Deserts Chang's Beijing concert canceled over flag row

Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Taiwanese signer-songwriter Deserts Chang has announced the cancellation of a Beijing concert originally set for Dec. 30, following a row over her display of a Republic of China (Taiwan) flag at a concert early this month in the United Kingdom. "We have decided to suspend the long-planned concert in consideration of performance quality and the rights and safety of concertgoers," Chang's agent Tsai Yu-ching wrote on the singer's Facebook page. Tsai said that "an unexpected episode" -- a reference to the flag incident -- has led to implications that have distorted the singer's simple desire to embrace creativity and an exchange of ideas. Stressing that Chang and her team highly value feedback from all walks of life, Tsai wrote that they would be happy to exchange views in the hopes of bringing about a breakthrough in exchanges and engagement. The announcement follows speculation that the concert would be called off following the Nov. 2 display of the ROC flag. Chang waved the flag on stage at a concert at the University of Manchester and introduced it as her country's flag after it was given to her by a Taiwanese audience member. The episode descended into sometimes vicious exchanges between Internet users on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, while major Chinese and Hong Kong entertainment media outlets have given the matter extensive coverage. The post on Chang's Facebook had collected over 12,000 "likes" and over 700 comments within three hours of being posted. Most of the comments were supportive of the artist, coming from fans in Taiwan as Facebook is blocked in China. (By Hsu Hui and Sofia Wu)