The arrest of two Chinese agents by the US authorities has exposed yet another attempt by the Xi government to disrupt and topple the exiled anti-communist Falun Gong spiritual movement on foreign land. The incident came a month two New York residents were arrested on suspicion of operating a Chinese “secret police station” in Manhattan’s Chinatown district.
The suspected Chinese agents, identified as John Chen( 70) and Lin Feng( 43) were charged for revoking a New York-based Falun Gong organization’s tax- exempt status and paying bribes to a undercover officer posing as a US tax agent. Both wanted to disrupt and ultimately topple the exiled anti-communist Falun Gong spiritual movement.
John Chen and Lin Feng were charged in an indictment unsealed Friday with scheming to revoke a New York-based Falun Gong organization’s tax-exempt status and paying bribes to a undercover officer posing as a U.S. tax agent.
There is enough evidence to prove the involvement of Chinese government officials in the undercover operation. Available reports suggested that the undercover officer who posed as a US tax agent, managed to record multiple conversations with Chen, and investigators obtained a wire tap to record phone calls in which Chen and Feng discussed instructions received from Chinese government officials.
Both lived in Los Angeles. The charges against the due related to acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government, bribing a public official and conspiracy to commit international money laundering.
In fact, this episode highlighted China’s blatant attempts in US to identify, locate and silence pro-democracy activists and others who are openly critical of Beijing’s policies. Such practices by foreign governments are known as “transnational repression.” US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s statement clearly pointed out the seriousness of the matter. In the statement, Garland said that the Chinese government yet again attempted, and failed, to target critics of the (People’s Republic of China) here in the United States.
The plot to revoke the non profit tax status to Falun Gong spiritual movement was meant to undermine the credible status of Falun Gong in US. Chen and Feng’s urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revoke the organisation’s non-profit tax status. Chen had posed as if he was a whistleblowerand filed a complaint to the tax agency in February describing Falun Gong as a “gigantic mega cult” – echoing language China’s government uses to describe the movement. But he along with his associate fell into the trap and caught by the US authorities. As regard to Falun Gong movement, China has been constantly making attempts
“silence its critics and extend the reaches of its regime onto US soil”. China
banned the Falun Gong movement in 1999, classifying it as an evil cult and one of the “Five Poisons,” or chief threats to its rule. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners have found refuge at a 400-acre compound called Dragon Springs in upstate New York. In the U.S., the Falun Gong movement is known mostly for its ties to Shen Yun, a touring performing arts group, and The Epoch Times, a newspaper. In fact, China government has been trying for nearly two decades to crush Falun Gong, a movement that once enjoyed widespread mainstream acceptance. The ruthless campaign, however, has significantly weakened, but not destroyed, the sect.The Xi government wants to crush it completely as its influence is growing abroad and has some influence at home. Fulon Gong continues to be top on the official lists of proscribed cults. The sect’s activities abroad that are an even bigger, and growing, concern for the Communist Party.
In past, attempts have been made in US by China to target crush it completely.
Falun Gong was immensely popular in China during the 1990s as it was revered
by tens of millions of people for bringing them better health and moral elevation. The general public and even high-ranking officials had faith in Falun Gong as its roots in traditional Chinese faiths were in sharp contrast to the atheist ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Hence, the collision started. The communist leadership, then under Party boss Jiang Zemin, had envisioned a quick three-month campaign to eradicate the
traditional qigong discipline, which was labelled as a “superstitious” threat to Marxism. But the campaign failed to deter millions of Falun Gong practitioners from practising. They resisted the brutal and often deadly abuses visited upon them by the regime.
Sarah Cook, a China researcher with the human rights organization Freedom House, conducted a study pm Falun Gong which concluded that 7 to 20 million people in China continue to practice Falun Gong, including many who took up the discipline after the repression began. Moreover, Falun Gong believers in China have responded to CCP persecution with tenacity, nonviolence, and creativity,” a 2019 article describing Cook’s work reads, according to visiontimes website.
has described the anti-Falun Gong campaign as “a striking failure of the CCP’s security apparatus” despite the extraordinarily brutal methods used to suppress it.
Her 2017 study “concluded that 7 to 20 million people in China continue to practice Falun Gong, including many who took up the discipline after the repression began. Moreover, Falun Gong believers in China have responded to CCP persecution with tenacity, nonviolence, and creativity,” a 2019
article describing Cook’s work reads. According to Cook’s Freedom House study, the survival of Falun Gong in China can be largely attributed to the efforts of practitioners to counteract the persecution using nonviolent tactics, especially “sharing information with police and the general public about the practice itself.”
According to the Chinese government, however, Shen Yun is the singing, dancing face of Falun Gong – which the government describes as a malevolent “anti-society cult” that leads its followers to self-mutilation, suicide and murder. In a 2012 statement, the Chinese embassy in Washington issued a warning to Americans who might have been swayed by the posters appearing around town. “They have been staging the so-called ‘Shenyun’ Performances in the US in recent years in the name of promoting Chinese culture and showcasing the oriental charm,” the statement reads. “But in fact, in addition to their tacky taste and low artistic standards, the performances were filled with cult messages and implied attacks against the Chinese Government, ” the guardian reported.
According to Global Times opinion article titled,”Abe’s assassination shows China is right to clean up cults”, cults like Falun Gong and Eastern Lightning that violated human rights, destroyed families, endangered society and even shook the country, have been completely eradicated in China.
But these cults have found new breading grounds in Japan, South Korea and the US. These governments have distorted China’s efforts as “persecution of religious freedom.” For the purpose of demonizing China, they have acted as a shield for cult leaders who dismantled many families and swept away large sums of money from the victims.