The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has spared no effort in extending its persecution of Falun Gong overseas ever since it began to suppress the practice in July 1999. Such cases have been observed one after another around the world.
As reported by Minghui earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech on China issues at the Wisconsin State Legislature on September 25, 2020. In particular, he exposed and condemned the CCP’s interference and disruption of a resolution passed in California in support of Falun Gong.
In view of how the CCP uses its embassies and consulates abroad to influence, infiltrate, and extend the persecution of Falun Gong overseas in the past two decades, what happened in California is by no means an isolated case, but part of systematic campaigns of the CCP.
Chinese Consulates in U.S.: Self-Glorification and Suppressing Belief System
Pompeo gave two examples in his speech. The first one was about an email sent by the CCP Consul in Chicago to the Wisconsin State Senate Chamber Speaker Roger Roth in February this year, asking the Senate Legislature to pass a resolution praising China’s response to the coronavirus.
A pre-written resolution was also attached with the email. Roth thought it was a hoax and deleted the email. Later, however, he received a follow-up email from the CCP Consul with a revised version of the resolution to be proposed. This time, he sent a one-word response: “Nuts.”
Senator Roth did not stop there. Instead of going along with the CCP’s request, he proposed a resolution in the opposite direction, stating “the Communist Party of China deliberately and intentionally misled the world on the Wuhan coronavirus.”
“Had the Chinese Government acted in a more efficient, transparent, and responsible way, cases worldwide of the virus may have been limited by 95 percent,” Roth wrote.
Pompeo agreed, “It’s an uncomfortable set of questions when we think about what the Chinese Communist Party’s doing through their embassies here in the United States. But what happened here in Wisconsin is happening all across the world. It’s happening all across the United States. It’s happening in statehouses all across America.”
To illustrate the point, he gave another example. In 2017, a California state senator proposed a bill merely expressing support for Falun Gong practitioners in America and China. The Chinese consulate in San Francisco responded by writing a letter to the state legislature, denouncing Falun Gong and claiming the bill might “deeply damage the cooperative relations between the State of California and China, and seriously hurt the feeling of Chinese people and the vast Chinese community in California.”
Unfortunately, the California State Senate gave in to the CCP pressure and shelved the proposed bill.
European Parliamentarians Received Threatening Letter
According to a report on Minghui.org, 26 Swedish parliamentarians who signed a joint statement in support of Falun Gong that called for an end of the persecution have all received an email from the Chinese Embassy. In addition to slandering Falun Gong, the email intimidated and threatened the reputation of the parliamentarians.
On August 19, the Swedish MP Niclas Malmberg disclosed on his personal Facebook page that he received an email from the CCP ambassador for participating in a joint statement in support of Falun Gong. In addition to slandering Falun Gong, the email also threatened his reputation. This has aroused resentment against the CCP from all walks of life in Sweden. They said that the intimidation and threats from the CCP made them even more supportive of Falun Gong practitioners, and they felt the urgency of supporting human rights in China.
Johnsson Fornarve said China is under control by a totalitarian regime that commits vicious crimes against human rights. “The CCP is not moving in the right direction. It is important for us politicians to exert pressure on China and criticise the human rights violations,” she explained.
The CCP Ambassador requested a face-to-face meeting, but was refused.
Member of the European Parliament David Lega and Swedish MP Lotta Johnsson Fornarve also experienced the same. “Our attitude is very clear,” said Lega in a recent interview, “ An ambassador using this kind of intimidation and threats to try to change the freedom of speech in our democratic country is not welcome.”
A similar incident also occurred in Hungary. According to a report by NTDTV, Bernadett Szel, a member of the Hungarian Parliament, commented that she received a letter from the Chinese Embassy in Budapest on August 19, and said it was the “most absurd moment of [her] political career.”
In the letter, the Chinese Embassy stated that it deplored and strongly opposed her signing a joint statement in support of Falun Gong. Szel said that she had posted the letter on Facebook and said, “A Hungarian elected member of Parliament received a letter from another country’s embassy telling her what to do; telling her what can be signed and what cannot be signed – this is extremely abnormal.”
