Chen Yonglin: My Story
(From a live recording of Chen’s speech at a Chinese community meeting in Melbourne)
I would like to thank Baiming Cultural Salon for providing me this opportunity to communicate with the local Chinese community. After quitting the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], I did not have any opportunity to speak with the Chinese community for several reasons, especially for security reasons. Today, I am here to talk about my thoughts and my story, so that you can clearly know what kind of person I am. As to whether you can understand me, that depends on yourselves.
After I quit the CCP, many Chinese people thought that my action had some influence on the daily lives of the Chinese people. Of course, people also saw the influence it had on the lives of the Australian people. It became a topic of discussion in mainstream society. People also criticized the way the government dealt with the event. Comments have come not only from Chinese communities, but also from mainstream Australian society. The entire Australian society is paying a lot of attention to the events related to my public story.
Many people asked me what my purpose was when I quit the Consulate. Many people do not understand why I quit. They think that I quit the Consulate simply because I wanted to achieve some personal aim. Many media outlets reported that I have always hated the Chinese Communist Party since my father was persecuted to death. If that was the case, then, why didn’t I quit the CCP sooner? I want to tell everyone that it has taken a long time for me to recognize the feelings I have towards the CCP, and that these emotions took a long time to emerge. Like a seed that must germinate first and then gradually grow from a small tree to a big one, the feelings regarding the injustice done by the CCP need time and a process to reach maturity.
I am an ordinary person and was born in an ordinary family, so it’s not easy for me to make such a decision. It’s not that I did not think about the consequences of quitting the CCP; nor did I just simply think, “I want to stay in Australia, so I will quit the CCP.” I know that there are many people who quit Chinese consulates, but many of them went to the USA because it’s easier for the US government to accept them. Their situations are not as difficult as mine.
My father was tortured to death by the CCP
I want to start talking by talking about my childhood. My mother was a teacher, and my father was originally a student of Qinghua University. In 1971, when my father went back home to take a vacation, he transcribed by calligraphy a simple petition for a villager simply because he had a good handwriting. He was not against the CCP. The petition was made by others. However, after he transcribed the petition, he was kidnapped on his way home by the village government and imprisoned in a narrow staircase. They did not give him anything to eat and beat him regularly. After two weeks, they beat him to death. My father’s death had a huge impact on my family. We lost support and stability. I was only three years old at that time and had two brothers and a sister. My mother brought us up by herself. You can imagine how hard our life was. At that time, a widow in the village could not remarry, so after my father passed away, we lived in great difficulty. Nevertheless, my mother was very resolute. She always encouraged me to study hard so that my family could rise above a villager’s life, and our life would become better. When I was 12 years old, my grandparents wanted me to be a farmer. They said I could work in the production team and earn some money. Thus, our life could be a bit better; at least, we would have the food I earned. But my mother said that I studied well, so no matter how hard our life was, she would let me study instead of becoming a farmer.
I always studied hard. When I was in junior high school, I was number one in the class most of the time. In 1985, I was admitted to the Diplomatic College after the entrance exams. It was a turning point in my life. I realized that I would have a stable job. At any rate, I would not have to worry about my living. Now, when I look at my past, I realize that if my mother had not insisted on my continuing my studies, no matter how hard life was at the time, I would be a farmer now. And I would not be here meeting with you. When I studied at the Diplomatic College, I learned many new thoughts and philosophies, especially some western philosophic thought from Socrates and from Plato to Rousseau. After learning about different schools of thought, I started to think over the causes of my father’s death by torture during the Great Cultural Revolution.
Witnessing history—the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement
When the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement was underway, I had already received my practical training from NBC, the US broadcasting company, and was working with them. Although I did not participate in the entire movement, I spent a lot of time in Tiananmen during the demonstrations. I joined the parade and supported the pro-democracy movement. I was at Tiananmen Square on the night of June 3. I witnessed the massacre. One of my classmates was shot near his lungs. The doctor confirmed that the bullet exploded in his body, and he was seriously injured. It was lucky that he was finally rescued. I am familiar with the entire situation of the pro-democracy movement.
At that time, I experienced the pro-democracy movement as an ordinary student. I witnessed the real history. Afterwards, the Chinese government turned the event into a “political disturbance.” I know the real history was forcibly rewritten. I happened to graduate that year. At that time, the school asked all students to submit a “written repentance.” Only after writing the repentance would the school grant us graduation diplomas. My mother hoped that I could work in Beijing, so I went on studying International Relations in the Diplomatic College. As a result, I had the qualifications to enter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after two years. After I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I worked in the Chinese Embassy in Fiji from 1994 to 1998. I was appointed to Sydney in 2001. I worked there until I quit the Consulate last May.
