Friday, June 20, 2008

Free Speech in US? Not If Chinese Government Has Its Way

Written by Joseph Ureneck
Published June 20, 2008

Flashpoint for US-China Relations in Flushing Showdown

Blog Critics: Recent events in Flushing New York, unnoticed by most Americans except for ethnic Chinese, may alter US-Chinese relations.

For three years the Falun Gong, a religious group banned and persecuted by the Chinese government, has met outside the Flushing public library to encourage Chinese Communist Party members to turn in their Party membership. The activity attracted little attention until the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province and staggering loss of life put a spotlight on the Chinese government’s response.

Epoch Times says Chinese government agents orchestrated the Flushing attacks and observers liken the scene on Flushing streets to that witnessed during the turmoil of China’s Cultural Revolution in the late 1960’s.

This attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to stifle free speech a world away from Beijing is an ominous development. Epoch Times has published evidence that the demonstrators were organized and paid for by the Chinese Consulate office in New York. The earthquake donation charges, it says, were trumped up by the Chinese government solely to eliminate Falun Gong solely because of its vehement opposition to the Communist Party.

Falun Gong  Supporter Roughed Up in Flushing
Falun Gong Supporter Roughed Up in Flushing
(Epoch Times)

Peng Keyu, General Consul for China in New York admits the consulate’s role and the reason behind it in a recorded telephone conversation (Chinese language) available on the internet. With the recording in hand, the Falun Gong says that the US government should expel Peng from the United States for violating his diplomatic status. The group also agues that Communist Party members who act as foreign agents for the Chinese government on the streets of Flushing and who falsified their applications to be in the US should be denied residency.

Party leaders often refer to threats to the legitimacy of their rule as ’life and death struggles’. Indeed, should Falun Gong’s charges of criminal malfeasance by the Chinese government before and after the earthquake take root among the Chinese public it could spell the end of the line for the current Chinese regime.

Wei Jingsheng, a prominent pro-democracy activist who spent 18 years in a China prison for his activities, says the Chinese government is desperate to prevent any domestic political fallout from the earthquake and will use all the resources at its command, including its overseas consulates and media, to destroy the Falun Gong. Wang Dang, a student leader in 1989 during the Tiananmen demonstrations who was imprisoned in China for his political activities, says that although the Olympics in Beijing and the Sichuan earthquake may foster the growth of democratic forces in China the resulting social conflict will make for a dangerous transformation.

Two Congressman, Tom Tancredo and Dana Rohrabacher, visited Flushing and expressed their support for the Falun Gong and for action by the US government.

It’s unlikely that the US government will respond any time soon to China’s violations of its diplomatic status. As China’s economic maid servant, the US can’t afford to offend the country which now pays the expense of its empire abroad. That the US may even allow China’s diplomatic service to continue its activity in Flushing makes clear how politically emasculated our nation has become. We are able to send armies to every region of the globe, yet are incapable of defending free speech and individual liberty within our own borders from the acts of foreign agents.

Whether one agrees, or not with the Falun Gong’s view of the Chinese government, there is no doubt that if the US allows the group to be silenced in our homeland we will have become a willing accomplice to an attack on our founding ideals.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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