With the Olympics around the corner, it appears to be becoming increasingly difficult to hold large events in China, especially events with an international flavor.
Beijing's popular Midi Festival, originally scheduled to be held May 1-4, was canceled in late April by the city's Public Security Bureau and is reportedly trying to reschedule a time after the Olympics. The music festival was to feature some international acts as well as attract an international audience.
Music festivals aren't the only events getting shut down – even anthropologists are being prevented from holding a conference in Kunming that was originally scheduled to take place in July.
The International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), based at Leiden University in the Netherlands, has been notified by the Chinese organizers of the 16th IUAES World Congress that the event, originally scheduled to be held July 15-23, had been postponed.
A letter from the China Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (CUAES) posted on the IUAES website gives the official explanation for the decision to postpone the IUAES Congress in Kunming:
"...it is very regretful that CUAES has encountered complex difficulties hard to resolve in its preparation work recently, which makes impossible for us to hold the Congress at the time originally planned.
"Therefore, we propose to postpone the Congress to a later time, where details are undergoing close discussions and negotiations with IUAES. It is advised that all participants interested in the Congress suspend such efforts as processing visas, reserving hotels or booking tickets, and the like."
The Associated Press spoke with Zhang Jijiao, organizer and professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, who gave no reason for the postponement.
"We have postponed the July conference, but I am not at liberty to tell you the reason why," he said, adding that more than 6,500 people had registered to attend the event.