China said it planned stricter vetting of foreign performers after Icelandic pop singer Bjork backed independence for Tibet during a concert in Shanghai.
“From now on we will tighten controls on foreign artists performing in China to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” the Ministry of Culture said.
In her concert, Bjork cried “Tibet, Tibet!” followed by “Raise your flag!” towards the end of her final song, “Declare Independence.”
Her protest apparently went unnoticed by the majority of an estimated 3,000 people at the Shanghai International Gymnastics Centre.
But in a statement posted on its website, the ministry said that Bjork’s call “broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people’s feelings.”
The statement said Bjork had “deliberately turned a commercial show into a political performance” and that China would “no longer welcome any artists who deliberately do this.”
At a similar concert in Tokyo last week, Bjork dedicated her performance of “Declare Independence” to supporting Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
That statement led organisers of a Serbian music festival planned for July to drop her from the lineup, citing security fears.
Her Shanghai protest came as several Tibetan independence groups are running high-profile campaigns to promote their cause ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.
i have been asked by many for a statement after dedicating my song “declare independence” to both kosovo and tibet ( amongst others ) on different occasions.
i would like to put importance on that i am not a politician, i am first and last a musician and as such i feel my duty to try to express the whole range of human emotions. the urge for declaring independence is just one of them but an important one that we all feel at some times in our lives. this song was written more with the personal in mind but the fact that it has translated to its broadest meaning, the struggle of a suppressed nation, gives me much pleasure .
NOW THAT YOU’VE READ THIS, STROKED YOUR CHIN, NODDED AND CHEERED FOR BJORK OVER HER BRAVERY IN STANDING UP FOR WHAT SHE BELIEVES, I HOPE YOU TAKE THE TIME TO FOLLOW THE LINKS I HAVE INSERTED, AND, FINALLY, TO READ “FRIENDLY FEUDALISM: THE TIBET MYTH” BY MICHAEL PARENTI