Congress Challenges China on Falun Gong & Yuan

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 17, 2010

Here’s a strange match: Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman, GOP presidential candidate, libertarian hero and scourge of the Federal Reserve, might now be China’s favorite lawmaker in Washington. Paul was the only member of the House yesterday to vote no on a proposal likely to inflame already strained U.S.-China relations by poking Beijing on one of the most sensitive issues of all, the Falun Gong.

For years, the Chinese government has been suppressing the spiritual movement, which got its start in the early 1990s, as an evil cult. Falun Gong leaders outside the country have responded by calling on countries to denounce the Chinese government. On March 16, the House of Representatives voted 412-1 in favor of House Resolution 605, “recognizing the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party campaign to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement and calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners.” Paul provided the sole dissenting vote. As AFP explains, Paul “routinely opposes measures he considers interference in another nation’s internal affairs.” There’s no comment regarding the vote on Paul’s Web site.)

The House vote hits the rawest nerve for China’s leadership, but action yesterday on the other side of Capitol Hill could create more lasting tension between Washington and Beijing. A bipartisan group of five senators, including Chuck Schumer of New York and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, introduced a bill designed to make it easier for the U.S. to declare China is manipulating its currency, the yuan. Like the House vote, the Senate proposal is a message to Beijing that patience in Washington is wearing thin. “There is growing exasperation with China,” C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, tells my Bloomberg colleague Mark Drajem.

The Chinese are showing no signs of budging. Certainly they’re not going to move on the Falun Gong, which the regime considers to be an existential threat to Communist Party rule. Movement on the currency is possible: China allowed the yuan to appreciate from 2006 to 2008, in part because of pressure from the U.S. and other countries. For now, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is holding fast, denying that the currency is undervalued. With the rhetoric from both sides of the Pacific getting ever-more heated, however, China’s unlikely to make any concessions for a while.

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Reader Comments

Jack

March 17, 2010 11:16 AM

Who do these US politicians think they were? Don't they know they're hated by much of the non-Western world?! Nobody outside the US voted these azzholes. By sticking their nose into places where they don't belong (Turkey, Middle East, S. America...), they're only telling people they would sell their votes to the highest bidders, local or foreign. If I were China, since it's darn if you do darn if you don't, I will ignore these annoying Yankees.

truthwillout

March 17, 2010 11:27 AM

Dear Bruce
You appear to be under some delusion that everthing the Chinese Communist Party says is true, invariably it is the reverse. Your words describing Falun Gong, after you mention when it is was introduced in China, are 100% wrong as this was the words used by the CCP to demonise a peaceful practice. There never was any truth in the words unfortunately they seemed to have stuck with you. If you are going to blog on such a publications website I suggest that you think carefully before spreading propaganda. The persecution is as Gao Zhisheng stated illegal and is classified as genocide by at least 2 courts, who indicted Jiang Zemin and others last year. That is without talking about organ harvesting fron live Falun Gong adherents also. I suggest you read the acclaimed Nine Commenatries on the Communist Party, then you will understand the way the CCP operates. For details of the organ harvesting please go read Bloody Harvest by Matas and Kilgour, David Matas is nominated for a Nobel prize for this work.

Jason Boyle

March 17, 2010 11:58 AM

I think China should respond like they did to the U.S. human rights report on China. They wrote a human rights report on America including the treatment of Blacks and Native Americans as well as the astounding numbers of civilian deaths accountable to the U.S. military in the last decades. Hell the Native Americans did not get freedom of religion till 1978. I know American memories are short but we also should remember 1952 Iran and the pentagon papers showing the real American interest in Vietnam.

China should, like they did with the human rights report, issue a resolution condoning U.S. manipulation of Global financial markets. I think more of the world would align behind that than the condemnation of Falun Gong or Yuan currency manipulation. Surely both Chinese issues are real and concerning but the U.S. with the support of the UN could push us into a world recession. Remember that a recession in America means fewer vacations and older shoes, although this one may be more severe. In the third world counties, where this US driven recession will hit the hardest, it will mean mass malnutrition and civil war. So Chinese issues may be blunter but with time we will learn that U.S. issues do far more damage, especially to Americans and Americas world reputation. So I agree with Paul. No sense in the pot calling the kettle black. Sure, it is true, but no one cares what the pot says. It needs to come from a more commendable source.
Jason Boyle

Matthew

March 17, 2010 12:31 PM

Ron Paul's lost my support. Anyone who has followed the Falun Gong issue knows that they have been persecuted far worse than any group in recent history. See "Bloody Harvest" by Kilgour/Matas.

