(Minghui.org) After starting his own business in his early 20s, Mr. Li Xuangang became one of the wealthiest businessmen in his region. Mr. Li was also well known for his generosity and ethical standards.

But when his belief in Falun Gong clashed with the Communist Party's persecution policy, Mr. Li quickly found himself among the countless targets of the nationwide suppression. He has been detained seven times since 2000, most recently on March 29, 2014, when he was arrested with nine other practitioners.

More than 9 months have passed and Mr. Li, 48, a resident of Changsha County, Hunan Province, is still detained.

A Businessman with Principles

Mr. Li's mother, like many other traditional Chinese, was religious and believed in divine beings. She often told her son stories about heavenly laws such as honesty, good will be rewarded, and so on. As a result, Mr. Li was kindhearted and was interested in cultivation practice since he was young. Many qigong systems were active in China back then, and Mr. Li tried some of them, but the effects were minimal, both physically and spiritually.

In contrast to his setback in his spiritual pursuit, Mr. Li's business went very well. He started a car parts business in the late 1980s that quickly flourished. Influenced by his mother's teachings about traditional culture, he paid to construct a road in his hometown.

During a business trip to northern China in 1996, Mr. Li ran into Falun Gong. Amazed by what he heard about its health and spiritual benefits, he began to read Zhuan Falun and found the teachings very profound. He became a practitioner and fulfilled his dream of taking up a cultivation practice.

By following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Mr. Li found life becoming easier and simpler. He cared about his employees, was honest and considerate of his customers, and trusted his business partners, and he quickly earned a great reputation. People knew Mr. Li's goods were of high quality and fairly priced, and that his service was good--without kickbacks. Even his competitors respected him for his open-mindedness and friendship.

Arrested and Detained Seven Times

When the Chinese regime decided to ban Falun Gong, just like other practitioners, Mr. Li became a target. He was arrested and detained seven times. The first time he was detained for two weeks when he went to to Beijing in July 2000 to appeal for Falun Gong.

He went to Beijing again in October 2000, and the police beat him and shocked him with electric batons. Changsha County police took him back and, as instructed by the Changsha 610 Office, sentenced him to four years in prison.

He was detained for two months in the Laodaohe Brainwashing Center in June 2005. He was arrested a fourth time in June 2006 and detained for one year at the Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp. Three weeks after he was released in July 2007, Mr. Li was arrested a fifth time and held in the Changsha County Detention Center.

Investment in a Key Project and Financial Extortion

The first five arrests and detentions affected Mr. Li and his family tremendously, and he incurred big financial losses. With help from friends and family, Mr. Li went to Hubei Province after his release and invested in a navigation hydro-power junction project in Chibi City.

Because of funding shortages and management issues, the project was not doing well. Mr. Li and his partners not only invested in the project, they also spent a great deal of time managing it. With joint efforts from investors and contractors, the situation improved, and there were breakthroughs in 2000. By late 2011, Mr. Li and other investors estimated that the project would generate profits of close to 100 million yuan.

But the persecution of his belief did not stop, and Mr. Li was soon arrested for a sixth time. Zhou Yongkang, then head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, visited Chibi City in April 2012 on an inspection tour. To make things look good for him, local officials arrested and detained many Falun Gong practitioners.

Among them was Mr. Li, who was arrested at work on April 9, 2012, by local police and 610 Office agents. He was detained for a month and then sent to a brainwashing center in Xinning City.

Officials from Chibi 610 Office and police demanded 500,000 yuan from Mr. Li's family as a “fine.” Familiar with the culture of widespread corruption in the police, the family counter-offered 450,000 yuan. The officials took the money, gave them a receipt for only 250,000 of the 450,000 yuan paid, and released Mr. Li.

None of the money has ever been returned. An officer Yao commented to Mr. Li, “Compared to those elderly ladies [who practice Falun Gong], we would rather arrest people like you—young and wealthy. We can get more money out of it!”

The seventh arrest occurred on March 29, 2014. Changsha police and officials kept Mr. Li in a detention center. Even his car was confiscated.