China’s Ugly Side: Activists Say Nation Still Harvests Prisoners’ Organs
Critics of communist regime hopeful Trump will raise human rights violations at Xi summit
A local Florida newspaper reported this week that a group called Falun Gong will be protesting outside of Mar-a-Lag as Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with President Donald Trump, and referred to a “dispute” between Xi and the spiritual group.
“Dispute” is wildly inaccurate. The Chinese Communist Party, which Xi heads, has been murdering members of Falun Gong and stealing their organs, according to a 600-page report by Canadian researchers, and not always in that order: The organs are sometimes cut out while the person is still alive, according to those trying to sound alarm bells.
“You should not treat them as a normal government … there should be no normal trading arrangement.”
And the number of murders committed by Xi’s communists may be as high as 100,000 a year, according to some human-rights activists – a slaughter of human beings, one that most Americans hear almost nothing about.
Dr. Charles Lee, a Falun Gong practitioner who is now an American citizen living in New Jersey, spent three years in a Chinese prison, forced to labor every day making Homer Simpson slippers for the U.S. market. But he recounts a story worse than his forced-labor prison term.
in 1990, when he was studying to be a doctor in China, he was once inside what he says was a mobile execution van, and waited while a doctor cut the heart out of a prisoner while the man was still alive.
“We needed a heart to do some experiments,” he said. “So we went to an execution place. The people were drugged and put into the vans.”
“I was in the van, like, holding utensils, like waiting for the doctor to cut out the heart for us.”
He said from behind a curtain, he could hear the prisoner making some noise.
“It was actually sickening,” he says, “because I knew the person was not dead.”
Lee is now one of the most outspoken critics of China in the U.S. and has twice testified before Congress on China’s human rights abuses – most recently in the summer of 2016 at a hearing where Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), chairman of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, railed against the “monstrous crime” of organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party, in which practitioners of Falun Gong, and also Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetans, and some Christians are killed for their organs.
Also testifying at the hearing was David Matas, a Canadian human-rights lawyer and co-author of a report called “Blood Harvest,” which laid out detailed evidence of a larger slaughter of Chinese citizens for their organs than anyone had previously documented.
Matas and co-author David Kilgour, a human-rights activist and long-time member of the Canadian parliament, found that although the Chinese government reports there are just 10,000 organ transplants a year done in China, the actual number is 60,000 to 100,000 a year, performed at almost 900 hospitals. Very few of these organs are from voluntary donors.
The Chinese government actually admitted in 2005 that it was cutting out organs from executed prisoners, and promised to put a stop to it. But in 2010, a Chinese doctor told the medical journal Lancet that 90 percent of organs used by hospitals in China still came from prisoners who’d been killed. In late 2014, China said it would switch to a voluntary system, and only take organs that people had chosen to donate. But even after a government advertising campaign to encourage organ donation, in the years 2012 and 2013 only 1,400 people nationwide had signed up for organ donations.
Where are the other organs coming from?
The Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on Falun Gong, a sort of non-religion in China that worships no god, but preaches truthfulness and clean living and includes the slow-moving physical exercise called qigong, began in 1999. Before this, says Lee, there were very few organ transplants taking place in China.
“Right after that, they jumped,” he says, and the number of hospitals doing organ transplants “mushroomed.”
Many of these hospitals are very big, Matas and Kilgour found, performing on average 2,000 transplants a year each. One large hospital they found has 500 beds dedicated to organ-transplant recipients.
People needing a transplant wait, on average, only two weeks in China, compared to many months in the United States and other countries.
There is only one explanation, Lee says: “There must be a waiting donor pool” – people waiting to be killed.
An Israeli man, he says, went to China to have a heart transplant on a scheduled date, a virtual impossibility in the United States, where someone waiting for an organ transplant must wait for someone else to die, as organs cannot be preserved and so must be transferred into another body within a few hours, in most cases.
“There must be somebody who would be killed at that time, on that day…an arranged death,” says Lee.
The donor pool, he says, must be huge. And practitioners of Falun Gong – or Falun Dafa, as it is also called – make ideal organ donors.
“These people are very healthy. We don’t drink. We don’t smoke. We don’t do drugs.”
There were 70-100 million practitioners of Falun Gong in China before the crackdown, says Lee. Now, the evidence suggests there may be 40 million, as people are scared to identify with the movement.
The issue of human rights in China has taken a back seat to trade, and the explosive allegations of the mass murder of peaceful Chinese citizens by their own communist government has gotten scant attention in the United States, even considering – or perhaps because – the June 23, 2016, hearing took place in the middle of a highly charged presidential campaign.
But just this week came a sign that the Trump administration is in fact paying attention to what China is doing on issues other than trade.
The administration told Congress on Monday that it will cancel funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which received over $300 million from the U.S. over the eight years of the Obama administration for “family planning” – otherwise known as “population control.”
The fund, says Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, has worked in lockstep with China to implement its one-child policy, which he says has included “encouraging the Chinese government to take draconian measures, including arresting women for the crime of being pregnant, and forcing them to have abortions and sterilizations.”
His organization's newsletter this month featured a front-page story about the Chinese government's offer to remove, for free, the IUDs it forcibly implanted in the wombs of women in years previous to prevent them from having more than one child. There are now too few babies being born, and too few working-age adults in China to support the aging population. The government wants more workers.
The Chinese Communist Party, which first took power in 1949, has controlled every level of government in every part of the country ever since.
Dr. Lee, though sounding hopeful that the issue of mass executions and organ harvesting can be brought to the attention of President Trump, warns that the Chinese communists are so depraved that the United States should never consider China to be a partner, and should make no deals with Chinese Communist leaders.
"You should not treat them as a normal government," he says. "There should be no normal trading arrangement."