“There is only one China in the world,” actress Tiffany Ann Hsu (許瑋甯) said yesterday after receiving backlash from Chinese netizens for liking a post on Instagram that referred to Chinese tourists as a-lag-ah (阿六仔).
The post, which was made by a Taiwanese tourist and has since been removed, featured a photograph of Oshino Hakkai, a village in Japan.
In the caption, the Taiwanese tourist said that the village was crowded with a-lag-ah when they visited it on Tuesday.
Photo: screen grab from Sina Weibo
The sight sent their “patriotic sentiment through the roof,” they said.
The term a-lag-ah is a colloquial phrase typically used by Taiwanese who speak Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), and is sometimes used derogatively to describe Chinese. It is derived from the Chinese word dalu (大陸, “mainland”).
Chinese on Wednesday expressed their outrage online after discovering that Hsu had liked the post, with some calling for a boycott of her work.
At about 2am yesterday, Hsu said in a post on the Chinese microblogging Web site Sina Weibo that the “like” had been a mistake.
She had liked the post “out of habit,” without reading the text that accompanied the photograph, she said, adding that she detests comments such as the one made in the post.
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait are “one family,” she said, adding that she would be disabling her Instagram account to reflect on what had happened.
At about 1pm yesterday, China Movie Report (中國電影報導), a Chinese TV program that shares entertainment news, shared on its Sina Weibo page a photograph of a handwritten letter addressed to the program from Hsu.
In the letter, Hsu wrote about her identity, saying that as a child, because she did not look like the people around her, she was always considered a foreigner no matter where she went.
Her mother’s family originates from China’s Anhui Province and her father was born to Italian and American parents, she said.
“There is only one China in the world,” the letter read.
“I do not support Taiwanese independence. I hate division. I like people to get along,” Hsu wrote.
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