Tortured by Police, Artist Ai Weiwei Confesses After Seeing Video of Gao Zhisheng’s Torture

imageChina Aid Association 04/25/2011
Tortured by Police, Artist Ai Weiwei Confesses After Seeing Video of Gao Zhisheng’s Torture
The “HRIC Biweekly Chinese Journal” on April 21 carried the following report submitted by a writer from mainland China using the pseudonym Rong Shoujing who describes himself as a Xinhua News Agency reporter. The original Chinese-language report can be viewed here:
Editor’s note: ChinaAid provides the following translation of the report but is unable to independently confirm its veracity or analysis. (Note that bracketed material in the text was provided by the translator for clarity’s sake; parenthetical material is part of the original Chinese-language text.)
The Shocking Conspiracy Behind Ai Weiwei’s Forced Confession Under Police Torture; Fu Zhenghua and Liu Qibao Use Their Official Positions For Personal Revenge
On April 19, 2011, officials from the Beijing headquarters of the Xinhua News Agency and the Propaganda Department of the Public Security Ministry’s Political Department confirmed that one phase of Mr. Ai Weiwei’s tax evasion case had come to an end. A Public Secuity Ministry official with a conscience revealed that during the interrogation Ai Weiwei was subjected to torture in order to extract a confession. He said that the Ai case was being jointly handled by the Economic Investigation Corps and the Domestic Security Corps of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. Fu Zhenghua, the chief of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, instructed those handling the case to show Ai Weiwei the video of Gao Zhisheng being tortured, including shots of electric batons being inserted into Gao’s anus and his blood, semen, feces, and urine spurting out. Fu Zhenghua also issued an order saying: Whatever methods were used on Gao Zhisheng, use the same ones to make Ai Weiwei give in. After several consecutive days of torture, Ai Weiwei was finally compelled to sign a statement of confession, admitting to tax evasion.
[In January 2011, the Associated Press released an exclusive interview with Gao Zhisheng conducted on April 7, 2010, in which Gao relates in detail some of the other police torture he had endured.
Read the English version of the AP report here:
Read the Chinese version of the AP report here:]
Even Ai Weiwei, the beloved son of the great poet of his generation Ai Qing and known among the masses as “one who loves God,” had no choice but to bow his head and confess his “guilt” under the police brutality of the Beijing Public Security Bureau’s corporal punishment and torture. The police officers of the Beijing Public Security Bureau’s Economic Investigation Section, after prevailing over Ai Weiwei, boasted to the Public Security Bureau that the methods used by the Domestic Security Department were too soft, so how could they think they could get the upper hand over this lecher Ai Weiwei. We are the only ones who are the most qualified loyal guards of the Party.
The Background of Ai Weiwei’s March Along Chang’An Avenue
Why did the Beijing police treat Ai Weiwei in such an evil way? The story needs to be told from the beginning.
Fu Zhenghua, chief of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, and Xiao Xingguo, chief of the Chaoyang District Branch, both started out as criminal police; they are closer than brothers and are as close as close can be. Fu Zhenghua and Xiao Xingguo are the long-time protectors of the dark evil [mafia] forces of Zhang Rongyi, Guo Deliang, Zhao Hui and others. Zhao Hui is one Beijing’s four organized crime chiefs of the past 20 years, holding controlling power in many Beijing nightclubs. For about 10 years, he’s had his fingers in places such as the [the nightclub at] the Beijing New Otani Chang Fu Gong Hotel and the Great Wall Sheraton’s Passion Night Club. Zhang Rongyi is the legal representative of the Beijing Zhengyang Construction Engineering Co., Ltd. (Guo Deliang is deputy general manager). At the same time, Zhang is also the legal representative of the Beijing Dongfanggong Hotel. Fu Zhenghua and Xiao Xingguo hold a large number of shares in the Beijing Zhengyang Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.
