“There is only one China,” she said. “The cross-straits territories are one in the same, and I am proud to consider myself thoroughly Chinese. As a Chinese person who performs abroad, [I say] to my employers and internet friends on both sides of the straits—I’m terribly sorry for the harm I have caused, and I feel ashamed.”

Managers at the JYP have also expressed support for “one China” and issued public apologies. “We have been unable to substitute the guidance of a mother and father for Chou, and this is our error,” one representative told media (link in Chinese).

It’s not uncommon for Taiwanese pop stars to be penalized in China for comments perceived to be pro-independence, but Chou’s young age has inspired sypmathy, and anger at China. Her morose apology has been viewed nearly 3 million times on YouTube, and hundreds of Taiwanese and Korean commentators expressed their support for her.

Numerous Taiwanese leaders and politicians have also backed Chou, whose Facebook page has since been removed. “For a 16-year-old, this is too cruel,” wrote KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu, whose party nominally supports unification with China. “Chou Tzu-yu, we welcome you back home.”

The situation may have insired more Taiwanese to go to the polls, analysts said. “Neutral voters who previously did not want to go out to vote might show up to cast their ballots to Taiwan-centric candidates and China-friendly candidates could suffer as a result,” Yao Li-min, chairman of the Citizen’s Congress Watch, told the SCMP.

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