BTS Under Fire By Chinese Netizens For RM’s James Van Fleet Award Speech, The Reason Is Dividing Fans

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BTS and RM have recently gone under fire for RM’s speech at the annual Van Fleet Award ceremony which was held on October 7 online.

The Korea society holds an annual award show and it was first established in 1995 to award figures and organizations that have contributed to the Korea-U.S. relationship. BTS accepted an award and each member delivered a thank you speech, RM’s speech got attention and severe backlash from Chinese netizens.




RM said in English,

“The Korea Society’s 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women. After 70 years, the world we are living in is much closer than before. Boundaries in many aspects are getting more blurred. As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet award and keep doing our best in all that we do. Thank you very much.”

UPDATE: Samsung And FILA China Remove All BTS-Related Content Following Backlash Over RM’s Speech At The Van Fleet Awards

The issue stems from this part ‘the sacrifices of countless men and women,’ Chinese netizens believe that RM was being disrespectful towards Chinese soldiers’ sacrifices in that war and is being dismissive of what happened to China. Many also claim he put down China with his speech.




To give a history background on the topic, China sided with North Korea along with the Soviet Union at the time. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese lives were lost in the Korean War. This topic is sensitive in China and is rarely brought up.

Chinese ARMY believe that RM’s speech was problematic and affected the entire group. On Weibo, the biggest social media platform in China, one of the popular BTS search terms is ‘BTS insults China/the Chinese.’

Chinese netizens fired back with comments asking BTS to leave China and stop making money off of Chinese fans, comments like ‘get out of China,’ and ‘leave’ are repeated on Weibo.




On the other hand, other BTS fans don’t understand why this has become such a huge issue in China when RM never brought up China to begin with. You also have some Chinese ARMY who are getting attacked by other ARMYs of different nationalities for publicly expressing their disappointment with BTS.

Related: Military Manpower Administration Officially States That BTS Will Not Be Exempted From Serving The Military

Big Hit Entertainment has yet to issue an official statement on the issue.  

What do you think of this?

7 COMMENTS

  1. He clearly said both meaning both countries, everyone involved! I read his speech to my 13 year old daughter & asked her specifically before telling her what the issue was, asking her what does she think that means! She said it sounds like he’s referring to both sides what else can that mean, everyone involved! Now my daughter does not follow BTS, nor is she interested to, so she’s unbiased, as well as I didn’t tell her who was involved in this questionable issue! Her thoughts were my initial thoughts as well, sounds like he’s referring to all parties involved & would like us to further continue to unite/reunite with 1 another! If my 13 year old can understand his sentiment, I clearly don’t see where the issue is honestly!

    • The award and the whole speech was about Korea & US friendship. So two countries clearly meant Korea and US. if he said four countries, then it would include all four countries involved: SK, US, NK, and China. Even though the focus of the award is US & SK, it seems a little ignorant BTS doesn’t mention a single bit about Chinese lives, when they were the lives most lost during that war. Or, about NK lives. They are a public figure with so much influence, and Chinese feel they were being oblivious when it came to this sensitive political topic.

      • Are you insane? China fought with North Korea AGINST South Korea, US and 40 other UN countries. China is the reason Korean War became as tragic as it did and because of China, Korea is divided today. Do you think South Korean people will stand still if RM thanked the Chinese soldiers who came and killed the South Koreans and made their lives hell during Korean War? China is a psycho, ignorant bully, that is what this world is learning, the more it’s government and netizen talk. China.s reputation continues to go down the drain.

  2. In my opinion, There is absolutely nothing wrong with the speech. It clearly specifies lives that were lost in total and not just Korean lives. I think people are just being sensitive and trying to find a problem with everything.

  3. Wtf is happening????? He said clearly in speech! He did respect countries and yah other army never used to disrespect the Chinese army!!!
    Tbh BTS connect all people around the world even they haven’t met before!! I m Chinese army but haven’t happen anything n only fake Army are doing this!! These news are try to letting down the boys!! I guess they should listen his speech over again and again!!!!

    • You are so right. Rm did nothing wrong with the speech if only the chinese people would just (and i’m not trying to be you know mean) listen or learn better then they won’t argue and nun of this would of happened like FREAKING GONE!!!!!! AND THOSE CHINESE PEOPLE DID TO LISTEN AND LEARN THE SPEECH OVER AND OVER AGAIN LIKE A MILLION TIMES!!!!

  4. Could there be misunderstanding due to the translations?
    I’m glad to hear from a Chinese army that have an open mind and heart.
    The irony is that there’s all these turmoil because of a speech that’s clearly meant to inspire us to come together and be more understanding of each other.

    LET YOUR PAST SHAPE YOU, NOT DEFINE YOU.

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