Anything for Power: The Real Story of China’s Jiang Zemin – Chapter 19

Sued in His Unlucky Year, Jiang Seizes Military Power to Avoid Punishment (2002)
By Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
October 30, 2014 Updated: June 9, 2022

Jiang Zemin’s days are numbered. It is only a question of when, not if, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party will be arrested. Jiang officially ran the Chinese regime for more than a decade, and for another decade he was the puppet master behind the scenes who often controlled events. During those decades Jiang did incalculable damage to China. At this moment when Jiang’s era is about to end, Epoch Times here republishes in serial form “Anything for Power: The Real Story of Jiang Zemin,” first published in English in 2011. The reader can come to understand better the career of this pivotal figure in today’s China.


Chapter 19: Sued in His Unlucky Year, Jiang Seizes Military Power to Avoid Punishment (2002)

The year 2002 was a gloomy one for Jiang Zemin, who from the start was haunted by the fear of losing power and having his crimes exposed.

1. Television Tapping

For years Jiang’s persecution of Falun Gong has been sustained by means of spreading lies, hiding the truth, and brutal torture. Jiang’s greatest fear has been that the public would break through the information blockage that he labored to set up and discover the truth about the persecution.

Jiang’s fear finally came to pass in the city of Changchun—the capital of Jilin Province and the place where Falun Gong’s founder Mr. Li Hongzhi was from. It was there that Falun Gong first began spreading in the early nineties.

On the night of March 5, 2002, the regular programming of eight cable TV stations was interrupted and replaced with a 45 minute broadcast about Falun Gong. The broadcast included documentaries such as Self-immolation or Deception? and Falun Dafa’s Spread Around the World.

The lies the CCP propaganda machine had been telling for years were thus discredited in less than an hour. The videos revealed Falun Gong’s rapid growth in mainland China before the crackdown along with its current spreading in over 60 countries; it highlighted the truth about Falun Gong and its noble teachings on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Hundreds of thousands of people in Changchun City were astonished as the documentary Self-immolation or Deception? analyzed the footage of the incident from CCTV in slow motion, pointing out its inconsistencies one by one. The next day, the slow-motion sequence of Liu Chunling being struck over the head by a police officer while she was on fire became the talk of the town; discussion of the matter could be heard at the office, on the bus, in school, or at the supermarket, demonstrating the impact on people’s minds of a lie being exposed.

Even Kuhn’s book, The Man Who Changed China, acknowledged what had transpired. Kuhn writes, “Prime time, everyone saw the Falun Gong programs, the city’s abuzz.” [1]

Jiang was furious when he heard the news about the TV tapping that night. He reportedly shook from anger for several minutes. He then reacted by pounding his fist on the table and shouting, “Send for Zeng Qinghong and Luo Gan immediately!”

Jiang’s secretary, though already accustomed to his boss’s temper, had never seen Jiang so mad and violent. Fully aware of the seriousness of the matter, the secretary picked up the phone, his hand trembling.

Following suggestions by Zeng and Luo, Jiang ordered that level II war preparedness be declared in the Shenyang Military Region and that level I awareness be established in the Changchun Military Region and among the armed police of Jilin Province. Luo ordered the Public Security Office of Jilin and the Public Security Bureau of Changchun to investigate the TV tapping and crack the case within a short timeframe. As Luo was on the phone, telling his men what to do, Jiang commanded, “Tell all the police to shoot to kill any Falun Gong practitioners who were involved in the TV tapping. Kill them without exception! I guarantee that any officer who kills Falun Gong practitioners will not be held responsible. This case has to be resolved within a week, or else the Party chief in Changchun City and the police chiefs at multiple levels in the city will have to step down.”

