Beijing Bans Popular British Rock Band in China

March 14, 2009 Updated: March 14, 2009

Well known British rock band Oasis had their April concerts in Beijing and Shanghai cancelled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on March 2 after they learned that lead singer and guitarist Noel Gallagher had previously performed at a Tibet benefit concert in 1997.

However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang has claimed that the concerts were cancelled because of economic reasons in the concert organizer’s business operations.

The band however remarked that the Chinese regime deemed them as “unsuitable to perform” for Chinese citizens after learning about Gallagher’s cameo at the 1997 Free Tibet Benefit Concert.

Oasis, one of Britain’s leading rock bands since the early 90’s, has a history of record-breaking album sales and continually sells out concerts. The cancelled Beijing and Shanghai shows would have been the band’s first ever visit to the mainland while they tour to promote their newest album “Dig out Your Soul” released in October 2008. Ticket sales for the shows had exceeded 1 million Yuan in the first eight days alone.

U.S. based political commentator, Chen Pokong, remarked that it is an excuse for the Chinese regime to claim the shows were cancelled for economic reasons and that the actual reason is clearly politically motivated.

Chen said that because 2009 is a highly sensitive year for the CCP, the regime has become extremely paranoid and are looking at everything under a magnifying glass. He also said that the CCP’s number one priority right now is to maintain its ruling power and that everything else is secondary, including cultural exchange or financial loss.

Another China expert, Sima Tai, remarked that besides the current economic, political and social crises arising all over China, the CCP is also facing the massive trend of quitting the CCP, and that although they are trying everything to cover it up, the CCP is aware that it’s at the end of the line.

Oasis plans to continue with the rest of the Asia leg of its tour, featuring stops in Japan, Seol and Hong Kong beginning at the end of March as scheduled.

Read original article in Chinese.