Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—They had just arrived in the United States a little more than a week ago, but they were ready to tell the world about what they endured.

Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, two sisters from China joined a group of about 80 meditating protesters outside the U.N. building. Rui and Xing are practitioners of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice that the Chinese regime has heavily persecuted since 1999. They asked to use pseudonyms for fear of repercussions for their parents living in China, who also practice Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).

Rui and Xing were just 11 and 8 years old when their father was arrested and sentenced to prison for 14 and a half years for his faith in the ancient Buddhist discipline. Feeling threatened by Falun Dafa’s growing popularity in China—reaching 100 million practitioners at its peak, according to Falun Gong sources, or 70 million according to a survey by the state, the Communist authorities launched a systematic campaign in 1999 to eradicate the practice.

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

In their home in Gansu, a central region of China, Rui and Xing recall the local police barging in and keeping them under house surveillance, keeping watch 24/7 for weeks on end. Six years later, their mother was also arrested and sentenced to prison. This time, the police also enlisted Rui’s school administrators and teachers to spy on her. 17 and 14 years old, they were left to fend for themselves, with the help of some Falun Dafa practitioners who lived nearby. Rui and Xing were told they could not apply for college student loans.

“We want to tell China’s delegates to stop the persecution, so that the practitioners in China can believe freely. They are people we know, people who are still suffering,” Rui said in Chinese.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Despite the heavy winds on Tuesday, the Falun Dafa practitioners outside the U.N. arrived early in the morning to begin their silent protest. Most were either performing the exercises or holding tightly to their unfurled banners that threatened to collapse against the wind, with printed messages like “the world needs truth, compassion, tolerance”—the faith’s three central tenets—and “bring Jiang Zemin to justice” in English and Chinese. Jiang was the leader of China who initiated the persecution.

Wang Luorui, a practitioner who had been arrested 11 times in China, said she hopes American president Donald Trump will put pressure on China to bring Jiang to justice. “It will allow Falun Gong to bring the universal values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance to the Chinese people,” she said.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Wang Cun Ling, a practitioner from Shanghai, said her faith helped her to become a responsible and caring teacher who mentored many students in China who successfully applied to top colleges. With the influence that the U.N. has over the world, she hopes to convey the message to all people that Falun Dafa is good. “We want to tell people the truth [about Falun Gong] in a peaceful, compassionate way,” she said.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

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Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
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In this file photo a Chinese ship makes its way toward the Lions Gate Bridge into the Port of Vancouver,  one of North America's most important gateways to Asia.(CP Photo/Chuck Stoody)In this file photo a Chinese ship makes its way toward the Lions Gate Bridge into the Port of Vancouver,  one of North America's most important gateways to Asia.(CP Photo/Chuck Stoody)

NEWS ANALYSIS

As NAFTA negotiations with the United States show slow progress, a new survey shows that more Canadians want to increase trade relationships beyond the United States, with Europe and the U.K.—jurisdictions with similar democratic institutions as Canada—taking the top spots.

China takes the fourth spot as the trade partner of choice, a finding similar to periodic surveys in recent years showing a decline in Canadians’ interest in free trade with China.

The federal government is pushing ahead with free trade talks with China, however, with a decision on the potential deal with the Asian giant expected this fall, according to The National Post.

The Epoch Times contacted Global Affairs Canada for an update on the Canada-China free trade talks, but answers to questions were not provided by press time. The government’s public consultation phase on the proposed deal closed in June.

As U.S. President Donald Trump plays hardball in NAFTA negotiations, Canada’s pursuit of a free trade deal with China has been cited by some as an attempt to send a signal to its southern neighbour that Canada isn’t limited in choice when it comes to trading partners.

But the Liberal government started negotiations on a potential free trade deal with China immediately after coming to power in the fall of 2015. That was long before Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, criticized NAFTA’s terms as being overly in Canada’s favour as president of the United States.

The Angus Reid poll published last week asked Canadians where their government should look to develop closer trade ties. Around 45 percent chose the EU, followed closely by the United States at around 40 percent. The third spot with 30 percent went to the U.K., which is in the midst of exiting the EU and will be on its own in any trade talks. China, with close to 25 percent, came in fourth.

Angus Reid notes that interest among Canadians for developing closer trade ties with China has been in decline since the research company first began its periodic polling on the subject in 2014.

Even among the Liberals’ own support base, i.e. those who voted Liberal in the 2015 federal election, support for a free trade deal is below two in five.

Rule of Law

The Liberals’ “human connection” initiatives and “people-to-people exchanges” between China and Canada over the last few years were cited as being intended to reverse the negative polling trends of Canadians’ views on China, but it seems they haven’t succeeded in making Canadians more receptive to closer trade ties.

Perhaps that’s because it is not the elected representatives of the Chinese people that oversee the affairs of their country, but a single non-elected entity that controls all branches of power, including the judiciary, in a one-party system.

The overt state control in China is something that worries Dean Allison, the Conservatives’ newly appointed international trade critic, should a Canada-China free trade agreement go ahead.

“We certainly don’t mind doing deals with the Chinese people. It’s when you have the state involved in such a large way that gives us some great concerns,” he said in an interview.

That’s the lesson Amy Chang hopes Canadians wanting to do business in China learn. Chang’s parents, John Chang and Allison Lu, Canadian citizens who own wineries in B.C. and Ontario, are currently being held by Chinese authorities in Shanghai over an alleged customs valuation dispute.

According to Chang, the Chinese authorities have criminalized a commercial dispute in her parents’ case.

“If this is an issue regarding undervaluation, then they can let me know and we can deal with this diplomatically. There’s no need to have Canadian citizens detained overseas and imprisoned,” Chang told The Canadian Press last spring when she visited Ottawa to plead with federal politicians for help in getting her parents released.

“[Beijing] really is a government that doesn’t play by the rules, it isn’t rule-based,” said Allison. “[In China] we have clear violations of the rule of law as it would exist here in Canada.”

That means that when it comes to a free trade deal with China, there is no guarantee of a level playing field, he said.

“If you and I are making decisions in Canada based on business and personal interest and how the market economy works, that’s one thing, but we are competing with a systematically organized and controlled state-run operation. I think that skews the level playing field,” Allison said.

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Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband's trial from the airport in Taipei, Taiwan on September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband's trial from the airport in Taipei, Taiwan on September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

TAIPEI—The wife and mother of detained Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-che were due to arrive in China on Sunday to attend his subversion trial on Monday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement, calling for Lee’s safe return home.

Lee, a community college teacher and pro-democracy and human rights activist, went missing during a March visit to China. Authorities later confirmed he had been detained, straining already-tense ties between the mainland and the self-ruling island.

Authorities at the Intermediate People’s Court of Yueyang city, in the central province of Hunan, said Monday’s trial on suspicion of subversion of state power would be an open hearing.

Chinese courts have video-streamed or live-blogged increasing numbers of proceedings in recent years as part of a push towards judicial transparency

However, rights activists say that in sensitive cases, holding “open” hearings is a tool for authorities to demonstrate state power and that usually the defendant has agreed to an outcome.

