(Minghui.org) Throughout thousands of years of civilization, Chinese people always believed in the divine and that humankind and nature are connected. The ancients also believed that the emperor was the Son of Heaven, that his position was bestowed upon him by Heaven, and that he must therefore follow the Way of Heaven and respect humanity. Only by doing so could a state be safe and its people be happy.

If floods, droughts, plagues of locusts, earthquakes, meteorites, comets, solar eclipses, or landslides occurred, the emperor would think that he must have done something wrong in his governance and that Heaven was giving him a warning. He would quickly find out where he had gone wrong and issue a “scripture of penitence” to atone for his wrongdoings so that Heaven would forgive him and end the calamity.

In Chinese history, starting from Yu the Great, most kings and emperors issued “scriptures of penitence” except for the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Yang of Sui.

According to history, 89 emperors in China issued scriptures of penitence, some of them many times. For example, King Cheng of Zhou issued 260 such scriptures, while Taizong of Tang issued 28. Even Emperor Chongzhen, the last emperor of the fallen Ming Dynasty, issued six, although in his last one, he blamed his officials for the demise of the dynasty.

The powerful Empress Dowager Cixi, who supported the Boxer Rebellion that led to the invasion of China by the Eight-Nation Alliance and enormous suffering for the Chinese, also issued a scripture of penitence in the name of Emperor Guangxu. But she did it to shift responsibility onto court officials and the people.

From the examples of Emperor Chongzhen and Empress Dowager Cixi, we can see that those who issued such scriptures while shifting blame to others did so in vain, as their penitence was insincere.

King Tang of Shang

In the early days after Tang established the Shang Dynasty, there was a severe drought that lasted for years, and the people suffered terribly. Tang offered himself as a sacrificial offering to Heaven by “cutting his hair and nails” and praying: “I am the only one who is sinful, not the people. If my people have committed wrongdoings, I am the one to blame. It's my fault if someone is disrespectful to Heaven and the spirits, which has caused the people to suffer and lose their lives.” People were deeply grateful for what their king did, and very soon, life-saving rains poured down. 

Emperor Taizong of Tang

In the second year of Zhen Guang (628) under the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang, there was a plague of locusts during a severe drought. Emperor Taizong issued a scripture of penitence, in which he said, “For my people to have food to eat, I am willing to take all the blame on myself.”

Grief-stricken after seeing how the people were suffering, Emperor Taizong caught a few locusts and swallowed them. “If you really are coming for people’s sins, you can eat my heart, but please don’t harm the people!” he said to the locusts.

Emperor Taizong’s sincerity moved the Heavens, and the locusts soon disappeared.

Emperor Taizong often said to his subjects, “One must truly have mercy and compassion and keep them in your heart at all times with all due sincerity. One can never indulge in wicked thoughts. To sustain one’s life, mercy and compassion are as essential as food.”

Emperor Dezong of Tang

Not long after Dezong of Tang took the throne, a number of generals rebelled, and in 783, the rebel forces broke into the capital city Chang An. Emperor Dezong fled to Fengtian City, where he issued a long scripture of penitence the next spring. He listed all his wrongdoings and said, “I failed to awaken when Heaven condemned me and was unaware when people were blaming me. I have brought shame to my ancestors and failed the trust of my people. I feel so ashamed and truly deserve punishment.”

This sincere decree from the emperor moved his soldiers to tears. It boosted the morale of his troops and the people, and the rebellion was quashed not long after.

Emperor Kangxi of Qing

A big earthquake hit Beijing during the time of Great Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty. He was very worried and blamed himself for a lack of virtue and making mistakes in certain policies. He knew Heaven was using the earthquake to warn him. He examined every little detail to see if the government had done anything wrong to take advantage of the people. In his scripture of penitence, he reflected on himself and encouraged all officials, from the imperial court on down, to work together to be just and honest.

After the CCP Took Over, China's Spiritual Tie with Heaven Was Replaced with Violence and Struggle

Only by acknowledging one's own mistakes and responsibilities, pulling back before it is too late, and working out new policies to rectify one's mistakes can one gain forgiveness from Heaven, and only then can a country achieve peace and stability and bring peace and happiness to its people. 

