Reader's View: Persecution of the innocent must stop

Reader's View.jpg

June 10 is an ordinary date for most people. But for me and many other Chinese, the mention of June 10 triggers painful memories. On this date 21 years ago the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, set up a Gestapo-like organization and named it for the date of its creation: “610.” Its purpose? The eradication of Falun Gong, a Qigong and spiritual discipline practiced by an estimated 100 million Chinese.

Though the peaceful practice was widely praised for its health benefits and its tenets of truth, compassion, and forbearance, CCP head Jiang Zemin was determined to crack down on Falun Gong because of its popularity and its spiritual nature. Jiang gave the 610 immense power and the ability to operate above the law.

In July of 1999, at the beginning of the persecution, I was a student at Tsinghua University. I was known for receiving some academic acclaim and also as one who practiced Falun Gong. Because of this, university leaders warned me that the head of the 610, Li Lanqing, had personally listed me as a “model case” and a primary target of persecution.

Fortunately, I received a doctoral scholarship from the University of Manchester and left for England on Aug. 12, 1999, before I could be arrested. But the Chinese Embassy in London invalidated my passport in 2004 by the order of the 610, and I became stateless.

My troubles were nothing compared to what Falun Gong practitioners in China suffered. Many Falun Gong practitioners I knew were sent by the 610 to labor camps or detention centers where they were treated in the most inhumane ways. Some of them did not survive.


I hope people will recognize and condemn the actions of the CCP and the 610. The persecution of innocent people must stop.

Winston Xie


What To Read Next
Get Local