(Minghui.org) Dr. Zhang Xuerong, principal of Xian Yun Academy of the Arts California is a veteran practitioner of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice of mind and body that has millions of followers around the world. Although she has studied, worked, and lived in the United States for more than 25 years, her faith has brought much unwanted attention from China’s Communist regime. 

To coerce her into resigning as the principal of Xian Yun Academy, a non-religious private middle and high school that teaches traditional Chinese values and culture, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in her hometown Guangzhou have incessantly harassed and threatened her parents since February 2021, causing the elderly couple’s private business of 30 years to face being shut down. 

Dr. Zhang began practicing Falun Dafa in 1996 while attending graduate school in the U.S. She went on to obtain a doctor’s degree and did her postdoctoral studies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the world’s top laboratories. An elite scientist and educator who has lived outside of China for most of her adult life, Dr. Zhang is targeted by the CCP who has been relentlessly persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners in China since 1999. 

Dr. Zhang Xuerong, principal of Xian Yun Academy of the Arts California

During a recent interview, Dr. Zhang revealed that her parents are non-practitioners and are in their late 70’s. The couple have been running a successful business for the past 30 years. However, the frequent harassment in the last five months by the local Party officials and their “friends” at various government agencies, have caused disruptions to the business’s daily operations. As a result, the family business is threatened with being closed and the Party officials even implied that her parents could face jail time if Dr. Zhang does not resign. 

Dr. Zhang condemns the CCP and hopes that by revealing its outrageous and despicable tactics, more people will wake up to its evil nature. 

She said that there’s nothing wrong with practicing Falun Dafa, as religious freedom is a fundamental right. She said,“The founder of Falun Dafa explains in plain language the profound principles of the universe and the true meaning of life. The knowledge I’ve gained through my studies of science and my personal experience as a cultivator of many years has convinced me that Dafa is magnificent. However, the CCP wants to change people’s hearts by deception and intimidation, isn’t that ridiculous?” 

Dr. Zhang has been the principal of Xian Yun Academy of the Arts for several years. The academy is a fast-growing private 6-12 art school based in San Francisco, California. Providing excellent training in all areas of the arts as well as a rigorous academic curriculum, the school has earned an outstanding reputation among other educators and members of the community.

Scientist Discovers True Science

Since taking up Falun Dafa in late 1996 while attending a prestigious university in the states, Dr. Zhang has come to discover the power of Dafa. 

She said, “I studied science and finished my postdoctoral studies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the top laboratories in the United States—and in fact the world. However, after reading Zhuan Falun and other lectures by Falun Dafa’s founder, I became convinced that the principles he taught are extraordinary, even from a scientific perspective.”

“What we humans know about the universe at our current level is far too tiny compared to what Master has revealed about this universe. Some people may have doubts when they first take up the practice. However, as a scientist who has done advanced research in Chemistry, I believed right from the start that what Master has taught is true science,” Dr. Zhang said.

“In plain language, Master has revealed profound principles of the universe and the true meaning of life. Because of my background and experience as a scientist, I quickly recognized that what we learned from text books is very shallow.”

From Scientist to Educator

By chance, Dr. Zhang changed her career path and switched from science to education. She explained that she took the position as the principal of Xian Yun because as an accomplished scientist, she felt a deep sense of responsibility to educate and shape the minds of the younger generation. 

The Xian Yun Academy offers a unique curriculum that is rooted in China’s traditional values and culture. Through the studies of five thousand years of authentic Chinese culture and art, the students develop a character that is kind and upright, resilient and noble. Besides being extensively trained in one specific area of the arts, the students also receive a top-notch secondary school education. 

The school has consistently produced well-rounded graduates who excel in all areas of studies, which in turn put Xian Yun on the map as a highly competitive private school in the Bay Area. What Xian Yun has accomplished in the decade of its existence has earned respect and admiration from other educators and appreciation from students and parents. 

Yet, the principal of this school is being blackmailed by the CCP to resign because of her belief in Falun Dafa.

Elderly Parents Repeatedly Threatened by CCP Police

The Guangzhou police began randomly showing up at Dr. Zhang’s parents’ business to harass and threaten them since this February. 

“This is not the first time,” Dr. Zhang said. “Ever since the CCP started persecuting Falun Dafa in 1999, I have been helping raise awareness of the persecution which attracted a lot of attention from the police in my hometown. They have threatened my parents before. Now that I am the principal of a private school that stays true to traditional Chinese values and culture, they continue to threaten my parents. This has caused tremendous pressure for my elderly parents who are both in their 70’s.”

“The Ministry of State Security (MSS) officials showed my parents my photo from the school website. My parents didn’t even know that I was a school principal.” The MSS officials made it very clear to the elderly couple that because of their daughter’s position as the principal of Xian Yun, they were in a lot of trouble.

