(Clearwisdom.net) On March 9, 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Harper recalled his trip to China in February at a round table meeting with Chinese media in Toronto. When answering reporters' questions, he said that during his visit to China this year, he raised the persecution of Falun Gong with his Chinese counterparts, and praised Falun Gong practitioners in Canada to be law-abiding and that they have made a great contribution to society.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

When answering a reporter's question if he had a chance to raise the Falun Gong issue with the Chinese leadership, Harper said, “I raised, whenever we go on these trips, whenever we meet the Chinese leadership, whether it's in Canada or China or in other parts of the world, we always raise a full range of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law issues. I tend to raise these at a very broad level with my Chinese counterparts.”

Harper continued that during this visit to China, “Minister Baird and those who are with us bring fairly detailed issues that need to be discussed and reviewed, and one set of those issues is, obviously, the Falun Gong issue. And you know, to the extent this comes up with our counterparts, I know the... you know, the strong point that I always make broadly on, whether it's Falun Gong or any number of other issues.”

Harper continued, “In Canada, we have a million people of Chinese descent, including practitioners of Falun Gong, and these people, these Chinese Canadians demonstrate, as do all other Canadians, a capacity to use and to flourish under a system of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

“Falun Gong practitioners of Canada are law-abiding citizens who, like their fellow Chinese Canadians and others, make a great contribution to our country. And I believe that China, like Canada, will over time immensely benefit from greater freedom and toleration for not just in democratic rights generally, but for differences in point of view.”

Canadian Prime Minister and Officials Have Raised Falun Gong and Human Rights Issues on Many Occasions

At the United Nations conference on human rights held on March 5 in Geneva, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said that Canada condemns egregious acts against converts and members of religious minorities in various parts of the world, including violent repression, discrimination and threats, and attacks on places of worship. Canada remains deeply concerned about the rights of members of religious minorities, among which, Canada's foreign minister mentioned Falun Gong practitioners.

During Harper's visit to China in February, he attended a conference of more than 600 attendees held in Guangzhou, where he emphasized that in the relations between Canada and China, Canada would continue raising basic freedom and human rights issues.

Harper said in Guangzhou on February 10, Canada will not treat separately the trade relations and Canada's fundamental values. Canadians are clear that their wealth and prosperity, not only stem from the rich resources and their diligent work, but also from their insistence on freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights. He said that Canadians want their government and businesses to adhere to these Canadian characteristics in all of their transactions.

Prior to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to China, Falun Gong practitioners in eastern cities in Canada gathered in front of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, on a cold, snowy day, to call on him to raise the persecution of Falun Gong during his visit.

Prior to Harper's visit to China, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners in eastern cities in Canada gathered in front of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, on a cold, snowy day, to call on him to raise the persecution of Falun Gong during his visit. Three victims of the persecution, including their relatives, recounted the persecution that they or their relatives had been subjected to in China.

Other Canadian human rights groups urged Harper to raise China's human rights issues on both private and public occasions. Alex Neve from Amnesty International Canada said that the recent human rights situation in China has deteriorated, which cannot be ignored.

On January 23, two weeks before Prime Minister Harper's visit to China, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, during his visit to the U.K, expressed his dissatisfaction with Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) abhorrent act of persecuting groups of spiritual beliefs, and publicly condemned the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong.