In China, Removing the Bloody-Hands Faction Is Only the Beginning

By Epoch Times Editorial Board
May 22, 2012

Some key figures of the Bloody-Hands Faction, the officials that former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted to implement his persecution of Falun Gong. Top left: Zhou Yongkang, head of the Chinese regime's public security, recently stripped of his authority and put under investigation (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images). Top right: Bo Xilai, former Chongqing Party secretary, soon to be tried for corruption (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images). Bottom left: Li Changchun, CCP propaganda chief (Feng Li/Getty Images). Bottom right: Jiang Zemin, former Chinese leader, originator of the bloody-hands faction (Minoru Iwasaki-Pool/Getty Images).


The changes in China have only begun. Since the former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, a hidden logic has led from one stunning, new development to another.

Bo Xilai, who at one point was touted as likely stepping up to a spot on the Politburo Permanent Standing Committee, was put under investigation and then relieved of all of his Chinese Communist Party (CCP) posts.

Next, Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation and then stripped of his authority over the powerful Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC). It is only a matter of time until he, too, is removed from all his posts.

As Zhou is taken down through a slow-motion purge, look for other top officials in the bloody-hands faction—the officials that former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted to implement his persecution of Falun Gong—to be targeted in turn.

But the progress of events will not stop as, one by one, criminals are removed from power. Rather, momentum will build for addressing the true causes of the crisis facing today’s China.

On July 20, 1999, Jiang launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong. The economic, legal, moral, and human costs of this persecution have been enormous. The path to China’s future lies in reversing Jiang’s disastrous policies, and thus the key to understanding today’s China lies in understanding the role played by Falun Gong.

Unsustainable Costs

When the blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng escaped from his home in Shandong Province, the YouTube video he released documented the extraordinary expenses used to maintain his house arrest, with dozens of local security staff hired solely for the purpose of monitoring and harassing him.

Falun Gong practitioners have for 13 years been monitored and harassed by local security staff hired for only that purpose. In addition, individuals are given sizable cash rewards for informing on practitioners. The expenses, multiplied across the entire nation, are enormous.

And others are hired for other purposes. In some parts of China, individuals are paid to watch utility poles lest a Falun Gong practitioner climb up them, tap into the cable TV signal, and use it to broadcast information about the persecution of Falun Gong.

These kinds of expenses, in which private individuals are hired as independent contractors to harass their fellow citizens, are often off the books.

A few examples give a rough picture of the on-the-budget costs incurred by Jiang’s persecution. According to a report by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), expenditures for the Public Security Department, Procuratorial Department, and courts in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, increased 48.6 percent in 2000. In the four years after the persecution began, the executive and legal expenses of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, increased 467 percent.

In order to accommodate the flood of detained Falun Gong practitioners, provinces have engaged in massive prison and labor camp expansions. Money also flows to detain practitioners in brainwashing centers and psychiatric hospitals.

Mountains of money have gone into slandering Falun Gong and deceiving the Chinese people. The money pays for propaganda articles in newspapers and magazines, the publication of books, broadcasts on radio and TV, the production of TV dramas and feature-length movies, and fliers, DVDs, and posters circulated to every corner of China.

Controlling the Internet has cost huge amounts of money. Suppressing Falun Gong quickly became the primary mission for the Golden Shield Project, a comprehensive system for monitoring the Internet. As of 2002, the Golden Shield Project had cost 6 billion yuan (US$ 724.94 million).

In addition, specific software designed to identify Falun Gong-related content in PC networks and other software to monitor Falun Gong content in Web cafes has been developed.

Internet cops have been hired to monitor possible Falun Gong references in real time.

Large amounts have also been spent on controlling Chinese-language media outside China and in funding the monitoring of Falun Gong practitioners outside China.

At present, the publicly disclosed annual expenses of the PLAC, the main Party organ responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong, equals a total of 700 billion yuan (US$111 billion), an amount surpassing the expenses of the military.

It is impossible to calculate all of the costs associated with the persecution. Sources familiar with the situation have told The Epoch Times that during the peak period of 1999–2002, the expenses of the persecution could be considered as the social resources equivalent to half of China’s Gross National Product (GNP)

During other times, the expenses equaled at least one-third to one-fourth of the GNP. At the very peak, the resources used in persecuting Falun Gong were equivalent to three-quarters of the GNP.

These numbers still don’t convey the cost. Money spent on the persecution has been taken away from budgets for social welfare, education, and infrastructure, making the country poorer. Brilliant scientists, engineers, and teachers have been driven out of China, a brain drain that costs the country every single day.

Legal System Destroyed

The monetary expenditures, even though they are at unsustainable levels, are the least damaging of the persecution’s costs.

