(Theodoranian/CC BY-SA 3.0)(Theodoranian/CC BY-SA 3.0)

A Facebook friend of mine who currently lives in Taiwan posted on her page that she went back to Beijing and purchased “Big Shrimp Crunchy Candy”, or Da Xia Su (a type of crunchy sweet). She called it “flavors of home.” I took a look and found it to be quite similar to the kind of candies I wrapped while in prison. It was wrapped quite sloppily, también.

The prison got work consignments from candy companies, and then forced the prisoners to wrap candies. Those candies were really dirty. We wrapped them right in the cells. The amount of candies we had to wrap each day was extreme. Many people had their entire fingernails fall off while trying to meet the quota, because when you press on the candies tens of thousands of times, the nails would separate from the fingernail bed, turn black, then fall off. The pain was excruciating.

Holding great resentment inside, the prisoners hated the police, hated the candy factories, and hated the end-customers. They would smear dirt, body fluids, and even semen onto the candies. The name of the candies we wrapped was Lao Bu Te, a famous Beijing brand, respected for being an “organic product.”

Cakes often come with paper baking cups that are ruffled, with cakes inside. This type of baking cup is also produced in prisons, and is made using toxic glue. My former classmate Wang Weiyu, also unjustly incarcerated for his peaceful beliefs, was forced to make these baking cups for many years.

There is a well-known mooncake brand in China, the name of which I forget (Their package box often has the image of a pair of fish on it). The hard paper bags of the brand are also made in jail. The hard paper needs to be molded into shapes. In order for the shapes to stay in place, the paper bags were stacked up by the dozen, and the prisoners then had to bounce up and down on top of them. They bounced like this late into the night. Sleep was permitted only after finishing the quota. My wife Zhu Tong made paper bags for this well-known mooncake brand when she was incarcerated.

The air-dried chopped onions inside the vegetable bag that comes with instant noodles are made of onions that are selected to be slightly bigger than your thumb, and that cannot be sold in stores. I graduated from the prestigious Tsinghua university, and at least 4 other Tsinghua alumni were in the same prison as me. My former classmate Meng Jun and I, together with near-70-year-old Li Chang and a few dozen other people, were forced to stand in a row in the biting cold wind, and peel off the rotten and stinky skins of the onions. The remainder of the onions were then manufactured and swallowed by customers as “vegetables.”

For many years, the Chinese authorities paid prison guards practically no salary. If they wanted to provide for their families, purchase clothes for their wives, support their kids through school, or buy their children some extra milk as they grow up, all these expenses were paid for by enslaving the prison inmates. Their wages have increased in recent years, aunque. But can you ever have too much money? They therefore still use prisoners as slaves.

I spoke to one prisoner who had been incarcerated many times. He told me that in Xinjiang Province, prisoners smashed their own legs with rocks to escape the labor. They also had to make it appear like they got injured while working, since “faking illness to evade work” was severely punished.

There was one time when an inmate was isolated after contracting hepatitis. Other prisoners would pass their requests to him through people they knew, wishing to obtain some of his urine with the hope that they too could be infected with hepatitis. The prisoner with hepatitis would only choose his best buddy to offer him the urine, as the person who wanted to get sick, as well as the sick prisoner himself, would be severely punished if the deed was discovered.

You can’t give the urine to someone in a lunch box, since it is sure to be inspected by experienced prison guards. Therefore you need to get a towel to soak up the precious highly infectious urine from the hepatitis carrier. The towel would then be passed onto his friend, who would suck on this towel with all his strength amidst the freezing cold.

The cruelty of slave labor was such that prisoners would break their own legs or drink another person’s infected urine to escape it.

In this cruel and unjust world, you can’t expect to simply live a leisurely life, eating well and worrying about nothing. By getting rid of the Communist Party, we will no longer have to fear either us or later generations eating crunchy candies smeared with the body fluids of prisoners.

Chao Yu is a graduate of China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. En 1999, after the communist regime began its campaign against the Falun Gong spiritual practice, he assisted foreign correspondents to develop secure communication channels, evade the authorities, and conduct interviews with Falun Gong adherents who had suffered persecution. Because of his activities, Yu, Su familia, and friends have been given long sentences and spent years in jail.

Translated by Cora Yu. Edited by James Poulter and Leo Timm.

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The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the  Chinese legislature holds its sessions. (Greg Baker / AFP / Getty Images)The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the  Chinese legislature holds its sessions. (Greg Baker / AFP / Getty Images)

Xi Jinping, the new líder del "núcleo" of the Chinese Communist Party, is rolling out a new state supervision commission, with a pilot program now in place in Beijing, La provincia de Shanxi, and Zhejiang Province.

Xi’s camp has stressed that the supervision commission is a major political reform, and thus its significance is worth examining.

Desde que asumió el cargo en 2012, Xi Jinping has purged many members of former Party leader Jiang Zemin’s faction through an anti-corruption campaign. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCCD), the Party’s internal police, has served as the main anti-corruption tool. But the CCDI is limited: Investigators can put officials under “shuangguai” [an extralegal disciplinary method where Party members are detained and interrogated], but it has no power to prosecute; corruption cases are typically handed to the legal system for prosecution.

The existing arrangement for prosecuting corrupt cadres is far from the “rule of law” ideal that Xi espouses. But the anti-corruption departments within the regime’s procuratorate cannot investigate high-ranking officials because it is a comparatively lower-level institution.

Así, the Xi Jinping leadership has always considered changing the way corruption cases are processed. Founding a state supervision system that is independent from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as the Communist Party structure, allows Xi to work outside the Chinese regime’s present system.

The concept of a “National Supervision Law” and a committee of state supervisors was first proposed by “Study Times,” the official publication of the Central Party School, this July. During the Party’s 6th Plenum at the end of October, there was a clear-cut proposal for a system where the Chinese legislature, el gobierno, as well as the supervision and judicial apparatus, work together to supervise government officials in accordance with the law. Wang Qishan, the head of the CCDI, said that the supervision commission is actually an anti-corruption apparatus.

How the new apparatus will be used is clear, but its deeper significance isn’t. It’s possible, también, that the present political situation makes it inconvenient for the Xi leadership to further elaborate on the new anti-corruption apparatus.

The new supervision commission is a major political reform, and this reform is being carried out at a time when the faction of Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party is being cleared out. En efecto, this development foreshadows a future transformation of China’s political system for several reasons:

primero, the state supervision commission represents an attempt by the Xi administration at breaking away from the present political system. Unlike the CCDI, the commission has prosecutorial powers, and can charge both Party and non-Party members. The Party constitution also doesn’t have provisions for a supervisory institution; de hecho, Xi appears to be taking reference from the censor or police systems in ancient China, as well as in the Republic of China’s (Taiwán) supervisory institution. Such a system traces its lineage to traditional Chinese culture, which has a concept of checks and balances similar to those in modern Western democratic societies.

Next, it appears to be a transition away from Party rule to the rule of the state. Xi has leveraged on the anti-corruption campaign’s popularity with the people, and his own authority as “core” leader, to shift the powers from the CCDI to a state institution. Apart from being better positioned to combat corruption and prepare for the arrest and prosecution of Jiang Zemin, the new state supervision commission could lay the foundations for a presidential system [in place of the Politburo system]. And when the state apparatus is fully functional, the Party-led arrangement will weaken one step further; from another angle, it may presage and start to lay the groundwork a transition from a communist system to a post-communist system.

