China’s Media Crackdown Is an Assault on Fan Activism

Thai activist Nachacha Kongudom raises a three-fingered salute outside a cinema where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” is showing, in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 20, 2014 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).
Thai activist Nachacha Kongudom raises a three-fingered salute outside a cinema where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” is showing, in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 20, 2014 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

About a year ago, the South Korean pop band BTS got caught up in a low-grade, somewhat baffling international scandal. During a speech accepting an award for improving relations between South Korea and the U.S., the band’s leader Kim Namjoon, better known as RM, referenced the “history of pain shared by the two nations,” which fought together during the Korean War. It should have been a fairly benign statement, but it sparked a furor in China, where state media outlets fiercely condemned the band for failing to acknowledge Chinese casualties in the war and thereby betraying a “totally one-sided attitude […]

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