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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 June, 2004, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Taiwan star silenced by China row
A-Mei singing Taiwan's national anthem
A-Mei was banned from China after singing Taiwan's national anthem
A Taiwanese pop singer has cancelled a concert in China after a protest accusing her of supporting independence for the island, Taiwan media reports.

Chang Hui-Mei, popularly known to her fans as A-Mei, was due to perform in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

But she cancelled after some 100 people held up banners and chanted: "Oppose Taiwan independence, unify China".

A-Mei sparked anger in China four years ago after singing at the Taiwanese president's inauguration.

She sang the national anthem of the Republic of China, which lost the civil war to China's Communists, and was subsequently blacklisted by Beijing.

US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola was forced to drop a multi-million dollar advertising campaign in China that featured her.

Suspicion

Since then the singer has repeatedly insisted she does not want to get involved in politics.

Since exploding on to the Chinese pop scene in 1996, she has released three acclaimed albums, performed to sell-out audiences and netted dozens of awards in Asia.

Chinese television showed protesters in Hangzhou holding up banners and warning that pro-independence artists were not welcome.

A group of A-Mei's supporters held a counter-demonstration to defend the pop diva's honour.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province, and is suspicious of independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian.

President Chen narrowly won a second term in office in March 2004.


SEE ALSO:
China bans Taiwan's Madonna
24 May 00  |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan warned on independence
17 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: China
03 Jun 04  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Taiwan
20 Mar 04  |  Country profiles


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