Falun Gong Remains the Prime Target of Chinese Regime: Leaked Document

By Kelly Song
Kelly Song
Kelly Song
Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.
May 22, 2022 Updated: May 24, 2022

Leaked documents from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) in Tieling county of China’s northeastern Liaoning Province reveal that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) effort to “transform” or “zero out” Falun Gong remains the prime target of the regime.

One of the documents titled “Progress Report Submitted to the Provincial PLAC Inspection Group” said that in April 2019, nine of the highest-ranking ministries under the CCP’s Central Committee issued an order to force all Falun Gong practitioners to give up their spiritual practice.

Minghui.org, a website that documents the CCP’s campaign of persecution against Falun Gong, reported that policemen knocked on the door of Peng Zhiqiang’s parents’ home, demanding “You must sign these papers, or else.” The couple refused to sign, and the police left.

Then the police called the couple’s son who is not a Falun Gong practitioner and said “your parents did not want to sign the papers, this will cost you your career unless you sign for them!”

Peng was scared and signed the papers. He later published a statement on minghui.org to say that he regrets doing so.

Peng’s parents are practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been persecuting since 1999.

What happened to the Peng family has happened to families throughout China in recent years. According to minghui.org, this “door-knocking” campaign—conducted under the direction of the Central Committee—has a goal of “zeroing out” Falun Gong, even if only on paper.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of slow-moving meditation exercises and moral teachings that promote truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in everyday life. Its popularity peaked in the late 1990s in China, with 70 million to 100 million adherents, according to official estimates.

The “door-knocking” campaign, referenced in one of the leaked documents, was jointly ordered by nine top agencies directly affiliated with the CCP Central Committee.

The PLAC is one of the CCP’s security apparatuses that maintains control across different levels of central, provincial, and municipal government offices. It maintains lists of Falun Gong practitioners down to the neighborhood level, including Falun Gong practitioners’ names, along with their addresses, and information about their relatives. Local police carry out the “door-knocking” campaign by going to each address and asking the practitioner to sign documents renouncing their spiritual practice.

If they get a signature, they can “zero that practitioner out,” at least on paper.

Leaked Document

The Epoch Times obtained exclusive access to documents from the Tieling county PLAC office in Liaoning province. Tieling is about 20 miles northeast of Shenyang City, the capital of Liaoning province.

The PLAC system is a gigantic and powerful network of suppression. It’s the main tool in the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, and the PLAC’s power, as well as the high level of corruption that supports the PLAC’s power, has grown as the persecution continues.

One of the documents titled “Progress Report Submitted to the Provincial PLAC Inspection Group” said that in April 2019, nine of the highest-ranking ministries of the central regime issued an order primarily targeting Falun Gong, with a goal of forcing all Falun Gong practitioners to give up their practice.

According to the document, in Tieling county, the PLAC immediately held training sessions on how to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners.

In addition to visiting the homes of individuals and trying to force them to sign documents, the PLAC also instructed county police to monitor and stop people from going to Hong Kong.

The year 2019 was the 70th anniversary of the CCP’s taking power in China. The document said, “as the 70th anniversary celebration is approaching, and as the activities in Hong Kong are on the rise, in order to prevent those people from participating in activities in Hong Kong, the county police must limit their travel.”

PLAC Inspections

Senior political commentator Heng He told The Epoch Times, “from this [leaked] document, we can see that the CCP still regards Falun Gong as its number one target to suppress, even though the CCP downplays it publicly and tries to hide it from the international community.”

“Under the banner of anti-corruption, the CCP Central government sent out inspection groups to different parts of the country since 2017,” he said. “They mainly inspect the PLAC network of agencies, where weakness and reluctance in the persecution of Falun Gong is spotted. This means that sustaining the persecution has been very difficult.”

The leaked document said, “this year in the county, eight Falun Gong members were ‘transformed,’ which is one percent of the total. 122 Falun Gong members were ‘relieved’ and the number has been reported to the upstream municipal PLAC.” It is unclear what “relieved” refers to.

Cases of Persecution

Such a campaign is being carried out all over the country. According to an April 2021 minghui.org report, the Beijing “zero out” campaign resulted in the deaths of 3 Falun Gong practitioners in 2020, 29 practitioners were given jail sentences, and 249 practitioners were forcefully taken into custody from either their homes or workplaces.

In addition, 153 homes of practitioners were ransacked, and 103 practitioners were visited by the police or received harassing phone calls.

More recently, a female Falun Gong practitioner named Ji Yunzhi from Inner Mongolia died 48 days after she was taken to the police station. She was 66 years old.

On Feb. 1, 2022—Chinese New Year day and three days prior to the beginning of the Winter Olympics in Beijing—Ji was taken from her home by 9 policemen. At the police station, Ji was beaten and tortured. She went on hunger strike to protest but was force-fed through a feeding tube that was forcibly administered through her nose.

Afterward, her health deteriorated rapidly.

On Feb. 11, the police notified Ji’s family that she was in the hospital. When her husband arrived at the hospital, he saw Ji in a coma. Her ankles were still in shackles.

Despite her critical condition, the police refused to release her. On March 21, Ji passed away.

During this time, in order to prevent the information from leaking to the public, dozens of police guarded the hospital, the funeral house, and Ji’s home for days—even after the body was cremated.

Epoch Times Photo
Simon Zhang, a New York architect, and his mother, Ji Yunzhi, a Falun Gong practitioner who was taken from her home three days prior to the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics and died 48 days later in police custody. (Courtesy of Simon Zhang)

Ji’s son, Simon Zhang, is an architect in New York. On April 25, he and several other Falun Gong practitioners met with United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, who after hearing Ji’s story posted on Twitter, “No one deserves to suffer harassment, torture, or imprisonment for their faith.”

Raising Awareness

Since the persecution started in 1999, the CCP and its PLAC system have launched numerous campaigns trying to eradicate Falun Gong via a variety of means. However, the countermeasures used by Falun Gong practitioners seems to remain the same, as they distribute what is called “truth-clarification materials” to raise awareness of the persecution both inside and outside of China.

The leaked document mentioned that the Tieling county PLAC organized people to go around the county to “clean up” Falun Gong materials in public places. In the year of 2019, the document said, “8 cleanup attempts were organized, 378 pieces of print materials, 3 banners, and 26 posters were collected.”

The document said that from April to June, the Tieling county PLAC distributed to the public 20,000 pamphlets and 35,000 other types of materials to defame Falun Gong.

Epoch Times Photo
A poster that says “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance is Good, Falun Dafa is Good” is visible at a bus stop in Tieling, Liaoning province. (minghui.org)

Heng He said, “Since the persecution has no legal backing, the CCP has been spending a huge amount of money to defame Falun Gong via manipulating public opinion and fabricating lies spread by its media. In the meantime, the CCP goes all out to block the truth about Falun Gong from reaching the public.”

Kelly Song
Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.