Exclusive Interview on the 7th Anniversary of "April 25" - Mr. Zhong Guichun Talks about the Motives Behind the Persecution
(Clearwisodm.net) April 25, 2006 was the seventh anniversary of the Zhongnanhai incident. The CCP's persecution of Falun Gong has lasted nearly seven years and Falun Dafa practitioners worldwide have been clarifying the truth of Falun Gong whole heartedly, trying to expose and stop the persecution, but there are still many people, especially westerners, who ask "why?" Let us hear how Mr. Zhong Guichun answers this question.
Mr. Zhong Guichun used to be one of the heads in the Political Security Office in the Beijing Police Department, a Class II Police Supervisor. [Editor's note: Beijing Police Department has many Sections, each of which has many Offices. Office is at the lowest level in the hierarchy. Class II Police Supervisor is close to Sergeant in New Zealand and Corporal in the U.S.] He started learning Falun Gong from the founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1990. Due to his practice and support of Falun Gong, he was dismissed from his job between the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994, thus becoming the first person being mistreated for cultivating Falun Gong, and he is the first victim who worked inside the police system as a Falun Dafa practitioner. Mr. Zhong Guichun's name was very familiar with Chinese folks, especially in Beijing. Mr. Zhong had to find another job with the China Chemical Products Export and Import Corporation. After July 20, 1999, Jiang's regime started the persecution of Falun Gong. He was under close monitoring and lost his freedom until he came to New Zealand in 2003. On April 25, 2006, the journalists of Minghui net and Minghui Radio Station interviewed Mr. Zhong Guichun from New York.
On April 25, 1999, 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners went to appeal at the Central Appeals Office located near the Zhongnanhai Compound in Beijing. They requested officials from the Tianjin City Police Department to release over 30 arrested Falun Dafa practitioners who had appealed in Tianjin City. They requested permission to publish Falun Gong books, and to have a legal and non-threatening practice environment for the large Falun Gong group. Later, this event was characterized by the CCP and Jiang Zemin as the "attacking Zhongnanhai (government)" incident, and was used as one of the main reasons for banning Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.
Below is the recording of our interview.
Minghui reporter: How are you Mr. Zhong! Can you tell us, when did you start to learn Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhong: I had been very interested in different Qigong cultivation practices since 1978, and I also read Qigong magazines. I tried many kinds of qigong until 1989, when I became tired of it, and believed it to be fake, untruthful, with no true teachings. I gave up on qigong, and did not pursue it any more. I only did some martial arts. I was fortunate to meet the founder of Falun Dafa, Master Li in Beijing in 1990, and started cultivating and following Master Li.
Reporter: Can you be specific?
Mr. Zhong: I have cultivated Falun Dafa and followed Master Li in Beijing since 1990. Master started spreading the Fa to the public in 1992 and held thirteen classes in Beijing. While cultivating I also helped Master spread the Fa. I was a police officer at that time, so I protected Master, because I thought Beijing was a strange place to spread the practice and it was a complicated qigong environment. Master's Falun Gong was so good and I knew people were cursing him behind his back with ulterior motives, so I protected Master secretly. That was what I did.
Reporter: What was the situation when the police system dismissed you?
Mr. Zhong: I knew early on that they had noticed Falun Gong. There were more than 2,000 different kinds of qigong, and among these was Falun Gong with Master Li Hongzhi, which was the most righteous. Its healing effects were the best nationwide, and were the most miraculous among all the qigongs. People all knew about Falun Gong and that Master was the most noble, compassionate, and kind person. Many state level officials in the Government, party system, and army, as well as people from all walks of lives, such as scholars and college students were all practicing Falun Gong. With this situation, the CCP Political Security system and police system had noticed Falun Gong.
Reporter: This was between which years?
Mr. Zhong: Between 1993 and 1994.
