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December 22, 2016
On December 20 the official Weibo account of the Communist Youth League Central Committee posted a short video (YouTube) targeting human right lawyer Jiang Tianyong (江天勇). Jiang was disappeared on November 21, and the Chinese government has not formally notified his relatives of his whereabouts, which violates China’s own laws. As the Party’s propaganda juggernaut churns out videos like this, the word “shameless” fails to describe it. The Chinese narration of the video is presented, interspersed with the images and corresponding text in italics. — The Editors
As the population of society has continued to grow, the number of people using fake identities to commit crimes has increased in large numbers.
Thus, the real name-registration system is an important feature of public security in modern life.
Imagine you’re on a train and find that next to you is an individual who has falsely assumed the identity of another to ride the train. Wouldn’t you feel afraid?
If you find that this chap is carrying 7 cell phones with him, and 11 SIM cards, wouldn’t you be frightened?
If, then, you find that he has even been keeping in close contact with an evil religious organization [the official designation of Falun Gong], and has boarded your train with unspeakable motives, wouldn’t you want ‘Uncle Policeman’ to come and immediately take him away?
[On the screen, subtitles and pictures say: “The pretty rabbit’s eyes turn sharp. No criminal has ever been able to escape their gaze. Come now, the pretty rabbit will unpack everything for you!”]
On the evening of November 21, traveling from Southern Changsha to Western Beijing on the D940 train, there was just such a man. After he was discovered by police, he was taken away.
Arresting miscreants who falsify and misuse the identities of other citizens is the duty of the People’s Police as part of their job to protect law-abiding citizens.
[The picture says:
China: Forging, modifying, or buying and selling identification cards, passports, social security cards, licenses, or other documents that can legally demonstrate identity, may be punished by up to three years imprisonment, detention, supervision, or deprivation of political rights, as well as a fine. Severe circumstances could lead to between three and seven years imprisonment and a fine.
United States: Any person who for any reason uses false information to apply for a social security card or who bribes a government employee to illegally obtain a social security card, or who uses forged or stolen social security cards, all constitute severe crimes. Each charge brings a maximum of five years imprisonment, with a maximum fine of $10,000 (about 60,000 yuan), or both penalties.]
Not a single country with the rule of law would tolerate people posing under false names.
Yet when this suspect was arrested, enthusiasts around the world leapt out to say that he had been “disappeared,” crying how the rule of law in China is so awful and dark.
What was their goal? Of course, it was to fool the masses into complaining with them, trying to cook up international headlines that would draw everyone’s attention.
[Picture: Jiang Tianyong, male, human rights lawyer. Has represented Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), AIDS victims, and other human rights cases. He has been abducted by secret police several times in the past and subject to torture. Place of disappearance: On a train between Hunan and Beijing. Days since disappearance: 15.]
[VOA report: Three days ago, on China’s National Constitution Day, the wife of Jiang Tianyong, Jin Bianling (金变玲), and three friends initiated a joint petition to collect 10,000 signatures. They called on China’s Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun (郭声琨) to task the public security authorities with investigating Jiang Tianyong’s disappearance. The three other signatories to the open letter were the renowned human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, the legal scholar Teng Biao (滕彪), and the journalist Su Yutong (苏雨桐).]
[Picture: Collecting signatures globally – “Open letter to Guo Shengkun regarding the disappearance of Jiang Tianyong. Jiang Tianyong has been missing for three weeks; the whole world is looking for him.]
[Video: Chairperson of the Taiwan branch of Amnesty International Lin Shu-ya (林淑雅): “Please provide information on his current whereabouts and his health. Please provide him all appropriate physical care.”]
These enthusiasts always tell stories — but very rarely do they give any evidence.
Every time they try get a gang together, like they’re carrying out a mission, trying to spread rumors until they become facts, using cheap tricks to fool people.
[Picture: “Our slogan is to make trouble! Make trouble! Make trouble!”]
Even the ignorant masses are not buying it.
