Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries around the world, but relentlessly persecuted in China. The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world. While China continues to block all information, FGMtv brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to FGMtv on May 7th, 2002
I’m Susan Mitchell.
In this week's update from China…
· The number of Falun Dafa practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 405. However, reliable sources inside China put the actual death count at more than 1,700.
Our top story this week:
· Storms and drought affect China’s economy
Some of the other stories we're following:
· The Chinese Embassy in Austria threatens to cancel air traffic between Vienna and China if Falun Gong posters are not removed.
· An Ottawa practitioner is honored with an award for being an outstanding volunteer
· The South China Morning Post fires Beijing Bureau Chief because he criticized their policy of not reporting on issues like Falun Gong.
· and … a miracle story of survival in a Chinese coal mine explosion
Shortage of Water Resources in China affects economic productivity
· According to a report from the Chinese Central Agency on April 7th and a recent report in their Government newspaper, The People's Daily, the shortage of water resources has become a major factor limiting sustained economic and social development in China.
· Because of continuous drought over the past three years, incoming water volume has dropped in rivers and lakes and last year, the water level in reservoirs decreased by 11% compared with that at the same time the year before. 33 million people have had temporary difficulties in obtaining drinking water.
· For some cities it has been the most severe water deficiency since the party came to power.
· A senior manager in the Water Resource Bureau has said that resources are low right across the country.
· In fact, the average volume of water resources in China per person is 2,200 cubic meters, which is only about one quarter of that in other parts of the world.
· This is not an accident. The persecution of Falun Gong and the torture and murder of innocent people who practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is bringing disasters upon China.
· One after another, sandstorms have swept through the Northern parts of China, moving as far south as the Yangtze River.
· The most powerful sandstorm attacked Beijing on March 20, 2002. It also covered cities in the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Hebei and Shandong, as well as the autonomous regions of Xinjiang, Ningxia, and Inner Mongolia.
· Since April 11th, most of northern China has experienced cold weather with sand-filled winds – sometimes with gale-force gusts.
· After the summer of 1999, when Jiang Zemin and his regime began persecuting Falun Gong, the number of sandstorms has matched the total number of sandstorms in the past 50 years, with 32 in 2001. In the 1950's there were only 5 sandstorms.
· On January 22, 2002, Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong wrote a poem entitled: The Catastrophe
· In it he said: The dark, somber clouds have but a few days left/ With the bitter cold fully over, spring now appears/ Awakening, the sentient beings stand aghast at the things they see/ Half of China Proper covered by sand and dust
· Falun Dafa practitioners believe that this is not an accident, but just one part of the disasters that Jiang has brought to his people. In this way all Chinese people are victims of his persecution of Falun Gong.
Once again, China has extended its persecution of Falun Gong far beyond its borders – this time to Austria
· At the beginning of March, 2002 Vienna Airport authorities signed a six month advertising contract with a Salzberg practitioner after approving a series of Falun Gong posters for display in the airport
· After Jiang Zemin's visit to Germany, the Chinese Embassy contacted those same authorities and advised that if the posters were not removed, all air traffic between Vienna and China would be cancelled.
· Vienna Airport authorities bowed to China and removed the posters, breaking their contract with the Falun Gong practitioner.
April 27th was a special day for Falun Dafa practitioners in Boston.
· They were joined by 1300 fellow practitioners from all over the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Europe and elsewhere.
· During the day, a conference was held where 21 speeches were presented to share experiences ranging from personal meditation to inhuman torture while under illegal detention in Chinese labor camps. We say "illegal," because the Chinese government's current crackdown violates the country's constitution, that allows its citizens freedom of expression, freedom of belief and freedom of peaceful assembly.
· In the evening of April 27th, a magnificent concert was sponsored for the public by Friends of Falun Gong. It showcased the talents of many practitioners who had been held in high esteem in musical circles in China before the persecution began, as well as some non-Chinese practitioner performers.
The South China Morning Post has fired Jasper Becker, its former Beijing Bureau Chief
· Several leading international newspapers, including the London Financial Times and the Washington Post, ran articles to express their concern that press freedom in Hong Kong is being seriously eroded.
· In a letter to the Washington Post, titled, "Why I was fired in Hong Kong," Mr. Becker wrote:
· After the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, one of the toughest challenges facing the Chinese Communist Party was to gain control of the freewheeling media there.
