Founding of Beijing Epoch Times Alarmed Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan
CHICAGO – Wang Bin, a reporter for the Beijing Epoch Times and a Falun Gong practitioner, successfully escaped the arrest of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the efforts of supporters outside China and arrived in Chicago at the beginning of 2005 after experiencing three years of Purgatory under the regime of the CCP.
His arrival in the U.S. allowed details about the mass arrest of Epoch Times staff in China to be reported for the first time, details that had been covered up by CCP for five years. Jiang Zemin, Li Lanqing, and Luo Gan ordered these arrests. At least a dozen people were illegally sentenced to heavy punishment under the guise of committing the crime of “Subverting the Political Power of the State.” This is a typical “crime” that the CCP uses to trample on human rights and repress the freedom of the press in Mainland China.
Wang Bin, born in 1974, of Tu ethnicity, and has a doctorate of engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was one of the earliest Beijing Epoch Times reporters and one of the organizers. The Beijing office was the first office of The Epoch Times in China. Because it reported the facts in China, the Communist authorities hated the Beijing office. Under the CCP’s overwhelming oppression, the reporters in Beijing had no choice but to disperse throughout China in order to continue doing news work.
On December 16, 2000, the Ministry of Public Security of the CCP formally started investigating the case of The Epoch Times, called Case 12-16 (or Dec. 16). According to incomplete statistics, more than 90 people were involved, and more than 30 people were arrested. They were from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other provinces and cities. At least a dozen Epoch Times reporters were sentenced to 3 to 10 years imprisonment. Some were sent to labor camps. Most of them are intellectuals who had graduated from top universities. Some of them are Falun Gong practitioners.
The Beijing Security Bureau received special honors for Case 12-16 in the national security conference held by the Ministry of Public Security in the first half of the year 2001. One official from the judiciary system of the CCP commented that the “Epoch Times Event” had an enormous and “profound” influence on the higher authorities in China. The work of these Epoch Times reporters, as well as their subsequent arrest and punishment, serve as an historical milestone in the struggle to bring freedom of the press to China. Because the CCP has used all means to prevent any news about the fate of the Epoch Times’ reporters from getting out, and most of these reporters in China were arrested, sentenced without written judgments being given to their family members, or have simply disappeared, these cases and the general situation were largely unknown outside China. The Epoch Times had tried to obtain news of these individuals during these years, but could only get scraps of information. The successful rescue of Wang Bin has helped reveal the facts.
In fact, the Beijing Epoch Times began operating before the North American Epoch Times. In June 2000, Cheng Dan, representative of North American Epoch Times, visited Beijing and met with Wang Bin and Zhang Yuhui. Cheng Dan proposed the idea of establishing a Beijing reporter station. They agreed and started recruiting volunteers. In the beginning of July, there over ten individuals had joined the effort and they purchased news reporting equipment. The reporter station started functioning at the end of July 2000.
The news Beijing Epoch Times reported covered a wide range of issues, but particularly exposed the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. At that time the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners had gone on for one year. The cruelty of the persecution was terrible and unprecedented. Because of the CCP’s propaganda campaign, people in other countries had a hard time getting any uncensored news about China and especially about this persecution. However, the Epoch Times reporters reported thousands of stories in a few months, including a lot of stories about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Afterwards, Wang Bin was illegally sentenced to three years imprisonment. One of his “crimes” was that The Beijing Epoch Times reported “more than 500 articles about Falun Gong” in three months. These first-hand news accounts have continued to be sent to North America. It was the first time that people outside China had the chance to truly understand the violent and bloody nature of today’s CCP.
These reports caused extreme panic to the regime of Jiang Zemin [Jiang Zemin was China’s paramount leader, and personally ordered the persecution of Falun Gong be carried out]. Soon, the “Epoch Times Event” became an important case. Jiang’s gangster like regime took it as a big case of the greatest importance . The Epoch Times volunteers were facing the danger of being arrested.
