Epoch Times reported that, according to a recent investigation, Lu Fan, China’s Ambassador to Spain, admitted that he pressured a Spanish theater into cancelling a performance that Shen Yun Performing Arts had booked with the theater.
“Lu admitted in a phone call, that he personally put pressure on the Royal Theater in Madrid to cancel its contract with Shen Yun Performing Arts. By using the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) control of the large Chinese market as an enticement, Lu and the theater’s director jointly planned to cancel the Shen Yun performances under the pretext of “technical difficulties.” After the case was reported, Lu and the theater continued planning on how to respond.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts is a New York-based independent performance troupe specializing in classical Chinese dance. Its many companies have tours around the world every year in as many as 130 major cities. It has, for years, been the target of the CCP, which uses Chinese embassies and consulates to try to disrupt the performances. The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), a non-profit organization that investigates human-rights abuses perpetrated against Falun Gong adherents, has been following such incidents.
A WOIPFG investigator, who, posed as a high-level Chinese government official, called Lu Fan directly and got him to reveal the details of how he intervened in Spain. Lu Fan directly called the Royal Theater and requested that it cancel the Shen Yun performance that had been scheduled for January 31 to February 2 this year.
In the investigator’s phone call, Lu admitted that the theater’s general manager was initially reluctant to carry out the embassy’s request because the theater had already sold nearly 900 tickets. “I directly talked to him,” said Lu, “On this issue, you cannot think only about the economic gains, but you also need to consider the politics. You are working with China and have signed the ‘International League of Theaters of the Silk Road.’ There is a great market potential for you to collaborate with China. You should not lose the Chinese market because of (the Shen Yun performance).” China has been promoting the “International League of Theaters of the Silk Road” agreement for exchanges in the field of performing arts as part of its “One Belt and One Road” initiative.
Lu also stated in the call that he worked closely with the theater’s general manager to come up with a good reason (claiming technical difficulty and a time shortage) for cancelling the show. The theater then used that excuse to cancel the performance.
Lu also stated that, after Shen Yun reported the cancellation in a local newspaper, he worked with the theater to come up with responses. “Our initial thought was to avoid making it a hot issue. Stay with the technical reason.”
The recorded phone conversation with Lu Fan is available on the Epoch Times’ website.
Source: Epoch Times, January 28, 2019