Top Chinese Officials Who Participated in Persecution of Falun Gong Sanctioned by the U.S.
(Minghui.org) On December 10, 2020, World Human Rights Day, the U.S Department of State (DOS) announced sanctions against 17 Chinese government officials and other foreign nationals for human rights violations. This move came only three days after the DOS sanctioned 14 top Chinese officials for their role in “developing, adopting, or implementing” the draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong this summer.
The 14 top Chinese officials sanctioned are the 14 vice chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) who are connected with developing, adopting, or implementing the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The NPCSC voted unanimously to adopt the national security law that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has used repeatedly to stifle dissidents and arrest those who protest the CCP’s oppressive policies.
Huang Yuanxiong, Chief of the Xiamen Public Security Bureau of the Wucun Police Station, Fujian Province, China, is among the 17 sanctioned officials from China and other countries. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Chief Huang Yuanxiong of the Wucun Police Station was sanctioned for his involvement in the “gross violations of human rights” of practitioners of Falun Gong. Both Huang and his spouse are now denied visas to the U.S.
Among the 14 sanctioned NPCSC vice chairpersons, five have also participated in the persecution of Falun Gong in addition to passing the Hong Kong security law. Below is further information about several of the sanctioned officials.
Wang Chen, 70, served as a member of the Political Bureau of the CCP in 2017 and concurrently as the vice chairman of the Chinese People's Congress in 2018. Wang started his career as a reporter and has actively followed the CCP's party line during his nearly two decades as editor-in-chief of Guangming Daily, editor-in-chief and president of the People’s Daily, deputy minister of the Central Propaganda Department, and director of the Cyberspace Administration of China. He penned numerous articles to shift public opinion to justify the persecution of Falun Gong for former party leader Jiang Zemin.
In the run-up to the CCP's widespread suppression of Falun Gong, Xu Guangchun, Deputy Minister of the Central Propaganda Department, convened a meeting with the editors-in-chief of the top ten newspapers in Beijing in June 1996. Xu exceeded his authority to demand publication of articles defaming Falun Gong. Wang, editor-in-chief of Guangming Daily at the time, took the lead and published articles slandering Falun Gong, placing them in prominent positions in the newspaper.
After slanderous articles in Guangming Daily were published, several Falun Gong practitioners visited the newspaper out of goodwill, asking to meet with Wang. They submitted materials explaining the facts about Falun Gong, to clear up the misconceptions published in the paper. But Wang refused to meet with them and instructed his secretary to record the names of Falun Gong practitioners who visited. After the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, Wang sent the name list to the CCP’s Public Security Department, causing these Falun Gong practitioners to be persecuted.
From 2000 to 2001, when Wang was deputy minister of the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee, he continuously instructed newspapers and media to step up efforts to create momentum for the persecution of Falun Gong, and especially, to propagate the Tiananmen self-immolation hoax. In this capacity he contributed greatly to the escalation of persecution.
After Wang became editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily, the largest CCP newspaper, in 2001, he led the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong in the area of public opinion. Wang was promoted to president of the People’s Daily in 2002. In 2008, he was again promoted, to deputy minister of the Central Propaganda Department, and concurrently, to director of the Cyberspace Administration of China and the State Information Office. He continued to instruct the official media to slander Falun Gong.
Wang became vice chairman and secretary general of the National People’s Congress in 2013. In March 2018, he became the first vice chairman of the National People’s Congress. In March 2019, he also served as the chairman of the Law Society of the CCP. From April to July 2019, eight special intensive training courses were held across the country to perpetuate the persecution of Falun Gong.
Participants in these training sessions included agents and cadres in charge of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) of different areas and districts that have been responsible for making and executing the CCP's persecution policies; the heads and cadres of the so-called “anti-cult associations and departments;” responsible people from the Public Security Department, the procuratorate, the legal, and justice departments, as well as the 610 Office, an extra-legal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong.
Cao Jianming, 65, was a long-time instructor at the East China College of Political Science and Law. After Jiang Zemin began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999, Cao, then president of the college, published articles in the Xinhua News Agency, slandering Falun Gong and its founder.
Cao was promoted to vice president of the Supreme People’s Court of the CCP in November 1999, and concurrently, as president of the National Academy of Judges.
Prior to the promotion, Cao taught law courses to CCP leaders. In his autobiography, he also claimed that after he entered Zhongnanhai (the central government compound) to give lectures, he “shook hands” with Jiang Zemin, the former CCP leader who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong. It’s been reported that Jiang was behind his promotion.
Cao was also the confidant of Zhou Yongkang, the former secretary of the central PLAC. After Zhou took charge of the PLAC in 2007, Cao was promoted to the deputy state-level Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in 2008. Zhou was Cao’s immediate superior.
When Zhou was investigated for corruption in 2013, it was widely reported that Cao was also investigated for involvement in Zhou’s activities, but was not prosecuted in the end.
Since 2015, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Supreme People’s Court, which were controlled by Cao and Zhou Qiang. Both of these individuals violated regulations and returned the complaints back to the local areas. This caused a large number of Falun Gong practitioners to be arrested and harassed by the local authorities. Some were sentenced or even persecuted to death because they sued Jiang.
