Malaysian singer Namewee, who has faced a backlash in China for his song Fragile, has stated that he is not anti-China.
The satirical duet with Australian singer Kimberley Chen, 27, was written by Namewee, 38, and contained stabs at Chinese leader Xi Jinping and touched on sensitive topics such as censorship, Covid-19 and the Uighurs.
Although there is no mention of China in the lyrics, the music video has a panda cavorting in the background and the pink-themed setting is seen as a dig at nationalistic Chinese netizens known as Little Pinks.
Namewee and Chen, who are both based in Taiwan, were blocked on Weibo. The viral hit, which has almost 18 million views on YouTube, was removed from streaming sites in China.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday (Oct 26), which he also shared on Facebook, he addressed talk that he was pro-independence for Taiwan and Hong Kong.
"I have never made such remarks. If you don't believe me, you can try looking for it. For this kind of question, you should ask the Taiwanese and Hong Kong people what they think.
"My nationality is Malaysian and I am not qualified to speak on behalf of the Taiwanese and Hong Kong people. But I will definitely stand with democracy and freedom."
He also touched on accusations that he has insulted Chinese people, writing: "I am Chinese, so am I insulting myself?"
"I have studied Chinese since I was young and love Chinese culture," he said, adding that he had backpacked in China extensively in the past and was really happy when Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008.
He also said he has many Chinese friends in the entertainment industry whom he respected.
"In short, I have no hatred for the Chinese. I did not go to China to develop my career because of the censorship and restrictions there and I worry they will affect my creativity and my work."
Namewee was previously banned on Weibo in August for sharing a post on eight recommendations for the Taliban to strengthen its rule, all of which mirrored China's policies. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network