The funeral service of the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was held on the morning of January 29 at Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing. Without mentioning Zhao’s background as former Premier, General Secretary of the CCP, or a key figure in China’s reform, the Xinhua News Agency published a brief obituary, which instead emphasized that Zhao “made serious mistakes in 1989.” With regard to the CCP’s handling of Zhao’s death, Epoch Times reporter Xin Fei interviewed Mr. Gao Wenqian, who is one of China’s most prominent official historians.
When former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, launched the persecution of Falun Gong, one of his primary motivations was to target a perceived threat by the United States.
Two Chinese Communist Party internal documents (see Appendix) show how Jiang Zemin in 1999 motivated and ordered the Communist Party to crackdown on Falun Gong. The two documents—a letter and a speech by Jiang addressing his politburo (the small circle of men who effectively run the country)—indicate that one of Jiang’s reasons in using heavy measures towards Falun Gong was to fend off the “U.S. threat.”
A little over nine years ago, when I was studying at a graduate school in the serene and rural heartland of the US, I first heard of the Chinese term “Falun Gong” through an MBA student from Beijing. The tall, hefty guy kept a very short crew-cut favored by typical Beijingers of his gender and age, which, in combination with the swastika symbol that hung on the wall of his apartment, sent a chill down my spine: a Nazi skin-head from China?
As embarrassing as my first encounter with Falun Gong was, it turned out to be a productive learning experience. The unusually soft-spoken and self-effacing youngster, a rarity among people brought up in the buzz and panache of China’s capital, convinced me that the sign of the swastika (a word that I had always thought to be German) had originated in India, and had been a symbol of Buddhism for thousands of years. He also did a demo of the Falun Gong exercises, which convinced me the practice was one of the numerous Qi Gong exercises prevalent in China.Apparently none of these things would lead me to imagine that Falun Gong would one day become a phrase so rich in its symbolism of thereality in China, and a force that seems uniquely capable of unsettling the ostensibly monolithic Communist regime in China.
On January 17, we saw the passing of Zhao Ziyang, a great figure of our generation. Once known as the architect of China’s economic reform and former CCP Secretary General, Mr. Zhao was under house arrest for nearly 16 years for his opposition to the armed suppression of the 1989 student democracy movement until his recent death. His defiance earned him praise and respect from the Chinese people, as well as leaders of democratic countries around the world.
Communist leaders often try to establish an image of being one with the people to serve as a façade for their suppressive nature. The new Hu-Wen administration’s “people-focused” and “law-based” policy is a prime example of this. The handling of Zhao’s death, however, has told a totally different story. Fearing that Zhao’s death may spark another upheaval, the CCP has taken a hard line on every detail of Zhao’s memorial. They have taken this opportunity to reemphasize that his siding with the students was a “serious mistake” through the state-run Xinhua news agency.
To get at the core of what the CCP is trying to accomplish any given time, though, is a tough task. Internal documents and speeches are the best source to look for evidence and indications. In this issue, we will reveal a few such documents regarding the CCP’s religious policy and provide analysis and commentary on those topics. Don’t be surprised if the United States is involved in the CCP’s persecution of its own citizens.
It now seems obvious that Hu Jintao is holding fast to the Communist dogma. It’s possible that, growing up within the CCP culture, he knows nothing else. If history is any guidance, the trend is worrisome. During the CCP’s control, each generation of leaders has been responsible for great, bloody injustices against its own people—Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping and the Tiananmen Massacre, and Jiang Zemin and the crackdown on Falun Gong.
It’s not totally clear yet what Hu Jintao will be up to. Let’s keep watching.
Just before the “Two Conferences” (the Chinese National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), Xinhua News Agency and Economic Information Daily conducted a joint survey on the most concerned issues among Chinese people. The poll started on February 7, 2005; and ended on March 5, 2005. 218,754 people cast their votes. Each participant could select 8 to 10 items from the questions listed below. The vast majority of people (75%) would like the government to save the stock market, as China has had a prolonged bear market since 2001.