The Epoch Times: China Spy Report Puts Spotlight on Vancouver Falun Gong Appeal (Photo)
|Falun Gong practitioners meditate outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, Canada in January, 2005. Their protest against the Chiense government's suppression of Falun Gong has lasted over 1400 days.|
Falun Gong practitioners meditate outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, Canada in January, 2005. Their protest against the Chinese government's suppression of Falun Gong has lasted over 1400 days.
A report written in January by a Chinese spy in Canada indicates that the Canadian government had pressed the City of Vancouver to remove display boards depicting the persecution of Falun Gong from in front of the Vancouver Chinese consulate. The document was recently obtained by the Epoch Times from defecting Chinese agent Hao Fengjun.
The document, marked "confidential," was authored by an agent of the Tianjin City Public Security Bureau stationed in Vancouver and dated January 13, 2005. It referred to a number of Falun Gong sit-in appeal sites established in front of the Chinese embassy and consulates in Canada that use display boards to highlight the torture of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese government.
"The Canadian government has already ordered the police to dismantle those memorials set up in front of Chinese embassy and consulates, especially the one in front of Vancouver's consulate," the document said.
According to Sue Zhang, a 59-year-old chemist at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University and a participant in the appeals in front of the Vancouver Chinese consulate, that's similar to what she was told by the City.
She said the City Deputy Manager Brent MacGregor requested a meeting with Falun Gong practitioners on December 21, 2004, about the appeal. Zhang says MacGregor did not deny that the Chinese consulate was pressuring the city to have the display removed. According to Zhang, MacGregor also said an official in the federal Department of Foreign Affairs had asked the city to do something about the display.
"[MacGregor] said the display had gone on long enough and it was time to do something-either remove it totally, or reduce its size," said Zhang.
"We told him our appeal has gone on this long because the persecution has gone on this long. Our family members and friends are being tortured in China. This site is very very important to us."
The sit-in is claimed to be the longest-running peaceful protest in history. It has been manned by Falun Gong practitioners 24/7 for nearly four years.
It began in August, 2001, in response to reports from China of the plight of 130 women facing in the Masanjia Labour Camp in Northeast China, many of them who had been tortured severely because of their belief in Falun Gong.
"They continued escalating the persecution in China," says Zhang. "So we continued to appeal for its end."
The display boards remain in place, though Zhang says there has been increasing pressure to take them down.
Zhang says she believes the Canadian authorities have been working to protect Falun Gong practitioners' freedoms in Canada but that the government has been under increasing political and financial pressure from the Chinese government. She and other practitioners are concerned their freedoms might be eroded.
The Chinese authorities have a history of bringing pressure to bear on Canadian officials over the Falun Gong issue.
Writing in March 2003 to Jim Peterson, now the federal Minister of International Trade, China's charge d'affaires in Canada, Chu Guangyou, said that the Chinese authorities had "advised the Canadian government on the sensitivity of the [Falun Gong] issue in the overall bilateral relations."
"I hope you and your government will understand our position and be vigilant against any attempt of Falun Gong to jeopardize our bilateral relations," Chu wrote.
A similar letter was sent to Toronto's City Council by the Chinese Consulate-General in Toronto on March 2, 2004, threatening that if a motion to recognize a Falun Gong day in the city were passed, "it would have a very negative effect on our future beneficial exchanges and cooperation."
The council squashed the motion which appeared on its way for approval before the consulate letter.
In the House of Commons this Wednesday, opposition members of parliament pressed the government about claims that China is operating a network of roughly 1,000 spies in the country--many of them informants on Falun Gong--and said the federal government should be doing more to protect Canadians.
The reports of the spy network came from a Chinese defector to Australia, a former officer in a branch of China's security bureau in charge of persecuting Falun Gong. The man, named Hao Fengjun, smuggled out hundreds of reports from Chinese spies stationed overseas, a number of them from Canada.
Hao says he came forward because he was inspired by an official in the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney who publicly defected several weeks ago, and by reading the Epoch Times Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
The Prime Minister assured the House this week that Canada was taking measures to protect Canadians and the nation's sovereignty against spies.
"It is also very clear and Canadians can rest assured that we maintain a very strong law enforcement and security system that will enable Canadians to be assured of their own protection and their own security," he said.
Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew added, "We, of course, are always in touch with the Chinese officials in the capital and we discuss a number of issues: the respect of human rights and respect for Canadian citizens to express themselves the way they want. This is a free country. In this country we will always insist that people are free to do so. This is what we have been expressing to the Chinese officials."
The Department of Foreign Affairs media relations office and Vancouver municipal offices were both closed at the time of this report.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media