Statement by Congressman Lantos to The Friends of Falun Gong
December 1, 2001
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you this evening. My wife Annette and I regret that my congressional duties prevent us from being with you in person, but we are with you completely in our sustained support of the human rights of all practitioners of Falun Gong. Since I entered the House of Representatives in 1981, Annette and I have continually supported the peaceful free expression of all of China's people, and we will never cease until that peaceful free expression becomes reality.
Surely China's more perceptive leaders, at least, understand by now that the Communist Party cannot continue long term to hold exclusive power by force, under China's changing conditions. They could not ask for a more benign, socially constructive philosophy among China's people, during China's difficult transition to a more open society, than the Falun Gong philosophy of truth, compassion, and tolerance -- just the opposite of the Chinese Government record of lies, cruelty, and persecution. Current government leaders could not ask for a population more likely to forgive the whole range of Government excess and corruption than the large number of Falun Gong practitioners, along with other Chinese citizens practicing peaceful, compassionate philosophies and religions.
The current, comprehensive Chinese Government campaign to search out, intimidate, brainwash, incarcerate, torture, and even murder Falun Gong practitioners when lesser means fail, is one of the most chilling, outrageous phenomena I have seen in China during my twenty years in Congress. It seems cold comfort that this barbaric campaign quite likely represents a desperate attempt, by the most vicious among the generation competing to be China's next leaders, to remove every possible positive environment for their more decent and perceptive competitors.
But notice one example, for instance, of the ridiculous image of China these hard-liners have created before the entire world -- but frightening as well -- when millions of potential tourists to China were treated recently to major press eyewitness accounts of Chinese police dragging, beating, and kicking peaceable visitors, citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and other democratic countries, who had quietly unfurled a banner in Tian An Men Square, the only content of which was "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance." I can think of few more foolish ways for China to attempt to build confidence among potential attendees of the 2008 Olympic games.
The truth is that falsehood, cruelty, and persecution can never win in human affairs in the long run, and they cannot win in China. The hard-liners near the top of China's Government can create enormous suffering in the present, but already conditions have changed so much in China, and in the world as a whole, that the hard line just does not function anymore even for the benefit of protecting China's corrupt leaders. It will be the millions of Chinese people, both outside and inside the present Communist Party structure, who privately sympathize with the values and approach of Falun Gong practitioners and other peaceful, compassionate philosophies and religions, who inevitably, within most of our lifetimes, will prevail in China.
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide