The lawsuit directly implicates international law and state sovereignty. International law provides that a government has a right of self-determination and a right to preserve societal stability within its own borders, without interference from other countries. Nevertheless, international accord tempers these rights by providing that leaders should and can be brought to justice when they commit heinous crimes against their citizens. While the court presents a very well-reasoned dismissal opinion, it may only be possible to properly assess jurisdiction and sovereign immunity under international law by considering the merits of the case. Countries have an obligation to hold leaders responsible for human rights violations that rise to the level of genocide and universal jurisdiction crimes - a scenario in which claims of sovereign immunity claims would be invalid.
In Part II, this article considers Falun Gong and its interactions with the Chinese government. From this part, one can formulate an informed opinion about the relative justification for the ban. Part III presents the claimed human rights abuses. Part IV considers the crime of genocide against the backdrop of twentieth century genocide cases, as well as instances of universal jurisdiction crimes that could arguably abrogate state sovereignty and head-of-state immunity claims. Part V elucidates the parameters of jurisdiction under international law. The analysis in Parts III and IV will introduce the jurisdiction discussion, as well as elucidate the district court's final decision to dismiss the case, pursuant to its obligations under international law, which establish the relative levels of human rights abuses that qualify for closer, international scrutiny.
II. THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT'S TREATMENT OF FALUN GONG
A. Chinese Government and Jiang Zemin v. Falun Gong
1. History of Falun Gong
The founder of Falun Gong is Mr. Li Hongzhi, a Chinese national and permanent resident of the United States. He began teaching principles of Falun Gong across China in the early 1990s, and published the primary treatise on Falun Gong, Falun Gong: Law Wheel Qigong, in 1993. Some describe Falun Gong as a slow motion, martial arts-like, meditative practice that emphasizes living a moral and honest life to cultivate a healthy mind-body connection. Others suggest that it could be classified as a spiritual movement, a religious order or a philosophy. It has claimed peak membership of 80 million within China and million elsewhere.
In the current media melee, the Chinese government forewarns its citizens that Falun Gong is an "evil cult,"while Falun Gong emphasizes that the Chinese government persecutes and tortures Falun Gong practitioners for their beliefs. Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Yang Jiechi has stated that Falun Gong selectively chooses which tenets to portray to the West so as to make the group appear more benign. A closer examination of the various categories of Falun Gong's tenets and evolution based on official teachings can serve to elucidate Ambassador Yang's comment.
By analyzing the progression of Falun Gong's official teachings, it appears that followers travel a spiritual cycle; they transcend a first stage as students and practitioners, who should live an honest and healthy lifestyle and do the regimen of exercises; to a second stage as disciples, who can develop supernatural powers if they devoutly follow Mr. Li Hongzhi; to a third stage as advocates who should oppose the Chinese government at all costs.Ambassador Yang's comment appears to argue that Falun Gong has ignored the fact that the Chinese government claims to be reacting to "harmful" group advocacy instead of doctrinal beliefs.
The following overview of Falun Gong's central tenets is not destined to question the veracity of the teachings, but rather to provide a fair assessment of the dispute by presenting the Chinese government's claims that the teachings have incited illegalities and societal harm. Alternatively, while there are many Chinese government media releases suggesting a relationship between the above tenets and alleged member wrongdoing, many of the claims could be circumstantial and may not be systematic and widespread, particularly with a group membership that has apparently been as high as 80 million within China. According to Falun Gong's official teachings, the group has very honorable and benign intentions; by following the regimen of exercises and teachings, practitioners not only will evolve spiritually but will also develop very profound "abilities."The Chinese government calls these promises deceptive and claims that its reaction to member advocacy to defend their beliefs is justified for the good of the collective society.
2. Stage One
The first stage of Falun Gong teachings might be defined as the period in which Mr. Li Hongzhi united religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs that have a longstanding history in China. Falun Gong has associated itself with Buddhist and Taoist traditions and predicates its teachings heavily on "Buddha Law," which it calls "the most wondrous and highest science." Buddha Law is the "universe's most fundamental nature, to be True, to be Good, and to Endure." Disciples believe in Karma and previous lives, in fostering ethical human relations, and in attaining a calm mind; the teachings, however depart significantly from Buddhism and Taoism. Falun Gong also promotes a modem variant of the ancient Chinese practices of exercise, deep breathing, and meditation - collectively known as qigong - which enthusiasts claim promotes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being by enhancing the flow of vital energy through the body.
The progressive aspiration of the Falun Gong disciple is to cultivate character by releasing negative thoughts to reach a higher level of spirituality. This profound yet subtle process is invisible to others. Cultivating is the evolutionary process through which disciples transcend one's original body so that "[the molecular composition of the human body is transformed into high-energy matter." By performing the regimen of qigong exercises, and by living virtuously in thought and deed,  one can attain heightened levels of cultivation, thereby reaching higher dimensions that are distinct from that in which one's body presently resides. In short, cultivating to higher levels increases one's gong.
The height to which one can cultivate depends entirely upon one's ability to endure and bear hardships in the physical world. A Falun Gong member's ultimate goal is to reach consummation, which may mean that the disciple must endure hardship to attain that full evolution. When reaching this highest level of consummation, one must "let go of all worldly attachments (including the attachment to the human body) and have made it through the process of letting go of life and death."
3. Stage Two
While the foundation of Mr. Li Hongzhi's teachings rely almost entirely on principles and religious practices with a long history in China, he says that any derivative of his teachings should be denounced. He enforces this with a fairly strict regimen of rules mandating exclusive and steadfast devotion to his Dafa. Indeed, there are a number of important attributes that Mr. Li Hongzhi emphasizes which he directly provides to disciples. First, he places a "Law Wheel" in the lower abdomen of disciples and assists them in opening the "third eye" to new levels. The third eye is the gateway to supernatural abilities. Gong potency, and the endurance of suffering will intensify one's supernatural powers.
According to Mr. Li Hongzhi, some of the supernatural abilities that Falun Gong members have attained include: clairaudience telepathy, precognition, and telekinesis; as well as the abilities to "remotely view" distant places and times, to know the future, to reverse the aging process, to remain young forever, to levitate or fly, to heal oneself and others of ailments, and to disappear on command.However, a disciple never can reveal or unveil these supernormal abilities and experiences to anyone else or Mr. Li Hongzhi could take the powers away.