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China ban for 'threatening' stars
BBC[Friday, July 18, 2008 02:17]
Entertainers from outside China who have attended events that "threaten national sovereignty" will be banned from the country, its government says.

Bjork's cry came after a performance of song Declare Independence
Bjork's cry came after a performance of song Declare Independence
Any artists who "whip up ethnic hatred" during performances would also be banned, the ministry of culture said,

The announcement comes after Bjork shouted "Tibet, Tibet" at a Shanghai concert in March.

Talk of Tibetan independence is considered taboo in China, which has ruled the territory since 1951.

"Any artistic group or individual who have ever engaged in activities which threaten our national sovereignty will not be allowed in," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The ban was extended to entertainers who "threaten national unity", "advocate obscenity or feudalism and superstition" or who "violate religious policy or cultural norms", the statement added.

Encore approval

Bjork's cry came after a powerful performance of her song Declare Independence at the concert.

China's culture ministry said after the outburst that it "broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people's feelings".

And it pledged to "further tighten controls".

The latest announcement follows the banning of pop festivals and the tightening of rules on outdoor events in the months leading up to the Olympics as the government fears embarrassing protests from crowds.

The ministry has said that even encores must be approved in advance.

Taiwanese pop star Chang Hui-Mei was banned from playing in China for a year after she sang Taiwan's national anthem during an inauguration ceremony for the island's president in 2000.

China considers Taiwan, which has governed its own affairs for half a century, part of its territory.
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