Rather than subordinating rights to trade and other concerns, President Obama should place support for human rights at the center of U.S. policy toward China. Epoch Times: U.S. advocacy for the rights of the Chinese people cannot avoid dealing with the persecution of Falun Gong. President Obama should embrace the opportunity that this persecution offers.
Falun Gong practitioners suffer the largest religious persecution in the world today. Prior to the beginning of the persecution in July 1999, several Western news outlets reported that 100 million Chinese were practicing Falun Gong—one in every 12 Chinese. Today, the Falun Dafa Information Center estimates that between 20 million and 40 million people are still practicing Falun Gong, in spite of severe persecution.
This persecution involves the largest-scale and most severe abuse of human rights in China. According to the U.N. special rapporteur on Torture two-thirds of the reports of torture in China involve Falun Gong adherents. The U.S. State Department refers to international observers who say that one-half of those in China’s vast labor camp system are Falun Gong—a number in the hundreds of thousands.
This persecution is also the most sensitive topic in dealing with the CCP, which warns other governments not to bring it up—which is exactly why President Obama should do so.
The size and severity of the human rights violations targeting Falun Gong and the sensitivity of this issue for the CCP make it a massive fulcrum that President Obama can use to give U.S. policy its greatest leverage.
Putting the moral weight of the United States behind Falun Gong practitioners’ demand for freedom of conscience will give hope to all those in China fighting for their rights.
The United States, rather than appearing to be the failed system portrayed by CCP propaganda, will emerge as the true friend of the Chinese people. More...