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Business, Values, and Moral Traps: The Paradox of the Chinese Internet

The Internet business is booming in China. If you are thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and investing in the Chinese Internet, however, think twice before you take the plunge. Some large U.S. Internet companies have had their reputations tarnished after assisting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the creation of China’s "Big Brother" Internet.
The number of Chinese Internet users in the past 10 years has increased from 0.6 million to 111 million, to become the second largest in the world after the United States. More than half of the Chinese Internet users, or 64.3 million, have broadband access. This fast growth and enormous market size have made China a hotspot for Internet investors and entrepreneurs. Chinese Internet stocks, such as Sina, NetEase, Sohu, Shanda, and Baidu, have made headlines in the American stock market, and the big American Internet companies have moved into China.

Figure 1: On January 17, 2006, China Internet Network Information Center issued its latest report. As of December 31, 2005, there were 111 million Internet users in China with 64 million using broadband; 694,000 websites; and 74,390,000 IP addresses. The number of computers with Internet connection was 49.5 million as of December 31, 2005.


If business meant only business, investment in China would be simple. But, besides the figures of growth rate and profit margin, Chinese cyberspace is also filled with value conflicts and intense struggles between the Chinese people and the ruling communist regime. When foreign companies are not sensitive to those issues, they may find their business inroads into the Chinese Internet have lead them into a shameful trap.

A recent highlight occurred during a February 15th U.S. Congressional hearing where representatives from four big U.S. Internet companies-Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco-faced tough questions from U.S. House Representatives. The focus was the assistance that the four American companies have provided to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the creation of China’s "Big Brother" Internet. The companies must have felt the heat when Congressman Tom Lantos from California, a Holocaust survivor with snow-white hair, turned to each representative from the four companies and asked directly, "Are you ashamed?"

The business stakes for those U.S. Internet companies are high, making it more than a simple shame game. Congressman Chris Smith, who is on the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations, is considering introducing a legislation that bans key Internet technology exports to China. Chinese victims are considering liability lawsuits against American companies such as Yahoo! for assisting the CCP in tracking down and criminalizing Chinese activists on the Internet. Given the public outcry and the seriousness of the Congressional hearing, U.S. Internet companies have to reevaluate their operations and strategies in China. Should they continue their operations, should they scale down, or should they pull out of the China market totally?

Whatever decision they make, the key issue American companies must understand is that they are dealing with two different entities in China: the Chinese people and the CCP. The Chinese people eagerly embrace the Internet for the freedom it can offer. The CCP embraces the Internet as a tool for advancing its own power and control. Stuck in between, the American companies should stick to a simple principle: It is good to invest in the Chinese people but bad to trade principles for money with the CCP.

Internet as a Shortcut For Modernization

The first hybrid Internet in China was implemented in 1986 by Beijing Computer Application Technology Research Institute with Germany’s University of Karlsruhe as its cooperating partner. It was known as the Chinese Academic Network (CANET).[1]

In November 1989, the National Computing and Networking Facility of China (NCFC) was created with financing from the World Bank.{mospagebreak}

The Three Golden Projects

The Chinese communist government launched the "Three Golden Projects" in 1993 following the development of information technology worldwide. They are:

The Golden Bridge Project: The focus of this plan has been on information technology infrastructure development. Its goal is to construct an information expressway to cover the entire nation by using fiber optics, microwaves, satellite, and mobile technology, thereby linking ministry networks, 31 provinces, 500 central cities, and 12,000 large state-owned enterprises.

The Golden Gate Project: This project has been concerned with constructing a national economic trading information network by promoting an Electronic Data Exchange system.

The Golden Card Project: This scheme has focused on "electronic money" by promoting bankcards. It plans to use bank credit cards as ID cards that provide cardholders’ personal, financial, and criminal information. It has targeted more than 300 million people in 10 years.


The communist regime has an ambitious plan to modernize China—but only its technology, not its social values. Deng Xiaoping labeled it as "Chinese-style socialism," and it aims at being able to compete with the United States before the middle of the 21st century. The Internet as a new, emerging technology was seen as a shortcut that would enable China to leapfrog ahead. The communist regime was very anxious to get a foothold in the new technology, as illustrated by its "Three Golden Projects" plan.

In June 1992 in Japan, China met with the U.S. National Science Foundation and discussed how the NCFC could become Internet connected. China was reportedly advised that, due to the use of Internet by the U.S. government, there were political obstacles.

In early April 1994 in Washington, D.C., Mr. Hu Qiheng, Vice President of the China Academy of Science, reiterated China’s request to the National Science Foundation to be linked to the Internet. On April 20, 1994, the NCFC was connected to the Internet via Sprint.

Since then, the Internet has been the focal point of information technology in China. Its growth in terms of number of users has been exponential and will continue into the indefinite future.{mospagebreak}

Embrace the Unprecedented Freedom in Cyberspace

The Chinese people welcomed the Internet. In a country where the Communist Party controls the state media and publication industries, people suddenly found freedom in cyberspace. Chinese students studying in North America and Europe created several popular Chinese websites, and similar websites soon emerged in mainland China. As of December 2005, China boasted 694,000 websites and 74,390,000 IP addresses, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. These websites largely contain personal creations, stories, jokes, pictures, and all sorts of information. If the Internet provides an inexpensive means of self-expression and information sharing for everyone in the world, it was a particular experience of freedom for the Chinese, at least before the CCP began to tightly censor the Internet.

One example is the discussion of the Cultural Revolution—the decade-long nationwide catastrophe brought about by the CCP. Many lessons can be and should be learned from the Cultural Revolution, but the CCP does not allow serious discussion on the subject. In cyberspace, however, volunteers have set up a virtual museum of the Cultural Revolution ( in an effort to collect and preserve evidence, stories, and memories.

Email has been particularly valuable for the Chinese, enabling them to share information that the CCP tries to conceal from them. One example is the popularity of an email newsletter called VIP Reference (Dacankao). Richard Long, a Chinese student in America, started the newsletter in 1997. The newsletter collects news and information that the CCP censors, and then emails the items to mainland China. In 1999 VIP Reference sent uncensored political news to 250,000 Chinese email addresses.

When the CCP started to persecute Falun Gong in July 1999, the state-sponsored media was filled with defamation and accusation. In cyberspace, however, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters managed to communicate among themselves and clarify the truth to others. Through emails, stories about the state brutality find their way overseas. Those stories are then posted on the Falun Gong websites operating overseas to be read by people all over the world.

A more recent example is how an internal memo posted on the morning of August 15, 2005, by Li Datong, a senior editor at China Youth Daily in Beijing, spread on the Internet like wildfire. The memo criticized CCP propaganda and a plan to link reporters’ pay to feedback from the CCP. Minutes after he posted it, people in the newsroom began copying and sending it to friends via email and the instant messaging programs used by more than 81 million Chinese.{mospagebreak}

In the weiquan movement—the Chinese people’s human rights movement—the Internet has been the most important channel of informing the public about human rights abuses and connecting people from different regions. On February 4, 2006, human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng started a hunger strike in protest of the violence against rights activist Guo Fexion by Guangdong police. As the news spread over the Internet, tens of thousands of people all over the world responded and joined in the hunger strike, including students in Lanzhou University, Jiangsu Province, who learned of the hunger strike from the online version of The Epoch Times. The arrest of these students prompted another wave over the Internet throughout the universities in China. Now, a "blue ribbon" movement in support of these students is unfolding.

Big Brother Would Not Give Up Control

The communist regime has implemented a two-prong strategy: content censorship through China law and law enforcement, and the monitoring and control of emails and Web access through technology.

Law and Regulations

Laws and regulations in China have been an integral part of the state apparatus used by the CCP to maintain control. Of the numerous laws and regulations, the website of the Ministry of Information Industry of China posts three Internet regulations issued by the China State Council: "Regulations on the Administration of Internet Access Service Business Establishments," Decree No. 363, September 15, 2002; "Foreign Investment in Telecommunication and Information Administration Regulations," Decree No. 333, December 11, 2001; and "Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services," Decree No. 292, September 25, 2000.[2]

These rules regulate both the access providers and the Internet users. They require ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to implement measures for monitoring information on the Internet. Access providers operating in "strategic and sensitive areas"—news and forum sites in particular—must now register and record information about visitors to these sites, such as their Internet access IDs, their postal addresses, and their telephone numbers. Such records must be made available for police inspection. To monitor the content of messages sent by Internet users, the access providers must install software to monitor and copy the contents of "sensitive" email messages. The 10 prohibited topics include those containing "subversive" content, those damaging national images, those advocating religions, and those disrupting social order or otherwise posing a threat to "national security and unity." Authors of such messages must be immediately reported to the authorities. In addition, foreign companies selling software in China are required to certify themselves in writing to say they will not install spy systems on Chinese computers.{mospagebreak}

In a January 2006 interview, Su Jinsheng, Director of the Telecommunications Office of China’s Ministry of Information Industry, emphasized that the Ministry will coordinate with "relevant content regulating agencies" to "monitor online content."[3]

Police Enforcement

The enforcement of the laws and regulations are carried out by 30,000 to 50,000 Internet police. In late February 2001, the Ministry of Public Security released new software designed to keep "cults, sex, and violence" off the Internet in China. The software known as "Internet police 110" was named for China’s emergency police telephone number. It was developed to block access to certain websites to "prevent users from getting unhealthy information from foreign and domestic websites." The software has been used in Internet cafes to monitor Web traffic. It can also delete or block messages from sources deemed offensive.[4]

Internet police can reportedly trace the activities of the users without their knowledge and monitor their online activities by various technical means. Most commonly used techniques include domain name hijacking, keyword filtering, and IP address blocking.

Chinese Internet companies have been complying with the law in self-censorship. IT analyst Fang Xingdong established, China’s largest blog platform, in August 2002. According to reports, Fang says his company uses a list of keywords to catch illicit postings. He declined to list his company’s keywords. Ten of Fang’s nearly 400 employees are tasked with trolling for what the keyword filters have missed.

