Whatever the Price: A CCP Leader’s War on the Faith

For nearly 100 million Chinese, 1999 was a defining moment in their lives.

This year, Jiang Zeminhead of the Chinese Communist Party, launched a persecution across the country targeting without distinction all practitioners of Falun Gong.

Jiang Zemin, described by some human rights defenders as one of the most terrible tyrants in history, died on November 30, but his vast eradication campaign continues.

For 23 years, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained in forced labor camps, mental asylums, drug rehabilitation centers, secret black prisons or other facilities. The defamation, torture and forced organ harvesting resulting from the persecution have resulted in countless deaths. The survivors keep the scars and continue to suffer psychologically and financially, constantly victims of violence.

They are subjected to such barbarism for refusing to give up their belief in truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, the fundamental tenets of the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, which combines moral teachings with slow meditation exercises.

Because of this brutal persecution, Jiang Zemin (who ruled the country for more than ten years from 1989) will be the first CCP leader to be prosecuted in China and abroad. In 2009, Jiang Zemin will be one of five senior Chinese officials indicted by Spain for acts of torture and genocide against Falun Gong practitioners.

The instigator

Jiang Zemin personally initiated the persecution. For this, he mobilized the entire state apparatus.

Jiang Zemin at the 80 ceremonye anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 1er August 2007. (Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images)

He wanted the international community to endorse his persecution. According to the Associated Press, in September 1999, during the annual meeting of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), Jiang Zemin offered a book defaming spiritual discipline to Bill Clinton, then President of the United States. He hoped to be able to convince him to adopt an attitude “correct” towards Falun Gong.

“The 150 pages of the book in English represent the barrage of propaganda from the totally state-controlled Chinese media”indicates the article.

Jealousy and insecurity are part of the reasons that led Jiang Zemin to show his animosity towards Falun Gong. Its immense popularity, nearly one in thirteen Chinese people followed these teachings, could not be tolerated.

According Anything for Power: The Real Story of Jiang Zemin Zemin [Le pouvoir à tout prix : La véritable histoire de Jiang Zemin]a series of books published in 2011 by Epoch TimesJiang Zemin’s wife, Wang Yeping, practiced Falun Gong in 1994.

One evening, while she is doing the exercises, she feels a presence behind her, someone reproduces her movements. Opening her eyes, she realizes that this person is none other than Jiang Zemin.

Embarrassed and furious at being caught in the act, Jiang Zemin orders him to stop the practice.

“Even my wife believes in Li Hongzhi. Who will believe in me, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party? », he throws at her. (Li Hongzhi is the founder of the practice).

Initially, the decision to go after one of China’s largest spiritual communities was not well received.

Of the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the Party’s sacred body, six voice their objection when Jiang Zemin proposes to suppress Falun Gong. Zhu Rongji, the Chinese premier at the time, said that such a measure would harm the country’s image and that one simply had to “to allow the community of practitioners to exist”.

Standing up, Jiang Zemin points at him and shouts: “Imbecile! Imbecile! Imbecile! It would be the end of the Party and the country! »

“If we don’t solve the Falun Gong problem right away, we are making a historic mistake”he adds.

Whatever the price

We are then on April 26, 1999, the day after the peaceful rally in which 10,000 practitioners participated near the government headquarters in Zhongnanhai, to demand their right to freely practice their beliefs and the release of dozens of practitioners arrested a few days earlier.

The crowd has just dispersed. Zhu Rongji met with Falun Gong delegates and promised them his support. But Jiang Zemin, who came to power thanks to the Tiananmen massacre ten years ago, is determined to eradicate the movement.

On June 10, he explicitly ordered the creation of an extrajudicial body to coordinate nationwide persecution. Thus was born a Chinese Gestapo, later known as the 610 Office (the number refers to its date of creation).

The persecution begins a month later. State-run media at all levels launch huge propaganda to slander the practice, defame practitioners, while those who refuse to give up their belief are subjected to ever more terrible abuses.

