News / Asia

    China-linked Flag Incident Stirs Anger on Taiwan Election Day

    A supporter of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party holds up a placard of Chou Tzu-yu, who was forced to apologize after waving the Taiwanese flagA supporter of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party holds up a placard of Chou Tzu-yu, who was forced to apologize after waving the Taiwanese flag
    x
    A supporter of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party holds up a placard of Chou Tzu-yu, who was forced to apologize after waving the Taiwanese flag
    A supporter of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party holds up a placard of Chou Tzu-yu, who was forced to apologize after waving the Taiwanese flag
    Ralph Jennings

    The Taiwan government and top politicians are expressing anger toward China after a teen pop star apologized on the eve of presidential elections for waving her island's flag. China does not recognize Taiwan's sovereignty, but the island is self-ruled and its political status is an issue in every election.

    Sixteen-year-old Taiwanese pop singer Chou Tzu-yu apologized late Friday for holding her homeland's flag in a November broadcast. Local media and political camps believe her apology on air in South Korea was made to satisfy China. She’s part of the Korean pop band TWICE. China claims Taiwan as its own and opposes displays of nationhood.

    Watch: Chou Tzu-yu's apology:


    Chou's statement came hours before Taiwanese voters elected a new president partly based on each candidate's views on China. Election winner Tsai Ing-wen defended the singer on election day.
     
    She said a lot of Taiwanese would feel hurt and angered by this event. She added that no one should come under pressure for carrying the Republic of China flag as an expression of recognition for the country or be forced to say something opposite the person’s real views.

    The other major candidate also defended the singer, and Taiwan's government lodged a protest with Beijing and said the flap could hurt relations, which have improved since 2008.

    The apology sparked an uproar among Taiwanese in social media.

    A video clip shows the singer bowing twice in apology for showing the flag in what local media described as a November online broadcast. Taiwan media reports added that her events had been called off in China. A video recirculated online quoted Chou as saying she was proud to be Chinese.

    Taiwan media said her Korean management company, JYP Entertainment, had rejected claims that the apology was made to appease Beijing, though some reports said it had expressed regret about the flag. Entertainers value China’s massive market, and in the past China has banned other celebrities who stick up for Taiwan.
     
    Tsai, the presidential election winner, has caused some concern in China by rejecting the conditions that have allowed Beijing to talk with Taiwan’s current government since 2008. The victor said she wanted dialogue with China, but her party includes a faction that advocates legal independence for Taiwan, more than today’s self-rule.

    China and Taiwan have been on their own since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, but Taiwan has never changed its constitution to break away formally.

    Taiwan’s ministry in charge of China affairs protested to Beijing and called the apology a serious wound to Taiwanese people. The Chinese government replied that political forces in Taiwan were using the incident to stir up people on both sides.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora