1. Under Fire From All Sides
A Probe into Jiang’s Background and Suspicious Dealings
It was the eve of the Chinese New Year in 2004. CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala was unfolding as usual, with hosts speaking at the tops of their lungs and entertainers preparing to make the audience laugh. However, Jiang Zemin was not pleased. Although in previous years Song Zuying’s act had always led off the show, that year it was relegated to the end of the program; this was a sign that Jiang, who had reportedly had an affair with the singer, was losing his influence.
To make matters worse, even members of the general public were beginning to openly challenge Jiang’s authority.
On February 21, 2004, Mr. Lu Jiaping, a scholar from Beijing, who was also a member of the Chinese Research Society on the History of World War II, wrote a letter to members of the CCP’s Central Committee, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He urged them to investigate some stories about Jiang that he had heard. In his letter, Lu described in detail numerous scandals regarding the relationship between Jiang and Song Zuying. For instance, he described how Jiang had once stuffed a note into Song’s hand, how he had told Song to get divorced, how he had secretly committed adultery with Song, how he had used state funds to hold concerts for Song in Vienna and Sydney, how he had diverted money from navy expenditures in order to hold a drama concert for Song, and how Jiang had used three billion yuan to build the Grand Theater to please Song.
Lu did not only discuss Jiang’s private life, however. As early as March 26, 2003, Lu addressed a letter to Hu Jintao and the other eight members of the CCP’s Standing Committee of the Politburo, with carbon copies sent to the major ministries and commissions directly under the State Council. In his letter, Lu asked the leaders to officially investigate Jiang’s political history. Coincidentally, half a year later, Wu Jiang, Chairman of the French Branch of the China Democracy Party wrote a five-page research report in which he quoted the memoir of a former officer of the Soviet intelligence agency and pointed out that Jiang had been a senior spy for the KGB. When he studied in Moscow in the 1950s, Jiang secretly joined the KGB Far-East Bureau after the Soviet intelligence agency threatened to make public his traitorous history and tempted him with women and money. Jiang was responsible for collecting information on Chinese students in the Soviet Union and China.
After Lu Jiaping sent the above letter, Jiang retaliated against him and he went missing for three days. Later, an ultimatum appeared on an Internet bulletin board. It claimed that if Lu Jiaping were not released, a video showing Jiang and Song Zuying’s promiscuity would be published online. Surprisingly, Lu was released the day after this anonymous message was posted, indicating that the posting struck a cord with Jiang. Regardless, the posting itself raises the question of how someone was able to record Jiang’s clandestine meeting with Song with “absolutely professional” quality if they had met in a secret place, which they were certain was absolutely safe. Who were these people that had dared to challenge Jiang when he had not yet fully stepped down?
In May 2004, a new phenomenon called “Stomping on Jiang” appeared overseas. This involved stomping on a picture of Jiang’s face as a way of expressing discontent and frustration with his policies. On July 1, half a million people held a parade in Hong Kong to advocate for democracy and freedom in the territory and protest attempts to alter the Basic Law. Among the banners and posters they carried were ones that showed people “stomping on Jiang.” During and after the parade, many passers-by joined the “stomping on Jiang” activities. Zeng Qinghong reported this news to Hu Jintao, expecting that he would see it as significant information and take steps to stop it. However, Hu responded, “Let the people handle their issues themselves!” Upon hearing Hu’s response, Zeng became speechless.
Jiang Yanyong’s Open Letter and the “Tiananmen Massacre VCD”
In February 2004, Dr. Jiang Yanyong, who was well known for having made public the spread of SARS the previous year, wrote an open letter to the NPC and the CPPCC. In the letter, he asked these bodies to address and investigate the calamitous ending to the student-led pro-democracy movement of 1989. The letter was later spread widely over the Internet.
In his letter, Dr. Jiang recalled what he had witnessed during the summer of 1989. At the time, Dr. Jiang was the head of the general surgery department in People’s Liberation Army Hospital number 301. As a result, he personally treated people wounded in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In his letter, he described in detail several deaths that he had witnessed. He also confirmed that the army had indeed fired high-explosive shells (something forbidden by the Geneva Convention) to kill students and residents in Beijing on June 4th of 1989.