Acting on Jiang’s order, Luo took personal responsibility for the case. In the middle of the night on March 12, 2002, Falun Gong practitioner Liu Haibo of Changchun was arrested and tortured to death during questioning by Kuancheng police. He was suspected of having sheltered other Falun Gong practitioners who had been involved in the broadcast. Chang Xiaoping, the first deputy Party chief and head of the 6-10 Office in Changchun, arrived at the Kuancheng police station that same night and gave the following instructions: first, dealing with Falun Gong was a difficult political task that had to be accomplished even if it meant bloodshed; second, secrecy was to be maintained at all costs in order to avoid harm to China’s international standing; and third, disciplinary, prosecutorial, and monitoring departments at all levels were barred from probing Falun Gong’s casualties “for the sake of overall stability.”

Meanwhile, Jiang directed his propaganda departments to produce TV programs that would accuse Falun Gong of illegally tapping into TV stations. Those programs, however, did not tell the public the content of the Falun Gong videos, but only said vaguely that the tapping was meant to publicize Falun Gong. The programs also reiterated other lies, such as that Falun Gong killed people. In actuality, Falun Gong practitioners had broadcast videos that unveiled the truth of the persecution by exposing how Falun Gong’s followers were victims of murder at the hand of police, rather than perpetrators. Jiang deliberately tried to conceal this reality by covering previous lies with yet more lies.

The CCP claimed that the Falun Gong broadcasts were illegal. “Illegal” is relative to “legal,” and considering the extrajudicial nature of the persecution against Falun Gong, the “laws” that practitioners supposedly broke had already been discredited. Some scholars have analogized as follows. Suppose a person is barred from leaving a room through its windows only if a door is kept open. If the door is locked or sealed, then people are of course entitled to get out through windows, if not by an opening in the ceiling. In a place where basic human rights are denied, all peaceful attempts to regain those rights are in accordance with the law—natural law.

The TV tapping, which did not cause any damage to TV facilities, only transmitted a message and conveyed a voice. It was thus untenable to refute a move that involved the legitimate rights of tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners based on an allegation that “there were people who had been bothered.” Even with demonstrations approved by the government, congestion in public spaces may occur, “bothering” some people who are in a hurry. This is a price that may be paid to safeguard human rights and is normal in today’s world. What’s more, TV programs denouncing Falun Gong have been aired in recent years by TV stations under Jiang’s control, and many of these proved highly bothersome to viewers.

Jiang, turning a deaf ear to reason, bitterly hated those who were involved in the tapping and wanted nothing less than their total destruction. On March 24, 2002, police kidnapped Liu Chengjun, another Falun Gong adherent who had been involved. The police shot Liu in the legs after he was already in cuffs and shackles, injuring him severely. Liu was tortured ruthlessly in detention before being unlawfully sentenced to 19 years in prison. He died of maltreatment at the hands of his captors in jail on Dec. 26, 2003.

Similar TV tapping incidents have since occurred in other cities, covering both cable and satellite signals. According to incomplete statistics, from March 2002 to October 2003, Falun Gong practitioners tapped into TV broadcasts in over 20 cities in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Hebei, Gansu, and Qinghai, as well as in Chongqing City. In those cases they similarly played videos that exposed Jiang’s claims.

As soon as the nationwide crackdown on Falun Gong began in July 1999, Jiang activated China’s entire propaganda apparatus to decry Falun Gong, denying its practitioners any opportunity to clear up and defend against the allegations launched against them. By staging the farce of the Tiananmen immolation and silencing the voice of Falun Gong with his power, Jiang managed to bring the public’s hatred toward Falun Gong to the boiling point. If a person who was against Falun Gong was asked where his hatred came from, he would probably say “from what I saw on CCTV.” With 86 percent of China’s population having access to TV coverage, televised propaganda became Jiang’s most effective tool in his attempt to discredit Falun Gong. It was thus much to Jiang’s great surprise when his own claims were discredited through the very same medium.

2. Mired in Trouble

The TV broadcasts were not the last time in 2002 that Jiang faced consequences for his decision to persecute Falun Gong.

