What are the Nine Commentaries?
> The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party is the editorial series that began the Tuidang Movement
> Published in November 2004 by The Epoch Times newspaper, it is now a book
> Reveals the true history of China that has been suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
> Contrasts the foreign ideology of communism with traditional Chinese virtues and morals
> Frees Chinese people from the Communist Party politically and spiritually when they withdraw
The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party (Jiuping Gongchandang, or simply ‘Jiuping’) is a book-length editorial series published in November 2004 by The Epoch Times (Dajiyuan), a Chinese-language newspaper based in the United States. The series present a historical account of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from its founding to the present day and lays out a thorough critique of the CCP’s ideology, beliefs, and practices, arguing that the Party is fundamentally opposed to 5000 years of traditional Chinese values and virtues.
The Nine Commentaries does not call for a violent overthrow of Communism. Instead, it asks each Chinese person to calmly and rationally evaluate themselves and their own role in fostering the climate of corruption and violence that prevails in modern communist China. Finally, it asks readers to take a principled stand, and to choose a life of honesty, integrity, and moral courage over the communist culture of falsehood, hatred and struggle.
Since its publication, The Nine Commentaries has been translated into multiple languages. Although the series is subject to intense censorship in China, untold millions of copies have been printed and distributed throughout the Mainland and the rest of world.
Many of the historical events detailed in the Nine Commentaries, such as the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, or the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, remain largely unknown by Chinese people. The Nine Commentaries is, for many readers, the first time they have encountered the truth of these events. The Nine Commentaries does call for political freedom in China, and describes the values of a free press, respect for human rights, a just legal system, and a separation between church and state. It also takes the position that China will never have these things, nor reach its full potential as long as the Communist Party rules. Unlike some other dissident writings, the book stops short of prescribing electoral democracy or any other specific political order, rather, its focus is more basic and fundamental.
The Nine Commentaries calls for a return to the values and virtues that once made China great. Rather than drawing on Paine, Jefferson, or other Western political philosophers, The Nine Commentaries cites ancient Chinese sages like Confucius and Laozi. It draws on traditional Chinese virtues, and even Christianity, to highlight the importance of honesty, humaneness, compassion, and justice. These values, it argues, are the foundation of a healthy and peaceful society, and they are also the values that the CCP has sought to supplant and destroy.
By drawing on traditional Chinese concepts of virtue and morality, and then drawing a contrast between these values and Communist rule, The Nine Commentaries also serves to redefine what it means to be Chinese. As many scholars have pointed out, the CCP of the last twenty years has effectively conditioned the Chinese people to believe that pride and loyalty to China is equated to pride and loyalty to the Communist Party. This harnessing of Chinese nationalism has lead Chinese people to overlook the atrocities of the Party in favor of misguided pride. The Nine Commentaries turns this brand of patriotism on its head, and reclaims true Chinese history and culture for the Chinese people—not the Party. It offers a vision of China’s future with a fair and open society, a free and prosperous people, and a society rooted in virtue.