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New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts is supposed to hold a show in Ukraine this Friday. The Chinese consulate is putting pressure on the Ukrainian government to stop the show, but U.S. and EU officials are asking Ukraine not to give in.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is scheduled to perform in Odessa, Ukraine on May 28. But, under pressure from the Chinese Consulate, their contract with the theater has been suspended. Now, officials from the United States and the European Union have written to Ukrainian officials, urging them to let the show go on.
Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance and music company. Three weeks ago, the Chinese Consulate sent a letter of protest to the Ukrainian government. The letter asked that Shen Yun’s performance be banned—claiming it was “anti-China.”
[Alla Lavrinenko, Shen Yun Organizing Committee in Odessa]: (female, Russian)
“If there were Christians in the show or Tibetan monks, who are also persecuted in China, would this be a reason for prohibiting the show?"
Last week, the theater suspended Shen Yun’s contract, due to a recommendation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the show has not been cancelled.
Meanwhile, members of the U.S. Congress, and Vice-President of the European Parliament Edward McMillian-Scott, have written to Ukrainian officials. Their letters expressed support of Shen Yun’s performance.
And people in Ukraine are supporting Shen Yun as well. This is what one member of a prominent Ukrainian human rights organization had to say.
[Eugeny Zakharov, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union]: (male, Russian)
“This is how world-renowned performers who represent ancient and rich Chinese culture are treated? Such unwillingness [to let Ukrainians see the show] is unparalleled and irrational.”
With only four days until Shen Yun’s scheduled performance, it’s to be seen whether the Ukrainian government will continue to bow to pressure from the Chinese Consulate.
NTD News, Odessa, Ukraine.