BRIAN CANAVE WRITES — It looks like Taiwanese singer Desert Chang has spark political tension with China.
It seems small things, such as raising a Republic of China flag during a performance, can rub some people the wrong way.
Chang, a leading alternative musician from Taiwan, performed last week in Manchester, England to a Chinese and Tawainese crowd. The concert was going great until Chang grabbed the flag of her native home from members of the audience and unfurled it on stage. The Wall Street Journal reported that audience members from the mainland booed her and said “no politics today, we just want to have fun” in English. Chang diplomatically replied that “she is happy to introduce where she is from and that Chinese students are free to express their opinions to her because [she] is always listening.”
Though the rest of the performance proceeded without trouble, the long term effects still linger. According to Focus Taiwan News Channel, which has extensively followed the situation, Chang’s concert in Beijing, China has reportedly been cancelled due to the Manchester controversy. Much of the criticism continues on the Web, with Netizens from both China and Taiwan arguing over social media platforms like Weibo.
In another Focus Taiwan News Channel article, it appears that attacks on the Taiwanese singer may be a part of an organized effort. The critical comments may be a part of China’s “50 cent party” campaign, in which Chinese web users get paid 0.5 Yuan per online post of government-directed propaganda. Further, the positive comments about the singer appear at the bottom of the page, while negative comments appear at the top.
Sina Weibo has declined a request for comment.