WASHINGTON—Introduced just in time for the 12th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s egregious campaign of human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners in China, a resolution offered by U.S. senators is calling for the persecution to end.
S. Res. 232 condemns the CCP’s brutal repression against the spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa, which is based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
Co-sponsored by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Tom Coburn (R-Ok.), the resolution was drafted by Menendez’s staff, based on H. Res. 605, which passed near-unanimously in March of 2010.
As a member of a number of foreign relations committees, Menendez offered to issue the resolution after being approached by a couple of his constituents, who brought victims of the persecution in China.
Menendez’s constituent Frank Lee, a self-employed computer consultant living in New Jersey, went to the senator’s office to tell him about the atrocities happening in China, after calling numerous lawmakers’ offices for help.
“[The resolution] really means a lot to the practitioners in China, to those living in the United States, and actually to everyone in China—because if they can persecute Falun Gong, they can attack anyone,” said Lee.
“I find it deplorable that the government of the People’s Republic of China only protects citizens’ freedom of religion and spiritual practice if they submit to the authority of the Communist Party,” said Menendez in a statement.
“If they do not,” Menendez continued, “as in the case of Falun Gong,” they order “an intensive and unforgiving campaign against them that includes abduction, detention, and torture for refusing to recant their practice.”
The proposed resolution would be the first Senate resolution to support Falun Gong directly. It would also be the first to specifically recognize the Tuidang movement in China, whereby large numbers of citizens are renouncing their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliates.
The seeds of reform are being sown by this wonderful [Tuidang] movement.Tuidang is a quiet, peaceful movement, supported by Falun Gong practitioners. The word “Tuidang” refers to individuals formally stating that they reject their current or former membership in the Chinese Communist Party or Chinese communist youth organizations.
— Congressman Chris Smith
According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, Tuidang began after the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times published an editorial series, “The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” in late 2004. Since then the Tuidang movement has been steadily gaining momentum, and is about to reach a significant milestone: 100 million.
“This resolution will further empower the Chinese people to break away from the shackle of CCP’s despotic rule and eventually obtain the most deserved freedom,” said Rong Yi, president of the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, a nonprofit organization based in Flushing, N.Y.
In an interview, Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), said that Tuidang “is about building a movement that begins to undermine the Communist Party from within.”
“The seeds of reform are being sown by this wonderful movement,” Smith said.
In the statement issued by Menendez’s office, S. Res. 232 supports the “volunteers and participants of the Tuidang movement for their peaceful pursuit of a fair and open government, a free people, and a society rooted in the practice of virtue.”
S.Res. 232, introduced in the Senate July 13, has been referred to the Foreign Relations Committee, where it will be discussed, and where it will have to pass before being introduced in the Senate for a vote.