Reporter: Since Falun Gong was so good, and the healing effects were so good, and many people, from the Central Government to the local area, were all wanting to learn and benefit from it, why did the police develop an unfriendly attitude?
Mr. Zhong: Actually there were many people inside the police system who were learning Falun Gong, and they all knew Falun Dafa was good, and that Falun Gong's Master was very nice. The CCP's Political Security system had a special position: its job was especially to work for the party's political power, and was the party's watchdogs, becoming their ears and eyes. Its whole purpose every minute was to serve the party. So exactly why did it pay so much attention to Falun Gong when it knew that Falun Gong was so good? It may possibly be due to the Political Security system's self interest. They probably thought Falun Gong could be used politically. My words can be very well understood by these political security division workers, including state security agents, and they all understand what the meaning of "used for political purpose" means.
Reporter: Do you mean the reason for this persecution was not related to how deep or shallow the CCP leader's understanding was of Falun Gong, or how effective the practice was, but because the CCP wanted to use Falun Gong, and since Falun Gong refused to let them, they started persecuting Falun Gong. Is that what you mean?
Mr. Zhong: Yes, it can be understood like that. The CCP officials have always only cared about their purpose alone. For example, they could care less about who they murder, or where they set fires or how they treat criminals, because these things have nothing to do with their promotion or how wealthy they become. Political events are normally closely related to their promotions if the nature of the event is being decided by the upper level. The benefits for themselves I talked about is the reason why the CCP Political Security Division insists on persecuting Falun Gong. They want to slander Falun Gong, fabricate false evidence, report to the CCP Central Committee, and get the CCP Central Committee's attention. They want to please their upper levels by persecution with systematic slandering, fabrication, and also producing some excuse and evidence for the persecution.
Specifically the CCP Political Security system's persecution of Falun Gong was to please Luo Gan, and Luo Gan and was promoted by Jiang into the Central Politburo due to his "merit" in the persecution. Originally, the CCP Political Security Division inside the police system was about to be combined with the State Safety Bureau system, but due to their framing and persecuting Falun Gong, this resulted not only in the CCP Political Security Division inside the police system not scaling down, but their structure, equipment needs, personnel, and funding were all enlarged, and their position inside the police system became stable. The CCP Political Security division combined with the 610 Office system and became the State Security System, receiving better equipment, funds, and personnel. They ensured their position within the police system, and reached their goal.
Jiang is very jealous, especially of the popularity of Master Li. Jiang is very narrow-minded and he is very scared because Falun Gong has over 100,000,000 practitioners.
The reason for persecuting Falun Gong is extremely ridiculous. What I told you are all facts.
Reporter: Are there any documents that directly ordered and planned the persecution of Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhong: There were no documents at the beginning. The reason I know this for sure is because the work unit I was in was in this area and was in charge of detecting, investigating other nationalities, religions, people with different opinions, and other democratic parties, democratic movement activists, and qigong social groups. Qigong is one of the groups we watched over.
Reporter: many people who live abroad saw a document that says Zhu Rongji, the Chinese premier at the time, acknowledged the goodness of Falun Gong and said Falun Gong saved China large amounts of medical expenses. When Falun Gong practitioners went to the State Council's Appeals Office, Zhu Rongji met with the practitioners' representatives and had a good talk with them. Afterwards, many people felt it strange that a group the Premier had so positively acknowledged and that benefited the national economy and social stability was banned. Isn't the relationship between the central regime and the National Security system that you just talked about a little strange?
Mr. Zhong: It's not so strange, because when the political and security system from the police want to make something happen, if it pays attention to a social organization, it will file cases and conduct investigations and inspections, and then make a set of things happen. The CCP's high-level officials do not necessarily know that. For example, as premier of the country, Zhu Rongji emphasized the economy at the time. He didn't know at all what the Political and Security system people were doing. If I'm a section or division head of a politics and security unit, I would want to have a new case each year; to have a bigger case that would shock a whole city or even the whole nation, something that would catch the attention of the CCP central committee and my superiors. It doesn't necessarily require the knowledge of high-ranking state officials during the process of certain cases.
