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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

Missing Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Honored With International Human Rights Award

Posted by Author on August 8, 2010


By James Burke/Epoch Times Staff, Aug.7, 2010 –

Gao Zhisheng's 17-year-old daughter Grace accepted the International Human Rights Lawyer Award on his behalf at an event held in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 6. (Huang Yiyan/The Epoch Times)

Gao Zhisheng, a missing Chinese attorney, has been honored with an international human rights award from the American Bar Association (ABA). With Mr. Gao missing in China, his 17-year-old daughter Grace accepted the International Human Rights Lawyer Award on his behalf at an event held in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 6.

The annual award is given to lawyers well-known for taking on human rights cases and who have in turn, suffered persecution because of their efforts.

Coming from an impoverished background, Mr.. Gao was self-educated and would go on to be described by Chinese officials as one of China’s ten best lawyers. A dedicated Christian, he was well known for his work in assisting China’s poor and marginalized but he met the wrath of Chinese state security once he began defending the rights of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

“Because of that work, his law license was taken from him in 2005,” said an ABA posting on the International Law Prof Blog. “In 2006, he was charged with subversion and sentenced to house arrest. In 2007, just before the Olympics, he wrote a letter to the US Congress to explain the human rights situation. He was arrested and reportedly tortured for a period of almost 60 days,” said the ABA posting.

“He told a journalist about that experience and said that the loss of dignity made him feel as if he was nothing but an animal. His family was also arrested and allegedly tortured. His wife and two children were able to escape from China in a harrowing journey to the U.S. Embassy in Thailand, and later arrived in the United States last year.”

Mr. Gao’s current whereabouts are unknown and there are concerns for his well-being and safety. In 2007 the English translation of his memoir A China More Just was published, and in 2008 Mr. Gao was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In December last year ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm wrote to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describing the conditions that lawyers face in China and asked the US State Department to step up its activities to help protect Chinese lawyers.

With more than 400,000 members the American Bar Association, is the largest voluntary professional association in the world.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Event, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Lawyer, News, People, World | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Missing Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Honored With International Human Rights Award

Thousand protesters gather in south China city to protect Cantonese language

Posted by Author on July 25, 2010


Tania Branigan, The Guardian, July 25, 2010 –

A Chinese “culture war” has spilled onto the streets of a southern city as hundreds of inhabitants held an unusual mass rally to defend their local language.

Proposals for Guangdong’s main television company to broadcast primarily in Mandarin – China’s official language – have angered citizens in the province, who fear that Cantonese is being sidelined.

Some worry that Cantonese, which is also spoken in some other parts of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, is on its way to extinction. According to the official People’s Daily newspaper, it is the first language for half of the 14 million residents of the provincial capital Guangzhou, while the other half speak mainly Mandarin.

Up to a thousand protesters gathered in the centre of Guangzhou shouting slogans, before police dispersed them peacefully. A witness said most were in their twenties, although some were middle-aged.

The controversy broke out when the local committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – a political advisory body – urged authorities to ensure that Mandarin, which is spoken across the country, is used on Guangzhou TV’s main shows. It said the move would promote unity and help tourists and athletes who will arrive in the city for the Asian Games this November.

Although the network has said it will continue to broadcast in both languages, residents fear that Cantonese is being squeezed out and could ultimately be dropped completely. They argue there are already plenty of Mandarin channels for people to watch and say that a decline in the use of the language will also erode the area’s cultural heritage.

In a poll on the committee’s own website, 80% of the 30,000 respondents said Guangzhou TV stations should broadcast in Cantonese…….(more details from The Guardian)

Posted in China, Event, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Thousand protesters gather in south China city to protect Cantonese language

President of digital arts College: Shen Yun dance “spectacular, very athletic, and beautiful”

Posted by Author on July 25, 2010


By Abraham Thompson, Epoch Times Staff, July 24, 2010 –

SAN FRANCISCO— Ex’pression College president and creative director, Spencer Nilsen and his wife, Claire, were among the theatergoers at Shen Yun Performing Arts’ evening show at the War Memorial Opera House on Saturday, July 24.

When asked about the display of classical Chinese dance and music, Mr. Nilsen replied: “Oh, it’s beautiful. Wonderful music and the costumes are incredible. The dance is spectacular, very athletic and beautiful.”

Mr. Nilsen has a impressive background in the music and digital media. He has worked on show productions for bands, and he has worked together with others and produced and directed many TV shows, commercials and music videos for ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, The Super Bowl and American Express. Mr. Nilsen was hired by SEGA where he headed the music department and composed many well-known movie soundtracks.

Currently, Mr. Nilsen is the acting president of Ex’pression College for digital arts.

Mr. Nilsen enjoyed the culture and storytelling of Shen Yun. “First of all, the culture is so extraordinary in the storytelling—it’s fantastic through the use of dance and music and choreography,” he said.

Who knows, Mr. Milsen may have gotten some new inspiration for the next video soundtrack he works on after attending the show.

“I’m always interested in new art forms and new music, and this seems to be a wonderful combination of both,” and, “I’m interested in all art forms—this in particular—just the combination of the different music and dance. Having only been exposed to Western ballet and dance and orchestration, it’s a different approach,” said Mr. Nilsen, referring to the Shen Yun New York Company orchestra.

The elaborate backdrop and stage props used by Shen Yun are unique and give added depth to each performance, something Mr. Nilsen enjoyed. “I think it’s fascinating. The colors are very vibrant and obviously sets the location for each of the scenes.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes: College President: ‘The dance is spectacular, very athletic, and beautiful’ )

Posted in Artists, Arts, China, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Culture, Dance, Event, News, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, USA, World | Comments Off on President of digital arts College: Shen Yun dance “spectacular, very athletic, and beautiful”

(photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China (3)

Posted by Author on July 23, 2010


By Gary Feuerberg, Epoch Times Staff, July 23, 2010 –

<< previous

Obama administration not doing enough

Falun Gong practitioners from around the world, U.S. Congress members, NGOs, and others speak out against the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of practitioners on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 22. (Mark Zou/The Epoch Times)

Smith (Rep. Chris Smith) cited the numbers of Falun Gong killed and asked why the United Nations and the United States remains silent of this “holocaust”? He said that the use of torture against Falun Gong practitioners is perhaps the worst anywhere in china.

“We call on the Obama administration to do more to raise its voice very clearly on behalf of Falun Gong.”

Smith noted that China is on the State Department’s list of a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its human rights violations. He asked rhetorically, why aren’t the sanctions imposed on China, as is proscribed by the law?

“Even though Congress has spoken out nearly unanimously against [the persecution of Falun Gong], the Obama Administration, as previous administrations, has failed to press the government of China seriously enough to motivate theme to change their policy of attempting to destroy Falun Gong,” said Efferman.

Rep. Ros-Lehtenin repeated her wish that is contained in the House Resolution 605, which she authored. “I call upon President Obama and leaders of other free, democratic nations, to meet with Falun Gong practitioners whenever and wherever possible to emphasize our unequivocal support for freedom of conscience as a fundamental principle of the United States Government and any democracy.”

Reps. Edolphus ‘Ed’ Towns (D-NY) and Eliot Engle (D-NY) sent statements which were read at the rally. (END)

– The epochtimes: Congressmen Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong

Part1 Part 2 Part 3

Posted in Activist, China, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, July 20, Law, News, People, Photo, politician, Politics, Rally, Religion, Social, Special day, Speech, USA, World | Comments Off on (photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China (3)

(photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China (2)

Posted by Author on July 23, 2010


By Gary Feuerberg, Epoch Times Staff, July 23, 2010 –

<< previous

Solidarity with Falun Gong

Congressman Gus Bilrakis (R-Fla.) speaks on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 22 where around 500 Falun Gong practitioners from around the world gathered in peaceful protest against the Chinese Communist Party's persecution. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

Nearly all the speakers were not Falun Gong practitioners, but they expressed solidarity with the peaceful practice and appreciation for what Falun Gong has done to expand freedom for others.

“You have not surrendered to the tyranny, but have fought against it with the power of your hearts and minds. Through your television broadcasts, newspapers, and internet websites you have spread the word and provided access to the truth for those who live under the communist party’s lies and oppression,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL.).

He continued: “Please know that as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have worked hard to make sure your voice gets heard. … Your numbers cannot be denied and your collective voice cannot be stopped, especially not here in the United States, by Chinese communist thugs. I stand with you and share your principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) observed the first clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is about freedom of religion, which he said every person deserves, and expressed his solidarity with the protesters. The Congressman said, “We need to have change in the way we do business in the Peoples Republic of China.”

“I feel a very strong sense of solidarity with you, and so do all the members throughout the world. I believe you people today are the true martyrs in this age, as you continue to persevere through one of the worst persecutions of the 21 century,” said Dan Fefferman, Executive Director, Coalition for Religious Freedom. “We know the ideology of Marxist/Leninism is a materialistic ideology, an evil ideology, an ideology that does not believe in freedom, especially not spiritual freedom, freedom of speech and religion. You stand as a testimony to the strength of human spirit that will never be dominated by this communist ideology.”

Appreciation was also expressed by many for the work that some Falun Gong practitioners have done to defeat China’s Firewall. Clothilde Le Coz, Washington Director of Reporters Without Borders, said, “The Falun Gong’s struggle has given a gift worldwide: circumvention software for internet users. Tired of being censored and harassed, the Falun Gong petitioners created one famous tool that is used all around the world. Thank you.”

Perhaps no one could surpass an expression of solidarity with Falun Gong’s persecution than Presbyterian minister Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. He and his family were arrested for peacefully praying in front of the White House a few years ago to call attention to the lack of U.S. Government effort to pressure the Chinese to end the persecution. Rev. Mahoney waved his passport before the practitioners and said it shows that he was expelled from the Peoples’ Republic of China. He had been arrested and deported for demanding on Tiananmen Square for Chinese people to be able to freely practice their faith.

“This passport is a badge of honor I wear proudly,” said Rev. Mahoney……. (to be cont’d)

– The epochtimes: Congressmen Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Posted in Activist, China, Event, Falun Gong, Human Rights, July 20, Law, News, People, Photo, politician, Politics, Rally, Religion, Social, Special day, Speech, USA, World | Comments Off on (photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China (2)

(photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China

Posted by Author on July 23, 2010


By Gary Feuerberg, Epoch Times Staff, July 23, 2010 –

SPEAK OUT: Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) speaks on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 22 where around 500 Falun Gong practitioners from around the world gathered in peaceful protest against the Chinese Communist Party's persecution. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON— On the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at high noon on Thursday, about 500 Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners from around the world gathered in protest of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of the meditation practice for the past 11 years.

Members of Congress, human rights activists, and Christian organizations joined offering their support for a new dawn of religious freedom in China.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) both spoke of the extreme brutality the Chinese regime inflicts on Falun Gong practitioners.

“That is absolutely despicable,” shouted Rep. Smith. “[Those who] cherish freedom must speak out against the brutality and hate that everyday manifests by the dictatorship of Beijing.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtenin said that the “Chinese communist regime’s obsessive and relentless hunting down of practitioners of Falun Gong” is “one of the most flagrant examples of systematic persecution in the 21st Century.”