On Saturday, Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu, asked during a news conference that supporters forgive her husband if he says something in court which disappoints them, as he might be required to give testimony against his own free will.

On Sunday she declined to comment to a large media contingent as she checked into her flight at Taipei Songshan Airport, where she was to fly to Changsha, in Hunan province, via Shanghai.

Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband's trial from the airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sept. 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband’s trial from the airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sept. 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said it would do everything in its power to facilitate Lee’s safe return.

“Our government’s approach to this case has been predicated on preserving our country’s dignity while ensuring Lee Ming-che’s safety,” it said.

Lee’s case has strained relations between Taipei and Beijing, which have been particularly tense since President Tsai Ing-wen, leader of Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, took office last year.

Beijing regards the island as a breakaway province and it has never renounced the use of force to bring it back under mainland control.

By Faith Hung

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Thousands of students' parents in Guizhou's Anlong County took to the streets on September 5, 2017, after finding rotten meat delivered to the school cafeteria. (Screenshot via RFA)Thousands of students' parents in Guizhou's Anlong County took to the streets on September 5, 2017, after finding rotten meat delivered to the school cafeteria. (Screenshot via RFA)

It would have been another normal Tuesday morning on Sept. 5, as parents of Xifeng No. 2 Primary School pupils sent their kids off to school. At the school gate, the parents were surprised to find a dubious truck loaded with boxes of pork. The meat—partially rotted with some pieces covered with patches of mold or worms—gave off a repulsive stench.

The parents’ amazement turned into outrage when they realized that the meat was not going to the landfill for disposal but to the school kitchen, soon to be fed to their children.

Instead of going to work like they normally did, the furious parents staged a mass street protest. The number soon proliferated to thousands as more indignant locals and parents joined the march. Officials from the local market supervision bureau attempted to seal off and seize the boxes, but were blocked by the parents.

“Word spread quickly from mouth to mouth,” a parent surnamed Li told The Epoch Times. “The government wanted to take the pork boxes away and turn the issue into naught.” Li observed about 2,000 to 3,000 participants on the street.  

To show what their children might have been eating, the protesters carried the boxes of pork and paraded on the street. They were confronted by a large but unspecified number of police, and a few protesters were arrested.

“From the No. 1 primary to No. 2 and No. 5, our schools are all on the streets, pretty much walking on any road can take you through the whole town, so you bump into demonstrators wherever you go,” Li said.

The demonstrators marched from school and stopped in front of the local government building. They dispersed after the police chief came to meet them and promised to solve the issue. They might plan for larger-scale protests if the authorities don’t settle it properly, the parents said.

The market supervision bureau staff member who picked up a reporter’s call refused to answer questions, stating that the issue was “under investigation.”

Rotted pork delivered to school cafeteria with worms swarming. (via Wechat)

Pork delivered to school cafeteria was found swarming with worms. (via Wechat)

The protest was a culmination of long-building dissatisfaction toward the government-monopolized school canteen. The parents said that Chia Tai Group (also known internationally as Charoen Pokphand or CP Group) that supplied the questionable pork had made a pact with the local government to become the exclusive supplier for the dozens of schools in Anlong County of Guizhou, a mountainous province in southwestern China. It has supplied food to tens of thousands of primary and middle school students who dined in the school cafeterias for over a year.  

The incident has not been the first time the CP Group fell under public scrutiny for the quality of the food it supplied. The parents mentioned a small-scale food-poisoning incident last year when a few students fell ill after eating the cafeteria food, and said they dropped the matter for lack of awareness of their rights. They hoped that the government could suspend supplies from CP.

“We hope that the government could give schools the freedom to choose where to purchase their own food materials…wouldn’t it be much fresher that way? There’s tens of thousands of students, how do you make a ‘unified distribution’ when you don’t even have insulation in the truck? ” a parent surnamed Zheng told Sound of Hope Radio.

The Thailand-based conglomerate CP Group made its first entry to China in 1979 as the first foreign investor when China opened up trade to the outside in 1978. It has since sprouted to over 200 subsidiaries across the country.  

Charoen Pokphand Foods, a company of the CP group, is a top international producer of pork, shrimp and poultry, and the third largest poultry producer in China. The company was also forced to issue a public statement last June after a video of counterfeit eggs with its Chinese Chia Tai package went viral online.

In September 2012, CP Group was involved in a drug scandal as two of its companies, Shanxi Chia Tai and Xiangfan Chia Tai, used gutter oil in their drug production, according to Emergency Safety Net. Gutter oil is cooking oil that has been recycled from restaurant fryers, grease traps, sewers, and other sources.

To assure customers that their products are healthy, the CP Group went so far as to deploy a group of “robot nannies” in their chicken farm near Beijing to conduct daily checkups for its 3 million hens.

Food safety in China has been a growing concern as incidents have constantly emerged.

The same day of the protest, 120 kids in three kindergartens in Nanchang of southeastern Jiangxi Province fell sick from suspected food poisoning. The children were admitted to Jiangxi Provincial Children’s Hospital after showing symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, and complaints about abdominal pains. Thirty six were hospitalized, 62 placed under medical observation, and 22 were discharged, according to the Jiangxi News.

Fast food chains including Starbucks, Burger King and McDonald’s apologized to Chinese consumers in July 2014, after it turned out that the meat they sourced from a Shanghai company had expired.  

The biggest food scandal in China in recent memory occurred in 2008, when melamine-tainted milk powder killed at least 6 babies and sickened 300,000.

Additional reporting by Gu Xiaohua.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/eva-fu/" rel="author">Eva Fu</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

Yao Gang.Yao Gang.

The former high-flying vice chairman of China’s top body for regulating stocks has been brought down, an action experts believe is preparation for the pivotal 19th Party Congress in October.

Yao Gang, 55, was targeted in November 2015, five months after the mid-year stock crash. He is one of the highest-ranking officials disciplined for alleged stock manipulation.

In mid-June of 2015, the stock market that had seen a long bull run lost nearly a third of its value in three weeks. Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes plummeted more than 40 percent during the summer.

The procuratorate stated that Yao was subject to “coercive measures,” but did not spell out the details. In an earlier statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s topmost anti-graft agency, Yao was accused of “resisting investigation,” “disrupting the order of the capital market,” and “sabotaging political ecologies in the security regulation department.”

Yao was expelled from the party and dismissed from office on July 20, 2017. On Aug. 31, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced he has been placed under investigation for taking bribes.

‘King of IPOs’

Known as the “King of IPOs” at China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (CRSC), Yao had been in charge of public offerings of A shares—stocks of mainland-based companies—since 2002.

Yao enjoyed a lengthy and cushy career in the security regulation sector. He had been the vice director in the futures administration department in 1993, and ended up presiding over the China Securities Commission as deputy director in 2008. In Nov. 2015, he was investigated on suspicion of “serious breaches of Party discipline,” a phrase commonly used for bribery probes in China.

Chinese news portal Tencent suggested that Yao might be connected to Ling Jihua, a former top aide to the previous Party leader Hu Jintao. The CRSC office over which Yao presided approved six requests for public listings from Ling’s fugitive brother Ling Wancheng, including one for the little known company LeTV.