On July 29, 2000, Zhang Haitao, a computer scientist and creator of the only China-based Falun Gong website, was arrested five days after the authorities tracked and banned his site. On October 11, 2000, in Changchun, Jilin Province, he was indicted for "subversion" and for promoting Falun Gong on the Internet. He had previously published an online petition against the communist persecution of the spiritual movement.{mospagebreak}

Internet Users in China Arrested – A Partial List

Name Occupations Date Arrested
Hao Wu Blogger and documentary film-maker Feb. 22, 2006
Changing Li Journalist for Fuzhou Daily Jan. 25, 2006
Tianshui Yang On-line journalist Dec. 23, 2005
Yuanlong Li Journalist for the Bijie Ribao Sept. 29, 2005
Jiangping Li Freelance journalist, entrepreneur May 28, 2005
Tao Shi Cyber dissident April, 2005
Lin Zhang Pro-democracy activist Jan. 29, 2005
Yichun Zheng, Yuanhua Liao, Youping Kong, Jingqiu Huang, Zhi Li, Haidong Tao, Yongzhong Luo, Qunwei Huang, Yuxiang Zhang, Zengqi Lu, Shumin Chen, Yan Yin, Jian Li, Qiuyan Yan, Lijun Jiang, Depu He, Changqing Zhao, Lifa Han, Changying Liang, Jianli Yang, Dawei Li, Qiu Tan, Gupkun Fang, Hongmin Li, Sen Wang, Zili Yang, Haike Jin, Wei Xu, Honghai Zhang, Yuhui Zhang, Yanfang Li, Yuxia Jiang, Chunyan Li, Kui Huang, Yan Ma, Yang Lin, Haitao Zhang, Xianbin Liu, Yufu Zhu, Yilong Wu, Qingxiang Mao (occupations and dates arrested omitted)

In a more recent example, on February 9, 2006, Li Yuanlong, a 46-year-old mainland China journalist with the Bijie Daily newspaper in southwestern Guizhou Province, was charged with inciting subversion for posting politically sensitive essays on the Internet through his Hotmail email account.

The February 9, 2006, the criminal complaint filed by the Office of the Procurator in Guizhou Province read as follows (English translation):

"Defendant Li Yuanlong purchased a Legend computer in May 2004 and registered an online account at the Bijie Branch of the Guizhou Mobile Telecom Company on February 5, 2005. Li Yuanlong later frequented overseas websites using Freegate and UltraReach software. Between May and August 2005, under the name of Ye Lang or ‘yehaolang,’ Li Yuanlong published from his email account on the websites of New Century, Boxun, Qingxing Forum, Epoch Times, Yibao, Reminbao, Secret China, and etc., four articles, including ‘On Becoming a U.S. Citizen in Spirit,’ ‘The Commonplace of Living and Sadness of Death,’ ‘The CCP Party Secretary Who Continued His Meeting While His 80-Year-Old Mother Died,’ and ‘A Talk about a 100-Year-Old Codger Joining the CCP.’ Li Yuanlong cooked up, distorted, and exaggerated facts and incited subversion of State sovereignty to overthrow the socialist system."{mospagebreak}

State security agents picked up Mr. Li at his office on September 9, 2005, and he has been in detention ever since.

According to Reporters Without Borders, China has at least 62 Internet dissidents behind bars—more than any other country.

Technology: Golden Shield and the Great Firewall of China

Golden Shield is the latest "Golden Project" that aims at control and censure of the Chinese Internet. It was launched in November 2000, and its first function is to filter and censor every email traveling in Chinese cyberspace. Its overall purpose is much broader: to integrate a gigantic online database with a comprehensive surveillance network, incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies. To censor and filter Internet communication between the Chinese Internet and the rest of the world, the communist regime erected the Great Firewall of China.

Isaac Mao, one of China’s pioneering bloggers, developed a conceptual model of this "Great Firewall." Soon after he posted it at his blog site,, in July 2005, the Chinese authorities blocked his site. His site remains blocked to date.

Figure 2 shows the Internet blocking mechanism.

Figure 2: The Internet blocking mechanism of the Great Firewall of China. (Courtesy of Global Information Freedom, Inc.)


At each gateway, in simplified terms the blocking takes place as follows:

1. A user submits a URL (web address) in the browser.
2. The network checks a URL blacklist database to see if the requested URL is on the list. If it is, the user sees an "operation time out" error message or is re-directed to a government approved website. If not, the requested URL passes to the Internet outside China.
3. Upon entering the gateway, the return web page is then checked against a keyword content filter. If the page contains blacklisted words, the user gets an "operation time out" error message or a government approved website. If not, the page opens in the user’s browser.

Foreign Companies Willingly Entrapped

The Internet technology companies in the United States turned to the Chinese market after the high-tech bubble burst in the late 1990s. The communist regime had been seeking advanced Internet technology for enhanced censorship and control. While business deals are being made one after another, access by Internet users in China to uncensored information is being correspondingly restricted.

Cisco is known all over the world for, among other things, building corporate firewalls to block viruses and hackers. The communist regime in China posed a unique problem to Cisco: Can Cisco help keep one billion people from accessing politically sensitive websites, now, and forever?

It was reported that, to suit this special need of the China market, Cisco developed a router device, an integrator, and a firewall box customized especially for the regime. China Telecom bought a great number of them. It would not be exaggerating to say that every Chinese firewall has Cisco routers.

As a result of this advanced technology from the West, when Internet users across China search forbidden topics on the Internet, operations time out.

On March 16, 2002, over 100 Chinese Internet companies signed a "Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the China Internet Industry." As People’s Daily reported, "The basic principles of self-discipline for the Internet industry are patriotism, observance of the law, fairness, and trustworthiness." The pledge commits companies to avoid "producing, posting, or disseminating pernicious information that may jeopardize state security and disrupt social stability." By mid-July 2001, over 300 Chinese Internet companies, including Internet service providers and Internet content providers, had signed on.{mospagebreak}

The foreign players in the Chinese Internet arena, Cisco and Yahoo!, signed on first, followed by Microsoft in June 2005 and Google in January 2006.

One casualty of Yahoo!’s obedience to the communist regime is Shi Tao. Mr. Shi was a journalist. On November 24, 2004, police detained him near his home in Taiyuan City, Shangxi Province. Several months before, he had used his Yahoo! account and emailed to overseas media certain directions that the Propaganda Department had issued to the Chinese media on how to report the upcoming anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. On December 14, he was formally arrested and charged with "disclosing State secrets." On April 27, 2005, Mr. Shi was convicted and sentenced to a 10-year prison term. The judgment issued by the court revealed that the conviction was based on information that Yahoo! provided about its customer’s IP address and email account.

Shi Tao is now serving his sentence in Chizhang Prison, Hunan Province. He is not alone. Yahoo! also helped send two other Chinese cyber dissidents—Li Zhi and Jiang Lijun, both Yahoo! customers—to prison for terms of eight and four years, respectively. In the case of Mr. Li Zhi, Yahoo! provided Chinese authorities with personal identification data. Mr. Li, a 35-year-old resident of Sichuan Province, used what he believed to be an anonymous Yahoo! account to express his opinions on message boards and in chat rooms.

Microsoft is not far behind in the game. Early in January 2006, Microsoft closed down the Internet blog of prominent Chinese, Beijing-based media researcher Zhao Jing, after he posted articles critical of a management purge at the Beijing News Daily. When talking to the media, Mr. Zhao, who uses the pen name Michael Anti, stated, "MSN Spaces (has) now deleted all of my articles. I have no backup and I’m very angry." The MSN Spaces operation, a Microsoft joint venture with state-owned Shanghai Alliance Entertainment, is the top blog hosting service in China.

Keywords Filtered on the Internet

Rough analysis of a keyword list used by ISPs in their self-censorship to filter content in China shows Falun Gong at about 20 percent; Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan at about 15 percent; Names of Chinese leaders and their relatives at about 15 percent; democracy, corruption, and politics at about 15 percent; social unrest, police at about 10 percent; names of dissident writers, political exiles at about 10 percent; pornography-related at about 15 percent. Here are some examples of Chinese words on the list:

multiple parties; democracy; dictatorship; dafa; truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance; Falun Gong; Tiananmen; Taiwan Independence; Jiang Zeming; June 4th; June fourth; Bejing Spring; Beijing authorities; North Korea; tyranny; Xinjiang Independence; military police; police; Epoch Times; Eastern Turkistan; autocracy; Hu Jintao; Hu Ping; Jesus Christ; communism; demonstration; two Chinas; Voice of America; Ma Sanjia; treason; persecution; Rebiya; Renminbao; human rights; tolerate; Wu Hongda [Harry Wu]; student movement; dissidents; one China, one Taiwan; Zhao Ziyang; truth

Source: Xiao Qiang, China Digital Times June 14, 2005


Microsoft had previously faced intense criticism when it was revealed in June 2005 that its Chinese blogging service, MSN Spaces, restricted the entry of terms such as "freedom," "democracy," "demonstration," "Dalai Lama," "Falun Gong," and "Taiwan independence." When searching for these words in the subject line, an error message returns saying "Prohibited language, please remove." Not even former and current leaders’ names, such as "Mao Zedong" or "Hu Jintao," were allowed, reported Reuters on June 14, 2004.

On June 23, 2005, Martin McMahon, an attorney in Washington, D.C., representing Falun Gong practitioners, sent a letter to Microsoft regarding Microsoft censorship. In the letter Mr. McMahon cited Reno v. ACLU (1997), a U.S. Supreme Court decision in which Microsoft was a named plaintiff. The case challenged the Communications Decency Act as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court found the Act was unconstitutional, overbroad, over inclusive, and had a "chilling effect on free speech" on the Internet. We must wonder what caused the change in Microsoft’s position with regard to freedom of speech on the Internet when it came to its MSN Spaces in China.


[1] China Internet Network Information Center

Xiao Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope.

Why Hu’s $16 Billion Couldn’t Buy a Dinner

If a Chinese policeman sees a BMW racing wildly down a street, ignoring all traffic laws, he will definitely be furious—but may let it go. The policeman knows very well that the driver must have enough "official connections" to be so brash. In China, political connections override any law and any law enforcement.