Promover, the establishment of a state supervision commission may be a prelude to the abolishment of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (POR FAVOR). The PLAC is an apparatus that allows the Party to control judicial affairs and suppress the people, and the Jiang faction had at one point turned the PLAC into a second power center. The Xi administration has already downgraded the status of the PLAC, and now appears to be getting rid of it altogether—if the CCDI’s power can be successfully transferred to the state supervision commission, then it can be upheld as an example to abolish the PLAC, which currently oversees the public security apparatus, the courts, and the procuratorate.

Finalmente, having a state supervision commission makes it easier for the Xi administration to keep Wang Qishan in office. There has been much speculation about whether the CCDI chief will stay in power past the 19th National Congress of the Party, a key political reshuffle meeting in 2017, because Wang will be overage by Party norms (senior cadres over 68 must step down, according to current political norms). Should Wang be appointed head of the commission, sin embargo, he will likely be granted a special exemption from retirement due to the importance of the new portfolio.

In sum, Xi Jinping’s creation of a state supervision commission suggests that he will not limit his methods or measures to eliminate the Jiang faction and reform the political system. This development is also is a significant step in peacefully transitioning China towards a post-communist future.

Li Tianxiao is an independent political commentator.

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Zhang Yue, security boss of Hebei province, has been arrested for “serious violation of Party disciplineand is currently being investigated, according to news from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s website on April 16.
Zhang is the second incumbent Political Committee Secretary at the provincial level to have been investigated since the CCP’s 18th National Congress.
After Zhang was sacked, China’s media immediately published several articles that revealed the inside story of his ties to former security czar Zhou Yongkang; Deputy Minister of the Ministry of State Security Ma Jian, who has been sacked; and Guo Wengui, who controls Beijing Zenith Holdings.
The Chinese media’s coverage of Zhang’s alleged crimes was limited to corruption and misconduct, which are the stated reasons for CCP leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. sin embargo, the undertone of the story can be seen in the details; es decir, Zhang’s resume.
Apparently, Zhang held a special appointment between November 2003 and December 2007 as the Chief of the 26th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. This department is the Ministry of Public Security’s “610 Office,” which was established to persecute the spiritual practice Falun Gong. En 2003, Zhou Yongkang held the appointment of Minister of Public Security.
los 610 Office is an illegal organisation established by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin on June 10, 1999. It is also called “the Central Leading Group for the Prevention and Handling of Cult-Related Issues”.
los 610 Office has been compared to the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany. It controls the police, Court, and Attorney through the Political and Legal Affairs Commission. It overrides the country’s laws, and is another power centre of central authorities.
Por el pasado 16 años, the policy of persecuting Falun Gong has been passed down from the 610 Office and executed by the public security organs, based on Jiang’s verbal instructions. sin embargo, el 610 Office is a confidential unit, and many details are still unknown to the outside world.
The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong has gone underground for the past 10 años. In order to hide the truth about the persecution, the CCP’s official media did not carry news about the 610 Oficina.
en enero 12, 2015, Li Dongsheng, Zhou Yongkang’s trusted aide and the former head of the central 610 Oficina, was sentenced to 15 años de prisión. en diciembre 20, 2013, Li was sacked, and official communications referred to his titles: vice head of the Central Leading Group for the Prevention and Handling of Cult-Related Issues; head of the office of the Leading Group (610 Oficina); and vice minister of Public Security.
The exposure of the name of that secret agency alluded to the fact that Li’s real crime was linked to persecuting Falun Gong.
Jiang’s faction of the CCP is fearful that once it loses power, it will be exposed for its crimes of persecution. On the other hand, Xi wants to run the country normally. The contradictions between the two were irreconcilable.
Due to the restrictive factors of the CCP’s system, officials in Jiang’s faction have been sacked under the name of corruption. sin embargo, if you look at the common thread among the officialsincluding former police chief Wang Lijun; former CCP secretary of Chongqing City Bo Xilai; Li Dongsheng; former CCP secretary of Qinghai Province Su Rong; former military general Xu Caihou, and Zhou Yongkangall followed Jiang’s orders and committed crimes against humanity by persecuting Falun Gong.
Como tal, the crimes of persecuting Falun Gong, including the live organ harvesting from adherents, have become the Achilles heel of the Jiang faction.
Uncovering the inside story of China’s media reports and understanding their signals serve as reminders for people to make a choice. In the near future, when the persecution crimes against Falun Gong are exposed, Jiang’s faction and the CCP apparatus will be disintegrated.
Traducido por Benjamin Ng. Editado por Sally Appert.
Xia Xiaoqiang, is a political columnist for the Chinese edition of the Epoch Times, he is based in Norway and has written analyses of contemporary political affairs since 2009.

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North Korea has been harassing its neighbors for quite a long time. For powerful countries, it is just like a ringworm problem. But because it has nuclear weapons and long-range delivery tools, plus the eccentric personality of its leader, North Korea has become a major problem in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.
In the 1980s, the CIA listed six global areas: of conflict: the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, India and Pakistan, the Middle East and Israel, and Yugoslavia. Three of them have relatively direct relationships with China, and North Korea is the major one.
Different stances on North Korea
From a geopolitical point of view, China’s stance on North Korea can be listed as follows, in descending order of importance:
1. Maintain the current separation of governance of the Korean peninsula, making Korea a buffer between China and the United States.
2. Denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
3. Maintain the hostile relationship North Korea has with South Korea, Japón, y los Estados Unidos.
4. Maintain North Korea’s political and economic dependency on China, so China can have a significant influence on North Korea’s domestic and foreign policy.
The United States also has its stance:
1. North Korea cannot have nuclear weapons or long-range missile technology.
2. Maintain the U.S.-Japan-South Korea military alliance (therefore North Korea’s military threat cannot be completely removed).
3. Avoid being involved in military conflict with China and Russia if the second Korean War breaks out.
If we go through the lists, we can understand the intricate relationship between China and the United States on the North Korea issue over the past decade.
Both sides do not want to see North Korea have nuclear weapons, but China does not want to exert too much pressure on North Korea to cause the collapse of the current government. Por lo tanto, China has only reduced the aid to North Korea rather than fully opposing its nuclear weapons, and uses the issue to bargain with the international community.
Apparently, according to China’s intelligence information, North Korea’s nuclear weapons have yet to mature.
Common stance enhanced
sin embargo, due to recent developments, the common ground of the two sides was suddenly strengthened.
primero, both sides do not want to see the reunification of Korea.
For the United States, if North Korea disappeared, there would be a unified Korea, which may weaken the U.S.-South Korea military alliance. para china, the disappearance of the buffer zone may lead to direct confrontation with the United States.
Second, both sides do not want North Korea to have nuclear weapons and long-range delivery tools. For the United States, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a direct threat to the United States and bring about a nuclear proliferation problem.
Por ejemplo, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are North Korea’s technology. More countries having nuclear weapons will bring more potential danger to the world. Especially if the political situation of the nuclear-armed country is not stable, the risk will be much higher.
para china, North Korea’s nuclear weapons impose a much larger threat. It would be hard for North Korea’s atomic bomb to reach the United States, but it would be easy to bomb China.
The location of North Korea’s atomic bomb is only 100 kilometers from China, solamente 200 a 500 kilometers from China’s major northeastern cities, y menos de 1,000 kilometers from Beijing.
The Chinese regime is really worried about the eccentric personality of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Since he came to power, the 30-year-old leader has killed a number of his assistants, replaced the majority of the military generals, and adopted aggressive diplomatic policies.
The internal affairs of the country are getting worse, and people are in hardship. There is an increased chance of political upheaval inside the country.
It would be fortunate to have one successor to control the situation. But if the country got separated, then North Korea’s nuclear weapons would be a huge threat to China.
Obviamente, the frequent nuclear tests and the unstable leader of North Korea make the second listed factor overwhelmingly important, even ranking ahead of the first factor.
Por lo tanto, it is not surprising that China and the United States reached a common understanding last week to exert more pressure on North Korea in the UN Security Council.
China may manipulate battle for successor
Nuclear and long-range weapons have a multiplying effect on the unstable North Korea problem, forcing neighboring countries to calm down and find a solution.
From the military, económico, and political points of view, it will not be a hard task for the U.S.-South Korea alliance to resolve the problem. If North Korea started a war, the U.S.-South Korea alliance could destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons and launching facilities through sophisticated intelligence operations, and then deploy traditional military operations to win the war.
sin embargo, the result would be the unification of South Korea and North Korea, fulfilling the life-long dream of South Korea’s first president, Syngman Rhee. This is the first possibility.
The second possibility is for China and the United States to resolve the problem jointly. Through intelligence cooperation from both countries, they could wipe out North Korea’s nuclear weapons and then make use of different factions inside North Korea’s military forces and push Kim Jong-il’s eldest son, Kim Jong-nam as the successor.
If we refer to China and the United Statesprinciples on the North Korea issue, we can see that the second possibility is more likely to happen. Obviamente, this will solve North Korea’s nuclear weapons threat and maintain the separation of the Korean Peninsula, which will be beneficial to both China and the United States.
De hecho, China and the U.S. military have already had discussions and reached a common understanding of this issue. Rumors from Washington said that if North Korea became chaotic, the Chinese military would control North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and the United States would provide intelligence assistance.
Kim Jong-nam is actually under the control of Chinese intelligence agencies. Over the past few years, Chinese intelligence agencies have released all kinds of news about him, but in