Huijin Lifang Capital, a private equity firm controlled by Ling Wancheng, amassed 1.4 billion yuan ($225 million) from an initial public offering, according to Caixin. Ling Jihua was arrested for corruption on July 2015, and given a life sentence the following year.

Following Yao’s downfall in July, some Chinese media have criticized him by calling him a “stock traitor” who “colluded with domestic and foreign forces to short the Chinese stock market.” Ifeng reports that some high officials in CSRC transferred a large amount of capital to Hong Kong and Singapore during the rescue of the market, citing Hong Kong media. At least seven of Yao’s associates in the security regulation system have been placed under investigation, according to Xinhua.    

A Warning

The same day that Yao was put under investigation, Beijing also confirmed the date of the 19th Party Congress. Some analysts believed that making the two announcements on the same day was a subtle hint that Xi’s corruption campaign might be focusing on the financial sector.

“Xi’s biggest concern is the financial sector that has been secretly doing sabotage,” the political commentator Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times. “By striking a blow at the tycoons and punishing tigers in the financial sector like Yao Gang, Xi Jinping is giving a warning to those bigwigs and corruption groups who still have strength to challenge him.”

“Everyone understands that the economy is the biggest pillar of the Chinese government’s legitimacy to govern and win over popular sentiment,” Chen Jieren, a Beijing-based political commentator, told The New York Times in a 2015 interview.

Chen said that a declining economy would put more pressure on the leadership. “If the economy falters, the political power of the Chinese Communist Party will be confronted with more real challenges…and Xi Jinping’s administration will suffer even more criticism.”

Yao was one of the five officials disciplined over the past month in the latest anti-corruption probe of China’s financial sector. Zhang Yujun, the former assistant head of the China security watchdog; and Yang Jiacai, the ex-assistant chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, were placed under investigation on July 21 and Aug. 1 respectively.  

According to Beijing News, China has ousted over 60 officials and senior managers in the financial sector since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

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Screenshot of the police officer knocking down the woman with her child (YouTube / screenshot)Screenshot of the police officer knocking down the woman with her child (YouTube / screenshot)

A video showing a Chinese police officer slamming a woman holding child to the ground has incensed social media users in the world’s most populous country.

A video, taken by a bystander, shows a woman in Shanghai arguing with an officer over a parking fine. After a heated exchange, the officer suddenly slams the woman to the pavement, while she’s holding her child.

The infant can be seen flying to the pavement. Onlookers rush to the scene and try to help the woman and her child.

On the video, captured Sept. 1, Weibo users condemned the physical force used against the child.

One Weibo user from Nanjing said, “What are these police doing? They should be protecting and serving the people. Even if there are some disputes, it shouldn’t go as far as throwing a child on the ground.”

Another person wrote on Weibo. “After watching the video, I thought the problem was at most an individual issue. But after reading the official Shanghai police report, my opinion completely changed. I feel this is not a problem with any single person, but a very serious political issue. Those two officers have brought shame on entire country’s police forces. If they are not punished, how could the true police of the people tolerate it?”

The moment before the police officer slams the woman and child to the pavement (YouTube/screenshot)

The moment before the police officer slams the woman and child to the pavement (YouTube/screenshot)

The official report says that while the police officer was attempting to handle a parking violation, he was obstructed by the disobedient and violent owner. In this Chinese user’s blog, the police are criticized for using excessive and unnecessary force to resolve the situation properly. 

In recent years, Chinese police officers have been criticized for committing human rights abuses. In one dramatic example, Xu Chensheng, a practitioner of Falun Gong—a type of spiritual practice that includes slow-moving, meditative exercises that’s been severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999—died in police custody after just 12 hours.

Over the past 18 years, over 4,000 cases have been documented of illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners dying while in the hands of state security. The number of cases that haven’t been documented is much higher.

Xu Chensheng, 47, died a day after she was arrested (Minghui)

Xu Chensheng, 47, died a day after she was arrested. (Minghui.org)

Chinese police often unlawfully raid the homes of Falun Gong practitioners, confiscating their belongings and detaining them.

Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) in February said that Beijing recently implemented a series of “draconian laws” that gives more power for police to criminalize human rights activities.

“The Chinese government seems intent on eliminating civil society through a combination of new legislation restricting the funding and operations of NGOs, and the criminalization of human rights activities as a so-called threat to national security,” Frances Eve, a researcher at CHRD, told The Guardian several months ago. “What stands out is the almost institutionalized use of torture to force defenders to confess that their legitimate and peaceful human rights work is somehow a ‘crime’,” Eve added.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/jack-phillips/" rel="author">Jack Phillips</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

(Weibo)(Weibo)

A 24-year-old woman was detained by police after she attempted to ship her newborn girl to an orphanage wrapped in plastic bags.

The baby survived and the mother is being investigated for child abandonment.

The mother, surname Luo, lives in the city of Fuzhou in southeast China, some 480 miles south of Shanghai.

On Aug. 9, she put her baby in several black plastic bags and handed it over to a courier. She didn’t let him inspect the package contents, local media reported, according to CNN.

The courier took the package and continued on his rounds, but then he noticed the package moved and made sounds. He opened it and, to his shock, he found a baby drenched in sweat inside. The temperatures that day hit a sweltering 98 F.

People gathered around the baby girl and tried to hydrate her by dropping water from a cotton swab on her lips, as shown in a cellphone video circulated online.

The baby was taken to the Jin’an District Hospital and her life was not in danger, the hospital’s official told CNN.

“Police have identified the mother, who said she would take the baby home,” the official said.

Baby girls have often been aborted, abandoned, or even killed in China because of the communist regime’s imposing limits on how many children people can have (the regime imposed the rules in 1979 facing a massive population boom caused by its own mass promotion of having as many children as possible decades before).

In Chinese culture, the son takes care of his elderly parents and the daughter takes care of the parents of her husband. The regime’s social security system only covers about third of the country’s workforce. Most retirees still rely on the filial piety of their children. Thus, if couples can’t afford penalties for having a second or third baby, they’re strongly incentivized to ensure their first baby turns out to be a boy.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/petr-svab/" rel="author">Petr Svab</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

Former Chongqing boss Sun Zhengcai, 53, was put under investigation on July 24. (bowenpress.com)Former Chongqing boss Sun Zhengcai, 53, was put under investigation on July 24. (bowenpress.com)

A number of Chinese officials from several provinces have hastened to show their support for the investigation into Sun Zhengcai, a powerful cadre who headed the Communist Party organization in the city of Chongqing before his recent ousting.

Sun is one of the highest-ranking officials to be purged by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign. At 53, Sun was one of the youngest members of the Politburo, the Chinese regime’s 25-person ruling body, and he was seen by observers as a potential successor to Xi Jinping as China’s next leader.

On July 15, Sun was removed from his position and a week later, put under investigation for “severe violations of discipline,” a phrase synonymous with corruption.

