Chinese Consulate: No Passport Renewal If You Protest
Every Wednesday morning, a lady peacefully distributes informational pamphlets about Falun Gong to the pedestrians in front of the Chinese Consulate’s Visa Office on West Broadway in Vancouver. Next to her, a large poster displays the Chinese communist regime’s persecution. From time to time, she answers their questions. This lady is Lu Qun from Shanghai.
For the past 4 years, Lu has always been there, rain or shine. But she never thought that the Chinese Consulate would threaten her when she renewed her passport.
Her passport was due to expire on April 19. She was told to pick up her new passport a month later when she applied on Feb. 9. However, she was told again to wait for another month when she went to pick up her passport on March 9.
Lu went to the Visa Office on April 6. Again, she was told that her passport had not been processed yet and they didn’t know the reason. The officer asked her to leave her phone number and promised to call her that afternoon. But she never received any call.
Lu went to the Visa Office before her passport expired. This time, she was told that she could only renew her passport if she stopped protesting in front of the Chinese Consulate. “Use other ways to protest at other places, but not here. Otherwise, your passport won’t be renewed,” said the officer.
Lu said she started practicing Falun Gong in 1997 and has benefited both physically and mentally. However, the Chinese communist regime started persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999. She and her family have suffered much since.
Lu was illegally detained by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau for 2 weeks in March 2004. The police took away all of her Falun Gong books. After she was released, the neighborhood committee regularly visited her and threatened to send her to a brainwashing center.
“It was a very difficult time for me,” said Lu.
She never imagined that the Chinese Communist regime still attempts to control the Chinese people through passports outside China. Lu said: “Only the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) would attempt to use passports to control people. In Canada, nobody would dare to deny your renewal if you protest against the Conservative government.”
Lu still goes to protest in front of the Visa Office every Wednesday.
In recent years, many overseas Chinese, including dissidents and Falun Gong practitioners have had their passports revoked, canceled or denied extension by the CCP’s embassies.
In 2005, Dr. Wang Wenyi, another Falun Gong practitioner, applied to renew her passport twice at the Chinese Consulate in New York on May 3 and 9, wanting to attend her father’s funeral in China. However, her request was rejected.
“The Chinese authorities’ rejection of my passport renewal seriously violated international human rights principles,” Wang says.
In March 2008, Wang Dan and other 15 exiled Chinese dissidents issued an open letter calling on Beijing to restore, extend or renew their passports according to law, and punish those officials who committed malfeasance and carried out the denial of their civil rights.