Chinese Regime Continues To Call the Shots in Manhattan’s Chinatown

Press statement from the Falun Dafa Information Center

NEW YORK — The will of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to exert itself in Manhattan’s Chinatown, increasing the fear many in the community have of the Chinese regime, while also raising troubling questions as to how a foreign communist power can dictate community events on American soil.
Representatives of the local Falun Gong association say their application to participate in Chinatown’s Chinese New Year parade—the biggest community event of the year—has been rejected by the parade organizers, and pressure from the Chinese consulate is behind it.

“The Chinese consulate is exerting influence in Chinatown to suppress and marginalize Falun Gong here in New York City,” says Falun Dafa Information Center executive director Levi Browde. “This is a known fact backed up by a wide range of sources, including high-level Chinese officials who have defected to the West and revealed the extent to which Chinese consular officials do this worldwide.”

“What really concerns us, however, is what this means for the greater New York community. By allowing the consulate to implement its oppressive agenda here, it sends a clear message to every Chinese person that they are not safe, even here in America. And of course, it’s an assault on American freedom and values more broadly.”

Browde added, “I think we all need to ask ourselves what it means to have a foreign communist regime directing events here in our backyard.”

The Chinatown parade’s organizers, the Better Chinatown Society in cooperation with the Fukien Association of America, have indicated that the reason for the denial primarily centers around “security” concerns—apparently referring to potential harm that could come to parade participants because of hostile groups lashing out at Falun Gong participants.

Representatives of the Falun Gong association say, however, that they have participated in many parades in Manhattan’s Chinatown—once or twice a year—without incident. Moreover, to deny freedom of expression to victims of potential harassment is hardly the way to address any such threats.
In fact, 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 worldwide work to marginalize and silence Falun Gong overseas. Testifying before Congress on July 21, 2005, former Chinese consul for political affairs from Sydney, Australia, Mr. Chen Yonglin, revealed that every Chinese embassy and consulate around the globe 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 Chinese Communist Party that will be on display in New York City’s Chinatown, while those who represent wholesome, authentic Chinese culture have been pushed aside.

What is 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 Chinese Communist Party interference on U.S. soil, please contact:
Dr. Wenyi Wang: 917-776-3821; Levi Browde: 845-418-4870