When President Bush was preparing the diplomatic rituals for the upcoming visit of communist leader Hu Jintao, he must have had similar feelings toward China with its rising economic and military strength compounded by its brazen domestic and international record. Yet, Bush would not let it go so easily.

Hu Jintao may have had a different perspective. Hu was determined to make his first presidential visit a success. Hu needed to bolster his "international leader" status in order to strengthen his domestic politics. However, Hu’s preoccupation with his public relations achievement was not based on any substantial concessions, but depended more heavily on political formalities as well as rhetoric of how much he would win Bush over at their summit meeting.

Thus, the success of his visit was questionable from the very beginning by the ironic fact that neither side expected any meaningful results from the summit even though both sides were willing to attempt to miraculously gain something from nothing.

Issues and Goals

Hu’s calculation was not very different from the street-smart BMW driver in China. Money, plus political connections, will work everything out. It was Hu’s hope that a US$16 billion procurement check would pave a smooth path from Seattle to Washington. This humble hubris comprised a few objectives: 1) allow him to save face from his canceled trip last year; 2) alleviate American complaints about trade, currency rate, and other economic issues; 3) encourage Bush to make an anti-independence statement on Taiwan; 4) use the ceremonial aura as a symbolic endorsement by America to relax an ever-growing domestic crisis.

The fourth objective on the list, although unspoken, was really Hu’s bottom-line objective. This is very apparent when you look at the current trend of millions of Communist Party members quitting the Party, a continuing nationwide relay hunger strike, and 87,000 grassroots disturbances that occurred in the last year alone. Last, but not least, Hu needed to consolidate his political power base.

With unyielding positions on economic issues, human rights, and security, Hu’s last bet was to show the Chinese TV audience the "warm welcome" he received from the White House.{mospagebreak}

A Marginalized Visit

Hu’s visit was marginalized even before he embarked on his trip to U.S. soil. Hu was told beforehand that he would not receive the formal designated "state visit" status including a state dinner, but he would get a 21-gun salute on the White House lawn. Without the "state visit" status that he had strongly requested, Hu seemed to have already lost credibility and dignity. Bush was the first post-war president not to hold a state dinner for a visiting Chinese leader. By denying Hu that diplomatic protocol, Bush sent a clear message that Hu was neither a personal friend nor a "strategic partner."

In sharp contrast to the warm treatment he received from corporate giants Microsoft and Boeing on the West Coast, Hu received a tepid, yet ritually correct, reception at the nation’s capital. The chill in the East and the warmth in the West produced nothing in the Oval Office but formality. Hu’s formal lunch talk with President Bush truly, yet ironically, demonstrated a "matured" relationship that dared to list "open differences" but rather chose to announce steps to resolve difficult issues. What was spoken had already been said over the past years. The luncheon summit turned out to be one of the most monotonous occasions that reaffirmed each other’s positions.

If the payment of US$16 billion could have bought Hu a state dinner, it would not have been a cheap and easy price for China’s foreign trade sweatshops to pay. When it comes to a loss and gain analysis, Hu must have been even more upset to learn that the $16 billion deal failed, not only because it was viewed as being too cheap compared to America’s US$202 billion trade deficit to China, but also because it was viewed by many not as a gift but rather as China having to pay a "traffic violation" fine because of its hazardous domestic and international behaviors.

In fact, the value of the check was even further devaluated by Hu’s inability to provide even a basic explanation about trade surplus-related issues. What made matters worse was Hu’s unyielding position on the political and religious freedoms in China that Bush and the U.S. Congress have deemed so important and have been waiting for. Hu’s street-smart strategy might have inadvertently secured his role as an "irresponsible stakeholder" in the international community.

Yet Hu’s biggest disappointment came in the area in which he was most confident: to be welcomed as an honorary state guest. To the entire world audience, except for those in China who were unable to view it live due to censorship, the White House welcoming ceremony seemed to have paved the way for a Falun Gong protester. As Dr. Wenyi Wang began to utter her call to both presidents to stop the persecution, all media cameras turned away from Hu and onto her as if she was the main character on stage that day. The world halted and listened to Dr. Wang and not to Hu Jintao. From that point on, mainstream media has been focusing on Dr. Wang’s call to stop the ongoing slaughter and organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, while Hu Jintao’s tour to the Middle East and Africa appears to have fallen into oblivion.{mospagebreak}

Why Hu’s Visit Turned Marginal

A series of seemingly random "disharmonious" incidents occurred causing Hu’s trip to become marginal. Was the United States intentionally not hospitable? This could hardly be the case as Hu received a warm welcome during his first U.S. visit in 2002 as vice president. What were the real reasons?

First, Hu has lost much of his mystery and appeal over the past three years. The current Pennsylvania Avenue whisper, "Hu is not coming to dinner," was not so much a sweet joke as a sour satire. The indication was self-evident: The Communist Party General Secretary turned out to be no more than a dry, conservative revolutionary.

What has Hu done since he has become president? He has stated that China should learn from and emulate North Korea and Cuba. He has continued the brutal persecution of political individuals, religious groups, and open-minded intellectuals. He has allowed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to build up at a tremendously fast pace. He has allowed his general, Zhu Chenghu, to threaten the U.S. with nuclear weapons if it protects Taiwan, and he has encouraged irresponsible international behavior. How could Hu expect the U.S. to pay any respect to him?

Furthermore, money does not buy trust. In the short run, Hu’s failure was due to his lack of sincerity and good will, which was evident by his unwillingness to yield on any major issues. Hu failed to effectively communicate to President Bush and the American public about their main concerns. Hu acted just as he would have before his own domestic subjects. Americans simply won’t accept that.

In the long run, this distrust is deeply rooted within the fundamental differences of principles that make up these two nations. The U.S. government is elected by the people and must be accountable to the people, while the communist Chinese regime seized power by force and it has been using force to suppress its people and thus maintain its power. In the United States, people are born with inalienable human rights and the government was created only to protect those rights. In China, the communist regime has trodden upon human rights and has treated human rights as concessions.

When China exported its totalitarian behaviors outside of China, the two countries were bound to run into conflicts. The bumpy relationship between the two countries over the past seven administrations and 30-plus years, with issues emerging, festering, and later reemerging, has already demonstrated a profound distrust on both sides.
Economically speaking, the two economies are mutually beneficial and interdependent, so there have been and will be agreements now and then. However, politically, there have been and always will be difficulties-big and small-as long as the Communist Party remains in power and the political system continues to be repressive. Militarily, a communist China rise would be more of a threat than an opportunity, and a Red China would hardly be a "responsible stakeholder" in the international community.

Finally, the fact that George W. Bush is a devout Christian and Hu Jintao is an atheist already pre-determines difficulties at the top level. Bush, unlike Clinton, has paid special attention to religious beliefs, as evidenced in his selection of cabinet members and his mission statement. Belief in God sets Bush apart from Hu fundamentally. How could one imagine a communist and Christian becoming close friends? Aside from geopolitics, economic interests, and strategic balance, Bush and Hu have been total strangers.

If Hu were a reformer or had been cooperative, the personal division may have been narrowed and they may have had cozier talks at Bush’s ranch. However, Hu has been obstinately uncooperative with Bush on the Iranian nuclear program and bilateral trade issues. Moreover, China’s dragging its feet on resolving the Korean nuclear crisis through its six-party talks was another factor that annoyed Bush. Why has China been only half-heartedly working on the North Korean nuclear issue? Bush surely knows that China and North Korea have had a solid military alliance by treaty since 1961, which exclusively targets the United States as their common enemy.


Hu Jintao really needs to think twice before he extends his "harmonious society" to the "harmonious world." If he insists on doing so and would like to have it done effectively, as his U.S. visit has indicated, he must first internally turn the Chinese society from disharmony to harmony by letting people enjoy basic human rights and abolishing the repressive communist rule. The days for Hu to make a correct choice and a difference are certainly numbered, as Dr. Wang warned during the historic White House ceremony.

Dong Li, a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, is a China specialist and news analyzer for New Tang Dynasty TV.

Battle for Freedom in Chinese Cyberspace

"We are set to tear down the Great Firewall of China. Our goal is to restore to Chinese Internet users their freedom in cyberspace," said Bill Xia, President of Dynamic Internet Technology, Inc. (DIT), a small Internet technology company in North Carolina.

When the U.S. Congress granted Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China, Western mainstream thinking was confident that free trade and new information technology would, on their own, bring change to China. The computer and the Internet, so the reasoning went, would bring free information and free thinking to China, and the communist regime would eventually lose control.

In actuality, however, the development of the Chinese Internet followed a different path. The Chinese communist regime has launched a multimillion-dollar Golden Shield project and turned the Chinese Internet into Big Brother-net. (See "Business, Values, and Moral Traps: The Paradox of the Chinese Internet," Chinascope, March/April 2006) Instead of a versatile communications tool providing people with great freedom, the Chinese Internet is now locked inside the Great Firewall of China and has become a new tool the regime can use to exercise deceit and control. Western companies have provided most of the technology that enables the Golden Shield.

Experts like Ethan Gutmann have conceded that the West has lost a great opportunity, losing the Chinese Internet to the communist regime.[1] As China quickly gains economic power, the West has fewer and fewer means for containing the technologically modernized Chinese communist regime.

Bill Xia’s idea to restore freedom on the Chinese Internet is exciting and can have historical impact. But, given the strong political and economic muscle that the Chinese communist regime exercises over the Chinese Internet, can his efforts succeed?

A Small Company Battles with a Powerful Regime

The major battles in cyberspace have been fought with Internet anti-jamming technology.

One of the pioneers in the field, Bill Xia launched his company, DIT, in 2002. DIT uses a proxy network called DynaWeb to enable users to circumvent the Internet censorship in China and gain secure and full access to the Internet. Through FreeGate, DIT’s proxy network software, Internet users in China can even access forbidden websites. As of this year, 300,000 unique users have gained regular, unblocked access to the Internet through FreeGate.{mospagebreak}

Generally there are two ways to access a website through an Internet browser. One is to type in the domain name, for example, The other way is to type in the 10-digit IP address for the same website. Typing a domain name is more popular since it is user friendly. After a user types in a name, a Web browser converts the domain name into an IP address and fetches the right information for the user. In China, the communist regime has installed filters on the national Internet gateways that can block access to any IP address the Communist Party dislikes. Bill and his team have created a variety of techniques to help Chinese users evade the regime’s firewall, and their battles in cyberspace have been fought round after round.

