Australia has cancelled a planned concert series glorifying the life of Mao Zedong following backlash from the country’s Chinese community.
The concerts, originally due to take place in Sydney and Melbourne on September 6th and 9th respectively, caused upset among the Chinese diaspora, with a large number seeing their families suffer during the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward.
Earlier today Reuters reported that a spokesperson for the City of Sydney said in an email that the council had “concerns regarding the potential for civil disturbance, patron-to-patron conflict and staff-to-patron conflict,” cancelling the event.
— Brianna Roberts (@BriannaNEWS) August 25, 2016
A spokeswoman for the City of Melbourne said the concert was also cancelled in that city, but declined to give a reason.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the events were being organized by “business, community and patriotic associations” that share “close ties to the Chinese embassy.”
— SBS Mandarin普通话电台 (@sbschinese) August 25, 2016
Key organizers include the International Cultural Exchange Association Australia and the LB Homes Group. The latter held a “high-profile commemorative event” back in September 2015 celebrating the 70th anniversary of China’s victory against Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The news will no doubt be welcomed by the “Embrace Australian Values Alliance” who earlier held protests against the controversial performances. They had also put together a petition on change.org calling for the removal of such events.