On February 22, 2010 at about 2 a.m., numerous tow trucks and excavating machines from the Beijing Zhengyang Construction Engineering Co., Ltd. started to demolish the Chuangyi Zhengyang Art District in Changdian hamlet, Jinzhan village [in Beijing’s Chaoyang District]. Zhao Hui was at the head of more than 100 mafia thugs wearing masks [over their mouths] and wielding sticks and machetes who injured seven artists, including Japanese artist Satoshi Iwama. At 3 p.m. the same day, Ai Weiwei led 16 artists on a march down Chang’an Avenue with a banner reading “We Want our Human Dignity Back” to protest the demolition. They became the focus of worldwide news attention. Zhang Rongyi, accustomed as he was to going around Beijing beating up and murdering people, never imagined that Ai Weiwei and others could have such great influence. The pressure of public opinion was so great that Fu Zhenghu and Xiao Xingguo had no choice but to temporarily throw Zhao Hui and others into the detention center on suspicion of creating trouble and intentional injury and to pledge to start a formal investigation. But more than a year has passed and Zhao and Zhang still have not gotten the punishment that should be meted out to the forces of evil, the lights are still bright at the Beijing Dongfanggong Hotel, and Fu Zhenghua, Xiao Xingguo, Zhang Rongyi, Zhao Hui and others are still making important decisions in their luxurious fifth-floor offices in the Dongfanggong Hotel.
Hu Jintao’s Lackey Fu Zhenghua Almost Loses his Job Forges Because of Ai Weiwei’s Chang’An Avenue Demonstration and Forms a Personal Grudge Against Ai Weiwei
Fu Zhenghua owes his appointment to chief of the Beijing Public Security Bureau and his ability to hold on to this position to several people: [deputy head of the legislature] Wang Zhaoguo[1], [Central Committee party secretary] He Yong[2] and [Politburo member and Beijing party secretary] Liu Qi. Liu Qi was recommended to go to Beijing to be Beijing vice mayor and Beijing party secretary after Wu Yi became an alternate member of the Politburo and a State Councilor.[3] Soon after, [Beijing mayor] Jia Qinglin saw that he was biddable and made him Beijing party secretary.[4] Originally he was in Jiang’s clique. Liu Qi is one of those mediocre officials who has no accomplishments whatsoever and has no reformist ideas, but these mediocre officials excel at going the way the wind blows. Originally a Jiang [Zemin] man, Liu Qi saw that the forces of the [Communist Youth] League faction [of Hu Jintao] were slowly gaining power, so he switched over to supporting Hu Jintao. If not for “turncoat” Liu Qi giving the nod to promote him to the central government-level, Fu Zhenghua would not have been named chief of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. He Yong, Wang Zhaoguo and Fu Zhenghua are all from Tangshan, Hebei province (from Qianxi, Fengrun and Luan counties, respectively). Having them as sworn brothers, Fu Zhenghua used them to bribe Hu Jintao and finally succeeded in becoming Beijng Public Security Bureau chief and deputy party secretary of the Beijing Politics and Law Committee.
Ai Weiwei’s demonstration nearly destroyed the get-rich dreams of Fu Zhenghua, Zhang Rongyi and others, and almost destroyed Fu Zhenghua’s political future. For more than 20 years, no one has dared to march down Chang’an Avenue. Whoever causes such a thing to happen is the one who is held responsible. Never mind the fact that even before this demolition incident there were many instances of mafia hooligans involved in forced demolitions (but they were all covered up by the Chaoyang District Branch of the Public Security Bureau under Xiao Xingguo), and Zhang Hui and others should already have been characterized as “forces of evil.” After news reports of the protest spread around the world, an important Public Security Ministry official from Jiangxi province told the central government that Fu Zhenghua should be removed from his post. But because of the joint efforts of He Yong, Wang Zhaoguo and Liu Qi, Hu Jintao agreed to let Fu Zhenghua stay on, because this was not only a game of personal interests, it was also a political game [of internal struggles among factions].
In the course of the forced demolition, if it were not for the equity interest of Fu Zhenghu and Xiao Xingguo in the affair, the Beijing police would not have dared─even if they had all the guts in the world─to encourage the mafia to beat the artists. Cops and the criminals acting as one brought about the forced demolition of the artists’ district, and the Ai Weiwei protest on Chang’an Avenue that followed caused Fu Zhenghua to form a personal grudge against Ai Weiwei.
