06/01/2004 at 03:00 PM EDT
Britney Spears is allowed to perform in China – but cultural ministers there say the pop princess will have to watch what she wears.
Spears, 22, is scheduled for five concerts in Shanghai and Beijing later this year as part of her current world tour to promote her album In the Zone.
But her sexual image has raised concerns in the communist state, and government ministers must approve her stage outfits before any show, according to the semi-official China News Service (as translated by the Associated Press).
"Relevant departments will carry out strict reviews of Britney Spears's performance clothing," the report states, without details what that review might entail, or what apparel might be deemed appropriate.
The singer's rep was unavailable for comment, nor could the head of the Chinese culture ministry's performance division, Pan Yan, say anything about Spears in concert. The minister explained that she had not yet received a performance application.
Western performers appearing in China can be difficult for several reasons, many of them cultural as well as political.
Last year the Rolling Stones gave up rather than attempt to perform in China, saying it was just too plain difficult to work through the bureaucracy – although it is possible. Last November, Mariah Carey performed two concerts in Shanghai, while earlier this year, British hard rockers Deep Purple played Beijing and Shanghai.