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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 12:52 GMT
China to crack down on pop stars
Bjork has long been a supporter of Tibetan independence
China is to impose stricter rules on foreign rock and pop stars after singer Bjork caused controversy by shouting "Tibet, Tibet" at a Shanghai concert.

Her cry followed a powerful performance of her song Declare Independence.

Talk of Tibetan independence is considered taboo in China, which has ruled the territory since 1951.

China's culture ministry said the outburst "broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people's feelings" and pledged to "further tighten controls".

"We will further tighten controls on foreign artists performing in China in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

"We shall never tolerate any attempt to separate Tibet from China and will no longer welcome any artists who deliberately do this."

I am not a politician, I am first and last a musician
The statement said there was "no country that admits that Tibet is an independent country".

Bjork said she "would like to put importance on that I am not a politician, I am first and last a musician and as such I feel my duty to try to express the whole range of human emotions".

On her website, she said: "This song was written more with the personal in mind.

"But the fact that it has translated to its broadest meaning, the struggle of a suppressed nation, gives me much pleasure."

A spokeswoman from the culture ministry told the AFP news agency Bjork could be banned from performing in China if there was a repeat performance.

"If Bjork continued to behave like that in the future, we may consider never allowing her to perform in China," she said.

Global struggles

Human rights activists and many politicians abroad have criticised Chinese policy in Tibet.

Many Tibetans feel loyal to the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom China considers a separatist threat.

The song Declare Independence has previously been used by Bjork to highlight other struggles for self-rule.

She dedicated a performance of it in Japan last month to Kosovo. She has also used the song to campaign for Greenland and the Faroe Islands - territories controlled by Denmark.

Her behaviour at Sunday's Shanghai concert has not been reported in the state-controlled Chinese media.

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