· The Chinese-language press was the first target, and the process of subduing its boisterous members began even before 1997. Critical voices were targeted, often in creative ways. Some were flattered and won over, others bribed or threatened. Some journalists were fed stories to bring them into a collaborative and dependent relationship. Others were helped with favors; in one case Chinese officials paid the debts of a reporter's mistress.
· With the South China Morning Post, the problem was more difficult. It is in English and therefore widely read in the rest of the world so it serves as a barometer of Hong Kong's freedoms, which are supposed to be preserved for 50 years under the "one country, two systems" mantra.
· Thus the process of bringing it around to take a pro-Beijing stance is being carried out in a step-by-step way to avoid creating alarm. First it was acquired by a Chinese tycoon, Robert Kuok, who has big investments in China.
· Then the independent-minded editor, Jonathan Fenby, was replaced, followed by the features editor, Charles Anderson, and then Willy Lam, the China editor and prominent China-watcher, who was replaced by an editor trained at the mainland's China Daily. Other dismissals followed.
· Next on the list were the paper's news bureaus on the mainland. Here the key event was to transfer them from the supervision of the foreign ministry to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, which is responsible to the central government for supervising Hong Kong's affairs. This office said that the paper was not to have westerners reporting on China – only ethnic Chinese. Chinese originally from Hong Kong or the mainland are generally easier to intimidate, whatever passports they hold.
· The China editor urged us to attend more official briefings and stick closely to what officials said.
· Stories that made the front pages elsewhere, such as Falun Gong's brief takeover of the cable television network of Changchun in March, were buried in our paper. The preference was always to highlight the official reaction to such bad news rather than to investigate it.
· The process was by no means complete, however, and many resisted it; I still managed to get my views printed on the editorial pages.
· But the next stage became obvious when the China editor began to try exerting his control over the rest of the paper.
· When I went to express my concerns to the editor, and my fears that the change was becoming all too obvious to readers, I was quickly sacked for "insubordination" and refusing to buckle under to the China editor.
More Than 160 Non-practitioners in Northeastern China Sign Petition to Officially Clear Falun Dafa of Any Wrongdoing
· People who had been deceived by the lies fabricated by the Jiang Zemin regime's propaganda are gradually awakening.
· Recently in one city in Northeastern China, more than 160 courageous non-practitioners took the initiative to sign their names on a petition, requesting that the government officially clear Falun Dafa of any wrongdoing.
and finally … a miracle in a Chinese coal mine:
· A practitioner in China wrote to the Clear Wisdom Web site saying: I was on the wanted list by the police and "610 Office" for distributing Falun Dafa materials telling the truth of the persecution.
· Consequently, I was forced to become homeless to avoid further persecution.
· I found a temporary job in a coal mine, igniting explosives inside the mine. At about 6:00 p.m. on April 10, 2001, a newly hired worker (who was not familiar with the job yet) accidentally set off explosives that were beside me.
· The explosives were less than one meter from me and were more than enough to explode 1.5 tons of coal.
· I didn't have time to react and was thrown to the air. I hit the coal wall and then bounced down, but I landed on my feet. I moved my arms and legs and they were not broken. My headlight was out and I could not see anything.
· However, suddenly the mine was as bright as daylight. I was able to see the road in front of me. But when I looked back, it was dark again.
· When I got to the exit of the mine well, the workers there were all scared and sat down on the ground. I was not afraid at all. I knew that Teacher was protecting me and nothing could go wrong.
· My face was hurt the most, with cuts caused by small coal pieces all over. Coal pieces also penetrated through my clothes. The broken coal bits cut into my skin and all over my body.
· When I got to the hospital, the doctor took out all the broken coal bits. My friends worried about the scars from the wounds. I told them that I would not have any problem.
· Three days later, I could read the Falun Dafa book, Zhuan Falun, and practice the exercises as usual. Half a month later, all the wounds on my face and body were all cured and I had no scars.
· Many senior workers said, "This is really a miracle in coal mining history. Falun Dafa is really superb! Practitioners are really superb!"
The coal mine workers all know that this kind of accident is usually fatal. My body might have been blown up, or the explosion might have thrown me high up in the air and knocked me dead against the wall, or the huge coal chunks that broke off the wall might have smashed me to death, or I might be startled to death by the huge sound from the explosion. If I had not practiced Falun Dafa and if I had not received protection from Teacher, I would have died for sure.
Thanks for watching FGMtv, dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, revealing propaganda, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.