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China Bars Justin Bieber From Performing Over ‘Bad Behavior’

While the statement did not provide details, it appears to have been prompted by Mr. Bieber’s behavior on previous visits to the region. In 2014, Mr. Bieber caused a minor diplomatic row when he posted photos of himself visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japanese war dead — including convicted war criminals from World War II — and has long been a source of friction between Japan and its neighbors.

Despite Mr. Bieber’s attempts to apologize, Chinese were outraged by the visit. Even the Foreign Ministry of China weighed in on the episode.

“I hope this singer can learn more about the history of Japanese militarism, and the wrongful historical and militaristic views promoted by the shrine after his visit,” said Qin Gang, a spokesman at the time.

In 2013, Mr. Bieber made headlines when photos emerged of him being carried up the Great Wall of China by his bodyguards. Earlier in the trip, Mr. Bieber, who was in town to perform as part of his Believe world tour, was recorded skateboarding through the streets of Beijing while being frantically chased by his bodyguards.

Mr. Bieber joins a growing list of Western entertainers who have been blacklisted in China. Last year, the singer Lady Gaga reportedly had her entire repertoire banned in China 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.

It is unclear how long Mr. Bieber will be barred from performing. Representatives for Mr. Bieber did not respond to emailed requests for comment. Reached by telephone on Friday afternoon, a woman with the surname Yan who works at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture said that she was not aware of the ban and did not have any further details.

The news came as a shock to Chinese “Beliebers,” many of whom were hoping to see their beloved star return to the stage in China. Mr. Bieber is scheduled to begin the Asian leg of his world tour in September and has concerts planned in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore.

Zhao Chen, 20, a Bieber fan from the eastern province of Shandong, said he had been looking forward to seeing Mr. Bieber again after he went to the singer’s concert in Dalian in 2013.

“But when I saw that Hong Kong was on the concert schedule, I knew then that there was no longer any chance that he would be performing in mainland China,” Mr. Zao said, referring to the semiautonomous city in China. “I’m so disappointed.”

Source: NYT > World

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