The Chinese people’s profound spirituality and connection with Heaven that had been passed down through the generations in its 5,000 years of civilization was completely severed after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seized power in 1949.

Instead of following the spiritual tradition and governing the state with mercy and compassion, the CCP has ruled China with Marxist atheism and materialism. While it denies all beliefs in the divine and attacks all religions, it establishes itself as the supreme power and God, beyond any legal and moral constraints.

The CCP goes against the Law of Heaven and basic human ethics, labeling the essential elements of traditional Chinese culture, such as the philosophical concept of the connection between humankind and nature, as “superstition” to be criticized and banned. It takes all warnings from Heaven as “natural disasters” that have nothing to do with its governance.

Mao Zedong launched one political campaign after another, such as the “Land Reform,” the “Suppression of Counter-revolutionaries,” the “Three-Anti” and “Five-Anti” campaigns, the “Anti-Rightist” movement, the “Great Leap Forward,” and the “Cultural Revolution.”

Such campaigns and movements led to massive purges, killing, persecution, the stigmatization of gods, and the destruction of Buddha statues and tens of thousands of temples. The CCP even boasted its “lawlessness” and encouraged the Chinese people to “fight with Heaven, fight with Earth, and fight with people.” Mao and his followers killed around 80 million people from all walks of life during his reign.

Government Responses to the Students’ Movement in Modern History

Compared to how the CCP brutally crushed the student pro-democracy movement with tanks and guns on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, post-imperial leaders and generals in China prior to the CCP conducted themselves in accordance with traditional culture and believed in “benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, and faith.”

Whether it was President Xu Shichang, “warlord” Duan Qirui, or Chiang Kai-shek, they all tolerated student protesters and treated them rationally without using gunfire, even when the students turned violent and smashed and destroyed government agencies.

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the foreign powers agreed with Japan's request and ceded the Shandong peninsula occupied by Germany to Japan. The news immediately aroused strong indignation among the Chinese, and on May 4, 25,000 students, workers, and businessmen took to the streets to protest the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, demanding the government not sign the treaty and punish traitors Cao Rulin, Lu Zongxing, and Zhang Zongxiang.

Students burned Cao Rulin's house and assaulted Zhang Zongxiang, who happened to be at Cao's place at the time. Xu Shichang arrested 32 students.

The protest quickly spread across China, and Xu Shichang later arrested 170 people and deployed cavalry troops to disperse the protesting crowds. However, he never ordered his men to shoot protesters.

In the end, Xu Shichang compromised. He removed Cao Rulin, Lu Zongxing, and Zhang Zongxiang from their posts and ordered the representatives participating in the conference to refuse to sign. The student movement ended in success.

In 1926, Japan, the United States, Britain, and others in the Eight-Nation alliance issued an ultimatum to the Beiyang government to remove its forts and military defenses at Dagujou in Tianjin. In response, more than 5,000 people from all walks of life in Beijing, including teachers and students, rallied in front of Duan Qirui's government administration building on March 18, demanding that the government reject the “Ultimatum from Eight Nations.”

Duan Qirui was not in the government building that day, and the emotional crowd clashed with the guards. Worried that the situation would get out of control, the captain ordered the guards to open fire to disperse the crowd. Forty-seven people were shot dead and more than 150 were injured. The incident was known as the “8.13 Tragedy.”

Duan Qirui felt deep “regret” and “guilt” when he learned about the tragedy. Although he wasn’t the one who ordered the guards to shoot, Duan took responsibility for the tragedy. He said with emotion, “I have been honest and valued integrity all my life, but it was all destroyed in one day.”

Duan quickly formed a team to find out the names of the victims so that they could be compensated. At the mourning ceremony for the victims, Duan knelt down in public and vowed to become a vegetarian for the rest of his life as a way to atone for his sins. He kept his vow.

Below is another example of how Chiang Kai-shek, who was vilified by the CCP, dealt with a student movement.

After the Japanese occupied the Northeast in 1931, the people of China were outraged. Students from Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong, and elsewhere went to Nanjing to protest the government's inaction.

On December 8, Chiang Kai-shek personally met with the students, listened to their views, and acknowledged their indignation.

