United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat’. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat’. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat” to the world’s market-based economy and U.S. interests, said the incumbent United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a speech on Monday.

It was the first major public speech given by Lighthizer, a long term critic of China’s trade practices against the United States. Lighthizer told a crowd of over a hundred at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that China represents the one challenge facing the administration that is “substantially more difficult than those faced in the past.”

“The sheer scale of their coordinated efforts to develop their economy, to subsidize, to create ‘National Champions,’ to force technology transfers, and to destroy market, in China and throughout the world, is a threat to world trading system that is unprecedented,” said Lighthizer.

Lighthizer was referring to the hundreds if not thousands of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOE) that are institutionally protected and promoted by the Chinese regime, hence known as the “national champions” of the Chinese economy.

Not only do Chinese state-owned enterprises receive extensive protection from the Chinese regime against foreign competition, they are also often the culprits in stealing technology and other intellectual properties from foreign companies. Large number of American companies have fallen victim to such abusive tactics by the Chinese, which has resulted in massive job losses on the part of American workers, according to Lighthizer and many other critics of China’s trade practices.

“Unfortunately the World Trade Organization is not equipped to deal with this problem,” Lighthizer said, “WTO and its predecessors, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), were not designed to successfully manage mercantilism on this scale.”

“We must find other ways to defend our companies, workers, farmers, and indeed, our economic system,” said Lighthizer, “We must find ways to ensure our market-based economy prevails.”

Cargo ships berth at a port in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province on June 8, 2016. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Abusive trade practices by the Chinese state-owned enterprises have inflicted significant harm on American companies and will be dealt with by the Trump administration, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Photo showing cargo ships berthed at a port in Qingdao, Кытай. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Lighthizer did not reveal specifics of the ongoing investigation regarding China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, a process that was started by President Trump on Aug. 14. He revealed, Бирок,, that the investigators receive “an awful lot of complaints” from executives of American companies that were hurt by the abusive practices of the Chinese, with many complaining that they were forced to give up their technology and corporate secrets to their Chinese competitors.

Trump Continues Hawkish Stance

Lighthizer’s comment on Monday represents the latest signal that Trump’s campaign pledge of a hardline trade policy against China remains steadfast, despite the departure on Aug. 19 of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who was widely thought to be the administration’s primary advocate of a hawkish stance against China.

Lighthizer is not the only “trade hawk” inside Trump’s administration. Peter Navarro, an economist who is also known for outspoken criticism of the Chinese regime and of China’s trade practices against the United States, was selected by President Donald Trump to head the newly created National Trade Council and is believed to be playing a key role in forming the Trump administration’s trade policies.

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U.S. Rep. Jim BridenstineU.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Longtime space advocate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) has been nominated by President Trump to be the next administrator of NASA. Birdenstine is known for his strong support for a new manned mission to the Moon, and for his belief that the United States needs to challenge China’s ever-expanding presence in space.

The nomination of the former Navy pilot and three-term Congressman from Oklahoma has been expected for some time, and was finally announced on Sept. 1. Previously, Trump tasked Vice President Mike Pence to lead a re-established the National Space Council aimed at reinvigorating and reasserting the U.S. presence in the space.

Bridenstine has been an active voice in the Congress for increasing the U.S. commitment to the space program. In 2016 Bridenstine introduced H.R. 4945, the American Space Renaissance Act, which sought to reform and modernize the U.S. space program in a comprehensive manner. While the act did not move forward, some of its elements were incorporated into later legislation.

The nomination could face a challenge in the Senate and has already prompted criticism from Florida’s two senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson. Florida is the home to NASA, and both Rubio and Nelson have complained that Bridenstine, a politician, lacks management experience.

Бирок,, some observers have speculated that Rubio’s opposition might have been partially motivated by Bridenstine’s support for Rubio’s primary opponent Ted Cruz in the 2016 GOP presidential campaign, which caused relations between the Oklahoman and the Floridian to become bitter.

The private space flight industry has largely welcomed the news of Bridenstine’s nomination. Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), a private spaceflight advocacy group composed of space industry giants such as SpaceX and XCOR Aerospace, issued a statement praising President Trump’s nomination of Bridenstine.

“NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said S. Alan Stern, board chair of CSF.

Similarly, several space experts have voiced support for Bridenstine. [Jim Bridenstine] understands space technology, economics and policy better than most of the people who advise our other policy makers on these topics,” said space researcher and educator Greg Autry. Previously Greg Autry had served as the Trump administration’s liaison to NASA. “Far from being a politician, Bridenstine is a well-informed aviator and leader,” Autry said.

Challenging China’s Presence in Space

Bridenstine has previously expressed serious concerns about China’s space ambitions, as he sees the U.S. presence in space and competition with other adversaries there as intimately linked with national security. Bridenstine’s support for a new manned mission to the Moon is partially motivated by China’s ever-expanding presence on and around the Moon.

In this July 20, 1969 file photo, astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. stands next to a U.S. flag planted on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface. Jim Bridenstine, Trump’s newly nominated administrator of NASA, vows to compete with China in space by launching new manned mission to the Moon. (Neil A. Armstrong/NASA)

“As the cis-lunar economy develops, competition for locations and resources on the Moon is inevitable,” Jim Bridenstine wrote in a Blog post боюнча 2016, “The Chinese currently have landers and rovers on the Moon. The United States does not.”

In another Blog post боюнча 2015, Bridenstine wrote that: “We are seeing the Russians and Chinese attempt to deny space to us. The Russians are launching things into space that are not being registered with the agencies they would normally be registered with.”

“Space is no longer uncontested,” Bridenstine wrote. “It’s being contested, and it’s congested.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine will head an agency that currently has an annual budget of more than $19 миллиард. The current budget however takes up less than 0.5 percent of the total federal budget, a tiny portion compared to NASA’s heyday. During the 1960s the United States allocated almost 5 percent of the annual federal budget to NASA to fund the manned space missions to the Moon.

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The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Three out of four women from China that have been charged with cheating on language exams to gain admission into American universities have pled guilty. The case highlights the growing phenomenon of Chinese students who use fraud to enter the U.S. education system, an industry that in the last decades has seen an ever-growing reliance on tuition from Chinese students.

Earlier in May, U.S. prosecutors arrested Yue Wang, Shikun Zhang, Leyi Huang, and Xiaomeng Cheng, all Chinese students in the United States on F-1 student visas, жана charged them with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Prosecutors said that Wang, a student at Hult International Business School, was paid to take the TOEFL exam for the other three Chinese students, who used their fraudulent test scores to gain admission to U.S. colleges, including Arizona State University, Northeastern University, and Penn State University. The students then obtained visas from the U.S. State Department based on their admission offers.

TOEFL is an exam widely used to assess the English-language competency of foreign students aspiring to gain admission into U.S. colleges and around the world. The test is used by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies worldwide.

Prosecutors said Wang was paid $7,000 to take the test in 2015 жана 2016 for the other Chinese students, after they previously took the test and failed to meet the minimum scores required to enter their respective U.S. colleges.

While each of the women faced up to five years in prison if convicted, Cheng, Zhang, and Wang have agreed to plead guilty on Aug. 30 in exchange for prosecutors reducing their sentences to time served and deportation to China. Leyi Huang declined a similar plea deal.

Cheating as an Industry

Among Chinese students the illicit practice of hiring an imposter (also known as a “gunman” in Chinese) to take the entrance exam has been a widely-known phenomena that has existed for years in the country’s multi-billion dollar overseas education industry.

Мисалы, a federal indictment in 2015 charged 15 Chinese nationals with cheating the college entrance examination system using fake passports and test-taking impostors, according to the New York Times.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

A random search on the internet immediately shows numerous Chinese websites selling the taking of TOEFL and other entrance exams. The vendors usually guarantee a high score on the TOEFL test, which the buyer can then use to apply for admission into U.S. colleges.

One such website—yhtoefl.net—sells not just TOEFL, but also other more advanced admission tests such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test, used for admission to U.S. college).

The yhtoefl.net website, which provides no information about what company owns it or its physical address, prominently displays examples of TOEFL scores that have been “commissioned” in the past, and says that the company has “8 years of experience” in the business and employs over 500 “professional exam takers” across China, Гонг-Конг, Singapore, and other major cities where exams can be taken. The website charges a “reasonable price” for the TOEFL test, which ranges from 10,000 үчүн 30,000 Chinese Yuan (US$1,500 to US$4,500), although it is unknown how such a price compares to the industry average.

The same website even published an article discussing the May 2017 case concerning the four Chinese students in this story.

“Since [U.S. President] Trump came into office, he has been tightening up the immigration policy, and as a result those who attempt to scam the U.S. immigration system would face severe punishment,” the website says. “That is why we prefer to do the exams for you in China, since the Chinese government would not care if Chinese students are scamming the U.S. government.”

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the taking of entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers in the United States.

Tuition-hungry U.S. Colleges Fuel Abuse

The number of Chinese students coming to the United States for higher education has seen a rapid increase over the last decade and in 2016 reached a record of 304,000, or 31 percent of all foreign students in the United States, according to a report by the Migration Policy Institute. The phenomenon reflects China’s increasingly affluent population, many of which can afford to pay a hefty sum for an American education that brings prestige and a prospect for a good job.

Northeastern University in Boston, MA, which admitted one of the students convicted in this TOEFL fraud case, has 11,702 international students in the current academic year and is home to one of the largest Chinese-student populations in the country.

Unlike American students, international students such as those from China tend to pay the full cost of tuition, which is often twice or more the amount that their American classmates pay. Many U.S. universities and colleges that have had trouble finding enough native students have now opened their doors to a massive amount of Chinese cash by admitting a large number of Chinese students. And many of these are not competent in English.

