5. Crisis in Education
Education is the backbone of a nation’s long-term development, something given great care and attention by governments near and far, old and new. Troublesome it is, then, that in the ten-odd years Jiang Zemin held power, upheaval and crisis plagued China’s education system.
Decline of the Educators
Teachers in their task of educating the youth could be likened to engineers of the spirit, persons who purify and shape minds and souls. As Han Yu, the great Tang Dynasty literati said: teachers shoulder the responsibilities of transmitting wisdom, imparting knowledge, and resolving doubts. The idea being, teachers should be exemplars of virtue. But in the Jiang Zemin era, China has witnessed quite the opposite. The quality of teachers has deteriorated rapidly.
Nowadays many teachers put little care into the teaching of their students. Instead they see in their positions avenues to personal gain and power. Some even generate “income” by dishonest means. Schools used to be clean institutions that turned little profit, while now they have become one of China’s most lucrative and corrupt public sectors. So common is it to see teachers involved in admissions scandals, forged diplomas, and episodes of plagiarism that these now hardly count as news.
Telling is the unthinkable episode took place at Nanjing Normal University, for example, in 2004, involving the exploitation of female students. When several high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Education came to inspect the university, school administrators forced ten female students from the Dance Choreography Department to set their studies aside and dance with the officials. The officials acted so indecently that most of the women fled the scene after the dance finished. The incident created an uproar on campus. During an interview with the press, one professor called the incident a microcosm of China’s declining standards for social interaction, to which even institutions of higher learning are not immune. He said, “The sole intent of the university’s administrators was to please those top officials, as they can have much influence on the development of the university.”
Shocking is the discrepancy between what the school system intends, with teachers imparting knowledge, and reality. China’s schools are apparently now home to a deplorable number of predatory teachers, who target the children left in their care. A number of female students have become pregnant after being raped by their teachers, with others being scarred for life and alienated by the violation. Some teachers have even taken to murdering their students after failing at attempts to violate them. Some of the victims are young girls. Abuses as serious and pervasive as these were unheard of in the past.
In 2003 media in China reported that an elementary school teacher from Dazu county of Chongqing city raped, in the years 2002 and 2003, ten young girls who were in his class. During the second semester of 2003 in Longxi county, Gansu province, a physical education teacher began the rape of twelve ninth grade girls, alleging he was helping the students in their wish to enroll in senior high school. Two of the victims became pregnant.
From September of 2002 to March of 2004, a fifty-one-year-old teacher at Zhongyang Elementary School in Hekou township, Guizhou province, raped twelve female pupils for a total of forty-two times and molested sixteen pupils for a sum of thirty-five times. Within roughly one year’s time, the vast majority of the female students in his class became victims of abuse—abuse despicable and inhuman. Out of the nineteen girls in his class, only three escaped his abuse.
In June of 2004, it was discovered that an elementary school teacher from Linxia county raped and molested nine female pupils in the third grade multiple times within a span of one and a half years. Some individuals were even abused dozens of times. The oldest victim was under fifteen years of age, the others all either nine or ten. In Nanxing township of Zhanjiang province, the Principal of an elementary school, Lin Dengping, sexually violated students seven times in a span of three months. He raped eleven girls at his school. The youngest victim was only ten years old.
Perhaps more disturbing still is that under the Jiang Administration cases such as these have gone from being rare, isolated, outbreaks to a widespread phenomenon in the Chinese educational system.
The well-known educator Tao Xingzhi once said that the top priority of teachers is to teach people ethics, while the top priority of students is to learn the principles of life. He said, “The most important thing to teach is to teach how to be honest,” and “the most important thing to learn is to learn how to be an honest person.” He has also said that solid moral values are essential for people to have. Without these, everything else counts for naught.
At present, in China, this pervasive erosion of moral values in daily conduct exhibited by administrators and teachers is taking a huge toll on the students’ growth and development. Without moral teachings to guide them, many are going through life like rudderless boats in a turbulent sea. In the schools kids no longer learn about moral values, respect for human life, or caring for their fellow human beings.
In February of 2004 a high profile murder happened at Yunnan University. A student named Ma Jiajue nonchalantly proceeded to murder a classmate a day in the dormitory. Ma fled after killing the fourth student and was later caught in Sanya city, Hainan province. The case caused quite a stir. Ma explained away the murders, saying, “I truly got lost and had no idea how to live on.” While an act as extreme as committing murder out of a feeling of hopelessness or hatred is rare, the state of mind behind it—feeling lost—is not rare anymore. And it is here that we see the failure of China’s educational system reflected most clearly: in the teaching of ethics and values. A young student’s mind is something of a blank slate, lacking certain morals basic to adults. He hasn’t a sense of life’s meaning, he doesn’t have larger goals yet, and isn’t able to solve problems on his own. Students don’t treat each other with kindness, and often have hatred toward one another and act out of aggression. How could persons of this character be expected to contribute to China and bring hope to China’s future?
All of these problems are closely bound up in how leaders in the education system lead. The head Party official in the Ministry of Education is Chen Zhili—a married woman who has been carrying on an affair with Jiang Zemin for some two decades. Chen’s immoral behavior and disgraceful past in Shanghai have spelled tragedy for education in China.
Deadly Admissions Letters
In parallel with the practices Jiang Zemin and his son have used to embezzle China’s public funds, schools across the nation have, in the Jiang Zemin Era, similarly become bent on profiteering. Schools continue to make fortunes off of students by overcharging them, despite repeated prohibitions against this. On December 16, 2003, China’s National Development and Reform Commission told a press conference that in 2003 alone, some 12,600 cases of students being overcharged were uncovered in a probe, with the amount of funds involved as much as 2.14 billion yuan (USD$257 million).
A director of the Commission stated that overcharging on tuition and fees is a problem now common to all of China’s educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to high schools, universities, and even administrative departments, with a range of unlawful means being used. Large sums of money are involved, and the problem continues despite investigations.
Some institutions’ management cite “budget shortfalls” to justify charging outrageous fees that go directly into their pockets. Sometimes, the administrators cut normal fees as a part of their “reform,” only to more than make up for it through special charges later on. Over the short span from January 2001 to September 2003, the Southern China University of Technology overcharged students who failed the exams fees of as much as 3.1 million yuan (USD$372,000) to repeat the course. In China, even middle schools and elementary schools have become profitable entities. Education is looking ever more like a business, what with things like prestigious schools gaining many sponsors and charging students’ parents “school-selection fees” to make their children eligible for attendance—all as a means to unlawful wealth. The school-selection fee of a top elementary school in the northern city of Harbin is as high as thirty-five thousand yuan ($4,200), while that of one high-profile elementary school in Beijing has been hiked to seventy thousand yuan ($8,400).
High tuition and fees deny students from poor regions and families the opportunity to attend school. Some poor families are plunged into heavy debt, in fact. Some parents even commit suicide over the guilt attached to not being able to afford their children’s tuition.
In 2002, when a man surnamed Ding from Baoji city, Shanxi province, saw his son’s admission letter from Fudan University and a detailed tuition bill of more than seven thousand yuan, the shock and pain was so great he jumped to his death from a seventh-story window.
In 2003, Jing Tongshi, fifty-three, a farmer from Yulin Nanjiao Ranch in Shanxi province, committed suicide by consuming pesticide right after his second daughter was admitted to Northeast Normal University and his third daughter and second son were recommended for admission to prestigious senior high schools.
On August 6, 2003, Chen Nenggen, a forty-year-old farmer of Aimin village, Jiangsu province, committed suicide by consuming a bottle of pesticide after failing to raise enough funds for his daughter, Chen Xia, to attend a vocational school to which she had been admitted.
