October 4, 2004

Reference: U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Passes Resolution Urging Chinese Government to Cease Its Oppression of Falun Gong Practitioners in the United States and in China

I strongly support this resolution. It is a very important resolution, and I urge my colleagues to do so as well.

Mr. Speaker, 5 years ago, the Chinese government launched a very brutal crackdown of the Falun Gong spiritual movement throughout China. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were brutally beaten, thrown in jail and tortured.

Over 800 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed and tens of thousands remain locked up in Chinese prisons, in psychiatric institutions, and reformed through labor camps. The ongoing Chinese suppression of the Falun Gong is one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time and will, undoubtedly, be marked as one of the darkest periods in modern Chinese history.

Congress has repeatedly spoken out against the repression of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The resolution before us today, however, focuses the spotlight on a new element of the Chinese Government's anti-Falun Gong campaign, the attempt to quash any support for Falun Gong in the United States.

Over the past 5 years, Chinese diplomats in the United States have engaged in a campaign of intimidation and pressure against Falun Gong practitioners here in the United States and those who advocate on their behalf. Apparently not satisfied with the brutal suppression of Falun Gong adherence in China, China has decided to export these repressive policies to the United States.

As the resolution notes, local officials in the United States have been pressured to vote against resolutions condemning the persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners of Falun Gong in the United States have also been harassed and physically assaulted by individuals associated with Chinese diplomatic missions. Media organizations attempting to fairly cover the treatment of Falun Gong have been pressured by Chinese officials, particularly if their papers ran editorials critical of the Chinese Government.

Mr. Speaker, the Chinese Government's heavy-handed tactics against Falun Gong in the United States will backfire. As Americans see firsthand the extremes to which the Chinese Government will go to stop Falun Gong, sympathy for the plight of Falun Gong practitioners everywhere is sure to grow. Mr. Speaker, this resolution puts the Congress firmly on record against such pressure tactics, and I strongly support its passage.