Official: Concert chaos won't disrupt ties
Sing! China event in Taiwan canceled after political activists invade stage
The Chinese mainland will continue to promote cultural exchanges with Taiwan despite a disruption by political activists at a music concert on Sunday, an official said on Wednesday.
A concert at Taipei’s National Taiwan University to showcase performers featured in Sing! China, a reality TV show similar to The Voice, descended into chaos when people waving “Taiwan independence” banners invaded the stage.
Organizers were forced to cancel the event, with local media reporting that the incident resulted in several injuries.
“It was simply an ordinary music activity that is well liked by young people from the mainland and the island,” Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.
“People who see it as a political event or call it a ‘consolidation activity’ are lacking confidence…. To call it ‘cultural consolidation’ is groundless and false.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the resumption of communications between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, which were uninterrupted until the election of Tsai Ing-wen as leader of the island in May last year.
“Although there have been ups and downs, it’s a historical trend and most people’s wish to see both sides communicate and collaborate,” Ma said.
The mainland will continue to support and encourage people-to-people exchanges, especially between members of the younger generation, he said, pledging that policies and measures to promote communication will not change.
“It’s a shame,” said Liu Guoshen, a professor of Taiwan studies at Xiamen University, speaking of the concert disruption. “The incident will affect public emotions and judgment, especially among artists.”
He condemned the protesters for their “violent behavior” and called them “very irresponsible”. He added, “It is necessary to continue promoting cultural exchanges to improve understanding, and to seek political common ground to create soil for unification.”
Sing! China has toured Taiwan for the past two years and performed in many schools and communities.
Taiwan pop star Jay Chou and Hong Kong’s Eason Chan are among the stars who have featured in the TV show, which is also popular in Singapore and Malaysia.