C h i n a N e w s D i g e s t
January 19, 2001

Government Launches New Publicity Campaign Against Falun Gong

[CND, 01/18/01] Having failed to stop Falun Gong members' persistent public protests, the Chinese government is trying to tune up the public criticism against the group, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

The authorities have recently begun signature drives at some universities and communities in Beijing in their campaign of getting one million signatures on a petition attacking the outlawed cult. The government wants to establish that its crackdown on Falun Gong is called for by the masses. Education institutes have been chosen for the early signature drives apparently because the authorities hoped to get students and professors on their side.

Fears that Falun Gong members would stage major demonstration during the Chinese New Year holiday in Tiananmen Square have put the city's public security officials on high alert. The authorities have vowed to fight the "destabilizing elements". A couple of weeks ago on the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the police rounded up hundreds Falun Gong protesters in the square. (LIU Weijun, WU Yiyi)

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