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Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party: Common Sense of the 21st Century?

In 1776, a booklet titled Common Sense fueled the growing discontent among the King’s subjects in America. Thomas Paine’s simple words, logic, and conviction gave millions of Americans a cause to fight for. A revolution began. A great nation was born.

In 2004, a book called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published. The book made piercing revelations about the Chinese Communist Party’s evil nature, and predicted the Party’s demise in the near future. Millions across China have surreptitiously read the book, and passed it on to friends and family. Will this book do in China what Common Sense did for the American Revolution? Will this book change people’s outlook about the future of China and inspire them to fight for a future without Communism? This paper explores the answers.

Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party

On Friday, July 22 at the National Press Club at Washington, D.C., Congressman Tom Tancredo gave a speech at “A Closer Look into China” Forum. [1]. The Congressman drew an analogy between the Nine Commentaries and a book that was a precursor to the American Revolution:

As I sat here listening to the Nine Commentaries, it struck me and I’m sure I’m not the only person in here to be struck by the fact that this may very well be similar to a document that was written a couple of hundred years ago, here in the United States. A document at the time, and certainly I think the author was even surprised how quickly and readily it was accepted and that was called “Common Sense” and that was written by a gentleman by the name of Thomas Paine. And many people believed that it was the intellectual and underpinning for the Revolution in the United States, the Revolution against Great Britain. … And because it was just as the title said, common sense, people connected to it in a way that I think eventually again led to some of the greatest events the world has ever known. Certainly the “Nine Commentaries” I think have that possibility. They lay things out in a truthful manner for people to see and they set out a path for people to take.

Congressman Tancredo’s Speech can be read in its entirety at:

A Brief Summary of Jiu-Ping (Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party)

As the title suggests, Jiu-Ping consists of nine chapters:

Faced with the nearly impossible task of clarifying the CCP’s nature, its history, current practice, and future in a single book, the authors of Jiu-Ping did a fine job in striking a balance between scope and depth. Historical facts, stories and anecdotes are used to support the analysis and conclusions.

The nine chapters are divided according to the Party’s different attributes, or characteristics, rather than along socio-economic lines, or policies. Each chapter reads like a complete paper, with a foreword, main contents, a conclusion and references (in the English version). Here we only touch on the contents. The synopsis that follows can in no way capture the depth and breathe of the entire book. We therefore recommend reading the Nine Commentaries in its entirety to achieve a full understanding of all that it encompasses. (More …)

Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party:
Common Sense of the 21st Century?

1) Rhetoric or Common Sense?

In November 2004,the New York based media company Epoch Times published a series of editorials under the title Jiu Ping Gong Chan Dang (Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party). These articles, first published in Chinese, and later translated into 32 languages, were compiled into a book, which is commonly called Jiu-Ping in Chinese. After a comprehensive review of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) history and policies, this book delivered a stern verdict: “The demise of the Chinese Communist Party is only a matter of time.” [1]

Despite the Chinese government’s ban, the book became an instant sensation. Electronic files, CD’s and paper copies have found their way to millions in China, while overseas Chinese have been able to read the book openly in hard copy or electronic form and watch the video on You Tube and countless other sites.

For Chinese people living in the Mainland, reading Jiu-Ping for the first time is an unusual experience. Citing the CCP’s own publications and credible historical facts, Jiu-Ping used critical analyses and facts to portray a dark picture of the party. For a majority of Chinese people who have never experienced political freedom, the book’s unequivocal criticisms of the Communist Party have caused mixed emotions: rejoicing, awakening, sadness, or nervousness. For anyone who cares about China, it is hard to feel indifferent.

Gao Zhisheng, a leading human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee said: “(Jiu Ping)’s penetrating analysis reveals the CCP’s nature and values. It has awakened many Chinese people who, over the past few decades, have become used to and numb about the status quo. Now they suddenly see the party’s rotten nature.” [2]

Another Nobel Peace Prize contender and exiled democratic activist Wei Jingsheng called Jiu-Ping a “symbol” that “reflects the thinking of many Chinese people.”[3]

Judging from its style and content, Jiu-Ping was probably the result of collaboration: the authors were well versed in the Chinese language and history, and they knew how to talk to ordinary Chinese people. Perhaps for personal safety, they chose to remain anonymous (see box for details).

Jiu-Ping’s broad appeal to the Chinese populace was phenomenal. Starting on December 4, 2004, less than a month after Jiu-Ping’s publication, postings by individuals to denounce their past and current affiliations with the Party and other communist organizations began to pour in to a special Epoch Times website. [4] Soon, millions followed.

