Nobody in China wants to talk about this unique banknote.
Mayke Blok, a journalist from the Netherlands, owns a unique Chinese banknote. Although it’s only ten Yuan, it might be the most precious object she has ever owned.
The precious 10 Yuan landed in Blok’s wallet during a reporting trip to China a few years ago.
That day, she was eating pizza with a group of journalist in a restaurant in Shanghai.
“When it was time to pay for the food, we all pulled out our cash. Amy, a Chinese student who showed us around, took the stack of bills and handed it to the waitress,” Blok wrote for Vice.com.
Surprisingly, Amy returned shortly later with a 10 Yuan note in her hand, stammering the restaurant rejected the bill because it was a “bad note.”
Curious, Blok asked Amy why, but she declined to answer. “Later, later,” she said.
Amy offered this “bad note” to the journalists, and Blok seized hold of it.
Blok looked closely at the “bad note.” Aside from bearing the watermark of communist China’s founding dictator Mao Zedong’s portrait, the banknote had stamped Chinese characters on it.
In China, any forms of protest against the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could land you in jail.
“Just take Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, for instance. If you are retweeted more than 500 times on Weibo with a message that the CCP deems inappropriate, you’ll end up spending years in prison,” Blok wrote.
Who would have the guts to print these messages on paper currency?
“What’s special about my banknote is that in China – a country where everything is about money, money and more money – nobody accepts the damn thing. It’s practically worthless,” Blok wrote.
Blok timidly asked a man behind the counter in a Chinese acupuncturist’s office.
The man, wearing a white coat, went over the note with a fine-tooth comb. Then, he glared at Blok, throwing the bill in her face.
“This is not good. This is a bad movement against the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
“This is Falun Gong,” he added.
After fixing his gaze on the 10 Yuan, he told Blok, “This? This is nothing. These are just rules. Communist Party rules. This is just what you are supposed to do in China.”
The man was uncomfortable talking about Falun Gong too.
What is Falun Gong? What’s the meaning of the stamped Chinese characters?
With the help of sinologist Stefan Landsberger from Leiden University, Blok finally knew what the messages meant.
Landsberger translated the stamp on the 10 Yuan:
“How many prophets have warned
Humanity knows great decay
Retreat from the ranks and levels of the Chinese Communist Party
And wait for the moment till the Great Law will guard peace.”
It turned out the stamp was a poem that urges people to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliates, as well as to convey the goodness of Falun Gong.
“Great Law” is another name for Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
The practice, which improves people’s health, and uplifts their morality, was first introduced to the public in China in May 1992.
“By 1999, tens of millions of Chinese people were practicing Falun Gong. It became so immensely popular among the population that it frightened the powers that be,” Blok wrote.
With an estimated 70 to 100 million adherents in China, the Chinese Communist Party perceived Falun Gong’s presence as a threat to its authoritarian rule, and launched a brutal persecution to eradicate the practice on Jul. 20, 1999.
According to Falun Dafa Information Center, an estimated 450,000-1 million Falun Gong adherents have been held illegally in labor camps, prison camps, and other long-term detention facilities, and they were forced under torture to renounce their faith.
“At the same, the Chinese government started a propaganda campaign on radio, television and in print to denigrate the movement,” Blok wrote.
The most hideous was the staged “self-immolation” incident on Tiananmen Square on Jan. 23, 2001, which was broadcasted endlessly on TV to frame Falun Gong.
Allegations of forced organ harvesting from involuntarily living prisoners of conscience—chiefly practitioners of Falun Gong—on a mass scale to sell for profit first surfaced in 2006.
“Veteran China analyst Ethan Gutmann presented new evidence on China’s state-orchestrated organ harvesting. According to his survey-based estimation from 2000-2008, at least 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs,” Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) wrote on its website.
Why did Falun Gong practitioners take the risk to stamp banknotes that say “Falun Dafa is good” and “Retreat from the Chinese Communist Party?”
“Such currency was once known as ‘currency with words.’ But now, it is referred to as ‘currency with the truth.’”
Sure, there are still people doing that.
In fact, “the number of marked bills have increased over the years,” a correspondent in Heilongjiang Province, China, wrote for Minghui.org.
As in China, no media outlet is reporting the truth about Falun Gong, the persecution, nor the crimes committed by the Chinese leaders, for example—the CCP is responsible for the deaths of 60 million to 80 million since it took power.
“In China, people have been deprived of their right to know about the world in which they live,” the correspondent wrote.
Hence, it’s vital for Chinese people to learn about the truth and to have an opportunity “to differentiate between right and wrong and not participate in the persecution of Falun Gong.”
“People should cherish these bills and help spread their messages. There will be only blessings for one’s good deeds and righteous acts,” the correspondent concluded.
“If we believe in and choose justice and conscience, God will save us,” renowned Chinese writer Zhang Lin, who has publicly declared his withdrawal from the Communist Youth League, told Epoch Times.
Hopefully, more Chinese people will see the truth and choose righteous over evil.