Newsbrief: China Bans Song for Opium Lyrics 11/7/03

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Chinese authorities have banned a song by Hong Kong pop superstar Faye Wong because its lyrics contained references to opium, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Government censors objected to one line in the song "In the Name of Love" from Wong's forthcoming album, "To Love." The line in question says "opium is sweet and warm."

"Relevant departments banned this because they thought the lyrics were too decadent and will influence the health of young people," Xinhua reported. The Chinese Ministry of Culture reviews all song lyrics for albums to be released in the country.

According to the Associated Press, which picked up the Xinhua report, Chinese communist leaders view references to opium as symbolic of the country's domination by Westerners. The era of Western domination of China began with the Opium Wars of the 1840s, in which British traders, backed by the crown, forced the Chinese to accept opium imports from India.

A spokesperson for Xinsuo Music Company, which will distribute the album in China, told AP the album would be released without the offending track. The album goes on sale throughout Asia starting this month. The Chinese-born Wong is often the country's hottest selling female vocalist, but she won't be singing for her countrymen about the poppy's sweetness and warmth.

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