Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Numerous candlelights flickered in the darkness as hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners held a vigil in front of the Lincoln Memorial to remember the victims of the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of the practice.

The traditional Chinese spiritual discipline of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, was first introduced in China in 1992. Many Chinese were attracted to the practice for its physical benefits and moral philosophy rooted in the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It has been persecuted since July 1999 after it became too popular in the eyes of a former communist leader, who ordered it to be eliminated.

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners in a candlelight vigil at Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Since then, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been thrown into prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers where they are coerced through physical and psychological torture into renouncing their beliefs. A large but indefinite number of Falun Gong practitioners have also been killed for their organs to fuel China’s lucrative transplant industry, according to reports.

Falun Dafa practitioners gathered in Washington D.C. on July 20 for a series of events, including a rally, parade, and a candlelight vigil, to honor the lives lost over the past eighteen years.

Pooja Mor joins Falun Gong practitioners during a candlelight vigil around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Pooja Mor, a fashion model, joins Falun Gong practitioners during a candlelight vigil around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Pooja Mor, a 25-year-old Indian fashion model, joined in the day’s events in DC to show her support. Mor started practicing Falun Dafa two and a half years ago after her agent in India introduced it to her.

“Before I used to blame people for everything wrong that happened in my life. After learning Falun Dafa, I started to look within,” Mor said. “Instead of finding faults with others, I first look to see where I’m lacking.”

Falun Dafa practitioner Yang Guangyu, a native of Beijing who came to the US in 2009, said, “Falun Dafa practitioners simply want to cultivate themselves, to promote moral values, and to improve their health.” Yang was detained in late 2001 in a prison and later a forced labor camp for peacefully defending Falun Dafa in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a popular site of protest in China.

Many tourists and visitors who passed by the candlelight vigil expressed their sympathy and shock at the human rights abuses occurring in China.

“I have trouble understanding why something like this would be persecuted in China,” said Catherine Ramos, a tourist from New Jersey.

Lynne DePalma, who was with Ramos, said, “It’s a communist country, so it’s a closed society. And a lot of things that go on, the world doesn’t know about unless people do something like this and bring it to the world’s attention.”

“It’s an atrocity, and it shouldn’t be happening,” DePalma added. “It’s immoral. It’s abusive.”   

Ma Cunxia, a Falun Gong practitioner from Changchun City in northeastern China, called on the U.S. government to take a firmer stance. “I hope the government, particularly the Trump administration, can act on America’s founding values of human rights and freedom of belief and call for an end to this 18-year-long persecution.”

Eva Fu contributed to this report.

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A little boy joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A little boy joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

 

 

 

 

 

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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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The Tianlangxing, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence ship, passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, and stayed off the Alaskan coast during the July 11th test of a U.S. missile defence system. (Courtesy Japanese Ministry of Defence)The Tianlangxing, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence ship, passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, and stayed off the Alaskan coast during the July 11th test of a U.S. missile defence system. (Courtesy Japanese Ministry of Defence)

The Chinese spy ship that sailed international waters off the coast of Alaska during a recent missile defense test was a class that had never been seen before in Northern Command’s area-of-responsibility, a spokesperson said Friday.

It was the first Chinese military vessel in the area since 2015 when a Chinese “surface action group” transited through, said Michael Kucharek, a spokesperson for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command.

Kucharek would not speculate as to what the ship was doing in the area, but mentioned several times that it was in international waters where it had the right of free navigation.

A military source familiar with the incident told The Epoch Times it was the same ship as reported by the Diplomat on July 4th, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) vessel.

Chinese state-owned media, the English language China Daily, reported on the ship in January in an article based on a report from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) news outlet. The report focused on a newly commissioned ship, the Kaiyangxing.

The ship that was present for the missile test was the Tianlangxing, which passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

According to the PLA report cited by the China Daily, the PLA Navy now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels. The report also gave specific information about the ships such as their capabilities and functions.

“Until now, the PLA Navy has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships,” said the report.

The newly launched Kaiyangxing was capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets,” the China Daily reported.

“The ship is so sophisticated that only a few countries, such as the United States and Russia, are capable of developing it,” it continued.

The China Daily quoted an unnamed source in the shipbuilding industry saying that the United States had 15 such ships.

The Tianlangxing arrived off the coast of Alaska shortly before the July 11 test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

A spokesperson for the Missile Defense Agency told The Epoch Times it was the fastest target the system has been tested against so far.

The ship stayed approximately 100 miles off the Alaskan coast.

The THAAD system is designed to protect against intermediate- and short-range ballistic missiles, like those North Korea has amassed and threatened to launch against Japan and South Korea.

China is North Korea’s closest ally and major trading partner, accounting for 75 percent of North Korea’s imports and exports.

China’s ruling Communist Party, which has a faction that is close to the North Korean regime, has denounced the THAAD system that is now partially deployed in South Korea.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on July 5, the day after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say could reach Alaska, representatives of China and Russia both called for the system to be dismantled.

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A Chinese policeman asks not to take pictures outside Zhongnanhai which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China after the sacking of politician Bo Xilai from the countries powerful Politburo, in Beijing on April 11, 2012. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)A Chinese policeman asks not to take pictures outside Zhongnanhai which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China after the sacking of politician Bo Xilai from the countries powerful Politburo, in Beijing on April 11, 2012. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite the Chinese regime’s constant fear that U.S. policy makers have long been plotting a U.S.-led “regime change” in China, a senior former official under the Obama administration said there was never any such plan nor even any discussion remotely associated with the idea. This revelation sheds further light on the paranoid nature of the Chinese regime, but likely also raises questions concerning the Obama administration’s commitment to promoting such U.S. principles such as democracy and freedom in the world’s largest authoritarian nation.

