Lady Gaga has reportedly been added to a list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga.
The American pop singer, who has sold more than 27 million albums, met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader on Sunday before a conference in Indianapolis.
A video of the 19-minute encounter — in which the pair pondered issues such as meditation, mental health and how to detoxify humanity — was posted on the singer’s Facebook account.
The meeting sparked an angry reaction from Beijing, which has attacked the spiritual leader as a “wolf in monk’s robes”.
The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in March 1959, insists he is merely seeking greater autonomy from Chinese rule for Tibetans.
But China’s rulers consider him a separatist who they claim is conspiring to split the Himalayan region from China in order to establish theocratic rule there.
Following Lady Gaga’s meeting, the Communist party’s mysterious 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.
Asked by a foreign reporter whether the tete-a-tete would create a “bad romance” between Beijing and Lady Gaga, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry initially hinted that he was not familiar with the pop star’s Grammy-winning back catalogue.
“Who?” Hong Lei said when asked for Beijing’s view on the singer’s meeting. Hong went on to condemn the Dalai Lama’s global campaigning.
Lady Gaga, whose career has survived previous bans in China, has yet to respond to China’s reported ban of her work.
During her meeting with the Dalai Lama she said: “We have to cool the system down. It’s about less heat, more cooling, more relaxation but also [being] thoughtful and strategic.”