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Winston Liu: Jailed By The Chinese Communist Party CCP

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Raleigh, NC –

I am very grateful to be invited to this boot camp and share my story of being persecuted under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

I am a computer control engineer. I used to be a member of China’s academic elite before 2005 when I was in China. But, never, in my wildest dreams, did I expect to be thrown into detention or prison, brutally tortured and abused, physically and mentally, between 1999 and 2003.

I survived on the verge of a mental disorder.

My ex-wife and I had been waiting for 14 years to get together but ended up with a divorce.

Why did the Chinese Communist Regime target me? Because I refused to give up my faith in Falun Gong.

Back in 1999, I was a Ph.D. candidate at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University. People call it “Chinese MIT.” This picture shows the building of the Thermal Engineering Department, where I spent a lot of time in the Lab.

Before practicing Falun Gong, my life was filled up by modern science; however, with the Chinese regime’s wholesale destruction of China’s traditional cultural values, my spiritual life was empty. Many times, I asked myself, “who am I? Am I stupid not to compromise ethic values for exchanging benefits?”. Chinese people in my age did not mind taking advantage of others due to lacking of moral standards.

A year earlier, in 1998, I was fortunate to find my faith in Falun Gong. It became extremely popular in the 1990s in China. Falun Gong is an advanced self-cultivation practice rooted in ancient Buddhist and Taoist philosophies that facilitate the transcendence of body, mind, and spirit. This picture shows five sets of gentle exercises and meditation. Practitioners emphasize a balance among the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

Falun Gong helped me reconnect with our 5000-year-old spiritual heritage and fill the empty void in my heart. I received guidance in how I could be more responsible to myself and others. I still remember those wonderful days as I became a kinder and more energetic person with inner peace.

Unlike the Communist regime, Falun gong never forced me to do anything. Our teacher, Li Hongzhi, asked for no money, no worship, and no dictate.

My life was so meaningful when I married in June 1999, one month before the Communist regime launched a campaign against Falun Gong. My ex-wife was a practitioner as well who studied in the Master’s program of Microelectronic engineering.

Suddenly, everything changed.

July 20, 1999, is the date I can never forget. Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong. He mobilized the entire Chinese communist infrastructure, with a 50-year history of persecuting Chinese people, to eradicate Falun Gong. Jiang made the policies for law-enforcement officers – “Destroy their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and eliminate them physically.”

Since that time, my people have been subject to hate propaganda portraying us as sub-human, designed to justify the persecution in the eyes of Chinese people. I clearly remember that propaganda campaign was running 24/7 on all media. The dehumanizing propaganda instilled hatred toward Falun Gong into many Chinese people’s minds, who thus view Falun Gong as an enemy of the state. This picture shows a street exhibit denouncing Falun Gong.

  • One of the CCP officials called me to his office. I told him the truth of Falun Gong. He said: “I do not care what you say. You are wrong as long as the Communist regime labeled you as an enemy. How can you dare not follow the command from the Communist party? Good or bad is not a deal of common values. It is up to the communist regime’s definition.”
  • Later, I was suspended from school. CCP official told me that I was not qualified as a Ph.D. candidate until I give up Falun Gong.

Since July 20th, I had lived in extreme fear. Almost every week, I learned someone I knew was arrested and tortured. Sometimes, I heard practitioners were tortured to death because zealous CCP officials tried to break them, either for monetary bonuses or favors from superiors. Every time, I trembled at the thought of what may happen to me.

NO place to hide! One day in Jan. 2000, a CCP official knocked on my door. She said, “go with me, no question.” We stopped at a hostel 40 miles away from Beijing city. I was surprised when I saw my parents when they arrived. My parents never practiced Falun Gong. CCP officials leveraged them to break my will in the following 15 days. My mom wept in front of me frequently, distressing about the implication of my future and fearing for my life. She got sick seriously and could not fall into asleep every day. CCP officials did not offer any treatment. We were not allowed to step out hostel. Some people were arranged to monitor us.