In ousting Sun Zhengcai, Xi Jinping has strengthened his position, evidenced by the multitude of officials—including from the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai and the provinces of Jilin and Hunan—who have eagerly “demonstrated loyalty” to Xi and his anti-corruption campaign.

Their eagerness to distance themselves from Sun suggests that Sun’s crimes, although unclear, are particularly grave.

On July 26, an emergency meeting of provincial officials was held in Zhongnanhai, the Beijing compound that hosts the Communist Party leadership. Observers believe this meeting was convened as a means of weakening internal opposition to Xi Jinping.

The fall of Sun and the expressions of support for his investigation indicate that Xi is gaining the upper hand against the powerful opposing faction helmed by former Party chief Jiang Zemin, in the months leading up to a major Party reshuffling later this year.

During his time in power from 1993 to 2003, Jiang fostered a culture of kleptocracy, corruption, and abuse of power in China. He maintained strong informal networks in the communist regime even after being superseded by Party head Hu Jintao, and many officials remain tied into Jiang’s faction.

Chongqing, a provincial-level city with a population of some 30 million, is a major commercial and industrial hub. Prior to Xi’s ascension to power in 2012, it had been run by Bo Xilai, a prominent Jiang ally. Bo was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

Sun Zhengcai was once the top aide to two allies of Jiang Zemin and succeeded Bo as Party boss of Chongqing. Before this assignment, he had been a Party secretary of Jilin Province in Northeast China, where the Jiang faction also enjoys influence.

In February, the Party’s disciplinary agency, which carries out the anti-corruption campaign, reprimanded the Chongqing administration for failing to thoroughly cleanse itself from the corrupt influences of its former boss, Bo Xilai, and his right-hand man, Wang Lijun.

“When Sun Zhengcai came to office in Chongqing, he was supposed to purge the ‘residual poison’ of Bo Xilan and Wang Lijun, but he not only failed to do so but also colluded with the ‘residue poison’,” said one Beijing princeling—a term for the children of revolutionary Party leaders—in an interview with the Epoch Times. He asked to remain anonymous to protect his identity.

“Sun’s wife set up a lady’s club in Beijing and had close relations with Gu Liping, the wife of Ling Jihua,” he added. Ling Jihua is part of the Jiang faction and the former top aide to the Chinese Communist Party. He was purged for corruption in July 2015.

The Beijing princeling added that Sun also sought to gain personal profits from the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative that has been marketed as a cornerstone of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy.

The timing of Sun’s purge notably coincides with an annual gathering of top Party leaders at Beidaihe, a seaside resort town a few dozen miles away from Beijing. They will delineate future plans for the Party and configure the roster of the new Party leadership, which will be determined at the 19th National Congress at the end of this year.

“Sun Zhengcai was basically Jiang Zemin’s designated, cross-generational successor,” said the Beijing princeling. “Sun Zhengcai’s fall cuts the Jiang faction off from their escape route. It is impossible for him to succeed Xi Jinping in the future.”

Xi Jinping decided to oust Sun to avoid a replay of a 2012 coup attempt by Bo Xilai and security czar Zhou Yongkang, said independent political commentator Hua Po.

A Xi loyalist, Chen Min’er, has taken Sun’s place as Chongqing’s chief. Chen worked with Xi Jinping when Xi was Party chief of Zhejiang Province from 2002 to 2007 before being sent to lead the impoverished province of Guizhou. As Chongqing chiefs typically sit on the elite Politburo, Chen’s placement gives Xi the opportunity to nab another seat on the 25-member body during the 19th National Congress.

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Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)

Every time Huang Wanqing walks past a promotion of “Body the Exhibition” he may wonder if it’s the mutilated body of his brother staring at him from the posters.

Mr. Huang’s brother, Huang Xiong, was persecuted by communist authorities in China for his beliefs. He was held at a labor camp and monitored after release. In 2003, he disappeared in Shanghai. Huang believes his brother was kidnapped by the regime and likely died in custody.

Huang Xiong practiced Falun Gong, a traditional system of self-cultivation involving meditation exercises and based on principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Falun Gong has been hugely popular in China during the 1990s and praised by authorities for its health benefits. By 1999, about 70-100 million practiced it, based on government estimates at the time.

Some in the regime’s leadership, however, especially the Communist Party head Jiang Zemin, treated Falun Gong’s rising popularity as an ideological threat to the party’s doctrines and in 1999 launched a statewide campaign of repression and propaganda against Falun Gong.

Human rights organizations have estimated millions have been imprisoned as part of the campaign and, conservatively, thousands have died, usually as a result of torture in detention.

More than a decade of investigations have also uncovered the regime has been killing detained Falun Gong practitioners, as well as other prisoners of conscience, and stealing their organs for a massive state-sanctioned transplant business.

“Body the Exhibition” displays actual, plastinated (silicone-preserved) human bodies. It caused controversy for lacking documentation of the source of the bodies and consents of the deceased or their relatives regarding their posthumous public display for profit.

Tom Zaller, chief executive officer of Imagine Exhibitions which is currently presenting the exhibition in Prague, told Nevada Public Radio that he worked with a doctor in China who gathers unidentified bodies to plastinate.

JVS Group, the company that invited the exhibition to Prague, thanks Zaller and a Chinese plastination company Dalian Hoffen Biotech in its promotional materials.

Dalien was a hub of the plastination industry. Bo Xilai, who was Dalien Party boss at the time and was later handed a life sentence for corruption, was involved in a scheme that supplied killed Falun Gong practitioners to transplant hospitals as well as plastination facilities, based on The Epoch Times investigation.

Many of the detained Falun Gong practitioners refused to provide their names to the authorities to protect their families from persecution. Huang’s brother was one of them. That allowed the regime to declare their bodies unidentified.

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Huang, who lives in the U.S., has recently filed a criminal complaint against the exhibition in Prague, Czech Republic. He’s asking authorities to identify the bodies, such as by DNA tests, to determine if his brother’s body is or isn’t among them.

The exhibition has run into significant resistance in Czech, where law requires deceased human bodies to be treated with respect and properly buried.

Czech Ministry for Local Development has asked Prague officials to confiscate and bury the bodies on display, but police has refused to act on the request without a court order. Jan Čižinský, mayor of the Prague municipal district where the exhibition takes place, intends to take the matter to court.

“It is necessary to turn to court so it becomes clear, once and for all, that such unethical exhibitions can’t be in our country and that respect for the deceased isn’t just an empty phrase in an unenforced law,” Čižinský said.

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Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan attends the Chongqing delegation's group meeting during the annual National People's Congress on March 6, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan attends the Chongqing delegation's group meeting during the annual National People's Congress on March 6, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Chinese official Huang Qifan holds the distinction of having served as mayor or vice-mayor of China’s southwestern megalopolis of Chongqing across the successive terms of six Communist Party secretaries overseeing the provincial-level municipality.

Last December, Huang was demoted and made to serve as vice-head of a financial committee in the largely powerless National People’s Congress.

On July 10, Huang and six other members of the Three Gorges Construction Committee were removed from this posting as well. Huang still retains his seat in the national legislature.