Su Tianjiang, a graduate of Shandan First Senior High, left the world in similar pain. After taking the National College Entrance Examination in 2003, he was admitted to a university. Owing to his father having chronic illness, Su and his family were in dire economic straits and couldn’t afford the tuition. The pressure was just too much, and hopelessness set in. Su then hung himself in his home.
What should have been a happy, triumphant event—gaining college admission in China’s extremely competitive system—in these and many other cases proved, tragically, to be the family’s fatal undoing. No wonder one attorney exclaimed that school was supposed to be a place that educates people, not takes their lives. And yet, of all things, the scenario’s depicted above have become common.
According to China’s official statistics, students have been overcharged as much as 200 billion yuan over the past ten years. Overbilling has been among the top price complaints nationwide for four consecutive years. The Ministry of Education, headed by Chen Zhili—a trusted aide of Jiang Zemin—has become the target of public criticism. On March 18, 1998, at a State Council-led meeting attended by presidents of institutions of higher learning, the presidents of many leading universities that are under the Ministry of Education’s supervision—including Qinghua University, Beijing University, Zhejiang University, and Fudan University—jointly requested that Chen Zhili be removed from her position as Minister of Education. It never happened, however. Some five years later, in March of 2003, when Chen’s term was finally up, the failed Minister of Education was unexpectedly promoted—reportedly for her absolute allegiance to Jiang Zemin in suppressing the Falun Gong, among other things—to the State Council herself. There, of all things, she was given the responsibility of supervising the nation’s educational affairs.
Education as a Political Weapon
Much to many people’s chagrin, after Jiang Zemin launched the campaign against Falun Gong, Chen Zhili dragged the educational system into the senseless persecution, making for a disaster China had never seen the likes of before. Education departments at all levels have been forced to issue relentless criticism of Falun Gong, and teachers and students alike have been made to view films discrediting Falun Gong. Countless classes and school gatherings denounced the Falun Gong for political reasons and tried to incite hatred against the group and practice. The government adopted, in other words, a page out of the Cultural Revolution, forcing persons at every level of the system to take a public stand on the “Falun Gong issue.”
One case in particular proves telling. On February 1, 2001, the Ministry of Education notified schools at all levels throughout the country that they must organize and launch a “signature drive” meant to attack the Falun Gong. The campaign, called “One Million Signatures,” foisted upon educational institutions across the land, was meant to warp the thinking of hundreds of millions of youths. In cases where students refused to sign, teachers would coerce them into signing, using means as extreme as threats of depriving the student of his or her education. Case in point: on May 5, 2001, the Xinsheng online newspaper reported that Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine announced that any student who refused to sign the banner denouncing Falun Gong would be expelled from the school.
Indoctrination and thought control have also factored prominently. Chen Zhili interjected into students’ textbooks in multiple regions and at multiple levels of the educational system passages that slander the Falun Gong. High schools and elementary schools alike soon saw misleading depictions of the practice in their classroom materials. Tests soon became a propaganda tool as well, including even the national joint college entrance examinations and entrance examinations for graduate schools. Giving the “wrong” answer—or position—on questions about Falun Gong could prove ruinous for a student taking these highly competitive exams. Just how far, exactly, has the effort reached? In a textbook used at the sixth-grade level, entitled Morals and Ethics, the government’s staged Tiananmen immolation incident appeared, blaming Falun Gong for the tragedy and suffering involved; this despite the incident long-since having been discredited. The textbook featured emotionally charged, graphic images of twelve-year-old burn victim Siying, sure to inspire ire and loathing against Falun Gong. Though the tactics recalled episodes in the Cultural Revolution, where materials routinely demonized the state’s political enemies, framing questions around “land-owning hags,” “capitalist pigs,” and the “Confucian followers,” the difference is that this time around, the techniques were more sophisticated.
In the past, when people described somebody as simple and honest they would say that the person “didn’t seem to have gone deep into society after finishing schooling.” Meaning, the social environment in the schools was healthy. They were something of an oasis, even, compared to the outside world. Yet in today’s China the moral core of the educational system has been abandoned. Schools encourage lying and hatred instead of honesty and kindness. And as seen, political persecution has even been inserted into the curriculum. The once-pure minds of students have been imbued with rotten, politically-laced elements. Schools are a more complicated social setting than even the outside world now, and the moral standards of the schools have declined precipitously. Education in China is heading towards total collapse. The youth of today, our students, are having their innocent minds instilled with nasty propaganda. They take in lies and learn to hate while still in their childhood, and are being deprived of the guidance they might have once received to help them distinguish what is good from bad. Little doubt about it, the long term effect is to stunt their personal growth and injure the country as a whole. If education is what decides the fate of a nation and its people, then an educational system that can’t tolerate values such as honesty, kindness, and tolerance—denounced now for their association with Falun Gong—can only spell ruin for that nation.
Chen Zhili has even seen to it that teachers and students who don’t partake in attacking Falun Gong or give up their own practice of it meet with consequences. Teachers have been dismissed from their schools. Students have been expelled and denied the possibility of ever graduating. Many have even been sent off to labor camps (China’s gulag system), mental asylums (for their “political delusions”), and “re-education centers” for brainwashing. A number have even died of the maltreatment received in these facilities. At just one university alone, for instance—China’s prestigious Qinghua University—more than three hundred professors, instructors, and grad or undergrad students have met with discrimination and punishment; some have been unlawfully detained, some discharged from their posts, some expelled from the university, and some sent off to the gulag. As of the time of this writing, under the leadership of Jiang’s trusted follower Chen Zhili, the deaths of seventy-two of these college faculty, staff, and students have come to light; the total figure is likely several times higher. The youngest victim was seventeen-year-old Chen Ying, of Shuren middle school in Jiamusi city. The oldest, Zhou Jingsen, was sixty-eight and a professor at the Harbin City College of Management.
Several cases are illustrative.
Professor Zhang Yougao, sixty-four, was a senior engineer at the University of Chongqing. He is an expert in optoelectronics and was the leader of a scientific research group involved in the Three Gorges project. He was named a “model worker”  multiple times. Because he went to Beijing to petition for Falun Gong, Zhang was held captive for months and abused by authorities at the Baihelin detention center in the Shapingba district of Chongqing. He was later removed, also extrajudicially, to the Xishanping labor camp of Chongqing. He underwent labor “reeducation” for a year and suffered cruel maltreatment. After his term expired, Zhang was then detained for half a year longer for no reason. Upon his eventual release he was sent to a brainwashing clinic set up by the local government.
Falun Gong adherent Wu Yifeng, who was in her forties, was the director of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Changchun Institute of Civil Engineering and one of the three acclaimed bridge experts in northeast China. For her beliefs, Wu was interrogated with torture at the Changchun city public security bureau, and later sentenced wrongfully to thirteen years in prison.
Dr. Shen Yingbo, forty-three years old, was a professor, dean, and recognized as an outstanding young scholar at the Beijing Forestry University, and was the university’s most prolific writer. Shen was similarly arrested for his association with Falun Gong, however, and sent multiple times to detention facilities and brainwashing clinics.
Liu Limei, forty-one years old, was an associate professor at Northeast Agricultural University, an advisor to Masters degree candidates of the veterinarian department, and former Party Secretary of her department’s chapter. Liu was arrested multiple times for her personal beliefs, as she too practiced Falun Gong. Liu was wrongfully sent to the Wanjia labor camp and Wanjia hospital for punishment on several occasions. Her body suffered terribly from the maltreatment she received in captivity, and she died at Detention Center No. 2 of Harbin on August 12, 2003.
