Swedes Take Exception to the Chinese Embassy's Attempt to Keep Divine Performing Arts Out of the Country

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Divine Performing Arts (DPA) is scheduled to perform in Stockholm on March 24th-26th and in Linkoping on March 27th. The Chinese Embassy in Stockholm threatened that relations between the Linkoping and China would deteriorate if the show was not stopped. The city government of Linkoping rebuffed the Chinese Embassy's threats. For the past few days the Swedish national news media has reported the incident.

Last Friday a Chinese Embassy official called Johan Lundgren, chief of the Cultural and Recreational Board of Linkoping, and demanded that DPA performances be stopped, or relations between Linkoping and China would be affected.

Sweden respects democracy and freedom of speech. Only a few hours after the report of the incident, almost 40 Swedish nationals called the Corren, a regional Swedish newspaper, in response to the report, condemning the Chinese Embassy's attempt and protesting the Chinese Embassy's behavior.

Lisabeta, headmistress of a language school for adults in the southern part of Stockholm, had received a flyer advertising the DPA performances in Stockholm and Linkoping. Being so busy, originally she did not intend to see the show and left the flyer on her desk.

When she saw the report on TV about how the Chinese Embassy threatened Swedish officials in its attempt to stop the DPA performances, she found it hard to understand the Chinese government's behavior. Then she recalled the DPA flyer in her office. After she arrived at school the following Monday, she found the flyer, read the information carefully, and then checked the website for more information. Then she talked about the show with some teachers at her school. They wondered why China would be afraid of Swedish people seeing such a fascinating performance about ancient Chinese culture. They concluded that the performance must be extraordinary.

During a break, the headmistress found the student who had given her the DPA flyer. She thanked him and told him that she would go see the show.

Around 40,000 Chinese people live in Sweden. Some of them already know about the upcoming DPA performances and have booked tickets. When she heard that DPA was coming to Sweden, a lady from southern China booked two tickets for herself and her husband, an engineer. Then she bought two more tickets for her husband's friends that were visiting from out of town.

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