Among the information released by WikiLeaks recently comes the news that last year’s hacking of Google servers were initiated by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Politburo, and that the order was given by Zhou Yongkang (周永康) and Li Changchun (李長春), both members of the Politburo Standing Committee. Back in November 2004, the Epoch Times published an article about how Internet monitoring was being used in China to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. The article mentioned Zhou by name, in his capacity as head of the Ministry of Public Security, as the orchestrator of the Internet censorship.
The Golden Shield Project, a censorship and surveillance project led entirely by the ministry, gave the Chinese authorities unprecedented surveillance powers over members of human rights and democracy movements. The news that Zhou gave orders to attack Google comes as no surprise: It is just part of his everyday job as one of the senior leaders of the CCP’s system of terror.
Zhou gained the favor of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) for cracking down hard on Falun Gong back when he was head of Sichuan Province. This earned him the appointment to head the security ministry. In this position he was quite open about the need for coming down hard on the Falun Gong, identifying it as an important task for the ministry, and was known for rewarding members of the ministry who persecuted Falun Gong practitioners. From 2001 onwards, numerous cases were brought against Zhou by the Falun Gong group in countries such as the US, Canada, Sweden and France for torture, genocide and crimes against humanity.
Li was also implicated in the attack on Google. Li is in charge of ideology and CCP propaganda. He has been criticized for “inciting hatred” by calling on people to persecute members of Falun Gong. In 2004 Li visited France. When he was there, Falun Gong brought charges of torture against him.
Here we have a situation in which CCP officials and senior cadres have been charged with serious offenses internationally, but the government in Taiwan has turned a blind eye to such things. They have been given information about these officials’ involvement in human rights abuses by civil human rights organizations, but they have chosen to ignore it. The Ministry of Justice even went so far as to designate the secretariat or deputy secretary of the CCP’s Central Committee — essentially the leaders of their most senior spy group — as “legal experts” and allowed them to visit Taiwan. This is totally absurd.
Since October, a number of local governments have passed legislation requiring the Mainland Affairs Council and the National Immigration Agency to run careful checks on Chinese officials and senior CCP cadres applying for entry into Taiwan to see if they have ever been involved in human rights abuses. Those involved in such abuses are to be considered persona non grata, and notices are to be sent to councils on every level, as well as to civic groups, asking them to refuse invitations to visit China from such individuals, and certainly not to invite them to visit Taiwan.
To date, these local governments include Kaohsiung City Council, Miaoli County Council, Changhua County and City council and Hualien County Council, and I expect that more will follow suit. Hopefully the government can listen to the public, respect Taiwan’s democracy and freedom and prevent senior members of the CCP, a regime that violates human rights, from coming and contaminating Taiwan. Their presence in this nation is an insult to Taiwanese.
Theresa Chu is a US-based human rights lawyer.
TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON
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