Chairman Guan Liang,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I'm very pleased to meet our friends, old and new, in New York. The vast number of overseas Chinese including the participants to this seminar here have had a strong attachment to their homeland and actively supported the national development back in China. I would like to hereby pay high regards and extend cordial greetings to all of you on behalf of our motherland and the Chinese people back at home.
In recent years, our great motherland has registered substantial development and progress in various undertakings. China's international standing is steadily enhanced and the livelihood of its people improved. It is the common aspiration of the Chinese people home and abroad to have a stable, prosperous, rich and strong motherland. However, the evil cult Falun Gong headed by Li Hongzhi went all out to make trouble, undermine the health, safety and even the life of people, disrupt national stability and development, thus bringing about very grave social consequences. All this has, of course, met with the unanimous denunciation and condemnation of all the Chinese people, our overseas compatriots included, and the entire international community. The overseas Chinese organizations in New York have organized many activities in active support of the position of the Chinese Government in handling the Falun Gong issue, and in which they strongly condemned the appalling atrocities of the evil cult Falun Gong, which has generated an extensive and positive impact and contributed greatly to the cult-combating efforts in China and the world at large.
It is known to all that Falun Gong is not a religion but an out-and-out cult that is anti-humanity, anti-society and anti-science. The self-immolation by Falun Gong practitioners in Tiananmen Square further reveals the cult nature of Falun Gong. It fully demonstrates that what this cult does is not to safeguard human rights but to trample on them, not to protect freedom but to stifle it. Like all other cult organizations in the world, it is a source of terror that threatens the life and property of people and the social stability.
However, refusing to admit its defeat, the evil cult headed by Li Hongzhi, continues to play its old trick of confusing truth and falsehood and misleading the media, vilify and attack the Chinese Government. It claims groundlessly that Falun Gong asks its practitioners to value their lives and does not stand out for suicides. It also claims that those who set themselves afire are not Falun Gong practitioners, that Falun Gong does not participate in politics, and that the Chinese Government has violated human rights by outlawing Falun Gong according to law. At the end of the day, rumors are just rumors, which are worth no comment. In face of the ironclad facts, the evil cult Falun Gong has become notoriously unpopular. The self-immolation by Falun Gong practitioners in Tiananmen Square is not an isolated incident. It was not the first time for the Falun Gong practitioners to behave in such a manner. Under the control of the heresies and fallacies of Li Hongzhi, some Falun Gong followers got mentally deranged, some delayed the medical treatment they needed, and some committed suicide by hanging themselves, jumping down from high-rise buildings or drowning themselves. Prior to this incident, the Falun Gong cult had already made tragedies, which led to 1700 deaths, and 650 people who got mentally deranged. It has deprived thousands of families of their family harmony and happiness and caused very serious social consequences. Li Hongzhi disseminated time and again his heresies of "enduring no more", "giving up what ordinary people pursue, including the pursuit of life", and "ascending to heaven for fulfillment". He has on many occasions declared a certain date as the time for ultimate fulfillment so as to induce and instigate Falun Gong practitioners under his mental control to make reckless moves and hoodwink people of good conscience. What I would like to stress here is that the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square was a result of exceptional mental control of the practitioners by Li Hongzhi with his heresy and fallacy. Those who tried tragically to burn themselves to death are innocent victims of the deception, poisoning and control of Li Hongzhi and the Falun Gong cult.
The Falun Gong cult advocates the worship of its ringleader. Li Hongzhi claims himself to be "a reincarnation of Sakyamuni" who obtained "Fa" in his teens and "has been equipped with supernatural powers, such as the abilities to move objects (without lifting a finger), get articles still and motionless, control people's mind and make himself invisible, as well as the insight into the past and future of mankind". He has hawked the theory of "doomsday" to control the minds of the practitioners, illegally reaped a large amount of money, frequently instigated trouble and seriously disturbed and disrupted the public order.
No responsible government will ever sit idle in face of such a cult organization like Falun Gong. The Chinese Government protects its citizens' freedoms of speech, association, assembly and religious belief in accordance with law. However, it will never allow anyone to disrupt public order or to endanger people's personal safety by utilizing cults. It is precisely for the sake of protecting the fundamental freedoms and human rights of its citizens and safeguarding the Chinese Constitution and other laws that the Chinese Government has outlawed and cracked down on the Falun Gong organization. In handling this issue, the Chinese Government has adopted a policy of persuasion and education towards the vast majority of general practitioners and punishment according to law towards only law-breaking criminals who are small in number. This policy has achieved very good results and won the endorsement and support of the entire Chinese people as well as extensive understanding from the international community. It must be emphasized that, even for those Falun Gong addicts who have burned themselves, the Chinese Government still tries its utmost to give them the best medical treatment and educate them. Facts have fully testified that China is a firm defender of human rights. By handling the Falun Gong issue in this manner, the Chinese Government has made a major contribution to the world anti-cult cause and has effectively protected human rights.
Cults have become a public plague in today's world, as evidenced by the human rights abuses inflicted by cults in many countries. It is imperative to strengthen international cooperation and combat cults with concerted efforts. Regrettably, however, some people in the West have employed double standards on the issue of cults and made wanton and unfounded accusations, regardless of the facts, against the way the Chinese Government has handled the Falun Gong issue. Furthermore, some people have made irresponsible comments on China and have thus interfered in China's internal affairs under the pretext of the Falun Gong issue. This is utterly unacceptable to the Chinese Government and people.
At present, Li Hongzhi, the ringleader of the Falun Gong cult, who is wanted by the Chinese Government, is still in the United States and continue to mastermind the trouble-making activities of Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong has now become a major issue affecting China-US relations. The US side should fully realize the harm caused by Falun Gong cult to the general public, including the harm to the people and the society of the US, and respect the position of the Chinese Government in handling the issue. We hope the US side will refrain from supporting or conniving at the Falun Gong activities, refrain from interfering in China's internal affairs by using the Falun Gong issue, and stop Falun Gong from conducting activities in the US which are against the Chinese Government and detrimental to China-US friendship. This will be conducive to the healthy and stable development of China-US relations in the new century.