Over 6,300 Falun Gong practitioners form an emblem of Falun Gong and the Chinese characters, truthfulness, compassion and forbearance at the Liberty Square in Taipei on Nov. 26, 2016. (Chen Po-chou/Epoch Times)Over 6,300 Falun Gong practitioners form an emblem of Falun Gong and the Chinese characters, truthfulness, compassion and forbearance at the Liberty Square in Taipei on Nov. 26, 2016. (Chen Po-chou/Epoch Times)

TAIPEI, Taiwan—After two days of intensive labor and preparation, a huge symbol appeared center stage at Taiwan’s Liberty Square, named for its role in the island’s transition from one-party rule to democracy.

On Nov. 26, wearing yellow, blue, red, and black clothing, about 6,300 practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong formed a large emblem along with the three Chinese characters for truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, the core teaching of Falun Gong. The symbol, called “falun” in Chinese and meaning “law wheel,” includes the traditional Buddhist “srivatsa” and Taoist “taiji.” It is the emblem of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (Great Way of the Law Wheel).

The participants, mostly Falun Dafa practitioners living in Taiwan, included practitioners from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and Indonesia. The character formation has become an annual tradition, held in November, to commemorate the month back in 1997 when Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, visited the island for the first time.

“The world needs truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.” said Huang Chun-mei, organizer of the activity and deputy chairman of Taiwan Falun Dafa Association. “If everyone in society follows these principles, our society will be better.”

The character formation, however, bears a much deeper meaning. Huang Chun-mei explained that the character formation would put a check on the continued violent persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and, contrary to propaganda by the Chinese regime, show that the Buddhist discipline thrives around the world, with people practicing Falun Gong in over 100 countries.

From Design to Formation

The planning and design actually began over two months ago, said Wu Ching-hsiang, a retired architect, who has been responsible for drawing the blueprints for Taiwan’s character formations since 2009. He has also provided drawings for similar activities held in Washington D.C and New York.

Wu explained in a phone interview why getting the blueprint right was such a lengthy process: “Once, after I finished a drawing and was suddenly told that there would be 1,000 additional participants, I had to quickly redraw the blueprint.”

Wu added that the history of character formation actually originated in China. But unlike those held in China and elsewhere in the world, the formation in Taiwan often involves more complex images.

“Geometric shapes involving straight lines or 90-degree angles are not difficult,” said Wu. “It is images with curved lines that are more challenging.” To provide an example, Wu added that participants form the more complicated, but beautiful Chinese characters in clerical script, a form of Chinese calligraphy nowadays, as opposed to the more simple writing style in the past.

In China, such large-scale character formations were common in China before July 1999, before the persecution started. Since then, practitioners in Taiwan, the United States, and many other countries have tried to keep the tradition alive.

Wu said that in the formation this year, besides the emblem and the Chinese characters, there are also rays of light depicted in yellow. These rays, according to Wu, represent Buddha’s grace illuminating the world.


Two days before the formation of the characters, preparation at the Liberty Square begins. Hundreds of practitioners, mostly from Taipei, turn out to manually place colored round plastic sheets and tape them to their designated spots.

Wang Chung-tung, 66, a retired ocean freight captain and former assistant professor at Taipei College of Maritime Technology, said over the years he had previously battled through adverse weather, red ants, and even snakes during the preparation, as the formations were sometimes held on grass instead of concrete.

A sense of gratitude to Falun Gong has led Wang to be diligent over the years in helping out with preparations for the character formation. Wang took up the practice in 2002 after his 20-year-long career working at sea, where “there was a thin line between life and death.” With Falun Gong, he said he has found the meaning of life that he had longed for during his years on ships.

Similarly, Chuang Mao-chin, 56, a retired government official from the National Bureau of Foreign Trade, said he had been taking part in the preparations since 2011. Last year, Mao recalled how he still decided to help out with the preparation even though he was under the weather, because of the gratitude he feels for the good quality of sleep he has enjoyed since he started practicing Falun Gong in 2010.

For many volunteers turning out for the character formation was an opportunity to tell passerby, especially mainland Chinese tourists—Liberty Square is a popular tourist attraction site in Taiwan—about the injustices still suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China.

“Tourists easily find the character formation very interesting, not just on the day of the actual formation, but days before when the preparation is underway,” said Dr. Huang Hui-chun, 37, a cardiologist working at National Taiwan University Hospital, and a practitioner since 2006.

Huang Chung-peng, 56, owner of a mechanical hardware company in New Taipei City, said he once had to explain how Taiwan is different from China when a Chinese tourist was stunned to find that the Taiwanese government had granted permission to Falun Gong practitioners to hold such a large public activity.

