On November 20, 2007, tens of thousands of ant farmers held demonstrations in front of the Liaoning Provincial Government, the Shanyang Municipal Government and the Headquarters of Yilishen Tianxi Group. The authorities sent Liaoning's entire police force to suppress the protest.
Jurist Professor Yuan Hongbing analyzed the background and cause for the Yilishen incident in an interview. He advised the victims to line up with other rights defending movements across the country, and warned them not to rely on the CCP.
Yuan pointed out that the Yilishen Company was a typical collusion between government and business enterprises, and that the growth of Yilishen had close ties with Bo Xilai, the former governor of Liaoning. Yuan said the company's development and collapse show that the “economic reform” of the CCP has not established real free market economy based on fair competition, but rather an anti-social market economy dominated and controlled by Party bigwigs.
In the past eight years, over one million ant farmers had been misguided by the CCP's vigorous praise of Yilishen. Many ant farmers invested everything they had into breeding ants. Just over a month ago, the government forced the Yilishen Company into bankruptcy. Yuan said, “All of these events prove that Chinese authorities are realizing their power in mafia-like ways. Whoever believes in this kind of power, said Yuan, will likely face a harsh lesson.
Yuan believes that the Yilishen incident is directly linked to corrupt officials. It's widely believed that the growth of Yilishen was connected to Bo Xilai. During Bo's governorship Yilishen grew rapidly because the open support from the authorities and the high exposure on official media quickly won Yilishen people's trust.
“Bo repeatedly guaranteed Yilishen's credibility in the name of the government, which is why so many people believed in it and invested their life savings into this company,” said Yuan.
Yuan revealed that Yilishen finally fell because the company's chairman failed to develop a good relationship with the son of the incumbent Liaoning premier. Hence after Bo left Liaoning the company lost support from the authorities, which ultimately led to Yilishen's collapse.
Yuan commented that the Yilishen case is a typical story in China's unjust and corrupt system, “The fundamental cause for Yilishen's bankruptcy is the conflict between the officials and dishonest businessmen.
The officials used their power to force Yilishen to the verge of bankruptcy. This illustrates to the Chinese people a basic fact: the so-called 'economic reform' led by the CCP is not a free market economy based on the principle of fair competition, but a market economy manipulated and controlled by Party bigwigs. The system is established on corrupted power and lubricated by power-money deals.”
He added, “This kind of market economy is anti-social in nature, because the main function of this system is to transfer the wealth of the society into property completely handled by corrupted officials and unscrupulous merchants.”
“Under the market economy manipulated by bigwigs, it is impossible for large corporations to develop independent from the dictatorial power center,” concluded Yuan. “Collusion between corrupt power and dirty capital is the prerequisite for the survival and development of any corporation in China, especially for large ones.”
Yuan warned people not to hold any illusions about the CCP because the regime would never help return the commission to ant farmers. “In China power abuses have caused numerous similar debt disputes like the Yilishen case and involved thousands of victims.”
Since the story of the Yilishen affair broke, Liaoning authorities have taken every measure to block all related news. Meanwhile the authorities published a series of announcements to the victims in local media, dumping all the responsibilities to Yilishen president Wang Fengyou, and threatening to investigate whether the investment of the ant farmers are from legal sources. Under such threats, some ant farmers dare not make future demands to recover the debt.
What should the ant farmers do under these circumstances? Yuan's opinion is that the first principle of China's current rights defending activities is to fully realize the political elements underlying people's tribulations. in China must get on the path of “Idealized Politics (translation not sure?), organized movement
“In the Yilishen case, for example, Liaoning authorities and Bo Xilai are directly responsible for the tragedy of the ant farmers. But we must realize that the root of all these is the tyranny and dictatorship of Chinese communist regime.” Therefore, he said, only when Chinese completely refuse the tyranny of the CCP, can we make sure such a tragedy doesn't happen again.
The second principle, said Yuan, is to get organized. He said that the Yilishen victims should organize their rights defending activities in semi-secret or secret ways to fortify and focus their forces.
Yuan also advised coordinated unification means that Yilishen victims to unite with China's other rights defending groups like unemployed military veterans. “In this way,” said Yuan, “people will form a unified frontier against the Chinese communist regime across the entire society and the entire nation.”