On December 22nd, 2013, Baidu, China’s largest internet search engine, had it's Internet blockade down for a day. For this brief moment, uncensored information regarding Falun Gong was available.
On December 22nd, the Chinese regime’s leadership sent a message that they do not want to take responsibility for the crimes involved in persecuting the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, according to political commentators.
The message was communicated through allowing a very specific crack in the otherwise impenetrable Great Firewall of China.
News about the persecution of Falun Gong, which has been strictly censored on the Chinese Internet, was suddenly available, if one searched using the name “Li Dongsheng.”
Until a few days ago Li Dongsheng was head of the 6-10 Office, an extra-legal Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organisation formed to eradicate the practice of Falun Gong.
The then-paramount leader Jiang Zemin had set up the 6-10 Office on June 10th, 1999, in anticipation of launching the campaign against Falun Gong a little over a month later.
Jiang feared how popular Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, had become, and also feared that Falun Gong’s traditional moral teachings would prove more attractive to the Chinese people than the CCP’s atheist ideology.
Li was there at the beginning to assist Jiang, appointed as a deputy director of the 6-10 Office in charge of propaganda.
According to a one-sentence announcement on December 20th on the website of the Party’s disciplinary body, Li is being investigated for unnamed “serious violations of law”.
Li is being submitted to the abusive special interrogation that the CCP reserves for its own, called “shuanggui.” Sleep deprivation and torture await him in some undisclosed location.
On December 22nd, an Epoch Times reporter searched on Baidu, the leading Internet search engine in China, for the keywords “Li Dongsheng, organ harvesting”. The first result was an article titled “Important Name List Involved In the Coup Organised By Zhou Yongkang”, reported by the Chinese-language Epoch Times on December 10th.
Zhou Yongkang, China’s former domestic security czar, along with the now jailed but former rising star Bo Xilai and others, had plotted a coup to seize power.
The second search result showed a report by the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD) that said, “Millions of people around the world appeal to stop the CCP’s organ harvesting.”
According to independent investigators, the Chinese regime began harvesting organs of Falun Gong practitioners for transplantation. 6-10 officials have been implicated in helping arrange for practitioners to have their organs harvested. Tens of thousands are believed to have been killed in this way.
Hong Wei, an independent political commentator, told Sound of Hope (SOH) radio, “It [the search results for “Li Dongsheng, organ harvesting] shows that the current authorities understand that the crime of organ harvesting is so big that it must be judged by the international society. They want Chinese to know that the international pressure was created by Zhou Yongkang, Jiang Zemin, and [former head of the 6-10 Office] Luo Gan, and so on.”
The Epoch Times reporter also searched “Li Dongsheng, False Fire.”
As the deputy director of the 6-10 Office in charge of propaganda, Li Dongsheng is believed to have helped stage an incident on Tiananmen Square in January 2001 in which five so-called Falun Gong practitioners were said to have immolated themselves. China Central Television began immediately running a propaganda video showing the purportedly burning figures.
That incident had a profound effect on the Chinese people and on people around the world. They became distrustful of Falun Gong and even to this day that video still affects people’s judgement of Falun Gong.
A documentary called False Fire, along with articles in several international media outlets, debunked the CCTV video.
The search’s first result was an article that explained how CCTV had staged the self-immolations, called The Truth of Tiananmen Self-Immolation Video.
The following few results on the first page were reported by NTD, revealing that Li Dongsheng had directed the self-immolation incident in January 2001 to defame Falun Gong.
This information has never been allowed to appear on China’s Internet in the past.
A message from high up
Zhang Sutian, an independent political commentator, says that by releasing the surprising search results on Baidu, the current Party leadership wants the Chinese people to know they are taking a different stance towards the persecution of Falun Gong.
“It must be ordered at a high level. The purpose is to leak the information and let Chinese know the inside information about the persecution of Falun Gong.” Zhang Sutian told SOH.
“The content allowed on Baidu is all about the crimes and persecution of Falun Gong that the CCP most wanted to hide in the past,” Zhang said.“It means that there are people in the CCP who don’t want to take the responsibility for the crimes committed by Jiang Zemin.”
Zhang said the release of information through Baidu has also helped lay a foundation for moving against other officials.
A series of high officials who played major roles in persecuting Falun Gong have already been sacked one after another, Zhang said, which shows that the persecution is becoming difficult to maintain.