54 Facts That Reveal How the ‘Self-Immolation’ on Tiananmen Square Was Actually Staged for Propaganda Purposes

By , Epoch Times

Doing a slow-motion sequence of the Chinese Central TV (CCTV) program shows that one of the women, Liu Chunling–who in the Xinhua (Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece) version of events supposedly died from burn injuries–actually received a sharp blow to the forehead, with what looks like a metal bar, delivered by a man wearing an army overcoat. She is seen crumpling instantly to the ground and most likely died from that blow. The man wearing a military coat was clearly not attempting to rescue Liu Chunling. Who is he? Why would he murder Liu Chunling?

As for the object that flew off from the back of Liu’s head, some say it was a deadly weapon, some say it was Liu’s hair, and still others Liu’s clothing. But all the same, the item did not come forth from the gas emitted from the fire extinguisher being used at that time; in fact it flew up into the air in the direction of the policeman who was holding the fire extinguisher. This indicates that the object did not come from the fire extinguisher, but instead was some type of object that ricocheted off of Liu’s head after it was dealt a blow. The fact that we can see that the object appears to be bent as it flies through the air suggests just how heavy was the blow to Liu’s skull and how forceful the assailant’s attack. We can even make out Liu’s left hand instinctively reaching toward her head, where she was struck, as she falls to the ground.

2. Not Possible for Liu Chunling to Have Burned to Death as Claimed

In the scene where Liu Chunling is beat to death, we can see her hair burning. This means that the amount of time she was burning was very short – it could not have been more than several seconds. However the policemen started to extinguish the fire from the onset of the flames. If they attempted to extinguish the flame that quickly, she could not possible have died from the fire, as they would have been able to put out the flames before fatal injury occurred.

3. Washington Post Article Revealed Liu Chunling Did Not Practice Falun Gong

On February 4, 2001, the Washington Post published a front-page investigative report entitled: “Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery — Motive for Public Burning Intensifies Fight Over Falun Gong.” The article provided several facts including the following:

* Liu Chunling was not a native of Kaifeng and made a living as a hostess in a nightclub;

* Liu Chunling would beat her elderly mother and young daughter from time to time;

* No one ever saw Liu practiced the Falun Gong exercises.

Click here to read the report.

4. Plastic Sprite Bottle, Supposedly Filled with Gasoline, Remains Untouched in the Flames

One of the self-immolators, Wang Jindong, supposedly used a green plastic Sprite bottle filled with gasoline to douse gasoline over his body to self immolate. On the video footage, the Sprite bottle is shown in between Wang’s legs. A plastic bottle filled with gasoline should have been one of the first things to melt, but it remains remarkably untouched between his legs.

5. Wang Wearing Thick Clothes, Asbestos Mask, Hair Fully Intact

A closer look reveals that Wang’s hair is still relatively intact, with a straight line across the head. Hair burns quickly and should have also been one of the first things to burn. His clothes are thick, as if to protect him from the flames. He also appears to be wearing an asbestos mask (note the position of his hair). Everyone should also note that one’s skin will blister in a few seconds when boiling water is spilled on it, and the resulting burn is extremely painful; but Wang’s skin seems undamaged after this intense fire. Moreover, when gasoline burns, the temperature can reach above 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet Wang’s ears, hair, and scalp were all intact after the incident.

Human hair is highly flammable, burning extremely quickly. In fact hair will burn totally within just a few seconds if not extinguished immediately. However, in the video of the alleged self-immolation, it is apparent that Wang Jindong’s hair had no damage from the fire at all, while his face appeared to be burned to an ashen gray color. Sources producing this video would like people to believe that the flames have burned his face, yet the most flammable part of the body, the hair, remains intact. According to the report, the policemen extinguished the flames in less than a minute. It would have been impossible for the hair to escape total damage in the high intensity of the alleged gasoline flame. Careful examination of this video also shows the hairline was extremely neat and trimmed which could not have occurred had he been on fire. Additionally, the eyebrows on Jindong’s face were not even burned! This evidence demonstrates that Wang Jindong could not possibly have ignited himself. He may have used makeup to appear to have been burned. Or, Wang Jindong might have used some special fuel, like stage props used for movies or theatre, that enabled him to escape physical damage but provided a show of life-like flames for the video.

6. Police Officer Waits for Signal to Cover with Blanket

In the Chinese Central TV film, we see a policeman waiting behind Wang as he sits on Tiananmen Square. Only after Wang Jindong shouts some slogans does the policeman cover him with the fire-extinguishing blanket– as if waiting for a signal. If this were truly a life or death matter, one would expect that he be covered up immediately.

7. Wang Able to Talk Despite Gasoline Fire on His Body

Wang’s vocal cords were not damaged in spite of the incredibly high temperature of a gasoline fire. When one breathes in such hot air, it will cause burn injuries to the tongue, the vocal cords, and even the tracheo-bronchial tree. For a man whose body is supposedly on fire, his voice seems in good shape– he shouts loudly and clearly.

8. Wang Jindong’s Body Never Seen on Fire

Despite Xinhua’s claims that Wang was covered in red flames and smoke, the CCTV footage never shows him on fire or emitting smoke. This fallacy is compounded further by the fact that the fire-extinguishing blanket does not extinguish anything.

9. Neither Wang Jindong’s Words Nor His Meditation Position Bear Any Resemblance to Falun Gong

Government officials say that Wang Jindong is a Falun Gong practitioner, and that he was responsible for coordinating the self-immolation incident. The words Wang shouts in translation are: “This universal Dafa is something that everyone has to get through…”

Anyone who has studied Falun Gong knows that this statement has no basis in Falun Gong. Nevertheless, these words, and the way that Wang Jindong was sitting are the basis of the Xinhua News Agency’s claim that the self-immolators were Falun Gong practitioners. There are no other corroborating facts. Indeed, the way Wang is sitting is not characteristic of Falun Gong either.

Falun Gong requires practitioners to sit with both legs crossed while meditating. The position is called the full lotus position. Beginners are allowed to sit in half lotus position, with just one leg crossed over the other, until they develop the flexibility to sit in the full lotus. As we can see in the video, the man Xinhua claims to be a Falun Gong practitioner is not even sitting with one leg crossed. The media reported that Wang Jindong had been practicing Falun Gong since 1996. For someone who had practiced for so many years, isn’t it strange that he was unable to sit in the full lotus position?

Wang also fails to correctly form the very basic hand position called “Jie Yin,” which is the first position in all Falun Gong exercises. All Falun Gong practitioners learn to form the Jie Yin position correctly by slightly touching the tips of both thumbs together. We can see that Wang overlaps his thumbs in a completely incorrect manner.

Wang tried to give an explanation in a April 2003 interview with Xinhua: “As I flicked on the lighter, instantly the flames engulfed me– I did not have time to sit in the Dapan posture so I sat in the single-leg crossing posture.” However, the term “Dapan” is not a part of Falun Gong, and Wang is not doing the single-leg crossing in the CCTV video.

