Morality and Justice or Vested Interests--The Persecution of Falun Gong Forces People to Make Choices
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, China once more used a "no-action" motion to block passage of a resolution introduced by the Unites States at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, criticizing China's human rights practices. Of the 53 Commission member countries voting, 28 supported the no-action, 16 opposed it and 9 abstained. Other countries besides the U.S.A. opposing China's no-action motion were Japan and some of the democratic European countries.
The United States, who last year did not sponsor similar human rights resolutions, sponsored a resolution on China's human rights again this year to express concern about China's severe curtailing of human rights, as well as shoddy legal procedures that continue to fall short of international norms of due process and transparency. Furthermore, the U.S. protested the arrests and other severe infractions against those seeking to exercise their fundamental rights, including Falun Gong practitioners. The Chinese delegation used the no-action motion as they had previously done to block the U.S. resolution.
This time, right after the U.S. announced sponsorship of a censuring resolution, the Chinese authorities immediately defended themselves with a ten-thousand-word long "white paper." In addition, China used economic incentives to lobby certain countries to support China's no-action motion. The Chinese delegates also distributed a pamphlet among Commission members attacking the U.S. human rights record on the basis of poverty issues and racial matters.
So far, the U.S. has sponsored or co-sponsored ten resolutions with the United Nations Human Rights Commission about China's human rights issues, but China has blocked all of them. On April 15, 2004, China again blocked the resolution criticizing China's human rights practices through their no-action motion. Falun Gong practitioners commented that although some in the Chinese government uphold the interests of Jiang Zemin's regime and have used deceit and tempted others with economic interests to temporarily evade condemnation from the international community, Falun Gong practitioners will continue to expose the persecution.
"Human Rights in China" that Divides Spirit and Body
China's official "white paper" emphasized again and again China's economic development and claimed that China's human rights policies are develop rapidly and healthily. Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Chen Gang commented, "The Chinese authorities always emphasize that human rights represents 'the right to subsistence;' however, besides merely existing, man needs to think and to have a spiritual life, otherwise he is not a truly significant human being. The Chinese authorities' logic, 'if I allow you to live, you must live according to my will and instructions; otherwise you will face the cruelest choice' boils down to this: persistence in your belief vs. the most basic instinct -survival."
Mr. Chen Gang's home was ransacked twice for practicing Falun Gong. He had also been illegally detained and tortured in Beijing's Tuanhe Labor Camp for 18 months. Mr. Chen Gang said, "Freedom of belief is the most important part of a man's spiritual life; it is generally respected in civilized countries but is treated the opposite way in Mainland China. Because I am steadfast in my belief of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I suffered from persecution in China, which changed my life entirely. I lost my job, my family. If one practices the Falun Gong exercises or goes to appeal, that person will be arrested. Some are arrested even thought they don't even go out to practice the exercise."
Another Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured in Tuanhe Labor Camp, Qinghua University graduate Zhao Ming says, "Jiang's regime has spent huge amounts of money and resources on the persecution of Falun Gong. They have used all kinds of methods and means and resources in an attempt to change people's minds and change their beliefs. This is the most impermissible thing to do and it cannot succeed, because it targets the wonderful principles of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. What it destroys is mankind's most important attribute - virtue. It is harming the Chinese nation! It is truly bringing calamity to the country and its people."
In describing his state of mind when he suffered persecution Chen Gang says, "When I was tortured to the brink of death, I was faced with two choices: die or give in to my captors. To give in meant to betray my dignity and belief. The pain this brings surpasses the pain of death itself. When a person is facing death, he/she is often afraid and in pain. But when you choose to have to live with humiliation, that torment will make you wish you had chosen death instead. Because your dignity is tarnished, your soul is no longer pure. At that time one feels that to live is worse than to have died."
Mr. Chen Gang said that not all of those who are persecuted are Falun Gong practitioners, but every one who has participated in this persecution is committing crimes in exchange for temporary benefits. Most of the general public are forced to choose between morality and vested self-interest.
