Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Activist remembers Tiananmen massacre

Note. Charlie Grapski is, and was in 1989, co-founder of the China Support Network. He has just published these recollections of what he did in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre -- the famous event of June 4, 1989:

June 4. This anniversary is one of the most significant anniversaries in my life. My political "virginity" was lost 25 years ago today and tomorrow - as I saw what was happening in Tiananmen Square and said to two friends - "we have to do something."

Throughout the 80s in college I had hoped to find a leader to follow and learn from. But in the early 80s - activism was not very widespread on campuses across the country. My nature is actually quite shy - despite what most know as my public persona. And I was far more interested in science than politics. But I had an inner voice calling me for years - telling me something was wrong in the world and that something needed to be done about it.

It was that total naiveté that was perhaps the best aspect of my character at the time. I had no idea what I was doing - I "just did it" (its not just a slogan for sneakers - but for citizens).

Within a few weeks of "doing it" - not knowing a thing about what I was doing - I was using the early internet to coordinate with people around the world - even finding one person in my own back yard - the hard way. This was years before the world wide web. The internet was mostly a haven for scientists - and thus for many of the students and scholars studying in the US who had been involved in the protests the previous months and whose lives were threatened by their government if and when they returned home.

I coordinated with people, gave my first public speeches (a shock when I was told I was going to do so - at the University of Central Florida - never having spoken in public before), took over the annual general meeting of Amnesty International, co-authoring a document about how they could keep young people and students involved (in the years following Live Aid).

And I wound up in Washington, D.C. I was using the office of a then freshman congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, to help get a bill through the House Judiciary Committee - where it was stalled because of certain members insisting on incorporating anti-abortion clauses in the legislation aiming to protect those students and scholars who spoke out in our country from having to return on their limited J-1 visas for certain harassment - if not worse.

Then I was asked to help get eight of the leaders who had escaped China and had made it to Paris - but were being denied US visas - come to America. OK, I said, again having no idea what I was doing - but just understanding that it needed to be done. So I just did it.

Then a whirlwind tour of Congressional offices with these amazing young leaders (not all were students - one Wan Runnan, was the CEO of China's equivalent if IBM, and Yan Jiaqi who was the aide to the Party Secretary Zhou Zhiang who was removed for his support of the student movement; perhaps the closest relationship I formed among the group was with Li Lu, who recently was named a likely successor to Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway, and then was the vice-commander of students on the Square) along with press conferences and talks at places like the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Press Club, and televised in the then fairly new to most people C-SPAN an event at the Heritage Foundation. Again - I have to reiterate - I knew absolutely nothing about what I was doing - only that I needed to be doing something - and what came naturally is how I learned - including from my mistakes (I even at one point, I am not sure if this was a mistake or not, turned down a meeting with the Vice President as a substitute for a meeting with Bush Senior. Then, when they relented and offered a meeting with the Secretary of State, which was acceptable except for wanting us to cancel a previous commitment, had to turn that meeting down as well!).

That was twenty-five years ago today. In a sense - as a citizen - I am turning twenty-five (and that's better than my actual birthday coming next Monday) today. Yet I was so busy I had lost track of time until I had a moment to reflect during the evening - and realized the date.

I have probably made more mistakes in those twenty-five years than right moves - but at least, I can say, I was moving - I was going - somewhere. Where? I hope heading toward, with my own contributions being but small pieces of a larger puzzle, a future of democracy - true democracy - that was dreamed of by those students on Tiananmen Square in the days before the tanks arrived - and then crushed them, literally, where many lay in their tents. That dream, however, is still alive. It lives, at least, within me. And I hope I have helped over the past two and a half decades encourage and instill that hope in others.

Charlie Grapski
June 3rd, 2014

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013: Chinese revolution?

By John Kusumi for the China Support Network

Massive protests have begun to disrupt both Hong Kong and mainland China. There comes a time when the status quo is flatly unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated by the populace. That generalization fits the current circumstances in China.

China is experiencing a faceoff and showdown between a popular newspaper and an unpopular Communist propaganda chief of Guangdong province. This is a key and crucial juncture that will serve to test the leadership of China's new leader, Xi Jingping. As the leader of China, Xi is new -- he was installed at a party Congress in November, 2012.

It needs to be remembered that the Chinese Communist Party is unelected, has no democratic legitimacy, and abuses the people of China. To gain power in 1949, it fought a civil war that killed an estimated 40 million Chinese people. In the time since then, it has killed a further 42.7 million Chinese people, as estimated by the China Support Network. It is an abomination in motion, as it continues its crimes against humanity. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) holds the world's record in democide (a/k/a death by government).

The Year 2013 already has action to review. Whether we look at Hong Kong or at Guangdong province, "Beijing's man" is under pressure.

January 1 was the occasion of large marches and demonstrations in Hong Kong, demanding the resignation of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong -- along with greater democracy, which would allow the next Chief Executive to be popularly elected.

In Hong Kong, a former British colony, the people have been promised democracy, but instead the leadership continues to be hand-picked by Beijing. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is the latest pawn of Beijing, installed in that job in 2012.

Over in Guangdong province, as mentioned, it is a standoff between a popular newspaper, the Southern Weekly, and the CCP's over-zealous propaganda chief for Guangdong province, Tuo Zhen, who newly came to the job in 2012.

Guangdong is China's biggest province by population, and has the highest economic output. Because it is the southern province that wraps around Hong Kong, it is the factory floor to the world, containing the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

What's happening in Guangdong is very telling. The Southern Weekly newspaper wanted to publish its New Years' message, titled "China's Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism." One might think it's a mild blandishment to suggest that a country (China) should follow its own Constitution. Even ex-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping extolled "the rule of law" and encouraged the training of young lawyers.

But, for Tuo Zhen, the mild blandishment was out of bounds; and, he changed that New Year's message into a piece that praised the Communist Party. One immediate problem is that Southern Weekly already has a reputation as a reform-minded newspaper that pushes the envelope; another immediate problem is that the original message, and word of the change, got around electronically. Hence, Tuo Zhen can no longer work in the shadows, and he is an exposed man in the center of a firestorm of controversy.

On January 4, journalists from the Southern Weekly signed an open letter, calling for the resignation of Tuo Zhen. This week, the journalists are on strike, leading to a BBC headline: "China newspaper journalists stage rare strike." On Monday, January 7, hundreds of supporters gathered outside the newspaper's office. Banners were seen calling for press freedom, constitutionalism, and democracy.

Cue the Chinese democracy movement -- it's back in bloom. For China, this is it: push is coming to shove. It's really on. Once before, in 1989, Deng Xiaoping was able to roll tanks into Tiananmen Square and roll back the Chinese democracy movement. That allowed the CCP to reclaim power from the uprising, which was led by Beijing college students, calling for democracy, for two months.

But it would be laughably silly if Xi Jinping now tried to stage a military assault upon an empty newspaper building. His options are very few -- he must walk back the CCP's appointment of Tuo Zhen, and endorse the editorial as originally written by the Southern Weekly. China should get on the page with its own Constitution, and stop having odd, corrupt, or evil government behaviors by the mercurial fiat, or whim, of high officials.

Even if Xi thinks that he can "partially" capitulate to the popular mood, in any partial capitulation he must talk the talk (or tacitly invite the talk) of constitutionalism. This will lead to more exposure of corruption and of those policy points where China is off the page with its own Constitution.

If he is still in power in the future, Xi will feel like a fireman, rushing from one brush fire to the next as each of these issues will generate its own movement and its own demands for reform and change in China. The gears are in motion for the population to hold its politicians accountable for how they wield power.

Perhaps 2013 is the year when we will see the triumphal return of the "student leaders" from the last uprising. They have been in exile, unable to return for the past 23 years. Some would like to see their parents before they die, and cruelly, the regime has prevented some parents from travelling outside of China to see their son, the exiled Chinese dissident.

The China Support Network restates its demand that Liu Xiaobo and all political prisoners must be released; that Charter 08 (a document by Liu Xiaobo and others, a reasonable road map to Chinese democracy) must be supported; and that all Chinese in exile must be allowed to return to China and to freely run conferences on the future of China; form and register political parties; and participate in the political process democratically.

China must also stop religious persecution, Falun Gong persecution, Tibetan persecution, Uighur persecution, Mongol persecution, laojiao administrative detention, and slave labor in laogai "reform through labor" camps. China must publish a complete list of the democide victims, and satisfy the affected families by bringing perpetrators to justice. China must "play fair" with its neighbors in the South China Sea, and reverse deploy the array of missiles that threaten Taiwan. China must stop deportation of North Korean refugees, and end its abusive one-child policy.

