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Reports: China Cancels Bon Jovi Concerts Over Dalai Lama Stance

FILE - Jon Bon Jovi
FILE - Jon Bon Jovi

China has axed Bon Jovi's first ever planned concerts in China, with some media reports saying the cancelation was due to what officials saw as the American rock band's past statements of support for the Dalai Lama.

Bon Jovi shows that had been scheduled for next week in Beijing and Shanghai were canceled because of "some reasons," according to a Weibo Chinese social media posting by concert promoter AEG.

The Financial Times reported Tuesday the move came after the Communist Party's Culture Ministry discovered that Bon Jovi included the Dalai Lama in a video backdrop at a concert in Taiwan in 2010.

The BBC also said the show was canceled by government officials.

The Chinese government regards the Tibetan spiritual leader as a dangerous separatist, and has a record of canceling performances, often at the last minute, of Western entertainers who show support for him.

Earlier this summer, Maroon 5 had a show canceled in Shanghai. Some believe this was because band members had recently wished the Dalai Lama a happy birthday in a message on Twitter.

Bjork and Linkin Park are also among those who have had concerts canceled, presumably because of what China views as unacceptable positions on Tibetan issues.

The Dalai Lama is an outspoken critic of Beijing's policies in Tibet, but has insisted that he does not advocate separatism or violence there.

Rights groups accuse China of carrying out a campaign of cultural and religious repression of Tibetans, in favor of the ethnic Han majority group.

China insists that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom. Beijing also points to huge ongoing investment it says has brought modernization and an increased standard of living to Tibet.

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