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Persecution in China

Why is the Chinese Government Persecuting Falun Gong?

The Short Answer...

Most analysts and China watchers have identified four factors that have lead to the unwarranted crackdown on Falun Gong in China:

1. Supression of Beliefs in the Chinese Communist State is Widespread.

The Chinese Communist Party has, since it first took power in 1949, consistantly supressed spiritual and religious beliefs among the people. Officially atheist, the Chinese Communist government has forced many in China, including Catholics, Christians and other religions that are not 'registered' with the State to practice their beliefs in hiding and on the run.

2. Resentment from China's then-top leader, Jiang Zemin.

Fearing that Falun Gong's widespread popularity was overshadowing his own legacy, Jiang Zemin ordered the traditional Chinese practice "eradicated." According to a 1999 Washington Post article, "Communist Party sources said that the standing committee of the Politburo did not unanimously endorse the crackdown and that Jiang alone decided that Falun Gong must be eliminated" in order to solidify his power base. As China scholar Andrew Nathan notes, "[Ultimately, Communism is] a system built on monopoly of power and [Falun Gong] is something essential, which can't be compromised."

3. The popularity of the practice: Falun Gong practitioners outnumbered the Chinese Communist Party.

Falun Gong was first introduced to the public on May 13, 1992. By the end of 1998, by the Chinese government's own estimate, there were 70 - 100 million people in China who had taken up the practice. Falun Gong had become "the largest voluntary organization in China, larger even than the Communist party." (U.S. News and World Report February 1999 issue)

4. Party officials scapegoat Falun Gong to gain politically

As economic and technological developments have become top priorities for China as a nation, many government officials who specialize in political propaganda and ideological battles will engender political unrest to provide them with a "cause" to gain political power. Falun Gong was made a scapegoat for this purpose. The propaganda was released through government-run media to defame Falun Gong and its founder from June 1996, and escalated to the mobilization of police and the use of physical violence in Tianjin on April 23, 1999. The development and escalation of the Falun Gong persecution actually happened over a period of three or four years.

As CNN's Willy Lam reported a Communist Party veteran providing his analysis: "By unleashing a Mao-style movement [against Falun Gong], Jiang is forcing senior cadres to pledge allegiance to his line. This will boost Jiang's authority-and may give him enough momentum to enable him to dictate events at the pivotal 16th Communist Party congress next year."


The April 25th Papers
Read "the April 25th Papers" - a detailed study of the peaceful gathering of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing on April 25, 1999, by the people who were there...
The Truth Behind the April 25 Incident

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