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How Jiang Zemin Encouraged Bo Xilai’s Atrocities, Part I
By Wen Hua Epoch Times Staff
Ousted Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai. (New Epoch Weekly Photo Archive)
Bo Xilai’s ambition for power came through even in his love poetry. When the now-disgraced former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, was courting his first wife, Li Danyu, he wrote hera love poem.
The 26 year-old’s poem mimicked the style of Mao Zedong’s poem “Snow—To the Tune of Chin Yuan Chun.” Bo titled his poem, “Forward—To the Tune of Chin Yuan Chun.” Following the strict form of the Song Dynasty Chin Yuan Chun lyric, Bo Xilai wrote at one point, “Reading the brilliant history, [I] ask the Chinese people, who will take over the succession?”
Top to Bottom
Growing up, Bo Xilai experienced being near the top of the CCP’s hierarchy and also experienced plummeting to the bottom.
Bo Xilai was born in July, 1949, the son of one of the most powerful members of the CCP. He attended the elite No. 4 High School in Beijing.
His father, Bo Yibo, was the vice premier of the CCP State Council from 1957-1966. In the 1980s and 1990s, he came to be known as one of the eight immortals, the aged founders of the CCP who assisted Deng Xiaoping in ruling China.
But before Bo Yibo climbed back in the company of Deng to the heights of the Party, he was struck down during the Cultural Revolution. Identified in 1966 as a “capitalist roader,” Bo Yibo was accused of many crimes and spent the decade of the Cultural Revolution in prison.
His son Bo Xilai was an enthusiastic Red Guard who at one point beat his father, breaking three of his ribs, something Bo Yibo would later recall with pride as a sign Bo Xilai had what it took to succeed in the CCP.
But Bo Xilai’s fanaticism did not save him. He was eventually imprisoned and served five years, released in 1976 along with the other members of his family after the Cultural Revolution collapsed.
The cruelty Bo suffered in prison made him shady, manipulative, and tyrannical. He believed power was the only truth in this world.
When Bo got out of jail, he started working as a repairman at an auto shop, and he began courting his childhood friend Li Danyu.
In terms of status, all of the advantages were on the side of Li Danyu. Li Danyu’s father had before the Cultural Revolution been the Party secretary of Beijing. He lost that post, but did not fall as far as Bo Yibo. Li’s father was not branded an enemy of the people; he remained a “revolutionary comrade.”
Li Danyu herself was a military doctor at the prestigious 301 People’s Liberation Army Hospital in Beijing—the hospital where all of the Party leaders were treated.
For his part, Bo Xilai was handsome, charming and, like Li herself, intelligent. Bo won his suit and married the plain-looking and hot tempered Li in September, 1976.
Gu Kailai Appears
Bo Yibo was rehabilitated in 1978, and Bo Xiali and Li Danyu moved into Zhongnanhai, the CCP leadership’s compound in Beijing.
Bo Xilai was admitted to study history at Peking University and then became a graduate student at the newly established Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, meant to be the premier institution for research in the social science in the People’s Republic of China.
On their 4-year-old son’s birthday, June 20, 1981, Bo and Li’s marriage experienced a drastic change. As Bo Xilai cried holding his wife and son in his arms, he announced he was divorcing Li, because he had “no feelings for her anymore.”
No one knows when exactly Gu Kailai barged into Bo’s life.
Gu Kailai’s father was the deputy director of the PLA General Political Department, second secretary of the Xinjiang District—he was the Party’s second in command in the army based in Xinjiang.
In 1978 Gu Kailai enrolled at Peking University School of Law, then transferred to International Politics and studied for 3 years to get her Master’s. She is 11 years younger than Bo Xilai.
Gu Kailai tells the outside world that the first time she met Bo was an accident, after he arrived at Jin County in Liaoning. This is no doubt a lie. Many of Gu’s classmates from Peking University confirm that Gu and Bo already had a relationship while they were still at Peking University.
In addition, Li Danyu told the New York Times that she began accusing Gu of being the third party in the divorce Bo Xilai had requested and thus guilty of damaging a military marriage, which is illegal in China. In 1984 Li was forced by Bo Yibo’s pressure to divorce Bo Xilai officially. In 1986, Gu Kailai married Bo Xilai.
