Mr. Chen Yonglin met us for coffee in a suburban hotel outside of Washington, D.C. "Now I don’t have to worry about being sent back to China," he told us. Chen is a former Chinese diplomat who recently defected to Australia. This Chinese insider caused an uproar in the Australian media when he exposed the extensive Chinese spy network in Australia and the Australian administration’s policy of appeasing China. The Chinese communist regime was so angry at being exposed that it sent a hit squad to Australia to assassinate him. He was here in Washington to testify before a House of Representatives International Relations Subcommittee hearing on Human Rights. Chen shared with Chinascope his inner struggle as a Chinese diplomat and the reason why he decided to leave his post and his country.
From a Red Diplomat to a Defector
Growing Up Under the Red Flag
Like most of those who were born in the 1960s in China, Chen had a simple life trajectory. In 1968, he was born into an intellectual family in Zhejiang Province. Scoring high in the national college-entrance exam, he was admitted in 1985 to the China University of Foreign Affairs. He graduated in 1991 with a double bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs and in English. In his 14-year diplomatic career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked on political analysis and twice went on a mission to Australia. Before defecting to Australia last May, he was the First Secretary and Consul for Political Affairs in the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney.
Chen grew up during the Cultural Revolution, a period of chaos and tragedy that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leader Mao Zedong brought upon China. In 1966 Chairman Mao, out of his need to solidify his power and forever change China, started the Cultural Revolution that brought the Chinese populace into revolutionary, feverish, political struggles. Law and order were trampled in Chen’s hometown, just like everywhere else in China. His father, a graduate from the elite Tsinghua University, was put in a vocational home in 1971. Later, when the village leaders brought cases against some villagers, the villagers asked him to write out their appeals. When he did, the village leaders arrested him and tortured him to death. Chen was only three years old when his father died. His brother was five and his sister was two. His mother earned 24 yuan (~US$3.00) per month as an elementary school teacher in the village, and the family of four could barely survive. The tragic death of his father cast a shadow on Chen; it made him study harder and think more deeply.
In Beijing Foreign Affairs College
Upon entering the University of Foreign Affairs in 1985, at the age of 15, Chen began to read Western philosophy books. China’s economic reform at the time led to an intellectual opening to the West. Non-communist books and ideas became selectively available in the universities and pro-democratic thinking was gaining support among students. At that point, he realized the cause of his father’s tragic death: It was not just due to a few bad individuals; it was caused by the inhumane political system itself.
The pro-democratic student movement in 1989 marked Chen’s life. He was a fourth-year student at the University of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. He was also interning at NBC and guided its camera crew. One day, he saw a Western reporter jot down, "Communism is on the brink of collapse." Chen could not believe the prediction. The communist system had been the only political system he knew throughout his life. He couldn’t imagine any other political system emerging. Like many students, the life-long communist brainwashing shackled Chen’s mind. However, the Communist Bloc in Eastern Europe did indeed collapse within a few months, and Chen came to admire that Western journalist’s foresight. Chen believes that the journalist’s prediction is finally coming true in China; he thinks that the CCP is falling apart.
Like most of his classmates, in June 1989, Chen witnessed the People’s Liberation Army shooting the peaceful protestors and bystanders. He saw the bloody crackdown on the night of June 3 in Beijing. The PLA shot three students from the University of Foreign Affairs, severely wounding one. Afterward, the government denied that the PLA ever opened fire on the students. Instead they labeled the student movement a "riot." In order to get their graduation certificates from the University, Chen and his classmates had to write letters saying they regretted their participation in the Tiananmen Square uprising.
A Diplomat’s Contradiction
After graduation, Chen became a staff member in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). It appeared he was a lucky man with a good future. Working in the government guaranteed him a decent salary and a chance to travel on missions to foreign countries. He was the envy of his peers. During the years of his mission to Fiji and later to Australia, he researched local political affairs and followed major elections in Oceanic countries. His research enabled him to make pretty accurate predictions. Although his future as a young diplomat looked bright, Chen found his life depressing.
First, freedom of thought is not allowed in the MFA. The Ministry tells its staff that even regarding trivial matters the diplomats have no right to decide anything. They have to seek instruction from the central leaders. The Ministry has a motto, "Nothing is trivial in foreign affairs." In the name of national interest, low-level personnel must act as mindless machines in the government apparatus.
