Confessions of a Chinese Consular Official

Former Senior Diplomat from China Testifies before Congress

Canberra, July 26, 2005. Former Chinese political consul Chen Yonglin, gives evidence today to a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of his request for asylum in Australia. Mr Chen applied for political asylum on May 26 after claiming the Chinese government operated an Australian network of 1,000 informants, particularly targeting the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and routinely kidnapped people. (AAP Image/Mark Graham) NO ARCHIVING, INTL OUT

Canberra, July 26, 2005. Former Chinese political consul Chen Yonglin, gives evidence today to a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of his request for asylum in Australia. Mr Chen applied for political asylum on May 26 after claiming the Chinese government operated an Australian network of 1,000 informants, particularly targeting the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and routinely kidnapped people. (AAP Image/Mark Graham) NO ARCHIVING, INTL OUT

Editors note: The following is a testimony by Mr. Chen Yonglin, the former First Secretary of the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney, to a July 21, 2005, U.S. Congressional hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations.

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. Thank you for this opportunity to testify. My name is CHEN Yonglin, former Consul for Political Affairs (First Secretary rank) of the Consulate-General of the P. R. China in Sydney. I worked in the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney in the period from April 26, 2001 to May 26, 2005. Before I came to Sydney, I had worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China for about 10 years, and in the period from August 1994 to August 1998 I was posted in the Chinese Embassy in Fiji. I would like to testify how the Chinese Missions abroad and specifically in Australia implement a policy of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

According to my knowledge, the persecution on the Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a systematic campaign. All the authorities especially of public security, state security and Foreign Affairs are involved in the persecution. Since the CCP declared a war against Falun Gong practitioners in June 1999, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of China set up an office called ‘‘The Office of the Falun Gong Issue’’ operating under the General Office of the MFA as a part of ‘‘The Central 610 Office’’ system. The Office of Falun Gong Issue of the MFA changed its name to ‘‘The Department of External Security Affairs’’ in July 2004 whose function also includes dealing with the Eastern Turkistan groups and other ‘‘non-traditional security affairs.’’ Other ministries of the Central Government, Provincial and various levels of governments and state-run institutions and companies established their own 610 offices as well, though the office may be called a slightly different name. In each Chinese mission overseas, there must be at least one official in charge of the Falun Gong affairs, and the head and the deputy head of the mission will be responsible for the Falun Gong affairs. I am aware there are over 1000 Chinese secret agents and informants in Australia, who have played a role in persecuting the Falun Gong, and the number in the Unites States should be higher.


I was told by Mr. WANG Xiaoxiang, Deputy Director of ‘‘The Central 610 Office’’ who visited Sydney on December 21 to 23, 2001: The CCP Central Office of Handling the Falun Gong Issue was established on June 10, 1999, which was later changed into ‘‘The Office of Preventing and Handling the Evil Cult Problem of the State Council,’’ and the insiders always used the name ‘‘The Central 610 Office.’’ Massive and extremely harsh measures have been taken against the Falun Gong since early 2001 on account that there are still a huge number of Falun Gong practitioners demonstrating at the Tiananmen Square and practicing the Falun Gong on the public place every day. Mr. WANG said, ‘‘Normally the practitioners number visiting the Tiananmen Square every day reaches several dozens, and sometimes over 1000. These people were very strange. The Security guards had to drag them into the coach waiting nearby. However, some of them were cooperative. The police just invited them to get on the coach. We sent them to the suburbs gathering centers or stadiums and asked the police of each relevant local government to escort them back to their homes. The village and street committee have the responsibility to strictly monitor them and control their movement. If they flee away again, all the officials in that province are held responsible.’’

I was briefed about the recent development of the war against the Falun Gong by Mr. YUAN Yin, Deputy Director of ‘‘The Central 610 Office’’ who visited Sydney on December 16 to 18, 2003, accompanied by nine officials from both his office and the MFA Office of Falun Gong Issue: The war against the Falun Gong has achieved ‘‘momentous victory,’’ the number of the Falun Gong practitioners has dropped dramatically after ‘‘skillfully exposing some Falun Gong suicide cases.’’ The Falun Gong practitioners demonstrating at the Tiananmen Square have decreased because the majority of them have been controlled and are under strict surveillance. To control each Falun Gong practitioner, the Chinese Communist Government needs to spend an average of 150,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US$18,300) each year. There are now still over 60,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China, and half of them are in prisons and labour camps, and another half are under control. ‘‘The cost [on fighting against the Falun Gong] is very worthy. If we allow their existence without control, then our [Communist] Party will be facing a giant enemy, and our society will not be stable,’’ said Mr. YUAN.

