At 4:30 p.m. on May 4, South Korea’s Seoul Southern District Court surprisingly reversed its own decision: Shen Yun Performing Arts, a major Chinese classical dance company, would not be allowed to perform in Seoul’s KBS Hall after all. The decision came just before a long national holiday weekend, leaving no avenue of appeal.
The cancellation of the show in Seoul appears to have come as a shock to both Shen Yun and its local promoters, who had successfully fought the initial attempts by KBS to renege on their contract.
Just a couple of weeks prior, the same court had ruled that Shen Yun would, indeed, be able to perform.
In the new decision, what had been the subtext of the case all along finally came out into the open: The Chinese regime was exerting enormous pressure behind the scenes on the prospective host.
KBS Hall is a state-owned venue attached to the largest national broadcaster, Korean Broadcasting Service. It carries on a working relationship with China’s official state broadcaster, China Central Television. And it received multiple letters from the Chinese Embassy in Korea, obtained by Epoch Times, demanding that it not host Shen Yun.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is the only large-scale Chinese performing arts company that is based outside China and is entirely independent of the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, according to its website, many of its dancers and company members are practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual discipline that is brutally persecuted by the Party.
“The current period is the best time in China–Korea relations, and exchanges between the two countries are ever deepening,” a letter by the Chinese Embassy to KBS dated Jan. 22 said. “KBS is Korea’s largest television station and its influence on Korea is significant; it also has friendly ties with China Central Television.”
The note then took a menacing turn: “China places a high level of importance on cooperation with KBS and hopes that KBS will consider China–Korea relations when making decisions. Do not provide a venue for Shen Yun to perform.”
So KBS Hall attempted to get out of the contract.
The first judgment, rendered on April 19, said that KBS Hall was not allowed to do so, and that its arguments in support of its position largely made no sense.
The new decision, made after an appeal by KBS Hall, cited the amount of money that KBS Hall said it would stand to lose if it was economically punished by China. This was a key component of the consideration in the new decision.
The decision reasoned that if KBS allowed Shen Yun to perform, and received retaliation as a result, the company would stand to lose $8 billion in revenue from doing business with China. If KBS prevented Shen Yun from performing, however, it would only need to compensate the performing arts company’s losses.
The Shen Yun company touring in Korea, consisting of nearly 90 dancers, singers, and musicians, was in the city of Ulsan at the time the decision was made, and had fully expected to travel to the capital the following day to perform.
“South Korea’s democracy and freedom have been dealt a blow, as it appears that Korean courts now listen to Beijing,” Shen Yun said in a statement.
Changsik Lee, the president of New Cosmos Media, Shen Yun’s promoter in Korea, said that they were still formulating a response.
“We are working on calling all people who purchased tickets and returning their money,” Lee wrote in a hurried email. “This is too urgent, because the show was scheduled for tomorrow and people made plans. There are many foreign audience members, too, who are visiting Seoul to watch Shen Yun.”
Thousands of tickets had been sold to the Seoul performance, likely leaving thousands of disappointed Koreans. Audience responses to the performance in the city of Jeonju indicated a public that resonated strongly with Shen Yun’s presentation of China’s traditional culture.
Ryu Ryun-Jeong, a traditional Korean dance teacher, saw Shen Yun at the Sori Arts Center in Jeonju on April 30. “I was struck by everything, from the dances to the music … Words seem feeble in the face of such emotion,” she said in an interview with Epoch Times. “Every now and then I had tears running down my face. I just couldn’t help it.
“The fairies dancing on the water—not in my life could I have imagined something that beautiful,” she said.
Changsik Lee said that his company would be initiating litigation against KBS for the damage caused to Shen Yun.
“In the past, when the Chinese consulates and embassies tried sabotaging Shen Yun performances, [they] never admitted [to] coercing the theaters, elected officials, or the legal systems of other countries,” Shen Yun said in a statement on its website. “But by issuing two official documents to Seoul’s KBS Hall, the Chinese Embassy has this time provided direct evidence of its intentions.”
The statement concluded: “The court orders document these manipulation tactics beyond China’s borders. They also show the regime’s use of political power and financial benefit to try and censor the performing arts world.”

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A party of Chinese men and women upset local diners at a restaurant in Seoul’s Myeongdong District by engaging in lewd sexual behavior at the table. The group ignored complaints about the disturbance and eventually had to be reseated.
In attendance at the Feb. 23 dinner were three Chinese diplomats stationed in Korea, including Consul Wang Xianmin, South Korea’s JTBC Television reported on Feb. 26.
How can such people represent their country as diplomats?— Korean netizen

The party, numbering over a dozen people, had devolved into a drunken din. Several of the men made obscene contact with the women sitting around them, and their moans were audible throughout the restaurant.
“In addition to kissing, caressing, and men burying their faces in female bosoms … some of the women sat in the men’s laps,” ChinaGate, a major overseas Chinese-language news outlet, reported.  
Heavily censored screenshots from video taken at the scene. (Images via JTBC)
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About thirty other customers were in the restaurant, including high school girls and young children.
One witness interviewed by JTBC saw a woman in the party wearing the torso piece of a traditional Korean dress.
The licentiousness spilled into the restroom when a man and woman went in there together in an intoxicated state, a high school girl at the restaurant said. The couple’s sounds of ecstasy could be heard from outside, she told JTBC.
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The party was reseated after complaints from other customers at the family restaurant. Staff said that the party had come from the Chinese embassy.
According to the JTBC report, Consul Wang Xianmin is an expert with over ten years in Sino-Korean relations, while the other two are lesser diplomats stationed at the embassy.
Koreans were enraged by the reports, which soon made it to the top of web traffic lists on Duam, a major Korean net portal. Internet users left 1,700 comments within four hours of the JTBC broadcast.  
Already-weak ties between China and South Korea could only suffer from the scandalous incident, the JTBC report said.
“How can such people represent their country as diplomats?” one angry netizen wrote. “They humiliate their own nation and won’t gain any respect from other countries.”
“These diplomats of the Chinese Communist Party are on the same level as hoodlums, the restaurant boss should have reported this to the police,” another said. “To have this sort of promiscuous behavior in a restaurant is sin.”
This is a common occurrence in China, there’s nothing special about it.— Chinese netizen

“High in position, low in nature,” said one user with regard to the diplomats.
Chinese netizen reactions were mixed. Some expressed shame at the incident, while others rebuked the Koreans.
“Why have the Korean gooks suddenly become so conservative?” one slur-slinging Chinese user wrote. “This is a common occurrence in China, there’s nothing special about it.”
A more critical comment goes: “You’re a diplomat in a foreign country but you can’t control the lower half of your body. How about you do surgery and become a eunuch first?”
One lampooned the communist system by parodying the iconic propaganda song “The East Is Red.” “The Communist Party has undergone highly advanced sexual education and has a powerful libido. They’ll do it wherever they go. The Communist Party is like the sun, shining wherever it goes.”
“This incident tells us that when barbarian lowlifes hold power, they make a huge mess around the world,” a Korean web user wrote. “The Korean authorities and common citizens should all realize this.”
It’s not the first time Chinese embassy staff have been in the media spotlight by unwelcome behavior in Korea. In May 2008, a worker at the Chinese consulate in the city of Gwangju was stopped by police when he caused an accident while driving drunk. He was detained after he tried to kick the officers.
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