Second, distrust is the rule in the MFA. The MFA required all new staff members to participate in "political study" sessions for a year. Such long-term brainwashing was used on them because they were the "Tiananmen generation," the students who experienced the 1989 student movement. Actually, the MFA’s distrust of its own staff goes beyond the Tiananmen generation. Inside the Chinese foreign mission, every ordinary staff member is treated with suspicion. They have to live together in the dorms inside the Chinese mission. The senior staff randomly and arbitrarily searches their personal mail. At least two people must go together when attending any outside functions so that they can monitor each other. It is forbidden to make personal friends outside the Chinese Consulate. When a staff member goes outside the Consulate, he must first get approval from his supervisor and afterward he must report whom he has met.
Third, the performance of assignments may mean working against your own conscience. Chen’s promotion to the First Secretary for Political Affairs in the Consulate General in Sydney put him into a position where he often had to act against his conscience. He eventually realized that he had to defect in order to be true to himself and to secure his family’s safety.
In Charge of Suppressing Falun Gong
Chen reported to his new post in 2001. At that time, one of the central tasks in Chinese "political affairs" was the suppression of Falun Gong. Falun Gong is a form of personal cultivation, or qi-gong practice for mind and body that has its roots in traditional Chinese culture. It was the most popular qi-gong practice in the 1990s and many Chinese could be seen doing the exercises in the early morning. Because Falun Gong attained great popularity, however, in July 1999, the Chinese government decided to eliminate it. By 2001, by resorting to a variety of means including firing practitioners from their jobs, expelling them from school or subjecting them to detention, prison, brainwashing, and even torture and killing, the Chinese government severely abated Falun Gong practitioners’ protests in China. Outside of China, however, Falun Gong practitioners in many countries openly protested the persecution. Their public protests drew attention to China’s human rights violations and won international sympathy for the group. Consequently, the Chinese government ordered its diplomatic missions to make the suppression of overseas Falun Gong activities a top priority. Chen was assigned to take charge of the "struggle with Falun Gong" in the Consulate General.
Before he left for Australia, Chen was not familiar with Falun Gong and did not pay much attention to the persecution. People of his age had seen many political struggles and had become "numb." In a short time, his new assignment made him understand Falun Gong and the persecution very well.
The department of Political Affairs in the Consulate General has the primary responsibility for monitoring Falun Gong and for coordinating with other departments in the Consulate. This monitoring is not limited to searching the Internet and reading newspapers. It also includes attending the Falun Gong activities to collect their handouts and to take pictures of the participating practitioners. The Political Affairs department was able to get a state-paid vehicle assigned to its division so that it could follow Falun Gong practitioners, which it did frequently. As part of his duties, Chen regularly compiled the information on Falun Gong collected by the Consulate and sent a report to the MFA in Beijing. In his contacts with Falun Gong practitioners, Chen gradually found out that these practitioners were in fact nice individuals who should not be labeled as "state enemies."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up an Office of the Falun Gong Issue. It operates under the "610 Office" an agency so named because it was formed on June 10, 1999. The Chinese government vested the "610 Office" with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and over all other political and judiciary systems in order to persecute Falun Gong. "The Central 610 Office" apparently has other channels to spy on Falun Gong. Chen regularly received briefs from the MFA on overseas activities of Falun Gong, including things happening in Australia. The central government created a database containing information on overseas Falun Gong practitioners. The Chinese consulates have access to the database for the purpose of identifying Falun Gong practitioners as well as dissidents and others it wants to monitor. This database is known as the "blacklist" inside the circle. When a person goes to the Chinese Consulate to apply for an entry visa or, in the case of a Chinese citizen, to apply for a passport renewal, his or her name will be searched in the database. If the person’s name appears on the blacklist, his case will be "specially treated." If a Falun Gong practitioner applies for a visa application or passport renewal, he or she will be interviewed and persuaded to give up practicing Falun Gong. He or she has to show evidence of being persuaded by submitting a written "guarantee" to the Consulate. If the applicant refuses to comply, then the visa application or passport renewal will be rejected.