It would be ideal if Xi Jinping would walk back the primacy, if not the existence, of the Chinese Communist Party. The only hope for today's political leaders to continue is if the Constitution now takes primacy in China.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Speech: Let the Flame of Truth spread throughout the world!

Let the Flame of Truth spread throughout the world!

- Speech of pro-democracy Chinese dissident Tang Baiqiao to the Free Tibet campaigners -

Sept. 8, 2012

Today, we gather here to pass the Flame of Truth as a symbol of the Tibetan brothers and sisters who struggle for freedom. This torch symbolizes the self-immolation of Tibetan Freedom Fighters. We pass this torch of Truth, both to arouse the concern of the world's people, to oppose persecution suffered by Tibetans, but also to remember the Freedom Fighters who self-immolated!

Never in the history of mankind has such tragic mass repression and persecution continued for so long. For sixty years, tyranny has been suffered, not just by Tibetans, but also people of all ethnic groups, affecting all under the rule of the Communist Party, the CCP.

People are deprived of their freedoms as listed in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And, people are deprived of freedom even under China's own Constitution. That lists freedom of speech, freedom of demonstration, freedom of association, freedom of belief, freedom of movement, and those freedoms are denied to those who are persecuted.

When the Chinese Constitution says freedom of speech, that is just window dressing. That is for show, and it's not to be taken seriously. If you want to practice freedom of speech, then I'm sorry you had to go to jail, or be disappeared like the well-known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

It is absurd that mainland Chinese need permission to visit Hong Kong; and it is absurd that Tibetans living in Sichuan and elsewhere need permission to visit their grandparents living in Lhasa. A regime this absurd cannot be found in the history books, nor even in fiction!

Gao Zhisheng once said: "They are capable of great evil, but good people cannot imagine such evil."

At one time, dissidents who oppose CCP tyranny were called "outdated and behind the times." When all the world wanted to dance with this evil regime, when the Rise of China was so popular among the international community, dissidents stood alone and refused to reconcile with the Chinese Communists. This required great courage and wisdom!

Today, Chinese people scorn the CCP.  Like when a rat runs across the street, everybody cries, "kill it!". Just yesterday, thousands of people surrounded the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Loudly, they insist that Hong Kong must drop its plan to include Mainland propaganda and brainwashing in its educational curriculum.

The people of Hong Kong are all angry. Students, the general public, and even artists are all publicly supporting the protests in Hong Kong.

In Mainland China, any revolt against the authorities, in any form, gets a burst of applause from Internet users online.

This should be an old saying in China: "Human corruption, can not live!" This is a result of our many years of unremitting efforts to fight and expose the truth. There are indications that the collapse of the CCP is just a matter of time, and has entered the final countdown. Some people may think that I am too optimistic. The problem is that not only do I look at it this way, many Western experts and scholars understand China are beginning to change their view of the past, now that Communist China is at the brink of collapse.

So, today we stand here, and you can say out loud: "We're close to victory, and we will win!"

Today I want to publicly pay my respects to you! You stayed on the long road to pursue freedom and justice, so that the world will not completely sink. You are a model of humanity and righteousness. I support your fight for freedom, and I learned a lot from you. Your sincerity, your wisdom, your courage, leave me deeply moved and encouraged. If I have been able to stay on this road, fighting for democracy and against tyranny, part of the reason is this: I am motivated by your spirit. I often said to myself, there are so many Tibetan friends who say 'no' to CCP tyranny - I am not alone.

The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami said: "If there is a high wall of fortification, and eggs that are hitting that wall, I will always be on the side with the eggs."

I believe everyone is here today because it is human nature to stand here and cry for freedom and justice. Human nature is a truly powerful and invincible force! We fight for freedom and justice, and sometimes we pay a price. But, when we get freedom; when justice is done; the joy in our hearts will be worth the price we paid.

When this Truth Torch is passed in the world, I have a small request: I request all the world hear my voice and be touched by your conscience. Because the torch symbolizes those great Tibetan Freedom Fighters who burned themselves to death!

Freedom to Tibet!  Freedom to China!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No Fifth Dictator!

