100 Zhong Gong offices shut down

South China Morning Post/February 1, 2000
By Vivien Pik-Kwan Chan

China has closed 100 offices and training centres of Zhong Gong, a qi gong group similar to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, a Hong Kong-based human rights group reports.

The Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said yesterday police had begun cracking down on Zhong Gong in November after President Jiang Zemin called it a cult, which at its peak was said to have close to 20 million adherents on the mainland.

Police raided Zhong Gong's head office in Beijing and confiscated 50 million yuan (HK$44.7 million) in assets, the group said.

In the past two months, police had closed down 40 Zhong Gong centres in provinces including Shaanxi, Sichuan, Shanxi, Anhui and Jiangsu. Police dispersed more than 2,000 Zhong Gong followers from their Shaanxi base. Police also closed the Tianjin-based Qilin Group - a network of companies in the tourism and health-products business. According to the centre, Zhong Gong was financed mainly by the Qilin Group, which had offices in Inner Mongolia, Guangxi and Yunnan.

Zhong Gong's Web site had also been shut down and Zhang Hongbao, 45, who founded the group in 1988, is now in hiding.

The crackdown on Zhong Gong came as authorities began to put Falun Gong leaders on trial for engaging in "evil cult" activities.

The information centre claimed that President Jiang, on the advice of Hubei's Communist Party secretary, consulted senior Zhong Gong master Zhang Chongping in 1992 to try to cure his arthritis and back problems. The Zhong Gong group was said to have more than 1,000 propagation centres and boasted more than 180,000 coaches.

"The crackdown has led to a serious split among Zhong Gong members over whether they should protest as Falun Gong members did," said information centre spokesman Frank Lu.

Although some Zhong Gong leaders had called on its 400,000 employees at the Qilin Group to defend their jobs and practitioners to protect the movement, the majority of members had stayed silent about the crackdown.


To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.