Chen explained his experience with Falun Gong, saying, "I found two characteristics in those Falun Gong practitioners: one is honesty, the other is kindness. When I ask someone if he is a Falun Gong practitioner, it’s very easy to know the answer. A practitioner either will admit it or will simply keep silent, but he will not tell a lie. Taking advantage of their honesty, the Consulate can easily identify them from all the other applicants coming to the visa office, and put their names in a database. We call it the blacklist. The Consulate has a policy toward the practitioners. If they come to renew their passport, we confiscate it. Unless they agree to write a ‘guarantee’ to renounce Falun Gong, we do not give it back, in order to make their lives more difficult. Normally most Chinese will not hesitate to write such a non-binding statement just to get things done with the Consulate, but Falun Gong practitioners are different. They will not betray their conscience."
Chen gradually changed his attitude toward Falun Gong practitioners, but at the same time he had to work on the assignment to suppress that same group of nice people. Chen saw a conflict between his career and his conscience.
Besides the "blacklist" that was centrally compiled and maintained by the Ministries of State Security and Public Security, each overseas consulate also created its internal blacklist of local Falun Gong practitioners. The difference between the two types of blacklists is how detailed and how accurate the information is. When sufficient information about a practitioner is reported to the State Security and Public Security Ministries, his or her information, including name, date of birth, passport number, address, and other personal information, is entered into the central blacklist. That central blacklist is accessible to all Chinese embassies and consulates around the world and to border checks in mainland China. The case will be immediately red-flagged if a person on that blacklist applies for entry to China.
The embassies and consulates in respective countries maintain their own local lists, which are normally not shared with other offices. Those local blacklists contain only incomplete information about the suspected Falun Gong practitioners. The Consulate needs to further complete the information. When Chen first arrived in Sydney, the Consulate’s blacklist had over 800 names of Falun Gong practitioners. Many of the entries contained just a name, and it was expected that Chen would complete the records. His conscience, however, led him to do the opposite.
Out of his sympathy for the practitioners and his discontent toward the persecution, Chen started to remove names from the internal blacklist. By the time Chen left his post, he had shrunk the blacklist to about 120 names. Chen’s successor planned to arrive in Sydney in early June and Chen would have to hand his files over to her. Chen realized that eventually the MFA would find out what he did to the blacklist. The Chinese communist government does not tolerate sympathy toward Falun Gong within its ranks. There had been reports that some government officials who helped Falun Gong practitioners ended up in forced labor camps.
Six Weeks of Hiding and Anxiety
Filled with fear and despair, Chen walked away from the Consulate General in Sydney on May 26 and asked the Australian government for asylum. Thus started his difficult path of breaking from the Chinese communist regime.
Chen later publicly acknowledged that, "To break with the communist regime is the most joyful choice of my life and yet the most difficult to make." However, within 24 hours, the Australian government rejected his application for political asylum. Chen knew that some officials inside the Australian government were eager to appease the Chinese government. Yet he had confidence that, in a democratic system, human rights would not be traded for business. The reality however was disappointing.
Chen found out on May 26 that the Australian government informed the Chinese Consulate about his seeking protection. The immigration officials actually contacted the Chinese Consulate to "check identity." Chen believed that action put him in danger and he immediately went into hiding. On May 31, 2005, Chen met with an official from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He was told that his application for political asylum had been refused, but he could apply for a refugee protection visa instead. These Australian officials repeatedly told Chen that people at the Chinese Consulate were worried about him. They urged him to consider going back.
The refugee protection visa normally takes months to process. It appeared to Chen that it was a way for DFAT to win the Chinese Consulate time to get Chen back. It was later confirmed in an Australian Senate inquiry that the decision to reject Chen’s asylum application came from the Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. In addition, Downer told Parliament that he had spoken to the Chinese ambassador, Fu Ying, about the matter before Chen went public.
Chen went to the public for help. On June 4, 2005, he showed up at a public rally in Sydney commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. Chen made a speech at the rally, announcing that he had left the Chinese Consulate and was seeking political asylum because he detested the Chinese government’s violation of human rights, and because he sympathized with the Falun Gong practitioners under persecution. He expressed fear for his life, as he was facing the risk of being sent back to China and jailed. Chen told reporters that he had discovered that Chinese agents were searching for him.
Chen also disclosed to the public that there were about 1,000 Chinese secret agents and informants in Australia, and that agents from China had committed acts of kidnapping on Australian soil. At the rally, Chen also saw faces from the Consulate.
