Report: China Pressures Taiwanese Band Ahead of Elections

    Report: China Pressures Taiwanese Band Ahead of Elections
    Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • According to a Reuters report published Thursday, the PRC has pressured an influential Taiwanese rock band to make pro-Beijing comments to sway voters ahead of the island's January elections.

    • Two Taiwan security officials have told the news agency that, as part of a pressure campaign, China is investigating allegations that the lead singer for Mayday — sometimes called the "Asian Beatles" — had lip-synched at least five songs in a three-hour gig in Shanghai in mid-November.


    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    It's nonsensical to link the upcoming elections in the island of Taiwan with allegations that Mayday had lip-synched at tour concerts in mainland China. Given that the Law Enforcement on Cultural Market and the China Association of Performing Arts have stepped into this case only after the controversy became viral on Bilibili, the PRC's leading video-sharing platform, this probe isn't politically motivated.

    Anti-China narrative

    Though seeming absurd at first, Beijing pressuring rock band Mayday to make pro-China comments would be in line with its open attempts to influence Taiwan's Jan. 13 elections — including the use of fake social media accounts on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. All Taiwanese parties must jointly condemn Beijing for trying to interfere and meddle in cultural activities.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 59% chance that China will annex at least half of Taiwan before 2050, if the DPP wins the 2024 Taiwanese election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.



    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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