Mr. Zhang Mengye was formerly an associate professor at Guangdong Province' Institute of Electric Industry. He graduated from the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Tsinghua University in 1959 and was a classmate of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
For refusing to give up his practice of Falun Gong and exposing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s brutality, Zhang was sent to labor camps and brainwashing classes where he was persecuted both physically and mentally.
In mid-November 2005, with help of others, he managed to escape from Mainland China. An Epoch Times reporter heard the news and visited him. Mr. Zhang, who just regained his freedom, although a bit weak, was firm and confident. In the interview, he discussed the options available to Hu Jintao on the verge of the CCP's collapse and hoped that Hu could treasure this last opportunity for redemption. The interview content follows.
The CCP's Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong
Reporter: Hello Mr. Zhang. Falun Gong has been persecuted in China. Even as a classmate of Hu Jintao, you could not be spared. Please share with us your experiences in China and how you feel.
Zhang: I had cirrhosis before practicing Falun Gong. For over ten years, I had tried all kinds of medicine and over ten different Qigong practices, but all in vain. My cirrhosis continued to worsen. The hospital told me I was going to die. Just as I was at my most desperate, I came to learn Falun Gong. Through eight months of serious practice, I completely recovered. My relatives and friends were all amazed.
However such a good practice has been brutally persecuted. In February 2002, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin criticized Guangdong province for being inefficient in persecuting Falun Gong. He went to Guangdong to supervise in person. Under high pressure from Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, Guangdong began to send Falun Gong practitioners to labor camps, and I was among the first group of Falun Gong practitioners dispatched. They even commented that if a classmate of Hu Jintao can be sentenced, no one will be spared. In the last few years, as a result of the CCP's inhuman atrocities, the number of confirmed deaths of practitioners in Mainland China has exceeded 2,000, and there are countless more cases of detentions, labor camp sentences and torture.
“If There Is One More Person Resisting, There Is One More Hope”
Reporter: You made an appeal in Beijing to clarify the truth about Falun Gong, openly reported rogue officials to the Procuratorate, and wrote to Hu Jintao many times. What was the result? What do you think was the significance of doing so?
Zhang: In November 1999, my wife and I went to Beijing to make an appeal. We wrote to the central government, but for doing so, we were sent to Guangzhou City No. 1 Labor camp for more than two years. I had to do hard labor for over ten hours every day and was frequently insulted and tortured. Once I was severely beaten for doing Falun Gong exercises and was handcuffed with my arms around a tree for 3 days. On February 10, 2002, when I was released after being on hunger strike, I was all skin and bones. I am 165 cm tall but I only weighed less than 35 kg.
After I came back, I continued to write to Hu Jintao and Tsinghua University alumni. In May 2002, I was kidnapped again and sent to the so-called “Legal Education School” in Huangpu district of Guangzhou city (it is in reality a lawless fascist concentration camp) to be brainwashed.
For being on a hunger strike to protest the persecution, I was tied to a chair and was force-fed with salt and hot pepper water. I was humiliated and mentally tortured, and was often beaten to the point of having cuts and bruises all over. For a while, I was tortured to the point that I could not squat to take a shower.
Several times, my hands and feet were tied tightly with my hands behind my back, and I was pulled upside down, with my head being pressed under the water in the toilet. My head was pulled up only when I was almost drowned to give me time to catch my breath and was then pressed down again. This was repeated, and I felt as if my whole body was falling apart, and my organs were on fire, it was extremely painful and terrifying.
After I was released, I wrote to Hu Jintao again, and exposed the rogue officials to the Guangzhou City Procuratorate. After this material was posted on the Internet, the police tried to kidnap me for two consecutive days (but failed), and later I was being constantly followed, monitored and placed under surveillance.
As a classmate of Hu Jintao, and a senior citizen, I suffered such inhuman treatment. It not hard to imagine what kind of brutal persecution other Falun Gong practitioners have faced. For this kind of inhuman evilness, this destruction of religion and morality, we must step forward to stop it. I feel that if there is one more person resisting, there is one more hope. For these past few years, as a result of Falun Gong practitioners' unwavering efforts, instead of being eliminated, Falun Gong is in fact getting stronger and stronger.
Hu Jintao's Outlet
Reporter: The public opinion on Hu Jintao varies. You were once his classmate, what's your opinion of him?
Zhang: History is the best judge of public figures. As his classmate, my understanding is that while studying at university Hu's grades were excellent, and he treated people gently. When he was young, people's impression of him was that he was simple and sincere.
Reporter: People noticed that Falun Gong regards Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao differently. For Hu Jintao, they give him “opportunity,” and for Jiang Zemin, they “bring him to justice”, why is that?
Zhang: Falun Gong's attitude on Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao is different for sure. Everyone knows that Jiang Zemin is the chief criminal in persecuting Falun Gong, and he owes countless blood debts. However, when the Central Committee held a meeting to discuss Falun Gong issue, Hu Jintao was against the suppression.
I remembered in 1995, I wrote a letter to Hu Jintao and his wife to introduce Falun Gong and mailed them the Zhuan Falun (the main book of Falun Gong), and hoped they could improve their health by practicing Falun Gong. Hu Jintao's wife once mailed me a card to express her appreciation.
At the Tsinghua University Alumni meeting, I also introduced several times my life-saving experience of practicing Falun Gong. I feel Hu Jintao has some understanding of Falun Gong and has no direct blood debt with Falun Gong. We should “saddle the right horse.” Jiang Zemin and the CCP colluded together to murder Falun Gong practitioners who believe in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Their criminal actions cannot be remitted.
Reporter: Is it possible for Hu Jintao to redress Falun Gong? How do you see this issue?
Zhang: We now have seen that the Falun Gong issue is actually the fundamental knot of all problems in China nowadays. This is a typical manifestation of our country's human rights situation. Whether the CCP can immediately stop the persecution becomes the touchstone that determines whether the CCP effectively fulfills the provisions set forth in the Constitution and earnestly respects human rights.
However, the fact is that it is impossible for the regime, which was established with a ruling foundation of despotism and tyranny to do such a thing. On the other hand, Falun Gong does not pursue any redress. Heaven will eliminate the CCP, and the CCP is not even qualified to redress Falun Gong. What Falun Gong gives Hu Jintao is an opportunity to make his own choice. If he chooses to stop the persecution today, then he has selected his future.
Reporter: After Hu Jintao assumed power, he faced struggle with Jiang's gang, corruption, differentiation between rich and poor and a mass of withdrawals from the CCP. He is in an unprecedented difficult position. Do you think that he can find way out?
Zhang: Now, each step Hu Jintao takes is difficult, as it can be said that he has no way out, and he absolutely cannot forbear till end. If he wants to save himself, he must use extra courage to fundamentally change his thoughts and notions, discard antitheism, recognize the situation, completely end the persecution of Falun Gong and obey the will of heaven and withdraw from the CCP. This is the only path for him to save himself, but it is a bright path. Time waits for no man and the opportunity will not be present forever. I hope he can cherish the present time.
Reporter: What's your current situation? What plans do you have for the future?
Zhang: After I escaped from China, I applied for refugee status to United Nations. Using my freedom and freedom of speech, I will expose the cruel persecution of Falun Gong conducted by the CCP as well as its lies to the world's people and international society. I will continue to call on governments and people of different countries to pay attention to the bad human rights situation in China, and together we stop the atrocities being committed against Falun Gong.