Taiwanese popstar Deserts Chang has had her upcoming China tour cancelled at the behest of mainland authorities after she displayed the flag of the Republic of China (de facto government of Taiwan) at a gig in Manchester, UK.
Chang was playing a show at the University of Manchester when she spotted a group of Taiwanese students with an ROC flag, she borrowed the standard from them to display on stage briefly, saying: "I see there are also people who bring a national flag to the concert. I have not felt so patriotic for a while ... and I am from Taiwan."
Demonstrating the kind of tact and civility the Chinese government normally saves for territorial disputes in the South China Sea, a woman in the crowd – reportedly from mainland China – angrily shouted: "There are students from mainland [China] here. No politics today."
"It’s not politics, it is just a flag that represents where I am from," Chang responded.
The fan who shouted out continued her tantrum online, posting a rant about the incident on Douban:
I just want to point out the fact that she [Chang] did use the words ‘national flag,’ which, according to Wikipedia, means: ‘A flag that symbolizes a country.'
Well, if Wikipedia says so*. The woman added that Chang should have mind to what she says in public about "sensitive subjects" like flags:
As a star whose words carry significant weight, she went too far when she brought the subject to the table. Deserts Chang is dead to me now.
The woman also laid into other Chinese fans at the concert for failing to lynch Chang (or something) when "bottom lines were being challenged".
As well as earn her 50 cents, the agitated ex-fan was also successful in sparking a heated debate online (in which knuckle-dragging keyboard warriors accused Chang of – among other things – "culturally bullying" the woman who shouted at her), which eventually led to the authorities revoking Chang's invitation to perform in Beijing on December 30.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Chang wrote: "I am not singing to make money and to harm people at the same time ... I am willing to cancel my concert and take on any losses as a result so as to end the discontent and troubles caused to the organizers."
Chang won't be the first Taiwanese pop star to be blacklisted from China for "misbehaving" overseas. Singer A-Mei performed the Taiwanese national anthem at the 2000 inauguration of President Chen Shui-bian, then leader of the pro-independence DPP. A-Mei was banned from performing in China for 13 months and lost an advertisement contract with Sprite.
*The angry fan shouldn't have stopped her Wikipedia research there, the entry for 'country' reads: "A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated peoples with distinct political characteristics."
[Image via Facebook]