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The Mystery of the Terra Cotta Warriors

Xi’an, the capital of northeast China’s Shaanxi Province, is famous for its rich and deep-rooted historical and cultural heritage through a wealth of cultural relics, museums, and historical sites—including the world-famous terra cotta army of Emperor Qin Shihuang.

In 1974, while a group of peasants in Lintong County, a suburban area of Xi’an City, were digging a well, they discovered some pottery nearby the royal tomb. This instantly caught the attention of various archeologists, who then traveled to Xi’an, in hopes of further findings. The terra cotta warriors were discovered in rows, and three vaults have been excavated thus far.

A museum was built on the site in 1975. The entire museum is 16,300 square meters (175,451 square feet) and divided into three sections (pit No. 1, 2, and 3). The museum became a great attraction for tourists all around the world after the grand opening of pit No.1 to the public on October 1, 1979. Pit No.1 is the largest, extending 230 meters (755 feet) by 62 meters (203 feet) wide. Displays of life-size terra cotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the main features of the museum. They serve as an exact duplication of what an imperial guard would have looked like in ancient days.

Pit No.2, found in 1976, is 20 meters (66 feet) northeast of pit No.1. It contains over 1,000 warriors and 90 chariots of wood. Pit No.3, also found in 1976, is 25 meters (82 feet) northwest of pit No.1. It went on display in 1989 and exhibits 73 terra cotta warriors that carry hand weapons and stand around a chariot; similar to the command center of the armed forces. Overall, more than 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons are displayed in these pits.

It has long been believed that the terra cotta warriors are part of the accompanied burials surrounding the tomb of the Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of China. When Qin ascended the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 B.C.), he began to work on two massive projects: his mausoleum and the infamous Great Wall of China. Situated at the North foot of Mount Li in Lintong County, Shaanxi Province, the mausoleum took 700,000 people and 11 years to complete. Qin is the most hated emperor in Chinese history because of his reputation of cruelty, burying alive several hundreds of highly respected intellectuals under his order.

This widely held theory is now being challenged. A report on people.com.cn (website for People’s Daily) on December 1, 2005, questioned that Qin Shihuang was the master of the terra cotta warriors. This report created a widespread commotion within the archeological communities in China. Chen Jing Yuan, a 69-year-old scholar of architecture provided three important points of evidence to prove that the artifacts were not associated with the Emperor Qin Shihuang:{mospagebreak}

1. The distance between the terra cotta warriors and Qin’s mausoleum is too great—over 1.5 km (about one mile). Usually, artifacts buried along with the dead are relatively close in proximity. Thus, the artifacts should have been buried close to Qin’s mausoleum.

2. The terra cotta warriors are facing the east side of Qin’s mausoleum. This is unusual because the mausoleums in all kingdoms customrily face a north-south direction.

3. When Qin Shihuang unified China, he demanded that everything be black. However, almost all the terra cotta warriors are in red and green robes with purple-blue pants. In addition, Qin only used soldiers who marched or rode horses. However, the terra cotta warriors are shown with combat vehicles and weapons.

4. In unifying China, Qin Shihuang also demanded that all war chariots be the same. The vaults, however, reveal various kinds of war chariots.

The debate will probably continue for a while. Research is still being conducted in China by a group of scholars. No matter what the result will be, this "World Heritage Site" named by UNESCO will always be a fascinating attraction for both tourists and archeologists.

The Resurgence of Organized Crime in China

When the authorities tried to seize farmland for a state-owned power plant, a group of farmers who thought they were treated unfairly pitched tents and dug foxholes and trenches in an attempt to prevent the seizure. Hundreds of men armed with shotguns, clubs, and pipes fitted with sharp hooks attacked the farmers, killing six of them and seriously injuring as many as 100 others. The Washington Post reported the incident on June 15, 2005.[1]

What took place was unusual because the attackers appeared to be hired thugs rather than police. It was reported that the assailants were well prepared. They arrived before dawn in six white buses, and most of them were wearing hard hats and combat fatigues. They fired on the farmers with hunting shotguns and flare guns, and struck using metal pipes fitted with sharp hooks on the end. Some have suggested the assailants were organized crime groups who regularly work with local officials. In fact, although the farmers contacted the police, law enforcement officers did no arrive until long after the assailants were gone.

