Last month, a Chinese group performed a square dance at the Aotea Square in Auckland City.
A Chinese charity registered the event as recreational ‘dance’ on the evening of 17 Feb. However, event organisers also held a protest on the opposite site of the road against the Falun Gong.
Note: Falun Gong was founded in 1992 in China. It is known as an ancient spiritual practice based on principles ‘truthfulness, compassion and forbearance’ and a set of meditation exercises. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has persecuted Falun Gong practitioners since 1999.
Following an investigation of Chinese associations and gatherings in NZ, a further investigation has been conducted on the nature of such event.
Related reading: Investigation calls for defence against foreign influence from China
“It’s shocking to see that their influence on the Chinese Communist party has reached such an extent. Hundreds will comply to just one command.”
On 17 Feb, numerous Chinese participants arrived at the Aotea square at 4pm. Many appeared as dancers in red costumes and dresses. Within an hour, many ‘dancers’ had gathered across the road and raised banners to protest against the Shen Yun performing arts which was taking place at the ASB theatre later in the evening. Coincidentally, these protesters held the same stance as the Chinese government towards Shen Yun.
Note: According to the Shen Yun performing arts, the atheist regime of the Chinese government is afraid of the freedom of expression Shen Yun enjoys in the West.
Who hosted the event?
The following members of Chinese associations were reported to be leading the protest at the Aotea Square.
- Zhen-zhen Mao, deputy director of the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ)
- Liang-yu Shi, PRCANZ deputy secretary general
- Chong-bao Hu, deputy director of the United Chinese Association of NZ and the director of the Central Auckland Chinese Association
- Qixiang Sun, director of the West Auckland Chinese Association
- Mr Wang from the Panmure Chinese Association
An estimate of more than a hundred protesters had gathered on Queen St, opposite the Aotea Square.
Shortly after the protest began, the dancers gathered along both sides of the road and performed the waist-drum dance as well as the square dance.
(Note: Square-dancing is an exercise routine performed to music in outdoor squares or parks in China. Participants are usually middle aged or retired women.)
The popular Communist propaganda song ‘Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China’ was also played by the organisers.
At 6pm, pro-democrats also appeared on site. The pro-democracy team consisted of Freeman Yu and Mr Xi who were protesting against the persecution and torture of human rights lawyers in China.
Pro-democracy Mr Yu said, “These Chinese Associations claim to be charities, yet they are actually political tools of the Chinese government.”
“It’s shocking to see that their influence on local Chinese communities has reached such an extent. Hundreds will comply to just one command,” added Yu.
“This is a truly violent organisation.”
Liang-yu Shi, PRCANZ deputy secretary general, refused to comment nor verify associations with PRCANZ despite being reported as the leader and host of this large scale protest. Reporters were met with verbal and physical assault.
Liang-yu Shi verbally assaulting reporters from Eagle Vision Times. (source: Eagle Vision Times).
Mr Wang, a member of the Panmure Chinese Association, refused to comment and accused reporters of being “traitors to China.”
Verbal assault from Mr Wang Fang. (Source: Eagle Vision Times).
Perhaps these comments were a response to a previous investigation of the infiltration of the Chinese government in NZ society. The investigation has uncovered close ties between NZ Chinese associations and the Chinese Communist party in China.
Zhen Zhen Mao, the deputy director of PRCANZ and the United Chinese association of NZ, threatened reporters with “punishments in the future.”
Zhen-Zhen Mao threatens reporter with “punishments.” (Source: Eagle Vision Times).
Mao was also captured on video to have physically assaulted a reporter from Eagle Vision Times.
Academic suspected links between break-ins and work on China
On 16 Feb, Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady reported a break-in at her residential home after receiving a letter that warned of an “attack.”
The nature of the stolen items were particularly suspicious.
“I had three laptops – including one used for work – stolen. And phones. [Other] valuables weren’t taken. Police are now investigating that,” she said.
This is the second episode in 3 months after a previous break-in at Brady’s office last December.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern had also expressed concern over the incident.
“If it were in response to the work she’s doing, everyone would be concerned, so certainly if there’s evidence of that we should be taking stock of it and taking action…” said Ardern.
Ardern said she would “ask some questions” to address the possibility of targeted attacks on Brady.
Chinese Communist opposers suspect links between protest activities and assault
Wendy, a legal assistant and a Falun Gong practitioner told Eagle Vision Times that she has been participating in the ”peaceful appeal against the persecution of Falun Gong outside the Chinese embassy in Greenlane for numerous years.”
On numerous occasions, she had returned to her vehicle to find punctured tyres.
Pro-democracy Freeman Yu said, “These organisations don’t value unity nor peace.”
Mr Wang, member of the Panmure Chinese association, had also participated in anti-Falun Gong protests outside the Chinese consulate in Greenlane, Auckland. He took part in organising at least 2 protests against Falun-Gong last December.
