ER Editor: We couldn’t resist this mightily ODD story. The 30-minute video of Youtuber pianist Brendan Kavanagh being confronted by these known Chinese ‘operatives’ at London’s St. Pancras station (where Eurostar originates) is interesting and instructive. We recommend the follow-up 5-minute video by UK journalist Mahyar Tousi, who identifies some of these players. It all feels like an outing. Watching all videos linked to, it feels like there is much more behind this ‘incident’.
In an event that has now become an international debate and diplomatic snafu, a popular YouTube piano player by the name of Brendan Kavanagh was filming a live stream at a public piano at London St Pancras station when Chinese citizens, some of them known to work for CCP groups in the UK, confronted him.
Kavanagh is renowned for his surprise musical performances at public pianos around the UK, where he entertains shoppers and travelers. In the UK, filming in public is legal and does not require permission, nor does it require release agreements from any of the people that might end up on camera. However, Chinese “tourists” later identified as members of the CCP, some of them working for CCP front organizations in the UK, were apparently not aware of this, or just didn’t care. The full confrontation is available in the video below:
ER: The comments below this video are very interesting.
One female member of the group initially has a friendly conversation with Kavanagh, who is told by another man that they are filming for Japanese TV. This proved to be incorrect, or perhaps a miscommunication. The woman was later identified as Adelina Zhang, a CCP agent who has hosted state functions for China in the UK for many years, rubbing elbows with some of Britain’s top politicians.
The friendly exchange becomes aggressive, however, when other members of her team realize they are on film and Kavanagh is a YouTuber. They argue that he is not allowed to film them or post the video to YouTube because they have a “non-disclosure” agreement with the company they are working for (they claim they were waiting to use the piano to film a sequence for Chinese TV). They threaten “legal action” if Kavanagh posts the video.
Kavanagh points out they are in Britain, not in communist China, and that he has every right to film in a public area.
The man who escalates the argument into threats and accuses the piano player of “racism” for calling the Chinese flag “communist” is Newton Leng. He works as a consultant for Financial Times and is a member of the IOE Confucius Institute, a well known front organization for the CCP operating in numerous western countries. The Confucius Institute has been investigated on a number of occasions for infiltration of key British organizations and for the promotion of the Chinese communist ideology in western schools.
One can easily gather that these are people who are used to having their orders obeyed, and they didn’t know how to respond to Kavanagh when he began questioning their demands. They quickly shift from fake friendliness to authoritarian posturing to violent screaming when it becomes clear they are not going to get what they want. It is perhaps a rare insight into how communist party members operate in China when they engage with the general population (the peasantry) – making the rules up as they go.
Brendan Kavanagh noted in a recent interview on the event that he has been contacted by a number of Chinese citizens who told him that this is the kind of incident that would lead to a person being “taken off to the camps” in China. Angering CCP officials is simply not tolerated.
Adelina Zhang would later release a video (which appears to be carefully scripted) in which she accused Kavanagh of racism that triggered the argument; a tactic which communists around the world have learned to use whenever their bad behavior is exposed. One might wonder what the CCP group was really doing there and why they were so insistent that they not be identified on camera?
Sadly, the UK is not quite as free as Kavanagh might have believed. London Police arrived and also threatened him, asserting that he could not publish his footage to YouTube (he absolutely legally can), and now the piano at St Pancras Station is cordoned off from the public by London officials. The event was not only a lesson in the communist authoritarian mindset in China, but also a lesson in how much this mindset has spread into parts of the west like a cancer.
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