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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China blocks Bob Dylan gigs

April 6, 2010

Bob Dylan's planned tour of east Asia called off after Chinese officials
refuse him permission to play in Beijing and Shanghai

Peter Walker
www.guardian.co.uk
4 April 2010

Aged 68 and almost half a century past the zenith of his angry, protest-song
youth, Bob Dylan must almost have forgotten what it was like to be deemed a
threat to society. But it seems at least one place still sees him as a
dangerous radical.

Dylan's planned tour of east Asia later this month has been called off after
Chinese officials refused permission for him to play in Beijing and
Shanghai, his local promoters said. China's ministry of culture, which vets
planned concerts by overseas artists, appeared wary of Dylan's past as an
icon of the counterculture movement, said Jeffrey Wu, of the Taiwan-based
promoters Brokers Brothers Herald.

Dylan fans denied the chance to see their hero might also blame Björk, who
caused consternation among Chinese officials two years ago by shouting
pro-Tibet slogans at a concert in Shanghai, Wu told Hong Kong's South China
Morning Post.

The verdict scuppers Dylan's plans to play his first dates in mainland
China. The singer, who plays around 100 concerts a year on his Never Ending
Tour, had hoped to extend a multi-city Japanese leg with concerts in
Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. All these would now be
called off, Wu told the newspaper.

"With Beijing and China ruled out, it was not possible for him just to play
concerts in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan," he said. "The chance to play
in China was the main attraction for him. When that fell through everything
else was called off."

Wu said officials had become more cautious since Björk, the Icelandic
singer, chanted "Tibet! Tibet!" after performing a song called Declare
Independence in Shanghai in 2008. China has ruled Tibet since invading it in
1950 and views the Himalayan territory as an integral part of its national
territory.

"What Björk did definitely made life very difficult for other performers.
They are very wary of what will be said by performers on stage now," Wu
said.

Last year, Oasis were told they were "unsuitable" to play in Beijing and
Shanghai as Noel Gallagher had appeared at a Tibet freedom concert 12 years
earlier.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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