Straight talk by rock singer Bobby Chen (陳昇), who says that he does not care if he is shut out of the Chinese market, has generated support and praise from the public and netizens in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Chen, an erudite singer-songwriter and leader of the popular New Formosa Band (新寶島康樂隊), said he does not sacrifice his principles, unlike other entertainers who kowtow to China with apologies and try to curry favor with the Chinese government.
Instead of China shutting him out, Chen said: “I shut out China. That is what I am most proud of, staying here and bolstering Taiwan to become a bigger market. Since I don’t need the money, therefore you [China] cannot do nothing about me. All I need is Taiwan’s domestic market.”
In the interview, Chen voiced his opposition to the cross-strait service trade agreement, adding: “We don’t need more Chinese tourists coming to Taiwan. Do we have to suffer more and sacrifice our quality of living?”
Chen’s honesty and courage have resonated with many people in Taiwan and Hong Kong, prompting netizens to hail him as a hero.
Hong Kong’s Passion Times Magazine (熱血時報) produced a poster of Chen with a slogan that depicts the veteran entertainer as a heroic man who has the audacity to shut China out.
The poster has become a hot item, and has been widely circulated by netizens through online social network sites.
However, netizens in China have heaped scorn on Chen, while the Chinese government called Chen’s talk “extreme.”
During yesterday’s press conference, China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said: “These kind of extreme views cannot represent the majority of Taiwanese, and will not be accepted by most people in China. No one can deny the right of people across the Strait to visit each other and have mutual exchanges.”
The Passion Times responded by saying: “The communist Chinese government has no right to speak on behalf of Taiwanese to condemn Bobby Chen.”
Netizens in Hong Kong continue to support Chen.
“He is a real Taiwanese with courage. Money can not influence his upright standing of righteousness,” one wrote, while another wrote: “Everyone should learn to have a strong backbone like Chen, then Chinese tourists will not act in such arrogant ways.”
Chen formed the New Formosa Band with Huang Lien-yu (黃連煜) in 1992, and they have had many hits that blend traditional Taiwanese folk style with pop elements, some dealing with ethnic community, Taiwanese consciousness and social issues.
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