. CDJP is still holding a division of the CDP of its own. But somebody always wants to make the CDP independent or wants the CDJP to be emerged into CDP. The most important aspect is CDJP stands for every principle the CDP stands for, while the CDP does not stands for some key principles the CDJP strongly holds. If one should be disolved, it is going to be the CDP, not the CDJP. It is not the concern in the CDJP that CDP, because its openess, received much more publicity. The principles and the real strength is what the members in the CDJP is concerning. - By Shi Lei of the CDJP.

The following paragrahps are from: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/china/china009-02.htm by Human Rights Watch.

The Founding Of The CDP

Concrete ideas for creating an opposition party originated in late 1997.8 Wang Youcai, a former student activist who had been jailed for two years for involvement in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, discussed the formation of an opposition party with a group of other dissidents.9 The idea had come to him while he was still in prison, but it was not until well after his release that he acted upon it. Initially, he proposed to create a party called the "China Justice Party" (Zhongguo Zhengyi Dang), but then changed the name to "China Democracy Party" (Zhongguo Minzhu Dang) because, he believed, people would be more familiar with the term "democracy" than "justice."10

Chinese dissidents abroad took a close interest in the establishment of the CDP. Some had already had the same idea. For example, before the CDP's creation, Wang Bingzhang, a dissident living in the U.S. who had been active during the Democracy Wall period, slipped into China on January 26, 1998. He planned to form an opposition party and distribute a manual for democracy activists, but he was detained on February 6, 1998 in Bengbu, Anhui province, and sent back to the U.S. three days later. Several of the dissidents he met during his visit were briefly detained, including Wang Donghai, Yang Qinheng, Zhang Rujun and Zhang Yuxiang. All later became active in the CDP, perhaps reinforcing the authorities' conviction that "foreign hostile forces" were involved in the organization.

The CDP was to be based on the principles of "openness" (gongkai), "peace" (heping), "reason" (lixing), and "legality" (an falu). Its aim was to establish direct elections and the formation of a multiparty system. In early 1998, its founders decided that their general strategy would be to form local preparatory committees to test the response to this by local government authorities. The preparatory committees would be in close contact with each other. In any province where there were enough members to form a group, an application would be made to the local civil affairs bureau to register it as a preparatory committee of the CDP. Since no formal procedures existed to provide for new political parties to apply for legal status, CDP members chose the civil affairs option on the grounds that this appeared most closely to approximate a system for lawful registration. Once preparatory committees had been established in a number of provinces, a national preparatory committee would be formed. Meanwhile, individual pro-democracy activists who did not belong to local preparatory committees would be able to join the national committee. That committee role would pave the way for the formation of a national opposition party which would engage directly in politics, including by putting up candidates for the National People's Congress.11

Early meetings of the CDP were kept secret. On the eve of the Clinton visit, however, members of the Hangzhou Preparatory Committee, led by Wang Youcai, decided to go public, believing that the Chinese government would not act against them while the visit was taking place.12 On June 25, 1998, therefore, they signed the "Open Declaration of the Establishment of the CDP Zhejiang Preparatory Committee" and circulated it over the Internet.13 This was the group's founding document. They also published a draft party constitution. On the same day, they requested the Zhejiang Province Civil Affairs Bureau (Zhejiang sheng minzhengting) to approve the party's application for formal legal status for the preparatory committee. It was the first time that dissidents had tried to register a committee that intended to work towards the formation of an opposition party in the People's Republic of China.