Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese singers urged not to be pawns of Beijing

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party legislator yesterday made an appeal to local entertainers to boycott Chinese government-sponsored performances, which he said were part of Beijing's scheme to promote a song brainwashing its dissidents.

"When the Chinese government persecutes those who do not conform to its ideas such as Falun Gong practitioners, it always plays the the song called `The Same Song' (同一首歌)," said Legislator Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠).

The "Same Song," a well-known pop song in China, is the theme song and name of a popular musical variety TV show that first aired on the state-run China Central TV (CCTV) in 2000. It is also the name of a musical show that CCTV will stage in several North American cities around the time of the Lunar New Year this year.

Several Falun Gong adherents who were sent into forced labor camps in China have claimed that they were forced to repeatedly listen to and sing "The Same Song" as part of their indoctrination by Chinese officials.

Lee said that singers who participate in Beijing-sponsored musical shows might become the Chinese government's accomplices in the future, as their performances might be broadcast in the jails where its political opponents are held.

CCTV has begun to hold vocal performances in some North American cities to advertise the musical show, including one in Toronto on Jan. 15 and another in New York on Jan. 23.

"We have learned that some famous singers in Taiwan, such as Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) and Chi Chin (齊秦), among others, are going to attend the show in New York, and we urge them to cancel their plans," Lee said at a press conference held to address the issue.

Falun Gong practitioners view the song as an odious symbol of hatred and persecution, as it reminds them of the cruel oppression they have experienced, said Chang Ching-hsi (張清溪), the leader of Falun Gong's Taiwan branch.

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