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In the first week of the New Year, the freshly installed circuit breaker of China’s stock market went into effect four times in 2 días. Pretty efficient and just in time right? Not exactly.
As the stock market circuit breaker became the new hot word among Chinese netizens and individual investors, the newly minted system meant to protect the market was put in place quickly, and then withdraw quickly, as the government viewed [it] as something too risky and not “protectiveenough.
While the circuit breaker is not exactly something in accordance with a pure market economy, and the system’s protective power and cooling effect was utilized in the United States successfully, its application turns out not that effective in the Chinese stock market, which is a question on everyone’s mind these days.
When Thomas Edison invented the circuit breaker 120 hace años que, it served a needed purpose and therefore it is still in use today. Thirty years ago, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady applied the concept to the stock market, it helped with cooling and calming down investors faced with drastic changes in stock market. The cooling off effect is temporary though, as no one knows if the stock will continue to tumble the next day.
That uncertainty makes the Chinese government decision makers uneasy though, they were probably thinking about a panacea that can safeguard the market no matter what condition it is in. Bien, they underestimated the problem of the Chinese stock market and, when the Shanghai Stock Exchange had to halt the trades after only 29 minutos, a “miraclewas created in the 25 years of history of China’s stock market.
If the stock market fluctuation threshold is to be lifted, would the current Chinese regime have the confidence and tolerance for larger fluctuations?

Some analysts believe the threshold China set is too low to be practical (it’s set at a halt of 15 minutes if the fluctuation is more than 5 por ciento, and halt for the day if over 7 por ciento), compared with a U.S. threshold of 20 por ciento. The point is, if the threshold is to be lifted to 10 por ciento, 15 por ciento, o 20 por ciento, would the current regime have the confidence and tolerance for such huge fluctuations? Given the withdrawal of the mechanism after only a few days of implementing it, the bottom line of the government seems quite fragile, and there has got to be some deep down secrets of which the outsiders are not aware.
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It’s widely rumored that Xiao Gang, Chairman of Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (SRC), was under tremendous pressure and his position became shaky. To be fair, no one should blame Xiao for the mishaps of the Chinese stock market. If the U.S. stock market crashes, Obama is in no authority nor power to summon U.S. SEC chairman for questioning and scapegoating. En lugar, Obama would probably ask the SEC chief for advice and guidance under such circumstance.
The Chinese stock market is merely an extension of the political battlefield, and the chaos in the stock market is a reflection of the power face off at the highest level.

The conundrum stems from the fact that the Chinese stock market is merely an extension of the political battlefield, and the chaos in the stock market is a reflection of the power face off at the highest level. Chinese government accuse those who short Chinese stocks and RMB as “hostile,” bien, would anyone find a voracious investor “benevolentanywhere?
For those who are hostile to Xi Jinping’s reform efforts, especially those from the Jiang Zemin era, who have amassed a huge amount of wealth and are now facing retribution, they would indeed do anything to stir up and demolish the stock market as a way to protect themselves, and one can call [aquellos] acts “hostilefor certain!
The introduction and trial of circuit breaker in China seems to be a complete failure at present. But this very action could one way or another make the Chinese market worse off.
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With the breaker in place, the government may feel safe and comfortable, and will be less likely to remedy the current situation of systematic flaw in the system. But with the circuit breaker absent, that could be dangerous to China as well, just as a circuit without breaker could avoid the often disruption of power supply, but will foster greater calamity when the circuit can’t hold the current in really dangerous situation. This is exactly what could happen to the over-heated Chinese stock market today.
The government knows for certain that, with or without a circuit breaker, the eventual collapse of the market will all be inevitable, as everything is ultimately political in China, and not only the stock market is unsafe at the moment, the debt market and many sectors of Chinese economy and Chinese politics are all in need of a breaker and a change in its overall structure.
Frank Tian Xie, Ph.D., is a John M. Olin Palmetto professor in business and associate professor of marketing at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

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The anti-corruption campaign of Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is entering its fourth year. Tens of thousands of CCP officials having been investigated, and several of those who formerly were some of the most powerful men in China having been purged and convicted. en enero. 12, the first high-ranking official of 2016 was convicted and sentenced.
News reports in the West of the conviction of former Vice Minister of Public Security Li Dongsheng focused on the 15-year sentence he received for bribery. But the coverage of Li’s trial in China revealed much more, suggesting the current leadership regards the persecution of Falun Gong to be the work of the faction loyal to Jiang Zemin.
From the beginning, the charges against Li Dongsheng for corruption have been tied to his role in persecuting Falun Gong.
The charges for corruption against former Public Security Vice Minister Li Dongsheng have been tied to his role in persecuting Falun Gong.

En diciembre 2013, when the official website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced the investigation of Li Dongsheng, it used three of his titles: vice head of the Central Leading Group for the Prevention and Handling of Cult-Related Issues; head of the office of the Leading Group, a.k.a. el 610 Oficina; and vice minister of Public Security.
That was the first time that Chinese authorities officially admitted the existence of the leading group and its 610 Oficina, which was established on June 10, 1999 by then Party leader Jiang Zemin to eliminate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. The exposure of the name of that secret agency strongly suggested that Li Dongsheng’s real crime was somehow linked to it.
When Li Dongsheng was sentenced, the only title mentioned in the report by state news agency Xinhua was vice minister of Public Security, but on the same day the business magazine Caixin put Li’s crimes back in the context of his role in persecuting Falun Gong.
Li Dongsheng, former head of the secret police task force the 610 Oficina, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 14, 2007. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
‘Sharp Weapon
Caixin has played a special role in China over the last three years. It regularly publishes news that seems to come straight from inside Zhongnanhai, the Party’s leadership compound. Given its scoops on the anti-corruption campaign, the magazine is widely assumed to have a close relationship with the head of that effort, Wang Qishan. Caixin is also rumored to be close to Party leader Xi Jinping.
Caixin magazine has played a special role in China over the last three years. … It is also rumored to be close to Party leader Xi Jinping.

Caixin’s article bore the headline, “Zhou Yongkang’s Trusted Aide, Former Vice Minister of Public Security Li Dongsheng Sentenced 15 Years in His First Trial.” En 2009, Li was promoted to head of the 610 Office and vice head of the leading group, as well as to the position of deputy minister of Public Security. One paragraph mentions Li’s two titles related to persecuting Falun Gong, and then states that Li was formally promoted to be a high ranking ministry level official and thus became “Zhou Yongkang’s sharp weapon” en octubre 2009.
The phrase ‘Zhou Yongkang’s sharp weaponis very interesting.

The phrase “Zhou Yongkang’s sharp weaponis very interesting. No law authorizes the persecution Li carried out. En lugar, it is the Party’s political campaign. When Li Dongsheng took the positions in the leading group and its 610 Oficina, he should have been considered the weapon of the Party, not of Zhou Yongkang.
When Jiang Zemin started the campaign against Falun Gong, he was the paramount leader of the Party and the Party as a whole joined the campaign. During that period, Jiang and the Party were the same. Whoever in the Party leadership that did not actively join the persecution was the exception, and thus only represented himself or herself, not the Party.
When Jiang Zemin partially retired in 2002 and fully retired in 2004, there were subtle changes in how the Party was run that weakened the authority of Party head, increased the autonomy of individual Party leaders, and gave Jiang Zemin continued influence over the direction of the Party. The number of Standing Committee members of the Politburothe most powerful body in the Partyincreased to nine. The additional members were loyal to Jiang, y, combined with those incumbent members who were also loyal to him, gave Jiang a preponderant influence.
Zhou Yongkang, formerly the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of security, sits in a courtroom at the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin in Tianjin, China, en Junio 11, 2015. Zhou was sentenced to life in prison. (CCTV via AP)
In addition to increasing the size of the Committee, Jiang decided that each member was only in charge of his own portfolio and nobody should have veto power over others. Luo Gan, and Zhou Yongkang, who replaced Luo in 2007, became the Standing Committee members charged with carrying out the persecution, and the new arrangements gave them a free hand.
The hidden message of the Caixin article referring to “Zhou Yongkang’s sharp weaponis that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, the top two leaders at the time, were not responsible for the persecution.
Conspiracy
En junio 2015, Zhou Yongkang was sentenced to life in prison for three crimes: receiving bribes, abuse of power, and leaking state secrets. But these charges do not comprehend all of his crimes or even the worst of his crimes. His actual crimes may be divided into at least three parts: corrupción, conspiracy against Xi Jinping (now alluded to in the official press as non-organizational political activities), and the persecution of Falun Gong and other religious groups.
Caixin’s article implies that Li Dongsheng’s corruption and persecution of Falun Gong were related to Zhou Yongkang. Does Caixin also imply Li was a weapon in Zhou’s conspiracy?
MÁS:Huang Jiefu’s Sleight of Hand: Hiding the Organ Harvesting Taking Place in Plain SightDid the Chinese Regime Admit Torture?
En junio 2012, Bloomberg published an exclusive exposé of the

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With their tenets for daily living of truthfulness compassion, y la tolerancia, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners from around the world, in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with “Falun Dafa is Good,” take to the streets of major U.S. cities a couple of days each year. Rallies and parades are held, politicians contacted, and flyers are handed out to help raise public awareness and consciousness. These efforts started when the Chinese Communist Party began persecuting 100 million Falun Gong practitioners on July 20, 1999.
Not too long ago, the response to this type of persecution had the potential to result in trade sanctions, robust talks in the United Nations human rights committee, support on Capital Hill, and major media coverage. The situation certainly warrants it. Yet many countries have found they are in an economic dance with China, which may cause major players to sit on the sidelines.
For the last 16 años, tireless efforts have been made to educate and move the hearts of the public. These have been carried out by the individual efforts by thousands upon thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, both inside and outside of China, as well as a handful of investigators who have compiled books or created grassroots documentaries.
For the last 16 años, Falun Gong practitioners have been working tirelessly to educate the public on the atrocities perpetrated by the Chinese regime.

Such efforts have been rewarded in the past. Modern history has shown that nonviolent means have resulted in what had appeared to be the impossible: establishing the independence of India in 1947, and the toppling of communismthe Berlin Wall in 1987, and USSR (communist Russia) en 1991.
The most recent grassroots events organized by Falun Gong practitioners was held in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities on Oct. 14 mediante 16, 2015. With permit in hand for public assembly, the yellow T-shirt wearers delivered their messagespecifically that the persecution of Falun Gong in China is severe, massive, and includes the Communist Party sanctioning of organ transplants from live Falun Gong practitioners. This business is known as Transplant Tourism.
Transplant Tourism in China
Transplant Tourism is murder on demand for an organ purchased by someone who then travels to China for a transplant operation. It is a big money maker for the Chinese military and for private hospitals, explains investigators and Nobel Prize nominees, David Matas, an international human rights attorney, and David Kilgour, the former Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific.
Evidence about forced organ harvesting in China on prisoners of conscience has mounted ever since Matas and Kilgour published their first investigative report in 2006. They concluded that the vast majority of the victim pool comes not from death row prisoners but from prisoners of conscience—principalmente a Falun Gong, who are also the largest group in China’s prison systems.
In the 2006 informe, Matas called this systematic forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party “a new form of evil we have yet to see on this planet.
Dr. Dana Churchill, a board member of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, at a public park rally in Los Angeles on Oct. 15, 2015. (Cat Rooney/Epoch Times)
Dr. Dana Churchill, one of the founding board members of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), a not for profit organization based in Washington, Distrito de Columbia, spoke at the rallies in Los Angeles and Santa Monica beach in October.
“The world has never seen more horrific and barbaric crime as the Chinese Communist Party has committed against Falun Gong. Pero, not just Falun Gong, the Uyghurs, Christians, [y] Tibetans have all been organ harvested while they are alive, unwilling, and between 20 y 40 años—the prime of their life,” said Churchill, a naturopathic physician from Pasadena, Calif.
The world has never seen more horrific and barbaric crime as the Chinese Communist Party has committed against Falun Gong.— Dr. Dana Churchill, founding board member, Doctores Contra la sustracción de órganos forzada

