The number of people who have withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations is estimated to reach 300 million by the end of this month. To commemorate this milestone, more than 700 Hong Kong and Taiwan citizens held a rally and parade on March 18.
The rally began at 10 a.m. at Edinburgh Plaza in Central, the main business district.
Wang Zhiyuan, spokesperson for the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, said that since the establishment of the Chinese Communist regime, more than 80 million Chinese people have died unnatural deaths.
Former Party leader Jiang Zemin’s campaign to eradicate the Falun Gong spiritual discipline was the most horrific, Wang said. The landmark of 300 million Chinese people withdrawing from the CCP is “a declaration to all mankind that people are awakening and opposing the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.”
Since 1999, the Chinese regime has banned Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a meditation practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Jiang launched the persecution believing that the group’s immense popularity would undermine the Party’s authority. In 1999, there were as many as 100 million adherents, according to Western media outlets quoting Chinese officials.
“It has reached a critical and historic stage,” Wang said. “It’s the time…to send the CCP criminals to trial.”
Jiang mobilized the state’s security apparatus to arrest and detain practitioners, and even created an extra-judicial agency called the “610 office” to carry out the task. More than 4,000 adherents are confirmed to have died as a result of torture and abuse while in custody. The real number is believed to be many times higher due to the difficulty of getting information out of China, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
In addition, researchers have reported that large numbers of practitioners have been murdered and their organs pillaged for profit in China’s booming organ transplant industry.
Many Hong Kong political figures left messages through audio recordings. The chairman of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, Wu Chi-wai, who is also a Legislative Council member, said that 300 million Chinese people having withdrawn from the CCP’s organizations indicates people’s dissatisfaction with the CCP’s authoritarian rule. He recommended that people read The Epoch Times’ editorial series, “The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” noting that it provided an opportunity for people to learn the true nature of the CCP.
The release of The Epoch Times’ editorial in 2004 is credited with inspiring the Tuidang, or ‘quit the Party,’ movement.
“The Communist Party has become corrupt to the core,” said Han Lianshan, the spokesman for League in Defense of Hong Kong’s Freedoms. “We can no longer be silent about the CCP’s suppression of Hong Kong people, of Chinese people.”
Prior to the handover of Hong Kong back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the city enjoyed relative political, legal, and economic independence as a British colony. Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the two countries agreed that Hong Kong would continue to have those freedoms post-1997, under the “one country, two systems” principle of governance.
As a result, practitioners of Falun Gong in Hong Kong can freely practice their peaceful meditation and organize activities.
Luo Yu, a princeling son of Luo Ruiqing, former top general of the People’s Liberation Army, also expressed support for the Tuidang movement, calling on all those “with a conscience” to quit the Party.
The parade began in the afternoon, starting at King’s Road Playground, North Point, and ending at the Liaison Office, the headquarters of the mainland Chinese authorities overseeing Hong Kong affairs. The parade attracted the attention of many Hong Kong citizens and mainland Chinese tourists, who stopped to watch and take photos.
Hong Kong citizen Mr. Li said it was unfortunate that the CCP has kept ordinary citizens in the dark by slandering and attacking Falun Gong.
Mr. Liu from Shenzhen City in southeastern China said this was his first time witnessing a Falun Gong parade, adding that he was surprised to see so many adherents practicing their faith openly. He said he supported Falun Gong practitioners exercising their freedom of belief, something the Chinese constitution is supposed to guarantee its citizens.
“Truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance are certainly good qualities,” Liu said.