(Minghui.org) Many people know that Jiang Zemin is the primary culprit that ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999. People have wondered, “Why did he have to attack Falun Gong, and what he has done to Falun Gong in the past 22 years?”

There is a popular saying in China, “Envy leads to jealousy, and jealousy leads to hatred.” This phrase accurately describes Jiang’s attitude change toward Falun Gong. After it was first introduced to the public in May 1992, Falun Gong spread quickly in China due to its profound health benefits and the moral appeal of its principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The number of people practicing Falun Gong in China increased rapidly. As more and more people strove to live by Falun Gong’s principles and become better people, the practice had a huge positive impact on the stability of Chinese society.

According to a biography of Jiang Zemin, Jiang was initially very envious of Falun Gong, to the point that he imitated the gestures of Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong. As time went on, more and more people started practicing Falun Gong, including many retired cadres and members of Chinese Communist Party (CCP). There was an estimated 70~100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China by 1999, exceeding the 66 million members of the CCP. Jiang Zemin became increasingly jealous of Falun Gong. As the General Secretary of the CCP, he believed that people would not follow his orders if they practiced Falun Gong. His jealousy morphed into hatred. He then decided that Falun Gong must be eradicated.

1. Public Security Bureau Had Long Harassed Falun Gong Practitioners

As early as in 1994, the CCP had secretly investigated Falun Gong but failed to find any problems. In early 1997, Luo Gan, then head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), was looking for excuses to ban Falun Gong; he again instructed the Public Security Bureau to investigate Falun Gong. After the investigation concluded that “No problem was found,” Luo issued a notice through the First Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security designating Falun Gong as an “evil cult.” He also instructed the country’s security apparatus to systematically collect evidence. Again, the effort got nowhere.

Although the authorities did not find any problems with Falun Gong, police in many provinces, including Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Fujian, Jiangsu, Liaoning, and Shandong, etc., had forcibly dispersed Falun Gong practitioners who were doing the exercises outdoors in the name of “illegal assembly.” Some practitioners had their personal property confiscated, and some were detained and beaten.

In the second half of 1998, Qiao Shi, the retired Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and some other retired CCP cadres initiated their own investigation into Falun Gong. After months of investigations, they concluded that “Falun Gong has hundreds of benefits for the Chinese people and China, and does not have one single bad effect.” The report was sent to the Politburo Standing Committee, headed by Jiang. Jiang was very unhappy with the report, and he passed the report to Luo, a long-time opponent of Falun Gong.

Luo’s brother-in-law, He Zuoxiu, is a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Science and a close follower of the CCP. He published an article in Science and Technology for Youth (a magazine published by Tianjin College of Education) in April 11, 1999. In the article, he fabricated stories about Falun Gong leading to mental illness and implied that Falun Gong could become an organization similar to the Boxers, who led a rebellion in the 19th century that wreaked havoc across China.

Some Tianjin practitioners believed that it was necessary to clear up the slander. They went to Tianjin College of Education between April 18 and 24 to talk to the magazine editors and tried to dispel the negative influence of the article. However, the Tianjin Public Security Bureau dispatched over 300 riot police on April 23-24, who beat the practitioners and arrested 45 of them.

When other practitioners went to the Tianjin city government to seek their release, they were told that the Ministry of Public Security was involved and that they could not release the practitioners without approval from Beijing. Tianjin police told practitioners, “Go to Beijing. Only going to Beijing can solve the problem.”

The authorities figured that practitioners would risk their lives to safeguard the truth and appeal for their faith. They also knew that there were many practitioners who would tell each other about the appeal in Beijing. When many practitioners showed up in Beijing, they would then be labeled as “besieging the central government.”

2. The Eruption of Jiang Zemin’s Jealousy

On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the national appeals office near the Zhongnanhai government compound in Beijing. The then-premier Zhu Rongji met with Falun Gong practitioners and instructed the officials of the appeals office to discuss the situation with Falun Gong representatives. The meeting lasted the whole day, during which time practitioners waited outside quietly. At around 9 p.m. that day, the Tianjin practitioners were released and the crowd dispersed peacefully. This became known as 4.25 Peaceful Appeal.