When I was in the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney, about one hundred delegations headed by senior officials, whose ranks are above vice minister, toured Sydney at the Chinese taxpayers’ expenses. I often looked after these corrupted officials, and had the chance to hear from them many inside stories about how they managed to catch the Falun Gong practitioners by resorting to all resources. While in the
Consulate, I have read a lot of confidential background materials about the Falun Gong death cases, and these Falun Gong practitioners were always accused of ‘‘being uncooperative’’ or ‘‘committing suicide’’ but actually died of inadequate management or police brutality.


The war against Falun Gong is one of the main tasks of the Chinese missions overseas. In February 2002, the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney set up ‘‘The Special Group for Struggling against the Falun Gong’’ headed by the Consul-General and Deputy Consul-General, consisting of representative from all sections in the Consulate including Political Research Section, Culture Propaganda Section, Overseas Chinese Affairs Section, Trade and Commercial Office and Education Office. The Special Group held a meeting once every two weeks. In 2002, as I took over the responsibility as the coordinator, such a meeting was held once every two months, and in the next two and a half years once every quarter. The Falun Gong issue is the priority of the Consulate’s job, and it is a daily, long-term job. The Special Group is a part of the ‘‘610’’ office system of persecuting the Falun Gong.

The Australian model for ‘‘the war on the Falun Gong’’ is exactly the same in the United States and other countries where the Falun Gong is active. The Falun Gong policy of the central CCP for the overseas missions is ‘‘To fight eyeball to eyeball, to attack voluntarily and aggressively’’.

Some of the measures taken to squeeze the ‘‘living space’’ of the Falun Gong include:

1. Carrying on a large-scale anti-Falun Gong propaganda campaign in foreign countries including Australia and the United States. In the first half year of 2002, the missions in Australia successfully held an anti-Falun Gong Pictorial Exhibition respectively. The Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney held it in the name of ‘‘Promoting Chinese healthy Culture and Opposing the Cult.’’ The Consul-General preaches the CCP’s policy on the Falun Gong whenever he hosts or attends any functions. The Consulate staff frequently sends anti-Falun Gong letters, news bullets, notes and other printed materials to various governmental officials or do it through some ‘‘friends’’, whenever it is considered necessary. Every year, the Consulate has distributed countless bundles of anti-Falun Gong materials to all levels of the NSW governments, non-governmental organizations, libraries, schools, and visitors to the Consulate. When the Consulate staff visits remote areas of New South Wales (NSW), anti-Falun Gong materials will be brought to distribute. The website of the University of Wollongong displayed a photo of the Falun Gong stall in 2004, however after a complaint from the Chinese Students Friendship Association controlled by the Consulate, the photo was eliminated in several hours.

The China Central Television (CCTV) paid the Sydney Chinese Television (service offered by Channel 31) for renting the prime time to broadcast a series of footages recorded from the CCTV ‘‘Focus Interview’’ on opposing the Falun Gong. Some local Chinese media in Sydney such as former 2AC Chinese Daily, Singtao Daily, Australian Express Daily and the website ‘‘Chinatown Online’’ are all pro-CCP on the news report with regard to the Falun Gong. Once, there is a Falun Gong practitioner who won a bidding for ‘‘Half-an-hour Interview at Your Will’’ by 2AC mandarin radio, and the Consulate official who attended the function immediately asked the radio to lay some restrictions on the interview and forced that Falun Gong practitioner to give up the interview.

2. Putting pressure on the officials of the various Australian governments and exchange for political benefits by economic means. These officials include the NSW state Government, the state Parliament, the City Councils, the state Labour Party and the Liberal Party. Facing huge pressure, Bankstown, Rockdale, Hurstville, Burwood and some other cities councils voted down the motions in support of the
Falun Gong or took some actions in favour of the CCP policy on the Falun Gong. The Consulate’s work has been very successful, and as a result only a handful NSW Parliamentarians and councilors are willing to meet the Falun Gong practitioners or speak on their rally and no more city councils dare to issue any appreciation letter to the Falun Gong.

