On December 21, 2004, John Bloom, General Manager of the National Press Club (NPC), received an email from Press Counselor Sun Weide of the Chinese Embassy in the United States. The email asked him to cancel a scheduled news conference, “The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)” sponsored by the Epoch Times newspaper.
An NPC employee told Chinascope that John Bloom, General Manager; Sheila Cherry, President; and John Donnelly, Chairman of the Board, of NPC have all received phone calls from the Chinese Embassy regarding canceling the news conference. Mr. Bloom told Chinascope reporter Terri Neumann, that he restated NPC’s principle of freedom of the press on the call. “We would never bow to a request to silence anyone,” Mr. Donnelly replied to Sun’s email and rebuffed his request. The letter was later posted at NPC’s website. The news conference was held that same afternoon, December 22, and was broadcast by C-SPAN3. Chinascope learned that C-SPAN also received “complaint” calls from the Chinese Embassy. C-SPAN has not confirmed this matter as most of its staffers are on a holiday schedule.
Speakers at the news conference included Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute; Michael Horowitz, Senior Fellow and Director of Civil Justice Reform and the Project for International Religious Liberty from the Hudson Institute; William J. Murray, Chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition; Ethan Gutman, author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire, and Betrayal; and Chu-Cheng Ming, Professor of Political Science, the National Taiwan University, Fulbright Scholar at George Washington University.
Though this is the first one in English, more than 30 forums have already taken place in many major cities in 10 different countries within the last month. The escalation of such activities surrounding Jiu-Ping is beginning to form a “Jiu-Ping phenomenon.”
The story dates back to November 19 when Dajiyuan, the Chinese language Epoch Times newspaper, began publishing a series of “Jiu-Ping on the Chinese Communist Party.” “Jiu-Ping” (pronounced “joeping”) translates into “nine commentaries” in Chinese. The Jiu-Ping gives an uncensored history of the CCP. It discusses subjects such as how the Party has set itself against traditional Chinese culture, murdered countless numbers of people and various other crimes that it has committed during its reign that reveals the Party’s true nature.
The commentaries immediately received exceptional attention in the Chinese community. Each “Jiu-Ping” article exceeded 100,000 hits within a few days on the Dajiyuan website and the newspapers are immediately off the stands according to information from Dajiyuan’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In Hong Kong, 30,000 copies were quickly gone in two hours after hitting the newsstands, and another 30,000 were taken again immediately in the following day. Sixty thousand copies the day after still could not satisfy those waiting. A Jiu-Ping special edition has to be reprinted constantly to meet the demand. So far, over 700,000 hard copies have been distributed. In a city that attracts 40,000 tourists from Mainland China each day, the demand will probably not be satisfied for some time.
On the heels of the Jiu-Ping publication, numerous articles and letters swarmed Dajiyuan offices, documenting in detail the enormity of the crimes the CCP committed in its short history. The Chief Editor of a political commentary magazine, Qianshao, in Hong Kong expressed high regard for the Jiu-Ping and decided to republish some of the contents in his own magazine.
The Jiu-Ping has started to have an impact on the CCP and the long-term effect can be profound. Awakened members started to renounce their membership one after another, with over a hundred joining their ranks every single day, including such prominent public figures as the first Chinese Olympic medalist in swimming, Huang Xiaomin; and Former Director of the Propaganda Department Art Bureau, Meng Weizai.
CCP’s mouthpieces Xinhua and People’s Daily usually are quick to respond to any adverse news or criticism, but they have stayed quiet so far on the Jiu-Ping, fearing that any public comments would serve as a catalyst for spreading Jiu-Ping to the curious audiences.
Nevertheless, the nervousness of the CCP has been apparent. Beijing inexplicably took the well-known dissident writers Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie from their homes and confiscated their notebooks and writings. Control over the Internet and other media were also recently tightened all of a sudden. Then, on December 10, Xinhua posted as headline news a statement that was supposedly from Meng Weizai and declared that he did not resign from the CCP. That statement on Xinhua was later denied by the furious Meng via an overseas website, Boxun. News from a Chinese official, who requires anonymity, disclosed that Beijing issued three secret orders regarding the Jiu-Ping, one of which was to find out who the authors of the Jiu-Ping articles are.
Obviously, the significance of Jiu-Ping lies beyond the articles per se. In an era where communist ideology is shunned by most of the world, discussing Jiu-Ping will expose the crimes and true nature of the CCP. The question remains: Can a population that has been indoctrinated since childhood wake up to the truth about their own government?