The Tiananmen Square Massacre was Jiang Zemin’s Achilles heel, so he quickly had Dr. Jiang Yanyong kidnapped and detained. However, Jiang Zemin was no longer as powerful as he had been before. Officials in the top echelons of the CCP and the army were very unhappy with Jiang for arresting Jiang Yanyong, given the latter’s international reputation following the SARS exposure. Thus, Jiang soon had to release the doctor.
The Tiananmen Massacre continued to worry Jiang Zemin. The less power he had, the more worried he became. Before the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre in the summer of 2004, the Central Propaganda Department made a VCD about the incident per Jiang’s instructions. All officials above the level of ‘director’ in the Party, the government and the military were required to watch the VCD in order to be acquainted with the “June 4th Disturbance” and “to unify their thoughts.” All copies of the video were to be “watched at the scene, and taken back to the scene,” and “saving [copies] for individuals was prohibited.” Li Peng had wanted to write a memoir, but was not allowed to. It was thus quite unusual that Jiang would publish a video on the massacre at that time.
Some analysts have explained that Jiang knew that he had an inglorious history and rise to power, making him especially fearful that others would expose his role in the massacre. Thus, his aim in making the video may have been to whitewash the role he played in the massacre. The production of the “June 4th” video indicated Jiang’s difficult situation as his power declined. He had to worry about digging his own way out and therefore, attempted to gain the upper hand by circulating a censored version of the event early on.
Veterans of the Armed Forces Break into Zhongnanhai
On August 26, 2004, more than three hundred veterans from the 39th Army Corps broke through the gates of Zhongnanhai and entered the tightly guarded government compound. They wore their medals and carried a wreath, which they said was meant for Jiang Zemin.
Breaking into Zhongnanhai would have been inconceivable in the past. Anyone who attempted to do so would have been executed on the spot. In this case, however, many of the veterans had formerly been famous commanders from the Second Column of the Northeastern Field Army. The compound’s guards recognized some of their faces and dared not use reckless force to stop their entry.
The veterans requested that the question of whether the Party should lead the army or vice versa be settled. Apparently, they wanted Jiang to step down as commander of the armed forces. Hu Jintao’s secretary Wang Wei personally went out to meet with them and carefully calmed them down.
That more than three hundred distinguished veterans would and could break into Zhongnanhai to deliver a wreath to Jiang who at the time held the position of Chairman of Communist Party Military Commission showed that Jiang was losing his power and status among servicemen. That Hu Jintao would send his secretary to meet the veterans and accept the wreath showed that Hu was no longer as docile as before and was willing to assert his authority as head of the Party.
A Special Train with Tight Security
Jiang never quite trusted the people around him. Every time he promoted a group of people, he soon began to doubt their loyalty and to search for the next group of people to appoint in their place. As a result, Jiang promoted a large number of generals: he once promoted a hundred and fifty-two generals in one day and five hundred generals in a single year. Despite there being so many generals indebted to him for their positions, Jiang felt no sense of security during the critical moments when he needed protection.
Jiang dared not travel by plane for he feared that someone might plant a bomb on his aircraft. Thus, starting in early 2004, Jiang rode on a private train whenever he went to inspect activities or bases in other cities. His private train was custom-made with two internal-combustion engines. The compartments were imported from Germany, and were then remodeled and reinforced. One of the compartments was equipped with the most advanced electronic communications system available so that Jiang could issue orders in case of an “unexpected war.” Every time Jiang took the train, he insisted that it be thoroughly inspected inside and out before he boarded. The inspection was conducted under the watchful eyes of his most trusted aide and upon its completion, the entire vehicle was sealed off and guarded by soldiers.
Jiang went to Kaifeng City in Henan Province in early July 2004. Fearing an assassination attempt, Jiang instructed his staff to spread the rumor ahead of time that it was Hu Jintao who was arriving. After Jiang arrived in Kaifeng, he would not stay in the local luxurious hotels, but rather decided to sleep in the guesthouse of the remote compound of the 20th Army Corps. In mid-July, Jiang traveled from Jinan Military Area Command to Wuhan City in order to inspect military establishments in central China. However, when his trusted aides reported that the army unit stationed in the area had moved unexpectedly, Jiang left in a hurry.