“When mainland Chinese, after using anti-censorship software, see pictures of the character formation, they will realize how Falun Gong is openly practiced in Taiwan,” said Huang Chung-peng.

Opportunity Only in Taiwan

For many practitioners in other Asian countries, to take part in the character formation in Taiwan was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Falun Gong is welcomed everywhere in the world except China,” said Sato Kunio, 53, a hotel owner in the Japanese city of Chiba, who was born in Harbin, China before moving to Japan in 1980. He started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 and has participated in Taiwan’s character formation several times.

For Rosy Ngygen, 34, senior account manager from Vietnam who started practicing Falun Gong in 2012, the opportunity was precious, given that it was impossible to hold a large-scale activity like this in her own country due to political pressure from China.

Ngyugen explained, “The Vietnamese government does not oppose Falun Gong, but it does not want to make the Chinese government upset either.”

Kim Jung Soo, a retired government official in the education department in Busan, South Korea, took part even though he had only been practicing for three days. He thanked his wife for introducing him to Falun Gong. He said she had shown “peace and serenity” as a practitioner for the last 14 years.

While participants were seated for photographing and filming, many tourists paused for selfies with the rare and colorful backdrop.

“Beautiful. I don’t know the history of this, but to my eyes, it’s very beautiful,” said Mrs. Sangsajja, a housewife from Thailand.

Jose Collazo, a business analyst from Puerto Rico, said he had heard about the persecution of the group in China. He enjoyed the character formation.

“It is very colorful. I wish I could see it from up top,” he said.

Read the full article here

A re-enactment shows the torture method of being wrapped up in tape (Minghui.org)A re-enactment shows the torture method of being wrapped up in tape (Minghui.org)

A 65-year-old woman said she was sentenced to five years in a Chinese prison, where she suffered “inhumane torture,” for following a type of meditation practiced by millions in China.

Sun Zhuoying said she was sentenced to five years for hanging a banner that spoke out about the Chinese regime’s unlawful persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong, a type of traditional Chinese meditation practice, in May 2011, according to a report published Sunday on Falun Gong information website Minghui.org.

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its suppression of Falun Gong, traditionally known as Falun Dafa. Practitioners are routinely subjected to arbitrary arrest, harassment, loss of employment, torture, and death at the hands of CCP officials. Several months ago, a report said Falun Gong adherents are being killed for body parts in China’s popular organ transplant industry. As many as 1.5 million organ transplants may have taken place in China since 2000, which were mostly “harvested” from Falun Gong practitioners, but include other prisoners of conscience, the report said.

Sun described her experiences in a lengthy account, saying she was forced to stand 18 hours each day, her head was beaten “with heavy objects” until she passed out, and she was also subjected to unusual torture methods including being completely wrapped up with sealing tape by other prisoners at the behest of prison guards.

“They forced me to sleep on a wooden board and wrapped me in sealing tape. They bound my hands, feet and body together before wrapping up my feet and legs separately. I couldn’t move even a little,” she said.

She also said she was coerced by prison officials to write a false statement admitting her “crime.” After she wrote a declaration to nullify the statement, Sun was placed in solitary confinement.

“They tortured me so severely that I was often in critical condition. They took me to Shanghai Prison Hospital every couple of months. I once lost consciousness at the hospital from heavy bleeding in my stomach,” Sun added, according to the report.

She described other forms of torture, which was often psychological in nature.

“I was also forced to sit in bed until midnight every day before being allowed to sleep. When my watchers noticed me sleepy, they beat me violently and poured cold water on my neck,” she added. “In the middle of a cold winter they removed my blanket every fifteen minutes at night.”

Sun said she returned home in May 2016.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have said the Chinese regime has been carrying out mass arbitrary detentions, show trials, and other human rights abuses resulting from the persecution.

Read the full article here

Bai Gendi. The image on the right shows her in a hospital after she was taken there by guards (Minghui)Bai Gendi. The image on the right shows her in a hospital after she was taken there by guards (Minghui)

An elderly Chinese woman allegedly suffered severe injuries at the hands of prison guards late last month, leaving her “unconsciousness and vomiting,” along with a cracked skull, according to a report this week.

Bai Gendi, 65, was sent to the emergency room at the Songjiang People’s Hospital in Shanghai, according to a report from Minghui, a website dedicated to publishing information related to Falun Gong. She’s being held at the Shanghai Women’s Prison, and has suffered abuses at the hands of the Chinese regime for refusing to stop practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline and meditation that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999 when then-leader Jiang Zemin ordered a sweeping suppression of it.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that combines slow moving exercises with teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners are routinely tortured, beaten, and subjected to other forms of abuse while in Chinese prisons.

