(Clearwisdom.net) According to media reports, in recent years overseas Chinese people's awareness of political participation has grown a lot stronger. For example, there are about fifty overseas Chinese who now are mayors of small to medium-size cities in the US. In New York City, through the efforts of the Chinese there, the Chinese New Year has already become a legal public holiday. In some cities of Canada, Europe, and Australia, where many overseas Chinese live, the Chinese people have a stronger interest in political involvement and protection of the rights they are entitled to.

In the free societies outside China, overseas Chinese's political participation often involves safeguarding the legal rights and benefits they are entitled to. Overseas Chinese people have actually encouraged and supported this kind of "getting involved in politics." Being a minority outside China, overseas Chinese, especially those who have immigrated to other countries at earlier times, have often endured different kinds of mistreatment or discrimination. This may have led to a feeling of bitterness. At present, the newer generations of Chinese immigrants have enjoyed better economic and educational status. They realize that it is OK to stand up for the legal rights they are entitled to.

This kind of "getting involved in politics," would not work if it took place in Mainland China. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deprives its people, including Falun Gong practitioners, of their legal rights. The safeguarding of freedom of belief and speech is essentially seen as undermining CCP authority. Why have some people objected so strongly to Falun Gong practitioners resisting the persecution and protecting their rights? Isn't it because they have applied two quite different sets of criteria in judging things inside and outside China?

In China, the CCP accuses Falun Gong of "getting involved in politics." So "political participation" has become an excuse for persecution. Some people believe that the CCP is right in persecuting Falun Gong. There are also some Chinese people outside of China who have intentionally shied away from discussing the persecution of Falun Gong.

Since Falun Gong was banned in China by Jiang Zemin in July 1999, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been completely deprived of their legal rights. Practitioners have just been trying to protect their freedom of belief and freedom of speech. They have no interest in controlling the government, nor do they want to take power away from anyone. In free societies, this is a very natural thing. The overseas Chinese have encouraged and supported their own political involvement and the protection of their own legal rights. But why do some of these same people hold a different attitude toward Falun Gong practitioners protecting their rights in Mainland China?

By depriving Falun Gong practitioners of their human rights, the CCP deprives all Chinese people of their human rights. Mr. Wang Zhaojun, a standing member of the Anhui Province Political Consultative Commission, said in an open letter to Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao that the CCP's illegal persecution of Falun Gong is "obviously not just a suppression of Falun Gong; it is a persecution of all Chinese people!" On the other hand, people can easily see that Falun Gong practitioners, by protecting their own basic human rights, are also protecting the basic human rights of everyone in China, including those who have sided with, partially listened to, and believed in the CCP. In the past, when Martin Luther King fought for the rights of African-Americans, he was in fact advocating for the rights of all people, including the Chinese people in the US. The American Chinese have obviously benefited from Mr. King's effort.

The CCP has accused Falun Gong of "getting involved in politics." This label has influenced people to side with the CCP, and they thus oppose Falun Gong practitioners' protecting their basic human rights. By employing this kind of double standard, they have, in actuality, acknowledged the CCP's deprivation of Falun Gong practitioners' basic human rights and essentially helped to prolong the persecution of Falun Gong.

Chinese people are free to "protect their rights" outside of China, but they cannot safeguard and fight for their legal rights in their homeland. In fact, whether one has realized this or not, everyone will benefit from Falun Gong practitioners' efforts to safeguard their human rights, so everyone should support Falun Gong resisting the persecution. It is the same as their supporting the political participation of overseas Chinese.

March 20, 2009