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In September 2001, Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) self-published a book called "China Attacks" which envisioned a Chinese sneak attack against Taiwan that precipitates a third world war. Call it a case of bad timing: as the events of 9/11 suggested, China might not be America's worst enemy after all. In 2004, DeVore became a California Assemblyman representing the 70th District, but he still finds time to take the Chinese government to task from time to time.
The latest example? Today, DeVore fired off a series of letters to various Chinese officials demanding that they release a trio of Falun Gong activists with relatives in California (although none, apparently, are among DeVore's constituents): Ms. Yao-Hua Li, Ms. Yi-Bo Zhang, Ms Chunyan Wang and Mrs. Jinhua Ma. All four are being detained by Chinese authorities, who since 1999 have cracked down on the Falun Gong movement, which combines the ancient Chinese traditions of deep breathing, stretching and meditation with various forms of mysticism.
Although China generally encourages citizens to practice tai chi, it views Falun Gong as a subversive cult. "Though the constitution of the People's Republic of China formally guarantees freedom of religion, the fact is that Communist authorities use force to oppress particular faiths, including Falun Gong, various Christian sects, Buddhists, and Muslims," DeVore argues. "I am sending letters demanding the release of these prisoners for two reasons: because their Californian loved ones deserve no less from a Californian public servant, and because the cause of liberty is the cause of every American."