Lin Chengtao, thirty-five, was a medical expert at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. He was a leading scientist on the national “863” Project that developed China’s malaria vaccine, the “new plasmodium antigen candidate gene screen” project, and the U.S.-China medical fund’s CMB project. Liu was sent to the Tuanhe labor camp in Beijing for a year and a half for his beliefs; he too practiced Falun Gong. He met with cruel abuses in custody, including prolonged sleep deprivation, physical beatings, and electric shocks of thirty thousand volts. The torture proved too much for Liu: he suffered a mental breakdown and has never recovered.
Outstanding figures such as these were, and should still be today, the hope of our nation’s future, a source of pride for all. And yet what befell them was misery and suffering at the hands of the state, simply on account of their personal beliefs.
During the Duan Qirui Administration (1912–1927), the Northern Warlords at one time intended to persecute China’s students, only to have the President of Peking University, Cai Yuanpei, step forward to protect the students. This time around, few leaders in China’s education circles have stood up, let alone escaped complicity themselves. Many took the lead during the “Million Signatures” drive, in fact. Suppression has swept across all prominent universities, be it Peking University, Qinghua University, the Chinese University of Science and Technology, Fudan University, Nankai University, Jilin University, Chongqing University, or Zhejiang University.
The disastrous political movements of the Cultural Revolution set back the education of an entire generation of Chinese; China’s development was retarded by as much as thirty years. Today we witness a terrible decline in the integrity of teachers and students alike. Corruption has become commonplace and political suppressions abound. How many years will all of this cost China in terms of its future development? China’s education system now faces an invisible sickness more frightening than SARS—one that threatens China’s very future—thanks to the plotting of Jiang Zemin and leadership of Chen Zhili.
6. Moral Crisis and a Nation’s Soul in Decay
On the morning of October 30, 2000, on the Sanxintuo River in Chongqing, the Changyun One boat capsized, throwing several passengers overboard and plunging them into icy waters. They flailed about, crying for help. Nearly ten small motor boats came by, but instead of helping the drowning people, they nabbed for themselves the passengers’ luggage that was floating on the water. According to the Chongqing Evening News several boatmen on the scene mocked the passengers of the capsized boat, telling them to have a nice rest at the bottom.
In 2001 the Jiangnan Times reported that at dusk on October 24 on Shifeng road in Shijing township outside of Guangzhou city, a three-year-old girl named Lan Pingping fell into a manhole on the sidewalk. Her mother and aunt, who were accompanying her, begged bystanders on their hands and knees for help getting little Pingping out. Some thirty persons stopped to look, but not a single one stepped forward to rescue the girl. None so much as lent a cell-phone to call the police. It was only ten minutes later, when the girl’s father arrived that she was pulled from the watery confines of the well. But the father was too late: the little girl was dead by the time she made it to the hospital. The scene was eerily reminiscent of the famous image once painted by the early Confucian sage Mencius—who analogized about a child falling into a well and how any human person, naturally endowed with sympathy, would respond immediately without second thought—but only this time it revealed, ironically, to just what degree today’s Chinese have lost their basic humanity. 
Xin Jing Pao reported that early on the morning of December 20, 2003, a rape took place at the “Rolling Rock” night club in the Xiangzhou area of Zhuhai city. Eight men pinned a woman to a sofa and proceeded to rape her in the presence of nearly two hundred people. Not so much as a single bystander intervened.
It seems hardly a week goes by without hearing of tragedies such as these...
“Sleeping-car rape case shocks Guangxi province; three women raped one after another as onlookers stay silent.” 
“Shocking scene in Harbin city: Murder takes place as hundreds just watch.” 
“Young girl resists advances, slashed eight times; twenty-plus stand by idle.” 
And the list seems to go on, growing ever longer.
How did a brilliant civilization sink into an oblivion of callousness and indifference like this? One theory holds that this is a sign of a society in crisis, one where individuals have a deep sense of impending danger and insecurity that leads them to instinctively withdraw and become concerned with self-preservation above all else. Trust, friendship, and caring are disappearing among Chinese people. A society marked by a cold detachment is a dangerous kind of society. While people might show unity at state-run meetings and repeat government mantras in unison, at the first sign of danger approaching they will scatter like birds. Though people might say “the twenty-first century is China’s century,” and many envision China as a strong nation, a very real question remains: can a group of morally indifferent people who don’t care about others build a truly powerful nation? When the CCP’s media propogates images such as that “China has developed” and “people are better off now,” they neglect an important reality: few people can experience real happiness in a society where everyone feels insecure and no one cares about others.
The negative changes that have come about in the past fifteen years under Jiang Zemin’s rule should be apparent. Compared with fifteen years ago, have crime rates increased or decreased? Have problems of corruption, counterfeit products, and swindling increased or decreased? Have society’s problems, such as prostitution, drug abuse, AIDS, and gang-related crime increased or decreased? Compared with fifteen years ago, does a person now feel safer or more at risk when walking outdoors alone at night in a Chinese city? And when Jiang Zemin imposed cruel persecution on the innocent Falun Gong group—a group numbering in the tens of millions—how many officials and scholars had the courage to step forward and urge the injustice to be stopped? Perhaps each of us should ask ourselves if we chose to act according to our conscience or according to our sense of self-preservation.
The proportion of people who answer “self-preservation” is a telling sign of the harm Jiang Zemin’s rule has done to people’s hearts and moral values. Decline such as this makes it hard for China to cure the many serious issues facing its society, for the serious moral downturn is hard to quantify. While laws can punish individual acts of wrongdoing, only moral values can regulate the behavior of a society as a whole. Without sincerity, trust, and a sense of conscience, there is little cure for the society’s ills. If it is something fundamental Jiang has destroyed in China, it is the very soul, the conscience, of its people. A moral blow such as this spells danger.
Jiang employed both the carrot and the stick in bringing about the collapse. The student movement in Shanghai that came about in 1986 was an important turning point in Jiang’s political career. After the student movement, Jiang ordered Shanghai Jiaotong University to disband all student organizations and publications. Only dance parties were allowed. By the end of April 1989, some three years later, student movements surged in many places throughout China. But the students at Shanghai Jiaotong were indifferent, partying on through the night, apathetic. It wasn’t until May 18, the day before martial law was declared, that its students took part in the mass demonstrations.
Jiang realized something from what took place: he could win obedience by snuffing out nascent traces of independent thought and tempting people’s desires. Jiang told one Politburo member in private, “There are two means of controlling people: one is to use their material interests, the other is their desires. The CCP should seize upon these two points at every opportunity if it’s to always come out victorious.”
After entering the ranks of officialdom in Beijing, Jiang maintained power in just that fashion. He used a two-pronged approach that employed violence in response to civil appeals for freedom, democracy, and human rights, alongside the luring of high-ranking officials to join him in corrupt ventures. He enticed a group of well-regarded intellectuals to help him promote in Chinese society the pursuit of desires, money, and sex. It got to a point where prostitution was in many ways glorified in the mainstream media, as the acquisition of wealth was seen as the paramount goal, never mind how it was accumulated. Prostitution is not so rampant in more-developed countries, though their economies may have been prosperous for years, while in China it has been unbridled even in the last ten years. “Taking someone out” has expanded beyond a meal to a meal and visiting a prostitute, and those of lesser financial means are no exception. Much like the Shanghai university students lost among their partying, blind to all else, Chinese society as a whole has lost interest in anything but self-fulfillment. For example, among China’s intellectuals, how many speak out for the country’s disenfranchised workers nowadays? The only thing they have to say about workers nowadays is that they should willingly “shoulder the inevitable burdens of progress.” One writer even tried to argue that workers have benefited from the program of economic reforms and that getting laid off is an “opportunity” to choose a new job.