The peaceful resolution of 4.25 Peaceful Appeal attracted widespread international attention. Falun Gong practitioners and Zhu were highly praised by international observers and media for setting a precedent for resolving social issues through negotiation by the Chinese government. It was widely viewed as a milestone in the advancement of civilized society.

It was learned later that Jiang had circled Zhongnanhai on the afternoon of April 25 in a bulletproof car with dark glass. He did not get out of the car or talk with practitioners. However he did see several dozen practitioners in military attire, which aggravated him immensely. The high praise from the international community of the peaceful resolution of the protest, the popularity of Falun Gong, especially among military personnel, drove Jiang to the point of irrationality.

3. Jiang Overrode the Rule of Law and Ordered the Crackdown of Falun Gong

On the evening of April 25, 1999, Jiang wrote a letter to Politburo Standing Committee, declaring that Communists must defeat Falun Gong. On May 8, Jiang sent out further instructions to Politburo members, the Offices of the Central Party Secretaries, and the CCP’s Central Military Commission. The instructions became known as official document #19[1999] from the Office of the CCP Central Committee. The content of the document discussed how to secretly prepare for the persecution of Falun Gong. Jiang had begun the secret planning and implementation of the persecution.

Jiang gave a speech at the Politburo Meeting on June 7, urging everyone to pay attention to dealing with and solving the Falun Gong issue. The speech was then passed down to all CCP members to study. The direct result of the speech was the establishment of the “610 Office” three days later, on June 10.

In the evening of July 19, Jiang gave another speech at a meeting of CCP leaders of the CCP Provincial-level committees to mobilize everyone to get ready for starting the persecution. Jiang’s jealousy caused him to lose his reasoning; he overrode the law and ordered the crackdown on Falun Gong.

On July 20, 1999, hundreds of local Falun Gong contacts were arrested from their homes in cities across China. The CCP issued a formal document to announce the ban on practicing Falun Gong two days later, on July 22, 1999.

4. Jiang Personally Acted to Build Support for the Persecution

At the time, out of the 7 members of Politburo Standing Committee, 6 of them were against the persecution. After the persecution started, a large number of Falun Gong practitioners continued to go to Beijing and their local governments to petition peacefully. The persecution had met with resistance from the beginning. Jiang, however, personally built support for the persecution.

Publicly Slandered Falun Gong

Before Jiang’s state visit to France on October 25, 1999, he accepted an interview by the French newspaper Le Figaro. For the first time, Jiang publicly called Falun Gong an “evil cult,” before any documents or media controlled by the CCP used the term. Days later, the CCP’s official mouth piece, The People’s Daily, published special commentators’ articles to echo Jiang’s claim. Since then, the CCP has been using this baseless term to defame Falun Gong.

However, what many people do not know is that Falun Gong has never been on the list of the 14 cults designated by the CCP. Till this day, there is no legal basis for persecuting Falun Gong, which is to say practicing Falun Gong has always been legal in China.

Issued Brutal Persecution Policy

Jiang had vowed to eradicate Falun Gong in three months, but had not been able to. According to Li Baigen, former director of the Reconnaissance and Design Administration Division of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning and Design, who currently lives in the United States, on November 30, 1999, three senior officials at the 610 Office summoned 3,000 government officials and held a conference in the Great Hall of the People to discuss the persecution of Falun Gong, since more and more Falun Gong practitioners had continued to come to Beijing to appeal, despite several months of harsh suppression. During the conference, Li Lanqing, head of the central 610 Office, verbally relayed the new policy from Jiang, which was to “ruin their reputations, cut them off financially, and destroy them physically.”

Secretly Ordered to “Kill without Mercy”

Initially people were tired of this Cultural Revolution-style campaign against Falun Gong. Many local officials were apathetic to the persecution order. By the end of 2000, it appeared that the persecution had lost its momentum. Under this circumstance, Jiang and his gang staged the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident on January 23, 2001, the Eve of the Chinese New Year. In the weeks following the incident, much evidence (including a Washington Post article finding that two of the self-immolators never practiced Falun Gong) indicated that the incident was staged. Without access to this information, however, many Chinese were deceived by it, and public opinion turned against Falun Gong.

