(Minghui.org) In Chinese traditional culture, the concept of people revering Heaven, which will then protect them, has always been regarded as a great virtue. Confucius said: “Politics means being righteous.” In ancient China, officials who governed ethically and for the benefit of the people were hailed as “qing tian” (“clear sky”) in praise of their clean conscience and integrity—as “clear as the sky.” Officials who violated the law and treated people unjustly were regarded as “treacherous.”
As legend has it, in the remote past in China, Emperor Shun (2294 – 2184 BC) appointed Gao Yao to be the Minister of Law. He advocated “nine virtues” as guiding principles, with the result that no one was wrongly convicted during his administration, and he was venerated as the “God of Jail.”
After the Qin state unified China and established China’s first imperial dynasty in 221 BC, the official document “The Way to Be an Official” made it clear that “officials should set an example for the people” by following five principles: be faithful and respectful, be honest and non-abusive, act appropriately, be keen to do good deeds, and be courteous and generous. They should also avoid five unethical behaviors: exaggeration, arrogance, abuse of power, being offensive to one’s superiors, and valuing money more than talented people. Officials were not allowed to treat an innocent person unjustly or kill an innocent person. They were supposed to punish what was evil and promote what was good.
During the era of the “Prosperity of Zhenguan” (627-649) under the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang, the “Tang Code” was implemented, with “rites and benevolence” as its guiding principles. The “Tang Code” was a penal code supplemented by civil statutes and regulations. The Tang Code was regarded as one of the greatest achievements of traditional Chinese law and had great influence in later dynasties, as well as in East Asia. It lasted over a thousand years and was still broadly referred to until the Qing dynasty (the last one in China’s dynastic history).
Throughout Chinese history, there were officials in each dynasty who were examples of honesty and integrity as well as those who abused their power for personal gain and bullied the common people. Such corrupt officials were very often punished in the end. As the saying goes: “Good will be rewarded with good, and evil will incur evil” or “What goes around comes around.” The following are a few such examples.
The Story of Zhang Chengxian
It is recorded in Yijian Zhi, a collection of stories by Hong Mai of the Southern Song dynasty (960-1279), that there was an official named Zhang Chengxian in Chen Zhou in Henan Province. When he was an acting magistrate in Wanqiu County, two separate gangs of bandits were captured, 15 ruffians in all. When the magistrate returned, he wanted to combine the two cases into one, so that the number of criminals captured in one case might be significant enough for him to get promoted to work in the capital city.
When the case was submitted to the governor of the prefecture, the governor sought Zhang Chengxian’s opinion. Zhang said, “I do not object to the county magistrate being rewarded and promoted thanks to this case, but if you ask me to alter the facts and combine the two separate cases into one, I wouldn’t do it. That would amount to making up stories and fabricating charges.”
Twenty years later, when Zhang was serving as an official in the Jianghuai Shipping Department, he had a dream in which he entered a big hall and saw the King of Hell sitting in the middle.
“Do you remember what happened in Chen Zhou?” the King of Hell asked Zhang.
“Yes, vividly, but I do not have the dossier with me to show you,” Zhang replied.
“Never mind,” the King of Hell said. “We have everything recorded here. There is no need for you to provide any dossier.”
As Zhang walked out the hall, each of the two underworld officers at the gate gave Zhang a bolt of brocade, saying, “This is a reward you deserve.”
Zhang was childless before then, but he had boy-girl twins that year. Seven years later, he became a high-ranking court official and remained so until he passed away.
The Story of Qin Di
There is also story recorded in Yijian Zhi about Qin Di, who was the younger brother of Qin Hui, a notoriouslytreacherous official in the Southern Song dynasty. Qin Hui colluded with the Jin (the enemy of Song) to frame and execute Yue Fei, a highly respected patriotic general.
When Qin Di was governor of Xuan Zhou, he sent constables to arrest several people in He Village who distilled liquor on the quiet. The villagers thought the constables were bandits, so they rounded the officials up and took them to the governor’s office. Qin Di released the constables immediately and ordered the arrest of three villagers from one family (the grandfather and two of his grandsons), who were charged with distilling liquor in secret. All three were tied up and flogged 100 times each. When they were untied, all them had died.