Jiang has meanwhile maintained power by using heavy pressure to dull people’s sense of conscience and taking advantage of the sense of fear found in a person. Beijing University of Physical Education student Fang Zheng’s experience in relation to the Tiananmen Square Massacre, as told in Chapter Five of this book, is a case in point. When the tank was bearing down on Fang he was trying to rescue a female student. It was too late for him to dodge the tank, the result of which was his two legs being crushed. Having been disabled in the Massacre, Fang would later, during political purges by the government, be branded a suspected “rioter” who had attacked soldiers on the Square that fateful day. The female student he rescued now, facing heavy pressure, had no choice but to say she couldn’t remember what happened that day. She even refused to admit she was with Fang when the tank crushed him. Thus it was, with nobody to vouch for his innocence, that Fang suffered political suppression for over a decade under Jiang Zemin’s rule. For in the Jiang Zemin era, traits such as caring, a sense of conscience, or empathy could spell ruin for a person. Apathy became a way of existence, of survival, for people. It was the easiest way to avoid political trouble.
In a normal society the legal system can, to a certain extent, keep afloat people’s sense of moral values. But Jiang turned the legal system on its head, rather, as a tool of power: he employed the police, the Procuratorate, and the legal system itself to snuff out dissent and other voices. And so it was Jiang stripped China of perhaps its last, great, stabilizing safeguard—moral values.
Consider the case of university student Sun Zhigang. In 2003 Sun was beaten to death by the so-called “law enforcement personnel” of the Tianhe district of Guangzhou province. When the case came to light it sent shockwaves throughout China. However, few in China know that long before Sun’s death a number of Falun Gong practitioners—such as Gao Xianmin (a Biology instructor at Jinan University, Guangzhou city), Li Xiaojing (an instructor at Guangzhou University), and Lou Zhixiang (Design Planning Engineer at the Nongken Construction Enterprise Corporation in Guangdong province)—were beaten to death by law enforcement personnel at the Tianhe Branch Office of the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau. In every case the perpetrators, who were following a directive from Jiang Zemin that “beating them [Falun Gong followers] to death is to be labeled ‘suicide,’” were not punished whatsoever. In fact, to the contrary, they were even rewarded. Take Han Liping, one of the perpetrators, for example. After beating a Falun Gong practitioner to death he was promoted to Deputy Director of the police bureau. Returning to Sun Zhigang’s death, we see just how wholistic the problem is. The top official who was responsible for Sun’s death was none other than the new Deputy Director, Han Liping.
A deadly mix of lies and violence have been Jiang’s formula for suppressing Falun Gong, and hand in hand with the approach have been purges of the police forces, the Procuratorate, and the legal system. The disloyal—those who don’t comply with the program of suppression—are weeded out. What this has meant is that law enforcement personnel with a sense of conscience and who don’t give their all in the persecution meet with suppression themselves. And this, while the most wicked of officials get sure promotions.
Hao Fengjun, a former official of the Tianjin 6-10 Office who broke away from the CCP while in Australia in 2005, was on one occasion detained for challenging his superior. His superior had fabricated “evidence.” As the police, Procuratorate, and legal systems—agencies charged with upholding justice in society—have sunk to this state, who can ensure that what happened to Sun Zhigang won’t happen again? If everyone minds only his own welfare and cares not for that of others, even when political movements aimed at suffocating one’s conscience take place, then China is doomed to suffer through one tumultuous political movement after another. Apathy can only make China drift further away from the rest of the world. The trajectory is one that spells disaster.
What needs to be made clear is that Jiang Zemin’s destruction of traditional Chinese moral values was by all means intentional. His life story is one of doing whatever he has needed to reach his goals—whether it be deceit, betrayal, or bloodshed. Given his past—being born into the family of a traitor and having worked for the Japanese and the Russians—Jiang fears the word “truth.” In a society where people have strong moral values, little would there be room for Jiang to survive, much less rise to be head of state. Jiang has proven himself an inept official. His cowardice came fully to light when he mishandled the SARS epidemic and the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. It was thus that he sought so much the flattery and affirmation of fawning writers and officials; he needed to stave off the sense of insecurity that haunted him. Thus it was that Jiang hatched a scheme to undermine the moral values and spiritual beliefs of China’s people.
Money Worship and the Loss of Integrity
After decades of political turmoil, it’s understandable that people want the nation’s focus to be one of economic development. Wishing to make more money after growing tired of being poor is understandable. But if the ruler of a country guides his people to worship money while rejecting values such as freedom of speech and an independent media, or prohibits religious belief, then the matter is different, and that society is at risk. Without the good brought about by public opinion, faith, morality, and rule of law, people are apt to commit almost any sort of crime in the name of money.
In today’s China, the problem in society that people care most about is corruption, while the moral problem that most concerns them is integrity. Jiang Zemin has turned China into a country where good faith and trust are in short supply, resulting in widespread problems of deception between people and a growing sense of insecurity. The problem is nothing less than that of China’s future.
Take food products for example. Since the time when Jiang came to power, the problem of fake or poisonous food products has grown steadily worse. It progressed quickly from the sale of fake cigarettes bootleg liquors, and counterfeits, to the production of even poisonous rice, cooking oil, tea, and ham.
Cases abound. In the countryside of Fuyang city, Anhui province, since 2003 more than one hundred babies have suffered from a mysterious illness. To people’s surprise, the cause of the illness—which has even led to death—was found to be the powdered milk they were drinking each day. The formula was made from inferior ingredients that cost significantly less but provided far less nutritional value. So the babies that were fed using this formula were literally dying a slow death from malnutrition. Babies who drank the formula over a substantial period of time developed an enlarged head, their bodies were small and weak, their reflexes were slow, they developed large ulcers, and their internal organs grew swollen. The condition took on the name “Big Head Baby Syndrome.” In Fuyang city alone one hundred and seventy-one babies suffered from the syndrome. Thirteen died. Many victims around the country are from farm families who spent nearly all of their savings on medical treatment. Some had to sell off all of their family’s property, even. Other families that couldn’t afford treatment costs could do nothing but give up and watch helplessly as their babies died. This deadly infant formula, just one of many tragedies of the sort to hit China in recent years, speaks in painful terms to the serious consequences attached to profit-mongering in the absence of traditional values.
The problem of integrity we face today looms large for tomorrow. Currently 28% of China’s population—some 367 million people—are under eighteen years of age. If they cannot be reared with the values that have sustained China for so many centuries, or have the sense of trust, security, and integrity that make a society cohere and harmonious, it is the future of the nation itself that is in trouble.
The Decline in Professional Ethics
Jiang Zemin guided China’s people to chase after wealth, but did so while undermining an independent public voice and the moral restraint that comes with religious belief. And the price people have had to pay is high. Perhaps the thing that hits home most of all is the decline seen in professional ethics throughout society.
Just to get to see a physician a person needs to use a bribe nowadays. To gain admission to school takes a bribe. And to get your case heard in court, too, needs a bribe. Asking a reporter to write a positive report about a particular subject is no exception. The pursuit of money has polluted people’s professional ethics across the board, seriously rupturing the normal operations of things. And things don’t bode well for the times ahead. With ethics at an all time low in existing professions, new jobs that come along have little climate to foster healthy professional ethics. It’s little wonder that those entering the workforce are quickly corrupted.
In July of 2004 a special task force that was designated to rein in corrupt practices in the medical system reported that one hundred eighty-four cases of violations involving 6.6 million yuan (USD$790,000) in medical supply purchases and account write-offs had been investigated. The investigations led to the punishment of one hundred and three people by administrative punishment and eighty-eight cases being handed over to the judicial branch for investigation. The report also stated that three hundred forty people were punished for unlawfully collecting medical fees, with a total of 33.9 million yuan (USD$4.1 million) being involved. Two hundred twenty-three cases of bribery were further investigated, resulting in the punishment of one hundred thirteen people. And these numbers cover only those cases that were exposed; the actual number of incidents is likely much higher.
