Date: January 22, 2019
By James Griffiths and Yong Xiong, CNN
Beijing (CNN) China’s universities have always been a breeding ground for political activism, from the May Fourth Movement which helped lead to the Communist revolution, to the 1989 pro-democracy protests which sought to reform it.
Today, however, China’s leaders have no intention of allowing students to challenge them, as a months-long crackdown against a Marxist university group demonstrates.
This week, footage reportedly emerged of apparently staged confessions by a number of prominent student activists, including Yue Xin and Shen Mengyu, both of whom disappeared late last year while protesting to support striking workers in Shenzhen.
The 30-minute video purportedly shows four recent graduates including Yue and Shen disavow their previous behavior, and apologize for criticizing the ruling Communist Party.
CNN has not independently confirmed the contents of the video. A source who had seen it described it to CNN, the source’s account matched independent descriptions of the video shared online.
In the video, Yue — who published an open letter in July 2018 calling for students at universities across China to support the workers at Shenzhen’s Jasic Technology — is alleged to say she has been influenced by “radical leftists” and now realizes her behavior is “illegal.”
The video also allegedly shows Shen saying she had tried to overthrow the Communist Party and the government. She allegedly expresses regret that her behavior has resulted in “foreign forces” attacking China’s government.
Both women disappeared last summer after traveling to Shenzhen to support the Jasic workers.
In a statement, the Jasic Workers Support Group condemned the confession video as a “ridiculous smear,” and accused the authorities of using it to “threaten and divide” those organizing on behalf of workers.
Shen and Yue could not be reached for comment. [FULL STORY]