FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chinese Communist Party attacks NY-based performing arts group as new season begins
On Jan. 5 and 7, the official website of Shen Yun Performing Arts came under a large-scale cyber-attack. Data shows the attack originated in mainland China, where massive computer resources were hijacked and mobilized in an attempt to overwhelm the Shen Yun website. This attack has been reported to the FBI for further investigation.
The tactics used are congruent with previous assaults emanating from mainland China on foreign businesses, governments, and human rights organizations. Actors within the Chinese Communist Party are believed to be the source of these attacks, as only a centralized force could mobilize the resources required to deploy such an assault.
The attack coincides with the first full week of Shen Yun’s 2015 season and its performances across North America. Shen Yun, a nonprofit organization based in New York, is widely considered the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company.
The company’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture. This culture has a history of 5,000 years, but has been nearly destroyed by the Communist Party and its campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution. Since being established in 2006, Shen Yun has been subject to various forms of attack by Beijing, which sees this organization as a threat. The Communist Party, for example, does not allow this performance of traditional Chinese culture to play in China.
In addition to fearing Shen Yun’s cultural revival, the Communist Party further fears Shen Yun because the performances expose the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China. Practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice, prominently perform with Shen Yun. Moreover, the show depicts—through classical Chinese dance—the violence perpetrated against Falun Gong practitioners and their peaceful resistance. The Communist Party denies the persecution campaign, which it launched in 1999, is taking place—in spite of extensive human rights documentation. Shen Yun displays the reality on stages around the world.
In response, the Communist Party and its embassies and consulates have for nearly a decade tried stopping Shen Yun. Their methods have included: attempting to pressure theaters in the United States and around the world to cancel Shen Yun performances; using thinly veiled economic threats to pressure elected officials to withdraw support for Shen Yun and not attend performances; harassing family members of performers back in China; stalking Shen Yun performers during tour, and even a series of attempts to tamper with Shen Yun vehicles.
The cyber-attack is the latest in this series of failed attempts to stop Shen Yun’s success. To date, the company has performed in front of millions in over 30 countries around the world. This year, it is scheduled to perform in more than 100 cities, including at some of the most prestigious venues. This Friday, Shen Yun begins a 12-show run at New York’s Lincoln Center.