Two weeks ago, K-Pop group, BTS, made a speech for the James A. Van Fleet Award that angered Chinese netizens and some Chinese fans when the group brought up the lives lost between South Korea and the US during the Korean War. They didn’t mention China and Chinese soldiers, which is expected as they were aiding North Korea to fight the South. While the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said both countries should be “learning from history, facing the future, cherishing peace, and promoting friendship should be our common pursuit and worthy of our joint efforts”, a few of the brands endorsing the group had begun to take down BTS’ products in China.
At a press conference on October 21, a reporter asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China to comment on a recent Korean report that three Chinese logistics companies refused to transport any BTS related goods. In addition to that, there was reportedly a new Chinese Customs policy that prohibited the import and customs clearance of items related to BTS.
Zhao Lijian responded to the question reiterating that he already expressed his stance from October 12 about maintaining peace and promoting friendship between the two countries. He said, “I also noticed the statement made by South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson. Both parties’ point of views are similar to each other. China is willing to work with South Korea on the same goal and work together to strive for friendship between both countries.”
As for the banning of imports of BTS products, Zhao Lijian says China Customs and its related departments haven’t created any policy banning BTS products. He reiterates the support for China and South Korea to engage in friendly exchanges and mutual beneficial cooperation between both countries.