On the same day, Chen submitted a public statement to the Chinese-language newspaper The Epoch Times‘ "Quitting the CCP" website to formally renounce his membership in the Chinese Communist Party.
Chen’s story drew a lot of public attention. While Chen and his family continued to stay in hiding, Australians questioned whether their government sold out his human rights to the Chinese government. The Australian parliament became very concerned, holding inquiries and hearings to determine whether the administration handled Chen’s asylum case properly. At the same time, the Chinese Embassy tried hard to do damage control, both in the public media and behind closed doors, to discredit Chen and to make a deal with the Australian officials for Chen’s return. A former colleague of Chen’s from the Consulate told him that Chinese authorities were "100 percent sure" that they would be able to take him back to China.
Fortunately for Chen, the Australian media intensively covered Chen’s stories. They scrutinized what seemed to be suspicious dealings between the Australian and the Chinese governments. One security expert told Australia’s media that the administration’s handling of Chen’s asylum was a "monumental bungling, or there’s something more sinister." Chen’s case soon became a hot potato for both governments. Then, on July 8, Australia granted a permanent protection visa to Chen and his family. Six weeks previously, his asylum application was almost instantaneously rejected. Thanks to the publicity, the 24 hours it took for approval of his protection visa was one of the quickest in Australia’s history. Chen was relieved when he finally got the protection. He can now look to the future for a new life of freedom.
Communist China’s Strategy for Australia
In recent years, people have noticed a number of incidents of the Australian administration appearing to sell out human rights principles in order to appease the Chinese communist leaders:
From March 2002 to June 2005, Foreign Minster Downer issued 38 certificates in succession to prevent protesting Falun Gong practitioners from using banners and amplified music in front of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. On June 8, 2005, practitioners filed a lawsuit against Downer in the Australian Capital Territory’s Supreme Court in Canberra, seeking an injunction to stop the ban.
In July 2004, political dissident Yuan Hongbing, the dean of a Chinese law school, and his assistant Ms. Zhao Jing applied for asylum when they arrived in Australia on an official tour. It was right before the Chinese foreign minister, Tang Jiaxuan, was to visit Australia. The Australian government, in an apparent act of appeasement, rejected Ms. Zhao’s asylum application in less than a week, leaving overseas Chinese dissidents stunned.
In May 2005, almost 50 Chinese refugee applicants held in Australian immigration detention centers were put in isolation for up to two and a half weeks and interrogated by officials of the Chinese government. According to the Asylum Seeker Resource Center, "Basically, the Chinese officials were given carte blanche to interview anyone who was Chinese. That included those who were seeking asylum from the Chinese government. It’s unbelievable that the Australian government allowed their potential persecutors to interrogate them and get their details, including those of their families and children."
Chen knows the inside stories.
"Turn Australia into a Second France"
"China seeks to make Australia part of its ‘great border zone,’" Chen said. "They want to turn Australia into a second France that will not side with the United States."
In February of 2005, Zhou Wenzhong, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time and now Beijing’s ambassador to Washington, held a meeting at the Chinese Embassy in Australia with the ambassadors and consul-generals to Australia and New Zealand, and consuls in charge of political affairs. Chen attended that meeting.
"The main focus was how to implement the decision that was made during the 10th Meeting of the Chinese Envoys in Foreign Counties held in mid-August of 2004, at the suggestion of Hu Jintao, to make Australia part of the ‘Great Border Zone’ of China. All the consulates were asked to present their view and ideas for the next step," said Chen.
During the meeting, Zhou Wenzhong shared information about the CCP central government’s strategic plan for Australia and the United States, worrying about the close ties between these two democratic countries. The Central Committee was determined to break the military alliance between them and turn Australia into a second France. Chen explained, "They hope to shape Australia into a country that dares to say, ‘No’ to the United States." He claimed that it was all part of Communist China’s global strategy.
The paramount Chinese communist leader Deng Xiaoping laid out a strategy for China: "Hide our capabilities, and bide our time." The communist regime, after 30 years of class struggle from 1949 to 1979, brought China to the brink of economic collapse. Deng wisely figured out that in order to save the regime it must halt political struggles and make economic development its top priority. The Chinese communist leaders fully believe that "sooner or later there will be an inevitable war between the United States and Communist China." The Party leadership recognizes the need to "bide time" to modernize and prepare China for that "inevitable" battle. According to Chen, "The Chinese Communist Party considers the United States to be its largest enemy, the major strategic rival." He pointed out how important it is to understand this U.S. factor in analyzing China’s diplomacy.
