In late May of this year, Peng Keyu, Consul General of Chinese Consulate in New York City, mobilized supporters of the Chinese Communist Party into Flushing, in Queens to attack peaceful Falun Gong practitioners. Peng admitted his role in a telephone conversation that was recorded. The content and identity of the speaker has been confirmed by the U.S. Department of State.
According to the New York Post on September 14, officials at the U.S. Department of State and New York Post reporters have listened to the recording carefully. The State department confirmed that the recording was indeed Peng’s voice. While no action has been taken, withdrawing Peng’s diplomatic status will be an 'option.'
The Post article indicated the investigation into Peng Keyu was on-going, and the effort by the State Department is commendable.
To me, withdrawing Peng’s foreign diplomatic status is not just an option, but a necessary step.
After the 911 incident took place seven years ago, the Bush administration declared a war against terrorists to safeguard American freedom and democracy. At the unveiling ceremony of the Victims of Communism Memorial that took place last year in Washington DC, President Bush commented that communist tyranny took over 100 million innocent lives, that we have the obligation to record the crimes committed by evil communism in the 20th century and to insure that these crimes will not happen again.
Unfortunately, such crimes are still on-going. In China, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been suffering the terrorist persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for over nine years. In the first two years of the persecution, confirmed deaths of Falun Gong practitioners totaled over 300 in October 2001. According to internal documents of the CCP of the same time, however, deaths of Falun Gong practitioners had reached 1,600, and at least 6,000 were sentenced to prisons and over 100,000 had been sent to labor camps. By now, confirmed deaths have reached over 3,000, a tenfold increase compared to 2001.
If we assume the same pattern of confirmed and actual persecution as shown in the above 2001 date, the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners have been more then 10,000, and millions have been illegally arrested, sent to labor camps, or prisons. Recent news also revealed that a large number of organs have been harvested from live Falun Gong practitioners, adding to the death toll.
Now, the CCP is attempting to extend the persecution to U.S. soil. In Flushing, a community in the international city of New York, at the heart of the United States, the CCP mobilized spies and scoundrel forces it has long nurtured to attack Falun Gong practitioners and their beliefs. This has been ongoing for several months. In front of calm yet determined Falun Gong practitioners, these attacks appear weak and laughable; but this does not mean that we should tolerate such an act of evil. The continuation of evil is our shame.
For several centuries, freedom of belief has been a central value in America that is respected and treasured. The Pilgrims came to America at the time seeking freedom of belief. Flushing is known for generations because of religious freedom seeker John Bowne and the document the “Flushing Remonstrance.” To defend his Quaker practice, Browne opposed Dutch colonial Governor Stuyvesant. He was tried and ultimately triumphed, and the document the “Flushing Remonstrance,” which sought freedom for Quakers, became a banner for religious freedom on the new continent of America, and set an example for laws protecting religious freedom.
Unfortunately, today in the 21st century, freedom of belief is violated in Flushing, a place of historical significance in the ‘land of the free.’ This is a great shame for the civilized world, as well as a challenge to the American constitution. Considering the ongong persecution in China against millions of innocent Falun Gong practitioners, the silence and slow action of the Bush administration is undoubtedly a serious mistake, which seen from another angle, is no less serious than committing a crime.
According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, diplomats are obliged to obey the laws of the recipient countries, and consulates cannot be used for purposes unrelated to consular affairs. Judged by U.S. law, Peng Keyu has gone beyond his consular duty when he agitated people’s hatred and mobilized their attack against the Falun Gong group in Flushing. What he did violated the law.
The violent attacks in Flushing have been ongoing for four months. The U.S. government should not remain silent, but must do something on account of the people. President Bush should take the lead to show he was sincere in his will and promise to safeguard human rights and freedom against communist violence. We expel terrorists, we expel Nazi members, and similarly, we now should not hesitate to expel communist criminals. The Chinese consul general Peng Keyu, who has abused his position and violated U.S. law, should not be exempted.
The Oscar film nominee Hotel Rwanda is about a true story of ethnic genocide that took place in Rwanda. At the time of the genocide, the Clinton administration adopted an ostrich policy of non-interference; and the U.S. army was withdrawn. After leaving office, Clinton made a trip to Rwanda and apologized.
Today, millions of Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted in China, and the U.S. government will not be able to face history if it adopts a cowardly policy. Anyone who condones evil will not be able to face this question from future generations: “When religious persecution took place here in America by a foreign force, what did you do?”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.