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We Must Immediately Stop the Brutality That Suffocates Our Nation’s Conscience And Morality

Third Open Letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao

December 12, 2005

Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, and all other conscientious fellow Chinese citizens:

I, Gao Zhisheng, send you my greetings from Changchun City.

I would first like to convey my deepest mourning for the innocent fellow Chinese citizens killed by the Guangdong regime, and my condolences and support for the family members of the victims. At the same time, I would like to express my strongest protest for the brutality of slaughtering our kind countrymen. I strongly urge that the highest authorities follow the basic principles recognized by civil societies, punish the murderers and those responsible, and extend condolence and compensation to the families of the victims.

Winter in Changchun is extremely cold. Although in "hiding" in a room that doesn’t have water most of the time, my blood is boiling hot. The reason isn’t because I am again writing an open letter to Hu and Wen. Instead, simply being able to work for the future of one of the greatest nations in the world is enough to make any ordinary citizen’s blood boil.

On October 18, also with red-hot enthusiasm, I wrote an open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, two fellow countrymen of mine, urgently calling on their government to "stop persecuting believers of freedom and mend ties with the Chinese people." The next day, I received blatant threats over the phone at home. Starting the third day, at least 10 cars and 20 plainclothes police began circling, monitoring, and following my entire family every day, 24 hours a day. The 15th day after I wrote the letter, the Beijing Judicial Bureau illegally closed my law firm. It is very regrettable how our country treats a citizen who openly makes suggestions.

Another strong reaction prompted by the open letter was that the Falun Gong practitioners from various parts of China who had been persecuted had written me and invited me to their area to learn more about their true situation. Quite a few of these letters were from the cities of Changchun and Dalian. Since November 29, I spent almost 24 hours a day continuously traveling between Jinan City, Shandong Province; Dalian City and Fuxin City, Liaoning Province; and Changchun City, Jilin Province, to conduct another round of investigations. Different from my usual experience of traveling solo, I was honored to be accompanied by Professor Jiao Guobiao.{mospagebreak}

Meanwhile, flocks of plainclothes police were still hovering around my home night and day, creating an atmosphere of terror and severely suppressing my entire family. On November 29, I escaped the tight surveillance by more than 20 plainclothes police and spent 15 days investigating the truth in my own way. I especially would like to say here that we try our best to tell the truth of how this nation is being continually, brutally persecuted, especially at this time. This is also to remind our entire nation of the severity and urgency of the problems we are facing. It is time for our nation and each and every one of us to seriously face our problems. Any excuse or delay by any means is committing a crime to our entire nation!

In this letter, I will not avoid any of the real problems I have seen, even if this means I may be immediately arrested when this letter is publicized. The 15 days of investigation again showed me the painful truth. The "610 Office" is-at least can be called-a gang that exists within the political power of the nation, yet is higher than the political power. It is a gang that can control and regulate all political resources. Although it is an organization that exists outside of the constitution and the regulations of the country’s power structure, the "610 Office" is using many powers that are only supposed to be used by agencies of the national government, and even many powers that are beyond the agencies of the national government. It is using powers that don’t belong and have never belonged to the nation since the beginning of political civilization of mankind on this earth.

We can see that the power symbolized by the number "610" continues to "interface" with the public through ways such as destroying a person’s physical body and spirit, through shackles, chains, electric shock tortures, and "tiger benches." The nature of this power has become that of a criminal gang. It continues to torture our mothers, sisters, children, and our entire nation. Mr. Hu and Mr. Wen, as members of our nation who are in special positions at this time, especially as perceived by the majority of the public as being conscientious, should face everything together with all of us.

At this moment, with a trembling heart and a trembling pen, I am writing down the tragic experiences of those who have been persecuted in the last six years. Among the true accounts of the unbelievable brutality, among the records of the regime’s inhuman torture of its own people, the immoral acts that shocked my soul the most were the lewd yet routine practice of attacking women’s vaginas by "610 Office" staff and the police. Almost every woman’s genitals and breasts or every man’s genitals have been sexually assaulted in the persecution in a most vulgar fashion. Almost everyone who has been persecuted, be it man or woman, was first stripped naked before he or she was tortured. No language or words could describe or re-create our communist government’s vulgarity and immorality in this respect. Who, with a warm body, could afford to stay silent when faced with such truths?{mospagebreak}

At 4:20 p.m. on October 28, 2005, Ms. Wang Shouhui (mother) and Mr. Liu Boyang (son) from Changchun City were followed by "610" staff and were illegally arrested. The two were brutally tortured by the police. At about 8 p.m., 28-year-old Liu Boyang died from the torture. About 10 days later, his mother was also tortured to death. The bodies of the unfortunate duo are still in the hands of the "610" officials. It took the "610" officials three days after Liu’s death to inform his father, while Ms. Wang’s time of death remains unclear. Liu’s father looked for a lawyer in his city, but no one dared to accept his case. The elderly man said, "In a society like this, it is harder to live than to die. Living brings more pain. After I take care of their burials, I’ll follow them and leave, too."

Ms. Wang Shouhui, her husband, and her son (Liu Boyang) began practicing Falun Gong in 1995. Since the persecution started on July 20, 1999, they were harassed constantly by police from Zhengyang Police Station of Luyuan District and officials from the Zhengyang Street Administration Office. Ms. Wang was illegally detained in October 1999 and sent to Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp in February 2000. At the forced labor camp, she was tortured with an electric baton eight times. She was also forced to work during the day. For five days and nights, she was prohibited from sleeping and was required to stand up. She was tortured using a "death bed" several times. The most serious time, she was beaten with two electric batons for over one hour while tied to the "death bed." She did not have even one part of her body and face intact. She was released only after she was found to be near death from torture.

On April 11, 2002, Ms. Wang was walking in the street when she was again abducted by the police from Zhengyang Police Station of Luyuan District. She was blindfolded by the police from the First Division of the Changchun Police Department and was taken to a secret torture room in Jingyueshan, Changchun. She was tortured on the "tiger bench" for two days and one night, during which time she was also beaten with two electric batons on the breasts. Three men used their fists to punch her face, chest, and back. As a result, Ms. Wang’s left cheekbone was fractured and she vomited a great amount of blood. Later, her lungs were infected. While at the police hospital, Ms. Wang’s four limbs were restrained when she received infusions. She was prohibited from using the restroom. Instead, the hospital forcefully inserted a tube into her bladder, but did not give her care. She could not move for five days and five nights. Subsequently, her bladder was permanently damaged and she could no longer control her bladder.{mospagebreak}

On June 27, 2002, Ms. Wang and her family were again abducted to the Zhengyang Police Station by the Luyuan District Police Department Political and Security Division. Ms. Wang was tied into a ball for an entire evening. Later, when she was illegally detained at the No. 3 Detention Center in Changchun City, the guards locked her handcuffs to her ankle shackles for 18 days and force-fed her for a month. She was then sent to the provincial police hospital, where her limbs were restrained and she was force-fed for over 30 days. She wasn’t released until she was on the verge of death. At the same time, several police from Zhengyang Police Station brutally tortured, beat, and kicked Liu Boyang. They also slapped his face with leather shoes, tied him with a rope, put a plastic bag over his head, tied his arms behind his back, and hung him up using handcuffs. When Liu was hanging in the air, they shook his feet or dragged his feet down. Mr. Yuan Dachuan, a police officer conducting the torture, said blatantly, "I have killed quite a few Falun Gong practitioners with torture. I don’t have to bear any responsibility if I beat you to death." Every time they were tortured, the mother and son could hear each other’s screams, which shook heaven and earth, ghosts and spirits!

On October 29, 2002, Liu Boyang was sent to two years of forced labor at Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp in Changchun City. In December, the police forced him to sit on cold cement floors all day long and prohibited him from sleeping at night. During the day, he was forced to attend brainwashing classes. In June 2004, when his term was over, the forced labor camp refused to release him and found some excuse to extend his term by another 47 days. Liu was a graduate of a medical university. He was a good person, and was kind to children and respectful to the elderly. Every year he was a model worker at the hospital. A woman surnamed Wang told me the above experiences of Ms. Wang and Mr. Liu almost in one breath.

Sun Shuxiang, a 48-year-old Changchun resident, was illegally arrested nine times in six years. Below are some of the experiences she described during her illegal sentence in forced labor camps.

"One day in the latter part of 2001, the policeman named Li Zhenping from No. 8 Section of Xingye Street Police Station came to my home with another man. They persuaded my husband to divorce me. When I said, ‘No,’ Li kept hitting my face until it was swollen. My eyes started to bleed, and I suddenly could not see anything. He asked again if I would agree to divorce and if not he would send me back (to the forced labor camp). Under their constant terror, my husband divorced me. My good family was thus broken by the regime authorities. Till now, I am still in exile."{mospagebreak}

"In July of 2002, I was in my father’s home. A plainclothes policeman suddenly broke into the house and asked if I was Sun Shuxiang. Before I answered him, I was kidnapped. The next day, police from No.1 Section of Changchun Public Security Bureau put me in a car and drove me on bumpy road for about two hours. Two police took me to a dark and terrifying basement, and took off the blindfold from my head. Eight or nine police all rushed into the room. On a table there were three electric batons of large, medium, and small sizes, a bundle of rope, and on the other side laid three tiger benches. Two police forced me onto a tiger bench, and placed my hands on the armrests to which each had a handcuff attached. The handcuffs were turned onto my hands. The armrests on the tiger bench had a row of holes with various sizes to fit different wrist sizes. The police skillfully fixed an iron rod of a thumb’s thickness on the two armrests, pressing against my chest and abdomen area and making it impossible for me to move. One police pointed at the torture tools and said to me, ‘Do you see that? If you cooperate, we can finish business in over an hour. Otherwise, we will have you taste all kinds of instruments. What happened to Liu Zhe and others (who were killed)? Very few can come out of here alive.’ "

