Petition by Villagers on Falun Gong Resounds at Top of Regime

May 26, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
An image of Wang Xiaodong,
An image of Wang Xiaodong, supplied by family, before his arrest. (The Epoch Times)

An appeal by 300 village households calling for the release of a detained Falun Gong practitioner has shaken the upper echelons of the Chinese regime, according to an inside source, prompting reflection within the regime about the sense of an often violent political campaign against a popular spiritual practice that has gone on for nearly 13 years.

Earlier this month 300 villagers from Zhouguantun Village, Botou City, Hebei Province, as representatives of their households signed a petition using their full names and thumbprints, calling for the release of a man named Wang Xiaodong, who was being held in custody because of his spiritual beliefs.

Wang was charged with producing and distributing compact discs containing information exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, and the actual beliefs of the Falun Gong practice, which has been maligned by the Communist Party since it began its campaign against the group in 1999. Wang’s house was raided by National Security police. His arrest left his 7-year-old son and elderly mother, who is in her seventies, to fend for themselves.

Villagers were outraged at the affair, given that Wang was a well-known teacher in the village, known to and respected by residents.

After signing the petition villagers were subsequently harassed and intimidated by security forces, who attempted to make them retract their statements.

The petition resonated within Party Central, however, setting off an intense debate about the Communist Party’s costly and unsuccessful campaign against Falun Gong, according to a well-placed source.

“Many top executives are talking about this event and most of them are urging for a peaceful resolution. Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang have consulted Zhu Rongji [a former premier), who said the government’s handling of the 4.25 event was a complete failure. Li Ruihuan himself practiced Falun Gong and has been a clear supporter of Falun Gong,” the insider said. The reference to “4.25” means April 25, 1999, when over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the petition office in Beijing asking the Party to stop harassing Falun Gong adherents.

The insider said that relatively liberal Party officials, like Zhu Rongji and Li Ruihuan, had tried to stop the persecution but could not.

The source, who spoke to The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity because revealing state secrets can result in the death penalty in China, said that local officials handling Wang Xiaodong’s case have been frustrated and exhausted since the petition was submitted. They had not expected an outcome so serious, and their higher-ups have instructed them to use all their resources to track down and retrieve the original letter.

“With the petition by these 300 villagers, the Communist Party’s efforts to demonize Falun Gong will soon be reversed,” the source said.

Read the original Chinese article.

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

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