For example, the silliest claim by Jiang Tianyong was when he said that the police had broken eight of his ribs, and afterwards he hid and ran, even going back to Beijing from Heilongjiang, and then onto Tianjin.
And yet there was no X-ray and no diagnosis by the hospital. There are so many swindlers around these days, and they’ve got so many tricks — deliberately making you break something to get you to pay for it, or badger game — so who knows how many cons they’ve got up their sleeves.
It’s said that the real name of this imposter on the train is Jiang Tianyong, 46, once a lawyer in Beijing.
He’s been engaged in all sorts of bizarre and odd activities in the name of being a lawyer, even though the All China Lawyers Association issued a document years ago, back in 2009, saying that this man’s license to practice law had been cancelled.
[Picture: Statement on All China Lawyers’ Association: Recently, the Association has found a series of cases of individuals who have never obtained credentials as lawyers, or whose credentials have been cancelled, or who have been disbarred from practicing law, and who have recently been involved in activities identifying themselves as lawyers, thus misleading other lawyers and the public at large. In order to safeguard the reputation of attorneys as a profession, the following notice is now made: Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Liu Wei (刘巍), Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠), and Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) are all individuals whose licenses to practice law have been revoked. Wang Cheng (王成), Jiang Tianyong, and Teng Biao are individuals who have had their licenses to practice law cancelled. The above individuals are not lawyers, and the activities that they engage in have nothing to do with the legal profession. We hope the legal community and society at large will understand the matter clearly.]
So for years Jiang has been an out-and-out fake lawyer, and a fake lawyer, of course, can’t make a living by bringing frivolous cases to court — because the court, just like a hotel or a train, needs to see your ID.
Even though this fake lawyer doesn’t have any honest income, his stubborn character ensures he’ll still do well for himself. In fact, he can just say that he’s a “citizen representative,” and even though he’s not a lawyer, he can use that to win over the victim’s trust.
[Picture: (Writing on smock of woman) Injustice! The Baoding prison in Hubei Province killed my husband Guan Xiangxing (关祥星) with impunity.]
Even though he can’t get a regular income from hyping up sensitive cases, he can still get some side income from foreign forces.
In front of the crowd of Chinese petitioners he sets himself up as a paragon of morality, then becomes a propaganda weapon for foreign forces. He instigates one victim after another, hypes up a normal case into an unresolvable dispute, and eats the “blood cakes” [making a business out of others’ suffering] of one family after another.
Some of these lawyers are real, while some are fake — but such incidents are endless.
There are so many Jiang Tianyongs in the hands of those hidden forces, ready to be used.
Jiang Tianyong has been arrested. Now what awaits the malefactor is further investigation by the procuratorial organs and being brought to justice by the judiciary.
As to how many Jiang Tiangyongs there are out there, yet to be caught — we’ll just have to see how many colleagues of his come out in support.
[The face of lawyer Zhou Shifeng (周世锋) appears in the video.]
We’ll see how big the storm is that’s kicked up.
Disappeared Lawyer a Long-time Target of Surveillance, Detention, and Torture, November, 2015
Wife and Relatives Issue Statement Over Torture of Rights Lawyer Xie Yang in Changsha, August, 2016.
14 Cases Exemplify the Role Played by Lawyers in the Rights Defense Movement, 2003–2015, August, 2015.
August 3, 2016
This video was posted this week by the official Weibo accounts of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the PRC, as well as the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League. The claims are false and distorted, ludicrously so, but the world view behind it is real and has consequences. We provide an English translation of the script. — The Editors
Beware of Color Revolutions
Not long ago, a little Iraqi girl was filmed speaking on camera, and her story saddened countless people around the world.
“What’s your name?”
“I don’t know.”
“Where is your father?”
“Where? Where did he die?”
“Have you had breakfast, lunch, or supper? Tell me.”
Of course, there is him too. [The dead Syrian boy on the beach]
And all those who were disregarded and forgotten.
When you feel their misfortunes and sufferings,
Have you ever thought: What if China one day becomes Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and Turkey…
What will it be like for our children?
