Tue, Feb 28, 2017 | updated 03:25 PM IST

China's latest paranoia: Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift

Updated: Aug 25, 2016 11:12 IST

Hong Kong, Aug.25 (ANI): While blind activist Chen Guangcheng, lawyer Zhou Shifeng and publisher Lee Bo might have a lot in common - as persons being hounded by the Communist Party leadership in China, what do they have in common with Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift? This group has now fallen on the wrong side of Beijing.

An increasingly paranoid leadership inside China is resorting to the kind of strong arm tactics that raise important and valid questions about the direction of the world's newest self-proclaimed superpower. Seeing demons where none exist, it banned Taylor Swift's clothing line titled TS 89 (she was born in 1989), simply because, in the conspiracy theory world of the Communist Party of China, TS 89 directly referred to the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

After Taylor Swift, the next American Grammy award winning artist to face China's 'propaganda department' rap was Lady Gaga. According to The Guardian newspaper which quoted Hong Kong's pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, Lady Gaga's 19 minute meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama garnered sharp reaction from China, which went ahead and banned the dissemination of the artist's content.

"Chinese websites and media organizations were ordered to stop uploading or distributing her songs in a sign of Beijing's irritation," said the 'Apple Daily' quoted by The Guardian.

These two cases at least do not involve personal harm. What of the over 300 lawyers and activists picked up in a major sweep across China in July/August 2015? "From July 2015 to early February 2016, some 318 human rights lawyers and activists from across the country were targeted, according to Sharon Hom, executive director of the NGO Human Rights in China," as quoted in Al Jazeera.

As China prepares for a crucial national congress of the ruling Communist Party in late 2017, expect more of the same as Xi Jinping struggles to assert his leadership over a fractious group of politicians. Looking for rivals in the thicket of Chinese elite politics, it is the intellectual classes that will be targeted - whether they are relegated to the ninth and lowest stinking class of Chinese society in a re-run of the 50 year old Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao is no longer just a matter of armchair conjecture, but a real life concern for many. (ANI)

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb. 28(ANI): Afghanistan has refused to send high-level representatives to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit being hosted by Pakistan.

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Indian envoy to US Sarna meets Tom Shannon

Updated: Feb 28, 2017 14:08 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 28(ANI): Ahead of the four-day visit of Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon met Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna at the Department of State.

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Irving [USA] ,Feb. 28(ANI): In a shocking incident of xenophobia, a customer at Irving Wal-Mart asked an employee to 'go to their own countries'.

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Plano (Texas) [USA], Feb. 28 (ANI): This week, for the students at Plano West Senior School, started with hateful and racist graffiti, scribbled on several windows and doors of the school.

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Peyton [USA], Feb. 28(ANI): An incident of possible hate crime has come to light in a US town where a house of an Indian man was trashed with eggs, dog poop and hate messages.

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Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): Wilbur Ross's name has been approved by the Senate, as President Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce.

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Hong Kong [China], Feb.28 (ANI): China has confirmed that it is helping Afghanistan conduct joint law enforcement operations in the border areas of that country to counter terrorism, after initially being in a state of denial about the sightings of Chinese military vehicles moving around inside Afghanistan.

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Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): Senior Chinese official met U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday to enhance bilateral high-level exchanges and cooperation in all fields.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 28 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed that more American adults support Republicans in Congress than Democrats since he became the President of the country.

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Astana [Kazakhstan], Feb. 28 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin has affirmed his willingness to cooperate with Tajikistan in strengthening security and stability.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 28 (ANI): Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged President Donald Trump to speak out against hate crimes following a rise of the same across the country.

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Militants behead German hostage in Philippines

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 22:01 IST

New York [U.S.], Feb. 27 (ANI): Abu Sayyaf militants in southern Philippines beheaded a German hostage after the deadline passed to pay his ransom passed.

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London [UK], Feb. 27 (ANI): The indigenous communities in Pakistan's Sindh province have come down on the government over the massive coal mining in the region which has severely affected their daily lives.

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Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb.27 (ANI): The killing of five UAE diplomats in a terror attack in Kandahar was planned in Pakistan, a spokesman of Afghanistan's interior ministry has said.

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Senior Taliban commander killed in Afghanistan

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 18:11 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.27 (ANI): The Taliban confirmed on Monday through a statement that one of its senior commanders had been killed in an air strike in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province.

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Karachi (Sindh) [Pakistan): Sufism is the country's first line of defence against terrorism, said PPP Chairmain Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday.

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Karachi [Pakistan], Feb.27 (ANI): Police in Karachi were Monday directed by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to put the names of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leaders Farooq Sattar, Khalid Maqbool and Amir Liaquat on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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