What likely brought Huang down a notch were his connections to ex-Communist Party Politburo member Bo Xilai, once the Party secretary of Chongqing.

In 2012, Bo Xilai’s head of police, Wang Lijun, defected to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, causing a scandal that dashed Bo’s chances at being chosen to serve in the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee that leads the Communist Party.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who came to power later in 2012 after the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, quickly moved to purge Bo. His suspended death sentence in 2013, which effectively amounted to life in prison, was the first blow in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign against Bo’s backers—the informal Party faction associated with former leader Jiang Zemin.

Since the beginning of the campaign, state-controlled media say that over 1 million Chinese officials have been disciplined, including hundreds of high-ranking Party cadres. The Jiang faction, which had influence from the 1990s up through the 18th Party Congress, is Xi’s main target in this political endeavor.

Huang’s links to the Jiang faction are apparent. According to China News Service, Huang publicly boasted of his political affinity with Bo Xilai during the high-profile “Two Sessions” political conferences in 2010, claiming that their partnership was “as fish to water.” It was in 2010 that Huang was promoted to mayor of Chongqing and became vice secretary of the municipal committee. Many other titles, like “scholar-official,” “CEO of Chongqing,” or “economic expert” appeared on his resume.

Bo trusted Huang so much that during Wang Lijun incident, Huang was entrusted to negotiate with the U.S. and take Wang back. The mayor deployed 70 police cars and surrounded the U.S. consulate at Bo’s command.  

In addition to his work in Chongqing, Huang spent 18 years working in Shanghai, where Jiang Zemin made his own political career and still has some lasting influence.

Not Yet Investigated

After Bo Xilai’s downfall, Huang Qifan was not targeted immediately, and to date he has not been placed under investigation, unlike many other Jiang Zemin associates. His current posting in the National People’s Congress is in line with what is common for other officials reaching the ends of their careers.

In the eyes of his supporters, Huang was energetic, erudite, and could speak for hours without referring to script while citing an impressive amount of data, Hong Kong-based HK01 reported. When he was in office, Chongqing experienced rapid economic development. In 2015, Chongqing’s GDP growth was 11 percent, the highest in the country.

But this February, the Communist Party’s disciplinary commission said that upon investigation, Chongqing was found to have problems with corruption in state-owned companies and “residual poison” was still left over from the time of Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun.  

Huang’s son, Huang Yi, monopolized the steel reselling business as a middleman for the state-owned Chongqing Iron and Steel Company. Huang Yi imported iron ore from Australia and resold to the company, taking a high commission for boosting employment. By the time Huang left Chongqing in 2016, the company had become known as the city’s largest “zombie firm.” It was sustained by government subsidy and had incurred losses of 13.2 billion yuan ($1.94 billion) over five years.

Recent removal from the Three Gorges Construction committee also comes at a politically sensitive time: the 19th Party Congress coming up later this year provides the Xi administration with an opportunity to appoint and change personnel, and further sideline political opponents from positions of influence.

Huang may have seen this coming. After Bo Xilai’s downfall, Huang was quick to denounce his former ally, declaring that he would “firmly support all actions of the central authorities” and calling for “consideration of the overall situation.” Huang also claims that he was familiar with Bo’s aspirations for national leadership.

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Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (Epoch Times)Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (Epoch Times)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently took out yet another key member of a rival political faction — one whose name, incidentally, somewhat resembles his own. The downfall of Xin Jiping (not to be confused with Xi Jinping) was so low key and swift that less discerning observers would easily miss both the event and its larger significance.

In April, the anti-corruption authorities in Shanghai issued a one-line statement concerning the investigation of Xin, formerly a senior executive at two private property developers.

Three months later, Chinese state mouthpiece Xinhua announced in a one paragraph and one line notice that Xin had been found guilty of taking bribes and defrauding the state. Xin’s case had also been transferred to the procuratorate to await formal prosecution. Missing from Xinhua’s notice, however, was the customary professional biography.

Xin being prosecuted is “very important news” because of his political allegiances, according to Shanghai-based human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong.

Xin was originally a senior official in the Shanghai municipal government before he joined the private sector, Zheng said. That Xin would eventually become assume top executive positions—Xin was vice president of Shanghai Real Estate Group and board chairman of Shanghai Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone Joint Development Co., Ltd.—showed that he was “from the very beginning a trusted crony of the Shanghai Gang.”

The Shanghai Gang refers to a notorious political clique helmed by former Chinese Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin. Zheng continues to suffer persecution from having tussled with the Shanghai Gang in the early 2000s while defending local residents.

“Xin Jiping once controlled land resources in Shanghai,” Zheng said. “That means Xin worked with Jiang Miankang, and can be considered Jiang’s lackey.”

Jiang Miankang, the younger son of Jiang Zemin, was once Inspector of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Construction and Administration, a vaguely-defined position that gave Jiang Miankang oversight of land use, demolition, zoning, as well as planning and construction in Shanghai—a highly lucrative portfolio.

The Jiangs, however, have been losing influence in recent years.

In December 2015, Jiang Miankang was dismissed from his Inspector post, and became principal of the Shanghai Urban And Rural Construction And Traffic Development Academy.

In early April, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that Jiang had quietly resigned from his latest post and is now in retirement. And Xin Jiping, Jiang’s associate, was officially investigated for corruption a few days after the Journal’s story.

Zheng Enchong believes that Xin being prosecuted shows “very clearly” that Jiang Miankang is in trouble, and that Xi Jinping is “moving step by step closer towards the Jiang faction.”

Jiang Zemin’s faction ran China during his rule (1989-2002) and then exerted outsize influence behind the scenes during that of former Chinese leader Hu Jintao (2003-2012). Many Jiang faction members became immensely wealthy through corruption, and were rewarded with promotions for their pursuit of Jiang’s favored political crusade, the persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline.

Shortly after taking office, Xi Jinping sought to dislodge Jiang’s faction and consolidate his control over the Chinese regime through an anti-corruption campaign. Although many elite faction members and their associates have been purged, the Jiang faction still appears to wield influence in key regime apparatuses like propaganda and domestic security. With the regime’s “deep state” being swayed by the Jiang faction, the Xi leadership has appeared to be erratic and inconstant in implementing reform-oriented policies.

Zheng Enchong the rights lawyer anticipates the arrest of Jiang Zemin’s two sons, Jiang Miankang and Jiang Mianheng. “Xi Jinping has stripped Jiang’s sons of their official posts, frozen their assets, and now appears to be discrediting them,” he said. “As for how to handle Jiang Zemin, Xi still needs to figure out a tactful and orderly solution.”

Zheng believes that the final take down of Jiang Zemin has already begun. According to Zheng, Hu Jintao had proposed during a high-level internal meeting in April that his and Jiang’s socio-political theories should be removed from the Chinese constitution.

“If that happens,” Zheng said, “then Jiang Zemin will effectively be dead inside the Chinese Communist Party.”

Rona Rui contributed to this article.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/larry-ong/" rel="author">Larry Ong</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General
July 10, 2017

China in ContextChina in Context

Chairman Mao Zedong’s ruthless running of China might have come to a premature end if he had had a less capable right-hand man than Premier Zhou Enlai.

