Why the government shouldn't allow the CNOOC takeover: a Falun Gong perspective - Macleans.ca

Why the government shouldn’t allow the CNOOC takeover: a Falun Gong perspective

Activists level serious allegations against the Chinese state-owned company



YOUR IDEA: The potential approval of China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s takeover bid of Nexen, the Canadian energy company (suggested by: @beingbrad)

Yesterday, when I asked readers to direct my reporting on the Hill, someone asked me to tell a story about one of the hottest issues of the past few months.

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to report on that, since I’m sticking to parliamentary committees, for the most part, during this crowdsourcing experiment. But then, lo and behold, an email popped into my inbox announcing a press conference this morning. Former Liberal and independent MP David Kilgour, a human-rights activist and long-time supporter of the Falun Gong, was appearing with Lucy Zhou, the national coordinator of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada. They were there to call on the federal government to block state-owned CNOOC’s takeover bid of Nexen. I checked out the press conference this morning.

(By now, you might have seen some of the reporting that came out of that presser: both iPolitics’ Derek Abma and Sun Media’s Daniel Proussalidis have already filed stories that detail what was presented.)

Zhou presented journalists with 14 pages worth of documents detailing alleged abuses committed by a CNOOC subsidiary in Tianjin, Bohai Oil Corporation, against employees who practiced Falun Gong. The allegations are sweeping, and if you’ve followed Falun Gong protests over the years, the language will sound familiar. It’s unlike anything we’d encounter in Canada.

The documents allude to “brainwashing centres” where some employees were sent; crimes against humanity; mental and economic persecution; forced labour camps; and ransacking, confiscation and kidnapping.

The Falun Dafa allege that in 2005, a 43-year-old Falun Gong practitioner named Wang Yanying was locked up simply for accessing the internet. Later that year, when her contract was up for renewal, she was allegedly told to renounce Falun Gong or be fired. Then, when she was pregnant, she was allegedly arrested—illegally—and sent to a mental hospital where she “was forced to take medication and injected with harmful drugs for ‘psychiatric treatment.'” After that, she was allegedly tortured at a forced labour camp. That’s where “as many as twelve convicts struck her head with electric batons all at once.”

That’s heavy stuff. And documents handed out to journalists chronicled more than a dozen other stories, each similarly disturbing. It’s hard to report that material verbatim, because we’re so removed from it all. But there was Zhou, at the podium, claiming some of the people allegedly persecuted were friends of Falun Gong practitioners in Canada. Would they make this stuff up, or exaggerate it, because they simply don’t like the Chinese government?

It’s hard to know, sitting here on Parliament Hill, where we’re a world away from the answers to those questions.

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Why the government shouldn’t allow the CNOOC takeover: a Falun Gong perspective

  1. “Would they make this stuff up or exaggerate it, because they simply don’t like the Chinese government?” No. First of all they would not make stuff up or exaggerate it because the fundamental principals of Falun Gong are Truth, Compassion, Tolerance. To lie or exaggerate would be to deny all we stand for, all that we have endured this persecution for. As for liking or not liking the Chinese government we had no quarrel with the Chinese government until they started killing and torturing our practitioners. We have no interest in politics and if the persecution stopped today we would quietly just continue our practice.

    • Yes, because as proven by history there’s absolutely no way religious people can be dirty hypocrites. :D

      • Do not cast all with the same brush. Falun Gong people are sincere in their beliefs and principles. Your cynicism is misplaced here. There are so many facts and evidence, the genocide is irrefutable. That is what the CCP is responsible for, genocide against Falun Gong, with all manner of barbaric acts.

  2. Hi Nick, good to see more coverage on this important issue. There’s a plethora of documentation regarding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners at the hands of the Chinese state, including the gamut of the crimes you mention above, for example in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture earlier this year: http://bit.ly/TzG5lg. CNOOC is a wholly state owned & controlled enterprise. It’s certainly probable that a large state enterprise like CNOOC would be implicated, considering the extreme way that the Chinese government, security and media were mobilized to ‘eradicate’ (in Jiang Zemin’s own words) the spiritual discipline. To explore perhaps the most extreme cases of abuse of Falun Gong, you might pick up ‘State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China’ http://amzn.to/T2aurp. There’s indeed a vast body of independent reporting to explore.

  3. When it comes to the
    Chinese dictatorship, there is no point in exaggerating. The list of crimes committed
    by them is so long and disturbing, the simple truth is enough to make anyone
    sick to their stomachs.

  4. Thanks for reporting this. There isn’t enough reporting on this topic in my opinion. I’d have to say based on everything I’ve read over the last few years that what they talked about wasn’t exaggerated or made up. Just because our media fails to report something, that says absolutely nothing about whether that something happened!

  5. I think what is important is Ms. Zhou’s message. All businesses in China are tightly controlled if not owned by the government. If they demand some despicable kind of persecution of Falun Gong adherents it will occur and in spades. No need to exaggerate when the reality is so well documented in case after case. We don’t want employers who hold a gun to someone’s head to make them compliant with unfair/outrageous demands as a condition of employment.

