AP: Korean boy band BTS faces uproar in China over war comments
Wed October, 2020, Age: 2 weeks
The mega-popular Korean boyband BTS is facing backlash from fans in China after its lead singer made comments commemorating the sacrifices of Korean War veterans in a speech accepting an award for promoting U.S.-Korea relations at the Korea Society. “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” lead singer RM said in the speech, which included no mention of China. “As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together.”
The Chinese Communist Party maintains that the U.S. was the main aggressor of the war, and fought alongside North Korea in the 1950-1953 war. Chinese fans accused BTS of ignoring the role of China in the war, and the hashtag ‘BTS Insults China’ has gone viral on Chinese social media app Weibo. Netizens’ attacks reflect Beijing’s assertiveness abroad and enduring Chinese sensitivity about the Korean War: the ruling party uses the entirely state-controlled media to whip up anger against foreign companies, celebrities or governments that take steps Beijing dislikes. Korean chain store Lotte, Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota, and American brands such as Marriott and the NBA are just some of the previous victims of Chinese patriotic nationalism.