On August 26, we reported that friends of the Chinese Communist regime planned to hold concerts at the Sydney and Melbourne city halls in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of Chairman Mao’s death. The two events were being paid for by a long list of sponsors – pro-Communist “cultural exchange associations,” Beijing-linked “media groups,” a Chinese-Australian-owned construction firm, a Chinese-Australian financial services group, and so on. As we noted, the promotional materials for the concerts were nothing but sheer propaganda, celebrating Mao as a beloved, charming hero who brought his country peace, democracy, and greatness.
The planned concerts, however, were opposed by many Chinese-Australians whose families had been victims of Mao’s bloodthirsty dictatorship. Indeed, this and other such pro-Beijing events had in recent years underscored the rift between Chinese-Australians whose families had fled Mao’s China decades ago and more recently arrived Chinese immigrants who have business connections to the current Communist regime. When plans for the Mao memorial concerts were made public, several anti-Maoist Chinese-Australians formed the Embrace Australian Values Alliance and posted online petitions calling for the concerts’ cancellation.
In our August 26 post, we indicated that the city governments in both Sydney and Melbourne had responded to the petition by throwing their hands up: they’d rented out space to the concert organizers and had no power to cancel them.
That wasn’t the end of it, however. On September 1, news came that both events were off. Municipal authorities in Sydney had put the kibosh on the planned concert in that city owing to “concerns over public and patron safety.” As for the Melbourne concert, it had been called off by the organizers. The Embrace Australian Values Alliance applauded the decision of the Sydney city fathers but promised that their “resistance against Maoism’s invasion into Australia” would continue, and that they would organize organize events raising public awareness of the “dangers of Mao poison and red poison.”
Australia isn’t the only Western country that’s experiencing a worrying upswing in Communist Chinese influence – and a rise in public events celebrating Mao’s legacy. While the concerts in Sydney and Melbourne were stopped in time, eight thousand miles away another another such event went ahead as scheduled. In Richmond, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, a Mao memorial concert took place on September 3.
As in Australia, the event – at which performers sang The East Is Red (the Chinese national anthem during the Cultural Revolution) and a song praising Mao as “China’s saviour” – outraged many local residents of Chinese ancestry, about thirty of whom held a protest outside the concert. The protesters belonged to the Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Values, a group of Chinese-Canadians whose goal is to “spread and embrace Canadian values to immigrant Chinese communities.” Describing Mao as “the biggest tyrant in human history,” the group’s founder, Beijing-born Louis Huang, said that his grandmother, now 103 years old, had been a prisoner in one of Mao’s labor camps.
As it happens, Maoists in British Columbia have been keeping Huang and his group busy lately. More tomorrow.