After unfurling a Taiwanese flag at one of her concerts in the U.K., pop singer Deserts Chang, had her upcoming show in mainland China canceled. After authorities on the mainland caught wind of Chang displaying her “flag of home” during a concert in Manchester, England, they pulled the plug on her previously scheduled Dec. 30 concert in Beijing.
According to That’s Online, a community news portal, during her show at the University of Manchester, Chang spotted a group of Taiwanese students holding the Taiwanese (Republic of China) flag and borrowed it to display onstage briefly. “I see there are also people who bring a national flag to the concert,” she said to the audience. “I have not felt so patriotic for a while… and I am from Taiwan.”
China’s central government and the Taiwanese government continue to dispute Taiwan’s status as an independent nation, often a very heated debate. Another concertgoer, reportedly from mainland China, also found offense to Chang’s flag display, and shouted, “There are students from mainland [China] here. No politics today.”
Chang retorted to the unidentified concertgoer, saying, “It’s not politics, it is just a flag that represents where I am from.” Unsatisfied with Chang’s defense, the alleged woman who shot back at the concert took her displeasure with Chang’s politics in a post online.
“I just want to point out the fact that she did use the words ‘national flag,’ which, according to Wikipedia, means: ’A flag that symbolizes a country.’… 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.”
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In a statement on Facebook, Chang responded to the controversy and her canceled Beijing concert, saying, “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.”
Under the current Taiwanese administration, ties have been much warmer than they have been in the past. But underlying tension still remains. While the ROC flag represents sovereignty for the Taiwanese, China refuses to recognize it, labeling the island as a “renegade province,” that the government is determined to reincorporate back into the Chinese state.