The high concentration of Chinese students often means that the new students spend most of their free time with other Chinese, and their English remains poor even after years of living and studying in the United States. The industry that cheats on TOEFL and other entrance exams has most likely made the situation for Chinese students worse.

According to a recent story by John Pomfret, the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post, many educators and students have privately acknowledged that U.S. institutions face an “endemic and terrible problem” with mainland Chinese students, as the system is increasingly seen as broken and plagued by abuses.

In the same story John Pomfret points out that because a large number of Chinese students in America lack the necessary skill in English, these students fail to integrate into the U.S. environment, which can lead to more serious problems. The poorly-integrated students, according to Pomfret, could be easy targets for the Chinese regime to influence and control through propaganda and regime-run apparatuses overseas.

One such apparatus is the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a state-supported Chinese organization involved in controlling and spying on Chinese students and scholars overseas. Chinese students not prepared for an American education naturally gravitate toward organizations such as the CSSA because “it offers us a place to go when we’re homesick,” according to Pomfret’s interview with a Chinese student.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson introduces the 2016 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 15, 2017. (Paul Huang/Epoch Times)U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson introduces the 2016 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 15, 2017. (Paul Huang/Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released the 2016 International Religious Freedom Report on Aug. 15 at the State Department. Tillerson used his remarks “to call out a few of the more egregious and troubling examples,” which included actions by the ISIS terrorist group, Кытай, and Iran, among others.

Tillerson blasted ISIS for “genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled.” He said that the extremist group continues to target religious and ethnic groups for “rape, kidnapping, enslavement, and even death.”

In China, the regime has tortured and detained thousands who practice their religious beliefs, according to Tillerson, who pointed out that “dozens of Falun Gong members have died in detention” since last year. These are the latest deaths in 18 years of persecution. In 1999, then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin, fearing the popularity of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, launched a campaign to eradicate it.

[China’s] policies that restrict Uyghurs, Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists religious practices and expressions have also increased,” said Tillerson.

The report’s section on China documents numerous abuses of religious freedom in China. It calls attention to the situation of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who defended religious groups including Christians and Falun Gong practitioners. Following six years of harassment, Gao was imprisoned for five years and subjected to extensive torture. Since Gao’s release in 2014, the Chinese regime has continued to subject him to intrusive surveillance and house arrest. Gao disappeared from his home on Aug. 13, according to family members.

In Iran, Tillerson said 20 individuals were executed “on charges that included ‘waging war against God,’” adding that “Baha’is, Christians, and other minorities are persecuted for their faith.”

АКШ. State Department began releasing the annual report in 1998 in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act—legislation, Tillerson said, “that upholds religious freedom as a core American value under the Constitution’s First Amendment, as well as a universal human right.”

The report this year identified 10 “countries of particular concern”: Burma, Кытай, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, all of which were also listed in last year’s report, following the recommendations by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Tillerson said that the administration is looking forward to working with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who has recently been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. If confirmed, Brownback will be the highest-ranking U.S. official to ever head the commission, said Tillerson.

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Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—In the early afternoon of July 20, over 1,000 practitioners and supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline held a parade to protest 18 years of deadly repression by the communist regime in China. The parade goers, mostly wearing Falun Gong’s signature yellow T-shirts, marched from Capitol Hill through downtown Washington, D.C. to the Lincoln Memorial.

This year’s events also included a rally at Capitol Hill and a candlelight vigil before the Washington Monument.

Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that teaches a set of meditation exercises and cultivation of the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, was marked for persecution on July 20, 1999, by then-Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. Since then, the Chinese authorities have pursued a violent campaign of elimination against the practice.

“The Chinese regime’s persecution has been completely irrational and violent. We petition peacefully. We carry no weapons. We have only kind intentions. But what we face are police, police cars, armed police. The armed police face you as if you are a terrible enemy,” said Liu Zhaohe, a 64-year-old philosophy professor who came from Beijing to the United States this March.

 Liu Zhaohe, a former philosophy professor, and his wife Wang Lurui participate in a Falun Gong parade in Washington D.C on July 20, 2017. (Irene Luo/Epoch Times)

Liu Zhaohe, a former philosophy professor, and his wife Wang Lurui participate in a Falun Gong parade in Washington D.C on July 20, 2017. (Irene Luo/The Epoch Times)

His wife, 60-year-old Wang Lurui, was arrested 11 times while putting up Falun Gong banners and meditating in public, including several occasions when she went to Tiananmen Square. She was also fired from her position as a hospital administrator in Beijing.

“Since coming here, we continue to nonviolently, rationally oppose the persecution so everyone knows that Falun Dafa is good and that truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance are universal moral principles,” Wang said.

Millions of Falun Gong adherents in China and abroad have used a variety of peaceful means to raise awareness about and counteract the persecution, sometimes at great personal risk. Human rights researchers estimate that Chinese authorities have detained millions of practitioners, and that hundreds of thousands are held in forced labor camps and brainwashing centers.

Since 2006, investigations have revealed that a large but yet indeterminate number of Falun Gong adherents have been executed and had their organs harvested in state and military-run hospitals across China.

Li Jianying, a middle-aged woman from Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, was driven to escape China in 2015 when someone reported her practice of Falun Gong to the police. She now lives in Middletown, upstate New York, and raises awareness about Falun Gong in the community as a volunteer. Her 79-year-old mother, also a practitioner, is still in China.

“I want to see her again, but I can’t go back,” Li said. “You go back and they arrest you at the airport.”

Each year, Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. and around the world hold commemorative events to mark the anniversary of the persecution.

During the parade, practitioners carried banners calling for the end of the persecution and live organ harvesting and for Jiang Zemin to be brought to justice. A military-style marching band composed of Falun Gong practitioners joined in. Other marchers held photos of those who had been killed in the persecution.

Passers-by were shocked to learn of the violence against the group.

Wilna LaPorte, who works in a Washington, D.C. public defense service, was drawn to the serene, traditional Chinese music.

Wilna LaPorte. (Eva Fu/The Epoch Times)

Wilna LaPorte. (Eva Fu/The Epoch Times)

“I can’t believe this is going on,” she said between tears after hearing about China’s organ transplantation industry, which has heavily targeted Falun Gong practitioners. “I don’t see why human lives should be commercialized when there are so much that has already been commercialized from China.”

“People need to be made aware of what’s happening in different countries, not only here,” said Cynthia Simms, who works as an educational administrator.

“A lot of times, we don’t know what other people go through and what they have to deal with on a day to day basis.”

Liu Zhaohe, the former professor from Beijing, said that the Chinese authorities “persecute all independent thoughts, independent beliefs.”

He added: “There’s no freedom of belief, freedom of speech. This is the most immoral thing done by the Chinese regime. They don’t just destroy you physically, but also destroy you mentally, force you to ‘transform.’ They stifle your thoughts so you do not have your own thoughts.”

With reporting by Eva Fu and Irene Luo.

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Larry Dye/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners march in a parade in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2017. The parade is calling for an end to a brutal persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

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Screenshot (Proto Thema)Screenshot (Proto Thema)

New security camera footage has been published by Greek media protothema.gr showing the entire fight that led to the death of 22-year-old American tourist Bakari Henderson on Июль 7.

According to his family, Henderson was visiting Greece for a photo shoot in preparation for the launch of his clothing line.

The footage was obtained from a camera inside a cafe window, close to the bar where the altercation between Henderson and a group of largely Serbian men began.

Bars in the Laganas party district of Zakynthos have a reputation for violent alcohol-fueled brawls.

Ал боюнча 2011 Guardian report on the death of a British tourist, a number of tourists die each year in Zakynthos. Alcohol-related violence has always been a big problem for local police.

In the video footage, confirmed as genuine by the Greek authorities, Henderson is seen running away from a group of men. As the men catch up to him, one throws Henderson against a parked car. The group then proceeds to kick and pummel him to the ground. Bystanders attempt to intervene, and as the crowd clears, someone is seen attempting CPR on Henderson.

Greek authorities said that Henderson was sent to the hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. His death was caused by severe head injuries.

A total of nine men—one Greek bar employee, the bar’s bouncer who was a British citizen of Serb origin, and seven Serbian tourists—have been charged with intentional homicide, reported AP. If found guilty, the charges carry a maximum life sentence.

Suspects arrive at Zakynthos courthouse on July 8th after the death of American tourist on July 7th.

Suspects arrive at a Zakynthos courthouse on July 8 for their arraignment—their involvement in the death of an American tourist on the Greek island. (Reuters)

Serbian news reports said Serbian Ambassador Dusan Spasojevic and Serbian consuls visited the seven Serbian citizens in prison on July 11.

Five suspects attended their initial court hearing on Wednesday, Июль 12. All five pleaded not guilty. They have since been jailed pending trial.

A defense lawyer for one of the five said that although his client caused some bodily harm, there was no intent to kill. The attorney is hopeful that the video footage will be useful as court evidence to prove that his client was not the one to lay the fatal blow to Henderson’s head, reported the ABC.

(Reuters)

The four remaining suspects appeared in court on Thursday, Июль 13. The judge jailed another Serb man, pending trial, while two have been released on bail. Bail was set at $5,700 (5,000 euros), ылайык AP. The fourth suspect will testify on Friday, Июль 14.

No trial date has been set.

Greek authorities have also identified six more suspects from the security footage, said ABC.

It remains unclear what started the fight.

Henderson’s family told local media kxan.com that they are holding a private memorial service on Friday evening followed by the funeral on Saturday.