"A seemingly polite policeman slapped my face twice, and asked me if I knew any fellow practitioners. I said no. He took an electric baton, stuck its two claws in between my ribs, and started to electrify me. He asked again for my fellow practitioners’ phone numbers, and I said nothing. He then used the electric baton over my fingertips, while asking me which practitioners I knew. He used the electric baton over my arms and then my head, and then to the other side of my body. After one round over my body, he slowly traced my body with another round with the electric baton. They then changed to using a higher-voltage, fully charged electric baton, and started from my toes and went over my body. I still remained silent. They started with the toes of the other foot to go over my body from the other side. I was still silent. They then used the electric baton on my eyes. I felt my eyes were going to pop out of the sockets, and I could not see anything. I still refused to tell them anything, and they returned to electrifying my ribs. The pain was unbearable. The electric baton moved to my chest, as they asked me with which practitioners I had remained in contact. The pain made it impossible for me to speak, and the familiar faces of practitioners appeared in front of me one by one. I had one thought: No matter what, I would not tell about any practitioners. Since as soon as I told about anyone, that person would be arrested and tortured. The police stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. My mouth was all burned and swollen, and blisters covered the outside. They said to me as they were electrifying me, "If you do not speak, we will pry open your mouth." They again stuck the electric baton inside my mouth. After a day and a night’s torture, I was just about to die…"{mospagebreak}

"In the beginning of 2004, I stayed temporarily at Ms. Xing Guiling’s home. One evening at midnight I heard loud pounding on the door. The double door was quickly broken. In terror, I saw a bunch of police with iron hammers and guns, shouting, "Do not move, otherwise you will be killed." We were arrested and taken to Luyuan Branch of the Public Security Bureau, and locked up in a small iron cage. I was tied onto a tiger bench. They started to beat Xing Guiling in front of me, using a leather belt to strangle her neck. She cried heart-wrenching cries. I saw Xing Guiling was beaten down; when she was down, they kicked her. When she got up, they beat her down again. They beat and kicked her, asking her to reveal her contacts with other practitioners. They kept torturing her over and over; they took their leather belt and strangled her again, till she could not breathe. The police shouted, "I will show you if you don’t tell." Xing Guoling was tortured till only one breath left, but she did not reveal a single practitioner’s name. They then started to torture me. After three days’ and nights’ torture, they sent us to the No. 3 Detention Center."

"On August 4, 2003, I was again arrested by the police. They took me to the Nanguan Branch of the Public Security Bureau. A pockmark-faced policeman grabbed my hair and kept hitting my head on the wall. I was getting so dizzy. He then forced me to sit on a tiger bench and cuffed my hands tightly. Another policeman started to hit my arms, and my wrists began to bleed from being tightly bound by the handcuffs. They used iron rings to chain my ankles, and then stepped on the rings, making them tighter and tighter. My ankles were painful beyond tolerance. They then used a plastic bag to cover my head, and tied it over my neck, suffocating me. When they saw that I was about to die, they took off the bag. After a while, they covered my head again, and took it off before I passed out. They did this three times, while at the same time kept pressing the rings tighter into my ankles. It was so painful that I started to have a seizure. My ankles were broken and bleeding. I passed out. They used cold water to bring me back, and sent me to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, I refused to eat and drink to protest, and went into a coma. After 27 days, I had just one breath left. They notified my family members to take me home."

Liu Shuqin, a 60-year-old lady from Changchun, was arrested and sent to forced labor camps five times in six years. This old lady calmly told us the barbarous torture she was put through.

"I was first arrested in February of 2000. The police violently hit and kicked us into the police car, which took us to Balipu Detention Center. I was locked up for 15 days without any legal procedures. Altogether more than 10 of us were arrested, and all experienced unspeakable torture. After that, the Neighborhood Committee and the police continued to harass me. On December 31, 2000, I was arrested the second time when I went to Beijing to appeal to the government. I held out a banner that read "Falun Dafa is Good," and the Tiananmen police hit my back violently with electric batons, forcing me onto a police car. Later I was thrown into a dungeon with walls covered with ice and frost. The police forced me to take off all my clothing, and ordered someone to shoot water on me from a big pipe. They left me on the bare floor naked, with nothing to cover my body. The toilet in the room stunk so much and smelled so badly. Every day, several police came to interrogate me. They did not allow me to sleep at night. After 38 days of interrogation, they did not get anything out of me."{mospagebreak}

"On December 31, 2001, several practitioners and I hung banners outside to expose the lies of the communist government about Falun Gong. Someone reported us and we were arrested. The police from the ‘610 Office’ beat me violently nonstop. At midnight that day, I was sent to the No. 3 Detention Center. There, a policeman punched my eyes with his fists. My eyes became blurry and I could not see anything. They hit my head a few more times. Faced with their brutal behavior, I told them good and evil will be repaid. The police asked inmates to bring a heavy chain (28 kg) and put in on my ankles. I was detained for 22 days, during which I was tortured. It was worse than death. Later on, the police extorted a lot of money from my family before they released me."

"On February 28, 2003, a few days after my release, a bunch of police from the Luyuan Branch stormed into my home again. A policeman named Yuan Dachuan went through our drawers and took away over 4,000 yuan (about US$500) cash without leaving any receipts. Another police pocketed a bottle of foreign perfume my child brought to me from overseas. When Yuan Dachuan was taking my money, I criticized his behavior of robbery. He punched me, and handcuffed me. They did whatever they liked in my home and the house was all messed up. They kidnapped me to the torture chamber at the Luyuan Branch, and tortured me with the tiger bench for two hours. They then tied me up with a thin rope, with my hands on my back. The police tightened the rope on me. With my whole body tied up, I was pushed out of the torture chamber. Another group of people threw me into a car. They used my down coat to cover my head so tightly that I almost suffocated. After about 20 minutes, the car stopped, and we arrived at another torture chamber (later on I knew this was at the Chaoyang Branch). The room was filled with torture instruments. As soon as we arrived there, they forced me onto the tiger bench, and about six policemen handcuffed me, chained my ankles, and fixed a steel rod across my chest (on the tiger bench). A young policeman used a foot-long iron rod to hit my left hand, which was cuffed to the tiger bench. After a dozen strikes, my hand was swollen severely and turned black and blue. They asked me to tell about other practitioners; I said I would not say anything. At this time, more than 10 police cuffed my hands behind me. They kept pulling the handcuffs and the ankle chains, and pushing the iron rod against my chest. Stretched under such a strong force, I felt as if my tendons and bones were about to break; I could not breathe. The pain was so unbearable that I fainted a few times. When I lost consciousness, the police poured cold water on me. After I returned to consciousness, they continued to torture me. I was tortured like this for a day and night, fainting and waking up. As the handcuffs and ankle chains were pulled by the police, they kept piercing into my flesh. Blood was mixed with flesh over my wrists and ankles, leaving a large pool of blood on the floor. The police inflicted on me, an old lady, such savage torture. There was unbearable pain in every nerve and bone of my arms, hands, feet and legs. My whole body was unable to move."{mospagebreak}

"On March 1, they sent me to the third detention center. They checked my heart and blood pressure-none functioned well; my legs could carry me. Even so, I was still sentenced for two years in a forced labor camp. In a coma, I was carried to Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp. I had to be carried to go to the bathroom. The police Liu Lianying from the second team started to persecute me, saying that I was pretending to be unable to walk. Liu barbarously electrified me with an electric baton on my legs, chest, and heart-all over my body. At the time, a criminal convict, Yi Liwen (who had a good relationship with Liu), could not bear to see it; she took away the electric baton and said, "Don’t electrify her anymore. Look at her bad shape." Liu Lianying then stopped. Since I could not walk, the police often cursed me; they used all their conversion experts to try to transform me, and the police took turns to brainwash me. After a day’s labor, they would not let me sleep, but conducted brainwashing to force me to sign this or that paper. I firmly refused. They tortured me like this for two months, and my blood pressure often reached over 200 and I suffered from a serious heart disease. Seeing that I refused to be transformed, Jia Hongyan used prostitution convicts to torture me, monitoring me on a 24-hour basis, at my side even during eating and sleeping. They attempted to force me to transform, beating and cursing me almost every moment and every day. They did not allow me to speak; if I did they would curse me. Every day, my body and heart suffered from great pain. Over a year of persecution has inflicted great harm to my body and mind. My body was numb, and my arms did not move well. I was diagnosed with brain infarction and atrophy. I was originally very healthy, but the one year’s persecution had turned me into such a state. Just because I want to be a good person, I have endured such inhumane torture for such a long time."

With a slow and gentle voice, Zhang Zhikui calmly narrated his experience of being persecuted in Changchun City:

"After July 20, 1999, I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. Because I clarified the truth of Falun Gong to residents in Beijing, I was arrested by the police in Beijing and transferred to the police of Changchun City’s liaison office in Beijing. There, they tied my hands and feet together onto a wooden club and hung me between two tables by putting the two ends of the wooden club onto the two tables respectively. I swung back and forth. Whenever the wooden club broke, I fell to the floor. As for other practitioners who were also arrested there, the police beat them with leather belts or hung them up. They beat my thighs with a white wood rod. Later on, all of us practitioners were sent back to Erdaohezi District Police Substation in Changchun City. At that time, there were 10 or more practitioners. After we arrived there, the head of the Political Protection Department lifted me up and forced me to take off my pants in front of other male and female people’s presence. Then, the head of the Political Protection Department beat my head with a leather belt. My head became numb, there was ringing in my ears, and I almost lost consciousness. He asked for my name and when I went to Beijing. I was barely conscious following the beating, so I couldn’t remember anything. However, he continued beating me. And then, he stamped my feet with his leather shoes, grinding my toes with the heel of his leather shoes. He just observed the expressions in my eyes while he was doing this to me. I endured the severe pain and began to sweat profusely. He left me then and began to beat up other practitioners. After I was sent to Tiebei Detention Center, the guards instigated the criminals there to strip me and beat me. The criminals kicked me hard, ramming me into the wall of the restroom. I could barely get up from the ground. Immediately two pots of cold water were poured onto my body. Again they kicked me hard. My arms and legs bled, and there was a big wound on one leg. One month later, they released me without any documents and did not follow procedures."{mospagebreak}

"At the end of November 1999, I went to China’s Supreme Court in Beijing to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong. The officials of China’s Supreme Court informed police and they arrested me there, sending me to the police of Zhaoyuan City’s (Shandong Province) liaison office in Beijing. On my way back, they removed my belt and forced me to walk with my hands holding up my pants. They beat me as we walked. Upon my arrival at the liaison office, they again beat me severely with a strap, and they continued beating me for several hours during the night. The next day, they sent me back to Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province. Upon my arrival at Zhaoyuan City Detention Center, the police instigated the criminals there to beat me. The criminals there saw that I did my duties actively and positively. They were all moved and didn’t beat me any longer. Eventually, they sent a mute criminal to beat me up. One day, the guard there ordered me to extend my head out through a small hole in the iron gate of my cell, and then he trampled my head with his feet, beating my head as well. The practitioners in other cells all shouted at him together, "Do not beat people!" Afterwards, they sent my sister and me to Xinzhuang Township Police Station. Following July 20, 1999, my whole family was arrested. They detained my sister and me in the small dark solitary confinement cells under the staircases respectively. The solitary confinement cells were so small that we couldn’t stand up straight inside them. They only allowed us to go to the restrooms once in the evening, and they locked us up like this for 10 days for each incarceration. After that, they sent us back to the Zhaoyuan Detention Center and kept us there for a month. They tortured my sister and me like this back and forth for a total of six times. All these events made us feel that it is difficult to either live or die."

