When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life on Feb. 6 to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, and Chongqing’s Communist Party chief Bo Xilai pursued him with 70 police cars and armored vehicles, the first sign appeared of a power struggle breaking out at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The world has since been offered a glimpse at how the CCP’s leadership operates behind closed doors. The world has also been given the opportunity to understand how the massive and powerful CCP organ called the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) has violated the laws that it is charged with enforcing.
There is no way for Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to prevent the CCP from ending.
At the same time, the infighting behind the high red walls of Zhongnanhai, the CCP’s leadership compound, has focused attention on the darkest chapter in the history of today’s China: the persecution of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. That persecution is now seen to be the core issue behind the struggles going on at the top of the CCP.
Operating Outside the Law
After the then-paramount leader of the CCP Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999, he found maintaining his signature campaign difficult. It was unpopular and absurd on its face. Rather than change course, Jiang chose to drive the persecution forward by giving more and more power to the PLAC.
Before Jiang, the PLAC was mainly in charge of domestic intelligence, public security, the safety of the CCP leaders, and the reeducation-through-labor, judicial, procuratorial, and other legal or law-enforcement systems.
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Under Jiang, the PLAC’s power was infinitely magnified. The PLAC secretary was promoted to be a member of Politburo Standing Committee—the nine men who run the CCP—and given the authority to utilize the resources of the Supreme Court, Supreme Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Justice, the Armed Police and other agencies at various levels.
At the same time, the PLAC expanded the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force, giving it the capability to contend with the military. As Epoch Times commentator Wang Hua has explained, the PLAC became the second power center of the CCP.
When former PLAC Secretary Qiao Shi was in office, he used the Armed Police only once in over 10 years, and the Armed Police was subordinate to the police department.
When Jiang Zemin’s trusted follower Zhou Yongkang took over, he used the Armed Police 15 times in a year, and the scale of the Armed Police’s actions got greater and greater. From the forced demolitions of people’s homes to performing security checks at meetings, the Armed Police came to be used frequently. As the PLAC’s power swelled, it proved able to completely disregard the law.
Jiang Zemin feared his crimes in persecuting Falun Dafa would one day be punished, and so he only trusted those who shared his guilt. He knew that officials who carried out his persecution could never call him to account without also condemning themselves.
Rules and policies were ignored, and Jiang forcefully inserted his trusted aides and accomplices into the highest levels of the Party so that they could directly control the legal system and maintain the persecution.
Regarding Falun Dafa practitioners, Jiang gave orders to “defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.” The scale of the persecution, the amount of resources utilized, the severity, the cruelty of the methods used—all were unprecedented.
Yet, Jiang could only push his mad campaign forward by deceiving the nation. Using the CCP’s ability to control all information and flood society with propaganda, Jiang created lies defaming Falun Dafa. Two lies in particular played key roles, the “1,400 cases” and the fake self-immolations on Tiananmen Square.
The CCP’s propaganda machine claimed that Falun Dafa had caused the deaths of 1,400 people through suicide, homicide, alcoholism, drug use, failure to use medical treatment, mental illness, and so on. This lie was spread just as the persecution was launched and was the opening gambit in an effort to turn the Chinese people against this peaceful, traditional spiritual practice.
The regime used threats and bribes to fabricate these cases; claimed the deaths of many who didn’t practice Falun Dafa as deaths caused by the practice; used patients at mental hospitals who did not practice Falun Dafa as examples of Falun Dafa’s alleged negative effects; and promised reductions in medical expenses to bribe hospital patients into blaming Falun Dafa for their illnesses. After Jiang initiated the persecution, even some Falun Dafa practitioners who had been tortured to death were counted as such cases, increasing the “official” count.
In spite of Jiang’s efforts, the persecution remained widely unpopular with the Chinese people, making it hard to maintain. The Ministry of Public Security, under orders from Central PLAC Secretary Luo Gan, concocted a lie so outrageous that people had to believe it was true—no ordinary person is ready to believe that human beings could use one another in this way.
On Jan. 23, 2001, five individuals set fire to themselves on Tiananmen Square. Among them were a mother, Liu Chunling, and her 12-year-old daughter, Liu Siying. Within one hour after the event, CCTV began playing a video of the “immolations.” That video claimed to show Liu Chunling being burned to death. It played nonstop on CCTV, along with follow-up reports, including a bedside interview with the child Liu Siying swathed in bandages.
The stunt elaborated on the image of Falun Dafa first planted in the minds of the Chinese people by the 1,400 cases. The video seemed to show Falun Dafa practitioners committing suicide and in effect murdering their children. Jiang sought to eliminate the public’s stubborn sympathy for Falun Dafa practitioners and even to make the public begin hating practitioners.
The public was bombarded continuously with the self-immolation video and follow-up reports. A careful analysis of the videos reveals hundreds of flaws in the story spun by Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan.
Continued on the next page: Taken together, these flaws prove the incident was a hoax …