With Zhou around to help consolidate power, purge internal rivals, and play the suave diplomat, Mao stayed influential in the Chinese regime until his death in 1976, despite having overseen politically disastrous campaigns—including the Great Leap Forward, a mass collectivization program that killed tens of millions of Chinese, and the wrecking of China’s five-millennia-old traditions during the Cultural Revolution.

Like Mao, former Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin oversaw policies that, in the time to come, will almost certainly be condemned, such as fostering a culture of corruption and promoting kleptocracy among the Chinese officialdom and launching a brutal persecution campaign against the peaceful practitioners of Falun Gong. Jiang was fortunate to have found a most cunning consigliere in former Party vice-chairman Zeng Qinghong.

Zeng, 77, is Jiang’s longtime confidant, hatchetman, and spymaster. Jiang got to know Zeng in Shanghai, the Chinese metropolis that Jiang headed in the 1980s. Because Zeng was part of the Red aristocracy and had proven to be a very capable political enabler, Jiang decided he must keep Zeng close to him in Beijing when he was appointed as paramount leader by Deng Xiaoping. Jiang was chosen to succeed Zhao Ziyang, the liberal-leaning Party leader, in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Jiang Zemin. (Minoru Iwasaki-Pool/Getty Images)

Jiang Zemin. (Minoru Iwasaki-Pool/Getty Images)

For nearly two decades, Zeng helped Jiang dispose of problematic political rivals and grow Jiang’s own political faction. Hong Kong became a Jiang bastion after Zeng became overseer of the semi-autonomous city in the early 2000s. Former Party elites like Politburo member Bo Xilai and security czar Zhou Yongkang were widely considered untouchable because of their association with the Jiang faction.

However, the attempted defection of Bo’s right-hand man, Wang Lijun, in 2012 marked the beginning of the end for Jiang’s faction. Given their propensity for malfeasance, members of the Jiang faction became natural targets of the internal police officers tasked with executing Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Speculation that an investigation of Zeng Qinghong was imminent first surfaced in 2014, following the arrest of Zhou Yongkang. Hong Kong magazines started reporting stories of Zeng’s corruption, and Zeng’s senior associates got picked up by anti-corruption investigators.

The Xi leadership appears to be going full throttle for Zeng this year. Zeng’s cronies in the Chinese financial industry have gotten into trouble—think missing billionaire Xiao Jianhua, detained Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui, and purged deputy state asset regulator Zhang Xiwu. Other lesser cronies have been rounded up as well.

Because Zhou Enlai died eight months before Mao, he never had to worry about preserving his boss’s legacy. Zeng Qinghong, however, will almost certainly have to confess to assisting Jiang’s crimes and witness the crumbling of all that he helped Jiang to achieve.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/larry-ong/" rel="author">Larry Ong</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

(Don Tse/China Decoding)(Don Tse/China Decoding)

Lin Shangli, a former deputy principal of the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, was recently promoted to Secretary-general of the Central Policy Research Office, according to a July 6 notice by the General Office of the State Council of China.

Lin, a former student of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top adviser Wang Huning, seems set to play a prominent role in Xi’s new administration after the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress at the end of the year.

Wang Huning is the director of the Central Policy Research Office and a member of the Politburo. Wang served as top political theoretician to two former Communist Party secretary-generals—Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao—and reprises the role of “Zhongnanhai’s chief strategist” under Xi. To draw an imperfect analogy, what Wang Huning is to Xi Jinping is somewhat similar to what White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is to President Donald Trump.

Wang is widely tipped for a seat in the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, the top decision making body in the Chinese regime, at the 19th Congress.

The Central Policy Research Office is responsible for top-level analysis work and policy formulation. The Research Office, or “Zhongnanhai’s Think-tank,” also issues important documents, legislation, reports, and theoretical work.

New Research Office secretary-general Lin Shangli served as Fudan University’s vice-principal in April 2011. In March 2013, Lin concurrently held a professorship at Tongji University.  On May 24, 2016, an official notice indicated that Lin was stepping down as a standing committee member at Fudan University’s school committee; the official notice didn’t indicate if he was taking up a new post.

But Lin’s recent promotion and his serving on a new 27-member State Council committee that oversees educational material suggest that he is in fact being considered a valuable asset by the Xi Jinping administration.

China Decoding believes that Lin’s recent rise to prominence is due to him being the former student of Research Office director Wang Huning when they were both at Fudan University.

In the 1980s, Wang was a Fudan political science and international politics lecturer, and later international politics department head and law school dean. Meanwhile, Lin was doing his undergraduate and doctoral studies in Fudan’s political science and international politics faculty.

After graduation, Lin served on Fudan’s school committee. He later became director of the international politics department, as well as associate dean of Fudan’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs.

Going by their CVs, Lin and Wang almost certainly have a student-teacher relationship, and are also former colleagues. Thus, there is a distinct possibility that Wang was behind Lin’s promotion.

Wang himself appears to be one of Xi Jinping’s most important confidants. For instance, Wang is usually seen by Xi’s side during diplomatic trips. Chinese state-run media often feature photos of Xi with Wang on his right and General Office head Li Zhanshu on his left—a telling sign that Xi considers Wang and Li to be his closest administrators.

China Decoding has observed that Wang is helping Xi set the political direction for the post-19th Congress China—many of Wang’s political views appear to be paving the way for Xis new policies.  

If Wang Huning makes the Politburo Standing Committee at the 19th Congress, he will likely be put in charge of ideological and propaganda work.

There isn’t much information available about the Central Policy Research Office. The Research Office’s top management includes one director, three deputy directors, and one secretary.

The Research Office personnel has been reshuffled multiple times since Xi Jinping took office in 2012.

In 2013, Research Office executive deputy director He Yiting was transferred to the Central Party School to serve as executive vice-principal.

In 2014, Propaganda Department deputy minister Wang Xiaohui was appointed as a deputy director of the Research Office. This year, Wang was promoted to executive deputy director.

In June 2016, Research Office deputy director Jiang Jinquan was made team leader of a Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) team stationed in the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the world’s largest controlling company that oversees over a trillion dollars in assets.

In March 2017, Zhang Wei, the Research Office’s office manager, was promoted to Research Office deputy director.

In June 2017, Pan Shengzhou, the deputy director of the Central Reform Office and deputy director of the Central Political Affairs Department, was transferred to head the CCDI inspection team inside the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.  

In the final analysis, it seems very likely that Xi Jinping had preemptively promoted Lin Shangli to ensure that the Chinese regime’s think-tank continues to be headed by those he can trust after the 19th Congress. Should Wang Huning move up to the Politburo Standing Committee, he would leave vacant the position of Research Office director—and also the ideal successor.

Don Tse is a China expert with China Decoding, an analysis and research company.  

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Laborers renovate a roof of a residential lane house in Shanghai on Aug. 21, 2014. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)Laborers renovate a roof of a residential lane house in Shanghai on Aug. 21, 2014. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

When the economy started to cool in the beginning of 2016, China opened up the debt spigots again to stimulate the economy. After the failed initiative with the stock market in 2015, Chinese central planners chose residential real estate again.

