(Minghui.org) On March 12, 1995, the Chinese Embassy in France specifically invited Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, to give a lecture in its Cultural Department auditorium on 19 Van Loo Road in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. This was Mr. Li’s first lecture given outside of China, marking the introduction of this mind and body discipline to the West.

Staff members from almost all departments of the embassy attended the lecture, including then-ambassador Cai Fangbai and his wife. According to Paris residents who were also at the event, the embassy’s Cultural Department sponsored a Falun Gong session the following week at a martial arts center on Daumesnil Avenue in the 12th arrondissement.

Some may wonder, “Isn’t Falun Gong being suppressed in China? Why would the embassy in France invite Mr. Li to give a lecture in Paris?”

Actually, before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) openly started to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, most reports about the practice published by the CCP-controlled media were positive. Support for Falun Gong by the Chinese embassy in France was not accidental at the time.

In this article, we will review some historical events showing the popularity of Falun Gong in the early days and its broad acceptance by the public, including CCP agencies, officials, and news media.

Dozens of Lecture Series in China and Numerous Awards

After first being introduced to the public in May 1992, Falun Gong was listed as a system directly affiliated with the China Qigong Science Research Society. Between then and the end of 1994, Mr. Li held 56 lecture series in over 20 cities. Each session usually lasted 10 days, and more than 60,000 people attended these lectures in total.

Falun Gong was listed as a system directly affiliated with the China Qigong Science Research Society.

Mr. Li gave a lecture series in June 1993 in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province.

The second lecture series in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province in October 1993

Lecture at the Lingyuan Iron & Steel Company of Liaoning Province in February 1994

The second series of lectures in Tianjin in March 1994

At that time, many qigong masters were also giving seminars in China. Because qigong masters needed to exert strong energy (or gong) to treat illnesses, it was physically exhausting. Therefore, most qigong masters charged about 100 yuan (or at least 50 yuan) per person each time. Although Mr. Li’s lecture session lasted 9 to 10 days, he only charged 40 yuan for the entire session (20 yuan for veteran practitioners) to cover the fees to the qigong association, rent the facility, and buy materials. Because of the low admission fee, some qigong associations that sponsored the sessions gave Mr. Li a hard time. But Mr. Li insisted so as to be of maximum benefit to the general public although there was little money left after each session.

At the same time, Falun Gong’s miraculous health effects and moral standards quickly earned the trust of ordinary citizens and officials alike. Mr. Li was invited many times to give interviews on television and radio to introduce the system to their audience.

Mr. Li interviewed by China Central Television on July 30, 1993

Mr. Li’s hotline live in 1993 with Yangtze River Economy Radio in Wuhan, Hubei Province

Hotline consultation by Mr. Li with Tianjin Radio Station on March 18, 1994

The popularity of Falun Gong was also showcased during the Oriental Health Expos in both 1992 and 1993, when attendees and staff members witnessed countless Falun Gong miracles. The 1992 expo was held in the International Trade Building, and Mr. Li received the most awards among all the qigong systems.

During the 1993 expo at the International Exhibition Center, Falun Gong received a special invitation. Thousands of people were treated during the 10-day expo with a near-term cure rate of over 95%. These accomplishments prompted the organizer to invite Mr. Li to give three seminars during the expo, on December 15, 17, and 20.

One award Mr. Li received during the 1992 Oriental Health Expo (lower left) and three awards received during the 1993 expo

Many people asked for Mr. Li’s autograph during the 1993 Oriental Health Expo.

Because of these contributions, Mr. Li received the Edge Science Progress Award, the top prize of the event. In addition, he was honored with the Special Gold Award and the title of “Qigong Master Most Accepted by People.”

Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Gong, was then published in late 1994 by China Radio & Television Publishing House, an agency under the State Council. The number of practitioners rapidly increased after that.

Mr. Li gave a lecture during the International Experience-Sharing Conference at Ditan Park in Beijing in November 1996.

Health Surveys

Medical professionals conducted five surveys on the effects of Falun Gong in 1998. They took place in Beijing, Wuhan, Dalian City, and Guangdong Province. There were nearly 35,000 participants, 98% of whom reported improved health after practicing Falun Gong. They also reported significant improvement in their mental health and mindset. The savings on healthcare costs were phenomenal for local communities and the country.

Qiao Shi, former Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and other high-ranking officials also conducted a survey in the second half of 1998. Their conclusion was: “Falun Gong benefits our nation and people in many ways while causing no harm.” At the end of 1998, they submitted the report to then top CCP leader Jiang Zemin and the Politburo.