Everyone in the local government knew that Qin Di’s elder brother was the Chancellor, so no one dared to say anything about the torture and deaths of the three villagers, but just a year later, Qin Di died suddenly.
A year later, a new governor, Yang Yuanzhong, was appointed to oversee Xuan Zhou. One morning, while he was handling public affairs in the office, two men brought in a prisoner, who was all chained up. One of them said, “We are here to get the dossier on the He Village case.” Being new at the job, Yang Yuanzhong didn’t know anything about that particular case, but when he looked up to ask about it, the trio had disappeared without a trace.
Puzzled by the unusual experience, he summoned a clerk to find out more about it. “Oh, that was handled by the previous governor, Qin,” the clerk said and went to fetch the dossier. Yang was so shocked as he read the file that he told the clerk to neatly copy the case file again. He then bought ten thousand yuan in spirit money and burned it all with the files, having realized that what he had seen in his office was to let him know him that the case had been handled unjustly and the three villagers had died wrongful deaths.
It seemed that injustice done in the human world could be redressed in the underworld. Qin Di died, yet he was still held accountable and suffered the consequences for unjustly punishing the villagers.
Unjust Trials and Verdicts in Communist China
For 20 odd years, courts in China under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried countless innocent Falun Gong practitioners and sentenced them unjustly. The following are but a few examples.
On September 5, 2003, Jiutai Court in Jilin Province secretly tried seven Falun Gong practitioners, who were not allowed to speak or defend themselves. If a practitioner tried to speak, a police officer would shock him with an electric baton. One of Lu Yaxuan’s teeth was knocked out, and they all suffered multiple injuries from electric shocks. Sometimes, the officers shocked them with two electric batons at the same time or hit them with the batons, even breaking them from hitting the practitioners so hard.
On the morning of September 12, 2005, the Xinglongtai District Court illegally tried practitioner Mr. Xin Minduo. Evidence against him included 1100 CDs, which were alleged to have been found in his home, and a list of what was confiscated that Xin had allegedly signed.
“Did you sign it?” asked the lawyer. “Never. I’ve never signed anything since I was illegally arrested,” Mr. Xin replied.
A police officer then provided a photo of the CDs that he claimed had been found in Mr. Xin’s house.
“That is forged evidence,” Xin objected. “My house had a tiled floor, while these CDs are piled on a wooden floorboard. They were not from my house.”
Neither the judge nor the police officer responded, and Xin was secretly given 13 years in prison based on fabricated charges.
Justice Will Be Served
Since the persecution started in 1999, Dong Benjun, a former director of the Qinghe Town Police Station in Ji’an City in the Tonghua Region of Jilin Province, followed Jiang Zemin (former head of the CCP) in carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong.
He was personally responsible for the illegal arrests of at least 12 practitioners. Some of them suffered repeated arrests, their families were frequently harassed, and some were sentenced to prison a number of times, or even died as a result of persecution. Dong said to the practitioners he arrested, “We won’t bother with those who engage in prostitution or other illegal activities. We only arrest you Falun Gong people!”
One of the victims was Cui Weidong, a young university student at the time. Cui went to Beijing to seek justice for Falun Gong and was unlawfully arrested. Dong beat Cui with a broomstick, saying, “I’ll beat you to death! I’ll kill you today!”
Ms. Luo Xizhen was persecuted and forced into homelessness for over ten years. She was also sentenced to prison three times, for a total of eight and a half years.
Another practitioner, Mr. Piao Jingwen, was arrested and imprisoned a number of times, leaving his two young children uncared for. The persecution of Falun Gong has caused countless families to suffer and many people are forced to live in fear.
Police officer Dong developed symptoms of neuralgia in 2006, and lived with unbearable pain. He was sentenced once for reselling wood at a profit, and his wife died early from illness. After struggling with neuralgia for over a decade, Dong died in the courtyard of a friend’s house in June 2021.
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