We all know about hate crimes, perpetrated by racists and bigots against, for example, ethnic and religious groups. They include anti-Asian hate, slurs against African Americans, and attacks on Jewish synagogues.
But some hate crimes get less coverage in the mainstream press, such as those against adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation discipline. In the most recent alleged attacks, a man was caught on camera apparently vandalizing Falun Gong information booths on the streets of New York. Police arrested the man, Zheng Buqiu, and charged him with a hate crime.
Zheng isn’t the first. In 2008, charges for hate crimes against Falun Gong were filed in Brooklyn, and more crimes were alleged in 2012 in San Francisco.
The victims were promoting the principles of “truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance,” and for that “crime” were hounded out of China, or into hiding, much as Protestants in the 17th century fled religious persecution in England.
The recent alleged hate crimes occurred in the Chinatown area of Flushing, near a public library, the U.S. Post Office, and the Bank of China. Flushing is a neighborhood within Queens, a borough of New York. The reporting indicates that the suspect has a mediate link to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which should be considered a form of terrorist or organized crime group.
The CCP frequently uses gangs to do its dirty work in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Canada, for example. New York can now be added to the list as another example in which a street thug allegedly had links to the CCP.
The suspect allegedly punched, kneed, stomped, toppled, tore, and scattered Falun Gong information tables and their contents, including leaflets, a loudspeaker, frames, a banner, and posters. The written material elucidated the spirituality of Falun Gong, as well as its persecution under the CCP. In a summary of a video taken at the scene, it’s written that the suspect allegedly used a “knife or a lighter” during an apparent attempt to carry off some of the display materials.
Frank Yue wrote in The Epoch Times that the incidents are “believed to have been orchestrated by the CCP in a bid to intimidate adherents of the practice.”
A volunteer at the booth, Xu Weiguo, described the man as looking “gangster-like,” according to the report. He wore all black clothing, including a black baseball cap, and had full-sleeve tattoos. After being confronted by a passerby at one incident, the man walked away only to return with his chest partly bared, revealing a large tattoo of a dragon that apparently extended from his chest over his shoulder.
Zheng Buqiu in the Flushing neighborhood of New York on Feb. 10, 2022. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
A Canadian law enforcement tattoo handbook has seven examples of “Asian Gang Tattoos,” three of which are over-the-shoulder dragons similar to the one adorning Zheng.
New York since the 1970s has been the scene of gang wars, including those fought by the Chinese Flying Dragon gang in Flushing.
Yi Rong, president of the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP, condemned the “CCP thugs for the malicious attack,” calling it a hate crime.
After the Feb. 10 attack, according to a volunteer named Lily Wang, the suspect made a gesture of victory across the street to “a leader of a local CCP front group, who has a history [including a conviction for assault] of harassing Falun Gong practitioners and spreading hate propaganda against the faith group,” according to Yue.
The alleged front group leader, Li Huahong, then taunted the practitioners, saying, “Go to the police! Why not?” according to the volunteer.
The attacks on Falun Gong are an example of the CCP’s transnational repression and power projection.
According to documents assembled by Yiyang Xia at the Human Rights Law Foundation, the CCP sees its “struggle” against Falun Gong and “other cult organizations” (by which the CCP could mean any religion, including Christianity, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, or Taoism) as a “political contest” to protect the CCP’s “leadership and the socialist system” from “anti-China forces in the West.”
The CCP seeks to “blacklist” practitioners and obtain “overseas … action-oriented intelligence information” to “make overseas anti-cult struggles more and more active” for the “targeted education, persuasion, restraint, and disintegration” of Falun Gong.
This CCP “struggle” in Flushing extends back more than a decade. According to Yue, the Chinese ambassador in New York admitted in an undercover phone call in 2008 to “instigating pro-CCP groups to launch a series of assaults on Falun Gong adherents in the area.”
In accord with America’s freedom of speech and religion, we must do more to protect the persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, who are working to save America from the CCP’s hegemonic and totalitarian ambitions. That should start with a thorough investigation and airing of any links between the CCP and criminals in New York.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea” (2018).