“Europe and many other democratic countries in the world believe in freedom of religion and that people should not be imprisoned and persecuted for reasons of conscience,” she said.
Interfering with Shen Yun Performances
During the past 21 years when Falun Gong has been brutally persecuted in China, the CCP has extensively used its embassies and consulates overseas to threaten politicians in democratic countries that have shown support for Falun Gong. This is because the core theories of communism, such as hatred and violence, fundamentally contradict the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that Falun Gong practitioners follow.
Another example is the CCP’s interference of Shen Yun performances, a performing arts show based on the traditional Chinese culture. For instance, Shen Yun Performing Arts touring company arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas in the U.S. at 7:30 p.m. on January 20, 2010, to perform at the Robinson Center Music Hall, the best theatre in the local area.
Prior to the show, the theatre management received a letter from the Chinese Consulate in Houston, defaming the Shen Yun Performing Arts Company. The theater exposed the sinister action of the CCP consulate and reported the letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
In the 13-page letter, the CCP not only repeatedly used its typical lies, but also included defamatory contents from overseas media controlled by the CCP. At the end of the letter, the CCP consulate asked the theatre to refuse to provide the venue for the Shen Yun performance.
Jim Rice, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau Chief of Operations, said that they felt really surprised, as they had never received any letter like this before, and it was totally against the norm. “No matter who gives us pressure or threats, we will do what we think is the right thing. I am proud to have Shen Yun perform here.” Similar incidents have also occurred in many other cities around the world where Shen Yun staged shows.
Numerous cases of the CCP’s harassment of Shen Yun performances were listed in Chapter 8 of the book Minghui Report: The 20-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Instigating Hatred Overseas
The CCP has never stopped spreading lies and inciting hatred through its agencies overseas since it started persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999. After the CCP orchestrated the so-called “self-immolation” incident at Tiananmen Square in early 2001, many CCP embassies and consulates abroad organised government-sponsored overseas Chinese students and scholars to watch the CCTV videos of the hoax, and organised seminars to criticise Falun Gong.
For example, the CCP Consulate General in Houston organised Chinese students from the University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Medical Centre through the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and alumni associations of Beijing University, Qinghua University, Beijing Petroleum University, as well as government-funded visiting scholars to watch the staged “Self-Immolation” incident and to condemn Falun Gong.
The then CCP Consul General Zhang Chunxiang attacked Falun Gong at the forum and asked the forum attendees to spread the CCP’s lies to other students, their colleagues and American friends. Yan Meihua, head of the Education Section, said that she hoped that all the overseas Chinese students in Houston would “reject Falun Gong” and “persuade Falun Gong practitioners to denounce the practice as soon as possible.”
According to another report from Minghui.org, in February 2001, members of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) in Houston participated in an anti-Falun Gong symposium at the Chinese Consulate in Houston. An article by Cheng Xusen published in the CSSA-SUNDERLAND also mentioned that the CSSA organised activities against Falun Gong in cooperation with the CCP consulate.
On May 26, 2007, the Education Section of the Consulate General in Houston held a seminar attended by presidents of the CSSA’s in Texas and Louisiana, who boasted to the embassy officials about how they “suppressed the enemy forces.”
On July 20, 2001, only one week after Beijing was granted the right to host the Olympics, the Chinese Consulate General in Houston held a symposium for overseas Chinese scholars and local Chinese dignitaries in the greater Houston area to “warmly celebrate the successful bid for the Beijing Olympic Games and to expose and criticise Falun Gong.”
Blacklists and Denial of Passport Extension
Furthermore, the CCP embassies and consulates actively carried out the persecution policies of the Jiang Zemin clique and have blacklists of Falun Gong practitioners overseas. They use such blacklists to persecute and harass Falun Gong practitioners, by refusing to extend their passports or withholding their passports for no reason.
