Thousands of music fans packed a Taipei stadium to watch the island’s first concert staged by Chinese singers and rock bands, reports said, in the latest sign of warming cross-strait relations.
The concert organized by the Chinese Music Chart, dubbed China’s Grammy Awards, saw some 60 bands and singers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan perform before screaming fans Saturday, but also drew dozens of anti-China protesters.
They chanted pro-independence slogans and waved anti-Beijing banners outside the stadium, television reports showed, but were unable to interrupt the concert which included performances by Chinese singer Han Geng and actress Zhang Ziyi.
Without the prior approval of Taiwanese authorities, organizers of the Chinese Music Chart unilaterally announced in November that an award ceremony would be held in Taipei for the first time after it was set up in 1993.
The plan drew fire from the opposition, prompting the Chinese award organizers to change the award presentation ceremony to a concert at the demand of Taiwanese authorities.
But ties with China have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang came to power in 2008 on a Beijing-friendly platform. He was re-elected in January for a second and final four-year term.