According to data from the Ministry of Public Security, after Falun Gong was introduced to the public in May 1992, there were about 70 to 100 million practitioners by July 1999, when Jiang ordered that Falun Gong be suppressed.

Special Recognition from the Ministry of Public Security

The China Foundation for Justice and Courage wrote a letter to the China Qigong Science Research Society on August 31, 1993, to specifically thank Mr. Li. Established under the Ministry of Public Security, the Foundation praised Mr. Li for free treatment of representatives of The Third National Commendation Conference for Justice and Courage Exemplars.

Letter from the China Foundation for Justice and Courage under the Ministry of Public Security thanking Mr. Li

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. Zhang Zhenhuan (chairman of the China Qigong Science Research Society),

The Third National Commendation Conference for Justice and Courage Exemplars, which was sponsored by both the Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Public Security, has successfully concluded. Some representatives of the conference were injured or disabled while fighting criminals. Even after routine medical treatment, they still had all kinds of symptoms. To help these heroes relieve pain, the China Foundation for Justice and Courage once formally made a request to your Society, inviting Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, for qigong treatment on these justice and courage exemplars during the conference. The request was well supported by Zhang Jian (Secretary General), Guan Qian (Deputy Secretary-General), and Fei Dequan (director).

On August 24, 1993, Mr. Li Hongzhi was invited to come to the Ministry of Public Security and cure illnesses for Wang Fang (the president of the foundation). On August 30, Mr. Li took several veteran Falun Gong practitioners with him to the conference to treat nearly 100 representatives. The improvement in their health was obvious and broadly praised. Some people had aftereffects from stab wounds or gunshots. Their pain, numbness, and fatigue were immediately relieved after they were treated. Some had aftereffects from traumatic brain injuries, and their minds were immediately clear after treatment without headaches or dizziness. Some had tumors removed onsite and some had gallstones pass within 24 hours. There were also patients with stomach problems, heart disease, and arthritis, and they all felt their symptoms were gone on site. Among the nearly 100 people who were treated, other than a mildly ill person who did not have obvious changes, all the others improved significantly to some degree. Representatives treated by Falun Gong practitioners were very thankful for to the China Foundation for Justice and Courage for this treatment. They said this was another concrete step taken by the China Qigong Science Research Society and Mr. Li Hongzhi to help them. This is also an action to support people nationwide in the spirit of justice and courage. Here we specifically want to sincerely thank you, other leaders of the China Qigong Science Research Society, and Mr. Li Hongzhi.

We also look forward to continued support for the China Foundation for Justice and Courage from you and other all walks of life.

Free seminar for the China Foundation for Justice and Courage under the Ministry of Public Security. This took place in the auditorium of Beijing Public Security University in December 1993.

An article from People’s Public Security News on September 21, 1993, titled, “Falun Gong provides treatment for Justice and Courage Exemplars.” It explained these heroes in general “experienced very good outcomes after treatment.”

An honorary certificate from the China Foundation for Justice and Courage under the Ministry of Public Security issued to Mr. Li Hongzhi on December 27, 1993, to thank him

Broad Media Coverage

Besides awards and recognition that praised Mr. Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong, there were also many newspaper and magazine reports on the positive influence of Falun Gong on society.

In April, May, and August 1994, Window of Literature and Art carried feature reports on Falun Gong and Mr. Li.

Invited by the China Foundation for Justice and Courage, Mr. Li gave two seminars, on May 14 and 15, 1994, in the auditorium of Beijing Public Security University.

In January 1996, Zhuan Falun was listed by Beijing Youth Daily as one of the top ten bestsellers in Beijing.

On March 21, 1996, Beijing Youth Daily issued a list of bestsellers in Beijing in January, and Zhuan Falun was on the list.

On March 22, 1996, Beijing Youth Daily listed bestsellers in Beijing in January and February, and Zhuan Falun was on the list.

On June 8, 1996, Beijing Daily listed top ten bestsellers in Beijing in April, and Zhuan Falun Volume II was on the list.

On March 17, 1997, Dalian Daily published an article titled “An unnamed old man contributed to society quietly.” It told about a 70-year-old man who voluntarily built a 1,100-meter-long road for village residents after he began to practice Falun Gong.

On December 4, 1997, Medicine and Health News published an article titled “Falun Gong is the top choice to improve health.” It listed seven practitioners with their names, former illnesses, and improvements after practicing Falun Gong.

On February 21, 1998, Dalian Evening News reported on a practitioner from Dalian Naval Academy. Diving three meters below the ice, this practitioner saved a drowning child who fell into the Ziyou River in Dalian City.

