Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Chinese state media attacked South Korean celebrities and shows, alleging Korean singers and comedians encourage anti-Chinese racism while promoting the flag of Taiwan.
Beijing's state tabloid Global Times said Thursday in a lengthy editorial that K-pop stars, such as Lee Hyori lack basic knowledge of history, and insult the Chinese people by mocking past Chinese leaders like Mao Zedong.
"South Korean singer Lee Hyori said she wanted to give herself an internationalized stage name 'Mao,'" the Global Times said in the article with the headline, "Why do Korean pop stars hurt the feelings of Chinese audiences with repeated insults against China?"
"Some netizens wondered how South Koreans would feel if Chinese entertainers gave themselves stage names representing great people in South Korean history."
In August Lee appeared on a variety show on South Korean network MBC and asked in jest whether she should adopt Mao as a stage name to take her act overseas, according to South Korean newspapers Asia Business and Seoul Shinmun.
The Global Times also took issue with a presentation of the Taiwanese flag on a popular South Korean TV show, Running Man, during an episode that aired Dec. 6.
The show, which reportedly was boycotted by Chinese watchers, offended China because the flag of Taiwan was "put on equal footing" with the flag of China, the Global Times said.
The Chinese state media article also revealed Chinese freelancers who add subtitles to South Korean TV shows practice censorship.
"If places like Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are mentioned in the program, the subtitle groups will add 'China's' before these names," a Chinese source surnamed Zhou told the Global Times.
South Korean popular culture first made an impact abroad in the mid-'90s in China, where the phrase "Korean wave" was coined to describe the appeal of Korean dramas, music and movies.
In October, China's state-owned media also criticized K-pop band BTS and claimed the group "hurt the feelings" of Chinese citizens by not mentioning Chinese sacrifices during the 1950-53 Korean War.