On December 17, the students went on a rampage at the Central Daily News agency; assaulted Cai Yuanpei, a member of the Central Executive Committee, and Chen Mingshu, acting president of the Executive Yuan; and clashed with military police.

On December 18, Gu Zhenglun, commander of the capital's military garrison, was ordered to gather thousands of military police to surround the students, forcibly repatriating six or seven hundred students from Peiping (Beijing), 2,500 students from Jinan, and more than 1,000 students from Shanghai. They didn’t fire a single shot during the entire process.

In subsequent student protests incited by the CCP, Chiang Kai-shek repeatedly met with the students in person and explained his government’s policies to them. Facing the students’ intense emotion, Chiang Kai-shek stayed rational and did not order military police to shoot the students.

The Evolution of Marxism-Leninism Ideology in the 21st Century

Entering the 21st century and with China’s joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the world hoped that the CCP would change after appearing to embrace Western civilization and democracy.

Two decades have now passed. The CCP has put on a new face as the world’s second-largest economy, but its lust for power and control has never changed, and it has only become more covert and deceptive.

From its “Community of Common Destiny” to its “Belt and Road Initiative,” the CCP is also eager to export its Marxist-Leninist ideology to the world and establish a new model of global economic order and power relations.

In October 2017, as soon as the CCP's 19th National Congress ended, top CCP leader Xi Jinping led the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo to make a vow at the site where the CCP held its First National Congress in Shanghai to “fight for Communism for life.”

On April 23, 2018, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CCP studied the “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Xi encouraged everyone to “Remember the original intention and never forget the mission.”

In May 2019, a high-profile meeting was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Marx's birthday, calling for the promotion of Marxist doctrines. 

On December 16, 2019, members of the 19th Central Political Bureau of the CCP studied the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” again at their fifth meeting. 

In February 2019, despite the agreement of “One Country, Two Systems,” behind closed doors, the CCP ordered Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to push through an extradition agreement with mainland China.

The extradition bill, however, was strongly opposed by Hong Kong’s business and legal sectors. Protests began to escalate on June 9, 2019. However, the Hong Kong administration not only refused to withdraw the extradition bill but also escalated the violence, firing guns and tear gas at the protesters, arousing even greater indignation among Hongkongers.

The prostesters shouted, “Heaven [will] disintegrate the CCP” and “Liberate Hong Kong, the Revolution of Our Time.”

Although Carrie Lam reluctantly withdrew the extradition bill on September 4, 2019, after months of unrelenting protests, it was too late for the Hong Kong government or the CCP to win back Hongkongers’ hearts.

On the other hand, how the Hong Kong government treated its people during the protest also helped the Taiwanese to gain a clearer understanding of the CCP. The landslide victory of President Tsai Ing-Wen affirmed the Taiwanese people's determination to uphold democracy and to oppose the CCP’s invasion threats.

As for the coronavirus outbreak, although infection cases were reported as early as December 2019, the CCP covered up the information and suppressed anyone who exposed the information on social media.

Meanwhile, Wang Guangfa, a respiratory specialist at Peking University, claimed that the infection was “preventable and could soon be contained,” and that there were no cases of human-to-human transmission when facts clearly showed the opposite.

Dr. Li Wenliang, one of eight doctors who sent messages on WeChat to warn his friends and colleagues about the potential coronavirus outbreak, was severely reprimanded by the police for “spreading rumors to sabotage social stability.” Dr. Li was taken from his home at night and forced to keep silent on the issue.

It was not until January 20, 2020, that Xi Jinping made his first public announcement about the epidemic, and the CCP epidemic response team headed by Premier Li Keqiang was not established until January 26.

What happened next was further cover-up of the facts of the epidemic and shirking of responsibilities by officials at various levels when things got out of control.

Instead of taking responsibility for the epidemic, Xi Jinping praised himself on February 23 during a video conference with more than 170,000 people across China. He boasted how he had started taking action as early as January 17, the many meetings he had held, and the effective measures he had taken to control the virus. 

No matter how the CCP tries to disguise and glorify itself, actions speak louder than words, and the facts always speak for themselves. More and more people around the world are now seeing the CCP’s true nature. What a disaster to the Chinese people and for a country that was once known as the “land of the divine.”

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