Meanwhile, a report released in June estimated that as many as 1.5 million people—mostly Falun Gong practitioners—have been killed for their organs since 2000. Human rights organization Amnesty International said the Chinese regime is carrying out mass arbitrary detentions, show trials, and other human rights abuses resulting from the persecution.

Since 1999, Bai has been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. She was first given two years of forced labor in 1999, and three months after she was released, Bai was arrested again and received another three years of forced labor, the Minghui report said. In 2006, she was arrested again and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. Later, in 2012, Bai was again arrested and got six and a half years in prison.

Photos published by the Minghui website show her in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her nose.

Prison guards told the family that she fell out of a chair, hurting herself. The family “suspects that Ms. Bai’s injuries were caused by beatings in prison,” Minghui reported, adding that she had a “bleeding skull fracture.”

Family members said she was placed into solitary confinement, forcing her to wear summer clothes—with short sleeves and pants—in freezing cells without heat in the winter.

Read the full article here

Ling Jihua, the former top aide to the head of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on March 8, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Ling Jihua, the former top aide to the head of the Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing on March 8, 2013. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The former subordinates of a purged top Chinese Communist Party cadre Ling Jihua continue to be removed from office in what is likely an effort by Party leader Xi Jinping to cleanse the regime of Ling’s remaining influence.

Ling, 59, was formerly the aide to ex-Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao and director of the Party’s General Office. He was arrested in July 2015, and found guilty of corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment this July 4.

Recently two of Ling’s deputies were quietly removed from their posts.

Zhao Shengxuan. (cjn.cn)

Zhao Shengxuan, the deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was expelled from office for violating Party discipline, according to a communique in June.

However, a February communique indicated that Zhao, then the most senior of four Academy deputy directors, had resigned. His official biography appeared to have been taken down from the Academy’s website following the announcement of his resignation.

Meanwhile, state mouthpiece Xinhua reported on July 20 that Xia Yong, a deputy director of Legal Affairs Office of the regime’s State Council, was “no longer holding office.” No reason was provided for Xia stepping down, and there wasn’t any announcement of him taking up another job—a development that suggests Xia had been sidelined.

It is unclear whether Xia Yong will at a later date be charged with corruption by the Chinese authorities, but he is currently listed by a U.S.-based nonproft as being involved in one of China’s most brutal persecutions.

Xia Yong. (Xinhua)

In 2005, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) identified Xia as having played an active role in the suppression of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that involves slow exercises and moral teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Feeling threatened by the popularity of the practice—an official survey found 70 million people practicing Falun Gong in 1999—former Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered a persecution campaign on July 20 of that year.

About a week after the persecution was launched, Xia Yong and other scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences denounced Falun Gong using Marxist theories, according to WOIPFG. Xia later became the founding executive director of China Anti-Cult Association, a regime-controlled agency dedicated to spreading anti-Falun Gong propaganda and provided “guidance” on the forced ideological conversion of practitioners in detention centers, labor camps, and brainwashing centers.

Read the full article here

(L-R) Rev. Majed El Shafie of One Free World International, Ontario MPP Jack MacLaren, and former MP Hon. David Kilgour at a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa on July 20, 2016, to mark the 17th anniversary of the persecution against Falun Gong in China, launched by former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin on July 20, 1999. The three men spoke at the event and condemned the Chinese regime’s illegal persecution against the traditional spiritual practice as well as the state-led killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience for their organs in China. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)(L-R) Rev. Majed El Shafie of One Free World International, Ontario MPP Jack MacLaren, and former MP Hon. David Kilgour at a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa on July 20, 2016, to mark the 17th anniversary of the persecution against Falun Gong in China, launched by former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin on July 20, 1999. The three men spoke at the event and condemned the Chinese regime’s illegal persecution against the traditional spiritual practice as well as the state-led killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience for their organs in China. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

OTTAWA—As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to go to China in early September for the G20 summit, David Kilgour is calling on him for help to end a “state crime” involving “mass murder” taking place there that the former MP has spent the last 10 years investigating.

“Prime Minister Trudeau … and his government should use every opportunity to urge the party state in Beijing to end forced organ pillaging and trafficking—now,” said Kilgour.

Kilgour is the co-author of a recent report update that adds further evidence to allegations that the Chinese regime is forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, primarily Falun Gong practitioners, to supply a massive state-led transplant industry worth billions of dollars per year.

