China's Communist Party Extends Politics Overseas
Five years ago today, 37 million Chinese citizens renounced their ties with the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.
For those who had suffered at the hands of the Party, it was a cause for celebration. For those who were still loyal to the Party- an opportunity to stir-up trouble.
“So it was really scary to me because I knew that people were getting hurt and they could get hurt at any time and basically the rioters had free reign.”
“I was shocked to see it happen in America, a country of free expression.”
[Daiyin Chen, Former Photographer for The Epoch Times]:
“It was the first time in my life when I lived in America where I truly didn’t feel safe.”
This happened in May, 2008 in Flushing, one of the largest Chinese communities in New York. Those being antagonized were Falun Gong practitioners. The group has been persecuted in China since 1999, in a campaign orchestrated by this former Communist Party leader.
Those who witnessed the incident say it was part of that persecution.
[Dr. Wenyi Wang, Falun Gong Practitioner]:
“Overseas, they actually extend the persecution of Falun Gong from inside China.”
After the 2008 Flushing incident, China’s consulate general in New York admitted to organizing the protesters.
Wenyi Wang was in the fray when it happened. And she has seen it play out again and again.
[Wenyi Wang, Falun Gong Practitioner]:
“Because the Communist Party always brainwash people like you have to be loyal to the communist party anyone criticize or anyone against the government is an enemy of the country.”
In Hong Kong, Communist Party loyalists have organized into a group called the Hong Kong Youth Care Association. Since June, 2012, they have harassed Falun Gong practitioners who talk about the persecution in the Mainland.
Similar incidents in Russia, Vietnam and Mexico have also shown that the Communist Party’s influence goes beyond its borders. But that influence has not translated into support for the regime.
Five years after the Flushing incident, more than 136 million Chinese people have renounced their ties to the Communist Party. It’s part of what’s known as the “Tuidang” movement, an effort started by Falun Gong practitioners to end the persecution. It has also become a statement for Chinese people who are frustrated with the corrupt and bureaucratic regime of the Communist Party.