Dear Ms. (name omitted):

Thank you for your letter to Mrs. Spellings regarding persecution of the Falun Gong in China. The steps the Chinese Government has taken to restrict freedom of thought, conscience, and belief are disturbing.

In private meetings with the Chinese leaders and in public, President Bush has repeatedly expressed concern about the Chinese Government's restrictions of freedom of conscience and treatment of spiritual adherents. Reflecting his concerns, senior American officials have raised with Chinese counterparts the numerous reports of the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese custody and our strong opposition to the detention of individuals solely for peaceful association and assembly. Please be assured that the Administration will continue to support those who struggle daily for life's basic liberties.

We will continue to raise these issues with the Chinese government through diplomatic channels, in addition to making our position clear in public statements. Thank you for letting us know of your views on this matter.


Elliott Abrams

Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations