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

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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.

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  • Dan Miller

    If the Chinese Government is indeed doing these things, and I suspect it is, the U.S. Government should make appropriate low level diplomatic protests. Expulsion of Peng Keyu prior to such low level protests would probably be unwise; were he declared persona non grata and expelled, China could simply reciprocate by declaring a comparable U.S. diplomat persona non grata, and the situation could take on a life of its own. That would be unfortunate.

    As to any Chinese aliens present in the U.S. based on false statements in their visa applications (not persons with diplomatic status), they should be expelled ASAP.

    Failure to take these rather modest steps can only lead to heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, forcing more drastic steps to be taken later.

    China seems to be very interested in having the Olympics take place under circumstances presenting China in the most favorable light possible. The recent torch bearing process gave China rather a black eye. It seems unlikely that if the U.S. takes the low key approach here suggested, China will try to exacerbate the problem. If it does, then the next step(s) for the U.S. to take will have to be decided.


  • Dave Nalle

    This fits right in with their reaction to the protests over the running of the olympic torch, where Chinese soldiers in tracksuits sent along as security for the torch roughed up and intimidated protestors in the US with impunity.


  • Cindy D

    I’d like the evidence to be more than: 1) an as yet questionable recording where Keyu presumably gives an over-the-phone interview admitting his “secret” involvement presumably to a Falun Gong supporter, and 2) the support of two lawmakers who turn out to be two of America’s most embarrassing mental midgets–Tom Tancredo and Dana Rohrabacher.

    My guess is that the FBI is going to find some credibility problems with the alleged taped Keyu conversation.

    But, whether they do or not, it is only then, that there would be any evidence of anything at all.

  • Clavos

    Except, of course, for the confrontation itself, on American soil, and involving Chinese government employees; an illegal act, in and of itself. No matter how much the Chinese government was being denigrated or maligned by the demonstrators (if it was), foreign government officials have zero legal standing to interfere on US soil.

  • Dan Miller

    Cindy D,

    I quite agree that evidence is needed; I don’t understand Chinese, and have no skill in evaluating whether a recording has been tampered with or is even real. I only suspect that the allegations are meritorious, because China tried to stifle protest during the recent torch parades. That’s why the first words in my comment are “If the Chinese Government is indeed doing these things, and I suspect it is. . . ” (emphasis added).

    I am modestly concerned that even if the recording turns out to be real, and the allegations are accurate, the Government will try to sweep the whole thing under the rug in the interest of being inoffensive.


  • Steve

    Why do I smell CIA?

  • Cindy D


    I am not finding any evidence that the confrontation involved any Chinese government employees.


    No misunderstanding of your position intended :-) I wouldn’t think it beyond belief myself. I just see all this on the internet posted as if it were based on any sort of evidence–as the title of this piece suggests.

  • Dan Miller


    In re your Comment #6: Why indeed?


  • Ruvy

    You folks in the big bad U.S. of A. are starting to get a dose of what it is like to be dominated by foreigners. Stan, you paying attention? The Chinks are not too far away from you at all, and there aren’t that many of you to deal with all of them.

    If the Americans are afraid to tell off the Chinese, what will happen when the Chinese government starts (or continues)to harass Australians of Chinese descent?

  • Dan Miller

    Here is an article about China’s internal efforts to curb domestic dissent during and in advance of the Olympics. The report is consistent with what I have read elsewhere, and it is China’s choice, not ours, what China does within her borders.

    It is also the business of the United States whether we elect to boycott or participate in the Chinese Olympics. If China pursues her evident present course, I think we should seriously consider the latter alternative. The Olympics have already become a geopolitical football, and if we decide to refrain from assisting China to kick it through the goal posts, that is our privilege.


  • Cindy D

    Re #10

    Now there is an opinion I can agree with. I think we should already have boycotted the Chinese “Genocide” Olympics.

  • Clavos

    Didn’t we participate in Hitler’s Olympics?

  • Ruvy

    Didn’t we participate in Hitler’s Olympics?

    The Americans participated in Hitler’s Olympiad in 1936. While a black man embarrassed all the whites by taking the gold for his running, Joos were kept out of his olympics to satisfy the poor asshole’s sensitivies….

    Looking back, Clavos, do you think this was the right thing to do for the Americans?

  • Dan Miller


    Of course we did. Since we did it back in 1936, we should obviously do it again. That’s only fair, and besides the Chinese Government will respect us for it and stop being nasty.

    Is the Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea on the list of venues for future Olympics? If not, why not?


  • Dan Miller

    According to a recent article, the Chinese (Government?) has been pretty busy hacking into Congressional computers. One reason suggested is to get information on dissidents, so that they can gently be shown the error of their antisocial ways.

    Perhaps we should ask them, pretty please, to stop hacking. On the other hand, perhaps it would be better to provide lots of disinformation in the hope that it will be hacked and relied upon. On the other hand, it might be excessively challenging for many members of Congress to distinguish fact from fantasy.


  • Cindy D

    Well I suppose a boycott isn’t the answer.

    Not a Boycott

    Olympic Dream for Darfur is not a boycott campaign, nor does it support a boycott of the Olympics.

    Our goal is to leverage the Olympics to urge China to use its influence with the Sudanese regime to allow a robust civilian protection force into Darfur. China is in a unique position to do so: as Sudan’s strongest political and economic partner, as well as the host of the Olympics.

    Our campaign supports the Olympics and believes in the ideal of the Olympic Games as a symbol of peace and international cooperation. Our campaign believes that the sports arena is the best forum for countries to “do battle” and we do not advocate withdrawal by any nation from this essential and important forum.

    An Olympic boycott, or the threat of boycott, can only create serious divisions within the ranks of countries and constituencies that, like our campaign, care about Darfur and the ideals of peace represented by the Olympics. A boycott also punishes athletes, their families, and spectators around the world.

  • zingzing

    wow, ruvy… you don’t like the chinese much eh? keep up the good work.