"On October 1, 2000, I went to Culture Square in Changchun City to unfurl a banner and I was arrested. All the news media in China lied. They did not speak a truthful word for us. Therefore, we wanted to clarify the truth in this way. Police Chief Liang and other policemen stripped my coat off and wrapped my head with it. They cuffed my hands from behind, dragged me down from upstairs, and then escorted me to a car. The car traveled for about two hours and I felt that it was far away from the town. After we arrived at the destination, I was escorted to a house where the coat on my head was removed. I felt terrible. There was a tiger bench in the room. I knew we were on a mountain and I heard the wind swooshing. Police Chief Liang and other policemen stripped all my clothes off and they forced me onto the tiger bench. My hands were tied behind my back to the crabstick. They inserted an iron stick at my chest, my thighs and my legs respectively. Both ends of these sticks were fixed to the tiger bench so that my whole body was tightly locked onto the tiger bench and I could not move. My feet were put in iron hoops and immobilized. Then Police Chief Liang took out a sharp knife, one-foot long, and rubbed it on his pants a couple of times. He threw the knife to the table and ferociously said to me: "Zhang Zhikui, I want you to die here; today I’ll torture you to death and dig a hole and bury you. Nobody will know or find you." After saying that, Liang went outside. At least three policemen started to recharge the electric batons and another two policemen grasped my hands that were tied to the stick behind me; then they stretched my hands around my head from behind to front. I heard my bones cracking nonstop, and my bones got broken. {mospagebreak}This torture was repeated several times and caused excruciating pain. Later, an iron barrel was buckled onto my head; they hit the barrel violently with steel pipes. The intense tremor and harsh noise made my head blast. After I suffered for a long period of time, the policemen burned my back with cigarettes and I lost consciousness due to the unbearable pain. Then they poured cold water on me to bring me back. Finally they lit candles and used them to burn my back. After they scorched the flesh on my back, they poured the hot wax on it. The pain caused my body to shiver and jump continuously. All I could hear was the cracking of the tiger bench that was shaken by my convulsions. Because there was not any good skin remaining on my body, the policemen started to shock my private part with electric batons and pierce it. Afterwards they used an iron stick to smash my private part. I passed out and I did not know how much time passed before I came to consciousness. After one night’s torture, my face swelled and was several times the original size. My whole body was drenched in blood. I looked badly mangled. Because I twisted my body due to the pain, as a result the skin and flesh at my ankles were broken, and the bones and muscles were exposed. However, when they saw that I was awake, they again dragged me outside. It was more than 10 degrees below zero Centigrade outdoors and they poured cold water on my naked body. They abandoned me where I lay and returned to the house. Half an hour later they came out to see if I was still alive. I did not know how much time passed before morning arrived. I was already at the brink of death. I was carried to the Changchun City Police Department. There were many small cells, each with a tiger bench inside. There were female Dafa practitioners on every tiger bench. Most of them had passed out, with their lower bodies naked or with only a cloth covering the body."

"I was sent to the Tiebei Detention Center for further torturing. I began a hunger strike for five days and they stopped the torture then. After I stayed in the detention center for 40 days, they sent me to the Fifth Division of the Chaoyang District Forced Labor Camp. There, I went on another hunger strike. Over 10 practitioners joined me in the strike. There were 500 Dafa practitioners detained in the division. After seeing that we were on a hunger strike, the division head led some criminals to brutally beat us. The scene was horrendous. Finally the Dafa practitioners who were on the hunger strike were taken to the first division where the Dafa practitioners were most brutally persecuted. A criminal named Xu Hui often assaulted Dafa practitioners. One Dafa practitioner over 60 years old used to be a mid-level officer, but because he did not wear a prisoner’s uniform he was beaten by Xu Hui until he was on his last breath. However, he still did not stop beating him. I almost lost confidence in life, since I had endured for a very long time the ineffable pains. All the unbearable persecution and torture happened in the afternoons, in the evenings, and even in the middle of the night."

"If the Falun Gong practitioners made even a little bit of a sound when they were asleep, their inmates would beat them up. All of this made the Falun Gong practitioners not even dare to go to sleep. I sometimes couldn’t stop coughing at night; therefore, the inmates beat me for the whole night. They didn’t allow me to cough at all. I didn’t dare to drink water in the evening, since they didn’t allow Falun Gong practitioners to go to the restroom at night. Once I couldn’t help myself from going to the restroom, and I went quietly. When I came back, Xu Hui beat me up until I was almost on my last breath. He kicked me very hard in the area of my kidney, causing my kidney to move from its natural position. I couldn’t move for several days. Once, there was a Dafa disciple in his twenties named Sui Futao. The criminals found out that he had hidden our Teacher’s articles in his clothing, so they had hit him with a wrench over 50 times. Not long after that, this practitioner was beaten to death."{mospagebreak}

"My younger sister was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, and at the same time, her husband was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Furthermore, only because they practiced Falun Gong, their 9-year-old child was expelled from school under the order given by the ‘610 Office.’ Among the Falun Gong practitioners who kept in touch with me, eight or nine practitioners had been beaten to death. Their names were Wang Shouhui, Liu Boyang, Liu Haibo, Liu Chengjun, Xu Shuxiang, Wang Kefei, Yu Lixin, and Deng Shiying. As for the names of other practitioners who were persecuted to death, I can’t even remember their names right now! All these are the extremely cruel facts!"

"Zhang Shuchun is my second younger sister. When the police tried to arrest her, she jumped downstairs. Her broken ribs pierced some of her organs. Her legs and arms were broken too. She immediately passed out. Soon many passersby stopped to look at her and asked what happened. The police from the ‘610 Office’ said, ‘She had a fight with her husband about a divorce.’ Since she was the so-called ‘Wanted Criminal,’ the police took her to a hospital. However, the doctors at the hospital thought it unnecessary to try to save a Falun Gong practitioner. They said, ‘Just throw her out’ and surprisingly, the police did throw her out in a suburb area. Later, she was saved by some kind-hearted people. But the police put her back on the ‘Wanted’ list again."

Wang Yuhuan is a female Falun Gong practitioner who the Changchun police arrested. She was detained at forced labor camps nine times in the past six years. She said:

"You won’t believe this. But at the forced labor camp, in order to collect money, police tried to sell sleeping space. The price was 2,000 yuan (about US$250) per month. Once you bought it, you would have the right to lie down on your back when sleeping. Otherwise, you would have to lie on your side since the cell was small. Meanwhile, those who bought the space were entitled to beat us up. As Falun Dafa practitioners, we wouldn’t spend so much money to buy sleeping spaces. As more criminals bought sleeping space, the rest of the people had less space for sleep and it became more painful to sleep."

"In August 2000, I was sent to Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp. Police there tried to force me to "transform." I had to work 18 hours every day. The workload was very high. It was to make products for export. Besides working, they forced me to write "repentance" reports. The criminals in my cell would beat me up if I refused to do so. In order to "transform" me, Sun Mingyan, the police-in-charge of the Six Squad, sat on my head and electrically shocked my head and face with an electric baton for more than one hour. My hair was scorched and my face and neck were severely burned. I was bruised all over my face and body. When I was released in November 2001, I still wasn’t able to pick up a bowl. The ‘610 Office’ also illegally took 2,000 yuan (about US$250) from me when I was released."{mospagebreak}

"On March 5, 2002, some Dafa practitioners successfully broadcast a video clip about the truth of Falun Dafa on TV. The Central ‘610 Office’ ordered a large-scale arrest in Changchun. I was arrested then. Police arrested over 5,000 Dafa practitioners at that time. Each cell at the detention center had to hold at least 50 people. They even detained Dafa practitioners in bathrooms because of limited space. The First Department of the Changchun Public Security arrested me on March 11, 2002. They locked me in a 1.3 meter [4.27 ft.]-high iron-cage at the police substation near Nanguan District Caishen Temple. I couldn’t stand up at all. On the night of March 12, Gao Peng and Zhang Heng and some other policemen from the First Division of the Criminal Squad, interrogated me. They handcuffed my hands behind my back and put a cloth bag on my head. They used a rope to tighten up the bag on my neck so that I couldn’t see anything, and I could hardly breathe. Then they tied me up using ropes and put me in the trunk of the police car. They drove to a mountain where they brutally tortured Falun Dafa practitioners at will. Many fellow practitioners were tortured to death in this place. Mr. Liu Haibo was stripped of all his clothes and forced to kneel down. Police pushed in the longest electric baton they could find into his bottom and gave his organs electric shocks. Liu died instantly. Liu Haibo was a college graduate."