And it worked. As mortgages made up 40.5 percent of new bank loans in 2016, house prices were rising at more than 10 percent year over year for most of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. Overall, they got so expensive that the average Chinese would have had to spend more than 160 times his annual income to purchase an average housing unit at the end of 2016.

Because housing uses a lot of human resources and raw material inputs, the economy also stabilized and has been doing rather well in 2017, according to both the official numbers and unofficial reports from organizations like the China Beige Book (CBB), which collects independent, on-the-ground data about the Chinese economy.

“China Beige Book’s new Q2 results show an economy that improved again, compared to both last quarter and a year ago, with retail and services each bouncing back from underwhelming Q1 performances,” states the most recent CBB report.

However, because Beijing’s central planners must walk a tightrope between stimulating the economy and exacerbating a financial bubble, they tightened housing regulations as well as lending in the beginning of 2017.

Has the Bubble Burst?

Research by TS Lombard now suggests the housing bubble may have burst for the second time after 2014.

“We expect the latest round of policy tightening in the property sector to drive down housing sales significantly over the next six months,” states the research firm, in its latest “China Watch” report.

One of the major reasons for the concern is increased regulation. Out of the 55 cities measured in the national property price index, 25 have increased regulation on housing purchases.

In Beijing, for example, some owners of residential real estate can no longer sell their apartments to private buyers—instead, they have to sell to businesses, because their apartment has been marked for business use by the authorities.

Other measures include higher down payments, price controls, and increasing the time until the unit can be sold again.

“First- and second-tier cities have enacted such draconian measures that it is nigh impossible to buy or sell a property,” states the report.

Credit Tightening

Although the central bank left its benchmark mortgage lending rate unchanged at 4.9 percent, banks have increased the rates they charge on mortgages to as high as 6 percent and, in some cases, have stopped giving out mortgages altogether because they have used up their quotas set by regulators.

The People’s Bank of China wants to lower the share of mortgage lending to 30 percent of new loans, which should influence new demand for housing.

“Unlike 10 years ago, when most Chinese households made a 50 to 70 percent down payment to buy a new apartment, more than 80 percent of borrowers in the past two years have put down 30 percent or less. With reduced mortgage funding availability, we believe it is unlikely that households will be able to finance their purchase through savings,” states the TS Lombard report.

So far, the slow down in larger cities has been offset by more activity in smaller cities, which haven’t implemented as many tightening measures.

“Overall revenues and profits plunged in Tier 1 cities, with the slowdown concentrated primarily in the Beijing and Shanghai regions. Hiring stagnated, while cash flow worsened across the board,” the China Beige Book says.

However, TS Lombard expects smaller cities to follow the bigger cities with more restrictive measures for property buying, which will ultimately lead to a decline in housing transactions, if not prices outright.

“Property sales will decelerate notably in [the second half of 2017], with the monthly number of new residential housing transactions set to drop by 10 percent year-on-year, compared with a year-on-year rise of 8.3 percent in May.”

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/valentin-schmid/" rel="author">Valentin Schmid</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

15220086_587481194786303_6011597163027712910_n-115220086_587481194786303_6011597163027712910_n-1

WASHINGTON—The evidence of forced organ harvesting of large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners in China continues to mount.

Last year, two reports were published that broadened our picture of the scale and method of this atrocity. “Bloody Harvest/ The Slaughter—An Update” by investigators David Matas, David Kilgour, and Ethan Gutmann was released on June 22 in Washington, D.C. This report shows detailed evidence of the massive number of organ transplants taking place in Chinese hospitals. It analyzed hospital revenue, bed counts and utilization rates, surgical personnel and other data and reached the conclusion that China is performing 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year, far exceeding the Chinese government’s claim of 10,000 per year.

The other report, “Summary Report of the Crime of Live Organ Harvesting in China,” by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), was published in August. It provides extensive evidence that the organ harvesting is orchestrated from the top levels of the Chinese government and is not a crime of just some rogue hospitals and unethical surgeons. The WOIPFG report claims that organ harvesting is a state sanctioned crime on a massive scale that is going on at this moment, with the aim to kill practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline, who will not renounce their faith.

Now comes WOIPFG’s second major documentary film, “Harvested Alive – Ten Years of Investigation,” which samples the key findings of their report from last year.

Hearing actual audio of high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, surgeons and hospital personnel speak nonchalantly of their role in the forced organ harvesting of innocent prisoners of conscience provides a horrifying perception that the printed page of the WOIPFG report cannot come close in emotional impact. 

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary,

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary, “Harvested Alive, 10 Years of Investigation,” answers questions after the English premiere of the documentary, June 23, at a Congressional building in Washington, D.C. To his right is Dr. Peng Tao, who is the co-producer of the awards-winning film. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

The film won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards best director and foreign documentary feature for January 2017.

WOIPFG was founded on Jan. 20, 2003. Its stated mission is to investigate and expose the criminal conduct of individuals and organizations involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. Seeking hard data to make its case, WOIPFG investigated more than 865 hospitals and over 9500 surgeons in China.

The English language premiere of the film was held on Capitol Hill at the House of Representatives’ Rayburn Office Building, on June 23. Producer and director Li Jun, co-producer Dr. Peng Tao, and Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, who narrates the film, were present at the showing and answered questions from the audience. WOIPFG officials and Ethan Gutmann, one of the principle investigators of live organ harvesting in China, also spoke before the screening.

Shortly before the U.S. premiere, the film became available for viewing online. This film and the original Chinese language version were produced by Deerpark Productions, with the latter released in Nov. 2016.

Hospital Boiler Room ‘Cremations’

The host of the film is Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, whose words are translated. Dr. Wang spent 30 years as an aviation military doctor in China and then came to the U.S. in 1995 to conduct research in cardiovascular disease at Harvard School of Public Health. He was the founder of WOIPFG, and is its president. In the movie, he says that after practicing medicine and saving lives for 30 years, he never imagined he would devote the next 10 years investigating doctors taking the lives of innocent people.

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

In the film, Wang said his life changed forever on March 9, 2006, when he heard allegations of large-scale organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners while they were alive in the Sujiatun Thrombosis Hospital in Shenyang. A woman using the alias “Annie” claimed her ex-husband, an eye surgeon driven by guilt, confessed to her that he had extracted corneas from more than 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. 

Wang, who was skeptical, said that he and his WOIPFG colleagues decided they must investigate further. They were looking for evidence, but the doctors and nurses at the Sujiatun hospital were no help. Then Wang called the hospital boiler room and learned that corpses were being burned there. From his own experience, he thought that was most unusual as deceased patients are normally moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang thought that [burning corpses in the hospital boiler room] was most unusual as normally the deceased patients are moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang found this matter disturbing and so based on it and the other allegations at Sujiatun, he and his WOIPFG colleagues began a preliminary investigation. WOIPFG investigators in 2006-2007 called 23 hospitals in China asking if there were liver organs available from Falun Gong practitioners. In the movie, we hear a recording on Mar. 6, 2006 of a doctor from Shanghai Fudan University, Zhongshan Hospital Transplant Center, reply, “All we have is of this type.”

