Chinese police prevented American author Amy Tan from speaking at a fund-raising dinner, apparently because the event was being held on behalf of Chinese orphans, organizers said Sunday.
Police first asked the Holiday Inn Lido to cancel the Saturday night dinner benefiting the Wisconsin-based Philip Hayden Foundation because of permit violations, hosts and guests said.
The authorities then allowed it to go ahead as long as Tan would not speak, decorations for the charity were removed and the 450 guests were divided among three rooms.
China’s treatment of orphans became a sensitive subject for the government last year after reports by British television and a human rights group raised questions about high death rates at state-run homes for orphans.
Guests at the $75-a-plate event included U.S. Ambassador James Sasser.