"Liu Yi, a doctor from the Liyuan District Hospital, was in his 30s when he was tortured to death in this devil’s hole. Twenty-three practitioners were tortured to death there. I knew many of them. The police simply buried their bodies in a hole. Xiang Min, a good-looking Dafa practitioner, was carried back after a round of torture. She told me that the police sexually harassed her by touching her buttocks while giving her electric shocks. Close to 30 practitioners were tortured to death in that round of arrests."

"It took them over two hours to drive me to this notorious place on a mountain. I heard them stop the car. Then they dragged me out, beating me up at the same time. The police kept cursing me and said they would torture me to death that day. They shoved me into trees and I stumbled my way to a building after 10 minutes or so. We went upstairs and downstairs, eventually entering a room. They took the cloth bag off of my head. The police said, ‘Let’s wait and see how you die today. Nobody has walked out of here alive!’ I was in a small room of about 50 square feet. There was a small desk with three long electric batons with claws on them. There was also a rope and a bed. Later, I found out that the bed was for the police to lie down and rest while cursing us, when they got tired from beating us up. I saw a tiger bench and many police were busy preparing to torture me. I heard wind blowing angrily. Next, a few police forced me onto the tiger bench. They tied me to the bench with my hands cuffed behind my back and behind the bench. They fastened the iron rods at the side of the tiger bench till I couldn’t move, and they tied down my ankles with two large iron rings. Every five minutes, they would start a round of torture on me. They moved my arms back and forth, and I could hear my bones cracking. The huge pain made me almost faint. My sweat and tears came out immediately from the pain. They pushed my head toward my legs. Because I was tied down on the tiger bench, I felt my neck bones breaking and the iron rods piercing into my breast and stomach. Every second I was about to suffocate. They tied ropes on the iron rings and pulled the ropes harshly. My ankles hurt so much. The pain all over my body made me tremble. They repeated the torture like this every five minutes. My sweat and tears and blood soaked my hair and clothing. Later, I fainted because of the unbearable pain. They then poured cold water or boiling water on me to bring me back. The boiling water burned my whole body badly. I couldn’t stand the slow killing and intense suffering. I wished they would kill me with a gun."{mospagebreak}

"After inhumanely torturing me over four hours on the tiger bench, which had rendered me rather weak, they put an iron barrel on my head. Each of the seven police smoked three cigarettes at the same time and puffed smoke into the barrel. This was suffocating and I fainted. They poured cold water on me. When I was barely awake, they used the burning cigarettes to scorch my eyeballs. I would struggle a little when I began to gain consciousness. After that, they punched my head, face, nose, and teeth. They knocked out my two incisor teeth. My face swelled up and turned to dark purple. They also pierced into my ears using thin sticks. I couldn’t hear anything for the next two weeks. Eventually, they wore out from torturing me and went to sleep at 2 a.m. that morning."

"In March of 2002, they tortured me three times within 17 days in that devil’s hole. Each time, the torture was more brutal. The last two times happened at midnight. Every time, seven or eight police came and took me from the cell and sent me back barely alive. One time, the police didn’t want the others to see how badly I was tortured. They dressed me up in thick clothing. However, blood still came out. Then the police dressed me with more clothing but the blood soaked the clothing and came out again. Practitioners there couldn’t go to sleep because of the horror and concerns over the other fellow practitioners."

"The police ‘interrogated’ all the practitioners on the blacklist of the ‘610 Office’ every day. They tied up each practitioner, put a cloth bag over their heads, and cuffed their hands behind their backs. Then they would throw them into the trunk of the police car and drive to the mountain, to the devil’s hole where they viciously tortured them."

"The relentless torture destroyed my body and health. They had to lie about my poor conditions to get the No. 3 Detention Center to accept me. On the following day, I was sent to the Province Hospital and then the No. 3 Military Hospital for physical examination. The results indicated that my body sustained injury nearly everywhere and was in a critical condition, and thus I did not meet the minimum health standard to be detained. That afternoon, police had taken Ms. Guo Shuaishuai and me back to the prison hospital and launched a new bout of persecution there. We were tied onto a bed. Police injected me with some drug, which made me unable to feel my legs since then. My legs became ice-cold and completely numb. Practitioner Jiang Yong was persecuted here, too. He passed away after seven months of being tortured. Police also injected him with an unidentified drug and drew a large tube of blood from him every day. These injections and blood loss emaciated Yong. He died during a force-feeding."

"It was terrible to witness the entire process of a person being tortured to death. The guards continuously force-fed Ms. Guo for over two months; the hard feeding tube was left in her throat the entire time. Because she was unable to bear the force-feeding, Ms. Guo swallowed the 1.5-meter [4.92 ft.] feeding tube. She tossed and turned in bed due to the excruciating pain. The prison hospital refused to release her in fear of her exposing the evil persecution, so it intensified the torture. Guo and I were stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed. Police and male inmates lewdly stared at us every day. One male prison doctor pinched and struck Ms. Guo’s vagina. Unable to bear the extreme torture, Mrs. Guo swallowed the spoon that was inserted into her mouth. She again tossed and turned in bed due to the pain. The prison doctor cut open her stomach to retrieve the spoon. He deliberately made an unnecessarily long incision, stretching from the chest all the way to the vagina. He roughly sutured the extremely long cut and sent Ms. Guo to die at home. Ms. Guo never recovered from the barbarous physical and psychological torture."{mospagebreak}

"Ms. Zhao Xiaoqin and I were sent to the prison hospital the same day. ‘610′ officers knocked her unconscious and threw her off the building. The throw broke her left arm, caused a bump the size of a bowl on her head, and made her insane. The prison doctor did not change the cast on her arm the entire summer. Consequently, her arm festered, and bugs crawled around it. Seeing Ms. Zhao’s suffering broke my heart. I also witnessed other atrocities in this persecution. We, the female practitioners, were all stripped naked and tied with limbs spread apart on a bed board for over 26 days. We suffered incessant humiliation and sexual assault from male police, doctors, and inmates."

"I was transferred back to the No. 3 Detention Center for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The Detention Center refused to accept me, because it heard that I would die soon, and it feared to take responsibility for my death. Outraged police hung me on a door for six hours and beat me. I was taken back to the prison hospital for more persecution. I went on a hunger strike to protest. On the 15th day, a prison doctor cut open my vein and placed an IV needle in it. My blood seeped out and stained the bed and floor. Already accustomed to the bloody persecution, the police and prison doctors were not at all disturbed by my excessive bleeding. Each day, they administered 10 bottles of unidentified thick fluid to me. They let me urinate and defecate on the bed, and they left me in a pool of urine and feces for over 50 days. The full extent of the misery is beyond description. My veins collapsed due to the hunger strike, so the thick fluid could not pass through. The head surgeon just shook the bottle and squeezed the fluid into my vein. I passed out many times because of the excruciating pain."

Mr. Yang Guang, another practitioner, suffered even more frightening persecution. I quote part of the letter a witness wrote to me.

"Mr. Yang Guang lived in Changchun City, Jilin Province. He has been illegally detained since January 2000 and has suffered severe torture under the hands of Director Liang and officers in the Changchun Public Security Bureau. He was tortured with electric batons, the tiger bench, straightjacket, big hang up, plastic-bag suffocation, force-feeding of strong alcohol. Persecutors occasionally torture him for 40 hours on end. The torture left Mr. Yang with a deaf left ear, disabled arms, paralysis from the waist down, necrosis in his right hip, a broken right leg, deformed feet, festered toes, kidney failure, and hydrothorax (fluids accumulated in his chest). Despite his life-threatening condition, Mr. Yang was sentenced to 15 years in Jilin Prison."

"Mr. Yang is held in the so-called ‘Naked District,’ which is the section for disabled inmates in the prison. Here inmates are forbidden to wear pants all year long, so that cleaning is kept minimal. Inmates made the paralyzed Mr. Yang a special wheelchair out of steel pipes, four casters, and boards for the back and sides. The seat has a hole in the center, like a toilet seat. Whenever Mr. Yang needs to go, inmates would push his chair to the bathroom. Because of the side boards on the chair and his disabled arms, Mr. Yang cannot clean himself afterwards. Urine, feces, and filthy odor enshroud Mr. Yang all year long. This ‘Naked District’ receives no sunlight. The conditions are utterly inhumane. This district is boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. The space for sleeping is less than 60 cm [24 in.] square. The food is disgusting and extremely lean."{mospagebreak}

"When Mr. Yang needs cleaning, inmates wheel him to the water room and spray him with a pressure hose, and then wipe him with a mop that has nails sticking out. Inmates call this a ‘cosmetic shower.’ The prison authorities subjected Mr. Yang to these intolerable conditions to force him to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Yang, however, remained firm in his belief. He was put into solitary confinement. He was only let out when he was on the brink of death. Mr. Yang was then transferred to a special district in the Tiebei Prison in Changchun. He was given absolutely no medical treatment. Nonetheless, the prison still extorts 1,000 yuan (US$125) a month from Mr. Yang’s family."

"Mr. Yang has an 86-year-old mother in his home who does not know that her son has been tortured to such a horrid extent. Whenever she sees people, she would sadly implore, ‘Guang is a good person. Where is he now, I want my son!’ Mr. Yang’s wife divorced him, because there is no income to support the family. Mr. Yang has also suffered extreme psychological trauma. Relatives demanded his release, but the prison, the Ministry of Justice, and the Prison Management Bureau refused."

Dalian practitioner, Chang Xuexia, is a graceful and quiet girl. She lowered her head in shame while recounting her painful and humiliating experience in a forced labor camp.

"I was arrested for the first time for appealing for Falun Gong. I was illegally detained for 39 days in a rehabilitation center in Dalian. In January 2003, the authorities again forced me to renounce Falun Gong. They locked me in a small metal cage and brought in a variety of instruments of torture. Ms. Wang Yalin, the main persecutor of Falun Gong practitioners in the rehab, goaded several inmates to hang me by the wrists with my feet barely touching the floor. Wang ordered inmates to ‘Fix her well, all of you!’ "

"The swarm of inmates struck and kicked me from every side. I passed out. They dropped me on the floor and forcefully stepped on my face and arm to see if I was faking. When I woke up, I could not move my left arm, for my elbow was dislocated. Inmates who refused to torture me were transferred and their sentences extended. I was hung up again. This time inmates put Teacher’s picture inside my underwear, wrote blasphemous words against Dafa and Teacher on my face. They also beat me with a hard wooden plank. The bruises have not yet faded after a whole year."