Many people have noticed that the way Wang Jindong sits is exactly like a Chinese soldier. Indeed, according to a World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong spokesperson, a reliable source from China revealed that the person in the video was actually a People’s Liberation Army officer.

10. Suicide and Killing are Strictly Prohibited in Falun Gong

When news of the “self-immolation” broke on January 23, 2001, Falun Gong practitioners around the world were immediately doubtful, simply because the act violates a basic tenant of the teachings: Falun Gong strictly prohibits killing and suicide.

The following are two quotes from Master Li Hongzhi. The first is from the main text of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun, published in 1995. The second is from one of Master Li’s lectures in Sydney in 1996, directly answering a practitioner’s question on suicide.

“The issue of killing is very sensitive. For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives. Whether it is of the Buddha School, the Tao School, or the Qimen School, regardless of which school or practice it is, as long as it is an upright cultivation practice, it will consider this issue very absolute and prohibit killing–this is for sure. Because the consequence of killing a life is so serious, we must address it in detail. In the original Buddhism, killing mainly referred to taking a human life, which was the most serious act. Later, killing large-sized lives, large domestic animals, or relatively large animals were all considered very serious. Why has the issue of killing been taken so seriously in the community of cultivators? In the past, Buddhism held that lives that were not supposed to die would, if killed, become lonesome spirits and homeless ghosts. Before, rituals were performed to free these people’s souls from misery. Without such services, these souls would suffer hunger and thirst, living in a very bitter situation. This is what Buddhism said in the past.” (Zhuan Falun, “The Issue of Killing”)

Question: The third question is the issue of killing as mentioned in the book. Killing a life is a very big sin. If a person commits suicide, does it count as a sin or not?

Master: It counts as a sin. Now, this human society is no longer good, and all kinds of strange and bizarre things have appeared. They talk about the so-called euthanasia and give injections to let people die. Everyone knows it. Why do they give an injection to let a person die? They think that he is suffering. However, we think that his suffering is eliminating karma. When he is reincarnated in the next life, he will have a light body without karma, and he will have a great fortune awaiting him. While he is amidst the pain and is eliminating karma, he is certainly not having an easy time. If you do not let him eliminate his karma and kill him, isn’t that murder? If he is gone, carrying the karma, in the next life he will have to repay the karma. So, which would you say is right? Committing suicide has another sin. This is because a person’s life is pre-arranged. You have disrupted the sequence of the god’s entire layout. Through the obligations you carry out to society, between people there is this kind of interrelationship. If the person dies, won’t this entire sequence disrupt the god’s arrangement then? If you disrupt it, he will not let you go. Therefore, committing suicide is sinful.” (“Lecture in Sydney”, 1996)

Clearly, no genuine Falun Dafa practitioner would consider doing such a thing as self-immolation. In fact, the people who carried out the staged “self-immolation” were discovered not to be practitioners, and there are no valid or sound reports of Falun Gong practitioners killing or committing suicide before or after this event.

On the contrary, Falun Gong practitioners are taught to forbear and take day-to-day matters lightly. Consider that China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. A large number of practitioners’ experience sharing articles submitted to the Clearwisdom website describe many individuals who had no hope in lives before learning Falun Gong. After becoming practitioners, they developed a new-found sense of purpose and optimism, and began to see their troubles as challenges possible to overcome. This is a common phenomenon. With tens of millions of people practicing in China and abroad, Falun Gong has actually saved numerous lives.

11. Microphone, Clearly Visible, Faces Wang

When the scene of Wang Jindong’s meditation is carefully observed, you can see a recording microphone flash at the left corner of the screen. The microphone is facing Wang Jindong. The view is quickly moved to the right, in order to hide the microphone. This observation confirms that the camcorder was right in front of Wang Jindong – the best position to videotape. According to the clear shouts of Wang Jindong, the cameraman must have been very close to him, otherwise it would be impossible to receive good audio quality in the recording. This also demonstrates that there was another person videotaping Wang Jindong besides the people who carried the video bag and filmed the scene from a distance.

The words shouted out by Wang Jindong at the time of his immolation and aired on CCTV were recorded so clearly that the recording distance had to be within ten meters. Unless cameras were ready and in place before the incident, the sounds and details couldn’t have been captured so perfectly, as the whole episode lasted no more than a minute or so from beginning to end, according to official reports.

Also worth noting: When a reporter interviews a person outdoors, he will hold the microphone right at the mouth of the speaker so that his voice sounds clearer. On TV, Wang’s voice was loud and clear.

12. Several Individuals Play the Role of Wang Jindong

The “Wang Jindong” in the CCTV film (Photo #2) do not match Wang Jindong’s photograph (Photo #1). Look at the photo of Wang: the earlobe is close to the head and the shape of the ear is long, whereas the self-immolator’s ear is small and round. Was the man who set himself on fire the real Wang Jindong?

The man pictured in a later CCTV interview (Photo #3) also does not match the others.


13. Speech Recognition Technology Proves Different People Played Wang Jindong and Liu Baorong in Interviews

Wang Jindong and Liu Baorong, two of the “self-immolators,” appeared on CCTV to give multiple interviews. The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) conducted a study through computer speech analysis. They concluded that the Wang and Liu in the first video were not the same as the Wang and Liu in the second video. The report can be found here.

According to a WOIPFG spokesperson, a reliable source from China revealed that the Wang Jindong in the self-immolation was actually a People’s Liberation Army officer.

14. Video Footage Did Not Come From CNN as CCTV Claimed

The Chinese media claimed that it was CNN journalists who recorded the close-up shots. CNN’s chief news executive, Eason Jordan, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that “the footage used in the Chinese television reports could not have come from CNN videotape because the CNN cameraman was arrested almost immediately after the incident began.” CNN did not have a chance to shoot any footage.

Why did the police prevent CNN from filming the incident and confiscate the camera? Wouldn’t the Chinese government want CNN to take pictures of the incident so that it could be broadcast to the world?

When we look again at the tape from Chinese Central TV, we can see a man carrying a camera bag at the scene. He seems to be shooting the whole incident from close by. Who is he? Why didn’t the police stop him the way they stopped the CCN reporters?

Why would the government lie about the source of the videotape? Why wouldn’t they reveal the source of the close-ups, even if they were taken by a police officer who just happened to be there on that day?

15. CCP First Claims 5 Practitioners Involved, Then 7

In the initial Xinhua news report, five people were involved in the incident; yet a week later, it was reported that seven people burned themselves and one was a 12-year-old girl. Significantly, one of the CNN reporters on the scene only saw five people and none were children.

16. Twelve-Year-Old Girl Sings After Tracheotomy

Li Chi, Deputy Director of the Burn Department in Beijing’s Jishuitan Hospital, said after the incident: “We received four patients. They all had critical inhalation wounds to the trachea. They were in danger of choking at any time. So at the same time we operated on their surface burns, we also immediately performed tracheotomies.”

