Taiwanese K-Pop singer Chou Tzu-yu was embroiled in the cross-strait tensions between Mainland China and Taiwan when she was seen holding a Korean flag and Taiwanese flag to represent where she came from in a recent appearance on a South Korean Television program.
This caused heavy backlash from Chinese online communities, who went on to suggest that Chou was subtly pushing for Taiwan’s independence in doing so.
Chou was subsequently pulled from endorsing China smartphone Huawei in South Korea and her girl group TWICE‘s performance at this year’s Chinese New Year concert for Anhui TV was cancelled.
Yesterday, a day before Taiwan’s elections, Chou posted a video apologising to audiences for her actions. She is pictured reading off a piece of paper, bowing deeply before and after finishing her apology.
During the one-minute video, Chou recited lines saying that “There is only one China, and both sides (China and Taiwan) are one body”. She continued by saying, “I am a Chinese citizen, and I am proud of it”. She then went on to apologise to her audience and company for her actions which she described as causing damage to the relations between China and Taiwan, before announcing that she would not be participating in any events in China for the time being.
The release of her apology video has sparked even more debate between the two sides, with Chinese entertainer Huang An posting on his Weibo applauding her decision to become ‘a child of china’. Other Chinese netizens were less easily won over by her apology, calling it superficial and telling her to ‘jump off the roof’.
Taiwanese audiences are also equally sensitive to the news due to their elections which are currently in session today. Known Political commentator Yao Li-Ming spoke up for Chou in Taiwanese political talk show “News chase chase chase”, expressing that the Taiwanese government did not do their job in protecting Taiwanese citizens from such debacle.
Taiwanese netizens are also concerned, with many speculating that Chou was forced to read out the statement by her record label JYP Entertainment, and have caused an outpouring of sympathy and support for the 16-year old.
Watch the video below:
The translation of the statement by Chou Tzu-yu:
Hi everyone, I have something to say to everyone. Hi everyone, I am Chou Tzuyu. Sorry, I should have came out and apologized earlier. Because I didn’t know how to face the current situation, I have been afraid to face everyone directly, so I’m only speaking out now. There is only one China. The two shores are one. I feel proud being a Chinese. I, as a Chinese, have hurt the company and netizens’ emotions due to my words and actions during overseas promotions. I feel very, very sorry and guilty. I have decided to halt all current activities in China in order to reflect seriously. Again, I apologize to everyone. Sorry.