According to statistics on the Minghui website, at least 7,056 practitioners were persecuted as a result of suing Jiang in 2015, and another 2,547 practitioners were similarly persecuted the year after. Practitioners who were persecuted to death for suing Jiang include Wang Genfa from Gansu Province, Wu Yuanqing from Shandong Province, Liu Cuirong from Hebei Province, Zhang Nianjie from Hubei Province, Dai Fengzhen from Liaoning Province, Wan Xiulan from Henan Province and Jiao Guiying from Gansu Province.
On January 25, 2017, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Supreme People’s Court issued a judicial interpretation to suppress Falun Gong, which was used by the Chinese courts to wrongfully imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Cao became the vice chairman of the National People’s Congress in March 2018.
Ji Bingxuan, 69, served as deputy director of the CCP State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, deputy minister of the Central Propaganda Department, and secretary of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee.
According to a report issued on December 25, 2010 by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) regarding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Heilongjiang Province, Ji, secretary of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee, is the main person responsible for the persecution in the province.
The report stated that since July 20, 1999, after Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution of Falun Gong, Heilongjiang Province was one of the areas where the persecution was most severe. According to available statistics, 14,081 Falun Gong practitioners were injured, maimed, and illegally sentenced in Heilongjiang Province. Among them, 782 practitioners were tortured to death, with 332 in Harbin alone, the capital of the province.
Ji served as Secretary of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee from 2008 to 2013 and was appointed as vice chairman of the National People’s Congress in 2013.
Ji, also a close follower of Jiang Zemin, was formerly secretary of the Communist Youth League Henan Provincial Committee and secretary of the Communist Youth League Central Secretariat. He was also closely related to Ling Jihua, then director of the General Office and top aide to former president Hu Jintao. It is reported that after Ji was transferred to secretary of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee in 2008, he brought Ling Jihua’s wife’s brother Gu Yuanxu, who worked at CCTV at the time, to Heilongjiang and promoted him to deputy director of the Heilongjiang Public Security Department.
Ji is also the former subordinate of Liu Yunshan (another of Jiang’s followers). During Liu Yunshan’s tenure as minister of the Central Propaganda Department from 2002 to 2012, Ji served as the deputy minister and executive deputy minister of the Central Propaganda Department from 2001 to 2008. The Central Propaganda Department was the party’s direct command of the Propaganda System in China, and as such was instrumental in the suppression and persecution of Falun Gong.
Zhang Chunxian, 57, former secretary of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee and secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Party Committee, is responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in these areas.
WOIPFG reported in June 2014 that Zhang, then secretary of the Xinjiang Party Committee, was listed as the person responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Xinjiang.
According to information collected by Minghui, since Zhang took office as secretary of the Xinjiang Party Committee, he has conducted large-scale “transformation” classes throughout Xinjiang to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. According to available data, 41 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death in Xinjiang since 1999.
Zhang continued the CCP’s policy of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners during his tenure as secretary of the Hunan Provincial Party Committee from 2005 to 2010. Falun Gong practitioners in various areas of Hunan have been illegally arrested, taken to forced labor camps, and sentenced. The 610 Office frequently held brainwashing sessions for practitioners and Zhang was directly responsible for these activities.
Since 1999, there have been at least 154 Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death in Hunan Province.
Zhang succeeded Wang Lequan as secretary of the Xinjiang Party Committee in 2009. He was strongly recommended by Zhou Yongkang, then secretary of the PLAC and head of the Xinjiang Work Coordination Group of the CCP’s Central Committee. Zhang was also promoted to a member of the Politburo in 2012 due to his being in charge of Xinjiang, and he became a deputy state official.
Zhang was not re-elected as a member of the Politburo at the 19th National Congress in 2016, and was demoted to the National People’s Congress in March 2018. The latter ranking is considered a rubber-stamp position without real power.
Chen Zhu, 67, came from the same hometown in Jiangsu Province as Jiang Zemin. He studied and obtained his doctorate degree in France. After the CCP suppressed the “June 4th” student pro-democracy movement in 1989, Chen returned to China in July of the same year and worked in Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Second Medical University (now Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine).
Chen was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995. In 2000, he was appointed as vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was appointed as minister of the Ministry of Health. In 2013, he became the vice chairman of the National People’s Congress.
According to a report by Free Asia Radio on December 18, 2012, Chen’s ascension was recommended by Jiang Zemin’s eldest son, Jiang Mianheng.
It is said that when Yan Yixun, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, resigned in 2000, Jiang Zemin talked with his son Jiang Mianheng, the vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, about a candidate for the new vice president. Jiang Mianheng said that he admired Chen, who had long served in Shanghai. Chen was appointed as vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in October 2000.
After Chen became minister of the Ministry of Health in 2007, American researchers questioned the crime of live organ harvesting by the Ministry of Health under his leadership.
In October 2012, the University of Minnesota in the United States proposed granting an honorary doctorate degree to Chen. However, Professor Kirk C. Allison of the university and 21 other professionals in bioethics, medicine, and human rights did not think it appropriate. They signed a petition in the Star-Tribune to oppose the proposal.
Professor Allison said that the Ministry of Health led by Chen is responsible for the supervision of organ transplantation, while the CCP’s medical professionals have repeatedly harvested prisoners’ organs, and illegal transplantation has been rampant. They said that under this circumstance, it is doubtful whether Chen should be awarded the honorary title.
The report pointed out that the CCP is suspected of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and from persecuted religious groups such as Falun Gong practitioners.