Germany: Award-Winning Chinese Newspaper Reporter gives an Interview after Watching the Spectacular

In September 2006, the literary work “‘What Kind of God’. A Survey of the Current Safety of China’s Food” was short listed for the Letter of Ulysses Award for the Art of Reporting 2006. The report related the current situation of the safety of food in China, and its author, Zhou Qing, consequently received attention from the international community. “What Kind of God” has already been translated into many languages, with the Japanese version reaching a towering 50,000 copies on its first publication. On the 13th of February, Zhou Qing, who was visiting Germany, went to watch the opening performance of the Shen Yun Chinese Spectacular in Europe, performed by the Divine Performing Arts on Tour. Zhou also accepted an interview by The Epoch Times newspaper, which is featured below.

Reporter: Hello Zhou Qing! I heard that your visit to Germany was due to an invitation by the Goethe Institute. Incidentally this coincided with the Divine Performing Arts’ opening performance on their tour of Europe.

Zhou: Yes, I came from Beijing. When people hear that I’m from Beijing, many of them ask me, “You dare to go and watch a performance by Divine Performing Arts?” I feel that some issues in China have reached absurdity. It’s truly ridiculous that a person has to make a choice over whether to go to a performance or not. People should just go if they are interested.

Back then, Copernicus was killed when he told people of his theory about the sun going around the earth. This however, wasn’t real terror, as contemporary civilians were not really interested about topics such as the “Geocentric model.” Killing Copernicus didn’t affect every civilian’s life. However, if I was arrested because I wanted to appreciate the arts, to watch a performance that is real terror for society, as watching a performance is a normal recreational activity for all people.

I do not usually watch television or entertainment programmes in China. Why not? Because when I was young, all I watched were programmes and shows that have been altered by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Cultural Revolution. They’re all about killing people and eliminating lives. The talk about how taking other people’s life is illegal is truly pretentious. I feel very threatened, so I deeply detest the CCP’s propaganda. The arts are not just for entertainment purposes, it can truly nourish the well-being of a person’s mind and body. The most terrifying thing about the CCP’s rule of China over these fifty years is that it has changed the way art can nurture a person’s body and mind. What kind of arts do they have? They only use it to brainwash people. For example, when I was in a bus in China, the loudspeaker started to play songs that are about the greatness of the CCP. This is forcing propaganda into a person’s private sphere. This forced injection of the CCP culture is not any different from a thief entering someone’s home.

If a political power might fall down because its people went to watch a show or read a book, then it should have collapsed a long time ago. It no longer has any reasons to survive.

Reporter: The CCP seems very afraid of the Divine Performing Arts’ performances. Some overseas students revealed that Chinese Embassies abroad notified them via Chinese student associations to not go and watch the shows. How do you respond to the anxious feelings of the CCP authorities?

Zhou: When someone does too many bad things, they are not just afraid of the wind and rain, they will even be afraid of their own shadow.

At the end of last year, when Hu Ziwei spoke up at the press conference on the Olympics, she used a very good phrase that was once said by a French politician, “If a country cannot project its values to the outer world, then this country has no hope”

Reporter: Would you mind telling us your overall thoughts on the Shen Yun Spectacular?

Zhou: Personally I like the Shen Yun performance very much, especially the dances from the different nationalities within China, because from those we could see that Chinese culture really had a lot of aspects to it before. The China in previous history would not lock anyone up just because they believed in, for example, Tibetan Buddhism. When the Manchus seized power in China, they still revered the Han culture. From the dances in the Chinese Spectacular, we can see the peace in people. It is this peaceful mood which results in harmony between people.

Moreover, I’m originally from the city of Xi’an, therefore I really liked “Drummers of the Tang Court”. Why was the Tang dynasty the most prosperous period of Chinese culture? I believe this is related to the openness of a society. The Tang dynasty was the most open period and open dynasty in Chinese history. During the early reign of the Tang dynasty, there were 50,000 foreigners living in the city of Changan, the capital city. During the peak of the dynasty there were around 300,000. If there are as many foreigners living in Beijing right now as there were in the Tang dynasty, I think that the CCP would start to worry that foreigners will change Chinese people. Therefore, I think that a healthy culture is one which can embrace different aspects of other cultures.

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