Evan Medeiros, who served six years from 2009 to 2015 in the Obama administration as a senior China specialist, attended a Thursday panel at the Center for Strategic & International Studies to discuss his thoughts on the latest U.S.-China Relations reports published by American and Chinese think tanks and scholars.

Medeiros said that the fear of a U.S.-orchestrated “regime change” has been one of the most defining features of the Chinese regime’s perceptions toward the United States for decades, and that such fear still dominates the Chinese regime’s thinking about U.S.-China relations even today. Speaking on the basis of his six years of experience steering U.S.-China policy for Obama’s White House, however, Medeiros attested that there was never any discussion among Obama and senior officials concerning the possibility of regime change in China.

According to Medeiros, there was “not a single conversation” in which neither President Obama, nor Vice President Biden, nor the national security advisor raised any issue concerning China’s political system and its potential threat to American national security. Behind the curtain, the Obama administration never contemplated let alone attempted a change to the authoritarian rule of the Chinese regime. “Not even once, not even remotely close,” said Medeiros.

President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on June 7, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on June 7, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Evan Medeiros was regarded by many as being among the most pro-China policymakers in the White House during the Obama administration. According to Bill Gertz, a conservative critic of the Obama administration’s China policy, Evan Medeiros had written in academic writings before his White House posting that the Chinese military posed little or no threat to the interests of the United States, and that Beijing’s policies are generally benign.

Medeiros’s remark on Thursday likely provides additional evidence to support the long-held criticism among conservatives and many rights activists that the Obama administration did not do enough to influence the Chinese regime nor to assert fundamental U.S. principles such as democracy and freedom.

The Obama administration’s belief that China’s authoritarian regime poses no threat to American national security has been hotly contested by many others. Peter Navarro, a former professor in economics who now serves as President Trump’s director of the National Trade Council is known for his view that China’s Communist Party regime and its expansionist foreign policies pose direct threats to U.S. national interests and national security.

Although the Obama administration showed no interest in changing China’s political system, Evan Medeiros insisted that it still paid attention to “questions and concerns about human rights in China, [the regime’s] crackdown on political freedom.”

Just last week, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a public hearing on China’s human rights abuses, in which Congressman Chris Smith, who is also the chairman of the CECC, criticized the Obama administration’s lack of effort in promoting human rights issues in China and slammed Obama’s China policy as “eight years of retreat.” The Congressionally-mandated CECC had been “pleading” with the Obama administration to take firm action on China’s human rights abuses to no avail, said Chris Smith.

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The homepage of the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on July 6. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)The homepage of the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on July 6. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

New research suggests that a series of large-scale cyberattacks on The Epoch Times, starting in January and continuing to the present, are part of a coordinated campaign.

CitizenLab of the University of Toronto published a report on July 5, which detailed the cyberattacks and noted that several Chinese-language news outlets were targeted at the same time, apparently by the same group of hackers, and using the same methodologies.

The Epoch Times runs the largest Chinese-language news outlet not under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, and frequently publishes stories on topics forbidden in China such as the persecution of Falun Gong. The Epoch Times is part of Epoch Media Group, and its sister media, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD), was also hit with cyberattacks at the same time.

The hackers took several steps in their attempts to breach and disable the targeted websites. They created mirror images of the official websites, with Internet URLs that were only slightly different from the originals. If someone were to misspell the intended website address, they could instead be directed to the fake site, which would then ask for the user’s login credentials—information the hackers were trying to steal.

At the same time, the hackers launched a series of large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattacks against the main websites, which attempted to overload the websites and force them offline. It also included more personal attacks that attempted to compromise computers and social media accounts of individual reporters.

Ronald Deibert, director of The Citizen Lab, wrote in a blog post that while all of the targets were “news websites that publish content critical of the Chinese government,” it is also difficult to attribute the attack to an official state agency. Deibert noted “It is possible the operators behind this campaign are ‘hackers for hire’—typical of the way in which a lot of cyber espionage is outsourced in China.”

The Epoch Times is targeted frequently by the Chinese regime, and methods have included cyberattacks, physical attacks, and threats. Several of the past attacks have been attributed by The Epoch Times to organs of the Chinese Communist Party.

In March, when the cyberattacks were increasing in strength and frequency, Stephen Gregory, publisher of the English-language edition of The Epoch Times, noted they “started just when The Epoch Times began publishing a new series on the Communist Party.”

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**

Terms commonly used during the Cold War have again emerged amid allegations that Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections. These words and phrases, which were all but forgotten in recent history, include “active measures,” “agents of influence,” and “disinformation,” and they are tied to campaigns meant to alter public perception and influence political decision-making.

While it has been a struggle to prove that Russia’s alleged campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election had any effect, these strategies of influence are in fact being used heavily against the United States—only now, most are carried out not by Russia, but by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

All of these systems fall under an umbrella strategy known as “political warfare,” and the Chinese regime has at least an entire military branch and two political branches, as well as large-scale systems for information control, to carry out its aims on a massive scale.

“We haven’t even begun to coordinate ourselves to take on this challenge,” said Richard Fisher, senior fellow on Asian military affairs with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“Any political activity undertaken by a dictatorship that, at its core, is devoted to the destruction of freedom, warrants the broad attention of Western security organs,” he said.

