Zhang Hongbao in Blast Furnace

---- A documentary on how the outstanding spiritual leader transformed to a political leader

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The Wily "Fishman" as a Beneficiary in Zhang Hongbao's Political Litigation

By Yang Yi



From New York Times Message Board



       The litigation involving Zhang Hongbao's political asylum application has drawn much public attention in the world. The tortuous course of this case reminded me of a Chinese proverb: "If a snipe and a clam are locked in a fight, it is only to the advantage of the fisherman." In Zhang's political asylum case, the fisherman as a beneficiary can be no other than Jiang Zemin and the Chinese government.


       The U.S. INS and Zhang Hongbao have been locked in a stalemate for more than one year over the issue of Zhang's application for political asylum. When the Immigration Court revised its decision and chose to grant Zhang "anti-torture protection" and "suspended deportation," the INS proceeded to appeal, insisting on deporting Zhang to a third country. The conducts of the Justice Department under the former U.S. administration produced a widening ripple in the world media, and the former U.S. President has received severe censure, in public opinion, for backing down from his commitment that the United States would "provide effective protection for those who need it all over the world." Thus, while America's reputation has been tarnished in this case, Zhang Hongbao's Zhonggong organization has also suffered heavy losses because of the incarceration of its leader and decision-maker over the past year. So the only party who is pleased with the situation and has benefited from the case is Jiang Zemin and the Chinese government.


       To forestall America's granting political asylum to Zhang Hongbao, Jiang Zemin and the Chinese government have deliberately avoided touching upon Zhang's identity as a dissident, in an attempt to dilute the political nature of this case. Instead, by trying to focus the public attention on the specious evidence fabricated by the Chinese government to back up its spurious allegation that Zhang committed rape crimes, CCP has taken great pains to carry out a defamatory campaign against Zhang Hongbao. It is not hard for people to imagine how pleased Jiang Zemin must have been with the situation. From his perspective, the damage to America's reputation would be an appropriate retribution to the United States for the role she has played in condemning China for its human rights record; Zhang's incarceration and the inhuman treatment he has received, on the other hand, would be a fitting retribution for the leading role he played in Zhonggong's successful national resistance campaign in August 1999.


       Jiang Zemin, however, is not just a "fisherman," for he is not a bystander in Zhang's case. In fact, the genuine contestants in this political battle are Jiang's government on the one hand, and Zhonggong leader Zhang Hongbao, on the other.


       Zhang has enjoyed great popularity in Mainland China for his outstanding ability to mobilize and organize. For over ten years, his followers have increased to an astounding number of over 38 millions; in the mean while, he founded and established more than 3,000 enterprises and businesses that were legally registered, disseminating health-promoting techniques and Qilin Culture among the Chinese people. Regarding him as a threat to the Communist power, Jiang Zemin instructed the police and national security forces to conduct surveillance over Zhang's Zhonggong organization for 7-8 years. Under Zhang Hongbao's resourceful leadership and following his instructions "to establish, develop and defend the enterprises in accordance with the existent laws," the Zhonggong organization enjoyed an impressive development, especially in the gray areas still permitted by the Chinese laws. Having failed to find any legal loophole in Zhonggong's operations to exploit as an excuse for an official suppression, Jiang Zemin simmered in rage until the crackdown on Falungong offered him an opportunity to do something about Zhonggong. As Jiang Zemin's regime was poised for an all-out attack at Zhonggong, Zhang Hongbao directed a coordinated endeavor of thousands of Zhonggong enterprises to launch "the 99.8 National Campaign," a resistance movement that mobilized Zhonggong organization all over the country to send two letters of protest and condemnation against Jiang's government for violating the Constitution and cracking down on the people. The two letter were successfully delivered to numerous government facilities of various functions, such as the police, procuratorial, judiciary, administrational, military, and discipline inspection branches. When Jiang's crackdown on Zhonggong was imminent, Zhang Hongbao once again directed a strategic shift for the Zhonggong organizations, having it arranged for most Zhonggong members to disperse and engage in clandestine activities. Half a year later, when Jiang Zemin was informed about Zhang's presence in the United States, he was evidently eager to seize this opportunity to "get rid of an adversary through a third party," as a famous Chinese saying goes. Thus, the battle between persecution and anti-persecution, between defamation and anti-defamation, between revenge and anti-revenge has extended itself from China to the United States.

       Finally, people have realized what the litigation over Zhang Hongbao's political asylum is all about. So who should receive our support and who deserves our repudiation in this case? If certain officials in the Justice Department of the former U.S. administration had had a clear, unobstructed view of the nature of Zhang's case, they would not have acted against America's principles of promoting human rights and humanitarian values, they would not have been manipulated by the totalitarian and dictatorial Chinese government, they would not have assisted, consciously or unconsciously, Jiang Zemin in his scheme of getting ride of an adversary through the hands of a third party.

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