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World News | China’s cultural crackdown closes comedy, music shows

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Beijing [China]May 26 (ANI): Over the course of a few days, a Japanese choral group toured China, held stand-up comedy shows in several cities, a jazz show in Beijing and more than a dozen were abruptly canceled, The New York Times reports.

Some shows were canceled minutes before they were supposed to start, and there was no explanation.

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Just before the show was canceled, Beijing authorities fined a Chinese comedy studio about $2 million after one of its stand-up comedians was accused of insulting the Chinese military in a joke; The women who defended the comedian.

According to the New York Times, the penalties, and the sudden deluge of cancellations that followed, are indicative of increased scrutiny in an already heavily censored creative sector in China.

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China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has made art and culture center stage for ideological repression, demanding that artists align their creative ambitions with the goals of the Chinese Communist Party and promoting a nationalist sense of Chinese identity. Performers must submit scripts or repertoires for review, and publication is closely monitored.

Xi Jinping sent a letter to the National Art Museum of China on Tuesday to mark its 60th anniversary, reminding staff to “adhere to the correct political direction”.

The Chinese president’s emphasis on the arts is also part of a broader focus on national security and combating so-called malign foreign influence.

In recent weeks, authorities have raided the Chinese offices of several Western consulting firms or consultants and expanded the conduct covered by anti-espionage laws.

Many of the canceled events were supposed to feature foreign performers or speakers.

Zhang Ping, a former Chinese journalist and political commentator, said Beijing was also looking to the cultural sphere, which was to be expected given that its deteriorating relationship with the West had made it more focused on maintaining its grip on domestic power. According to the New York Times, he lives in Germany. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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