Reporter: Was the April 25 Incident created this way, too?
Mr. Zhong: For all of the operations of the Political and Security system, executing all of these conspiracies, including the national Political and Security system from Beijing down to the No. 1 Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, Luo Gan is the one who had clear knowledge of all of their operations, because Luo Gan was in charge of Politics and Law.
As for Jiang Zemin, he didn't know about it at first. Jiang Zemin only saw that his political power was threatened. Jiang Zemin is simply jealous. He was extremely jealous of Falun Gong's Master. Jiang Zemin is narrow-minded and envious. Afterwards, he feared too many people were practicing Falun Gong; 100 million people were practicing Falun Gong. Those around him frightened Jiang Zemin, telling him that he would lose power if he didn't suppress Falun Gong. Jiang Zemin was most afraid of that, so they directed the so-called "surrounding and attacking Zhongnanhai" incident on April 25, 1999.
In fact, the April 25 Appeal was Dafa practitioners' upholding their right to freedom of belief. They were appealing to the national Appeals Office. They were telling the government that Dafa is good for the country and the people, and that it has brought many benefits and has never done an ounce of harm. It's a wonderful practice and there are many facts that they tried to inform the state leaders and related government agencies about. According to the Chinese constitution, anyone can go to appeal; therefore, it was perfectly legal. The police called it illegal. It was an appeal, but they slanderously called it "surrounding and attacking." That's how it was. He [Luo Gan] reported it to the CCP central committee and to Jiang Zemin, and Jiang Zemin believed him as soon as he got the video. Luo Gan-- just like that--made up evidence to justify the persecution.
They don't care at all about economic growth, about people's lives or social stability. They only care about their own interests. They are just like that.
Reporter: Before this interview, you said that people in many fields, including the military, supported Falun Gong. What do you mean by "support?"
Mr. Zhong: They simply knew that Falun Gong is good. They were practicing Falun Gong themselves, including some armed police, and people in the army and some other systems. I know about them. I knew many military officials who ranked above the division level and some heads of the army corps; some were retired military officials, members of the Red Army, officials who fought in the Sino-Japan war, in the Liberation War, military officials on different levels. They and their families were all practicing Falun Gong. I knew all about it.
Reporter: Were you in Beijing on April 25, 1999?
Mr. Zhong: I was in Beijing on April 25, 1999. I personally witnessed the peaceful appeal of April 25, 1999, when 10,000 people appealed.
Reporter: How did you learn about the information from Tianjin City?
Mr. Zhong: A fellow practitioner called me and told me that He Zuoxiu published Dafa-attacking articles in a magazine. This practitioner had gone to the Tianjin Magazine Agency to clarify the truth. The Tianjin City government deliberately refused to solve the problem.
I also thought that the police were purposely trying to create a major incident from it. Those people in power used several pseudo scientists and pseudo qigong masters to publish articles to attack Dafa in newspapers, knowing that Falun Gong practitioners would certainly not sit back and do nothing. They knew this, so they purposely had people do these things attacking Falun Gong. The Tianjin City government purposely refused to solve the problem and let the issue grow large.
Agents from the Tianjin City Police Department in particular arrested more than 50 Falun Gong practitioners. The head of the police department lied and said the Tianjin City Police Department had not arrested a single person. Some practitioners called me and said the Tianjin City government cannot solve the problem, and the police would not release the practitioners. They could not solve the problem, and they told us to go to the next higher government level. So we had no choice but to go to Beijing and appeal to the CCP central committee and to the Appeals Office. The fellow practitioner told me to appeal to the State Council's Appeals Office on April 25 and tell the government that Falun Dafa is good, and ask for the release of the arrested Falun Gong practitioners, for permission to print Dafa books, and for a legal and stable environment for Falun Gong practitioners to practice their belief. That's about all. So I went.
