Why the Chinese Regime Fears 300 Signatures
A petition signed by 300 Chinese villagers has struck fear into the hearts of high-level communist officials.
Villagers of Zhouguantun Village, near Botou City in Hebei Province—now known as “the Brave 300”—signed a petition in April to demand the release of their fellow villager, Wang Xiaodong. Wang is a Falun Gong practitioner.
The villagers also stamped their thumbprints in red wax on the petition and had it certified with an official stamp by the head of the local party brigade, verifying that this was indeed the wish of the entire village.
The act has attracted the attention of high-ranking Chinese communist party (CCP) officials who regard it as no trifling matter. To some of them it signifies a strike at the base of their power.
Most recently, responding to the villagers’ demands, the prosecutor’s office returned Wang Xiaodong’s case to the local Public Security Bureau on grounds of insufficient evidence.
Furthermore, a Beijing lawyer expressed his willingness to defend Wang if the case were presented to him, according to a previous Epoch Times report.
Meanwhile, those party officials and organizations directly involved in the persecution of Falun Gong have attempted to fight back. The local Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), a powerful and sweeping state security apparatus, continually harassed the villagers who had put their names to the petition, trying to force them to sign a declaration stating that they did not sign voluntarily.
It was also reported that Wang’s sister, Wang Xiaomei, was kidnapped in Cangzhou city this past weekend.
Three-hundred signatures may not seem like a large number, but it terrifies certain communist cadres. What are the implications for them? That’s the core issue.
First of all, the 300 signatures did not only frighten people like Zhou Yongkang, the chief of the PLAC who has played a key role in the persecution of Falun Gong, but the entire leadership is frightened to different degrees, depending on whether they belong to the “bloody-hands” faction or not.
If one does not put oneself in the shoes of these communist officials, the extent of their shock can simply not be grasped.
When talking about “power,” the average Chinese citizens associate it with lavish government buildings, servants surrounding officials on domestic and foreign trips, weapons, and communist-style orders published in propaganda newspapers.
But these are not the true source of Chinese officials’ power. When Chinese communist leaders talk about power, it has more to do with mind control rather than material wealth. Power resides in people’s minds. The key to the regime’s power lies in their ability to control people’s minds and in gaining people’s obedience. Once people refuse to obey, the power will vanish.
Today the Chinese Communist Party no longer forces the people to love it and agree with it, as it once did, and it is common for people to disobey the Party in their minds. Control now takes another form, which is to prevent mental disobedience from developing into disobedience in action. This is at the core of the CCP’s stability maintenance policy.
In fact, thoughts and actions cannot be looked at separately. In other words, mental disobedience will eventually develop into disobedience in action.
The CCP understands that is it not possible to eliminate actions of disobedience entirely, but it still holds on to its ground. As long as the ground is still preserved, it will not lose power. As a result, the core of the CCP’s single party rule rests on protecting this power, and Falun Gong is the bottom line in this struggle.
‘Brave 300’ Challenge
Some people might think, why don’t we collect signatures for issues like forced evictions, environmental problems and corruption? Wouldn’t we be able to get even more signatures?
But those 300 signatures have created a complete challenge for the CCP. The signatures, fingerprints, and official stamps from the village party chief represent unity throughout the village. In addition, Falun Gong is the absolute forbidden zone the CCP uses all of its resources to control.
When people unite and challenge this forbidden zone, it symbolizes the CCP’s loss of power and demonstrates the people’s rejection to comply out of fear. How can the CCP not be afraid?
Those officials who create an atmosphere of fear are actually the most fearful themselves. They are fearful that one day people will not fear them anymore, for that is the day when they will lose their ground. A fearless person, on the other hand, has no need to create an atmosphere of terror to control the people around him.
The CCP’s ideology represents the former type of mentality, and Falun Gong represents the latter.
During the past decade, one of the strategies the CCP has used to try and wipe out Falun Gong was to create an anti-Falun Gong atmosphere that instilled hatred and fear, and to make this group of people seem isolated from the rest.
However the 300 signatures are a powerful wake-up call for the CCP that in Zhouguantun village, it has lost its ground in the persecution of Falun Gong. The atmosphere of fear of Falun Gong exists no more.
Today the people of Zhouguantun have stood up to protect a Falun Gong practitioner. Soon, people of other villages will do the same.
For people like Zhou Yongkang, who shoulder the crimes of the persecution, the 300 signatures represent a call for justice and a call for their punishment.
For other officials, it is yet another chance to realize that the CCP’s power base—built on fear—is sinking. As the final collapse draws closer, time is running out for those who must choose the right way out.
Wen Zhao is a Chinese political commentator for New Tang Dynasty Television, currently residing overseas.
Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.