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China vs. Falun Gong A Report

by Hawke published Feb 26, 2004 12:05 AM, last modified Nov 10, 2020 09:31 AM
The Falun Gong have recently faced considerable setbacks this year in their battle for freedom from persecution by the Chinese government. An Editorial Opinion (OpEd) piece for Eastern Washington University EWU Eastern Asian History course.

By W.A. Hawkes-Robinson, February 26th, 2004.

The Falun Gong's attempt at a lawsuit, for no set monetary amount, filed in September 2003 against then Chinese President Jiang Zemin, via the U.S. Federal District Court, was dismissed January 20 th , 2004. They intend to appeal their case, now that he is no longer president and may not be able to use the same diplomatic immunity. Just one day after the dismissal, Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi spoke during a rare tv
appearance, disparaging China's ongoing actions against his organization and other groups that China's government has classified as illegal “cults”, and dangerous to the people and government. Just this month, five Chinese citizens were sentenced to multiple years in prison by China for their membership in Falun Gong.

China has been attempting to drive out and eliminate any organizations it has deemed a threat to it's control of information and the minds of it's citizens via any medium including the Internet.

The group's members are now spread throughout the world, and they have plead for help from other countries, especially the U.S. They have not really received any support from western countries other than general admonishments about China's civiland human rights abuses, and the repression of religion in general.

The Falun Gong claim to be just a meditative group,
with mixed elements of Daoism, Buddhism, meditation, and slow
exercises similar to what westerners have seen in Tai Chi.

The U.S. Court Judge Matthew Kennelly, in following the
established laws about protecting foreign leaders from civil
suit, was also complying with the original wishes of the U.S.
Department of Justice's recommendation for dismissal since Jiang
was also never personally served. The USDOJ's recommendations had
been ignored by members of congress earlier last year as they
pressed for the lawsuit to continue to the courts.

I believe that the U.S. has chosen to keep avoiding
contention with China over this issue because of the ongoing
trade relations that have been evolving in recent years. Western
businesses, and countries dependent on trade with China, have
been trying to establish as many mutually beneficial agreements
as possible, while ignoring China's well established inhumane

Li Hangzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, spoke out against
China's persecution, January 21 st , 2004 in a television
appearance on the New Tang Dynasty Television and as reported in
the Taipei Times. Li stated, “It's a form of jealousy”, because
China's government feels threatened by how many people are
joining. He also states that hundreds of members have been killed by China's government.
China's leadership has countered by repeatedly stating that
Li Hangzhi and Falun Gong are a dangerous influence that must be
stopped, and refutes any extreme measures being used.

China sent five Falun Gong members to prison for 5 to 14 years each, on

February 19th, 2004 for being “cult” members against the
country's laws, and for supposedly spreading information that was
both defamatory and completely false about the government.

I have been following China's ruthlessness against any of
those who do not conform, for a number of years, especially since
the televised massacre over a decade ago. I'm disappointed that
even with that televised incident, and these ongoing injustices,
continuing to publicly and privately occur, China's behavior is
still ignored by the west in favor of making money. The U.S.
government tries to use the excuse that we have to get our foot
in the door via trade to have any influence on human rights, but
after all these years, there still does not appear to be much
change or improvement from the oppression of China towards it's

After researching and reading many articles, I'm no longer
certain that the Falun Gong group members are quite totally
innocent. It might be this group is being used. It could possibly
be argued that there is a political undercurrent focused on trying to topple China's existing government by some members, but the political activism might also just be a means of survival against China's oppression, and my doubts only fuel my cynicism.

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