By the end of the 20th century, China declared it had reached a milestone in its economic development: China became a well-off society. The CCP started to look to its next goal: By 2020, before the Party’s 100th birthday, China should be able to contend with the United States in overall strength. According to the CCP’s calculations, China will dominate the Asian and Pacific region, while Europe will continue forming its own union and move further away from the Atlantic Alliance; the United States will continue to dominate North and Central America. If things go this way, China will arise as a regional superpower within two decades. Australia is not within those regional blocks, but its abundant natural resources and strategic South Pacific location is very attractive to the ambitious CCP leaders, and the U.S.-Australia military alliance agreement is a concern for the Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
The Hot Sweet Business Deals
In 2002, China sensed that Australia was rethinking its business trade strategy, planning to give up ties with Asia in favor of stronger ties with the United States. At that time, the free trade negotiations between Australia and the United States were at a high point. Australia had high hopes of being included in the North America Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, Australia was bidding for a large deal with Guangdong Province in China.
The Chinese government sent its foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan to Australia in March 2002 to find out how China could be more attractive to Australia. In August, a few months after Tang’s visit, surprising news was published: China awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to Australian consortiums to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Guangdong Province for over 25 years. The contract, which was worth US$13.5 billion, had been open for bid for some time. Many analysts believed that the Indonesian company would win the contract. Out of its intention to win over Australia, the Chinese central government made sure the contract was awarded to Australia. To console Indonesia, it then offered an alternative not previously on the negotiation table.
Following that sweet treat, the Australian government became eager to promote business relations with China. According to a People’s Daily report, the overall annual trade value between the two countries has doubled in two years, reaching AUS$20.5 billion in 2004. Different from China-U.S. trade where China enjoys a big trade surplus, China imports more from Australia than it exports. Australia became a major metal supplier for China. Of all of the wheat China imports, the largest amount is from Australia. Close to 300,000 Chinese visited Australia on business travel between 2003 and 2004, and 163,000 more went as private tourists. Some Australian analysts estimate that up to 30 percent of Australia’s economic growth is due to increased export to China. At the same time, Chinese companies, many of which are state controlled, have started to invest directly in the Australian mining and energy industries. According to Chen, China is eager to get access to all of the mines in Australia.
The Human Rights Sacrifice
The sweet deals from China came at a price. The first thing that the Australian government had to do was to sacrifice human rights.
During his visit in March 2002, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jaixuan raised questions on certain issues, including Falun Gong. The Australian officials responded eagerly. On the day before Tang arrived in Canberra, Alexander Downer, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, signed an article banning Falun Gong practitioners from setting up signs and banners or using loud speakers to protest in front of the Chinese Embassy. "His move made the Chinese leadership very happy," noticed Chen.
In 2002, China held a 30-year anniversary celebration of the diplomatic relations between Australia and Communist China. The Chinese government sent many groups to Australia to promote Chinese culture and political ideology. Australia became a favored destination for high-level Chinese officials. It was understood that the host government would protect the "dignity of their mission."
"When Hu Jintao visited Australia in 2003, he received unprecedented protection in Canberra," said Chen. "Bob Brown, a Congressman with the opposition party Greens, was not allowed to enter the building where Congress was being held. The idea was to stop dissidents and Falun Gong practitioners from attending as the Congressman’s guests. Hu Jintao was delighted and commented to his staff that this was a sign that the Australian government could be influenced."
In 2005, when Wu Bangguo, the head of the Chinese National Assembly, visited Australia, he requested the same treatment: not to see or hear any protestors or dissidents.
A Disturbing Trend
Chen’s defection has brought to light how the communist regime has transformed a democratic government into its lapdog. Under the cover of bilateral relations in business and trade and of cultural exchange, the communist regime is eroding fundamental human principles and gradually infiltrating the West. Stories of the Australian government’s work with the Chinese government are good examples of how the communist regime infiltrates and erodes Western democracy.
Chen stated in an interview, "I have witnessed in my past four years working with the Chinese Consulate that the Australian government, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), has made a lot of compromises on sensitive issues of human rights and Chinese democracy issues."