He made the comments in front of the Chinese embassy on July 20 at a rally to mark 17 years since former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. The gathering was part of a large commemorative and awareness-raising event taking place worldwide.

A woman gives the thumbs up as she passes Falun Gong practitioners taking part in a rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 20, 2016, to mark the launch of the persecution against Falun Gong in China 17 years ago on July 20, 1999. (Epoch Times)

A woman gives the thumbs up as she passes Falun Gong practitioners taking part in a rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 20, 2016, to mark the launch of the persecution against Falun Gong in China 17 years ago on July 20, 1999. (Epoch Times)

Along with organ pillaging, under Jiang’s orders the ongoing persecution has overseen arbitrary imprisonment, forced labour, rape, torture, and killing, fuelled by hate propaganda, as reported by human rights organizations and government entities worldwide.

Amid such an urgent crisis, “[Trudeau] should help bring Jiang Zemin, who initiated and orchestrated the persecution, to justice quickly,” Kilgour added.

According to the Minghui website, which reports on Falun Gong worldwide, since May 2015 more than 200,000 Chinese citizens have filed criminal lawsuits against Jiang in the regime’s highest legal bodies, charging him with genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.

Prime Minister Trudeau … and his government should use every opportunity to urge the party state in Beijing to end forced organ pillaging and trafficking—now.

— Former cabinet minister David Kilgour

‘Strength and character to stand by your principles’

Kilgour was joined at the rally by Rev. Majed El Shafie, who is a human rights advocate and founder of One Free World International, along with Ontario MPP Jack MacLaren.

Commenting on Falun Gong’s core principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, MacLaren told the practitioners that “having the strength and character to stand by your principles … strikes fear in the heart of the communist government, because there is nothing so fearful to a tyrant, to a dictator, as a free man and a free woman.”

“I don’t think anywhere have we seen a worse human rights abuse than in China against the Falun Gong,” MacLaren added, noting the “heinous crime of organ harvesting.”

Falun Gong practitioners gather outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa on July 20, 2016, to mark 17 years since the Chinese regime outlawed the practice of Falun Gong in China. The ensuing persecution has resulted in untold suffering and death since it was launched on July 20, 1999. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners gather outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa on July 20, 2016, to mark 17 years since the Chinese regime outlawed the practice of Falun Gong in China. The ensuing persecution has resulted in untold suffering and death since it was launched on July 20, 1999. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

The latest Freedom House report notes that Falun Gong is the largest spiritual group facing persecution by the formally atheist Communist Party.

El Shafie commended Falun Gong practitioners for their peaceful resistance and perseverance. “Seventeen years ago, [the Chinese government] government thought that they can finish the Falun Gong, they can end them, they can kill them … they can collect their organs and run away,” he said.

Yet “17 years later, they are wrong … 17 years later, the Falun Gong are not less, they are more,” and “they are not just inside of China, they are also outside of China.”

According to the New York-based Falun Dafa Information Center, Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is now practised in over 80 countries, with both its health benefits and moral philosophy contributing to its popularity.

New report on organ pillaging

Kilgour emphasized the findings of the new 600-plus-page report that he co-authored with Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas alongside American investigative journalist and China analyst Ethan Gutmann.

Among the conclusions of the report, released June 22 in Washington, is that China is performing a staggering 60,000 to 100,000 transplants annually, while boasting wait times of days or weeks. This is extraordinary considering voluntary organ donations are rare in China and wait times are typically in years in other countries.

Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese consulate on Granville St. on July 19, 2016, to commemorate all those who have died since the launch of the Chinese Communist Party's campaign of persecution against Falun Gong in China on July 20, 1999. (Da Yu/Epoch Times)

Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese consulate on Granville St. on July 19, 2016, to commemorate all those who have died since the launch of the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign of persecution against Falun Gong in China on July 20, 1999. (Da Yu/Epoch Times)

And the source for the vast majority of those organs is the killing of “mostly innocents, prisoners of conscience, Tibetans, Uyghurs, select House Christians, and, most of all, Falun Gong practitioners,” according to the report, an update on the books “The Slaughter” (2014) and “Bloody Harvest” (2009) by Gutmann and by Matas-Kilgour respectively.

The update is “a meticulous examination of the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals in China,” Kilgour said. “It analyzes hospital revenue, bed counts and utilization rates, surgical personnel, training programs, state funding, and other factors.”

Canada has ‘clear role’ to play: Trudeau

Kilgour shared some developments giving rise to optimism. In June the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the state-sanctioned organ harvesting in China.

And this month more than half of the members of the European Parliament (EP) signed a declaration asking the EP to “organize without delay an independent investigation” into the Chinese regime’s ongoing organ pillaging.

Kilgour also praised the elected leaders in Israel, Taiwan, and Spain, which have passed laws making it illegal for their citizens to get organ transplants in China.

Looking to Trudeau, Kilgour said he salutes the prime minister for the stand he took on human rights in China with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi when Yi visited Canada in June. Yi had berated a Canadian reporter after she asked a question about China’s human rights record.

“There is no question that China has an awful lot to do on human rights.”

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

A week later, Trudeau addressed this in Toronto at The Canada Summit hosted by The Economist, saying that “Canada has a very clear role to play as a country with a long and storied friendship with China to be able to say, ‘Look, you need to change the way you speak to journalists. You need to change the defensiveness you have about how you’re engaging with the world because it’s not doing you any service.”

“It’s going to take countries with a good relationship with China to be fairly blunt with China about how it’s going to succeed,” Trudeau said, noting that “There is no question that China has an awful lot to do on human rights.”

At his upcoming meetings with Chinese leaders in September, concerned Canadians will be looking to Trudeau to demonstrate this frankness, including in calling for an end to the organ pillaging and Falun Gong persecution, which Kilgour and Matas have described as “the kernel at the centre of human rights violations in China.”

Read the full article here

For nearly three years, a Chinese woman withstood abuse and torture from prison guards and her fellow inmates for refusing to give up her faith.
Wang Yuqing, 43, of Qitaihe City in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang, was incarcerated at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison from September 2003 to March 2006, according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
During this time, she “handcuffed from behind, held in isolation, handcuffed and hung up, and tortured by other means,” according to an account by Wang that was only recently published to Minghui.
Wang was imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that combines slow moving exercises with teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice has been persecuted since July 1999, when Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered a sweeping suppression of it because he felt threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity. According to official figures, there were an estimated 70 million Falun Gong practitioners just before the persecution.
Soon after arriving in Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, Wang Yuqing was shocked to learn that inmates sometimes carried electric batons and were made to help the prison guards persecute Falun Gong practitioners. During one so-called “physical training session,” Wang and other practitioners were forced to run in circles under the watchful eyes of baton-wielding inmates. When the practitioners got tired and slowed down, the prison guards and other inmates would hurl batons, water bottles, and verbal insults in their direction.
Initially, Wang refused to put on prison uniform or answer roll call because she believed that she had committed no crime in keeping her faith. To make Wang renounce her belief, the prison guards handcuffed her right arm over her shoulder to a bed frame, and got other inmates to violently force on her prison uniform.
In another insistence, the prison guards handcuffed one of her hands to a lower bed frame, and the other hand to the higher bed frame of a bunk bed. In this position, Wang couldn’t sit, stand, or squat.
For seven months in 2004, Wang was made to occupy a tiny prison guard office with 30 other Falun Gong practitioners, and at least one practitioner was denied the use of the bathroom and had to relieve herself in that room.
Wang’s family members were allowed to visit her, but she was forbidden from telling them about how she was being mistreated in prison. “You will be denied family visits if you continue saying those things,” Wang recalled a prison guard telling her when she tried to inform her elder sister about her sufferings.
Most chillingly, the prison guards had at the end of 2004 instructed five inmates to forcibly pin Wang down so that they could draw her blood. Investigators of live organ harvesting allegations note that the Chinese authorities are known to draw blood from Falun Gong practitioners to build up an organ donation bank for transplant surgery.
According to Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, a global humanitarian watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., the number of Falun Gong practitioners that have been subjected to forced organ harvesting is estimated to be more than 100,000.Wang Yuqing, of Qitaihe City in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang, tells how she was tortured in prison in China between 2003 and 2006. (Minghui.org)

Read the full article here

Zhang Yue, security boss of Hebei province, has been arrested for “serious violation of Party discipline” and 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. However, the undertone of the story can be seen in the details; that is, 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. In 2003, Zhou Yongkang held the appointment of Minister of Public Security.
The 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”.
The 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.
For the past 16 years, 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. However, the 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 years. In order to hide the truth about the persecution, the CCP’s official media did not carry news about the 610 Office.
On Jan 12, 2015, Li Dongsheng, Zhou Yongkang’s trusted aide and the former head of the central 610 Office, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On Dec 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 Office); 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. However, if you look at the common thread among the officials—including 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 Yongkang—all followed Jiang’s orders and committed crimes against humanity by persecuting Falun Gong.
As such, 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.
Translated by Benjamin Ng. Edited by 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.

