On October 7, BTS received Van Fleet Award from The Korea Society. Moreover, they deliver a virtual speech to convey their gratitude and hope. However, the BTS RM statement at the Van Fleet Award speech has unfavorably aroused the wrath of Chinese netizens and fans.
Following the controversy of RM statement over Korean War on BTS’ Van Fleet Awards speech that sensitive to Chinese netizen and fans, Mo Jong Hwa as the military manpower administration commissioner, spoke up to defend BTS on the matter.
“The fact that BTS mentioned Korea’s alliance with the US is an encouraging thing. Chinese netizens should be ashamed to talk about this issue. I think they are 100% wrong when they claim that BTS should’ve recognized the harm the allies of North Korea suffered as well.”Mo Jong Hwa
BTS RM Statement Controversy at Van Fleet Award Upset Chinese Netizens & Fans
BTS’ great contributions
The Septet Kpop boy group, BTS has become the pride of South Korea. However, they not only brought Kpop world globally but also introduced Korean culture and the Korean language.
They even have conquered various domestic and international charts. One of them is the Billboard Hot 100.
The US is one of the countries experiencing the Korean Wave, one of which is due to K-pop boy group BTS popularity. Recently, BTS received The Van Fleet Award for their contribution to developing relations between South Korea and the United States.
The General James A. Van Fleet Award
The Korean Society is a private, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization exclusively to promote greater “awareness, understanding, and cooperation” between the United States and South Korea.
According to The Korea Society, The General James A. Van Fleet Award is awarded “to one or more distinguished Koreans or Americans in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of US-Korea relations.”
In 2020, The Korea Society awarded the prestigious award to three outstanding individuals and organizations, and one of them is BTS. BTS is awarded The Van Fleet Award to recognize their outstanding contribution to the growing impact of Korean culture in the US.
After receiving the Van Fleet Award, BTS delivers an acceptance speech virtually with an inspirational speech.
BTS Speech at The Van Fleet Award
Why Chinese Netizens and Fans Upset over BTS RM statement at The Van Fleet Award?
The Kpop boy band leader, BTS RM statement at the end of the Van Fleet Award speech went viral and became a controversy. Moreover, he mentioned the Korean War (6.25) and is considered a “one-sided attitude.”
BTS RM said,
“The Korea Society’s 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women. After 70 years, the world we are living in is much closer than before. Boundaries in many aspects are getting more blurred.”
Moreover, he continued, “As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet award and keep doing our best in all that we do.”
Chinese netizens & fans condemnations of BTS cause Korean companies took down BTS advertisements and images.
South Korean boy band #BTS is strongly condemned on #China‘s social media for their speech after receiving James A. Van Fleet Award. Chinese netizens said the band’s totally one-sided attitude to the #KoreanWar hurts their feelings and negates history. pic.twitter.com/NaycIBzJwH— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 11, 2020
According to the Global Times, the words “two nations” referred to the US and South Korea. However, Chinese netizens and fans feel offended by BTS RM’s statement that two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women, as during the Korean War, many Chinese lives were lost as well.
Back in the Korean War, China assisted North Korea and fought against South Korea and the US. Some Chinese netizens respond to the statement, “The use of the word ‘two countries’ meaning Korea and the United States ignored the noble sacrifices of Chinese soldiers during the Korean War.“
Although he didn’t mention China’s involvement in the Korean War, this possibly explains Chinese netizens and fans’ outrage. BTS RM statement has become a controversy as it considered insensitive as the Chinese are taking a serious on patriotism
Further, the Chinese netizens and fans condemnation has made some South Korean companies in China deleted or hidden BTS contents. Those big brands are Samsung, Hyundai, and FILA.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China response
On October 12, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department of the Republic of China, Zhao Li Jian, respond on the matter.
I have noticed the relevant articles and reports, and also the reactions from Chinese netizens. I want to say that we should learn from history, look towards the future, value peace, promote friendship, and these should be our common goals. These are worth us joining hands in hard work. — Zhao Li Jian, on behalf of Foreign Affairs
Netizens reactions to BTS RM Statement controversy at Van Fleet Award
FurtherChinese fans have different responses to the BTS RM statement controversy at the Van Fleet Award. Some of them understand the band, while others insisted that BTS RM’s statement is offended.
Weibo users reaction:
- “I can never tolerate matters related to national dignity.”
- “In front of the country, there is no idol to chase stars.”
- “Country is the biggest attribute; some people who chase stars don’t forget this.”
- “Dad, you’re treating them too highly. There’s no need to respond.”
Twitter users reaction:
He was talking about Korean American relationship, like how America helped Korea, if it was about Korean China relationship he would have mentioned how China helped Korea. Van fleet award is a Korean American award not korean Chinese.— Afrah💜 (@afrxh_m) October 12, 2020
BTS upset China and some Chinese netizens when RM mentioned the Korean War (in which China fought on the side of North Korea and the Soviet Union) in the group’s acceptance speech for the Van Fleet Award. I really don’t think what RM said was wrong, per se.— Julian Mauricio (@JulianMauricio) October 12, 2020
I just saw the bts’s speech for van fleet & i’m not understanding well why fila china & samsung china are cancelling them? RM mentioned the korean war (& that was a bit unnecessary for the speech i admit) but he only mentioned the pain & never sided with only 1 side.— blue⁷●𖧵 (@yumesoobin) October 11, 2020
However, as the issue is heating up, BigHit Entertainment has not yet responded to the matter.
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