Ros-Lehtenin was the author of H.R. 605 which called upon the Chinese regime to cease its campaign against Falun Gong practitioners and abolish the 6-10 office, which is given the mandate to “eradicate” Falun Gong. The resolution also called for the release of Falun Gong practitioners from prisons and reeducation through labor camps. It passed in March, overwhelmingly, 421 to 1.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtenin said nothing had changed in the last four

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) speaks on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 22 where around 500 Falun Gong practitioners from around the world gathered in peaceful protest against the Chinese Communist Party's (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

months since her resolution passed. “The persecution of Falun Gong is barbaric, bloody, and brutal, and it must come to an end at once!”

If anything the trend has been that the persecution is getting worse, observed Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.), in a statement read at the rally. “Over the last 11 years of the ban against practicing Falun Gong in China, we have seen persecution against Falun Gong intensify, including an increase in censorship of websites, television stations, and other forms of media sympathetic to Falun Gong.”

Two of the speakers were survivors of China’s Re-education Through Labor camps. Charles Lee spent three years in a labor camp. Jennifer Zeng from Sydney, Australia, said she was present in July 1999 when the first Falun Gong practitioners were rounded up. She was eventually sent to a labor camp where she said she was “beaten, shocked by electric batons to every part of the body,” and deprived of sleep for days.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said that often female Falun Gong practitioners undergo forced abortions while being detained. She said that forced abortion and forced sterilizations were state policy in China and really forms of torture, which may explain the unusually large rate of female suicides in China and why China is the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than the male suicide rate…….(to be cont’d)

– The epochtimes: Congressmen Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Posted in Activist, China, Event, Falun Gong, Human Rights, July 20, Law, News, People, Photo, politician, Politics, Rally, Religion, Special day, Speech, World | Comments Off on (photos) Congressmen, rights activists and NGOs Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China

Speech: Stop the Inhuman Persecution of Falun Gong in China

Posted by Author on July 19, 2010


Hon. David Kilgour, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada, 18 July 2010 –

July 20th will mark eleven years of inhuman persecution of the Falun Gong community by the Chinese party-state. It’s thus good to see so many Canadians of such varied cultural and religious backgrounds standing in solidarity today in our national capital. Officials in Beijing must end this horror begun in mid-1999. More and more people across the world are aware of this new crime against humanity and want it stopped now.

We call for the government of Canada to urge the government of China to end the persecution of Falun Gong and to release all Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience immediately, including 12 with close Canadian ties.

The Communist Party has deployed the most vicious lies in state media to demonize Falun Gong and used all available means to persecute those who believe in its principles. In contrast, for 11 years, Falun Gong practitioners in Canada and around the world continue to use only peaceful means to raise awareness and expose the crimes of the regime, seeking to stop the persecution.

Nature of Falun Gong

Falun Gong is an ancient discipline which encourages ethical standards for cultivating body and character. It contains the essence of traditional cultivation systems, like Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism), combined with a set of gentle exercises. Its core principles are “truth, compassion and forbearance”. It today reaches millions of people of diverse backgrounds in many countries.

In China where it first became public in 1992, Falun Gong grew to numbers greater than the membership of the Communist party within seven years (70-100 million by the government’s own estimate). The party panicked on seeing nationals in the tens of millions engaging publicly in a form of exercise which had an underlying belief system different from communism. A dilemma for President Jiang Zemin in 1999 was not only that Falun Gong was authentically Chinese and growing across the country among citizens of all ages, regions and occupations, including party members; it was also that Marxism as a European ideological import into China is patently foreign. Communists saw a China-based philosophy cutting out from under them the thin ground on which they still stood.

Fearing Falun Gong’s growth, the party has repressed it with a brutality since July 1999. Torture, rape, beating to death, detention in labour camps and brainwashing have become reality for many Falun Gong practitioners across the country. Today, they comprise two-thirds of the torture victims and half of the people detained in labour camps across China. The documented yearly arbitrary killings and disappearances of Falun Gong exceed by far the totals for any other victim group in China.

According to the research of David Matas and myself, set out in our book Bloody Harvest, practitioners have been killed in the thousands since 2001 so that their organs could be trafficked to both Chinese nationals and foreigners. Our report indicating that this grotesque commerce is occurring on a large scale across China. Our report is accessible in 18 languages at www.organharvestinvestigation.net

The details about the state of human rights in China can be found at many independent sources, including:Falun Dafa: (http://faluninfo.net).
Human Rights in Chinahttp://www.hrichina.org
Human Rights Watchhttp://www.hrw.org/en/search/apachesolr_search/china
Amnesty Internationalhttp://www.amnesty.org/en/region/china.

Conclusion

We respect the people of China. Canadians of origin there taught us much about the history, culture, inventions, economy, resilience and other strengths of their homeland. It is concern for the Chinese people that moves so many of us to speak up for justice in China. The party-state in Beijing accuses its critics of being ‘anti-China’, but it is the party which is ‘anti-China’ because of its continued exploitation of the Chinese people. Human rights advocates in China, such as the now “re-disappeared” Gao Zhisheng care deeply about improving the lives of the Chinese people. (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/38853/)

Beijing should listen to the world, stop human rights violations and punish all who perpetrate them. One appeal was issued last year by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). It demanded that China “immediately conduct or commission an independent investigation of the claims that some Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture and used for organ transplants and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished.” www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/CAT.C.CHN.CO.4.pdf

The continuing failure to do so puts the government of China in violation of its international obligations under the Torture Convention, which it signed and ratified. It is rare for the UN system to call the Government of China to account for its human rights violations. CAT deserves much praise.

If China were to revive its traditional values, abandon political Leninism and adopt the rule of law, a free media and governance of, by and for all its people- a democracy with very Chinese characteristics-I believe the new century would bring harmony for both China and its trading partners. The Chinese people have the perseverance, self-discipline, entrepreneurship, intelligence, culture and numbers to make a better and more peaceful world for the entire human family.

david-kilgour.com

Posted in China, Crime against humanity, Event, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on Speech: Stop the Inhuman Persecution of Falun Gong in China

Stage Director: ‘Shen Yun’s choreography is incredible beyond description’

Posted by Author on July 19, 2010


By Helena Zhu, Epoch Times Staff, July 19, 2010 –

SACRAMENTO, Calif.
—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance at Sacramento Community Center Theater on Sunday has allowed many overseas Chinese to reconnect to their culture.

