What Awaits Bo Xilai and the Chinese Communist Party
By Zhang Tianliang On October 16, 2012 @ 8:56 pm In Thinking About China | No Comments
The trial of disgraced former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai can be expected any day now. Though there may not be any mention of his atrocity of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, this crime is the factor that determines Bo’s fate, the future of other Chinese officials, and of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
What is to become of Bo Xilai is already set in stone. What specific punishment will be meted out at his upcoming trial, whether it be 20 years, life, or the death penalty, is of lesser importance.
The communist regime will be very unlikely to remain in power for another 20 years. Even if Bo gets away with his life at this time, in the future, he will have to face another open and impartial trial that will reveal his bloodstained hands to the world.
The same holds true for Wang Lijun and Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, who will likewise not be able to evade justice in a future trial for their involvement in the illicit organ trade.
Outsiders following the trial of Gu Kailai may have mistakenly assumed that the connection between Bo and Gu has been successfully severed, as the indictment of Gu Kailai failed to mention Bo.
However, following the trial of Wang Lijun, Xinhua News Agency gave some hints as to how the case against Bo would go.
In a Sept. 19 article, Xinhua referred to Bo as the then “leading official of the Communist Party’s Chongqing Committee” who had “angrily rebuked and slapped” Wang at the end of January after Wang reported to him that Gu Kailai was suspected in murdering Neil Heywood.
The responsibility cannot be assumed by Bo Xilai alone.
The article also said that Wang produced important clues that exposed “serious offenses committed by others” and played a key part in the investigation of those cases.
Between Aug. 9, the day Gu Kailai was officially charged, and Sept. 18, the day Wang Lijun was indicted, the Party leadership compound of Zhongnanhai seemed to be rattled by internal chaos. This was reflected in the public sphere by the strange, two-week-long disappearances from public view of the presumptive next head of the CCP, Xi Jinping, and the head of the Commission for Discipline Inspection, He Guoqiang.
The chaos, beyond doubt, was factional infighting over how to handle the live organ harvesting accusations. This most sensitive of sensitive issues has become the elephant in the room that is harder and harder to ignore. Pressure is mounting from the international community to stop this hideous crime and bring those responsible to justice.
On Sept. 12, witnesses testified at a U.S. congressional hearing titled “Organ Harvesting of Religious and Political Dissidents by the Chinese Communist Party.”
The issue was also presented at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. Annette Jun Guo, editor-in-chief of The Epoch Times, spoke at an official U.N. side panel, Sept. 17, about her investigation into the CCP’s organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
On Oct. 4, 106 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter asking the Secretary of the State to release any information the department has relating to organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. The letter asks in particular for the release of documents regarding organ harvesting that former Chongqing deputy mayor Wang Lijun may have transmitted during his stay in the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6.
On Oct. 5, at a public campaign event at George Mason University, President Obama accepted in person a letter from a representative of the Washington, D.C., Falun Dafa Association asking him to help put an end to the crime of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
All this recent exposure owes to the efforts made since 2006 by The Epoch Times and its media partners New Tang Dynasty Television and Sound of Hope Radio, as well as by a number of independent investigators, to expose the Chinese regime’s state-sanctioned forced, live organ harvesting. The time has arrived when the world will come to know everything.
Next … How Long?
This rapidly expanding awareness of the atrocity of organ harvesting presents a crucial variable in deciding the fate of Bo Xilai and will also help put an end to the Chinese communist regime’s rule.
When the news of Wang Lijun’s attempted defection was first exposed, many people believed that the Chinese regime, as it was facing unprecedented challenges, would try to quietly put the entire issue to rest by allowing Bo Xilai a soft landing.
The Chinese regime also has to deal with Bo’s powerful backer and head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), Zhou Yongkang. With him, the regime would prefer to adopt a stop-loss strategy by forcing him to retire quietly and avoid any further political instability.
However, a big factor beyond the CCP’s control is how long the Party can last. If the CCP leaders think that the regime can keep muddling along from day to day, it is not impossible for them to adopt a stop-loss policy and take a low-key approach with Zhou.
But is it reasonable to think the Party can manage to continue? China’s economy can plunge off a cliff at any time. The public’s grievances, expressed in tens of thousands of mass incidents each year, can explode at any time like a volcano. And the crimes against humanity committed in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners cannot be covered up forever.
Those crimes are horrendous. Leaving aside for the moment all of the other crimes committed during the persecution, take only the atrocity of organ harvesting. In their groundbreaking report Bloody Harvest, the former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and the Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas estimated that 41,000 practitioners had been killed due to forced organ harvesting in the years 2000–2005.
Matas has estimated that in each year since, 8,000 more practitioners have been murdered this way, so that the total number of deaths now approaches 100,000.
So many Chinese officials are transferring their family members and assets overseas that, clearly, no one has confidence in the CCP’s future. Aren’t the Party officials at Zhongnanhai doing the same? Aren’t they also counting down the months or days they think they will be at the helm: one year, a few months, or less?
So many Chinese officials are transferring their family members and assets overseas.
For the leaders’ own safety and as a way of escape, someone must be held responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong and the live organ harvesting when the regime cannot be sustained.
There are signs that Jiang’s faction is preparing for Bo Xilai to become its scapegoat.
However, the responsibility cannot be assumed by Bo Xilai alone. He may be the initiator of live organ harvesting and have committed capital crimes. But organ harvesting is not only happening in Liaoning Province or in the city of Chongqing, where Bo was governor and Party chief respectively.
It is a nationwide practice. Except for the heads of the domestic security apparatus—former PLAC chiefs Zhou Yongkang and Luo Gan and former CCP head Jiang Zemin—no one has had the capacity to carry out or conceal such crimes.
Consequently, Zhou Yongkang must keep spoiling the political situation until the last moment: He will not let Xi Jinping smoothly succeed to rule and will not let the persecution of Falun Gong be eased. It is a matter of life and death for him. Precisely because of this, the current or next set of leaders must deal with Zhou Yongkang.
Time and tide wait for no man. The sooner the current leadership team of Party head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao and their successors—Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang respectively—can be determined to punish those responsible for the crimes involved in the persecution, and the earlier they can take action, the better.
If they wait until the regime is out of control, it will be too late. They will also have to be held accountable for these crimes.
Zhang Tianliang is a writer and commentator on contemporary Chinese political and social issues. He contributes to a variety of publications, including the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television and Voice of America’s Chinese service.
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Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
Copyright © 2012 Epoch Times. All rights reserved.