Over the past five years, postings representing 64 million individuals have been registered. This movement has provided people with a rare communication channel to openly voice their indignation to the CCP and to sever their associations with all Communist organizations. The Chinese term for these actions is San-Tui, or “three-quits,” withdrawing from three levels of Communist organizations: the Communist Party, the Communist Youth League, and the Young Pioneers.

The impact of Jiu-Ping and San-Tui is clearly felt in China. In the West, however, many China experts and the public apparently have not realized its significance. Independent reviews of the book by non-Chinese are few and far in between. Some felt uncomfortable about the book’s rhetoric. A Canadian historian blamed the book for “lack of balance and nuance.” [5].

The lack of attention to Jiu-Ping and San-Tui in the West is not surprising. When dealing with issues related to China, many China experts tend to take a scholarly attitude and try not to take things personal. To them, China is a subject for academic study or policy debate. It is unprofessional to take sides.

It’s hard to blame those whose understanding of the totalitarian society comes from books and movies, but for millions of Chinese living in the communist society for their entire life, reading the book and breaking their association with the Party are very personal. It is hard not to feel passionate.

Jiu-Ping is an unconventional book, and the San-Tui movement is not a typical democracy movement, but today’s China is also an unusual society. To understand the country and mentality of its people, one needs to think the Chinese way. Jiu-Ping has inspired millions of Chinese to think the unthinkable. Maybe it can provide some insight to others who are interested in China’s future.

Not all Westerners are skeptical, though.

In a book review on, a German reader wrote:

“This book is different from everything about communism before. Even such famous books like “1984,” mainly focused on the METHODS that communist nations use to control people, but “1984” didn’t analyze the communist ideology itself… in my opinion it (Jiu-Ping) is still by far the best book on the subject even for Westerners, …” [6]

Attending a National Press Club Forum in July 2005, U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo made an interesting analogy. He believed that Jiu-Ping “may very well be similar to a document that was written a couple of hundred years ago … called Common Sense.” [7]

Congressman Tancredo’s comparison of the two books was very relevant.

Two centuries ago, Mr. Paine’s biblical references, his clear logic, and his simple yet incendiary language in Common Sense provided Americans with the conviction to claim their freedom from the English Monarchy.

Today, Jiu-Ping’s provocative revelations, its strong arguments and convincing conclusions may very well make it the Common Sense of the 21st Century that kindles Chinese people to reclaim their freedom and their lost traditions from the Communist Party.

2) San – Tui (withdraw till it falls)

San-Tui, or quitting from three communist organizations, was a direct result of Jiu-Ping. It offered the Chinese people a way to free their hearts and souls from the Communist despot. But San-Tui’s unconventional nature puzzles some, especially Westerners.

The first San-Tui announcement published on the Epoch Times website appeared on December 4, 2004. Using his real name, Mr. Lu Xueli from Canada wrote:

“Having read the Epoch Times editorial the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, I felt extremely happy. The articles expressed exactly what I always wanted to say but did not know how. They further enhanced my understanding of the CCP’s evil nature.”

“Joining the CCP was a choice I made against my own conscience. I feel deeply ashamed that I was a member of this wicked group. Therefore, I solemnly announce my resignation from the CCP. What I wrote and said in my applications to the Party, the Youth League and the Young Pioneers, in my oath and thought reports are now completely nullified. I demand that the Party refund all my membership dues.” [4]

Personal announcements of San-Tui quickly poured in. By the end of December 2004, the website had registered postings for 2,591 people; by the end of 2005, the number had increased to 6.7 million; by November 2009, the tally reached 64 million. [8]

Falun Gong practitioners have played an essential role in promoting Jiu-Ping and encouraging San-Tui. Overseas practitioners have been sending the book via emails and faxes, while fellow practitioners in China have produced millions of CD’s and hard copies for free distribution to the public.

According to the CCP’s Constitution, “Party members are free to withdraw from the Party.” [9] But in reality, exercising this right equals political suicide. Many members who fundamentally oppose the Party principles choose to stay. In addition to political concerns, they have to worry about their basic rights, jobs, pensions, housing, medical care, travel permits, and personal safety, not to mention that the potential harm usually extends to their families.

To accommodate the vast majority who wish to sever their ties with the CCP, but do not wish to jeopardize their life, the San-Tui website allows public announcements using pseudonyms. Members of the Party can still participate in Party activities after their clandestine resignation. The key is the “intention of the heart.” If a person has denounced the CCP in his heart, then the person is unlikely to have any loyalty to the Party, and will choose to do the right thing at the right time. To the CCP, these people are like political time bombs.

