Via the "Citizen Power Initiatives for China" website
Washington D.C. June, 4th 2019 -- Dr. YANG Jianli Honored with Honorary Citizenship of Skagit County, WA
On June 4, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Dr. YANG Jianli, Founder and President of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, was honored by Skagit County, WA with its honorary citizenship for his "participation in the pro-democracy protests of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989 and his lifetime advocacy work for defending human rights therafter." Mr. Bill Bruch, the county's republican chair flew all the way from Washington State to Washington, DC to present the Honorary Citizenship Certificate to Dr. Yang.
A small ceremony was held on the morning of June 4 in Citizen Power's DC office. Mr. Bill Bruch presented the certificate, which was followed by Dr. Yang's touching and funny speech.
Remarks Accepting Honorary Citizenship of Skagit County of Washington State
June 4, 2019
Thank you, Bill, for this great honor.
Being an honorary citizen of Skagit County is a big deal for me.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my team, Lianchao and other team members; old friends from 30 years ago, Lao Wang, Anzhi, Rao Yu, Tao Ye, Tan Shi, you all deserve to share this honor. I am particularly happy that Mr. and Mrs. Golomb are present; your presence means a lot; thank you.
Last month, I visited Skagit and spoke at its Republican Lincoln/Reagan Dinner (https://skagitrepublicans.com/ToMakeAmericaGreatAgainLincolnandReaganSta...).
I have fallen into love with Skagit where I found and got strengthened by its true American values. The people of Skagit cherish and nourish individual liberties more than anybody else and put serious efforts in defending them from any force in any form that may endanger them. They believe in and put into day-to-day practice the principle of "By the sweat of your face You will eat bread (Genesis 3:19). " This is also part of our traditional values in my home country China.
Moreover, they care for other people's freedom and that is why they brought me to share the Chinese stories of our struggles against communism and socialist tyranny.
I have not been a citizen of any free country. America is my adopted home which I love so much. Being an honorary citizen of Skagit County makes America more home than ever. The United States of America, for all its mistakes, remains the greatest country on Earth. Many oppressed and persecuted people around the world look up to U.S. as a beacon of hope. On personal level, America is a God-blessed country where people like myself can find refuge and freedom.
Today, I won't repeat the true story that I have told on many different occasions-the story of a young Chinese man I was imprisoned with, saying, before executed, that he wanted to be born again under the Stars and Stripes. Instead, I want to tell a joke which I reworked based on an old Soviet Union joke.
In the morning, Xi Jinping goes out in his yard and says, "Good morning, sun!" The sun says, "Good morning, Comrade Xi Jinping, President for life of the People's Republic of China." After lunch, Xi Jinping goes out and says, "Good afternoon, sun!" The sun replies, "Good afternoon, Comrade Xi Jinping, our great leader." Later, as the sun is setting, Xi Jinping says, "Good evening, sun!" The sun says, "Go to hell. I'm in America now."
God bless America.
God bless Skagit.
God bless my home country China.