The corruption of the judicial system is even more striking. The cases are many. According to the First Branch of Beijing People’s Procuratorate, Li Tongwen, former Deputy Chief Judge of the Administration Tribunal of Yongqing county, Hebei province, sold thirty handguns and a thousand bullets on the Internet with the help of fourteen accomplices; in public they played the part of defenders of the law, in private they made a mockery of it. A portion of the policemen working at the Chengdu railroad station were found to be involved with criminal groups. Zhang Qing, the former First Deputy Leader of the Disciplinary Inspection Group of the Hainan Province Disciplinary Inspection Commission himself turned into a corrupt official, of all ironies, though fighting corruption was his job.
An enormous corruption case in Shenyang was investigated that involved Mu Suixin, the city’s former mayor and Deputy Secretary of the CCP’s Municipal Party Committee of Shenyang; Ma Xiangdong, the former deputy mayor and a member of the CCP’s Municipal Party Committee of Shenyang; Jia Yongxiang, the former Chief Judge of the Shenyang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court; Jiao Meigui and Liang Fuquan, each a former Deputy Chief Judge of the same court; and Liu Shi, former Chief Procurator of the Shenyang Procuratorate. The accused officials were found to have abused their authority and colluded with organized crime groups.
These and the many incidents similar to them suggest just how many officials who are supposed to serve the public have forgotten their duties. This matter, like the problems engulfing the education system, is the consequence of money worship that arose in the Jiang Zemin era. So when those who ought to reinforce the law—such as the police, Procuratorate, and legal system, the very entities charged with protecting order and justice—turn into those who violate it, lacking moral restraint, what kind of protections can China’s people expect?
One survey has revealed that construction projects, public security, the Procuratorate, the courts, medical services, educational facilities, and human resources are, as people see it, the areas most plagued by corruption. Among those surveyed, 38.54% considered corruption to be “very serious” in construction projects. In the same survey 38.53% said that corruption was “very serious” in public security, the Procuratorate, and the courts; 29.2% said the same for medical services, 26.1% education, and 21.2% human resources.
Journalists have faired little better in these times, despite the idea in China that they are “uncrowned kings”—being, as many see it, the embodiment and voice of justice. But faced with the lure of profit, how many today still remember their mission and responsibility?
On June 22, 2002, a gold mine explosion occurred in Yixing village of Shanxi Province. Eleven journalists—namely, those from the state-run Xinhua News, Shanxi Economic Daily, Shanxi Legal Tribune, Shanxi Life Morning Post—took bribes in cash or gold from local government officials and mine owners on the condition that they cover up the truth. The most basic professional ethic of journalism—to report the truth—was abandoned on the spot. Similar has been how many of China’s journalists have betrayed their consciences and followed Jiang Zemin’s prompting to attack Falun Gong. Hao Fengjun, the former Tianjin 6-10 Office official, has told that he personally witnessed reporters from CCTV, working in conjunction with 6-10 officials, coercing Falun Gong practitioner Jing Zhanyi to deliver false testimony discrediting Falun Gong in a TV interview. The CCTV reporters lacked anything resembling a professional ethic. If China’s society is at the point where even journalists can’t give voice to the truth or rein in abuses, what hope is there for the nation?
Other cases are equally telling. Nothing is more basic to the work of a certified public accountant (CPA) than honesty and credibility, for the data he or she authenticates are the basis of commercial, financial, and other decisions. Unreliable data can spell disaster. CPAs are an important line of defense in keeping order in a market economy. But in China they have been playing a reverse role. A CPA’s ability to doctor and manipulate accounts has become of late an important index for measuring his or her professional “skills.” A series of accounting scandals, colorfully referred to in the media as the “Zhongtianqin Accounting Firm Collapse,”  “Darkness before Dawn,”  and the “Lihua Phenomenon,”  revealed that many CPAs in China have turned into swindlers. On April 16, 2001, Zhu Rongji established, “Do not doctor accounts” as a school motto when he visited Shanghai National Accounting Institute. On October 29 of the same year, Zhu wrote “Honesty is the basis; integrity is of utmost importance; obey the rules; don’t doctor accounts” when he visited Beijing National Accounting Institute. The fact that something that basic had to be brought up as a school motto, instead of something lofty, indicates just how bad the situation has grown in China. Some may argue that the accounting business is a new profession in China and that its professional ethics haven’t yet been fully established. But the fact is, Chinese society as a whole, shaped by Jiang Zemin’s money-chasing, is so corruptive that the new profession hasn’t a chance to establish its own professional ethics.
There is an old Chinese saying that holds that lust is the worst of all evils. No small thing was it, one could say, that during Jiang Zemin’s reign the prostitution industry flourished in China. Traditional values were turned on their head.
Nobody knows the exact number of female prostitutes in China. One official estimate by Chinese authorities has put the number at 6 million. This is a number close to the population of Hong Kong, a number over twice as large as the total number of servicemen in China’s military. One civil researcher believes the actual number exceeds 10 million. According to data released by the Ministry of Public Security, the number of people arrested on charges of prostitution increased rapidly from six thousand in 1984 to one hundred thousand in 1989 and four hundred fifty thousand in 1999. Nobody knows what proportion of the acts of prostitution taking place are actually reported, but a safe bet is that the amount reported won’t exceed 10%. Data available at the Bureau of Industry and Commerce indicates that there were recently four hundred fifty thousand registered private entertainment establishments, such as dance clubs, sauna bathhouses, and beauty parlors. A fair number of prostitutes are known to work in these establishments. Each such establishment hires anywhere from several women to several hundred. A sizable number of prostitutes are also known to work out of hotels, rented apartments, roadside inns, city streets, theaters, and Internet chatrooms. According to insiders, many female college students are working on the side as prostitutes for escort services, consulting companies, and business clubs. For example, one investigative report into an escort service business in Chongqing city revealed that the company charged 500 yuan for four hours of “any kind of service you like.” A female student engaged in prostitution thus might make twenty to thirty thousand yuan (USD$2,400–3,600) a month. It is believed the annual revenue of prostitution in China exceeds 500 billion yuan (USD$60 billion), which would rank third highest of all business sectors in China—second only to the food and apparel industries. It is also estimated that 300 billion yuan (USD$36 billion) of the revenue in prostitution comes from public funds. No wonder a jestful refrain goes, “Better a prostitute than poor.” China has entered what some are calling the “era of prostitution.”
One of the regions in China most plagued by prostitution is that of northeastern China’s three provinces. There supposed “sauna baths”—fronts for prostitution—are found in nearly every city and village. At most of these bath houses, there is little effort even to appear to be legitimate businesses. Dalian is the city with the largest and most overt sex industry. Not only are prostitution and X-rated shows considered “legal and reasonable” there, but sex-trade owners often hire male or female prostitutes openly on the streets or through newspaper ads. Even when incidents are reported to the police there is little if any response.
The prostitution rampant in Dalian has much to do with its former mayor, Bo Xilai—the figure encountered earlier in this book who bent head over heels to flatter Jiang Zemin and who obediently put Jiang’s “development” policy into action. A government official from Dalian has said, “Since late last century [the 20th century], the sex industry has been booming in Dalian. It has developed like well-fed weeds.” The reason being, Bo publicly announced that the top priority is to protect foreign investors in Dalian, and that prostitution shouldn’t be meddled with casually, lest doing so dampen enthusiasm over investing in Dalian. Moreover, Bo instructed local government administrations to each establish a “Task Force for Protecting Important Enterprises.” Under the new regulation, any government unit—regardless of its rank—must first make a comprehensive report and explain everything to the Task Force before it is permitted to enter the premises of a given business for investigation; each must furthermore be accompanied by the Task Force.