Political warfare is a unique system of fighting that targets many things we would not normally think of as military targets, using systems most of us would not regard as weapons.

“Political warfare seeks to influence emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals in a manner favorable to one’s own political-military objectives,” states a 2013 report on the CCP’s political warfare operations from politics and security think tank Project 2049 Institute.

This form of warfare can include any number of methods that can alter public opinion or political policy. It can take the form of an agent of influence laughing and shaking hands in political or business circles; beautiful female spies being sent to date or marry foreign policymakers and thought leaders; financial deals allowing agents to exert influence over a targeted industry; or professors and think tank employees getting friendly invites to speak in China, where they are wooed into thinking the world is wrong about the CCP.

Even civilian populations are targeted. Campaigns include paying for CCP propaganda to run in foreign news outlets, such as the “China Watch” inserts published by American newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Through these means, the CCP’s political warfare systems aim to alter foreign views on its policies, lay down new interpretations of its authoritarian rule, or influence foreign policy to advance its interests.

“In an orchestrated campaign of good cop/bad cop, Chinese officials have gone directly to U.S. public opinion, trying to appeal to sentimental feelings of cooperation and partnership while literally threatening war,” states the Project 2049 report, quoting a report from J. Michael Waller of the Institute of World Politics.

“The operation is aimed at five levels: the American public at large, journalists who influence the public and decision-makers, business elites, Congress, and the president and his inner circle,” it states.

An Unseen War

The CCP has several departments heavily focused on political warfare. These include its military’s General Political Department, as well as its Propaganda Department, United Front Department, and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.

According to Fisher, however, its operations are not limited to just these departments, and “there could be extensive overlap between them—this is not uncommon in Chinese active measure endeavors.”

“In China, intelligence is stratified,” Fisher said. The regime’s intelligence departments at nearly any level, in any city, “can be approved to run independent and international operations.”

He also noted that there is a formlessness to political warfare operations—the focus is the goal, not the method.

“In no given order of priority, they could include compromising a political target, enlisting a political target, and defaming, damaging the reputation of a political target. It could also include short-term or sophisticated long-term propaganda, or directed information campaigns,” he said, adding that among many other things, political warfare includes altering information or manufacturing false information.

Political warfare has different names under different regimes. The Chinese regime’s lexicon refers to it as “liaison work,” according to Project 2049, while the Soviet Union referred to it as “active measures.”

It also overlaps with many other forms of unconventional warfare. Among its main components is psychological warfare, used to impact an opponent’s will to fight, or to change its interpretation of events. An example would be Soviet propaganda that fed popular opinion in the United States with the aim of ending the Vietnam War.

Psychological warfare under the CCP’s military “is the employment of psychology, through such means as propaganda, to sap the will of an opponent’s military and civilian populace, as well as to counter an opponent’s effort to do the same,” states Dean Cheng, in a 2012 report in Special Warfare, the U.S. Army special operations bulletin.

Under the CCP, these same strategies are employed directly in its military strategy. The communist regime’s “Three Warfares” concept uses psychological warfare, media warfare (to spread propaganda), and legal warfare (to manipulate legal systems), according to a 2015 report from U.S. Special Operations Command.

It notes that under the CCP, “media warfare seeks to influence domestic and international public opinion to build support for military actions and dissuade adversaries from actions contrary to China’s interests,” while legal warfare “uses international and domestic law to claim the legal high ground or assert Chinese interests.”

Subversive Movements

The goals of the CCP’s political warfare operations, and its agents of choice, need to be examined in context.

Carrying out visible, “overt,” and technically legal intelligence operations requires the use of foreign agents of influence, who are typically recruited from the diaspora of the regime’s citizens living abroad or from devotees to the regime’s ideology.

The main culprit of political warfare used to be Russia under the Soviet Union. Its main tools for these operations were its ideological supporters in foreign societies—journalists, professors, and activist community organizers, for example.

It recruited these often unofficial “agents of influence” through ideological subversion, converting them into believers of its communist doctrine. Fisher said that “by and large, the Soviet ground force was ideologically inclined,” since the Soviets did not have major ethnic communities around the globe they could call upon.

This differs from Russian political warfare operations today, which are comparatively limited in scope. Its supporters are typically region-locked, in Eastern European states, and only among the ethnic Russian communities.

Most of its political warfare operations further abroad, such as in the United States, are carried out by smaller numbers of more official spies, and through electronic means—such as online state media, social media posts, and cyberattacks.

The CCP, however, maintains agents from both its ethnic diaspora and supporters of its ideology, in levels close to those the Soviets had during the Cold War. The key difference, according to Fisher, is what they’re aiming to accomplish and what steps they’re taking to achieve their goals.

According to a 2013 report from the Council on Foreign Relations, the United States used to run and counter such operations, but “the U.S. government has gotten out of the habit of waging political warfare since the end of the Cold War.”

The Long-Term Objective

The CCP’s political warfare systems are still under the influence of a faction led by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who officially ruled the Party from 1989 to 2002. Jiang’s faction still has sway over several key regime organs—such as propaganda and security—and has put the current leader, Xi Jinping, in a life and death struggle.

The objectives of Jiang’s system differ in several ways from past political warfare systems. The Soviet Union’s political warfare operations, for example, were aimed more directly at destabilizing foreign societies in order to foment communist revolution, and thereby export its political and ideological model.

The CCP’s political warfare goals, however, aren’t as simple, and according to Fisher, they appear to be playing out in two stages.

The first stage, he said, is to grow the CCP’s political and economic power globally, and to “promote the notion and to convince most of the world of the inevitability of China’s rise.” The communist regime will continue this stage, he said, until it is able to displace the United States as the “central political and strategic authority around the globe.”

If it can achieve that goal, it will move to the second phase of exporting its authoritarian “China model” of governance. Fisher said at this stage, its operations “would be much closer to the Soviet method of ‘active measures,’ which would mean going out and defending the China model—attacking and defeating all opposition to China’s position.”

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WASHINGTON—The evidence of forced organ harvesting of large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners in China continues to mount.

Last year, two reports were published that broadened our picture of the scale and method of this atrocity. “Bloody Harvest/ The Slaughter—An Update” by investigators David Matas, David Kilgour, and Ethan Gutmann was released on June 22 in Washington, D.C. This report shows detailed evidence of the massive number of organ transplants taking place in Chinese hospitals. It analyzed hospital revenue, bed counts and utilization rates, surgical personnel and other data and reached the conclusion that China is performing 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year, far exceeding the Chinese government’s claim of 10,000 per year.

The other report, “Summary Report of the Crime of Live Organ Harvesting in China,” by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), was published in August. It provides extensive evidence that the organ harvesting is orchestrated from the top levels of the Chinese government and is not a crime of just some rogue hospitals and unethical surgeons. The WOIPFG report claims that organ harvesting is a state sanctioned crime on a massive scale that is going on at this moment, with the aim to kill practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline, who will not renounce their faith.

Now comes WOIPFG’s second major documentary film, “Harvested Alive – Ten Years of Investigation,” which samples the key findings of their report from last year.

Hearing actual audio of high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, surgeons and hospital personnel speak nonchalantly of their role in the forced organ harvesting of innocent prisoners of conscience provides a horrifying perception that the printed page of the WOIPFG report cannot come close in emotional impact. 

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary,

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary, “Harvested Alive, 10 Years of Investigation,” answers questions after the English premiere of the documentary, June 23, at a Congressional building in Washington, D.C. To his right is Dr. Peng Tao, who is the co-producer of the awards-winning film. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

The film won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards best director and foreign documentary feature for January 2017.

WOIPFG was founded on Jan. 20, 2003. Its stated mission is to investigate and expose the criminal conduct of individuals and organizations involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. Seeking hard data to make its case, WOIPFG investigated more than 865 hospitals and over 9500 surgeons in China.

The English language premiere of the film was held on Capitol Hill at the House of Representatives’ Rayburn Office Building, on June 23. Producer and director Li Jun, co-producer Dr. Peng Tao, and Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, who narrates the film, were present at the showing and answered questions from the audience. WOIPFG officials and Ethan Gutmann, one of the principle investigators of live organ harvesting in China, also spoke before the screening.

Shortly before the U.S. premiere, the film became available for viewing online. This film and the original Chinese language version were produced by Deerpark Productions, with the latter released in Nov. 2016.

Hospital Boiler Room ‘Cremations’

The host of the film is Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, whose words are translated. Dr. Wang spent 30 years as an aviation military doctor in China and then came to the U.S. in 1995 to conduct research in cardiovascular disease at Harvard School of Public Health. He was the founder of WOIPFG, and is its president. In the movie, he says that after practicing medicine and saving lives for 30 years, he never imagined he would devote the next 10 years investigating doctors taking the lives of innocent people.

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

In the film, Wang said his life changed forever on March 9, 2006, when he heard allegations of large-scale organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners while they were alive in the Sujiatun Thrombosis Hospital in Shenyang. A woman using the alias “Annie” claimed her ex-husband, an eye surgeon driven by guilt, confessed to her that he had extracted corneas from more than 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. 

Wang, who was skeptical, said that he and his WOIPFG colleagues decided they must investigate further. They were looking for evidence, but the doctors and nurses at the Sujiatun hospital were no help. Then Wang called the hospital boiler room and learned that corpses were being burned there. From his own experience, he thought that was most unusual as deceased patients are normally moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang thought that [burning corpses in the hospital boiler room] was most unusual as normally the deceased patients are moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang found this matter disturbing and so based on it and the other allegations at Sujiatun, he and his WOIPFG colleagues began a preliminary investigation. WOIPFG investigators in 2006-2007 called 23 hospitals in China asking if there were liver organs available from Falun Gong practitioners. In the movie, we hear a recording on Mar. 6, 2006 of a doctor from Shanghai Fudan University, Zhongshan Hospital Transplant Center, reply, “All we have is of this type.”

High Level CCP Officials Know

WOIPFG investigators, posing as working out of other CCP offices, elicited several statements via telephone from high level officials, who unbeknownst to whom they were really talking to, acknowledged and confirmed their involvement in organ harvesting. Here are some examples from the documentary.

Tang Junie, Vice Chairman, Liaoning Province Political & Legal Affairs Commission, was asked about orders to take organs from Falun Gong practitioners for transplant surgeries. He said, “I was in charge of this. The [CCP] Central Committee was actually managing this issue, and it had widespread impact.” Tang also said the matter was discussed at Central Committee meetings.

Li Changchun, Politburo Standing Member, was asked about Bo Xilai, who, a week before, had come under investigation by the CCP Discipline Committee. When the caller (WOIPFG investigator) asked on April 17, 2012 about Bo’s involvement in the crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners, Li answered immediately, “Zhou Yongkang is in charge of this; he knows; go ask him.”

