Jiang Zemin was the top Chinese leader from about 1992 until 2002. Deng Xiaoping appointed him chairman of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Military Commission in 1989, after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Although this is normally the top position in the Communist party, Deng at first retained authority supported by a group of senior leaders called the Eight Elders. This group lost influence in 1992-1993 as its elderly members retired from active politics. After a brief attempt to reassert control in 1993, Deng himself withdrew from politics. Deng died in 1997. Jiang refused to improve China’s record on human rights, Christianity, and democracy.
Persecution of Falun Gong
In 1989, the Tiananmen Square democracy protests were inspired by an explosion of democracy protests worldwide that resulted in the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the Czech Velvet Revolution, and the collapse of Soviet Communism. The Chinese protests, however, were quashed when the so-called "People's Liberation Army" killed over 10,000 Chinese people. The Chinese Communist Party then established a registry of social organizations, in order to head off political upheaval. Falun Gong, a revival of pre-Maoist Cultural Revolution traditions, registered with the Chinese government in 1992. It soon attracted “tens of millions of adherents." Falun Gong started holding enormous gatherings; by the mid- 1990s, there were more than two thousand Falun Gong practice sites in Beijing alone. Troubled by the possibility that a large part of the population was becoming more loyal to Falun Gong than to the Communist Party, the government began cracking down on groups and banning sales of Falun Gong publications.
By 1999, the CCP estimated that the group had seventy million adherents; that year, more than ten thousand of them staged a silent protest in Tiananmen Square. An arrest warrant was issued for Li Hongzhi, the group founder, who had by then immigrated to Queens, New York. The Chinese National Congress subsequently passed, and began violently enforcing, an "anti-cult law".
The 610 Office was the main organization created to eliminate Falun Gong. It is nominally subordinate to the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC). The Political and Legal Affairs Committee purview was expanded after the 610 Office was incorporated into it. The 610 Office derives its name from the date of its founding, June 10th, 1999. After that date, almost every Party branch, from the province to the county to the district level, established its own 610 Office. The source of the 610 Office’s ability to operate extralegally and with impunity is not drawn from the State. Neither the People's Congress nor the State Council has authorized its actions. Rather, approval and support for its deeds comes from the CCP. Each 610 Office takes orders from the 610 Office one level above it, going up to the Central Committee 610 Office. The local 610 Offices also take orders from the leadership team of the CCP Committee at its same organizational level. It later changed its name to the Central Leading Group on Dealing with Heretical Religions or Office of Maintaining Stability.
By the end of 2000, a year and a half after the CCP launched the suppression of Falun Gong, the campaign had failed to garner support among many of the CCP's rank and file. Then-CCP leader Jiang Zemin had toured southern provinces earlier in 2000 hoping to shore up more support for the campaign among local leaders. Meanwhile, public support for the campaign more broadly had waned. On January 23, 2001, five individuals allegedly set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. The entire scene was caught on camera from multiple angles. Beginning just hours after the event, state-controlled media was flooded with reports that the self-immolators were Falun Gong practitioners. These reports included grisly footage of the victims, portraying Falun Gong teachings as directly responsible for the tragedy.
In the weeks following the event, a wealth of evidence, including a Washington Post article finding that the self-immolators had never practiced Falun Gong, exposing the entire incident as a hoax. Other evidence surfaced by journalists and international observers indicated that CCP officials had advance knowledge of the self-immolation. Yet, while people inside China had no access to this information, the Chinese state-run media continued a campaign to portray the "self-immolators" as Falun Gong "cultists." People across China changed from respecting and sympathizing with Falun Gong to becoming infuriated with and attacking the practice. Hate crimes targeting Falun Gong practitioners increased and the CCP escalated its persecution with increased arrests, torture, killing, and forced organ harvesting.
In September 2014, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG0) investigated Bai Shuzhong, former Minister of Health for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department. The investigation focused on the Chinese military’s involvement in the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. During the investigation, Bai Shuzhong admitted that Jiang Zemin, former Chinese Communist Party Chief, had “instructed” the harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners’ organs for transplantation. Bai said in a telephone investigation, “Back then it was Chairman Jiang … there was an order, a sort of instruction, that said to carry out such things, organ transplantation. … Because back then after Chairman Jiang issued the order, we all did a lot of anti-Falun Gong work …” “….that is to say, it was not just the military who was doing kidney transplants ….”
This investigation result directly points to Jiang Zemin, who ordered the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong practitioners. This is genocide implemented by Jiang Zemin and other high ranking CCP officials. This is genocide carried out by the CCP controlled state apparatus. This genocide takes the form of live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. Under the secret protection of the CCP, Chinese judicial system, military, arm police forces and local hospitals colluded in these crimes against humanity and crime of genocide.
- Maria Hsia Chang, Falun Gong: The End of Days.
- "Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery", 4 February 2001.
- Jiang Zemin Ordered the Harvesting of Organs from Falun Gong Practitioners for Transplantation, WOIPFG, Sept. 30, 2014.