28 June, 2016 - NME.com
Lady Gaga may be banned from visiting or performing in China after her recent meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Gaga and the Tibetan Buddhist leader met to discuss mental health and tragedy, with the conversation broadcast on Facebook Live, following the 84th annual Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, at which both gave speeches. China and the Dalai Lama have long been at odds with one another, following the latter's exile from Chinese-ruled Tibet in 1959. The Dalai Lama has called for Tibetan independence ever since.
Following the meeting, the Communist party’s propaganda department reportedly issued "an important instruction" banning Gaga from mainland China.
A foreign reporter claimed that he had asked a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry whether the incident would create a "bad romance" - a reference to the Gaga song of the same name - between Gaga and China. The spokesperson allegedly responded by saying, "Who?".
According to Associated Press, the spokesperson added: "The purpose of [the Dalai Lama's] visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence. We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colours and nature."
Other artists previously banned from China after meeting with the Dalai Lama or speaking in favour of him includes Oasis, Bjork and Maroon 5.
During the meeting, Gaga asked the Dalai Lama questions received on social media. The first asked about how to help young people manage low self-esteem, eating disorders, addiction, mental health and suicide.
"When you show more sense of concern of others' well-being, then you also get the feeling, 'Oh, I am something useful to others," he answered after criticising the modern world's "lack of compassion" and "materialistic culture".
The pair also discussed tragedy, with the Dalai Lama saying: "Once [a] tragic situation happens, not avoid - look at more deeply, widely. Many positive, happy things are there if you look [from a] wider perspective. If you look real closely, it appears unbearable. But if you look widely, [you can see] other positive things there."
You can watch the video in full on Lady Gaga's Facebook page.