China bans movies, actors from Taiwan Golden Horse Awards

The decision comes after controversial remarks about Taiwan's independence at last year's ceremony.

    Taiwanese director Yue Fu (R) called on the world to recognise Taiwan as an independent country at last year's award show [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]
    Taiwanese director Yue Fu (R) called on the world to recognise Taiwan as an independent country at last year's award show [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

    China has said it is banning Chinese movies and actors from the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, one of the most prestigious film award shows in Asia.

    No specific reason was given in the announcement, which was made on the government-linked China Film News blog.

    The Golden Horse organising committee said this year's event would go on despite China not participating.

    "The committee regrets to be informed of the news, if it is confirmed," it said in a statement to the Associated Press.

    "The jury process of Golden Horse Awards is ongoing and will continue as planned, and all Golden Horse events will take place as usual."

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    During last year's ceremony, one of the winners asked the world to recognise Taiwan as an independent country during her acceptance speech.

    The speech by director Fu Yue led to criticism from Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of China ever since it split from mainland China amid civil war in 1949. She set off a firestorm of criticism after saying that her biggest hope was for "our country" to be regarded as an "independent entity".

    Following the remarks, Chinese participants refused to appear on stage, made pointed remarks about Taiwan and China being members of the same family, and then declined to attend the banquet reception following the show.

    Chinese lambasted Fu on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform, sharing posts under the hashtag "Not one speck of China can go missing" and a map of China that includes Taiwan and territories it claims in the South China Sea

    Fu got support from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is loathed by Beijing for her pro-independence stance, saying in a Facebook post that the annual awards highlight the freedoms that set Taiwan apart from China.

    "Here [in Taiwan] there aren't people who will disappear or be silenced for expressing differing viewpoints," she wrote. "And we also don't have sensitive terms that are censored on the internet."

    Tension between China and Taiwan have risen over the last couple of weeks.

    Last week, China issued a ban on solo travel to Taiwan starting on September 1 as part of measures to inflict an economic cost for the island's refusal to recognise being part of Chinese territory to eventually be brought under Beijing's rule.

    In recent years, China has also stepped up military drills around Taiwan, including regularly flying what Beijing calls "island encirclement" exercises and sending warships into surrounding waters.

    China's military held exercises this week in waters near Taiwan, following last week's warning it was ready for war if there was any move towards independence. 

    Beijing has also accused the United States, Taiwan's main arms supplier, of undermining global stability and denounced its weapons sales.

    US approves possible $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News