The Rolling Stones will perform two concerts in Hong Kong and two in China as scheduled, regardless of the war in Iraq and a deadly pneumonia outbreak in southern China, a source said today (March 21)

The Rolling Stones will perform two concerts in Hong Kong and two in China as scheduled, regardless of the war in Iraq and a deadly pneumonia outbreak in southern China, a source said today (March 21). Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source stated, "As long as there isn't a war in the country they are performing then they will be there."

The news would contravene speculation in yesterday's edition of Hong Kong's English-language South China Morning Post that probability of the concerts proceeding was only 40 percent. Colleen Ironside of Live Productions, the Hong Kong concerts' lead promoter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The April 1 concert in Shanghai and April 4 show in Beijing are the Stones' first appearances on the Chinese mainland. Previous reports indicated that Chinese officials would force the Stones not to perform the songs "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Beast of Burden," or "Let's Spend the Night Together" because of their sexual references.

A representative for the Beijing Time New Century Entertainment Co. Ltd., the Beijing show's local promoter said that while all seats priced 1,500 Chinese yuan (US $181) per ticket and below had been sold, tickets in the 2,000 yuan (US $241), 3,000 yuan (US $362), and charity VIP tickets for 6,000 yuan (US $724) were still available.

The remaining tickets represent the best of the approximately 8,000 seats in Beijing's Workers' Arena, located directly in front of the stage and at lower levels. The tickets sold are in higher sections and to the side of the stage, according to a seating chart.

Other artists scheduled to perform in Hong Kong in coming weeks will likely follow the Stones' lead: Moby is due in the Special Administrative Region April 3; Carlos Santana will follow on April 11; and David Gray will close out the month on April 28.