"I still refused to renounce Dafa. They stripped me naked, and several inmates began pinching my breasts, plucking my pubic hair, stabbing my vagina. They used a brush that usually cleaned the water tank. They then put a basin under my lower body to see if I was bleeding. Since no blood came out, the inmates switched to a larger brush and repeatedly stabbed my vagina with it. I could not bear the excruciating pain any longer and succumbed to their demand of not doing the Falun Gong exercises in the camp."{mospagebreak}

"What I had suffered in the camp was not the most brutal. Another practitioner named Ms. Wang Lijun was tortured in the small metal cage three times. Inmates tied many knots on a thick rope and pulled it back and force in a sawing motion across her vagina. Her entire lower body swelled up. The head police then ordered inmates to jab her swollen vagina with the thorny end of a broken mop stick. This torture caused Ms. Wang’s vagina to bleed profusely. Her abdomen and vagina were so swollen that she could not pull up her pants, or sit, or urinate. Ms. Wang still could not sit upright two months after the sexual torture. Her legs were also disabled. I also witnessed these inmates applying this same torture to a virgin. The head police also put venomous bugs on female practitioners’ bodies."

"My name is Wei Chun (alias). I am 35 years old and live in Dalian. I started to practice Falun Gong in 1998. Because Falun Gong teaches people to live the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance,’ I have improved greatly, both mentally and physically. I can forgive others easily and elevate my moral character at the same time. In July 1999, the communist government started to oppress Falun Gong. I could not ignore its abuse of our basic human rights, so I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in March 2000. When I got on the train, and I was stopped and asked by a policeman to curse Mr. Li Hongzhi. I refused, so I was arrested. Afterwards, I knew that whoever traveled to Beijing at that time, whether by train or by bus, had to curse Mr. Li or Falun Dafa; otherwise they would not be allowed to travel."

"I was taken to the Dalian Drug Rehabilitation Center and detained for seven days. When I was sent back to my work place, my supervisors demoted me to cleaning the factory in the morning and reflecting on my mistakes in the afternoon. They wanted me to renounce my beliefs and write statements slandering Falun Gong. I refused, so I was forced to quit my job. In April 2000, I found other employment. On March 15, 2001, Chen Xin and other policemen from the No. 1 Division of the Dalian Public Security Bureau abducted me from my work place. They did not allow me to sleep for five days and nights. My hands were handcuffed behind my back the entire time. They put lit cigarettes into my nostrils and mouth. My mouth was filled with cigarettes. At one time, a policeman hit my head with an iron club. Afterwards, I was sent to the Dalian Detention Center and sentenced to labor for two years. On May 18, I was sent to the Fifth Team at Dalian Forced Labor Camp for re-education."

"On June 4, Mr. Liu Yonglai, Mr. Qu Fei, Mr. Huang Wenzhong, and myself were brought to the 4th floor. We were forced to defame Mr. Li, Falun Gong, and Falun Dafa. If we did not do so, they would punish us with electric shocks. If we did so, they would take us downstairs to write the ‘three letters’ defaming Falun Gong and Mr. Li, with introspection, and a pledge to not practice Falun Gong again. They took off all of Liu Yonglai’s and my clothes, and handcuffed us together face to face. They used six electric batons on both of us, and shocked us on our heads, backs, thighs, genitals, both sides of our chests, and necks. We clenched our teeth, and struggled to avoid the electric shocks. As a result of struggling, the handcuffs became progressively tighter. They eventually cut into our flesh and cut through to our bones. It was extremely painful and we bled a lot."{mospagebreak}

"The electric shocks continued for about one hour, and then they separated us. They handcuffed Liu’s hands behind his back, and made him crawl on the grass. They put two chairs on his back and asked two criminals to sit on the chairs. Then, another six criminals used six fully charged electric batons and repeatedly shocked his back, buttocks, neck, calves, soles of his feet, and genitals at the same time. They even pulled out his penis to electric shock it separately. As for me, I was tied to a chair. The legs of the chair and the back of the chair were both tied with several electric batons. Then, they tightly tied me on the back of the chair with a rope. Another criminal held an electric baton to my head. Six batons were used to simultaneously shock me. My entire body was in convulsions. I felt that I would rather be dead than alive. I cried out in despair. My hopeless cries could be heard throughout the entire building. There were many Falun Gong practitioners on the 2nd and 3rd floors. It is said that they all wept when hearing my shrill cries."

"The torture continued for about an hour. Then, I exchanged places with Liu. He was forced to sit on the electric shocking chair while I crawled on the grass. Again, I was shocked with six electric batons at the same time for about one hour. I felt that I could no longer bear it, but I’d rather die than betray my belief, my conscience, and not defame my Master and Falun Dafa. So I started to hit the ground with my head in hopes of inducing unconsciousness. Every time the six electric batons touched me at the same time, I felt as if countless arrows were piercing into my heart."

"I felt that I had died several times. After the electric batons were discharged, they would change to new ones with more voltage. I finally started to fear, so at last, I submitted. Later, Liu could no longer endure it, either. He also submitted. The policemen who led the criminals to shock us were Qiao Wei, Zhu Fengshan, Jing Dianke and others. I don’t remember all the criminals’ names. Afterwards, I was told that when Huang Wenzhong was shocked, his face was burned and bloody. Qu Fe’s cheeks were beaten with shoes so severely that they swelled up like a bread loaf. After we were taken downstairs, we wrote the Guarantee Statements to renounce Falun Dafa. When we went back to the team, we had to write a full page with the same three sentences every day, defaming Master Li, Dafa, and Falun Gong. Meanwhile, we had to shout the three statements out every day. It was strangling my soul. The pain it brought to me was far greater than the torture to my body. But if we opposed it or refused to do so, we would be taken to the 4th floor to be electric shocked until we submitted again."

"Afterwards, a Falun Gong practitioner called Li in class 3, could not endure the spiritual torture and chose to commit suicide by hanging himself. He was rescued. At that time, I did not want to live another moment. I was too humiliated. However, I did not want to endure the electric shocks anymore. I was afraid that I could not bear them. Nevertheless, I did not want to do such immoral things as defame our Master and Dafa. I told Liu that if any practitioner dared to take his own life, the guards would not dare to persecute us like this. He said that he would sacrifice his life for the others. One day, when we were cleaning outdoors, Liu walked to the 3rd floor from the back of the building and jumped down head first. He died instantly. Soon thereafter, many Falun Gong practitioners recanted everything they wrote and said that what they had written violated their conscience and that the facts were twisted because of being tortured and were invalid. They would firmly protect their beliefs and the truth. Because of this, the police put these practitioners who had recanted the three statements into the same class and put them into forced labor. They got up at 5:00 a.m. and worked until 11:00 p.m. every day. Then, they sent these nine practitioners to Guanshan Forced Labor Camp to start a new cycle of persecution."{mospagebreak}

"I realized that I could not cooperate with the guards any longer, so I stopped wearing prison uniforms, stopped marching, stopped singing, and started a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The whole class also started a hunger strike to protest with me. We were later separated, and I was sent to the Third Brigade where I continued the hunger strike. When a chief prosecutor asked me why I started a hunger strike, I said that I had no other means, no court dares to accept my case, they are all Jiang Zemin’s judges and courts, and no one dares to represent us. I can only use my life to protest the persecution against me, to protest Jiang Zemin and the Party’s persecution of Falun Gong. I have a son. When my son asks me in the future, ‘What did you do during that most severe persecution of just people,’ I don’t want to tell him that I submitted. I want to be a person who would ‘rather die with honor than survive in disgrace.’ On the 15th day of my hunger strike, they released me on October 24, using the excuse that I needed outside medical treatment in fear that I might die in the reformatory."

As we listened to those who had escaped death in this persecution, one by one, we were literally breathless. Some of the true stories were told by those who had escaped death from the persecution several times. Their stories would even move a devil to tears. The unprecedented and unrivaled bloody scenes, the vicious inhuman natures, and the most tragic torture techniques, all so vividly terrifying. Facing these fellow countrymen, while they peacefully shared their stories of the barbaric persecution one after another, we must ask of those who wear the national emblem and the country’s uniform to maintain the peace: "In the six years of the past 60 years of communist rule, how many such inhuman acts have you perpetrated and concealed?"

Where did our system fail? It has bred so many vicious public officials who live among us, have been supported by us, who were raised by parents like ours, and have families like ours! The tragic experience of our fellow countrymen fully illustrates that, in our society, there is a group of public officials who persistently disregard the basic moral values of human society, and have been continuously using methods that are completely distant from basic human morality and human nature. They covertly scheme their dirty deals that are causing the very destruction of our nation’s human nature, basic morals, kindness, and conscience. All fellow countrymen, including Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, must admit that none of us can deny that our system is constantly and progressively creating such a shameful reality, and is revealing the totally immoral character of the system.

Hu, Wen, and all fellow Chinese countrymen: This is a time of introspection for our nation! There isn’t a group of people on this planet or in all of history who have suffered on such a large scale, and endured such a severe and disastrous persecution in peacetime, because of their faith. This ongoing disaster has cost thousands of innocent people their valuable lives, and hundreds of thousands of people have been deprived of their freedom. The facts that we have seen show us that all those who have been deprived of their freedom have also suffered physical and mental torture that is unbelievable to the civilized world. This completely inhuman persecution has caused over 100 million Falun Gong followers and their families to suffer from interrogations and threats, deprivation of employment, work opportunities and income, confiscation of assets to various extents, and a persecution that extends to various other means. How absurd, dangerous, and immoral this is! This is a continuous fight against the entire Chinese people, human civilization, and the moral foundation of the people all over the world!{mospagebreak}

My law offices and entire family are making it clear that the ongoing

Some Comments On Communism in China

Some Facts About Communism

Suppose you meet someone at a party, right here in Ottawa, and he tells everyone that he is a Nazi. How welcome would he be? But suppose someone else at the party tells everyone that he is a Communist. Someone might say, "Oh, how interesting!" Something is wrong in Canada. People have forgotten what communism is. I would like to mention four facts about communism. They do not constitute a formal definition. They are just some of the things I would like to point out to people at that party.

