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Foreign artists still welcome despite Bjork incident
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Icelandic singer Bjork's offending support to "Tibet independence" at a Shanghai concert earlier this month won't affect China's policy on inviting foreign artists to come and perform in the country, a senior cultural official said at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

"It was just an individual case. I don't think it will affect our invitation of artists from all over the world to come to China and perform, particularly during the Olympic Games," Vice Minister of Culture Zhou Heping told a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing parliament session.

On March 2, Bjork chanted "Tibet! Tibet!" at her Shanghai concert after singing a song "Declare Independence", a move that Zhou said had made the Chinese audience "very upset".

"Foreign artistic troupes and artists should voluntarily observe relevant laws and regulations of China when they come to perform on the Chinese soil. It should be a part of an artist's professional ethics to avoid violating Chinese laws or hurting the feelings of the Chinese people," said Zhou.

There are also many Chinese artistic troupes that go abroad for performance, and they all abide by the laws of the countries they visit, said Zhou, adding that "this should be a common rule for all."

He said it is quite "normal" for Bjork to come under fire among both the public and the media. "It is known to all that Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since the ancient times, and no country in the world regards Tibet as an 'independent state'."

Any individual wrong behavior like that of Bjork would be "criticized", he added.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2008)

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