During an earlier attempt by assailants to drive the farmers from their land, the farmers captured one of the attackers. The man, Zhu Xiaorui, 23, said a man he met at the Beijing nightclub where he worked had recruited him. He said he was taken to the village, given a metal pipe, told to "teach a lesson" to the farmers, and was promised US$12 for the job.

The incident occurred on June 11, 2005, in a wheat-and peanut-farming village named Shengyou in Dingzhou City, Hebei Province.

Organized Crime an Increasing Problem in China

Rounds of Government Campaigns

According to a report from Chinanews.cn on March 11, 2006, a total of 313 mafia-style or organized crime gangs had been destroyed in the five previous months in Zhejiang Province, an economic powerhouse on China’s coast, in a campaign to crack down on organized crime. Hong Juping, Deputy Director of the Zhejiang Bureau of Public Security, said that since October 2005, 2,375 suspects had been detained in the campaign. The police have dealt with 1,388 cases, seized 26 weapons and confiscated 23.05 million yuan (US$2.84 million) in the operation, according to Hong.[2]

Zhejiang Province is not alone. In late 2005, China launched a nationwide campaign against underground organized crime syndicates.

In late February 2006, Luo Gan, a Politburo member in the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a state councilor, announced the onset of another round of the campaign. Unlike previous ones, this new round targets organized crime groups and their insiders in the government. The purpose is to prevent organized crime syndicates from infiltrating the government.[3]{mospagebreak}

Underground Organized Crime in China
 

As of November 2005, underground criminal organizations owned and operated 70 percent of entertainment businesses with an annual revenue of over 100 billion yuan (US$12.5 billion). For example, in Guangdong Province, over 95 percent of the over 123,000 nightclubs, karaoke, saunas and bars are controlled by underground criminal organizations.

Underground criminal organizations control 30 percent of highways in counties, towns and villages; over 60 percent of construction projects in small and medium cities; and over 60 percent of small coalmines; 90 percent of coalmines of 200,000 metric ton annual output are controlled by underground criminal organizations in collusion with local authorities.

Over 2,130 officials were investigated and reprimanded for aiding and abetting underground criminals.

Over 1,520 local officials were arrested and sentenced for aiding and abetting underground criminals.

As of October 2005, 1,920 companies, 2,180 casinos, 377 farmers markets, 117 construction projects and 250 coalmines owned by underground criminal organizations had been shut down.

As of 2005, 2,120 underground criminal organizations were destroyed and dissolved, and over 70,000 ringleaders were arrested and sentenced.

Source: Cheng Ming Monthly, December 2005 issue. http://www.chengmingmag.com. First published on November 1, 1977, in Hong Kong, Cheng Ming is a magazine that provides exclusive reports and in-depth analysis on the political situations in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Red Hats

According to Chinese media reports on March 12, 2006, Mr. Zhu Entao, Honorary Vice-Chairman of Interpol and former assistant to China’s Minister of Public Security, warned that organized crime syndicates are increasingly wearing "red hats," meaning more and more syndicate members are government officials.[4]

Zhu’s statement underlines an alarming trend. As shown in court proceedings, government officials acting as these red hats have been rampant. For example, in the 2005 case of the Chen Kai triad, the red hats included 76 government insiders—from high-level officials to local police. In the 2004 case of Chen Yi in Shenzhen, Chen, as chairman of his company, was also the official advisor to the Guandong provincial government and won the title of one of the top ten national champions in eliminating rural poverty.{mospagebreak}

Underground Criminal Organizations

The characteristics of organized crime syndicates in China include territorial control, wealth, infiltration of the government for political protection, and low turnover rate.

Based on official statistics, there are over 20,000 organized crime syndicates in China with over 15 millions members.[5]

According to a statement issued by the China Ministry of Public Security at a press conference held on February 14, 2006, 10,034 policemen were suspended in the past nine years because of their affiliation with organized crime.[6]

Organized crime syndicates have been collaborating with the police in suppressing political dissidents. Recent examples including Chinese weiquan[7] activist Zhao Xin who was beaten up by seven unidentified mobsters during a family vacation, Lu Banglie who was dragged out of his car and severely attacked when he accompanied a U.K. Guardian reporter to investigate government abuse in Guangzhou Taishi Village, and attorney Tang Jiling who was followed and assaulted after visiting another rights activist.