Recent released findings on the number murdered go far beyond the original estimates of various investigators and organizations. “With Falun Gong, approximately 65,000 have been murdered, and that is according to DAFOH, our organization,” Churchill said.
En julio 17, 2015, at a Washington, Distrito de Columbia, rally, after nine years of investigation, WOIPFG announced that it “has concluded that since July 20, 1999, el Partido Comunista de China (CCP), led by its former head Jiang Zemin, has utilized China’s entire state apparatus to harvest organs from living Falun Gong practitioners as part of Jiang’s campaign to ‘physically destroy’ profesionales. This is genocide and a crime against humanity.
Judy Feng, from New Jersey, volunteers to collect signatures at Santa Monica beach walkway with other Falun Gong practitioners wearing yellow T-shirts on Oct. 17, 2015. (Cat Rooney/Epoch Times)
Message to the Public
The messages of Falun Gong practitioners rallying in U.S. parks and streets are straight forward in their speeches, flyers, and banners, which include a call for bringing Jiang Zemin to justice and for mainland Chinese to withdrawal their membership from the CCP.
“We want the public to know that organ harvesting is happening in China, and we want it to stop,” said Judy Feng from New Jersey, who offered a flyer and petitions to people on the Santa Monica walkway on Oct. 16, 2015. She was one of several hundred Falun Gong practitioners wearing a yellow T-shirt that day who gathered there. She stood yards away from the rally where Churchill spoke and where dozens of people demonstrated Falun Gong’s gentle exercises.
MÁS:Editorial: Xi Jinping’s Choice and the Future of the Chinese PeopleSon of Chinese Revolutionary Tells Xi Jinping to End Communist Party’s DictatorshipCapitol Hill Forum Discusses Persecution and Torture of Falun Gong, Demise of the CCP
For any grassroots movement to be successful, it needs the public to be more than informed. They need to be moved and so become active in supporting the humanitarian cause.
Dr. Churchill’s message to the public was to get involved by talking to others: “Stand up. Do whatever you can to talk to somebody about it. Tell your relatives, your friends, your politicianseverybody you know. Just tell people about it and don’t stop until it’s stopped. Don’t give up.
Investigators Findings

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A recent medical report by medical experts shows a conflict between organ transplantation practices in China and the West. The report states concerns that “organs from executed prisoners are still being used for transplantation in China,” while many medical professionals believe that the practice has stopped.
So where does the truth lie? The report suggests that the objectivity of Western transplant professionals has been clouded by a “sincere hopethat China will change.
Since January 2015, Chinese officials have been actively publicizing that they have stopped killing prisoners for organs, and many Western media reports also tell the same story. sin embargo, there has been no change in China allowing independent investigation or access to transplant dataChina simply doesn’t allow it. And the only data to go on is statements from Chinese officials, who are still within China’s communist system.
China reported organ ‘donationsand transplantation at a record high in 2015. The sources of these organs are undisclosed. This fact alone should be raising alarm bells.

Beyond the fact that the unethical practice of using prisoner organs is still happening in China, the report states that China’s transplant system may still facilitate a much graver crime of “ongoing forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.
Most prominently, independent investigations have found tens of thousands of practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual practice have been killed for the sale of their organs for transplantation since 2002.
The report explains how the changes to China’s system are duping observers by reclassifying prisoners as regular citizens. Organs taken from executed prisoners, willingly or not, are now classified as “voluntary donations from citizens.
With a vast prison population, Chinese authorities do not publicly distinguish between criminal prisoners or prisoners of conscience. Desafortunadamente, neither does the Western medical community.
MÁS:Huang Jiefu’s Sleight of Hand: Hiding the Organ Harvesting Taking Place in Plain SightOrgan Transplant Abuse in China: What Is to Be Done?Mass Atrocity in China Remains Out of Media Limelight
While the authors acknowledge the “positive progressthe transplantation community has had on China’s new donation program, they give strong caution that hope for China to change is “yet a dream while prisoners remain at risk under the demand and ongoing medical exploitation of execution.
The report may not draw international headlines with its academic title: “Historical development and current status of organ procurement from death-row prisoners in China.” However, it provides moral clarity for the medical community, helping it to not undermine medical ethics by being swayed by official statements from China, without transparent data.
True or not, China reported organ “donationsand transplantation at a record high in 2015, even though the majority of Chinese citizens are not willing to donate their organs. The sources of these organs for transplant are still undisclosed. This fact alone should be raising alarm bells, instead of praise, for the changes to China’s donation system.
China will host the next international meeting of transplantation professionals in August 2016 in Hong Kong. Is this an opportunity to require China to provide data and access to its shady transplantation records? Or will China’s criminal transplantation activities be swept under the carpet with a brush of “sincere hope”?
MÁS:Unprecedented Evil PersecutionThe Killing of Falun Gong for Their Organs: Recent DevelopmentsOrgan Sourcing in China: The Official Version
My sincere hope is that sound medical analysis like this report will influence professionals to see through China’s unverifiable statements. It is an opportunity to leverage the 2016 World Transplant Congress to insist that China immediately adhere to the ethical standards required of the rest of the world.
Perhaps it is a daunting task to make any requirement of a country still run by an opaque communist regime. Yet the willful erosion of the basic values of life and ethics in transplantation is perhaps a much greater danger to us all.
Kay Rubacek is a producer for Swoop Films and the film “Hard To Believe,” a documentary about how doctors became murderers and why we turned a blind eye.

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Dr. Huang Jiefu, Beijing’s point man for selling its murderous organ transplantation system to the world, has been on a roll.
En octubre, Beijing Youth reported that the International Society for Organ Transplantation and Procurement announced it now welcomes Chinese transplant doctors to be members, present papers at its conferences, and publish in medical journals.
If true, this reversal of previous bans follows upon a year in which some Western medical organizations have made supportive noises for the “reformsof China’s transplantation system that Huang Jiefu is said to be leading.
Seemingly blessing these developments, in August Huang received the Gusi Peace Prize for “human rights.And in late November, he picked up more hardware, the Wu Jieping Medicine Research Prize.
PrisonersOrgans
In the midst of this celebration of Dr. Huang, the New York Times ran an article that raised an inconvenient question. The great hopes for the transformation of China’s transplantation regime lay in the promise made by Huang Jiefu one year ago that China would establish a voluntary organ donation system that meets international standards.
No longer would it use organs from executed prisonersa shorthand way of saying that no longer each year would thousands of death row prisoners and prisoners of conscience be executed by having their organs ripped out of their bodies.
In the first year under China’s new transplantation regime of not using organs from executed prisoners, China’s organ supply did not decrease. How is that possible?

The New York Times had noticed that in the first year under the new regime of not using organs from executed prisoners, China’s organ supply had not decreased. How could this be possible? The New York Times quoted an earlier statement by Huang that prisonersorgans might still be used if they were “voluntary donations.
en noviembre. 18, the day after the New York Times published, Huang surfaced. He met with the reporter who had raised this uncomfortable scenario and did what he regularly does. He tried to throw sand in the eyes of those who might be paying attention.
Huang denied he ever meant that the executed prisoner’s organs are included in the voluntary donation system. His previous words were just idle musings. He said he had spoken “philosophically and theoretically.
China’s former Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu (R) at a press conference on the China’s human organ transplant system at the Health Ministry office in Beijing on May 17, 2013. (Foto AP / Andy Wong)
But actually, not only had Huang said on more than one occasion that prisonersorgans were included in the “voluntarydonations, but so, también, had other Chinese transplant doctors. Many Chinese official media mouthpieces have quoted Huang saying similar things many times over the past couple of years, with no protest being raised by Huang or anyone else.
That prisoner organs were part of the voluntary donation system must have been part of the approved talking points until the day the New York Times discovered that the math of “voluntarydonations did not add up.
According to the Beijing Youth reporter who went with the NYT reporter to meet Huang, that meeting was neither requested by Huang nor by the NYT. It was arranged by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC). That means that someone at a higher level in the Chinese regime was not happy about the report and ordered Huang to fix it.
Who Is Huang Jiefu Anyway?
Westerners have a long history of seeing in China the reflection of their own desires, a weakness Chinese have long grown expert at manipulating. en diciembre. 4, 2014, when Dr. Huang Jiefu announced China would, beginning in 2015, only use voluntary organ donations, he became the vessel for the West’s longings that China would not use its medical system to commit crimes against humanity.
Those desires have persisted in the face of stubborn facts: Huang has never had the authority to enact any reform; no law or regulation in China recognizes the supposed ban on using the organs of executed prisoners; and the new voluntary donation system has no functioning structure or source of donors.
Western media typically refer to Huang as the former vice minister of Health. Forget about that title, as the “formervice minister has no authority to announce any policy, regulation, or rule.
China’s former Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu (do) surrounded by journalists after attending the ASEAN + 3 Health Minister Special Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malasia, En abril 26, 2003. (Foto AP / Andy Wong)
On the official Chinese Leaders Database, Huang Jiefu has only one position, the Deputy Chief of the Central Health Care Committee, which takes care of the health of the core leaders of the Party and the state. Obviamente, this title doesn’t give Huang authority over transplant reform and has never been used in his public role.
According to the Chinese regime’s propaganda, Huang is the chairman of the Human Organ Donation and Transplant Committee (HODTC). sin embargo, the Organ Donation and Transplant Committee is only seen in Chinese media reports. It doesn’t have its own website, and is not listed under any state agency, not even on the website of the NHFPC, which supposedly supervises the Committee.
MÁS:Peace Award Given to Chinese Transplant Official, but Not All CelebrateOrgan Transplant Abuse in China: What Is to Be Done?
En noviembre 2005, Huang announced that most transplanted organs were from executed prisoners. Desde entonces, he has been perceived as the only one in charge of everything related to organ sourcing. sin embargo, not a single agency or official, whether from the Party or the state, has ever endorsed or openly supported Huang’s activities.
De hecho, Huang’s claim in 2005 was twice denied by state agencies in 2006. First by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, who was his subordinate.
No Legal Basis
When Huang began saying that China would stop using organs from executed prisoners, he did so with no legal basis.
China has three regulations on organ transplantation.
los 1984 Interim Provisions by the Supreme Court, Supreme Procuratorate, and several ministries is the only directive that regulates how