That same month, Jiang headed south on the train to Hanzhou, traveling through Nanjing and Shanghai along the way. He feared an explosion similar to one that occurred at a train station in North Korea following ruler Kim Jong-il’s secret visit to China.  So, in order to guard against anyone attempting to place something along the route or loosen any rails on the track, Jiang ordered policemen to be posted every twenty meters (approximately sixty-six feet) along the line on which he was scheduled to travel. The guards covered both night and day shifts so that there could be someone on duty twenty-four hours a day from the day before Jiang’s trip until three hours after his train had passed.
Deng Xiaoping’s Family Exposes a Big Secret
Hu Jintao was personally appointed by Deng Xiaoping [to be Jiang’s successor]. After he seized the positions of General Secretary of the CCP and President of the state, he gradually consolidated his power. The rivalry between Jiang and Hu became increasingly confrontational with each passing day.
As the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Sixteenth National Party Congress that was scheduled for September 2004 approached, Jiang promoted a large number of officers within the military. He also traveled to many places to oversee large-scale military maneuvers and drills, thereby asserting his authority and demonstrating his reluctance to relinquish his power over military affairs.
In addition to the approaching plenary meeting, August 22 was the one-hundredth anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s birth. During this time, various factions within the government elite began to make known their positions regarding the Hu-Jiang rivalry.
On July 28, 2004, CCTV aired a special interview with Deng Xiaoping’s family members who commented that Deng Xiaoping had not interfered with the younger generation’s administration of affairs. Deng’s behavior was thus contrasted with Jiang’s refusal to give up his power and his desire to hang onto his position in the military. China’s high-ranking officials are very reluctant to undertake overt acts that lead to public confrontations. The subtle but bold statement by Deng’s family showed how they, as well as many other Party elders and high-ranking officers, disliked Jiang for his continued involvement in state affairs.
Another example of Jiang’s loss of status among high-ranking Chinese officials occurred during a reception for “Army Day” that was held on July 31. In a speech given at the event, Cao Gangchuan, Minister of National Defense, emphasized his support for Hu Jintao, but did not mention Jiang, although the latter was his superior as well. This indicated that Hu’s status was rising not only among civilian officials, but within military circles as well.
2. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiaobao Use Zhou Zhengyi’s Case to Cross Jiang
In June 2004, Zhou Zhengyi, known as the “richest tycoon in Shanghai,” was sentenced to three years in prison for manipulating the trading prices of securities and falsifying registered capital reports. This was Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao’s first strike at the “Shanghai faction,” a group of officials in Shanghai that was loyal to Jiang.
Zhou Zhengyi, with a fortune estimated at $320 million, was the richest man in Shanghai and according to Forbes magazine, the eleventh richest man in the country. Zhou made his fortune thanks to his wife Mao Yuping, who was chairman of the Shanghai Merchants Holding Corporation. Mao was the goddaughter of Chen Liangyu, Jiang’s trusted aide and Secretary of the CCP’s Shanghai Municipal Committee. She was also close to Jiang Zemin’s son Jiang Mianheng.
There were eight blocks of land covering 45.2 acres available for development in the eastern part of Jing’an District in Shanghai. Jing’an District Committee set the land’s price disproportionately high so that no one could afford to buy it. As a result, Hong Kong Sun Hung Kai (SHK) Financial Group, which had planned to invest in the area, withdrew from the project. Soon afterwards, however, Jing’an District Committee gave this profitable land to Zhou Zhengyi for free, because Zhou was supported by Chen Liangyu’s younger brother, Chen Liangjun.
Zhou Zhengyi was later suspected of evading taxes, manipulating stocks, and obtaining huge amounts of illegal loans. Three organizations—the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Ministry of State Security and the China Committee on Banking Supervision—established a special task force to carry out an intensive investigation of Zhou’s case. The case was termed “the biggest financial fraud case since the founding of the PRC.”
In late-May of 2003, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing dispatched to Shanghai a joint investigation team of one hundred and twenty-nine members to look into Zhou’s case. The team subsequently arrested Zhou on the evening of May 26 and then secretly escorted him back to Beijing on June 1 for interrogation.
After Zhou’s arrest, Chen Liangyu immediately pulled some strings to try and discover the progress of the investigation. He also used various means and connections to approach the investigators and find out which people Zhou had fingered.
Two days later, Chen Liangyu received a phone call from a representative of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The latter warned Chen not to meddle in or inquire about the investigation of Zhou’s case. According to people close to Chen Liangyu, his face turned pale when he heard this and his hands were shaking when he got off the phone.
The next day, Chen Liangyu called a meeting of the Standing Committee of Shanghai’s Municipal Party Committee. He made his stand clear to the CCP’s Central Committee headed by Hu Jintao, assuring the Central Committee that Shanghai would make sure to carry out the latter’s instructions and cooperate with the relevant departments on the investigation of Zhou Zhengyi’s Nongkai Group.
Shanghai was Jiang Zemin’s territory. Zhou Zhenying and his wife were very close to the “Shanghai Faction,” which included Jiang, his son Jiang Mianheng, and Huang Ju. Thus, the investigation into Zhou’s affairs can be seen not only as an attempt to catch a corrupt tycoon, but also as an example of Hu Jintao’s ability to undermine Jiang Zemin’s power. That Chen Liangyu ceased his meddling and that Zhou was found guilty and sentenced to jail despite his strong connections with the “Shanghai Faction” showed that the balance of power in the political struggle between Jiang and Hu had begun to tilt toward the younger of the two men.
3. Forced to Abdicate in Xishan, A Fake Resignation Turns into the Real Thing
In mid-August 2004, during a routine meeting of the CCP Central Committee, several high-ranking generals including Hong Xuezhi, Liu Huaqing and Yang Baibing suddenly proposed that Jiang Zemin resign from his position as Chairman of the Communist Party Military Commission (CMC) in the upcoming Fourth Plenary Meeting. The proposal was supported by Chi Haotian, a former Politburo member and Vice-Chairman of the CMC, as well as Wang Ke and Wang Ruilin, both members of the CMC. The generals’ proposal was forwarded through the General Office of the Central Committee to the members and alternates of the Central Committee. More than forty members and alternates of the Central Committee responded with written letters to the Politburo supporting the suggestion. They too believed it was time for Jiang to resign from all the positions he held.
The issue came up again during another meeting of the CCP’s Central Committee that was held in Xishan, Beijing, in late-August 2004, after a confrontation between Jiang and his successors, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. Jiang criticized the latter’s economic policies, arguing that the macro-level control they favored had severely affected the country’s economic growth. He added that Hu and Wen would have to bear historical responsibility for any social upheaval such policies would cause. Hu did not take Jiang’s comments quietly and instead fought for his point of view, citing Party elders such as Qiao Shi and Wan Li to deflate Jiang’s arrogance.
With the senior generals’ request that Jiang relinquish his position in the military and Hu’s disrespect for Jiang’s opinion on the economy, the pressure on the former President came to a head during the meeting. Thus, trying to dig his way out of a hole, Jiang hypocritically claimed that he was ready to resign at anytime and without any hesitation. He then asked the Politburo Standing Committee to make a decision on the issue. Jiang had planted several officials that were loyal to him on the Politburo Standing Committee, so he believed there was little risk that they would accept the resignation idea, thereby lending legitimacy to his maintaining his position in the military.
Initially, this appeared to be the direction in which the events were unfolding. At the end of August, the Politburo Standing Committee held a meeting to discuss the issue and decided to shelve the discussion of Jiang’s resignation. This was exactly what Jiang had wanted and expected. He was very excited when he heard the decision. He then became complacent and decided to further demonstrate his willingness to step down.
On September 1, Jiang sent a letter to the Politburo, emphasizing that after “careful consideration,” he wanted to resign from his position as Chairman of the Military Commission of the CCP’s Central Committee. Jiang’s real purpose was to present a gesture of stepping down in order to counter the accusations that he was clinging to power. He did not really want to give up his power at all. He believed that the members of the Politburo whom he had promoted would “urge him to stay.” He could then continue his term as head of the military with added legitimacy, making it perfectly justifiable for him to attend to state affairs from behind the scenes. However, another faction within the Politburo quickly disclosed the information to overseas media sources. On September 6, The New York Times published the news of Jiang’s letter of resignation, thereby placing Jiang in a passive position.
According to one inside source, when Jiang Mianheng heard that his father had submitted a letter of resignation, his face became very gloomy and he remained speechless for quite a while. He scolded Jiang Zemin’s assistants for not having stopped the former president from submitting the letter. He also questioned his father as to why the latter had not discussed such an important issue with him ahead of time. Jiang Mianheng argued that if Jiang refused to resign, nobody could force the issue, but that if he proposed to resign himself, then others would definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Jiang Zemin felt his legs shaking and felt very agitated upon hearing Jiang Mianheng’s words. During the next two weeks, Jiang suffered through each day and could not fall asleep at night. He ordered several of his most trusted aides to try and prevent the resignation from being accepted and to keep him updated on the latest progress.
In early September, the Politburo Standing Committee, in which Jiang’s clique formed a majority, officially discussed Jiang’s resignation letter. The members were divided in their opinions on whether to accept the resignation or not. The final decision was to accept Jiang’s resignation in principle, while requesting that he remain Chairman of the CMC until the end of 2005 due to the needs of the situation at the time.
In accordance with conventional practice, the decision of the Standing Committee of the Politburo was then discussed by the full Politburo, the Party elders and the members of the previous term’s Standing Committee. The Party elders, such as Wan Li, Qiao Shi, Song Ping and Gu Mu, all stated that they “respected” Jiang’s decision. Among the members of the Fifteenth Committee, Zhu Rongji and Li Lanqing stated that they “had no opinion,” while Li Ruihuan, Wei Jianxing and Li Peng all expressed that they “respected” Jiang’s request and supported his resignation.
In the five days leading up to the Fourth Plenary Meeting, the full Politburo continued to discuss whether Jiang should stay in office or resign. During the discussions, several people who were closely connected to Jiang requested that he remain in office until 2005. They justified the request by arguing that the situation between China and Taiwan was dangerous and that Jiang could help Hu by sharing some of the responsibilities for running the country and military.
Once the Standing Committee forwarded the solicited opinions from the Party elders and former Committee members to the Central Committee and the CMC, there was no way for Jiang to back out and rescind his resignation.
On September 13, the Politburo Central Committee held an enlarged meeting with members of the CMC in attendance. During the meeting, several members of the CMC who had been personally promoted by Jiang—including Xu Caihou, Liang Guanglie, Liao Xilong and Li Jinai—stated their stance one after another, and all supported Jiang’s resignation.
On September 14, the last day before the Fourth Plenary Meeting, the Politburo discussed Jiang’s resignation from the afternoon until nearly 11 P.M. It was finally decided that Jiang would resign. At that point, seeing that the proposal was going to pass, even Zeng Qinghong, one of Jiang’s most loyal and active supporters, voted to accept Jiang’s resignation.
Over the following days, Jiang instructed his clique to grab as much real power as possible in case he was going to have to resign. Thus, during the Politburo meeting on September 14, officials loyal to Jiang proposed that Zeng Qinghong be appointed vice-Chairman of the CMC, and that Zhang Dejiang, Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee, and Chen Liangyu, Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, be added as members of the Central Committee Secretariat. None of these proposals was approved, however,
On September 19, the last day of the Fourth Plenary Meeting, Jiang’s resignation was announced. Two days later, Zhao Yan, a Chinese researcher for The New York Times, was arrested and escorted back to Beijing while on vacation in Shanghai. The State Security Ministry controlled by Zeng Qinghong wanted to use him as a starting point to find the source in the military that had disclosed the information about Jiang’s letter of resignation to the overseas media, a disclosure that roused public opinion and forced Jiang’s pretended resignation to become a reality.
Thus, Jiang resigned from his position as Chairman of the CMC. This was the beginning of the end for Jiang as he started to completely step down from the stage of history. Although he no longer held power or appeared frequently on TV, the many problems he left behind and the crimes he committed continued to plague the country.
4. Bribing a Foreigner to Publish a Bogus Biography
Jiang had wanted to publish a biography about his life for a long time. When Deng Xiaoping was still alive, he did not dare to do so. After Deng Xiaoping passed away, Jiang personally put together a special writing team to write his biography. The writing team racked their brains and spared no effort in visiting many places that were important earlier in Jiang’s life. However, the interviewees said none of what Jiang had wanted and moreover, they revealed facts about his past, like the changes he had made to his background. Thus, Jiang was extremely annoyed when the writing team submitted the material they had gathered. In response, he not only disbanded the team, but also made sure that its members were not placed in important positions. Despite such efforts, Jiang’s scandals were nevertheless gradually leaked out.
