(Minghui.org) The Falun Dafa Association in Taiwan held a press conference at Taipei City Hall Plaza on April 25, 2021, commemorating a peaceful appeal in Beijing 22 years ago. They called on the international community, including the United Nations, to pay attention to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights abuse and torture of Falun Dafa practitioners. They also expressed their determination to keep peacefully appealing for the freedom of belief and exposing the CCP’s evil nature until the persecution ends.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Approximately 10,000 practitioners gathered in Beijing on April 25, 1999, peacefully appealed for the release of 45 Falun Gong practitioners who had been arrested in nearby Tianjin two days before. Three months later, former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin ordered a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong, using the excuse that 10,000 practitioners had “besieged” the central government. Since then, the persecution has remained unabated, with many practitioners being tortured to death or even killed for their organs.

During the press conference, Falun Gong practitioners reiterated the peaceful nature of Falun Gong and called for an end to the 22-year-long persecution. Taipei City councilor Lin Ying-meng and Gui Jun-jie from legislative member Hsu Chih-chieh’s office attended the event. Several other elected officials showed their support through video speeches.

Speakers at the event by Falun Gong practitioners at Taipei City Hall Plaza on April 25, 2021

Professor Chang Chin-hwa is the president of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association. She heard about Falun Gong because of the peaceful appeal on April 25, 1999.

Chang Chin-hwa, president of Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, said she first heard about the practice through a news report about the April 25 appeal in 1999. Over 10,000 practitioners participated in the appeal in Beijing at the time, and their peaceful manner and rationality impressed the news media and the public. After then-premier Zhu Rongji met practitioners’ representatives and confirmed the practitioners’ lawful rights to practice their belief, practitioners left quietly after cleaning the site. Because all trash was removed, including cigarette butts left by police officers, both police and passersby were very impressed.

After this event was widely reported, many people saw hope in China and became curious about Falun Gong. “I also began to read Falun Gong books and became a practitioner,” recalled Chang.

Politicians Admire Falun Gong Practitioners’ Perseverance

Tsai Chi-chang, deputy speaker of the Taiwan legislature, supports Falun Gong practitioners in an interview.

Tsai Chi-chang, deputy speaker of the Taiwan legislature, said it was hard to understand why the CCP would suppress such a peaceful appeal in 1999, instead of listening to people’s voices. Despite continued persecution over the past 22 years, Falun Gong practitioners have persevered in their faith and never stopped peacefully appealing for their lawful rights to practice their faith, which has set a good example for the entire world. Tsai expected more pressure from the international community for the CCP to end the persecution.

Mayor of Kaoshiung, Chen Chi-mai, talked about the appeal in 1999 during a recent interview.

Chen Chi-mai, mayor of Kaoshiung, said the appeal of Falun Gong practitioners on April 25, 1999, was a milestone. Although that incident was resolved peacefully, the CCP immediately followed up with an intense and lengthy persecution. This shows that the CCP is not trustworthy – it sometimes gives an empty promise, only to break it at a later time. Besides Falun Gong practitioners, many other dissidents and religious groups have also experienced similar human rights suppression.

Tsai Wen-hsu, city councilor of Chiayi, praised the perseverance and courage of Falun Gong practitioners.

Tsai Wen-hsu, city councilor of Chiayi, praised Falun Gong practitioners for their efforts amid the hardship. He said that practitioners follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in their hearts and that it shows in their daily lives. This is exceptionally good, especially considering the harsh environment in China. It requires tremendous courage to step forward and safeguard one’s basic human rights facing the totalitarian CCP regime.

Recognizing the Nature of the CCP

The appeal on April 25, 1999, has been called the largest and most peaceful and rational appeal in Chinese history since the June 4, 1989 student movement.

Chiu Hsien-chih, leader of the New Power Party in the Taiwan legislature, said that the 22-year-long suppression of Falun Gong practitioners has shown that the CCP has never changed its authoritarian nature.

Lin Ying-meng, councilor of Taipei City, said the appeal on April 25, 1999, was a significant event in history.

Lin Ying-meng, councilor of Taipei City, said that April 25, 1999, was a very important day. It was the day Falun Gong practitioners in China appealed to the CCP for freedom of belief, a basic human right and a universal value that everyone should be guaranteed. Although the CCP seemed to agree with this on that day, a massive suppression was launched within three months. This shows that the CCP doesn’t keep its promises. Instead, it has always brutally persecuted groups such as Uighurs, Tibetans, and now Hong Kong residents.

Chang Boyang, news director for the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, said that the CCP always controls people and does not allow different voices. Because of that, we have seen incidents like the Tiananmen Square democratic movement in 1989 and the appeal of Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. But these were limited to mainland China. The CCP later expanded its terror to Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and even Taiwan.

Lin Chun-hsien, a member of the Taiwan legislature, said more countries are clear on the CCP and have taken actions against it.

Lin Chun-hsien, a member of the Taiwan legislature, said that the world misjudged and had incorrect expectations of the CCP during the past 20 years. Especially due to economic reasons, many countries ignored human rights violations by the CCP and even made excuses on its behalf. But now, more and more countries have “awakened.” They not only have come to a clear understanding of the CCP but have also taken concrete actions to sanction the regime.

