Chinese Diplomat's Pressure Angers New Zealand Politicians

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A New Zealand city councilor says she is outraged after a Chinese diplomat requested that she "stay away" from a cultural performance. The Chinese regime's Consular General in Auckland city wrote to councilors asking them not to attend the upcoming shows of Shen Yun Performing Arts. It's the regime's latest attempt to interfere with classical Chinese dance and music company, and New Zealand politicians are speaking out against it.

Auckland City Council members received this letter last month. It's part of the Chinese regime's efforts to dissuade people from attending Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance and music company based in New York, currently on its world tour.

The letter is signed by Chinese Consular General in Auckland Liao Juhua. She tells councilors that Shen Yun is linked to Falun Gong, a spiritual movement severely persecuted by the Chinese regime. The letter informs councilors that Shen Yun will be performing in Auckland between February 3rd and 5th. It then asks them to quote, "Stay away from the event."

Councilor Casey told The Epoch Times newspaper she was outraged by the letter, and has filed a complaint with the head of the consular corps in Auckland.

[Dr. Cathy Casey, Auckland City Council Member]:
"What we choose to do in New Zealand is up to New Zealanders. It's not up to any diplomatic mission to tell me, an elected member of Auckland Council how to behave."

[Keith Locke, New Zealand Green Party MP]:
"It's unacceptable that Chinese government representatives in New Zealand put pressure on people, particularly elected politicians, not to attend a cultural performance. It's the sort of censorship that goes on in China but it's not the sort of censorship we should have in New Zealand, and I strongly object to it."