Zhou Yongkang was at the time a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the most important decision making body in the Chinese regime. As domestic security czar, Zhou wielded enormous power in general, and specifically over the Falun Gong detainees in concentration camps. He was later sentenced in June 2015 to life imprisonment on corruption-related changes.

When active on the Standing Committee, Zhou was once asked by investigators about the more than 20 Falun Gong practitioners who had escaped a military post (i.e., concentration camp). He was not in denial or surprised, and said he would investigate himself, according to WOIPFG’s Director for Public Awareness Dr. Charles Lee, who spoke at the Capitol forum.

WOIPFG investigators played a careful ruse on serving Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli to get him to unwittingly acknowledge Jiang Zemin’s principle role in the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners. Jiang, the former CCP boss, launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, and coerced the other members of the Politburo to go along with his wishes.

WOIPFG knew when Zhang would be out of the country in Kazakhstan. After Zhang arrived and checked into the hotel, WOIPFG investigator called him, posing as “Secretary Liu,” who works at Jiang Zemin’s office. The investigator told Zhang that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had lodged criminal complaints against Jiang at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate for harvesting the organs of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, and that the subject will be brought up at the next Politburo meeting. In the recording, he asked Zhang if he could stop it from discussion and investigation. We hear Zhang’s voice reply, “Yes! Yes!”

The WOIPFG investigator repeats four times that Jiang had ordered the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners and that the responsibility was very serious. Without any reservation or disagreement, Zhang promised he would prevent the investigation and told the caller to tell Jiang not to worry. He ended the call wishing Jiang a long life and good health.

All phone recordings are tagged with receipts from the telephone companies with the time, duration and phone numbers called. The voices of the high-level officials in the recordings can be compared to their voices available online and elsewhere and verified by acoustic labs, states WOIPFG.

Altogether, WOIPFG holds the recordings as evidence that organ pillaging in China is a crime that is directed by the CCP and carried out by the military, state institutions, hospitals, and transplantation professionals.

The above is only a sampling of the recordings pertaining to high-level officials’ knowledge and influence in a massive state sanctioned crime in the murder of thousands of practitioners since 2000. There is more evidence in the documentary on other aspects of the crime.

Police Guard Comes Forward

One recorded interview is especially chilling and shocking. It was from the only actual witness of the gruesome surgery in the film. At a military hospital in Shenyang, an armed security guard from Liaoning Province witnessed the killing of practitioners for their organs in 2002.

What the security guard described was “too vividly horrible,” said WOIPFG president Wang Zhiyuan, and said he suffered from insomnia and depression after hearing the testimony. In 2009, the security guard’s conscience bothered him and so he contacted WOIPFG with which he had been in contact for over a month. The security guard recalled witnessing two military doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain (“sucked the brain pulp out”) from a still-living female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

He witnessed two doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain from a female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

“When the knife touched her chest, she shouted, ‘Falun Dafa hao,’” which means Falun Dafa is good. The heart was carved out first. She had been tortured with electric batons for a week, he said. Wang concluded that this was not normal surgery but instead was “a continuation of torturing of Falun Gong practitioners.”

Why Premiere at the U.S. Capital

Li Jun, the director and producer of “Harvested Alive,” said after the screening that they consciously chose the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress to hold the English premiere. Speaking through a translator he said, “It is very apparent that this crime [of pillaging organs from Falun Gong practitioners on a massive scale] is state-sanctioned by the CCP. We want the U.S. government as the world leader, to do something about it.”

Dr. Peng Tao, the co-producer of “Harvested Alive,” hopes the film will enable everyone to “understand the crimes the CCP has committed and we have to stop it.”

Dr. Wang expressed frustration that the world does not pay much attention to what is going on in China. “It’s a shame to the human race. That’s why I wanted to tell the U.S. government and the entire world, we should really work to stop this.”

If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.

— Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), letter, June 23, 2017

Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Congressional Executive Commission of China (CECC), wrote a letter to be read at the premiere screening of “Harvested Alive.” Observing that he held a hearing on this issue in 1998, Rep. Smith said that trafficking organs for profit has been happening in China for two decades and that the evidence in the documentary shows that not much has changed.

“If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.”

Rep. Smith continued, “We need a concerted effort to stop this barbaric practice—in China and globally.”

Dr. Wang said that in this month of June, a hospital in Jilin Province is giving away free liver transplants to 10 children. (He noted that on April 28, 2006, a hospital in Hunan Province, where the persecution of Falun Gong had been particularly severe, ran a promotion announcing 20 free liver or kidney transplants.) Wang said the hospital’s “give away” could only mean an abundance of organs and a very large pool of practitioners available to be harvested and killed.

In the U.S. which has a much more mature system of organ donation, the wait time for a liver organ is two to three years. In China, however, the wait time is one to two weeks.

When asked by The Epoch Times what is behind the free organs, Wang said, “I think [the CCP] very likely wants to eliminate all the Falun Gong practitioners who still remain in the concentration camps as soon as possible.”

Data Tipping Point

Ethan Gutmann said regarding the past year, 2016-2017, that the two reports alluded to at the beginning of this article were significant for the power of raw data and have brought on a “global tipping point” in the acceptance of live organ harvesting. Referring to the emergency liver transplants discussed in the film, he said, “There is a stable of people ready to be killed.” There is no question there is live organ harvesting going on, he said.

