Jiang Zemin Cannot Shirk the Responsibility for the Persecution of Falun Gong (first posted in September 2000)
I feel shame on behalf of China. After I watched the interview between Jiang Zemin (the President of China) and Mike Wallace (CBS), I realized just how desperate Jiang Zemin has become in his plot to crush Falun Gong. He embarrassed himself in front of the whole world, trying to shirk the responsibility for initiating the crackdown by pointing fingers at the "Standing Committee of the Political Bureau," etc. To him I would say,
President Jiang, you will never be able to escape the guilt you have brought upon yourself for undertaking and implementing this brutal campaign to stamp out the peaceful practice of Falun Gong. Your own speech and conduct surrounding the "Zhongnanhai" event of last April 25th already condemn you -- how will you escape this responsibility and blame?
Please consider the following inside stories, and how they demonstrate President Jiang's undeniable and personal responsibility for the atrocities committed against Falun Gong practitioners over the last year:
1. In the second half of 1998, a few retired veteran cadres in the National People's Congress conducted an investigation and an in-depth study of the suppression of Falun Gong in China. They received a huge amount of feedback from the populace regarding the illegal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. The conclusion was that Falun Gong brings much benefit to the country, without any negative impact. This report was submitted at the end of the year to the Political Bureau, chaired by Jiang Zemin. The report also included a statement summarizing the situation: "Winning the hearts of the people, you gain the world. Losing the hearts of the people, you lose everything." Jiang's expressed his displeasure: he wrote an obscure note to Luo Gan, expressing his displeasure with Falun Gong. Luo Gan is in charge of the National Committee of Politics and Law, and had aspirations to improve his political rank by capitalizing on and supporting Jiang's anti-Falun Gong sentiment. Luo Gan, together with his brother-in-law He Zuoxiu, proceeded to engineer a number of events, including the "Tianjin incident," the "Zhongnanhai incident," etc., with the intent of accusing Falun Gong of "having political backing overseas and in China."
2. On the day of the "Zhongnanhai incident," last April 25th, those in charge of the top-level offices of appeal, along with Luo Gan and others, reported on the legal course of appeal taken by Falun Gong practitioners. Upon hearing this, Jiang Zemin shook both hands and shouted, "Crush Falun Gong! Crush it! Crush it completely!" This forceful outburst shocked everyone who witnessed it, including Luo Gan.
3. During the "Zhongnanhai incident" of April 25th, as a Prime Minister should do, Zhu Rongji had offered an open-minded and peaceful resolution to the appeal of Falun Gong practitioners. Upon realizing that the world would praise Zhu Rongji for solving the Falun Gong issue, President Jiang became enraged. At the first meeting of the Standing Committee on the "Zhongnanhai Incident," Zhu spoke out, suggesting, "Just let them practice." Jiang pointed his finger at Zhu, and said, "You're wrong! You're being a fool! Falun Gong will destroy the Party and the nation!"
4. Failing to gain full support from the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, Jiang Zemin undertook a campaign likened to that of Mao Zedong (former Chairman of China during the Great Cultural Revolution). This involved plastering the government headquarters with huge anti-Falun Gong posters, writing to all the Committee members, and repeatedly issuing "instructions" in his own name, defining the Falun Gong issue as "very serious," "competing with the [Communist] Party for the masses," and "threatening the nation and the Party." At that time, the central office of appeals supported a nation-wide policy of "freedom of practice" and "no ban on spiritual practices [such as qigong]." However, Jiang's campaign of instructions, speeches, and a new policy stating that "Party members are forbidden to practice Falun Gong" sent a contradictory message. These two conflicting policies appeared side-by-side, an embarrassment in front of the whole world.
5. Following the crackdown on Falun Gong last July 22nd, beyond Jiang Zemin's imagination, Falun Gong practitioners continued to appeal without apparent fear of death. The democratic nations of the world condemned China's trampling of human rights and brutalizing Falun Gong practitioners. Jiang revealed the nation's top-secret plot, and announced such policies as "the Communist Party is above the law," and "the authorities are above the law." Jiang Zemin, it is you, the leader of the Communist Party, who bears the responsibility for overriding the law and the constitution. It was you who branded Falun Gong an "evil religion" prior to the National People's Congress' annual meeting, and once again tarnished the nation's image and damaged its civility with your acts.
6. Although Jiang Zemin, together with Luo Gan, worked hard both publicly and privately on their own, the persecution of Falun Gong turned out to have less and less support from the people. What irritated Jiang Zemin most was that other provinces showed no interest in the persecution except for a few provinces, such as Shandong and Liaoning Province. Even these, however, made public gestures to support the central government in the persecution, while opposing it in private. Especially in southern provinces such as Guandong Province, public sentiment opposed the crackdown even more: "Falun Gong practitioners are good people," they said, "No Falun Gong practitioners will be sentenced in Guandong." Even Hu Jintao (the Vice President of China) and Li Changchun (head of Guandong Province), who are selected as successors to the leadership of China, supported the crackdown only passively. It seemed they were not willing to bear the shame and guilt for these atrocities along with Jiang Zemin.
For this reason, Jiang Zemin toured the south and Guandong Province this February, giving orders and directing local officials personally. He criticized Guandong for not "doing its best in the persecution of Falun Gong," and for being "too soft" on Falun Gong. He asked Li Changchun to make a statement at the conference of the Political Bureau, to express regret with respect to his lack of efforts in this area. Jiang Zemin issued a fax to the Shenzhen City [a common entrypoint into China from the South] Municipal Party, demanding that they "guard the front line," etc.
Under intense pressure from Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, Guandong Province eventually began to incarcerate Falun Gong practitioners and send them to labor camps. Among the first to be sent to labor camps was Hu Jintao's university classmate -- after this, who would be spared? People close to the event commented that this was a case of "killing two birds with one stone," since it not only marked the beginning of the crackdown against Falun Gong in Guandong Province, but also cast shameful labels on Hu Jintao for this act of betrayal [of his classmate]. Even a tryant needs company, it seems.
7. Another instance of Jiang Zemin attempting to shirk his responsibility for the atrocities and the crackdown took place in Japan. He told the Prime Minister of Japan that, "I don't know anything about Falun Gong." On another occasion Jiang told Hong Kong media about one of his classmates who "did not take medicine when he was sick" -- however, many people in the Central Government are aware that the classmate had written several letters to you in support of Falun Gong prior to April 25, 1999. All of these contradictions serve to reveal your true intentions.
President Jiang, do you recall all of these events? The world is quite aware that you are the primary force and leader behind the persecution of Falun Gong -- you will never be able to shirk the responsibility for all that has happened.
an Insider (a member of the Communist Party)