Fact #1 The sole aim of communism is to gain and hold onto power

No moral principle can get in the way of this end. Lies and deceit are justified in the pursuit of power. Mao showed this. Before 1949, he promised land to the peasants. They never got it; the state took it over.

Even mass killing is permissible. Some say that there have been 65 million victims of the Maoist regime. The government of China killed 65 million people because to communists, seeking and holding onto power is all that matters.

Fact #2 Communism tries to gain total control

One way to express this is to say that the party swallows up the state and the state swallows up the society. "The party swallows up the state" means that a freely elected parliament becomes a rubber stamp for the party. "The state swallows up the society" means that the state either destroys or takes control of all independent groups-labor unions, religious groups, businesses, and schools.

Or it tries to do so. But in reality communism can’t control everything. No state can fully monitor every person in his private life—every act, every conversation, every thought. There just can’t be enough secret police, and they can’t build enough jails. This was true even under Stalin and Mao.

Let me tell you about a very small experience I had which illustrates this. In 1980 I was in Berlin, and I took the train into the Communist part of the city. While I was there, a couple of teenagers asked me what I thought of the German Democratic Republic. I said, "You need a revolution!" They hushed me up, but they also grinned: They wanted me to say that. My point is that even in a dictatorship, those who oppose it can sometimes say what they think.

Fact #3 Communism uses war to gain power

The Soviet Union did this after the war. Its soldiers stayed on in Eastern Europe after they had driven the Germans out, to ensure that those countries would be controlled by Stalin.{mospagebreak}

And recently we read in The Epoch Times the horrifying words of General Chi Haotian, the man who carried out the massacre at Tiananmen Square. He said quite clearly that if it is necessary to save the party, China should start a nuclear war which would kill many millions.

Fact #4 Communism is an anti-religious religion

We know that communism is atheistic, and that it claims to be the enemy of all religion.

It has, however, many of the features of religion. One of these is that religious belief is based on faith. Religious people will agree that belief in God, for example, cannot be justified by logic and evidence.

Today, in China, faith in communism and in the religion of communism, is all but dead.

But there was a time when this was not so. Before Mao came to power in 1949, many in China fell for his golden promises. They had faith.

Even in Western countries, in the 1930s and the early 1940s, many thousands had faith in communism. This was so even in Canada, where a Communist was once elected to Parliament. His name was Fred Rose. He was elected in 1943. In 1945, he was re-elected. In 1947, he was exposed as a Soviet spy and went to prison.

How could so many have believed in communism? Didn’t they know that World Communism has killed millions of people? Didn’t they know what Stalin and Mao were really like? The history of communism was not a big secret; anyone could have read about it and learned the truth.

The fact is that they didn’t want to know. They thought they had a higher land of knowledge—knowledge based on faith. It was a faith in a future society where there would be no exploitation of man by man, where people would be happier than they had ever been. It is this faith that marks communism as a religion—a fraudulent, deluded religion, but a religion, nonetheless.

The Western Response to Communism

Given these facts about communism, how has the West responded?

One response is something called appeasement. This term become popular in the 1930s, when the challenge was not communism but Nazism. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried appeasement when he gave Hitler some of what he demanded, hoping that he would not take any more. "An appeaser," said Churchill, "is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." Hitler then conquered most of Europe. Chamberlain’s appeasement policy was a disaster. It was totally discredited.{mospagebreak}

Or was it? In our time, in our relations with communism, we have seen a revival of appeasement. For years, the United States and the West sought something called "detente." The idea was to speak tactfully, expand trade, and thus "reduce tensions." Once again, appeasement didn’t work. The Soviet Union and the Cold War just went on and on.

Then along came Ronald Reagan. He didn’t want war. But he knew something that many others did not realize: That the West could defeat the Soviet Union, and that this could be done without starting a war. To this end, he abandoned detente.

Instead, he embarked on an expensive weapons program which the Soviets could not afford to match.

He cut back on trade, which made the Soviet economic crisis even worse than it was.

He increased the transmitting power of Radio Free Europe to counter Soviet jamming of the airwaves.

The important thing about Reagan’s policy is that it worked. The Soviet Union is no more, and much of the credit for its demise goes to him.

But now, in spite of the miserable history of appeasement, and in spite of Reagan’s success, something unbelievable is happening: The Canadian government, in its approach to China, is trying appeasement again!

Our government has increased trade, in order to improve ties with China.

Right now the Prime Minister is entertaining Chairman Hu Jintao as an honored guest. Mr. Martin is out to lunch. What we need is a policy like Reagan’s.

For example, we should give money to Radio Free Asia, which broadcasts into China. This would encourage the people, by providing them with honest news.

We should stop all aid to China. Right now our tax money is being sent to shore up a government which is arming to the teeth, which is spying on us, and which is the most murderous government in history.

We should also eliminate all trade with China.

It should be illegal for any Canadian to invest in China.{mospagebreak}

It should be illegal for any Chinese business to invest in Canada.

The Future of Communism in China

Given the facts about communism, and given Canada’s appeasement of China, what is the future of communism there? Whether we appease the communists or not, communism in China is doomed. No one knows exactly when or how it will end. But the leaders have clearly put themselves in an impossible situation.

As an economic system, communism didn’t work in China. For a number of years, the Chinese leaders have been promoting capitalism. But capitalism only works if people can exercise initiative and energy. Communist terror in Chinese boardrooms would hardly encourage bold initiatives. The government knows that, and it has given up some of the power which is the sole aim of communism. Clearly this is a defeat.

These men are in a trap. Their power is shrinking, and not only because of their encouragement of business. Nowadays, a protest happens somewhere in China every seven minutes. The protest may be against corruption, or it may be against the ecological damage caused by government policies. But the authorities, if they crack down, will bring back the economic stagnation which they wanted to overcome. If, on the other hand, they allow change to continue, they will only undermine their own power.

One of the things they fear most is Falun Gong, an organization which is in some ways like the Solidarity movement in Poland.

Solidarity, of course, began as a labor movement. But its membership grew, and it became the greatest challenge to the Polish government. Falun Gong began as a program of exercise, meditation, and the pursuit of humane ideals. But its character has changed with circumstances, and has grown to the point that now no one knows how many members it has. Some say there are 60 million; others say there are many more. Its members have endured torture and persecution, but they have not given up. They have become the largest group in China resisting communism. Thus, although Solidarity was a movement of Roman Catholics whereas Falun Gong emerged from Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, each began as an effort for mere social reform, and each was transformed into a fundamental challenge to the political system. The similarity of the two movements, therefore, is not theological but sociological. In an sociological sense, Falun Gong is the Chinese Solidarity movement.

With the Chinese leaders under so much pressure, what will they do? No one knows, of course, what will happen. But maybe the experiences of Mikhail Gorbachev enables us to make a prediction. He took tentative steps toward liberalization. The people, in response, expressed their support, and he brought about further liberalization. After a few years, the toothpaste of communism was out of the tube, and nobody could squeeze it back in.{mospagebreak}

Of course, Gorbachev didn’t want to end communism. He wanted to reform it. But remember what John Paul II said: Gorbachev was a good man, but he wanted to reform communism, and communism cannot be reformed.

Let’s remember that a free country can be reformed. I was in Berkeley, California, in the late 1960s. It was a radical time. There were demonstrations and riots, and even talk of revolution. Yet there was never the slightest chance that the U.S. government would be overthrown. A free society permits protest. It is resilient. It can reform itself. But communism is not resilient. With all its huffing and puffing, it cannot stand up to challenge. When Gorbachev tried to reform it, it collapsed.

Surely, communism in China may go the way of communism in the Soviet Union. Someone like Gorbachev will appear, and make some gesture toward liberalization, in fact, someone like Gorbachev has appeared: Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. He wanted liberalization. He supported the Tiananmen protesters, and he was punished for that. But there are other liberals among the leadership, and there will be another Chinese Gorbachev.

The future of China is assured. The people will become bolder, the old leaders will become more disheartened, and freedom will come to China. Soon.

Barclay D. Johnson is a retired professor of sociology in Canada. The articel is based on his speech at the "Focus on China" forum held at the University of Ottawa on September 8, 2005. The author wishes to thank Simha Murphy, Elaine Loubser, and Barbars Grisdale for their critical comments of this speech while preparing it for publication.

Yao Wenyuan: The Last Member of The Gang of Four Dies

The official Xinhua News Agency reported on January 6, 2006, that Yao Wenyuan, the final surviving member of the Gang of Four, who terrorized China during the violent 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, died on December 23, 2005, at the age of 74. It didn’t explain the delay in reporting Yao’s death.

Yao played an important role in launching the Cultural Revolution in China. His article on "The destitution of Hai Rui" (Chinese: 海瑞罢官), ordered by Mao Zedong, marked the beginning of the Cultural Revolution on November 10, 1965. In April 1969 he joined the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), working on official propaganda. He was arrested in October 1976 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, serving his sentence in Qincheng jail outside of Beijing, where the Gang of Four once held victims in solitary confinement. After Yao was released in 1996, he lived for a short time at his home in Shanghai. Then he was forced to move to Kunshan, Jiangshu Province, where he wrote his memoirs entitled, "Recollection and Reflection" (《回顾与反思》). The content of his memoirs has been circulated in Chinese on several websites.[1]

Mao Zedong reportedly gave the Gang of Four its name. He appointed three of the members, including Yao, Mao’s third wife, Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao to the Cultural Revolution’s leadership group and picked the fourth member, Wang Hongwen, to be his successor. After Mao launched the decade-long Cultural Revolution, the violence pitted neighbor against neighbor, wrecked the economy and forced millions of middle-school to university youth, intellectuals, and government officials to work in the countryside. Nearly every Chinese family can tell of a relative or friend who was beaten and harassed. One report states, "Statistics compiled from county annals show that 7.73 million people died of unnatural causes during the Cultural Revolution."[2] However, Western scholars have estimated that between 16.4 and 29.5 million people died because of the Cultural Revolution.[3]

One month after Mao’s death in 1976, the four were arrested, marking the end of the decade-long Cultural Revolution. The Gang of Four received most of the official blame for the violence and the killings as the communist government tried to shift attention away from the role played by the Communist Party, its chairman Mao Zedong, and other political leaders, including thousands of CCP officials.

