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Florida Splendid China Links on the Internet

Florida Splendid China information on the WWW

Collected Statements
The collected statements from Sunny Yang, President of Florida Splendid China
The collected statements from Scott Shaw, former vice president of China Travel Service
The collected statements from Frank Langley, (former) Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China
The collected statements from Sam Mok, Another Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China

Be sure to read the other official statements about the park.

Florida Splendid China Links on the Internet

  1. The FSC homepage:Florida Splendid China 'official web-page'

  2. Roadside America's Review of Florida Splendid China

  3. Florida Splendid China from Space
    Photographed on 5Feb95

  4. From the Sawdust Trail, Another Visit Report on Florida Splendid China.

  5. A Field Trip to Florida Splendid China

  6. Listing of Splendid China in a "fun guide"

  7. World Cup ad - with Orlando attractions (Splendid China included)

  8. Internet Search for Florida Splendid China.

  9. Internet Search for Splendid China.

Scott Shaw, vice president of China Travel Service

The collected statements from Scott Shaw, vice president of China Travel Service
Controversy is a theme of this park
Orlando Sentinel 03/17/98
By Leslie Clark
``We're a theme park,'' said Scott Shaw, vice president of China Travel Service, which owns the park. ``Nothing more.''...

Shaw said Splendid China, which has struggled to find a niche in Central Florida's attractions market, just had its best year, with a new nightly show...

China Travel Service, which owns Splendid China, is not registered because it's not involved in politics, company officials said.
Despite reports that China Travel Service has ties to the Chinese government, park officials have long denied any link.
``That might be what the special-interest groups are claiming,'' Shaw said. ``But we're nothing more than an attraction, a 76-acre theme park in Kissimmee, Fla. We're happy to promote awareness and education about the oldest culture in the world, that being the Chinese culture.''...

As for the exhibits, Shaw said, they reflect Chinese history.
``Changing anything in the park is absolutely out of the question,'' he said. ``Whether you like it or not, it's part of history.''...

Frank Langley, (former) Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China

The collected statements from Frank Langley, Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China

A Splendid China setting
Miami Herald 12/19/93
By Mike Browning
"What we reply to the Tibetans is that this is not a political park. We are not trying to make a political statement here," Langley said in an interview Friday.

Newest Attraction attracts protesters
The St. Petersburg Times
Laura Griffin; Times Staff Writer
"This is a cultural and entertainment attraction. We don't make a political statement and we reserve the right to refuse entrance to anyone who attempts to make a political statement," said Frank Langley, the park's publicist.

Florida Park Irks Rights Campaigners
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
by Gren Manuel
Frank Langley, a representative for the park, told Business Post that we are not political. The park does not make a political statement in any way."

Entry is US$23, and the parks' 31 hectares are in the heartland of the Orlando tourism area. Splendid China's Mr. Langley said it was not, however, competing head-on with Disney World, which charged $36 for entry to is 10,927 hectares.
"There's nothing in the world to compare with Disney World," he said.

China buys Osceola land for $15 million
Orlando Sentinel
Pao Lin Ball, the company's in-house counsel would not comment Wednesday on plans for the site, but park spokesman Frank Langley said, "It's an absolute sign of Splendid China's commitment to Central Florida."

Protest targets Splendid China
The Tampa Tribune, March 17, 1996
By Beth Foushee
Tribune Staff Writer
Splendid China was picked for the protest site because protesters said the park is owned by the Chinese government. Frank Langley, spokesperson for the park said Saturday the park is owned by the China Travel Service, a publicly sold and held conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong.

Makeover an attempt to cover blemish ? Orlando Weekly
September 12-18, 1996
by M.C. Campagna
But Frank Langley, a park spokesman, said China Town is not an effort to distance Splendid China from protesters' image of a theme park run by human-rights-abusing puppets of Communist propaganda.
"Their actual impact on attendance has been minuscule," says Langley. "You can hardly give attention to it. The best answer is to look to the press itself. The Orlando press was out for their (CACCP's) first demonstration. The (CACCP) representation was so limp they haven't been back out again."

... In April, the Florida Teaching Professionals/National Education Association voted to condemn the use of public money for field trips to Splendid China. A similar amendment has been adopted by the Pinellas County Teachers Association. (Plenty of school children still visit the park , Langley said.)

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Sam Mok, Another Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China

The collected statements from Sam Mok, Another Official Spokesperson for Florida Splendid China

Splendid Mess: On the Anniversary of an uprising, park miniatures still incite big debate
Orlando Weekly
March 9-15, 1995
by Jeff Bankston

Although the park allowed the monks' religious protest to go on, officials did prohibit the display of signs or any attempts to talk with tourists about the park. "They realized it was a lose-lose proposition. If they kept us out, they'd have to keep out Tibetans who grew up in Potala," says John Ackerly, director of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).
Sam Mok doesn't see it that way. As chief executive officer for G.L Associates, a management consulting firm in Washington DC, he has been guiding Splendid China executives since before the park's opening. "We don't know if they are Tibetan monks. I'm an auditor/accountant by training, so I always question things," Mok says. In fact, he compares the opening day actions to those that accompanied the Vietnam War; as Mok puts it, most war protesters couldn't find Vietnam on a map.

