Got a news story? Hot tip?
Something that the public needs to know?
The Epoch Times
Guo Wengui, a Chinese real estate and investment billionaire living in exile, broke a long period of silence this year, giving video interviews with overseas Chinese media in which he described a complex web of business and politics connecting China’s elite.
One of the most surprising revelations to result from Guo’s interviews is what he had to say on the subject of forced organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, in particular from practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that is heavily persecuted by the Chinese regime.
After describing how his now-imprisoned business rival Li You was able to locate a replacement liver without any difficulty, Guo said he made enquiries among his network in China, and found that the liver was to come from a murdered practitioner of Falun Gong (at the time of the interview, Li You had not yet undergone the liver transplant).
In a tweet that followed his second interview, Guo apologized to adherents of Falun Gong, saying that he previously thought that organ harvesting was a hoax. “But judging from Li You getting a new liver, I saw that this kind of thing is really happening! I didn’t make this clear [in the program], so here I express my apologies to Falun Gong believers,” Guo said.
Later, Guo voiced support for the meditative faith, which has been suppressed by communist authorities since 1999, on orders of then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.
Citing Falun Gong’s main philosophical tenets, Guo said Falun Gong practitioners were “very friendly and dedicated” people who had “indeed put ‘truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance’ into practice.”
“I really have no idea why [Falun Gong] was labelled an ‘evil religion’,” Guo said in a March 12 telephone interview with a reporter from New Tang Dynasty Television, a Chinese-language broadcaster based in New York.
Guo’s comments about organ harvesting corroborate from a unique angle what human rights researchers have long been investigating: that not just death-row inmates, but prisoners of conscience—mostly Falun Gong, but also independent Chinese Christians, Uyghurs, and Tibetans—have been killed on the operating table for China’s massive organ transplant industry.
The inside revelations on Falun Gong and organ harvesting reportedly invited ire from the Chinese authorities, sources close to the regime told Epoch Times. Simultaneously, Guo Wengui’s statements reflect a little-known role that Falun Gong plays in political infighting within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Guo Wengui, the controlling shareholder of Beijing Zenith Holdings and other companies, is known as a pair of “white gloves”—a money launderer for top regime officials. Like Xiao Jianhua, a prominent financier who was disappeared from his Hong Kong residence in January and investigated, Guo is associated with fallen Party cadres purged in current Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, as well as retired Chinese leaders, such as former vice president Zeng Qinghong. Guo fled China in 2015.
Zeng Qinghong is a close ally of Jiang Zemin, the 90-year-old retired Chinese leader who had pushed through an unpopular policy of persecuting Falun Gong. Jiang saw the group as an potential ideological challenge to communist rule, and saw a campaign against them as a means of increasing his political capital.
But the tens of millions of Falun Gong adherents, instead of breaking under China’s vast system of labor camps or near-constant demonization by the state-controlled media, continued to practice their faith and offer civil disobedience in an ordeal that has lasted nearly two decades and long outlasted Jiang Zemin’s formal time in office.
Still, to secure his legacy and maintain his political power, Jiang, Zeng, and other confidants placed allies and associates into positions of influence across the ranks of the Party, civil government, military, and industrial leadership.
Since 2012, when Xi Jinping took the reins from his predecessor Hu Jintao as CCP general secretary, many of Jiang Zemin’s allies have been directly or indirectly targeted in an unrelenting anti-corruption campaign. And while Western observers are quick to see in today’s leadership the reinforcement of communist autocracy, Xi has not displayed enthusiasm for continuing the persecution of Falun Gong. A recent New York Times feature even suggested that he might have a private interest in Buddhism and the sort of energy practices, called qigong, of which Falun Gong is a part.
By publicly broaching organ harvesting—a mass slaughter that the Party has a stake in keeping in the dark—Guo Wengui may be trying to establish a rapport with the Falun Gong community as well as overseas Chinese media, multiple sources told The Epoch Times.
Guo could also be motivated by considerations of self-preservation: in the wake of Xiao Jianhua’s abduction and his business peer Li You’s sentencing, as well as the overall shift in the balance of power against the Jiang faction, the absconded tycoon may be trying to position himself based on his new reading of China’s political trends.
March 28, 2017 AT 11:29 PM