Among the attendees of the show were Hong Hanmin and his family. A Chinese descent from the Philippines, Hong was a stage director for 36 years.

“Before, I’d only heard of this great show. Now that I saw it, I cannot describe it with words,” said Mr. Hong with a thumb raised. “Shen Yun’s choreography is incredible beyond description. … These dancers are so young, but so synchronized.

“Usually the stage background is a still picture or still setup, so Shen Yun’s animated backdrops are completely new to me, and they went so well with the dancing.”

In addition to the featured classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun also has a one-of-a-kind orchestra, composed of both Chinese and Western instruments.

“It was my first time seeing an orchestra combining Chinese and Western instruments,” said Mr. Hong.

“I have a few Caucasian friends. After watching Shen Yun, they told me that it was their first time seeing such stage setup, such dance, such dancers, and such music. They said that this show has given them new perspectives and ideas.”

As a stage director, Mr. Hong has gotten new inspirations himself.

“I’ve never seen such spectacular scenes. These are all first-class performers—they performed beautifully and in unison. Their performance is imprinted deep in my heart. I will always remember the backdrops, music, and choreography.”

The Epochtimes

Posted in Arts, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, USA, World | Comments Off on Stage Director: ‘Shen Yun’s choreography is incredible beyond description’

Shen Yun Summer Tour Arrives in Northern California

Posted by Author on July 17, 2010


By Dean Tsaggaris, Epoch Times Staff, July 17, 2010 –

SACRAMENTO, Calif.
—As the weather started to heat up this weekend in California’s central valley, the Shen Yun Performing Arts tour arrived in town bringing with it a refreshing show filled with classical Chinese dance and music from the world’s premier company.

Audience members flocked to Sacramento’s Community Center Theater as temperatures outside approached 100 degrees, and were delighted to discover what people all over the world have been talking about.

“The show is very great and colorful, and the music is very pleasant,” said Angelica, a business analyst.

She really enjoyed the interplay of the performers on stage with the dazzling backdrops. “Their outfits are very nice, and the color of the scenes and the decorations really matched the dances, and gives you the feeling that you are right there,” she added.

Although Angelica had never experienced classical Chinese dance before, she mentioned that she would return to see the show again.

Shen Yun graced the stage of the Community Center Theater back in January, and returned to the city due to the popularity of the show. The theater is part of the Sacramento Convention Center Complex in downtown Sacramento, which also houses a 134,000-square-foot convention center, the Memorial Auditorium, and The Jean Runyon Little Theater.

Yuri, who came with Angelica, was especially fascinated with the flow of the piece presented on stage.

“Each piece is different. It starts kind of similar but then it transforms into something else. I like that transformation,” Yuri commented.

The Shen Yun New York Company is traveling along the West Coast having already made stops in Los Angeles and San Diego. It plays two shows in Sacramento this weekend, followed by one performance in San Jose on Wednesday, and finally arriving in San Francisco next weekend for four additional shows at the War Memorial Opera House.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Arts, China, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, USA, World | Comments Off on Shen Yun Summer Tour Arrives in Northern California

‘Avatar’ Production Designer Robert Stromberg Says Shen Yun “a terrific performance” and “so inspiring”

Posted by Author on July 12, 2010


By Leigh Smith, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Emmy and Academy Award winner, Robert Stromberg. Robert also was the production designer for the movies 'Avatar' and 'Alice in Wonderland.' (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELES— Many celebrities attended the opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ summer West Coast tour at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, in Los Angeles. It was the first of five performances there by the New York-based company.

Emmy and Academy Award winner Robert Stromberg, the production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, was among them.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” he said. “It was so inspiring, I think I may have found some new ideas for the next Avatar.

“It was a very unique performance. It was tremendous to see the wide range of different types of performance art come together as one. It’s really beautiful to see that as one single performance,” he said.

As a highly accomplished visual artist, Mr. Stromberg praised “the color, the lights, and the movement.” “The performers were fantastic! I thought it was wonderful,” he added.

Shen Yun brings classical Chinese dance, spanning thousands of years of tradition, to the stage. Mr. Stromberg appreciated the quality and attention to detail. He said, “It’s obviously very poetic. The subtlety and attention to detail and synchronization is astounding.”

Shen Yun presents ancient legends, modern stories, and folkloric dances. Mr. Stromberg said, “It’s nice to finally see part of Chinese culture and understand the history.”

Mr. Stromberg said he was inspired by some of the dances: “I especially loved the dances where they synchronized the sounds as well with the costumes and what they’re wearing—the women with the silver and the men with the chopsticks. …

“The environments, the background, the use of color, the use of color and costume together—those types of things were very unique and inspirational,” he said.

‘A Wonderful Experience’

Shen Yun uses vibrant projected digital backdrops, which give the impression of three dimensions. Dancers seem to emerge from and return to the projected backdrops.

As a film professional, Mr. Stromberg felt the unique backdrops added to the performance: “It was an interesting use of an interactive element, which I think, as it develops it, could become a new art form in itself—a live performance mixed with digital projection and maybe 3-D eventually, who knows.

“Using those two techniques together, it would be almost like going to the theater and the movies at the same time,” he said.

Mr. Stromberg appreciated Shen Yun’s presentation of traditional Chinese culture: “Working as a designer myself, I have done a lot of research on China and the landscapes of China and how beautiful they are. Seeing a traditional performance with the authentic dance moves and authentic backgrounds—it all came together.

“What can I say? It was a terrific performance and a wonderful experience.”

Robert Stromberg won Emmy Awards and an Academy Award for his work as a special-and visual-effects artist.

During his time on Star Trek, Mr. Stromberg earned an Emmy Award. Since then, he has been nominated for and has won a number of Emmy Awards while working in television and film.

In 2010 he won, along with others, the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction for Avatar.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Artists, Arts, Celebrity, China, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, USA, World | Comments Off on ‘Avatar’ Production Designer Robert Stromberg Says Shen Yun “a terrific performance” and “so inspiring”

Actress Lexi Ainsworth Says Shen Yun Show ‘a new experience’

Posted by Author on July 12, 2010


By Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Lexi Ainsworth with Gabriela Rodriguez at the opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Los Angeles. (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELES— The opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Los Angeles was attended by a host of celebrities. The show of music and classical Chinese dance was held at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Attending the July 8 performance was actress Lexi Ainsworth, known for playing Kristina Davis in the new seasons of “General Hospital,” and for her role in Wild Child.

“It was fantastic,” said Ms. Ainsworth during the intermission. “It was wonderful. It was a new experience for me, I loved it.”

Ms. Ainsworth said she particularly enjoyed an energetic Mongolian dance, which is done using chopsticks: “It’s amazing how they can make the beats of the chopsticks while dancing at the same time.” She added, “I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The dancers of Shen Yun bring to life China’s 5,000 years of culture through the art of classical Chinese dance, as well as Chinese ethnic and folk dance. The unique dance forms allow for a broad range of movements and expression.

Having a background in ballet, Ms. Ainsworth said that before seeing Shen Yun, she was not aware of the difference between ballet and classical Chinese dance. “It’s really interesting. They’re amazing and I wish I could do what they do,” she said.

Ms. Ainsworth added, “It’s really educational, because I didn’t know much about it. But I like how they pause at each little segment and give a description of what the next one is going to be like, what the history of it is.”

Also included with the show is a full, digital backdrop, which displays moving images and scenes across times and cultures.

“I’ve never seen a performance that uses a TV screen in the background. It’s the first time I’ve seen that. So it was really interesting how they incorporated that into the dance,” Ms. Ainsworth said.

She added, “I thought it was really clever.”

The Epoch Times

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Hollywood PR Company President comments on Shen Yun: ‘The whole production is absolutely amazing!’

Posted by Author on July 12, 2010


By Lance Jackson, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR. (The Epoch Times)

Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR. (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion swept the audience back through 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture, through classical Chinese dance, a live orchestra, ancient myths, and modern technology.

In the audience was Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR, who attended with some friends.

“Oh, it’s amazing—it gave me chills. It was heartwarming. It’s so much talent!” he said after the show. “I had no idea it would be such an enormous production.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before—I go to a lot of theater. … The whole production is absolutely amazing!”

“The culture is so beautiful … I’ve never seen any traditional Chinese dance performances, so it was definitely something new for me and very inspiring,” said Mr. Scott.

“It definitely leaves with something good to take home. … It’s very unique.”

“I love the dedication,” he added. “The work this must have been, what [the dancers] had to go through to do the show, I can’t imagine the discipline. And the big screen, the set, just to project that. I’ve never seen that either.”

As well as showcasing classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun performers include singers and solo musicians. Audiences frequently comment on powerful emotion conveyed by the two-stringed Chinese erhu, and Mr. Scott agreed.

“I really enjoyed the two-stringed instrument. … I felt so sad the curtain was going [down] on her last bow. No, stay, I want to clap longer! … You could really feel the emotion behind it.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

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Golden Globe-nominated actress “liked everything about the show” of shen Yun

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Linda Slupsky, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Golden Globe-nominated actress Anne Jeffreys heaped praise on Shen Yun Performing Arts. (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
— Golden Globe-nominated actress Anne Jeffreys heaped praise on Shen Yun Performing Arts after taking in the show at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Thursday night.

“I loved it. I thought it was beautiful. It was informative and the dancers were glorious. The costumes were so beautiful and the precision. I liked everything about the show,” said Ms. Jeffreys, who has acted on stage and in more than 40 films.

Besides working along side Frank Sinatra, she has appeared on L.A. Law, Murder She Wrote, the original Battlestar Galactica and has her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“There were so many people on the stage and they were all so graceful. I just loved it. And colorful, the costumes were gorgeous. The dancing was unbelievable.”

She said she enjoyed the stories and loved the Chinese instruments and the orchestra. She singled out the two-stringed erhu solo for special consideration.

“Fabulous. Wonderful. I’ve been in music all my life and I’ve never heard that instrument, knowingly, before, and she played it beautifully.”

She thought that the show was a wonderful representation of China, all the culture of China. “It was just beautiful, I loved it.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

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MMPA President Reviews the Shen Yun Show: “this is the ultimate”

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Jarvee Hutcherson, president of Multicultural Motion Picture Association (MMPA.) (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
— Jarvee Hutcherson, president of Multicultural Motion Picture Association (MMPA), left Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Thursday, July 8, with a full heart.

“I thought the show was very moving, very touching. I found that at moments it was emotional, and at moments it was very exciting.

“The fact that it was Chinese was very, very heart wrenching to me, it brought tears to my eyes.

”It was so synchronized, I’ve never seen something so tightly done. And everyone, I think this is all over the world, something that everybody should experience, and I was very moved by that.”

As the president of the MMPA, Mr. Hutcherson said he appreciated the show’s effort to share traditional Chinese culture.

“Through my 20 years as the president of the organization, I really have learned so much about various cultural backgrounds all over the world, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here tonight, and I really am impressed. But I understand that there’s issues over in China that are not received so well, not accepted so well, but I hope that this day will come, that this will pass and this will be more united in more support of that. Because they’re missing out! And I hope that one day this can open up to their country and allow them in.”

He said a fan dance in the second half left him transported to another realm.

“I felt like I was in heaven! I felt like something came up, it left a feeling, like we were on a cloud, and I really felt it, very moved by that. It brought tears to my eyes, so I think that was a very touching moment for me—a touching moment for everyone in the audience.”

“I certainly hope that so many of the Chinese come out in support because it’s certainly a wonderful experience for any and everyone to be a part of … especially young people need to see this, because I think they really could identify with certain things of it.”

When asked if he had been to a Chinese performance before, Mr. Hutcherson said: “I’ve been to some productions, but not on this level—I think this is the ultimate, tonight. The choreographers and producers of this show, I really applaud them. And I applaud the dancers, I understand they come from all over. I applaud them. And I was very moved by it tonight.”

He said he would share his excitement with his friends and encourage them to see the show.

“They’ll leave here with a whole new feeling, like I felt tonight.”

After saying the show was educational, Mr. Hutcherson took a moment to focus on the singing which he described as “touching.”

“I had never seen singers of that multitude, especially from the Chinese community. I was totally impressed, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh!’, you’d never know! I think it’s so important that people should reach out to definitely see this.”

He said Shen Yun confirmed his belief that even if people are form different countries or backgrounds, or have different ideals, they must open up their horizons to new experiences.

“Sometimes we get in our own circle, and that’s where we stay. It’s so good to open up and share and be a part of everything. And that’s why I’m glad that I’m here tonight.”

Mr. Hutcherson has served as president of the MMPA for 19 years. The organization has 1600 members and holds an annual awards ceremony to recognize outstanding and inspiring individuals that have contributed to diverse perspectives in film and television. The organization works to raise awareness about the need for expanded and more realistic roles in the entertainment industry for people of various cultural backgrounds.

Over the years Cuba Gooding Jr., Sandra Bullock, Sinbad, Denzel Washington, Cheech Marin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Eddy Murphy and Will Smith have ranked among the honorees and presenters at the awards.

The Epochtimes

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Shen Yun ‘Absolutely epic’, Says Disney Actor

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Masha Savitz, Epoch Times Staff, July 10, 2010 –

Doug Haley, who plays Walter in Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel. (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELESShen Yun Performing Arts is in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion throughout the weekend. This unique show aspires to preserve and promote China’s 5,000-year-old majestic authentic culture.

Many audience members were from L.A.’s artistic and entertainment community. Doug Haley, who plays Walter in Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel, attended the opening show on Thursday evening, July 8.

“I thought it was beautiful,” said the actor. “Extremely talented performers. It was a beautiful marriage of song and dance. It was exquisite. It was very colorful, very vibrant. Epic. E-P-I-C.”

Mr. Hayley also commented on the successful “marriage” of the Shen Yun Orchestra playing Eastern and Western instruments.

“You don’t notice that you’re listening to French horn and classical European instruments and Asian instruments and the gong … the way they’re fused together. You don’t realize you’re listening to completely different traditional cultures infused as one, and I thought that was really cool how they put that together.”

The classical Chinese two-stringed instrument, the erhu, took his breath away.

“I thought that was stunning and breathtaking and totally had me in awe. That was actually my favorite part, that composition.”

Shen Yun’s show is rich with information on Chinese heritage, leaving Mr. Haley eager to learn more.

“This is the first traditional Chinese show, you know, I would have liked to learn more. I feel like coming in very naïve to Chinese culture as I am, you did learn a lot of the history, particularly in the end with the scriptures of Buddha and the arrival of the scriptures [The Buddha’s Teachings Spread Far and Wide], but a lot of it was folklore and folktales and kind of mythology.”

“I don’t know how you could come and not be inspired by the dancing and the music, I mean it is absolutely epic,” Mr. Haley continued. “I could tell everyone was extremely well trained. It was beautiful. The way they worked together. The symmetry, the sync of everything. It was really beautiful to take in and to watch.”

Describing the spiritual element of the performance, Mr. Haley said, “with the monks, there’s definitely a sense of enlightenment and there was one dance number that was focusing on the point as human beings, we’re always searching for something. What are we looking for? You need faith to find whatever you’re looking for. Faith is one of the cornerstones that will help you along your journey … the show reiterated that point so absolutely,” said Mr. Haley.

“Check out Shen Yun!” he concluded, urging everyone to attend the show.

The Epohctimes

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“My head is flying with a bunch of ideas— I’m inspired”, says Los Angeles Fashion Designer After Shen Yun Show

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


Epoch  Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Merlin Castell was among the many inspired by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELES— Fashion designer Merlin Castell was among the many inspired by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Thursday evening, July 8. “Breathtaking, I love it. I’m so enchanted,” Mr. Castell said.

“Right now my head is flying with a bunch of ideas—I’m inspired. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, and I’m so glad, finally, we have it here in L.A!”

The Honduras-born artist starred on Bravo’s The Fashion Show and has worked with various celebrity clients, including Paris Hilton. He said he absolutely loved Shen Yun, particularly as China’s ancient culture has always been one of the inspirations behind his work.

After its successful 2010 world tour, Shen Yun will be featuring the best of Shen Yun’s last four seasons during its summer West Coast tour, which takes in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco. The New York-based performers are reviving China’s 5,000-year-old culture through the universal languages of classical Chinese dance and music.

“I think I’m not going to be able to sleep now!” the designer exclaimed, full of excitement about themes for his next collection after seeing Shen Yun’s colorful depiction of the Mongolian steppes, ancient and modern China, and the Tibetan Himalayas.

Mr. Castell was extremely grateful to traditional China for “sharing this beautiful part of your heart with us, with designers.”

“The costumes, it’s dreamy, it’s angelical,” he added.

From radiant golden-hued Tang dynasty gowns to elegant Manchu court chopine shoes, each costume is carefully designed and tailored with meticulous care, says Shen Yun’s website.

Discussing the spiritual dimension of the performance, he commented, “You feel it deep. It’s like you’re in heaven.”

