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K-pop singer Tzuyu apologizes over Taiwan controversy

All News 16:55 January 16, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- Tzuyu of the multinational K-pop girl group TWICE and her agency chief have apologized for her waving of a Taiwanese flag that sparked controversy during the sensitive time of Taiwan's presidential elections.

The Taiwanese native has been embroiled in a heated row after she held up the flag of the Republic of China in an online-exclusive portion of "My Little Television," an MBC variety show, in November.

The Republic of China is the government of Taiwan, but Beijing believes the island should be part of the People's Republic of China, which governs mainland China.

Though her agency, JYP Entertainment, has apologized twice stressing that she did not have any political intentions, the case has infuriated Chinese citizens, with some Chinese TV stations canceling schedules for not only TWICE but other JYP artists.

In an apparent move to calm controversy, Tzuyu, whose full name is Chou Tzu-yu, finally came forward and expressed her own personal apology.

In a video clip posted on the YouTube and China's social media network of Weibo on Friday, the 17-year-old star said she "definitely endorses the One-China policy, and has always been proud of herself as a Chinese."

The One-China policy is a view that there is only one country called China despite the existence of two governments.

"I extended my apology belatedly as I did not know how to handle this situation," she said, bowing twice while reading her one-and-a-half-minute statement.

"I am so sorry for harming my company, the Chinese and Taiwanese Internet users, and cross-Strait relations ... Looking back on what I've done, I will suspend activities in China," she said.

In a separate message, JYP chief Park Jin-young also apologized for "mismanaging" his artist, and vowed "to make utmost efforts to prevent any recurrences down the road."

On Saturday, voters head to the polls for an election that may usher in the era of the first female president in Taiwan and end eight years of closer ties with mainland China. Tsai Ing-wen, the head of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is widely seen as the favorite.

The media spotlight, however, was all on the K-pop star, with leading candidates in the vote demanding answers from China and South Korea on the matter.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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