CCTV's Immolation Coverage
A week after the so-called
"Self-Immolation" in Tiananmen
Square, CCTV launched a massive television,
print and radio campaign clearly geared
to incite panic and fear about Falun Gong
in the Chinese people. An independant studio
in Los Angeles, CA performed a deconstruction
of the CCTV "coverage" of the
event and uncovered a range of disturbing
inconsistencies and blatant untruths in
the PRC's story. View their findings here.
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The Mysterious Death of Liu Chunling
Who struck down Liu Chunling
from behind the day of the Tianenmen incident?
Close examination of the CCTV video shows
a mysterious assailant who steps in and
strikes Liu Chunling from behind. In frames
1-4 we see him appear, then step back, so
that in frames 5-10 we can no longer see
him. We do see the object bounce off Liu
Chunling's head or neck and fly into the
air, and we see her go down quickly as she
drops from the blow. In frames 11 and 12
the haze from the smoke and extinguisher
clears and we see him clearly... Who is
he? Did he bludgeon Liu Chunling? Could
it be this is how she actually died?
full-length deconstruction video)
The Self-immolation Drama: Anatomy
of a Propaganda Event
On January 23, 2001, the day before the Chinese Lunar
New Year, it was reported that five people set themselves
on fire in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China.
A week later, the Chinese government
television station, CCTV, broadcast a program showing
a video of the incident, but in the video, the number
of victims was increased from five to seven. Several
Chinese State-run newspapers said that the closeup shots
in the video was taken from the videotape confiscated
from CNN, in order to answer the question why the government
could videotape the details of the incident in such
a short time if it was not a staged event.
In the program, CCTV also broadcast
the heartbreaking pictures of the 12-year-old Liu Siying,
who was severely burned. Her mother Liu Chunling
died from the self-immolation. The government
intensified the campaign against Falun Gong by forcing
every citizen to sign a form condemning Falun Gong.
By using the pictures of Liu Siying to foment the publics
hatred towards Falun Gong, the government hoped to justify
the long-lasting violent crackdown against Falun Gong.
Western Media is Skeptical
When the Chinese state-controled Xinhua news agency
released a story of the self-immolation of 5 people,
reported to be Falun Gong practitoners, in Tiananmen
Square, world media agencies initially reported the
story verbatim. But only days later, the Washington
Post, having done some investigative reporting, released
a story questioning whether some of the burn victims
were in actuality associated with Falun Gong. Other
news agencies began to question the Xinhua report when
the number of burn victims was upped to 7 from the initial
5 that were pictured in the initial Xinhua news releases.
National Reviews February 14 headline observed
is Burning - More lies from the PRC.
The New York Times February 7 article
"China Steps Up War on..." observes that there
are those inside China who are also becoming increasingly
skeptical: China's already shrill campaign
to discredit the Falun Gong: In the last week, the campaign
has shifted into overdrive. Trying to capitalize on
public shock over the attempted self-immolation by seven
apparent believers on Jan. 23, which left one woman
dead and four others including a 12-year-old girl severely
burned, the authorities have resorted to tried Communist
An editor who is a party member said:
"They have this mentality that the only worthwhile
victory is a total one, with no survivors on the enemy
side. But this isn't the civil war any more. These days
things are much more complicated, society is so complicated."
"The propaganda leaders
always want to take things too far," the editor
continued, voicing the widely shared unhappiness with
the Communist Party's powerful and conservative Propaganda
Washington Post: Human Fire
Ignites Chinese Mystery; Motive for Public Burning Intensifies
Fight Over Falun Gong
By Philip P. Pan
Feb. 4, 2001
.... Beijing denied requests to interview
Liu Siying and the three other survivors, who are all
hospitalized with serious burns. A Kaifeng official
said only China Central Television and the official
New China News Agency were permitted to speak to their
relatives or their colleagues. A man who answered the
door at the Liu home referred questions to the government.
But Liu Chunlings Apple Orchard
neighbors described her as a woman who led a troubled
life and suffered from psychological problems. State
media identified 78-year-old Hao Xiuzhen as her adoptive
mother. Neighbors said they quarreled often before Liu
drove the woman from their home last year.
There was something wrong with
her, said neighbor Liu Min, 51. She hit
her mother, and her mother was crying and yelling. She
hit her daughter, too.
There were also questions about how
Liu supported herself and about the whereabouts of her
daughters father. Neighbors said Liu was not a
native of Kaifeng, and that a man in southern Guangdong
province paid her rent. Others, including neighbor Wen
Jian, 22, said Liu worked in a local nightclub and was
paid to dine with and dance with customers.
None ever saw her practice Falun
Post: China May Charge Foreign Reporters Over Tiananmen
By Philip P. Pan
Feb. 9, 2001
.... Eason Jordan, CNNs chief news executive,
said a producer and cameraman witnessed the self-immolations
because they were making a routine check of the square
for Falun Gong protests on the day before the Chinese
New Year, which was marked by protests a year ago.
He said the footage used in the Chinese television reports
could not have come from CNN videotape because the CNN
cameraman was arrested almost immediately after the
http://nrstg1p.djnr.com/ (Dow Jones Publications Library)
Channel: The Fires This Time: Immolation Or Deception
By Danny Schechter
Feb. 21, 2001
.... Significantly, one of the CNN producers on
the scene, just 50 feet away, says she did not even
see a child there. The government says doctors performed
a tracheotomy on the victim, but a pediatric surgeon
said that, if that were true, the child wouldnt
be speaking right away....
Globe: Falun Gong Appeals for Help, Vigils Held on Eve
of UN China Vote
By Charles A. Radin
April 18, 2001
.... The most striking part of yesterdays
local presentation was the screening of a slow-motion,
stop-action version of a videotape that the Chinese
government says shows Falun Gong members burning themselves
to death Jan. 23 on Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.
The government has broadcast the film repeatedly.
In the slowed version, it appears
that Liu Chunling, one of two people who died, collapsed
not from the flames but from being bludgeoned by a man
in a military overcoat. Falun Gong members identified
the man as a police officer. ....