Wang Jindong: My Personal Statement on the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident (I)
Editor’s note: Wang Jindong used to be an obsessed follower of Falun Gong. On the eve of Chinese New Year on January 23, 2001, he participated in the self-immolation incident in the Tiananmen Square, and was the first self-immolator. On August 17, 2001, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing Municipality with political rights suspended for three years. In May 2003, he wrote this article in prison, recalling the years of being obsessed by Falun Gong, recollecting the "1.23" self-immolation incident and surveying the process of waking up after the incident. This article reveals facts about the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001.
Got to Beijing
I had decided to take the form of self-immolation to defend Falun Dafa. One day in October 2000, I told Liu Yunfang about my decision to go to Tiananmen Square and conduct self-immolation to defend Falun Dafa. He neither agreed nor disagreed. Later I heard that my idea coincided with that of another disciple Hao Huijun. After a couple of days, we three made the decision on self immolation, leaving the specific schedule for further discussion.
At about the end of October, Liu Yunfang said he knew little about Beijing since he had never been there. So I bought two train tickets of sleeper to Beijing. When we got to Beijing, Chen Guo, the daughter of Hao Huijun, received us at the gate of the Central Conservatory of Music. She had arranged accommodation for us. Later, Liu Yunfang and I walked around Tiananmen Square to locate the spots where we would carry out the plan. Then we asked Chen Guo to invited more practitioners in Beijing to hold discussions. But Chen Guo only found two female practitioners. Through discussion, I realized that they were unable to accept my understanding of Falun Dafa. I felt somewhat disappointed. Before we left for Beijing, Liu Yunfang said there would be few people in Kaifeng who would like to attend such activity. He said since the master gave more lectures in Beijing than in other regions, there must be more “highly enlightened” practitioners in the city. He suggested that we had better form nine wheels of law in the square (one wheel of law needs nine people and nine wheels needs 81 people).
I thought he was joking for it was absolutely impossible to mobilize so many people to attend self-immolation. But Liu Yunfang seemed confident. He wanted to have a try, so he was eager to find more practitioners for discussion. In fact, we did not find many practitioners. We even did not dare to tell other people about our true purpose (self-immolation). At last, Liu Yunfang gave up his plan about nine wheels of law and 81 people. After we made a study of the square, we found a paint shop to buy fuel needed for self-immolation.
We stayed in Beijing for five days. At the last night, Liu Yunfang made a phone call to a practitioner in Kaifeng, telling him that we were about to go back to Kaifeng. Since we left Kaifeng without a word, our families have been hunting all over the city for us. They were so worried that they cried sadly. I put down the phone, and decided to go back home the next morning. When I got home, my wife hugged me and burst into tears, but I did not know how to comfort her. I lied to her that I went to Beijing with Liu Yunfang to exchange practicing experience with other practitioners. Thus the storm had blown over.
In the following days, the master published a series of teachings, all of which asked us to eliminate attachment and to go to Tiananmen Square to defend Falun Dafa. We studied all these teachings. The master praised that the practitioners who had already taken actions were great. At that time, both my wife and my daughter said they wanted to defend Falun Dafa in Tiananmen Square, so I decided to go to Beijing with them.
Around January 6, 2001, Liu Yunfang gave me a hand-written copy of "lection" from the master, it read to the effect that: a Buddha can sacrifice all, including his life, to defend the universe where he lives and the people in it. Driven by the desire to defend Falun Dafa and our master, we decided to set ourselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in a bid to force the government to change its attitude toward Falun Dafa.
After January 8, Hao Huijun proceeded to talk with Liu Yunfang frequently about the self-immolation in Tiananmen Square, saying her daughter Chen Guo would also take part in. I felt sorry for Chen Guo because the girl was too young. But I could not find a reason to stop them. I admired Hao Huijun and Chen Guo very much.
The schedule of carrying out the self-immolation plan had not been decided. One day, when I was talking with Liu Yunfang at a paint shop, I thought of a cartoon that had been broadcast by CCTV about ten and more years ago. The cartoon told a fairy tale about Chu Xi (Chinese New Year’s Eve). According to the fairy tale, a devil named Xi came to the world, bringing about various disasters to ordinary people. The devil ate children, brought about strong wind, flood and drought. The suffering people burned incense, praying for help from the God to get rid of the devil. Then a talented boy named Nian (the Year) came from the heaven. He eventually defeated the devil Xi through battles, bringing the world back to peace. To commemorate the glorious victory, people set the last day of the lunar Chinese Year as the day of Chu Xi (Getting rid of Xi), and the first day of the new lunar year as the day to celebrate the victory of Nian. The fairy tale made Liu Yunfang thrilled. I had never seen him so excited before. Thus we decided to set ourselves on fire on the New Year’s eve (the day of getting rid of Xi).
On January 10, Liu Yunfang gave me 1, 000 Yuan out of the 3, 000 Yuan that Hao Huijun gave him a couple of days before, asking me to buy four train tickets to Beijing and said Liu Baorong, another disciple, would also join us. But I had no idea of it in advance.
I knew I was a target of the police, so I was vigilant. Trying not to be identified on the way to buy tickets, I decided to seek help from Liu Chunling, a fellow practitioner who I just knew. She was a smart person. On January 11, I came to Liu Chunling and asked her to buy the tickets. Both she and her daughter Liu Siying were at home. I told her frankly that I was a target of the police, so I had to beg her to buy four tickets for me. She immediately agreed. But when she asked me what the tickets were for, I did not tell her the truth, and just said the tickets were for my friends. I was shocked when Liu Chunling told me that she heard about the self-immolation plan and wanted to join in. I asked her how she got the news, but she was reluctant to tell. She told me her intention to attend the activity. Her resolute attitude almost made me into tears. I could not help telling her my real plan. Her daughter also wanted to go with us. But I did not agree to Liu Chunling’s plan, for I thought it would be a tragedy if Liu Chunling attended the event and left her daughter an orphan. I also said to them it would be too cruel if 12-year-old Liu Siying attended the event. I explained the possible negative influence that their participation would have on Falun Dafa. Liu Chunling accepted my advice and told her daughter that she would take her to Beijing after the Spring Festival. But the girl did not agree. Liu Chunling promised me that she would not go to Beijing with us and would persuade her daughter not to do so.
Two days later, I went to the home of Liu Chunling to take the four tickets. But she told me that both she and her daughter would go to Beijing with us and showed me the tickets that she had already bought. I got angry and further explained the serious consequence of such behavior. I asked her to return the tickets. She eventually agreed to cancel her plan.
On the evening of January 16, I went to the home of my second younger sister to say goodbye to my mother. My daughter's boyfriend and two of my sisters were there as well. I lied to them that I was about to leave for the suburban area and to live in the home of a fellow practitioner for a period of time. I spoke with them in smile while restraining great sorry. My tears burst out when I got out of the door. But I refrained myself for I thought of what my master had said, “when a follower achieves consummation, the master would take his/her families to the heaven.”I was expecting my reunion with them in the heaven. I said to my mother and my relatives in my mind, “my beloved ones, I do not mean to leave you behind. I just cannot give you a clear explanation right now. Wait and see. Someday you will know how amazing my achievements are. What I will do is far beyond the reach of those who were not enlightened and just kept Falun Data on their tongues. ”I said to myself, “I have to get rid of such attachment to love in a bid to defend Falun Dafa.” Then I took a taxi at the southern end of the Nanjingxiang Street to the railway station.
Shortly after I arrived at the railway station, Xue Hongjun and Hao Huijun got to the railway station by taxi. I bought a platform ticket for Xue Hongjun, who helped Hao Huijun take her luggage to the train. Suddenly I saw Liu Siying was getting on the train. I was very shocked. I was so angry that I said nothing to them all the way. I was wondering even after we got to Beijing, “Is it destined?”
We took the No. 387 bus to the Central Conservatory of Music, where Chen Guo was waiting for us. She took us to the on-campus dining hall for breakfast, and then took us by bus to a disciple’s home in the western part of the city. Liu Yunfang and I waited outside. After a while a young man came and led us to Chengzi station in Mentougou district. After getting off the bus, we were led to a suite in a big yard. There were two bedrooms and two separate sitting rooms in the suite. Liu Yunfang and I lived in the outer bedroom, while women and girls lived in the inner bedroom and the sitting rooms. After settling down, the women went to a nearby supermarket, and bought a lot of food and vegetables. All of us took about more than 8, 000 Yuan in total.
The young man who led us to the suite thought we would leave after a show-off in Tiananmen Square, just as other Falun Gong practitioners had done. Liu Yunfang asked the young person to organize a meeting with some other followers. At that night, the young man came over and led Liu Yunfang, Chen Guo and me to a restaurant. A total of nine people including us attended the meeting. Liu Yunfang and I did not tell our real purpose to other practitioners. Instead, we wanted to learn their opinions and then judge their understanding of Falun Dafa. But we were disappointed with them, except a follower named Liu Xiuqin. About two hours later, I hinted Liu Yunfang to stop the meeting. Liu Xiuqin gave us her telephone number. I did not keep contact information of other people. Then she called a taxi to take us to our residence.