“Killed Donkeys”: The Fate that Befalls Those Who Follow the Communist Party in Crime
(Minghui.org) Hu Shih, former Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. (1938 to 1942), faced a difficult decision in December of 1948. Both the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose troops had surrounded Beijing at the time, and Chiang Kai-shek promised him high-ranking positions in their respective administrations; each did the best they could to woo the renowned scholar to their camp.
In the end, Hu boarded the plane to join Chiang in Nanjing, then-capital of the Republic of China.
Hu’s son, Sidu, however, decided to stay.
“I did not do anything against the CCP. I would be fine,” he thought.
After turning in some valuables left by his father to the officials, Sidu was forced to write articles defaming his father. He eventually collapsed and committed suicide in 1957 at age 36 after being targeted in many of the CCP's political campaigns.
This is just one of the countless tragedies that have transpired in the past few decades. Hoping for a better future, either for society or for themselves, these people bet their lives on the CCP only to find it a journey towards destruction. This misfortune can be found in the then-Soviet Union, throughout the CCP's history, and in the persecution of Falun Gong today.
“Kill the Donkey Once the Millstone Is Not Needed”
Zhu Ziqing is a famous Chinese writer whose numerous articles still grace Chinese textbooks today. He was heavily publicized—again in textbooks—for siding with the CCP and refusing to accept food from the U.S. during China’s civil war in 1946. What was omitted in the textbooks was that he had an ample supply of food until his death, and his son Zhu Maixian was executed at 33 in 1951 despite his allegiance to the regime.
Aside from Hu Sidu and Zhu Maixian, who joined the CCP before it took power in 1949, many active followers after that also faced similar fates. One example was Liu Chuanxin, who became the chief of the Beijing Police Department after the Cultural Revolution started in 1966. To please higher officials, he arbitrarily listed over 1,000 officers as spies and enemy of the state.
After the Cultural Revolution ended, however, Liu was one of the first officers to be punished. He was removed from his position as the police chief in January 1977, and he committed suicide four months later. In addition, to allay anger from the public, nearly 800 of Liu's followers were removed from the Beijing Police Department; 17 of them were secretly executed without due process. Their families were told that they had died in the line of duty.
After almost every political campaign, police officers would be punished as scapegoats for following orders that were no longer in vogue. This phenomenon is often described using the Chinese proverb, xie mo sha lü (killing the donkey after the millstone is not needed).
Precedents in the Soviet Union
Not everyone was misled by the Communist Party propaganda. With fervor for communism, Chiang and a group of officials visited the Soviet Union in 1923 on behalf of Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China. This trip, however, made Chiang a strong advocate against communism.
He found that the Russian Communist Party’s revolution consisted of two components: one was class struggle, and the other was mobilizing people for armed riots. More specifically, because the Communist Party considered class struggle as the primary force for social advance, it often intensified class struggles intentionally and created chaos via looting, rape, arson, and killing. The public was then either enticed or coerced into participating as followers or slaves.
This brutality in the Soviet Union was enforced through The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), followed by the Committee for State Security (KGB). Genrikh Yagoda, director of the NKVD (1934 to 1936), followed Joseph Stalin's orders and supervised the arrest, show trial, and execution of various political enemies. In spite of Yagoda’s contribution to the Great Purge, Stalin issued an order for his arrest in 1937. Yagoda begged for clemency but was nonetheless executed for treason and conspiracy.
Interestingly, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union—and probably that of the CCP as well—was predicted by Georgi Plekhanov, founding father of Russian Marxism. In early 1918, less than one year after the October Revolution, Plekhanov left a political will and prohibited its revelation until the collapse of communism. This document, “Political Will and Testament,” was later recovered in BNP Paribas and published in full by the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on November 30, 1999.
Plekhanov predicted that a communist society would be operated through one-party tyranny with no democracy or freedom. Such a society would enforce terrorism, deceit, and force before its collapse. He also pointed out that “the greatness of a country does not lie in the vastness of its land or the richness of its history, but in its democratic traditions and standard of living. As long as its people still live in poverty and enjoy no democracy, it is hard to guarantee there will be no crises or eventual demise.”
Many of history's lessons remain unlearned, let alone Plekhanov’s prediction. Twenty-three years after the end of the Cultural Revolution and eight years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, former CCP leader Jiang Zemin launched a massive campaign against the peaceful meditation practice of Falun Gong in China.
According to Minghui.org, there have been at least 2.5 to 3 million arrests of Falun Gong practitioners for their belief since the persecution started in July 1999. Among them, over 4,300 have lost their lives due to torture in police custody. These represent only the handful of cases successfully submitted to Minghui after overcoming internet surveillance and censorship in China. Since there were about 100 million Falun Gong practitioners when the suppression started, and the majority, if not all, of them have been discriminated against and mistreated in various forms, the actual impacted population could be much higher.
In addition to scale, this persecution differs from other cases in the Soviet Union as well as China. First, the suppression is based on faith and targets people from all walks of life that believe in Falun Gong and its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Since these people are forced to renounce their belief and willingness to become better citizens, the moral loss is huge and unprecedented.
Second, the methods used in the persecution are beyond imagination. Aside from detention centers, labor camps, and prisons, practitioners are also held in various types of brainwashing centers. While detained, they are beaten, shocked with electric batons, deprived of access to a toilet, subjected to psychiatric abuse, and even killed for organs.
Consequences for Crimes
During interrogation, Yagoda told his interrogators, “...you can put me down in your report to Stalin that there must be a God after all. From Stalin I deserved nothing but gratitude for my faithful service; from God, I deserved the most severe punishment for having violated his commandments thousands of times. Now look where I am [Lubyanka prison] and judge for yourself: is there a God or not?”
Similarly, although the persecution of Falun Gong still continues, a large number of officials have already received karmic retribution for their crimes under the guise of various other charges, such as bribery. According to data from Minghui, at least 3,672 officers involved in the persecution have faced consequences.
Among them, 25 were sentenced to the death penalty (the majority of them were in the police system), 881 were sentenced to imprisonment, and 83 received life sentences. In addition to legal obligations, some officers also experienced other types of misfortune after persecuting innocent practitioners.
Chen Honghui, former director of the Huanan Domestic Security Bureau in Henan Province, was an active participant in the persecution. Within two years, 16 practitioners were arrested under his supervision. Five were sentenced to prison, and two were taken to forced labor camps. The rest were detained and forced to pay fines. He also burned Falun Gong books and portraits of Falun Gong’s founder.
Practitioners repeatedly told Chen to stop, but he always ignored them. When a practitioner asked him once again in October 2009 to support the innocent, he dismissed it and replied, “I’ve been doing this for so many years and I’m still all right. If retribution is real, bring it on! I will follow the CCP all the way to the end.”
When Chen was returning from Longshan Town to Huanan on October 31, 2009, he crashed his car into a tree. His skull was crushed, and he died instantly. He was only in his 40s.