When China’s Communist Party disciplinary agency announced that Liu Jinguo, head of the shady extralegal force termed “China’s Gestapo” by human rights activists, had stopped working that job in January, they didn’t care to announce a successor.
On May 26, a note appeared on the website of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, saying that Lin Jinguo, who headed the 610 Office and serves as the commission’s deputy secretary, had resigned from the former post this January. It is not known who, if anyone, has been appointed to replace Liu as 610 Office head.
Named for the date of its creation—June 10, 1999—the 610 Office is a Communist Party security agency formed by regime head Jiang Zemin to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. It operates outside the law, but its agents have authority at every level of the Party and the state.
Covering their tracks by giving orders through oral instruction, agents of the 610 Office played a direct role in carrying out the nationwide persecution of Falun Gong. According to research by activists and independent journalists, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained at any one time, and tens of thousands have been murdered either through torture or compulsory organ harvesting.
Beginning of the End?
Though Jiang wielded vast power and influence in Chinese regime politics for over 20 years through his broad network of henchmen and cronies, the clique is now crumbling under the blows dealt against it by the 2-year-old anti-corruption campaign directed by current Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping.
Liu himself had replaced Li Dongsheng last February. Li, a Jiang faction stalwart who headed the 610 Office until being removed from his position in December 2013, was put under investigation and expelled from the Party, allegedly for corruption.
The disciplinary commission’s announcement of Liu Jinguo’s resignation raises questions regarding the future of the shady and, according to Chinese law, unconstitutional 610 Office.
Epoch Times commentator Zhou Xiaohui believes that Liu’s resignation, viewed in connection with the unusual publicity Chinese state-run media has afforded another, otherwise unremarkable corruption case involving the 610 Office, could hint at future action to be taken against it.
Luo Jian was the vice director of the 610 Office in southern China’s Guangdong Province; on May 25, the provincial disciplinary commission announced that Luo had been placed under investigation for “severe violation of Party discipline and law,” a ubiquitous phrase used tens of thousands of times regarding unruly officials in recent years.
That Luo’s case was widely reported in state-run media indicates that the 610 Office factors significantly into the machinations of Xi Jinping’s administration, Zhou said.
“First, it is a warning for former leader Jiang Zemin, who founded the 610 Office,” Zhou said. “If the state media is discussing it, it means that Xi’s government is going to go on the offensive in this sector.”
According to Zhou, the possibility that Xi Jinping will do away with the Office altogether and put its chief personnel on trial is “very likely,” even if the Party will shy away from mentioning the extent of their human rights abuses against practitioners of Falun Gong and other persecuted faiths.
“On the surface, the issue again revolves around ‘violations of discipline,’ even in reality what is really meant is ‘crimes against humanity,'” Zhou said. “The Communist Party will avoid naming these crimes, which is also why they won’t openly announce the disbandment of the 610 Office, but instead attempt to solve these evils silently and behind closed doors.”