NTD Television

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Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners perform one of the practice’s five exercises, the “Falun Standing Stance,” in Guangzhou, southern China, боюнча 1998.Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners perform one of the practice’s five exercises, the “Falun Standing Stance,” in Guangzhou, southern China, боюнча 1998.

How an accomplished professor of orthopedics and other modern professionals harmonize their modern lives with an ancient Chinese spiritual practice

Most of the week, Joshua Li, a 44-year-old assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia, attends to patients with spinal injuries and researches the use of nanoparticles to treat intervertebral disc degeneration.

Every Sunday, though, he unplugs his smartphone and instead plugs in to cosmic principles, leading an exercise group at the senior center in Charlottesville, performing the slow-motion exercises of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline. It is practiced around the world, but remains persecuted in its homeland of China after having attracted an estimated 70 million to 100 million practitioners by the late 1990s.

Jiang launches the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.

Jiang launches the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.

This year marks 25 years since the introduction of Falun Gong in China.

The discipline espouses a philosophy of the world that puts traditional moral values over material gain, and yet it has attracted numerous successful professionals like Li.

Li and others say this is due to the immediately felt impact of the practice on their lives, including its dramatic health benefits, as well as its philosophy of internal transformation that is simple to grasp but profound when put into practice.

The Search

Qigong, the school of energy practices of which Falun Gong is a part, was immensely popular in China in the 1980s and 1990s. The primary appeal was its positive impacts on health.

The promise of wellness brought Li to qigong. He had long searched for alternative treatments for his mother, who caught colds easily after being exposed to chemicals during her work as a missile researcher for the Chinese Communist Party. “We kept the windows shut at home, and my mother wore thick clothing even during the summer,” he recalled.

At age 12, Li picked up tai chi, a Chinese martial art known for its health benefits, and tried to teach it to his mother. She tried Chinese medicine and acupuncture, too.

In high school and college, Li sampled at random from the hundreds of different qigong schools being taught at the time, but gave up in disillusionment in 1995.

“Many qigong masters creat

Joshua Li, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia and Falun Gong practitioner. (Courtesy of Joshua Li)

Joshua Li, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia and Falun Gong practitioner. (Courtesy of Joshua Li)

ed sham practices for the sole purpose of making a fortune and a name for themselves. They were peddling stuff like ‘water with messages’ or ‘tea with messages,’” he said.

“Stay away from the quack qigong,” Li warned his parents, before he left home to return to Xi’an Medical University in the northwest province of Shaanxi to complete his master’s in orthopedics. Li himself continued to practice taichi.

After graduating in July 1997, he went home to find a breeze flowing through the open windows and his mother in a short-sleeved shirt—a sight he’d never witnessed before.

As he hurried around the house, pulling the windows shut, his mother called out: “Hey, don’t bother, I’m cured!

She had begun practicing Falun Gong that May.

Health Benefits

Though Falun Gong, like all ancient Chinese thought, integrates a way of gaining knowledge about the world via means that cannot be scientifically tested, it was the seemingly miraculous effects of the practice that forced Joshua Li, and numerous others like him, to take it seriously.

Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, gave his first public lecture on May 13, 1992, to a modest crowd in his hometown of Changchun in northeast China.

By 1993, hundreds were attending Mr. Li’s 10-day lecture series. In 1994, volunteer organizers had to book stadiums instead of auditoriums to fit the thousands who had signed up for Mr. Li’s lectures.

Mr. Li Hongzhi.

Mr. Li Hongzhi.

Mr. Li charged a pittance for lecture fees and insisted that Falun Gong forever remain free to practice. He stopped giving lectures after the publication in January 1995 of “Zhuan Falun” (“Turning the Law Wheel”), which lays out Falun Gong’s comprehensive teachings. In the years following, tens of millions of Chinese began adopting the practice.

Zhu Liming, a colonel in the People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force Command College who became a volunteer Falun Gong coordinator after attending a lecture series in Beijing in August 1992, believes that two reasons account for the Falun Gong phenomenon.

The main text of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun. (Shutterstock)

The main text of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun. (Shutterstock)

First, “the healing effectiveness of Falun Gong is superb,” Zhu said. Many found that their health problems simply disappeared after a short period of practice.

Joshua Li was stunned when he heard that it was qigong—which he thought was a sham—that cured his mother. “Well, Falun Gong has a book,” he remembers her saying, as she handed him a copy of “Zhuan Falun.”

This is the second appeal of the practice: its teachings, and the moral transformation they inspire.

“I read the first chapter, and learned what qigong was really about,” Li said. He finished the other eight chapters in one sitting, and the next day, he began learning the exercises.

Moral Uplift

Falun Gong comprises four standing exercises and an hour-long sitting meditation, but it isn’t simply a health and fitness practice, said Zhu, the air force colonel.

“The teachings of Master Li Hongzhi enable people to elevate their morality," ал айтты. “Many eventually realize that Falun Gong is an authentic self-cultivation way.” Zhu now lives in New York after fleeing China due to persecution.

Zhu Liming, a former colonel in the People's Liberation Army's Air Force Command College who became a volunteer Falun Gong coordinator in Beijing. (Courtesy of Zhu Liming)

Zhu Liming, a former colonel in the People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force Command College who became a volunteer Falun Gong coordinator in Beijing. (Courtesy of Zhu Liming)

Self-cultivation, or the improvement of one’s character through adhering to moral principles, has a history in China going back to at least 2000 B.C. Falun Gong is experienced by practitioners as a continuation of this tradition as they try to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, which they understand to be the foundation of the universe.

The deeper quest for moral elevation meant that Falun Gong appealed to retired seniors and housewives, as well as accomplished professionals and intellectuals.

Frank Qin, an investment manager with a health fund in Manhattan, had been searching for a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline based around self-cultivation for some time before he found Tsinghua University’s Falun Gong community in 1995. By then, over 500 faculty and students at the elite university, known as China’s MIT, did the exercises daily at the campus, ал айтты. It offered them a powerful moral calling.

“Falun Dafa teaches that we should be forgiving and forbearing in our daily lives, to always look inward first to locate our shortcomings when problems arise,” he added. “When we keep striving to be compassionate and openhearted, we can even improve society.”

Levi Browde, a partner with a Manhattan-based software company and the executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, has seen many examples of the sort of small but archetypal individual improvement among Falun Gong practitioners in New York.

Levi Browde, a partner with a Manhattan-based software company and the executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, speaks at a Falun Gong rally on May 14, 2014. (Dai Bing/The Epoch Times)

Levi Browde, a partner with a Manhattan-based software company and the executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, speaks at a Falun Gong rally on May 14, 2014. (Dai Bing/The Epoch Times)

“I’ve seen combative 20-somethings who rarely talked with their parents, or had left them behind altogether, turn around and rebuild those relationships, making them strong and healthy for both parties," ал айтты. “In my own day-to-day life, I see how Falun Dafa’s teachings help me raise my two boys with compassion and integrity.”

Browde thinks that journalists who attribute the extraordinary popularity of Falun Gong in the 1990s to the “spiritual void” created by the atheist communist regime are missing the self-cultivation aspect that has universal appeal.

“Falun Dafa spread so fast not because of the environment into which it was introduced, but because of what it had to offer, regardless of environment," ал айтты.

Joshua Li, the spine surgeon, has patients tell him that he seems more peaceful, and “special,” compared to a run-of-the-mill, frazzled spine doctor. He balances taking care of patients with his complex research on regenerating spinal tissues, for which he’s received numerous prestigious awards and grants.

“Practicing Falun Gong makes me take the point of view of others,” Li said. “Perhaps that’s why patients at the hospital might think that I’m more caring.”

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Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about organ harvesting and other human rights crimes in China, with residents and tourists in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 17. (Xu Touhui/Epoch Times)Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about organ harvesting and other human rights crimes in China, with residents and tourists in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 17. (Xu Touhui/Epoch Times)

NEW YORKA petition that has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures in just 2 days calls for President Donald Trump to help end the practice of forced organ harvesting in China.

Trump had his first meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Thursday, but they are expected to get into more deeper discussions on Friday at the summit.

The White House petition created on April. 5, urges Trump to ask Xi Jinping to end the forced organ harvesting against Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China.

The forced organ harvesting is part of a wider persecution which began in 1999 by then Communist leader Jiang Zemin and is still happening today against Falun Gong, a peaceful, spiritual practice.

Hundreds of thousands practitioners in detention are vulnerable to becoming victims of forced, live organ harvesting, one of the most atrocious and inhumane practices today, according to researchers.

The Chinese Regime is estimated to have performed between 60,000 жана 100,000 transplants each year from 2000 үчүн 2015, the bulk from Falun Gong practitioners, according to a nearly 700-page report published in June last year.

The report authors—David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State and member of Parliament; human rights lawyer David Matas; and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—explain that this is how transplant patients can go to China and get a organ within days or even hours, if they can pay for it. By contrast, patients can be on wait lists for years in other countries.

The ultimate conclusion of the report, said Matas at the National Press Club in Washington on June 22, “is that China has engaged in the mass killing of innocents.”

If the petition on the White House-sponsored site collects 100,000 signatures by May 5, then the White House is obliged to furnish a response. The text of the petition reads:

“Irrefutable evidence shows that former Chinese President, ГЭСине, not only started a brutal persecution against Falun Gong in 1999, but also initiated the abominable and deadly forced organ harvesting practice against this peaceful group—a practice that is intolerable in the 21st century. The civilized world must stand up against these atrocities and demand an end to one of the greatest human rights violations of our time.

