NEW YORK—Thirty-five members of Congress have signed a letter to President George Bush requesting an investigation into the recent violence in Flushing. The letter closed to signatures July 28 and will be sent to President Bush’s office this week.
The letter asks President Bush to direct the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the attacks against Falun Gong practitioners in New York as well as the allegations that Chinese Consul General of New York Keyu Peng played a role in the incidents.
If Peng is found to have been involved, the letter to President Bush requests that Peng be expelled from the country. “The Chinese authorities would never permit U.S. diplomats stationed in the People’s Republic of China to behave in this manner,” a draft of the letter states.
The letter continues to request that an investigation be done, not only on Peng, but also on other Chinese government officials in the U.S. “We hope you will thoroughly investigate these allegations against Mr. Peng and other Chinese government officials here in the United States. If it is determined that the Chinese authorities are misusing their diplomatic privileges to orchestrate these kinds of violent attacks, or provide resources for subversive activities by “student groups” or “overseas Chinese groups,” those individuals involved should be expelled from the United States and a formal protest lodged with the Chinese authorities, the letter states.
Expressing concern about the true motivation behind the attacks, the letter emphasizes the importance of an investigation. It mentions that attacks against Falun Gong have taken place in Flushing, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, and seem to be organized in violent mobs. It also requests that “. . . any non-U.S. citizen found to be engaging in acts of violence or intimidation against religious or political groups at the behest of the Chinese government should have their visa revoked and be deported.”
The letter concludes by stating that an extension of the Chinese regime’s persecution into the U.S. cannot be tolerated. “It is well-known that the Chinese government has used its official power and resources to marginalize and persecute Falun Gong practitioners and other dissident groups inside the People’s Republic of China. We should not and cannot tolerate efforts by the Chinese government to expand this campaign of intimidation to communities inside the United States.”