Round 1: Beginning in March 2002, DIT sent unblocked IP address updates to subscribers through its mass mailing technologies, which obviously included Chinese government censors. Within two weeks of the release of these IP addresses, the valid time window for a DynaWeb IP address was reduced to a range of between a few days to a couple of hours. DIT’s strategy needed to evolve.

Round 2: In April 2002, DIT expanded to domain names with dynamic IP addresses. However, China’s censors countered with an automated process to detect the IP addresses that pointed to the domain name. DIT adopted a new strategy that forced China’s censors to manually verify the IP addresses before blocking them. China’s automatic IP blockade disappeared.

Round 3: In August 2002, users started to have difficulty accessing DynaWeb through https even though the IP was not blocked. DIT later discovered that the certificate it used for secured access from the Internet browser was filtered. In response, DIT changed its certificate daily. No certificate blocking has since been reported. Again, censors were frustrated by the requirement of daily updates of all related content for the filtering engine and quit.

Round 4: At the end of September 2002, users in China who typed in the browser DynaWeb domain names and many other forbidden websites like were redirected to a fixed IP in China.[2] DynaWeb upgraded its FreeGate software to get around such redirection.

Since early 2003, DIT has had the upper hand in the anti-jamming race with the Chinese regime. In 2003, DIT took some time to develop accompanying technologies to make its service more user friendly, and it saw a corresponding increase in users. In 2004 and 2005, DIT was limited by resources and saw a slow growth of users. As of 2006, DIT has about 300,000 regular users from China.

DIT would not be able to stay a step ahead of the communist regime without support and cooperation from the end users inside China.{mospagebreak}

Connecting with the Chinese People

From behind the Great Firewall, people are seeking the truth.

In 2005, from behind China’s Great Firewall, a policewoman sent an email to Bill Xia’s DynaWeb, the proxy network in the United States that provides uncensored information in the Chinese language. Let’s call her "Lingling."

"Hi, I am a policewoman working in a prison. In the past 11 years, I have seen so much darkness and filth in this profession. Our souls yearn for truth and compassion but twisted notions have tarnished our hearts. What is justice? What is conscience?"

Lingling went to state that everyone working around her was subject to monitoring. "Spies and agents are everywhere," she continued. "I am saddened by all I see. One day I got your website link. Given what I know about the Communist Party, I believe what I see on your website. I sincerely want to work with you to build a better China, a China that is fair, democratic, and free. Here is my telephone number [omitted]. What I am doing now is not betraying China, instead it is patriotism."

"Since a friend sent me your website link at QQ[3] I feel I have found a friend that shares my life mission. I have learned so many truths and firmly believe them. When I did population census work, I saw people struggling under the poverty line, such as families of coal miners. They live in shabby shelters and eat whatever vegetables they can find on the ground along the street. I have also seen how the Communist Party officials squander resources. How can we expect them to serve the ordinary people? Please contact me. I want to work with you and be an example to awaken the numb Chinese. I do not know how to contact you. When I was young, I admired the police. I became a police officer only to find out the truth behind the title. How I long to get rid of the police uniform! To survive, I am still among them. The most disheartening is the plight of those who are imprisoned. Police who are supposed to uphold justice are actually committing crimes against them. There are no laws or principles—it is all up to the discretion of the Communist Party leaders. This is the Communist Party. It is not ‘One mouse spoils one pot of porridge’—everything is totally spoiled."

Lingling is not alone. Hits at the DynaWeb site have reached 30 million a day. Some of those hits came from a young man working in an intermediate court. "Thank you, Webmaster. I have downloaded the video version of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. If every Chinese including CCP members could read it just once, the CCP would soon fall. Since I graduated from college six years ago, I have worked at an intermediate court. I have no interest in communism. After I subscribed to Internet services, I happened to visit the UltraReach website using UltraSurf software, and I saw a free and true world. I am so fortunate! I have downloaded a lot of information from UltraReach and DynaWeb sites, including those about June 4th Tiananmen, the Nine Commentaries, and Falun Gong. I am going to bring my computer back to my hometown during the Chinese New Year so that my folks and friends all know the truth. Happy Chinese New Year."{mospagebreak}

A man named Yue Shao found a home in DynaWeb. He wrote, "On this new and great website I finally found hope and motivation for my life. China will soon abandon communism. I will do my utmost to spread DynaWeb information."

Another user suggested DynaWeb upgrade its software. "Today UltraSurf is not working. It used to be very fast. Suddenly, today I cannot connect. The CCP must have taken action. Please send me the latest software. I have successfully passed your software and the Nine Commentaries to over 100 people. What a victory. We also need better protection. Suggest you update security information for the users. Thanks."

Young people appear to be the majority of those who have successfully broken through the Great Firewall. How their thinking has changed as a result is quite obvious.

"I used to devoutly support communism because I knew ‘without the Communist Party, there is no China.’ I loved New China so much because I believed what I was taught about the ‘evil old society.’ My grandpa was a guerrilla leader and fought even harder than the communist troops, but he quit the Communist Party in the 1950s. He said, ‘I do not know how to bribe. I do not know how to corrupt. So I am no longer qualified to be a Communist Party member.’ After several years of investigation and verification, I am shocked. What I devoutly admired in the past is just a bunch of evils!!!"

"Dear Webmaster, How are you? I am 26 years old. I visit DynaWeb every day. I see information that I cannot see in the Chinese domestic media. Your information is like fresh air to me. I am a fan of DynaWeb. You allow me to see China and the world with a clear mind. Think about it. My previous twenty-some years were spent under the lies of the Communist Party. My family is in the old industrial region of Jilin Province. I have witnessed how laid-off workers desperately try to support their families. I was sad and lost. Here is my QQ number [omitted]. I hope to get to know people who share the same mission to revive our nation."

Figure 1. Daily Internet Traffic from China Categorized by Services Used to Evade Communist Censorship, in 2006



A Variety of Approaches from a Diverse Pool of Players

Besides DIT, there are several other players who have developed different technologies to ensure freedom in Chinese cyberspace.

UltraReach Internet Corp. is a California company founded by Falun Gong practitioners. Sherry Zhang and her fellow practitioners developed a software called UltraSurf that enables users in China to access forbidden websites outside China via Internet Explorer without being detected.

Freenet, developed via a collaborative, open source methodology, is a peer-to-peer-distributed data store that allows members to send or retrieve information anonymously. Freenet is based on a system described by Ian Clarke in his July 1999 paper "A Distributed Decentralized Information Storage and Retrieval System," written while he was a student at the University of Edinburgh. Shortly after the publication of this paper, Clarke and a small number of volunteers began work on what became Freenet.

TriangleBoy, a proxy tool that enables a user to remain anonymous, was designed to allow users to get around firewalls and censorship and visit websites anonymously. It was developed by SafeWeb, a computer software company founded by Stephen Hsu in northern California. TriangleBoy was supported in part by Voice of America (VOA) as a way for Chinese readers to be able to bypass China’s Great Firewall and reach the VOA website. Symantec acquired SafeWeb in 2003 and no longer supports this software.

Anonymizer® Inc., a company engaged in online identity protection software and services, announced in March 2006 the launch of Operation Anti-Censorship. This new privacy software, created specifically for Chinese citizens, is said to enable safe access to the Internet by circumventing the Chinese authorities’ Web filters. The software aims to shield Chinese Internet users’ personal identities and related information that the Chinese authorities are currently able to monitor.

Tor, not for the computer novice, is a software program that enables its users to communicate anonymously over the Internet. Originally sponsored by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Tor became a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in late 2004. Chinese authorities routinely conduct traffic analyses-intercepting and examining messages to deduce information from patterns in communication, which can be performed even when the messages are encrypted and cannot be decrypted. Tor aims to protect its users against traffic analysis attacks. Tor offers its users anonymous outgoing connections and anonymous hidden services.

DynaWeb (FreeGate) from DIT and UltraSurf from UltraReach Internet Corp., are clearly leaders in the anti-jamming field, as shown by the Internet trafficking data in Figure 1.{mospagebreak}

DIT and UltraReach Internet Corp., together with other companies, have recently formed the Global Internet Freedom Consortium. The member organizations of the consortium have developed highly successful anti-jamming technologies and a suite of secure Internet tools for users inside China. These tools allow Internet users in China to access uncensored information and blocked websites at will.

Bill Xia told Chinascope that the consortium members have achieved the following milestones:

In 2005, online hits by mainland Chinese Internet users at forbidden sites provided by the members of the consortium averaged 30 million a day. A vast majority are repeated users.

Essentially, every single website normally blocked from Internet use in China is still accessible because of the efforts of these consortium members. Such is the case for the websites of Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, for which the consortium members have provided services over the past four years.

The technologies developed by consortium members have drawn much attention from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As the CCP focuses more resources on these specific technologies, it is now easier for other new and smaller anti-jamming efforts to penetrate China’s Firewall using less sophisticated methods that focus on lightly blocked and lightly used proxy links and websites.

The technologies developed by consortium members can make the uncensored search engines of Google and Yahoo! available to Chinese Internet users.

In fact, the consortium has experienced the full cycle of anti-jamming technology development, including design, scalability, promotion, deployment, maintenance, support, and product improvement and is ready for substantial scale-up. Moreover, it has accumulated successful end-to-end service experiences with users in China. The ability to directly connect to the end users in China is a unique strength of the consortium.

A Deep China Connection

It was his passion for freedom in his home country that led Bill Xia to pursue his current career.