“Mr. President, AMERICA FIRST signifies core American values. The defense of human rights is one of our greatest virtues and the foundation of our nation. You have a chance to show the world that the United States remains the leader in defending human rights and will not remain silent in the face of these crimes against humanity.”

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China has muscled, conned, bullied, grabbed, extorted, and feigned its way to the top of the global supply chain over the last twenty years.

It took no prisoners—just market share, intellectual property, and liberties in the valuation of its currency. It used a massive trade surplus to buy foreign assets, coralled foreign companies into joint ventures with Chinese firms where they lost their technology to the Chinese partner, and gave away just enough to keep foreigners dreaming—in the spirit of their supposed trade regulations—of their fair share of the huge Chinese market.

With President Donald Trump hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, today, many are waiting to see if this dynamic will be fought against. Trump talked tough on China throughout his campaign. Whereas previous administrations tried to engage and dialogue with China—an approach that business groups say has largely failed—this administration pledged to play hardball.

And for good reason, ылайык a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan innovation think tank. “China has doubled down on its innovation-mercantilist strategies, seeking global dominance across a wide array of advanced industries that are key to U.S. economic and national security interests,” the report says.

For China, unlike the United States, growth is not the real issue. Rather, growth and economic stability are only important in that they help the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) maintain its grip on the country.

Chinese citizens escaping poverty, and stronger international competition in tech sectors, are good things. But for the CCP, the prosperity of its people is a mere afterthought; the notion of fair trade a curiosity. Its gaze is fixed on its own survival, with all the rest being collaterals, incidentals, and extras.

To quote former United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, the U.S. “has to rethink the way it engages with China. We have these very fancy dialogues—there’s ninety of them—and I characterize these dialogues with China as the way China manages the U.S., not actually the way the U.S. produces results on the ground for companies and for exporters to China.” Barshefsky spoke during a March 6 event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

And so China has gorged on the markets with little in its way but some timid bilateral discussions, difficult-to-enforce World Trade Organization rules, and a Western alliance in disarray.

Is There a Sheriff in Town?

On both sides of the pro- and anti-trade spectrum, most experts seem to agree China can’t be left unchecked for another decade. It is now to be seen how the United States is going to play its role in the global trade community, while dealing with the rampage of often hostile Chinese investments in sensitive U.S. базарлары, the towering trade imbalance, and the ongoing signs of currency manipulation (though China has shifted from undervaluing the RMB to propping it up.)

So far, no real effort has been made to stop Beijing on its looting spree, whether that be forcing technological transfer from Western companies that want market access, or straight up theft in the form of cyber espionage. Facing this reality, the patience of the United States in waiting for China to “learn to behave” has been baffling. In 2016 alone, 27 countries brought 119 trade sanctions against China. The previous U.S. administrations however, which saw China eat away at the U.S. market share across a myriad of sectors ever since China’s WTO ascension in 2001, remained mostly mute.

The March 16 report by ITIF points out the inherent weakness of WTO rules that have been negotiated between 160 countries: if one player lacks the goodwill to respect the rules, little can be done to enforce them. The ITIF sees a larger role to be played by domestic legislatures when inking deals with China.

But while the tools to act against China’s “innovation mercantilism” might not have been perfect, both WTO provisions and domestic U.S. regulations have in fact been in place all along. The question remains why they have never been put to use.

Мисалы, citing concerns about surges of imports at the time of China’s WTO ascension, Barshefsky recalled that the U.S. “inserted a China-only provision which lasted twelve years … to allow the president to unilaterally stop imports in any given sector if those imports were disruptive to the U.S.” She added: “The relief was provided only once.”

Barshefsky made the point that “there was concern there would be job loss; there was a specific mechanism to deal with it. It wasn’t used.” The 12 year provision she referred to has recently expired, so new mechanisms will need to be worked out.

Her colleague Edward Aiden, a Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the pro-trade foreign relations think tank CFR, on his side called the failing of previous administrations to trigger the 1988 Foreign Trade Act “a political disaster.” The Act stipulates that if a country is found to be manipulating its currency, intense negotiations are to be started, followed by sanctions if the negotiations fail.

This points to the bigger role the United States could play in global market regulation.

Under the banner of “Constructive, Alliance-backed Confrontation,” the ITIF argues that the United States, as the world’s biggest player, should gather its allies—such as Australia, Канада, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Жапония, and South Korea—and form a front against China.

It further calls for much stronger cooperation between the U.S. private and public sectors to fight abuses, a more “focused, targeted, centralized” approach by giving more control to the federal government, and more resources to the U.S. Trade Commission.

Of the Carrot and the Stick

Since the new administration took the reins, the first concrete signs of the course it would steer regarding trade was stepping out of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TTP), a deal between 12 countries on both sides of the pacific.

China was implicitly excluded from the deal by technical means, and would have been at a disadvantage in region as a result. If it wanted in, it would have had to play by the rules and meet certain rigorous administrative, labor, environmental and other standards.

If China managed to get into the TTP, Бирок,, it would likely would have been another fiasco on par with China’s ascension into the WTO. If history teaches us anything, international trade deals for China are simply opportunities to take advantage and bend the rules.

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There are practical limitations on compliance monitoring and enforcement of such deals, and the Chinese regime is expert at navigating such loopholes. АКШ. Chamber of Commerce in a recent report on China’s industrial policy “Made in China 2025: Global Ambitions Built on Local Protections,” makes this extremely clear.

“Many of the challenges associated with China’s industrial policies—for example, government procurement, subsidies, data, licensing, and national security—would unlikely be effectively addressed through an investment treaty or agreement given the architectural limitations of such agreements.”

Now with the TTP carrot gone, it remains to be seen if the Trump administration is prepared to use the stick.

Whatever the case, Peter Navarro, economic advisor to the Trump administration, has not been mincing words so far when it comes to China. Taking the stage at a business conference, Navarro hinted at a much bolder stance toward China’s trade imbalance and currency manipulation.

Referring to China’s worrisome access to sensitive segments of the U.S. market, ал айтты, “Suppose that it’s not a benign ally buying our companies, our technologies, our farmland, and our food supply chain, and ultimately controlling much of our defense industrial base. Rather, it is a rapidly militarizing strategic rival intent on hegemony in Asia and of course world hegemony”.

If the United States can rally its partners behind a renewed, no-nonsense, results-based trade system that doesn’t rely on trusting China’s promises, Beijing’s brazenness may finally be contained, and stability returned to global trade.

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Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and former Republican Congressman Frank Wolf (Va.) testify at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing on March 1. Both have for decades opposed Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and former Republican Congressman Frank Wolf (Va.) testify at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing on March 1. Both have for decades opposed Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Republican Congressman Frank Wolf were in total agreement as witnesses at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing on March 1. Both had been vigorous, vocal opponents of granting Normal Trade Relations with China that was promoted by the Clinton Administration and paved the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in Dec. 2001.

Pelosi and Wolf warned again during the Bush Administration that supporting China’s accession to the WTO without preconditions would be a mistake.

Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the CECC, lent his voice too in those days urging resistance to the argument that increased trade would open the pathway to gradual political liberalization and the rule of law. In his opening statement, Smith said granting China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with the idea that more trade and investment would bring about political reform and human rights improvement was a “bipartisan fantasy.”

“Bill Clinton predicted that trade would open China’s political system. Chinese democracy was ‘inevitable, just like when the Berlin Wall fell.’ George W. Bush also focused on the inevitability of history saying ‘trade freely with China and time is on our side,’” said Smith in a statement made part of the hearing’s record in his absence.

The far-reaching claims concerning the effect of trade prompted James Mann to write “The China Fantasy,” published in 2007. Mann testified at the hearing that he argued back then that “the Chinese regime wasn’t going to change in the way that American leaders said it would.” He questioned the assumption that China’s authoritarian rule would not last much longer.

Mann said that China, now richer, had in the past few years entered “into new types of repression: arresting lawyers, severely restricting NGOs, and staging televised confessions of those who are detained.”

Wolf said that he thought it a bit curious that a mere ten years after the brutal slaughter of Tiananmen protesters, prior to the passage of PNTR in 2000, “a school of thought took root which argued for increased trade and economic ties, as opposed to sanctions and a tough line.”

“The push for PNTR was borne, I believe, of wishful thinking rather than evidence or a genuine understanding of the Chinese Communist Party’s goals and objectives,” Wolf said.

The push for PNTR was borne of wishful thinking rather than evidence or a genuine understanding of the Chinese Communist Party’s goals and objectives.

— Congressman (Ret.) Frank Wolf (Va.)

Michael Wessel, commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, said, the proponents of PNTR “got it wrong.” The business community, “who once saw China as the avenue for enormous profits and opportunity” see now the “harsh reality.” He said that the American Chamber of Commerce in China’s most recent report found that 80 percent of businesses felt less welcome in China than before.

Wessel said later, “China PNTR … increased America’s dependence on China’s manufacturing products and limited the willingness of the business community, and our government, to respond.”

The CECC was established in connection with the ongoing debate in Congress on whether to grant China PNTR status. Chairman of the CECC Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) noted in his opening statement that Congress didn’t want to forgo the capability to review China’s human rights every year. One of stated reasons for Congress creating the Commission in 2000 was to monitor China’s compliance with international human rights standards.

Diminished Leverage

U.S. leverage on influencing China’s human rights behavior has diminished as China’s economic strength has increased. Pelosi stated that in 2000, the U.S. trade deficit with China was $5 billion annually. Today, it is $6.2 billion per week, she said.

We chose to ride the tiger and the tiger will decide when we get off.

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

“We chose to ride the tiger and the tiger will decide when we get off. And it has curtailed the ability of America to talk about human rights in China because the ‘interests’ are too great.”

