The Chinese Communist Party Lies about Fires (Again and Again)
(Minghui.org) On July 1, 2012, I read a news report online about a fire on June 30 in the Laide Shopping Center, the biggest shopping center in Ji County, Tianjin. The report said the thick smoke covered the whole town. Many people caught by the fire in the shopping center sought relief by jumping out of the window of the burning building—an extremely appalling view for bystanders. According to witnesses on the spot, because the fire broke out on June 30, a Saturday, the shopping center was patronized by huge waves of customers. The on-the-scene death toll was estimated to be at least 100. Yet according to the Xinhua News Agency of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a preliminary estimation confirmed only 10 deaths and 16 minor injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, the agency says.
The Laide Shopping Center is an old five-story building that is densely filled with sales booths. The stairs are connected by escalators and an elevator that accommodates 12 people. Some insiders said: “Only people from the bottom floor escaped from the fire. Chances for people above the third floor were very small.” Forums in online social networks were soon filled with angry responses from the public: “Over 100 dead bodies were found on the spot, but official reports confirmed only 10 deaths. The authorities are trying to paper over the truth because of their instinct to shirk their responsibilities. They are intentionally overlooking the perished people. They are so cold-blooded.” “Relevant authorities had released untrue reports while shutting down other media trying to report fact-based news. The authorities are evasive, knowing that they are failing their monitoring duties. What now, for the people who lost their relatives in the fire....” “My comments have been deleted four times. I am so angry. The case is too sensitive to be commented on?” “Incredible! The authorities fabricated the misleading data even when so many people were aware of the severity of the fire.”
People in China are familiar with the vicious tricks the CCP plays to fool the public. In cases of bad things like casualties caused by man-made or natural disasters the CCP will minimize the death toll, while producing vague, first-time reports, for example, “the cause of the accident is still under investigation.”
Minimizing the casualties helps the CCP maintain social stability and fabricate the delusion of prosperity and being in an excellent situation under its rule. The other aim of doing that is to minimize the severity of the accident, thus paving the way to reducing the accountability of relevant authorities. The cliche “the cause of the accident is still under investigation” gives the CCP time to find the most convincing excuses to fool the public. The same tricks were played by the CCP in the fire in Luoyang City, Henan Province more than ten years ago, the recent fire on November 15, 2011 in Shanghai, and the fire in the side building of the Chinese Center TV (CCTV). In all these disasters the true death toll was hidden and no details were released.
Only in one fire did the CCP respond in the complete opposite way. Odd enough, the fire was broadcast repeatedly only two hours after it happened, and the English reports were soon broadcast to the world. The fire scene was shot from all directions, including a long distance shoot, and multiple close-up shots. In contrast to its previous routines, the CCP maximized the impact of the event and did not say “the cause of the accident is still under investigation.” We are referring to the so-called “self-immolation” staged on Tiananmen Square the afternoon of January 23, 2001. Without any investigations, the CCP simply claimed the event to be a “self-immolation” committed by Falun Gong practitioners.
It was a disaster, not unlike the aforementioned fire disasters. But why was it treated so differently? The reason is simple. All those fires, whether in Ji County or Luoyang City, can all be traced back to the authorities' failure to maintain decent fire control systems. Even when a building is poorly equipped with fire-fighting equipment and is vulnerable to fire, business owners can still get licenses to run their businesses from authorities through tricks and even bribes. But in their desire to defame Falun Gong and incite public opinion against it, the CCP repeatedly broadcast the “self-immolation” event on the Tiananmen Square—for the very first time—on a national scale, and from there to the whole world in full detail. Jiang's regime did this because after 18 months of persecuting Falun Gong, it still stood strong, and more and more people began to say no to the persecution and lend their support to Falun Gong practitioners: “Why bother to disturb the men and women practicing? If they want to practice Falun Gong, just let them do it. Never mind!” Thus the regime felt the need to not only deceive the public about Falun Gong, but to incite hatred toward the group.
In the fire of Ji County many people witnessed people die when they jumped out of the windows from the higher floors of the burning building. At least several dozen dead bodies were sent to the crematory. Yet, even with so many eye witnesses, the authorities still insisted that only “10 people died and 16 had minor injuries.” We can expect them to report an increased death toll later, but we can never expect them to report the truth. Their logic is, no matter how many people witness the scene, they are merely a small number of local people, compared to those who were not at the scene all over China. The state propaganda apparatus, completely controlled by the CCP, broadcasts to hundreds of millions of people around China. Local people might not be deceived, but other people could be, because they have no sources to learn the facts. Convinced of its vicious motto, “truth is nothing more than a lie that is repeated for a thousand times,” the CCP is bound to fool the people through its audacious deceit.
The same logic also applies to the “self-immolation” event on the Tiananmen Square. On August 14, 2001, six months after the event was staged, the International Education and Development Organization of the United Nations (IED) publicized a statement: “According to the video material that we got we have come to the conclusion that this event had been staged under the direction of the Chinese government.” The CCP representatives present at the meeting were rendered silent by such a statement. In November 2003, a documentary film “False Fire,” which gave a thorough analysis to the event, was awarded the laureate prize in the 51st Columbia International Movie and TV Festival. Why, then, when the fact that “the event had been staged under the direction of the Chinese government” was already widely known by the international community, does the CCP still audaciously feed the Chinese with its poisonous deceit? Is it not based on the same logic? Although the facts are already widely known outside of China, the Chinese people, confined behind the information firewall of the CCP, are still ignorant of the truth. Inside the firewall only the news and voices that the CCP wants them to see and hear are received. Meanwhile, the people are barred from all voices that the CCP does not want them to hear. The so-called “free speech of the Chinese” is actually the “free speech of the CCP.”
Lies end up being lies, even under exquisite disguise. I am reminded of a saying by Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
About ten years ago, when I took a taxi in Beijing, I mentioned to the driver the truth about the “self immolation event” on Tiananmen Square. Before I could talk further he said promptly: “All people in Beijing know that the event is bogus!” Even in remote rural villages people are aware of the fact that the event had been directed by the CCP. In 2006, when I talked about Falun Gong with my cousin, she said: “I have heard that the immolation event on the Tiananmen Square is bogus. I heard that from a wagon driver when I went to the city in his wagon. He said he had heard that the event was trumped up and even enumerated many suspicious points in the official video of the event publicized by the CCP.”
One cannot paper over a fire. When more and more people see through the CCP's lies its disguising cloak will be torn, and its true, demonic face will be exposed to the world. Then it is bound to be slain by the sword of justice.