Chinese Regime Officials Offer Deal Dancers Can’t Refuse

By Luo Ya, Epoch Times
August 9, 2012 10:23 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 12:39 pm

Communist authorities are going to great and unusual lengths to prevent performers in China from participating in an international dance competition that seeks to revive Chinese traditional culture.

Golden Li was the first place winner of the Adult Male division of NTD Television's International Classical Chinese Dance Competition. The preliminary rounds for contestants from Asia are being held this month, if they can get visas. (Edward Dai/ The Epoch Times)

With New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television’s Fifth International Classical Chinese Dance Competition set to begin Aug. 18 in Hong Kong, high-ranking Party officials went in person to meet with prospective contestants, to threaten and entice to prevent them from participating.

Unwelcome Meetings

A source in Beijing told The Epoch Times that two members of the Politburo Standing Committee—the group of nine men who run the Chinese Communist Party—met with Chinese dancers who planned to enter NTD’s competition, in an attempt to force them not to participate.

Propaganda chief Li Changchun and Chairman of the People’s Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin promised that “large funds will be allocated to create a performing arts troupe modeled after Shen Yun Performing Arts, where the dancers will be able to show their potential,” the source said.

Winners of the NTD Dance Competition have often gone on to dance with Shen Yun Performing Arts. This classical Chinese dance company based in New York tours the world with a high-end traditional Chinese song and music performance.

Shen Yun regularly sells out dozens of engagements each year in Taiwan and has also had success with audiences around the world, selling out engagements in several North American cities, for instance, in its most recent tour. NTD Television and The Epoch Times are both media sponsors of Shen Yun.

Domestic Security police also met with a dancer from a Chinese dance academy who intended to join NTD’s competition, handing both a carrot and a stick. They promised the dancer a top position in the new dance troupe that would be created, and added that the dancer would also be prevented from leaving the country for a year.

NTD’s dance competition seeks to make classical Chinese dance “renowned throughout the world” and “foster cultural exchange,” according to its website. The preliminary rounds for contestants from Asia are being held this month, if they can get visas.

Visa Rejection

Interested contestants in China were not granted travel documents to go to Hong Kong, according to interviews with would-be performers conducted by NTD.

Mr. Chen, who would only be identified by his generic-sounding last name, has a relative who is a student at a renowned dance school in the mainland. This relative and his parents tried to obtain visas to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 15.

When the police bureau learned that the student was a Chinese dance major, they stopped processing all three visas. Police officers also went to the parents’ workplace to threaten them. The contestant was forced to give up competing.

Chen told Epoch Times, “If they know you dance and you come at this time, they will not let you go, will not process your visa, and warn you not to go.”

Chen said he knows that many Chinese classical dance majors in China want to attend the competition, but authorities are blocking them.

The clumsy efforts are boosting the reputation of the event, though, he said. “Many people seem to know about this dance competition.”

An NTD staff member recently reported losing contact with two contestants from China who had signed up for the competition. Through one contestant’s Hong Kong relative, it was discovered that the individual was threatened by Domestic Security police and told they would not be participating.

Dance schools were also pressured to prevent their students from participating; one dancer was pressured into passing on details about his communications with a NTD staff member to the police.

Un-Hong Kong

The tactics employed by communist officials in China have not gone down well in Hong Kong, which prizes its civic freedoms.

Hong Kong Democratic Party Legislative Council candidate Stanley Ng Wing Fai said, “[The CCP] really has no need to fear this classical Chinese dance competition, because the exchange of culture shouldn’t be under political suppression or interference under any circumstances.”

He also warned the Hong Kong government, “[I] hope that the government will not use any despicable methods to forbid people from entering Hong Kong due to issues of political inclination, or suppress this world-class dance performance and competition.”

In China, a family member of a staff member for the dance competition recently received a call from a Domestic Security officer, asking about the staff member’s role in the dance competition. The officer threatened that if this staff member continued to work with the dance competition, he would have problems coming back to the mainland.

When the family member asked why the authorities were afraid of a dance competition, the officer said, “I don’t know either; this order is from higher up.”

Read the original Chinese article.

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