In recent years, corruption and bribery involving sex has burgeoned at an alarming rate. They are so prevalent that they have become a fad among government officials. More and more the bills are being footed by government funds. Corrupt officials compete with one another over how many mistresses they can afford. According to one investigation, 95% of all officials in China who have been investigated and/or convicted have had mistresses. In 1999 all of the one hundred and two officials investigated for corruption and bribery in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai were found to have had mistresses. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Zhang Erjiang, former CCP Secretary of Tianmen city, was found to have a staggering hundred and seven mistresses. Young people even find pleasure now in “wife swapping.” Some girls have tried repeatedly to patch their hymen so that they can pretend to be virgins during these wife swapping events. The traditional ethics and moral values passed down for thousands of years in China have been devastated in just a few short years under Jiang Zemin and his so-called efforts at “changing China.” Of all Jiang’s “social transformations” in China, none have been more swift or marked than the shift from sexual restraint to licentiousness. Ask people what right went unchallenged more than any other during Jiang’s reign, and people will answer, “Sexploitation.” If history is any indicator, this doesn’t bode well: time and again licentiousness has portended a nation’s downfall.
Hearts Turned Bad
When morality declines to a certain point things are at risk of spiraling out of control. Lacking a sense of humanity, people turn violent and wicked. For the sake of money they might even commit murder, hire hit men to do their dirty work, or wantonly commit other violent crimes.
In 2003 Xinhua.net reported a horrendous case of serial murder in which the perpetrator, Yang Hsinhai, murdered sixty-seven people over the course of twenty-six attacks in rural areas of Henan, Shandong, Anhui, and Hebei provinces. In some cases he murdered entire families. In November of 2003 a criminal named Huang Yongwei, from Pingyu county of Henan province, murdered twenty-five high school students simply “for the thrill of it.” He buried the victims’ remains on the grounds of his own residence. The murder episodes, not isolated or unheard of in today’s China, sadly, bespeak of the larger change in people’s hearts that has unfolded across the land.
Nowadays government officials often hire hit men to do their bidding. In June of 2002, for example, newspapers reported that the former Secretary of the CCP Committee of Shandong Province and Director of the Shandong Provincial Ocean and Fisheries Bureau, Zhang Chengzhen, hired killers to murder a fellow official of high rank. In April of 2002, Zhou Qidong, a member of the Standing Committee of the Hu City CCP Committee and Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, put two thugs to the task of murdering his mistress so that he could be rid of her. On June 17, 2005, state-run media reported that Lu Debin, Deputy Governor of Henan province, hired someone to kill his wife. Lu instructed the Deputy Mayor of Xinxiang city to find someone to carry out his bidding, only to have the deputy mayor in turn ask the Deputy Director of the Public Security Bureau to act on his behalf. In the end the latter found two men to murder Lu’s wife.
If such is the cruelty China’s officials now show to their own colleagues, wives, and friends, it’s easy to imagine what they are capable of doing to others less close to them. Should power be entrusted to officials who have little moral restraint, associate with thugs, and have people murdered on a whim? How could the public feel safe under such leadership?
In recent years many of China’s wealthy class have been murdered.
Several cases are illustrative. In January of 2003, Li Haicang, Chairman of the Haixin Steel Group in Shanxi province, was gunned down in his office. The murderer then, having just completed the crime, committed suicide on the scene. The murderer’s original intent was to force Li to buy a piece of land at a lofty price, and when Li refused, he was shot and killed. Li Haicang’s assets were reportedly as high as USD$195 million, and he ranked twenty-seventh among Forbes’ wealthiest persons in the world in 2002. In February of the same year, Zhou Zubao, a fur garment mogul in Zhejiang province, was stabbed fourteen times and killed by hit men in front of his residence. In July, Peng Yulong, a billionaire in Wangcheng county of Hunan province and Chairman of Getang Construction Company, disappeared. His body was later found floating on the Xiang River at the Caijiazhouwei section. In August, billionaire and real estate tycoon Liu Enqian of Lanzhou city, Gansu province, was gunned down by killers at his residence.
In July of 2004, Ge Junming, a billionaire in Ebian county of Sichuan Province, who was also the Deputy Chairman of the county’s Political Consultative Conference and CEO of the Mingda Group, was killed in an explosion at his office. The person who detonated the explosive was an old farmer of Ebian county, named Zhang Mingchun, who promptly killed himself afterwards. What prompted the murder was a mere six thousand yuan (USD$720) dispute.
On the evening of April 29, 2005, Zhou Jinxin, an entrepreneur whose assets exceeded 100 million yuan (USD$12 million) was hacked to death with a kitchen knife at a bar in Baotou city. In January of 2005, Yuan Baojing, a billionaire in Beijing, was sentenced to death upon being found guilty of hiring hit men.
Under Jiang Zemin’s leadership, the entire society’s sole focus has become the pursuit of money at any cost, but little do people realize that they are slowly but surely losing their sense of propriety, moral justice, conscience, and—ultimately—their very souls.
The Fall of the Intellectual Class
Intellectuals  play an important role in a society, often being its moral backbone, its conscience. To a substantial degree, the progress or regression of a society is guided and influenced by the values its intellectuals hold.
In a span of a little over a decade under Jiang Zemin’s rule, the vast majority of China’s intellectuals, the society’s supposed “backbone and conscience,” have compromised their integrity for one reason or another with the exception of a few stalwarts. Jiang has managed to stamp out the independent spirit of the intellectuals by means of either crushing it with brute force or buying it out with material wealth.
After the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Jiang adopted a high-pressure policy that he combined with the lure of temptation to win over many intellectuals and have them side with the Chinese Communist regime. Many answered, being at the beck and call of the autocratic regime, wishing to gain personally and avoid political risk at any cost. In particular, Beijing University and Qinghua University, known historically as the cradle of new thinking—settings that nurtured the spirit of freedom and cultivated many intellectual celebrities—have of late instead become graves of freedom and democracy. No longer do college students think matters over deeply, much less show a passionate desire to improve the state of the nation and people’s well being. No longer do they seek out society’s less fortunate groups and find ways to help them. No longer are they willing to shoulder the charge of defending human rights and opposing totalitarianism. No longer do they want the responsibility of establishing rule of law in China and nurturing culture. Rather, they seem to care about little beyond staying on good terms with the autocratic CCP regime and reaping the perks of doing so. They have become slaves to this authoritarian culture. The remaining dissidents, meanwhile, have been ostracized and become targets of persecution.
Today many of China’s intellectuals are concerned only with making money, and they will readily resort to methods they at one time used to condemn. For instance, scientists and technology experts plagiarize other people’s research results and claim the credit for themselves; folk writers overtly produce obscene novels instead of traditional works; certain professors and advisors of doctoral students have turned their own promiscuous pasts into memoirs in hopes of a quick buck. Worse yet is the very real potential of this to expand beyond China: in attempting to rationalize their increasingly immoral behavior, the intellectual class is furnishing others beyond China’s borders with justifications for such base actions.
What could be more tragic than the death of a person’s spirit. As if it wasn’t bad enough that today’s intellectuals seek profit by the lowest of means, more frightening still is that they betray their own conscience. Some even abet wrongdoers, such as becoming Jiang’s leading accomplices in campaigns of persecution.
Destruction of the Moral Baseline
Jiang Zemin’s destruction of the moral base of Chinese civilization is best embodied in the oppression of those who believe in truth, compassion, and tolerance—the followers of Falun Gong. The suppression of Falun Gong is a terrible blow to China’s popular efforts to revitalize the nation’s moral values. It is also the single biggest blow to the society’s conscience.
Jiang has made telling the truth a crime, turning the words “truth, compassion, tolerance” into a taboo. This only feeds China’s problem of a lack of integrity.
