On June 6th, it was reported that Iceland would deny, during Jiang's visit, any visa requests by passport holders from the People's Republic of China and Taiwan until June 18th. This, needless to say, is similar to other visits by Chinese dignitaries abroad in that it was at the demand of the visiting dignitaries.
My first thought upon hearing the news was that Jiang is really scared this time. This was not fear that a normal person would sometimes have; it was something that chilled Jiang thoroughly, an apprehension or despair that has overwhelmed him, driving him to completely ridiculous and irrational behaviour.
Jiang's fear of Falun Gong seems to be deeply engrained. As early as 1999, when the persecution campaign just started, he kept himself busy at an Asia-Pacific Summit in New Zealand, handing out to every national leader pamphlets that slandered Falun Gong. His meekness begged the question of whether he really had the self-confidence of "eradicating Falun Gong in three months." Since then, nearly three years have passed, and Falun Gong has developed rapidly around the world. Now, with their constant appeals and tenacious efforts to make clarifications, Jiang has become ever more fearful of the ubiquitous Falun Gong people when he travels overseas. Under these circumstances, his demands to host countries have also grown ever more ridiculous--so much so that he asked the German government to ensure no Falun Gong practitioners in their trademark blue-yellow shirts would meet his eyes, that he put pressure on the Iceland government this time to deny entry for every Chinese. One can't help but ask: do these actions befit his status as a head of state? Does it help China's aspiration to play a more active role in international affairs? Whether due to their courtesy as the host or to further economic interests, the host countries may have met his irrational demands, but China had to pay a high price for Jiang's paranoia, as what he had brought to the country was definitely not respect.
Those few overseas Chinese who had been temporarily deceived and manipulated have already figured out the irrationality of this persecution campaign and the frailty of Jiang's group -- because they lately have said to those practitioners that their peaceful actions would, oddly enough, "make China collapse." Of course, the "China" whose destiny they were worried about had nothing to do with the real China or the Chinese people. In reality, to them China was just another name for Jiang's dictatorial gang. This brings up an interesting question: doesn't it speak volumes when despite their monopoly of all the political, economic and military resources of a country as huge as China, people actually think they could be "overthrown" by the meditation of people who never hit back when being hit and never curse back when being cursed, who believe in such principles as "Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance?"
For democratic countries, this represents a challenge to the values we hold dear, namely freedom and democracy. Even during the Cold War, when the powerful Soviet Union made state visits, it didn't make such unbelievably ridiculous demands of its hosts. It seems that Jiang has now started to direct Western governments on how they should run their countries, meaning that those governments have to treat those who are in disfavour with him the same way he would. Thus, the German police banned people wearing blue shirts from walking on the street; every employee of Asian descent at a hotel where Jiang stayed at had to take leaves during his visit. Iceland refused to grant visas to every Chinese visitor. We have to ask ourselves, when we kowtow to the insanity of a tyrant, how far are we from losing the democratic freedom we cherish so much?
Today, Jiang is not only forcing Chinese, but also every government in the world to make its choice on the issue of Falun Gong. This reminds us of what happened in the 1930s, when Europe's attempt to stay neutral in the face of Hitler's reign of terror only fuelled the flame of destruction that engulfed the whole continent. Likewise, when we are now faced with the most evil forces in the world, there isn't much time left to make our choice.
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2002/6/8/31421.html
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