Xu Xinyang (right), a 17-year-old girl whose father died of torture, alongside her mother Chi Lihua, at Congress in Washington, December 4, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Minghui, a US-based association that documents the persecution, recounts. We are in 2012. “We have 108 types of torture methods! Do you think you’ll get out of here alive? » released a guard from the Jilin Province Women’s Forced Labor Camp to a practitioner.

According to Minghui, Jiang Zemin issued a secret order that Falun Gong practitioners who died after being beaten or tortured be declared to have committed suicide and cremated.

As an incentive, officials pay lucrative salaries to agents involved in the persecution, they receive bonuses according to their commitment.

In an article published in 2001, Minghui explains that a police station in Dalian, a port city in northern China, offers a bonus to each officer who arrests at least nine practitioners.

In Shanghai, 45-year-old Lu Xingguo is stripped naked and tortured in a cell as a towel is put in his mouth to stop him from screaming.

Lu Xingguo dies after an hour. He lost his teeth and the skin on his lips. His hair is burnt and electrocution marks are visible all over his body. The police ruled a suicide.

“We were made to understand that the norm was a mortality rate of 5%”, explains the director of the penitentiary unit present on the spot. We are in October 2003. “We are not worried about the number of deaths. »

According to internal documents obtained by Epoch Times According to a reliable source, in the city of Dandong, capital of Liaoning province which then had a population of more than 2.4 million, the authorities sent politicians and police more than 5,000 times during the first two month of persecution to carry out the operations. Over 100 practice sites are then cleared, while 22,000 practitioners are visited by the police.

The city is also spending 30,000 yuan (4,300 euros) to produce a play attacking Falun Gong in order to “to educate” more than 10,000 people. Until 2005, the city will print millions of posters, leaflets and works of art defaming the practice. Posters are either circulated or posted on public bulletin boards.

A Chinese policeman approaches a Falun Gong practitioner in Tiananmen Square as he holds a banner with Chinese characters Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance,” the fundamental principles of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

More expensive than a war

Jiang Zemin closely follows the development of the persecution.

In March 2002, Falun Gong practitioners hacked into the cables of a public television station in the city of Changchun, northeast China, and broadcast 45 minutes of information about the persecution. According to his personal biography published in 2005, barely ten minutes after the broadcast ended, Jiang Zemin, furious, called an acquaintance who was not far from Changchun and demanded to be given the name of the Party secretary of the city, or that of the mayor. The city rushes to launch a wave of arrests. The main protagonists are sentenced to terms of up to 20 years. Most will die in prison or shortly after release.

Jiang Zemin would wield behind-the-scenes political influence long after he left office in 2004. He is the head of the Shanghai gang, named after the city where he built up his political potential as Party secretary. His followers, many of whom are key architects of the persecution, lead many branches of the Party as Xi Jinping takes office in 2012.

The persecution requires millions of people, and its exorbitant cost cripples the country’s economy.

A senior Liaoning judiciary official said, according to Minghui, that “the financial resources used to run Falun Gong exceeded the costs of a war”.

Falun Gong practitioners parade to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the persecution, in Washington, July 18, 2019. (Mark Zou/Epoch Times)


Following Jiang Zemin’s death, observers outside the country renewed their calls for him to be held accountable for his crimes, along with the entire Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“If you believe in human rights, in the legitimacy of peoples to self-determination, if you believe in freedom of expression, the Chinese communist dictatorship has a lot to blame itself and its leaders too”former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich recently told Epoch Times.

“The persecution of Falun Gong, and its degree of intensity, is truly shocking and says enough to understand how rooted this system is in totalitarianism. »

Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia in 2005, sees Jiang Zemin’s death as the beginning of the regime’s final downfall.

“The CCP has fallen from its ivory tower and is now in a precarious situation”he declares for Epoch Times.

Jiang Zemin’s death will not diminish the regime’s bloody legacy, he added, sooner or later Jiang Zemin and the CCP “will be accountable”.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

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Whatever the Price: A CCP Leader’s War on the Faith