Eight: Craving For Grandiose
5: A Rascal Underneath
On August 15 the year 2000, before Jiang Zemin visited the US, to drum up momentum, and demonstrate to the West how open-minded and wise he was, Jiang arranged for Mike Wallace, the host of CBS’s 60 Minutes, to interview him.
Jiang pretended to have a magnanimous attitude and indicated that the purpose of the interview was to promote the friendship between China and the US. However, Wallace was quite straightforward with him and hit the nail on the head when he pointed out, that Jiang was the last major communist dictator in the world, and that Jiang sounded like a full-fledged politician, with no candor. Jiang, a lack of the most basic concept of the law, had many embarrassing moments in the interview. For example, he didn’t fully understand what positions he held and forgot some very basic facts, such as that the National People’s Congress simply does not have the right to elect the members of the CCP’s Standing Committee. He claimed that the press should be a mouthpiece of the Party and that China has a different situation from the West for implementing democracy.
Of course, the most laughable part was Jiang’s smear of Falun Gong, by saying that Falun Gong’ founder, Li Hongzhi, had claimed to be a reincarnation of the Lord Buddha and a reincarnation of Christ, and preached an apocalyptic doctrine about the end of the Earth, and how the planet would explode.
Jiang had also said that Falun Gong had driven thousands of its members to commit suicide. With the mention of Christ, he was trying hard to incite hatred from the American public.
The truth is, though, that Falun Gong’s founder never claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha or Jesus. What’s more, in 98 and 99, Mr. Li told thousands of people in a large audience, that the destruction of the Earth that had been predicted by many to occur in 99 would not take place, and Falun Gong’s teaching is against killing and suicide.
Jiang was so eager to spread hatred, that his outlandish claims turned into rumor-mongering. From the special interview with Mike Wallace, people obviously were unable to see Jiang’s wise image, but instead, witnessed his demeanor as a rascal, and his loose tongue. It must be pointed out, that when Jiang lied to Wallace in his capacity as the head of state, he took advantage of China’s national prestige to slander Falun Gong, and in turn, harmed the entire prestige of China. Jiang was satisfied though, with his talking and laughing merrily in front of the American reporter.
However, only three months later, he turned fumed with rage, before a Hongkong junior reporter. Jiang was meeting with Tung Chee-Hwa, Hongkong’s Chief, who came to Beijing to report on his post.
When a female reporter asked Jiang if Tung Chee-Hwa’s second term was assured by Jiang’s imperial order, Jiang grew so furious, that he accused the Hongkong reporters, with his incoherent Cantonese and English, of asking simple and naive questions. He said to the reporters in English: ” You are too simple, too naive! And I’m angry!”
The whole process lasted four minutes. He even shamelessly asked the reporters to forget professional ethics, just shut up and make money. Wallace didn’t make Jiang explode, however, a young woman reporter easily did that. Jiang, tearing up his mask, exploded and showed his true color in front of the world. This must have made Wallace regretful.
After venting his rage before Hongkong reporters, Jiang probably realized that he had crossed the line. He then pointed his fingers at the reporters and warned that if their reports had deviations, they would be held responsible. The Hongkong’s media was shocked by Jiang’s admonishment. Nearly all the daily newspapers reported the story with very eye-catching headlines, describing Jiang as, behaving rascally.