The first biography of Jiang written by a Westerner was Tiger on the Brink, which was published by Mirror Books and written by Bruce Gilley, a Canadian expert on China. Gilley is fluent in Chinese. He explained in the preface of the book that he was motivated to write a biography of Jiang because he had once met Jiang in a restroom, although he had not spoken with the Chinese leader.
In his book, Gilley used information gathered from official CCP sources as well as first-hand material. He also frequently quoted information from The Mirror and Wide Angle, two Hong Kong-based magazines with CCP support and the only two magazines from the island allowed to be published in Mainland China. Jiang reportedly didn’t like the book, however, as it did not convey what he would have liked it to have.
Finally, an idea was proposed by Zeng Qinghong, who was eager to be promoted from an alternate member of the Politburo Standing Committee to a permanent member of the Committee. He suggested finding a foreigner who did not understand Chinese at all as a hired gun. This way, all of the interviews and reference materials would have to be translated, and as such, Jiang could completely control the author’s access to information and allow him to write only what Jiang wanted. Jiang was very pleased with this idea, and immediately instructed Jia Ting’an, his office director, to begin working on it. The project was launched in the year 2001, so it was named the “Project 001.”
Looking for a Hired Gun
As he searched for a suitable foreigner to write the biography, Jia Ting’an asked Zeng Qinghong for advice. Zeng made the point that the book should not be written by a professional writer because they were difficult to control and were thorough in verifying information before they referred to it in their writing. Instead, Zeng suggested finding a foreigner who had large business interests in China, which could be used to bribe and coerce him. Finally, as they searched through an investigation report by the National Security Ministry, they came across Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a managing director from Citibank, who had extensive business in China and regarded profit as his utmost concern. Thus, someone was sent to speak with Kuhn and offer him that the CCP would allow Citibank to expand its business in China in exchange for his writing a biography of Jiang Zemin in accordance with the latter’s wishes. Kuhn was reportedly overjoyed and agreed without hesitation.
In addition to other favorable business terms awarded to Citibank, on March 21, 2002, the CCP also authorized the bank’s Shanghai branch to accept Chinese residents’ deposits in foreign currency. Thus Citibank became the first bank entirely owned by foreigners to be approved to provide comprehensive foreign exchange services to Chinese residents.
Kuhn is not an experienced writer, so asking him to write a biography would be akin to asking a donkey to dance. His expository skills are limited, and at the time, he was busy with his work, as well as multiple social obligations. He had neither the time, nor the skill, to write a biography of Jiang.
In order to fill these gaps, a Chinese writer was needed to work with Kuhn. Jiang thus instructed an organization directly under the CCP Central Committee to find Ye Yonglie, a prominent biographer. According to Ye Yonglie himself, in March 2001, the director of this governmental organization met with him and instructed him to participate in the writing of Jiang’s biography. The director told him outright that Jiang had a notorious political reputation overseas and therefore, a biography needed to be published in order to improve his image.
“Publish a Biography of Jiang That Reflects Our Stance”
From the very beginning, it was evident that Jiang’s aim in asking Kuhn to write a biography of him was to “publish a Jiang biography reflecting our views.”
Ye Yonglie disclosed that, at the behest of the authorities, he drafted a comprehensive plan for “Project 001,” as the authorities called it. He wrote a three thousand-word outline and a fifteen-page biographical chronology of Jiang’s life. He also compiled a long list of reference books, and a list of more than one hundred people to interview. Despite all of Ye’s effort, in the end authorities claimed that it “was more appropriate to publish the book with the name of a foreigner,” and refused to list Ye as a co-author of the book alongside Kuhn. They wanted him to just work behind the scenes, and hoped he would not insist on co-authoring the book with Kuhn. It appears that it was Jiang’s intention all along for Kuhn to be the sole author. Why was it more appropriate for this book about Jiang to be authored solely by a foreigner? Because it would more easily deceive the Chinese people, who would falsely see Kuhn’s account as objective and disinterested. Ye Yonglie thus terminated his cooperation with Kuhn, but the fruits of Ye’s research were still used by Kuhn.
Jiang’s biography by Kuhn, The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, was published in February of 2005. This bogus biography was sickening in the way it sang odes to Jiang, but did not mention a single word about how Jiang had ceded Chinese territory, and it overlooked his promiscuity and corrupt practices. It was silent on how he had persecuted Christian house churches, pro-democracy activists and Falun Gong practitioners. On the issue of Falun Gong specifically, the book echoed Jiang’s tone, twisting words and slandering the practice and its adherents.
