Chinese Ministry of Health Breaks 13-Year Taboo on Qigong

June 5, 2012 Updated: October 5, 2018
A Yangcheng Evening News report
A Yangcheng Evening News report from Nov. 10, 1998, says 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners were practicing Falun Gong exercises in a park, in Guangzhou. (Courtesy of

The ancient Chinese practice of qigong, a traditional Chinese form of exercise, has suddenly become hot news in China. For 13 years, state-run media has vilified and slandered qigong, but new reports are suddenly touting its benefits—a sign that top regime leaders have condoned the change in tone.

Discussion in mainland media, as well as online chatter, is rife with speculation that Beijing is thawing in its approach of persecuting qigong practitioners; most notably those who practice Falun Gong.

Medical professionals from several hospitals recently attended a nine-day qigong training course, and the benefits were published in a report by the Health Department of Gansu Province. The Ministry of Health spokesperson commented positively on the report, effectively breaking China’s 13-year taboo on qigong.

Shi Zangshan, a Washington D.C.-based China expert, told The Epoch Times that the report about the qigong training session is hot news and could only happen with the permission of high-level officials.

“The kind of qigong promoted by the Gansu Health Department includes a standing exercise and a sitting exercise. Falun Gong also has something similar. In other words, the authorities no longer avoid mentioning the similarity,” Shi said.

Shi added that the fact the report was not censored indicates that Premier Wen Jiabao and his reform supporters have gained the upper hand politically.

After former Party leader Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, qigong became a taboo subject in China, especially in the media.

“Humankind continues to gain a deeper understanding of life science and continues to have new discoveries,” the spokesperson said, according to Xinhua. “On the academic level, we encourage theoretical exploration, innovative experiments, and academic contention.”

According to the article, 47 medical staff gained huge benefits from the qigong course held in mid-May.

Liu Weizhong, head of the Gansu Health Department, recommended that province hospital staff learn qigong and apply it in their clinical practice. Several Chinese media also published articles on Liu’s medical background and career, and how he became interested in qiqong.

According to state agencies in early 1999, between 70 million and 100 million Chinese were practicing Falun Gong in the mainland. In 1998, the State Sports Bureau conducted a large survey and found that 97.9 percent of Falun Gong practitioners surveyed reported improvements in their health and a steep drop in their medical bills.

“Falun Gong has hundreds of benefits for the Chinese people and nation and does not a bit of harm,” according to the 1998 report by Qiao Shi, former head of the National People’s Congress.

practitioners' group exercise
Falun Gong practitioners’ group exercise at Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake in 2010 (Song Bilong/The Epoch Times)

Recently, a high-level source in Beijing told The Epoch Times that key leaders in the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo have reached consensus on four points, and one of them is that Falun Gong should be redressed—all those treated as criminals under the ban should be released and the ban should end—and practitioners should receive compensation.

Read the original Chinese article

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

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