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of “The Slaughter (1914) and its 2016 updates, participates in a forum on forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. Event took place on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., June 23. (Leo Shi/ Epoch Times)

Gutmann, who is also the author of the 2014 book “The Slaughter,” noted that both reports had received rigorous scrutiny by researchers at the CECC. After devoting two months checking over the sources, the CECC researchers authenticated the documents, which Gutmann said was a testament to their validity.

Forced organ harvesting in China has gained widespread acceptance in the past year, Gutmann said. The human rights organizations Freedom House and Amnesty International report on it now, and even the New York Times, which had ignored the issue for over a decade, is now reporting on it, he added. 

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Former Iowa governor Terry Branstad testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination to be ambassador to China, on Capitol Hil,l in Washington on May 2, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)Former Iowa governor Terry Branstad testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination to be ambassador to China, on Capitol Hil,l in Washington on May 2, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Terry Branstad, the new U.S. ambassador to China, is a familiar face in Beijing.

As governor of Iowa, he signed up as a sister region with China’s Hebei Province. He traveled to Hebei Province in 1984, the first of half a dozen trips to China.

In 1985, Branstad hosted then local Party Secretary Xi Jinping on his first trip to the United States.

Xi Jinping is now the leader of all of Communist China.

Branstad hopes to build on his relationship with Xi. He hopes his ties will enable him to address the serious issues facing the two nations.

Branstad recorded a video message in English, and another in Chinese, to introduce himself to his the residents in what will be his new home for the next few years.

In the video Branstad listed some of the issues he felt both the United States and China face: jobs, education, an aging population, and health care.

He then listed his major priorities, which included stopping the North Korean threat and resolving the bilateral trade imbalance.

President Trump hopes Branstad can convince Xi to tighten the reins on North Korea.

China supplies all the nation’s oil, and almost all its economic support.

China could do a lot to keep North Korea in line.

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad meets Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 15, 2013. (Andy Wong-Pool/Getty Images)Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad meets Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 15, 2013. (Andy Wong-Pool/Getty Images)

New U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad, recently confirmed for his post and soon to move to Beijing, has said that he intends to make a priority of stopping the North Korean nuclear threat and resolving the Sino-American trade imbalance.

In a short greeting video posted to Chinese social media on June 26, the former Iowa governor said that “resolving the bilateral trade imbalance, stopping the North Korea threat, and expanding people-to-people ties will be my top priorities.”

Branstad, who served 22 years as Iowa governor until resigning on May 24 to take up his new job, has kept in touch with Xi Jinping for three decades, since their first meeting in the 1980s.

“More than three decades and five more visits to China later, I now look forward to working with you, the people of China, to build the future of US-China ties. Jobs, education, an aging population and health care, we face many of the same challenges.  A strong relationship can contribute to solutions,” Branstad said.  

Branstad first met with Xi in the 1980s, when Xi visited Iowa as part of an official exchange program. Xi, then in his thirties, was a minor agricultural official in the northern Chinese municipality of Shijiazhuang.

Visiting Old Friends and Making New Ones

U.S. President Donald Trump picked Branstad for the position of ambassador last December, noting his personal connections with the Chinese leader and the importance of the Sino-American relationship.

Chinese regime-controlled media have described Ambassador Branstad as an “old friend.”

President Trump has stressed his fruitful and candid talks with Xi Jinping as he tries to enlist Chinese assistance in reining in North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, which threatens the U.S. and its allies, as well as China.

On June 20, China’s apparent slowness to take decisive action prompted Trump to send out a tweet saying that Xi had tried, but failed to help the U.S. on the North Korea crisis. But the next day, American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Minister James Mattis held a cordial security dialogue with their Chinese counterparts Yang Jiechi and Gen. Fang Fenghui.

Branstad’s video continues the friendly, if not yet concrete, diplomacy between the Xi and Trump administrations. “We face many of the same challenges. A strong U.S.-China relationship can contribute to solutions,” Branstad said in his video.

“I also want to travel across China, visiting old friends and making news ones, my wife, daughter, sons-in-law, and two granddaughters will join me in Beijing, and I look forward to introducing them to the warmth and extraordinary culture of the Chinese people,” Branstad said.

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FBI LogoFBI Logo

As United States and China held a joint diplomatic and security dialogue on June 21, a U.S. government contractor and a former federal officer entrusted with access to top secret information was arrested on June 22 and charged with espionage for China, according to federal prosecutors.

Kevin Patrick Mallory, of Leesburg, Virginia is facing charges of espionage for the People’s Republic of China after he transmitted classified documents to individuals suspected to be Chinese intelligence agents.

According to Department of Justice release, Kevin Mallory, a 60-year-old self-employed consultant with “GlobalEx LLC.” had previously served in a variety of U.S. federal government positions including the U.S. Army and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. Some media also reported that Mallory had worked for the CIA, citing unnamed government officials.

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Mallory traveled to Shanghai, China in March and April 2017, where he met an individual who claimed to be working for a Chinese think tank, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS). The FBI has identified SASS as one of the organizations that provide cover identities for Chines intelligence agents employed by the Communist regime’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).

Department of Justice accused Mallory of leaking classified documents containing top secret and secret information to MSS agents in exchange for money. In total, Mallory was paid $25,000USD by the MSS intelligence agents to “reimburse” for his services to the Chinese.

“Your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid for it,” Mallory wrote to the Chinese agents, to which one of them replied, “My current objective is to ensure your security and try to reimburse you.” According to FBI criminal complaint.

