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
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)
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(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. (Read more China stories.)