NTD | 2001 | 19mins | Documentary, News Analysis

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 utilized this incident to intensify its 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 public’s hatred towards Falun Gong, the government hoped to justify the long-lasting violent crackdown against Falun Gong.

About the Documentary

The video documentary False Fire: China’s Tragic New Standard in State Deception analyzes the 2001 Tiananmen Square “self-immolation” incident. It won a Certificate of Honorable Mention at the 51st Columbus International Film & Video Festival. New Tang Dynasty TV, a non-profit privately owned Chinese TV station, produced the movie. The award ceremony was held in the Kansas Center, Columbus Arts College, Columbus, Ohio.

In the False Fire documentary NTD who aims to provide truthful reporting and supports human rights systematically analyzed suspicious places in the incident. The analysis exposed that the so-called self-immolation case was very likely directed by the Chinese government to frame Falun Gong and to fabricate excuses for the persecution of Falun Gong.