Wang Chung-yue, director of the Research Center for Hazard Mitigation and Prevention at National Central University, said that Falun Gong practitioners are unprecedented. After suffering such tragic persecution for over two decades, they continued to oppose the CCP’s evil with determination, peace, and rationality. This is because Falun Gong practitioners truly embrace the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, walking on a path towards hope and a bright future.

Family Members Learn Falun Gong One After Another

Peng Chinglian, a retiree from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said that the peaceful appeal in 1999 was lawful and appropriate. However, the CCP brushed it off at the time. It later chose to suppress Falun Gong practitioners for the past 22 years. Because of the appeal, Peng came to learn about Falun Gong. After finding that practitioners were kind-hearted people, he became a practitioner as well.

In the following six months, he and his wife attended six, nine-day video lecture sessions. They always came on time and finished the entire lecture series each time. Impressed by the profound principles in the teachings, he was grateful for the precious opportunity. “In the past, I had a bad temper and a strong ego. Now I have learned to look at things from another angle and try to be considerate of others,” he explained.

Because of him, other members of his large family also began to practice Falun Gong. “Sometimes there were more than 20 people in his extended family doing the exercises together,” he continued. “The words Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are powerful, because they helped us resolve conflicts with siblings and in-laws, making my family happier and more harmonious than ever,” he added.

Lu Rongful does gardening, and he comes for the April 25 commemoration activities every year. “When the CCP slandered and attacked Falun Gong using the April 25 appeal as an excuse, we felt really very bad because we practitioners know how good the practice is,” he explained. Nonetheless, the CCP had treated practitioners badly, leaving a large number of practitioners detained and countless families broken.

Lu heard about the practice from his younger sister. Later, his wife, children, parents, and siblings all joined the practice. They live in different places in Taiwan, with more than ten people practicing Falun Gong in total.

Exactly how has Falun Gong changed him? Lu said the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance had dissolved many bad thoughts and bad habits of his. “This includes my bad temper and strong selfishness. It helped me to be good from the bottom of my heart,” he said, “Also, I no longer needed medicine in the past 20 years. So the benefits are phenomenal.”

A Life-Long Journey

Wang Jing-yee and her young baby

Wang Jing-yee, is a government employee who came with her months-old baby. “The appeal by Falun Gong practitioners on April 25, 1999, shook the world because no groups dared to challenge a totalitarian regime like this. Not only that, but these practitioners had no political agenda and they just wanted to speak from their hearts that ‘Falun Dafa is good,’” she remarked.

Wang came to know about Falun Gong at the peak of the persecution. When on a vacation in Germany, someone gave her a flyer that described the practice and the suppression in China. “I was surprised such a qigong system from China was being practiced by foreigners including many highly educated intellectuals,” she continued.

Gradually she learned more about the practice and knew that many people had followed the principles to be good people at work, in the family, and in the community. She then became a practitioner herself while a junior in college. “The practice has made me calmer and more open-minded. It also improved my health, and many people were surprised that I still look like a recent college graduate,” she said.

Hsu Chia-yu, who worked in sales, said she agreed that the peaceful appeal in China 22 years ago was a significant event for both China and the world. She said some of her family members began to practice after learning about the appeal. She could see the real changes in them. “Like my brother-in-law, who used to be a stubborn person. After beginning to practice Falun Gong, he became a nice person. He no longer argued with others, and no matter what happened, he always explained things in a peaceful and rational way. The kindness really surprised me,” she added.

Since Falun Gong could teach others to be good from their heart, she thought, why not give it a try herself? “But the earthly world has many temptations that keep pulling you down and away from the path of returning to the origin,” Hsu explained, “I have had detours and learned things the hard way.”

“Nonetheless, I have now realized that other than Falun Gong, there is probably no other way that could lead me back home. Practicing Falun Gong and continuing on this cultivation path is my long journey, period,” she remarked.

Yang Chin-long, a computer repair professional, said that the whole world had no idea of what Falun Gong was when the persecution began in 1999, as all news media were just reprinting the CCP’s slanderous propaganda. When practitioners appealed for their right to practice their faith, they were met with retaliation and brutal persecution. As the persecution is still going on, he and his wife attended the event in Taipei to condemn the CCP and express their support for Falun Gong.

Yang said that he first heard about Falun Gong from the books his mother bought. “Since my childhood, I knew that my mother always spent money on her children, never herself,” he recalled. But then he found that she bought lots of books for herself. Surprised by this change and worried that his mother might have been deceived by someone, Yang looked into the books himself.

“From the books, I realized that Falun Gong not only teaches one to be a good person but also helps one’s health dramatically,” he explained. His mother’s health had also indeed improved a lot. Since then Yang supported his mother’s practice of Falun Gong. As he learned more about Falun Gong, he became a practitioner himself.

About 20 years have passed and Yang has also experienced many health benefits himself. “I have never had the need to take even one pill since I began practicing Falun Gong. There is nothing to debate about Falun Gong’s health benefits,” he said. On the other hand, the positive changes in his moral character have also resolved many conflicts in the family and in society.

There is still room to improve, explained Yang. “Sometimes, I felt I did not quite comply with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and still wanted to argue with others. But after calming down to look within myself, I knew I was wrong,” he added, “As a Falun Gong practitioner, I should first look within to see how I could do better. When I follow the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, many problems and conflicts around me may no longer exist.”

Falun Gong practitioners demonstrated the five sets of exercises after the press conference.

Chinese version available

Category: April 25 Events