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En China, an increasingly high number of Cesarean births (C-sections) are being practiced in the country. The situation has reached epidemic proportions, and some of its serious consequences should make Chinese women think carefully before requesting this procedure. Hoy, China has one of the highest rates of C-sections in the world, estimated at 46 por ciento en 2007.
There are several cases of the use of this technique in ancient history. Luzhong, a sixth-generation descendant of the Yellow Emperor, had six sons, all born by “cutting open the body.Jilian, the sixth son, founded the House of Mi that ruled the State of Chu.
The view that a woman has the right to make decisions regarding her body and her health has led many of them to make a choice regarding the method chosen to give birth. And increasingly throughout the world, women have been demanding to have their children born through a Cesarean section.
A Cesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) is a movement that may have started in Brazil, one of the countries with the highest number of Cesarean-born children. The use of this procedure, sin embargo, carries some health risks, warns the World Health Organization (WHO), which doesn’t see the advantages of the shift from vaginal birth to Cesarean birth.
In a survey of nine Asian nations, the WHO found that unnecessary Cesarean sections are costlier than natural births and raise the risk of complications for the mother. Many experts still insist that natural birth is the ideal way. “The relative safety of the operation leads people to think it is as safe as vaginal birth,” said Dr. UN. Metin Gulmezoglu, who co-authored the Asia report, “but that’s unlikely to be the case.
The WHO, which reviewed nearly 100,000 births across Asia in 2007-2008, found that 27 percent were done by Cesarean section, apparently motivated by mothersrequests and hospitals eager to make bigger profits. Slightly higher results were reported by the WHO in a study conducted in 2005 en Latinoamérica, which found that 35 percent of the women surveyed delivered their babies by Cesarean section. In Europe, there are big differences among countries: thus, while in Italy the Cesarean section rate is 40 por ciento, in the Nordic countries it is only 14 por ciento.
MÁS:China Leads World in C-Sections, DoctorsMotives QuestionedThe Backlash of China’s Birth PolicyChina Should Be Better Prepared for ‘Baby HatchChildren
There are several reasons why women in Asia prefer to have their babies by Cesarean section. Many women fear the pain of natural birth or worry that their vaginas may be stretched or damaged by a normal delivery. Otros, sin embargo, believe that this procedure is less risky for the mother. también, some women choose surgery for their delivery after consulting fortune tellers for “luckybirthdays or times of the day to have the procedure performed.
Many experts in Latin America have warned about the abuse of the Cesarean section, particularly in countries such as Brazil, where it has reached extremely high levels. Many expectant mothers in Latin America even schedule their surgery to avoid giving birth during special holidays and even in some cases to make them able to attend some parties.
The hospitals financial profit may also be behind the abuse of Cesarean section. Por ejemplo, in China’s larger cities a Cesarean can cost up to twice the cost of a natural birth. According to the WHO study, 62 percent of hospitals in Asia that were surveyed reported having a financial interest in performing Cesarean sections.
MÁS:China’s Silent EpidemicObesity Outpacing Economic Growth in China
En China, abuse of Cesarean births may give rise to some specific problems related to the health care delivery system. Por ejemplo, they may provoke an increased demand for hospital beds, anesthesiologists, operating theaters and laboratory and blood transfusion facilities, to the detriment of more serious cases deserving attention. en adición, a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who had undergone several Cesarean sections were more likely to have problems with later pregnancies.
According to some experts, the introduction of the one-child policy in 1979 may have contributed indirectly to the increase use of this technique. They claim that because the risk is lower when there are fewer repeat Cesarean sections, parents who expect to have only one child may choose what they believe is the safest option. sin embargo, very little is known about the safety of Cesarean section in China, in spite of the fact that such information is much needed.
More studies are now needed in China on the reasons women may choose Cesarean births and an analysis of their consequences on the health of the mother and the child. Al mismo tiempo, the promotion of midwifery-led maternity care models that emphasize natural birth should be promoted.
César Chelala, M.D., Ph.D., is a global public health consultant for several U.N. and other international agencies. He has carried out health-related missions in 50 countries worldwide. He lives in New York and writes extensively on human rights and foreign policy issues, and is the recipient of awards from Overseas Press Club of America, ADEPA, and Chaski, and recently received the Cedar of Lebanon Gold Medal. He is also the author of several U.N. official publications on health issues, including the book “Maternal Health: The Perennial Challenge.

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en noviembre. 18, the United Nations Committee Against Torture had a hearing on China that revealed more than the Chinese delegation may have intended about the regime’s attitude toward torture.
Wu Hailong, the head of Chinese delegation, had submitted a report. The committee’s experts responded with questions, and the Chinese delegation replied. Even though Wu’s report claimed that China had achieved important progress in promoting human rights, the experts on the panel were not convinced.
Some answers by the Chinese delegation made people wonder if it really understood the meaning of torture.
Some answers by the Chinese delegation made people wonder if it really understood the meaning of torture.

Por ejemplo, the delegation claimed that solitary confinement was a management tool, not a punitive measure. It also claimed that the interrogation chair was used as a protective and security measure to prevent suspects from hurting themselves.
From the replies of the Chinese delegation, one can easily get the impression that in China torture is a common practice. It is so common that the officials didn’t realize that in their denials they actually admitted the practice of widespread torture.
From the replies of the Chinese delegation, one can easily get the impression that in China torture is a common practice.