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. is a popular attraction for tourists from China. On one occasion, as a practitioner of Falun Gong was discussing with several Chinese persons the facts surrounding the practice’s suppression, a tourist from China yelled at her, saying, “What’s so great about ‘truth, compassion, and tolerance’!?” The mentality behind comments such as these is often alarming to those who have spent significant time outside of China.
On another occasion, when Falun Gong adherents participated in an American parade celebrating Independence Day, wishing to share with the community traditional Chinese culture, a Chinese tourist from Mainland China present at the event said: promoting truth, compassion, and tolerance is promoting the “dregs” of what China has to offer. This short anecdote encapsulates a serious problem. The persecution and the overwhelming propaganda that Jiang unleashed against Falun Gong and its guiding values—truth, compassion, and tolerance—has turned those basic values into something terrible and undesirable in the minds of many Chinese. It’s frightening to consider the prospect of a nation embracing the opposite of those three ideals. Many observers in China note that moral values in Chinese society have taken a noticeable turn for the worst over the past five years—the very time during which Jiang has attacked Falun Gong and its doctrine of truth, compassion, tolerance.
Somewhere in northeastern China, a high-ranking official from the 6-10 Office visited a local government office to discuss policy issues. After the secretary of the CCP Committee finished his presentation a discussion session was held. The secretary asked the official from the 6-10 Office, “How can we identify Falun Gong practitioners?” The official replied, “None of the corrupt officials practice Falun Gong. Also, drunkards, those who visit prostitutes, and gambling addicts are not Falun Gong members. As for thugs and hooligans, they don’t have the patience to practice it. Also, it turns out those who like to pick fights and use foul language aren’t Falun Gong, nor are those who smoke or drink. As all of you here today are government officials like me, let me put it to you straightforwardly. Those who never fight back when attacked are sure to be Falun Gong. Those who show politeness in public, yield seats to the elderly, or decline rewards for returning lost and found items to their owners—they’re likely to be Falun Gong. You can look for street peddlers who are honest and never cheat their customers, or those who never take advantage of others. Even if you beat them up and don’t have a good reason for doing so, that’s fine—they are honest, humble people, after all, who aren’t going to fight back anyway.”
Under the overwhelming propaganda campaign waged by Jiang Zemin, the values of truth, compassion, and tolerance—values many Chinese once regarded as fundamental to their culture—suddenly became taboo. One Internet user has revealed her own telling, true story. Her job application letters sent via Sohu.net and Sina.net were all returned by the servers. She couldn’t figure out why until her friend, a Falun Gong practitioner, reviewed the letters and deleted the phrase “having truthful, compassionate, and perseverant virtue.” The e-mail then finally went through successfully, meaning China’s Internet-filtering software had been screening out her letters for the similarity they bore—in that one phrasing—to the values of Falun Gong.
Among the tactics employed by Jiang Zemin in the persecution of Falun Gong, the most vicious ones are not just the violence used to force Falun Gong practitioners to abandon their belief. They also include the staged immolation of 2001 and other deceptive measures meant to breed hatred. Jiang has used pressure backed up by violence to force people to act against their consciences and express opposition to Falun Gong. He has punished those who were close to practitioners. In the political movement of persecuting Falun Gong, people have been forced to act against their own consciences in order to survive, ignoring brutal torture, murder, and rape. If they are forced to do that, then it’s no leap for them to engage in bribery, embezzlement, and taking shortcuts in doing business. In the persecution instigated by Jiang, China’s people have witnessed right and wrong turned upside down, for “truth, compassion, tolerance” is now branded bad under the CCP. Telling lies to get ahead has become an acceptable and necessary approach for many, while turning a blind eye to rape, brutal torture, and even murder (of Falun Gong adherents) are deemed “keeping one’s hands free of politics.” Through the persecution, Jiang has managed to further strip away the Chinese people’s sense of decency and humanity.
Most of the world religions in the world have their own disciplines. For example, Buddhism has five fundamental precepts, including prohibitions against killing, stealing, licentiousness, lying, and drinking. And of course there are the Ten Commandments in the Holy Bible. The objective of these prohibitions is to help people get rid of what is wicked in their nature by enforcing clear rules; call it a moral safeguard if you will.
Jiang Zemin’s 6-10 Office also has precepts. However, they are in stark contrast to those of the world religions. As all Internet users in China are aware, filters for certain taboo words are installed in most chat rooms and e-mail systems. The most common taboo words are “truth,” “democracy,” and “human rights.” When a nation prohibits “truth” and “human rights,” or regard as enemies those who follow “truth, compassion, tolerance,” what will be the fate of that nation? Actually, the answer should be quite clear. The trend of moral and societal deterioration in China has gone unchecked. Aren’t all of the corruption, violent crimes, and the general decline in moral values dangerous, telltale signs?
As Plato once reasoned, “There are invisible truths lying under the apparent surface of things, which only the most enlightened can grasp.” The ecological and economic disasters and political crises that unfold in China before our eyes today actually stem from a larger moral decline. Without moral restraint, people exploit and damage everything they can get their hands on, regardless of the well-being of others and their offspring. This of course includes nature itself. For example, the factories along the upper reaches of the Huai River have discharged a huge amount of wastewater into the river in the pursuit of profit. This has resulted in extinction of aquatic life in the lower reaches of the river. The remnants of fish can be seen turned up over the hundreds of miles of the river, the water being too polluted for fish to survive. The residents living along the lower reaches can’t get clean drinking water. This could have been easily avoided if people had maintained common sense and basic values. Moreover, financial disasters have been caused by illegal operations, issuance of falsified information, and underhanded fund raising in the stock market.
Jiang can’t escape culpability in all of this, for this has all unfolded under his reign and can be traced back, indeed, to his policies and programs. And these are not consequences easily remedied; posterity is likely to inherit each of these burdens.
7. Natural Disasters Sound a Warning
China’s people have long believed in a moral entity called Heaven and longed to see humanity live in harmony. They have held for centuries that the state of affairs in the human world is related to larger, celestial phenomena, and reciprocally, changes in the celestial phenomena manifest in the human realm in the form of warnings. The ancients studied carefully the connections between natural disasters and human conduct, and took natural disasters to mean condemnation of a nation for its injustices or failing to follow the Way. If celestial warnings are not heeded, even greater disasters would befall man as a further warning. Further refusal to mend one’s ways then spells true, great calamity.
With the declining moral values in China, especially since Jiang Zemin started to suppress Falun Gong in 1999, droughts, floods, and sandstorms have run amuck. Some of these disasters have been the most severe in decades, and the situation is getting only worse. From 1949 to 1999, intense sand-dust storms occurred in China forty times, of which twenty-three occurred during the 1990s when Jiang Zemin was in power. Since Jiang began persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, sandstorms have gotten even more severe. From March to mid-May in 2000, a staggering fourteen large-scale sandstorms appeared in northern China, with an incredible eighteen such occurrences then occurring the following spring of 2001. The sand-dust storm of March 20, 2002, has been described as calling to mind “doomsday” by Beijing residents, as it dumped some 30,000 tons of sand on Beijing—an average of 3 kilograms of sand per resident!
Every summer of late, China’s farmers are plagued by migratory locusts. In 2000, locust plagues covered twelve provinces and one hundred sixty counties, and the total affected area exceeded 30 million mu (approximately 5 million acres) of land. In the summer of 2001 the locusts bred in more than one hundred sixty counties in eleven provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Besides oriental migratory locusts, non-migratory locusts also infested 70 million mu (approximately 11 million acre) of land covering Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Liaoning provinces. In the worst-hit regions, locusts infested 30 million mu of land, destroying crops on a large scale. Beginning in April of 2002, locusts swept all of China yet another time. The Minister and writer Cai Yong of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 A.D.) once said, “The locusts appear on Earth because the Emperor and officials are greedy and unscrupulous.” The annals of Chinese history suggest that locust plagues are symptomatic of particularly-cruel tyrants.
