OPINION: Taiwan’s ‘Third Force’ Parties Must Avoid a Rightward Shift

Falun Gong’s campaign against the Democratic Socialists of America shows the potential for right-wing forces to co-opt anti-CCP sentiment in Taiwan.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/10/07
By: Brian Hioe, 破土 New Bloom

Credit: Reuters / TPG

It may seem ironic to note that the Epoch Times, the multilingual newspaper run in over 30 countries by the Falun Gong (Falun Dafa), has been put on edge by the rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). However, perhaps an instructive parable lies in there, somewhere.

Originally founded in 1982, the DSA has been for decades one of America’s largest socialist organizations, though many on the left did not view the DSA as particularly radical. But the DSA has seen a new wave of momentum with the influx of tens of thousands of new members after the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders pushed socialism into America’s mainstream. There have been attempts to push the DSA further leftwards, and various attempts by left sectarian groups to co-opt the group from within.

On the other hand, the Epoch Times is run by the Falun Gong, the Chinese religious organization persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. The Falun Gong emerged in the 1990s following a boom in spiritual practices in China after economic liberalization under the watch of former leader Deng Xiaopin. However, the group eventually came to be seen as a threat by the CCP. It is frequently alleged that the CCP engages in live organ harvesting from members of the Falun Gong and sells these organs internationally.    [FULL  STORY]


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