Lawyers Tortured
The written responses in October specified that 10,000 judges and 24,039 procuratorial staff had received anti-torture training since 2012. This training has not prevented the use of torture, sin embargo.
Torture is applied by the police, la fiscalía, and even the court. The responses said the lawyers, who could only be the victims, not the perpetrators of torture, were the only ones who violated the laws.
A typical case occurred in Jiansanjiang in far northeastern Heilongjiang Province. The written responses stated that the lawyers were detained for “activities disturbing the social order.The responses forgot, accidentally or intentionally, to mention that the “activitieswere requesting the release of Falun Gong practitioners who were illegally detained in a brainwashing center. The brainwashing center is also known as a black jailblack jails happened to be another of committee’s concerns.
Protesters stage a performance on Dec. 10, 2004, showing the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners at the hands of the Chinese regime. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)
The responses said that none of the lawyers was tortured, but a medical examination had found that the four detained lawyers had suffered a total of twenty-four broken ribs.
Another strange thing involved the delegation’s responses about the prosecution of those guilty of torture. According to the delegation, “there were plenty of cases of prosecuting torture offenders,” but none of these was among the high profile casessuch as Jiansanjiangthe committee asked about.
Different Definition
Obviamente, the Chinese delegation didn’t consider the lawyersbroken ribs to be the result of torture or mistreatment. The Chinese delegation explained that the definition of torture in China is different from the U.N. Convention due to China having a different culture and language.
This is very true. The culture is the Chinese Communist Party culture established after the CCP took over China in 1949. In the CCP’s dictionary, breaking ribs is called “enforcing the law.In the rest of the world, it’s called torture.
In the CCP’s dictionary, breaking ribs is called ‘enforcing the law.

In most cases addressed by the committee, the delegation bluntly denied the existence of torture, although its use could easily be confirmed.
After reading the written responses, I found that the delegation didn’t even need to do any research or investigation to make the replies it did. Most of the delegation’s answers consisted of either simply cutting and pasting the text of laws and regulations or totally denying certain individual cases had occurred. The delegation did this in such a perfunctory way that it didn’t even bother to check for mistakes before submitting.
MÁS:Review by UN Torture Committee Puts China Abuses Under SpotlightSeeking Justice in a Lawless ChinaThe Story Behind a Letter From Hell
Por ejemplo, the written responses denied the allegation of organ harvesting by quoting the “Regulation on Human Organ Transplantation.The regulation was issued in a hurry in 2007, very likely as the response to the exposure of alleged organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in 2006. How does a 2007 regulation prove the non-existence of an alleged crime exposed a year earlier?
The written responses also claimed that “shuanggui”the abusive interrogation of CCP members who are suspected of violating Party regulationsis part of the legal system and Party discipline in China. Actually, shuanggui is Party discipline, but definitely not part of the legal system.
Party Culture
To understand the situation in China and the strange behavior of Chinese officials, we need to look at the CCP’s history.
Torture has always been part of communist revolution and rule. En 1930, when the Red Army was still under siege in Jiangxi, Mao Zedong initiated an internal cleansing campaign to establish his absolute authority inside the Red Army.
His target was the non-existent organization called Anti-Bolshevik. Since there was no such organization, all confessions had to be extracted by torture. The campaign lasted several months and 70,000 Red Army personnel were killed. Many of them were tortured to death. Others were slaughtered.
A decade later, similar torture methods were used in the Yan’an Rectification Movement. The movement was also initiated by Mao to eliminate the influence of other factions inside the Party and to establish Mao’s absolute power in the Party leadership. One of the victims, Wang Shiwei, a journalist and writer, was wrongfully charged and arrested at the time. He was executed by an ax, probably to save a bullet.
One purpose of [the CCP’s] political campaigns is to find the worst persons and then recruit them into the Party.

After the CCP took over China, torture was expanded to the whole nation, accompanied by numerous political campaigns, from wiping out land owners in the early 1950s to the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong. One purpose of these political campaigns is to find the worst persons and then recruit them into the Party. They become the next generation leaders and the perpetrators of more torture. Mientras tanto, the concepts and methods of

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Dong Zhen shares her tale of imprisonment and torture in China for her practice of Falun Gong. She took part in a march through the streets of Toronto in support of others who have faced similar fates in China. (Mateo Pequeño / Gran Época)Dong Zhen shares her tale of imprisonment and torture in China for her practice of Falun Gong. She took part in a march through the streets of Toronto in support of others who have faced similar fates in China. (Mateo Pequeño / Gran Época)

TORONTO—It was six months living in Canada before Zhen Dong stopped looking over her shoulder, stopped wondering if the person walking behind her might work for the security forces or have ill intentions.

That was 2009. On Oct. 10, six years later, she is marching through the streets of downtown Toronto with hundreds like her, showing their support for the over 180,000 people in China and some 27 other countries who have filed lawsuits against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.

Most of those lawsuits were filed by people who still live in China. It is a bold challenge to the man who sent so many like them to their deaths.

Most of those lawsuits were filed by people who still live in China. It is a bold challenge to the man who sent so many like them to their deaths.

For Zhen, today is a happy day. She is free and doing what she believes. Her story begins with a love of her traditional culture

‘Truthfulness, Compasión, and Tolerance’

Zhen had a passion for traditional Chinese philosophy, and had studied Buddhism and Daoism looking for insight into life.

“The books of Falun Gong explained further from what I was seeking, regarding the ancient wisdom of Chinese culture,” she explained.

“Falun Gong is based on truthfulness, compasión, y la tolerancia. I do think these are the universal values for people all over the world.”

Like some 100 million others, she eventually took up Falun Gong, también conocido como Falun Dafa. Introduced in China in 1992, it is a practice of meditation and self-improvement that rapidly gained popularity through word of mouth due to its benefits to physical and mental health.

Every weekend at a large stadium near South China Normal University in Guangzhou, La provincia de Guangdong, where Zhen attended school, algunos 6,000 would gather to practice.

“The practice of Falun Gong really made them experience being a healthy person. I think that’s the main reason people spend time, one hour or two hours in the morning, to practice," ella dijo.

“I was just one of them.”

Zhen was one of three people who used to bring the music player used for the exercise music. For this reason, police would later label her a key organizer—a label that came with a heavy burden within the Chinese labour camp system.

En 1999, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin banned Falun Gong and began an intense effort to vilify the practice. There were sporadic arrests before that, but overnight a massive campaign of persecution was launched.

‘It’s a Good Practice’ That Benefits People

Zhen said that at first she was naive. She thought it was all a misunderstanding, and made several attempts to appeal to the government.

“I really wished to let the government know that from my personal experience, it’s a good practice. It is something benefitting people and the government should allow it to go on.”

It would take being kidnapped four times and being tortured in a labour camp before she finally understood that it did not matter if Falun Gong was innocent, and it was not a misunderstanding. El Partido Comunista de China (CCP), acting under Jiang, simply wanted the practice extinguished, at any cost to the Chinese people or the nation.

I just cannot believe, if I did not experience it myself, that there were so many kinds of torture.

— Zhen Dong, practicante de Falun Gong

Zhen’s first arrest was on July 22 en 1999, two days after the persecution began. She tried to fly directly to Beijing to appeal. But police had already identified her as a so-called organizer, as undercover security forces had been taking photographs and documenting Falun Gong practitioners for months before the persecution was officially launched.

“At the airport, I was not able to get onto the airplane. I was actually kidnapped to a small room and kept there. Then I saw many others kept in that room.”

Police tried to force them to watch CCTV, the state broadcaster, and newscasts vilifying the practice, but to the people locked in that room it was just so much nonsense.

“It didn’t tell the truth. From our own personal experience, together with thousands of people who practiced every week, we knew very well it was a good practice, so it is not something the government can turn over from white to black overnight.”

She was 23 at the time, in her last year of her post-graduate studies in English literature. She found the idea of the government trying to force her and others to give up the practice ridiculous.

“But this is not the way the Chinese government likes the young people to think. I was going to get into big trouble.”