For Mr. Castell, the message behind Shen Yun is all about love and peace. He expressed his deep happiness and gratitude at being able to see such an amazing show.

The Latin fashion icon will be telling all designer friends and fans to come and see the show “because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. This is the place you have to come to get inspired!”

The Epochtimes

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Actress Wedil David Says She Has ‘Never seen anything like it’ after Shen Yun Show (photo)

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


Epoch  Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Movie star Wedil David loved the Sehn Yun show. (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELES— Putting on the first of five performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last night, July 8, Shen Yun Performing Arts is dazzling local stars and residents with its Summer West Coast Tour.

The New York-based artists are sharing China’s ancient culture through the fine arts of classical Chinese dance, opera singing, and orchestral music in a wonderful display of the country’s rich heritage and enduring traditions.

Movie star Wedil David loved the show. The actress was born in New Delhi and most recently appeared in the film Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve never seen anything like it—the colors, the costuming, the dancing is absolutely beautiful,” remarked Ms. David.

Spiritually, Ms. David found Shen Yun “absolutely fascinating,” especially with the interplay of English and Mandarin languages by the emcees who introduce and interpret each dance for the audience. “It’s very cool. I like it,” she added.

As an actress, her impression of the show was that it was “gorgeous.” “Something I would definitely recommend for people to see, for sure,” she commented.

Ms. David expressed her happiness at being able to see this “wonderful production” and continued, “This is a new thing for me and I absolutely love it.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

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Hollywood Movie Producer Calls Shen Yun Show Innovative, Uplifting

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Leigh Smith, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Mayne Berke, a production designer and movie producer who worked on the films Ninja Turtles, SWAT, Princess Diaries, and Rock Star, to name a few, came to see Shen Yun in Los Angeles on July 8. (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
— The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was the venue for the opening of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ summer West Coast tour on July 8. Featuring the best of Shen Yun’s last four seasons, the show received an enthusiastic audience response.

Mayne Berke works in the film industry as a production designer and movie producer. He has worked on Ninja Turtles, SWAT, Princess Diaries, and Rock Star, to name a few. He was in the audience to experience the splendor of New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Mr. Berke said, “I loved it. I thought it was very innovative. It was uplifting, and it was very educational.”

Shen Yun features classical Chinese dance and music, presented through a colorful array of stories and dances drawn from China’s 5,000-year-old culture.

Mr. Berke was impressed with how all aspects of the show came together to tell a story. “I love the traditional movement. I love the way the movements worked in with the costumes, particularly the fabric—the extended arms and the colors and all that spinning. I think the use of costumes and movement and integration of the two was phenomenal,” he said.

As a production designer, Mr. Berke described Shen Yun as terrific. “I love the use of the digital backgrounds. I love the interactions between the digital backgrounds [and] the performance happening in front of it. A really interesting technique! Novel and inspiring!” he said……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

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Shen Yun “unbelievable” “so marvelous”, says former Miss America and TV film actress Lee Meriwether

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Linda Slupsky, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

TV and film actress Lee Meriwether. (The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELES— The audience was filled with celebrities on Thursday’s opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. One of the celebrities included former Miss America and veteran stage, TV, and film actress Lee Meriwether.

Ms. Meriwether, who attended the show with her granddaughter, enjoyed the show tremendously.

“It’s beautiful! The dancing is unbelievable, it’s so marvelous! I’m very impressed,” she said at intermission.

Ms. Meriwether only learned of the show recently and thought that it might be something that would make a good evening out with her granddaughter. She said she didn’t know what to expect.

“It’s just beautiful!” she said. “I’m amazed at the dancing … so beautifully interwoven with all the beautiful costuming, and the music is lovely.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

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Reality TV Star Mike Manning Inspired by Shen Yun’s Chinese Dance (photo)

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Ben Bendig, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Mike Manning, a star on MTV's reality show Real World: DC, gave glowing praise for Shen Yun. (Albert Roman/The Epoch Times)

LOS ANGELESShen Yun Performing Arts opened its summer West Coast tour at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion tonight to an enthusiastic audience. The tour is featuring the best of Shen Yun’s last four seasons, with masterful classical Chinese dance and music.

A number of stars were seen at the red carpet opening of tonight’s show, including Priscilla Presley, Frank Stallone (brother of Sylvester Stallone) and his mother, along with many other actors and actresses.

At intermission Mike Manning, a star on MTV’s reality show Real World: DC, gave glowing praise for Shen Yun.

“I love it, so far, it’s a lot of fun,” says Mr. Manning.

“It makes me want to learn how to dance better, because you get into the stories,” he says.

“Somebody can tell a story, and it says one thing, but when you see it in a play, or a show, or a dance, it brings it to life.”

The dances in Shen Yun feature classical Chinese dance, a rich artistic form that draws on 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Along with ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive forms of dance in the world. Each piece in the show depicts an aspect of China’s ancient culture—be it stories from mythology, dances from different ethnic groups, or pieces that depict things happening in China today.

Supporting the dance is a full orchestra that features both Chinese and Western instruments.

“The music is just icing on the cake—it’s perfect, because you have the story being told, you have the dancers dancing, then you have the music bringing you into it,” says Mr. Manning.

Also part of the show are music pieces featuring operatic singers, as well as a solo instrumental performance of the Chinese erhu, a two-stringed bowed instrument. The audience was particularly delighted with the erhu performance.

The show appeals on many levels, but part of it is China’s rich history. “I heard that this is 5,000 years of culture wrapped up in a few stories, and it’s great,” says Mr. Manning.

“Like I said, it makes me want to learn how to dance.”

