K-pop group BTS’s acceptance speech for the General James A. Van Fleet Award has upset the band’s Chinese fans, according to state-run Global Times.
South Korean boy band #BTS is strongly condemned on #China's social media for their speech after receiving James A. Van Fleet Award. Chinese netizens said the band's totally one-sided attitude to the #KoreanWar hurts their feelings and negates history. pic.twitter.com/NaycIBzJwH
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 11, 2020
During 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 and keep doing our best in all that we do,” RM said.
According to Global Times, the two nations RM referred to are the US and South Korea and 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,” Global Times added.
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 The Korea Society.
Some Twitter users pointed out that BTS did not even mention China.