- As participants commemorate 2012's 23rd anniversary of Tiananmen's massacre, CSN's John Kusumi delivers a speech urging a new uprising in China -



Remarks as delivered:

For the American people, I can tell you that "We saw that massacre!" The massacre in Tiananmen Square, June 4 1989; it was not hidden. It was rare as an event that was well-covered by CNN, and it was visible on world television. It was obvious what the students in the square wanted: They wanted freedom, democracy, human rights. And they used slogans such as those from the American revolution. "Give me liberty, or give me death" is a line that American people know from Patrick Henry.

It was obvious that the students in the square wanted a good, an upright, an effective government with the rule of law and with the possibility of justice.

Obviously, the massacre in 1989 was an injustice.

And in America, I and many others could look at that scene on television and say, "It is only a matter of time that justice will come to China." Justice will come to China, the question of 'when' is a different matter. And now it's 23 years later. We did not know that it would take 23 years for justice to come to China.

But now, it is time for the Chinese people to take matters into their own hands, and to begin to create justice in China this year.

And, the government of China, of course, has a problem of scandal. It has had Wang Lijun; it has had Bo Xilai; it has had Chen Guangcheng. All of these are scandals or embarassments or humiliation. This is a loss of face for the Communist Party.

And so, they hope now to introduce a fifth administration. A fifth communist dictator - following Mao, following Deng, following Jiang, following Hu. Now they want to give a fifth communist dictator to China. A man named Xi Jinping.

There should be no fifth dictator from the Communist Party. And the people of China should take this opportunity this year to stand up and demand, "No Fifth Dictator!"

My urging to the people of China is make a movement right now that insists: No Fifth Dictator from the Communist Party! That is when justice will begin to come to China. And it is time now - we have waited for 23 years - I feel that the people must take matters into their own hands, and make that change of the Chinese government; make it happen this year.

Thank you for listening to my speech. Xie xie!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiananmen Crackdown Adds 1 Casualty: Ya Weilin

May 28, 2012 (CSN) -- Human Rights in China has released the following English translation of an obituary from the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of parents of those who were killed in the June 4, 1989 crackdown at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China.

Today, we announce with immense sorrow that Mr. Ya Weilin (轧伟林), father of Ya Aiguo (轧爱国), a victim of June Fourth government crackdown on the 1989 protests, and a key member of the Tiananmen Mothers, committed suicide by hanging himself on May 25. He was 73 years old.
Ya Weilin and his wife, Ms. Zhang Zhenxia (张振霞), an affectionate couple, have two sons. The younger son, Ya Aiguo was shot in the head by martial law troops in the vicinity of Gongzhufen (公主坟) in Beijing around 10 p.m. in the evening of June 3, 1989, and later died in the No. 301 Hospital. He was 22 years old. His family members were not able to locate his body until June 5. They buried him in Tianjin, their hometown.
Mr. Ya Weilin was a retired employee of the Food Department of the Second Institute of the Nuclear Industry Ministry. Since the Tiananmen Mothers contacted them in the 1990s, Mr. Ya and his wife had actively participated in the group’s protest activities without hesitation. Despite police intimidation and surveillance for many times, they never wavered.
Mr. Ya was usually in good health. He was introverted, honest and conscientious in his work. Every year, he joined the open letter signature campaign to demand a just resolution on the issue of June Fourth and also closely monitored the response from the government. He endured the passage of time for more than twenty years. His prolonged grief and depression finally led to despair.
According to his wife and his older son, they found a piece of paper on Ya recently, with the following written on it: his name, work unit, and, more importantly, information on his son’s death in the 1989 Tiananmen, that this grievance had not been redressed for more than 20 years, and that he would fight to his death. At that time, he was dissuaded by his family members from taking any action.
In the end, at 10 a.m. on May 24, 2012, on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of June Fourth, Mr. Ya left home. Family members and relatives looked everywhere but could not find him. After 24 hours, they reported to the local police, seeking help to find him but to no avail. In the afternoon of May 25, three family members found Mr. Ya body in a newly-constructed, un-used underground parking garage of the building where the couple lived, which belongs to the Second Institute of the Nuclear Industry Ministry.
The police immediately sent personnel and vehicles to cordon off the area, and moved Mr. Ya’s body away. His remains were cremated this morning, May 27.
The death of Mr. Ya—an ordinary citizen who, having given up hope in his long-term demand, ended his life in such a resolute way to protest the government’s brutality—is a new sin that has been added to old un-redressed grievances.
The death of Ya Weilin and his son are tragedies directly wrought by the Chinese government. The news of Mr. Ya’s death shocked us, the Tiananmen Mothers, like a sword piercing through our hearts. We want to cry but have no more tears; want to tell the world but have no more words.
Ms. Zhang Zhenxia, suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis, has lost a good husband who helped her through the hard times and took good care of her. We, the Tiananmen Mothers, have, once again, lost a good brother and partner.
We strongly condemn the Chinese Communist authorities’ cold-blooded behavior against  humanity and demand an immediate return of Mr. Ya’s suicide note to his family members.
We are closely monitoring developments of the situation and call on all Chinese people globally and in China as well as the international community to coordinate their efforts to urge the Chinese government to justly resolve the June Fourth issue and not let the tragedy like Mr. Ya Weilin happen again.