Bo Xilai had become mayor of Dalian in 1993, and Gu Kailai opened a law firm in 1995. Any enterprises that wanted to invest in Dalian had to follow an unspoken rule and hire lawyers from Gu’s firm for consulting. Consulting fees could run into the millions, but only in this way could the firms be sure of having Bo’s support.
Around this time, Bo and Gu met the English businessman Neil Heywood, who had come to Dalian looking to get wealthy. Heywood not only helped their son Bo Guagua with English, but started to help them launder money overseas.
Stuck as Mayor
Bo looked to move up from Dalian and thought he should move up. He was highly regarded, popular, politically savvy, and capable. He had brought new construction to Dalian and beautified the city with parks and boulevards. Moreover, his father as one of the eight immortals was extremely well connected.
At the 15th Party Congress in 1997 Bo did not get a single vote for a seat on the Central Committee. Nor was he promoted to a province-level position somewhere—longstanding CCP officials of Bo’s rank are often moved from one spot to another, climbing the ladder of promotion, but not Bo.
What disappointed Bo most was that his family had a special relationship with Party head Jiang Zemin, but that relationship wasn’t paying off.
In the spring of 1995, then-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping received a letter from seven officials at the provincial level reporting on Jiang. Deng gave it to Bo’s father, Bo Yibo, and asked him to take care of it.
Bo’s father took the letter to Jiang. Jiang was terrified after reading the letter. Bo’s father had always wanted his son to be promoted to the top of the political chain and he made a deal with Jiang. Bo’s father agreed to conceal Jiang’s crimes, and Jiang agreed to promote Bo Xilai.
But Jiang was not holding up his end of the bargain. Then, in 1999, Bo Xilai found a way to get Jiang’s enthusiastic support.
The Persecution of Falun Gong
On July 20, 1999, disregarding objections from the other six members of the Politburo Standing Committee, Jiang launched the persecution of Falun Gong. From then on, the basic human rights of the one hundred million Falun Gong practitioners were taken away.
According to an informed source, Jiang was opposed even at home. Both his wife Wang Yeping and his grandson Jiang Zhicheng were Falun Gong practitioners.
In order to make the other six Standing Committee members agree with his decision, Jiang had Zeng Qinghong order a Chinese special agent in New York send back a phony intelligence report, saying that the U.S. CIA gave Falun Gong tens of millions of dollars every year and that Falun Gong had a political background and support outside China.
Jiang had his reasons for going to war with Falun Gong: the CCP could not tolerate an organization that had more members than the CCP and was not controlled by the CCP. In addition, Jiang wanted to use the campaign against Falun Gong to increase his own power
Jiang had not gained the top job because he had courage and insight like Mao Zedong or the brainpower of Deng Xiaoping. Jiang was raised up by Deng because of the hard line Jiang took on the 1989 democracy movement. Jiang knew that many cadres were not convinced that he deserved his position. He wanted to launch a political movement as massive as the Cultural Revolution to force others to submit to him.
Jiang did not understand the power of spiritual belief. His initial plan was to “eliminate Falun Gong in three months,” but the suppression was resisted by state officials and civilians nationwide. Most people knew that Falun Gong is good.
In September, 1999, two months after Jiang launched the persecution, Bo Xilai added the title of general secretary of the Dalian CCP to that of mayor of Dalian. Bo desperately wanted to please Jiang and would do anything Jiang wanted as long as Jiang agreed to promote him.
According to the former Dalian journalist Jiang Weiping, Bo’s trusted driver, Mr. Wang, said that Jiang Zemin told Bo, “As long as you are tough on Falun Gong, you will have the chips to be promoted.”
When Bo’s wife Gu heard what Jiang Zemin had to say, she told Bo that only if the city of Dalian performed an outstanding job in suppressing Falun Gong, would Bo stand out and be promoted.
Bo quickly intensified the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Dalian. With the financial help ordered by Jiang, Bo renovated and expanded a lot of prisons in Dalian. Falun Gong practitioners from all over the country arrested in Beijing whose home cities were unknown were shipped to Dalian.