DanTe

March 17, 2010 12:48 PM

Stupid dumbacrats in the States are at their stupid tricks again. Why pressure China to float the Yuan? As long as China locks the Yuan to the Dollar, China HAS to Buy U.S. Treasuries. Forcing China to float the Yuan is basically retarded from the U.S. debt point of view. As to trying to get China to allow spirituality. Why? As long as the mainland Chinese have no moral guidance of any sort, they will continue to do selfish things that hose over their own people and their own competitiveness. Getting mainland China to have morality will just make them into real competitors versus the stupid slave labor commodity producer that they are now.

huangxu

March 17, 2010 12:53 PM

If the yuan appreciate only 10%,lots of factories will close out in China.

Fardream

March 17, 2010 01:57 PM

After reception of Dalai the liar and massive weapon sale to Taiwan, the patience in Beijing already waned.... Why losers are always looking for somebody else for their own faults?

Rustgoft

March 17, 2010 02:41 PM

It's good to see that the West is standing up to Communist China, and exposing this persecution, torture and organ harvesting of 100 million people who practice Falun Gong. Ironically, the practice's tenants are Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.

john_lee

March 17, 2010 03:18 PM

Let's start a trade war to solve the world financial problem. When the trade war start between China and the USA, the attention of the masses will be away from Wall Street and concentrate on China, quite a convenient scapegoat!

Shameless

March 17, 2010 03:35 PM

Nice. Throw Falun Gong in with Currency Exchange rate(yeah, they're really related) to get more votes. Taking pork barreling to the heights. How much more shameless can Congress get?

RonPaulForPresident

March 17, 2010 05:15 PM

America with Ron Paul as President will become more like China. A prosperous nation on its way to become the second largest economy in the world and with 85% happy citizens. Unlike the current America with a big mess on its hands. The U.S. government can't take care of its own house..yet still lectures the world..what an embarassment?

JJW

March 17, 2010 06:11 PM

The Chinese Parliament should go ahead and honor James Jones and David Koresh. How about that!

Zhao Yenming

March 17, 2010 06:46 PM

If it were up to the ridiculous posturing clowns in the US Congress, they would vote for America to go to war with China.

bill king

March 17, 2010 07:31 PM

good for paul. I would have done the same. The us enabled the communists to take over china after wwII so don't cry foul if they live up to their reputation

C. H. Ng

March 17, 2010 09:03 PM

This whole group of US politicians blame China for everything except themselves on their country's failure. I have a suggestion to the Chinese government...strike a deal with the US Congress as such:-

1) China will revalue her yuan by certain percentage.
2) USA has to agree to a certain period by which she has to improve her economy by then.
3) If her economy does improves by a certain margin, China will have to further appreciate her yuan to a certain limit.
4) But should her economy is still in the shit by the agreed period, that will proved that it got nothing to do with their so-called claim of undervalued yuan.
5) And this whole bunch of idiots must eat their words and be sacked or kicked out of the senate.
6) And there shouldn't be any more attempt to use China as a punching bag for any failure of their own.

FAIR ENOUGH???

YX

March 17, 2010 09:29 PM

The day when the majority of Americans practices FLG is the day when the US becomes a dead nation. I can see that practicing FLG at least solves one pressing issue: reform of healthcare. Since FLGers firmly believe that medical treat is a waste of time and resources for curing illness, more and more American hospitals could become redundant as more people turn themselves into FLG believer, thereby solving the biggest problem of the Obama administration once and for all. Go and practice FLG now!

david shipp

March 18, 2010 06:43 AM

ron paul is right. if we want to manipulate another countries money the best way to do tha tis to pass Fairtax here. Then Our money value will go up.

John

March 18, 2010 08:49 AM

And while we're at it, let's preserve, protect, and defend the rest of the Constitution too - like limiting the federal government to its enumerated powers; defending THESE shores, letting the state militias defend THIS land (except when they ask for a financial hand for two or fewer years), and respecting state and individual sovereignty over reserved powers (everything else).

China is not part of the USA.

Dr. Paul is the only representative in Washington who takes his oath of office seriously.

belle

March 18, 2010 11:49 AM

Ron Paul - the only principled pol in DC. The Constitution's best defender. The taxpayers' only ally. The American people's best and only hope to reverse the scourge of government oppression and intrusion.Paul is to liberty what Pavarotti is to music, what DaVinci is to art. Thank you, Ron Paul, for inspiring liberty lovers everywhere.

shamed

March 18, 2010 12:49 PM

US endless wars against other countries, and unregulated financial marker that resulted in the domestic overspending caused US recent recession, now blame other countries like China, shamed!!

