K-pop star Krystal Jung’s visit to China sparks discussion on possible loosening up of long-rumored S.Korean cultural ban

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/3 17:23:39

Krystal Jung visits primary schools in Yunnan Province Photo: Weibo of SM Entertainment Group

News that South Korean pop star Krystal Jung attended a charity event at a primary school in Southwest China's Yunnan Province has caused Chinese netizens to speculate if China's long-rumored restriction on South Korean entertainers has started to loosen up.

Pictures posted by the province's Youth League on its official Sina Weibo account showcase Jung interacting with children at the Youngchang and Guansuo Central primary schools on June 1, International Children's Day.

The activity was part of a charity project co-sponsored by institutions including the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development and the Seoul-based CJ Group. Titled CJ Dream and Share Classroom, the project aims to improve learning conditions for Chinese school children, according to the post from the Yunan Youth League.

A news article on the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development website also talked about a meeting between the heads of the foundation and the CJ Group's China office in early May, during which the two "agreed to carry out more charitable activities together."

Jung's visit might be "a sign that the ban is loosening up," wrote entertainment blogger Tiaotiao Talks Entertainment on Baidu's aggregator website Baijiahao. "It may be a sign that we can have more chances to see her in the future," wrote one netizen.

Excited about their idol's Yunnan visit, Jung's Chinese fans also passionately discussed recent news concerning the long-awaited China-South Korea co-production starring Jung and Chinese star Zhang Yixing. According to the news, the film, which was filmed in 2015, has passed review by China's censors and is likely to debut in the Chinese mainland this summer.

Rumors that China had implemented a ban on South Korean entertainment first started circulating in August 2016 as tensions between the two countries increased due to South Korea's plans to deploy the THAAD system.

Though China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied there was such a ban that year, the number of performances and visits of K-pop stars to China over the past two years has declined dramatically.

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