Prior to the persecution, there was much talk in China about developing the institutions needed to bring the rule of law to China, and steps had been taken to start on that path. Jiang Zemin and his persecution have snuffed out such hopes.

When Jiang was ready to start the persecution, he discovered that no current law could be used to accuse Falun Gong practitioners because they did not pose any harm to society and did not break any law.

Jiang then made up a new system to carry out the persecution. He established a new Party organ, the 610 Office, which utilized the PLAC, the Party organ that oversees nearly all aspects of law enforcement in China.

Because the persecution itself is illegal, many 610 Office policies cannot be communicated through official documents. They are shared in conversation or through calls.

Falun Gong practitioners have heard 610 Office, labor-camp, and prison staff repeat certain policies over and over: “Being beaten to death will count as suicide.” “Cremate the body immediately.” “Ruin their reputations, exhaust their finances, and destroy them physically.”

Such policies have trained the personnel in the regime’s security apparatus to ignore the law, be indifferent to individual rights, and practice brutality with impunity.

Beyond that, the persecution has encouraged and rewarded sadism. The defector Hao Fengjun is a visible example of a quiet trend in China’s security apparatus. In 2005, Hao, a member of the 610 Office in Tianjin, decided he could no longer be associated with the persecution and fled to Australia to seek asylum.

Others have not sought asylum—a risky move, since members of the domestic security apparatus are not allowed to travel—but have dropped out of the security forces or refused to take part any longer in the persecution.

Other policies—“No lawyer is allowed to defend Falun Gong practitioners” and “no reception, acceptance, or explanation for cases brought by Falun Gong practitioners”—have reversed any progress the Chinese legal system had made in moving toward the rule of law.

Judges, procuratorate staff, and defense attorneys have been brought forcibly back to the understanding that the legal system exists to enforce the Party’s rule and, more particularly, to enforce the persecution.

Dozens of defense attorneys have understood that Falun Gong practitioners provide the key test cases for attempting to defend the rule of law in China, with Gao Zhisheng being the most prominent of these.

If the rights of Falun Gong practitioners, which are the most threatened, can be defended, then the protections gained would extend to all. These lawyers have paid for their efforts by losing their licenses and their jobs, and by suffering detention, beatings, and torture.

In fact, the hope of using Falun Gong cases to reform the legal system has been stood on its head. The extreme measures and abuse of the legal system developed for use against Falun Gong practitioners have been extended to dissidents, human rights lawyers, artists, and ordinary citizens.

At the same time, Jiang has wished to use the extraordinary powers created for implementing the persecution to insulate Party officials from accountability for the persecution.

The PLAC has used the persecution as an opportunity to expand rapidly. An increase in the power of the People’s Armed Police made it on par with a military force, and the PLAC has formed a second power center within the CCP.

This has removed any check on the PLAC’s lawlessness and even threatened to give it the means to unseat the Party’s next leader in a coup—the prospect of which caused top CCP officials to turn against Bo and Zhou.

All Things Are Permitted

British businessman Neil Heywood was murdered in November 2011 following an apparent falling out over a business deal with Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, the disgraced former Party chief of the mega-city of Chongqing. According to news reports, Bo is suspected of being involved in the murder.

On May 7, 2002, China Northern Airlines Flight 6163 burst into flames and crashed into Dalian City harbor, killing all 112 aboard. The journalist Jiang Weiping has reported that Bo arranged the plane crash in order to kill a political opponent.

Brilliance China, based in Liaoning Province, is the number one manufacturer of minibuses in China. In 2002, when Brilliance planned on building a manufacturing plant in another province, Bo, then the governor of Liaoning, simply had the province expropriate the company. When this theft was challenged, Bo accused the company’s owner of unspecified “economic crimes.”

Bo was one of the leading enforcers of the persecution of Falun Gong, and Jiang Zemin rewarded him for his zeal, promoting Bo from mayor of Dalian City to governor of Liaoning to Commerce Minister in the space of four years.

In 1999, when Jiang first pushed through the persecution, he was opposed by all other members of the Politburo Permanent Standing Committee, the small body that rules China. Jiang needed to recruit officials willing to carry the persecution out.

Jiang’s modus operandi was to reward those who carried out the persecution with opportunities for corruption. Since the persecution started, the amount of corruption has gone through the roof.

Corruption is intrinsic to the persecution and extends from the top to the bottom of the Party. Seemingly every village in China has a Party secretary and a police chief with brand new villas that have luxury cars parked in front. The houses and the cars have been bought with the wealth confiscated from local Falun Gong practitioners and with the bonuses the 610 Office has provided for persecuting practitioners.

