Former Chinese professor recalls the greatest peaceful appeal of millions of people of faith who have changed their lives

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of China’s largest peaceful appeal, the April 25th appeal following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest.

On April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the Court of Appeals of the State Council in Beijing to accuse fellow practitioners of being accidentally arrested (and beaten) by police in Tianjin. Requested the authorities to release.

The arrest in Tianjin occurred after three years of intense official oppression banning the publication of Falun Gong books, with the first publicity article desecrating Falun Gong published in major national newspapers, and police campaigning in the park. Started interfering with the session. ..

In a quiet and peaceful rally, Zhu Rongji, then Prime Minister of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was internationally acclaimed for his peaceful resolution of the problem through dialogue with practitioners.

But this all changed overnight when Jiang Zemin, then leader of the Chinese Communist Party, overturned Zhu’s decision and began what became one of the longest-running persecutions of people of Chinese faith. I did.

Since July 20, 1999, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, thrown into internment camps, beaten, tortured and killed by the CCP.

Lee Yuanhua, a former professor at Capital Normal University in China, who currently lives in Sydney, Australia, attended a rally on April 25 after hearing from her mother about the arrest of a practitioner in Tianjin. She asked him to accompany him to the National Public Complaints Bureau, just a few kilometers away from their home.

“The purpose we went there was very simple,” Lee said. There was only one purpose.Because I benefited [from the practice] I myself … I wanted to convey to the government all the positive changes I experienced, physically and mentally … I wanted to tell them that this is a good habit. that’s all. “

Lee told the Epoch Times that it was the peace and tranquility of the gathered people that had been sticking to him since that historic day.

Epoch Times Photo
Li Yuanhua, a former professor at Capital Normal University in China, recalled his personal experience of the April 25 appeal. (The Epoch Times)

Lee explained that Falun Gong practitioners also took care of others by actively occupying only a quarter of the sidewalk and leaving no trash.

“I remember there was a practitioner walking one by one with a plastic bag.” Are there any fellow practitioners or garbage? [that you need to get rid of]?? If so, put it in this bag, “Lee said.

“Before the afternoon, we learned that the premiere was coming out and asked some practitioners to learn about the situation. We had practitioners who always provided live updates, so everyone got the results. I was waiting.”

“Around 8 or 9 pm, someone came out and said that the practitioner in Tianjin was released, so everyone just left.”

Epoch Times Photo
Approximately 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners are peacefully appealing outside the Zhongnanhai, the central headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party, held in Beijing on April 25, 1999. (

Lee also said police attending the rally were relaxed, there was no threat of attack on either side, and some people brought young babies.

“The policemen were scattered. They were very relaxed, smoking and chatting. The police officers’ reaction shows that these people were kind and did not intend to attack,” Lee said. He said. “Who will hug your baby and surround you?”

He added that the most valuable thing is that the people who attended the appeals office are very well trained.

“The image itself [shows this].. So many people went there to report the situation, yet they could remain quiet and not noisy. It made people wonder what was behind them that made them behave very well. “

“And the results are good,” he said, referring to the first amnesty by former Prime Minister Zhu Rongji.

“But Jiang Zemin was actually afraid of the discipline that the people in this group show,” Lee explained. “The bad guys are really afraid to meet the good guys. If it is a wise monarch, he will be pleased to see his people of such high quality, but the CCP A party that steals power and controls people by violence. “

Lee explained that under the Jiang Zemin administration, Chinese Communist Party leaders intensified their attacks on people of Chinese faith, and the party soon began to recharacterize the appeal as more aggressive.

“Initially, [the CCP] We called it a rally and didn’t mention Zhongnanhai (the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party), “Lee said. “Since then [April 25] The incident, the CCP’s own report, called it a rally.After the persecution began [the narrative] Changed, [the CCP] Called it surrounding the Zhongnanhai [to frame the practitioners].. “

But Lee said the term siege doesn’t make sense.

“How could they be surrounded when they weren’t surrounding it in the first place? The CCP couldn’t find a single photo of us surrounding the place.” He said.

Recovery from end-stage disease

Lee’s choice to speak for his fellow imprisoned practitioners was what he felt he had to do because he benefited so much from practice and its moral guidance.

After spending 10 years looking for a way to treat hepatitis B, which was an incurable disease in China at the time, Lee began practicing Falun Gong in 1994.

He tried all kinds of treatments, including traditional herbal medicine, Western medicine, some folklore, and Qigong practices, but he found nothing to improve his condition.

“For 10 years, I basically [fighting with] The illness and its impact on me, both physically and mentally, “said Lee. “I felt slow and dull inside.

“When I woke up in the middle of the night, I just sat there and was afraid that I would never sleep and die.”

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioner who made the first movement in Chengdu, Sichuan, China before 1999 (©Mingi)

“And I didn’t dare date because the illness is infectious,” he said.

After practicing Falun Gong, Lee said he was no longer so uncomfortable and was able to move his life forward. He said he noticed that all his medical results were normal the next time he had a physical examination before coming to Australia in 2006.

But Lee said he benefited most from the mental changes that practice brought to him.

Genuine moral uplift

“The change in my mind was fundamental,” said the former professor. “After growing up, I knew how to be a good person and a good teacher.”

At that time, the university that hired Mr. Lee was under great pressure because he was asking students to evaluate the instructor anonymously. Some people have chosen to pass whatever happens, hoping for good remarks. Meanwhile, Lee decided not to do so. Instead, he guided students using moral principles, such as patiently explaining to them why plagiarism was not good for them.

“Students know that if you really care about their growth, they will give you kind feedback,” Lee said.

Lee also found that the teachings of practice that emphasized honesty, compassion, and forgiveness helped him professionally.

Lee, a professor of history education, taught students about the teachings of Confucius, Mencius and Zhu Xi.

Previously, he didn’t really understand the essence of their teachings and simply repeated what the book said. However, after reading lectures given by founder Li Hongzhi, including Falun Dafa, he realized that ancient teachers were also talking about moral self-improvement.

Lee keeps raising his voice

Lee continues to oppose the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and believes that the period of persecution will be remembered as a special moment in history.

“It’s invaluable in both Chinese and world history. No matter how unfair they are [Falun Gong practitioners] When treated, people in this group showed no intention of attacking. They just stated the facts, so I hope you can make the right decision after hearing the facts. “

Despite facing human rights abuses such as persecution, torture and organ removal, it keeps many Chinese religious people away from their hometowns and exiles them to other countries.

“What impressed me most was the peace and rationality shown. [by Falun Gong practitioners] Under the violent rule of the Communist Party, “Mr. Lee said from the bottom of his heart.

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioners meet at candle rallies to continue their peaceful journey for religious freedom in China, Sydney, Australia. (Lindachan / The Epoch Times)

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