Mallory is charged with gathering or delivering defense information to aid a foreign government, and making materially false statements to U.S. federal investigators. If convicted, Mallory faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious, and these charges should send a message to anyone who would consider violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information,” said Dana Boente, the acting assistant attorney general for national security and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

China is known for its clandestine activities which widely target U.S. government officials, workers, and even students who might compromise valuable information. In another high profile case two months ago, Candace Marie Claiborne, a senior State Department diplomatic officer was also arrested and charged with espionage for China. Similar to Kevin Mallory’s letter to the Chinese agents, Claiborne wrote in her journal that she could “generate 20K in 1 year” by betraying classified information from her work to the Chinese intelligence agents.

Claiborne might have betrayed information concerning the world renowned Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen in 2012, according to the FBI investigation. It is speculated that such a leak might have misinformed U.S. diplomats in their negotiations with the Chinese government regarding Chen’s case.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at a press conference in Washington D.C. on June 21. (Screenshot/U.S. Department of Defense)U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at a press conference in Washington D.C. on June 21. (Screenshot/U.S. Department of Defense)

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, appeared in a joint press conference in Washington, on June 21, after meeting with Chinese officials for a defense and diplomatic dialogue.

The dialogue, which was agreed to earlier in April by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump at the summit of Mar-a-Largo, highlighted the security risks posed by North Korea’s provocative nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

The two Chinese officials present were Yang Jiechi, China’s state councilor, and Gen. Fang Fenghui, Chief of Joint Staff of the People’s Liberation Army. Fang is also a member of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission.

North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons has drawn international criticism, notably sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.

In the press conference, streamed live following the meeting with his and Mattis’ Chinese counterparts, Tillerson called the North Korean issue the “most acute threat today.”

The officials’ statements come a day after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter saying that China and Xi Jinping had tried, but failed, in helping rein in North Korea.

Tillerson and Mattis maintained hope for continued collaboration between Beijing and Washington on the North Korean crisis.

Mattis stated that the meeting provided a “glimpse of the mutually beneficial future,” and reaffirmed “the shared goal of denuclearization” despite areas where China and the U.S. do not see eye to eye, notably territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“The reason for this dialogue that we had today was to have an open and frank dialogue about what more can be done in areas of common interest.” “China’s end state on the Korean peninsula in terms of nuclear weapons is the same as ours,” Mattis said. “And we continue to work on that end state.”

‘Beyond any Kind of Understanding’

Retired Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense, speaks at a press conference in Washington D.C. on June 21. (Screenshot/U.S. Department of Defense)

Retired Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense, speaks at a press conference in Washington D.C. on June 21. (Screenshot/U.S. Department of Defense)

Diplomatic tensions have increased after the recent death of American student Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was arrested when traveling in North Korea and was released only recently. He died shortly after his release, on June 19, 2017.

“There’s no way we can look at a situation like this with any kind of understanding. This goes beyond any kind of understanding of law and order, of humanity, of responsibility towards any human being,” said Secretary of Defense Mattis.

“What you’re seeing, I think, is the American people’s frustration with a regime that provokes and provokes and provokes, and plays outside of rules, plays fast and loose with the truth,” Mattis said, in response to a question posed by BBC reporter.

As the chief ally and biggest trade partner with North Korea, China provides vital assistance to its neighboring communist country. In echo of international pressure, China has cut off coal trade with North Korea, but illicit commerce between the two countries still continues amidst complex internal Chinese communist factional politics.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis meet with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's Joint Staff Department prior to the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017. (Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis meet with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's Joint Staff Department prior to the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017. (Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Top diplomats and defense chiefs from the United States and China began a day of talks in Washington on June 21 looking for ways to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

The talks come a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said Chinese efforts to persuade North Korea to rein in its weapons programs had failed, ratcheting up the rhetoric after the death of an American student who had been detained by Pyongyang.

Trump’s statement is likely to increase pressure on Beijing at the Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, which pairs U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of joint staff of the People’s Liberation Army.

The State Department says Wednesday’s talks would focus on ways to increase pressure on North Korea, but also cover such areas as counter-terrorism and territorial rivalries in the South China Sea.

The U.S. side is expected to press China to cooperate on a further toughening of international sanctions on North Korea. The United States and its allies would like to see an oil embargo and bans on the North Korean airline and guest workers among other moves. 

Trump has had high hopes for greater cooperation from China to exert influence over North Korea, leaning heavily on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his assistance. The two leaders had a high-profile summit in Florida in April and Trump has frequently praised Xi while resisting criticizing Chinese trade practices.

“While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Trump wrote on Twitter

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing had made “unremitting efforts” to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula, not as a result of external pressure but because China was a responsible member of the international community and resolving nuclear issue was in its own interests.

On Tuesday, a U.S. official said U.S. spy satellites had detected movements recently at North Korea’s nuclear test site near a tunnel entrance, but it was unclear if Pyongyang was preparing for a new nuclear test, perhaps to coincide with Wednesday’s high-level talks.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official said North Korea remained prepared to conduct a sixth nuclear test at any time but there were “no new unusual indications that can be shared.”

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US President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (R) at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)US President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (R) at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

In a tweet posted in the afternoon of June 20, U.S. President Donald Trump said that China and its leader Xi Jinping had “tried”—but failed—to help solve the ongoing nuclear and missile crisis in North Korea. 

Trump’s words come months after his meeting with Xi at the Mar-a-Lago summit in Florida, where the two leaders discussed Pyongyang’s provocations. The North Koreans, led by 33-year-old Kim Jong Un, have been pursuing an aggressive program of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing inherited from the rule of the dictator’s father Kim Jong Il. 