Well-known Chinese economist Ms. He Qinglian has summarized the behavior of organized crime in China: First, local officials have hired thugs to assist in official duties in matters related to commerce, tax and public security; second, Party officials are members of the organized crime syndicate; and third, the authorities have walked hand-in-hand with organized crime syndicates in business joint ventures.[8]

Ming Xia, professor in the Department of Politics at New York University, in his ongoing research project on organized crime in China, observed that Party officials at provincial and central levels are in control of state resources and are not involved in organized crime. Yet, Professor Xia stated that it is local officials at the municipal, county, and township levels among whom organized crime is the most rampant. It is not surprising that the Chinese communist regime, which rose to power through violence, is finding organized crime more helpful than democracy.

Rich Soil for Underworld Prosperity

High Crime and Disorder in China{mospagebreak}

Since the economic reform in 1978, the Chinese communist government has been confronted by two most serious challenges: corruption and crime. These are what have led to the underworld’s quick development. According to Professor Xia, for the past three decades, crime in China has grown much faster than China’s economic development. From 1973 to 2002, the annual rate of increase in criminal cases averaged 17 percent. In 1974, reported crime cases passed the benchmark of half a million, a record high compared to the previous 20 years. In less than 10 years, this number soon approached one million, coming close to 2.5 million in 1991, passing 3.5 million in 2000, and reaching 4.4 million in 2001. Official authorities have reported that the number of destroyed criminal groups swelled from 30,000 in 1986 to 150,000 in 1994, while arrested members also increased from 114,000 to 570,000. From 1992 to 1999, the public security agencies nationwide destroyed more than a million criminal groups with members totaling 3.76 million. In the first half of 2005, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security reported a conservative figure of 2.13 million criminal cases. Professor Ming Xia concluded that Chinese society has entered a stage of high crime and disorder.

200606_F1.png
Source: "Corruption and Organized Crime" by MING XIA, except for data from 2005, which was estimated based on a report by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

{mospagebreak}

So-called "mafia capitalism" has increasingly become a large part of the Chinese economy. The economic activities controlled by the criminal underworld—the so-called "black economy"—have constituted a large portion of China’s economic growth, in addition to the gray income such as bribes and embezzlement. One scholar affiliated with the Ministry of Public Security estimated that in the late 1990s, the amount of money spent every year on drugs may have been as high as 100 billion yuan (US$12.5 billion). It was also estimated that the sex industry generated revenue of at least 500 billion yuan (US$6.25 billion) per year. For many places, "Prostitution promotes prosperity" (PPP) has been an open maxim.

For example, in 1998, the "sweeping out sex industry" campaign (sao huang) in Shenzhen drove out thousands of prostitutes and bar girls. Within a few days of their departure, at least 10 billion yuan (US$1.25 billion) in savings deposits was removed from local financial institutions. This gave an economic boon to the surrounding cities and forced the Shenzhen municipal government to temper its campaign. Due to the activity of such criminal groups, every year smuggling alone causes the nation to lose more than 30 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion); money laundering through underground private banks has resulted in 200 billion yuan (US$25 billion) being transferred out of the country. As for piracy, it is generating even more income.

Social Uncertainties and Moral Vacuum

Organized crime is much more than an isolated criminal phenomenon. There are interdependent links between the political, socio-economic, criminal justice, and legal domains. "Corruption," which is defined broadly as "the abuse of public power for private gain," usually goes hand-in-hand with organized crime. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (General Assembly resolution 55/25, annex I) defines an organized criminal group as "a structured group, committing serious crimes for profit."[9] That very broad definition was favored over the listing of the most common types of organized crime such as trafficking in drugs, arms, persons, stolen cars, or protected species, and terrorism.

During Mao Zedong’s era, other than the organized crimes committed by the Chinese Communist Party itself in its quest for power, there was no other form of underground organized crime because the Communist Party and its ideology largely controlled the society. Indeed, China officially announced that there were neither sexually transmitted diseases nor drug problems in China in 1964. One of the reasons was that under Mao’s rule, people in the cities were put in a danwai (work unit); and in the rural areas, they were put in communes. Unless someone got permission, no one had the freedom to relocate to any other places in China, which in turn limited the opportunity for committing any organized crime.{mospagebreak}

At that time, anything not expressly permitted was forbidden, which is the opposite of Western law (in keeping with the Roman tradition) in which those things not expressly forbidden are permitted. In Chinese society, people’s acts are either legal (hefa), illegal (feifa), or somewhere in between-which is referred to as "not in the law" (weifa). Weifa refers particularly to situations where the law is intentionally ambiguous. The three terms have established three sets of behavior; yet, since the economic reform, the official definitions of being legal, illegal, and "not in the law" have constantly changed.

