(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has wreaked havoc on the Chinese nation numerous times since it took power in 1949. For example, The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) eradicated traditional values, the Tiananmen Massacre (1989) destroyed the people’s dream of democracy, and the suppression of Falun Gong (1999-present) pushed people away from the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. 

Faith Lost

The year 1989 was a special time for China. On the one hand, economic reforms and foreign investment brought many positive changes. On the other hand, Chinese intellectuals and the general public were feeling the constraints of the political system. “Opposing official profiteering and opposing corruption” became a call to action for college students. 

Many students were influenced by an idealistic education and were unable to recognize the CCP’s true nature. With a sense of social and national responsibility, they demanded democracy and freedom, only to unwittingly turn themselves against the CCP. After all, dialogue and discussion only exist in democratic societies. For a totalitarian regime like the CCP, advocating for democracy equates to removing the regime from its position of power. 

Student movements are not foreign to the CCP. In fact, the regime started with secret movements – by students, workers, and peasants – to take power decades ago. To continue its rule, in 1989 the regime labeled the peacefully protesting students on Tiananmen Square as rioters and dispatched the army and tanks to destroy their movement. 

Many students and other Chinese citizens were perplexed: why would a peaceful movement that could have been handled through dialogue be instead turned into a massacre? Nonetheless, they learned to self-censor and avoid topics that would bring them trouble. By abandoning idealism and a sense of responsibility for society, they turned their focus to things that would simply benefit themselves. As a result, many intellectuals went overseas, went into business, or found other ways to generate wealth.

The CCP, on the other hand, also realized that the previous brainwashing had made the students too “patriotic,” that they cared too deeply about the country. To avoid this in the future, the CCP shifted the focus of education. Instead of stressing a sense of idealism, students were led to think more about their own benefit. 

Several years after the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, China stopped assigning jobs to college graduates, who now had to find jobs on their own. Many state-owned entities also stopped assigning apartments for their employees. As such, college students were left busy finding jobs and trying to make money in order to afford commercial housing, leaving them with no time to worry about the country. As they became more self-centered and money-driven, the entire society was pushed away from idealism and faith, and instead became drawn to short-term gain and a comfortable life. 

Conscience Gone

With the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War ended and communism ceased to exist in large areas of Eurasia except for China and some smaller allies. Although the CCP’s tactics discussed above temporarily reduced the country’s dissatisfaction with communism, it nonetheless drove China toward a trend of seeking money, sensory pleasure, and the Pandora’s box of sex, gambling, and drugs. 

It was under these circumstances that Falun Gong was introduced to the public in May 1992. Teaching the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, this traditional cultivation practice lifted people’s mind nature and improved their health. More and more people heard about Falun Gong through word of mouth. According to data from China’s Ministry of Public Security, there were about 70 to 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China as of July 1999. 

High-ranking officials also praised the practice at the time. Qiao Shi, former Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, with the approval of over 100 other high-ranking officials, conducted a survey in the second half of 1998. Based on the survey results, they submitted a report to the Politburo stating that “Falun Gong benefits our nation and people in many ways while causing no harm.” A survey conducted by the State Sports General Administration also showed that 98% of survey participants experienced health improvement after taking up the practice of Falun Gong. 

Despite these positive opinions toward Falun Gong, then CCP top leader Jiang Zemin decided to suppress the practice in July 1999. He ordered all media and police forces to slander Falun Gong, while monitoring, arresting, and detaining practitioners. “I don’t believe the CCP cannot defeat Falun Gong,” he remarked at one of the CCP’s Central Work Conferences. 

Jiang rose to the top leadership position through suppressing the students’ democracy movement in 1989 and he viewed the persecution of Falun Gong as an opportunity to further strengthen his personal prestige in the CCP’s power hierarchy. Because of the tremendous popularity of Falun Gong, however, the persecution failed to gain broad support in the beginning. To accelerate the momentum, Jiang and his aide Luo Gan orchestrated the staged Self-Immolation Incident at Tiananmen Square to defame Falun Gong. Through continuous hate propaganda in the news media, education, literature, entertainment, and other venues, they created hatred on the part of the public against Falun Gong and fueled the persecution to a new level. 

To advocate the suppression, Jiang and his followers tempted officials with political career advancement, money, and corruption. Those active in the persecution were rewarded with promotions. Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang, and other officials were promoted by Jiang to the CCP Politburo Standing Committee. By abusing the legal, political, and ideological systems to suppress Falun Gong, the CCP led China into lawless chaos. The power of the state became a personal tool for Jiang’s regime to persecute Falun Gong. 

As time went on, public employees’ performance, the performance of business enterprises, residents’ personal income, and even students’ grades were directly connected to their public attitude toward Falun Gong. This led to an unprecedented moral degeneration within the country. Officials used their power to retain mistresses, and ordinary citizens also maximized personal gain by way of lying and cheating. 

In the past, teachers, doctors, and judges were viewed as among the most honorable professionals. They were closely related to the integrity, health, and future of society. But with this new havoc, teachers turned to gray income to make more money instead of acting as role models for their students. Doctors also manipulated the system for more bonuses instead of meeting the patients’ needs. Forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners turned modern technology into butcher shops. Judges, guardians of the legal system and human rights, have now become chief perpetrators responsible for one of the worst human rights violations in modern history – the persecution of Falun Gong.

A Society with Little Hope

When kindness and conscience are lost, everyone in society becomes a victim. 

After an elderly woman named Xu Shoulan fell at a bus station, Peng Yu helped her get up and sent her to a hospital for treatment. But Xu sued Peng, alleging that she had been knocked down by Peng. When Peng defended his innocence, the judge dismissed him with, “If you did not knock her down, why did you help her and pay for her treatment?” This incident became well known in China and triggered heated debate. “When you see elderly people falling on the ground, you cannot help them up. Otherwise, you will be extorted for money,” parents told their children, citing this story. 

Yueyue, a two-year-old girl, was knocked down by a car in Foshan, Guangdong Province on October 13, 2011. The driver even intentionally ran over her a second time. A total of 18 pedestrians passed by the scene, but nobody stepped up to help. In the end, someone did help, but it was too late and Yueyue died eight days later. 

A survey showed that such social apathy was caused by an “insufficient sense of security.” But what does it mean? In a society where the justice and legal system are manipulated to target the innocent, when people choose to acquiesce in the face of the wrongful persecution of Falun Gong, when Falun Gong practitioners are arrested, detained, and tortured for their faith, for being good people, everyone becomes a victim in the end. 

The CCP considers “maintaining stability” the most important focus. With that in mind, anyone viewed a “threat” to “stability” could be targeted. These “threats” include human rights lawyers, citizens who appeal for their basic rights, military retirees, those who suffer from adulterated drugs or vaccines, and even citizens who have cried for help during the current military-style lockdowns.

With a massive surveillance network, sophisticated face recognition technology, and advanced internet censorship tools, anyone can become the next victim of the CCP’s brutality. There are no exceptions.

At this critical moment in history, reclaiming kindness and conscience is of utmost importance. By returning to traditional values, we can find a path toward a bright future.