Former Chinese Academy of Sciences Researcher Recalls April 25 Appeal
Ms. Jinghang Liu’s life changed dramatically after April 25, 11 years ago. That was the day over 10,000 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful appeal in the center of Beijing at Zhongnznhai.
Subsequently, the Chinese regime launched a brutal political campaign against the spiritual movement, a campaign which continues today.
Because she refused to renounce her belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, the founding principles of Falun Gong, Liu suffered for three years in a Chinese prison. In 2003, she arrived in Australia and got her refugee protection visa in July of 2005. She has lived in Sydney ever since.
She was asked why, as one of the generation that went through the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square Massacre, she still had the courage to “offend” the regime by participating in the 10,000-person protest at Zhongnanhai. The 69-year-old former researcher of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) told The Epoch Times that, through the appeal, she hoped to stop an imminent political campaign which was being plotted to attack innocent people.
According to Liu, even before the protest, the atmosphere had already become tense. Slanderous news often appeared in the regime’s media outlets, Falun Gong books had been banned from publication, and the exercises had been banned in some areas. Falun Gong practitioners tried to resolve the problem by writing letters or visiting those media and respective government departments. “Since 1998, my husband and I had written letters to or appealed to various departments about a dozen times,” she said.
However, their appeals met with arrest when an article titled "I Do Not Agree with Adolescents Practicing Qigong" appeared in the Science and Technology for Youth magazine in Tianjin, a neighboring city of Beijing. One day before the appeal at Zhongnanhai took place, “reliable sources from Tianjin said that the Public Security Bureau in Tianjin unlawfully arrested many Falun Gong practitioners under the direction of higher authorities,” Liu said, adding that an appeal to the central government seemed the only way to resolve the tension which had been building since 1996.
Liu said that the background of the author of the above-mentioned slanderous article also led her to believe the Tianjin incident had a deep political background and purpose. “I knew the author, He Zuoxiu, personally,” she said, adding that he was well-known for his political views but had gained little respect as an academician at the CAS.
Liu said the appeal which took place in Beijing was an effort by the practitioners of Falun Gong to end the intimidation that was being carried out by a small group of people inside the regime. Contrary to the regime’s claim that the appeal took place to its surprise, Liu said, “A program later aired by China’s state-run Central TV proved that the police knew very well beforehand: They had taken a lot video clips showing how practitioners arrived and gathered in Beijing.”
Moreover, when practitioners gathered around the two sides of Xianmen Street, where the nation’s highest-level appeal office was located, “the police led the practitioners to form two lines which resulted in their surrounding the Zhongnanhai Compound (China’s political center),” said Liu.
Even as a person who went through various political movements, Liu was still surprised when the announcement to ban Falun Gong was made, and when the peaceful appeal became one of the excuses for the persecution. “The appeal on April 25 had gone well. Former Premier Zhu Rongji met with practitioner representatives, and all of our three requests—release of the arrested Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin, permission to practice freely, and lifting of the ban on Falun Gong publications—had been reasonable and non-political.”
But Liu does not regret what she did, even though later she was imprisoned at the age of 59 and lost her retirement pension. “I have benefited from the practice both spiritually and physically. It is my responsibility to uphold the values that I benefit from.”
Liu said that she had once been confused about right and wrong as had many others in her generation. She had gone along with the claims of communist ideology, thinking that traditional Chinese culture had no value. Now she feels that Falun Gong represents the essence of Chinese culture while the communist ideology is actually foreign to China.
Liu thinks that one of the reasons the practice of Falun Gong spread so quickly before the persecution, and why the regime is so against it, is that “communism talks about class struggle and taking down others by any means, while Falun Gong talks about being truthful to oneself and treating others with compassion.”
Read the original Chinese article. http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/10/4/24/n2886782.htm