US mayor apologizes to Chinese consulate in Los Angeles over "Falun Gong Week"

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific/December 11, 2000

The China Press in the United States carried a report today saying some "Falun Gong" elements asserted that Alhambra City has designated the period from 4th to 8th December as "Falun Gong Week." Prior to this, Chinese Deputy Consul- General Xu Shiguo in Los Angeles met with Alhambra Mayor Paul L. Talbot by making an emergency appointment.

At the meeting, he demanded clarification and made representations. Deputy Consul-General Xu Shiguo pointed out that the "Falun Gong" is an illegal cult organization, banned by the Chinese government, that has done great harm to society and families.

At present, a small number of "Falun Gong" practitioners in the United States have tried every possible way to develop the "Falun Gong" cult locally and have engaged in activities to oppose the Chinese government. They have resorted to fraudulent means to obtain sympathy and support. Nevertheless, they will never be able to change the nature of "Falun Gong" as a cult.

He urged Alhambra to take measures to eradicate the negative influence brought by the city government's announcement of the "Falun Gong Week."

After listening to what Xu Shiguo said, Mayor Paul L. Talbot expressed his apologies to the Chinese consulate-general and said that Alhambra's announcement of a "Falun Gong Week" was a mistake as a result of its being misled and that he himself should take all responsibility for this. He promised to try his best to remedy the undesirable influence of the incident and ensure that similar incidents will not occur again.

Immediately after the meeting, Paul L. Talbot asked a lawyer of the city government to write a letter to the "Falun Gong" elements stating clearly the solemn stand of the city government that "Falun Gong" is a political organization with a clear goal and the city government does not support the viewpoints or activities of the "Falun Gong" elements. The letter also demanded that the "Falun Gong" elements immediately stop making use of the "congratulatory letter" of the city government to attain their political goal and immediately tell the public the government's political stand of not supporting "Falun Gong."

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