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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prospects for Reform in China Tantalize

Redressing Falun Gong

In the end, reform is possible only if the persecution of Falun Gong is ended. This systematic and brutal violation of human rights makes a mockery of any attempt at otherwise restraining political power or protecting rights.

Ending the persecution, though, requires ending the power of the bloody-hands faction that has dominated the CCP for the past 13 years. These officials fear being held accountable for their crimes and thus have sought at all costs to keep their campaign of persecution going.

With tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners dead from torture and organ harvesting, this faction’s crimes are so extensive that Chinese society could never move forward until those responsible are brought to justice.

The logical conclusion of the movement toward reform will be holding Jiang Zemin accountable for the persecution.

Whether the CCP leadership will face that squarely remains to be seen, but there are signs that the Party is changing its stance toward Falun Gong.

In early April, a source in Beijing told The Epoch Times that Wen Jiabao had proposed redressing Falun Gong in top-level meetings.

In late March, censorship of the Chinese Internet was lifted for a time on several terms related to Falun Gong.

It was possible to reach a website with “Zhuan Falun,” Falun Gong’s fundamental text. And a search for “Bloody Harvest,” the investigative report into forced, live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, was also productive.

Also in late March, lawyers defending Falun Gong practitioners in Heilongjiang Province, a province notorious for its hard-line enforcement of the persecution, told The Epoch Times that the persecution there was softening.

In mid-April, villagers outraged at the arrest of a popular schoolteacher who practices Falun Gong submitted a petition asking for his release. That petition was eventually circulated to the members of the Politburo Standing Committee—the small group that runs China. This could only have happened at the wish of high-ranking officials.

In late May, the prosecutor sent that practitioner’s case back to the Public Security Bureau, saying the case lacked evidence. In the past, no evidence was ever needed to prosecute Falun Gong practitioners.

For 13 years, state-run media has attacked qigong, the form of traditional Chinese exercise that moves vital energy through the body. This stance by the media is part of the persecution of Falun Gong, as it is a form of qigong.

On May 31, the regime-mouthpiece Xinhua news agency reported that the Chinese Ministry of Health had commented positively on a report regarding a qigong training course in Gansu Province. This change could only have come with the approval of top officials.

At the moment, the possibilities of reform are unrealized. China’s chance of entering a new era will depend on what stance is taken toward Falun Gong.

More: The Epoch Times

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