For instance, Wang Yongsheng, who was doing research at the University of Houston, went to the Chinese Consulate in Houston to extend his passport on February 22, 2001. An officer, surnamed Xu, told Wang on the phone: “We can’t give you your passport now because you are still practicing Falun Gong.” He also told Wang that he had to wait for approval from China before he can give him his passport.
On September 2, 2003, Falun Gong practitioner Tang Jian went to the Chinese Consulate in Houston to extend her passport. Consul Yang Zhuofan called her and threatened to refuse to extend her passport. He also told Tang not to practice Falun Gong exercises or protest in front of the Chinese consulate.
Similar incidents occurred in many places. The CCP’s overseas agencies also spread slanderous information to Western countries and provided them with blacklists to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from entering their country. In some cases, Falun Gong practitioners were detained either at the airport or after entering the country.
Hiring Thugs to Attack Falun Gong Practitioners
The chapter “Persecution Extended Outside Mainland China” in the book “Minghui Report: The 20-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China” exposed cases in which members of the Chinese embassies and consulates in Australia, Canada, New York, and Chicago directly attacked Falun Gong practitioners both verbally and physically. The report also exposed 26 persecution methods used by CCP agencies abroad to persecute Falun Gong practitioners through spies, overseas Chinese, students, or hired local hooligans.
According to a report from Minghui.org, on the evening of June 30, 2002, when Falun Gong practitioners were meditating in silence in front of the Chinese Consulate in Houston to protest the persecution, two men, about 30-40 years old, took a close look at the face of each practitioner, and then left. Around 9:28 to 9:30 p.m., suddenly someone from a passing car attacked Falun Gong practitioners by throwing eggs at them. A number of eggs hit the chest of a male practitioner, and another female practitioner was hit in the leg. Falun Gong practitioners reported the incident to the local police and the FBI.
There are all kinds of overseas Chinese organisations around the world, such as chambers of commerce, associations of fellow townsmen, and so on. Most of them act as the CCP’s overseas political tools and agents. For example, Wenzhou Townsmen Association, Fuzhou Townsmen Association, and Shanghai Townsmen Association in New York are directly controlled by the CCP.
Chinese communities such as Chinatown in New York and Flushing have been the CCP’s “foothold” for many years. The United Chinese Associations of Eastern U.S. (formerly known as United Chinese Associations of New York) also takes orders from the Chinese Consulate in New York. After the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong, Liang Guanjun, president of the associations, has proactively cooperated with the CCP Consulate in slandering Falun Gong, and he even went so far as to attack Falun Gong practitioners directly.
On May 17, 2008, under the instructions from Peng Keyu, the then CCP Consul General New York, several “townsmen associations” hired hundreds to more than a thousand people to besiege Falun Gong practitioners at a peaceful rally in Flushing, New York. The attack on Falun Gong practitioners went on for over 20 days.
The U.S. Shuts Down the CCP Consulate in Houston
In an interview with the New York Post on September 23, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Chinese consulate in New York is a spy hub and it is expected that more spies and diplomats would be arrested.
On July 21, the U.S. government notified the Chinese Consulate General in Houston that it must be closed within 72 hours, and all the personnel of the consulate should go back to China.
US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus explained that the decision to shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston was made in order to protect Americans’ intellectual property and personal information,
On the evening of July 21, the Chinese Consulate in Houston began to burn a large quantity of documents in its compound, causing nearby residents to call the police and fire department, as they thought the place was on fire. But when firefighters arrived at the scene, the Chinese consulate staff refused their entry to the compound. High-altitude footage broadcast by a local TV station showed that 6 or 7 large barrels in the open-air compound of the Chinese Consulate were filled with burning documents. Coincidentally, two weeks later, according to the Epoch Times, on August 6 and 7, the Chinese Consulate in New York called in the professional shredding company USA SHRED to destroy massive amounts of documents.
U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw stated on July 24 that the State Department’s latest move to close the Chinese consulate in Houston should remind people that the CCP is not a good player. The Chinese consulate burned documents in order to destroy evidence. He said that the Chinese Consulate in Houston is a major hub for stealing intellectual property, hacking, and carrying out influence operations.