Hu Jintao’s General Liu Qibao Almost Loses His Job Because of Ai Weiwei’s Sichuan Investigations and Forms a Personal Grudge Against Ai Weiwei
It used to be that the Ai family had connections of one sort or another with everyone at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party. Ai Weiwei’s father Ai Qing was the most famous contemporary Chinese poet. Beginning in the Mao era, at Yanan[5], the Mao family and the Ai family had a relationship based on poetry; Mao Zedong would bring all the poems he’d written to Ai Qing for him to read and discuss. In 1957, Ai Qing made a so-called “incorrect statement,” saying, “Our party has split into two factions, one faction persecutes people, the other faction are the ones being persecuted.” When Mao heard this, he had Tian Jiaying [his household manager and personal secretary] go straight to Ai’s house to deliver the “imperial order” to go to Zhongnanhai[6] to see “his majesty.” But the straightforward Ai Qing immediately responded to Tian Jiaying with one sentence: Has the old man got any new poems? Tian Jiaying returned to Zhongnanhai and used Ai’s own words in his report to Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong shot back with one sentence: “This person doesn’t know to be grateful for favors.” So, Ai Qing was sent out to northwest China’s Xinjiang[7] in the 1957 Anti-Rightist Movement, where he cleaned toilets for 15 years. After reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang showed great care and favor to Ai Qing, and Ai Qing was given ministerial-level treatment in the Communist Party system. In the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao eras, the regime also treated Ai Qing well to the very end, and when he was dying, Jiang and Hu gave instructions on many occasions to spare no effort in saving him. After he passed away, the first of the top Communist Party leaders to go to Ai Qing’s home to express his condolences was the Fourth Generation[8] General Secretary Hu Jintao.
According to regulations set in place by Jiang Zemin, each family of Communist Party officials above the ministerial rank must have at least one family member who is a cadre of ministerial rank; this policy was continued in the Hu Jintao era as well. After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Hu Jintao was inclined to gift Ai Weiwei with the title of member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference or even member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC, both to reward and to comfort Ai Weiwei. But Ai Weiwei had seen so many innocent lives lost in the Sichuan earthquake, had heard the tragic and grief-stricken cries of so many parents, and saw from the Sichuan provincial government’s website how it had carried out the orders of [Sichuan party secretary] Liu Qibao and [Sichuan deputy party secretary] Jiang Jufeng, by irresponsibly removing from the provincial website the official notice that the Wenchuan city propaganda bureau had released about the disaster of the earthquake and even “refuting the rumor” and claiming no earthquake had even occurred, resulting in the deaths of 800,000 people and tens of thousands of people being injured in the earthquake. Ai Weiwei’s conscience told him he could not accept this kind of goodwill from the regime because it would be like accepting amnesty from the enemy and enlisting to fight for them. No one ever followed up and investigated Liu Qibao’s disregard for human life but he (Ai Weiwei) could not pretend that he never saw anything. Actually, if [fellow Sichuan earthquake investigator] Tan Zuoren[9], Ai Weiwei and the others had continued their investigations, Liu Qibao would have been left with no escape route. Because if Liu Qibao had not canceled the notice about the earthquake warning, the residents would have left their residences a day or two before the earthquake, schools would have canceled classes, and there certainly would not have been the resulting 800,000 deaths in the middle of the day.
Mao Zedong said Ai Qing “didn’t know to be grateful for favors, while Hu Jintao and Liu Yongqing said Ai Weiwei was “too arrogant to accept an honor.” Hu Jintao’s wife Liu Yongqing is the director of the Beijing Urban and Rural Planning Commission. In 2002, Liu Yongqing’s younger sister saw a piece of land she liked in Chaoyang District valued at several billion yuan. Some relevant department reported this to the secretariat and Hu Jintao immediately called Liu Yongqing asking her to stop right away, or else he would announce their divorce on China Central Television, because this kind of activity would directly impact Hu Jintao’s career. But after Hu Jintao became general secretary, Liu Yongqing continued to enrich herself with money, goods and land, and Hu Jintao never again tried to control his old lady. When Zhang Huixing, deputy head of the party Central Organization Department and deputy party secretary of the party Disciplinary Committee, found some businessman to give Liu Yongqing a set of huanghuali[10] wood furniture worth several million yuan, she immediately gave it to her daughter Hu Haiqing to use.
With regard to the Ai Weiwei affair, Liu Yongqing said, He wants to expose our Liu family faults─such a person needs to be shown a thing or two. It was only with this “imperial decree” from Liu Yongqing that Liu Qibao and the Sichuan Public Security Department dared to give Ai Weiwei such a horrendous beating.[11]
Taking Advantage of the Jasmine Revolution, Fu Zhenghua and Liu Qibao Join Hands to Beat Ai Weiwei and Get Their Personal Revenge
After the Jasmine Revolution, Hu Jintao gave instructions that the case had to be broken within a month. Whereupon Beijing Public Security Bureau chief Fu Zhenghua hooked up with the Public Security Ministry official, Sichuan Provincial Public Security Department and Sichuan Provincial Party Secretary Liu Qibao and together attacked Ai Weiwei.
