(Minghui.org) For Chinese people, hanging up couplets is a major tradition of the Chinese New Year celebration. However, the Communist Party Secretary of Liaoning Province was annoyed by couplets promoting traditional Chinese values and moral improvement. Not only did he order the couplets taken down, he directed a new round of suppression against those who displayed such couplets.

A typical Chinese couplet is written in beautiful calligraphy on red paper. It consists two vertical strips posted on the two sides of a building's doorway and a top banner above the door. A well-written couplet requires that terms in the two strips are antithetical or parallel, e.g. “black” to “white,” “big” to “small,” verb to verb, noun to noun, number to number, and color to color. For example, a Chinese couplet may say “Spring Rain Nourishes Plants” in the first strip and “Autumn Wind Brings Harvest” in the second strip, with “Prosperity in Four Seasons” in the banner.

Traditional Couplets Draw Party Ire

In early 2017, Li Xi, Party Secretary of Liaoning, visited the city of Diaobingshan City. He saw several couplets promoting traditional Chinese values, such as “Cultivate Heart and Improve Human-nature to Carry Heavy Load; Conduct Benevolence and Execute Forbearance to Accumulate Deep Virtue” with the top banner reading “Deep Virtue to Carry Load”; and, “Have Sadness then (will) Have Happiness, Show True Nature during Sadness and Happiness; Don’t Lose then Don’t Gain, Cultivate Human Heart during Loss and Gain” with the top banner reading “Loss Is Gain.”

Many Chinese people don't acknowledge those traditional values anymore, as the communist regime has destroyed traditional culture and religion, supplanting them with the pursuit of money and material gain.

Li Xi knew that there was one group of people that still cherishes and shares those values: practitioners of Falun Dafa, a traditional mind-body discipline in the Buddha School. This peaceful cultivation practice has been brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

Intensified Round of Persecution in Liaoning Province

Li called in the mayors of Diaobingshan and Tieling (the larger city entity with jurisdiction over Diaobingshan).

“Why is your place not adhering to the policies of the Communist Party?” he asked, referring to the fact that Falun Dafa practitioners could post Chinese couplets with messages that the Communist Party does not like.

He threatened the cities with poor ratings in upcoming performance reviews.

Tieling City then dispatched police to tear down all the Chinese couplets in Diaobingshan City that stressed traditional values and moral standards.

Diaobingshan City was forced to hold a conference on purging “anti-Communist” materials. Speakers slandered Falun Dafa at the meeting. The city established a new campaign of “seven measures and awards” to persecute Falun Dafa practitioners.

The city also approved the arrest of three Falun Dafa practitioners who had already been arrested on April 20 and May 29.