In April 2002, Falun Gong practitioners took legal action in Washington D.C. against China’s Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, and CCTV. In July, legislators from the U.S. House of Representatives adopted Resolution 188 by a vote of 420 to 0, urging Jiang to stop persecuting the Falun Gong in China. [2]

On the other side of the Atlantic, Jiang also met with protests over his campaign against Falun Gong during a visit to Germany in April and to Iceland in June. While in Germany, Jiang became so afraid of the sight of yellow and blue clothing—trademark colors of demonstrating Falun Gong practitioners—that he made a request to the German police that the two colors be kept out of his sight. He was so suspicious and fearful that he asked police to weld sewer lids shut along the route his convoy was to travel. Jiang didn’t dare to enter or leave his hotel through the front entrance; instead, he used garbage exits. He frequently changed his schedule and routes, causing frustration and drawing complaints from his hosts.

Before he arrived in Iceland, Jiang exerted pressure on the Icelandic government to bar Falun Gong adherents from entering the country. The move, which officials agreed to, triggered dramatic protests against Jiang by thousands of local residents. On the day of Jiang’s arrival, Iceland’s largest newspaper ran a four-page ad, offering an apology to Falun Gong practitioners. The advertisement, which was jointly sponsored by 450 people, including parliamentarians, made quite a stir in Iceland. Its title consisted of three large Chinese characters which mean “sorry,” and had a subtitle in Icelandic that read “An Apology to Falun Gong Practitioners.” The statement read, “The Icelandic government made an erroneous decision by yielding to the dictator Jiang Zemin and barring Falun Gong practitioners from entering the island for peaceful protests. The Icelandic people feel ashamed of that decision and express their apology to all Falun Gong practitioners.” [3]

An unusual coincidence having to do with toads took place in both Germany and Iceland. Two days prior to Jiang’s arrival in Germany in April, several identical large posters appeared suddenly at different railroad stations. On the posters, the upper caption read “Look up,” while two toads, standing on either side of the picture with their bodies turned toward each other were looking up at a large, crowned toad with a white belly. The caption at the bottom read, “Here comes the big one.” Similarly, two days before Jiang arrived in Iceland, the country’s largest newspaper published a photo of a large toad for no apparent reason. It was no ordinary toad, but rather a toad with favus (an infectious skin disease) all over its body. When Jiang visited the United States at the end of October, a restaurant near the Chinese consulate used a big toad as a symbol on one of its posters. Back in China, a strange thing occurred on the website as well. As soon as one opened the main webpage, a hopping green toad immediately would appear and remain on the screen for some time before vanishing.

Another phenomenon that followed Jiang as he traveled, be it to Germany, Iceland, or the United States, was a cold wind and dark clouds. During his stay in Iceland, Jiang visited a world famous fountain near the capital city of Reykjavik. The moment Jiang arrived, half of the water column springing from the fountain became black with filth and dirt. The sky corresponding to the filthy half turned dark and was covered with dark clouds; the other half of the sky remained bright. One local resident exclaimed, “I’ve never seen such black water coming out of that fountain.”

Jiang’s visit appears to have also brought misfortune to some of those involved in the welcoming events. A Professor Li of the Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute in China and his wife moved to the capital of Iceland after they retired, joining their son and his family there. A few years after he settled in Iceland, Li became a leader among local overseas Chinese. When Jiang visited the country, officials from the Chinese embassy tried to please the visiting leader by hiring local Chinese students and immigrants as a greeting crowd. Jiang later met with representatives of the crowd, which was headed by Li. The event was aired on CCTV on its news program. A day or two after Jiang and his delegation left Iceland, Li and his family went on an outing by car. There were five people in the car: Li and his wife, his son (who was driving), his son’s wife, and his one-year-old grandson. As they were driving, the car suddenly skidded off the road into a lake. Everyone in the care died in the accident, with the exception of Li’s son, who escaped ashore by breaking a window.