- On 14 Dec, Wang was accused of saying “threatening words” to Freeman Yu. This was later reported by Stuff in the Central Leader.
Read more on Stuff: Fears of violence as Falun Gong and foes clash over Auckland footpath
- On 22 Dec, Wang was accused of physical assault by the pro-democrats. Another Greenlane resident also accused the anti-Falun Gong group of kicking him.
Read more here.
The Greenlane resident had passed by in crutches and had kicked the signs of the anti-Falun Gong group. As a result, he reported being kicked and falling down from physical assault. (Source: witness)
The witness, who chose to remain anonymous, told Eagle Vision Times that this is a “truly violent organisation.”
He added, “The Chinese Communist Party itself operates on violence.”
For safety reasons, reporters were unable to conduct further interviews on Chinese association members at the Aotea Square protest.
Touched by Kiwi’s support on calling an end to persecution
Pro-democrats Yu and Xi were protesting against the persecution of human rights lawyers in China. That includes four renowned lawyers, Yu-han Li, Quan-Zhang Wang, Tian-Yong Jiang and Gan Wu.
One of them, Quan-Zhang Wang, has been missing for 952 days.
Many locals were shocked upon seeing the billboards of persecuted human rights lawyers. Considering that the Chinese Constitution includes the freedom of speech and demonstration as a basic right, many locals were shocked upon finding that lawyers were imprisoned for upholding the law.
Another local had expressed concern with basic human rights in China when the country’s legal experts are facing persecution.
Another local resident came together with the pro-democrats for a huddle to support them.
Pro-democrat Yu and Xi expressed that they were very touched from the support of local residents.
Pro-democrats calls for crackdown against China’s interference with domestic politics
Falun Gong practitioner Ms Liu told Eagle Vision Times that the stance of the Aotea Square protest is exactly identical to that of the Chinese government. She suggested that the event were held by PRCANZ with the aim of defaming groups like the Falun Gong and the Shen Yun performing arts.
At a previous protest outside the consulate, Mr Fang Wang (member of the Panmure Chinese Association) told Stuff that he “supported the Chinese Government’s stance on the Falun Gong.”
The United Nations, New Zealand and many Western countries have acknowledged the persecution of the Falun Gong in China by accepting Falun Gong practitioners as political refugees, said Ms Liu. In other words, New Zealand authorities are aware of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Ms Liu considered the Aotea Square protests to be broadcasting tools of the Chinese government.
Pro-democrat Xu suggested that these events were co-hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification in China and the PRCANZ, with the involvement of the Chinese embassy in New Zealand.
A previous investigation has also verified close links between the PRCANZ, and the Chinese embassy.
“On 7 Nov 2015, the PRCANZ was established at the Chinese Consulate office in Auckland. Representatives from the NZ based Chinese embassy, the Consulate General of Christchurch and the Auckland embassy attended the assembly. That included Qing-Bao Liu, Consul General of the Auckland Chinese Embassy from 2012 to 2015,” from a previous investigation conducted by Eagle Vision Times.
“China’s foreign influence in New Zealand is among one of the most extensive in Western countries.”
In a country with a population of 200,000 of Chinese New Zealanders, a gathering of hundreds is greatly significant. Pro-democrat Mr Xu expressed concern over the influence of the Chinese government over Chinese communities abroad particularly when a few leaders can call on such great numbers of Chinese New Zealanders.
“If we account for such a minor population of Chinese New Zealanders, and compare the extent of China’s infiltration with other countries, we can see that China has great control over New Zealand,” said Mr Yu. “In fact, China’s foreign influence in New Zealand is among one of the most extensive in Western countries.”
Yu said that such influence is evident from the election last year.
“For instance, polls tell us that more than 70% of Chinese New Zealanders had supported the National party for the last election. In addition, there were Labour supporters who have faced severe criticism on WeChat and were labelled ‘traitors to the country’ and ‘deluded’.”
Before the elections last year, Yu’s three friends have also received letters that persuaded them to vote for the National Party. Yu said, “This is unprecedented in the history of New Zealand elections because everyone should have the freedom to choose who they want to vote for. You shouldn’t try to sway people’s opinions. Yet this has taken place in the Chinese community last elections.”
Yu indicated that China’s political interference of domestic politics has reached a stage where it dictates the voting preferences of a significant proportion of Chinese New Zealanders.
“The Chinese government’s threat of New Zealand’s sovereignty is similar to the Nazi’s infiltration of Argentina during World War ll,” added Yu.
He continued, “Actually, China’s infiltration has affected New Zealand to a greater extent than it has on Australia and the United States.”
“But I have yet seen any actions or acknowledgement from the mainstream society of New Zealand,” said Yu.
“Actually I think that the Labour party and the NZ First are all victims of such political interference. I hope that governing parties would acknowledge and initiate an investigation into such threat.”