“They then started visiting my parents’ business more frequently after Chinese New Year this year. They checked into the business’ taxes and conducted extensive health and safety inspections of the entire facility. The CCP officials had all major government agencies, such as Public Health, Law Enforcement, Customs, Commerce, take turns to inspect my parents’ business.”

“An employee of the company overheard at the Neighborhood Committee that my parents’ business has been labeled as a ‘cult business.’ The officials of these government agencies know exactly why these unreasonable inspections are being imposed. The agencies send large groups of seven or eight inspectors during each inspection to intimidate my parents and the employees. They told my parents they would not stop until I leave Xian Yun. They also want me to go back to China. If I don’t comply, they’ll cause more trouble for my parents until they are forced to close their business.”

“We all know how wicked the CCP is. The sheer number of officials they send causes anxiety and fear among the employees. After the CCP took power in the late 1940s, they have been using these despicable tactics to instill fear and to control the Chinese people. All of their violent sociopolitical movements and tactics serve to sustain their power. It’s all politics. This harassment in the form of ‘inspections’ has not stopped. Their goal is to cause mental pressure for my parents.”

Dr. Zhang said, “My parents are honest, hard-working, and law-abiding business owners. The company has been running for more than 30 years and has several hundred employees. It’s one of the top three tax-paying businesses in the city. But it is now about to close down.”

“I have learned that some local officials don’t want to see my parents’ business close but since I have attracted attention from the Party officials of the provincial level and even within the central government, now more pressure is placed on the local officials to ‘take care of business.’ They have no choice but to keep harassing my parents even if they don’t want to.”

“My parents have not done anything wrong, yet they have to live in constant fear. I told them that I am an adult and I make my own choices in life. My career choice has nothing to do with my parents and they should not have been implicated. The evil Party made up stories and even claimed that my parents’ business is financially supporting Xian Yun. In fact, my parents had no clue before February that I was the principal of an art school. The Party also spread rumors in the past that the United States government is financially supporting Falun Dafa. The CCP’s lies are forever changing.”

“The CCP can indeed intimidate some people who live outside of China. What they don’t get is that as cultivators we can let go of anything. They use a person’s reputation and profit as leverage to threaten but these things are not important to a cultivator. So they use our family members in China to get to us.”

“My parents are putting a lot of pressure on me to resign—they even said or else they would cut all ties with me. The MSS officials told them if they didn’t do as they were told, they not only will lose their business but also lose their freedom.”

Dr. Zhang said Xian Yun is a non-religious school that teaches traditional Chinese culture and arts, in addition to a formal academic curriculum. The students excel in this environment and their performance exceeds expectations in all subjects. Why the CCP wants to cause trouble for such an excellent school is baffling to her.

“The mission of our school is not just to teach the students well—it is about hope for humankind and the preservation and continuity of authentic Chinese culture. It is very important and will benefit many generations to come.”

“If the CCP truly cares about Chinese people, it should be very supportive of our efforts, instead of trying to shut us down by all means. This goes to show that while the CCP wants everybody to sing its praises, it doesn’t contribute positively to China nor to the world.”

Threats Will Not Change People’s Hearts

Dr. Zhang said that threats will not change people’s hearts. Falun Dafa practitioners are not what the CCP depicts in their propaganda and smear campaigns. Practitioners did not take up Falun Dafa on a whim. The fact that they have been countering the Communist regime’s lies and smears peacefully and rationally amid a violent suppression for the past 22 years is proof that they know Falun Dafa is good.

“But those CCP officials who don’t know what Falun Dafa is all about cannot understand this. They told my parents that I am being used, which is ridiculous. I know many practitioners who have completed high levels of education—just like me. We are not going to blindly follow just anybody and learn just any practice. The CCP wants to deceive, coerce, and bribe people into changing their minds and hearts. Isn’t that absurd?”

“The education system is failing our kids now. I chose this field because young people are our hope. This is very meaningful and rewarding work,” she said.

“Here at Xian Yun, we provide an excellent education in every area of studies, from moral guidance, character building, to academics—literature, math, science, and the arts. Our graduates have achieved excellent grades, artistic advancement and developed many great qualities. They meet and exceed the requirements of many prestigious universities.”

“When they graduate from our school, I am confident that they will be useful to society. Not only because they have the knowledge and skills, they also have a keen sense of aesthetics and great moral character based on traditional values. Our students possess righteous minds and upright conduct. These qualities can bring positive changes to society and our students can contribute positively to their environment. The middle and high school years are a very critical period in a person’s life and school plays an important role in shaping a child into a good person. The education our students receive here can benefit them for a lifetime.”

Dr. Zhang pointed out, “The CCP cannot tolerate young minds learning traditional values and culture because this is against its ultimate goal which is to completely destroy humankind’s most basic moral conscience.”

Chinese version available

Category: Persecution Outside China