In his letter in the February AD2000, Paul Simmons states, "The facts are that from the time when the Chinese Communist Party seized control of China in 1949, it has attempted to persecute the Church."
Father Raymond de Jaegher, a missionary in China from 1930 till 1949, in his book, co-written with Irene Corbally Kuhn, The Enemy Within: an Eyewitness Account of the Communist Conquest of China, makes it clear that persecution of the Catholic Church by the Communists commenced well before the total conquest of China in 1949.
Let me quote from the book.
When Fr de Jaegher spoke, on 15 June 1939, with a Communist General Ho Lung about a Chinese Christian Brother whom the general had arrested, the general is quoted as saying, "Don't you know I've burned many of your Catholic churches. That I've killed many fathers like you?" (p.182) Fr de Jaegher confirmed that he did know.
Fr de Jaegher, also tells of working, from late February-early March 1940, with another missionary priest by the name of Fr Lebbe, in a place called Linhsien (possibly in Shansi Province).
During that time, Fr Lebbe "received news that twelve of the [Christian] Brothers of St John the Baptist from the congregation he had founded had been buried alive by the Communists " (p. 227).
According to Fr de Jaegher, this was only one of many barbaric methods the Communists used against those it considered to be enemies.