China Deports Australian Dancer for Ties to Falun Gong

Classic Arts News   China Deports Australian Dancer for Ties to Falun Gong
A dancer with the Sydney Dance Company was deported from China this week for allegedly having Falun Gong materials with him, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Xue-Jun Wang, who had traveled to Shanghai with the dance company for a production of Graeme Murphy's Mulan, returned to Sydney today.

A statement from the Australian department of foreign affairs said that Wang was detained by Chinese officials and asked to leave China. Wang says he was arrested during a rehearsal.

According to the Herald, Murphy tried to intervene in the arrest, putting himself between Wang and the arresting officers.

"Graeme Murphy was an absolute hero," Wang said.

Wang was taken back to his hotel room, where his bags were searched. He was put on an airplane to Sydney still dressed in his rehearsal clothes.

According to Kay Rubacek, a Falun Gong spokesperson, the Chinese-born Wang and his wife both follow the spiritual practice, which has been suppressed by the Chinese government. "I believe [the deportation] is a disgrace," Rubacek said. "It just goes to show how widespread this persecution and discrimination is."

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