Taiwan president defends pro-independence film award winner

BEIJING — Taiwan's president has expressed her support for the prestigious Golden Horse film awards after a pro-Tawian independence director's speech ignited controversy in mainland China.

President Tsai Ing-wen said in a Facebook post Sunday that "we have never accepted the term 'Chinese Taiwan' ... Taiwan is just Taiwan."

She added that the Golden Horse Awards, akin to a Chinese-language Oscars, highlighted the freedoms that set Taiwan apart from China.

Director Fu Yue said during her acceptance speech Saturday that her biggest hope was for "our country" to be regarded as an "independent entity." Her film "Our Youth in Taiwan" won best documentary.

Taiwan split from mainland China amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the self-ruled island part of its territory.

Chinese netizens strongly criticized Fu on her Facebook page.

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