In 1981, the four deposed leaders were subjected to a show trial and convicted of anti-Communist Party activities. During the trial, Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife, was extremely defiant. She protested loudly and burst into tears several times. Zhang Chunqiao refused to admit to any wrongdoing as well. Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen expressed repentance and confessed their crimes against Deng Xiaoping. Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao received death sentences that were later commuted to life imprisonment, while Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Last May 2005, Xinhua reported that Zhang Chunqiao had died of cancer in April 2005. It was the first official word in decades on a man previously widely thought to have been long dead. Jiang Qing never repented. She hanged herself in Beijing in May 1991. The fourth and youngest gang member, Wang Hongwen, died of liver cancer in a Beijing hospital in 1992.{mospagebreak}

The Chinese Communist Party have never allowed the suffering that the Chinese people went through to be discussed openly. To do so could gravely threaten the Party’s legitimacy and re-open the wounds of a group of people whose lives were so badly disrupted that they think of themselves as a lost generation.

Steven Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope.

References:
[1] http://www.edubridge.com/erxiantang/library/yaowenyuan.htm
http://www.peacehall.com/news.gb/z_special/2005/09/200509181404.shtml
[2] http://english.epochtimes.com/news/4-12-23/25124.html
[3] http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/wim/mythsofmao.html

In the Days of Being Followed By Beijing Plainclothes Police

[Editor’s note: On October 18, 2005, famous Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote a letter to the head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. In response, the authorities closed his law office and took away his law license. Three days after his open letter, Gao was surrounded and followed by plainclothes police and vehicles wherever he went, 24 hours a day. Gao disregarded this intimidation and published his diaries on the overseas website of The Epoch Times, recording all the details of what the Beijing police department had done to him and his family on a daily basis. On November 29, he successfully escaped from the police following him and traveled between Shandong, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces to visit a handful of Falun Gong practitioners in the following 15 days. He was totally shocked by the extreme brutalities committed by the communist government against its own citizens. The private investigation prompted his third open letter to the Chinese leaders (page 28) and his decision to openly renounce his membership in the Chinese Communist Party (page 45). Below we have translated a few of his recent diaries that detailed his days of being surrounded by the Beijing police.]

The Chinese Authorities Ended the Last Day of 2005 with Disgrace and Indecency

December 13, 2005
—On how the plainclothes police constantly stalk me

O n the last day of 2005, the Chinese authorities, cowardly and shameless, once again spent the whole day monitoring my family, adding one more day to their record of disgraceful treatment of an ordinary Chinese family by using their mafia-like surveillance.

Some readers might be offended by the strong words I have been using, but anybody who has personally experienced or witnessed how the plainclothes police shamelessly stalk a 12-year-old child will agree that even the words I used above can hardly accurately describe their indecent character. I can’t find words in any language to describe how rude and indecent they are.

Four plainclothes police stalked my daughter this morning when she was on her way to an activity. At noon, while my daughter was playing with her friend, they again waited outside the friend’s home and frequently popped their heads in to check on her. In fact, my wife and I have been trying to downplay the situation with our daughter by telling her that lately there’s nobody stalking her anymore, although we’re very clear what’s actually going on every day. Those who ordered and executed this decision are apparently shameless, because stalking children is simply truly disgraceful behavior for a grownup.{mospagebreak}

This morning, a friend of mine borrowed my car to run some errands. The experience amazed him. He could not figure out why so many cars followed him. "It’s ridiculous," he said. He told me that he could not comprehend that the spies would openly stalk people as if it were the right thing to do. "It’s unbelievable!" he exclaimed.

Today my wife and I spent the whole day meeting with petitioners in my office. As expected, scores of plainclothes police followed us when we were going between our house and the office. Some of them were so bored waiting downstairs that they took turns ringing my doorbell, or threatening the petitioners. When two of the Beijing residents left after visiting us, two policemen stalked them also.

In the evening, my wife and I went to a restaurant for a dinner appointment with a few media, including the Associated Press. As soon as we left our home, nine cars followed us, but with their headlights turned off! I ignored their mysterious behavior. When we came to the corner of a narrow street, I suddenly stopped my car. I took out a piece of paper and a pen and slowly wrote down the license number of each car. The police were too stunned to respond. When I went up to each car and wrote down their license number, all the plainclothes police inside the cars covered their faces with their elbows. It was no different from the scenes shown on TV when they film people who the police catch seeing prostitutes.

It was even more interesting when we arrived at the restaurant. They got on the same elevator with me and my wife. All of them raised their collars to cover their faces. The hostess was watching in shock. When we stepped out of the elevator, we found another dozen plainclothes policemen were waiting for us outside our reserved room. During the dinner, they constantly popped their heads in. It was added amusement for our dinner party.

When we were leaving after the dinner, a friend of mine noticed that the plainclothes police hidden in the car were videotaping us. We were "escorted" home afterward.

As the last page of 2005 turns, the plainclothes policemen manifest the cowardly and shameless nature of the executors who remain hidden behind the scenes. They are extremely nervous and filthy. I have to ponder what the next page will look like on the first day of 2006.

Can Someone Save the Plainclothes Policemen And Those Behind Them?

January 14, 2006
—The 79th day of the Chinese regime’s stalking my family like mafia gangsters{mospagebreak}

After 79 days of stalking my family, the plainclothes police are losing control. They have not accomplished their goal, so they have lost patience with me. Moreover, I can sense that their operators are becoming less and less confident in themselves as well.

Since I was tied up in an interview with the reporter from Germany’s Mirror Weekly, I had to ask a friend of mine to drive my wife and child for shopping. As usual, since it is Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s car, the plainclothes police were extremely nervous. Seven cars with no license plates quickly followed my car. According to my friend, these cars followed closely wherever he drove. While my wife and child were shopping, the plainclothes police and their cars with no license plates surrounded my empty car, doing nothing but waiting for two hours.

It was interesting that as soon as I stepped out of my home this morning, still within my residential community, two dozen plainclothes policemen immediately came forward to "accompany" me. When we passed the farmers’ market, the stall owners, who have witnessed the stalking every day, winked at me, while about a dozen young men at the auto repair shop nearby all came out to watch the show. Most of them know me personally. One of them asked me, "Aren’t you afraid of being stalked by so many plainclothes policemen every day?" I pointed at the camcorder in my palm and said, "I have an amazing ‘weapon.’ As soon as I aim it at them, they will all be scared away." As I was speaking, I suddenly turned back and raised my camcorder at those plainclothes policemen. It was a really amazing and amusing scene! Dozens of them quickly scurried away. Many onlookers stopped and watched with curiosity. Apparently they lost their battle yesterday in their attempt to stop me from videotaping them.

These plainclothes policemen were at their wits’ end, but they were still reluctant to leave me alone. Whenever I turned my head, they would all cover their heads and run away. Over a hundred onlookers were watching and laughing at them. By the fourth time I turned my back, the onlookers saw a really unexpected scene. All the plainclothes policemen were wearing women’s silk scarves over their faces, covering everything but their eyes. Apparently this was the last resort. After yesterday’s incident of being videotaped, they got an order from their bosses to keep their faces covered. Whistling and shouting, two hundred onlookers were very excited and amused by the ridiculous spectacle of these plainclothes policemen. This was the first time in the last three months that the plainclothes police brought laughter to the local residents. Someone shouted, "Plainclothes brothers, please make sure you come back tomorrow!" The onlookers’ excitement reached a new high.{mospagebreak}

Right after lunch, reporters from Kyoto News came to visit me. When I walked downstairs, I felt something strange—the crowd of young plainclothes policemen had all disappeared. A sad feeling came over me. Having closely "accompanied" me for 79 days, how could they leave me alone like this? While I was still pondering what was going on, about the same number of young women suddenly appeared before my eyes. They were winking their eyes at me and talking to one another. The experience of being stalked for almost 80 days has trained me well in judging my surroundings. Wherever I go, no matter how many people there are, I can quickly recognize which one is a plainclothes policeman, even if it is his first time. I started shooting my camcorder at those young women. Their performance was even more magnificent than their male colleagues. All of them turned around and covered their faces with their hands, leaned against the wall, and stood still. The indication was obvious: Though they are shameless, they do not want their faces to be captured on tape—an "improvement" over their male colleagues. Their arrival added nothing but "entertainment" to our family, especially to me.

This government has degenerated to such an extent that it relies on using gangs to prolong its life! Their dirty practice in the past few weeks in stalking my family has been truly unprecedented. In the past 79 days, I could sense how they were constantly changing their strategy. The more they changed, the dirtier their strategy became. However, one thing remained the same—the stalking never stopped.

Listen, those hiding behind the plainclothes police, no matter how sophisticated your techniques are, they are simply the means that gangs use and you will eventually hurt yourselves. Using your dirty tricks leaves you no way out. Only by stopping your crimes against private citizens, against civilization, against humanity and against the basic dignity of mankind, can you meet the requirements of, and lay the foundation for a peaceful accord with the Chinese people. Otherwise you will come to an unfortunate end. Let history be the witness!

Beijing Police Department: A Group of Mostly Gangsters

February 15, 2006
—The 88th day of the Chinese regime’s using gangster means to encircle my family

There are quite a few people at the Beijing Police Department who are decent and have good moral quality, some of whom are my friends. They are indeed good people.

