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Video: Self-Immolation or CCP Propaganda Stunt?

January 21, 2012 |  


The Minghui website has produced a new video clarifying the truth about the immolation on Tiananmen Square. At the moment, the audio track for the film is available in Mandarin only. The video also has Chinese subtitles so that Cantonese speakers can follow along. A translation of the new video's script is presented below. 

(Video length 13 minutes)

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Self-Immolation or CCP Propaganda Stunt?

On the gray afternoon of January 23, 2001—Chinese New Year's Eve—there were not many visitors on Tiananmen Square when, according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, a man named Wang Jindong set himself on fire at precisely 2:41 p.m. on the northeast side of the People's Hero Monument.

According to official statements from Xinhua, “Four policemen immediately surrounded the man with fire extinguishers,” and, “In less than one minute, the fire was put out.” A few minutes later on the north side of the People’s Hero Monument, four women also set themselves on fire. A minute and a half later, the police had put out those fires.

The entire scene played out in less than 7 minutes. One person died on the spot and four people sustained severe burns. China's state-controlled media repeated over and over that these people were Falun Gong practitioners who had self-immolated to “reach an early enlightenment to return to the heavens.”

Falun Gong is a is an advanced practice of Buddhist self-cultivation. Its principles clearly prohibit both killing and suicide. If these people were indeed Falun Gong practitioners, they would have never committed suicide or set themselves on fire.

In addition, the police on Tiananmen Square are not known to carry fire extinguishers when patrolling. It seems very suspicious that on this particular day the police all had fire extinguishers and blankets ready to deploy at the scene in a matter of minutes.

The international media had many questions about the immolation on Tiananmen Square. China Central Television, or CCTV, China's nationwide television network, like all other media in China, is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party regime. CCTV has a widely watched weekly news program called “Focal Point Interview.” One week after the events on Tiananmen Square, the Focal Point Interview program featured a story complete with video footage of the immolation.

By playing the video in slow motion and closely analyzing the footage, investigators found the official story to be untruthful and full of flaws. So was it a genuine self-immolation or a set-up? Let’s take a look and see.

Burned to Death? Or Bludgeoned to Death?

This is the scene where police extinguish the fire that was burning the single-mother named Liu Chunling. Please look closely, and you will see quite clearly how she was actually murdered. As the fire on Ms. Liu was being extinguished, an arm can be seen striking out at her head. She can be seen acting to protect her head with her hands. Then she suddenly drops to the ground. In slow motion we can see a baton-shaped object forcefully striking and bouncing off her head. We also see the mystery man’s posture, which suggests that he had just struck her. So, did Liu Chunling burn to death or was she hit with an object and killed instantly? The video evidence seems quite clear.

After the self-immolation, a Washington Post reporter went to Liu Chunling’s hometown in Kaifeng City, Henan Province to find out more about her. Her neighbors told him that they had never seen Ms. Liu practice Falun Gong. Liu Chunling had moved to Henan from another province along with her mother and 12 year-old daughter. She worked in a bar to make a living. Neighbors say that she frequently beat her mother and daughter, exhibiting violent behavior totally unlike a true Falun Gong practitioner.

After the flaws in their narrative were exposed through their own video, the CCP's only response was to pull the original video and replace it with one where the flaws in the official story had been edited out.

Plastic Bottle Containing Fuel Does Not Melt or Burn

Look closely at this section of CCTV close-up footage of Wang Jindong. We can hear him clearly shouting out what are alleged to be slogans implicating Falun Gong. A policeman stands beside him holding a blanket, at the ready, as if waiting for Wang to deliver his lines in a staged performance before smothering the fire with the blanket.

Then observe another obvious fabrication: Wang Jindong's clothes are burning but the green plastic bottle between his legs, alleged to contain gasoline, remains intact.