The economic reforms inspired by Deng Xiaoping opened the floodgates for a market economy. Testing the water as reform goes along not only allows but also encourages behavior that in the past was "not in the law." In order to create an impression that the old political rulings were still suitable for the capitalist market economic, Deng kept using socialism in describing the economic reform, indicating that the old political and social rules could still be used without much change.

Feifa (illegal) behavior was forbidden. But, because of the ongoing structural reforms, many things that were forbidden could in any given moment easily become hefa (legal). For example, city dwellers’ houses were allotted to them as individuals. However, they sublet or even sold these houses they lived in even though, in theory, they still belonged to their work units. Things like this occurred but were widely tolerated although they were not strictly legal, or hefa. Thus, throughout the whole society, changes in what actually happened preceded changes in the rules. Regulations were, and still are, drafted on the basis of concrete cases; regulators try to see how things work first and then regulate based on the actual occurrences.

Despite all the operational changes without a regulatory base, the general legal culture has moved toward the Roman concept-everything not expressly forbidden is permitted. There is general confusion between what is legal and what is illegal. There is an even larger confusion about what is morally right and morally wrong, as both Confucian and communist values have fallen apart and new values have not been established in their place. Many social actions—arguably most of them—in China are still weifa, as much social behavior was and still is in a no-man’s land.

In addition to the above-mentioned lack of definite laws and moral standards, there is a lack of transparency in the Chinese system. The communist regime doesn’t want to show its dirty linen, and it is afraid of the domestic political impact of this complex situation.

In an article in Asia Times, Francesco Sisci pointed out, "These difficulties take place while ongoing structural change moves the goalposts every few months, and while the burgeoning middle class would often rather side with the triads than with the police; thus the central government, certain that it must back the middle class for national development, tries to rein in some police action. In this situation the police, feeling left out and wanting part of the action, get into bed with the triads. Furthermore, the successful triads shed their criminal activities and turn 100 percent legal. In other words, it is a jungle."[10]{mospagebreak}

Ambiguous Law

China is ill-prepared to deal with the underworld of organized crime. Even though the word "underworld" (hei she hui) has been widely used in reporting the increasingly rampant organized crime, the judicial system does not even have a clear definition of it.

Is "underworld" a legal term? Some legal experts in China hold that the term is not a legal concept but a sociological concept. It is for this reason that it is impossible to interpret the term in the statutes. Penal codes of countries outside China define crimes such as assault, torts, homicide, and robbery, but no such crime as "underworld" exists.

As underground organized crime emerged and became rampant along with the economic growth in China, the term "organizations in the nature of a criminal syndicate" first appeared in Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China adopted in March 1997.

Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China adopted in 1977

Article 294

Whoever forms, leads or takes an active part in organizations in the nature of a criminal syndicate to commit organized illegal or criminal acts through violence, threat or other means, such as lording it over the people in an area, perpetrating outrages, riding roughshod over or cruelly injuring or killing people, thus seriously disrupting the economic order and people’s daily activities, shall be sentenced to a fixed-term of imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; other participants shall be sentenced to a fixed- term of imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights.

Another issue in dispute is how to define "organizations in the nature of criminal syndicates" in relation to the role of government official who may provide a "black umbrella" (illegal protection).

In 2000, when the authorities launched the first campaign against underworld criminal organizations, the Chinese Supreme Court issued an interpretation of Article 294 stating that the elements of the "organizations in the nature of criminal syndicates" should be defined as a tightly controlled structure with economic gains as its goal, government officials providing illegal protection, and violent disruptive capability.

However, confusion ensued particularly about the black umbrella (government officials providing illegal protection). Numerous cases were dismissed in court due to lack of evidence of a black umbrella.{mospagebreak}

In January 2001, the People’s Congress of China issued an interpretation of the legislation: the black umbrella is not required to find that an "organization is in the nature of a criminal syndicate."

In reality, an organization can hardly become an "organization in the nature of a criminal syndicate" without aid and assistance from government officials.