Jiang Zemin himself has shown the way regarding corruption. In October 2007, former Minister of Finance Jin Renqing resigned unexpectedly, presumably because of the money transferred abroad by Jin and Jiang Zemin a few years before—nearly 100 billion yuan (US$15.8 billion) in misplaced funds.

The Party’s Central Disciplinary Commission is currently investigating a major corruption case that is linked to Jiang and his son, Jiang Mianheng. The money involved in the financial fraud could reach as high as 1.2 trillion yuan (US$190 billion).

The corruption is symptomatic of the radical immorality of the persecution itself. Crimes—slander, theft, brainwashing, unimaginable tortures, rape, and murder—are not only permitted, but are also required by the persecution. The officials who enforce the persecution gain a freedom from all notions of right and wrong so that crime comes easily to them.

Ordinary Chinese who don’t practice Falun Gong have also suffered. The past 13 years have seen an explosion in China of the number of “mass incidents”—large-scale protests, often violent.

Professor Xie Yielang of Beijing University, citing the PLAC’s figures, said there were 230,000 mass incidents in 2009. The people’s discontent has risen as officials have become more rapacious and less concerned for the people’s welfare.

And the people themselves have learned to abandon morality in turn. In today’s China, the saying “everyone harms me, and therefore I harm everyone” is common.

Bo Xilai’s Liaoning Province has been referred to by researcher Ethan Gutmann as the epicenter of forced, live organ harvesting in China. In the organ harvesting, one sees the logic of the persecution carried out to its fullest—murdering innocent human beings in the most gruesome manner possible for the sake of profit.

Stability and China’s Future

A few years after it was first formed, the 610 Office was renamed the “Leadership Team for Maintaining Stability.” One of the slanders used to justify the persecution was the claim that Falun Gong threatened social stability.

According to a report by a state agency in 1999, between 70 million and 100 million people practiced Falun Gong in China. Falun Gong sources say the number was over 100 million—or one in twelve of all Chinese.

Each of those practitioners has family members, friends, and co-workers, so hundreds of millions of Chinese are directly affected by the persecution.

Stability in China could never be possible with the state declaring war on such a huge proportion of the nation.

In fact, various surveys show that Falun Gong has had excellent results in improving morality, resolving conflicts in personal relationships, stabilizing society, and healing health problems.

In May 1998, the Chinese National Sports Bureau began a study of the effects of Falun Gong, surveying over 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners. On Oct. 20, the team leader of the Sports

On April 29, 7,400 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, and composed images of Falun Gong’s founder Mr. Li Hongzhi, forming a grand and magnificent scene. (The Epoch Times)

Bureau’s study group from Changchun in northeast China said in a speech, “We believe the effectiveness of Falun Gong is very good, and it has made an obvious impact on social stability and the building of morality. We must fully acknowledge this.”

In the latter half of 1998, Qiao Shi, who had just finished a term as chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and served in the Politburo’s Standing Committee, led his own investigation, joined by other senior members of the Congress.

When medical-research staff interviewed over 12,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Guangdong Province, 97.9 percent said the practice of Falun Gong had improved their health. The group’s report concluded, “Falun Gong has hundreds of benefits for the Chinese people and nation and does not a bit of harm.”

In a letter written the night of April 25, 1999, Jiang Zemin asked the question, “Can the Marxism, materialism, and atheism that our Communist Party members uphold not win the battle with what Falun Gong promotes?”

The persecution offers a clear choice between the CCP’s “Marxism, materialism, and atheism” and the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, on which the teachings of Falun Gong are based.

Jiang’s attempt to eradicate Falun Gong is part of a more than 60-year-long effort by the CCP to destroy China’s ancient civilization and cut out the root of the nation’s life, its culture.

China’s civilization teaches people to value virtue, do good deeds, and respect the divine. China’s traditional culture emphasizes virtues like sincerity, kindness, love, forgiveness, loyalty, and courage. These virtues created the qualities of the Chinese people and are the foundation for the continuation of Chinese culture.

The teachings of Falun Gong epitomize what is best in China’s traditional culture. The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong has exhausted the country’s finances, destroyed hopes for a legal system, and ruined the nation’s morality, all the while victimizing innocent and good people.

Ending the persecution will allow the Chinese people to find the way back to their heritage. Once more, the Chinese nation will be able to enjoy life given order and meaning by morality, freedom based on subordination to what is highest, and dignity based on respecting what is good.

The path for China’s future is clear. For those around the world who long for a stable China that will play a productive role in the world, the choice is obvious: Oppose the persecution of Falun Gong.

History will judge the choice each person makes.

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

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