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Chinese Academics Detained > Other Petitions and Letters

Testimony for Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives

Donghua Xue
Senior Systems Analyst
EDS Corporation

I am so excited by the House Resolution of calling the release of the detained scholars in China. I hope the resolution will finally pass so that the Chinese government should know that continued detainment of these scholars would only harm the Sino-US relations.

On January 19th, 2001, I took my wife Dr. Gao Zhan and my 5-year-old son Andrew to China for a family vacation. We spent three weeks there with our families for the Chinese New Year. On February 11th, when we tried to leave China for the United States, we were secretly detained by the agents from the State Security Bureau of Beijing. Three of us were separated by force, blindfolded and held in three different places. I was held in an unknown place, in a single room without any communication to the outside world for 26 days until March 8th. My 5-year-old son Andrew, an American citizen, was separately detained for 26 days without any contact to his parents and the family members in China. His detention had not been notified to the US Embassy in Beijing. My son and I were released on March 8th and my wife Dr. Gao Zhan has been detained incommunicado for over three months. Andrew has been used as a hostage for interrogations and he has been damaged psychologically.

When my family was secretly detained, we were just disappeared from the earth. No one knows where we are. My employer, church and friends were thinking that we were kidnapped and killed. Our church friends were even thinking of preparing a memorial service for my family. Until I came back to home then they know that we were held by a foreign government.

I am a computer analyst working for EDS Corporation. My wife Dr. Gao Zhan is a research fellow of American University. Her research focuses are on women's issue, family issues and China Taiwan relations. She has published articles about culture impact to the Chinese families here in the US and women's roles in the democracy process in Taiwan.

Dr. Gao Zhan has been detained since February 11th. Her parents were given a formal arrest notification seven weeks later on April 2nd, only one day after the Navy surveillance plan was forced down in Hainan Island. We have lost contact to my wife and no one knows about her health conditions for over four months. Even her attorneys in Beijing have made several attempts to visit her, but they have all been denied. The law firm thought that was a violation of the Chinese laws and even filed a formal appeal to the People's Congress of Beijing City, but so far there is no response. Her lawyers both in Beijing and here think this is very unusual for them to deny the attorney's visit after the arrest notification, but they could not figure out why. The only reason we can think of is that she has been physically tortured or at least has some obvious wounds that they don't want the outside world to know about. In one word, my wife Gao Zhan is in a very dangerous situation. I am calling on the American government to try even harder to help.
I request the State Department and The White House can give me a daily update on her case.

The Chinese Ambassador to the United States emphasized several times in his letters to the congressional members and US officials that "China is a country ruled by laws." The spokesman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that they "strictly follow the legal procedures" to deal with the scholar's cases. I certainly wish that these statements were true. But from my nightmare experiences in China, that the statements are far from the reality. To make a family disappear from the earth for almost a month, to illegally detain my son Andrew, an US citizen for 26 days without notify the US Embassy, to separate a 5-year-old American child by force from his legal guardians and his family, to emotionally and psychologically torture a 5-year-old child for several weeks just for interrogations hostage. These actions are not only violate Chinese and international laws and US-China treaties, these actions are inhuman and barbaric. We can only associate these actions with the terrorism organizations, not "a country ruled by laws."

On April 23, 2001, Chinese Ambassador Yang Jiechi spoke at the U.S.-China Policy Foundation concerning U.S.-China relations. He said to safeguard and improve Sino-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples. It is my sincere hope that people of vision will stand up to defend Sino-U.S. relations by effectively checking the spread of Cold War mentality. Ambassador Yang also said, let everyone remember, history is, and will be, kind to those who work for better Sino-U.S. relations.

Today, I say to Ambassador Yang and the leaders of the Chinese government, build on these words with actions. A step in the direction of better Sino-U.S. relations would be for the Chinese leaders to release my wife and the others detained.

When our 24-crew members been detained in China, they were allowed to meet with the US officials, they can send message out to their families, they lived in a "hotel condition" according to the news report. They finally were released after 11 days of intensive diplomatic negotiations. We don't know where these scholars are. We don't know anything about my wife's health condition. But one thing we are 100% sure that they are not living in a hotel condition. Why they treat the crewmembers and the scholars so differently? It is the Chinese government who discriminating the Chinese people. I hope the American government pays the same effort as they did for the crewmembers to rescue the detained scholars.

In his statement regards to the China detainees, President Bush wants China to treat these detained scholars fairly. I think that was only his good wish. The PRC has not treat these scholars fairly and they will never been treated fairly in the future. The US government needs to do some real things to let the PRC feel the pressure. Do you think they treat the 5-year-old American citizen Andrew Xue fairly by separating him from the parents by force and detained him for 26 days? Now the Chinese government has already got the message from President Bush but they just don't care. My son is still missing mom and he is counting days. It is the time to call the Chinese government to release my wife immediately and unconditionally. President Bush should not go to China for business if the Chinese government still holds my wife.

Thank you very much.


Letter to Jiang Zemin

Leading Academics Protest Detentions
HRW Press Release

Other Petitions and Letters

Biographies of the Detained Scholars

Press Conference Co-sponsors

Press Conference Speakers

HRW Academic Freedom Program

China: Human Rights Deteriorate
HRW Special Focus


Dr. Gao Zhan, released

Dr. Li Shaomin, released

Dr. Xu Zerong, detained days