But the band's Hong Kong dates have been successfully rescheduled...

THE ROLLING STONES have been forced to cancel their tour dates in CHINA due to complications with the SARS crisis.

The group, who had two dates planned in April for Beijing and Shanghai, tried to reschedule the dates to no avail.

However, Stones tour director Michael Cohl confirmed on the band’s website that the Hong Kong dates have been successfully rescheduled. The band will play November 7 and 9, 2004, at the ‘Harbourfest Event’, a SARS befit festival.

“This will be the first time in their 40-year history that The Rolling Stones have performed in Hong Kong,” explained Cohl. “They look forward being part of the festival.”

The band have unsuccessfully tried to play in China since the Seventies due to cultural difficulties. Even when the original ‘Forty Licks dates were planned, the band were asked to drop ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Honky Tonk Woman’, ‘Beast of Burden’ and ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ from their set by the Chinese government, who in the past have deemed western music as ‘spiritual pollution’.

As previously reported on NME.COM, the band are set to release a mammoth DVD entitled ‘Four Flicks’ accompanying their ‘Forty Licks compilation. Released on November 10, the DVD contains over 50 songs, and more than five hours of music from the band’s 40th anniversary ‘Forty Licks’ tour.