Zhou Yongkang’s War Room (Illustration)

May 22, 2012 Updated: September 22, 2015

Zhou Yongkang sits in the "war room" (Illustration)Zhou Yongkang sits in the “war room” pondering his own demise, and that of his comrades who orchestrated the persecution of Falun Gong. Now that he is being investigated, he engages his onetime boss and chief persecutor—Jiang Zemin. Yet, there’s a snag in the plan …

At the height of his power Jiang Zemin led the Chinese Communist Party and carefully promoted cadres who demonstrated their loyalty by zealously carrying out his campaign to “eradicate” Falun Gong.

For instance, Bo Xilai was promoted to governor of Liaoning Province and then Minister of Commerce, before later falling to Party Secretary of Chongqing after Premier Wen Jiabao objected to the number of times Bo had been sued around the world for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Bo’s right-hand man in Chongqing was Wang Lijun. Both are allegedly complicit in torture, murder, illegal imprisonment, and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.

Jiang also promoted Zhou Yongkang to head up the domestic security apparatus, a massive system of police, courts and surveillance with a budget that grew to exceed that of the Chinese military, according to official numbers.

Zhou was—until recently—one of the most powerful people in China, but his future looks exceedingly uncertain. Bo was to succeed him at his post, thus ensuring that neither Jiang nor Zhou, or other members of Jiang’s bloody-hands faction would later be investigated or punished for persecuting Falun Gong.

But now Bo himself is facing investigation for corruption and murder. Zhou is also under investigation and has been forced to yield authority to a subordinate. Wang is reported to have revealed details of a plot between Bo and Zhou to overthrow Xi Jinping, who is expected this fall to succeed Hu Jintao as head of the CCP.

In power Jiang had pulled his faction together and in retirement he had enough influence to protect it. But the future depended on Bo’s rising in power. Jiang is now in a vegetative state, and with Bo and Wang gone, it is getting lonely in the war room for Zhou Yongkang.

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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