... Indeed, who owns the park has been the subject of some dispute. Splendid China officials won't comment on ownership, and Mok answers that he honestly doesn't know. Although the park is technically owned by China Travel Service Holdings Inc., a publicly traded Hong Kong company, numerous pieces in the Hong Kong press and elsewhere have pegged the true owner as the People's Republic of China. One piece in the New York Times characterized the holding company as one of the largest companies owned by the Chinese Government in Hong Kong."

Erin Potts, director of the pro-Tibetan Milarepa Fund and spokesman for Yauch, sees the park apparent struggle as a sign that the protests are working. "I foresee in the near future that they will have to remove the Potala Palace because the pressure will continue and, economically, it will be difficult for them to maintain it with the protests."
Mok counters that such fiscal challenges reflect normal growing pains. As for the protests ? He compares them to the people who have attacked the embattled National Endowment for the Arts. "I consider Splendid China to be an art and cultural kind of thing - good art, good cultural exhibitions always generate controversy."

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Sunny Yang, President of Florida Splendid China

The collected statements from Sunny Yang, President of Florida Splendid China

Florida Splendid China
The American Spectator March 1999

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the protesters "have dogged the attraction for years....They charge that, behind the pastoral scenes and tiny replicas of Chinese landmarks, is a propaganda effort by the Chinese government to polish its image and whitewash its mistreatment of minority groups." The protesters have also set up a Web site detailing their case (, and are calling on the Department of Justice to take action against the U.S. company set up to operate the park--arguing that the company serves as the unregistered representative of a foreign government, in violation of federal law. Sonny Yang dismisses the possibility of changing or removing any exhibits in exchange for ending the protests. "Florida Splendid China is not a political statement," he insists. "We're here to run a business, not to make politics." Business could be better. The park's first three years were rocked by protests, which attracted local media attention and helped keep attendance low. That period also saw some 42 Chinese performers--brought over for displays of acrobatics, traditional dance, and music-request political asylum in the U.S. One of these defectors wrote to a local central-Florida paper in January 1995 that management was holding the performers against their will, preventing them from meeting outsiders or from traveling outside the park. That has all changed, says Sonny Yang, who came to Florida in March 1996 from the CTS branch office in Hong Kong. "I don't know why those people left. Since I've been here, no one has left. They have two days off per week and can travel wherever they like." (In fact, the dancers and acrobats perform six nights a week, and include three children under the age of 12.) The early years of Florida Splendid China also saw a stream of official Chinese government delegations come to Kissimmee for propaganda tours and for surprise "inspections" --including, in October 1996, a tour bus bearing diplomatic license plates traced back to the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. (According to a U.S. intelligence source, CTS officials were seen at the White House just before the bus tour, handing out free trips to Florida Splendid China to National Security Council staffers. Repeated calls to the NSC for comment weren't returned.) George Chen, who has continued to follow the park's ups and downs, claims that top Chinese government officials still seek to place their sons and daughters on the payroll, a practice he says began when work first started in late 1991.
By all accounts, Florida Splendid China has been a commercial flop. Sonny Yang admits that the park averages a scant 400 to 500 entries per day but insists it began making money last year after repaying the initial $l00 million investment. George Chen believes that's a stretch. "The Chinese government continues to pump in fresh money for maintenance and salaries. They can't allow the park to fail, because that would mean losing face. They send money whenever it is needed."...

Orlando Weekly 03/11/99 "Splendid Mess"
The piece relies in part on Jack Churchward, a convert to Tibetan Buddhism who has organized rallies and a boycott of the park over China's oppression of its ethnic minorities. (His next demonstration at the park's entrance is March 13.) Churchward helps maintain a website for Citizens Against Chinese Communist Propaganda, which argues that Splendid China's corporate parent, China Travel Services (Holdings) of Hong Kong, ought to register with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.
"We know nothing about that," says park president Sonny Yang. "I'm just the operator of the park. No one told me nothing about that." Actually, the law is pretty clear, but a call to the Justice Department went unreturned at press time.

Orlando Business Journal 05-01-00 Splendid doors still open; Disney hosting quiet riot

Is Florida Splendid China closing its doors?
Not if you ask Sunny Yang, the Osceola County attraction's president.
"The park is still in its normal situation, and business is improving," says Yang of rumors that the attraction, which showcases miniature replicas of famous Chinese buildings, might be shuttered.
According to Yang, Splendid China attendance was approximately 200,000 in 1999.

Orlando Business Journal - May 29, 2000
Splendid China slated for sale
Negotiations involve Chinese-owned theme park, land and hotel

Splendid China's president, Sunny Yang, confirms the hotel property is about to change hands; however, both the law firm of Baker and Hostetler, which is involved in the negotiations, and Yang decline to confirm or deny the park is being sold.
"I have no information," Yang says. "I'm still carrying out the normal day's business."
Today, attendance has dropped to 200 a day, says Yang, most of them senior citizens. Late last year, the Far Eastern Economic review reported that the attraction was losing $9 million a year.
Recently, admission prices have been cut from $28 to about $19, and the park has struck admission deals with nearby hotels. The Days Inn, which has made money, has been subsidizing park operations, admits Yang.
"The park is difficult," he says. "We have been attracting more and more people, however."

Orlando Business Journal- October 6, 2000
Where in the world is Yang?
Exec is gone; in Orlando, some wonder where Splendid China profits are

...officials confirm that the media in that country report Yang is under house arrest, in part because of his handling of the local theme park.