BTS boy group under fire in China after thanking Korean veterans for their service


SEOUL – Chinese nationalists have erupted in anger at South Korean boy band BTS after its leader thanked Korean War veterans for their sacrifices.

The singer, who is passing by RM, made the remark in an acceptance speech recorded for an award from the Korean Society for the Promotion of US-Korean Relations.

“We will always remember the story of the pain our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” RM said in his speech, which made no mention of China.

“After 70 years, the world we live in is much closer than before. The boundaries in many ways are increasingly blurred, ”said RM. “As members of the global community, we must develop a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together.”

Chinese netizens and state media took RM’s comments as a slap in the face against China, whose soldiers fought alongside North Korean forces in their failed attempt to annex South Korea in the war. 1950-53. They accused RM of ignoring China’s role in the war, which Chinese Communist Party propaganda attributes to the United States, instead of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung’s attack on South Korea.

“I used to think some BTS songs were pretty good. Now, they appear to be covered in excrement, ”a commentator on the Sina Weibo microblogging service said. “Insulting China is absolutely not allowed.”

An account titled “BTS Insults China” has been viewed more than 4.5 million times, according to Sina Weibo.

“Many Chinese netizens have pointed out that the speech plays up to American netizens, but the country has played the role of aggressor in the war,” said an article in the Global Times newspaper, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The attacks reflect Beijing’s assertion abroad and China’s lingering sensitivity to the Korean Peninsula.

Asked about the controversy, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “What I mean is that it should be our common goal to take history as a mirror, to make facing the future, to cherish peace and promote friendship. ”

The ruling party is using the fully state-controlled media to stoke anger at foreign companies, celebrities or governments for taking action Beijing doesn’t like.

Last year, Chinese state television suspended broadcasting of National Basketball Association games after the Houston Rockets general manager expressed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Broadcasts resumed this week.

In 2017, Beijing destroyed the activities of South Korean retailer Lotte in China after the company sold land to the South Korean government to install an anti-missile system opposed by Chinese leaders.

Since the Korean War, Beijing has helped support isolated North Korea with oil donations and other aid to maintain a buffer between China and South Korea allied with the United States.

Chinese fan groups online have asked BTS for an apology and called for a boycott of an upcoming album and promotional events.

BTS-related products were lacking this week in online stores for Samsung Electronics and sports brand FILA on Chinese e-commerce sites, including Alibaba Group’s TMall and

Global brands have tried to distance themselves from politically sensitive issues, in particular Taiwan, the autonomous island claimed by Beijing as part of its territory, and Hong Kong, the scene of pro-democracy protests.

In 2016, Hong Kong singer Denise Ho said cosmetics giant Lancome canceled a concert to stand out from its pro-democracy activism.

In the same year, Taiwan-born Korean pop singer Chou Tzu-yu apologized for waving a Taiwanese flag on South Korean television after criticism from China.

BTS has yet to respond, but South Korean fans have reacted angrily.

“BTS fans come from all over the world, so the bullying of China will be known to all countries that took part in the Korean War,” said Johnny Kim, a South Korean engineer.

The row precedes the Thursday stock market debut of BTS ‘management company Big Hit Entertainment.

Hong Kong’s most prominent dissident Joshua Wong intervened, criticizing Beijing for “provoking unfounded rage and division.”

“There are still many Korean War veterans around the world, including those from the United States, so it is not reasonable for China to fight about this,” said Min-seong Lee, student in Seoul.


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