“Chills down my spine, this is a society where we can’t see the light,”—a comment by a Chinese netizen about recent riots in Zhengzhou,” which was quickly removed from Weibo due to authorities’ censorship. When lifetime savings are withheld, regime officials shake hands with criminals, and police become gangsters, the worst is yet to come. This report will shed light on the hidden side of the tragedies that Zhengzhou people have been suffering, some of which might go beyond your imagination.
When police act as gangsters
Plainclothes police beat men to the point of heavy bleeding; women were attacked, some even vomiting blood, and the disabled were not exempted and fell into a coma … It is hard to believe that these images describe the Chinese depositors. The latter was standing up for a fundamental right: the right to secure their savings.
As The BL previously reported, thousands of depositors whose money was frozen since April gathered in Zhengzhou city, the capital of Henan province, to protest for their interests. On July 10, a group of people, including children and the disabled, assembled outside the Zhengzhou branch of the People’s Bank of China at around 5 a.m. and were brutally beaten by the plainclothes police.
The depositors held slogans and banners that read: “Protesting arbitrary power, and opposing the Henan provincial government’s association with the underworld to violently attack depositors,” “Protesting the corruption and violence of the Henan government, 400.000 depositors had their Chinese dream ruined in Henan.” “Opposition to Lou Yangsheng 樓陽生 three no’s policy: No complaints, no incidents, and no cases.”
Betty Wang, the senior China economist at ANZ, said that the most affected are low-income farmers who had deposited almost all their life savings.
According to Apple Daily, after police surrounded the depositors, a serious scuffle erupted between the two sides. Videos show men dressed in white punching, kicking, and brutally pulling depositors. The latter kept shouting: “Give my money back, give my money back.” The regime officials took pictures of the protesters, raising fears they might suffer repercussions.
And these fears came true. On July 13, Reuters reported the case of a woman surnamed Geng, who, along with her mother, had deposited $16,354 at one of the problematic banks. Geng was awoken the following Tuesday morning by loud knocks on her door from strange men and hid in her room for three hours until secretly leaving from a different stairwell as the two men in black stood watch outside the apartment complex.
“It’s happened to a lot of investors—they want to wipe our phones, they want to take the videos and the evidence,” Geng said.
Bank customers, who were hammered to the point of desperation, told Reuters that police, village Communist Party officials, and employers had visited them and their families in recent weeks to constrain them not to protest, including the threat of losing jobs.
“The village party secretary will go to your house, will talk to your family and say that you’re making trouble,” said Chen, who told Reuters he was alleged to be an overseas spy for speaking with foreign media.
Chinese authorities, facing strong public reactions, promised to pay out customers with a combined amount of less than $7,445 on deposit at a single bank starting from July 15, according to CNN. Meanwhile, depositors with larger accounts still have a dark future.
Further, the authorities announced that no payments would be provided to those who deposited funds with the banks via “other channels with high-interest rates” or violated laws and regulations. No elaboration was given, leaving many victims puzzled.
In China, deposits up to $75,000 are assured in case of bank failures, but if the regime’s investigation concludes that these cases involve “non-compliant” transactions, people could lose everything.
As folklore says, “Money is life.” In desperation, one depositor even climbed a tree to hang himself. As RFI reported, desperate Chinese took to the streets to protest despite the risk of being arrested, simply because their pockets were empty.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) often justifies its dictatorship by arguing that as long as the people are still struggling to satisfy their basic material needs like food and shelter, it is meaningless to discuss “illusory” things like freedom of speech. But nowadays, without the freedom of speech, the means of survival of many Chinese people risk being divested.
In the fight to regain their savings this July in Zhengzhou, desperate depositors are robbed by banks, beaten by police, and harassed by authorities. It is hard to bear, but at least these people are still alive to protest. Another catastrophe also happened in Zhengzhou last July. The victims had no chance to survive.
On July 20, 2021, Zhengzhou city was suddenly devastated by floods. Video footage shared by residents shows the muddy flood waters swiftly washing away people and cars. In addition, the Jingguang Road (from Beijing to Guangzhou) tunnel was submerged, with subway trains flooded; people were trapped in chest-high water, and many fell into potholes and were swept away.
When the floodwaters receded, streets and subway stations were covered with dead bodies; vehicles, some upside down, were piled up on the roads.
According to independent reports, on July 20, more than 1.2 million passengers traveled by subway, with Line 5 being the busiest, carrying over 374,000 travelers. Flood waters submerged up to 91 trains on that fateful day. Yet, the authority declared the final death toll of just 14 deaths in the subway and six in the tunnel.
The regime then blocked people mourning dead or missing loved ones and arrested a photographer and a mourner outside a subway station.
According to analysis, unlike “waterlogging” claimed by CCP media, the speed of the running water was more like the Yellow River had been diverted or water had been discharged from the reservoir.
Further evidence confirms that it was a reservoir discharge without warning. At 1 a.m. on July 21, the Zhengzhou Propaganda Department’s official social media account posted a note that read, “Because of recent rainfalls in the Zhengzhou area, plus a large amount of upstream water, the Changzhuang Water Reservoir in Zhengzhou was at risk. As a result, the water reservoir began to discharge water at 10:30 a.m. on July 20.”
That means the Chinese authority discharged water at 10:30 a.m. on July 20 and did not notify the public until 1 a.m. on July 21. No announcement was made for 14 hours, and the message came only after midnight.
In contrast to miserable victims, the elite groups in the CCP systems received advance notice of the water discharge.
