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Thu, May 25, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Government denounces A-mei incident

STAFF WRITER , WITH AP

Taiwan's government said yesterday it was "regrettable" that China has politicized the country's pop-singers into persona non-grata on the mainland.

Government spokeswoman Chung Chin (鍾琴) urged China not to let politics get in the way of cultural exchange.

"We are and have been respectful to the PRC's national symbols and did not interfere when our performers attended the mainland's official event," Chung said.

She said Taiwan will not take retaliatory measures and reminded Beijing of its insistence that Taiwan would be offered "equal status" if the new government is willing to recognize the "one China" principle.

"We will not ban China's entertainers from performing here ... and what Beijing is doing is self-contradictory," Chung said.

"We urge the mainland to exercise mutual respect," she added.

Chinese state-controlled media pulled advertisements for the soft drink Sprite featuring Taiwanese Aboriginal singer Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), also known as A-mei, after she sang Taiwan's national anthem at President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration on Saturday.

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