TAIPEI:- Taiwanese activists have launched a sarcastic “Say sorry to China” contest on social media after a Chinese filmmaker replaced a local actor for allegedly supporting the island’s independence. The contest on Facebook has attracted over 24,000 followers and 6,000 posts since Saturday, organisers said. Netizens apologising to Beijing for a wide variety of reasons - from calling Taiwan a country to eating Japanese food and using iPhones. “I suggest everybody say sorry to the all mighty China before dinner every night.

We should all thank the Chinese for giving us food and letting us know China’s greatness,” read one scathing post. The contest came after award-winning Taiwanese director-actor Leon Dai, a known supporter of the 2014 Sunflower Movement against a China trade pact, was dropped by Chinese director Zhao Wei from her movie “No Other Love” for allegedly supporting Taiwan’s independence. Zhao said in a statement posted on China’s twitter-like Weibo that Dai was replaced for failing to clarify his political stance. She offered a sincere apology for “using the wrong person”. “We are all Chinese and we firmly uphold our mother country’s unification objective . we can’t tolerate any falsity and ambiguity especially regarding the national interests,” Zhao said. Dai himself later issued a statement saying he is “deeply sorry” to the investors and film crew that his past behaviour caused controversy, adding that he does not advocate independence. Activist Wang Yi-kai said he launched the Facebook contest “to mock China’s suppression and bullying” of entertainers. Some Chinese agreed. “I am a Chinese netizen. I am sorry that there are so many brain-damaged (people) in China. But most people are not like that and we support Chou Tzu-yu,” read one post. Chou, a 16-year-old Taiwanese K-pop singer, was forced to apologise for waving the island’s flag in an Internet broadcast, which stoked online anger in China and accusations that she was a pro-independence advocate. Her video apology went viral on the day of Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections in January. Some analysts believe it may have cost the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party hundreds of thousands of votes.