Washington International Law Journal


Kelly A. Thomas


The Chinese government's brutal crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement stands in marked contrast to its recent acknowledgement of its need to improve its human rights record and repeated avowals to take the legal steps necessary to conform with international human rights treaties. China's leadership has attempted to justify the crackdown, citing both historical reasons and national security concerns. Analysis of China's history demonstrates that repression of anti-government groups has only hardened their resistance. Similarly, the campaign against Falun Gong has failed to stop protests staged by the group's followers. In fact, Falun Gong's expressions of dissent have become increasingly defiant. The Chinese government's policy of repression undermines true national security. Lifting the ban will help the Chinese government achieve its stated goals of protecting both China's national security and the human rights of its citizens.

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