Musician Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi performs onstage at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Aug. 22, 2015
Andrew Chin—Getty Images
September 8, 2015 11:04 PM EDT

Bon Jovi has had concerts in Beijing and Shanghai canceled by Chinese authorities.

The band was due to play in China for the first time ever next week, but organizers AEG Live Asia said Tuesday that the tour dates were unexpectedly pulled with no reason given, reports the BBC.

However, the band is the latest in a string of artists who have been banned from China for appearing to show support to the Dalai Lama or Tibetan independence. According to the Financial Times, the Communist Party’s Culture Ministry had learned that Bon Jovi had performed in front of a video backdrop featuring the Tibetan spiritual leader during a concert in 2010.

Björk was banned from the country for life when she chanted “Tibet, Tibet” during a concert in Shanghai in 2008. And Maroon 5, who were also due to perform in China this month, were pulled after a band member tweeted happy birthday to the Dalai Lama in July.

The issue of Tibet is especially sensitive right now as the Communist Party marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Concert organizers were trying to get officials to change their minds but said chances were slim.

[BBC]

Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com.

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