Dear Consul:

This past Tuesday I went to the Chinese Embassy, hoping to have a face-to-face talk with you to resolve the issue of my passport renewal. Unfortunately, we did not meet. Therefore, I took the liberty to send this letter.

The condition required for my passport renewal is for me to write a "guarantee" letter to give up practicing Falun Gong. However, my morality and conscience do not allow me to write such a letter.

Firstly, I want to be frank with you: I do not wish to deceive you by writing something untruthful.

Prior to 1999, Falun Gong's teachings, effectiveness, and the benefits it brought to the society had received full affirmation from Chinese leaders at all levels. In fact, of the more than one thousand awards and proclamations that Falun Dafa received from all over the world, the first two were actually issued by the Chinese government.

The then-National People's Congress Chairman Mr. Qiao Shi led a thorough investigation on Falun Gong, and concluded that Falun Gong was overwhelmingly beneficial to society and the country. I can remember vividly that a three-man team was sent by the national sports council to the Northeastern region, Changchun City, in 1998 to conduct a study on Falun Gong. They held lengthy and detailed discussions with people from all walks of life.

I happened to be free one day and went to listen to the discussions. There were people from the division and army level of the armed forces, bureau chiefs, department heads, teachers, professors, as well as workers from factories. They participated in the discussions as practitioners of Falun Gong. They narrated the benefits gained, both in mental and physical health, after practicing Falun Dafa. As a result, huge medical expenses were saved and morality of the civilian populace increased greatly. The fact-finding team was very touched by their findings and delivered a speech wishing everyone well before they departed.

They had planned to obtain 30 case studies to illustrate the benefits of Falun Gong in improving health, but received 100 cases instead. All of them provided hospital medical records indicating their diagnoses of incurable or chronic illnesses, as well as home telephone numbers and respective addresses for further clarification, and welcomed further visits in the future. According to official statistics at that time, there were 88,000 people practicing Falun Gong in Changchun alone.

No one would have imagined that such a benign Qigong practice, and a great many benevolent people, would be subjected to such ferocious oppression and brutal persecution. It was said that all members of the then-standing committee of the Political Bureau, with the sole exception of Jiang Zemin, did not agree to the suppression of Falun Gong. To date, this persecution that was initiated by a handful of people has lasted for more than 5 years. According to the interior office of the national policy committee, the persecution is costing one-quarter to one-third of the economic resources of the entire state. This has the direct result of putting tremendous pressure on the lives of the Chinese people, as well as the economic operation of the state. The new generation of national leaders cannot continue to walk down this path.

Such a catastrophe, such injustice, when rectified, would very likely end the way the Cultural Revolution did, where those who participated in the persecution were themselves punished.

A few things that have happened over the last few years greatly affected me. Foremost amongst these is the incident of three friends in Changchun I knew personally. Their untimely deaths have had an enormous impact on me. Until now, I still cannot get over the memory. Their faces, their voices, and their smiles are still clearly discernible in my mind. They are Jin Junjie, Zhang Wenya, and Bai Xiaojun, all of whom died as a result of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Junjie left the world when he was only 29 years old, and Xiaojun died at the age of 35. Xiaojun was an alumnus of the Northeast Normal University (also my alma mater), and he cast the deepest impression on me. He was a lecturer in the Philosophy Department of the University and the editor of the university newsletter. His depth of knowledge and moral behavior was deeply admired by many teachers and students alike. After more than one thousand days of suffering, he left this world on July 18, 2003 in the Chaoyangkou Forced Labor Camp. He was reduced to mere skin and bones. It was said, in the last month before his death, that the labor camp completely ignored him and left him to die. When I read his letter to his mother while he was imprisoned, I could not control my tears. I will no longer see him on the university campus. Even when faced with such suffering and difficulties, he was ever calm and peaceful. This is another reason why I cannot write this "guarantee" letter, for I have to face up to the souls of my friends. At the very least, I have to let them know that I didn't live on dishonorably in this world. (To date, there have been 1,016 confirmed deaths due to the persecution. I believe this to be only the tip of the iceberg.)

At the same time, I am living an open and aboveboard life, I have full confidence of my own future; I also have full confidence of China's future. Today, there is an enormous group of people in China who live for neither money nor power, who do not fear for their lives or the torture and humiliation of persecution. They live an honorable life. And because of this group of people, China has the hope of not succumbing to the vicious cycle of "one group of people persecuting another group of people," which has been so prevalent in recent Chinese history. If there were no people who were "indifferent, untruthful, passively obedient, or driven by money and desires," there would be no fuel to add to the flame of such a vicious cycle, and there would certainly be no such spiritually distorted human tragedies. It is commonly said that Falun Gong practitioners have established a lofty moral milestone in China's history. I completely agree with that.

Some people tend to frame those under attack with charges like "influenced by foreign forces." The way I look at it, China has a huge population. The people are industrious and brave, and not cowed by any foreign enemy. We only fear political movements. I also have another perspective: presently, I have aged parents as well as a very young child to take care of, and if I was denied my Chinese passport that rightfully belongs to me, I will have no choice but to seek assistance and help from international organizations. Then would I too, be framed with charges like "influenced by foreign forces"? This leads me to my next point: over a period of 7 years from 1992 to 1999, why did nobody ever seek the help of international organizations? And as for those that did after 1999, weren't they forced to do so? Based on the vast number of people who were tortured and killed, isn't the recent lawsuit against Jiang Zemin for genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity a case of being forced to do so? Currently, the lawsuits against Jiang are gathering momentum in the various countries in which he was sued. Who then would want to be associated with and collaborate with this former "leader"? Who would want to share his disgrace? Surely there are many people planning their own exit plans.

As a matter of fact, it is the most basic right for a Chinese citizen living abroad to own a passport to prove his identity and status. This basic right is provided for in the Chinese constitution as well as international law, and it is a right provided from birth. It is also the most basic service the Chinese consulate should provide to every citizen overseas. The "policy" of rejecting the renewal of passports because the person practices Falun Gong has no legal basis at all. And there is not one Chinese leader who would dare to openly admit to it and be responsible for it. Moreover, such "policy" can only damage the image and reputation of China.

With all that said, I humbly request your help, and hope you will do everything within your power in getting an approval for my passport extension. Above all, I still want to be a Chinese national.

Finally, I wish you and your family continued health and happiness.



[name omitted]