Two of the world’s most influential people met on June 26 to discuss compassion and kindness, but the Communist Party of China reportedly isn’t pleased with the encounter, which occurred in Indianapolis on Sunday at the 84th U.S. Annual Conference of Mayors.
The Dalai Lama, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who is believed to be a reincarnated enlightened being, delivered keynote remarks that focused on the global significance of building compassionate cities. He was then joined by pop star Lady Gaga, a passionate human rights activist, for a Q&A panel discussion moderated by former NBC journalist Ann Curry. It sounds peaceful enough, but some officials in China have condemned this meeting; the Dalai Lama is a controversial figure for the Chinese Communist Party, as he symbolizes Tibetan independence and resistance to their control. The ruling political power views him as a threat to its sovereignty.
According to the Guardian:
Following Lady Gaga’s meeting, the Communist party’s propaganda department issued “an important instruction” banning her entire repertoire from mainland China, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily reported on Monday. Chinese websites and media organisations were ordered to stop uploading or distributing her songs in a sign of Beijing’s irritation, the newspaper said.
If Lady Gaga is banned, she joins a roster of other American pop stars who’ve been the subject of controversy in the country. In April, Selena Gomez’s two concerts in Guangzhou and Shanghai were cancelled after the Chinese government saw photos of her with the Dalai Lama from 2014. Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5 and Jay-Z have also been banned.