A performing arts show has become a prime target in the foreign agenda of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Nearly everywhere Shen Yun performs, officials from the Chinese embassies and consulates call theaters and local politicians, threatening a damper in Chinese relations if they see it or allow the show to perform.
In most cases, governments have resisted pressure and the show has gone on. In 2009, Shen Yun Performing Arts held 311 performances in more than 100 cities around the world, and has received rave reviews. Only a few shows have actually been canceled—particularly in countries where the CCP has influence, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Before Shen Yun—a show of classical Chinese dance and music—first began its world tour, the CCP set out harassing show sponsors, blocking ticket lines, and mobilizing Chinese student associations to interfere through the consulates and embassies. After the attempts failed, they turned to threats—calling and sending letters to government officials in all countries where the show performs, threatening that holding the show will hurt their relations with China.
Many of the CCP’s letters have been passed to Shen Yun organizers, and public officials have openly condemned the regime’s actions.
The Chinese Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, sent letters to government leaders and foreign Consulates on Jan. 6, 2009, “reminding” them not to see Shen Yun. The letter was made public and stirred strong voices against the actions of the CCP. European Union Parliament Chairman Hans-Gert Poettering and Vice Chairman Edward McMillan-Scott both sent letters wishing the show success.