Wolf echoed what Mann said about enhanced repression over the years, including the Chinese regime’s recent rounding up of human rights lawyers who defend religious minority groups, such as Uyghur Muslims, unregistered Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.

Raising his voice several decibels with righteous indignation, Wolf recounted a Washington Post story about Chinese lawyer Li Chunfu, who, Wolf said, “was imprisoned in secret detention for 500 days and brutally tortured and drugged.” As a result, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, ал айтты.

One might infer that Wolf was nearly shouting on this and other examples he gave of China’s repression because most of his colleagues in Congress going back to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 have been deaf to the human rights record of China.

Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China Marco Rubio listens to testimony at a hearing, titled,

Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China Marco Rubio listens to testimony at a hearing, titled, “The Broken Promises of China’s WTO Accession: Reprioritizing Human Rights,” on March 1. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

Chairman Rubio said that China “has engaged in brazen cyberattacks on the U.S. government and U.S. commercial interests. Intellectual property theft is rampant. It is arbitrarily detaining American citizens.”

Rubio continued with the quandary American companies face today:

“Meanwhile U.S. компаниялар, including major household names, daily weigh the enticement of the Chinese market against staying true to their own core principles and missions. Do they curb speech to gain access? Do they curry favor with the authorities by sharing sensitive technology that can be employed by the Communist Party to further surveil and repress Chinese citizens?

Does a Hollywood producer self-censor before the Chinese censors have a chance to, in order to gain market access for a new film? Does an American university, home to a Chinese government-funded Confucius Institute, opt not to invite the Dalai Lama to speak at their campus for fear of losing financial support?

American Citizen Detained, Tortured

Perhaps no better example of the U.S.’s position vis-à-vis China’s unlawful actions is that of Sandy Phan-Gillis—American citizen, mother and resident of Houston for almost 40 years. Her husband Jeff Gillis testified at this hearing that she has been detained in China for two years by China State Security, China’s spy agency (not China Public Security, which is China’s police force).

Phan-Gillis was on a trade mission to China with the Houston mayor when she was seized by China State Security on Mar. 19, 2015. Her being kept in isolation prevented her travel companions and her family from knowing about her detention. Mr. Gillis only learned of her detention after filing a missing person report with the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou.

China State Security subjected Phan-Gillis to solitary confinement and relentless questioning in a torture chair. This chair is a short 4-leged stool with no back or armrests and with raised teeth in the seat. Mr. Gillis said that his wife has serious medical conditions, and for a while, she was denied access to medicine. “China State Security used torture to force Sandy to make a false confession," ал айтты.

There is some irony in the fact that she was a strong supporter of China’s entry into the WTO and had devoted her entire career promoting trade and good relations with China, according to Mr. Gillis.

Mr. Gillis said that his wife was not allowed to see her attorney for over a year and that she was not even charged with a crime for well over a year. Finally, she was charged with being a spy on China for the FBI (which he noted is not a spy agency) and assisting the FBI in the capture of two Chinese spies in the United States and turning them into double agents. Mr. Gillis showed at the hearing how the charges are easily proved false and absurd. The details are contained in his written testimony which is available at the CECC’s website.

Where is the outrage, where is the action, and where are the consequences for China?

— Jeff Gillis, husband of American businesswoman detained in China for two years

After nearly two years, she has had no appearance before a judge and there’s still is no scheduled trial date. Arbitrarily detained, subjected to solitary confinement and torture and not so much as a hearing before a judge, Mr. Gillis said, “where is the outrage, where is the action, and where are the consequences for China?” He believes that human rights abuses such as what is happening to his wife go unchallenged because we are addicted to cheap Chinese products and obsessed with access to Chinese markets.

“If China State Security can arbitrarily detain and torture Sandy, they can arbitrarily detain and torture any American citizen. If Sandy isn’t safe in China, then no American is safe in China," ал айтты.

Panel of China observers testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on March 1. (L to R) Michael R. Wessel, commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; James Mann, author,

Panel of China observers testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on March 1. (L to R) Michael R. Wessel, commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; James Mann, author, “The China Fantasy”; Dr. Jeff Gillis, husband of American businesswoman Sandy Phan-Gillis, detained in China; and Dr. Sophie Richardson, China director, Human Rights Watch. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

Recommendation: More Assertive US

The CECC commissioners and witnesses agreed that we should abandon the assumption that trade will gradually open up political reform in China. That’s not going to happen. Instead, the U.S. needs to take a much tougher stance and reciprocate in kind whenever the China regime’s actions are problematic.

“What China permits or denies to Americans operating in China should be equally permitted or denied to Chinese operating in the United States. This principle should be applied to business negotiations, to non-government organizations, to the news media,” said James Mann.

Мисалы, the news media asymmetry is ridiculous, said Mann. American news organizations are blocked in China. China government denies visas to reporters it doesn’t like and imposes severe restrictions on reporters’ access and travel. Meanwhile in the United States, Chinese state-controlled news organizations freely print propaganda inserts in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and other papers. China’s state-run television enjoys full access to the broadcast spectrum.

China Director of Human Rights Watch Sophie Richardson agreed that the United States and E.U. and other nations need to find their voice and leverage when confronted with China’s conduct on national security or economic issues. Trying to use “persuasion” and “chumminess” to effect change in human rights and religious persecution hasn’t worked. She said that decades of experience make clear that “Beijing responds only to the expectation of unpleasant consequences.”

“Many senior Chinese officials with long track records of presiding over human rights abuses have bank accounts outside the country that could be frozen, Richardson said in her written testimony. Wolf pointed out that the Trump Administration could use the new authorities granted under the Global Magnitsky Act to restrict travel of Chinese government officials committing egregious human rights abuses.

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The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The University of California, San Diego, has invited the Dalai Lama as its commencement speaker in June, and a group of Chinese students at the university is rallying to stop his speech. There may be more to the events than meets the eye, Бирок,, as a social media posting said to be from the student group states it has been given directions by the Chinese Consulate.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet, and has been in exile since March, 1959, when he fled Tibet fearing the Chinese occupiers intended to abduct him. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army in Oct. 1950. The CCP pushes a line that it “liberated” Tibet, and heavily censors the topic, while calling the Dalai Lama a “separatist.”

The group trying to prevent the speech is a local branch of the Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA), a nationwide student organization known to receive funding and directives from the CCP through its consulates.

The CSSA has openly stated it is working under the guidance of the Chinese regime.

It published a statement on WeChat that states, translated from Chinese, that in regards to the Dalai Lama going to the university, “the Chinese Student and Scholar Association has asked the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles for instructions, and having received the instructions are going to implement them.”

It tells students to not act outside official guidance of the CCP, and says “specific measures to be taken will be elaborated on in future announcements.”

“Our association has been forced to take tough and unyielding measures,” it states.

The statement appears to have been taken offline, but a Web archive of the page is still available.

The “about us” page on the University of California, San Diego, CSSA website states, translated from Chinese, that it is a “public benefit organization” and is “affiliated to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.” It also says it works as a “Chinese embassy bridge.”

Overt Espionage

According to “China’s Espionage Dynasty: Economic Death by a Thousand Cuts, published by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank, CSSAs are active in more than 150 U.S. universities.

Officially, it states, the CSSAs help native Chinese students by acting as a bridge between China and foreign institutions. On the other hand, “CSSAs may also be a pivotal overt espionage platform for the Chinese government.”

“The vast majority of CSSAs receive funding from the Chinese government or have an active liaison via the consulate back to the CCP,” it states.

It adds that CSSAs may work to “persuade students to act as temporary or prolonged intelligence assets,” and that “Through CSSAs, students can be manipulated into passing intellectual property or research back to their home state or planting malware on a university system.”

According to an FBI podcast on April 14, 2014, it’s not uncommon for foreign intelligence agencies to manipulate students to achieve their objectives—and the students are often unaware they are being used until they’re already in over their heads.

“To foster the relationship, foreign intelligence operatives will flatter and encourage students, show interest in their future success, and even promise to help them obtain a government-issued visa or work permit—but it’s all disingenuous and empty promises,” it states.

It adds, “The truth is, the operatives are just using the student as a pawn to achieve their own ends, without concern for the student’s welfare or future.”

Controlling the Narrative

Preventing a speech by the Dalai Lama may not seem like a big deal, but for the CCP, its use of censorship and controlled narratives are cornerstones of its hold on power. It simultaneously pushes its own narratives on issues, peppered with disinformation, while also using extreme censorship to stop the true narratives from being known.

The issue of Tibet—which includes the CCP’s suppression of Tibetan Buddhists—is one of the CCP’s five “no-go topics,” which also includes its persecution of Falun Gong, its persecution of Muslim Uyghurs, the issue of Taiwanese independence, and the issue of democracy in Hong Kong.

The CCP’s censorship apparatus stretches beyond its own borders, and looks to control similar narratives being raised by foreign governments and news outlets.

“In many cases, Chinese officials directly impede independent reporting by media based abroad,” states a 2013 report from the Center for International Media Assistance.

It adds, Бирок,, that “more prevalent–and often more effective–are methods of control that subtly induce self-censorship or inspire media owners, advertisers, and other international actors to take action on the CCP’s behalf.”

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Frank Lee, spokesperson for Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC, speaks on the Washington Post’s responsibility for running an advertisement that he said was China state propaganda. He spoke, Feb. 2, at the National Press Club. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)Frank Lee, spokesperson for Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC, speaks on the Washington Post’s responsibility for running an advertisement that he said was China state propaganda. He spoke, Feb. 2, at the National Press Club. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Falun Gong practitioners called for the Washington Post to cease publishing the advertising supplements of the China Daily which are inserted into its print editions and can be found online.

Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC spokesman Frank Lee said at a news conference, Feb. 2, “We are deeply saddened to see the Washington Post, one of the most respected newspapers in the country, sacrifice its principles for profits, and assist an evil regime to spread its propaganda to the American people.” The title of the press release was “Washington Post: Enabler of Beijing’s Propaganda.”

Would the Post print an advertisement with anti-Semitic or racial slurs?

— Frank Lee, Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC

While the paid inserts in the Post have been around for longer than a decade, local practitioners are upset and indignant over the one published on Jan. 25, 2017. On the back cover was an article, titled, “Blasphemy masquerades as art” that practitioners say slanders Shen Yun, the New York-based, premiere classical Chinese dance and music company. They say that the Post should never have allowed this article, and that unless this kind of China propaganda is rebuffed, it will serve as an invitation for worse slandering of Falun Gong and possibly other minority groups.

The Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC is the presenter of Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., which had just completed a successful week-long run at the Kennedy Center. The China Daily article is pure propaganda say the practitioners, containing falsehoods and disparaging remarks about the performers. The article states that Shen Yun is “an exercise in brainwashing,” a “travesty,” and “blasphemy against real art.”

The connection between the association and the show is very transparent, according to Lee. Both the Kennedy Center and Shen Yun websites make clear that Shen Yun is presented by Falun Dafa Association of DC. The Shen Yun brochure that the Association mailed out illustrates the dance pieces about the persecution of Falun Gong, Lee said.

The article’s slander of Shen Yun is part of a well-orchestrated campaign against the American dance and music company, Lee said. He touched on a few: cyber-attacks on Shen Yun’s ticketing website, hiring thugs to slash Shen Yun’s bus tires, and mobilizing commentators to post negative reviews online.

Also, Chinese embassies and consulates around the world have contacted theaters, urging them not to sign contracts with Shen Yun or to cancel existing ones. When that fails, the regime arranges for people to pose as Falun Gong practitioners, said Lee, and to send letters with nonsensical or offensive content, creating negative impressions of Shen Yun and Falun Gong.

Accountability

Regarding the article, Lee conceded that there is the standard disclaimer on the top of the page, “An Advertising Supplement to the Washington Post.” However, Lee said that practitioners believe that “the Post cannot be completely absolved from responsibility for what it prints.

“Would the Post print an advertisement with anti-Semitic or racial slurs?” he asks. Obviously, the Post would draw the line there. Yet the Post did print an article by a foreign regime attacking an American arts company.

We request that the Post issue a public apology for carrying China Daily’s attack on us.

— Frank Lee, Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC

“We request that the Post issue a public apology for carrying China Daily’s attack on us,” said Lee.

The Falun Dafa Association sent letters, with content like what was discussed at the news conference, to Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and publisher and CEO Frederick Ryan, and awaits their response.

Who is Blasphemous?

On the blasphemy charge, New Tang Dynasty Television, interviewed Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, author and senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI). “Communism by its very nature rejects belief in God. ‘Blasphemy’ is not a concept they can use without hypocrisy,” she said.

Lee also noted how ironic it was for an atheistic regime to claim that Shen Yun is committing “blasphemy to real art.” During Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the Party assaulted China’s traditional culture, destroying religious and historical artifacts, desecrated monasteries and other religious sites, and condemned non-Communist literature and art.

The destruction of tradition continues today. “The persecution of Falun Gong, a Buddha school practice deeply rooted in traditional Chinese culture, is yet another episode in Beijing’s on-going war against traditional Chinese culture,” Lee said.

The reason the communist regime attacks Shen Yun can be understood in this context of traditional culture. Shen Yun takes as its starting premise that China’s traditional culture was divinely inspired—a gift from heaven. The Chinese people in past ages believed in living in harmony with the universe, and “believed in the oneness of heaven, earth, and humankind,” Lee said.

In contrast, the Communist Party advocates “struggle” against nature and man, and struggle between peoples—the reverse of the harmony that underlies Shen Yun. The Communist Party sees traditional culture as a threat to its existence, and seeks to eradicate it, said Lee.

Though one can still find traces of traditional Chinese culture in mainland China, it is no longer mainstream and the underlying spiritual essence is mostly lost.

— Frank Lee, Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC spokesperson

“Though one can still find traces of traditional Chinese culture in mainland China, it is no longer mainstream and the underlying spiritual essence is mostly lost,” Lee said.

Online Advertising and Post Content Blurred

Lee noted that the online version of the paid insert is even more misleading than the print version. The print version states in a light font, small print, at the top of the page, “An Advertising Supplement to the Washington Post,” which a reader could easily overlook.

The Washington Post is well aware that the China Watch section is designed to look like the rest of their paper and to fool readers.

— Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the Free Beacon, Июль 18, 2012

The online version under the WashingtonPost.com domain blurs the line between advertisement and content even further.

In 2001, James Fallows wrote in The Atlantic, “Official Chinese Propaganda: Now Online from the WaPo!,” pointing out how the URL chinawatch.washingtonpost.com can fool readers that it’s a Washington Post blog on China issues. It appears like any other Washington Post article.

“The Washington Post is well aware that the China Watch section is designed to look like the rest of their paper and to fool readers…. Just because they put ‘advertising supplement’ at the top in small print does not relieve them of the moral responsibility of knowingly supporting the world’s worst human rights abuser, the Chinese Communist Party,” said Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, as reported in the Free Beacon, Июль 18, 2012.

Rohrabacher also believes that China Daily articles should be labeled as products of a foreign government to be in accordance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

At the news conference, Larry Liu, the communications director of the Falun Gong Association advised the Post to wean itself off its dependency on income from printing communist propaganda. Liu said that they are going to lose that income anyway. “The Communist Party won’t be in power forever," ал айтты.

He warned that if the Post, which he said he had admired greatly, waits till the very end, “they will lose more than the money but their dignity and position in history.” Liu said some American companies made business deals with Nazi Germany and after World War II ended, came to deeply regret it. “I hope [the Post] learns these lessons from the past,” Liu said.

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The Wall Street Journal newspaper at a newsstand in the Chicago Board of Trade building July 17, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The Jan. 17, 2017 edition of the Journal carried a paid insert of China Daily with a propaganda piece attacking Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance company based in New York. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)The Wall Street Journal newspaper at a newsstand in the Chicago Board of Trade building July 17, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The Jan. 17, 2017 edition of the Journal carried a paid insert of China Daily with a propaganda piece attacking Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance company based in New York. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Chinese Communist Party has sought to attack Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance and music company, since its inception. Run by overseas Chinese, the New York-based Shen Yun remains firmly independent of the Chinese regime and tours the world, performing in around 20 countries and 100 cities. Tactics used to try to shut down the company are believed to include tire slashings, threats to theaters, and diplomatic interference.

Now, the Western media is being pressed into the task.

Readers of the Jan. 17 print edition of The Wall Street Journal received a supplement produced by China Daily, a state-run media known for carrying the ideological line of the Chinese Communist Party. The pages of the supplement are marked “paid advertisement” in the header. The Age, a broadsheet newspaper in Australia, carried similar content on Jan. 13.

Readers who flipped to page two of the supplement would have found a commentary piece on Shen Yun. Shen Yun states on its website that its mission is to use the language of music and dance to “bring back” China’s divinely-inspired culture, telling the tales of ancient and modern China that embody it.

Readers of the supplement in The Wall Street Journal weren’t apprised of the company’s mission, Бирок,. Instead, in inflammatory tones, the piece attacked Shen Yun because its dancers practice Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline.

In a manner similar to propaganda in China, the article assumes that only the Chinese Communist Party understands what authentic Chinese culture really is. The commentary piece ends by stating that “a call … to boycott the show is well worth heeding.”

Given that Shen Yun is currently on its annual world tour, the commentary piece was likely intended to turn potential Shen Yun theatergoers away from the performance by denouncing it as a hidden vehicle for Falun Gong, and to slander Falun Gong in the process.

Chinese authorities are believed to have employed a range of other, less savory, tactics to achieve the same end. Leeshai Lemish, an emcee with Shen Yun, keeps a running log of incidents that include unusual and targeted tire-slashings of Shen Yun vehicles, odd calls to theaters, letters from Chinese diplomatic representatives making veiled threats for elected representatives not to attend Shen Yun, and more.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that involves physical exercises and teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. After the practice spread rapidly through China by word of mouth for seven years, the Chinese regime began violently persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in 1999; the campaign of persecution has been accompanied by propaganda inciting hatred—and this sometimes spills over into the West.

The China Daily “exposé” of Shen Yun, if it was truly intended as such, amounts to a clumsy attempt at propaganda.

Shen Yun states on its official website that the company “was established by Falun Dafa practitioners in 2006.” Official Shen Yun program books state that certain acts or vignettes depict the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. Regional Falun Dafa associations are commonly presenters of Shen Yun in different locales, and are identified as such in Shen Yun promotional materials.

The claim that Shen Yun “demonizes the Chinese government” attempts to turn the abuser into the victim. Shen Yun’s current program includes the persecution and clever resistance of Buddhist monks by Communist Party elements in one vignette, for instance, or of Falun Gong practitioners peacefully defending their faith in another — all stories drawn from real political campaigns that have taken place in China. One could say more credibly that the Chinese regime has demonized itself, by committing violence against its own peaceful citizens.

The countless horrors associated with the Cultural Revolution, other political campaigns, and the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners are well-established realities. And Shen Yun’s dance vignettes are much more about the courage and heroism of spiritually-grounded people overcoming incredible odds than the Communist Party’s own violent pathologies.

