Take That Bjork: China Bans Performers Deemed a Threat

Protests, incendiary artists will not be allowed in the country, the new rules say

By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 18, 2008 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Entertainers deemed a threat to China’s sovereignty will not be allowed to perform in the country, the New York Times reports. The Ministry of Culture warned it will conduct background checks and ban those who “advocate obscenity or feudalism and superstition” or "take part in activities that harm our nation’s sovereignty." The ban is the newest in a string of policies aimed at curbing political dissent prior to the Beijing Olympics in August.

The ban may have been sparked by Icelandic singer Bjork, who shouted “Tibet! Tibet!” after performing her song “Declare Independence” for a Shanghai audience in March. The rules also apply to performers from Hong Kong and Macau, former European colonies now administered by China.

A mock protester attacks Chinese police officers in anti-riot gear during a drill in front of the Olympic Games Village. The Chinese have warned visitors that protests are prohibited.
A mock protester attacks Chinese police officers in anti-riot gear during a drill in front of the Olympic Games Village. The Chinese have warned visitors that protests are prohibited.   (AP Photo/Color China Photo)
Paramilitary police officers on patrol in Weng'an county of Guizhou province, China, last month. Authorities detained hundreds of people involved in protests over a teenage student's death.
Paramilitary police officers on patrol in Weng'an county of Guizhou province, China, last month. Authorities detained hundreds of people involved in protests over a teenage student's death.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Pop singer Bjork, of Iceland, performs at her solo concert in Shanghai, where she ignited criticism from Chinese fans after declaring Tibet! Tibet! to end a performance of Declare Independence.
Pop singer Bjork, of Iceland, performs at her solo concert in Shanghai, where she ignited criticism from Chinese fans after declaring "Tibet! Tibet!" to end a performance of "Declare Independence."   (AP Photo)
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