The above interpretation was passed in April 2002 at the 27th session of the People’s Congress of China.

Involvement of Government Officials and Police

In a large number of mafia-type organizations, government officers are often deeply involved in and benefit from the mafia-type business defined as the "red hats" of the underworld. They are well entrenched in the local political structure, particularly in law enforcement agencies, and thus are well protected by corrupt public officials. Below are several examples:

Zhang Wei is from Wenling, Zhejiang Province. Not only was he the boss of his criminal organization, but he also held eight public official titles in several provinces and municipalities:

Vice Chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Yidu City, Hubei Province

Member of the Municipal Youth League Committee of Taizhou City

Honorary President of a newspaper in Zhejiang Province

Vice President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Taizhou City

Legal Representative and Chairman of the East Sea Group in Zhejiang Province

Legal Representative and Manager of the Dongsheng Corporation in Shanghai

Legal Representative and General Manager of Wenling Hengji lndustrial Corporation

Legal Representative and General Manager of Taizhou New Century Decoration Co. Ltd.

He obtained the first four titles by bribing public officials, and those titles served him well. He was found to have connections with officials in key positions, including the mayor and the police chief. Of the 67 public officials having close ties with him, 42 were in government or Party offices, 15 were in the judiciary, and 10 were in banking. For this reason his organization was called the "Red-Black Gang," and this is indeed an accurate description.{mospagebreak}

Liang Xudong, head of the largest criminal organization in Jilin Province, was a police officer and also had ties with over 30 government and Party officials. Of these connections, there were political appointees as well as those holding offices in the Public Security Bureau. Liang Xudong had access to 35 public officials; his network included 12 department heads in the government, 10 police officers, five public procurators, and four judges. It was under the protection of these public officials that Liang Xudong and his gang developed into a powerful force in that region, in Jilin’s Helong City.

Gu Decheng and his gang had grown to a criminal organization with considerable notoriety when Gu himself was elected a member of the city’s People’s Political Consultative Conference and representative of the city’s People’s Congress.

Liu Yong of Liaoning Province was both a gang boss and a well-known public figure. To outsiders, he was a member of Shenyang City’s People’s Congress, in addition to being president of the Shenyang Jiayang Group, and year after year his company was granted the title of Advanced Enterprise by the municipal government. Of the 16 key members of this gang, three were police officers.

Zhou Shounan was head of a criminal group in Baise, Guangxi Province. The public knew him as general manager of the entertainment department of the Baise Hotel while in the underground he led a gang, the Hongxing Society, which controlled the gambling business in the city. When his criminal activities were brought to light, the involvement of several key officials became known, including the former chief of the city police, Nong Jiayi, and the police chief in office, Li Hongzhuan. Also involved were the political commissar of the police department Ma Sike, deputy police chief Huang Zhengxian, former commander of the public security team within the police department Liang Xincheng, and former deputy chief of the prefecture police department Tan Xueren.

People have been shocked by a criminal organization in Pingdingshan City, Henan Province. This organization had 11 members. Among them, six were members of a village committee, one was a probationary member of the Chinese Communist Party, and three were candidates for Party membership. In eight years they committed over 300 armed robberies targeted at private coal mine owners, victimized more than 120 innocent people of whom six were murdered, and got away with a total of one and a half million yuan (US$1.9 million). The fact that these people are able to hold dual roles-one in public and one in the underground-is more alarming than those criminals relying exclusively on the bribery of officials.{mospagebreak}

More disturbing is the fact that gangsters have infiltrated county- and municipal-level governing bodies. They pick their "surrogates" from other officials, even playing a role in assigning county and municipal administrative positions. In this way, social establishments controlled by corrupt officials have become a tool for organized criminals to prey upon their communities. In the worst-case scenario, the "good side" and the "bad side" merge. Then the public officials who rule society, particularly those in law enforcement, are those who collaborate with organized crime, which in effect gains control of society.

Organized Crime and the Chinese Communist Party

If the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had managed to completely wipe out prostitution, drugs, triads, and other organized crime in China before the 1980s, why has it allowed these crimes to reemerge and grow rampant in the underworld today? Where is the CCP going to lead China?