North Korea has long remained defiant of international pressure against its weapons development. Earlier this year they exploded their fifth and most powerful nuclear bomb to date, and have conducted scores of missile tests before before and after Trump met with Xi. 

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The message comes just a day after the death of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American university student who fell into a coma during his interment in North Korea by the local communist regime.

Warmbier had been visiting the country as a tourist when the authorities placed charges against him and gave him a 15-year prison sentence. He died on June 19, shortly after being returned to his family in a vegetative state.

The Chinese Angle

Trump’s latest tweet is the most recent in a long line of comments made regarding North Korea—and the role China has to play in dealing with its isolated neighbor. Prior to the Xi-Trump meeting in Florida, Trump had criticized China for not cooperating with U.S. and international efforts to bring the North Korean regime under control. Later, he reached an accord with the Chinese leader, remaining hopeful while conceding that the Sino-North Korean relationship was more complicated than meets the eye. 

China is North Korea’s only major trading partner and primary source of material assistance. Seen from one angle, China has declared its support for U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang aimed at crippling its nuclear weapons and missile development. The Chinese have blocked North Korean coal shipments, tightened border controls, and in at least one high-profile investigation, taken down a businesswoman found to be aiding the Kim regime’s nuclear weapons development. 

But conflicting factional, ideological, and business interests in the Chinese regime may make it difficult for the central authorities to push through a coherent policy on North Korea. Corruption in Chinese firms, particularly in the northeast—which borders North Korea and has been in economic decline since the end of the Cold War—is rampant.

Additionally, many of Xi Jinping’s political rivals have at least passing connections with North Korean leaders and command informal networks of regime patronage in northeastern China.

 

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/leo-timm/" rel="author">Leo Timm</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com" title="The Epoch Times" rel="publisher">The Epoch Times</a>
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Beef cattle roam the brown-dirt fields on a ranch on the outskirts of Delano, in California's Central Valley, on February 3, 2014. A new study finds that the mass production of food animals in the United States has resulted in widespread health risks for rural communities. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)Beef cattle roam the brown-dirt fields on a ranch on the outskirts of Delano, in California's Central Valley, on February 3, 2014. A new study finds that the mass production of food animals in the United States has resulted in widespread health risks for rural communities. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The first shipments of U.S. beef are arriving in China, ending a 14-year ban. Chinese meat importers are racing to get their hands on it.

China has banned the import of U.S. beef since 2003, following a mad cow disease scare.

Beijing just agreed to resume trade last week. Now, Chinese consumers can enjoy U.S steak again.

China’s current top beef supplier is Australia. It will face some competition now that American meat is back in the game.

Despite the ban, American meat has a reputation for quality in China. It’s in high demand. Raising cattle in the United States is also cheaper, meaning beef can be sold for less.

China’s beef import market is growing fast as an expanding middle class spends more money eating out at restaurants, ramping up sales to nearly 6 million tons last year.

But U.S. beef won’t be widely available in China for now. China has strict import laws that U.S. producers must comply with if they want to access to the $2.6 billion market.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/yi-yang/" rel="author">Yi Yang</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
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US President Donald Trump (L) sits with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) during a bilateral meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Fla,. on April 6, 2017. ( JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)US President Donald Trump (L) sits with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) during a bilateral meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Fla,. on April 6, 2017. ( JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—U.S. and Chinese regime’s diplomatic and defense chiefs will meet Wednesday for a security dialogue that Washington says will focus on curbing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

The talks in Washington will involve U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as well as China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and General Fang Fenghui, chief of state of the People’s Liberation Army, the U.S. State Department said.

It will be the inaugural session of the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, a framework launched by President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a summit in Florida in April.

The State Department said the aim was “to expand areas of cooperation while narrowing differences on key diplomatic and security issues.”

U.S.-China ties have warmed since the April summit, in spite of continued U.S. concerns about China’s pursuit of territory in the South China Sea and a large trade imbalance.

Tillerson has said North Korea will top the agenda next week and made clear that Washington wanted more help from China in pressing Pyongyang to abandon its weapons programs, calling Chinese efforts so far “notable” but “uneven.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivers remarks to the employees at the State Department in Washington on May 3, 2017. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivers remarks to the employees at the State Department in Washington on May 3, 2017. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

The focus on North Korea has been sharpened by dozens of North Korean missile launches and two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of last year.

North Korea says it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States, and this week Mattis called it the “most urgent” threat to U.S. national security.

The Chinese regime is party to U.N. economic sanctions on North Korea. But it remains the country’s main ally and trading partner and has been reluctant to impose the sort of punishing measures experts say are needed to get Pyongyang to abandon its weapons programs.

In Beijing, asked about the talks, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said, “The two sides are in close communication about the schedule, but the issues discussed will be those that both countries are concerned about and that involve China-U.S. relations.” He did not elaborate.

On Tuesday, Tillerson said Washington was considering imposing “secondary sanctions” on foreign firms doing business with North Korea and had been in discussions with Beijing about the activities of entities inside China.

A Washington think tank said this week that North Korea’s effort to circumvent sanctions was complex but could be defeated by targeting relatively few Chinese firms.

The U.N. Security Council expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea this month in the first such resolution agreed by the United States and China since Trump took office.

Washington has been pushing for even tougher steps, including an oil embargo, bans of North Korea’s airline and overseas workers and interception of its cargo ships.

By David Brunnstrom

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