Taiwanese singer-songwriter Bobby Chen had Chinese netizens up in arms and Taiwan/Hong Kong residents downright giddy when he remarked in a recent interview that mainland tourists should stay away from the island and learn to shut the door when they go to the bathroom.
Taipei Times reports:
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?”
Of course, a spokesman for China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits said in a statement that these “extreme views” don’t represent most of Taiwan.
Still, Chen has apparently been praised for his statements in both Taiwan and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Passion Times Magazine began circulating a poster of Chen with a slogan depicting him as a ‘heroic man’, according to Taipei Times.
“He is a real Taiwanese with courage. Money can not influence his upright standing of righteousness,” one Hong Kong netizen wrote.
“Everyone should learn to have a strong backbone like Chen, then Chinese tourists will not act in such arrogant ways,” another said.
Xinhua recently cited the comments in an editorial calling for an end to biased remarks about mainland China.
“It needs to be pointed out that remarks from singers or other public figures in Hong Kong and Taiwan ostensibly targeting the misconduct of tourists were not made to help strengthen ties,” it read.
“Taiwan has been a big beneficiary of the mainland’s opening up and economic development. The same is true for Hong Kong.”
The editorial also made reference to ol’ piss gate, which began when a young mainland couple let their toddler urinate on a busy Mong Kok street while visiting Hong Kong and ended with intervention by the World Toilet Organization.