Minxin Pei, director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that the CCP has turned into a neo-Leninist regime and that China’s future will be decay, not democracy. In his recent article in Foreign Policy (March/April 2006), Pei wrote, "Behind the glowing headlines are fundamental frailties rooted in the Chinese neo-Leninist state. Unlike Maoism, neo-Leninism blends one-party rule and state control of key sectors of the economy with partial market reforms and an end to self-imposed isolation from the world economy. The Maoist state preached egalitarianism and relied on the loyalty of workers and peasants. The neo-Leninist state practices elitism, draws its support from technocrats, the military, and the police, and co-opts new social elites (professionals and private entrepreneurs) and foreign capital—all vilified under Maoism."

Chinese scholar Yang Guang recently analyzed a series of changes in the CCP political ecology that could explain the reemergence of organized crime ("Political Decay in Present China," Contemporary China Study, third issue, 2005). Those gradual changes included: 1) The communist ideology has been weakened and has become ineffective. 2) The regime’s cohesive force is lax; the traditional bureaucratic power structure has become unbalanced and obstructive. 3) The relationship between the populace and the group holding power has deteriorated. 4) Alliances of common interest between regional bureaucrats and business have grown stronger. 5) Official authority has weakened while unofficial authority has prospered. 6) Conflicts between the low-level local authorities and civilians have developed into complete opposition.

In such a political environment, the get-rich-first class, the influential families, and the leaders of the underworld have gained more and more political influence and energy by forming alliances with bureaucrats or their family members. They even unofficially "subcontracted" some key public authority such as law enforcement. As a result, the totalitarian power structure of the CCP is facing unprecedented internal erosion and external resistance.{mospagebreak}

Political decay has accompanied the open and reform process in China. Even though the open and reform policy is meant to make China rich and strong, it comes with a constraining condition attached—the CCP’s power and monopoly must be preserved. The CCP has not allowed independent political parties, not allowed political debates or competition, not allowed free media, not allowed independent civil organizations, and not allowed freedom of belief and religion. In the absence of the basic ingredients for a civil society, the CCP’s absolute power has inevitably led to absolute corruption that has then become the rich soil for the growth of organized crime.

Beijing Spring magazine’s chief editor, Hu Ping, recently warned people that the CCP itself is in the process of becoming an underworld organization. "I once wrote an article to discuss the CCP becoming an underworld organization. It referred to the facts that the communist government disrespected the minimal law and procedures when it hired hoodlums or directed the police to physically attack human right activists and to threaten their lives in an underworld manner. There is yet another manifestation: the CCP itself acts more and more like an underworld organization," Hu wrote in March.[11]

In an underworld criminal organization, it is a ritual to ask new members to commit a crime; it excludes anyone clean. The CCP’s corrupt culture is similar. Hu Ping used two recent examples to illustrate the similarity. One example involves Huang Jingao, the former Party secretary of Lianjiang County, Fujian Province. Huang did not like the corruption inside the government. He tried to expose other officials’ corruption, but instead, in the end, he himself was charged with corruption. Another example involves a corruption case in Qianwei County, Sichuan Province. The county Party secretary, Tian Yufei, was tried in court for taking bribes and possessing a huge amount of wealth from unidentifiable sources. Yang Guoyou, the former county magistrate, was one of the co-defendants. Yang explained to the court why he took bribes: He said that he was protecting his position. If he had not taken bribes, he would have had to face retaliation from Party secretary Tian Yufei; it’s the unspoken rule in the CCP regime that they commit crimes together.

Hu Ping further commented that the CCP regime had become completely corrupt. It’s no longer simply totalitarian. In a pure totalitarian dictatorship government, most of the bureaucrats act according to the laws and rules that are written on paper. The bureaucrats just work for their salary. If the top dictator one day decides to reform and change the laws, the bureaucrats can simply follow without worry of reprisal. However, in a government that is completely corrupt, the bureaucrats are themselves guilty of breaking the law and taking bribes. Even if the top dictator wants to reform, it will not work because all the bureaucrats in the whole system will resist.{mospagebreak}

Hu Ping is not alone in his pessimism about the CCP’s reform. Minxin Pei certainly shared a similar view when he wrote in his recent article, "To most Western observers, China’s economic success obscures the predatory characteristics of its neo-Leninist state. But Beijing’s brand of authoritarian politics is spawning a dangerous mix of crony capitalism, rampant corruption, and widening inequality. Dreams that the country’s economic liberalization will someday lead to political reform remain distant. Indeed, if current trends continue, China’s political system is more likely to experience decay than democracy."

