Maroon 5 China gigs cancelled after Jesse Carmichael wishes Dalai Lama happy birthday

China is strongly against the exiled 'splittist' Buddhist monk

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The Independent Culture

Maroon 5 may have been banned from China after their keyboard player wished the Dalai Lama a happy birthday on Twitter.

The LA band were due to perform a string of gigs in Beijing and Shanghai in September but they have now been cancelled, prompting speculation as to why.

Promoter Live Nation has issued a statement, vaguely alluding to a mystery "reason", but fans are yet to receive an explanation.

China is strongly against the exiled spiritual leader, with Communist officials branding him a separatist intent on an independent Tibet.

It is not unlikely, therefore, that the country might have taken issue with Jesse Carmichael's tweet on 4 July to mark the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday although this has not been officially confirmed.

Carmichael, who has since deleted his message and corresponding Instagram photo, is also thought to have attended a party for the Buddhist monk in the US.

Time Out said this week that "all an artist needs to get a bit X on their visa application" is a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Other musicians previously affected by China's rigid political stances include Oasis, after Noel Gallagher played a Free Tibet show in New York; Bjork, after she chanted "Tibet! Tibet!"at a Shanghai gig; Linkin Park after they were pictured hugging the Dalai Lama; and Sir Elton John, who dedicated a Beijing performance to controversial artist Ai Weiwei.

Last month, China warned Glastonbury organisers after the Dalai Lama was invited to give a talk at the festival. He appeared regardless and joined Patti Smith on the Pyramid Stage to share a message of "love and tolerance and fairness" with supporters.