Personally, I have never been hostile to any individual. As of today, there has been no concrete or clear individual enemy in my heart. However, since October of 2005, the leadership at the Beijing Police Department has been determined to treat me as their enemy. This only proves that their moral characters are distorted, and their humanity incomplete. There is no other reasonable explanation for their practice.{mospagebreak}

The Beijing Police Department authorities’ dirty practices since October of 2005, including the constant shadowing, intimidation, and persecution of my family, have been too many to enumerate. In fact, their conduct has become unbelievably irrational.

As soon as a friend of mine returned to Beijing after accompanying me to spend the Chinese New Year in my hometown, the authorities at the Beijing Police Department called him in. They threatened, "You will receive the same bad end as Gao Zhisheng."

On February 11, I returned to Beijing together with my nephew who was looking for a job. He is the only child of my third younger brother. Since my third younger brother and I have been dependent on each other for survival ever since our childhoods, we have been very close to each other. Naturally I take his only child as mine. Since the authorities have broken the child’s dream of joining the army, I took him by car directly to a barbershop for him to learn haircutting. Early this morning, the authorities at the Beijing Police Department called in the owner of the barbershop. A dozen officers interrogated the girl for over a dozen hours, using such incredible obscenities!

I have met this girl three times for less than three hours altogether. As a Christian, she was once very concerned about the fate of Pastor Cai Zhuohua when the authorities brutally persecuted him. According to her, she got to know me while attending the court hearing of Pastor Cai’s case. In November of 2005, a friend of hers from her hometown was bitten by his landlord’s dog. As he tried to settle the case, he found out that the dog’s owner was even more vicious than the dog. He was so frustrated and desperate that he committed suicide, leaving behind a young child. She brought the child to me at a Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant. Within less than an hour, numerous plainclothes policemen surrounded us. That was the first contact I ever had with her. We met for the second time in December, when she brought her relatives from Hebei Province to my office for legal consultation. It was at that meeting that I learned she owned a barbershop. The third meeting, lasting about 20 minutes, happened recently when I returned to Beijing from my holiday trip.

A dozen uniformed policemen from the Beijing Police Department, including the son-in-law of the department director, interrogated the girl for a dozen hours, nonstop! Their illegal and obscene interrogation began like this: "What’s your relationship with Gao Zhisheng? Do you know what he is? It’s very dangerous that you had contact with him! We can arrest you and put you in prison for a few years at any time!" The main theme of their repeated intimidation and interrogation was questioning the girl to determine whether she had any unusual relationship with me! Without revealing their true goal, they repeatedly hinted to the girl, "The police have very detailed information about you. (We know) You have another place to live. We even know where the seed money for your barbershop came from. We just want to give you a chance to confess." Then they took away her cell phone and searched the address book that was on her phone.{mospagebreak}

When they returned the cell phone to her in the afternoon, they threatened her again: "We can put you in prison for a few years just because of your knowing Gao Zhisheng. However, we learned from your cell phone that you also knew Fan Yafeng, Teng Biao, and Zhang Xinshui. Do you know who these people are? They are all rights activists, who can be arrested and sentenced at any time." After a dozen hours of interrogation when they were about to release her, the uniformed rogues made the following illegal demands: "1. If you tell Gao Zhisheng about our conversations, we will arrest you right away. Our people are all over the country. Wherever you go, we can easily arrest you. Do you know what a judge’s hammer is used for? We can use it to kill whomever we want, and to hit (imprison) anybody with it for as many years as we wish." They repeated this statement at least five times. "2. From now on, do not keep in touch with Gao Zhisheng. Don’t ask why. This is a principle. If anyone keeps in touch with Gao, we’ll take care of him or her. You better believe this. 3. From now on, never turn off your cell phone or change the telephone number. Never leave your barbershop. You must report to us whenever we call you in. We know how to ensure the rules are followed."

If government employees anywhere else in the world performed such shameful scandalous acts as the rogue policemen at the Beijing Police Department did, except for the countries under the rule of ruffians such as Kim Jong-il and Fidel Castro, the officials of the whole police system would be too ashamed to hold their jobs. Uniformed and in the name of government, these gangsters at the Beijing Police Department commit so many bad deeds, have become so lawless, and disrespect human civilization and morality so much that they are the tragedy of our time as well as a tragedy to themselves.

The stupidity of the rogues at the Beijing Police Department demonstrates that they have been constantly shadowing me in secret, the kind of shadowing that I don’t always know about.

Today the secret police and their rogue employees continued to follow my whole family. I went to the train station to pick up my wife and child only to find a bunch of plainclothes policemen wandering around the platform and following us until we returned home.

Translated by CHINASCOPE from The Epoch Times 

 

Chinese Lanterns

China’s paper lanterns have been a part of Chinese culture since 250 B.C. Their significance lies beyond just decoration, as they have the ability to communicate births, deaths, social status, and forthcoming dangers. During times of peace, the size and elevation of lanterns hanging outside of the houses indicated people’s social status in society. One was able to show off wealth by having an exquisite lantern made of silk velvet hang outside of the house. In addition, the placement and color of the lanterns allow onlookers to acknowledge the current status of a household. For example, one can tell of a birth or marriage because a red lantern will be placed outside the doorway. Furthermore, a blue lantern symbolizes declining energy. Thus, one can tell that there is an illness in the family. Since the color white represents death, the family would place a white sash across the top of the doorway with two white lanterns, one on each side. This states that the household is in mourning.

In addition to the status of a household, lanterns also play an important role in military communication. This was an essential aspect of communication during the time when the Chinese Empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. The military strategist and war hero Zhu Geliang (nicknamed Kung Ming) made a special lantern that enabled all the neighboring allies to recognize the presence of attack or danger. He made this with a strip of kerosene-soused cloth or paper that was ignited and placed into a lamp that floated upward into the sky.

During the Cultural Revolution, lanterns, which were classified as traditional Chinese art, were banned and forbidden to be used. This lasted for the next decade. Thus, the end of the Cultural Revolution signified a period of joy with great celebrations and exciting festivals. The celebration of ShangYuan, the Lantern Festival, resumed. In ancient times, the people of China would raise their lanterns in hopes of catching a glimpse of the deceased ancestors who were believed to pass over on their journey to heaven. Today, this nationwide celebration that falls on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year is also known as the second New Year. Elaborate sets of lanterns are made by expert makers, and usually, there is competition for the most beautiful lantern.

Today, the basic Chinese lantern remains unchanged in its design. The candle that is placed in the center of the lantern is surrounded by a sleeve or a frame that is assembled from pliable bamboo, sturdy redwood, or inexpensive wire. In order to prevent a huge flame, thin or oiled paper and gauze or silk fabric covers the flame and enables a soft glow.

Despite the invention of electricity and the terror of the Cultural Revolution that resulted in the collapse of all traditional Chinese art, the Chinese lantern is an enduring symbol of long life and serves as the supreme representation of good luck.

China’s Auto Industry: The Joys and Sorrows

China has become the third leading car manufacturer in the world. In 2005 alone, China manufactured 5.6 million cars. However, an over-investment in the Chinese car industry has led to an excess production capacity and decreased profits.

According to figures disclosed by the China Association of Automobile manufacturers on December 9, 2005, in the first 11 months of 2005, China manufactured 5.15 million cars, a 10 percent increase over the same period in 2004. During the same time, 5.14 million cars were sold, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Both the number manufactured and the number sold surpassed the totals of 2004 by 10 percent or more.

Even though both the total manufactured and the total sold has increased by such a large margin, the authorities have been worried about overinvestment and excess production capacity in China’s automobile industry. One study done by China’s National Development and Reform Commission shows while there are 117 automobile factories, over 90 of which produce less than 10,000 automobiles a year, they are nowhere close to reaching economies of scale. In the first 10 months of 2005, although the total manufactured increased by 9.2 percent, profits dropped 36.7 percent. Of those firms that had losses, the total losses increased by 86.2 percent.

The Auto Industry in China (2005 Jan-Nov, Unit: 1,000 cars)

  Total Cars  Over the Previous Year Passenger Cars Over the Previous Year  Commercial Cars  Over the Previous Year
 Manufactured
 5,145  10.20%  3,523  16.40%  162.2  -1.10%
 Sold
 4,138  12.10%  3,515  19.50%  162.2  -1.20%
Source: The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM)

In 2003, China’s automobile production capacity usage rate reached 68 percent. Since 2003, many automobile factories have increased their capacity. In the first half of 2005, the automobile production capacity reached 8 million per year. It is estimated that, by the end of 2005, the capacity increased by another 2.2 million, reaching a grand total production capacity of 10.2 million automobiles per year. At the same time, factories are making investments which will cause production capacity to increase by another 10 million cars. Since the automobile production cycle usually takes more than 18 months, overinvestment in 2003 has already led to overcapacity in 2005. In 2005, China’s car production capacity usage rate already dropped to 55 percent. Since the capacity is more than the necessity, and even though in 2005 the sale of automobiles increased, due to overcapacity, the substantial increase in fixed costs has caused profits to drop. Presently, the increase in automobile production seems to have surpassed the growth in the average Chinese citizen’s ability to purchase. The result of this overcapacity of production, along with the heightened intensity of competition will, without a doubt, cause the car manufacturing industry profits to decline.{mospagebreak}

Moreover, the fact that foreign businesses are entering into the Chinese automobile industry has made competition more intense. The 51 Fortune 500 companies that have automobile production as a main sector have all set up factories in China. Presently, multinationals have become the main body of the Chinese automobile industry. This is rarely seen anywhere else in the world.

China has just stepped into the world of cars. At present, there are only an estimated 3 cars for every 100 people, far lower than the international scale of 13 cars per 100 people. As the Chinese economy grows, more and more Chinese citizens will become car-owners. In 2005, there were 35 million cars. The growth of the Chinese car industry will most probably be maintained at above the growth rate of China’s GDP. The demand for cars by the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens will increase in the future, year by year. However the Chinese car industry still has many insufficiencies in human capital, R&D, materials, technology, credit system, sales, and other areas. China will need to break through many barriers and surpass many difficulties for its auto industry to be both successful and competitive.

Mengyang Jian and Tianlun Jian are economists based in Boston.

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