April 26,2000--Xinhua News Agency released a
bylined article today detailing the recent activities of
Falun Gong member Tracy Zhao and exposing the lies
in her testimony at a US congressional hearing in
According to the March 3 reports
from overseas Falun Gong websites, the International
Relations Committee of the US House of
Representatives held a hearing in Washington on
March 2 on human rights and religious freedom in
At the hearing, Tracy Zhao, a resident
of New York who is a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines
and a Falun Gong practitioner, testified before the
congressional panel about her " illegal detention"
on Tiananmen Square during this year's Spring Festival.
Zhao recounted in her statement:
"Shortly before midnight on February 4th, which was the
night before the Chinese New Year, I arrived at Tiananmen
Square. I saw many policemen beating and kicking Falun Gong
practitioners and dragging them into police
vans." "We were all
taken to the nearby police station. There were
hundreds of practitioners being held there. Some
were bleeding in the face; others had bruises or black
eyes," she said.
"In the early
hours of February 5th, around 1,200 practitioners,including
myself, were taken to the Dongcheng detention center on the
outskirts of Beijing. For 24 hours there was no water or
Each of us received only two pieces of
Chinese bread for food. And we were not allowed to use the
bathroom," she said. "After 24 hours,
the police questioned me and I told them I was an American
citizen. They didn't believe me and sent me to a
prison cell," Zhao said.
"Every practitioner in my cell had been
abused at some point by the prison guards and policemen. In
prison, we were given two meals a day, and it was always two
pieces of Chinese bread with cabbage soup," she said.
"At night all of us slept on one big
wooden platform, with one blanket for two people and no
pillows. It was very crowded. In theentire time I was there,
we weren't allowed to take any showers.
of the practitioners were allowed any contact with the
outside, nor were family members or relatives allowed to
And the families usually also faced
huge fines," she claimed. In her statement,
Zhao also said, "So far, 11 people are known to have
died while in police custody, while countless others remain
The testimony, which
was riddled with lies, had the negative impact desired by
the congressional committee and participants, the Xinhua
It was reported that after the
hearing, the head of the congressional committee posed for
pictures with Falun Gong members.
At noon the
following day, Zhang Erping, an assistant to Li
Hongzhi, the founder of the Falun Gong cult,
attended a luncheon for over 60 US politicians,
academicians, businesspeople and the press, briefing them on
Falun Gong and its "repression" in China.
Zhang also quoted Zhao's testimony before
congress. But who is Tracy Zhao? She
was an ordinary Chinese named Zhao Yanhong.
Zhao was born on July 22, 1969, in Beijing, and lived at 12
Liulisi, Andingmen, in the Dongcheng District. She
attended the Beijing Civil Aviation Technical School from
1985 to 1986.
Without completing her studies
there, she left to go to a vocational school specializing in
training for the service industry. After finishing her
courses there, she became a hotel
On January 23, 1990, Zhao resigned and applied
for leaving for the United States. She became a US citizen
in 1996. Later, she was employed by Northwest Airlines
thanks to her skills learned at the Beijing technical
In her first 20 years, Zhao, like her
Chinese peers, grew up ina peaceful and free environment and
received compulsory education. She also benefited from
China's reform and opening up when she chose to
emigrate to the US.
Zhao said she first heard
of Falun Gong in 1997 and became a practitioner two years
later. And yet Falun Gong, which claimed to cultivate the
spirituality of its practitioners, only left Zhao
confused and unable to distinguish right from
The Xinhua article notes that February
4, the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year, was a
day when the Chinese people returned home for family
reunions and to celebrate the new year.
But 10 days before that, core members of
the Falun Gong cult announced that February 4 was
an auspicious day for practicing Falun Gong on
On February 3, 2000, Tracy
Zhao arrived in Beijing intending to prepare for the human
rights conference in Geneva in March.
But she had ulterior motives in visiting
China, a fact which was proved repeatedly during her 10-day
stay in Beijing, the article says.
3, at 9 p.m., Zhao arrived in Beijing on a
Northwest flight, together with her boyfriend and
other three people.
previous trips to Beijing, Zhao did not stay at the
home of her uncle or aunt. She did not make phone
calls to wish New Year's greetings to family
members and friends, who did not know she spent the Spring
Festival of the Year of the Dragon in Beijing until she was
expelled by the Chinese government 10 days after her
On February 4, at about 11
p.m., she and her boyfriend left for Tiananmen Square. After
arriving at the square, she gave her passport and
all other IDs to her boyfriend who left the square, thus
making her an unidentifiable person.
same day, some die-hard elements of Falun Gong were
preaching the ideas of the cult by waving banners and
shouting slogans. They were taken away by the
patrol police who failed to persuade them to stop.
The article questions Zhao's testimony that
she saw many policemen beating and kicking Falun
Dafa practitioners". The article points out Zhao failed
in the United States to answer questions from
reporters on why she was not "bleeding in the
face" and had no "bruises or black eyes" like
others on the square.
