[YOU DON’T HAVE TO SCRATCH THE SURFACE TOO DEEPLY TO UNCOVER THE REAL CHINA IT SEEMS:rolleyes: kk]
SHANGHAI, March 7 - China has pledged to impose tougher curbs on foreign artists after pop star Bjork sang in support of Tibetan independence in Shanghai, warning similar actions could lead to them being blacklisted.
``We will further tighten controls on foreign artists performing in China in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future,’’ the Ministry of Culture said in a statement on its website today.
``We shall never tolerate any attempt to separate Tibet from China and will no longer welcome any artists who deliberately do this.’’
A video on the internet site YouTube shows the Icelandic singer closing out her concert in China’s financial hub last Sunday with the song Declare Independence, during which she yelled ``Tibet’’ several times.
Communist China has ruled Tibet since 1951, after sending in troops to officially ``liberate’’ the devoutly Buddhist region a year earlier.
``Some artist deliberately turned a commercial show into a political performance, which not only broke Chinese law, but also hurt Chinese audiences’ feelings,’’ the statement said.
``What Bjork said in Shanghai has aroused strong resentment among the general public in China.’’
When asked about the welcome mat being withdrawn for artists who spoke out in favour of Tibetan independence, a culture ministry spokeswoman indicated Bjork would be blacklisted if she sang in support of Tibet again.
``If Bjork continued to behave like that in future, we may consider never allowing her to perform in China,’’ she said.
Bjork’s support of the cause of Tibetan independence is not new - she performed at a Free Tibet concert in San Francisco in 1996.
However, the song Declare Independence was originally written for Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which belong to Denmark.
Bjork is one of many prominent Western celebrities, including actor Richard Gere, to have lent their support to Tibetans campaigning for independence for their homeland, or at least an end to what they say is severe repression.