Our Conservative Women’s Network event on Friday, October 4 was an eye-opener to those in attendance as Jennifer Zeng, an ex-Chinese prisoner and religious activist, shared her traumatizing story surviving Chinese labor camps.

Drawing listeners to the night of April 13, 2000, Zeng recalled the moment Chinese police forcefully dragged her from her home and held her in a labor camp for over six months. Inside, she endured day after day of brutal physical and mental torture, which served only as a motivation to escape China and tell the shocking truth of socialism. From Jennifer, we learn three important lessons.

Lesson 1: Democratic socialism is communism in sheep’s clothing.

At an anti-socialism rally on Capitol Hill about two weeks ago, Zeng urged Americans to steer clear of socialist rhetoric because “socialists promise Heaven on Earth but they always end up giving you a one-way ticket to Hell.” At our Conservative Women’s Network, she reminded the audience of this fate she had witnessed first-hand.

“Before we realized it, the communism specter with all sorts of sinister, deceptive, non-violent ways has infiltrated the free world,” said Zeng. “Here in the U.S. I am starting to feel that it [socialism] has followed me. Not only are politicians making socialism sound so sweet, but the majority of young Americans are attracted to it.”

As such rhetoric creeps into the approaching presidential race and rises in popularity among millennials and students, the battle between American founding principles and traditional values is scaled against the infiltration of communism and various manifested versions of socialism.

“As a survivor and victim of so-called ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ I fully understand the seriousness of this battle. That’s why I am here to continue to tell my story no matter how hard it is every time. And to fight hard, especially with the people in Hong Kong.”

In 1997, Zeng was 21 years old and attending graduate school. She praised the CPC and considered it the “savior of China,” just as everyone else did. However, after being forced to abort her second child due to the one-child policy, and after the Party initiated a strict crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners, Zeng questioned the objectives of the State. Overpowering surveillance, state control, propaganda and manipulation in all forms by the state crossed the original promises of socialism and plunged straight into police-powered communism.

Lesson 2: The Communist Party of China (CPC) is a house on thin stilts. 

The CPC looks powerful, and arguably, it is. However, according to Zeng, there are two things that, if knocked from underneath, would crumble the State.

First, the only legitimacy of China is the growth of its GDP. China relies on steel and cyber technologies from the West. They pollute their own environment, slave their own people, and maintain unhealthy shortcuts to achieve their gross GDP. However, if this already unsteady structure begins to waver, like what we’re seeing with the effects of the U.S. trade war, citizens of China will immediately feel the effects and lose faith in the State.

“[The CPC] is very weak inside because everything they are doing is against human nature and the heaven bestowed principles – and that will not last long,” said Zeng.

Secondly, China relies on its nationalism. For over 70 years, its people have been indoctrinated and deceived by both experimental and consistent propaganda and strict information control. However, from within, many are still faithful followers of the Party. Particularly because they are cut off from Western thought.  According to Zeng, if China’s unity cracks on a large enough scale, so will the CPC.

Lesson 3: There’s hope for Hong Kong. 

Every day and every night, one to two million Hong Kong citizens take to the streets to fight for the freedom they were promised.

“I do believe the peoples’ spirit cannot be crushed and I stay hopeful in the unity and solidarity in the millions of Hong Kong people,” said Zeng. “The CPC cannot crush this willpower no matter how hard they try.”

In the midst of the “Free Hong Kong” campaign shaking the world, Zeng’s story was on-par with the anti-socialism rhetoric flooding through the gates as the next big talking point to destroy the Left in the upcoming presidential election.

Stories like Zeng’s remind us how lucky we are to live in a land where we’re free.

Watch the full video here.