In a tracheotomy, a tube is placed in the throat below the vocal chords so the patient can breathe. The patient cannot use his mouth to breathe, and air cannot get to the vocal cords and larynx, so the patient cannot speak. It takes many days for an adult to adjust to this condition, and much longer for a child. If a patient really wants to speak, he has to cover the tube opening, but the voice will be intermittent and unclear. Yet the reports from an interview of the 12-year-old victim by the Xinhua News agency present a different picture.

The little girl, Liu Siying, was in serious condition: her trachea was cut open, yet she could sing and talk with the interviewers loudly and clearly after only four days. This is a medical impossibility.

17. Liu Siying Denied Family Visitation, Dies Mysteriously

The authorities did not allow any reporters other than those from the Xinhua News Agency to interview 12-year-old Siying, nor did they allow any of her family members to visit. They even threatened her grandmother, to such an extent that the elderly woman was terrified to be interviewed by any reporters.

Medical staff at the Jishuitan Hospital reports that the cause of the death of Liu Siying was highly suspicious. She suddenly died on March 17, 2001 when she was ready to be discharged from the hospital. One of the medical staff, who treated Liu Siying at the Jishuitan Hospital, said, “Liu Siying died suddenly at a time when her burns were more or less healed, her health had basically recovered, and she was ready to be discharged from the hospital. The cause of her death is very suspicious.” During the period of time right before she died, including Friday, March 16, 2001, one day before her death, Liu Siying’s electrocardiogram (EKG) and other tests all showed normal results. Then, on Saturday, March 17, 2001, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., doctors suddenly discovered that Liu Siying was in critical condition. She died shortly afterwards. In addition, on the morning of March 17, 2001, between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., the head of the Jishuitan Hospital and the head of the Beijing City Medical Administration Division paid a visit to Liu Siying at her hospital room and talked to her for quite a long time. “At that time, Liu Siying was still quite animated and active,” the staff member reported. The autopsy of Liu Siying took place at the Jishuitan Hospital, but the autopsy report was issued by the Emergency Center. In addition, the autopsy report didn’t disclose any discussion of the case. It only made a general statement that her death was likely due to problems with her myocardium.

Among the people accused of self-immolation, Liu Siying is the person who was most likely to divulge the secrets because she was so young that the threats would not have been as effective as they would be used on the adults. The adults could be sentenced to jail or isolated from the outside world, at least temporarily. But Liu Siying was under the legal age of being detained. Therefore, to detain her publicly would have an extremely negative impact, but releasing her would leave them vulnerable that she might speak-out, and let the truth be known. The only way to guarantee her silence and avoid divulging any secrets to the public was to kill her.

18. Fire-Fighting Equipment Suddenly Appears on Tiananmen Square the Day of the Self-Immolation

The Beijing Evening News reported on February 16, 2001 that “there were 3 or 4 police putting out the fire of each self-immolator.” Altogether, they had about 25 pieces of firefighting equipment.

This story differed significantly from the program broadcast by Chinese Central TV. The CCTV program showed that there were only two police cars at the scene. Police officers who patrol the Square do not normally carry firefighting equipment, and the footage does not show any firefighting equipment in Tiananmen Square itself. In Beijing, the closest building to the People’s Hero Monument is at least 10 minutes away on foot. Where did the police get the equipment and how did they get it so quickly? Why would two police vehicles be carrying 25 pieces of firefighting equipment to patrol Tiananmen Square? Were they expecting to have to put out a fire that day?

19. Fire Extinguishers Were Not the Normal Type Policemen Use

In the video footage, the extinguishers used during the incident are the type similar to larger ones used within a building, with the size being about the length of an adult’s arm. Extinguishers found in IVECO patrol cars should be the smaller type, about the length of an adult’s forearm. So, it is likely the extinguishers used were brought ahead of time.

20. Woman Drinks Half a Bottle of Gasoline, Lives to Tell About It

Another alleged self-immolator, Liu Baorong, was never mentioned in the news agency’s first report, and there is no footage to show she was in Tiananmen Square. She claimed she was prepared to self-immolate but changed her mind at the last minute when she saw the others burning. In a video interview, she states, “I drank about half a bottle, and wanted to pour the rest on my body.”

Drinking one tenth of an ounce of gasoline per pound of body weight will cause death. For someone of Liu’s weight, half a bottle of gasoline would be enough to kill.

21. Burn Victim Covered in Gauze, Reporter Wears No Protective Clothing

Standard medical procedure dictates that patients with large areas of burned skin be placed in an isolated, sterile room, because the burned area needs to be exposed to the air. This prevents infection and makes it easier for the nurse to apply medication and clean the wounds. Doctors and nurses treating these patients are required to wear masks and sterile clothing when entering the room.

Yet, when we look at the CCTV footage, we see that the patient is in an open room. We also see that the patient is wrapped in thick layers of gauze bandages and that the nurse is not wearing a mask. Neither is the reporter wearing a mask, gloves, or any sterile clothing. Why would a patient in such critical condition with such serious burns be treated so casually?

Normal treatment for a burn victim: Doctors and nurses wear protective clothing and masks, and the burn victim is exposed to the air in a sterile environment to avoid infection.


CCTV’s report, “Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident,” shows the burn victim fully wrapped in gauze. The reporter wears no protective clothing or mask, and is shown interviewing the victim without any concern for spreading infection.

22. Ambulance Took Two Hours to Make a Twenty-Minute Trip

According a January 30, 2001 report of the Xinhua News Agency, at 2:41 p.m. on January 23, 2001, on the northeastern side of the People’s Hero Monument, Wang Jindong was the first to set himself on fire: “Less than a minute later, several policemen used four fire extinguishers and rapidly extinguished the fire on this man. They then used a police vehicle that was on duty to rapidly transport him to the hospital for emergency care.” According to this report, several minutes later, on the north side of the People’s Hero Monument, four women who were positioned not too far apart lit gasoline that they had poured on themselves. It only took a minute and half for the police to put out the flames. “Less than seven minutes after the incident took place, three ambulances from the Beijing Emergency Medical Center arrived at the scene and transported the people who were injured to the best burn unit in Beijing, the Jishuitan Hospital, for emergency treatment.” According to the Xinhua News Agency, the self-immolation incident took place at 2:41 p.m.. Adding the seven minutes it took to put out the fire and the twenty plus minutes that it normally takes for a vehicle to go from Tiananmen Square to the Jishuitan Hospital (it should take less time for an ambulance to make the journey), the participants in the self-immolation should have arrived at the Jishuitan Hospital no later than 3:30 p.m. Yet several medical personnel at the Jishuitan Hospital have confirmed that those who committed the self-immolation didn’t arrive at the hospital until around 5:00 p.m.. Between approximately 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., two hours elapsed. Reports from the Xinhua News Agency couldn’t explain where those people went during this period of time. What really happened during this period of time? Why did it take the ambulance two hours to complete a normal twenty-minute drive?