Read the full article here

Chinese authorities announced a major shuffling, and purge, of key personnel in the domestic security system in provinces around the country recently. The move was explained in the media in predictable terms: strengthening the rule of law and building a fair and professional legal system. A closer examination, however, shows that many of the men targeted had significant ties with Zhou Yongkang, the former head of the security system who now sits in prison.
That such significant personnel changes would still be taking place in 2016—over two years after Zhou was first formally put under investigation, and after several major rounds of reorganizations and arrests—seems to hint at the breadth of the political network of which he was a leading member.
The changes affected nine provinces—Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hubei, Heilongjiang, Yunnan, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Qinghai—the two “autonomous regions” of Xinjiang and Ningxia, and the cities of Beijing and Shanghai: 14 new heads of courts and Procuratorates (China’s version of a public prosecutor, though it is also endowed with investigatory and other powers), and three new heads of public security bureaus took office, reported state-run media Legal Weekly on Feb. 17.
The most prominent changes took place in Zhejiang Province and Beijing, the former with the new chiefs of the provincial Supreme Court, Procuratorate, and Public Security Bureau, the latter with new presidents of the Supreme Court and the Procuratorate.
According to Legal Weekly, 8 of the 17 individuals were transferred to a new location. An example is Wang Zhengsheng, originally the head of public security in southwest Ningxia, who was moved to the same post in Qinghai, which is nearby. Of the 14 heads of courts and Procuratorates who stepped down, 11 resigned because they had exceeded 63 years of age. Age limits as exercised by the Party, however, are often flexible mechanisms for either excluding political enemies, or face-saving explanations for those on the losing end of a power struggle.
What is clear, however, is that many of those who resigned enjoyed close ties with Zhou Yongkang, named the head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) of the Communist Party in 2007.
The PLAC oversees China’s secret police, its domestic security and surveillance apparatus, most kinds of detention facilities—including prisons, labor camps, black jails, brainwashing centers—and judicial and prosecuting agencies. Its budget in recent years has exceeded $100 billion, making it, with the exception of the military, the most powerful bureaucracy in the country.
In June 2015, Zhou was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of receiving bribes, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.
The glue that bound Zhou to his own patron—the former Party leader Jiang Zemin—and unites many of the officials who have been removed recently, is their active roles in executing the signature political mobilization of the Jiang Zemin era: the persecution of Falun Gong. Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that became popular in the 1990s, but was the target of an intense and violent suppression ordered by Jiang in July 1999. Political analysts at the time understood that Jiang was putting his stamp on the Party system by creating an enemy and forcing the Party to swear allegiance to him. He is known to have actively promoted those who were most committed to carrying out the campaign.
Chen Xu, who resigned as the top prosecutor in Shanghai, was named by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, a human rights research and advocacy group, for crimes against Falun Gong practitioners.
Liu Liwei, who stepped down from his post at the head of public security in Zhejiang Province, was also highly active in pursuing anti-Falun Gong policies, according to Minghui.org, a Falun Gong website that acts as clearinghouse for first-hand reports from China. Liu was also the director of a provincial committee designed engender hatred toward Falun Gong in communities and villages, where Chinese would previously had performed the meditative exercises together in a park.
Mu Ping, the former head of high court in Beijing, recalled in a meeting how dishing out “punishment” to Falun Gong practitioners was one of his contributions to “stability” in China’s capital before the Beijing Olympics, according to Chinese news portal Sina in November 2008.  
In Guangxi, Luo Dianlong, the retired high court president, hosted a meeting in November 2011 on how the court should carry out Zhou Yongkang’s orders, reported the official website of Guangxi High Court. In a mid-year meeting, Luo spoke of how fighting the “heterodox religion” (i.e. Falun Gong) was a prerequisite for “maintaining social stability,” according to Chinacourt.org, a website established by the Supreme Court in China.
“For Xi’s administration, it’s necessary to purge the political and legal organs, because Jiang Zemin’s faction had created many different problems through these Party apparatuses,” remarked the independent political commentator Li Shanjian in an interview with the Chinese-language Epoch Times.
Zhou Yongkang’s rule of the security apparatus saw harsh methods of security enforcement expanded to broader groups in society, including petitioners, those who protest the forced demolition of their homes, and any who take action considered threatening by the Party, according to Li Shanjian. “This has resulted in a lot of anger among the people and has become a social time bomb.”

