Chinese government says it's 'not appropriate' for Justin Bieber to tour China
Beijing: Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour has been called a “world apology tour” intended to show a more mature side of a pop singer whose antics have drawn embarrassing headlines over the years.
But in the eyes of Chinese officials, the young heartthrob still has some growing up to do.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture confirmed that Bieber, 23, had been banned from performing because of past instances of “bad behaviour” in China and elsewhere.
“In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers,” the bureau said in its statement.
“We hope that as Justin Bieber matures, he can continue to improve his own words and actions, and truly become a singer beloved by the public.”
The statement was issued in response to a question recently submitted by a user of the bureau’s website – presumably a Chinese fan – asking for a detailed explanation for the prolonged absence from China of Bieber, a Canadian singer who is behind such hits as Sorry and Love Yourself
While the statement did not provide details, it appears to have been prompted by Bieber’s behaviour on previous visits to the region.
Beiber performed in China in 2013 when media coverage centred on him stripping on stage in Beijing to reveal his bare torso, being carried up the steps of the Great Wall of China, and riding a Segway, again shirtless, through the streets.
In 2014, Bieber caused a minor diplomatic row when he posted photos of himself visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honours Japanese war dead – including convicted war criminals from World War II – and has long been a source of friction between Japan and its neighbours.
Despite Bieber’s attempts to apologise, Chinese officials were outraged by the visit.
Chinese media reported in January that Bieber was set to return this year, but no Chinese dates had been announced. He is due to perform in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore in September and October, according to his website.
Bieber joins a growing list of Western entertainers who have been blacklisted in mainland China.
Last year, the singer Lady Gaga reportedly had her entire repertoire banned after she met with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, to discuss topics like meditation and finding inner peace.
Several other entertainers, including Bon Jovi, Maroon 5 and Bjork, have also reportedly run into trouble with the Chinese government after expressing support for the Dalai Lama.
New York Times, Reuters