23. “Stationary” Survellence Camera is Directed to Capture the Event

From the CCTV program, one can see that the camera follows the police to the site where the fire began and even zooms in and out to catch just the right details of the drama as it unfolds. Normally, the surveillance camera in Tiananmen Square covers a fixed area. But on this particular day, the camera follows the police to the scene and zooms in to focus on the incident. It seems as if this camera was set up specifically to tape the self-immolation.

24. Large Amount of Video Covers the Incident

The public was shown many views of the self-immolation, taken from multiple angles, far shots, medium shots, and close shots, even photographs. If it wasn’t prearranged, then how could it have been captured so completely?

Even more unnatural is that fact that when 12-year-old burn victim Liu Siying’s life is in danger, we can see that someone takes a close-up shot of her and records her voice. We can only wonder: What are the priorities here? – saving a young child at all possible costs, or collecting evidence for future use?

25. “Self-Immolator” Quotes Not Falun Gong

1) Liu Siying was reported by Chinese media to have said that her own mother told her to set herself on fire to reach “The Heavenly Golden Kingdom” in some reports, and “Nirvana” in other reports. Yet, these terms are not part of Falun Gong.

2) Another “self-immolator” appeared frequently on TV claiming to be a Falun Gong practitioner. She said that she saw others starting the fire first, producing black smoke. Yet she felt that when “de” (virtue) is burned it should produce white smoke, since “de” is a white substance. Only when burning “karma” should it produce black smoke.

No sentence in Falun Dafa states that burning “de” will generate white smoke; nor that burning “karma” will generate black smoke. The terms relate to morality, and have never been associated with combustion!

26. News of the Self-Immolation Broadcast Immediately

Within two hours of the incident, Xinhua immediately made an announcment blaming Falun Gong practitioners for the self-immolation. Immediately following the announcement, the Focus Interview program of CCTV, broadcasted a commentary program and made authorative-sounding conclusions, again accusing Falun Gong. This was in stark contrast to the way news is usually handled in China, where lower-level officials report to their superiors and so on until the top officials allow the news to be published. Manuscripts of sensitive news stories to be aired on the Xinhua News Agency must be reviewed and drafted many times. In this instance the story was out to the public with such unheard of speed that it roused people’s suspicions.

“In terms of response time, another foreign journalist in Beijing expressed shock that Xinhua was able to release the first report on the incident almost immediately and in English, no less. Every Chinese citizen knows that every report from Xinhua usually has to first go through several rounds of approval by higher-ups and is generally ‘old news’ by the time it is published. Moreover, state-run media have never released any photos or video of Falun Gong protests in the course of 18 months of persecution to the foreign press, so why now and with so little hesitation? And why only in English and not in Chinese? ….”

“The Wall Street Journal’s Ian Johnson, one of the most insightful journalists following this story, had his suspicions aroused by the speed with which this story was covered, observing that the state media “reported [the victim’s] death with unusual alacrity, implying that either the death took place earlier than reported or the usually cautious media had top-level approval to rush out electronic reports and a televised dispatch. The 7 p.m. local evening news, for example, had a filmed report from Mr. Tan’s hometown of Changde, a small city in Hunan province. Most reports for the evening news are vetted by noon, so the daily broadcast rarely carries reports from the same day, let alone an event that happened at noon and involved satellite feeds from relatively remote parts of the country.”

The Fires This Time: Immolation of Deception in Bejing? By Danny Schechter

Although the government controlled media aired the story within two hours, it is worth noting that it took over a week to complete video production of the event.

27. Chinese Reports Contradict – Part 1

According to a study by the WOIPFG, five seperate Chinese reports released over a period of a year give completely different accounts as to how and when Wang Jindong and his family began to practice Falun Gong. Some definitively state that he had practiced for more than one year, while others give earlier dates, one as far back as 1996. Click here for the report.

28. Chinese Reports Contradict – Part 2

In “Wang Jindong’s Personal Statement on the January 23 Self-Immolation Incident,” published by Xinhua on April 7, 2003, Wang Jindong recalled,

“At about 2:30 p.m.… I flicked on the lighter and I was instantly engulfed by flames. I did not have time to sit in the [double-leg crossing] so I sat in the single crossing leg posture. Driven by the large flames, the air was making loud noises. I could hardly breathe, but I was very clear that the goal will soon be realized. At that moment, police tried to stop the fire by covering me with something unknown. I twice refused to let them put out the fires on my body. A few moments later, someone used fire extinguishers and the fire was put out. I was very disappointed, stood up and called out, ‘Truth, Compassion and Forbearance [Zhen, Shan and Ren] is the universal law. It is the law which everyone must follow. My Master is the chief Buddha.’”

At this point in the article, Wang Jindong said that he “stood up and called out.” More specifically, he said that he stood up and called out the words after the fire was put out.

An earlier Xinhua report published on January 30, 2001, stated, “Afterwards, red flames burst out from the man, forming a dark smoke. Amongst the red flames, the man shouted desperately: ‘The great law of the universe is the law that everyone must experience.’”

The two reports contradict in their descriptions of the fire and the words Wang calls out. Additionally, both reports contradict with CCTV’s video footage, in which:

  • No fire or smoke is seen on Wang, (see Fact #8)
  • Wang is sitting on the ground when he calls out,
  • Wang does not call out what he said in his “Personal Statement,” (of which the last two sentences are not representative of Falun Gong)
  • Wang is not even doing the single-leg posture.

29. Chinese Reports Contradict – Part 3

In “Wang Jindong’s Personal Statement…,” Wang said that the group poured the petrol into drink bottles, and then:

“Liu Yunfang and I hung the bottles on our necks and secured the bottles under our armpits with sticky tape, then we put on our wool jumpers, followed by cotton-padded (quilted) jackets. After that, we took with us the single-edged blades and lighters which Hao Huijun had purchased in advance.”

“At about 2:30 pm, I used the blade I had prepared in my hand to cut through the clothes and sliced the bottle, and then I threw away the blade and took out the lighter. At that moment, the police were walking towards me, and when they were at about ten paces from me, I flicked on the lighter and I was instantly engulfed by flames”.

According to Wang’s own account, the petrol on his body came from a bottle hung around his neck and attached under his armpit by sticky tape. The bottle was sliced open and the petrol flowed over his body.

However, according to the January 30 Xinhua article:

“At 2:41 p.m., north-east of People’s Heroes Memorial Monument, a man in his forties, facing north-west, sat in a ‘leg-crossing’ posture, and continuously poured liquid over his body from a green plastic bottle. Afterwards, red flames burst out from the man’s body, exuding a pall of dark smoke….”

