CHINA—A few days before Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan, renowned human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng broke through a communication blockade and made a successful call to his long-time friend and supporter Hu Jia. This put China's human rights issues under scrutiny from the international community once again.
On the same day, Chinese sources revealed that Beijing Haiding District Governor Zhou Liangluo was arrested under the Party's internal discipline regulation for land embezzlement. Zhou is believed to be the janissary of current Political Bureau Standing Committee Member Jia Qinglin. Zhou's arrest refreshes people's memory about the fall of former Shanghai Party Chief—Chen Liangyu in 2006.
The Sudden Release of Gao's News
Gao had lost contact with the outside world for eight months since his secret kidnapping in August 2006. In December 2006, Gao was put on trial behind closed doors and sentenced to three years in prison on a subversion charge with a five-year reprieve. With a gag order in place, he was then returned home and his whole family was put under house arrest.
According to Gao's letter and the investigation of Beijing human rights volunteers, over one hundred police, plain clothes, and security personnel are working around the clock to isolate Gao's whole family from the world. Hu Jia, who helped Gao to make public his story this time, is also being closely monitored as a long time dedicated human rights activist.
The release of Gao's news has been viewed by many people as a miracle. Gao's story—of kidnapping, torture, and threats to his family and relatives to break his will—has attracted a lot of international media attention. This has lead to global protest just before and during Wen's trip to Japan.
The Arrest of Zhou Liangluo
Zhou, who was a middle level cadre sitting in a critical position, was arrested under the party's discipline regulation—a cadre supervision system outside of China's judicial system. During the persecution of Falun Gong, China's judicial system has been manipulated by Jiang's faction, thus becoming completely corrupted and fully manipulated by Jiang's faction. According to mainland media Caijing Magazine , many high level cadres have been involved in his case, and it is believed Zhou's arrest is a sign of another fight between Jiang's faction and Hu and Wen's faction.
Signals of Struggle
On March 16, during the press conference of the Chinese Congress, Wen was questioned by a journalist how to effectively stop corruption (the money and power exchange) in the government.
After a pause, Wen answered, "We should admit, currently, the issue of corruption is getting more and more serious, and many high level leaders are involved. The main reason for the corruption, is over concentrated power and no effective supervision and restriction."
This is the first time that a regime's central leader has admitted the seriousness of corruption in China. Wen answered after a pause, so his answer was well thought out and not something of the top of his head. In fact, according to analysts, it is a signal, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao want to use an anti-corruption campaign to gain the favor of the people and strike hard at Jiang Zemin's faction.
No Official is Clean, Anti-corruption only Serves as a Power Struggle
The Current Standing Member of Political Bureau Jia Qingling, a heavy weight figure in Jiang's faction, is believed to be involved in the Xiamen Yuanhua smuggling cases when he was Fujian Provincial Governor. Because the primary suspect Lai Changxing fled to Canada, the case drew a lot of attention. Currently, Lai is still in Canada fighting for his refugee status, claiming himself as victim of political struggle.
Instead of being investigated, Jia was promoted very quickly under Jiang's political umbrella, and his gangs also followed him into Beijing. An example of this would be the biggest private real estate developer in Fujian, Huang Rulun successfully having gained the rights to develop the most potential land in Haiding District, Beijing, where Zhou Liangluo was governing .
If Zhou admitted his crime, his direct boss, current Beijing Municipal Committee Standing Member and Haiding District Party Chief Tan Weike will be the next target. Tan was Jia Qinglin's secretary when they were in Fujian province.
A similar scandal happened in 2006 during the fall of Shanghai Party Chief Chen Liangyu, when the struggle started from Chen's former secretary Qin Yu—former Baoshan District Governor in Shanghai. Tan Weike and Jia Qinglin have similar relationship.
The Response of Jiang's Faction
Obviously, Jiang's faction picked up the undertone of Wen's answer in the press conference. According to Chengming Magazine April 1 issue, during a Political Bureau weekly meeting, there was a heated debate about Wen's speech. Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, and Li Changchun criticized Wen's answer to the media because it had not been discussed inside the leadership group, and put the central leaders in an awkward situation.
According to the Chengming report, a normal weekly meeting usually lasts for two hours, while this meeting lasted five hours.
The release of Gao Zhisheng's news has never been coincidental. While Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao were creating people's favor towards them, Zeng Qinghong, also one of the Standing Members inside the Political Bureau who controls China's secret service, made use of attorney Gao, letting him send out his story to divert the focus and cool down public expectations of Hu and Wen.
Every time when Hu and Wen visit abroad, the Jiang and Zeng faction create some trouble, either cracking down on the mainland rights movement in a high profile fashion, to release the message that the human rights issue is deteriorating inside China, or by using the secret service system under their control to create trouble in the visiting countries, such as pressuring the visiting country to block a Falun Gong protest and even arresting Falun Gong practitioners without a reason. It is no different this time, Zeng wants to create conflicts between Wen and the public by releasing Gao's information.
Actually, Zeng used a similar tactic in 2006, when the international community was focused on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, demanding an independent investigation inside China. Attorney Gao was suddenly arrested. According to many reports, Zeng and his secret service department were behind this arrest. It is called 'sever tail to save life', the purpose was to shift international focus and pressure.