5. The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and a Wave of Withdrawals
An arcane truth has been spreading among the people for a long time saying that Jiang came to the world with the mission of destroying the CCP from within.
Of course, Jiang would not be like Gorbachev, who knew what the right side of history was and dissolved the communist party through democratic reforms. In Jiang’s case, it would be his extreme greed and selfishness that would completely wear out the already hollow CCP. The CCP was not in good shape in the first place, similar to an old broken down house, which had long been beyond repair. After Jiang rapped here and knocked there in the house, the house faced imminent danger.
The fundamental reason was that Jiang insisted on suppressing Falun Gong to vent his personal spite. He then used the state apparatus to drag the rest of the CCP into committing heinous crimes. The two made use of each other and colluded with each other.
Jiang was worried about being purged after retirement, so he made every effort to place officials loyal to him in the Politburo so as to ensure that his policies would not be overturned after he left office.
However, Jiang never expected that a comprehensive reckoning of his deeds would appear out of the blue.
On November 18, 2004, the overseas Chinese newspaper The Epoch Times published a special series of editorials entitled Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which systematically exposed the history of and the crimes committed by the CCP. The individual titles of the nine commentaries are: On What the Communist Party Is; On the Beginnings of the Chinese Communist Party; On the Tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party; On How the Communist Party Is an Anti-Universe Force; On the Collusion of Jiang and the Chinese Communist Party to Persecute Falun Gong; On How the Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Traditional Culture; On the Chinese Communist Party’s History of Killing; On How the Chinese Communist Party Is an Evil Cult; and On the Unscrupulous Nature of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Nine Commentaries comprehensively revealed the lies and tyranny of the CCP throughout its eighty-plus years of history and the resulting calamities it has brought to the Chinese people.
The Nine Commentaries was very well received both overseas and in China, generating a tremendous impact.
In March 2005, programming in many provincial and city TV stations in China was interrupted and programs introducing the Nine Commentaries were broadcast instead. One such broadcast on March 17 was especially widespread, reaching an estimated 100–200 million viewers. As a result of these broadcasts, word about the Nine Commentaries began to spread across Mainland China.
The CCP was aware of the significant impact the Nine Commentaries and its exposure of the Party’s brutality could have on its legitimacy and ability to continue ruling, so the CCP vigorously blocked distribution of the Nine Commentaries. A recent report by Harvard University on China’s Internet blockade revealed that the CCP had designated the Nine Commentaries website as a top priority for Internet suppression.
In contrast with the CCP’s usual public condemnation model, this time the Party essentially remained silent. Fearing that any response would only trigger more interest in the articles, the CCP dared not publicly respond to the spread of the Nine Commentaries, except via mass arrests of people suspected of spreading the articles. Those aware of the situation felt that the CCP had been hit on its vital point. The CCP and its high-ranking officials realized that if the public were able to understand the truth of the CCP’s beginning, its murderous history, and its unscrupulous way of manipulating the Chinese people as revealed in the Nine Commentaries, the mansion of lies that Jiang and the CCP relied on for their legitimacy would disintegrate. Any public response by the CCP would accelerate the dissemination of the Nine Commentaries and hasten the CCP’s collapse.
Soon after the publication of the Nine Commentaries, The Epoch Times established a “Quit the Party” website. A wave of people soon began to withdraw from the CCP emerge.
On January 12, 2005, The Epoch Times published a statement indicating that the end of the CCP was in sight, its heinous crimes throughout history being unpardonable. Those responsible for doing the CCP’s bidding, it declared, would surely be held accountable on the day of reckoning. The statement urged all who have joined the CCP and its affiliate organizations to immediately withdraw from them. 
After the publication of that statement, the wave of people quitting the CCP grew. Each day, tens of thousands of people submitted statements declaring their withdrawal from the CCP. By early June of 2005, more than two million people had published a “Three Quits” statements—quitting the CCP or one of its two affiliate organizations, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers. It created formidable pressure on the CCP’s rule.
