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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vancouver's Falun Gong show

Falun Gong practitioners meditate outside the Chinese Consulate

Ever since adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned in China, began a silent protest vigil outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver in 2001, it was little secret that diplomats from the communist power weren’t amused by the group’s presence.

As it turns out, Chinese diplomats in Vancouver were consulted on the proposed new bylaw, allegedly on the grounds that they are a “stakeholder.” Consulted how? What was said? Apparently, we’ll never know. City manager Penny Ballem says those discussions are confidential.

Since then, Vancouver’s Chinese consulate-general made a rare public comment, debunking suggestions it pressed for changes to the bylaw – a proposition dismissed as “impossible” by Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese diplomat who had defected to Australia in 2005.

More from Gary Mason at Globe and Mail

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