(Minghui.org) Over 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners in southern Taiwan gathered in Kaohsiung on the afternoon of April 22, 2023, to commemorate the peaceful appeal 24 years ago. During the press conference, photo exhibition, and march, participants reflected on the peaceful appeal in Beijing on April 25, 1999.

                            Elected officials attended the rally and expressed their support.

Many elected officials and human rights advocates attended the event in Kaohsiung, including Chen Lina (Kaohsiung city councilor), Liu Te-lin (Kaohsiung city councilor), Chang Chih-ming (former Nantou County councilor), Lin Sin-wei (from the Kaohsiung Social Affairs Bureau), Liu Silong (human rights lawyer), Yu Jingdeng (lawyer and president of Kaohsiung South Society), and Huang Jin-ping (deputy secretary general of Kaohsiung City Council), and others.

Practitioners held a rally in the Gushan District of Kaohsiung on April 22 to commemorate the peaceful appeal in Beijing 24 years ago.

Support the Upright

Hsiao Sung-shan, chairman of Taiwan Falun Dafa Association

Hsiao Sung-shan, professor and chairman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, said,

“The CCP does not represent China and its brutality is well recognized by the world, which will lead to its destruction,” Hsiao explained. “In the past 24 years, Falun Dafa practitioners have remained peaceful, courageous, and determined in safeguarding their basic freedom of belief. This also includes exposing the CCP’s mistreatment and calling to end the atrocity.”

“The international community and the United Nations have been paying attention to the human rights violations in China and stopping the atrocity,” Hsiao added. He hopes that more people in Taiwan will join the momentum and support them.

Legislation Against Forced Organ Harvesting

Hsu Chih-chieh, a member of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan

Taiwan Legislative Yuan member Hsu Chih-chieh is a long-time supporter of Falun Gong practitioners. He recently worked with other members of the Legislative Yuan to draft legislation against the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, especially forced organ harvesting. “The CCP has done horrible things against Falun Gong practitioners, and even killed them for their organs,” he said during the rally. “It is disgusting!”

Having interacted with many practitioners, Hsu said the practice is amazing. He said that many people have improved their minds and health by practicing Falun Gong, and it works for anyone. “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are powerful,” he continued. “They motivate individuals to become better people so that more people will help one another in society.”

Clear Contrast

Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Lina

Chen Lina, a city councilor in Kaohsiung, was glad to see passersby stopping and learning the facts about Falun Gong. In the democratic society of Taiwan, many people may not know the term “appeal” since Taiwan residents can simply request the government take action.

But it is different in China. “April 25, 1999, was a special date because practitioners appealed for their lawful rights,” she explained. Nonetheless, the CCP defamed the event and started to persecute the group shortly after.

“There is a clear contrast between Taiwan and China,” Chen said. “While commemorating this special occasion, we hope that more Taiwan residents can cherish what we have and stop the brutality.” She expects that China will change towards more freedom.

Falun Gong Represents China’s Traditional Values

Liu Te-lin, a Kaohsiung city councilor

Kaohsiung city councilor Liu Te-lin said that the appeal in 1999 represented peace. But in the past 24 years, peaceful Falun Gong practitioners have been brutally suppressed in China. He added, “I firmly believe the freedom of belief, speech, and human rights are universal values. We strongly condemn the CCP’s human rights abuse including the suppression of Falun Gong and its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”

Liu said that Falun Gong’s principles, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, represent China’s 5,000-year-long civilization. “These principles are great values for both culture and education. The kindness and self-improvement of Falun Gong practitioners are also important for our society regarding moral values as well as mind and body improvement,” he said. “It is a great contribution to mankind.” In the end, he once again commended Falun Gong’s teachings and wished the event success.

Respects Practitioners’ Persistence

Lin Sin-wei, an officer from the Kaohsiung Social Affairs Bureau

As an officer from the Kaohsiung Social Affairs Bureau, Lin Sin-wei said that Falun Gong has been practiced in Taiwan for over 20 years, and practitioners are always energetic and peaceful. “I respect Falun Gong practitioners very much, especially their efforts to safeguard their belief and basic rights,” he explained.

Having seen practitioners doing group exercises and holding events in Taiwan, Lin said the peaceful appeal was a great way to express one’s opinion. It is understandable that people have different opinions. But in a democratic society, everyone should be tolerant with mutual understanding.

Referring to the continued suppression of Falun Gong by the CCP, Lin said, “We should also oppose such brutality, pay attention to it, and bring it to an end.”

Health for Mind and Body

Former Nantou County councilor Chang Chih-ming

Chang Chih-ming, former Nantou County councilor, traveled from Hsinchu to attend the event. He said that Falun Gong not only gives people a good example of pursuing freedom, it also helps members of society achieve good health and moral improvement.

“We hope Falun Gong will flourish so that more residents in Taiwan and around the world can improve their minds and bodies,” he said.

More People Heard about Falun Gong Because of the Persecution

Kaohsiung city councilor Chang Po-yang

Because he was traveling, Kaohsiung Chang Po-yang could not attend the rally, so he was interviewed in advance. “Whenever I see practitioners’ activities, regardless of whether they are handing out flyers and lotus flowers, group exercises, or the photo exhibition, I remember how an elementary teacher introduced the practice to us and told us about the beauty of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” he said.

Chang said he observed that practitioners have constantly improved themselves based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The practice is beneficial to any country. “Although the CCP has been slandering Falun Gong and persecutes practitioners, this suppression instead helps people from all walks of life recognize the CCP’s lies and viciousness,” he added. “By contrast, more people see how wonderful Falun Gong is.”

“According to traditional Chinese culture, a person is born with kindness in his or her heart,” Chang continued. He called on more people to awaken from the CCP’s totalitarian rule and step forward to support the innocent.

The Importance of Persistence

Tsai Hsiao-wei, a city councilor in Tai’nan City, always supports Falun Gong practitioners advocating for their legal rights. Due to a schedule conflict, she could not attend the event but provided a video message: “Thank you Falun Gong practitioners for providing more factual information to the world including Taiwan. This is how we can know what is actually going on in China,” she said.

She called on more people in the international community to join the effort to counter the CCP for basic human rights and end the tragedies. “I also hope Falun Gong practitioners will keep up their efforts. I am sure we will see the truth and a better future,” she said.

Background: What Is the April 25 Appeal?

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries worldwide. Millions of people have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance as well as five gentle exercises—and experienced improved health and well-being.

On April 23 & 24, 1999, police officials in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested dozens of practitioners who had gathered outside a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article attacking Falun Dafa. As word spread of the arrests and more practitioners inquired with officials, they were told they had to take their appeal to Beijing.

The following day, April 25, some 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners spontaneously gathered at the Central Appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. Several Falun Dafa representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier, Zhu Rongji, and members of his staff. That evening, practitioners’ concerns were answered. The arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released and everyone went home.

Jiang Zemin, former head of the CCP, perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and issued an order to ban Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999.

Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners due to the persecution over the years; the actual number is suspected to be much higher. More have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.

There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply the organ transplant industry.