In April of 2001, strange celestial phenomena appeared in various areas in mainland China. Shijiazhuang and Guangzhou on one occasion had full daylight at night, for instance. Right after the sandstorm swept through Gansu province, it snowed, of all things. There was strange precipitation in Xi’an city not long ago where rain was mixed with mud. Recently Hong Kong was assaulted by a fierce storm in which the sky and the ground suddenly changed color, giant hailstones struck the city, and torrential rain met with wind gusts.
In 2003 major floods swept across southern China, meanwhile, with severe droughts hitting northern China. Six provinces in southern China suffered from floods while the harsh drought threatened three northeastern provinces. Virulent epidemics broke out and SARS suddenly plagued the nation. Close on their heels, an episode of bird flu surfaced.
In July of 2004 Beijing experienced its hottest summer in fifty years. And yet oddly enough, it snowed in July in the Linzi district of Zibo city in Shandong province. Zhengzhou city, in Henan province, encountered hailstones the size and shape of eggs meanwhile, coupled with raging thunderstorms and typhoons. In Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, snow fell in August.
The bizarre phenomena and celestial-born calamities must be read, on the one hand, as warnings from heaven directed at Jiang Zemin, for Jiang has committed unpardonable crimes; and on the other, as reminders to the Chinese people, telling them that the moral decline they have experienced is not free of consequences and might spell even larger, worse disasters.
8. Bringing Ruin to the Human World
The crises Jiang Zemin’s reign has visited upon Chinese society are unprecedented, and have nearly dragged China to the point of no return. Jiang’s selfishness and greed have led to unmatched corruption; his envy and paranoia have brought about years of dreadful Red terror; his ruthlessness has produced a horrifying episode of genocide, the likes of which has never been seen in modern Chinese history. His selfishness, moral depravity, and stupidity have spelled his own doom. The clown, lacking all that is basic to a genuine human being, is sure to go out in disgrace.
People might ask how it is Jiang could be so audacious as to sink a nation just to protect his own interests? Hard it is to fathom his actions. One is left to wonder if Jiang wasn’t on something of a mission, one meant to bring discord and disaster. Such an explanation gains plausibility if we consider Jiang’s lack of humanity and unusual origins. 
In connection with the matter of origins, consider for a moment to what degree Jiang bears semblance to a toad or some type of aquatic creature. Couple this with his odd behavior and a picture begins to emerge. After Jiang came to power China met with an unusually large amount of floods. And wherever he has traveled, strange phenomena have accompanied him. When he went to Germany, a billboard at one location Jiang visited depicted a gigantic toad; when he went to Iceland, local newspapers ran an image of a toad; and when he visited the United States, one restaurant next to a Chinese Consulate used a big toad image on its sign. According to one insider, a Chinese official of high rank, who commented on his unusual culinary leanings, “Besides rare birds and animals, Jiang’s diet also includes locusts, turtles and snakes, scorpions, crocodiles, baby rats, even human brains obtained from Vietnam at high cost. Also, Jiang often takes drugs such as methamphetamine (ice) in order to ‘refresh’ himself and boost his vitality.” While foods—if we’re to call them that—such as these would disgust most anyone, “Jiang,” the source tells, “feels very good, relaxed, when he eats these special meals.”
For somebody with normal life experiences Jiang’s behavior is hard to make sense of. But then again, if we think of Jiang as an aquatic creature in human form that has usurped the throne, we realize this is no normal matter. In Chinese history, Daji, a concubine of ruler Di Xin (also known as Zhou) of the Shang Dynasty was, according to legend, the incarnation of a fox spirit—an animal turned beauty-in-disguise. She teamed up with Di Xin to murder good officials of the royal court and employed the most draconian of devices. Today we witness something perhaps not that far removed: Jiang Zemin, the condensation of a clump of thousand-year-old sinister qi, incarnate in human form. His purpose is to bring ruin to the human world.
For sure, China’s five thousand years of history have seen their share of tyrants and traitors (many will recall the likes of Jie and Zhou), treacherous court officials, and wrongdoers, such as Zhao Gao and Qin Gui. But live as the Chinese people may have in misery, faced as well with wars and natural disasters, there was always the process of renewal that came with a change of dynasty; things would return to a state full of vitality. After a few decades of rejuvenation, the civilization would flourish again and the country would be restored to prosperity and strength. For the nation’s spirit remained vital, and its natural resources sustainable.
Today there is much less occasion for optimism. After Jiang Zemin climbed to the apex of power using the most underhanded of means, the very fabric of China’s existence has been torn asunder. Over 1 million square kilometers of land on which our ancestors lived for generations have been secretly given to a foreign nation. Non-renewable natural resources which are formed only over the course of countless years have been squandered, polluted, and consumed in inordinate amounts. The moral values that were passed down for thousands of years, generation to generation, now lay distorted and deformed. There is a crisis of belief among the people, and the pursuit of material gain is spiraling out of control. And having met with widespread deceit, brainwashing, and threat of violence, many have compromised their most basic values—honesty, kindness, humanity, modesty, and a respect for human life. People now trim their sails to the wind, requite evil with evil, kick a person when he’s down, and commit all manners of crimes out of selfishness.
While tens of millions of laid-off workers and over 100 million poor farmers struggled to make a living, Jiang squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money on wanton extravagance. The sage Mencius once remarked, “If a superior sets a bad example, it will be followed by his subordinates.” It is Jiang’s crooked governance more than anything that has led to China’s terrible corruption problem. The problems thus engendered are many. At an ever-increasing rate Chinese officials have joined the ranks of the corrupt. Bribery has grown to be pervasive. And gangs now do every manner of evil imaginable in society. The enormous gap between the rich and poor, coupled with multiple economic problems, now threaten to throw China into chaos. Infectious diseases transmitted by immoral sexual conduct and drugs are sapping the populace’s physical constitution. Meanwhile, the ravenous pursuit of material wealth is killing China’s soul. Wanton exploitation of natural resources, meanwhile, means that work and living spaces are shrinking day by day. If things continue on this way, it won’t be long before our descendants haven’t a piece of clean land, a ladle of pure water, or a breath of clean air.
Even the briefest summary of Jiang Zemin’s crimes is enough to give a person a heavy heart. The unparalleled calamities Jiang has brought to China and its people far exceed what we have described here. Telling the real story of Jiang Zemin reveals Jiang as a man guilty of heinous crimes—crimes too numerous to catalogue.
China’s history abounds with examples of empires that seemed invincible, only to crumple from within by din of moral decline and decadence. Jiang Zemin has taken that same road, pushing an entire nation into a bottomless abyss. Bombings, arson, shootings, poisonings, gangs, and unbridled fraud now surge, giving everyone a sense of danger. Earthquakes, floods, droughts, locusts, and sandstorms grow only more intense. Unusual celestial phenomena have occurred again and again, sounding a cosmic warning.
Jiang’s crimes and wickedness dictate that he cannot escape scot-free. His must be an ignominious departure. Now is the time to pass final judgment on Jiang Zemin.
This book was motivated by a wish to document the evil that Jiang is and has done. Insofar as the calamities Jiang has brought China and the world, that the ruthless persecution he launched and oversaw of those who believe in “truth, compassion, tolerance,” and that his cruelty and madness have spelled the death of moral values and the individual’s conscience in China, insofar as we are faced with these realities, everyone of us is facing a choice between good and evil. It is nothing less than a test of conscience we each, around the world, now face. Heaven will help bring Jiang Zemin to trial, to rescue China from the brink of death, and restore the splendid civilization that was once China. But until then, let us do our part: let us make the right choice.