Under the threat of state terror, some of the Beijing reporters went to southern China and continued to work there. In November 2000, the staff of The Epoch Times, including Shi Shaoping of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lin Yang, Ma Yan, Jiang Yuxia, and Li Yanfang, Huang Kui, Li Chunyan, and Tian Jianshui of Qinghua University, as well as Zhang Yuhui, Zhang Qingyun and Liu Mei, were illegally arrested and sent to prison. All of these 10 people received heavy sentences for the crime of “Subverting the Political Power the State.”
Wang Bin and Shi Shaoping, another person in Charge of the Beijing Epoch Times, were the last arrested by the CCP in the case of The Epoch Times. In March 2001, Wang Bin met a reporter for America's “Time” magazine in Beijing. In the morning of March 15, Wang Bin and Shi Shaoping were secretly kidnapped from their house by the state security department of Beijing City. Their belongings were taken by the state security guards of the CCP as if they were stolen goods, and without giving the owners any receipts. In November, they were charged by the Haidian District procuratorate. In February, 2002, they were formally sentenced. Shi Shaoping was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, and Wang Bin three years. Cheng Dan was also placed under an arrest-order.
The Epoch Times case was personally supervised by Li Lanqing and Luo Gan. Under their command, suspects were tortured to extort confessions and the statements were regularly collated into brief reports and submitted to Jiang Zemin himself, Li Lanqing, Luo Gan and other high level party members. Most of the Beijing residents or visitors working for The Epoch Times were detained in Beijing city’s No 1 detention centre. Wang Bin was also detained there. Generally, major criminals who have been sentenced to death, death sentences with a two year reprieve or long term imprisonment are detained in there.
Wang Bin said there is a saying, when you enter the ‘K” building, you must first keep your head. The letter “K” refers to the shape of the building. This is also the place where the CCP detained major political criminals in the past. During the Cultural Revolution, many senior cadres were detained there and it is known as China’s No 1 detention centre. Wang bin recalled that it is sinister and terrifying in there and the vigilance of the guards is unusually strict.
After being illegally sentenced to three years imprisonment, Wang Bin was sent to Hunan Changsha prison in July 2002 and released in 2004, thus putting an end to three years of dark prison life. However Wang Bin did not lose his willpower, but this does not mean his ordeal was over. The CCP still monitored him and continued to harass and blackmail him ceaselessly. Finally with the help of friends, Wang Bin had no choice but to flee from the land where he once lived and still loves, and come to the US—a free country. On arrival in the US Wang Bing said, every particle of the air here is free.
It is known that after Wang Bin left China, the police started harassing his parents and family. Our website will publish Wang Bin’s memoirs in the near future entitled “the red purgatory.” There will be nine articles of nearly 30,000 words. The author will expose the truth about the prisons in China based on his personal experience and reveal the truth of how the red purgatory will inevitably collapse. At the same time, we will continue to publish reports tracking the events of The Epoch Times case. Please be on the lookout for these articles.
Amongst the Epoch Times journalists stationed in China arrested under the same case as Wang bin, some were given heavy sentences of up to ten years or more. Let us salute these heroes who sacrificed themselves for the sake of freedom of the press in China!
Mr. Zhang Yuhui graduated from the University of International Business and Economics, specializing in international trade. Migrated to Macau in the early 90s, and is a Falun Gong practitioner. Since the crackdown on Falun Gong by the CCP in July 1999, Zhang Yuhui published a series of articles on overseas websites introducing Falun Gong to readers and the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution, under the name of “peacemaker.” His articles were reprinted in many websites and newspapers such as the “World Daily,” etc, and had a certain amount of influence. Zhang Yuhui joined the Beijing reporting station in June 2000 and was subsequently arrested and illegally sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai.
