(Minghui.org) The 2014 annual report of USCC (U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission) notes heightened media control in China and continuation of persecution of Falun Gong “through arbitrary detention, torture, psychiatric abuse, and arrest of practitioners as well as harassment of lawyers who attempt to represent them.”

The publication also reports that China's first national security “blue book,” released in May 2014, designated religion as a serious threat to its national security. The USCC annual report identifies Falun Gong as one of the topics focused on when it comes to eliminating content in China's domestic media, which are all controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Internet censorship is an extension the Party's policy to censor media, and this together with propaganda are used to maintain control and power. People who dare to challenge the censorship may face consequences, like losing their job, detention and/or incarceration.

The report details the Chinese regime's intensified efforts to further monitor social media platforms and other Internet websites: “ Recent studies have found around 15 percent of total posts are deleted by censors; most are deleted within 24 hours.” Xiao Qiang, founder and editor of the China Digital Times, has mentioned that any Falun Gong information is blocked.

“Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who China’s Ministry of Justice named one of the top ten Chinese lawyers in 2001, was recently released from a nine-year jail sentence, where he faced torture, solitary confinement, and malnutrition, for advocating on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners. In addition, authorities threatened his children, leading him to confess to subversion charges in 2006; authorities harassed and kept him and his family under 24-hour surveillance until his family’s escape to the United States in 2009.”

“Since its inception in 1999, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has found systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom in China.” Falun Gong practitioners in China are still, as per the report, being arrested and detained.

According to its official web site, USCC was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with a mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.