BTS fans in China are upset over RM’s speech. The band’s leader, RM, sparked outrage on social media in China when he cited the “history of pain” shared between South Korea and the US. They fought alongside each other in the 1950-53 conflict.
In the acceptance speech, BTS leader RM said the group was honoured to receive the award given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of US-Korea relations.
He also said that 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. 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. We will keep doing our best in all that we do,” RM said.
The two nations RM referred to are the US and South Korea. Chinese citizens “pointed out that the speech plays up to US, but the country played the role of aggressor in the war.”
While some fans were more understanding, others insisted that there is no idol who is superior to the motherland.
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,” according to sources.
BTS Chinese fans responded with demands to end the band’s commercial interests in China. BTS has at least 5 million fans on the popular social media platform Weibo.
“They should not make any money from China,” one angry user said on Weibo. “If you want to make money from Chinese fans you have to consider Chinese feelings.”
Whereas there was a section of Twitter who pointed out that BTS did not even mention China.
The row over the Korean war’s legacy broke out several days after an online BTS concert drew a huge global audience. It then unfolded as the band clinched the two top spots on Billboard’s main singles chart.