Taiwanese Vice-President Annette Lu Hsiu-lien yesterday chastised singer Chang Hui-mei, who performed in Beijing last Saturday after the mainland lifted a ban. In a radio station interview, Ms Lu questioned the national identity of the singer, popularly known as A-Mei. Ms Lu referred to the singer's performance at the inauguration ceremony of President Chen Shui-bian in 2000, where she sang the Taiwanese anthem which triggered a mainland ban and led to protests against her 'pro-independence' stance. She said A-Mei should have told the mainland that singing the Taiwanese anthem was her duty. The vice-president suggested A-Mei should refrain from pleasing the mainland in order to win permission to stage concerts in Beijing. She challenged her over her recent comment that she did not have any political sense. 'How can a person not have political sense?' she asked. Ms Lu's remarks came after Premier Yu Shyi-kun criticised A-Mei in a reception on Thursday with the local media for 'making some sort of apology' in Beijing over her singing of the Taiwanese anthem in 2000. The comments yesterday prompted the singer to hold a news conference where she call for a halt to the political attacks against her. 'I am just a singer and I only want to play the role of a singer,' she said, adding that she hoped the incident could be resolved in a rational manner. She said she had never said she regretted singing the Taiwanese anthem, and reports about this were inaccurate. Ms Lu said Taiwan and the mainland were technically in a state of 'quasi-war', with the mainland seeking every means to squeeze Taiwan diplomatically and economically. But the Defence Ministry said it knew nothing about whether a state of 'quasi-war' existed. Officials said they had never heard of the term nor had they noticed any unusual military movements by the mainland. The Presidential Office also said: 'There is no such thing as a quasi-war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.' It said Mr Chen had all along called for the establishment of a peaceful framework across the straits.