Since the second half of February 2011, Beijing and Sichuan have also been the two places that have apprehended the largest number of people. Under the direction of Fu Zhenghua, the Domestic Security and Economic Investigation departments of the Beijing Public Security Bureau have forced at least 10 detained web activists and the artist Song Zhuang to say that Ai Weiwei was the initiator and the main mobilizer of the Jasmine Revolution in China. Disregarding forged and fake written records, they [the police] all pointed to Ai Weiwei as the source and had them finger him as the strategist; and they directed them to spread online content about the Jasmine Revolution over the Internet claiming that Ai Weiwei was mobilizing all the Chinese people to subvert the Communist Party. Once the Beijing Public Security Bureau, the Sichuan Public Security Department and the State Security Department had concluded that Ai Weiwei had engaged in activities with subversive tendencies, it was only a matter of time before Ai Weiwei was arrested and a crime was picked to punish him with (as early as in the mid-1990s, Jiang Zemin had instructed that political problems would be settled in non-political ways). This time, Hu Jintao took the lead in signing off on the report submitted by Fu Zhenghua, and the other eight Standing Committee members had no choice but to follow suit and sign as well. This elevated the Ai Weiwei-initiated Jasmine Revolution in Fu Zhenghua’s report to being more serious than even the March 14 Tibet Incident[12] and the July 5 Xinjiang Incident[13] as a “matter of the life and death of the party and the nation.”
This case of Fu Zhenghua and others using their official positions for personal revenge has turned into a great trap for Hu Jintao; in effect, it has forced Hu Jintao into a dead end. This Ai Weiwei incident was entirely due to the corruption of the Liu clan and the personal enmity between Fu Zhenghua and Ai Weiwei, and it has held the entire top echelon of the party leadership hostage. The uncompromising Ai Weiwei truly earned their undying hatred by revealing and challenging official corruption and the disregard for human life. As for Hu Jintao, he’s following the same path of Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution: praise those who obey me, kill those who go against me. He indulged the corruption of the Liu clan and the lawlessness of Fu Zhenghua, ultimately causing─through his handling of the Jasmine Revolution and Ai Weiwei incident─a further deterioration in China’s human rights situation, and a huge setback and collapse of China’s international reputation.

[1] deputy chairman of the National People’s Congress and deputy chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions
[2] party secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee and deputy party secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
[3] now retired from her last post as vice premier, Wu Yi was deputy mayor of Beijing from 1988 to 1991 and became an alternate member of the Politburo in 1997 and a State Councilor in 1998
[4] Liu Qi was president of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee.
[5] In the mountains of Shaanxi province; the Chinese communist capital and the center of the Chinese Communist revolution from 1936 to 1948, regarded by Chinese communists as the birthplace of the revolution.
[6] The area in central Beijing, adjacent to the Forbidden City, that serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party and the State Council.
[7] Now known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, this area of far northwestern China borders Russia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the Central Asian republics and from at least the second half of the 18th century has been a place where China’s rulers sent exiles.
[8] The current Chinese leadership are known as the Fourth Generation leaders. The First Generation included Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the Second Generation Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, and the Third Generation Jiang Zemin and Li Peng
[9] An environmentalist and writer, Tan called for an investigation into the deaths of schoolchildren killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake due to the shoddy construction of their school buildings. Because of this, he was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to a five-year jail term.
[10] Huanghuali wood, Dalbergia odorifera, the principal hardwood used for furniture from mid Ming until the first part of the Qing dynasty.
[11] In August 2009, Ai went to Sichuan to try to testify in Tan’s defense at his trial (see footnote 9). He was prevented from doing so by 20 uniformed and plainclothed police who barged into his hotel room at 3 a.m. and beat him up and detained him for 11 hours so that he never made it to the trial. The beating was so severe that Ai suffered a brain hemorrhage and had to undergo emergency surgery several weeks later in Munich where an exhibition of his was opening. See this post-operation photo showing the fluid that was extracted: . Read Ai’s account of these events here:
[12] Also known as the 3-14 Riots, these began with observance of in 2008 of Tibetan Uprising Day on March 10 that turned into street protests by monks that by March 14 had turned into riots, looting and burning and killing. Chinese media reported 18 civilians killed. The violence was broadly due to ethnic grievances.
[13] These riots in 2009 erupted in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi and continued for several days, with hundreds of Uyghurs and Han Chinese at a time clashing violently. The official death toll was 197, with 1,721 injured, but Uyghur exile groups say the real death toll was much higher and human rights groups said many Uyghur men disappeared into police custody. More than 400 people were charged for their involvement in the riots and at least 26 people were given the death sentence.

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