Canada's former Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific Mr. David Kilgour was interviewed on January 24, 2010, after learning that the Hong Kong government refused to issue entry visas to six key production staff members of Shen Yun Performing Arts. The visa refusals resulted in the cancelation of seven sold-out shows in Hong Kong.
Mr. Kilgour said, "It is a very very sad day for the residents of Hong Kong. They have been known around the world as being believers in the rule of law and democracy and respect for people; and this decision to deny the visas shows that it's the party state in Beijing that is running the affairs in Hong Kong."
Mr. Kilgour believed that this is going to have repercussions for Hong Kong in many ways. He said, "Why would a prudent investor invest money in a jurisdiction where there is no rule of law or respect for human dignity? I have been to Hong Kong many times and have met with the officials of the government of Hong Kong, and I suspect that most of them are as dismayed about this decision as most of the people who have heard of it around the world. It's appalling."
Mr. Kilgour said that the Hong Kong government's denial of Shen Yun production staff their entry visas "is as dumb as dumb can be. Anybody can see through it, they just didn't want to see the traditional culture of China shown to the people of Hong Kong. There probably isn't a person in Hong Kong who doesn't see through it."
Mr. Kilgour and his family have seen the show in past years, and had high praise for it. He said that Shen Yun Performing Arts "send a message about the history and the culture and the dancing and the costumes, which are such a vital part of centuries of Chinese history."
He said that the decision is just sending the message that, "For the apparatchiks who run the party-state, they want people to forget about the cultural history of China and they want only soldiers doing the goose step to be seen, as that seems to be their idea of culture in China."
Mr. Kilgour continued by citing a story of the little girl who sang a song at Beijing's 2008 Olympics, "I don't have to remind anyone in Hong Kong about that wonderful little girl who sang the song last year and some moron in the Party decided that she wasn't beautiful enough to sing it so they used her voice and had another little girl who they thought was prettier sing it. To me, that's what Chinese culture is to the Party or the party-state in China - it's an absolute fraud with a capital F."
He said, "There is an increasing consensus that the only thing that the Party stands for is trying to hold on to office, and there is a growing consensus that they have no principles. ... So what it shows to the world, I think, is that they don't want to see the more wholesome, the more traditional side of China's culture. they want to see nothing but propaganda from the television - which is what they broadcast to people 24/7 now. They don't want to see the historical side of China that reflects the values that most Chinese, I think, hold."
As one of the independent investigators of allegations of the Chinese Communist regime's organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners, and co-author of Bloody Harvest, Mr. Kilgour said, "David Matas and I argue in our book Bloody Harvest that the values of Falun Gong, Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, are the genuine values of the Chinese people historically, and hopefully now too. We think that eventually the regime is just going to crumble and it will be replaced by a democracy."
Mr. Kilgour said in the end, "The Shen Yun show sends the message that the costumes and the culture and the dancing and the singing represent centuries of Chinese history. It's just the apparatchiks that run the party-state want people to forget about the cultural history of China."