An advocacy group for sexual minorities in the Chinese capital was shut down recently amid stricter control by the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping, with Beijing viewing support for the LGBT community as part of Western values.

The Beijing LGBT Center said in a statement Monday it will stop operating "due to uncontrollable pressure." Although the group was not the largest in the country, activists have said it was regarded as a symbol of the LGBT movement due to its location in the capital.

The office of the shuttered Beijing LGBT Center in China's Beijing is pictured on May 17, 2023. (Kyodo)

The center established in 2008 had supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in their fight against discrimination and prejudice, organizing events and offering counseling for sexual minorities, according to Hong Kong media.

Its members included those who had filed a lawsuit after being fired due to their sexual orientation, the reports said.

China has cracked down on sexual minorities in recent years, apparently fearing that their movement could challenge Communist Party rule.

Social media accounts of LGBT advocacy groups have been closed down in China, while the founder of a group calling for the protection of sexual minorities through legal action has been detained.

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