Former June 4 Student Leader: Shen Yun Is True Chinese Culture

April 11, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Feng Congde, one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square June 4 movement in 1989, watches Shen Yun New York Companys performance in San Jose Center on April 8. (Zhou Rong/The Epoch Times)
Feng Congde, one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square June 4 movement in 1989, watches Shen Yun New York Companys performance in San Jose Center on April 8. (Zhou Rong/The Epoch Times)
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Feng Congde was one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square “June 4” movement in 1989. He watched Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s performance at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on April 8 and praised the show for “truly reflecting the spirit of China."

Feng watched the Shen Yun performance twice in a row in 2007. “Last time I was deeply touched by Shen Yun,” he said. “This time I am still deeply touched, because this is the real Chinese culture. I hope Shen Yun can perform in China in the future.”

"Culture is the true home of our spirit,” he said. “I was deeply touched by the show—I have returned to my home. I think all Chinese have the same feeling.”

The New-York based company travels around the world, reviving China's lost art forms through the highest levels of classical Chinese dance. Much of China's rich artistic expression has been destroyed under decades of communist rule that continues today, and Shen Yun hopes to repair that damage by presenting the pure beauty of the ancient culture.

The fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does not allow Shen Yun to perform in mainland China actually “shows that the CCP has betrayed Chinese culture,” according to Feng.

“Whatever banner they may array themselves, including erecting Confucius statue on Tiananmen Square and launching Confucius Institutes, all of these are not for real and are out of the CCP’s political needs,” he said. “For political reasons, the CCP can suppress Confucianism one day and erect a Confucius statue the next day."

“As China’s 5,000-year culture has passed down up till now, several recent generations of Chinese have experienced the lowest point of Chinese culture. In particular, under the CCP's rule, we rarely experience our own culture,” he pointed out.

While it may appear to Westerners that people in China are allowed to uphold various religions, this is not the case, according to Feng. “Some of the monks I know all said that Buddhism does not exist in the temple, as those who are in charge of temples are members or secret members of the CCP. The CCP controls every corner of society."

"The true Chinese culture was eradicated during the Mao era through violent means. In the Deng Xiaoping era, the Chinese culture degenerated amidst various temptations. Fortunately, China has a large number of citizens, including friends such as Falun Gong practitioners, striving to safeguard the Chinese culture with their lives."

“I was so shaken by the last program The Opening of Heaven’s Gates. What touched me the most in that program was the part about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. It reminds me of students’ being shot and killed by the CCP’s machine guns and tanks in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.”

Feng Congde said that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong has far exceeded the brutal massacre in Tiananmen Square. “As far as I know, the number of Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death across China is more than twice the number killed in Tiananmen”, he said. “This is a crime committed by the CCP against Chinese culture and Chinese people.”

“I believe things will definitely turn around as time passes, because Chinese culture has a very strong life-force. I really appreciate the Shen Yun performance,” he said.

Feng Congde was admitted to Peking University in 1982. He was one of the vice commanders in Tiananmen Square during the student movement in 1989. Afterwards, he was on the run for 10 months, during which time he started studying arts and culture. After he left China, he studied at the Department of Religious History at L'Ecole Pratique Des Hautes Etudes in France and earned his Ph.D. in July of 2003. He currently lives in the United States and works as an Internet database designer. He is also the chief editor of June 4th Memoir.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit


Read the original Chinese article.