Bill went to China for graduate study in the 1990s. Comparing America and China, he started to appreciate the severity of media control in China. With his skills in computer technology, he used the power of the Internet to get around the media controls in China. After he obtained an advanced degree in computer science, he founded the North Carolina-based Internet service company in 2001.{mospagebreak}

The main business of his company is to develop, launch, and host websites, with a specialty in Internet security and anti-jamming technology. Voice of America and Radio Free Asia are listed as DIT’s prominent clients on its website. According to Bill, he and his team need to work very hard to ensure that his clients’ websites are always accessible to Chinese Internet users. Bill regularly works from early morning until well into the night on the computer to monitor the traffic flow from China to his company’s websites and to exploit openings in the formidable Great Firewall of China. It is crucial for DIT to keep technologically ahead of the communist regime. "I am really happy when I receive feedback from my fellow Chinese users in China. They are grateful for our efforts, and they encourage us to continue the work," Bill said. "Our hard work has provided people with tools to access information otherwise off-limits to Chinese people. Our company is making a long-term impact on China."

Many others on the front of Internet anti-jamming are like Bill Xia—they share Chinese roots and a passion for the importance of what they are doing.

California chemist and software developer Sherry Zhang, a Falun Gong practitioner, is helping UltraReach attack China’s Great Firewall. She related what happened to an American friend of hers in China: "He went to an Internet cafe and just typed in two words, ‘Falun Gong.’ Instantly, the sirens went off and the police appeared in front of him within a minute. So that’s how bad it is, because they have ways to monitor what people are doing on the Internet, especially in Internet cafes." Sherry Zhang thinks UltraReach can help her fellow Chinese break through the Chinese Firewall.

Outlook is Upbeat, Despite Major Obstacles

The battle for Chinese cyberspace is being fought on uneven ground.

The Chinese communist regime is desperately afraid of the truth, and it has spent over $800 million on its Golden Shield project, dubbed the "Great Firewall of China." As concluded by OpenNet Initiative, this Internet filtering system is the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. It comprises multiple levels of legal regulation and technical control. It involves numerous state agencies and thousands of public and private personnel. It censors transmitted content through multiple methods, including Web pages, Web logs, online discussion forums, university bulletin board systems, and email messages. Besides the Golden Shield’s project cost of over $800 million, there is a special task force of some 30,000 "cybercops" that patrol the Internet.

The freedom fighters are mainly a few small American companies like DIT and UltraReach, which are supported by volunteer networks. Amazingly, they have successfully and continuously poked holes in the formidable Great Firewall of China. DIT and other members in the newly formed consortium have made it possible for, in total, about one million Chinese users to have free access to the uncensored Internet.{mospagebreak}

When discussing these achievements, Bill Xia is upbeat: "We have successfully provided our users in China with effective tools that defeat the China Great Firewall and censorship for more than four years. Right now we can support about one million Chinese end users. Our aim is to significantly increase that number. Think about that. What if we could support 10 or 20 million users? That’s about 10 or 20 percent of all Chinese Internet users. If that many people in China can freely access information on the Internet, the Chinese communist regime’s censorship would be all but defeated."

Whether the newly formed Global Internet Freedom Consortium can reach that exciting goal or not remains to be seen. Bill Xia listed three major hurdles:

The first is the fear in the minds of Chinese end users. If the end users are too afraid of the communist regime, they may not dare to access free information. Ideally, the international community should keep up the pressure on the communist regime’s human rights violations so that the Chinese people are encouraged to seek freedom.

The second hurdle is the exportation of advanced technology to China. In the past, several Western companies such as Cisco have sold China specially designed equipment for building the Great Firewall. If these large, profit-seeking companies keep supplying the communist regime with advanced technology, the freedom fighters and their small companies stand little chance of winning the battle.

The third is funding and resources. The new consortium needs to find sufficient funding and resources to scale up its existing operations. The U.S. government and major foundations may not have fully recognized the importance of this battle for freedom in Chinese cyberspace. Funding these companies would be an intelligent move to help ensure Internet freedom for an enormous number of people currently under the thumb of an oppressive regime.

While Bill Xia and his friends have yet to overcome these hurdles, they will continue no matter what because they know that hundreds of thousands of Chinese Internet users like Lingling have put their hopes in them.

Xiao Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope.

It’s for the Sake of Humanity, Says Protester at the White House

Sporadic, accidental events sometimes can change the course of the history. On April 20, 2006, a petite female journalist shouted out loudly on the White House lawn during Hu Jintao’s speech at the welcoming ceremony. This surprising incident turned the world’s attention from Hu Jintao’s lip-service remarks to the atrocities taking place in China today.

That petite lady was Wenyi Wang, a 47-year-old pathologist based in New York, a Falun Gong practitioner, and a volunteer photographer for The Epoch Times newspaper. On that day at the White House, standing on the reporters’ platform facing the Chinese communist leader, Dr. Wang called out in English, "President Bush, stop him from killing! Stop persecuting the Falun Gong!" Shifting to Chinese, she shouted, "Hu Jintao, your time is limited. No more time for the Chinese Communist Party."

Major television news channels quickly turned their cameras to Dr. Wang. CNN’s live broadcast used split screens to simultaneously show Hu’s speech and Dr. Wang’s protest. For about three minutes, the attention of the world’s people was shifted from the leader of China to a woman crying out for human rights in China.

Unused to facing protesters, Hu paused for a second, and then continued his speech after President Bush murmured to him, "You are OK."

To Hu’s regime, the outcry was not OK. The CNN signal was blacked out in China until Dr. Wang was taken away. The communist regime did not want the Chinese people to see or hear Dr. Wang’s protest—it would be too damaging to the Party’s image.

Still, Hu’s regime could not block CNN outside of China. Dr. Wang’s outburst reminded the American people that Hu represents the largest dictatorship in the world. In a phone call the next day to C-SPAN, an American woman said that she could see the agony in Dr. Wang’s eyes even though she could not hear clearly what Dr. Wang was saying.

Soon after she was released the next day, Dr. Wang had a chance to explain herself on CNN. In that brief interview, Dr. Wang said that, as a physician, her responsibility was to "save people," and she had to do what she did because of the killing going on in China. Dr. Wang said that she did not regret what she did because "humanity surpasses everything." Dr. Wang further explained in a press conference on April 26 what she meant by "humanity surpasses everything." She said, "On March 8, The Epoch Times disclosed the harvesting of organs from live Falun Gong practitioners and the subsequent mass killings in Sujiatun City’s concentration camp. Later it was revealed that such atrocities had been going on in all labor camps in China since the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999. Huge numbers of corneas, livers, and kidneys have been removed from live Falun Gong practitioners and sold to transplantation centers."{mospagebreak}

Dr. Wang drew attention to this horrific ongoing atrocity in China. On April 22, 2006, C-SPAN invited a Falun Gong spokesperson to be a guest on its live call-in program to discuss the issues that Dr. Wang wanted to expose. Time magazine published an article on April 23 in its Asia Edition, titled "The Cold Harvest in China." The Weekly Standard in early May published an article "Why Wang Wenyi Was Shouting." The article reported eyewitness accounts and included available evidence regarding the alleged live organ harvesting from detained Falun Gong practitioners.

If Dr. Wang only wanted people to pay attention to the atrocities in China, she has partly succeeded. But her original plea—"President Bush, stop him from killing"—has not been acknowledged. In fact, the government has charged her with "coercing, intimidating, threatening, and harassing" a foreign official, a crime that could put her in prison for six months and cost her a fine of US$5,000.

Almost at the same time Dr. Wang was shouting in front of the White House, the two Chinese witnesses (Peter and Annie) who initially exposed the organ harvesting crimes from live Falun Gong practitioners in China made a public appearance, further calling for the international community to help stop the atrocities that are still occurring. Both of them also toured around the country with Dr. Wang to address the media after the White House incident.

On April 22, The Washington Post published an editorial titled "Overreacting to Protest, Wenyi Wang Doesn’t Belong in Jail." It said, "Does Ms. Wang deserve to go to prison for six months? That might be the response to embarrassing and rude speech in Beijing. It shouldn’t be in Washington."

The Washington Times said that Dr. Wang "welcomed" the Chinese leader in a democratic way, and named her as the "noble" person of the week.

Many individuals and organizations have also expressed their support for Dr. Wang. On April 26, the Christian Defense Coalition and National Clergy Council held a press conference in Red Square at Georgetown University, asking the Bush Administration to drop the charges against Dr. Wang.

The reaction from Chinese pro-democracy and human rights activists has been even stronger. One prominent pro-democracy dissident, Mr. Xu Wenli, who himself spent a total of 16 years in Chinese prisons before the Bush Administration helped him come to America, wrote an open letter to President Bush. Mr. Xu asked President Bush to urge the Justice Department to drop the charge against Dr. Wang. He further wrote in his letter, "In the early morning of April 23rd, I solemnly pledged to Dr. Wenyi Wang: ‘If the Washington D.C. District Court sentences you to prison, I am willing to go to prison and serve the sentence with you or stand outside the prison gate while you are incarcerated.’"{mospagebreak}

Professor Sun Wenguang of Shandong University in China stated, "Believing that humanity surpasses everything is the manifestation of Ms. Wang’s noble character."

Several prominent human rights lawyers in China, including Gao Zhisheng, have accepted the invitation to join the legal team for Dr. Wang and defend her. Gao wrote in an open letter to the (potential) jury, "Ms. Wang’s courage and ethics provides a shining light on humanity."

China’s Organ Trade: Crime Under the Surgical Light

Sixty years ago, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the Nazis’ deliberate and systematic extermination of European Jews a "crime that has no name." The world cried, "NEVER AGAIN!"

But since then, genocide—as the new crime came to be called—has continued to occur. Recently, a horrifying story leaked out of China: Thousands of detainees in a communist government-sanctioned underground concentration camp have had their organs removed for organ transplant operations before they were killed and secretly cremated.

Sujiatun in the Media Spotlight

Sujiatun, a quiet suburban town near Shenyang, a major city in northeastern China, has been in the news for the past month. On March 8, 2006, Jin Zhong, a journalist who fled China, revealed in an interview with The Epoch Times that there was a secret concentration camp in Sujiatun where organs from live Falun Gong practitioners were taken for organ transplant operations.

Mr. Jin said he came across the underground concentration camp while researching the regime’s response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Mr. Jin then discovered that a large secret prison had been built and as many as 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were incarcerated at the facility. "The hospital is harvesting the prisoners’ organs, including kidneys, livers, and corneas," he said. "The organs are then sold to patients, from both China and abroad, who need organ transplants."

