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Academic’s views on Falun Gong unfounded: Political analyst

I was shocked by Prof. Yan Sun's comments on recent Flushing Falun Gong rallies ("Flushing Falun Gong rallies a ploy: Prof" July 10). My eight years experience with Falun Gong and its practitioners tell me Sun does not know what Falun Gong is.

I forwarded the article to Dr. Dong Li, a senior political analyst at New Tang Dynasty Television. Li has spoken at numerous programs and forums related to Chinese politics, including Falun Gong.

The following is his response to both Sun's comments and the article.

1. For years, China watchers have been curious about Falun Gong's financial resources because it is the most powerful spiritual movement eroding China's one-party dictatorship. In all cases, such academic endeavors and inquiries still stay at speculative or planning levels. I have not seen solid empirical research on such a topic using either interview or survey methods.

Any China scholars who claim to know the financial resources or ways of obtaining resources on Falun Gong are fooling their peers and themselves.

2. According to my observations, Falun Gong has been in Flushing for years. Its activities — like rallies, parades and teaching exercises — are not monetarily motivated. The workshops for teaching exercises are always free. A review of Falun Gong principles will show that Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to raise money publicly.

3. The Chinese Communist government has been skillful in staging political campaigns since 1921. The regime and its representative, the Chinese Consulate, has political needs and motivations to quell such rallies organized by Falun Gong practitioners, as in the recent Flushing rallies.

Those rallies were held to celebrate millions of Chinese who had signed declarations to quit the Chinese Communist Party and affiliated organizations. Those rallies have been held many times since 2005, almost at an interval of 2 million to 3 million withdrawals. There are booths that help Chinese withdraw their membership from the CCP.

During the past few years, the rallies and booths have become a unique and an integrated part of Flushing. At the same time, the Chinese Consulate has been angry and frustrated for being unable to stop it.

4. Evidence shows the recent attacks on Falun Gong were well-organized by the Chinese Consulate. The consulate used sympathy for Sichuan earthquake victims to mobilize mobs from the city and other areas, shouting insults, spitting on and physically attacking Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing.

Those mobs were paid by the consulate. Many of them are illegal immigrants or jobless people from China. They were even ordered to issue death threats and spread fabricated hate literature. The consulate-led chaotic situation and hatred-ridden violence bore a resemblance to the Cultural Revolution, a 10-year fanaticism in contemporary Chinese history.

It is not farfetched to say the recent attacks were an extension of the CCP's current political repression and bloody persecution against Falun Gong practitioners at home.

It was a reflection of typical ruthless totalitarianism under Communist rule. It caused safety issues not only to the Chinese community, but Flushing residents. Just look at the fact that to date at least 12 of the attackers have been arrested.

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