Arrests and Detentions

Zhen’s repeated attempts to appeal and the fact that she helped bring the music to the practice site would turn her into a target.

Each detention would get more severe. In total she would spend nearly two years in detention centres and labour camps.

Her last arrest came one night when she was visiting friends, fellow Falun Gong practitioners. They were five people, about to have dinner. Police called it an “illegal gathering.”

“You can be put in jail because of this. You get together. You speak to people who practice Falun Gong. After so many years, looking back, it is totally absurd that if you speak to a fellow practitioner, that can put you in jail.”

There was no trial. They were just taken away, first to a detention centre, then to a labour camp. When Zhen was given a reason for her incarceration, she was incredulous. She was accused of disturbing the social order.

“That was funny because I was visiting my friends, and we were talking inside the house. And that is how they regarded me as disturbing the social order. That happened in 1999.”

Torture, Beatings

That was the last time Zhen saw many of her friends. They were put into different detention centres, then different labour camps, and given different sentences. Some of those friends lost their lives. Zhen keeps herself composed telling the story, but she begins to swallow more frequently, and the lighthearted smile that is her normal expression fades away. One of those who passed was a very dear friend.

“He was put into a male labour camp and lost his life. Era 2002 o 2003, I can’t remember exactly. I heard later he was beaten very severely with the electric baton because he continued to practice, even when he was in jail.”

She knows of too many tales like this. Her own story could have easily ended the same way. She was also beaten severely, and tortured in ways that she didn’t think were possible. She said she never imagined there could be so many ways to torture a person.

“I just cannot believe, if I did not experience it myself, that there were so many kinds of torture. They actually give them names like flying the airplane.”

This torture requires the victim to bend over with the arms extended and to stand that way for hours. “And then they will kick you with big boots.”

It is excruciating. And unlike other forms of torture, it does not exhaust the guards. As bizarre as it may sound, beatings and other forms of torture can be physically taxing. That is the reason one of Zhen’s torture sessions ended.

A police woman had taken her to a private cell and then beat her with heavy shoes.

“She beat every part with the shoes, [using them] like weapons, until she became tired. It was not me that became tired, she beat and beat until she became tired.”

Zhen was then put into a private cell, where others would not see her wounds. This is one of the methods used to keep torture secret.

“At that time, I was kind of scared, because I thought if I died there my family would never know where I died and why I died,” she recalls. She says she was lucky, as many others did not survive, and for many the story of their deaths remains hidden from the world.

Pero aún así, Zhen still had some hope the Chinese regime would realize the goodness of Falun Gong. She still had hope that the efforts of detained practitioners to tell the guards and prison officials about the peaceful practice would help them realize these were just people who wanted to follow their belief, to try to achieve truthfulness, compasión, and tolerance in their everyday lives. These are the ideals that guide Falun Gong practitioners in their pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.

Looking back, Zhen thinks maybe she was too naive. When asked what made her change her mind about the regime, what made her give up hope that the communist regime would come to a better understanding of Falun Gong, she said it was after she had experienced too much torture.

Life in a Labour Camp

For much of the nearly two years she spent in detention, Zhen was at a labour camp on a lake island in Guangzhou. It took a ferry trip to get there.

Her days consisted of 16 hours of making plastic flowers for export. She knew they were for export by the English packaging and from comments from staff at the labour camp.

“Very bad food, very little sleep, very long hours of labour—that is the life of the labour camp," ella dijo.

One memory that sticks with her is when the relative of a practitioner smuggled a copy of Zhuan Falun into the prison. This book is the main text of Falun Gong.

“That was very important to us,” Zhen said.

The book was eventually seized by a prison guard. This prompted about 10 practitioners to go on a hunger strike. About a week in, Zhen gave in because there were threats of force feeding, a violent procedure that often results in internal wounds.

“I have a fellow practitioner, and he was the first person who died in Guangzhou and it was because of the force feeding. His name was Gao Xianmin.”

“I was afraid some disaster may happen so I gave up the hunger strike, but three of my friends did not give up.”

After the force feeding, they were covered in blood. That’s when Zhen saw something she didn’t believe was possible: The hair of one of her friends turned white overnight.

“Now I believe a person’s hair can turn white overnight because of the pressure, the torture. This is something I cannot forget.”

Zhen was released when her family members signed a contract with the prison that they would monitor her outside the labour camp and prevent her from practicing Falun Gong. Often families are charged severe fines as well, but Zhen’s family escaped that injustice.

Escape to Canada

That was 2001. Zhen then tried to resume her studies. But when she applied to the Ph.D. programa, she was told she would not be able to pass the political exam due to her history of practicing Falun Gong.

“At that time I realized I would never get any chance in China, not in my study or future career.”

There is a policy in China that all government-related departments and offices cannot employ Falun Gong practitioners.

“Freedom and democracy are just like the air for everyone. We all need it, but it is unfortunate that in China, they don’t have it.”

Zhen found one job though; she managed to attend a private university to become a teacher. She then planned her exit from China, to immigrate to Canada.

By then she was married. This was after an engagement that had been stretched to eight years, as both she and her fiance completed various sentences in prison and labour camps for practicing Falun Gong.

She chose Canada as her new homeland and made her way here in 2009.

The day she left China, she was scared. She wondered if the guards at the airport would arrest her like they did that first time she had tried to fly to Beijing from Guangzhou. They didn’t.

“I just felt like a bird flying in the sky, the moment I left China. Por supuesto, I felt sad at the same time because it is the country I was born and grew up in. And I knew I would not be back for a long time.”

Zhen remembers crying the first time she attended a group study site in Canada. Era 10 years after the last such study group she had attended in China.

Since then she has joined many activities and worked to raise awareness of the persecution still ongoing in China. She shares a deep appreciation for her life in Canada.

“I believe all people deserve this freedom, including all the people in China," ella dice.

“Freedom and democracy are just like the air for everyone. We all need it, but it is unfortunate that in China, they don’t have it.”

Zhen said she didn’t immediately realize how different Canada was. For the first six months she was here, she still felt the phantom pressure that haunts Chinese people.

“I think I was still under the pressure and fear, looking around to see whether there was some suspicious people around me. It is just something very deeply instilled in your mind.”

But step by step the fear melted away. Zhen said it is like something in your blood that has to be purified. Time helps.

“I don’t have such fear anymore. I can feel and breathe and think just like any person in a free world. I am just enjoying the best state of being a person, being a human.”

Suing Jiang Zemin

Zhen is among those filing lawsuits against Jiang. She is still writing out all the details of her persecution. The imprisonment, the torture, the things she saw inflicted on her friends.

She said some people in China don’t yet realize the nature of the Chinese Communist Party, the regime that rules the country. For others, it is just too hard to speak out. They are afraid. The CCP has the police, the courts, and a massive security force. For those who realize the sinister nature of this regime, speaking out is a terrifying prospect.

“I do believe that a lot of Chinese people live in fear all their lives. Even they might be wealthy, they might be better off than before, but such fear will never go away. So this kind of mentality will haunt them all their lives.”

The result is this: They live their lives avoiding the wrath of the regime, obeying whatever the government says, trying to act the way they are supposed to act, think the way they are supposed to think.

Jiang is now facing more than 180,000 criminal lawsuits for his central role in orchestrating the violent persecution of Falun Gong. Under the current climate in China, many of Jiang’s allies are being imprisoned on corruption charges by CCP leader Xi Jinping.

Many of those marching in Toronto on Oct. 10 believe it is just a matter of time before Jiang is among those being purged in China.

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