Seoul #52 -prescan von Thomas Birke


Ohne Titel von Monalisa Borelli
Taken in Seoul


Tsai Ing-Wen on Time Magazine cover
Taiwan (2015)

Chou Tzuyu in My Little Television (online segment)
South Korea (2015)

In case you haven’t heard, Taiwan now has a new president! 

Tsai Ing-wen / 蔡英文 is a law academic from the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), the country’s most pro-independence party. She also happens to be Asia’s first woman leader who didn’t get elected through dynastic politics - i.e. she isn’t the daughter or wife of a great politician. Hell, she isn’t even married. And she loves cats and LGBT rights!

Interestingly, she may have received her double-digit lead thanks to a 21st century intersection of K-pop and pressure from the People’s Republic of China.

Thinking Taiwan says:

The Great Power That Can’t Help Itself

The public humiliation of a young Taiwanese entertainer in South Korea has sparked outrage among the Taiwanese, who retaliated with an even more powerful weapon — their votes

Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) isn’t her usual bubbly self in the short video, which has spread like brushfire in social media over the past 24 hours. The Taiwan-born 16-year-old member of the South Korean pop band TWICE has been forced to apologize, on film, for holding a Nationalist flag (symbol for the Republic of China) during a recent filming, and, reading from a script, to “admit” that she is Chinese rather than Taiwanese. Visibly shaken, the young woman doesn’t exactly radiate pride in her avowed Chineseness. In fact, it is clear that the confession, which has drawn many comparisons to videos produced by the Islamic State, was made under duress and under threat by her South Korean agent and Chinese sponsors that her career as an entertainer would be jeopardized should she refuse to humiliate herself on camera.

Chou Tzuyu’s Public Apology
South Korea/Taiwan (2016)

What is most shocking about the incident (besides the idea that Chinese zealots would force a 16-year-old to go through this) is its timing. As the confession was beginning to spread on the Internet (more than 2.5 million views on YouTube since Jan. 15), millions of Taiwanese were readying to vote for their future president and parliament in the sixth free general election since their country democratized after decades of authoritarian rule. By depicting Chou as a “Taiwanese splittist” for displaying the ROC flag, those responsible for this incident confirmed once again why the majority of Taiwanese want nothing to do with becoming part of the People’s Republic of China.

With their act, the geniuses at Huawei, the Chinese cellphone maker that, after Chou’s “crime” was exposed and sparked “outrage” in hypersensitive China, pressured South Korea’s LG Uplus to cease all cooperation with Chou, have succeeded in offending not only Taiwanese patriots but also many supporters of the Beijing-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who take great pride in the ROC. Chou has endorsed Huawei’s Y6 cellphone in the South Korean market. LG Uplus has signed apartnership with Huawei for its LTE network equipment.

Huawei and LG users, take note. ;)

Unsurprisingly, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is running for the presidency as head of the People First Party, have both condemned the attack against Chou and maintain that she has nothing to apologize for. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stepped in on Saturday, emphasizing that the ROC is a sovereign, independent country. Meanwhile, the response among supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is widely expected to be elected on Saturday, has been scathing and voluminous.

“This is the final straw. [The] KMT is done tomorrow as this video gets posted all over FB,” one Netizen wrote. “Communist China pig pressured, and directing the fucking dirty China pig 黃安, a poor, jobless, brainless, out-of-dated middle-aged singer did it,” wrote another, referring to Taiwanese singer Huang An, a pro-Beijing entertainer who has made it his “duty” to tip-off the Chinese government about the activities of Taiwanese entertainers and who is believed to have exposed Chou’s “transgression.” Indicatively, the Taiwan-born Huang, who reportedly became a Chinese citizen in 2001, is said to have called upon the pro-unification “ex” gangster Chang An-le (張安樂), a.k.a. White Wolf, to provide him personal protection when he returns to Taiwan during Lunar New Year…

Although the Chou affair is unlikely to have a decisive impact on the elections in Taiwan, many observers have reported being told by Taiwanese that the incident had emboldened them to vote, even if they have to travel to do so. If ever there was a sign of maturity among the Taiwanese, this is it: After the initial flash of anger, they responded to an affront by peacefully casting a vote. In the end, Taiwan wins.

Originally posted by gurl