(Clearwisdom.net) "I have waited for nine years. Finally I am able to openly quit the CCP!" On April 25, 2009, Zhang Ming, originally from Tianjin, China (a city close to Beijing directly under the jurisdiction of the central government), openly renounced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Zhang made this statement in front of Berlin's famed Brandenburg Gate, during an activity to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the "April 25" appeal, when ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered peacefully in China to request an open and unrestricted environment in which to practice Falun Gong.

Zhang Ming openly renounces the CCP and fulfills his wish of nine years on April 25, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

A righteous action nine years ago

Zhang Ming, in his fifties and of medium height, looks you straight in the eye when he speaks to you. The righteous energy he emanates convinces you that he was definitely able to take that outstanding action nine years ago.

In 2000, during the upsurge of the CCP's suppression of Falun Gong, the "Tianjin News" (on TV) reported that a man named Yang Quan jumped off of a multi-story building to commit suicide. It was reported that this man committed suicide because of practicing Falun Gong. Zhang Ming related that at the time, the state-run TV was broadcasting many, similar stories, but hearing this particular piece of news was like a blow to the head. "When I watched this news, I was shocked. This was obviously a huge lie, as huge as the heavens!" At that time Zhang Ming worked in the Tianjin Transportation Company. This Yang Quan was his colleague as well as his neighbor. "We all knew about Yang Quan. He suffered from femur bone necrosis. He had not been able to work for several years and was heavily in debt because of his medical treatment. The company did not apply for reimbursement for his medical treatment bills. He had come to the situation that he had nowhere to borrow money. He himself did not practice Falun Gong, though his wife did. She had lost her job already in 1999 because of practicing Falun Gong. His family had lost all sources of income. He had a senile mother and a young child in middle school. He could not hope to cure his disease with no money. To reduce the financial burden of his family, he jumped off of a multi-story building to commit suicide."

This falsified news slandering Falun Gong reminded Zhang Ming of the overwhelming media reports on Falun Gong, routinely broadcast ever since the CCP started to suppress Falun Gong in July 1999. "At that time, it was reported on all TV channels about how bad the Falun Gong was, such as practitioners committing suicide, killing and so on. I had my doubts already at that time about whether these stories were true, but I had no way to investigate them. When the news about Yang Quan came out, I was thinking, if Tianjin Television could make up a false story about this matter (of Yang Quan''s death), couldn't the Chinese Central Television make false stories about other events? This was simply a case of when the higher authorities behave wrongly, those below will do the same!"

Since Yang Quan's story was reported on the TV, his colleagues in the Tianjin Transportation Company - where Yang worked before his death and also where Zhang Ming worked - all talked a lot about it in private. Zhang Ming went further, as he wanted to find out the true picture. He eventually found Yang Quan's wife after some trouble. She told him that all these stories were fabricated by the government. Zhang said, "Yang Quan's wife told me that after he died, the District Government leaders came in person to meet Yang Quan's family members. They asked the company's leader to apply for reimbursement of 30,000 yuan (approximately 3,600 US dollars at that time) for his medical treatment. Moreover, they managed to replace Yang's three-room flat with a four-room flat located in a suburb and Yang's family moved in soon after. Yang's family at that time was under severe financial stress - they needed money urgently to pay their debts - therefore they accepted the conditions put forward by the government to state on TV that Yang Quan's suicide was brought about by practicing Falun Gong."

Afterwards, 20,000 copies of flyers titled "The true picture behind the 'death of a Falun Gong (practitioner)'" were distributed into the mailboxes of many residents in Tianjin. It was Zhang Ming and five colleagues who created and photocopied the flyers, with the company's photocopying machine, and distributed them secretly. Zhang Ming spoke about his motivation at that time: "The municipal government of Tianjin deceived the thirteen million residents in Tianjin, and this troubled me very much. I simply wanted to tell everybody the facts and show the true picture. I had no way to investigate all of those other reports (on Falun Gong) by the Chinese Central Television, but I had my personal information on this particular case of slandering Falun Gong in Tianjin. Like a piece of white paper, if the government said it was black every day, then people would believe it was black. I just wanted to tell everybody that it was white."

Detained for a month and released after a hunger strike

Soon after, when many residents in Tianjin were talking a lot about the contents of the flyer, one day in September 2000, the police from the Hebei District Branch of the Tianjing Police Bureau suddenly came to Zhang Ming's company and arrested all of the six people involved in distributing the flyer.

When the reporter asked Zhang if he had thought about the consequences of distributing those 20,000 flyers, Zhang Ming said frankly that he thought nobody would know who had done it, as they only delivered the flyers to people's mailboxes. Even now, he still does not know how the police learned about it.

