As soon as China’s controversial opera “Lake Honghu” arrived in Australia, it was met with protesters from the local Chinese-Australian community who are concerned about the “silent invasion” of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) ideology in Australia.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi told The Epoch Times, “The ‘Lake Honghu’ opera performance, is yet another attempt, through China’s ‘soft diplomacy’, to positively influence Australians’ view of China.”
“I have called for a royal commission into Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia but, despite overwhelming evidence, the federal government has rejected that call. I fear that China’s persuasive and insidious influence may already extend to our government benches,” Senator Bernardi said.
Protest banners and boards calling on Australians to boycott “Lake Honghu” were on full display outside the iconic Opera House in Sydney as well as outside the Melbourne Recital Centre earlier this month. The two arts precincts were the selected venues for the performance of the revolutionary red opera.
Zhang Xiaogang, founder of the Australian community group Australian Values Alliance (AVA) that made up the mainstay of protesters, said he wanted to alert his fellow Australians to the “red poison” that is seeping into Western society through such CCP-funded artistic propaganda events.
“This is not an ordinary opera, but rather the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of Australia through propaganda that glorifies the Communist Party,” he said.
Li Yuanhua, a former associate professor in history education at Beijing’s Capital Normal University, the story that the performance describes is of the CCP establishing a Chinese Soviet Republic around the Lake Honghu region in the 1930s where it “engaged in armed separatism, intent to overthrow the Republic of China through uprisings and violent revolution.”
“The CCP led the Red Guards to spread misinformation about the ROC in the Lake Honghu area, inciting hate among the populace, with the goal of gaining support for a revolution among the people.
“The Red Guards seized land and set houses on fire, extorted money and forced ‘confessions’ using torture. They beat up and shot dead landlords and the wealthy, and raped the daughters and wives of their victims. They shouted that they would ‘spread the Red Terror’, and ‘kill off all the wealthy landlords, evil gentry, and counter-revolutionaries.’
“Wherever the Red Guards went, they left a trail of blood and corpses behind,” Li said in his op-ed.
Li believes the purpose of CCP funding red operas like “Lake Honghu” overseas is to “promote a positive image of communism and promote violent revolution.” He added, “It’s a product used to brainwash.”
The performances went ahead as scheduled after nearly 3,000 people signed petitions to both the NSW and Victorian ministers for the arts to “Stop the Red Opera.”
Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, says the CCP’s invasion of Australia is “a ‘silent invasion’ because it has been done secretly, covertly, underneath the radar.”
“So I think that any Chinese scholars who say that Beijing’s influence is really a spread of Chinese culture, that’s something we can welcome … But not if it’s Chinese Communist Party culture.
“And not if it’s the political power of the Communist Party that’s being veiled behind so-called ‘Chinese culture’ as a way of manipulating this country and the way that Beijing tries to manipulate other countries,” Professor Hamilton said.
Senator Bernardi has told Sydney radio station 2CH's Kel Richards, the failure of the Morrison government to call a royal commission into Chinese influence in Australia is of great concern.
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