The death of Ya Weilin completely changes the tenor of this year's commemoration of June 4 -- the anniversary of Tiananmen Square's bloody massacre, which took the life of Ya Aiguo. It is very arguably true that the Tiananmen crackdown continues today, because we know that justice was never served; there has been no redress of the people's grievances; and pro-democracy advocates continue to languish in jail (Wang Bingzhang, Liu Xiaobo, and Zhou Yongjun are three pro-democracy dissidents now in captivity).

The crackdown is still with us, and the crackdown has just taken another life: that of Ya Weilin. For the third time this year, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has a black mark of shame, a public humilation that has been added to its long record of disreputable behaviors and unfortunate outcomes for the people of China.

The China Support Network, from 1989-2005, estimated 3,000 deaths in the Tiananmen crackdown. In 2005, the death of Zhao Ziyang prompted us to "estimate" 3,001. Today, with the death of Ya Weilin, we are raising our estimate to note that at least 3,002 are dead in this ongoing, brutal, and vicious Tiananmen crackdown -- still happening in mainland Red China.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Prediction of the Week: Mishandling of U.S.-China policy

By John Kusumi

From 1999 to the present, U.S. China policy has been no better than "leaving the Jews in the gas chambers." For thirteen years, China has conducted a crackdown against Falun Gong which will be remembered in the history books as an episode of genocide. And, for the same thirteen years, U.S. China policy has served only to appease and enrich the Communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs of mainland Red China.

I've opened my article here with very strong words that evoke the Holocaust, as befell the Jews under Nazi Germany in World War II. For perspective, some comparison and contrast is in order. It is true that The Holocaust as befell the Jews was far deadlier -- 6 million Jews are said to have perished under the Nazis, while Falun Gong can only document some 3,500 deaths.

Perhaps we can write of The Holocaust with capital letters on the one hand, and write of the holocaust as befalls the Falun Gong with lower case letters. With the widely divergent death tolls, commentators can point out that The Holocaust was a larger human rights abuse than the holocaust.

Falun Gong, however, can (and has) replied by pointing out that the perpetrator -- China's Communist Party -- has a prior record of crimes against humanity. The persecution of Falun Gong is the fifth hideous atrocity in a list of the largest:

• "Land Reform" of 1950-52, death toll 3.7 million;
• "The Great Leap Forward" of 1959-61, death toll 31.5 million;
• "The Cultural Revolution" of 1966-76, death toll 7.5 million;
• "June 4th," the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, death toll 3,000+;
• Persecution of Falun Gong, ongoing, death toll 3,500+

The preceding are atrocities during the reign of the Communist Party (CCP); but, we can recall that the CCP came to power in a civil war, during which 40 million people were killed. By a sum of these numbers, we see that the CCP is responsible for 82,706,500+ untimely deaths in China. They also brag that their "one child policy" has prevented over 300 million live births.

The suffering of the Chinese people under that Communist Party is unparallelled in history. That death toll is larger than World War II, which may have killed 60 million people world-wide. China's Communist Party is the deadliest killer in history, bar none. (And indeed, the Guiness Book of World Records used to cite the CCP for the world record in mass murder.)

As history's largest tragedy proceeds and continues unfolding today, is it appropriate for U.S. President Barack Obama to once again "punt on first down" in U.S. relations with Communist China?

No! Absolutely nothing is appropriate about engaging, glad handing, appeasing, and enriching communists, dictators, tyrants and thugs. Diplomats in Beijing are now looking for ways to finesse (read, sweep under the rug) the escape of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng from captivity.

