Apr 20 2012

Seattle’s King5 TV Reports

“The Chinese government has asked Seattle’s elected leaders to skip an upcoming performance by a New York-based Chinese-American dance troupe,” reports Seattle’s King5 News.

The request was made in a letter from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to Seattle City Council Members. According to <a href=”http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Shen-Yun-138365814.html”>King5 News</a>, the letter wrote that Shen Yun is, “an evil cult that preaches heretical fallacies and exercises extreme mental manipulation… and has for years engaged in anti-China activities in the United States.”

A copy of letter has been obtained and is available upon request.

Feb 15 2012

London Coliseum Not Intimidated

Local presenter representative and University of Reading professor Li Shao reported that the Chinese Embassy in London dispatched staff to visit the London Coliseum, where Shen Yun was scheduled to perform, in attempt to convince the theater to renege on the contract. Local presenters also said the Embassy had visited the London Coliseum the previous year as well, both before and after the Shen Yun performances, asking the theater to stop renting the venue to Shen Yun. The Coliseum rented the venue anyway and held the performances.

“I know the Chinese Communist Party tried to stop Shen Yun from performing in Romania last year,” said Member of European Parliament Gerard Batten. “It’s an absolute disgrace that they are trying to use strong arm tactics here in the UK.”

Shen Yun “is about presenting this moral point of view in a very elegant way,” said London-based China author Ethan Gutmann, “with beautiful costumes and sculpted dances and bringing people through Chinese history in a fun way. The Chinese government envies that, they want that – they’ve been looking for soft power for a long time.”


The Epoch Times: Beijing’s Battle for Soft Power Playing Out in the West End

May 25 2010

Beijing Leads Ukrainian Officials to Try to Cancel Cultural Performance

The Epoch Times

By Andrey Volkov On May 24, 2010 @ 2:53 am In Europe

KYIV, Ukraine—By putting pressure on Ukrainian authorities, Chinese diplomats may cause the cancellation of a performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts, which was scheduled for May 28 at a theater in Odessa, in southern Ukraine. Shen Yun is a New York based company that is currently on tour around the world.

Some of the show’s performers were denied visas to enter Ukraine, and were given no explanation.

An organization run by Odessa regional Council “Oblconcerteservice,” has informed the Shen Yun show organizer in Ukraine, charity organization “For Children of the New Century,” that the agreement to rent the venue in Odessa Academic and Ballet Theatre has been suspended.

The letter says that Chinese officials have requested Odessa regional council cancel the Shen Yun performance in Odessa.
“It is categorical for the show not to take place. In such situation the juridical details—whether the contract had been broken or suspended—mean the same,” Dmitry Polunin, the head of Oblconcerteservice, told The Epoch Times.

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that is independent of China’s communist regime. Through classical Chinese dance, the performing arts group seeks to revive the five-millennia-old artistic tradition of China that was largely destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Cultural Revolution.

Since 2006, the company has performed more than 500 shows around the world to millions of audience members.

OperaOnline said the show “gave a glimpse of a culture and its history that was at times hypnotic in its presentation, sensual in its fluid movements, and inspirational in its theme … and flawless musical performances … simply astounding to watch and a pleasure to the ear.”

The CCP regularly puts pressure on authorities in most of the countries where the show performs. Pressure usually comes through the use of its consulates, embassies, and community organizations, and aims to cancel the show.

Shen Yun takes as its mission to revive China’s artistic tradition that thrived before decades of suppression by the CCP. The show also includes dance programs set in contemporary China that portray the persecution of Falun Gong—a peaceful meditation practice persecuted by the regime since 1999. These portrayals are an irritant for CCP diplomats.

Polunin said that there was a letter from Ukraine’s foreign ministry requesting his organization not assist the Shen Yun show in Odessa. He said it was because of “political” issues.

Odessa officials told The Epoch Times in a private conversation that they also received letters from the Ukrainian prime minister, the minister of culture, and the head of the national security service not to let the show perform.

An Epoch Times reporter met with Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Seminozhenko, whose negative letter was among those from the top officials, to ask him about the situation. He denied any government involvement in the interference with the performance.

Ukrainian officials say that the pressure is connected to the official visit of China’s foreign minister, Yang Jieqi to Kyiv last week.

International Support

Vice President of European Parliament Edward McMillan-Scott has sent a letter to ask Ukraine’s president to let the Shen Yun perform in Ukraine.

Some members of Ukrainian Parliament, and members of the U.S. Congress also sent letters to Ukrainian officials to assist Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Human rights advocates have also condemned the Chinese diplomats’ interference with domestic affairs in Ukrainian. “This is brutal intervention and we can’t agree with it,” said Evgeniy Zakharov, the head of Kharkov human rights group in Ukraine.

Zakharov commented that the Chinese officials behave the same way as Soviet authorities who physically destroyed art and elements of culture. “Ukraine should respond if it considers itself to be a European civilized country,” he said.

Two performances of Shen Yun were canceled in Kyiv in April, last year, under the same scenario. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not grant visas to the show’s performers and the president’s office made the dates which Shen Yun was scheduled to perform unavailable at the country’s renowned theater, the National Palace Ukraine. Ukraine’s top officials declined to speak with The Epoch Times or the show’s organizers.

May 18 2010

Pictures of consulate visiting Munich’s Tonicale

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin and her colleague visiting Munich's Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin and her colleague visiting Munich’s Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin (left) and her colleague visiting Munich's Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin (left) and her colleague visiting Munich’s Tonicale Concert Agency.

May 18 2010

Letter from EU VP to the Ukrainian PM


Jan 25 2010

CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

Media and New Religious Movements: The Case of Falun Gong

by Leeshai Lemish
A paper presented at The 2009 CESNUR Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 11-13, 2009


“Which is the world’s largest group of prisoners of conscience – that is, peopled jailed for their beliefs or views?” Few educated media consumers in the West know the correct answer. It is Falun Gong adherents jailed in China; and it’s not even close. Continue reading

Jan 24 2010


A Chinese trek from Israel to California Center for the Arts

By Leeshai Lemish

ESCONDIDO, California–What’s an Israeli doing in a Chinese show? I’m asked this almost as often as I’m asked, when checking in at the airport alongside a hundred Chinese dancers and musicians – “Are you part of this group?”

The answer to the latter question is: “No, and yes.” Continue reading

Jan 21 2010

Leeshai Lemish: The Games are over, the persecution continues

Posted: October 07, 2008

The Olympics are over, but don’t look away from China just yet. The fates of thousands of ordinary Chinese arrested ahead of the Games hinge on what we do this autumn.

For people like my Chinese-American friend Si Yang, these roundups have struck too close to home. In April, Si called his parents in Hebei province only to discover that 20 officers had shown up and taken away his father and sister. Continue reading

Jan 20 2010

New Statesman

The Faith Column

Being a Falun Gong practitioner

Posted by Leeshai Lemish – 18 August 2008 10:16

Often in the news but rarely understood, Falun Gong is regularly associated with Chinese human rights issues. Leeshai Lemish gives his understanding of what Falun Gong practitioners actually believe

I would have laughed if ten years ago you told me that my search for a meditation practice would land me on Beijing’s blacklist. Continue reading

Jan 20 2010

New Statesman

The Faith Column

Why is Falun Gong banned?

Posted by Leeshai Lemish – 19 August 2008 09:34

Leeshai Lemish looks at the history and causes of the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign against Falun Gong

‘If Falun Gong is benign, why is the Chinese government afraid of it?’ After nine years of persecution this basic question remains common. I’ll try answering it here. Continue reading