Facing the slander and persecution by the entire state apparatus, Falun Gong practitioners have been trying their best to expose the lies of the CCP and let people know the truth. On March 5, 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun City, Jilin Province intercepted eight cable television networks in the province. For nearly an hour, they televised programs such as “Self-immolation or a Staged Act?,” exposing the hoax. More than 100,000 viewers watched the programs and came to see that the self-immolation was full of loopholes. Wang Jindong, one of the self-immolators, was already badly burnt, but the Sprite bottle filled with gasoline between his legs remained intact. Another self-immolator Liu Chunling was hit on the head by a policeman. The young girl Liu Xiying was able to talk and sing just three days after her trachea was cut open. All these loopholes made it clear that the self-immolation was a staged act.

The news of television broadcasts being tapped reached Zhongnanhai quickly. Jiang was furious; he personally issued the order to “kill without mercy.” After less than an hour of broadcasting, a mass arrest of Falun Gong practitioners was carried out by police. Over 5,000 practitioners in Changchun were arrested, at least eight were beaten to death and 15 were given sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years.

Organ Harvesting

The killing of Falun Gong practitioners to supply organs for transplantation was first brought to light in March 2003. This is the direct result of Jiang’s policy of “destroying them physically.” Such a crime is unprecedented.

When collecting evidence during its investigation, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong found that Jiang was the first person that ordered to harvest Falun Gong practitioners’ organs for transplant.

5. Promoting Persecution Overseas

In September 1999 during APEC meetings in New Zealand, Jiang gave then-U. S. President Clinton a copy of anti Falun Gong propaganda material that was full of horrific images, to the surprise of many dignitaries.

During an interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes in September 2000, Jiang concocted a story that the founder of Falun Gong claimed to be the reincarnation of the chief Buddha and also a reincarnated Jesus Christ. Jiang also claimed that Falun Gong had driven thousands of its members to commit suicide. The number was even higher than the CCP’s mouthpiece claim that 1,400 “practitioners” died “as a result of practicing Falun Gong.” It is apparent that Jiang was the chief perpetrator involved in the persecution of Falun Gong.

6. Bringing Jiang to Justice

In spearheading the persecution of Falun Gong, Jiang has violated the Chinese Constitution, trampled on human rights, and caused immeasurable loss of life and property. Many Falun Gong practitioners have resisted the persecution since the beginning and continue to call for bringing Jiang to Justice.

Lawsuits Against Jiang Outside of China

When Jiang visited Chicago on October 22, 2002, he was served with a lawsuit by Falun Gong practitioners for genocide and crimes against humanity. This became the first lawsuit filed against Jiang outside of China. It was also the first time that a sitting CCP leader and head of state has been sued abroad.

It caused a great shock among the top leaders of the CCP. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners from different countries have sued Jiang and his accomplices. Courts in various countries have taken up cases against Jiang under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows domestic courts to hear cases of genocide and crimes against humanity regardless of where they occur.

In 2009, a Spanish judge indicted Jiang and four other high-ranking CCP officials for their roles in the crimes of torture and genocide committed against Falun Gong practitioners. The court issued arrest warrants for the five in 2013. Consequently, they would face extradition if they travel to any country that has an extradition treaty with Spain.

More than 200,000 Legal Complaints Filed Against Jiang Zemin

According to the Minghui website, since May 2015, Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China have launched a wave of filing criminal complaints against Jiang. Presently, more than 200,000 practitioners and their families have sent their criminal complaints to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Supreme People’s Court, requesting Jiang be brought to justice.

For 22 years, Falun Gong has been persecuted by the CCP. Jiang’s orders of "three months to eliminate Falun Gong" and "the Communist Party can defeat Falun Gong" have completely failed. The extermination policies set by Jiang and his followers are still being implemented. However, history will soon judge Jiang for his role as the leading perpetrator of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Chinese version available

Category: July 20 Events