Right now, China is peaceful and stable,
And most of the population live a simple but happy life.
However protected we are in the strong arms of the motherland,
The dark clouds of domestic trouble and external threats still hang over China’s sky.
The disturbances surrounding the Diaoyu Islands [Senkaku Islands],
China’s peacekeepers being attacked,
The South China Seas arbitration.
The USA, Japan, and the Philippines have frequently bared their swords towards China,
Threatening the security in areas around China, and infringing on China’s national interests.
Tibetan independence, Xinjiang independence,
Hong Kong independence, Taiwan independence,
As well as dissidents and diehard lawyers, proxies of Western forces.
They are doing everything to sabotage China’s domestic stability and harmony.
Behind them all, we often glimpse the ghostly shadows of the Stars and Stripes.
In fact, the Western forces led by the United States,
Have been creating social confrontations with the intent of subverting regimes in targeted countries,
In the name of “democracy, freedom, and rule of law.”
The slogans may be loud, and the lies beautiful, but they will never become reality.
The former-Soviet Union,
After America meddled in those countries,
They fell into war and chaos, unrest and hopelessness,
One misery after another, warning China to be vigilant.
At this moment, we should rejoice
That under the leadership of the Party, the central government has recognized the danger of “color revolutions.”
When the so-called “human rights lawyers” who have received foreign money are punished one by one according to the law,
When more and more internet users wake up from the swirl of rumors,
When the “Arab Spring” makes more people aware of the dangers of “color revolutions,”
We can be very self-confident: China will not become the next Soviet Union.
Today, faced with the “color revolution” conspiracy that has long openly infiltrated China,
We are no longer numb. We’ve long been vigilant.
As the next generation of Chinese,
Safeguarding regime security and the territorial integrity,
Is the unshirkable responsibility that this age has bestowed upon us.
And in the face of all the problems facing our nation, our most patriotic behavior is simply to do well what’s in front of us:
Students must study well.
Workers must strive hard.
Soldiers must drill diligently.
Scientists must focus on their research.
When every one of us does his or her own job,
The “color revolution” conspiracy will eventually go away.
We simply want to say to those people trying to incite a “color revolution” in China:
Do you want to make China turn into that? Over our dead bodies!
Safeguard China, beware of color revolutions!
Produced by Dujia Media
After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’, China Change, July 15, 2016.
After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’
China Change, July 15, 2016
On late Friday afternoon on July 15, the Second Branch Procuratorate of the Tianjin People’s Procuratorate announced on its official Weibo account that four of the several dozen lawyers and activists detained since July 2015, in what is known as the “709 Incident” or “709 Crackdown,” have been indicted. The message was quickly re-posted and reported by People’s Daily and other mouthpiece media:
On July 15, 2016, the Second Branch Procuratorate of the Tianjin People’s Procuratorate, upon review, has decided according to law to indict Zhou Shifeng, Hu Shigen, Zhai Yanmin, Gou Hongguo respectively in the Tianjin Second People’s Intermediate Court for the alleged crime of subversion of state power.
Zhou Shifeng is the director of Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, and over his legal career has represented many victims of social injustice and political persecution, including victims of contaminated milk powder in 2008 and, more recently, the 82-year-old writer Tie Liu who was arrested in 2014 for his writing. The other three are activists, among them Hu Shigen, who was a political prisoner for 16 years from 1992 to 2008, and a house church leader in Beijing.
A few hours later on Friday evening, Legal Daily, a state outlet, posted two commentaries similar in composition and views. They were quickly reposted by other media and the major internet portals. As state media have done over the past year on television, in print media, and online, the two articles repeated the same attacks on China’s human rights lawyers and activists.
Without the rule of law and press freedom, China’s rights defense movement early on developed a model of simultaneously using multiple instruments of pressure: lawyers worked together with liberal journalists, intellectuals, and activists to challenge injustice in court and publicize cases online, while citizen activists congregated on site to provide support. Social media has made this kind of networking much easier and more efficient. But the reality remains that right lawyers and social activists lose most cases, and win only a few.
