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Do not 'politicize' flag row: Chinese scholar

2013/11/14 22:26:01

Beijing, Nov. 14 (CNA) The reaction of some Chinese young people over Taiwanese singer Deserts Chang's displaying of the Republic of Chin's flag during her recent concert is understandable, but it should not be "politicized," a scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said Thursday in Beijing.

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Chang did not intend to stir up controversy on cross-strait relations by displaying Taiwan's national flag at her UK concert earlier this month and the move does not have any political meaning, said Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan studies researcher at the academy.

"The young generation in Taiwan is not that sensitive to cross-strait politics," he told CNA.

On the contrary, in China, people were taught not to tolerate or accept anything related to the "two China" or "one China, one Taiwan" concepts, so it was understandable that young Chinese students were angry at Chang for showing and introducing the flag she was given by a Taiwanese member of the audience as her country's flag.

In response to Chang's earlier announcement to cancel her Dec. 30. Beijing concert, Wang said it was not necessary to do so and he hoped everyone will restrain themselves from overeacting or interpreting the spat as a political incident.

Mainland Affairs Council spokeswoman Wu Mei-hung said she regretted the concert cancellation, but she respected the decision made by Chang and the organizer who had to suspend the show on the consideration of the performance quality and the rights and safety of concertgoers.

The council has communicated with China on the issue over the past weeks and expressed hopes that the people from the two sides could share and learn to respect their differences.

China, at the same time, has given positive responses to Taiwan, with Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, saying that the younger generation should increase contact and engagement to enhance mutual understanding, feelings of familiarity, and ethnic identity.

Although Chang has angered Chinese audiences since the UK concert, some fans in China were actually disappointed over the news and told CNA that the Beijing was not wise to involve music with politics.

"Chang should come to Shanghai. If the concert is also canceled, I will gather my friends to travel to Taiwan to see her," Qian Kun, a fan living in Shanghai, said.

Qian said many young people in China have indepedent thinking and apart from being "brainwashed by the government," they were also taught to respect and listen to different opinions.

"After all this is just the music, there is nothing so serious about it," he said.

(By Chou Hui-ying, Rita Cheng, Scarlett Chai and Maia Huang)