On February 5, at 2
a.m., Zhao and some other Falun Gong practitioners -- not
1,200 of them, as Zhao claimed in her testimony -- were
removed from the square in police vans.
were sent to a holding center under the Municipal Public
Security Bureau. At the center, Zhao told police she is a
local resident and lives at 12 Liulisi, Andingmen, Dongcheng
At 4 p.m., Zhao was taken to the
Dongcheng Public Security Branch, where she continued to
conceal her identity and refused to answer other questions.
The Dongcheng police branch detained her in accordance with
However, in her testimony,
Zhao said, "I told them I was an American
citizen. They did not believe me and sent me to a prison
6-10, Zhao was in temporary custody in the
Dongcheng Detention Center, which has the best
conditions and is the most modernized of any such facility
in Beijing, the article says.
during their visit to the place, some officials from the UN
Committee Against Torture spoke highly of the conditions
there and its humanitarian treatment of the people
in custody, according to the article.
cell has a toilet, and hot water is supplied twice a week
for the inmates to take showers. According to the rules,
newcomers must take baths.
detention center has a scientifically-designed, heated
wooden platform on which those in detention sleep.
Zhao said in her testimony that she and others slept on
"one big wooden platform," according to the
During the Spring
Festival, the number of baths inmates in the detention
center were permitted to take was increased, and Zhao took
showers on February 5, 8 and 10. Guo Guilan, who was in the
same cell with Zhao, said she and Zhao bathed together. But,
Zhao claimed in her testimony that "In the entire time
I was there, we weren't allowed to take any
The article says that Zhao,
who came to Beijing to get a "first-hand look at what
was really going on", did not mention in her testimony
the fact that police in the detention center had never
beaten, cursed or tortured these Falun Gong members and
other inmates. Both Yin Fengyan and Liang Fuwei, who stayed
with Zhao in the same cell, have confirmed this, it says.
On February 9, the US Embassy in
China abruptly sent a fax to the Beijing Municipal Public
Security Bureau saying that Zhao, a US citizen, was arrested
while taking pictures of those who were practicing Falun
Gong on Tiananmen Square. The Municipal Public Security
Bureau contacted the US Embassy immediately, asking it to
help provide Zhao's identification documents.
On the evening of February 10, the US Embassy
sent Zhao's passport to the Municipal Public Security
The Dongcheng Branch of the Beijing
Public Security Bureau released Zhao from the Dongcheng
Detention Center immediately after verifying her identity.
She expressed her sincere thanks to the policemen involved.
At 10 a.m. on February 12, Zhao left Beijing
International Airport by a Northwest flight.
She made a brief farewell phone call to her
father, uncle, and aunt at the airport before boarding the
plane. It was the first and only call Zhao made to inform
her family members of her stay in Beijing.
During her eight-day detention, she did not submit any
requests to the Chinese police for meeting with
representatives from the US Embassy in Beijing.
She also declined the services of a lawyer.
These are the facts. But Zhao claimed that in
the entire time she was in detention, "None of the
practitioners were allowed any contact with the outside, nor
were family or relatives allowed to visit."
An investigation indicated that since the
Chinese government outlawed Falun Gong on July 22, 1999,
none of the family members or relatives of Falun Gong
practitioners, including Zhao's father,had received any
notices of "huge fines" because of their
involvement in Falun Gong.
Sources from the
Ministry of Justice said the ministry's re-education through
labor centers and prisons have reported no cases of
mistreatment of detained Falun Gong practitioners.
Zhao's claim that "11 people are known
to have died while in police custody" is absurd.
Zhao's "China trip" ended ahead of
schedule, but the farce featuring the Falun Gong
practitioners has just begun. The "drama"
continued after the March 2 congressional hearing.
After March 11 when a spokesman of the
Chinese Consulate in New York refuted Zhao's testimony at
the hearing, Zhao revised her statement that she
was in China on a "fact-finding" mission.
Suddenly, actions she previously said she
"saw firsthand" became actions she had only
"heard about from other sources." Her testimony
that she "wasn't permitted to bathe" changed into
a statement that she in fact took "three
During the UN human rights
conference in Geneva, Zhang Erping and some other core
members of the Falun Gong held frequent news conferences,
group practice of Falun Gong and other activities.
Zhao continued to join in the farce, taking a
Zhao's infatuation with Falun Gong
had been earlier denounced by her father, aunt and uncle.
After her detention, her relatives expressed their anger and
disappointment with her behavior.
"I'm afraid she has become a
sacrificial object of Li Hongzhi, her father said.
Observers here have tried to figure out the
connections between the overseas anti-China forces, Li
Hongzhi and his Falun Gong cult, Tracy Zhao, illegal
gatherings at Tiananmen Square, Zhao's
"fact-finding" tour, her statement to the US
congressional committee as well as the US attacks on China's
human rights conditions and Zhao
's lies about
"persecution" and "abuse."
Zhao's story has once again reminded the Chinese
people of the "marvels" of Li Hongzhi's
"truth, compassion and tolerance."
The latest paraphrase of the three words is believed to be
that that lies would become truth if repeating them for one
thousand times; to bring shame on the motherland, the
perilous intention would become an benevolent one
while the "tolerance" becomes means for achieving
Zhao's lies have turned into a
"priceless treasure" for some anti-China forces.
The Chinese people have seen time and again that these
forces will use any means to gain their end.