PRC Embassy Denounces Appearance of “criminals” at PRI Conference; Falung Gong Leaders to Speak
For Immediate Release
November 18, 1999
Contact Scott Weinberg
WASHINGTON, DC – The Chinese embassy has spurned an invitation from Population Research Institute (PRI) to attend its international summit on Human Rights in China: 50 Years Later. In rejecting the offer, Minister Counselor, He Yafei, wrote:
“I hope you can understand that no Chinese diplomat can allow himself to sink so low as to sit with the convicted criminals of his own country. I would also like to express my doubt that your conference can reach a factual conclusion on China’s human rights situation if it is strongly influenced by the views of these criminals.”
Steven W. Mosher, President of conference sponsor PRI, responded: “History will decide who in China has committed criminal acts: Wei Jingsheng, whose only offense was calling for democracy, or those who unlawfully imprisoned him for 20 years. The Chinese students who demonstrated at Tiananmen or those in power in Beijing who ordered the butchery that followed. The members of the Falun Gong, or the Communist Party Politburo that ordered the brutal suppression of the peaceful Buddhist group that is now occurring in China.”
The press conference takes place on the first day of PRI’s international summit, and will give members of the press the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the conference participants. Featured at the press conference will be two Falun Gong leaders, Gail Rachlin and Er Ping Zhang, who will speak on the current crackdown of Falun Gong members by China’s Communist government, and of efforts to pass a Congressional Resolution condemning the ongoing repression of religious believers in China. Speakers include: Wei Jingsheng, former political prisoner, Columbia University (who will speak on “China’s Prisoners of Conscience”); Wang Juntao, former political prisoner, Columbia University (“China’s Democratization”); Shengde Lian, former political prisoner, Party for Freedom and Democracy.
(“Democracy Under Communism”); Shen Tong, former political prisoner, Foundation for the Chinese Academy (“The Meaning of June 4”). Also speaking will be: Amnesty International Representative, T. Kumar, (“Minorities in the Laogai System”); Zhengyuan Fu, University of California, Irvine (“China’s Historical Burden of Autocracy and Lack of Rights”); Chinese worker’s movement leader, Liu Nianchun, (“Organizing China’s Workers”); Richard Long, Chinese VIP Reference (“Freedom of Information on the Internet”); Perry Link, Princeton University (“Chinese Culture and Human Rights”); Bill Saunders, Human Rights Council and Senior Fellow, Family Research Council (“The Sudan/China Link”); Nina Shea, Freedom House (“Violations of Religious Liberty and US Policy”); Natalie Liu (“Journalism in Communist China”); Kate Saunders, Tibet Information Network (“The Situation in Tibet”); Steven W. Mosher, PRI President (“Is the One-Child Policy Coming to an End?”); Bob Xiqiu Fu, Protestant Evangelist (“The Home Church Movement in China”); Jim Jacobsen, Christian Freedom International (Freedom of Assembly in China”); plus a representative of the Turkish minority in Western China (“Human Rights of the Uyghur Muslim People of China”), and Joseph Kung, Cardinal Kung Foundation (“The Persecution of the Catholic Church in China”). US Congressmen Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and Frank Wolf (R-VA) will also attend.
The two-day summit includes panels on the following topics:
The Rights of Religious Believers (9:15 a.m. 11:45 a.m. Friday, 19 November), followed by a luncheon open to the press at which US Congressman will discuss “Using Normal Trade Relations (MFN) to Promote Human Rights in China;” The Rights of Minorities (2:15 p.m.-5:00 p.m.); The Rights of Prisoners, Women, and Workers (9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturday, 20 November); Civil Rights in China: Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and the Press (12:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m., and Human Rights in China’s Future (2:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) PRI President Steven W. Mosher will speak on China’s one-child policy, and offer opening and closing remarks.
“Contrary to propaganda issued by China’s Communist Party, the human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate. Americans need to become more aware of the human rights situation in China. By assembling China’s leading dissidents in one place we hope to build support for their efforts to promote democracy and human rights in China,”said Mosher. Recent reports indicate that:
- There is not a single well-known Chinese dissident who is not in prison or in exile (many of those in exile will be at the conference);
- Those who would use the Internet or publications to accurately
- The persecution of minorities and religious believers, Christians,
- The often brutal one-child policy continues;
- The persecution of Falun Gong members is escalating.