China has banned Lady Gaga. The pop star met with the Dalai Lama to discuss “the power of kindness and how to make the world a more compassionate place” Sunday before a conference in Indianapolis, posting a 19-minute video of their encounter on Facebook. As a result, per The Guardian, the Communist party’s propaganda department issued “an important instruction” forbidding websites and media organizations from distributing or uploading the pop star’s music. Party controlled broadcasters were also instructed to condemn Gaga’s meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, who fled the country in 1959.
The Dalai Lama has long advocated for Tibetan autonomy, but China’s government labels him a dangerous separatist who is seeking to bring the Himalayan region under theocratic rule. “The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence,” Chinese government spokesperson Hong Lei told the AP. “We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colors and nature.”
It’s unclear how strictly the Gaga ban is being enforced. As of Tuesday, the pop star’s hits were still available for purchase on China’s QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music players, though a report of her meeting with the Dalai Lama was deleted from the NetEase website. There’s also this interaction:
China Foreign Ministry spokesman: who?
— Benjamin Haas 本雅明 (@haasbenjamin) June 27, 2016
As The Guardian points out, this is not the first time China has banned Gaga. Several songs by Gaga and Katy Perry were banned in 2011 as part of the country’s initiative to weed out “poor taste and vulgar content.” Maroon 5 were reportedly banned from China last year.