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Chinese Nationalists Mad After Boy Band BTS Praises Korean War Veterans

SEOUL (AP) — Chinese nationalists erupted in anger at South Korean boy band BTS after its chief thanked Korean War veterans for his or her sacrifices.

The singer, who goes by RM, made the comment in a recorded acceptance speech for an award from the Korea Society for selling U.S.-Korean relations.

“We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” RM mentioned within the speech, which included no point out of China.

“After 70 years, the world we are living in is much closer than before. Boundaries in many aspects are getting more blurred,” RM mentioned. “As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together.”

Chinese web customers and state media took RM’s feedback as a slap at China, whose troopers fought alongside North Korean forces throughout their failed try to annex South Korea within the 1950-53 warfare. They accused RM of ignoring the function performed by China within the warfare, which Chinese Communist Party propaganda blames on the United States, as a substitute of North Korean chief Kim Il Sung’s at-tack on South Korea.

“Before, I thought some BTS songs were pretty good. Now, they seem to be covered in excrement,” mentioned a commenter on the microblog service Sina Weibo. “Insulting China is absolutely not allowed.”

An account titled “BTS Insults China” had been seen greater than 4.5 million occasions, in line with Sina Weibo.

“Many Chinese netizens pointed out that the speech plays up to U.S. netizens, but the country played the role of aggressor in the war,” mentioned an article within the Global Times newspaper, managed by the Chinese Communist Party.

The assaults mirror Beijing’s assertiveness overseas and enduring Chinese sensitivity in regards to the Korean Peninsula.

Asked in regards to the controversy, a Chinese overseas ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, mentioned, “What I want to say is that it should be our common pursuit to take history as a mirror, face the future, cherish peace and promote friendship.”

The ruling celebration makes use of the completely state-controlled press to whip up anger in opposition to overseas corporations, celebrities or governments that take steps Beijing dislikes.

Last yr, Chinese state TV suspended broadcasts of National Basketball Association video games after the overall supervisor of the Houston Rockets expressed help for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Broadcasts resumed this week.

In 2017, Beijing destroyed South Korean retailer Lotte’s enterprise in China after the corporate bought land to South Korea’s authorities to put in an anti-missile system opposed by Chinese leaders.

Since the warfare, Beijing has helped prop up remoted North Korea with presents of oil and different help to keep up a buffer between China and U.S.-allied South Korea.

Online Chinese fan teams demanded an apology from BTS and known as for boycotts of an upcoming album and promotional occasions.

BTS-related merchandise have been lacking this week from the net shops of Samsung Electronics and sports activities model FILA on Chinese e-commerce web sites together with Alibaba Group’s TMall and JD.com.

Global manufacturers have tried to distance themselves from politically sensitive points, particularly Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing as a part of its territory, and Hong Kong, the scene of pro-democracy protests.

In 2016, Hong Kong singer Denise Ho mentioned cosmetics large Lancome canceled a live performance to distance itself from her pro-democracy activism.

The identical yr, Taiwan-born Korean pop singer Chou Tzu-yu apologized for shaking a Taiwanese flag on South Korean TV after criticism by China.

BTS has but to reply, however South Korean followers reacted angrily.

“BTS fans are from all over the world, so China’s bullying will be known to all countries that took part in the Korean War,” mentioned Johnny Kim, a South Korean engineer.

The row comes forward of Thursday’s inventory market debut of BTS’s administration firm, Big Hit Entertainment.

Hong Kong’s most distinguished dissident, Joshua Wong, weighed in, criticizing Beijing for “provoking groundless rage and division.”

“There are still many Korean War veterans around the world, including those from the United States, so it’s not reasonable for China to pick a fight over this,” mentioned Min-seong Lee, a scholar in Seoul.

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