Less than 24 hours before the big Taiwanese presidential election, a harrowing video appeared on the Internet. 16 year-old K-pop star Chou Tzu-Yu (周子瑜) stands in front of the camera and begins her talk with an apologetic bow. Chou goes on to state that there is only one China and that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one. She then affirms that she is Chinese, and, just as how she started, she ends with a deep bow.
Hi everyone, I have something to say to everyone.
Hi everyone, I am Chou Tzuyu. Sorry, I should have came out and apologized earlier. Because I didn’t know how to face the current situation, I have been afraid to face everyone directly, so I’m only speaking out now. There is only one China. The two shores are one. I feel proud being a Chinese. I, as a Chinese, have hurt the company and netizens’ emotions due to my words and actions during overseas promotions. I feel very, very sorry and guilty. I have decided to halt all current activities in China in order to reflect seriously. Again, I apologize to everyone. Sorry.
Even without much background about why this video was made, the image is already disturbing with Tzu-Yu’s shaky voice, her distraught look, and the script in her hand. This footage is akin to watching hostages being forced to read a ransom note. However, it seems as if this may just be the start of a dangerous cultural witch-hunt.
Calling himself the “Taiwan Independence Activist Hunter”, this witch-hunter is Huang-An (黃安), a Taiwanese-born celebrity who has moved to China to expand his career. Huang has started tipping off the Chinese CCP government about who he believes to be Taiwanese independence activists.
Chou was identified by Huang to be such an activist, and her “activist moment” was appearing on a variety show with her fellow members, in bed, waving two flags: the Republic of China flag and the South Korean flag.
The CCP government acted on this intelligence and forced Chou’s company, JYP Entertainment, to pull Chou’s shows, and millions of Chinese netizens called for bans and boycotts of TWICE’s music. This will undoubtedly cause JYP to lose money and fans. On January 15, under JYP Entertainment’s YouTube channel, the haunting video of Chou’s “apology” was aired.
Responding to upset Chinese netizens, J. Y. Park, CEO of JYP Entertainment, issued an apology to the Chinese people. In it, he takes fault for “not teaching her well in place of her parents,” and states that the company will put a stop to all of Chou’s promotions in China.
Chou, however, is not Huang’s only target. Huang has openly spoken to report many other Taiwanese celebrities as being activists for Taiwanese independence.