The price of trading human rights for economic gains
Zhao Ming said, "The Chinese market is very hot right now. Many countries want to do business in China. Additionally, Jiang's regime has tried very hard to spread lies that slander Falun Gong. So many countries, although they have realized that the persecution of Falun Gong is a severe human right violation, have not openly denounced this persecution. In fact, it will be very dangerous if this situation cannot be corrected, that Jiang's regime dares to use people's hard-earned money to persecute such a large group of people in mainstream society. Under these circumstances, even though the Chinese economy has improved, it will backfire if these profits are used to do bad things."
The investigative report from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) cited Beijing, the capital of China, as an example (where Dafa practitioners Zhao Ming and Chen Gang were tortured.) In 2001 and 2002 in Beijing, the budget for capital construction dropped dramatically. Agricultural and education expenditures also started to drop in 2002. Expenditures for politics and law rose in expenditure rankings to No.1 in 2002 from a previous low figure in 1998, and this 37% increase was higher than the budget increase for any other expenditures. The year 1999, which was the demarcation line for the expenditure changes, corresponded exactly with the time when Jiang's regime began persecuting Falun Gong on a large scale. After the persecution had begun, a large number of Falun Gong practitioners from all over the country went to Beijing and to Tiananmen Square to appeal. To stop and arrest the Falun Gong practitioners, Jiang's regime has thrown huge sums of money and police resources into the persecution efforts. Over a period of nearly five years, 24 Falun Gong practitioners were tortured to death in Beijing's Tuanhe Labor Camp alone. Beijing's Female (Xin'an) Labor Camp and the detention centers in the Beijing districts have all actively participated in the persecution. Beijing's Female Labor Camp has relocated twice in order to better meet the requirements of the persecution. It's spending is much higher than what it was prior to the persecution. According to explanations from WOIPFG members, the budget increase for politics and law indicate precisely the premeditated nature of this persecution.
Additionally, the investigation showed further that rebuilding the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp cost over one billion Yuan. Several thousand Falun Gong practitioners have been unlawfully detained there.
According to what the Jinan Daily reported on September 17, 2003, in 2003 alone, the money that the different levels of the party committees and the local governments in Jinan City invested in police stations was equivalent to the total expenditure of the previous five years. In this city, 90.1% of all the police stations were either newly built or rebuilt. These police stations in the city are equipped with electronic patrol systems, while the neighborhood police precincts are equipped with a database device [a kind of device that the police use to get data about their targets of investigation]. According to the data provided by Clearwisdom.net, Shandong Province is one of the provinces where the persecution of Falun Gong is most severe. By April 15, 2004, one hundred-and-six Falun Gong practitioners had died there from torture.
Zhao Ming also was one of those who mentioned that Jiang's regime has invested large amounts of money and resources in the persecution of Falun Gong. The real economic situation in China, though, is never as prosperous as the government wants it to appear. Economist Chang Ching-Hsi discovered that bad loans in Chinese banks range from 40% to 50%. Although the World Bank has invested money to help clear these under-funded accounts, the situation has not improved because the fundamental problem is not being resolved. Economist Chang Ching-Hsi also indicated that those officials in power play a dangerous game: to pursue highly superficial economic growth, they often seek "projects that can show off their administration achievements" and falsify GDP [gross domestic product] data. In 2002, for example, the percentage of increase of China's GDPs reported from the provinces were all above the GDP increases that the central government finally announced, which, according to statistical fundamentals, is contradictory.
So where has Jiang's regime gotten the money that it depends on to keep the persecution going? One representative of the WOIPFG said in his summary that a large amount of money, which consists of Chinese people's hard-earned money and of foreign investments have been used to persecute innocent Chinese people, including Falun Gong practitioners. "Economic development itself will not automatically improve the human rights situation," Zhao Ming said. "Simply investing in and trading with China, without insisting that China improve the worsening human rights situation is, in fact, equivalent to encouraging Jiang's followers to continue their evil persecution."