A spiritual slave in the system
After the 1989 Tiananmen incident, I started to think over the CCP. I felt that it was tiring to live under the system. I especially felt that I had no freedom of spirit. When I had my practical training with NBC, I thought that those reporters really had a devoted spirit. They were willing to work. They were free in spirit and in work. However, I was not free when working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the incident, the central government stared a series of brainwashing campaigns. At first, Deng Xiaoping proposed opposition to the liberalization of the capitalist class. Then came Jiang Zemin’s “three talks and three representatives.” Now it’s Hu Jintao’s “advanced education” of CCP members. It was originally called the “in-depth education on keeping the advanced nature of members of the Communist Party of China.” Then the CCP decided that wasn’t a good name because only a corrupt system or individual needs to keep up their work towards “advancement.” Therefore, they changed the name to “advanced education.” After 14 years of working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as an insider to the CCP system, I know the entire operation of the system. I have witnessed its corruption and know how the CCP controls people, people’s thoughts and religions. After 1949, we know that the CCP conducted a series of totalitarian movements, all of which were aimed at innocent people. Conservatively estimating, the CCP has deprived 35 million people of their lives. A broader estimate is that probably 80 million people have lost their lives. When speaking about the number of deaths that run as large as 35 million to 80 million, essentially there is little difference between the two figures.
The sincerity and compassion of Falun Gong practitioners
The main reason for my quitting the CCP has been my experience working in Sydney for the past four years. Most important of all, I sympathized with Falun Gong. Before I went to Sydney, I had little knowledge about Falun Gong. I only knew that the CCP called it an evil cult and broadcast many suicide cases that were supposedly about people who practice Falun Gong. People in China all believed the stories because the CCP actively directs public opinion, and repeatedly broadcast the stories in China. People have no choice but to believe them, although many cases were basically made up.
I had contact with Falun Gong practitioners because I took charge of the “Five Independences,” the independence of Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, the pro-democracy movement, and Falun Gong. These five are thought to be dangerous to the CCP. I contacted and understood Falun Gong more and more over the four years. I did serious research on Falun Gong and Mr. Li Hongzhi’s speeches and theories. Especially through contacts with Falun Gong practitioners, I encountered two characteristics of Falun Gong practitioners which impressed me most. One is sincerity; the other is compassion.
If you asked a Falun Gong practitioner, “Are you a Falun Gong practitioner?” he will absolutely reply, “Yes, I am.” If he does not reply, after you ask him two more times, if he still does not reply, then he is a Falun Gong practitioner because Falun Gong practitioners don’t lie. This impressed me deeply. Because of this characteristic, the staff of the Consulate thinks that to control Falun Gong practitioners and make a blacklist of practitioners is easy because you can be sure whether the person applies for a visa is a Falun Gong practitioner in one minute. If he is one, his or her name will be put on the blacklist.
The policy of the Consulate was to confiscate Falun Gong practitioners’ passports when they came to extend their passports. Actually, it’s simple for them to extend their passports. They only have to write a written repentance. A person who doesn’t practice Falun Gong will do so. To extend his passport, he only has to say, “Falun Gong is an X [defamatory word omitted] religion.” A valid passport is most important, right? Here is what I respect about Falun Gong practitioners the most. No matter what happens, they don’t write a word or say “Falun Gong is an X religion.” They think that saying the words betrays their conscience and their principles of telling the truth.
The CCP's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners
Falun Gong was listed as an unstable factor by the CCP. They are strictly forbidden from entering China during “sensitive” times such as the People's Congress conferences, CCP Congress conferences, or October 1.
During my time working at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Wang Xiaoqiang and Yuan Ying, two deputy directors from the Central 610 Office, inspected our work against Falun Gong at the Chinese Embassies in Australia and New Zealand. At the end of 2003, Yuan Ying talked to us about the situation of Falun Gong in China. He said there were about 60,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China; half were in labor camps and prisons, and half were strictly monitored. Wang Xiaoqiang, the other 610 Office official, came to the Consulate in 2002. At that time, he said the battle against Falun Gong in China was not going well. Every day, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners showed up in Tiananmen Square to protest, and of course the police were there waiting to arrest them. Wang said he could not understand Falun Gong practitioners. They were all very peaceful. When police asked them to get on the bus, most of them followed. However the Chinese government felt it had lost face because there were so many practitioners going to Tiananmen Square. Going to Tiananmen is a very sensitive matter.
When working at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, since I was sympathetic to Falun Gong practitioners, I was quite relaxed when it came to carrying out CCP policies against Falun Gong. The CCP Central Government policy was: “Actively combat against Falun Gong in every field, and gain support and sympathy from the public.” This policy required us to have a strategy on every activity Falun Gong held, including their protest in front of the Consulate. We had a plan to organize other overseas Chinese to hold protests against Falun Gong also, although the plan was later abandoned. We felt that a counter-protest in front of Consulate was not appropriate, because it would be unclear who the counter-protest was against. We made many similar plans and even started preparations for them.
In addition, Falun Gong practitioners often participated in activities hosted by the municipal congress or government and applied for booths for those activities. Prior to 2002, Falun Gong was not against the Chinese government at all. Yet the responses from the Consulate regarding Falun Gong activities were quite severe. For example, if Falun Gong rented part of a park, we would make a request to the administrator of parks, Sydney Port Corporation, to limit Falun Gong activities.