After that, I realized that fear and hiding did not help. Speak up, stand up, expose evil things CCP committed against Falun Gong; these are actions I should take. I became fearless.

Here are two pictures published on the internet. Falun Gong practitioners who are holding a banner and being assaulted are not me, but I had the same experience on June 18, 2000, when I appealed in Tiananmen Square by holding a banner for the end of persecution. In the following 38 days, I was detained, charged with so-called “suspected illegal Falun Gong gathering.”

After I was released, I wrote an article about my experience. It was published in the overseas Minghui.org website. It irritated CCP authorities again.

On Jan. 1st, 2001, Policemen broke into my apartment in the early morning, abducted my ex-wife and me, delivered us to a detention center. They searched every room, took my personal properties to the police station, such as computer, banking card, cash, and valuables, and never returned. After a year’s detention, I was accused of publishing information about Falun Gong on Internet and spreading it. At the end of the trial, I was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

My ex-wife was sentenced to 12 years. The criteria of years of execution were how widely an individual spreads the truth of Falun Gong.

In the detention center, the police encouraged other inmates to pour cold water from a tap onto my naked body. It continued half-hour in the coldest season of winter until I was completely unconscious. And then they throw me on the floor without covering. I revived after a couple of hours. There was no human dignity at all. The feeling was something I never would recall.

In prison, the mental torture I endured was worse than the physical abuse. I spent six months in solitary confinement in a 70-square-foot room, utterly deprived of human contact. Police officers told me directly that they would try to drive me insane if I continued practicing Falun Gong. Towards the end of my jail time, my hair had turned to grey, and I was on the verge of mental collapse.

In prison, I also received an extensive medical exam. One day in July of 2002, 40 practitioners in prison were guided by the guards to the hospital associated with prison. I got a blood test, X-ray exam, eye exam, urine test, and more. We were told that these are regular health assessments for every prisoner.

It turned out that police lied to us. Other prisoners never received such extensive medical exams. Obviously, it targeted only Falun Gong practitioners. Why? I did not have an answer until 2006 when two lawyers investigated the allegation of forced organ harvesting in China. I believe that I had been one of the unwilling organ donors since medical exams in prison. I could be killed at any time as long as my physical indexes matched with a patient who was looking for an organ. I just got so much luck to be standing here with you today.

In August 2005, I fled to Canada after being admitted with a scholarship by the University of Calgary. When the plane departed Beijing airport, I breathed a sigh of relief. [sigh, pause] I said to myself: Goodbye, endless fear! Goodbye, assault and harassment! Bye, mom and dad, sister and brother, my love, I am sorry for leaving this country, take care of yourselves. Then…. I cried……

When I saw local Falun practitioners going through the exercises together in the park, I could not hold my tears in the eyes. Freedom, it is not just a word; it is something I can touch.

I am so lucky compared to millions of Falun Gong practitioners who were jailed, tortured, or killed in the past 22 years. And the persecution is still going on in China today.

After my speech, one of the first questions likely to be raised is: Why did the CCP go after Falun Gong?

According to the Freedom House Special Report released in 2017, there are four fundamental conflicts between Falun Gong and CCP shown here:

  • Popularity
  • Independent network in society
  • Ideological competition between universal principles and communist ideology
  • Competition for People’s hearts and minds

Communist ideology is the foundation to demand loyalty to the CCP. For the purpose of establishment of political power, CCP turned community harmony into hostility, hatred, and struggle. For example, the rural society was initially harmonious, and the relations between landlord and tenants were not entirely confrontational. But CCP made lies to tenants using the so-called “Class Struggling Theory” to incite hatred because they need hatred to stir up the struggle. Inciting the masses to struggle against each other is a classic trick of the communist regime. It resulted in many cases in which Chinese people brought harm to others, even adding insult to injury, typically during Cultural Revolution in 1960 and 1970. Chinese people were hurt deeply. When Falun Gong came out, people were excited because Falun Gong is rooted in traditional Buddhist culture and encourages empathy and harmony among people, without any political motivation. Therefore, Falun Gong became popular in all walks of life.

As the result of the conflicts, there was a period of growing repression from 1996 to 1999 before it became nationwide persecution. Even though many in the CCP held favorable views of Falun Gong, several top CCP leaders began viewing Falun Gong’s beliefs and values as a threat to fundamental principles of Marxism, resulting in periodic acts of repression. During the time, we could practice in public, but Falun Gong’s primary book “Zhuan Falun” was banned in 1996. Also, state-run media outlets smeared Falun Gong intermittently.

Responded to the acts of suppression, Falun Gong practitioners appealed to government and media outlets. The last one, also the largest one, was on April 25, 1999. More than 10,000 practitioners appealed to the CCP leadership at central government. Later, the CCP dictator used this event to paint Falun Gong as a threat to their power and launched a campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. I joined the appeal on that day. Nobody forced me to be there. It was volunteer completely.

A picture shows you practitioners are standing on the sidewalk, facing the entrance of the central government compound. I was there. It was so peaceful. Even police officers praised us as great people. They could never be such relax in front of the appeal.

I hope the answer to “why CCP goes after Falun Gong” can help you understand what is unfolding in the USA today. Have you found similarities? [pause] for example, “Critical Race Theory” vs. “Class Struggling Theory.” I found a lot of similarities, specifically, reasons for continuous attacks on those American patriots who hold traditional values. You may doubt, but in my eye, CCP has been inside America. They have launched another campaign to eliminate American core values and patriots. I grew up in China. CCP’s ambition of ruling the world was in my textbooks from elementary school to college.

While it sounds hard to believe, right? Let us look at something you have suffered, the impacts to the west because of tolerating CCP’s persecution against Falun Gong.

First of all, loss of lives and personal freedom. CCP covered up the outbreak of the coronavirus. I heard about the outbreak in Dec. 2019. As a person growing up in China, I have more channels to obtain China’s information than the western. And I knew that CCP would cover up. For people growing up in America, they thought cover-up was a joke. But for the Chinese, we all knew that cover-up is the common response of the communist government to Civil emergency events and human rights abuse. This is not a topic for debate at all. (Actually, my father was a government official in China). When the CCP shut down travel from Wuhan to other cities in China on Jan 23, 2020, they had learned for a while that the virus has the character of person-to-person transmission. But before Jan 23, they kept international flights from Wuhan to other countries, allowing the virus to spread all over the world.

If the west requested transparency in China’s health system in the issue of organ transplant abuse, America could control the spreading of the virus from Dec. 2019. I was frustrated when I heard the Trump administration locked the USA in Feb. 2020. Too late! Two months earlier, think about it; a lot of lives can be saved.

The second impact is your job and money loss. One of my co-workers asked me last year: do you believe CCP stole intellectual property from America? I said: yes, 100%. He was shocked a little bit and asked for evidence. I said: well, the FBI can provide evidence to you. But I can tell you my own observation. You have this question because you assume that Chinese scholars hold the same moral standards as you. It is wrong. Since 1999, CCP has attacked Falun Gong’s principles for 22 years. It corrupted deeply the moral fabrics of Chinese society. Some Chinese scholars would not feel shame when they could steal American research works, typically, when CCP encouraged them to do so. They would be proud of their contribution to China’s development or be able to satisfy own selfish purpose. I used to be in the world of academic elites. I know this is real. But making it clear, I am not pointing to all Chinese scholars, just some of them.

So far, I believe you have created a full picture of Falun Gong. But I know you still have one question: Why haven’t I heard of the genocide before now? How has western media handled this?

This is a very interesting question, though. If you could understand it, you would be an expert in terms of CCP’s infiltration into America and the nature of liberal elite culture.