The article clearly states that Wang Jindong had “continuously poured liquid over his body from a green plastic bottle.” Both articles give lengthy descriptions on how the so-called self-immolators managed to pour petrol over themselves. Both refer to the fact that the group had test-run the procedure several times. That is to say, it was very important to the self-immolators how the petrol would be poured onto themselves. Yet the two reports are entirely at odds with each other over this very crucial technical issue (using blades to cut open the bottle vs. pouring).

30. Chinese Reports Contradict – Part 4

In “Wang Jingdong’s Personal Statement…,” Wang said that after the self-immolation, the police vehicle drove at a very high speed towards Jishuitan Hospital. “At the hospital, I was lying on a bed in an emergency consultation room….”

A Beijing Evening News article dated February 16, 2001, states: “Xiao Yang, who is able to sprint 100 meters in 13 seconds, and his team-mates carried Wang Jindong, whose hair had been completely burnt, onto the police vehicle, drove quickly to the Xuanwu District City Emergency Center at lightning speed. Later he was transferred from the emergency centre to Jishuitan Hospital.”

  • The articles give different locations to where the police vehicle went (Jishuitan Hospital and Xuanwu Emergancy Center)
  • The CCTV footage shows Wang’s hair is not “completely burnt” (see Fact #5)
  • Had the police vehicle been driving “at a very high speed,” “quickly,” or “at lightning speed” (as both articles are consistant on this point), it would not have taken two hours to get to the hospital (see Fact #22)

31. Further Chinese Reports Contradict

1) According to the January 30 Xinhua article, the so-called self-immolators went to Tiananmen in the morning but could not enter into the square, so they waited around until “in the afternoon when the square reopened” after which they walked in and began to set themselves on fire.

Yet in “Wang Jindong’s Personal Statement…,” Wang states that the group went to someone’s house in the morning to fill up the bottles with petrol. They all left the house at 2:30 p.m., 11 minutes before the incident occurred, and took a taxi to Tiananmen.

2) In the January 30 Xinhua article, Wang Jindong’s group arrived at Beijing West Station in the morning of January 17, where Chen Guo picked them up.

Yet in “Wang Jindong’s Personal Statement…,” Wang says that after arriving in Beijing, the group took a bus to the Central Musical College, where they were picked up by Chen Guo.

3) In the Xinhua Net article “Special Interview with Wang Juan” published April 24, 2002, Wang Jindong’s daughter was known as ‘Wang Juan’ in the whole article. But in a Xinhua Net article published March 28, 2001, Wang Jindong’s daughter was always named as ‘Wang Juanjuan.’

For news reports, the names of the people involved is one of the most critical elements in news. Every professional reporter will pay great attention to the accuracy of such fundamental information. The March 28 report was more than 4600 words long, and the name Wang Juanjuan appeared 37 times. It is highly unlikely that the different references to Wang Juan and Wang Juanjuan were due to typographical errors.

4) In the April 24 article, Wang Jindong’s wife and daughter had found the staff people warm and nice during their detention period at the end of 2000, and for this reason, they were “transformed” (gave up practicing Falun Gong).

In the March 28 article, more than 4000 words were written to describe how Henan Women’s Labor Camp was able to finally “transform” the mother and daughter after “much hard work.”

According to an article from BBC Chinese Net, published April 5, 2002, “Wang Jindong’s daughter said she decided to give up Falun Gong only 10 minutes after entering the labor camp.”

Not only are there discrepancies on how the mother and daughter gave up Falun Gong, but also where they were held.

32. Xinhua’s Report Provides Vivid Details from No Witnesses

The January 30, 2001 article was Xinhua’s first detailed report on the self-immolation. The article gives very concrete and vivid description of the self-immolation scenes. For example:

“At 2:41 p.m., northeast of the People’s Heros’ Monument, a man in his fifties, facing west, sat in a “leg-crossing” posture, and continuously poured liquid over his body from a green plastic bottle. Afterwards, red flames burst out from the man’s the body, exuding a pall of dark smoke. Amid the roaring inferno of flame, this man screamed with the top of his voice and with all his might” .… “almost at the same time, at the northeastern side of the square, a middle-aged woman suddenly took out from her bag a Sprite bottle. She opened her mouth and gulped a few times on the liquid, and also poured it all over her body. At that moment, the pungent smell of petrol filled the air” …. “at the northeastern side of People’s Heroes’ Memorial Monument, four policemen discovered the self-immolation of the man in his fifties first. They quickly took out the fire extinguishers, and rushed to his side with maximum speed…. In less than one minute, four fire extinguishers had been used by the police, which quickly put out the flames on the man; he was then rushed to the hospital in the police vehicle on duty …”

These details can only be obtained if one is actually present on the scene. From the report, however, we cannot tell how the author obtained these details. The article never mentions anything about interviewing eyewitnesses.

33. Photo Published in Newspaper Shows Sprite Bottle in Different Position

According to observers in China, a photo published in the Jin Zhou Daily shows the Sprite bottle placed on the ground beside Wang Jindong’s right leg. This is different from what is shown in the CCTV video in which the bottle is shown between his legs. The photo was published around February 1, 2001.

34. Four Years Later, CCP Brings Out the “Self-Immolation” to Distract from the Death of Zhao Ziyang

On January 17, 2005, former Chinese premier and democracy supporter Zhao Ziyang, who had been put under house arrest for fifteen years by the CCP, passed away. Mr. Zhao’s death caused strong reactions in China and abroad. People, from the ordinary Chinese in China to top officials in the U.S., from Hong Kong representatives to the former Soviet Union leader Gorbachev, mourned his death, and gave high praise of his achievements. In contrast, Chinese state-run media kept quiet about Zhao’s death, and only reported his death with one sentence in the state newspaper. Obituaries posted on the web by the official Xinhua News.net were quickly removed.

The next day, January 18, 2005, Xinhua News Agency began re-broadcasting coverage of the “self-immolation” from four years prior. The CCP not only aired coverage in China, but also influenced overseas media to report on it. By January 21, 2005, the Associated Press (AP) had published a biased view of the CCP’s version of the “self-immolation” and its aftermath. The article uncritically accepted the propaganda and reported it as fact Many newspapers later apologized for running the article.

Why would the CCP go to such great lengths to report an event that happened four years ago, the day after a significant event in China?

35. No Falun Gong Practitioners Confirmed to Have Comitted Suicide Before or After the Incident

From the introduction of Falun Gong in May 1992, to the start of the persecution in July 1999, there were no news reports of any Falun Gong practitioners comitting suicide. With an estimated 70-100 million people practicing Falun Gong in 1998, and with China’s suicide rate of 23 per 100,000, it should not have been a problem to find up to 23,000 suicides. Yet there were none reported. This truly bespeaks of Falun Gong’s effect on health.

Once the persecution began, the Chinese state-run media began broadcasting report after report of crimes, murders, and suicides caused by Falun Gong practitioners. Within the first six months of the persecution, over 300,000 anti-Falun Gong reports were released. Obviously the sudden increase of reports is room for suspiscion. Some of these reports were investigated locally and found out to be made up or false (i.e. an average citizen commits suicide and is labelled a Falun Gong practitioner). Other reports label practitioners in Chinese labor camps who have died as suicides, but generally these people are proven to have been tortured to death and quickly cremated by authorities.