The economic means are quite successful. The CCP leaders decided to give the Guangdong LNG contract to North West Shelf in 2002 as a part of China’s ‘‘Grand Border Concept’’ strategy for obtaining both Australia’s natural resources and its political compromise. The Consulate in Sydney has cultivated intimate relations with a lot of federal and state officials by inviting them to visit China, promoting their individual business ties with China and hosting dinners for them.

Each year, there are numerous Chinese officials visiting Australia. They have the task to use all the official occasions to denounce the Falun Gong. Mr. Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People’s Congress of the Chinese Communist Party regime visited Sydney in May 2005 and did not forget to denounce the Falun Gong as an ‘‘evil cult’’ in his speech to some pro-CCP people of the Chinese community though there is no Falun Gong demonstration during his visit.

3. Carrying out the policy ‘‘To Fight eyeball to eyeball’’ with the Falun Gong. The Consulate has successfully defeated the attempt of the Falun Gong to participate in the Chinese Spring Festival parade. The Consulate has consecutively forced the NSW Railway Authority and Sydney International Airport Company to take down the large lamp billboard with the words ‘‘Truth, Forbearance and Tolerance.’’ In order to prevent Sydney Minhui School (whose principal is a Falun Gong practitioner) from being sponsored by the NSW Department of Education and Training, the Consulate has put enormous pressure on the Department of Education and Training, and the case is still there. After talking with the Fairfield City Council, the initial plan of establishing a ‘‘Truth, Forbearance and Tolerance’’ stele was forced to cancel. There is a broad ‘‘black list’’ of Australia Falun Gong practitioners used for border checking and surveillance in Australia.

However, not all complaints are successful. In May 2003, the Consulate’s representation to the NSW Government and the Sydney Council against a Chinese Cultural Performance Evening Party hosted by some Falun Gong practitioners resulted in vain. A lot of Chinese community organizations were mobilized to write letters to or call the Mayor and councilors. The Consulate prepared the content of the letter and asked them to sign and deliver to the Council. The Council stated that it would not send any official to attend the Evening Party, but insisted that the Falun Gong practitioners had the right to rent the Sydney Town Hall under a commercial contract.

4. Mobilizing the force of the Chinese community, Chinese students and Chinese companies in NSW to squeeze the Falun Gong’s living space. Each year the Consulate officials will attend hundreds of functions held by the local Chinese community, each time the Consulate shall demand the host to guarantee that no Falun Gong practitioners will be present. The Consulate has held a number of talks with the Chinese community on opposing the Falun Gong, and initiated a campaign of signing to complain about the Falun Gong. The Consulate paid certain Chinese scholars the fee for their trips to China to encourage them to speak against the Falun Gong on TV or write articles for the newspapers. Some visa applicants were asked to swear at the Falun Gong demonstrators in front of the Consulate.

5. Strictly controlling and monitoring the Falun Gong activities. The Consulate has informed the Russian Consulate-General in Sydney twice about the main list of the Falun Gong practitioners, and the latter helped to intercept a number of the Falun Gong practitioners who wanted to enter Russia in the period while Jiang Zemin were visiting Russia. All the Chinese language schools in NSW are allowed to use the textbook issued by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council except Sydney Minhui School with the Falun Gong background. Each year, there are over 20 Falun Gong practitioners intercepted by the Chinese Consulate, who want their visas or Chinese passports to be renewed. For those Chinese nationals who want to extend their passports, the Consulate normally confiscates their passports. There are some local Chinese and Chinese students encouraged to mix with the Falun Gong practitioners for the purpose of collecting information, and the award will be some cultural performance tickets, dinners, gifts and cash.

These are just a few examples of the persecution on the Falun Gong that the CCP organizes and engages in the state of NSW, Australia. Activities in the same nature are also carried out in other countries wherever the Falun Gong is active.


There are 4.8 billion people having religious beliefs taking about 80 % of the world population. In China, under the persecution of the CCP, there are only 0.1 billion Chinese having certain beliefs taking less than 8 % of China’s population. Obviously, there is no freedom of religion and beliefs under the dictatorship of the CCP. The CCP should be stopped from persecuting the Falun Gong and other religious groups.

Thank you.