Tianjin’s agt acrobat troupe will be performing on Chinese television and radio during a two-week tour after they were “caught by the Chinese authorities red handed”.
The troupe has performed for years on the Chinese stage but this time they are going to be performing in the country for the first time after being caught red handed in front of Chinese audiences by a Chinese government official.
“We were just getting off stage on stage when they caught us red handed and we were caught red-handed and we’re being prosecuted by the government,” said Wang Guan, a former Chinese national acrobat who was one of the dancers.
“So we’ve been told we’re under arrest, but we’re in court right now, so I can’t say what is happening right now,” Mr Wang added.
“But I am really happy and grateful to be a part of the Chinese community and I feel proud to be part of Chinese culture, and to be able to show my performances on television and on radio.”
I’m really happy that we can do it.
It’s really important to show people our culture and we have a lot of respect for the Chinese culture and the Chinese people.
“The trouper, whose name means “pilgrimage” in Chinese, were caught by a government official at the end of the performance in Nanjing, where they were in front a large audience of more than 500,000 people.”
They were just walking down the stage in the rain, and the official came up to them and told them to stand back down and not move,” Mr Zhou said.”
It was quite tense because we didn’t know what was going on, and they were trying to make sure we didn- so they told us to stand down.
“And so we stood up and walked off stage and they said, ‘Sorry, you’re not allowed to move’.”
Mr Zhou and his fellow dancers were taken away for questioning by police and taken to the Nanjing Public Security Bureau to be searched, where the officials found two pieces of fake documents in their pockets.
“When they took us away, the official said to me, ‘There’s a problem here, so we’re going to charge you with sedition’,” Mr Zhou explained.
One was in my pocket and the other was in his pocket. “
They found two fake documents.
One was in my pocket and the other was in his pocket.
They searched them again and again and searched again.
So they charged us with seditious behaviour.”
Mr Zhou was charged under section 201 of the China’s criminal code, which carries a penalty of two years in prison.
He was released on bail on Thursday.
In addition to being charged, Mr Zhou and Mr Zhou’s fellow performers have been banned from performing for three months and Mr Zhao and Mr Yang are also being investigated for their participation.
The performers have not yet been charged and the authorities have not commented on the case.