The forthcoming presentation of the Chinese opera, “Red Guards on Honghu Lake” (Honghu) in the Sydney Opera House on 4 November and in Melbourne later on, represents a new attempt by the Chinese government to introduce soft power to influence Australia.
Similar to the “Red Detachment of Women” ballet, it has brought back much bad memory to many in the Chinese community of the class struggle, violence, hatred and disharmony that marked the Chinese Cultural Revolution and many other campaigns in which many people were killed, imprisoned or displaced.
The “Honghu” opera is said to be based on a real story in 1930 when the civil war out-broken between the Communist and kuomintang. It follows the Chinese communist thinking to justify violence, hatred under the theme of class struggle. We need to point out that this way of thinking is comparable to the ISIS’s theme of violence that uses religion as justification.
The opera presented many ‘revolutionary’ songs that glorify the Red Army. We all know that the Red Army killed massively during the long march especially targeting the land owners many of whom were innocent peasants. The killings remind us of the brutal acts of the Nazi Germany that targeted Jews for massacre. In other songs they praised the Red Army chief He Long who was one of the major killers during the civil war and who was promoted to the national leadership rank afterwards.
From history, the Red Army, as led by He Long, killed discriminatively to the extent it was against humanity. Today, why do we Australians endorse such acts and allow them to pass the long over-due condemnation and legal judgements? Through the “Honghu”, they are now portrayed as heroes; how would this be fair to those who were killed?
The promotions of the “Honghu” opera highlight the themes of “Fighting for freedom and for hope” and “liberation of all suffering people”, and use these to reflect on what is now happening in China.
This is disgusting for many in the Chinese community as it uses an art form to cover up the theme of promoting violence and glorifying the Red Army and it conveys a fake image about China nowadays.
In China, freedom and hope are diminishing for many people especially those in the lower end of the social stratum. People who are supposed to be liberated are found to have suffered more than ever.
After almost 70 years since CCP took over China, the hope for real democracy is almost unreachable; respect and care for human rights have reached the lowest mark with examples such as suppression of the small minorities, the imprisonment of the human right lawyers, and subtraction of freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly.
It is similar to violence as it kills the hopes of people, suppresses freedom and violates human rights.
In order to cover up or diffuse the reality of what is now happening in China; CCP is using the “Honghu” opera to deceive the Australian community by portraying as “art” format. We, in the Chinese community, think it is imperative to alert our fellow Australian of this “Uniting Front” tactic.
Many migrants from China come to Australia for democracy with freedom and the rule of law; we want to escape from the authoritarian ways of life and we want to tell the truth, the Chinese propaganda is the one that we want to alert our community of its adverse effect as it has tried to diffuse our understanding of the Chinese lack of democracy, violations of human rights, imprisonment prisoners of conscience, suppression of religions and small minorities.
The “Honghu” opera is not about freedom or hope, it is more about promoting class struggle and hatred, glorifying violence under communism and undermining existing regime.
It is definitely unable to reflect on the ‘spirit’ of contemporary China which has now a much bigger enclave for slavery, suppression and subjugation.
The “Honghu” opera is presented by a China’s support company in Australia, in the name of promoting cultural exchanges – a way to influence Australia by using soft power, art of languages, presumptions and lies.
Prepared by the Australian Values Alliance