For example, Chen claims the Australian government aided the Chinese authorities in quashing a lawsuit filed earlier this year in the Supreme Court of New South Wales by Australian citizens who practice Falun Gong. The lawsuit targeted the ex-president of China Jiang Zemin and the Gestapo-like "610 Office" for torture, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. According to Chen, the Downer Government offered legal assistance to China and worked in cooperation with Chinese authorities. If Chen’s claims are true, Downer is guilty not just of ignoring China’s abuses of human rights, but of actively condoning them.
On June 8, 2005, several Falun Gong practitioners launched legal action against Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in the Australian Capital Territory’s Supreme Court, alleging that his department has unfairly limited their freedom of expression by banning their banners across the road from the Chinese Embassy. Downer first issued the certificates on March 16, 2002. The certificates indicate that the banners should be removed, because they "impair the dignity of the [Chinese] mission." On March 28, 2002, federal police confronted Falun Gong practitioners who were holding a peaceful appeal in front of the Chinese Embassy. According to eyewitnesses, police acting under the Foreign Minister’s orders, forcefully removed banners bearing messages that included, "Stop the killing" and "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance." The ban continues to this day because Downer continues to sign similar certificates every month. (Each signing is only valid for a maximum of 30 days.)
Falun Gong practitioners are seeking an injunction to prevent Downer from issuing certificates under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunity Regulations, which prevent the use of banners in their human rights appeal outside the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.
The Australia Department of Foreign Affairs said that the rules are in line with an international agreement on the protection of the dignity and security of embassy staff.
Bernard Colleary, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said that this case is a test case for freedom of expression in Australia and urged Downer to fall in line with the pronouncements of the Australia Federal Court.
"Explosive" Testimony in the U.S. Congress
Congressman Chris Smith, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, invited Chen to speak to this subcommittee. Chen flew to Washington, D.C., to testify in front of the subcommittee on July 21, on the subject of Falun Gong and China’s continuing war on human rights.
All of the Congressmen present at the hearing strongly supported Chen’s testimony. Similar hearings concerning the persecution of Falun Gong have been held in the U.S. House of Representatives. In previous years, Congress passed resolutions to condemn the persecution in China. Chen, however, is the first witness who had direct information and evidence from working inside the Chinese Consulate.
Chen told the subcommittee that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is a systematic campaign. All the authorities, especially in the offices of Public Security, State Security, and Foreign Affairs are involved in the persecution. The directing center for the persecution is "The CCP Central Office of Handling the Falun Gong Issue," (the previously mentioned "610 Office"). The government later changed the name to "The Office of Preventing and Handling the Evil Cult Problem of the State Council," and the insiders always used the name, "The Central 610 Office." Massive and extremely harsh measures have been taken against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up the "Office of the Falun Gong Issue," operating under the general office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of the "610 Office" system. In July 2004, it changed its name to the "Department of External Security Affairs." In each Chinese mission overseas, there must be at least one official in charge of Falun Gong affairs.
In February 2001, the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney set up the "Special Group for Struggling Against the Falun Gong." This group is part of the "610 Office" system. Its sole task is to monitor and suppress Falun Gong. Similar Special Groups have been established in the Chinese missions in the United States and other countries where Falun Gong is active.
According to Chen, besides the diplomatic system, there is an intelligence system working against Falun Gong as well. There are over 1,000 Chinese secret agents and informants in Australia, and the number in the United States is at least that many. The CCP’s foreign policy on Falun Gong is to "fight intensely and give no ground, to attack at will, and aggressively."
Chen ended his testimony by saying, "Obviously, there is no freedom of religion and beliefs under the dictatorship of the CCP. The CCP should be stopped from persecuting the Falun Gong and other religious groups."
After Chen’s testimony, Congressman Chris Smith, Chairman of the Human Rights Subcommittee, commented, "Thank you very, very much. I know members in the committee realize your testimony is absolutely explosive for a man who worked for the government of the People’s Republic of China to come before a House committee that deals with human rights, and to tell us in such clear and unambiguous words that there is a war on the Falun Gong going on in China that is not just within the confines of the People’s Republic of China, but it is worldwide."
Victor Gu and Stephen Tian are correspondents for Chinascope.