On January 4th we received a note from the Cultural Development Council that an Italian Parliament member, Mr. Umberto Giovine would like to meet the Falun Gong Association members during his visit (he had been invited by the Taiwanese government). So later that day, Mr. Giovine, accompanied by members of the Cultural Development Council, came to the Falun Dafa Assistance Center in Taipei. The president of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, Dr. Zhang Qingxi, personally received Mr. Giovine. A local practitioner in charge of overseas promotion, an American practitioner and myself were also present at the meeting. Mr. Giovine and his fellow members of parliament are from the district of Milano. They are influential members of the Budgeting, District Affairs and Technology Assessment committees. Before he became a member of parliament, Mr. Giovine was an overseas correspondent for the Italian newspaper group, II Mondo. He knows several different languages, is a scholar in Political Science, and was the director of ISPI (an international political research institute under the Italian Foreign Ministry). He was also once a visiting professor at both John Hopkins and Stanford Universities.
The atmosphere during the meeting was friendly. Mr. Giovine has a certain degree of understanding about Falun Dafa. He knows how widespread Falun Dafa is in Europe and about the recent Christmas Experience Sharing Conference that took place in Taiwan. He also asked us how the conference went. Mr. Giovine also has a very positive and correct a understanding about Falun Dafa. This could be attributed to the efforts of French practitioners in clarifying the truth. He told us that the practitioners in France had contacted him, and had given him many Dafa related materials. In fact, after the meeting we learned from Alfredo Fava, the Italian contact person, that Mr. Giovine has given them a lot of help in holding a European Experience Conference held in the Nizza [in Italy/translator]. Mr. Giovine was extremely concerned with whether or not the Chinese government had escalated the persecution against Falun Dafa. We supplied him with reports from international media groups on the incidents of appeals in Tiananmen Square around New Year's Day, including the estimated number of people arrested. The American practitioner was a native of Northeastern China, so during the meeting he shared his remarkable personal experience and understandings.
Mr. Umberto told us that he would soon hold meetings with other Parliament members, and that the topics discussed may include Falun Gong. So, he wanted to know if he could help us. Dr. Zhang sincerely thanked Mr. Giovine for his willingness to help, and said that there are an increasing number of people who now know the truth about the persecution in China. Dr. Zhang also mentioned that it is a good example of peace in today's world that even under such a harsh persecution, practitioners are able to sacrifice everything and maintain the use of non-violent means to appeal in order to let the people of the world know the truth about Falun Gong. He added that the reason why these people are able to endure what average people usually find extremely difficult to tolerate is that they follow the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance", as taught by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Therefore, we hoped that Mr. Giovine could give us some specific assistance. He responded positively.
After Mr. Giovine's visit, the hosting practitioners felt very encouraged by the fact that justice still exists in people's hearts.
January 7, 2000