Rewarded for Torture: The Rise of Bo Xilai in China

The story behind the Communist Party official accused in coup scandal

By Stephen Gregory

Epoch Times Staff

March 13, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

Bo Xilai, Chongqing Party boss, attends the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress

Chongqing Party boss Bo Xilai attends the opening ceremony of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at

the Great Hall of the People on March 5, in Beijing. Bo is enmeshed in a scandal involving allegations

that he plotted a coup to take power in the Communist Party. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

The beatings police gave Falun Gong practitioners on July 20, 1999 on the streets of Dalian City were brutal, according to a report on Clearwisdom, a Falun Gong website.

Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had gathered to appeal for the release of practitioners arrested the night before—the official beginning, in Dalian, of the nationwide campaign to “eradicate” Falun Gong, launched by the then-head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Jiang Zemin.

The practitioners had formed themselves into four lines on the sidewalk near the city government buildings, held hands, and peacefully asked for the release of their fellow believers.

You must show your toughness in handling Falun Gong much like the toughness shown by Hu Jintao in handling the 1989 Tibetan riot; it will be your political capital.

— Jiang Zemin to Bo Xilai, according to Bo’s driver, Wang

At around 7 a.m., groups of police began attacking. A male practitioner would be jerked out of the line and surrounded by several police who would kick him, beat him, shock him with electric batons, and hit him with hard rubber nightsticks. The beatings continued throughout the day, with fresh police brought in from the suburbs to keep the beatings going.

In a black Audi nearby, watching the violence, sat the mayor of Dalian City, Bo Xilai, according to the journalist Jiang Weiping, recipient of a 2001 International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

After publishing an article accusing Bo of corruption, Jiang Weiping was convicted in 2002 of exposing state secrets and inciting subversion. Released in 2009, he now lives in Canada with his family.

In a 2009 article, Jiang Weiping quotes Bo’s driver, a man named Wang, who overheard Bo tell a police chief, “These Falun Gong practitioners are so united and effective. We can’t afford not to arrest and beat them up. You guys need to beat them up real hard. They deserve it if they’re beaten to death, and the government will shoulder the responsibility.”

Bo’s Reasons

Bo Xilai is now notorious as the head of the CCP in the Chinese mega city of Chongqing, who was accused in early February by his former police chief, Wang Lijun, of plotting a coup to oust the presumptive next head of the CCP, Xi Jinping.

In 1999, Bo was 51 years of age and, while the mayor of the largest city in Liaoning Province, was on the outside of the CCP’s elite.

Bo had his reasons for brutality towards practitioners. Wang related to the journalist Jiang something the CCP head Jiang Zemin had told Bo, “You must show your toughness in handling Falun Gong much like the toughness shown by Hu Jintao in handling the 1989 Tibetan riot; it will be your political capital.”

Bo knew that Jiang Zemin had close ties with Bo’s father, Bo Yibo, one of the “eight immortals” of the CCP. Jiang Zemin’s example of Hu Jintao, who had already been named as Jiang Zemin’s successor, would have suggested to Bo that one day he could also be head of the CCP, if he played his cards right.

In any case, Jiang Zemin needed allies to carry out his new campaign against Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.

After this spiritual practice was first taught to the public in China in May, 1992, it had spread rapidly. It features five meditative exercises, and teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

In a letter to the Politburo dated April 25, 1999, Jiang Zemin had argued for suppressing Falun Gong because he feared how popular it was—with an estimated 100 million people having taken up the practice. There were more practitioners than Party members, and he feared that the Chinese people would prefer the teachings of Falun Gong to the ideology of the CCP.

Jiang’s decision to target Falun Gong was not popular. According to an article published in the Feb. 2, 2011, edition of Hong Kong’s Frontline magazine, his proposal to persecute Falun Gong was met with disagreement in the Politburo Standing Committeeand in his own home. He had to “unify”—CCP jargon for the general secretary imposing his will—the opinions of the Standing Committee of the Politburo in order to push his campaign forward.

Ren Shujie, 42, a Falun Gong practitioner who had been tortured and abused

Ren Shujie, 42, a Falun Gong practitioner from Shenyang

in Liaoning Province, is pictured at home in June 2005.

She was detained for three years in the Longshan and

Masanjia forced labor camps in Liaoning Province,

where she suffered torture and abuse. (

Bo’s Persecution

Jiang Zemin moved Bo up rapidly. While continuing to serve as mayor of Dalian City, Bo was appointed as acting governor of Liaoning Province in 2000 and then as governor in 2001. In 2002, Bo was appointed to the Central Committee of the CCP. In 2004, he was made Minister of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Dalian City and Liaoning Province became a living hell for Falun Gong practitioners.