JC

March 18, 2010 01:22 PM

One of the RULE for Falun Gong was not seek any form of medical treatment, and the Master Li Hongzhi will heal the sick/dying worshippers..

Its like why Satanism were banned in US as well..

Okay.. I am sure people will hate me here for saying this..

jambo

March 18, 2010 04:00 PM

China is afraid of Falun because they are afraid of the people. The govt officials have gotten rich in their posiitons of power, and want to keep the $ coming in. They fear anything or anyone who may the the power to change the status quo.

Jack

March 18, 2010 05:09 PM

Ron Paul is a true patriot of the US, and he is smart too. Congress and the White House are filled with self-serving idiots. Who the hell cares about Falun Gong in America. The only other time Congress was so decisive was to give Wall Street a blank check and the bank cartel Federal Reserve more powers to hand out free gifts to bankers. All incumbents except for Ron Paul must go! If the US government really wants China to appreciate its currency, just stop borrowing. China will have nowhere to keep the dollars it's hording, which are rapidly devaluing against real assets like gold and copper. They will have to start taking them out from under the mattress and spend them. That will drive down the value of the dollar even more and make it less attractive to keep. But we all know the politicians in Washington won't do that. To stop government spending means they can't give out huge contracts to their wealthy buddies who put them there. Ron Paul knows it and wants to change Washington. That's why the entire US government - all tree branches - hates him.

Strategery

March 18, 2010 06:02 PM

Ron Paul was right to vote no. Too bad the house is wasting their time on "feel good" legislation instead of addressing a real issue, like the undervalued Yuan.

goneill

March 18, 2010 09:58 PM

Politicians make suckers out of the US public.
Here is a country solely responsible for wealth destruction, millions unemployed and increasing home grown terrorists is lecturing another country and telling them how to manage their affairs? Bit rich, more like signs of a desperate rapidly declining protectionist nation. Led by an oil snake salesman. Get real and sort out your own problems in your backyard and practice what you preach about globilisation and an open ecconomy.

China Arse Kisser

March 18, 2010 11:40 PM

Here's a safe comment you can post that won't offend your Chinese handlers:

The World

March 20, 2010 12:11 AM

China get out of Tibet!!!!!! Tibet is not part of China. Stop killing innocent Tibetans!!!

jose

March 20, 2010 05:45 PM

Branch Davidians:United States::Falun Gong:China. Similarities: CULT. Endpoint: ??.

jihad panda

March 20, 2010 06:55 PM

falun gong is blasphemous to chinese communist party. just a bunch of fellons gone gong. got it?

carryanne

March 20, 2010 07:02 PM

I suppose you are right that the CCP won't budge on Falun Gong, but the currency question is less "sensitive". On the currency issue, the CCP may place it's legitimacy in the eyes of the people if the stakes are that high. But on Falun Gong, literally, the skeletons in the closet are far too gory. Budging on Falun Gong or even allowing people to speak of it is huge for the CCP since it did not intent for anyone to speak up on it, or to even find out about the measures it has dared take to eliminate the practice. I do not think the CCP would be able to both admit to the truth on Falun Gong, and still hold it's position.

My blog is about human rights and Falun Gong in China: http://mythisandthatblog.wordpress.com/

Ashamed American

March 25, 2010 03:02 AM

With the exception of Ron Paul, our Congressmen are wasting their time and our tax dollars on measures that don't pertain to Americans. I see it as a crafty move to shift attention and blame to China as a cause for our current economic woes. How would we react if the Chinese government told Americans what to believe and support? Some Americans tend to preach too much without following their own teachings. Very puritanical and hypocritical at the same time. Are only god fearing do-gooders Americans allowed to past through the gates of heaven? Don't believe in propaganda from our own government and supposedly unbiased media.

Frank.V

March 28, 2010 07:57 PM

The American politicians must know that it is China which is behind their paychecks and they must act accordingly or they will work for free.

Question

March 30, 2010 03:15 PM

FLGers firmly believe that medical treat is a waste of time and resources for curing illness???
Is that right?

Ex FLG

April 6, 2010 02:38 AM

And the leader Li thinks he can fly too, as well as a 2 billion years old nuclear reactor in Africa!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teachings_of_Falun_Gong#Controversies

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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