In recent years, Chinese media has been less apt to speak about Falun Gong publicly, but from time to time they manage to sneak a report in. For instance, in November 2005 the Beijing Daily News claimed a Falun Gong practitioner self-immolated in Beijing. This was quickly discovered to be a hoax. (Click here for details)

Perhaps the most telling is the behavior of Falun Gong practitioners in other areas outside of Mainland China. Thousands of practitioners live in over 80 countries around the world. Many live in the Chinese-language regions of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan– regions that are not controlled by the CCP. Taiwan has over 300,000 practitioners alone.

No suicides of Falun Gong practitioners have ever been reported.outside of Mainland China.

36. The “Self-Immolation” Does Not Match the Profile of Other Self-Immolations in History

Self-immolation is very unconventional as it takes a long time and is extremely painful. Of the several that have been reported in recent history, most are done out of protest. Reasons for these self-immolations include: protesting against war, against authoritarian rule, against military occupation, against government policy, against legal trials, and depression.

However, the reasons given by the Tiananmen “self-immolators” were things such as “going to heaven.” Nothing was ever mentioned about protesting anything, and the group was certainly not depressed. If they were not trying to protest the government, then the fact that they went to Tiananmen Square seems odd.

Group suicides under the pretense of “going to heaven” or similar reasons are extremely rare, and are always low-key. Consider the Heaven’s Gate cult, which in 1997 members ate poison-laced pudding and went to sleep in their compound. Suicide for these reasons is generally done in an area away from public view.

Here are two real cases of self-immolation in China:

Case #1: On September 15, 2003, in front of Tiananmen’s Jinshui Bridge, a farmer named Zhu Zhengliang from Qingyang County, Anhui Province, poured gasoline on himself and then set himself on fire. The reason he gave for doing this was because his house was torn down against his wishes, and his legal case never was processed with justice.

Case #2: On October 1, 2003, Yang Peiquan, who came from Gongan County, Jingzhou City, Hubei Province to appeal his grievance, burned himself with gasoline near the southeast corner of Tiananmen Square at the Memorial Tower. Yang was a 49-year-old worker who had been laid off.

Several self-immolation cases such as these have been reported in the news. But because of low-profile media reporting, most Chinese probably have never heard of them. The difference in the state-run media’s handling of true self-immolation cases and the staged “self-immolation” is huge.

37. “Self-Immolators” Immediately Renounce Falun Gong

Why would the “self-immolators” go so far as to burn themselves to death in the name of Falun Gong, and then immediately renounce the practice when they survived?

38. “Self-Immolation” in Stark Contrast to the Selfless Actions of Practitioners

Falun Gong practitioners strive to be truthful in every aspect of their lives. All of the Falun Dafa books and music, experience sharing articles in which practitioners share their shortcomings and how to improve on them, and all activities are free of charge and available to the public either on the Internet or in person. In Mainland China, practitioners have risked everything to go to Tiananmen Square to appeal to the government by unfurling banners, or to clarify the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution through various peaceful means.

Were a practitioner to set themselves on fire, it would adversely effect the efforts of practitioners who are trying to awaken the consciences of people in Mainland China. This is probably why the event was staged the way it was: In the initial years of the persecution, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners were traveling to Beijing every day to appeal to the government at Tiananmen, and risked arrest and detention. These selfless acts were awakening the general public and giving citizens hope for the future under a totalitarian regime.

By staging a “self-immolation” in the way they did and at the location they did, the CCP directly challenged and put a negative connotation on the efforts of these practitioners.

39. Falun Gong Denies Any Role

The fact that Falun Gong representatives immediately denied any role in the self-immolation speaks volumes in and of itself.

40. Combination of Participants Ideal for Stirring Up Public

The people involved in the self-immolation appear to have been carefully chosen, that is, a man, a young woman, an older woman, and a little girl. The little girl, while being carried to an ambulance, cried out heartbreakingly for her mother, while the carrier stopped for a moment to allow them to be taped.

The event immediately raised public sympathy and vilified Falun Gong. People all over China were upset. Consequences included gangs of villagers going to practitioners’ homes, forcing their way in, and demanding that the people denounce Falun Gong. Some robbed and beat people. The police didn’t interfere if the victims were reported to be Falun Gong practitioners.

41. CCTV Reporter Acknowledges That Part of the Self-Immolation Scene Was Staged

Li Yuqiang is a senior reporter for CCTV’s news show Focal Point. Since the persecution began in 1999 she has been responsible for producing programs defaming Falun Gong, including several interview programs.

In early 2002, as Li was interviewing people at the Tuanhe Labor Camp about the self-immolation, one Falun Gong prisoner, Zhao Ming, raised the matter of the Sprite bottle. Li responded to the quirk candidly, saying, “We shot that scene after the fact. If it looks suspicious we’ll stop showing it.” She then tried to argue that the scene was arranged in an attempt to prove to the audience that Falun Gong practitioners conducted the self-immolation.

What was CCTV doing shooting scenes “after the fact”? Why would Wang Jindong—someone supposedly so crazed and zealous as to set himself on fire—cooperate so fully with CCTV’s wish to re-shoot the scene?

42. Organizations Outside China Publicly Acknowledge that the Self-Immolation Was Staged

On August 14, 2001, at a meeting of the United Nations the NGO International Education Development made a formal statement which declared, “The Chinese regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001, as proof to slander Falun Gong. However, we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the government. We have copies of this video here and those interested can pick up a copy.”

The United Nations, Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International, The Washington Post, and The Epoch Times have all acknowledged holes in the official story.

In 2002, a documentary deconstructing the CCTV video footage, False Fire, received an honorary award at the 51st Columbus International Film Festival.

43. Liu Standing, Three Police Officers Using Fire Extinguishers Simultaneously

When one is on fire, the person falls down quickly and is unable to move too far due to severe pain caused by the burning fire. Yet the CCTV footage shows that Liu Chunling, on fire, was still staggering forward. Only if the camera were in position before Liu was set on fire would CCTV be able to capture this. In the same shot, three policemen are seen using fire-extinguishers to put out the fire simultaneously. That is to say, the three policemen would have had to first react to the fire, get extinguishers from the car[s], race for tens of meters to get to the fire (all in less than 10 seconds); and all three policemen from varying distances would have to arrive at the scene virtually simultaneously. Yet the TV footage shows the nearest patrol car about 10 meters away, with other patrol cars much further away.

It is rather strange, then, that the TV footage shows all three of them standing next to the person on fire, in their respective positions, timed it just right to start extinguishing the fire together, and put out the fire in two seconds. One would expect the first policeman to arrive at the scene to put out the fire first, to be followed by others from different directions and different distances away.