The Chinese regime’s claim to be the arbiter of what is genuine traditional Chinese culture or what qualifies as a “blasphemy that masquerades as art” (the title of the commentary article) is bizarre to say the least, and highly ironic. Mao Zedong, the founding revolutionary and Party leader, oversaw a decade-long campaign in the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) for the express purpose of destroying China’s traditional culture and promoting atheistic communism.

The calls to boycott Shen Yun mentioned in the article have only ever been issued directly from the Chinese regime itself. And sometimes they have an effect opposite to that intended, as when politicians in Western countries, who receive a letter from the Chinese consulate condemning Shen Yun, then become interested in seeing it for themselves to learn what all the fuss is about.

Epoch Times has run special coverage of audience reactions to Shen Yun performances since the company’s beginning in 2006 and has reported regularly on attempts to harm the company (and those attempts often predictable failure).

Perhaps the larger question is not that China Daily is publishing crude propaganda from the Communist Party, but that the Wall Street Journal is comfortable with carrying such material. Though the Journal provides a standard disclaimer that the material in question “did not involve the news or editorial departments,” the publication cannot be absolved from responsibility for what it prints.

In response to a request for comment, Wall Street Journal spokesperson Colleen Schwartz wrote: “The Journal has run special advertising sections and other traditional advertising from China Watch, which are clearly labeled as such. The Journal’s news organization is not involved.”

Shouldn’t the editorial management of the venerable financial newspaper be wary of carrying material that seeks to perpetuate the marginalization, exclusion, and hatred against a vulnerable group that is violently persecuted in China to this day?

The Chinese Communist Party will certainly do its best to continue its persecution campaigns beyond its borders. It is up to the free media of the West to take a principled stance—even if that means less advertising revenue—on whether or not to allow such naked propaganda in its own pages.

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U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke delivers his farewell speech at the Beijing American Center on Feb. 26, 2014 in Beijing. Locke said that Clinton is strong on human rights. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke delivers his farewell speech at the Beijing American Center on Feb. 26, 2014 in Beijing. Locke said that Clinton is strong on human rights. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

Gary Locke, the former ambassador to China, became an internet sensation in that country after he was spotted paying for his own Starbucks and carrying his own bags in the Seattle airport, as he got ready to fly to Beijing to assume his post. He subsequently played key roles in a number of major diplomatic incidents between the United States and China, including the attempted defection of Wang Lijun to the American consulate in Chengdu in February 2012, and the shelter of blind dissident Chen Guangcheng in the American consulate in Beijing, in April of the same year.

Ambassador Locke on Nov. 7 accepted a telephone interview from Simone Gao, a news anchor with New Tang Dynasty Television, an independent, overseas Chinese-language broadcaster and a media partner of the Epoch Times.

Epoch Times here republishes the transcript of that interview, edited for brevity and clarity.

Simone Gao: Ambassador Locke, thank you for accepting this interview. In any presidential election, particularly in this election, American people care a great deal about who the candidates are, because America’s future hangs on the judgement and values of the president. We also know that the most important bilateral relationship in the world in the years and decades ahead will be the China-U.S. relationship. So we want to allow those fundamental values and judgements to be reflected, through discussion of human rights, trade, and national security, with regard to the United States and China. I’d also like to explore why you support Secretary Clinton.

During the past few decades, the framework of U.S. policy toward China has been engagement — engaging China economically to influence it politically. Now China is the second largest economy in the world but it hasn’t gained much freedom, or become more democratic. Instead, foreign investment and technology has boosted China’s economy and provided the Party with more means to tighten control domestically. Ошол эле учурда, China is investing in the United States, and there are concerns that its economic power now influences the United States. If Secretary Clinton becomes our next president, what is her fundamental thinking on economic relations with China?

Ambassador Locke: Well, first of all, let me just say, what a pleasure it is to be able to talk to you about this election, that is so important for the future of Americans. And as you said, for world order, and especially for China-U.S. relations, we need a president who is going to help restore good paying jobs for all of the people in America. We need to make sure that children of working, middle-class families can afford college education. Secretary Clinton is talking about building up our roads and our bridges, which will really improve the safety net and the method of transportation for the people of this country, but at the same time, provide good, good paying jobs for the American people. She is also a trusted, proven leader, and I have known her for over 20 years.

That’s why we also need a person of her stature, leading the United States, representing us in the world. You know, we have differences, we have differences between United States and China. But we also have many areas of common interests. And quite frankly, the world is looking for leadership from both China and the United States, working together, cooperating together, to solve some of these tough, tough world issues, whether it is climate change, whether it is stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear arms, fighting piracy off the coast of Africa, stopping North Korea and Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, or just finding a cure for cancer.k

There are differences between United States and China, and Secretary Clinton is highly respected in China, but she also speaks her mind. And she has the ability to sit down with the Chinese leaders to talk about these issues, and to get changes. You know, she gave her big speech in China many, many years ago, where she said that, women’s rights is human rights. And I was with her when she was advocating on behalf of Chen Guangcheng, the blinded dissident and getting him successfully able to come to the United States. So she speaks up on human rights, she speaks up any time that she believes any country, whether China or Russia or even Germany or France or Canada, is violating international rules, whether it is on trade or human rights.

Simone Gao: There is a well-known remark by Secretary Clinton about trade and human rights in 2009, to the effect that we would not allow human rights to get in the way of trade. In Chen Guangcheng’s recent memoir, he expressed his disappointment with how Secretary Clinton handled human rights in China — both Chen and the human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng believe that Secretary Clinton sacrificed human rights for trade. Do you find this criticism legitimate? What is Secretary Clinton’s basic approach to human rights? Does it belong to the category of foreign affairs, or does it pertain to the fundamental values of America?

She has made it very clear that human rights is part of the DNA of America, and America cares about human rights, and it is always part of our policy and all of our positions. Yes, we support trade but never at the cost of human rights. And if you look at the Chen Guangcheng case, we were all prepared, under her direction and under her leadership, to let him stay in the United States embassy for many many years, if we could not reach an agreement with the Chinese government on his terms. He was setting out the terms by which he was willing to leave the embassy. And if the Chinese government did not agree to those terms, then we, the United States government, with Secretary Clinton’s support, were willing to let him stay in the embassy for several years, the way we have with other dissidents in other countries.

But Secretary Clinton continued to press and push the Chinese government to let Chen Guangcheng come to the United States. That demonstrated her commitment to human rights. I was there. I saw all these discussions and so, I disagreed when they said that Secretary Clinton did not advocate on behalf of Chen Guangcheng. She was working night and day on his behalf.

Simone Gao: Secretary Clinton is well known for her criticism of human rights in China — she has been advocating women’s rights and criticising China’s one-child policy, Бирок,, she has been silent on the most severe human rights violation…

Ambassador Locke: Hey, let me say this, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has had deep respect for the Chinese-American community, and she has been very firm in her discussion with Chinese leaders. And she is a friend of the Chinese-American community in America. She is a friend of the Chinese people. But yes, America has firm differences with the policies of China on trade and human rights, and United States government has always been strong and very candid about those differences.

I have seen Secretary Clinton be very firm and very direct with the Chinese leaders. Now the choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is constantly insulting people of different ethnic groups, including the Chinese. Donald Trump wrote me a letter, that is very, very negative, and very insulting of the Chinese people. And he has, throughout this campaign, he has insulted people of different ethnic groups, people with physical disabilities, he certainly has been insulting about women and talking about how he can grope them, about how he can kiss them, just because he is a celebrity, even if they don’t want to be touched or kissed by him. He’s insulted Mexican Americans, Hispanic Americans, a judge, who is a very high-quality judge in America, just because the judge’s parents are from Mexico. He has insulted people of Muslim, Islamic faith, and he talks about, for instance, deporting, immediately, all of the illegal immigrants in the United States. The Chinese people need to understand that ten percent of these illegal immigrants are in fact Chinese.

So when Donald Trump said on day one, he wanted to kick out all of the illegal immigrants and they have to reapply to come back into the United States, he is talking about Chinese Americans, too. So who is the better choice in terms of the Chinese-American community in the United States? A person who believes and has worked her entire life on behalf of children and families, like Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, who talks about giving the wealthiest people in America another tax break? The very, very wealthy, the millionaires of America, do not need a tax break.

Working middle-class families, the people who are struggling, need a president who is going to create more jobs and help their children go to colleges without having to pay tuition. Because we all know that a college education is fundamental to the American Dream, and provides the opportunity and the skills, so that all people, boys and girls, black and white, yellow, people of all ethnic groups, and all religions, can succeed, that’s what America stands for.

America is the land of liberty, hope, freedom and opportunity. We need to make sure that the American Dream can be realized, can be attained, can be achieved, by Chinese-Americans, and people of all different ethnic groups. That’s why America is such a strong country, and why so many people from around the world, want to come to America, because of our freedom, our liberty, our way of life, our diversity, our diversity of people, of different cultures, of different languages, of different religions, men and women working together, and achieving great things.

NTD Television host Simone Gao

NTD Television host Simone Gao

Simone Gao: Tomorrow I will be interviewing the spokesperson from Donald Trump’s campaign, and I’ll ask that person about the issues you raised, including what you said just now that Donald Trump wrote you a letter, where he said insulting things about the Chinese people. Can you elaborate on that? What did he write, exactly?

Ambassador Locke: Well, he was just complaining about the trade policy, but then, I mean, when I was at the U.S. Department of Commerce, we had concerns about trade policy with China, and rule of law, and making sure that the courts were fair and independent. But the way he said it, was very, very insulting about all Chinese.