    I just hope that the shiny loonies to be made will not blind the Canadian government. We clearly don’t want that kind of company operating in Canada. I hope someone will be clear-thinking enough to see that instead of just $$.

  6. Just read an article about secularism and banning muslim head scarves in Russia and the overwhelming number of Canadians commenters opposed to the practice. Looks like a different crowd here regarding religion in China or just double standards.

    • I don’t follow you …

  7. Nick, you ask, “Would they make this stuff up,
    or exaggerate it, because they simply don’t like the Chinese government?”
    I am a researcher who has been studying this issue for some time. The question
    that I had that I will try to answer below, which I feel may answer your question, is
    does this Falun Gong seem to be such an important issue to the Chinese regime and
    why does this persecution and crackdown still continue in China today?

    The persecution of Falun Gong seems to have been
    started by the Chinese communist party’s (CCP) past leader Jiang Zemin after a
    Chinese government survey showed that Falun Gong (a teaching not controlled by
    the CCP was being practiced by 70-100 million people in China including major
    players in the CCP and their families.

    As far back
    as 2000 Senior Political analysts like CNN’s Willy Lam
    stated that the most severe criticism
    leveled at Jiang was he seemed to be using para-military forces against an
    apparently non-violent religious group to promote allegiance to himself.

    Since 1999 HR groups have
    reported on the abuses happening to Falun Gong in China– The UN has stated “[We] are concerned that reports
    of arrest, torture, sexual violence, deaths, and unfair trials of Falun Gong
    practitioners, may reflect a deliberate policy to target Falun Gong.” The
    cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description. A previous UN report
    affirmed that Falun Gong practitioners account for 66 percent of the torture
    victims in government custody.

    International has also reported on the use of a massive propaganda campaign,
    like the branding of Falun Gong as a cult or political that has been used to
    turn public opinion against the group. As we know propaganda
    is the #1 weapon in every genocide in history. It creates a climate of hatred
    against the target and renders the target as not human and therefore easy to
    exterminate. The climate of hatred created right across China against Falun
    Gong by the CCP is staggering.

    on this hatred, third party reports indicate thousands of practitioners have died from torture and abuse. Based on
    UN stats an estimated 450,000 to 1,000,000 Falun Gong practitioners are locked
    up in labor camps right now, where they suffer abuse, brainwashing, and

    An organ called the “610 Office” was set up specifically
    for the purpose of persecuting those who practiced Falun Gong. The 610-Office is a nation-wide Gestapo-like organization under the Political and
    Judicial Committee of the Central CCP whose power extends beyond all judicial
    and administrative functions for the sole purpose of eliminating Falun Gong.

    In China the persecution through the 610
    Office is forced into every household, neigbourhood, office and workplace. In 1999, The
    CNOOC’s Tianjin Branch (also known as Bohai Oil Corporation) set up a

    The Tianjin branch of CNOOC occupies a massive piece of land along the West coast of
    Bohai Bay. In addition to the corporation’s work units and research institutes,
    it also has apartment housing for the employees, schools for the children,
    hospitals, and shops, and provides hydro, electricity, transportation,
    etc. All staff working for these facilities are employees of the Tianjin branch
    of CNOOC (aka Bohai Oil Corporation). It is here where most of the alleged
    abuses took place.

    to answer the question, why does this Falun Gong seem to be such an important
    issue to the Chinese regime, I found testimony published by a high ranked Australian
    Chinese Embassy official named Mr. Chen Yonglin who defected from his post and
    exposed the reason the CCP continues to persecute Falun Gong. Chen was the person who exposed that there were over 1000 Chinese spies in Canada. He stated that more than half of the duties of all overseas Chinese missions is to try to stop support from Falun Gong by the host countries of these missions. He also stated,

    “The Chinese Communist Party
    has always relied on violence, lies, and atheism to maintain its power. They
    could not understand Falun Gong s’ peaceful efforts to protect their freedom of
    belief. Now they feel they cannot let international community know about what they
    have done to Falun Gong in China.”

    The persecution remains state-wide and
    pervasive and still continues today because Jiang’s faction in the CCP which
    still holds considerable power and which includes players like Bo Xilai,
    Wang Lijun and Zhou Yongkang (those who have been in the news lately due to
    scandals) are responsible for massive crimes against Falun Gong practitioners
    including the allegations of Organ Harvesting from upwards of 45,000 – 60,000
    Falun Gong practitioners who may have been killed by these players to feed a billion
    dollar organ transplant tourist operation. The evidence so compelling that the
    UN had asked the CCP to explain the allegations and both time the UN was

    Based on my limited research I feel these this
    stuff we are hearing is only the tip of the iceberg and Prime Minister Stephen
    Harper should be very, very careful with who he chooses to do business with.