Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Communist China Ramps Up Efforts to Intimidate Shen Yun With Sabotage, Unhinged Threats of Violence

Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: March 27, 2024
Shen Yun’s Global Performing Arts troupe receives a warm welcome upon returning from its acclaimed tour across Europe on March 14, 2023 at Newark International Airport. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

In the most recent manifestation of efforts to sabotage the growing cultural force that is Shen Yun, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted the popular performing arts company with a series of bombing and mass shooting threats, and acts of vandalism on U.S. soil.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, has long been a thorn on the CCP’s side for its portrayal of authentic Chinese culture and spirituality prior to the ravages of communist rule.

The first of these threats was received on March 14, aiming directly at Shen Yun’s headquarters in upstate New York, as reported by The Epoch Times on March 25. Delivered to Shen Yun via email, the threat warned of a “remote-controlled bomb” that had been supposedly placed at Dragon Springs, Shen Yun’s training facilities in Deerpark, Orange County. The campus also houses several temples built in the style of China’s Tang Dynasty, which was one of the most prosperous and harmonious periods in Chinese history. 

Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music performance, bringing to life 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage to audiences across the globe in a brand new production each year. Here, a packed house is seen during curtain call for Shen Yun’s performance in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 1, 2023. (Image: Emily Jiang/Vision Times)

Composed of more than 500 elite performers from all over the world trained in an artistic tradition stretching back millennia, Shen Yun currently has eight companies that perform and tour simultaneously across Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Oceania, reaching an audience of about 1 million a year.

Communist China’s campaign to sabotage and smear Shen Yun go back as far as the company itself. Founded in 2006 by Chinese-American believers of the traditional spiritual discipline Falun Gong, some of Shen Yun’s dances depict the severe and still-ongoing persecution that their faith suffers in mainland China.

Other pieces in the roughly two-hour-long performances feature various forms of classical Chinese dance, dances from China’s diversity of ethnic minority groups, as well as dramatized renditions of important episodes from Chinese history or legends.

Slashed tires, bomb threats, repeated warnings of mass shooting

Within the span of one week, Shen Yun had reportedly received three bomb threats in addition to seeing two of its tour buses deliberately vandalized by having its tires’ slashed. Later, on March 26, the company’s headquarters received a series of emails claiming that mass shootings and detonations of “multiple C4 plastic bombs” would take place at Dragon Springs to help the CCP get rid of “traitors.”

On March 15, 2024 Costa Mesa Police Department reported the slash as a “fresh cut” on the sidewall of a Shen Yun tour bus tire. Authorities said the tire was sabotaged to burst on the freeway rather than deflate. (Image: Courtesy of Shen Yun Security)

The subsequent threats were directed at theaters scheduled to host Shen Yun performances, with menacing emails warning of bombs placed in venues unless Shen Yun was “immediately” barred from performing.

“We randomly placed a lot of bombs in the theater,” one of the emails sent to theater administrators in California read. “If you don’t want us to detonate the bombs, please refuse Shen Yun Performing Arts to perform here immediately!”

Similar bombing and mass shooting threats were made at theaters hosting Shen Yun in Taiwan, as well as the Taoyuan International Airport and even the presidential palace. One message even threatened the rape and murder of Shen Yun performers if their shows were allowed to be held.

These incidents not only forced evacuations and thorough searches by law enforcement agencies — including the FBI — but also sowed a seed of fear and uncertainty among theatergoers and the general public.

“I can confirm there was a bomb threat to the theater on Saturday afternoon. An investigation took place and it revealed the threat was false,” a Vancouver Police Department spokesperson told The Epoch Times regarding a false alarm in that city.


The new threats made at Shen Yun were sent in Chinese, with the C4 bombing threat demanding a transfer of “US$58 million before 3 pm tomorrow [i.e. March 27].

Sent from a separate address, the mass shooting threat didn’t mention a ransom, but simply that “We will sneak into the Dragon Springs Temple in the Shawangunk Ridge, upstate New York, in the near future, shooting at whomever we see with guns and throwing grenades at crowds!”

A third email written in profanity-filled Chinese appeared to address the fact that previous threats had been publicized and reported to the authorities.

“Me, your Big Boss, has made headlines hundreds of times!” the email reads, adding that “the FBI isn’t worth worrying about at all” and the U.S. authorities would eventually ignore the repeated threats to Shen Yun like “the boy who cried wolf.”

“Then one day [I] will really place bomb[s] in the theater. If it kills one of you, there will be one less traitor,” it said.

None of the threats have come to pass.

However, last September a man of Chinese descent was named in an FBI officer safety alert as having “made threats to the Dragon Springs campus,” been seen in the area, and being “potentially armed and dangerous.”

The man’s presence near Dragon Springs put the campus and those there on edge, and prompted state police to patrol the area’s entrances around the clock.

“Police subsequently searched the man’s home and found a handgun, an AR-15 rifle, more than 600 rounds of ammunition, and 14 magazines for the weapons, about half of which were loaded,” The Epoch Times reported based on police documents it obtained from the incident.

CCP’s ‘base and despicable acts’ a disgrace to Chinese civilization

The CCP’s fear of Shen Yun’s soft power highlights the transformative influence of art and culture. Shen Yun’s portrayal of China’s rich civilization before communism offers a starkly different narrative from the CCP’s tyrannical ideology, which strives to graft atheist Marxism onto the Chinese identity.

Ying Chen, a vice-president of Shen Yun, told The Epoch Times that she believes the emails “really are the last-ditch effort of a regime to hide the truth.”

“First, they threatened governments to not allow Shen Yun. When that didn’t really work, they started threatening theaters. When that didn’t really work, they started slashing our bus tires,” she said.

“When that didn’t stop us, they started smear campaigns online and sent crazy emails to theater managers. Now, they have stooped even lower, sending ‘bomb threat’ emails.”

Shen Yun dancers rehearse a classical Chinese dance routine at their facility in Orange County, N.Y., in this file photo. (Image: Courtesy of Shen Yun)
Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music performance, bringing to life 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage to audiences across the globe in a brand new production each year. (Image: Shen Yun Performing Arts)

RELATED: Artistic Freedom Under Siege: New Report Exposes the CCP’s Widespread Censorship and Oppression of Falun Gong, Shen Yun

“Shen Yun shows the world just how profound, inspiring, and magnificent authentic Chinese culture was before the CCP seized power, while also offering a captivating vision for how wonderful China could be once again without the CCP,” said Chen.

This campaign of intimidation also extends beyond bomb threats and vandalism. Shen Yun’s performers and staff have faced harassment and surveillance, tactics aimed at instilling fear and deterring their mission. The cutting of tour bus tires in a manner intended to cause accidents is particularly sinister and shows the CCP’s willingness to endanger lives in order to achieve its objectives. 

Such acts of sabotage not only threaten the safety of Shen Yun’s performers but also seek to disrupt the cultural celebration and exchange that Shen Yun facilitates, Chen noted. “This is the last thing the CCP wants demonstrated so clearly on stages around the world, and so for more than 15 years, they have stopped at nothing to thwart Shen Yun.”

“The CCP’s evil traits have persisted since it seized power in China in 1949. It has been ruling China through violence and totalitarianism, permeating all facets of society and extending its influence abroad,” Diana Cheng, an opinion author for The Epoch Times, wrote in a March 27 editorial on the fake bombing threats.

“China, with its five-thousand-year-old civilization, was known as a land of morality and decorum. However, over the past seven decades, CCP leaders have engaged in extremely base and despicable acts that tarnish the reputation of both China and its citizens,” Cheng’s editorial continued.