The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), through its most aggressive media arm, appeared to stand down Thursday on a campaign it claims Chinese “netizens” launched against pop supergroup BTS for remarks praising the relationship between America and South Korea.
BTS, or Bangtan Sonyeondan, became the youngest-ever recipients of the Korea Society’s James A. Van Fleet Award, given to individuals or entities that have made an “outstanding contribution” to ties between America and North Korea. BTS is the world’s most successful Korean pop (K-pop) band, making history this month by claiming the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Big Hit Entertainment, BTS’s record label, became South Korea’s largest entertainment company on Wednesday with its debut on the stock market, worth more than the second-, third-, and fourth-biggest companies in the country combined.
During their acceptance speech, the band applauded the decades of friendship between South Korea and the United States.