First it was Wang Lijun (an official who sought refuge at a U.S. consulate in February, 2012), and now it is Chen Guangcheng. For the Communist Party, these two incidents are a loss of face and like self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Diplomats from the U.S. are likely to say that they will proceed with high-level talks as if they don't see the two smoking holes that the CCP has blown into its own feet.

I see no prospect that the Obama administration will do the right thing, and usher the Communist Party off of the world stage. By the end of this week, we can say of the Obama administration: "There they go again." The Obama adminstration has displayed weakness with China -- through on-again, off-again jet sales to Taiwan, and through refusing to designate China a currency manipulator.

By next week, I will be able to write a column--perhaps headlined, "One More Missed Opportunity--and note that once again, as per its standard procedure, the Obama administration has punted on first down and kow-towed to tyrants.

The story of Chen Guangcheng's escape is a soaring example of an indomitable human spirit that will accomplish Herculean feats in the pursuit of freedom, liberty, and justice. Chen's escape will be remembered in the annals of freedom.

America's founding fathers would be proud of Chen Guangcheng, and ashamed of Obama, Clinton, their diplomacy, and their complicity with tyranny, genocide, crimes against humanity, and their easy countenance for atrocities including those listed above. Not to mention their own war crimes, committed in America's name.

Once factor makes the scene interesting: The existential crisis at the CCP is happening during a U.S. presidential election year. That means, instead of silence on human rights abuses, suddenly the American news media is paying attention. It is the occasion for challengers to the President to criticize his handling of U.S.-China relations.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney has already been sharply critical of Obama in regards to China. Sunday, he issued a statement that said in part, "Any serious U.S. policy toward China must confront the facts of the Chinese government's denial of political liberties, its one-child policy and other violations of human rights."

The Chinese regime would prefer that we never hear the names Wang Lijun, Chen Guangcheng, and Mitt Romney. For them, those three names mean loss of face, loss of face, and loss of face, respectively. At present, it is an embarrassment and a humiliation to be a representative of the Chinese Communist Party.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hu's On First?

Periphery asks of Beijing: "Who is in charge of China?"

New York, March 23, 2012 (CSN) -- The Chinese Communist Party has always been a power struggle in motion. Recently, the power struggle burst into public view, and Beijing's officials have become so tight-lipped that an official newspaper (the Global Times) has published an editorial urging Beijing to break its "radio silence."

As reported in The Epoch Times, "The anonymous editorial calls on the party’s highest authorities to clarify the confusion about who is now in charge of the country."

Western reporters, looking for a quick way to write the story, tend to begin with Wang Lijun's dramatic flight to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, when he tried to defect or obtain asylum from the United States. U.S. officials declined to fulfill his request, but they spent the night debriefing Wang and taking documents that Wang had brought with him. It seems that Wang revealed plans for a coup d'etat.

A U.S. official told Bill Gertz, who wrote in the Washington Free Beacon that "Wang possessed invaluable knowledge of...the efforts of the hardliners like Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai to upset the smooth succession of Xi Jinping." [See]

Xi Jinping, currently Vice President, is on track to become President in a leadership transition slated to begin later this year. "To upset the smooth succession" is polite terminology, or diplomatic understatement, for a coup d'etat.

Wang was also exposing corruption on the part of his boss, Bo Xilai, who was the top Communist Party Secretary in Chongqing, known as a neo-Maoist "princeling" in Chinese politics. Bo led a campaign of "singing red songs," in which there was organized mass singing of Maoist-era communist songs, bringing back the sounds of China's disasterous Cultural Revolution, a tragedy / travesty of 1966 - 1976.

It was under reported in the U.S. that on Feb. 7, the U.S. Consulate was surrounded by not one -- but two -- sizeable mobilizations of armed security forces. Those two mobilizations were from two different factions in China's power struggle. [A blow-by-blow account of this story appears at]

The first mobilization was 70 police cars, armored personnel carriers, and tanks from Chongqing, led by Huang Qifan, the mayor of Chongqing, at the behest of Bo Xilai.

The second group was Sichuan Provincial National Security and police, mobilized at the behest of Beijing's Ministry of State Security.

