BTS Comes Under Fire In China
BTS is being attacked in China after mentioning South Korea’s solidarity with the U.S. in the Korean War.
Accepting an award on Oct. 7 from the New York-based Korea Society for contributing to U.S.-Korea relations, member RM said: “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women.”
During the Korean War, from 1950 to 1953, the U.S. backed South Korea while North Korea was aided by China. Around 200,000 South Korean soldiers and 36,000 U.S. soldiers died in the conflict, as well as millions of civilians. China reportedly lost 180,000 soldiers.
RM's comment sparked backlash on Chinese social media – where "BTS humiliated China" was trending – and in state-run media reports. The Global Times said BTS has a “one-sided attitude” to the Korean war that “negates history.”
According to Reuters, one comment on Chinese social media platform Weibo read: “They should not make any money from China. If you want to make money from Chinese fans you have to consider Chinese feelings.”
As criticism grew, companies that have endorsement deals with BTS – including Fila and South Korean’s Samsung and Hyundai –quickly removed their posts from Chinese social media and several BTS-branded products were pulled from e-commerce sites.
The New York Times reported Monday that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperon Zhao Lijian told reporters: "We should learn from history and look toward the future by cherishing peace and advancing our friendship."
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