The Minghui.org website published an article on May 14, 2003, entitled “CCTV’s Li Yuqiang Acknowledges that Part of the “Self-Immolation” Scene Was Staged”


In early 2002, CCTV reporter Li Yuqiang visited “The Law Education and Training Center for the Capital of Hebei Province”, where she held a discussion with Falun Gong practitioners detained there. The practitioners questioned the flaws in the self-immolation film, including why the Sprite bottle full of gasoline remained fully intact between Wang Jindong’s legs. Li Yuqiang acknowledged that the police had placed the Sprite bottle between Wang Jindong’s legs after he had been burned—she confirmed that in fact, the scene had been staged. She pointed out that the whole event had been arranged in an attempt to prove to anyone seeing it that Falun Gong practitioners had conducted a “self-immolation”. She admitted that had they known the world’s media would doubt the film's authenticity, they would not have produced it. 

Who is the cameraman outside of the scene?

In the original CCTV video, there were many close-up shots and on-the-spot audio recordings. Cameras captured the entire scene as it developed. First it follows the police. This would have happened very quickly. Where did the camera come from? Wouldn't a cameraman need full cooperation from the police. The camera takes a close-up of a policeman holding a blanket at the ready, but instead of smothering the fire with it immediately, he waits until Wang Jindong finishes shouting out his slogans implicating Falun Gong. Later, in the hospital, little Siying can be heard calling out to her mother. Weren't all of these scenes designed for one purpose: to defame the good reputation of Falun Gong?

Everyone knows Tiananmen Square is a sensitive place. If a visitor or bystander, not to mention the Western media, take pictures the police will quickly confiscate the camera and the person will be taken away. But in the CCTV video footage of the so-called “self immolation”, there is footage from far away, nearby, and right up close. It seems that everything was well prepared. We can only ask, “Who were all these cameramen? Where were they? Why were they all there, ready to shoot?” 

Plots Exposed in Advance

Two or three months before the immolation took place, insiders from the Chinese Communist Party's 610 Office had passed out messages saying that the CCP would fabricate a self-immolation incident to frame Falun Gong. The 610 Office is a special government body founded in 1999 on June 10, hence it's name the “610” Office. It was created with the sole mandate to persecute Falun Gong. Although the Minghui website published the news that the CCP was planning a self-immolation plot, practitioners, who pay little heed to politics, did not pay close attention to the news at that time. Then in February 2011, two reports surfaced that were published more than ten years earlier about how the CCP planned the self-immolation to defame and discredit Falun Gong practitioners worldwide.

On October 11, 2000, three months before the self-immolation incident, Minghui.org published an article entitled “Inside Source: CCP's 610 Office Plans to Stage Self-Immolation” (http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2000/10/11/1079.html).

And then in December 2000, one month before the “self-immolation,” another article was published on Minghui.org, entitled, “Be Careful of Police Pretending to be Falun Gong Practitioners; Their intent is to Destroy the Good Reputation of Falun Gong.” (http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2000/12/13/4411.html).

The article clearly stated that the CCP would stage a self-immolation incident on Tiananmen Square.

Archive.org maintains an independent and authoritative Internet archive which stores historical images of many web pages. The article on Minghui.org about the CCP planning to stage a self-immolation has been archived for all to see for more than ten years at http://web.archive.org/web/20010501003822/http://minghui.org/gb/0001/Oct/11/news_china_100700.html

These multiple reports from government sources foretelling of an immolation of Falun Gong practitioners on Tiananmen Square on the Chinese New Year provide further evidence that the CCP orchestrated the self-immolation incident.


The CCP members who deliberately orchestrated the immolation on Tiananmen Square ensured that a strict news blockage would not allow anyone to investigate the truth independently. They also used the state-run media to play footage of the self-immolation repeatedly over a long period of time. They orchestrated an all encompassing media campaign and spread their lies and false propaganda to elementary schools, high schools, universities and companies to deceive the people and provoke fear and hatred of Falun Gong.

At the same time, they blocked all Falun Gong websites, including Minghui.org, so that people could not learn the truth.

Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, as well as improving both morality and physical health benefits all of society and is universally recognized as a good. The converse is also true: anyone who persecutes goodness must be evil.

The truth will sooner or later always win out against falsehood.

Dear friends, we hope that after seeing this analysis you can clearly see and understand the CCP's true nature and come to your own conclusions about who is telling the truth regarding the horrific events that unfolded on Tiananmen Square on that gray Chinese New Years Eve back in 2001. Don't be deceived by the propaganda about the immolation – understanding the truth can only bring a bright future.


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