Read the full article here

In the southern Chinese city of Dongguan, citizens hung up banners and let off firecrackers after one of the former mayors of the city was purged, according to Chinese news reports.
Liu Zhigeng, most recently the deputy governor of Guangdong Province from 2011, was placed under investigation for serious violations of Party discipline, according to Party investigators on Feb. 4.
But before he was kicked upstairs, Liu ruled Dongguan with an iron fist. Dongguan is an otherwise unremarkable city that was home to a large number of electronics manufacturers, and brothels.
“Many people are all thinking about how to report his wrongdoings. Basically many people know about the crimes he has committed,” said Mr. Dan, a resident of Dongguan, in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Feb. 5.
Among residents, he was known as the official who banned motorcycles and raising pigs in order to build a “clean city”—but at the same time, they blame him for the influx of prostitution into the city, and along with it gambling dens and the manufacture of drugs.
His wife is said to have kept tight control over the issuance of fire inspection certificates—a steady source of cash flow—and his nephew is said to have run one of the gaudiest nightclubs, as well as keeping a hand in the sex industry, according to those interviewed by RFA.
On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, netizens seemed overjoyed at Liu’s removal from office. A netizen calling himself “G-oo” from Guangdong wrote: “This is the best new year gift for the people in Dongguan. This calls for a national celebration.”
“Give us back our motorcycles,” wrote another Internet user.
Celebration at National Forest Park on Guanyin Mountain. (Sina)
A large celebration took place at the National Forest Park on Guanyin Mountain in the morning on Feb. 5, where people played drums, gongs, and lit firecrackers to celebrate the purge of Liu, reported the popular news portal Sina.
In an unconfirmed report on Feb. 15, the state-run China.com reported that investigators had frozen Liu’s bank accounts and those of his family members, which had a total of 37 billion yuan (about $5.7 billion) between them. The veracity of the figure is unclear, given that it only appeared in one source, and would represent an extraordinary admission on the part of state media, which are usually far more reticent and conservative in their estimates of official venality.
One of the lesser known, though no less significant, crimes that Liu is accused of is his active role in the persecution of practitioners of the Falun Gong practice, a traditional discipline of personal moral cultivation that involves five meditative exercises and the teachings of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. According to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse that reports first-hand information about the persecution, “Liu Zhigeng was the chief person in charge of the persecution of Falun Gong in Dongguan” for the seven years he served there. The article went on to recount some of the extreme persecution and torture that was meted out to Falun Gong adherents during Liu’s rule of Dongguan.
There was the case of Tang Wenyan, for instance, a school teacher in Dongguan and a practitioner of Falun Gong, who had to stand trial without her lawyer (who had threatened to recuse by the Ministry of Justice) in September 2010. Tang was eventually sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.
Wu Weiwei, a high school teacher in Dongguan, also a Falun Gong practitioner, was fired from her school in February 2010, after she completed a three year sentence at the Guangdong Women’s Prison for her beliefs.

