As Peru Welcomes 2020 Shen Yun Performances, Chinese Diplomat Tries to Instigate Boycott

December 27, 2019 Updated: February 20, 2020
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Ahead of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ scheduled arrival in Peru for its 2019-2020 tour, public officials in the South American country have sent letters and issued proclamations for the acclaimed Chinese classical dance show’s upcoming performances at the Grand National Theater in Lima.

Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities, which oppose Shen Yun for its theatrical numbers that depict persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have tasked their in-country diplomatic staff with defaming the New York-based company.

Shen Yun, which started off its 14th year of global tours this month with performances across North America, Europe, and East Asia, describes its mission as reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture on stage.

In a March 19 letter to Shen Yun’s local presenter, mayor of Lima’s Jesus Maria district Jorge Luis Quintana Garcia Godos said that “it is truly an honor to have Shen Yun, that through dance and music revives 5.000 years of Chinese civilization.” Other serving and elected officials who extended greetings to Shen Yun include Peruvian congressman Justiniano Romulo Apaza Ordonez and former congressman Wuilian Alfonso Monterola Abregu.

According to the Shen Yun website, its performances consist of “classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance, and story-based dance, with orchestral accompaniment and solo performers.”

Since its founding in 2006, Shen Yun has reached millions of theatergoers and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from professionals in the performing arts community. The company incorporates in its shows depictions of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice banned and suppressed by the CCP, as well as the regime’s attacks on traditional Chinese faiths and heritage.

Shen Yun will perform at the Grand National Theater, called Gran Teatro Nacional del Perú in Spanish, on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, 2020. In January, the company will also perform in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Mei Jiang, Shen Yun’s presenter in Peru, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on Dec. 19 that nearly 50 percent of the tickets had been bought since sales began on Nov. 11.

Among Shen Yun’s local sponsors are Peruvian mainstream newspaper Comercio, magazine Cosas, TV Channel Canal N, cultural radio station Filarmonía, and Interbank, one of the largest financial institutions in Peru.

For its 2019-2020 season, Shen Yun’s seven tour groups have more than 750 performances scheduled for theaters in 150 cities across five continents and 19 countries.

‘Chinese Book Room’ Becomes a Platform for Hate

The Chinese regime has long attempted to undermine Shen Yun, using methods that range from applying economic pressure on local theaters and spreading disinformation about the company, to physical sabotage of Shen Yun performers’ vehicles.

On Dec. 12, the People’s Republic of China Embassy in Lima held an opening ceremony for the “Chinese Book Room” that it sponsored at the Great Public Library of Lima.

At the event, He Yong, the PRC embassy’s cultural advisor, gave a speech in which he asked the audience to boycott Shen Yun.

“Shen Yun is a show to spread demagogic theories and defame the Chinese government,” He said in a video taken during the speech and provided to The Epoch Times by a Peruvian reader.

He’s speech does not appear to have gained much traction. The ceremony was not well-attended, and only the library reported on the event.

Shen Yun is barred from performing in China. In 2018, the PRC’s Hong Kong Liaison Office was suspected to have had a hand in obstructing the company’s efforts to hold performances at a privately owned venue in the former British colony.

Recent reporting by The Epoch Times has shown that in addition to Chinese regime pressure governments and theaters against hosting Shen Yun, Google search results direct users to articles that carry the CCP’s disinformation on the show.

In searches of Shen Yun-related terms on the platform, the regime’s propaganda is placed even higher in the results than the company’s official pages. In contrast, other search engines did not yield such results.

Leeshai Lemish, emcee for the company, said he believed the regime is using its army of internet trolls to push such articles higher in Google search results.