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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
US resolution angers Beijing
Falun Gong members practising in Hong Kong
Beijing has repeated its claim the sect is an "evil cult"
China has reacted angrily to a resolution passed by the US Congress on Wednesday that calls for an end to persecution of members of the Falun Gong spiritual sect.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said that a handful of people in the United States had been whipping up support for the sect, which is outlawed in China, and slandering the Chinese Government.

The resolution calls for the release of thousands of Falun Gong followers held in jail or in re-education camps and claims the ban on the sect violates the Chinese constitution.

Mr Kong said Beijing had made representations to the US Government to express its anger at the move.

'Ulterior motives'

Beijing's official English-language newspaper, China Daily, said the Chinese Government believed the resolution had been drafted ''with ulterior motives and malicious intent'' and it ''ignores the crimes committed by the cult''.


Congressmen should stop... supporting and abetting the evil cult

National People's Congress official

Accusing the US Congress of ''double standards'', the newspaper said the ban on the sect was ''not only in line with the Chinese constitution, but also in line with the international convention on citizens' rights and political rights''.

The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an official of the National People's Congress Foreign Affairs Committee as saying: ''Those congressmen should stop interfering in China's domestic affairs by making use of the Falun Gong issue, and stop supporting and abetting the evil cult."

Congress demands

Falun Gong was outlawed in 1999 after a mass protest in Tiananmen Square that unnerved leaders.

Police escort a sect member away from Tiananmen Square
The sect was banned after a mass protest in Tiananmen Square

The US resolution also demanded China ''put an end to the practices of torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment against them and other prisoners of conscience".

This month, Chinese state media denounced what they said was the hijacking in June of nationwide satellite television signals by Falun Gong.

Messages from Falun Gong allegedly cut into broadcasts of the World Cup final for viewers in remote and rural areas.


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10 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
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