I don’t have the letter right in front of me, no. But, you know, it was very, very insulting. And that is his character, he is always insulting people. How can we have a world leader, sitting down, how can we have a US president, sitting down with other world leaders, trying to get them to change their behavior if all he does is insult them?

Simone Gao: Exactly — what people are looking at is not just policy, it’s character, judgement, and values. On that, let me…

Ambassador Locke: I mean, Доналд Трамп, Доналд Трамп, openly talks about how, what a good business person he is, because he doesn’t pay his workers, he doesn’t pay his architects, he doesn’t pay his contractors. Well, he is smart, he has been a good businessman. I mean, I suppose you are making money, and saving money, by not paying the people who work for you. But is that a person with good character? Would we want our children to grow up to be like that type of a person?

Simone Gao: Secretary Clinton has been silent on the most severe human rights violation and religious persecution in China over the last two decades, that is, the persecution of Falun Gong. In fact, neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration has openly raised the Falun Gong issue with China. If Secretary Clinton becomes our next president, what is she going to do about the persecution of Falun Gong? Will she openly demand the Chinese government end the persecution?

Ambassador Locke: Actually I have been with Secretary Clinton when she had raised these human rights issues; she talked about religious freedom and she talked about greater autonomy and freedom for ethnic minorities in China and different religious groups. So, I have seen her, I have heard her, raise these issues to the Chinese leaders.

I am confident she will continue to advocate and push for human rights including greater religious freedom and tolerance within China.

Simone Gao: In June 2016, U.S. Congress passed H.Res. 343, condemning state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China. This action is good, however it is fairly late, and it isn’t enough. Evidence shows that the crime continues to date. If Secretary Clinton becomes the president, what is she going to do about this crime?

Ambassador Locke: Well, I am not part of her administration, so I cannot say what exactly her proposals are and what steps she is going to take next. All I can tell you is that Hillary Clinton has long had a history standing up and speaking out on behalf of human rights and that human rights is part of our foreign policy. We don’t separate it out. It is part of the character of America, which makes us very, very different from most other countries. Human rights is part of our character, that’s why we care about human rights. And I have seen Clinton advocate on behalf of human rights in a way that makes other world leaders perhaps uncomfortable, but she is very open about it, very forthright about it, and doesn’t run from it.

Simone Gao: Февралда 2012 when Wang Lijun fled to the American Consulate in Chengdu, reports say that you recommended the State Department give him asylum status, but it was rejected. It was also said that Wang Lijun brought a number of top secret documents with him pertaining to the Chinese government’s top leadership power struggle — the U.S. Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee chair requested the State Department to release these documents, but we never heard anything since?

Ambassador Locke: Those allegations are all completely untrue. We cannot give asylum to a person that is still in the country they are trying to leave. If you want to defect, you have to do that when you are outside the country that you are trying to leave. You cannot do it when you are still in that country.

Simone Gao: So you didn’t recommend the State Department grant him asylum?

Ambassador Locke: It was impossible, you could never have done it, if we wanted it to.

Simone Gao: So you didn’t do it?

Ambassador Locke: If let’s say, let’s say, let’s say, let’s say you are a Russian general, and you have all these secret documents, and you are to defect and you want to seek asylum. If you go to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and you say, I want to defect, I want asylum, you have to ask for asylum when you are in the United States or outside of Russia. You cannot ask for it when you are inside Russia. How can we get that general out of Russia? If he comes to U.S. Embassy in Russia and we want to give him asylum, how do we get him to the United States? How do we get him outside of Russia? If we drive out him outside, from the embassy to the airport, the Russian police, the Russian military has the authority and the power to stop the car. They do not have to let the car take him to the airport. Even if we put him on an airplane, the Russian government does not have to let the airplane take off. So how do we get that Russian general outside of Russia. That’s why, anytime, for instance, a Russian ballet dancer defects and seeks asylum, they do it when they are visiting another country, maybe they are on tour in France, maybe they are on tour in Canada. Then during a break, they somehow go to the French embassy or the US embassy, and they say, I want to defect, I want to leave Russia, I want to become a citizen or I want to go to United States to defect and to seek asylum. You do it when you are no longer in the country you are trying to leave.

Simone Gao: At that point in 2012, the U.S. Consulate was surrounded by security forces directed by Bo Xilai and the mayor of Chongqing, but somehow you decided to give Wang Lijun to the head of national security — is that true?

Ambassador Locke: Well, a lot of these things are classified and I cannot comment on it because it is classified information. But let me just tell you this: We were not going to let him walk out of the consulate in Chengdu, because he would have been apprehended and taken into custody by the security forces from Chongqing sent there by Bo Xilai. And we feared, we were concerned for his safety. We knew that just letting him walk out of the consulate would be very dangerous for him and that he might not be seen again. So, and because he cannot seek asylum, it is physically, legally impossible to seek asylum, to defect to the United States, if you are still in China at that time, we enabled him to make phone calls to Beijing and to talk to people who could guarantee his safety out of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. We helped him secure safe passage out of the consulate in Chengdu.

Simone Gao: Thank you for that clarification. Were any of the documents he brought related to forced organ harvesting?

Ambassador Locke: I am not at lib… I cannot say .. I am not going to confirm whether or not there were such documents.

Simone Gao: OK. I touched on this question before, but let me ask again: You are well known in the Chinese community, and you’re a familiar figure to everyday people in China. These people will want to know: Why do you support Secretary Clinton?

Ambassador Locke: Because she is a proven, effective leader. She works with people of all different political backgrounds and beliefs to get things done, to benefit the American people. She has very clear policies and goals for creating more good paying jobs for the American people, making sure that the children of working middle-class families can attend a college or university, without being in debt. And she is a respected world leader. And we need a person that our young people can look up to as a role model, and we need to make sure that the children of America continue to have big dreams and know that if they work hard and study hard, we have a president that will work on their behalf, so that their dreams can come true.

We need a president who is going to bring the people of the world together, bring the people of America together, to solve some of the tough issues facing us. We need a leader who values the many ethnic and cultural groups, religious groups, men and women of America, the diversity of America, because it is that great diversity of people — immigrants from around the world — that have made America great. And we need a president who recognizes the contribution of immigrant groups, recognizes the contribution of different cultures and people of different languages, and inspires them to work even harder, so that America is even a better place to live, work and raise a family, so that America continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity and freedom for people around the world. So that America can be an example to people around the world, and to governments around the world.

Simone Gao: A final question. A peaceful and prosperous China will be a blessing for the world and the United States — where does Secretary Clinton see the positive force that will contribute to peace and prosperity for a future China? How will she work with and nurture this positive force?

Ambassador Locke: Anyone who has seen Secretary Clinton in the past, sees how she brings people together, how she respects people of different cultures, languages, and religions and ethnic groups, and tries to celebrate that diversity and capitalize on that diversity. People of different viewpoints, people with different ideas, when they come together, they actually come up with a better solution. And so many of the issues facing the world cannot be solved just by United States alone or even by China alone, or France alone, or Germany alone. They need world leaders and people of different countries all coming together.

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Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

SAN FRANCISCO—It’s impossible to tell at a glance that Wang Liansu, a gently-spoken native of northeastern China now living in San Francisco, was brutally beaten and shocked with electric batons on multiple occasions during a 12-year incarceration.

“Some bruises remain," ал айтты, and directed me to touch his left rib. An egg-sized bump can be felt beneath the white cloth of his shirt.

Wang Liansu at a candlelight vigil of Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Wang Liansu at a candlelight vigil of Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

In the evening of Oct. 22, Wang and over 1,500 other practitioners of Falun Gong from around the world gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco.

Seated nearly knee-to-knee in Laguna Street and along the sides of the consulate building, the practitioners lit candles in memory of the untold numbers killed in a brutal persecution that is now in its 17th year.

ГЭСине, the former Chinese leader, had vowed to “eliminate” Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline whose practitioners perform slow exercises and live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, боюнча 1999. The regime’s propaganda apparatus mounted a Cultural Revolution-style hate campaign, and overnight about 70 үчүн 100 million Chinese citizens found themselves targeted for arrest, detention, and torture.

In September 2001, Wang Liansu, then a 49-year-old mechanical engineer at a state-owned company, was printing literature aimed at exposing the propaganda about Falun Gong in a small print shop in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province, when police barged in and arrested him.

While in detention, Wang’s minders subjected him to severe torture, sleep deprivation, and other forms of abuse in a bid to make him renounce Falun Gong.

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Once, police officers tied him to a special metal chair and took turns beating him; when they grew tired, they shocked him electric batons. “My privates were charred black, and I suffered heart palpitations,” he recalls.

On another occasion, Wang thought that he was finished after prison guards repeatedly shoved his head into a black plastic bag and choked him to the point of near death. Several times, Wang was tortured to the point where he required medical attention.

Wang Liansu performs the exercises of Falun Gong in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Wang Liansu performs the exercises of Falun Gong in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Despite the harshness of prison, Wang never once thought of giving up his faith. “I firmly believe that my adhering to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance isn’t something wrong," ал айтты.

Wang once shared a cell with a practitioner who was beaten so badly that green bile dribbled out of his mouth, before he died the following day.

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Wang Liansu was eventually released near the end of 2013. Last year, he secured travel documents to the United States—under fortuitous conditions— and was finally reunited with his wife and adult son.

After Wang left prison, he hoped to share his “12-year experience in the Chinese regime’s jails to the world’s people.”

Today, outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, he is doing precisely that.

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

SF Falun Gong Vigil

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Бенджамин Chasteen / доору Times)
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