Plans to hold China’s Chinese Music Chart Awards (中國歌曲排行榜) ceremony in Taipei this month have been changed to a series of performances, in line with the government’s demands, the Taiwanese co-organizer of the event said yesterday.
“Government officials have the final say on the matter,” Taipei Artist Agency Association president Chao Shao-wei (趙少威) said, referring to remarks made by Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) earlier in the day that the government was unlikely to approve a proposal to stage the Chinese awards show in Taipei.
Asked at a legislative committee meeting about the plan to hold the awards ceremony in Taipei, Wang said many Chinese entertainers have come to Taiwan to perform, but such performances were not politically sensitive.
However, an awards ceremony was a different matter and could create problems, Wang told lawmakers.
He said it was “unwise” of the organizers to unilaterally announce that the ceremony — one of the biggest for Mandarin pop music — would be held in Taipei.
“We will not agree to such an awards ceremony being held in Taiwan,” he said.
On Friday last week, the organizers announced in Beijing that this year’s ceremony would take place in Taipei to mark the chart’s 20th anniversary.
The announcement was quickly condemned by opposition parties, which said holding the ceremony in Taipei would denigrate Taiwanese sovereignty because the 16 categories of awards are divided into two groups — China and Hong Kong/Taiwan.
A meeting of Cabinet agencies on Tuesday asked the organizers to submit additional paperwork on their proposal before it would decide whether to grant permission for the ceremony to be held in Taiwan.
Chao said the organizers would abide by the council’s demands and that the plan now is to have the awards ceremony in Beijing, while staging a series of performances in Taipei.
“This would provide entertainment to both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and we hope to make both sides happy,” Chao said.
He also said the lineup of performers traveling to Taipei would have to be adjusted to reflect the fact that the ceremony would not be taking place here.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should conduct exchanges with sincerity and that Chinese groups must abide by Taiwan’s laws and regulations, and respect the feelings of Taiwanese if they want to stage activities here.
“If the entertainers come here just to perform, we will absolutely welcome them,” Lung said.