The Chongqing forces surrounded the consulate up until noon on Feb. 7, at which time they were expelled by the provincial forces. While the Chongqing faction wanted to take custody of Wang Lijun, at the end of day he was taken to Beijing.

The Chongqing faction has been crumbling ever since then. Bo Xilai was sacked on March 15, after Premier Wen Jiabao closed the National People's Congress with a press conference -- and unique remarks -- on March 14.

Wen said, "The present Chongqing municipal Party committee and the municipal government must reflect seriously and learn a lesson from the Wang Lijun incident." That was a tip off to the smack down which was coming the next day.

Wen also said, "The mistakes of the Cultural Revolution and feudalism have not been completely eliminated." This was an open rebuke to the neo-Maoist strain of communism that was represented by Bo Xilai, who was fired the next day.

After Wang and Bo, the tip of the spear would logically move to Zhou Yongkang, who serves or served on the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the top committee of CCP leadership. On the PSC, Zhou was a patron to Bo Xilai, and was a supporter for Bo to join the PSC in the next leadership shuffle. Zhou could also be thought of as a neo-Maoist hardliner who was anti-American abroad and brutally despotic at home.

On March 19, rumors swirled that a military coup had taken place in Beijing. The rumor turned out to be false, but plausible.

China analysts have noted that China recently spends more money on its internal security -- to "maintain social stability" -- than it spends on its military. Hence, the internal security apparatus is beyond that of its external security apparatus. And, what minister had that budget -- larger than the armed forces? Zhou Yongkang.

From the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou led the Political and Law Committee, with authority over the paramilitary People's Armed Police along with courts and prosecutors. This is a weakness of the Communist Party system. One man had far too much power, domestically. Zhou Yongkang could be judge, jury, and executioner -- and is the only man who could credibly mount a forcible, armed coup against the other top Communists.

The false-but-plausible rumor of a coup has led to a swirl of additional rumors. Throughout the week of March 19 - 23, we have observed:

• The Twitter-like Sina Weibo blocked searches for "coup," "Bo Xilai," and "Zhou Yongkang."

• This was a bad week in which to be a Ferrari dealer in China. "Ferrari" was also blocked as a search term. Rumors were swirling that a high-level somebody had perished when a red Ferrari crashed in Beijing on March 18.

• Bo Xilai is reported to be under house arrest.

• Zhou Yongkang is said to have lost the power struggle and to have been arrested.

• The Financial Times (a UK paper) quoted an unnamed source who said, "Mr Zhou had been ordered not to make any public appearances or take any high-level meetings and was 'already under some degree of control.'"

• The purge is said to have widened to include Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun, two more members of the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee.

• Holes appeared in the Great Firewall of China -- the system of filtering the internet. Certain people including Zhou Yongkang and the propaganda minister Li Changchun were known to be champions of internet censorship. During this week, it became possible for netizens in China to search and retrieve results for forbidden terms such as Falun Gong and June 4 (the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre).

Notably, when Falun Gong persecution is exposed, together with its raft of crimes against humanity, this is a blow against the perpetrators. The persecution was ordered by former President Jiang Zemin, and conducted or supported by the others who are now in trouble and falling out of power: Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Zhou Yongkang, Luo Gan, Bo Xilai, Wang Lijun.

It is a happy day for Falun Gong when Maoist websites are going down, and Falun Gong websites are coming up. The perpetrators and persecutors are falling from power.

At mid-week, it was announced that 3,300 local secretaries, under Zhou's Political and Law Committee, are required to attend "ideological training sessions" at the behest of Beijing. There, they will study Hu Jintao's theory of Scientific Development. The announcement made no mention of Zhou Yongkang.

This seems to be convincing evidence that the power struggle is going favorably for the Hu - Wen faction. However, there have been no definitive statements to place closure on the matter of this power struggle. This led to the Thursday editorial by the Global Times that basically asked for central guidance as to "Who's in charge, here?"

By the end of the week it seemed that China's Internet censors could no longer figure out which rumors to promote, and which rumors to hide.

On Friday, March 23, this office (the China Support Network) moved to appear on New Tang Dynasty Television, to demand freedom for Chinese dissidents and three key reforms: freedom of speech, abolition of laogai (reform-through-labor camps), and abolition of laojiao (administrative detention).

China Support Network founder John Kusumi said that in his view, "It's time to be singing the blue songs and hitting the red."