High Level CCP Officials Know

WOIPFG investigators, posing as working out of other CCP offices, elicited several statements via telephone from high level officials, who unbeknownst to whom they were really talking to, acknowledged and confirmed their involvement in organ harvesting. Here are some examples from the documentary.

Tang Junie, Vice Chairman, Liaoning Province Political & Legal Affairs Commission, was asked about orders to take organs from Falun Gong practitioners for transplant surgeries. He said, “I was in charge of this. The [CCP] Central Committee was actually managing this issue, and it had widespread impact.” Tang also said the matter was discussed at Central Committee meetings.

Li Changchun, Politburo Standing Member, was asked about Bo Xilai, who, a week before, had come under investigation by the CCP Discipline Committee. When the caller (WOIPFG investigator) asked on April 17, 2012 about Bo’s involvement in the crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners, Li answered immediately, “Zhou Yongkang is in charge of this; he knows; go ask him.”

Zhou Yongkang was at the time a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the most important decision making body in the Chinese regime. As domestic security czar, Zhou wielded enormous power in general, and specifically over the Falun Gong detainees in concentration camps. He was later sentenced in June 2015 to life imprisonment on corruption-related changes.

When active on the Standing Committee, Zhou was once asked by investigators about the more than 20 Falun Gong practitioners who had escaped a military post (i.e., concentration camp). He was not in denial or surprised, and said he would investigate himself, according to WOIPFG’s Director for Public Awareness Dr. Charles Lee, who spoke at the Capitol forum.

WOIPFG investigators played a careful ruse on serving Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli to get him to unwittingly acknowledge Jiang Zemin’s principle role in the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners. Jiang, the former CCP boss, launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, and coerced the other members of the Politburo to go along with his wishes.

WOIPFG knew when Zhang would be out of the country in Kazakhstan. After Zhang arrived and checked into the hotel, WOIPFG investigator called him, posing as “Secretary Liu,” who works at Jiang Zemin’s office. The investigator told Zhang that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had lodged criminal complaints against Jiang at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate for harvesting the organs of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, and that the subject will be brought up at the next Politburo meeting. In the recording, he asked Zhang if he could stop it from discussion and investigation. We hear Zhang’s voice reply, “Yes! Yes!”

The WOIPFG investigator repeats four times that Jiang had ordered the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners and that the responsibility was very serious. Without any reservation or disagreement, Zhang promised he would prevent the investigation and told the caller to tell Jiang not to worry. He ended the call wishing Jiang a long life and good health.

All phone recordings are tagged with receipts from the telephone companies with the time, duration and phone numbers called. The voices of the high-level officials in the recordings can be compared to their voices available online and elsewhere and verified by acoustic labs, states WOIPFG.

Altogether, WOIPFG holds the recordings as evidence that organ pillaging in China is a crime that is directed by the CCP and carried out by the military, state institutions, hospitals, and transplantation professionals.

The above is only a sampling of the recordings pertaining to high-level officials’ knowledge and influence in a massive state sanctioned crime in the murder of thousands of practitioners since 2000. There is more evidence in the documentary on other aspects of the crime.

Police Guard Comes Forward

One recorded interview is especially chilling and shocking. It was from the only actual witness of the gruesome surgery in the film. At a military hospital in Shenyang, an armed security guard from Liaoning Province witnessed the killing of practitioners for their organs in 2002.

What the security guard described was “too vividly horrible,” said WOIPFG president Wang Zhiyuan, and said he suffered from insomnia and depression after hearing the testimony. In 2009, the security guard’s conscience bothered him and so he contacted WOIPFG with which he had been in contact for over a month. The security guard recalled witnessing two military doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain (“sucked the brain pulp out”) from a still-living female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

He witnessed two doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain from a female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

“When the knife touched her chest, she shouted, ‘Falun Dafa hao,’” which means Falun Dafa is good. The heart was carved out first. She had been tortured with electric batons for a week, he said. Wang concluded that this was not normal surgery but instead was “a continuation of torturing of Falun Gong practitioners.”

Why Premiere at the U.S. Capital

Li Jun, the director and producer of “Harvested Alive,” said after the screening that they consciously chose the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress to hold the English premiere. Speaking through a translator he said, “It is very apparent that this crime [of pillaging organs from Falun Gong practitioners on a massive scale] is state-sanctioned by the CCP. We want the U.S. government as the world leader, to do something about it.”

Dr. Peng Tao, the co-producer of “Harvested Alive,” hopes the film will enable everyone to “understand the crimes the CCP has committed and we have to stop it.”

Dr. Wang expressed frustration that the world does not pay much attention to what is going on in China. “It’s a shame to the human race. That’s why I wanted to tell the U.S. government and the entire world, we should really work to stop this.”

If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.

— Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), letter, June 23, 2017

Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Congressional Executive Commission of China (CECC), wrote a letter to be read at the premiere screening of “Harvested Alive.” Observing that he held a hearing on this issue in 1998, Rep. Smith said that trafficking organs for profit has been happening in China for two decades and that the evidence in the documentary shows that not much has changed.

“If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.”

Rep. Smith continued, “We need a concerted effort to stop this barbaric practice—in China and globally.”

Dr. Wang said that in this month of June, a hospital in Jilin Province is giving away free liver transplants to 10 children. (He noted that on April 28, 2006, a hospital in Hunan Province, where the persecution of Falun Gong had been particularly severe, ran a promotion announcing 20 free liver or kidney transplants.) Wang said the hospital’s “give away” could only mean an abundance of organs and a very large pool of practitioners available to be harvested and killed.

In the U.S. which has a much more mature system of organ donation, the wait time for a liver organ is two to three years. In China, however, the wait time is one to two weeks.

When asked by The Epoch Times what is behind the free organs, Wang said, “I think [the CCP] very likely wants to eliminate all the Falun Gong practitioners who still remain in the concentration camps as soon as possible.”

Data Tipping Point

Ethan Gutmann said regarding the past year, 2016-2017, that the two reports alluded to at the beginning of this article were significant for the power of raw data and have brought on a “global tipping point” in the acceptance of live organ harvesting. Referring to the emergency liver transplants discussed in the film, he said, “There is a stable of people ready to be killed.” There is no question there is live organ harvesting going on, he said.

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of “The Slaughter (1914) and its 2016 updates, participates in a forum on forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. Event took place on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., June 23. (Leo Shi/ Epoch Times)

Gutmann, who is also the author of the 2014 book “The Slaughter,” noted that both reports had received rigorous scrutiny by researchers at the CECC. After devoting two months checking over the sources, the CECC researchers authenticated the documents, which Gutmann said was a testament to their validity.

Forced organ harvesting in China has gained widespread acceptance in the past year, Gutmann said. The human rights organizations Freedom House and Amnesty International report on it now, and even the New York Times, which had ignored the issue for over a decade, is now reporting on it, he added. 

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