Reporter: Were the three requests made regarding these situations at the time?
Mr. Zhong: Yes, that's what was happening. Because the police system was involved, it was directing the incident from the very beginning. Afterwards, the police joined the Bureau of Press and Publication and other related agencies to stop the publication of Falun Gong books. They sent police officers to harass Falun Gong practitioners when they were doing exercises outdoors. The practitioners then had no choice but to go to a higher government level and to the Appeals Office to inform the government about this disturbance and ask for an unrestricted environment for Dafa practitioners. That's how it was.
Reporters: Documents show that at the time many Falun Gong practitioners were doing exercises in most grassy areas throughout China's cities and especially in Beijing, including some parks in the middle of the city. Did this end in April 1999?
Mr. Zhong: Yes, all of it. The police sent patrol groups, riot-control police, and city inspectors to destroy this environment for cultivation practice. They did it on purpose.
The police sent armed police, patrol groups and firefighters to interfere with the practitioners. Some were especially targeting Falun Gong. For example, when I joined group exercises, we were right across from the Sinochem Corporation, the practice site at the State Oceanic Administration. Nearly 1,000 people did exercises each morning at this practice site; it was really a sight to behold. Passersby and drivers all looked at us, it was really grand. This was gone even before April 25. The police set up metal barricades to block it and destroyed the environment to practice. They sent police and city inspectors to destroy all practice sites where we could do exercises as a group, so we could not have a peaceful environment to do the exercises. They purposely interfered with us. The police were doing just that.
Reporter: As far as you know, prior to the persecution in 1999, how many people were practicing Falun Gong?
Mr. Zhong: Before the persecution there were nearly 100 million people practicing Falun Gong. I know it very well.
Reporter: How many in Beijing?
Mr. Zhong: Over one million in Beijing.
Reporter: From what you've told us, the comprehensive persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, but this does not fit with the CCP's official propaganda, which says Falun Gong attacked Zhongnanhai on April 25, or that Falun Gong is advocating superstition or forbids people from taking medications.
Mr. Zhong: Yes. They were framing Falun Gong and deceiving the people. The police were paying attention to collecting other qigong information that they could use to frame Falun Gong. They framed Falun Gong with all the problems that happened with other qigong practices. They were collecting this kind of information from very early on.
Reporter: It sounds like the Police System doesn't care what charges were pressed against Falun Gong, as long as they could create some achievements and create some incidents in order for them to get promotions and money, and things went as they planned. The accusations were only made up for the sake of deceiving the public?
Mr. Zhong: Yes. The public was not aware of the inside facts. Only people who worked in that field knew about the inside facts. None of my colleagues who work in other fields knew the inside facts of the Politics and Security system's operations. Some of these colleagues work for the criminal police, some criminal investigators, some who work in social safety control, household administration, security officers, firefighters, and other types of police. Even Some bureau heads did not know the inside story. They were people who didn't chiefly take charge in this regard, including bureau heads who didn't understand the politics and security field. They didn't start their careers in this field. Only people working within the Political and Security system knew "the best."
Reporter: Could you tell us your impressions of Master Li Hongzhi, the founder ofFalun Gong?
Mr. Zhong: The deepest impression that Master left on me was Master's enormous compassion and dignity. That was my impression. Another impression was that Master is very righteous and honest. For example, when we were dealing with other Qigong masters, they often asked us to help with this and that. I did help them as much as I could. But Master never asked us for anything. Everything we did was what we really wanted to do. Master never ordered us or asked us to do anything for him. Every day when we went out, it was convenient for me to drive because of my connection with the public security office. I tried to provide some convenience for Master when Master was giving lectures in Beijing, such as picking up and dropping off, or driving Master somewhere. Master always asked me, "Xiao Zhong, is it ok? Can you do it?" Every time Master asked: "Is it ok? Is it allowed at your workplace?" I saw that Master was so kind and so considerate. Every time I answered, "It is ok." Then Master smiled. I felt that Master cared about practitioners, their family members, whether they would be happy, and whether the leaders of the workplace would be happy. Although those were all small things, Master always considered others first but not how convenient it would be for him. The more we saw that Master acted like this, the more we wanted from our hearts to do what we could to help Master, and follow Master to spread the Fa.
