According to a news report published by special correspondent Wen Xianshen in the March 13th edition of the Taiwanese United Daily News, He Zuoxiu recently claimed that Taiwan has been providing financial support to Falun Gong. Later his claim proved to have been gleaned from his own "unofficial information." He Zuoxiu, a member of the National Political Consultative Committee and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been providing numerous unexpected news stories during the National Political Consultative Conference.

Some time earlier, He Zuoxiu had publicly warned of the potential for collaboration between Falun Gong and the Taiwan Independence movement or the Tibet Independence movement. Upon follow-up inquiries from reporters, He Zuoxiu said yesterday during the Closing Ceremony of the National Political Consultative Conference that his warning was based on news that Annette Lu, the vice President of Taiwan, had attended a Falun Gong conference and interviewed some Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan. He admitted that his previous claim of "financial support" was "unofficial information," and said he would have "shouted much more loudly" if he had evidence or knew the specific amount of the financial support.

He said that in order to maintain friendly cross-straits relationships, Taiwan should not support Falun Gong, "a group against the People's Government." Some reporters pointed out that in Taiwan, people have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the freedom to practice Falun Gong. They also mentioned that Falun Gong practitioners have never violated any laws in Taiwan and that no problems have ever been caused by Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners. He Zuoxiu responded, "Just wait, you will see. I am sure there will be some problems later."

He Zuoxiu brought up a general resolution to the National Political Consultative Conference, suggesting that the Hong Kong government should deal with Falun Gong more seriously. He said he understood the difficulties the government faced, inasmuch as there were different opinions about Falun Gong in Hong Kong. He Zuoxiu indicated he would bring up the resolution again if the Hong Kong government failed to take action this time.

Journalists Peng Weijing and Xu Guogan from the United Daily News reported from Taipei that last night, Cai Minghua, the Office Dean of vice President Annette Lu, answered He Zuoxiu's allegations, stating that, while maintaining a low-profile, the vice President attended a Falun Gong activity because she was concerned about the Human Rights issue. Accordingly, He Zuoxiu misinterpreted the vice President's actions.

Chang Ching-hsi, the Director of the Taiwan Falun Gong Research Society and an Economics professor at Taiwan University, said last night his immediate feeling was that He Zuoxiu's charges were "sheer nonsense." Chang stressed that neither the Taiwanese Government nor the Research Society has ever provided any financial support to Falun Gong in Mainland China.

March 13, 2001