Sheng Xue is the pen name of Zang Xihong. She is a Toronto-based human rights activist, writer, journalist, poet, and a key leader of the overseas Chinese pro-democracy movement. Xue grew up in Beijing and moved to Canada soon after the Tiananmen Square Massacre in August 1989. For 32 years, she has fought for democracy in China, promoted multiculturalism and inter-ethnic dialogue.
In 2001, Xue was honoured with the Canadian Association for Journalists (CAJ) Award for Investigative Journalism, and a National Magazine Award. In 2005, she won the National Ethnic Press and Media Council Award for journalism, community service, and dedication to promote multicultural values and human rights. Xue was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In April 2021, Xue was appointed as a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee of Metroland Media Group in Ontario.
NCM’s Joyeeta Ray caught up with Xue to find out more about her eventful life, immigrant journey and political views, including her recent rallies calling to move the Winter Olympics 2022 from Beijing.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why do you feel so strongly against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their decision to host the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022?
Beijing could host a well-organized Winter Olympics in 2022, but the international committee should not allow a country that has committed horrific crimes against humanity to do so.
For 20 years, China has been killing Falun Gong practitioners, and then in recent years marginalizing Uyghur Muslims to harvest organs for transplant trade to make billions of dollars. They are responsible for the cultural genocide of Buddhist Tibetans.
We have been organizing rallies in downtown Toronto to call for the Winter Olympics to be moved from Beijing. A coalition of 15 organizations from seven Canadian communities are involved in these protests: the Tibetans, Uyghurs, overseas Chinese democracy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea.
Canadian lawmakers have recognized the genocide of Uyghurs Muslims in China, but the government hasn’t taken a call yet. China has no right to host the Winter 2022 Olympic games with their history of genocide and human rights abuse. I know the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) well.