The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights violations and willingness to commit atrocities against Chinese citizens are widely known; however, the harassment, propaganda and attacks do not stop at the Chinese border. The CCP’s methods of spreading its persecution tactics across the free world are shockingly comprehensive and often glossed over, but have not gone entirely unnoticed. In 2004, the United States House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 304, condemning CCP interference in the US and requesting that the US federal government investigate attacks and cooperate with victimized Falun Gong practitioners in identifying responsible parties.
In 2005, Chinese Diplomat Chen Yonglin defected from his Australian post to document the CCP’s persecution against Falun Gong in Australia. Chen revealed that he had been in charge of the CCP’s “war on the Falun Gong” in Australia and that it was a top priority of the Chinese diplomatic mission throughout the world. Chen also provided proof that Chinese consulates are truly responsible for many of the misdeeds that Falun Gong practitioners had long suspected them of.
Here is a list of 8 ways the CCP persecutes Falun Gong around the world:
Publishing Hate Propaganda in CCP-Controlled Media
The CCP’s primary goal in attacking Falun Gong overseas is to undermine public support for the group. The Chinese language media within China, the majority of which are state owned, all publicize the party line vilifying Falun Gong and justifying the persecution against practitioners. These same media entities spread the CCP’s propaganda about Falun Gong overseas in both Chinese and English. Recently, Reuters News Agency uncovered a network of 33 radio stations spreading the official CCP message in multiple languages without disclosing their affiliation with the CCP. The official Chinese state media is available throughout the world in newspaper format and through local television packages.
Pressuring International Media Organizations about How they Report on Falun Gong
Not content with direct control over its own media, the CCP also attempts to contain, control and influence stories of interest in foreign media. While the CCP accomplishes this manipulation through a variety of tactics, a common strategy is to threaten economic retaliation against international media organizations that have business in China.
Spreading Propaganda to Governments and Organizations
When Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin defected from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney Australia, he testified that the consulate staff distributed “countless bundles of anti-Falun Gong materials” to all levels of government, libraries, schools, etc. The same type of behavior became “the subject of a police recommendation for prosecution of two Chinese consular officials in Calgary for wilful [sic] promotion of hatred against the Falun Gong.” This all-out effort supplements the lies and rumors published openly by CCP-controlled media outlets, attempting to further undermine public support for Falun Gong while hiding or even justifying the CCP’s human rights violations.
Spreading Misinformation to Elected Officials
In addition to CCP-endorsed materials, many elected officials have received deceptive, fraudulent communications from supposed Falun Gong practitioners. The messages often include bizarre, threatening or intolerant messages designed to make Falun Gong seem irrational or dangerous.
Interfering with Local Government Resolutions Supporting Falun Gong
When local governments or organizations attempt to show support for Falun Gong, the closest Chinese consulate will often get involved by spreading false information or threatening diplomatic retaliation. The San Francisco City Council provides a notable example in which the CCP lobbied hard against the City of San Francisco showing any support for Falun Gong.
Spying and Monitoring
The CCP uses several different networks of spies to collect information on overseas Falun Gong activities. CCP-affiliated student groups monitor student activities on campuses while professional spies infiltrate Falun Gong communities worldwide, intent on interfering with local activities and reporting sensitive information to the CCP. In turn, the CCP threatens practitioners’ family members in China and intercepts practitioners attempting to visit family members in China, threatening them and attempting to coerce them into becoming spies themselves.
Organizing and Paying Overseas Chinese to Harass and Attack Falun Gong
The CCP has a history of setting up “front groups”—purported organic, local organizations—supported through the Chinese consular and embassy systems. The groups focus on harassing Falun Gong practitioners at public events and spreading anti-Falun Gong propaganda to the public.
Various assaults have taken place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, all of which were carried out by people that had links to the local Chinese consulates or were influenced by CCP propaganda. Professional agents are likely responsible for some attacks as well, including incidents in Atlanta and South Africa. In Atlanta, a Falun Gong practitioner who works on technology crucial to breaking through China’s internet blockade was attacked and severely beaten in his home. In South Africa, a small group of Australian practitioners were fired upon while driving from the airport to hold a press conference concerning the serious human rights crimes committed by two visiting Chinese officials; one man was hit.