At 10 p.m. on May 15, 1998, CCTV1’s Evening News and CCTV5 both reported a ten-minute visit that Wu Shaozu, Director of State Sports General Administration, made to a Falun Gong exercise site in Changchun, where he observed many people practicing Falun Gong.

On July 10, 1998, China Economic Times published an article titled “I stood up!” It told about Xie Xiufen, a woman in Handan City, Hebei Province, who had been bedridden for 16 years due to hemiparaplegia caused by a spinal injury. After she started to practice Falun Gong, she miraculously stood up within two months.

On August 11, 1998, Beijing Daily wrote about Falun Gong’s morning exercises in the city. It specifically mentioned Falun Gong and used a picture of practitioners doing the exercises as a feature photo.

On August 28, 1998, China Youth Daily carried a report titled “The celebration of life.” It talked about the Falun Gong team of 1,500 people during the Asian Sports Festival in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province.

On September 1, 1998, a feature report on Falun Gong titled “Nationwide fitness that benefits the country and people” appeared in Shantou Special Zone Times.

On November 1, 1998, Leshan Daily covered an experience-sharing conference in Leshan City attended by over 14,000 Falun Gong practitioners.

On November 10, 1998, Yangcheng Evening News reported that 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners did the exercises together in the mornings in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Among them was Lin Chanying, a statistician from Diwei Leather Company in Guangzhou, who’d suffered from paralysis with numbness affecting 70% of her body. After she started to practice Falun Gong, she was able to walk again.

On November 24, 1998, Shanghai Television Station reported that nearly 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners were doing the exercises together at Shanghai Sports Center. It said that Falun Gong was practiced by about 100 million people in Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.

On December 31, 1998, Deep Star Times in Hong Kong reported on Falun Gong in the Hot Topics pages. Every page of that day’s Hot Topics pages was about Falun Gong, including a brief introduction, the benefits of Falun Gong for both health and character improvement, and seven pictures in color of experience-sharing conferences and group exercises.

On March 4, 1999, the Falun Gong Assistant Center in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, received an award from the municipal public security (police) department for returning lost and found items.


After the CCP began to persecute Falun Gong in July 1999, countless defamatory reports were published by the same CCP-controlled media that had sung the praises of the same practice in the past.

Why the 180-degree change in attitude?

It’s not that surprising to people living under the CCP’s rule. As people in China like to say, “The Party’s policies are like the moon, which looks different at different points during the month as it goes through its phases.”

Even top CCP leaders like Liu Shaoqi could be labeled as an “enemy of the state” overnight. The tragedy of the Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1961 took tens of millions of lives, but it was brushed off as a “natural disaster” and still remains a taboo subject for scholars.

Under the one-child policy, untold numbers of women were forced to have abortions. Yet the same regime issued a new policy on May 31, 2021, encouraging couples to have three children. Some have wondered whether those forced to have abortions in the past should receive state compensation.

So the change in attitude towards Falun Gong was not because Falun Gong changed, but because CCP’s policy changed.

Falun Gong practitioners always strive to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be better people, in the past, now, and in the future. But the CCP felt threatened by Falun Gong, whose principles are a sharp contrast to the Party’s falsehoods, wickedness, and struggle. As such, the CCP changed from supporting Falun Gong to attempting to eliminate the practice.

But the righteous will prevail. Twenty-two years into the persecution, Falun Gong is now practiced in over 100 countries. The main teachings, Zhuan Falun, has been translated into over 40 languages. The practice has received about 5,200 awards and proclamations from many countries all over the world.

According to Buddhist scriptures, the udumbara is a sacred flower from the realm of Buddhas. It is said to bloom only once every 3,000 years, and its appearance at this time in human history is said to indicate that the Holy King Who Turns the Wheel is in the human world. Ever since Falun Gong was introduced to the world in 1992, udumbara flowers have been reported blossoming in many parts of the world, which may well be an indication that the Creator has come to save sentient beings. If so, the CCP and its followers will face consequences for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

Across cultures, there is a belief that people will be blessed for their virtues. When people are severely persecuted simply for being good by following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, it is also a reminder that we need to rethink what the CCP is and our relationship with it. By supporting the innocent, embracing virtue, and rejecting the CCP, we will head for a better future.

A Falun Gong group exercise site in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, before the persecution began

Guangzhou, Guangdong Province

Changchun, Jilin Province


Tangshan, Hebei Province

Chinese version available

Category: Master Li's Lectures in China