Singer Hebe Tien back on Weibo after flap over spaghetti picture post

Hebe Tian's photo of eating spaghetti was interpreted as supporting US Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has Italian heritage. PHOTO: HEBE_TIEN_0330/INSTAGRAM

TAIPEI - Taiwanese singer Hebe Tien has posted her first message on Chinese social media Weibo in more than a month.

This was after she had been accused by Chinese netizens of supporting Taiwanese independence.

Tien, a member of Taiwanese girl group S.H.E, shared a post from China’s CCTV News on the Sichuan earthquake on Monday evening. She wrote in Chinese: “Hope everyone is safe. Beware of the aftershocks. Keep it up, Sichuan.”

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan on Monday, with the death toll rising to 74 on Wednesday.

Chinese netizens’ reactions to Tien’s latest post have been more positive, with one netizen commenting that she did not hold any grudges despite being vilified recently.

The netizen added that Tien, 39, was one of the celebrities who donated 600,000 yuan (S$121,000) to the Henan flood effort last year without publicising her good deed.

Another netizen noted that S.H.E had helped to raise 20 million yuan during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

Early last month, Tien had to delete two pictures of her eating spaghetti after she was accused by Chinese netizens of supporting United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Spaghetti is “Italian noodles” in Chinese and Mrs Pelosi is of Italian heritage.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and views visits by US officials to Taiwan as encouraging the independence movement on the island.

A Chinese blogger then claimed Tien was one of the celebrities who did not support the “one China” policy after she failed to share a CCTV News’ post, which stated “There is only one China in the world”.

Tien’s song, Small Island (2010), was also accused by Chinese netizens of supporting Taiwan independence, with the track subsequently removed from several Chinese music streaming services.

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