Chinese K-pop stars publicly back Beijing on Hong Kong

Lay, EXO

FILE – In this March 8, 2015, file photo, South Korean K-pop group EXO member Lay, second from left, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea. At least eight K-pop stars from China and even one from Taiwan and one from Hong Kong are publicly stating their support for the one-China policy, eliciting a mixture of disappointment and understanding from fans. It’s the latest example of how celebrities and companies feel the pressure to toe the line politically in the important Chinese market. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

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HONG KONG (AP) — At least eight K-pop stars from China and even one from Taiwan and one from Hong Kong are publicly stating their support for Beijing’s one-China policy, eliciting both disappointment and understanding from fans.

Many of the statements came after protesters opposed to Beijing’s growing influence over semi-autonomous Hong Kong tossed a Chinese flag into Victoria Harbour.

Lay Zhang, Jackson Wang, Lai Kuan-lin and Victoria Song are among those who recently uploaded a Chinese flag to social media and declared themselves “one of 1.4 billion guardians of the Chinese flag.” Wang is from Hong Kong and Lai from Taiwan.

Some see the pronouncements as examples of how celebrities feel pressured to toe the line in the important Chinese market. Yet they also coincide with a surge in patriotism among young Chinese.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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