It has been more than six years since the persecution started in 1999. I totally understand why Falun Gong practitioners accelerated their activities against the CCP. They were not against the CCP at the beginning at all. No one has unlimited patience. How many six-year periods does a person have in his life? It was easy for me to understand Falun Gong. Prior to 2001, the Chinese Consulate-general collected a list of about 800 Falun Gong practitioners’ names. We called it the black list. Almost all the Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney are on the list. If we found out that any of the people with names on the blacklist were applying for a visa or passport extension, we would call that person in for a short talk and easily determine if they were a Falun Gong practitioner. If so, all the detailed information on his passport would be recorded and sent to Chinese border agencies around the globe. This way this person would be part of a larger list and would not be allowed to enter China anymore.
The larger list was compiled by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Security. They each have their own channels. Currently in China, Falun Gong is the most important issue to the CCP, the one that supposedly affects social stability. All the government departments coordinate closely on this issue, and everyone hopes to do well in exchange for promotion and rewards.
Escape the CCP’s control and reclaim freedom of conscience
Some people asked me why I waited until the end of my tenure defect from the Chinese Consulate. To be honest, I did not have the courage at first; otherwise I would have participated in the June 4 student movements more actively. Out of considerations for my family and my human instincts regarding the threat of death, I could not do it. There are many other people like me inside the Chinese government, and hey are just muddling along. At the end of my tenure, I suddenly realized that my successor would notice many of the things I did and that he would report me to the CCP.
I always felt sympathy toward Falun Gong practitioners, so I deleted the blacklist of about 800 Falun Gong practitioners. We had only their names, and the Public Security Ministry would have needed to verify all the details before adding them to the global list. However, I could not do anything for the other 120 Falun Gong practitioners who were already on the global list. When I left the Consulate, I took all the Falun Gong related materials with me.
It took me a long time to make this kind of decision after measuring all factors carefully. The consulate information that I disclosed were all related to Falun Gong, human rights and democratic movements, and I hope what I did will help stop the CCP from persecuting these people. I denounced the CCP myself, and I felt a kind of comfort by doing so.
I left the Chinese Consulate to seek spiritual liberation and freedom of conscience, and I hope I can start a new life. I also hope what I did will wake up more people who have a conscience and who are in the CCP system to be able to escape from the CCP’s attempt to dominate their spirit.
I would like to take the opportunity to provide some explanation of the issue that I disclosed regarding Australia. The CCP has one thousand spies and informants in Australia. It is a fact, although the CCP will never admit it.
The CCP quickly located me after I defected from the Chinese Consulate. I noticed there is a professional spy inside the Australian Consulate. I know it because that was the only way they could have found my new address so quickly. They did not talk to me. Instead they wanted to observe who I was contacting. I stepped out on July 4 and disclosed that the CCP has one thousands spies and informants in Australia. As a matter of fact, the Australian Intelligence Agency confirmed that there are many CCP spies in Australia.
Many people thought I meant all the spies are in the Chinese community. That’s not the case. There are even CCP spies inside the Australia government. The mission of CCP spies is quite different from that of the spies of other countries. The main mission for CCP spies is to monitor the activities of groups who oppose the CCP, especially pro-democracy activists. In addition, as I mentioned when I met with Sydney Chinese organizations, the CCP wants control over the minds and spirits of overseas Chinese. They manipulate overseas Chinese and instigate hatred among us. There are CCP informants among people who keep close contact with the Consulate.
A Chinese community leader told me that he dealt with the Chinese Consulate out of fear that if he did not do what the CCP wanted him to do, the Consulate would cause trouble when he and other Chinese people applied for a Chinese visa. I totally understand his fear because the CCP always tries to control Chinese people, especially fearful overseas Chinese people. After several generations of brain washing by the CCP, many people, including myself, are very fearful of the Party. Not everyone who deals with the CCP is a spy or an informant; please don’t compare them.
I believe many overseas Chinese are patriotic. I am a patriot too. However, I am against the CCP, and against the CCP’s persecution of the Chinese people. It is very sad that the CCP controls the will of so many overseas Chinese and that many people under the CCP’s control did things against their own wills. The CCP uses economic and financial benefits as enticement and instigates nationalism, thus creating misunderstandings among Chinese though it claims to promote cooperation. These are all ways the CCP uses to bend people and crush their spirits.
Read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party
I hope all Chinese people can escape the CCP’s control as I have. I hope more people reclaim their freedom of conscience. The CCP system is completely corrupt; there is no hope for it to change for the better. With financial benefits connected to political power, there is no hope for the CCP to become democratic. Instead, the purpose of every political reform has been to strengthen the CCP’s control. The CCP claims to have been moving toward democratic values since 1949, but do we see democracy in China? After 1989, the CCP once again claimed to be building a democratic society with socialistic characteristics, but where can you see the hope of democracy? These are all CCP’s lies.
Before I defected from the Consulate, I read the Nine Commentaries about CCP published by The Epoch Times. This is the only book that completely exposes the CCP’s true nature. As I said in the United States, the CCP is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It will not even spit out a single bone after swallowing up the people. It has even forced everyone to say that it is a good wolf for eating people. I suggest that all Chinese people read the Nine Commentaries.