Master never wanted to trouble his disciples. Every time when he came from Changchun to Beijing, Master took the bus. He only notified us after the bus had arrived in Beijing, because he did not want to trouble us and did not want us to go to pick him up. When he was leaving Beijing, Master tried even harder not to let us know. We knew that Master was concerned that we would buy tickets or gifts for him. We knew that Master did not want to trouble his disciples. Every time it was like this. Sometimes we found out and we went to the station to pick him up. But most of time we did not know it. Master was always like this. In daily life, Master also cared a lot about us. At that time our salaries were low. Master was not rich either. When we went out with Master, for example to Jietai Temple, or other temples, we would stop at some small restaurants by the road on our way back. We would order a fried pancake, a bowl of noodles, or something extremely simple. Master would eat with us, but he would never let us pay. He always paid. From these small things, what Master did was all very touching.
When talking about how Master cares about his disciples, I would like to tell a little story.In 1994, Master went to Chongqing to give lectures and I went with Master. There was another older practitioner, Li Xuejun, who was in charge of teaching the movements. Iwas following Master to all the places and helping to maintain order, etc.. After afew days of lecturing, we saw that Master ate instant noodles every day. The lectures were all in the evenings. Master never ate before a lecture, and only would cook a package of instant noodles with hot water after the lecture. Master always did this. Naturally we also ate very simply, when Master ate so simply. After a few days, Master called me and Xuejun, and took us to a restaurant at the foot of the mountain, a restaurant that had a menu. We got a table and sat down. Master wrote the orders himself--I remember he ordered four dishes. When the dishes were brought to the table, Master let me and Xuejun eat. Master did not eat, and he just sat there and watched us, as if we were his own children. I could not forget this.
From these things, we can see how magnificent and compassionate Master is. Master cares about his disciples in every aspect. There are many, many examples. Some things I cannot even remember the details. Such stories are plentiful. Not only us, but also other practitioners, all felt that Master was very concerned about us. Think about it, after entering the Dafa, we are all the same, old or new disciples alike. We all bathe in the Buddha light. We are so fortunate!
Master is like this. One more thing, Master's Dafa-- Falun Gong, is so wonderfuland magical, if you practice.
Reporter: Because you practiced Falun Gong, You were fired from your job and youlost your freedom. Now you had to leave your home country. Are you regretful?
Mr. Zhong: No. I take those things lightly. I just feel so fortunate and so happy that I have been given an opportunity to become a Dafa practitioner, become Master's disciple,and am able to practice Dafa. The longer I practice, the more I realize that this opportunity is so precious that it takes tens of thousands of years to come by.
Reporter: You started Falun Gong practicing in 1990. You must know a lot of friends andfellow practitioners in Beijing. Do you know how they are now?
Mr. Zhong: Yes. Practitioners among the early disciples, throughout the country and especially in Beijing, all knew me, because I was one of Masters early disciples. Since the illegal persecution, the situation has changed a lot. After these years of Fa-rectification, I believe that now they all understand what the Fa is, what the CCP is, and why the CCP persecutes Falun Gong. I believe that they understand or have started to understand. What I would like to tell them is that we should tell the truth to a wider range of people, and let everyone know the truth of this persecution. For the practitioners in mainland China, the environment for practice and for the Fa-rectification is very important. Master said in his lectures outside China that the practitioners in mainland China are the main body. I hope that those practitioners in mainland China act like a main body, and we do what we should do to end this persecution.
Reporter: Good, Mr. Zhong. Thank you for accepting the interview from Minghui.