(Minghui.org) During a press conference on April 17, 2023, the United States Department of Justice announced the FBI arrested two Chinese Communist Party (CCP) special agents. The two New York men were accused of tracking and repressing practitioners of Falun Gong, a meditative spiritual practice currently persecuted in China, and other dissidents in the US.
According to the complaint filed by US District Court in Eastern District of New York, “Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan, operated a secret overseas police station, located in lower Manhattan, New York, on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
This secret police station was established in February 2022 for the purpose of tracking and silencing Falun Gong practitioners and Chinese dissidents in the US.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at the press conference that Lu and Chen were arrested earlier that morning from their New York homes. They were charged with conspiring to act as agents of the PRC government, and they worked together to establish the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of the MPS.
“The defendants’ actions under the direction of the Chinese government are flagrant violations of American sovereignty,” said Peace. “Thanks to our investigation and the arrests today with FBI, the defendants will be held accountable, and the MPS will also notice that we will not tolerate similar threats to our national sovereignty.”
The complaint states that, “LU was also asked to publish materials in newspapers against the Falun Gong,” and that CHEN has been “assisting with the collection of personal information and passing this information to PRC government officials.” It also described how the agents paid people to target Falun Gong activities, and publish information online to slander Falun Gong.
According to the complaint, the two agents began to assist the CCP since in or about 2015, “LU has assisted the PRC government by participating in counter-protests in Washington, D.C., against members of [Falun Gong] that is forbidden under PRC law and helping locate persons of interest to the PRC government.”
The complaint further stated, “LU admitted to the FBI during an interview…that, in 2015 during PRC President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States, LU and other leaders of local Chinese associations each sent 15 members to participate in counter-protests in Washington, D.C., against public demonstrations against President Xi by members of the Falun Gong religion.
“LU further admitted to the FBI that he received a plaque from the MPS celebrating work performed by local Chinese association leaders like himself as part of the advanced security team for President Xi’s entourage, in ensuring that members of the Falun Gong religion did not disturb President Xi’s visit. A member of President Xi’s entourage whose visa documentation reflected he was then “Deputy Director” of the MPS (“MPS Official-2″ presented a plaque to LU in a ceremony.”
Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Centre, said, “It’s significant and encouraging to see such serious legal action being taken against Chinese officials engaging in transnational repression on U.S. soil, including against Falun Gong practitioners. The actions these individuals are charged with are just the tip of the iceberg. For the past 23 years, Falun Gong practitioners in the United States have been targeted with death threats, physical assaults, home break-ins, online harassment, interference on university campuses, obstruction to business and livelihood, as well as intimidation of relatives in China, all at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party.”
The complaint recorded Lu’s involvement with the MPS’s agenda of transnational repression, specifically targeting Falun Gong practitioners and communities in New York City and Washington, D.C. under orders from “the former Director of the MPS ‘610’ directorate which handled Falun Gong matters (“MPS Official-3”).”
Chinese authorities ordered Lu, Chen, and a third unnamed conspirator to locate Chinese nationals in the U.S. wanted by the MPS. Lu was also directed to “publish materials in newspapers against the Falun Gong” community, while Chen worked with the Chinese government to monitor Falun Gong practitioners. The MPS Official-3 behind them is likely Fu Zhenghua or Huang Ming, who were the directors of the 610 Office between the start of Lu’s activities in 2015 and restructuring of the extralegal agency in 2018.
The complaint against the pair explained that: “According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, ‘the [Chinese Communist Party] maintains an extralegal, party-run security apparatus to eliminate the Falun Gong movement,’ using methods ranging from harassment to imprisonment.”
“The CCP’s transnational repression against Falun Gong and other victims of persecution is a long-term problem,” said Browde. “We look forward to seeing even more actions by the US government against those who have attacked or spied on Falun Gong practitioners.”
Background: What Is Falun Dafa and Why Is the CCP Persecuting It?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Millions of people who have embraced the teachings, which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and have learned the five exercises, have experienced improved health and well-being.
Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, he issued an order to eradicate the practice.
Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organisation with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 23 years. The actual number is believed to be much higher. Countless practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.
There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply China’s organ transplant industry.
Chinese version available