Mr. Shi Shaoping, Post graduate researcher at the Institute of Photographic Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In March 2001, he was secretly arrested by Beijing National Protection team, and later sentenced to a prison term of 10 years because he took part in The Epoch Times and broke through the CCP’s media blockade. As far as is known, he is still detained inside prison in Tianjin. Mr. Meng, M.S. (Tsinhua), was an Assistant Professor of Tsinghua University's Electronic Engineering Department. He had been detained twice by local police and the Beijing Public Security Bureau separately in Sept. and Oct. 1999, and was later was arrested in June 2000 because of his peaceful appeal for the rights of Falun Gong practitioners on Tiananmen Square. He was arrested again in the middle of the night on the 31st of December 2000, and later sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on the charge of “subverting national political power.”
Ms. Ma Yan became a Tsinghua University student in1994, bachelor of architecture and second Bachelor's degree of Journalism & Media. She is a Falun Gong practitioner. On the 25th of April 2000, she was detained for one month because of her appeal on Tiananmen Square. Consequently, the university informed her they wanted her to leave school and she refused. The university proceeded to call her and tell her that her name was removed from the university’s registrar list. Ma Yan joined the Beijing office in June 2000, and was later illegally detained and sentenced on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai. Mr. Huang Kui started pursuing a Ph.D. at Tsinghua University's Precision Instrument & Mechanics Department in 1999. He is a Falun Gong practitioner. Huang Kui has been honored with the Zheng Geru award, a first class excellent student award and the “excellent” Tsinghua graduate award. He has been a team leader and deputy Chairman of the Instrument & Mechanics association at Tsinghua University. He went straight into PhD study after he got his B.S. In October 1999, The university forced him to leave school for 3 months. In June 2000, he was beaten publicly inside the university by police just because he practiced the Falun Gong exercises inside the university. Huang Kui joined the Beijing office in June 2000, and was later arrested and illegally sentenced on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai.
Mr. Lin Yang became a student of Tsinghua University's Water Resource & Electricity department in 1994, and is a Falun Gong practitioner. He has been honored the with university first class scholarship, and won the third place award of the university “Challenge” Technology exhibition, and an “Excellent individual” award at university technology activities. He was recommended for postgraduate study without an entrance exam because of his excellent performance. In Sept. 1999, he was denied registration by the school because he refused to write a pledge denouncing Falun Gong (a total of 7 new postgraduate students were denied for this unfair reason). In June 2000, he was detained because he appealed for the unconditional release of all detained Falun Gong practitioners. After his release, Tsinghua University refused him admittance. Lin Yang joined the Beijing office in June of 2000, and later was arrested and illegally sentenced on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai.
Ms. Jiang Yuxia became a student of Tsinghua University's Water Resource & Electricity department in 1995. In October 1999, She visited a CCP appeal office to appeal for the rights of Falun Gong practitioners. Tsinghua University denied her degree with the excuse of “failing to complete graduation project requirements.” On Oct. 1, 2000, she was detained for 3 days just for visiting Tiananmen Square. In June 2000, Jiang Yuxia joined the Beijing office, and was later arrested and illegally sentenced on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai.
Ms. Li Yanfang was a postgraduate of Tsinghua University's Reactor Engineering and Safety department. In September 1999, She was detained by Tsinghua University police because she practiced the Falun Gong exercises publicly, and was interrogated until the next morning. In June of 2000, She was detained for 9 days by Beijing Public Security Bureau because she went to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Gong. In June of 2000, Li Yanfang joined the Beijing office, and was later arrested and illegally sentenced on the charge of “subverting national political power” in Zhuhai. He Yi, a Tsinghua University graduate, was sentenced to a labor camp term for taking part in initiating work for The Epoch Times.
Ms. Qin Yan, journalist of Sports Publishing, was sentenced to a labor camp for helping The Epoch Times.
Wang Ling, former editor of China Weekend, and employee of the National Copyright Administration, was sentenced to a labor camp for helping The Epoch Times.