Economics Professor Chang Ching-hsi

( June 3 report: Chang Ching-hsi is an economics professor who used to be department head for the Department of Economics at National Taiwan University. Professor Chang was also head of the Economics Study Institution and Director and Spokesman for the Taiwanese Falun Dafa Association.

Regarding overseas Falun Gong practitioners charging former Chinese president Jiang Zemin with genocide, Chang Ching-hsi said,

"Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong is unprecedented throughout history. He used one quarter of the nation's financial resources to persecute Falun Gong."

Professor Chang said he hopes this lawsuit will attract the attention of the people of the world. He thinks Jiang will not be able to continue his persecution when people everywhere have learned the truth.

Below is a summary of the interview:

Q: Professor Chang, could you tell us the opinions of the Taiwanese Falun Dafa Association regarding the lawsuit overseas practitioners have filed against Jiang?

A: Before we talk about why we sued Jiang Zemin, we must first talk about what charge we are pressing against him. Right now, we are suing him for genocide, a crime punishable by international criminal law. When our practitioners filed the lawsuit in 2002, when he received the legal papers, Jiang was still the president of China. Usually, heads of state are granted immunity regarding international criminal charges, however, genocide does not allow for immunity. Why genocide? In a nutshell, "genocide" means a systematic extermination of a group of people, not limited to a race. The sole purpose is to destroy the whole group, using certain means including group massacre; or "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Currently, the Chinese government is using a so-called policy of "defaming their reputation, bankrupting them financially, and destroying them physically." This policy fits in with the definition of "genocide," so we charged Jiang Zemin with it.

Suing Jiang is quite the right thing to do. Falun Gong practitioners practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. They discard attachments and don't have any conflicts with the world, not to mention fighting for political power. Jiang Zemin, though, uses a nation's power to persecute Falun Gong, meaning if someone practices Falun Gong, Jiang would resort to defaming their reputation, bankrupting them financially, destroying them physically, without any other reason. The person who gives up Falun Gong practice would be released. This is perfectly suited to the definition of genocide. The Taiwanese Falun Dafa Association fully supports overseas Falun Gong practitioners' lawsuit against Jiang Zemin.

Q: In Switzerland right now, some Falun Gong practitioners are planning to sue Jiang Zemin. Do Taiwanese practitioners also want to press charges against Jiang in a Taiwanese court?

A: We have been talking to attorneys about this issue. As far as we know right now, at this juncture, Taiwan does not have any law that allows a person to file a lawsuit because of persecution suffered abroad. But we will definitely use legal means if possible.

Q: According to what you know, do Taiwanese people and people in China know very much about this lawsuit?

A: According to what I know, the Chinese people have very little knowledge of this lawsuit. Because this lawsuit was filed in the U.S., the Chinese government uses the whole governmental machinery to block any news from the media that they think is unfavorable to them. They even blocked information about the spread of SARS as much as possible, to prevent outsiders from knowing the truth.

And the people in Taiwan? They are usually indifferent toward news from China. Because of long-term enmity from the past, their attitude usually is, "You don't bother me and I won't bother you." Many have a poor understanding of human nature and human rights. According to our experience, in Western countries, even young children would sign papers to support human rights, but in Taiwan, even adults are afraid to do so. In this environment, Taiwan has not paid enough attention to the lawsuit.

Q: We know you have been very devoted to the building of democracy in Taiwan, and you have made great contributions in this regard. Do you think there is any difference between Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong and the White Terror under the former Nationalist Party's rule?

A: I think there is a fundamental difference. The White Terror in Taiwan in the past was a political persecution. It had targeted political dissidents. Usually, if you don't have any political platform, the government would leave you alone. It would arrest and kill people with different political opinions, but Falun Gong has no political platform whatsoever. Fa principles require the practitioners to obey the laws and to be good people at their work units. Falun Gong absolutely does not jeopardize the people in power, and it absolutely has no interest in politics. Even for a group such as Falun Gong that poses no threat to anyone's political power, Jiang used ? of the nation's resources to persecute, suppress and attempt to annihilate Falun Gong. In fact, this is the most extreme form of violation of human rights.

Q: You just mentioned that Jiang used ?of the nation's resource to persecute Falun Gong. We have learned that Jiang is again using China's national resources, in an attempt to force the withdrawal of the lawsuit. What do you think about this?

A: Actually, we can see exactly how afraid Jiang is. The Party appears very powerful and domineering. For example, they threatened Taiwan with military actions and the Chinese government stopped Taiwan from joining the WHO. On the surface, the Party is powerful, but if we look at the facts, when Jiang is sued in a U.S. court, he exhausts all means in an attempt to stop this lawsuit by mobilizing Chinese ambassadors, as well as economic and political channels. From this example we can see he is in fact very weak. He is terribly afraid of having his evil crimes exposed.

Falun Gong has been persecuted for four years but it still doesn't have any political agenda. The only thing we hope for is that everyone in the world will learn about Jiang's evil ways. When all people know about this, he won't be able to continue this persecution. Therefore, we hope everyone in the world will become aware of the lawsuit against Jiang. I think this is the proper and rational way.