A source familiar with the matter told Epoch Weekly that Bo’s efforts to build his authority in Dalian prior to the persecution had made Jiang Zemin suspicious and unwilling to promote him. Jiang Zemin changed his mind, however, when he saw that Bo actively followed him. Jiang started to rely on Bo and promoted Bo step by step while making him rich.
After Jiang’s visit of Dalian in August 1999, Bo was made deputy secretary of the Liaoning Provincial Party Committee. He was assigned as acting provincial governor in 2000 and provincial governor in 2001. He became Minister of Commerce in 2004.
Brutality in Liaoning
Dalian and Liaoning became the pioneers for the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
According to Minghui, a Falun Gong website, in the fall of 1999, in order to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from going to Beijing to petition, Bo figured out a way to pick out Falun Gong practitioners from crowds.
He ordered train stations and bus stations to put the photo of the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi, on the ground so that anyone who got on and off the train or bus had to step on the photo. Those who refused to tread on it would be considered Falun Gong practitioners and taken away. In this way, Bo Xilai arrested a lot of practitioners.
Under Bo, Liaoning became notorious for its abuse of practitioners.
The UN Commission on Human Rights reported the case of Wang Jieyun, female, 40 years old, a resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province. Arrested while working at a shopping mall in 2002, she was abducted to Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province. Because she refused to give up practicing Falun Gong, she was brutally tortured. Electric shock clubs were used on her breasts, causing festering and subsequent infection. She died in July 2006.
Masanjia Labor Camp. (Screenshot)
Similar instances of torture and abuse were happening in Masanjia almost every day. On Feb. 12, 2001 Minghui reported two typical cases.
Female Falun Gong practitioner Qi Yuling was shocked with electric batonson her nipples and Zhang Xiujie was beaten up and electrically shocked, including on her vagina, causing her to pass out.
Because of the brutal torture, Masanjia was recognized by the CCP Organization Department and six other ministries as an “excellent unit” for “reforming” Falun Gong practitioners. The prison guards who committed such atrocities were rewarded by Jiang Zemin and Bo Xilai, called “heroes” and “models,” and given the 2nd class achievement award along with pay raises.
Luo Gan, then a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (the Party organ that controls almost all aspects of law enforcement in China) and Minister of Public Security Liu Jing personally went to Masanjia to inspect what was being done there.
In October 2002, the Ministry of Justice allocated 1 million yuan (approximately US$160,000) to Masanjia to “improve the environment.” Other forced labor camps in the same city that were notorious for their use of brutal torture were awarded as well: Zhangshi Labor Camp received 400,000 yuan and the Longshan Labor Camp 500,000 yuan.
Bo Xilai benefited personally as well. The more actively he persecuted Falun Gong, the faster he was promoted by Jiang Zemin, and the more money he got from state treasury that he could embezzle.
In 2003 Bo approved Liaoning Province spending 1 billion yuan (US$160 million) to renovate prisons. On Masanjia alone he spent a half billion yuan to turn it into a prison city that occupies nearly 300 acres.
Before the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, Masanjia ran a deficit every year—it could hardly pay its electricity bills. Since the persecution began, the local provincial government has allocated 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) for each Falun Gong practitioner sent there from Liaoning Province.
While visiting Washington, D.C., Bo Xilai, who by then was Minister of Commerce, was served on April 22, 2004 with a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. for torture, genocide, and crimes against humanity
Bo was eventually sued 14 times in 13 countries on these charges.
In November, 2007, the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia found Bo guilty in absentia for torture in the case of Falun Gong practitioner Pan Yu.
The lawsuits brought against Bo Xilai disturbed some in the Party, but Jiang Zemin was encouraged by the lawsuits and by Bo having been found guilty outside of China.
He also was encouraged that Bo was so inhuman as to have initiated the forced, live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
Jiang Zemin understood that those like Bo who were most guilty in carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong would be most loyal to Jiang’s faction. Jiang was determined to see that Bo Xilai would gain control of the Party after the 18th Party Congress in 2012, assuring that Jiang’s faction could not be challenged by others for its crimes against Falun Gong.