Zhang Ming still finds it very difficult to recall the unbearable conditions in the detention center, where he was held for more than one month. "More than forty detainees were crowded into a room of barely more than twenty square meters. We had to tie the cuffs of our pant legs tightly and the cuffs of our sleeves to prevent the bedbugs from getting in before going to sleep. In the night we all slept on our side, packed closely together. If someone got up to go to the toilet, there would be no room left for him to sleep when he came back. What we ate was a coarse corn flour which was difficult to swallow." During the period of detention, Zhang Ming developed ulcers (aphtha) in his mouth so that he could eat nothing. In order to obtain his freedom and also to get medical treatment, he started a hunger strike. Seven days later, when he was close to death, his brother posted bail for his release for medical treatment. "I was immediately sent to a hospital after being released from the detention center. My blood vessels were easily broken by the needles used for administering medication, since I had taken no food for a quite long period of time," Zhang Ming related.

Friends sentenced, Zhang goes into exile

Zhang Ming temporarily escaped the detention center due to his disease, but the worst was yet to come. In March 2001, a bailiff delivered a summons to Zhang Ming's home, on which he was accused of the crime of "subverting the state."

"I knew if I reported to the court, I would not be let go. Therefore I went to a friend's place in Jilin (a province in northeast China). Later, with the help of this friend I was smuggled into Germany." Zhang Ming said, "All the other five of my colleagues were sentenced from five to seven years in prison with this same accusation. One of them died in prison. We do not know how he died but he had pleaded not guilty the entire time, and appealed. We guess that it was most probably because of this that he was fiercely tortured until he was eventually pushed to the verge of death. All the others were released at the end of their prison term. But it is impossible for them to go back to work in their previous company. They are all unemployed." Even his brother, who bailed Zhang Ming out, was subjected to a three-year prison term.

From March 2001 when he received the summons, to May 2002 when he arrived in Germany, Zhang Ming was destitute and homeless for fourteen months. On the way to Germany, he traveled by trains, buses and on foot with an immigration smuggling group. They went by way of Russia and Eastern Europe before finally arriving in Hamburg.

Interest in Falun Gong aroused by the persecution

"I had never given much attention to Falun Gong before July 1999. After the persecution started I saw all the media report on Falun Gong. I was curious and wanted to know what it was about Falun Gong that could make the CCP wage a war on it." Zhang Ming was the head of a transportation team in his company. He oversaw ten to twenty drivers. He said, "Until one of my leaders wanted to talk with one of my drivers, I did not know he was practicing Falun Gong. Until one of my neighbors was dismissed from her job, I did not know she was practicing Falun Gong."

One or two weeks after the start of the persecution in 1999, Zhang Ming met this driver and asked to borrow the book Zhuan Falun. Zhang recalled, "At first, he did not want to lend it at all, because at that time all people were required to hand in their Falun Gong books; the person would be punished if (he/she) did not do so. That's why he did not want it known that he still had the books. Later, I promised him that I would not speak out about it, and he only agreed to let me read the book for two hours at his place and he did not allow me to take the book away." Zhang Ming recalled, "At the beginning, I had the thought of finding faults in the book. I wanted to see if there was any content in the book endangering the state. I read it for about two hours. I had two impressions: one was Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the other was 'one should not fight back when being punched or insulted, but should conduct oneself with a high standard.' I felt that these were very good things. I found no harmful content in the book."In discussing the Falun Gong practitioner who worked in his team, Zhang Ming stated, "He was a very good person. He worked very diligently." Zhang Ming gave a specific example: "All people in the transportation industry know that when a fleet of trucks is out on the road, if one truck breaks down, all the trucks behind will stop to help him repair the truck, while the trucks in front just continue to run forward, as they don't see this. The driver of the last truck simply has the most difficult situation because he has to stop to help whichever truck is broken down but nobody helps him when his truck is broken down. This Falun Gong practitioner always drove last on every trip. He did not go to the front even when he was offered the chance. Wintertime in northeastern China is a world of ice and snow. It is extremely difficult repairing a truck under these conditions, especially with no help from others. Every time, he gave himself the most difficult job."

In mainland China, due to the information blockade by the CCP, Zhang Ming did not have any channels to know the true picture of Falun Gong, but he drew a conclusion from the reports of the official Chinese media: Falun Gong is absolutely not like what the government said.

Mental journey of ten years

In 2000, when Zhang Ming realized that the CCP was deceiving the more than one billion Chinese people with huge lies, he had mentally renounced the CCP. Zhang Ming related, "I had joined the CCP before. But after the events that took place in 2000, I simply denied that I was a CCP member when I was asked."

Zhang Ming was born in the mid-1950s. He has experienced a very long mental journey, from the time he was a young man once hopeful about the CCP, to when he openly renounced the CCP.

In 1973 during the period of the Great Cultural Revolution, Zhang Ming was an "active and aspirant" middle school student. Once a denouncing rally was to be held in the school, and Zhang Ming was told to make a pasteboard which would be hung on the chest of the denounced person. He did not notice there was a portrait of Mao Zedong on the back side of the newspaper that he used to make the board. As a result, the pasteboard was marked with an askew cross while there was a portrait of Mao on the reverse. During that crazy period of time, he was therefore sentenced to seven years' imprisonment with the accusation of being a "counter-revolutionary". He was imprisoned in the Third Labor camp in Tianjin City. Life was extremely difficult there. There were also savage tortures, for instance pushing a person into a brick kiln where it was 70 - 80 degrees centigrade inside, and beating a person with the person's two arms trussed up behind them and hung up. He spent five years in the labor camp until 1978, when his case was redressed.