So, why don’t the Chinese authorities give warnings when reservoirs discharge water? Minghui.org revealed that according to some officials, had there been a warning; people could have blamed the losses on officials or the reservoirs, who would then have to pay compensation to the victims. Without warnings, all responsibilities would belong to a “natural disaster,” exempting the authority from bearing liability. Then, the CCP could act as a “savior,” distributing food and clothes for which ordinary citizens should be grateful.
Crime against humanity in Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou, Henan, was once the capital of the Shang Dynasty (1766–1050 BC) and served as the capital four times during later states and dynasties. Well known for Mount Song, one of the Five Sacred Mountains of China, and the Shaolin Temple, recognized as the birthplace of Chan Buddhism and the cradle of Shaolin Kung Fu, Zhengzhou should be a symbol of peace and security.
Yet, today it has become a land of tragedies under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Besides the two man-made disasters mentioned above, another concealed crime lasted from July 1999 until today.
Dr. Sa Geng was an associate professor at a university in Henan Province. In 1994, he began cultivating Falun Gong, a meditation practice of the Buddhist school based on the three principles of Truthfulness – Compassion – Tolerance. Unfortunately, Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party, viewed Falun Gong’s growing popularity as threatening the CCP’s atheist ideology and his dictatorship. On July 20, 1999, Jiang ordered to ban the practice. Since then, Dr. Sa Geng and his wife, like millions of Falun Gong practitioners all over China, have been persecuted.
Dr. Geng peacefully protested for his fundamental right, but to no avail, and suffered from all kinds of suppression, ranging from harassment and job loss to imprisonment and torture. His wife was even tortured to death in a forced labor camp.
The following is part of the abridged speech given by Mr. Geng at a public event in San Diego on Dec. 30, 2007.
Dr. Geng’s story
“The CCP has persistently persecuted me since April 25, 1999, after my wife and I participated in a peaceful appeal by more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing. After that, several police cars would show up at our exercise practice site every morning. The policemen often interrogated and tailed us.
“The intimidations culminated on July 20, 1999, when police stopped us by force from going to the exercise practice site and took us to the local police station.
“My wife was detained for one month for no reason other than practicing Falun Gong in the park. The Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where I studied as a Ph.D. student, also dispatched security guards to watch me.
“On Dec. 26, 1999, I went with several fellow students to the Beijing Shijingshan Intermediate Court to protest the illegal trial of several Falun Gong practitioners. I was then kidnapped by the police, sent to the headquarters of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and detained there for three days. The Academy tried to force me to denounce Falun Dafa and began to monitor me more closely afterward.
“On May 13, 2000, I was again kidnapped by agents from the State Security Bureau because I provided free accommodation to several Falun Dafa practitioners who were forced out of their homes. I was unlawfully detained for over 20 days. The Institute of Botany then illegally deprived me of my doctoral degree because I refused to give up practicing Falun Gong.
“In December 2000, I accepted an associate professor position at a university in Henan Province. My wife and I kept mailing out truth-clarifying materials to people all over China to expose the illegal persecution of Falun Dafa. On May 30, 2001, both of us were again kidnapped by the local National Security Bureau officers and the police station. My wife was severely beaten and unlawfully imprisoned for the next three years, while I was detained for over two months.
“While I was in custody, I went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The guards force-fed me, causing serious injury to my teeth and body. Almost all of my teeth were knocked out, and I now have to wear dentures.
“After I was released, my university immediately demoted me from associate professor to research assistant.
“My wife, however, experienced much more brutal treatment at the Shibalihe Female Forced Labor Camp in Zhengzhou City. She was tortured to death on June 4, 2003.
“When I visited her before her death, I often found her hands so weak that she could not lift anything. I later learned that she had often been tortured with the “killer rope” because she refused to be brainwashed or “transformed.” With both her hands tied behind her back and feet lifted off the ground, she was hung for very long periods of time until she passed out from the pain. This was all recorded in a letter she managed to pass to me.
“The torture that finally put her to death is called ‘strapped clothes,’ extremely cruel torture with a type of straitjacket. According to witnesses of this torture, the victims are forced to wear these strait jackets. Then their arms are tied up by the straps behind their back. Next, their arms are pulled to the front over their shoulders and then tightly tied together with their legs. To make them suffer, even more, the police will force them to wear headphones broadcasting defamatory programs about Falun Dafa. With their mouths covered, they are then hung from a window frame.
“The police usually put determined practitioners through this torture for at least 24 hours. This torture often caused the bones in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, or even the spine to break. Many victims faint or die from unbearable pain.
“Following my wife’s death, I was kidnapped by the 610 Offices of Henan Province and Xinxiang City and detained in a hotel in Zhengzhou City. When they finally let me see my wife’s corpse, I found bruises on her body, big bumps on her head, and a deep dent on her head caused by severe beating with a steel rod.
“Later, the police told me to sign some papers regarding my wife’s death. When I refused, they forced my hand. My wife’s body was hastily cremated, and I was given a death certificate with a fake signature.
“From these experiences, I realized that the CCP doesn’t know any restraint in persecuting people. They brainwash them, torture them, and have committed so many evil deeds. It’s only right that the CCP should be disintegrated.”
Who will be the next victims?
Dr. Geng’s conclusion seems to increasingly hold true after ongoing tragedies that Zhengzhou in particular and Chinese people in general suffer today.
The CCP disregards human lives, conceals the truth, and applies inhuman tactics to maintain the so-called “stability” and its tyranny.
Numerous bloody movements in the last century have pointed out that, even if today someone can be temporarily “safe,” they could well be the next victim of the CCP. No one is really safe under the reign of the Chinese Communist Party. Only with the perdition of that evil Party will the Chinese enjoy fundamental human rights and real security.