Chinese Regime Offers ‘Unlimited Financial Aid’ - Ukraine Rejects Shen Yun

KIEV, Ukraine -- Shen Yun Performing Arts was forced to cancel its debut in Ukraine due to pressure from the Chinese Embassy on the Ukraine government.

Shen Yun Performing Arts’ advertisement outside of the Kiev Ukraine Art Palace.

Shen Yun was scheduled to perform at the Ukraine Art Palace in Kiev on April 1 and 2. However, at the last moment the members of the group were denied visas to enter Ukraine, making Ukraine the only country in Europe that has canceled its 2009 Shen Yun shows.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that is independent of China’s communist regime and which seeks to revive the true, five-millennia-old artistic tradition of China that thrived before decades of suppression by the Chinese communist state.

Threats and Temptation by the Chinese Regime

The global financial crisis has had a huge impact on Ukraine’s economy, causing climbing unemployment rates and currency depreciation. The Chinese Embassy has used this as a lever to force the Ukraine government to deny visas to members of Shen Yun.

Sources said that Chinese regime promised “unlimited financial aid” to the Ukraine government, in an effort to stop Shen Yun from performing in Ukraine.

An Epoch Times reporter called several Ukraine deputies to find out the reason behind this. One deputy said, “The Chinese Embassy has put pressure on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, claiming that the show contains anti-China programs, and that Falun Gong practitioners would distribute anti-China flyers to audience members during and after a show.”

Visa Issue Creates Huge Pressure

Shen Yun Performing Arts submitted its application for visas to the Ukraine Consulate in New York on January 8, at which time the Ukraine Consulate indicated that a big performing arts company’s visit to Ukraine had to be determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and that Shen Yun would find out within a month.

However, Shen Yun had not heard anything from the Ukraine government by February 14.

Ukraine's Falun Dafa Association, the host of the Shen Yun shows in that country, contacted Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and asked for a reply as soon as possible, but no one answered the phone.

One representative of the Ukraine Falun Dafa Association said, “A clerk from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told me that the official who was responsible for issuing visas was under enormous pressure and had refused to answer any phone calls, and that the official felt he could not help.”

President to Determine Visa Status

A few days later, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suddenly said that the visa issue had been turned over to Ukraine’s President. Two days later, the Ukraine Art Palace cancelled the contract with Shen Yun, stating that they had received a letter from the president that the president was to host a state event on April 1st and 2nd at the theater.

Nevertheless, the posters advertising an upcoming comedy show originally scheduled for March 20 at the theater said the show had been rescheduled to April 1, with a side note claiming that the change had nothing to do with the theater.

Art Is Above Politics

After learning about the cancellation, Mr. Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk, the first President of Ukraine, who left office in 1992, commented that art should not be restricted by power, government, or politics; it is not art if it is restricted.

Ukraine Falun Dafa Association said that their hotline continued to receive inquiries for the tickets after the cancellation of the show. Many people called many times to ask about the visa issue and indicated that they were willing to buy the tickets first, and that they could return the tickets if Shen Yun indeed could not visit Ukraine.

This season, Shen Yun's three companies are performing to a live audience of over a million people worldwide.

Source: Epoch Times