"At that time there were many wronged and false cases, for example, several lecturers in Nankai University were denounced as "counter-revolutionary" because of having a plaster statue of Mao's head by mistake. When the accusations against us were redressed, only those well-known rightists received some financial compensation; the rest of us received no compensation at all," Zhang Ming recalled.

However, this experience did not lead Zhang Ming to see clearly what the CCP was about. "Upon our release, they told us that the blame should be charged to the 'Gang of Four.' We did indeed lay the blame upon to the 'Gang of Four' and thought that the CCP was good and that it could correct its mistakes." As Zhang Ming discussed his thoughts at that time, he had to point out the general environment in 1978: "We had no other sources of information at that time. We knew nothing about democracy and freedom, nor what foreign countries were like. We believed what the CCP told us. Most people did."

It was because he regarded the Chinese Communist Party as good that he joined the CCP in 1990. There were also some practical reasons of course, he said. "There were many advantages to being a CCP member. For instance, when the company purchased some quality trucks, if the head of a transportation team was a CCP member he had more chances to be allocated the quality trucks. A team head was also more well-informed in advance if he was a CCP member."

The largest criminal clique in mainland China

It was the persecution of Falun Gong, as well as the persecution he experienced because he had spoken up for Falun Gong, that made Zhang Ming seriously think over what kind of organization the CCP truly was. "We can present all the facts on a desk. I simply brought out the true pictures of the facts. What crime did this commit? Who actually committed a crime?" Zhang Ming emphasized, "I was guilty of no crime! The CCP is the largest criminal clique in mainland China. It has prisons, police, military force, advanced facilities of transportation and telecommunication. The CCP alone has been autocratic. It says nice words but does evil. It does not allow others to have any disagreement with them. It deprives 1.4 billion people of their democracy and freedom. Every time it persecutes others it always finds some scapegoat so as to pass the buck to others while the CCP manages to still keep the image of being "great, glorious and correct.' Therefore, it can continue to deceive and to persecute ordinary people."

Zhang Ming had decided to quit the CCP when he was detained because of speaking up for Falun Gong in 2000. "The entire time, I had the thought of quitting the CCP but I had no opportunity. The area where I live now is very small. I seldom see the Chinese edition of the Epoch Times. I did not get in touch with the Service Center for Quitting the CCP until a few months ago, when somebody told me of a telephone hotline in the USA for quitting the CCP. I then renounced the CCP online with my real name."

When Zhang Ming got to know that the Quitting CCP movement does not only include the present members but also includes those who ever were party members, he expressed that there were definitely more than 53 million people who wanted to declare their renouncement of the CCP online. "Chinese people generally have antipathy toward the CCP," he said. "Whenever the CCP is mentioned, people always swear at it. Definitely more than 53 million people want to quit it. I believe there will be more and more people who will want to quit it when they gradually see clearly the true colors of the CCP and when more and more people come to know how to quit. Sooner or later the CCP is to be disintegrated."

When asked if he had any worries about using his real name to quit the CCP, Zhang Ming said, "It is the CCP that is afraid, indeed. It tells lies, so it fears the people who tell the truth. However more severely it persecutes, only shows the more it fears and the closer it is to its end."

True patriotism means quitting the CCP

Zhang Ming hopes there will be more and more people who will quit the CCP - "the largest criminal clique in mainland China." When some friends in mainland China said to him half-jokingly that he had "betrayed the CCP and his country," he said, "I agree that I have betrayed the CCP, but not my country. It is just because I love the country that I betray the CCP. Moreover I am very happy to have 'betrayed' the largest criminal clique in mainland China. The CCP has the words, 'harmonious society' in its mouth, but actually it is extremely corrupt. The money of ordinary people all has been 'harmonized' into its pocket. It tells lies and it 'harmonizes' others into prison when others tell the truth."

Zhang Ming emphasized with a gesture, "If it is China and Chinese people whom one loves, one should quit the CCP, which is a serial liar and extremely corrupt, and quit all its affiliated organizations. The CCP is not equal to China. China is not the same as the CCP."

Fulfilling a nine-year wish

On April 25, 2009, Zhang Ming came to Berlin after a three-hour train ride, caught in the early morning. After nine years of waiting, in front of the Brandenburg gate in the warm sunshine of the early spring of Berlin, he finally openly declared his renunciation of the CCP through a microphone, articulating a wish which he had kept in his heart for nine years. His speech was translated into German through a simultaneous interpreter. There were some German people listening and now they could understand the heartfelt wish of a Chinese person.

"Because I spoke up for Falun Gong I was persecuted by the CCP. I was compelled to leave my beloved country. My brother later hired an attorney and requested the court to cancel their case against me but they ignored our appeal. Afterwards, we learned, through an acquaintance who worked in the court, that this case received heavy political pressure from above. I have a home there but am unable to return." Zhang Ming raised his voice, "The day the CCP collapses will be the day I return home!"