January 15, 2016 10:11
A member of multinational K-pop group TWICE has canceled appearances in China after she waved the Taiwanese flag in an online broadcast.
JYP Entertainment said Thursday that Tzuyu (16) will stop performing in China as part of the group for the time being.
Tzuyu, who hails from Taiwan, waved her country's flag on the broadcast in November last year. The Taiwanese flag is a symbol of the island's independence from China, but Beijing does not acknowledge the island’s autonomy and maintains a fiction that it forms a part of the mainland.
The Taiwanese flag was also hoisted in the streets of London during the 2012 Summer Olympics but pulled down after protests from the Chinese government.
During the broadcast, Tzuyu waved the Korean and Taiwanese flags as she introduced herself. This did not draw much attention at the time but became a source of controversy after news spread that she would be appearing on a New Year's program on Chinese television.
Taiwanese singer Michael Huang, who is pro-Beijing, posted images on Weibo showing Tzuyu waving the Taiwanese flag. He also voiced his displeasure that a Taiwanese entertainer should on Chinese TV with a group that also has a Japanese member.
JYP Entertainment responded with a Weibo post saying Tzuyu endorses no particular political agenda but added it will cancel her engagements in China until the scandal blows over.
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