Mr. Jin told the story again in an interview with Radio France International, which was aired on March 19 and 20. The news was also picked up by several other media, such as The Washington Times, National Review, and the Agence France Presse.

After Mr. Jin’s revealing story, a second witness—the ex-wife of a surgeon at the facility who was involved in harvesting organs from live Falun Gong members—came forward to testify that the concentration camp was actually under the auspices of the Liaoning Provincial Thrombosis Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, where she had worked. An interview with her revealed some of the brutal measures used at the camp in the treatment of the prisoners detained there:

"My ex-husband had the habit of writing diary notes. One of his notes described such a story: After the patient lost consciousness, a little bag dropped from the patient’s pocket when the clothes were cut open with a scissors. When the box was opened, there was a round Falun emblem inside and a piece of paper saying, ‘May Mommy [Have] a Happy Birthday!’

"My ex-husband was severely traumatized by the stimulus…{mospagebreak}

"Because I couldn’t accept the fact that he was involved in organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners, we divorced. I myself was also severely hurt and traumatized. If it was not my husband who told me what he had done, I could not have believed there is such a thing. I am not a Falun Gong practitioner. …In the last couple of years, to tell you the truth, I have felt extremely guilty as a Chinese with conscience."

Drawing on sources within China, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), a U.S.-based NGO, released a report stating that the Sujiatun death camp is being steered by provincial-level Communist Party officials in Liaoning Province, as well as Shenyang City officials. Particularly involved are managers in health bureaus, who stand to gain the most financially. The report portrays an efficient machine driven by profit and a confidence born of state backing. The camp is said to be running "a systematic procedural practice" that began as early as 2001.

According to WOIPFG President John Jaw, the Falun Gong practitioners who were held in the Sujiatun camp were likely arrested on extra-judicial grounds and administratively sentenced. "They have been detained for their affiliation with the Falun Gong, as opposed to having committed some sort of criminal act," he said.

After three weeks’ silence, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang denied the existence of the concentration camp in a press conference on March 28, and termed organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners an "absurd lie." Qin also invited news reporters to Sujiatun to investigate. On March 30, the Sound of Hope radio station and WOIPFG announced their acceptance of the invitation, followed by other media organizations.

Organ Transplants a Booming Industry in China

Organ transplant surgery began in China in the early 1980s and has flourished in the past quarter century. Many top hospitals recently built new facilities or expanded existing organ transplant centers. Numerous other hospitals have followed suit in this lucrative business. There are 368 hospitals in China that engage in kidney transplants, and more than 200 of them can perform liver transplantation, according to official statistics reported by Phoenix TV on March 26, 2006.

For example, the Tianjin Orient Organ Transplant Center was founded in December 2000 as a spin-off of the Tianjin First Center Hospital.[1] It is the largest organ transplant center in Asia, with the capacity to handle nine liver transplant operations and eight kidney transplant operations simultaneously. The number of kidney transplants increased from 77 in 2001 to 436 in 2005, while the number of liver transplants ballooned from eight in 1998 to 647 in 2005.{mospagebreak}

Some Major Organ Transplant Centers/Institutions Established or Expanded After 2000
Tianjin Orient Organ Transplant Center
Organ Transplant Center of the Chinese People’s Armed Police General Hospital
Organ Transplant Center of People’s Liberation Army Number 309 Hospital
The Transplantation Center of China Medical University
Organ Transplant Center in Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University
Organ Transplant Center of Zhengzhou University First Affiliated Hospital
Peking University Third Hospital Liver Transplantation Center
Beijing Organ Transplantation Center (Beijing Chaoyang Hospital)
Shanghai Organ Transplant Center
Transplantation Center of Tongren Hospital, Beijing

With the recent rapid expansion of organ transplant centers around the country, hospitals are now actively going out to recruit foreign patients from rich countries. For example, the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center (CITNAC) was founded in 2003 by the transplant institute at the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang.[2] This transplant assistance center mainly focuses on foreigners and recruits patients for several major organ transplant hospitals in China, including the Transplantation Center of China Medical University in Shenyang, Beijing Organ Transplantation Center (Beijing Chaoyang Hospital) in Beijing, and Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai.

According to information posted on the official website of the People’s Liberation Army’s Number 309 Hospital, the organ transplant center is an important profit-making department. The center, with a staff of 78, brought in revenues of 16 million yuan (US$2 million) to the hospital in 2003, an amount that was expected to reach 30 million yuan (US$3.75 million) in 2005. "The organ transplant center is our revenue leader. In the first half of 2004 we received 13.57 million yuan (US$1.7 million) and will break 30 million yuan (US$3.75 million) by year’s end."[3]

The reason behind such high profitability is the scarcity of human organs available for transplant. The information posted on the CITNAC website describes the difficulties of getting an organ transplant in Japan:

"There are now about 13,000 patients who want to receive an organ transplantation in Japan. Japan Organ Transplantation Network Center handed out approximately 70,000,000 voluntary organ donor cards in April 2001, but there were only 14 brain-dead patients who had donated their organs for transplantation. There are many patients facing death because they cannot obtain the organs they need. The cost of a liver transplant abroad is about 50,000,000-60,000,000 yen, and even then it is not certain an organ donor can be found, even in the U.S. It is the regrettable fact that it is difficult to find donors for patients who need organ transplantation. And many patients die while waiting."[4]{mospagebreak}

CITNAC then makes the sales pitch:

"Do you know that over 100 kidney transplants and more than 20 liver transplants are successfully completed in the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center annually? And quite a number of Japanese patients are helped." "Viscera providers can be found immediately! Please contact us before the state of your illness gets worse. (In accordance with Chinese law, the viscera are provided by state-owned hospitals.)" "When you want to apply for an organ, you should make a payment of $5,000 to our appointed account. Once we confirm the money has been deposited in our account, we can provide you with a formal organ application. It may take only one week to find a suitable donor, the maximum time being one month because kidney transplants require a HLA tissue match. We will send the information about the organ donor to you one week before the operation."[5] (Underlines added by Chinascope for emphasis.)

Table 1. CITNAC Price List for Organ Transplants

Organ(s) Cost of Transplant
Kidney US$62,000
Liver US$98,000-130,000
Liver-kidney US$160,000-180,000
Kidney-pancreas US$150,000
Lung US$150,000-170,000
Heart US$130,000-160,000
Cornea US#30,000
Source: CITNAC websote.

Behind these successes in organ transplantation, however, lurks a serious problem. International human rights organizations and the U.S. Congress have long suspected that the Chinese communist regime systematically takes organs from executed prisoners without their consent.

Furthermore, Tsing Dao Daily reported in November 2005 that Huang Jiefu, Deputy Minister of Health, acknowledged that the majority of organs for transplant came from executed prisoners.[6] It further reported that less than five percent of organs for transplants came from donors while over 95 percent came from executed prisoners.

Sources of Human Organs In China{mospagebreak}

Efforts have been made to investigate, report on, and discuss China’s organ harvesting practices since 1995 by human rights organizations, public media, and Western governments.

Table 2. Samples of Investigative Reports on Organ Harvesting in China

Date Investigations Location in China
3/2006 WOIPFG Investigation Report [I & II] Sujiatun, Liaoning Province
6/27/2001 U.S. Congressional hearing: Dr. Wang Guoqi of the Tianjin Military Hospital spoke of his direct involvement with organ harvest Multiple locations
1/9/2000 The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
11/1997 Penhouse: November issue feature by reporter Catherine Field Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
10/15/1997 ABC News Prime Time Live broadcast detailing evidence of organ harvesting in China’s military hospitals Nan Fang Hospital, First Military Medical University, Guangzhou
1995 U.S. Congressional hearing: Illegal Trade in Huamn Body Parts Multiple locations
8/1994 Human Rights Watch: China Organ Procurement and Judicial Execution in China Multiple locations

Role of the Chinese Communist Government

Regime officials play integral roles in every step of the organ harvesting procedure-from the sentencing of prisoners to death, to the extraction and transplantation of their organs without their consent. The entire process requires coordination by various government agencies. Doctors screen death-row prisoners’ blood tests before their executions to determine blood type and a prisoner’s suitability as a potential organ source. Once results are confirmed, the courts set an execution date and doctors are notified to ready their patients to receive the transplants. Directly after the prisoner receives a single shot to the head, officials confirm death, and organs are quickly removed and placed in a solution for transport to a nearby hospital. Patients pay a great deal of money for such surgeries. The money that flows into the hospitals is also shared by the courts and prisons for bribes, information on upcoming executions, and blood tests. In China’s "organ business," the courts, the police, the prisons, and the hospitals work hand in hand.{mospagebreak}

The Chinese communist government’s involvement in the practice of organ harvesting began with the promulgation of the Rules Concerning the Dissection of Corpses in 1979 from China’s Public Health Ministry. This document asserts the legality of using corpses and organs of executed prisoners in experimental research. In the 1981 Reply Concerning the Question of the Utilization of Corpses of Criminals Sentenced to Death, the Chinese Ministry of Justice made clear its approval of the practice. This document describes organ harvesting as "very necessary from the standpoint of medical treatment and scientific research." These earlier rulings were soon followed by China’s first national directive on executed prisoners and organs for transplant. This document, the Provisional Regulations on the Use of Dead Bodies or Organs from Condemned Criminals, was signed in 1984. It stipulates the conditions under which health personnel may harvest organs from executed prisoners, the procedures for coordination of prison and public security officials with transplant doctors, and the confidentiality of the process. Although it was promulgated at the national level, it is a directive. It is not a law and has never been passed through the Chinese People’s Congress (See appendix on page 18).

The Strike-Hard Campaign: Capital Punishment Used to Supply Organ Demands

The entire system of organ harvesting in China would not be possible were it not for the Chinese communist regime’s policies regarding capital punishment. Since Amnesty International began publishing records of worldwide executions in 1993, China has continuously held the distinction of conducting more executions every year than the rest of the world combined. This figure remains constant despite the fact that Amnesty’s recorded executions are limited to those published in China’s open-source press materials. They represent only a fraction of the true number, which in China is considered a state secret.

