Mayday: China denies a politically motivated lip-sync investigation into a Taiwanese band
China has refuted media reports that its inquiry pertains to the alleged lip-syncing activities of a well-known Taiwanese rock band for political gain.
According to the reports, Beijing requested that Mayday make pro-China remarks; when the band declined, an investigation was initiated to exert pressure on them.
The Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing has deemed the aforementioned allegations to be “complete fabrication” and “fake news.” Taiwan claims to be investigating the allegations. Mayday, an act renowned in mainland China for their “positive rock music,” is one of the most prosperous Taiwanese groups.
Mayday was requested by China’s National Radio and Television Administration to publicly affirm its endorsement of Beijing’s stance that self-governed Taiwan is an integral part of China, according to an internal Taiwan security note cited by Reuters on Thursday.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will ultimately come under Beijing’s control, whereas Taiwan, with its own constitution and democratically elected leaders, views itself as distinct from the Chinese mainland.
There were allegations that Beijing intended to influence voters, especially the younger demographic, with Mayday in mind prior to the 13 January legislative and presidential elections in Taiwan.
Sources reported that the requests for Mayday to issue statements in support of Beijing persisted for several months and reportedly coincided with the band’s May tour of China, citing a recent briefing on Taiwan’s security affairs.
According to security briefing participants, when Mayday declined the requests, Chinese authorities orchestrated with state media to incite discourse regarding Mayday’s purported lip-syncing and issued a penalty threat against the band.
As it is deemed “deceptive,” commercial regulations in China prohibit lip synchronisation prior to audience payment. The infraction carries a penalty of 100,000 yuan (approximately £11,240 or $14,110). Additionally, artists may be prohibited from performing, and the licences of their show organisers may be revoked.
The moratorium is, nevertheless, seldom enforced, and it is not unusual for performers in China to engage in lip-syncing. Some Chinese social media users were perplexed as to why Mayday seemed to have been singled out, given the widespread belief that lip syncing is a practice observed among performers, including those who appear on state television.
The Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan stated that it was conducting an investigation into the allegations and that, if true, they would exacerbate Taiwanese youth’s “negative impressions” of the Chinese Communist regime.
The Chinese government was criticised by Taiwan’s major political parties for alleged political interference. Kuomintang, the opposition party, stated that it “vehemently condemns such conduct” should the allegations be accurate.
Wang Min-shu, the organization’s spokesman, stated, “Not only will fans reject such interference, but it will also severely hurt the sentiments of the people of Taiwan and contribute nothing to the improvement of cross-strait relations.”
The reports indicate that China will “make any effort to intervene in [Taiwan’s] election,” according to the Democratic Progressive Party, which is in power.
Early in December, the investigation into Mayday was made public. Although the band and its record label have denied lip-syncing, they have stated that they are working in conjunction with Chinese authorities.
China has escalated political and military pressure on Taiwan in advance of the island’s crucial presidential election, for instance by stationing an all-time high of military aircraft in the vicinity of the island.