Jiang Zemin’s visit to the United States had been rumored since the summer of 2002, but his itinerary has always been hidden from the public. It was not until October 10, 2002, that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhang Qiyue announced in a regular press conference that Jiang Zemin would visit the United States from October 22 to 25, according to Vision Times.
At 10:38 a.m. on October 22, 2002, Jiang Zemin’s plane landed at Chicago airport in the fog. Jiang Zemin did not respond to the team that greeted him at the airport organized by the consulate, hurriedly got into his car, and left the airport.
Jiang’s motorcade left the airport and headed for the city along Highway 90. Falun Gong protesters appeared at every subway station along the way and raised placards and banners that read, “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong.”
However, Jiang Zemin never imagined that Falun Gong would sue him in Chicago. It was the world’s most notable legal campaign to prosecute a human rights persecutor since World War II.
According to “A close-up look at Jiang Zemin,” the prosecution of Jiang Zemin is a civil case, so a subpoena must be filed against the Defendant. But during Jiang Zemin’s visit to Chicago, Jiang was afraid of opposition, so he kept his itinerary private. Moreover, even if Jiang’s itinerary were known, it would be difficult to issue a subpoena because he was always guarded inside and outside with three layers of security.
On October 21, 2002, an Illinois court issued a court order. As it was impossible to send subpoenas directly to Jiang while he was in Chicago, warrants could be sent to Chinese and American security officers in charge of Jiang’s security work.
On October 22, the seven servers and Terry Marsh, the leading lawyer in the prosecution case against Jiang, discussed for nearly an hour the prosecution of Jiang at a private detective agency. Three of them are professional subpoena process servers from the same company, have years of experience serving professional subpoenas, and are, at the same time, private detectives. In addition, the other four Falun Gong practitioners were all young men, three white and one of Chinese descent.
Around 4:00 p.m. that day, Bob Fetter, one of the servers, arrived at the 18th District Police Station and hoped to deliver the documents directly to the sheriff. However, since the sheriff was out of office, the sheriff’s assistant kept records. After being obstructed and threatened by the security forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and pressured by the U.S. police, Bob finally successfully submitted the file outside the hotel to sheriff Griffin of District 18—who was on duty.
According to the decree, Griffin, the Sheriff, is one of the security guards who can receive the complaint on behalf of Jiang and the “610 Office.” Griffin accepted the legal documents and said he understood his obligations. Because there were many obstacles to prosecuting Jiang Zemin, the transfer of records through security guards was considered an efficient transfer method, and the prosecution proceeding was successful.
When Jiang Zemin learned that Falun Gong had sued him and that the court summons had been transferred, his face turned gray, and he began to tremble. Then, after regaining his composure, he threw a tantrum directed at Wei Ruixing, the Chinese Consul General of Chicago.
Wei Ruixing is a veteran diplomat of the CCP. Still, for two years (2000-2002), there were rumors in the Chinese community that he had been involved in inappropriate romantic affairs, and he returned to China to “rejuvenate” for three months. Wei wanted to use Falun Gong to win Jiang’s approval and continued to climb to a higher position. Therefore, as soon as the persecution of Falun Gong began, Wei went to Spring city, the capital of Illinois, to speak out against Falun Gong. After that, the consulate also held several Cultural Revolution-styled critical meetings.
Having had a difficult time in Chicago, Jiang finally returned to China at the end of October 2002. On November 4, Wei was removed from his post as consul general and sent back to China. Wei’s political career also ended there, which shows that those who sacrificed themselves to serve Jiang Zemin could only have bad luck.
To secure the filing of the complaint, the bar association registered and filed a legal lawsuit against Zhongnanhai several times after Jiang Zemin’s return to Beijing.
On December 13, 2002, notice in English and Chinese of the court date issued by the clerk of the court, together with a letter in English and Chinese explaining the information, and a copy of the Complaint, Subpoena, and Court Order authorizing Plaintiff to serve legal documents on Defendant by alternative means of service, via FedEx, was delivered to Jiang’s official office in Zhongnanhai, Beijing, China.
Initially, the State Department received the complaint. However, this courier letter is too special, and the State Department could not say, “The recipient cannot be found; therefore, please return to the sender,” nor can it be arbitrarily acknowledged as received. Then, they directly delivered the letter to “Jiang’s Office” in Zhongnanhai. By contrast, “Jiang’s Office” was very quickly acknowledged by T. Huang. This incident is still circulated as a joke amongst the top leaders of the CCP.
After being accused, Jiang Zemin hastily directed Jia Ting’an, Director of the Central Office of the Communist Party of China, to urgently negotiate with the U.S. government, requesting that the case be shelved with the reason of “exemption for the head of state.” Later, Jiang Zemin called Luo Gan and Minister of State Security Xu Yongyue in Beijing and ordered them to “quickly investigate who the domestic and foreign plaintiffs are and arrest all of them.”
Luo Gan did not dare to delay and urgently ordered local police agencies to investigate and arrest many Falun Gong practitioners.