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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

‘Silence is pro-independence’: Taiwanese artists feel pressure to hint political leanings on China’s National Day

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ouyang nana china's national day

Nana Ou-Yang (欧阳娜娜 Ōuyáng Nànà)

On October 1, China’s Nationwide Day, a sequence of Taiwanese artists took to social media — essentially services and products accessible and popular in mainland China, adore Weibo — to commemorate the institution of the Folks’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 and rejoice the Mid-Autumn Festival, which came about to be on the same day this year.

But amidst all of the holiday wishes, those that didn’t be half of the chorus of congratulations have change into targets of nationalist Chinese language ire, with many suspecting that their silence was as soon as supposed to quit remote from being related with pro-unification views in an atmosphere of heightening tensions between mainland China and Taiwan.

Silly issues about Taiwan (@台湾傻事), a talented-unification Weibo legend dedicated to “poking enjoyable at” the island, has been taking notes of which Taiwanese public figures marked the anniversary of PRC’s 71st anniversary and acknowledged them as Chinese language in social media posts. The bare minimal expected from Taiwanese stars was as soon as to fragment celebratory posts before every thing revealed by government media stalwarts.

taiwan national day

Aside from for sharing, some artists went a step extra by adding more explicit notes to staunch their political leanings. “Two holidays fell on the same day and introduced double luck. My coronary heart belongs to China,” Taiwanese actress Xú Jiéér 徐洁儿 wrote.

Commence air of the digital space, presumably the most overt manner for a Taiwanese artist to manufacture a public stance on politics is to seem on the Nationwide Day galas hosted by CCTV. This year, Taiwanese pop stars Nana Ou-Yang (欧阳娜娜 Ōuyáng Nànà) and Angela Chang (张韶涵 Zhāng Sháohán) took segment within the big note to rejoice PRC’s birthday, despite dazzling warnings from Taiwan’s Ministry of Tradition, who, earlier than the gala, entreated the two artists to “clutch the interests of Taiwan as a full as their precondition for doing issues.”

While their performances — Ou-Yang singing My Nation and Chang singing Guardian — could perchance need alienated a necessary fragment of their fan bases in Taiwan, mainland audiences confirmed an outpouring of enhance, with many praising the pair for “pledging allegiance to PRC” and “leveraging their star energy to persuade the formative years in Taiwan,” which they noticed as wanted prerequisites for Taiwanese artists to rake in performance payments and royalties in mainland China.

Meanwhile, a community of Taiwanese artists who had an brisk presence on Weibo but selected now to no longer put up one thing on October 1 have come below intense scrutiny. Critics argued that it’s with regards to very now no longer going for them to miss the barrage of patriotic messages shared by their peers and thus their silence spoke volumes about where they stood on problems with Taiwans’ pro-democracy circulate and Beijing’s territorial integrity. “Our sensitivity is completely justified. These public figures could perchance unruffled in spite of every thing feel compelled to take a facet. Many Taiwanese artists have been captivating to enlighten their political views a long time ago, but why did some of them change into without word tight-lipped on their views as of late? There wishes to be no excuses for them if they haven’t retired or don’t have net get right of entry to,” an net user wrote (in Chinese language).

The phenomenon of Chinese language authorities pressuring Taiwanese celebrities to talk out politically has existed for as lengthy as there have been disagreements over whether or now no longer Taiwan is its have sovereign command or segment of China. However the pressure has intensified enormously after the proliferation of social media, which equipped a convenient machine for common net users in China to video display Taiwanese artists’ online actions, as neatly as demand them to be more outspoken, or a minimal of clearer, about their political views.

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