The method to quit the Party is simple. One can send a note to the Epoch Times website [4] using online postings, emails, faxes, phone calls or letters. To facilitate requests from the vast number of ordinary Chinese citizens, mainland Falun Gong practitioners often risk their lives to relay thousands of San-Tui requests every day.

Past members are encouraged to quit their old memberships retroactively. Non-party members are encouraged to denounce their association with the Communist Youth League or the Young Pioneer from earlier in their lives. Although the exact number of the current and past members of the three-tier communist groups is unknown, it is safe to assume that the majority of the Chinese population has had some affiliation with the Party. Few Chinese have joined none of these groups.

Since San-Tui is an open activity in the public domain, the numbers are impossible to verify. Foul play by anyone, including the CCP, is always a possibility, but the authenticity of the San-Tui movement itself should not be questioned. As a writer pointed out in a recent Christian Science Monitor article on Jiu-Ping and San-Tui:

“The numbers are really not the point. For those who do send in their statements disavowing the party, the postings offer a rare platform to vent frustrations, discuss ideas, share stories of suffering, or find forgiveness.” [10]

In October 2005, during a forum in Paris, former Chinese police officer Hao Fengjun told a reporter, “I believe the ‘five million who quit the CCP’ is a very conservative number, because (many) people in China can not register on the Epoch Times website. In addition, a number of CCP officials can not express their real intention. So the real number should be far greater than five million.” [11]

From all indications, the San-Tui movement has been widely spread, which poses a threat to the Party.

3)The Party’s Headache

From its onset, the momentum created by Jiu-Ping and San-Tui caught the CCP off guard. For eight months, the Party remained silent. The CCP’s leadership appeared to have no strategy. Openly criticizing the book would surely help publicize it in China. Ignoring it might be seen as a sign of vulnerability or even an admission of guilt.

Finally in July 2005, the CCP’s Vice Minister of Organization, Li Jingtian, spoke out. During a press conference, Li declared, “Recently some overseas websites published stories about several thousand party members quitting the CCP. Based on our investigation, these were fabricated rumors.” [12]

But according to Epoch Times, as of July 2005, the number of San-Tui announcements had reached 2.8 million. [13] As a high ranking party organizer, Mr. Li’s comment probably reflected the CCP’s damage control plan: by denying the authenticity of San-Tui, the party believed it could shrug off the serious questions raised by Jiu-Ping. However, by downplaying the number by a factor of 1000, the vice minister’s denial looked lame.

Messages from low profile media were less subtle.

In a January 2005, two months after Jiu-Ping’s publication, Zhong Guo Fan Xie Jiao Wang (China Anti Evil Cult Net) – a CCP sponsored anti Falun Gong website – published an interview with an anonymous official, who admitted that Jiu-Ping was no joke, “Looking at this book, Jiu-Ping, from either its scale or its contents, it is the most serious challenge to the Chinese government by an evil cult organization and all kinds of anti-China forces in the entire history.” [14]

Some local government publications also reflected the Party’s anxiety. For instance, in 2005, in Hunan’s Yueyang City, Police Chief Fu Shaoxiang said,

“After the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party was published, Falun Gong people intensified their activities and made frequent contacts with each other. Some Falun Gong activists even openly persuade party members to quit the party. Their anti-CCP and anti-government nature has been exposed completely.” [15]

In is a common understanding among the Chinese police that one of their primary jobs is to stop the spread of the Jiu-Ping and San-Tui movement. Many Falun Gong practitioners found supporting these activities were arrested, tortured or even killed.

On March 16, 2008, Ms. Jia Yan of Heilongjiang Province died in Police custody. [16] Nine days later, on March 25, 68 year-old Ms. Xia Yuanlan of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region also died in detention [17]. The two women lived three thousand miles apart, and probably never knew each other, but they were arrested for the same “crime”: distributing the Nine Commentaries to the public. Their tragic deaths reflect just how desperate the CCP had become in trying to halt the Jiu-Ping and San-Tui movement.

Although the CCP hates to admit Jiu-Ping’s impact, its Internet firewall strategy gave it away. In joint research by Harvard, Cambridge and the University of Toronto in 2005, researchers found that the Chinese word Jiu-Ping ranked Number One among the most blocked words on the Chinese Internet. [18]

In China, the Party’s battle with Jiu-Ping and San-Tui has been largely low key and defensive, but outside of its border, the Chinese government has been willing to go on the offense. In May 2008, in New York City, a top Chinese diplomat personally instigated thousands of pro-communist to assault American Falun Gong practitioners who were voicing their support of the San-Tui movement at a site in Flushing. This highly publicized event was hailed by the Chinese media as a spontaneous patriotic action by overseas Chinese. In a recorded phone conversation, however, Chinese Consul General Peng Keyu admitted that he provided guidance (to pro-communist community leaders) to attack Falun Gong. “I have done it. I do it frequently, including this time, when I went out to the scene . . . I have even agitated them.” Peng said. [19]

Per a New York Post report, the State Department considered expulsion of Peng, but stopped. [20] Although Peng’s action seemed reckless, even stupid, it highlighted the CCP’s frustration over Jiu-Ping and San-Tui. The Party fears – for good reason – that the growing discontent among the Chinese people, fueled by Jiu-Ping and San-Tui, could one day topple the communist empire.

4)What Would Reagan Say?

In his first term, President Reagan began to question his predecessors’ Cold War foreign policy. Unconvinced of the strategy of “peaceful coexistence” and “containment,” the president decided to take a new approach to pursue World Peace. During a speech at a religious conference in 1983, President Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”

The president warned the Americans not “to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.” [21]

The president’s speech was strongly criticized by pundits as the “simple-minded ideologue” of a “reckless cowboy.” [22]

But his supporters argued forcefully for the president’s strong message.

In a Policy Review article titled Seventy Years of Evil: Soviet Crimes from Lenin to Gorbachev, Heritage Foundation Scholar Michael Johns listed 208 acts by the Soviet Union that demonstrated their evil inclination, thus providing evidence to support labeling the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” [23] Johns accused the Soviet Union of being “history’s most sophisticated apparatus of rule by terror,” and condemned its “crushing of the human spirit.” John’s article, along with other publications, convinced the Americans to support their president to win the Cold War.

Those who blamed Reagan for using “provocative rhetoric” soon found themselves on the wrong side of history.

China, the last stronghold of global communism, is on its way to becoming the next superpower. The debate on the “evil empire” could be applied to the CCP regime without much modification. Based on Jiu-Ping’s revelations, the CCP may have surpassed its Soviet mentor in both cruelty and shrewdness. Although the Cold War is over, and the Chinese Communists have allowed more economic freedom, the fundamental question of “right and wrong and good and evil” remains the same.

If Ronald Reagan were still alive and well today, would he blame Jiu-Ping for “lack of balance and nuance?” Would he criticize the San-Tui movement due to its unverifiable headcount? Probably not.

Historically, many overwhelmingly complex events had a simple cause. People with great wisdom could see the cause and find ways to solve it.

For 64 million Chinese people, Jiu-Ping has shown them the root cause of China’s troubles, and San-Tui is their personal contribution to fix them.

[1] The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,
[2] Interview with Gao Zhisheng, Sound of Hope, December 25, 2004
[3] Interview with Wei Jingsheng, Epoch Times, November 21, 2008
[4] Tui-Tang (Withdrawing from the CCP) Website,
[5] David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China, 2008
[6] Manuel HRTH, Germany, The Book that is changing China, December 27, 2005, Amazon book review.
[7] Speech at “A Closer Look into China” U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo, July 22, 2005, The National Press Club at Washington, D.C.
[8] Monthly Statistics of San-Tui announcement,
The most current figure in English can be found at
[9] Article 9, Chapter I, Constitution of the Communist Party of China,
[10] Caylan Ford, “An underground challenge to China’s status quo,” October 21, 2009, The Christian Science Monitor,
[11] “Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun’s Tour of Europe,” Epoch Times, October 27, 2009
[12] “Li Jingtian: The News of Thousands CCP Members Withdrawing from the CCP Is a Rumor,” China News Service, July 7, 2005
[13] “The Tui-Tang Service Center Interpreting Li Jingtian’s ‘Rumor,’” Epoch Times, July 13, 2005
[14] “Can the Epoch Times’ Jiu-Ping really strike down the CCP?” China Anti Evil Cult Net, June 19, 2007
[15] “Strengthen Police Advanced Nature Education; Carry out Three Major Political and Social Responsibilities,” China Local Leaders on Line, August, 2005
[16] “Ms. Jia Yan Dies in Police Custody in Heilongjiang Province,” Clearwisdom, March 20, 2008
[17] “Ms. Xia Yuanlan Dies after Being Tortured in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” Clearwisdom, April 2, 2008
[18] “Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study”, Social Science Research Network, April 14, 2005
[19] “The Chinese Government Instigates Violence in New York — New Evidence of Communist Infiltration,” Chinascope,
[20] “Diplo ‘Gong’ Buster,” New York Post, September 14, 2008
[21] “President Reagan’s Speech Before the National Association of Evangelicals,” The Reagan Information Page, March 8, 1983
[22] Dinesh D’souza, Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader
[23] “Evil empire,” Wikipedia,