China

China cancels Taiwan choir invitation over anthem singing

Aboriginal Puzangalan Choir singing the national anthem during new Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration ceremony in Taipei, 20 May 2016 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Children from the Paiwan aboriginal tribe sang at the inauguration last month

China has cancelled an invitation to a Taiwanese children's choir after they sang the national anthem at the inauguration of the island's president.

The aboriginal Puzangalan Choir had been due to take part in a choral festival in Guangdong province in July.

But the invitation was withdrawn shortly after the choir's performance at the inauguration last month.

Relations between China and Taiwan have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen won the presidency in January.

Taiwan split from the mainland in 1949 after a civil war but has never formally declared independence. China still regards it as part of its territory.

President Tsai, who is from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), pledged Tw$500,000 ($15,430; £11,000) to the choir when she heard their trip had been cancelled.

The tour had been intended to raise money for the choir's travel to a singing competition in Hungary in August, choir executive Tsai Yi-fang told AFP news agency.

In 2000, China called off concerts of the Taiwanese singer Chang Hui-mei after she performed Taiwan's national anthem at the inauguration of President Chen Shui-bian.

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