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Man Who Attacked Falun Gong in Flushing Arrested, Charged With Hate Crime

Leo Timm
Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: February 16, 2022
Police officers in Flushing, NYC, pictured with Zheng Buqiu (center, restrained), after his arrest on Feb. 15, 2022. Zheng was charged with commission of a hate crime against adherents of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that suffers communist repression in its home country. (Image: provided by Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing)

Several police officers in Flushing, Queens on Feb. 15 arrested 32-year-old Zheng Buqiu after he tore up several information stands manned by practitioners of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual practice that suffers severe persecution by that country’s communist regime. 

Zheng had first attacked the booths near Main St. in the predominantly Asian community on Thursday, Feb. 10, coming back several times prior to his arrest. Falun Gong adherents at the scene caught the assailant on camera and alerted the police, who made the arrest around noon on Tuesday. 

The heavily tattooed Zheng is being held on charges of hate crime and criminal mischief in the fourth degree. The violations are both punishable with up to a year in jail. 

Yi Rong, spokeswoman for a Falun Gong group in New York City, said the arrest would help “restore peace to the Flushing community.”

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, incorporates meditative qigong exercises with a body of traditional moral teachings. Despite Falun Gong earning renown for its health benefits and promotion of character improvement among the Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned the faith group in 1999, relentlessly persecuting its tens of millions of practitioners in the decades since. 

Multiple attacks

Xu Weiguo, a volunteer at the Falun Gong booth in front of Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall, described how, around 3 p.m, Zheng approached her and, without a word, punched a display board, breaking it. Zheng then overturned a table with informational pamphlets, which he proceeded to rip up while sitting on the ground. 

According to Xu, Zheng made off with the broken display board, which was emblazoned with the words “truthfulness, compassion, tolerance” — the principles of Falun Dafa. She believes that Zheng was attempting to hide the evidence of his actions. 

Zheng Buqiu seen attacking a Falun Gong booth in Flushing, NYC. (Image: via The Epoch Times)

Earlier, another Falun Gong adherent, Lily Wang, said she saw how Zheng “threw all the flyers on the table away and kicked the table” she was attending in front of the Flushing Public Library a few blocks from the shopping mall where Xu was. 

Wang, another female volunteer, and a passerby stopped Zheng when he came back for a second round. Zheng, dressed in all black, left the scene yelling profanities. 

According to Sun Hong, another Falun Gong practitioner in Flushing, Zheng came back on Friday and attacked another table on top of which were informational materials about Falun Gong. 

Persecution exported overseas 

In addition to physically torturing, murdering, and harvesting organs from Falun Gong adherents, the Party has also run dehumanizing propaganda at home and abroad denigrating Falun Gong as a xie jiao or “heterodox religion.” 

The 610 Office, a recently disbanded CCP organization created in 1999 to facilitate the anti-Falun Gong campaign, ran overseas operations to defame and intimidate practitioners in the U.S. and other countries.

Similar violent incidents have occured in Flushing and other overseas Chinese communities, such as in 2008 when mobs of thugs hired or instigated by the CCP in Flushing surrounded Falun Gong practitioners at their booths, insulting, beating, and throwing rocks at them. 

The Communist Party considers Falun Gong an extremely sensitive political issue, as its efforts to eradicate the practice in mainland China have met with limited success — the persecution campaign has, in fact, helped spur international disgust toward Communist China as well as facilitate a massive movement among Chinese to renounce the Party.