44. At Least Two of the Self-Immolators Held Under House Arrest

Two of the self-immolators, Chen Guo and her mother Hao Huijun, have been held under house arrest at the Beijiao Welfare Home in Kaifeng City. Zhan Jingui, a retired officer from the Kaifeng City Police Department is in charge of guarding the two. The police watch Chen Guo and her mother around the clock to prevent any contact with the outside world. The police have privately revealed that the government is trying to take care of the two and not let them die, so they can be used to attack and discredit Falun Gong.

45. Liu Yunfang, Arrested Even Though He Never Set Himself On Fire, Makes Contradictory Statements

It was mentioned in the Xinhua report of February 28, 2001, “Liu Yunfang, who considered himself to be a ‘Falun Dafa veteran practitioner,’ and who directly organized the self-immolation incident on Tiananmen Square, was not as ‘attached’…. In accordance with their prearranged agreement, they set fire to themselves to achieve ‘consummation’ on Tiananmen Square, timed to coincide with the Spring Festival. But Liu didn’t even pour a drop of gasoline on his body.” In the Beijing Public Security Bureau Detention Center, when a reporter asked him about this, Liu Yunfang scoffed at the question and tried to defend the inconsistencies of his actions and statements, and saying, “I did not set myself on fire because the ‘master’ wanted me to stay. He wanted me to live so that I could speak.”

One year later, CCTV reporters interviewed Liu Yunfang. When asked about the purpose of “self-immolation,” Liu said the it was to “clarify the truth to people.”

“Clarifying the truth” is a term used in Falun Gong to describe efforts to expose the lies of the Communist regime and clear up misconceptions about the practice. “Consummation” is a seperate term that refers to completing one’s cultivation. Neither term has anything to do with dying or self-immolation. Why would Liu deliberately mislead the public with his words? And why would Liu change his story– twice?

46. CCP Makes Bogus Claim: “Urge to Self-Immolate” After Reading Articles By Falun Gong’s Founder

CCP media claimed that the “self-immolators” were urged to set themselves on fire after reading articles written by the founder of Falun Gong. This doesn’t make sense. There are so many Falun Gong practitioners around the world who read the same articles.

Practitioners have worked tirelessly to clarify the facts and expose the persecution in China so that people who are deceived by the rumors and lies can understand the beauty of Falun Gong. How could the “self-immolators” disregard the fact that countless practitioners are being persecuted, and then to burn themselves in public, creating more excuses for Jiang Zemin’s regime to persecute Falun Gong?

Of course, since the persecution began, all Falun Gong books have been banned, and no one in Mainland China has easy access to verify that this is false. The CCP has never published articles written by Falun Gong’s founder to support their claim.

47. Popular Novel Banned Immediately Following the Incident

“Soon after the immolation incident, a popular novel that had been published ten years prior, Yellow Disaster (Huang Huo), was, curiously enough, banned throughout China. It would seem the supposed self-immolation on Tiananmen Square bore surprising resemblance to an episode in Yellow Disaster. In chapter two of the novel someone pays off terminally ill persons to burn themselves, and then uses the incident to frame opponents in a politically-motivated persecution. Could Jiang and company have drawn inspiration from the incident in Yellow Disaster? Why the sudden ban?” [1]

48. Jiang Zemin Needed An Event to Set Public Opinion Against Falun Gong

“By mid-2000, almost a year had passed since then-president Jiang Zemin launched his persecution of Falun Gong. Things weren’t going as Jiang had pictured, however (i.e., people condemning Falun Gong en masse.) Many a lie had been spread, many a scathing critique had been written, and countless “study sessions” had been organized, yet people just weren’t buying into it. They had seen too many mass political movements before; they knew what Jiang was up to. Many people were of the belief that: “If Jiang did not like Falun Gong, then let him go through all of that—just don’t get us tangled up in it.”

“With the exception of a few regions that implemented Party policies closely, leaders in many regions—including even 6-10 Office staff [Agency responsible for implementing the persecution of Falun Gong]—were none too enthused. One former 6-10 officer who was in charge of the Hangu district in Tianjin city has described the situation at that time saying:

‘To be honest, the people who were in charge at the local level didn’t like to do this [kind of persecuting], as the police there lived in close proximity to ordinary people. For example, maybe you would live right next door to me, and we would see each other all the time. How could I arrest you, then? And this was Hangu—a small place by the sea with only four police stations. Whoever you arrested was bound to be an acquaintance. A police officer’s wife might work together in the same work unit as the wife of the person he arrests, for example. The police at the police station may live on the same street that they’re in charge of, with the person they arrest living right downstairs below them. We were all neighbors and acquaintances. If people like that don’t do anything corrupt or violate the law, could you have the heart to arrest them?’

“At the Fifth Plenary Session of the Fifteenth CCP National Congress, held October 9 to 11, 2000, in Beijing, several members of the CCP’s Central Committee called into question the persecution of Falun Gong. They asked for an explanation of the campaign. Among the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, four members—more than half—namely, Zhu Rongji, Hu Jintao, Li Ruihuan, and Wei Jianxing, opposed continuation of the persecution of Falun Gong. Meanwhile the former head of the People’s Congress, Qiao Shi, expressed that he was disturbed by the killing of innocent Falun Gong adherents. He returned from some distance to Beijing and went to Tiananmen Square to see firsthand the beating and arrest of adherents that he had heard about. The Premier of the State Council, Zhu Rongji, went in person to the fifth department of the Beijing Public Safety Bureau and urged public safety officials, “Don’t make it any harder than it already is for Falun Gong practitioners!”