The Epochtimes

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ABC TV Actor Harvey Guillen: “I was blown away” by Shen Yun

Posted by Author on July 11, 2010


By Linda Slupsky, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Harvey Guillen, an actor on ABC TV's new series Huge on Monday nights. (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
— Enchanting its audiences on its 30-country world tour, Shen Yun arrived in L.A. this July 8, the first of five shows that depict, in music and dance, China’s rich and glorious traditional culture.

Harvey Guillen, an actor on ABC TV’s new series Huge on Monday nights, found the show engaging artistically, as well as educationally.

Mr. Guillen loved the show. “It was great, it was colorful, and entertaining. It was a great time. We were all having a blast.”

He shared with his co-attendees that Shen Yun could tell a story without words. “In a dance it was amazing there were so many stories that go back so many hundreds of years,” said Mr. Guillen. “I walked away with so much knowledge that I didn’t know before.”

Mr. Guillen said that there was so much history from China it was amazing. “It was done so well,” he said.

He learned about different ethnicities within China. “I was blown away, so many parts of China with their own dialects and their own traditions, their own wardrobe—I learned a lot of history,” says the actor.

“It was a history lesson within the arts, so it was really fantastic to watch.”

His advice to everyone: “You have to catch this show, everyone is just perfection. It is beautifully done, it’s just wonderful.”

The Epochtimes

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Forum in China Discusses Using Communist Dramas to Educate College Students

Posted by Author on July 10, 2010


Written by LYW and AEF, Chinascope.org –

On May 26, 2010, Guangming Daily reported about a forum held recently, that discussed how to use Communist dramas to instill Communist values in college students minds. The participants recognized the creativity of the Henan musical opera “Daughter of Dabie Mountain” based on the old movie “The Party’s Daughter,” [1]

The following people spoke at the forum:

Yan Zhenfen (the former Party secretary of the Chinese Drama Society), Jiang Zhitao (Chinese Opera Association Fellow), Li Peilun (Teaching and Research Division Director, Minzu University of China),  Du Gao (President of the Chinese Drama Society) and Zhao Weimin (Director of the Graduate Office, China Conservatory).

[1] Editor’s Note: The movie “The Party’s Daughter,” first shown in 1958, told the story of how, in 1934, a CCP member divorced her husband in order to be loyal to the Party and fight fearlessly against the Kuomingtang, led by Chiang Kai-shek.

Source: Guangming Daily, May 26, 2010
http://www.gmw.cn/content/2010-05/26/content_1128877.htm

– from Chinascope.org

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Rights Defenders, Hu Supporters Flood Canada Parliament Hill for Chinese Leader’s Visit

Posted by Author on June 25, 2010


By Arnaud Camu, Epoch Times Staff, June 25, 2010 –

OTTAWA— Some came to contest, some called for the end of persecution. Some were rowdy, and some came peacefully. This was the scene at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday as hundreds flooded the Canadian capital for the visit of Chinese leader Hu Jintao.

While rights defenders like Falun Gong practitioners as well as Taiwanese and Tibetan activists stood together, hordes of Hu supporters gathered together—the two were separated by fences on both sides of the Hill.

Despite heavy rain, many Falun Gong practitioners performed Falun Gong’s exercises in silence as a way to protest the Chinese regime’s persecution of the group in China.

“We are against the persecution, the human rights violations. We come here to give voice to people in China who have absolutely no voice. Millions of them. They are suffering in the labour camps, the jails, and from the tortures,” said Falun Gong spokesperson Grace Wollensak.

On the other side of the Hill, busloads of Chinese demonstrators celebrated Hu’s arrival by waving flags and playing Chinese communist patriotic music.

The Epoch Times reported that a Chinese Embassy official in Ottawa on June 18th ordered 40 to 50 Chinese students on state scholarships in Canadian schools to travel to Ottawa—all expenses paid—on what he called a “political struggle” against Falun Gong, Tibetan, and other rights activists.

Witnesses told New Tang Dynasty Television that at least twelve buses left Montreal’s Chinatown, less than two hours from Ottawa, at dawn. A Chinese individual who didn’t want his name revealed said they were told not to speak to Westerners in detail about the purpose or planning of their trip to the capital.

But the students’ hope of seeing the Chinese leader eventually proved to be in vain. Hu Jintao’s motorcade entered Parliament Hill from a side entrance and Hu entered a government building from a back door, leaving his supporters in the rain.

But the inclement weather did not deter the human rights defenders. Tens of them continued meditating peacefully on the grass.

“It’s really nothing compared to what people in China suffer,” said Wollensak. “We still have the freedom—that’s precious. To be in the rain is really nothing in my opinion.”

Albert Lin, a pro-Taiwanese independence supporter and Ryerson University Physics Professor said, “[The rain] is a good challenge, and yet we can see why Hu Jintao would not dare even to come out and say hello to people, to show how people feel about his administration. That is a head of state? What kind of head of state is that?”

Lin also voiced disappointment in the Canadian government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party.

“They are pursuing democracy and human rights and yet they don’t side with the people who are pursuing democracy and human rights […] They do not support it universally—the democracy movement, such as the Tibetans, the Uyghurs and the Taiwanese people.”

“I definitely see a trend of them completely going against what they’ve done before when they first came into power,” said Rignam Wangkhang, a student at Queen’s University who came to show support for the Tibetan cause.

“It’s pretty shocking the complete 180 that they’ve done in terms of human rights in general and Tibet as well.”

Upon assuming power in January 2006, the Harper government had made the promotion of human rights and democracy a priority in its dealings with China. Most notably, Harper stated publicly at the November 2006 APEC meeting in Singapore that the Canadian government would not trade human rights “for the almighty dollar.”

But with eight Conservative cabinet members visiting China in the last year, each saying little or nothing about the state of China’s oppressed, some worry Harper’s stance has softened.

However, during a conference call with reporters on Monday, Harper’s communications director, Dimitri Soudas, said the PM will raise the topic of human rights with Hu “in a frank and respectful way.”

The Epochtimes

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