When Gao Gege was very young, she suddenly found herself facing a miserable life imposed upon her by the authoritarian communist Chinese regime. It was because her father Gao Zhisheng criticised the regime’s atrocities.
Gege, her younger brother Gao Tianyu and their mother Geng He were forced to flee China and join the ranks of the overseas Chinese community in the US. Nowadays, Gege studies in the United States.
Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer dedicated to defending the rights of the oppressed, wrote a letter to Chinese leaders in 2005. In that letter, he laid bare and criticised the regime’s brutal persecution of practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, and demanded an end to the unprecedented atrocities.
He was then kidnapped and tortured by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) authorities. He was held in a remote prison located in Xinjiang Province’s Shaya County before being released in August 2014. He is now kept under house arrest at an undisclosed location. Having been fed with a slice of bread and a piece of cabbage daily, he was released in bad health, but medical access has been denied for him
Since the age of 12, Gege has lived with her mother and brother under the scrutiny, harassment and intimidation of Chinese national security agents. Fortunately, they eventually managed to flee China to join other overseas Chinese in the US.
Gege belongs to the young political exiles who are the 2nd generation of exiled political dissidents after the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989. Gege told reporters:
“My father said: When people act out, they do things from their hearts. My dad did not do things to be praised by others. He did the things he felt were just and he felt that these were things he should do, because he thought it was a matter of justice; someone needed to do it, so he did it. And I believe he is right.”
Gege expressed to reporters how much she missed her father. She said:
“The way I miss my father makes me sometimes envy the girls who have their fathers around, the way they can have all their father’s attention. The only thing I can do is find the strength inside of me.”
Chinese people rallied in San Francisco this year for the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Gege and several other young overseas Chinese political exiles held a memorial concert at the rally.
Gege, a multi-talented girl, recited a poem by prison writer Li Bifeng titled Son. She also played a song on the flute called Sending Greetings from Afar. Gege said that this song was her father’s favourite. She dedicated it to all the pro-democracy and human rights activists in China.
She wished her father could hear her playing. She believed that if he could hear the song, he would know it was a show of support from his daughter.