In order to support the “quitting the CCP” movement and the millions of Chinese people involved, Chinese associations on four continents held “Grand Parades to Support One Million People Quitting the CCP.” Well-known pro-democracy and human rights advocates from over twenty provinces and cities in China accepted interviews with The Epoch Times before the parades. They published statements quitting the CCP or the Youth League and actively supported the parades. This motivated more Chinese people to submit statements quitting the CCP and enabled the Nine Commentaries and the information about quitting the CCP to spread more broadly to Chinese citizens and officials. Information from various sources showed that the Nine Commentaries had quietly penetrated many groups in society, both governmental and civilian, including the CCP’s National Security Ministry, the State Council, the Public Security Ministry, the Army, the war industry, and the medical community, as well as educational, legal, athletic and cultural circles. It led to the largest scale movement in history for quitting the CCP. Some have called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party “a book that is disintegrating the Communist Party”.
Inspired by the Nine Commentaries, many CCP officials publicly announced their withdrawal from the CCP. On June 4, 2005, Mr. Chen Yonglin, a former consul in the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia who was in charge of political issues, publicly stated his withdrawal during a rally that was held in Sydney to commemorate the Tiananmen Massacre and support the two million people who had quit the CCP. He then applied to the Australian government for political asylum. Two days later, Mr. Hao Fengjun, a former officer from the 6-10 Office and Public Security Department in Tianjin City who was living in Melbourne after defecting, also spoke out about his personal experience, exposing the merciless brutality of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. He also confirmed what Chen Yonglin had said about the CCP’s state terrorism and extensive espionage operations both within China and overseas. On June 9, a former high-ranking official from the CCP’s State Security Ministry who was hiding in Canberra refused to disclose his name in order not to endanger his family still in China, but entrusted his attorney Bernard Collaery, a distinguished Australian lawyer, to speak in his name. Collaery made public the officer’s testimonies of the severe torture and human rights violations committed against dissidents, which he had personally witnessed while working in a Chinese security agency.
To alleviate the pressure from the upsurge of people quitting the CCP, in January of 2005, the Party urgently established a special task force with the authority to overrule all other administrative and legal bodies. The group was named the “Leadership Team of the Educational Campaign to Maintain the Advanced Nature of Communist Party Members.” The team set up fifty-eight central supervision teams to supervise all levels of local government in implementing the “Maintaining the Advancement” movement. The panic of the CCP over the Nine Commentaries began to appear on the surface.
However, as the deception propping up the CCP begins to unravel, whether the Party survives may be out of its leaders’ hands. In addition, several prophecies have predicted the CCP’s collapse.
Sui Bi, a Chinese language magazine [in China] published an article entitled “Sage’s Last Word” in its March 2005 edition. This article told an interesting story. It said that as early as the 1930s, Plekhanov, an early Marxist in Russia, had predicted in his will that the Communist Party would collapse. He maintained that the Communist Party violated society’s natural order and would inevitably turn into a dictatorship relying upon violence and deception to maintain its power, which would eventually lead to its own demise. However, Plekhanov did not want to struggle with the Bolshevik Party (predecessor of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party). His will was not published until after the Soviet Union’s Communist Party collapsed, at which point it was printed in the Russian Newspaper Nezavicimaya Gazeta (Independence) on November 30, 1999.
Another, revelation occurred recently in China. In June of 2002, a “megalith with hidden words” that was estimated to be 270 million years old was discovered in Zhangbu Village in Pingtang county of Guizhou province. The huge rock cracked open five hundred years ago to reveal six huge, but neatly written Chinese characters on the cracked surface. The characters said “The Chinese Communist Party perishes.”  The character for “perish” (亡) especially stood out for it was larger than the others. Upon its discovery, the “megalith with hidden words” was appraised by a group of renowned geologists and paleontologists. They found no trace of artificial carving or other artificial processing, making the rock into what one might call a world-class miracle, with inestimable geological research value. More than twenty of the CCP’s most important media outlets accompanied the group of scientists and reported the discovery. However, they all mentioned only the first five Chinese characters—spelling “Chinese Communist Party”—while none dared to cite the sixth character, “perish.” The full version of this ancient prophecy about the CCP’s downfall began to be spread widely over the Internet after the Nine Commentaries and quitting the CCP trend appeared in 2005.
Whether it was betraying China’s territory, suppressing Falun Gong, or basking in corruption, Jiang Zemin has always tied his own crimes to the institution of the CCP. With the CCP itself now tottering, the day on which Jiang’s crimes will come to light and he be held accountable for them is surely not far away.