Not very accurate, but generally speaking, the roles of western media changed twice. At the beginning of persecution, western media reported on the Falun Gong repression regularly. Many journalists tried to dig the truth.

Then, the issue was somewhat ignored or biased. New York Times led the way. Actually, there was a meeting between New York Times publisher and the former CCP dictator in Aug. 2001. Perhaps it has something to do with the meeting. After the meeting, nytime.com was unblocked in China. Do you still read NY Times?

Not surprisingly, self-censorship among journalists has become the norm.

In recent years, even worse, some US Media distribute CCP hate against Falun Gong. A series of news and magazine articles distort the teachings and beliefs of Falun Gong. Why would they do this? When progressive journalists found, the victim group of Falun Gong is not useful for their social agenda, even though Falun Gong practitioners never attempted to impose their views on anyone, liberal elites viewed Falun Gong’s teachings and values as a threat to their agenda. It reveals the hypocrisy of an elite culture. When you recall the reasons “why CCP goes after Falun Gong,” do you find the similarity again? In my eyes, progressive agenda is just another form of communist ideology wrapped by a different color. The book published by The Epoch Times, “How the Specter of Communism is ruing our world,” explained this fact very well.

The website is in this handout sheet. If you are interested, please pick up a sheet for yourself. It includes other internet resources as well.

Let us move to the next common question: How have Falun Gong practitioners responded to the persecution?

We believe the best way to counter the CCP’s attack is to facilitate changes inside China. Chinse people were surrounded by anti-Falun Gong propaganda. If they could access free information and more exposure to good values, they would be less likely to become the CCP’s accomplices or advance its agenda in the international community.

Knowing that, and the fact that CCP controls all media channels in China, Falun Gong practitioners launched the largest information campaign in modern history as non-violent resistance against CCP’s oppression.

Across China, practitioners have been operating 200,000 or more underground printing houses to produce fliers, brochures, information DVDs. And then, tens of millions of practitioners distribute to every home in every town or city, often at night, at great personal risk.

In response to internet censorship, overseas practitioners formed a team of computer scientists, including Ivy-League graduates, developed the most successful internet freedom software, helped millions in China breakthrough CCP’s great firewall.

To counter propaganda in the CCP-controlled media, some practitioners started their own newspaper, TV station, and radio station – first in Chinese and then in dozen other languages.  These are independent media organizations. They don’t represent or speak for Falun Gong. One brand you may be familiar with: The Epoch Times, focusing on truth and tradition. “AllSides” is an organization with a reputation that monitors media bias. Last year, it rated The Epoch Times news reporting as the most neutral among several other mainstream media, including The New York Times, AP, BBC, and Bloomberg.

These efforts began with no funding and with no centralized organizations behind them.

All these efforts have made a profound impact on Chinese society. And it has evolved into the “End CCP” movement in 2005. As a result, to date, over 380 million Chinese people have withdrawn from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Most used pseudo-names to avoid CCP’s retaliation. This is a phenomenon similar to what happened right before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Sometimes, Chinese people who were brainwashed by CCP questioned our motivation. Again, we are not interested in political power. We do not have political agenda. However, from Falun Gong’s teachings, we do believe that the path to personal salvation is achievable through the improvement of the soul. How to improve? Returning to tradition, rejecting CCP will reconnect you to the divine, to God.

I hope my insights about the CCP can help you understand what is unfolding in the USA today. It disturbs me, though, when I recall memory. I fled China for freedom; I don’t want to lose freedom again. I believe you don’t either.

When I saw the struggle and hatred that happened at American land recently, my heart was broken. I love this country. Not only is the USA a beacon of hope for the oppressed, but also I met so many great people with wonderful hearts. I do not see myself as a dissident, but I do believe: universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, exist above time and human opinion.

What is true remains true, even when it is ignored; the good is still good, even when it is persecuted. Those, who return to tradition, reject communism will have their reward by the divine, by God.

God bless America

Thank you

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