A former state senator shared his concerns over the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in California and how he became a “terrorist” to the Chinese government for advocating for human rights.
Joel Anderson, a San Diego County Supervisor and former state senator and assemblyman, said he was prohibited from entering China after he issued a recognition acknowledging the anniversary of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice composed of meditative exercises and moral teachings originating in China in 1992.
“I got a six-page letter from the Chinese government saying that I was now considered a terrorist, and if I go to China that I will be arrested and sentenced,” Anderson said during an interview with EpochTV's "California Insider" program.
Anderson said he began looking into the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners after one of his constituents sent in a letter requesting him to rescue her mother, a U.S. citizen who practices Falun Gong, who was arrested in China for her beliefs.
Anderson said he was shocked when he learned about the CCP’s organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
“They were being harvested like cattle to sell their body parts to tourists who are on medical tourism,” he said.
Anderson found there were already five countries that have stopped all medical tourism to China.
“Because you could literally order a kidney, a lung, any body part you wanted, and you could show up and have the surgery,” he said.
The average wait time for patients who need a kidney transplant is between three and five years in the United States, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
“It’s wrong. It violates every human right,” he said.
Anderson later proposed a bill expressing support for Falun Gong practitioners in the United States and China.
After its proposal in 2017, the Chinese consulate in San Francisco sent a letter to members of the state legislature, denouncing Falun Gong and claiming the bill might “deeply damage the cooperative relations between the State of California and China, and seriously hurt the feeling of Chinese people and the vast Chinese community in California.”
After receiving the letter, many legislators no longer supported the resolution, including those who co-authored it.
Then-Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, who now is a Los Angeles city councilman, shelved the bill without a vote or discussion.
Anderson said a similar resolution had been proposed three times in Congress, and some congressmen from California supported it, but legislators from the same districts refused to go near it after receiving the letter.
“It was shocking to me that the Chinese government had so much influence in our state,” he said.
Anderson said that many residents and politicians at the local level don't understand the CCP’s influence in California because the Chinese regime is only interested in cities that exert a greater impact in society in relation to economy and politics.
“The influence of the Chinese consulate in San Franscico is overwhelming and is well known,” he said.
Anderson praised former President Donald Trump for being the first president to stand up to China and its hegemony as well as its influence throughout the world.
“Sadly, once he left the office, the new administration has embraced this and allowed them greater latitude, and I have great fear,” he said.
Anderson encouraged Americans to write to their legislators and ask them to call on China to stop the genocide against people of faith.
“California is an incredible state with wonderful resources. If we want to be the leaders we say we are, then our actions have to reflect it," he said. "All I'm asking is that they stand up and be consistent with their policies and hold China to the same standard that they hold Texas.”