“Jiang racked his brain to come up with ways to set Falun Gong up as an “evil cult.” On October 25, 1999, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, Jiang referred to Falun Gong for the first time as an “evil cult” (xiejiao). That same year at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, Jiang personally handed the president of the United States and other leaders booklets attempting to discredit Falun Gong. He even seized upon the opportunity of an interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace to libel Falun Gong, claiming, misleadingly, “Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have committed suicide.” Media in mainland China didn’t dare to report this specific part of the interview, fearing Jiang would be seen through and ridiculed. Jiang thus summoned Luo Gan for many a secret meeting, plotting how to incite public hatred toward the still-popular meditation group. After repeated failures to entrap Falun Gong practitioners, Jiang sought out Luo Gan several times to secretly discuss ways to create a bombshell that would demonize Falun Gong. Luo gave Jiang a guarantee that this time, he would succeed. Luo started off by sowing some seeds of misinformation. On December 29, 2000, the government-run Xinhua News Agency ran—acting on directives from the Central Committee’s 6-10 office—an anonymous news story that told of a “failed group suicide” by Falun Gong members. The vague report failed to disclose the names of any persons allegedly involved, the details of the event, or even its location. The report claimed that the adherents had been “instigated” and plotted a collective suicide sometime near New Year’s Day. The report was meant to prepare readers for what was to come. A month later, once footage of the Self-Immolation was broadcast, the disturbing, tragic scenes stirred up tremendous anger in China. Animosity toward Falun Gong surged, with most people quickly forgetting all the good they had come to see in the practice and its practitioners. People forgot what they had seen with their own eyes and experienced for themselves, as if the government’s claims were more reliable. Such was the emotional power of the images CCTV put together. The state’s propaganda machinery had now emerged from its period of lull with a vengeance. Personalities of every sort appeared on state-run television to condemn Falun Gong. As they spoke CCTV would insert periodically, for added effect, a chilling scene or two from the immolations. At Jiang’s instruction all media outlets in China, large or small, thus launched a new campaign of criticism targeting Falun Gong. The general office of the CCP’s Central Committee issued a notice declaring that a nationwide political movement be launched to “further expose and criticize the true face of the Falun Gong evil cult.” In the four days following the day of the immolation, Xinhua News Agency and China News Agency published online 107 and 64 articles, respectively, criticizing and condemning Falun Gong. State-run media claimed that “the public” in at least fourteen provinces, municipalities, and regions had come forward in droves to denounce the Falun Gong. Leaders in the Party, government, and military along with civic groups of every variety were required to show support for the Central Committee’s “wise decision.” Local-level organizations were required, meanwhile, to organize “criticism meetings,” big and small, to condemn “the unspeakable crimes of the evil cult.” Daily CCTV broadcast interviews with people from various walks of life who showed support, replaying the segments often enough to ensure no eyes or ears were missed. The goal was to have everyone come to hate Falun Gong.[1]

49. Jiang and Luo Tried to Trap Falun Gong Practitioners in May 1999

“Back in May of 1999 when the persecution of Falun Gong was still in its preparatory stage, Jiang and Luo on one occasion planned a chilling “special action.” First the Central Committee’s General Office issued a document claiming that ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners were planning to commit “group suicide” in Xiangshan, Beijing’s western suburb. The document was then purposefully leaked to overseas media for dissemination. Then local police, plainclothes police, and infiltrators spread the word to Falun Gong adherents that there would be a large “gathering” in Xiangshan. Along with this army troops were dispatched to Xiangshan, and armed riot police were positioned there in hiding. The whole thing was an elaborate trap. Falun Gong practitioners were meant to be lured to there, to Xiangshan, where they would be murdered. The scene would then be portrayed in state-run media propaganda as a tragic “collective suicide” or “failed suicide.” Jiang would then have grounds to label Falun Gong an “evil cult,” and efforts to frame and suppress the group could expand with ease. But as it turned out, not a single Falun Gong practitioner went to Xiangshan. Three times between May 1 and September 9 police and plainclothes police changed the “gathering date” they passed on to Falun Gong practitioners, hoping for better results. Nothing came of the ploy in the end.” [1]

50. Jiang Overreacts Even Further After Video Deconstruction is Aired

“On the night of March 5, 2002, the regular programming of eight cable TV stations was interrupted and replaced with a forty-five minute broadcast about Falun Gong. The broadcast included documentaries such as ‘Self-immolation or Deception?’ and ‘Falun Dafa’s Spread Around the World’. The lies the CCP propaganda machine had been telling for years were thus discredited in less than an hour. The videos revealed Falun Gong’s rapid growth in mainland China before the crackdown along with its current spreading in over sixty countries; it highlighted the truth about Falun Gong and its noble teachings on Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Hundreds of thousands of people in Changchun city were astonished as the documentary ‘Self-immolation or Deception?’ analyzed the footage of the incident from CCTV in slow motion, pointing out its inconsistencies one by one. The next day, the slow-motion sequence of Liu Chunling being struck over the head by a police officer while she was on fire became the talk of the town; discussion of the matter could be heard at the office, on the bus, in school, or at the supermarket, demonstrating the impact on people’s minds of a lie being exposed.

“Jiang was furious when he heard the news about the TV tapping that night. He reportedly shook from anger for several minutes. He then reacted by pounding his fist on the table and shouting, “Send for Zeng Qinghong and Luo Gan immediately!” Jiang’s secretary, though already accustomed to his boss’s temper, had never seen Jiang so mad and violent. Fully aware of the seriousness of the matter, the secretary picked up the phone, his hand trembling.

“Following suggestions by Zeng and Luo, Jiang ordered that level II war preparedness be declared in the Shenyang Military Region and that level I awareness be established in the Changchun Military Region and among the armed police of Jilin province. Luo ordered the Public Security Office of Jilin and the Public Security Bureau of Changchun to investigate the TV tapping and crack the case within a short timeframe. As Luo was on the phone, telling his men what to do, Jiang commanded:

‘Tell all the police to shoot to kill any Falun Gong practitioners who were involved in the TV tapping. Kill them without exception! I guarantee that any officer who kills Falun Gong practitioners will not be held responsible. This case has to be resolved within a week, or else the Party chief in Changchun city and the police chiefs at multiple levels in the city will have to step down.’” [2]

51. BBC Invited For “Arranged Interview”

In BBC and Chinese official reports, on April 3, 2002, the Chinese government arranged 12 Chinese and international media to interview Wang Jindong and others. BBC’s report “Arranged Interview” stated, “The Chinese government had always refused any International media to interview on the self-immolation event, yet all of a sudden, foreign reporters were arranged to interview the self-immolation survivors.” BBC’s special reporter also said that the Chinese government’s intention of this arranged interview was obviously an effort to prove the legitimacy of the government’s persecution towards Falun Gong.

Foreign Journalists have never had real freedom to interview practitioners, because all the interviewees are arranged by the CCP. The BBC quoted Reporters Without Borders in its report on December 4, 2001:

“Since the eradication campaign against Falun Gong was launched by the authorities, foreign journalists have systematically been hindered in their work on this topic. Foreign photographers and cameramen are prevented from working on and around Tiananmen Square where hundreds of Falun Gong followers have demonstrated for the passed years. According to Reporters Without Borders’ estimations, at least 50 representatives of international media have been questioned. Some of them have been beaten by the police. The correspondents who have tried to cover the banned movement’s activities have been harassed by the security services. Finally, many Falun Gong followers have been jailed for being interviewed by foreign journalists.”

– From “BBC Monitoring: China – RSF says foreign journalists still persecuted for covering Falun Gong

52. At Least 10 Eyewitness or Other Accounts All Point to the Self-Immolation Being Staged

53. At Least 6 Insiders Reveal the Self-Immolation Was Staged

54. Date of Self-Immolation Deliberately Selected

January 23, 2001 might seem like an ordinary date oustide of China. But for Chinese, January 24 was Chinese New Year’s Day for 2001. The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important of festivities in China– it lasts two weeks, has a long history, and is perhaps the happiest time of the year for most Chinese. So by staging the “self-immolation” on New Year’s Eve, the CCP was sure to provide the effect of shocking the public during what should have been a time for family and celebration, and instill even further hatred towards Falun Gong.


How a Staged Self-Immolation Manipulated Public Opinion in China