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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Beijing Fails to Stop World Tour of Chinese Performers


February 18, 2008

New American: For the fourth year in a row, embassy and consulate officials from the People’s Republic of China have sent intimidating letters to local and state elected officials and business leaders in the United States and other countries in an attempt to stop their support for, or public recognition of, a world tour of Chinese artists presenting a spectacular concert/performance of traditional Chinese music and dance. The tour by the Divine Performing Arts is sponsored by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), an independent, Chinese-language cable and satellite television company that broadcasts to much of North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Because of its global reach and its dedication to reporting news blocked by China’s communist censors, the New York-based NTDTV has been targeted for destruction by the Beijing regime. A high-level document leaked from China this year calls for NTDTV to “be destroyed by any and all means.”

Chinese officials have resorted to sending letters and making calls to the venues that NTDTV had rented for the performances, in an effort to get the shows canceled. They have also written many public officials of the communities where the performances are scheduled, urging them not to attend and not to recognize the performances with congratulatory letters or commendations. It seems that the heavy-handed tactics have backfired, offending many officials. Chris Norby, the chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in California, who received a letter from the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, said it amounted to “an attempt by a foreign government to dictate to American elected officials what organizations we should support, recognize or associate with.”

Despite the harassing tactics, the Divine Performing Arts shows enjoyed sold-out performances in cities around the world. THE NEW AMERICAN’S senior editor William F. Jasper, who attended the January 25 performance at San Francisco’s historic Orpheum Theater, provides an online review of the spectacular event at www.thenewamerican.com/node/6981.

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