The Chinese have taken to Weibo again to announce that they are boycotting one of the most popular reality shows of South Korea, Running Man. After targeting BTS RM over award speech controversy, Running Man has become the target of Chinese netizens. China's state-run newspaper the Global Times claimed that the controversial episode of Running Man was taken down from Bilibili.

The latest episode of Running Man aired on December 7, showcasing a board game called Blue Marble, which is similar to Monopoly. In the game each block represents a city of a country and players can buy and sell land while making money out if it. Chinese nitizens claimed that the board had a separate block for Taipei, capital of Taiwan. China still considers Taiwan as its part and does not recognize it as an independent country. Thus, Chinese netizens stated that South Koreans had insulted China again by showing Taipei in a separate block with a Taiwanese flag in the board game.

Running Man
The cast members of Running Man at the SBS Entertainment Awards 2019. SBS

Chinese Netizens Angered Over RM, Running Man

Earlier, Chinese netizens had a problem with BTS RM's Van Fleet Award speech, where they claimed that the Kpop idol had not mentioned the sacrifice of Chinese soldiers during the Korean War. This news was followed by the warnings of boycotting BTS and every product represented by the Korean boy group. But China officially released a statement and clarified that there was no restriction to BTS products in the country.

Since then, Chinese netizens have been targeting South Korea over various issues. The Running Man board game is the latest in this list. When BTS was targeted, the boy group did not bother to issue a statement and Running Man has also followed the same strategy. The production team has not issued any clarification to the allegation made by Chinese netizens.

But the South Korean netizens have taken to social media to hit back at the Chinese Weibo comments. South Koreans have commented stating that the country sees Taiwan as an independent nation. Some other comments stated, people of China deciding not to watch Running Man is not a big loss.

Some other comments followed: "No one in the world, except Chinese, think that Taiwan is part of China. There is no point in trying to control it. Why should they care about fans far away in China who do not contribute to ratings at all? They [Running Man cast] don't come to China to make money."

What is China – Taiwan Controversy?

The problem started when after the end of World War II and second Sino-Japanese War in 1945, when Taiwan came under the control of the Republic of China (ROC) based on the WWII Allies agreement. In 1949 – 50, the Communist Party of China (CPC) drove the ROC government out of China. Since then, ROC considered Taiwan as its base. But no legal treaty was signed about officially transferring Taiwan to China. The ROC led by Kuomintang [Nationalist Party of China or Chinese Nationalist Party, which is a major political party in Taiwan] declared Taipei as its provisional capital and declared a martial law in 1949, temporarily suspending democratic institutions of the ROC.

In 1987, the Kuomintang ended the martial law in Taiwan. Democratic parties bloomed and gave way to independence movements in Taiwan. Out of them, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been elected into power three times. However, the administration of Taiwan is still identified as the Republic of China. But DPP claims that ROC is Taiwan.

The PRC and the Kuomintang still continue to argue that the Chinese Civil War has not ended yet. ROC still claims that Taiwan is a province of China and wants it to be reunified with the mainland China. But DPP is trying to develop a Taiwan Consensus stating it is an independent country.

Currently, Kuomintang is not able to declare that Taiwan is a part of China due to the pressure and opposition from Democratic parties. But in the same way DPP has not been successful in ensuring an independent status to Taiwan due to pressure and opposition from the Kuomintang and People's Republic of China.