Read the full article here

WASHINGTON—Ted Poe, a Republican representing Texas’s 2nd district in the House of Representatives, has long been wary of the military threat posed by China, and also the extent of abuses of human rights that take place at the hands of the Communist Party’s security forces.
On Feb. 2, Rep. Poe spoke with Sherry Dong on these topics and more. Following is an edited selection of his remarks.
Epoch Times: Chinese officials say that they no longer use the organs from executed prisoners. Do you believe them? 
Rep. Poe: I don’t believe them. Why? I used to be a judge, and when people were accused of crimes, especially when they were guilty, they always denied that they were guilty of the crime. We need some evidence that the Chinese government is not harvesting organs anymore. And they won’t produce any evidence. Open up the centers where all of these atrocities took place so that the world can see, especially so the Chinese people can see that this is not taking place anymore. The Chinese government won’t do that. Why? Because they have something to hide. They are hiding the truth. I can think of no more despicable and inhumane thing that a country can do than harvest the organs of its own people for sale on the marketplace. There is nothing … I cannot think of anything worse. So, the Chinese government needs to come clean, they need to make sure that they aren’t doing this, and then be able to produce the evidence—which I don’t think they can—that they have closed down these places that harvest the organs of the Chinese people. And so, I am very skeptical about whether this has stopped or not. 
Epoch Times: Can you discuss your views on the character of this crime? 
Rep. Poe: Well, organ harvesting: you take a human being, and you are taking the organs of that person, and selling them or using them for other purposes. I cannot think of anything worse. It is awful; it is barbaric; it is inhumane; and anyone that is responsible for such conduct, or any government that is responsible for such conduct, should be held accountable by the people of that nation, and by the world, because it is violation of human rights to its ultimate extreme. 
Epoch Times: Another topic. As you are probably aware, around 200,000 Chinese citizens have filed criminal complaints against the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin, for his role in initiating the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. What is your assessment of this effort?
Rep. Poe: I’m a former judge. I spent a long time as a judge in Texas. And people who have been accused of crimes, atrocities, should be tried, and it should be found out, publicly, whether or not they are guilty or not guilty. Give them a trial… And I think he should have a trial—we should get the people there, and the evidence, let him defend himself, and have a trial. The world deserves it. The people of China deserve it. The Falun Gong deserve it. Give him a trial and do it now.
Epoch Times: If you were offering advice to the current Party leader, Xi Jinping, on this issue, what would it be? 
Rep. Poe: Well, Xi has put in custody a couple of folks that are responsible or accused of these atrocities. That’s not the answer, either. The answer is to give the accused person a trial. Try the individuals, not just lock him up or his sons up, or put them under house arrest. That’s not solving justice. And justice demands that there be an open hearing to determine whethter these atrocities occurred, and if they did, the people responsible need to be held accountable in the most severe possible way under the law. Hold a trial. Do it now, and quit delaying it. Humanity, the Falun Gong, deserve their day in court as well.
Epoch Times: What do you think the role of the United States should be, if any, in this process?
Rep. Poe: Well, I think the United States—members of Congress, the citizens of the U.S., and people who have ties to China—should point out these human rights violations, and that they need to be tried. The people need to be held accountable for them. 
Epoch Times: Do you have any remarks about the phenomenon of Tuidang, in which Chinese people renounce their ties to the Chinese Communist Party? 
Rep. Poe: Well, I am a person who believes in liberty. The communist government, wherever it is, and wherever it has been in the world, does not believe in the personal liberty of its citizens. Communism believes in the state. Everything, everybody lives for the state. I don’t believe in that. I believe that the state should exist for the citizens, not the citizens for the state. And now you have millions of Chinese who want freedom—good for them. No matter where we are in the world, or what we believe in, there is something in all of our deep souls, such that we believe, as people, in freedom and liberty. Communist regimes don’t promote liberty; they promote the state. And therefore I congratulate those people who have rejected the Communist Party, because they believe in freedom. 

Read the full article here

The deputy head of a provincial public security department has been arrested for bribery and abuse of power in China. Xiu Hui is now in the custody of the system he sat atop for many years where he dished out torture and severe punishment to persecuted groups.
The majority of Xiu’s victims were practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual discipline that’s been persecuted in China since 1999.
According to state mouthpiece media People’s Daily Online, the procuratorate in Xinjiang Province announced that an investigation against Xiu was underway.
Since 2002, Xiu’s entire career was in public security in Xinjiang. From January 2002 to September 2010 he was party secretary and administration of re-education through labor. He then became party secretary and director of prisons until June 2013, when he was promoted to deputy head of public security.
But the crimes he is accused of are minor in comparison to the cruel torture he ordered on innocent people in his various positions, according to Minghui.org, a website that provides up-to-date reports about the persecution of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that teaches people to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, became targeted for persecution in China on July 20, 1999, when then Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered a nationwide crackdown on the group.
Thousands of Falun Gong followers have been persecuted to death, and hundreds of thousands have been imprisoned in detention centers, brainwashing centers, labor camps, and prisons. Countless more have been victims Before the launch of the suppression, there were an estimated 70 million Falun Gong followers in China, according to a state survey at the time.
Deaths Under Xiu’s Watch
Minghui notes 10 prominent cases of severely persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, nine to death, in labor camps under Xiu’s watch.
Ge Lijun, born in 1976, was expelled from a college in Xinjiang after the school learned he practiced Falun Gong meditation. From 1999 to 2009, Ge was sent to Ghangli City Forced Labor Camp three times for a total of six years. The last time he was released, in March 2009, he was in a poor health from being tortured with electric shocks, sleep deprivation, and other methods. Ge died three months later after local hospitals refused to treat him on order of the police and security bureau.
Niu Guifen passed away in November 2013, one year after being released from Xinjiang’s Women’s Prison. During her 4.5-year sentence, Niu was subjected to physical and psychological torture as authorities tried to coerce her into renouncing her beliefs.
Xie Zhenggong, originally an employee at Bayi Iron and Steel Company at Ürümqi, served a six-year prison at Xinjiang No. 5 Prison beginning in 2003. While incarcerated, Xie was physically abused by other inmates, who were told by prison authorities they would have their prison terms reduced if they could successfully coerce Xie into abandoning Falun Gong. Xie eventually died in March 2012 at the age of 42.
The World Organization to Investigation the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) has confirmed the serious human rights violations and persecution taking place at the Xinjiang No. 5 Prison.

Read the full article here