Via Animal Person: Xie Zheng — an officer of the Chinese Vegetarian Union, a rock musician, & a founder of the organization Don’t Eat Friends — was an invited delegate (the only one from China) to the International Vegetarian Union’s 38th World Vegetarian Congress, which began on July 27 in Dresden & is running until August 3.
However, the German embassy denied him a visa — it doesn’t seem to be clear why — & despite letters of support from noted veg*n activists in several countries, they refused to budge.
The Vegan Social Club of Beijing blog criticizes Germany’s decision:
After all, how often do idealistic young Chinese vegetarians get invited to Dresden by hundred-year-old European institutions to meet “the world”, play music and exchange ideas on peace? How often do Chinese individuals get portrayed positively in the European press? How often do European media have the chance to report positive, accurate stories about progressive areas like vegetarianism, non-violence and animal advocacy in China?
Let me make a wild guess: Not as often as a sort of faceless, impersonal “China” gets portrayed negatively and (almost always) inaccurately for a very narrow range of stereotypical “bad news” items.
And yet, when a real live Chinese idealist of impeccable ethics is invited by a venerable, century-old European institution, you’re not interested in enabling the world to hear that “good news” story.