Last month, Liberty Itch revealed how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses Chinese culture and the Chinese-Australian diaspora to engage in influence-grabbing, covert-operations in Australia.

Such tactics are a threat to Australian democracy as these operations are often intended to weaken the democratic process, hampering the ability of many Australian citizens and leaders to voice their dissent against the anti-freedom Chinese government.

The lack of criticism in mainstream society towards Beijing’s human rights abuses and
its interference in our country have become ‘normal’.

So, today, we are going to dissect yet another instance of Chinese Communist Party soft power in South Australia, this time through the guise of ‘arts and cultural exchange’.

The formula is simple once articulated: create fear and intimidation on one hand and use soft power on the other.

Look hard enough and you’ll discover surreptitious soft-power influence in the Adelaide Festival Centre, the heart of the arts in South Australia.

The venue, of course, is vibrant, upmarket and inviting. With its unique design and diverse range of events and performances, the Adelaide Festival Centre is well-loved by all interested in the arts.

Hosted in this iconic arts venue, the China Today Arts Week Showcase is sponsored by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, which refers to itself as a “national non-governmental organisation.” Manipulation is almost invisible, but for the listing of Xi Jinping’s wife as a Vice-President in its Beijing-based headquarters.

China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Leadership chart

The China Federation of Literary and Art Circles aims to “unite and serve writers and artists, to train literary and art talents, and to promote the development and prosperity of literature and arts”, according to its website.

“Unite” is the keyword to which one should pay attention. We talked about the United Front Work Department (UFWD) in previous articles and how the UFWD conducts interference in Australia.

In essence, the UFWD aims to bring together all the forces that can be united and mobilise all people in and resources outside China for its national security interest.

All people. Artists, painters, arts lovers, business executives, residents, politicians etc. Everyone should be used to “unite” and increase Beijing’s soft power. That is the UFWD philosophy.

Although the China Today Arts Week Showcase is linked to the Chinese Communist Party, Liberty Itch fully supports the right to free artistic expression, performances and gatherings. Libertarians are not in favour of prohibiting non-violent activities.

One can, of course, undo the CCP’s deceptive and covert influence-grabbing techniques by bringing clarity and transparency to the situation. Readers of Liberty Itch can be informed of the real purpose of this CCP exhibition and make conscious choices which art providers they wish to back: those who work to connect people to their humanity, versus those people connected to the crimes against humanity in the name of the arts.

To take pleasure in authentic, top-notch Chinese culture free of CCP influence, consider backing the 2023 Shen Yun in Australia. Through this troupe, Beijing’s ability to control and manipulate the narrative of Chinese culture and history can be minimised.


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