Leon Chao is an expert on China issues.

References:
[1] Washington Post, June 14, 2005 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2005/06/14/AR2005061401542_pf.html
[2] Xinhua News Agency, March 11, 2006 http://www. chinanews. cn//news/2005/2006-03-11 /20051.html
[3] Xinhua News Agency, Feb. 22, 2006 http:// politics. people. com. cn/GB/1 024/4132588.html
[4] China Daily, March 13, 2006 http://www.chinadaily. com.cn/hqkx/2006-03/13/contenL 541297.htm
[5] The Epoch Times, Dec. 12, 2005. http://www.epochtimes. com/gb/5/12/17/n 1157207.htm
[6] Hot topics, Feb. 13-Feb. 19, 2006 http://www.khbd. com cn/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=57907&extra=page% 3D1&page=2
[7] "Weiquan" is the Chinese word for rights movement.
[8] VOA News, Feb. 16, 2006 http://www.voanews.com/ chinese/archive/2006-02/w2006-02-16-voa70. cfm
[9] The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the protocols thereto are available at www.unodc.org/unodc/crime cicp convention.html
[10] "The Triads and Emerging Legality in China" by Francesco Sisci, Asia Times, April 18, 2002
[11] http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/6/3/18/n1258736.htm

The New Myth in China: China’s Rising Middle Class Will Speed Up Democratization

Abstract: The Building of Political Democracy in China, a white paper issued by the Chinese regime in October 2005, amply expresses that the regime has instituted what it calls, “democracy with Chinese characteristics,” a form that actually resists Western democracy.[2] For those who are optimistic about the prospects of democracy in China, the emerging middle class in China will not be the force to propel China toward Western democracy.

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The Proudest Day of My Life

Statement of Renouncing Chinese Communist Party Membership

After working around the clock for more than 10 days, I can now take a break. I have finished this course of investigation into the truth about the brutal persecution ordered by the Chinese authorities, which those who believe in freedom have suffered the past few years.

Because my wife and child remain at home alone, and because they are being watched 24 hours a day by the most notorious and most immoral police—police who know no bad things that they dare not do—every second of my spare time has been filled with agonizing worry. May God keep them safe!

Over a dozen days’ close touch with Falun Gong believers was a shocking experience to my soul. Together with Professor Jiao Guobiao[1], I stayed 24 hours a day with these Falun Gong adherents, a group that in suffering inhumane persecution has won eternal life.

Professor Jiao said, "I feel like I am dealing with ghosts because everyone of them has died several times." I said, "Well, we are associated with a group of saints. Their indomitable spirit, noble character, and ability to forgive the violent perpetrator are not only China’s hope, but also the reason why we should continue to persevere!"

During these past 15 days I have come to know of indescribable violence done to our kind people. Ms. Wang Yuhuan, a peaceful old woman, was tortured for six years in body and spirit hundreds of times by police and CCP officials with all the horrible methods. Each time, over 20 police kept torturing her for over 24 hours until they all got exhausted and desperately mad. The entire set of major torture instruments was used to torture the old lady Wang three times in only 17 days. She was once put on the Tiger Bench[2] for three days and two nights.

Eventually these more than a dozen days ended! And I had lost my hope for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) completely. This CCP has employed the most barbarous and most immoral and illegal means to torture our mothers, our wives, our children, and our brothers and sisters. It has made this kind of torture part of the Party member’s job and raised the political standing of torture. It continuously persecutes and torments the conscience, character, and kindness of us, the people!

From now on, Gao Zhisheng, a Party "member" who hasn’t paid the membership fee for a long time and has been absent from the "Party activities" for many years, declares that he quits the cruel, untrustworthy, inhumane, and evil Party.

This is the proudest day of my life.{mospagebreak}

December 13, 2005

Translated by CHINASCOPE from The Epoch Times 

References:

[1] Jiao Guobiao, a journalism professor at Peking University, was recently fired for his outspoken views on censorship.
[2] Tiger Bench is a torture device. Victims are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6 inches) tall. Victims’ knees are tightly tied to the bench. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the victims’ lower legs or ankles to make the pain more intense. (See http://www.geocities.com/transrefs/Torture-tr.html)

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.

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