Over Winter Break while I was in Taiwan (~January 15th), the politically charged incident of Tzu-Yu Chou occupied the headlines for weeks.
Tzu-Yu Chou, a 16 year old, Taiwanese-born, K-Pop star stirred controversy in mainland China after a photo of her holding a Korean flag and a Taiwanese flag on a South Korean television show was publicized.
Infuriated Chinese nationalists urged for Tzu-Yu’s K-Pop group, Twice, a group of nine 16-year-old girls, and her to be banned from performing in China for expressing pro-Taiwanese Independence sentiments with her flag waving. Shortly after, Tzu-Yu’s South Korean management company, JYP Entertainment, issued a video of her glumly reading an apology off a piece of paper,
“Hello everyone, there’s something I want to tell you all… There is only one China, The two sides of the strait are one, and I have always felt proud to be Chinese, I feel extremely apologetic to my company and to Internet friends on both sides of the strait for the hurt that I have caused, and I also feel very guilty. I have decided that I will halt all of my current activities in China, and will go through some serious reflection. Again, I apologize to everyone. Sorry.”
Her apology caused an uproar in Taiwan that was even greater than the initial furor communicated by the mainland Chinese Nationalists. Taiwanese news & media corporations interviewed many Taiwanese teenagers on what they felt about this whole ordeal. Many of the teenagers said things such as:
- “I feel so bad for Tzu-Yu. She is only 16, yet she is in the midst of all this political commotion.”
- “She must have been forced to read word-for-word off that piece of paper. No Taiwanese person could willingly or comfortably read that out loud.”
- “Tzu-Yu, stay strong! We are with you!”
It must be true when they say that, with fame comes great responsibility!
With Taiwan’s Pro-Independence Party having just won the presidential elections in a landslide victory and Taiwan’s nation status still widely disputed in regards to mainland China’s (People’s Republic of China) One China Policy – Tzu-Yu Chou’s flag waving was but one of the many incidents causing cross strait tensions between Taiwan (Republic of China) and Mainland China (The People’s Republic of China).