But the government has not stopped at merely suppressing them – with the 709 crackdown, it has escalated its hostility to a new height.
In language reminiscent of Mao-style political purges, the article, titled “Zhou Shifeng and the others deserve to be indicted for endangering state security,” describes the legal fight for freedom of expression, religious freedom, social injustice, and even for issues like food safety and women and children’s rights, as “challenging state security and the fundamental political system.” These were called “criminal activities aimed at subverting state power.”
In any case, this defines, unequivocally, the government’s thinking and motivation behind the 709 crackdown.
The other article, titled “How Zhou Shifeng and others fell into an abyss, step by step,” describes the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm as “a premeditated, planned, organized clique that collides with foreign anti-China forces.”
Both articles direct their ultimate criticism at the “foreign subversive forces.” One of them says:
Inevitably, the contestation of global politics has always infiltrated, will always infiltrate, everywhere, and it has always been the strong suit of the West to criticize China’s ‘human rights’ issues. China has been accelerating its comprehensive reforms, and judicial construction and human rights protections are at the forefront. From government to society, countless forces have been working unceasingly, among them lawyers across the board, making efforts without much fanfare. Unable to find an opening [to exploit] anywhere, the West fastens its concern for human rights on a small number of dissidents and those so-called ‘opinion leaders,’ bankrolling them for their ‘confrontation.’ As a result, a small number of ‘rights lawyers’ have become the leverage the West uses for political contestation with China.
The other article gives examples of individuals and organizations that constitute “foreign anti-China forces.” They include:
- “Journalists with the Associated Press and the German public TV Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen that reported on the Fengrui Law Firm.” This assertion is based on photos posted on Fengrui’s website and by its Weibo account;
- “The famous anti-China American Congressman Chris Smith.” According to the article, Smith strongly condemned the arrest of rights lawyers, “but in a slip of the tongue acknowledged that he had met with some of the detained lawyers.” “Smith is a 100% anti-China old hand, and has appeared in many anti-China events in the U. S. from 2006 to 2014.”
- “The foreign ministries of the U. S., Germany, and Britain or their embassies in China issued statements respectively on July 9 that hyped the seriousness of the ‘709 incident’ and demanded the release of the lawyers involved. In doing so, they attempted in vain to pressure our political system with the pretext of ‘human rights issues.’”
- “Some Western legal groups and organizations issued open letters to pressure the Chinese government. The American Bar Association even awarded the ‘International Human Rights Award’ to the detained Wang Yu.”
The articles also lists supposed collusive activities with foreign forces: “going abroad to participate in training on subverting state power;” “receiving foreign funding;” and “posting news on overseas websites.”
According to the Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, 24 lawyers and activists are currently in custody, including the 24-year-old Zhao Wei, the assistant of lawyer Li Heping. The authorities say she’s been released, but she still appears to be in custody. None of the detained have had access to family-designated lawyers since their detention a year ago.
It’s increasingly clear that the Chinese communist government is treating the “709 incident” as a focus of international face-off for regime security. It is consistent with an assessment in 2012 by a think tank of the Chinese Ministry of National Security that names rights lawyers, underground religion, dissidents, internet opinion leaders, and disadvantaged social groups as internal conduits for western infiltration. When you laugh it all off and go about your business with China as usual, keep in mind that the “709 incident” exemplifies the political perspective through which Communist China sees itself and its relations with the rest of the world – nothing less.
This site is edited by Yaxue Cao. Follow her on Twitter @yaxuecao
The ‘709 Incident:’ some testimony from the human rights lawyer community, Eva Pils, July 8, 2016.
Crime and Punishment of China’s Rights Lawyers, Mo Zhixu explains why Chinese government is out to get them, China Change, July 23, 2015.
Cataloging the Torture of Lawyers in China, China Change, July 5, 2015.
Archived pages of the two Legal Daily commentaries: