Katy Perry sparked controversy Tuesday night when she wore Taiwan’s flag as a cape during her concert in Taipei. Perry also wore dress covered with sunflowers, which were the symbol of Taiwan’s anti-China protest (the Sunflower Student Movement) last spring.
Some countries — including the United States — see Taiwan as an independent nation, while others believe Taiwan falls under the People’s Republic of China.
But Perry might not have been trying to make a political statement. “I don’t even know how to speak Mandarin,” Perry said to the audience before her concert. “That’s what you speak, right?” The sunflower dress appeared previously on Perry’s Prismatic tour, but the flag stood out, as Taiwan’s flag wasn’t even included in the 2012 Olympics.
China deleted references to Perry’s makeshift cape from social media, sparking further debate over the pop star’s potentially unintentional political stance. A representative for Perry was not immediately available for comment.