After 16-year-old Taiwanese singer, Chou Tzuyu (周子瑜), is unjustly persecuted by China and its broadcasting stations and forced to apologize for waving a Taiwanese flag, Taiwanese President Ma Ying Jeou (馬英九) makes public statement to support Tzuyu and states that the teen K-POP singer had done nothing wrong and does not need to apologize.
President Ma is the 7th president of Taiwan, who was in office from 2008 to 2016.
Translation of President Ma’s public statement on January 16, 2016, concerning Tzuyu:
I have some opinions regarding Chou Tzuyu’s incident. A 16-year-old girl from Taiwan who is working hard in the Korean entertainment industry, because she was holding a Taiwanese flag and did not do anything wrong, was forced to apologize. I believe that this is not right. It’s something we cannot accept. I am here to tell Miss Chou that she did not have to apologize, we support her. (Translated by Taipeimain. The second half of this statement does not mention Tzuyu and is included at the end of this news article so as not to confuse our readers with Taiwan’s different political views.)
While Chinese star Lin Geng Xin (林更新) expressed his ridicule of Tzuyu’s apology video on his Weibo with 28 million followers, other Taiwanese and Japanese stars (including Liu Dai Yan 劉玳妍, who posted on her Facebook page, and Akiho Yoshizawa, who posted on her Instagram) showed sympathy and support for Tzuyu.
Chinese netizens’ vicious hate speech against this 16-year-old girl has not died down after the teen’s apology video. Chinese netizens flooded the Weibo of agents and broadcasting stations to demand them to boycott Tzuyu after Huang An accused Tzuyu of being pro-independent for the second time, on January 8, 2016. (Note: His first accusation was in November of 2015. Huang An had accused Tzuyu of being pro-independence as early as November 23, 2015.) Chinese netizens then started to trend “Boycott Tzuyu, Boycott JYP Entertainment” on Weibo, and from January 11 to 14, continuously demanded public apologies, video apologies from both Tzuyu and JYPE, and declaring that they are going to destroy all future opportunities for Tzuyu and JYPE in China.
A detailed timeline and summary of The Tzuyu Event can be found in our article: The Tzuyu Event is now The China Problem.
After causing the terminations of advertisement contracts, withdrawal of invitations by Chinese TV stations, blacklisting of Tzuyu by major brands both in China and Korea, JYPE issuing two official statements, one written apology, and the video apology by Tzuyu, and after seeing the netizens of other countries calling out their act of bullying and supporting Tzuyu, Chinese netizens claimed everything is too late and that they had not done anything wrong to Tzuyu. Some Chinese netizens started to blame JYPE and Taiwanese politics to try to justify their persecution of Tzuyu. Most Chinese netizens are still hating on the innocent teen girl and abusing her with disturbing languages and insults on Chinese sites and social media.
The international communities showed sympathy and immense support for Tzuyu. Most cannot understand why a Taiwanese person waving a flag of Taiwan was unacceptable and caused China to bully a teenage girl into losing her hopes of being an entertainer. In addition to destroying the 16-year-old star’s dream and future, China’s bullying of Tzuyu forced the innocent teen to bow down to China’s barbaric behavior in a humiliating public apology wherein she was forced to give up her Taiwanese identity.
Korean and Japanese netizens have expressed their disgust with China’s mistreatment of Tzuyu and gave the Taiwanese star their support. Top comments are the likes of “One China. One Taiwan. What is the problem?” “In Japan Taiwanese celebrities can normally say ‘I’m a Taiwanese person’ so I don’t really understand this,” “Taiwan is not China,” “What is wrong with a Taiwanese person holding a Taiwan flag?” “What mistake did she make? She can’t even hold her own flag?” “Korea supports Tzuyu,” “Acting like this to a young idol accomplishes nothing, it doesn’t make Taiwan yours.” “What are they doing to this young kid? This is so cheap of them.”
In light of the bullying of Tzuyu by China, political figures from both the pro-independence and the pro-China party in Taiwan have stated that persons holding the flag of Taiwan should not be persecuted.
We would like to inform our readers that it is inevitable and necessary for the political figures in Taiwan to speak up about the victimization of Tzuyu because no one in the entertainment industry, no celebrities or public figures feel safe to speak up. If they do, they will be bullied and boycotted by China like Tzuyu. This leaves only the political figures to give their voice of reason and show their support for Tzuyu. However, Tzuyu is not affiliated with any political groups and has never publicly expressed her political stance. It is unfortunate that some media coverage of Tzuyu in China and Taiwan linked Tzuyu to politics. No political groups should use Tzuyu to push their own agendas.
The victimization of Tzuyu is unjust, inappropriate, and unacceptable. Tzuyu has been bullied and mistreated and needs her country’s strong support. Yet seemingly no one can do anything to stop the injustice. No other governments, not even the United Nations, will challenge China for the sake of Taiwan. Taiwanese people are deeply saddened by China’s mistreatment of Tzuyu. Taipeimain is not affiliated with any political parties or figures. We are reporting a case of bullying that leaves Taiwanese people feeling helpless and alone.
Tzuyu did nothing wrong and did not have to apologize. China, however, needs to apologize for bullying a teenager just because she is Taiwanese.
We support Tzuyu.
Translation of the second half of President Ma’s statement on January 16, 2016, concerning the flag of the Republic of China:
Secondly, I believe we should also let the Chinese government and Chinese people know that someone who truly embraces the Republic of China cannot be pro-independence. We believe it is legitimate and should be supported, when our citizens who identify with the Republic of China display our flag, whether it’s within our country or outside the country. Thank you all. (Translated by Taipeimain. Because this part of President Ma’s statement contains a political stance, we did not want group this part of the statement with the part that mentions Tzuyu. We do not want to link Tzuyu to any political parties or viewpoints.)