PRC Ambassador Admits Intervention in Audio Recording

According to an investigation, the Chinese Ambassador to Spain has admitted pressuring the Royal Theater in Madrid to cancel the show. In a recorded, investigative phone call, the Ambassador spoke of personally visiting Royal Theater to convey the message. The shows were subsequently canceled.

Just weeks before Shen Yun was set to perform for the first time in Madrid, the shows were suddenly canceled. The theater claimed the cancelation was due to “technical difficulties,” but organizers said that’s the excuse usually given whenever the Chinese embassy is the real reason.

With three performances scheduled Jan. 31-Feb. 2, the Royal Theater director sent a letter on Jan. 7 canceling the shows. The explanation given was that there was an “unavoidable artistic needs of the stage space” for a production of Das Rheingold. However, that production was already scheduled when the contracts with Shen Yun were signed and it was not perceived to be a problem then.

In a press release, Shen Yun’s local presenter, Puro Arte Humano, said it was confident “the Chinese Embassy has pressured the Madrid Coliseum to achieve the cancellation of the show, something that they already tried in Barcelona without success in 2014.”

This turned out to be the case. On Jan. 22, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) placed a call to the Chinese Embassy in Spain. The investigator used a tactic WOIPFG had successfully developed while investigating organ harvesting in China, and posed as a high-ranking CCP official calling for information. He got through to the Ambassador.

On the other end of the line, the person identified himself as PRC Ambassador Lü Fan, according to a press release issued by WOIPFG, which includes a recording of the call. The Ambassador then went on to describe how he had succeeded in talking the theater manager into canceling the Shen Yun shows.

The theater manager initially resisted but Ambassador Lü insisted, according to the recording.

“I told him not to think only about the economic income but also politics,” the Ambassador reportedly said. “When you work with China by signing the ‘International League of Theaters of the Silk Road,’ you have a great potential in the Chinese market.”

Some 900 tickets had already been sold at the time the shows were canceled.

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