Madonna's display of ROC flag stirs passions in Taiwan, China

02/05/2016 07:34 PM
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(From Madonna
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Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) Pop icon Madonna's display of a Republic of China flag during her Thursday concert in Taipei has drawn a lot of support in Taiwan but has sparked controversy on the Internet in China, making her the latest celebrity to stir up heat by showing an ROC flag on stage.

The American entertainer draped herself in the ROC flag at the end of her concert while performing her encore song "Holiday" -- a routine that she performs in other countries with their national flags.

Taiwanese fans were quick to thank the singer for showing her affinity with the local audience. "Thank you Madonna, you are the queen. Thank you for enlightening Taipei with our national flag!" wrote one Facebook user.

But fans on the other side of the Taiwan Strait were less than enthusiastic about the gesture.

When a photo of Madonna with the ROC flag was posted on the singer's microblog fan site in China, some Chinese Internet users urged the photo to be deleted, while others called the ROC flag a "regional flag" instead of a national flag.

Check Madonna's first Taipei concert here

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, to be reunited by force if necessary.

The incident came a few weeks after Taiwanese K-pop singer Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) was embroiled in a controversy after she waved an ROC flag on a South Korean TV show.

Other performers, such as American singer Katy Perry and Taiwanese singer Deserts Chang (張懸), have also been mired in controversy in the past for displaying the ROC flag during their concerts.

Surprisingly, it wasn't the ROC flag that Madonna took the most heat for this time.

An image showing Madonna with Taiwan's national emblem, which was posted on the singer's social media sites on Thursday -- apparently as a gesture of goodwill to her Taiwanese fans -- started a political landslide and sparked an emotional response from local netizens.

The image shows Madonna's picture inside a blue sun with 12 rays, which resembles the ROC national emblem of a white sun with 12 rays on a blue background. The ROC national emblem is the canton of the ROC flag and resembles the emblem of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), which suffered a crushing defeat in the presidential and legislative elections last month.

Many Taiwanese apparently do not see the sun with 12 rays as a symbol of Taiwan.

The most-liked comment on the original post, with over 4,000 likes as of 7 p.m. Friday, reads: "OMG this is not Taiwan or Taipei's symbol, this is the symbol of the party KMT that kills so many Taiwanese. Please correct this ridiculous mistake. Show some respect to this island."

Another Facebook user compared the emblem to a "Nazi symbol" and said that "somebody ought to have a good talk with whoever chose the symbol."

Others, however, defended the singer.

"Madonna you rock! You can totally ignore the political comments, I seriously don't know why some people just can't seem to live without politicizing everything," wrote one user.

"She's an artist not an international history professional," wrote another.

Madonna is scheduled to hold her second and last Rebel Heart concert in Taiwan Saturday at the Taipei Arena.

(By Christie Chen)ENDITEM/J

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