Often outspoken singer Bjork caused a controversy when she performed in China and chanted "Tibet! Tibet!" during her final set "Declare Independence". The Icelandic singer appeared at Shanghai International Gymnastic Center on March 2 as a mean to promote her latest album "Volta" but caused political controversy instead.
Her chanting of "Tibet" is taken as a favor for independence for the region. China has ruled Tibet since 1951, and talk of independence is taboo. While the occupation of Tibet remains controversial, most Chinese see the region as an integral part of China.
Audience reportedly felt uneasy with her chants and some left in hurry. In response to her action, Chinese websites began writing on how intimidating she was, calling it "disrespectful" and "selfish". Some are even calling for an action such as "Call the relevant authorities!".
However, a member of the audience Alex Pasternack who is an American living in Beijing, said that Bjork's remarks did not make quite a stir at that time. "I looked around for guards or security, but didn't see any - and (then) the show was over," he said. "My first thought was, 'She's never going to be invited back here again.'"
No comment from the show's local promoter yet.
Before this incident, Bjork has been pulled out of Exit music festival that is due to take place in Serbia in July. Reports are saying that her withdrawal is because she made a dedication to Kosovo at a Tokyo show through "Declare Independence". The Balkan state recently broke away from Serbian rule after years of turmoil in the region, but Serbia has refused to acknowledge the state's declaration of independence.