One earlier, well-known case was Ms. Zhong Haiyuan. Ms. Zhong, a young political prisoner who was a teacher at a middle school in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, was executed. While she was still alive, her kidneys were removed. She was shot twice in the head but did not die, according to Lao Gui, a well-known Chinese journalist at the China Legal Daily who interviewed the police officer who executed Zhong, at her execution on April 30, 1978. Medical personnel were allowed to take her body into a specially erected operating facility on the prison premises and to remove both kidneys while she was still alive. One kidney was transplanted into the body of the son of a high-ranking military officer, a deputy battalion commander of the Nanjing Military Region who had earlier arranged for officials at the Jiangxi prison to facilitate the operation.[7]

The following is an excerpt of the testimony of Wang Quoqi, a doctor at the Paramilitary Police Tianjin General Brigade Hospital in Tianjin, China, given at the June 27, 2001, U.S. Congressional hearing:{mospagebreak}

"My work required me to remove skin and corneas from the corpses of over 100 executed prisoners… Once notified of an execution, our section would prepare all necessary equipment and arrive at the Beicang Crematorium in plain clothes with all official license plates on our vehicles replaced with civilian ones. … Each criminal had identification papers in his or her pocket that detailed the victim’s name, age, profession, work unit, address and crime. Nowhere on these papers was there any mention of voluntary organ donation, and clearly the prisoners did not know how their bodies would be used after death."[8]

Dr. Wang further testified that in October 1995 in Hebei Province, he administered a shot of heparin to the prisoner before execution to prevent blood clotting. The police told the prisoner that it was a tranquilizer to prevent suffering during the execution. The prisoner "responded by giving thanks to the government." After he was shot, "the prisoner had not yet died, but instead lay convulsing on the ground. We were ordered to take him to the ambulance anyway, where urologists Wang Shifu, Zhao Wingling, and Liu Wiyou extracted his kidneys quickly and precisely. When they finished, the prisoner was still breathing, and his heart continued to beat."

Penthouse reporter Catherine Field said in her investigative report in November 1997 that in Guangdong Province, which has a growing number of big-spending foreign customers, "there have been three cases of prisoners who were still alive when put on the operating table." On one occasion, "a surgeon was removing a kidney from a patient – a person who had been executed and proclaimed brain dead when the ‘corpse’ grabbed the doctor’s arm." She says the source for the story was the doctor himself, "still traumatized several months after the incident."[9]

The Strike-Hard Campaign is another tool China’s communist regime uses to enforce control throughout the Chinese population. The Chinese authorities’ Strike-Hard Campaign calls for heavy sentences in the crackdown on targets during major political events such as the opening of the Communist Party Congress. Prisoners are subjected to public sentencing rallies and public executions, and executed in large numbers during these crackdowns.

According to Radio Free Asia, rights groups have long charged China with a deliberate policy of linking the criminal justice system and local hospitals in an attempt to meet the growing demand for transplants, especially since Chinese hospitals became proficient at performing these operations in the early 1990s. They also accuse the authorities of skipping over the question of consent, either with coerced agreements before the prisoner is executed or simply by cremating the bodies of those executed so no evidence remains.{mospagebreak}

An Established Business

The harvesting of prisoners’ organs does not take a long time. "We are experienced; we have done this for many decades," said Yang Ailing, deputy director of the Kidney Department of Xuchang Central Hospital.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin service, a nurse at the No. 3 Hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, answered, "Mostly, yes," when asked if transplant organs were taken from the bodies of executed prisoners.

Asked if the organs were removed from the bodies before death, she replied, "Of course they are."

"They are living organs…very healthy," the nurse told RFA reporter Fang Yuan.

According to the official state-run media source, Zhongyang Shen, with the Beijing Armed Police Hospital, was the doctor who successfully completed the first Chinese liver transplant operation on May 14, 1994. Prior to this, 64 liver transplant operations were tried in China, but none were successful. The Armed Police Hospital’s own website reports that Dr. Shen has performed 1,600 liver transplants as of March 16, 2006. In April 14, 2005, the Armed Police Hospital conducted five liver transplant operations within 24 hours under Dr. Shen’s direction, a record for all the military hospitals.

It has also been reported that in emergency cases, patients were transferred from other hospitals to the Armed Police Hospital. In these cases, the doctors operated on the patients immediately. No difficulties in finding or matching the organs have ever been mentioned. No waiting time was ever specified or mentioned.

The Unexplained Abundance of Organs Available in China

The Donor-Recipient Matching Process

The United States has the most advanced organ transplant technology and citizen-supported organ donation system, yet it is still difficult for patients to get needed organs. Take kidney transplants as an example: A patient is usually on the waiting list for an available kidney anywhere from six months to years.

According to the National Kidney Foundation in New York, the transplant waiting list is for individuals who are waiting for a nonliving donor kidney transplant at a transplant center.[10] The median waiting time nationwide was more than three years for those listed in 1999. The number of transplants from nonliving donors remains around 9,000 per year, thanks to those Americans who generously donate their organs after death. Individual transplant centers across the United States maintain waiting lists with as many as 500 to 1,500 candidates.{mospagebreak}

Once a kidney becomes available from a nonliving donor, the transplant center conducts a matching process to decide who is eligible to receive it. Candidates are matched to kidneys based on such factors as blood group (A, B, 0, AB), tissue type (approximately 150 different kinds), length of time on the waiting list, and medical condition. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the chances of getting a perfect kidney match from a natural brother or sister (usually as a live donor) is about 25 percent, while from a nonliving donor (not related by blood), the chance is about 6.5 percent.

The same holds true for liver transplants. In the United States, there are more than 17,500 patients on waiting lists, with more added each day. Almost 5,000 patients receive transplanted livers every year, but more than 1,700 patients on the waiting lists die each year.[11] The matching requirements for liver transplants are less restrictive than kidney transplants; the minimal requirement is matching blood type.

What is the process in China? Organ transplantation in China requires the same match for blood type and tissue type, but the numerical relation between donor and recipient groups are different from that in the United States.

In the United States, a large pool of patients is waiting at any given time for a single available kidney. The matching process is to find the perfect recipient on the waiting list for the newly available kidney. The chances of finding a perfect match are very high.

In China, most of the Chinese patients cannot afford an organ transplant. The recipient pool is much smaller, and many in the pool are foreigners who come from other countries as new patients. The matching process in this situation is reversed: When a foreign patient has applied for and paid for an organ transplant, the organ transplant center needs to find a matching kidney for this particular patient. Taking the 6.5 percent average chance as the standard, the hospital needs to have access to at least 16 organ sources to find a match for one patient.

This reversed matching process presents another problem. A vital organ such as a kidney is only suitable for transplant within 24 to 48 hours after the demise of the donor. For that reason, American organ transplant centers require their patients to get to the center within a reasonable time (6 to 10 hours) once a matched kidney is found. However, according to the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center (CITNAC), the reverse is happening in China-Chinese hospitals promise to find matched organs for foreign patients and then notify the patients a week before the operations. The only possible scenario for this type of reversed matching process-as horrible as it is-is that the hospitals have access to live organ donors waiting to be killed.{mospagebreak}

The Unexplained Organ Bank

The expansion of the organ transplant business in China has had to deal with the difficulty of obtaining the necessary organs. It is a tradition in China that one’s body must remain whole after death, so Chinese people are, in general, reluctant to donate their organs-neither live organ donation nor organ donation after death is considered acceptable. Live kidney donation accounts for only about one percent of all the kidney transplants performed in China, according to official statistics.[12]

Chinese law currently does not recognize "brain death," so organs can only be obtained from cadavers. For all these reasons, China should be facing an extreme shortage of organs for transplant. Yet in reality, the organ transplant centers appear to have an abundant supply of live organs that they are eager to sell to foreigners.

In the following information posted in a Q&A on the China CITNAC website, one can see how confident this Shenyang organization is that it can get live organs for sale:

Q: Are the organs for the pancreas transplant from brain dead patients?
A: Our organs do not come from brain dead victims because the state of the organ may not be good.

Q: How long does it take to find a donor for the operation after applying?
A: The time taken to find a donor may be as little as one week, but with a kidney transplant, where a HLA tissue match is needed, it may take up to one month to find a donor. December and January are the peak season for donors. Patients applying at this time experience the shortest waiting period for a suitable donor. For a patient who is still working, this is the best time to apply for transplant surgery

At a press conference on March 25, 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia, representatives from the Guangzhou Organ Transplant Center and the North Jakarta Hospital announced the establishment of a joint medical program, whereby the Chinese would supply human organs needed for the patients at the Indonesian hospital. Liao Dehuai, a representative of and a surgeon from the Guangzhou Organ Transplant Center, stated that each year over 200 Indonesian patients went to Guangzhou for kidney transplants.[14]

In a December 24, 2004, news report in the Chinese Chenbao newspaper, Associate Professor Wu Gang with the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University stated that there was an abundant supply of kidneys for transplant patients in Shenyang.{mospagebreak}

The source of that "abundant supply of kidneys" in those Chinese hospitals remains puzzling. Even if all the death row prisoners are counted as potential organ donors, there are only 4,000 to 10,000 of them each year, and most of them do not consent to be organ donors.[15] In addition, many factors can reduce the number of organs that qualify for organ transplant: Some of those prisoners are not suitable organ sources due to poor health or disease; a portion of them are executed in remote areas far away from the big cities; and most of the executions are conducted in groups at specified times (usually before big holidays), which makes it even more difficult to find a suitable match for the available organs at other times. Yet kidney transplants have reached over 5,000 per year since 2000, according to statistics by the Chinese Society of Organ Transplantation [Editor’s note: the number only reflects the transplants conducted in the hospitals registered in the Chinese Society of Organ Transplantation].[16]

Covering Up the Evidence?

It has been reported that, as a result of the public attention being focused on this matter—and as a result of overseas media and investigative teams shining a light on these surgical procedures—Chinese authorities have transferred all Falun Gong practitioners in the Sujiatun facility to unknown locations and have completed preparing the facility for an international investigation.