By October 2004, 121 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died as a result of the persecution—the fourth highest total among all the provinces.According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, the actual death toll is assumed to be far higher than the number of confirmed deaths.

According to the journalist, Jiang Weiping, Bo personally inspected prisons, detention centers, and forced labor camps at the end of each month.

Jiang Weiping reported that Bo told police officers at one of the Public Security Bureau branch offices that although Falun Gong practitioners practice truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, once they have power, they will kill us and we will be the ones who are locked up here. So don’t ever be kind and soft to Falun Gong practitioners, he said.

Facilities under Bo’s jurisdiction—most notably the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, Dalian Forced Labor Camp, Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp, and Longshan Forced Labor Camp —were notorious for brutal and innovative methods of torture.

Masanjia and Dalian were also notorious for sexual abuse.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate as they enter the fourth day of a hunger strike

Falun Gong practitioners meditate as they enter the fourth

day of a hunger strike in front of the Chinese Embassy, on

Aug. 20, 2001, in Washington. The hunger strike was in

support of 130 Falun Gong practitioners who were on

hunger strike in Masanjia Labor Camp, protesting their

unjust detention and brutal treatment inside the labor

camp. (Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2001 the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women reported the allegation that in October 2000 18 female Falun Gong practitioners in Masanjia Labor Camp were stripped naked and thrown into the cells of male criminals, where they were gang raped. The rapporteur also reports that female practitioners in Masanjia would be shocked with electric clubs on their breasts and genitalia.

Those responsible for torturing practitioners were rewarded. According to the World Organization for the Investigation of the Persecution of Falun Gong(WOIPFG), the official in charge of the women’s branch of Masanjia was given a bonus of approximately US$6,000 and her deputy half that. Bonuses were also reported for other officials in Masanjia, and for staff at Zhangshi and Longshan labor camps.

In addition to cash prizes, recognition was bestowed. The Dalian Forced Labor Camp was praised by CCP officials as one of the most “progressive institutions” for its “renowned achievements in ‘reform’ education.” The Dalian Police Department was given a “highest achievement” award for its suppression of Falun Gong.

Bo spared no expense in developing the facilities for persecution.

According to WOIPFG, Liaoning Province invested 0.93 billon yuan (US$ 112.3 million) over three years, starting from 2002, in reconstructing the prisons throughout the province. Over 500 million yuan (US$ 60.41 million) was spent on Masanjia alone, turning it into the first prison city in China, occupying 329 acres. Masanjia’s capacity was increased so that it could hold 10,000 prisoners.

Organ Harvesting

Independent researcher Ethan Gutmann has described Liaoning Province as the “epicenter” of forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

The atrocity was first discovered after “Peter,” a Chinese journalist who worked for a Japanese TV station in northeastern China, and “Annie,” the wife of a surgeon, fled China in March, 2006, and told their stories to The Epoch Times.

They spoke of thousands of practitioners being held near a hospital in Sujiatun, a suburb of Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province. The practitioners were kept as a donor pool for transplantation operations in the hospital. Annie said her husband had, over several years time, removed corneas from thousands of practitioners who, her husband told her, were alive when the transplantation operations began.

Wang Lijun, who, before Bo brought him to Chongqing, was police chief of Jinzhou City in Liaoning,bragged when accepting an award for advances in organ transplantation that he had overseen thousands of organ transplantation operations. His contribution to organ transplantation most likely involved developing a drug regimen that would paralyze without killing the victim, producing organs of higher quality for transplantation.

A veteran military doctor assigned to the Shenyang military zone confirmed the reports by Annie and Peter about organ harvesting at Sujiatun and also suggested that organ transplantation was not the only use to which practitioners’ bodies were being put. He explained that since the Party had declared Falun Gong practitioners to be “class enemies,” they were available to be handled as commodities. According to this military doctor there is a brisk underground trade in body parts for commercial purposes in China.

Bo has been sued 14 times in 13 countries on charges of torture, murder, genocide, and crimes against humanity. In 2007, this record sidetracked his brisk rise through the Party hierarchy.

When Jiang Zemin’s faction put Bo forward to be vice-premier, and thus in line to succeed Wen Jiabao, Wen objected that, given the international lawsuits brought against Bo, he was not an appropriate choice, according to a U.S. State Department cable released by Wikileaks. Bo was shunted to be Party secretary in the central-western megalopolis of Chongqing instead.

Far from being chastened by losing out on the premiership, in Chongqing Bo doubled down on persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. He brought in the deadly Wang Lijun to be his police chief, and he announced that he would achieve the goals for “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners set forth in a Party three-year plan, in two years.

Research by Jane Lin.


Source –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s