NEW YORK -- The long arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has influenced the make-up of today's Chinese New Year parade in New York City's Chinatown with disturbing ramifications for both the Chinese community as well as the freedoms enjoyed by Americans more broadly.
Despite running an advertisement in Chinese language media indicating that everyone is welcome to participate, an application from the local Falun Gong association to participate in the parade was rejected by parade organizers, saying the rejection was “due to the unsettled conflict your organization has with numerous community groups.”
However, Falun Gong has always been a peaceful and integral part of the Chinese community. The only "conflict" arose when, beginning in July 1999, the Chinese regime launched a violent campaign to stamp out the practice in China. Today, Falun Gong practitioners constitute the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China. Thousands have been tortured to death, and tens of millions of Chinese citizens who practice Falun Gong live each day under threat of arbitrary detention, wrongful imprisonment, torture or death.
As part of this campaign, Chinese embassies and consulates world-wide work to marginalize and silence Falun Gong overseas. Testifying before Congress on July 21, 2005, former Chinese consul for political affairs Mr. Chen Yonglin revealed that every Chinese embassy and consulate worldwide is required to have at least one officer in charge of spying on and suppressing Falun Gong in their respective host countries.
Falun Gong represents the very essence of Chinese culture, embracing traditional ideals that are thousands of years old. Part of that rich heritage has, over the centuries, yielded some of the world's most profound disciplines and philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The Communist regime that currently rules China was an import from the West and one that maintains power through violence and suppression.
It is, therefore, sad and unfortunate that on a day meant to celebrate traditional Chinese culture, it is the influence of the CCP that will be on display in New York City’s Chinatown, while those who represent wholesome, traditional Chinese culture have been pushed aside.
What's perhaps most disconcerting are the ramifications for the people who live and work in Chinatown. Today, it is a parade, but tomorrow, what other aspects of their lives will be encroached upon and manipulated by a totalitarian regime halfway around the world? No one in America should accept living under such a shadow.
For interviews regarding parade rejection or other CCP interference on U.S. soil, please contact:
Dr. Damon Noto: 917-912-4858; Levi Browde: 845-418-4870