According to press reports, the U.S. government announced on April 14, 2006, that it had toured the facility at Sujiatun twice and found "no evidence that the site is being used for any function other than as a normal public hospital." While it is plausible that the U.S. government has now taken the first steps to try to uncover the truth about what has been happening in China’s hospitals and labor camps, it would be surprising if a couple of tours of the facilities had yielded any other result.


Exchange rate:approximately 1 US dollar = 8 yuan.
[7] "Baoshi Huangye de Nüfan" ("Female Prisoners Die Violent Deaths in the Wilderness"), by Lao Gui, China Spring, September 1992, pp.76-91.
[9] "Chinese Takeout." Penthouse, November 1997.

[12] Min Zhilian: Journal of Transplant (in Chinese), March 2004 issue, Vol. 2, No. 1, page 21
[16] Second Academic Exchange Conference of Organ Donation and Transplants, organized by Health Minstry of China, June 3, 2004

Appendix 1: 1984 Provisional Regulations on the Use of the Dead Bodies or Organs of Condemned Criminals

I. Those criminals who are sentenced to death and executed immediately must "be executed by means of shooting in light of the relevant provision in the Criminal Law. When the execution is over, the dead bodies could be otherwise dealt with only after death is confirmed by the supervising procurator on the spot.

II. The dead bodies or organs from condemned criminals after execution or the remains can be collected by their family members.

III. The dead bodies or organs of the following categories of the condemned criminals can be made use of:

1. The uncollected dead bodies or the ones that the family members refuse to collect;
2. Those condemned criminals who volunteer to give their dead bodies or organs to the medical institutions;
3. Upon the approval of the family members.

IV. The following provisions must be observed regarding the use of dead bodies or organs from condemned criminals:

1. The units making use of the dead bodies or organs must maintain the technical level of and be provided with equipment necessary for the medical scientific research or transplantation, they must be examined, approved and granted "special permits" by the Department (Bureau) of Public Health of the provinces or autonomous regions within whose jurisdiction these units are located, and they must go to Bureau of Public Health of the Municipality or District for record.

2. The use of dead bodies shall be arranged in an unified way by the Bureau of Public Health of the Municipality or Prefecture, which shall contact the People’s Court and the units using the dead bodies respectively in accordance with the order of importance and urgency and the principle of comprehensive use.{mospagebreak}

3. After the execution order of death penalty is issued, and there are dead bodies that can be directly used, the People’s Court should inform in advance the Bureau of Public Health of the Municipality or Prefecture, which shall pass on the information to the units using the dead bodies and grant them permits to use the dead bodies; copies should be sent to the People’s Court responsible for the execution of death penalty and the People’s Procuratorate in charge of the on-the-spot supervision. The units using the dead bodies should contact the People’s Court on their own initiative, within the prescribed time limits of the execution of death penalty by the People’s Court. As to the dead bodies that could be used only upon the approval of the family members, the People’s Court is to inform the department in charge of public health, which will consult the family members, and consequently reach written agreement in relation to the scope of use, disposal after use, disposal expenses and economic compensation and etc. The Bureau of Public Health of the Municipality or Prefecture shall, according to the agreement, grant the units the certificates to use the dead bodies; copies should be sent to the units concerned. When the condemned criminals volunteer to give their dead bodies to the medical institutions, there should be formal written certificates or records duly signed by the same, which should be kept in the People’s Court for future reference.

Appendix 2: Organ Transplants in China Surge During April

Following the testimonies in March by two witnesses who disclosed that live Falun Gong members were being killed in a secret concentration camp and that their organs were harvested for transplants, reporters from Sound of Hope Radio made phone calls to major hospitals in China. They contacted the organ transplant departments in the hospitals to assess the current situation. From their conversations with the doctors, the reporters accidentally discovered that the incidence of organ transplantation in China has suddenly surged in April, and major hospitals there are working overtime to perform organ transplants.

Most of the medical doctors who answered the phone gave the same guarantee—there will be an unusually large number of organ donors before May 1. After that date, the source of donors will be drying up. Following is an excerpt from the transcripts of the phone interviews conducted by reporter Tang Mei with medical doctors from various hospitals in China:

Doctor A: "April. We should have a lot of organs before the end of April. We are getting more and more supply of organs, but you have to seize the opportunity. Do you know what I mean? After this period of time, the supply will dry up. After the end of April, there will be a period where we will have nothing. We just won’t have any supply of organs! If you don’t have an organ transplant when there is a supply, you are leading yourself to a dead end when the supply disappears!"

Doctor B: "You will have to get it done by May 1. This week and next week! After May 1, we will have very few organs."{mospagebreak}

Doctor C: "If you want to come for an organ transplant, you must try to come before May."

Doctor D: "All of our donors are in their 20s and 30s. They are very healthy. We guarantee livers and kidneys from living human beings. The livers are whole livers. For some blood types, we have donors right now."

Doctor E: "Normally they are in their 20s and 30s. I can guarantee they are very healthy and the organs are fresh."

Reporter: "Is it a whole liver?"
Doctor E: "A whole liver. A whole liver."

Reporter: "I heard some of the donors are young and healthy people in their 20s and 30s."
Doctor F: "Yes! That’s right!"

Doctor G: "(We should be able to find an organ) from a donor of AB blood type. It should be available these days."

Reporter: "Do you mean kidneys from living people?"
Doctor H: "Yes. We also supply livers from living people!"

Reporter: "Livers from living people?"
Doctor H: "Yes! Yes!"

Reporter: "I heard you can supply organs from young, healthy people in their 20s and 30s?"
Doctor I: "Yes! Yes!"

Reporter: "I heard they are harvested from living human beings."
Doctor I: "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Reporter: "Some labor camps imprison Falun Gong practitioners and then harvest their organs when they are alive?"
Doctor I: "…Right!"

Doctor J: "There are 30 patients right now waiting in line for organ transplant operations."

Reporter: "Are you all working overtime for organ transplant operations?"{mospagebreak}

Doctor K: "Yes! Yes! Yes! We have several organ transplant teams here working around the clock! We have a total of four teams that can perform organ transplants!"

Reporter: "Are you doing a lot of organ transplants lately?"
Doctor L: "Well, that’s that!"

Translated by CHINASCOPE from Audio recording available at

State Police Kidnap Human Rights Activists for Participating in the Hunger Strike Movement

"Come home, come home! No matter where you are, come to me!" Zeng Jinyan cried on the phone. These were her words on March 28, 2006, when she heard the voice of her husband, Hu Jia, for the first time in 41 days.

For 41 days, Hu Jia, a well-known AIDS activist in Beijing, seemed to have totally vanished from the face of the earth. No one knew what had happened to him or of his whereabouts, despite his wife’s tireless appeals to the police authorities and attention from international organizations, including the United Nations. The security police, who had been monitoring him closely, denied having taken him away. When he was finally released, his captors dumped him in a remote area and he had to walk for an hour to get home. A preliminary medical exam found signs of cirrhosis of his liver, due to the harsh conditions and lack of medication while he was in police custody. This is a serious complication of viral hepatitis that can lead to liver failure and cancer.

Radio Free Asia interviewed Hu Jia after his release. On February 16, Mr. Hu planned to attend a non-governmental HIV/AIDS conference. Because he was under house arrest, the police were charged with keeping him in their custody. They put him into a police car and promptly headed off, but not in the direction of the conference. The police wrapped Mr. Hu’s head in a black cloth and took him to a village on the outskirts of Beijing, where he was interrogated for the next 40 days.

Hu Jia was not the only one taken into custody. At least several dozen others were also arrested.

Qi Zhiyong, a human rights activist who became handicapped as a result of the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, disappeared on February 15, one day before Mr. Hu’s arrest. At about the same time, Wen Haibo and Ma Wendou, Attorney Gao Zhisheng’s assistants, were arrested on separate occasions. Ouyang Xiaorong, a 32-year-old computer programmer who helped Gao Zhisheng organize a hunger-strike protest, was arrested on February 16. Yu Zhijina, one of the "Three Tiananmen Square Gentlemen," was arrested in Changsha City, Hunan Province, on February 18. Meanwhile Zhao Xin, a 38-year-old June 4th activist, was taken away from his parents’ home by police on February 21.

It has become routine that each year, before and during Beijing’s annual so-called "Two Conferences" (referring to the People’s Congress, this year held on March 5-14, and the Political Consultation Conference held on March 3-13 this year) all of the well-known dissidents and human rights activists in China are put under surveillance or house arrest.

In previous years, police usually held such activists for only a couple of days during these so-called "sensitive periods," but this time police abducted them without notifying their next of kin. It was as if they simply evaporated into thin air.{mospagebreak}

Hu Jia was interrogated every day during his detention. The issue of concern was the massive "Hunger Strike Relay" initiated by Attorney Gao Zhisheng on February 4, 2006, to protest the regime’s brutal treatment of human rights lawyer Guo Fexiong when Attorney Guo was investigating the massacre of farmers in Shanwei Village, Guangdong Province.

All the people mentioned above who were arrested were participants or organizers of the Hunger Strike Relay. Hu Jia was one of the leading organizers.

The arrests seemed to have added more fuel to the flames of protest. As news of the Hunger Strike Relay spread, a worldwide hunger strike in support of Attorney Gao and against persecution began in homes and in public places, with tens of thousands of people participating. In Shandong Province alone, at least 3,000 people participated. The date was March 6, right before the opening of the "Two Conferences."

The arrest of a group of students from Lanzhou University in Gangsu Province, in early March after they announced their participation in the Hunger Strike Relay prompted another campaign against ongoing persecution by the Chinese communist government. Dubbed the "Blue Ribbon Movement," this anti-persecution campaign supports the students.

According to reports, about 10,000 people in Suozhou City, Shanxi Province, all wearing blue ribbons, conducted hunger strikes on March 16. Blue ribbons have been seen all over at least 12 provinces. The movement is now underway.

This is the first time in China’s history that large numbers of people are on hunger strikes supporting one another across the country, in opposition to the communist regime’s violations of human rights. The Hunger Strike Relay is done at home, and anyone can start at any time. The authorities have yet to find a way to quash it. After all, how effective could the tanks used in Tiananmen Square be in this instance?