Coerced Apologies From Chinese Celebrities Inspire Mock ‘Annual Apologize to China Contest’
Tens of thousands of web users are participating in a Facebook contest and posting strange apologies to China.
The “The First Annual Apologize to China Contest,” initiated on July 16 by Taiwanese civil activist Wang Yikai, had attracted over 14,000 members at the time of writing. The contest saw an outpouring support from Facebook users in Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, many of whom formulated their own creative “apologies” to poke a fun at China’s special brand of nationalism.
To kick off the competition, Wang posted a picture of himself looking up at a blue sky, with the Chinese characters reading “The sky is so blue, I am sorry.”
Facebook user Remy Kwong, posted an “apology” that took a jab at China’s pollution from heavy metals.
“Sorry that I haven’t consumed most of the elements on the periodic table, guess I’m not qualified to be Chinese.”
The contest was triggered by a recent spate of celebrities issuing public, often scripted, apologies to China for having expressed their personal views.
Tensions between China and Taiwan garnered international attention after Chou Tzu-yu, a Taiwanese teenage pop singer in a Korean band, was forced to bow and read out a scripted apology for waving Taiwan’s national flag during one of her performances.
A similar incident happened last week where Leon Dai, an award-winning Taiwanese actor set to star in popular Chinese actress Vicki Zhao’s new film “No Other Love” was dropped from the cast. Dai issued a 3,000-word apology for allegedly supporting Taiwan’s independence after the Communist Youth League called for a boycott of the film set to release this year.
The Communist Youth League and its sister organization, the Young Pioneers, are subsidiaries of the Chinese Communist Party that rules China.
The aforementioned film also prompted a video apology from co-star Kiko Mizuhara, a Japanese-American actress, who received backlash from Chinese netizens for liking an Instagram picture deemed offensive to China.
Many Facebook users expressed concerns over human rights issues such as the Tiananmen Massacre, suppression of freedom and religious beliefs.
Taiwanese Zhang Ya-ting, for instance, apologized for “giving birth to a child on June 4.” Zhang was referring to massive government killings on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, a deed the Chinese regime to this day denies ever happened.
“Sorry that Norway awarded the Nobel Peace Price to someone you imprisoned,” another user remarked.
“Sorry China’s ‘little pinks,’ I know to respect others’ beliefs, although born in China, I ‘betrayed’ the party regime by coming overseas and practicing Falun Gong.”
“Sorry that I am secure here and won’t be taken away for live organ harvesting,” said Winter Grafton, referring to the China’s ongoing, state-run organ trade, in which hundreds of thousands of prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners, have had their organs pillaged.
“Hong Kongers owe the 1.3 billion Chinese an apology,” wrote Chung Yeung Yu. “Sorry that when the Great Leap Forward and Great Famine starved tens of millions, Hong Kong accommodated millions of Chinese refugees; in the Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong again housed political refugees in millions, during which there were around 2 million Chinese who left the ‘advanced’ socialist mainland to receive ‘exploitation’ from capitalists.”
Some mainland users also joined the contest, gaining appreciation from overseas netizens.
“Being a Chinese mainlander, I even know how to bypass the firewall—I’m letting China down,” wrote Liu Nian.
“I live in China and still coast along there, I want to apologize to the people of the world on behalf of Chinese tourists, who are known for their rude behavior,” wrote “Wu Guang.” Wu went on: “5,000 years of ancient civilization has now become a barbarous land. What’s more, for personal safety reasons, I can’t even leave my real name for this post—[I have to] throw on a sock puppet.”