Wed Feb 13
By Jeremy Page
BEIJING (Reuters) - A U.S. religious rights group has published what it says are top secret Chinese government documents detailing a crackdown on [..] religious groups including the underground Christian church and Falun Gong.
The seven documents describe tactics used by security forces against such groups including interrogation, surveillance and infiltration by secret agents, said a statement on the Web site of the Washington-based human rights group Freedom House.
If genuine, the papers illustrate in rare detail the Chinese leadership's determination to crush all religious activity outside state-sanctioned bodies following persistent protests by members of the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong.
They also throw the spotlight again on religious freedom in China a week before a visit by President Bush.
"These documents provide irrefutable evidence that China remains determined to eradicate all religion it cannot control, using extreme tactics," the statement quoted Nina Shea, director of Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom, as saying.
"President Bush, who has repeatedly voiced concern for religious repression in China, must speak out forcefully and publicly in support of religious freedom during his state visit to China next week."
The Chinese constitution enshrines freedom of religious belief but in practice the Communist Party restricts all worship to state-controlled religious bodies, whose leaders it appoints.
One of the most revealing papers is a transcript of a speech by Sun Jianxin, vice director of public security in the eastern province of Anhui….
"Hostile organizations both in our country and abroad have shifted their focus to the inside of our country and have hastened their infiltration through various methods, such as via foundations or academic delegations, and all kinds of media," he said.
He called for a fierce crackdown on Falun Gong -- banned in 1999 after members shocked the leadership by protesting outside their compound to demand official recognition of their faith.
"Find out the details about them and tighten control on them," Sun said. "Make sure to keep them to their local areas and prevent them from connecting and gathering, or going to Beijing to stir up trouble. Put them in classes by force and use forceful measures if necessary."
DESTABILISING THE NATION
Sun accused the Vatican , (whose authority is not recognized by the official Chinese catholic church, of plotting to destabilize the country.
"The Vatican is still waiting for any opportunity to intervene in the internal affairs of Catholic churches in our country," he said. "They will draw the patriotic religious believers up to them and incite them to rebel."
Even during recent talks between Beijing and the Vatican on opening diplomatic ties, his security forces "began to search, educate, convert, reconnoiter and control some key members of the underground Catholics," he said.
He urged his forces to use secret agents to infiltrate Falun Gong, underground Catholic groups, businesses, people with "complicated political backgrounds" and universities.
"Secret forces are the heart and soul in covert struggles and the crucial magic weapon in our battle against and victory over the enemy," he said.
The documents, said to be classified speeches and memos issued between April 1999 and October 2001, were provided by the New York-based Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China, Freedom House said.
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