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Jaw Shaw-kong responds to reports China pressured Taiwan band Mayday to influence voters

KMT candidate says China should deny the claims, Mayday shouldn't be forced to take stance on cross-strait affairs

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KMT vice-presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong. 

KMT vice-presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Thursday (Dec. 28), Kuomintang (KMT) vice-presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) responded to a report by Reuters that Chinese officials are pressuring the popular Taiwanese rock back Mayday to make pro-China statements before the upcoming presidential election.

In his response, Jaw said that if the claim is false, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and State Council should deny the reports immediately. If the reports are true, then Mayday should ignore China’s request and should not be forced to take a public stance on cross-strait affairs, Jaw said.

“It is really stupid,” said Jaw of the report that China would pressure a popular rock band to influence a democratic election in Taiwan. “Mayday is a well-known Taiwanese band, known throughout the Chinese music scene. They should have creative freedom and the right to perform, they have nothing to do with cross-strait disputes over sovereignty,” said Jaw, as reported by UDN.

If Chinese authorities are trying to pressure the music group, Jaw said that China should immediately withdraw its demands on the band members. “They cannot and should not be forced to express a stance,” he said, noting that such a move would seriously upset many fans of May Day in both Taiwan and China.

Mayday recently toured in China, where they got into hot water with state authorities for allegedly lip-synching during a concert in Shanghai on Nov. 16, which is illegal in China, per BBC. Mayday has denied the allegations and has since returned to Taiwan.

It is plausible that Chinese officials made demands of the members to make pro-China statements in exchange for lenient treatment in the lip-synching investigation. Mayday is preparing to hold a week-long series of concerts at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium from Dec. 31 through Jan. 7, when they will have the public opportunity to comment on the upcoming election.

The following week the band will head overseas again for shows in Singapore, followed by a performance in Germany.