When Taiwanese actor Jenin Chang was writing his master’s thesis in industrial economics in 2010, he probably never imagined that two of these Chinese characters would become diplomatic flashpoints and threaten to ruin his lucrative acting life more than a decade later.
This week, it did just that. His thesis at Taiwan’s National Central University has sparked a huge wave of Chinese nationalist criticism over his use of the word “country” in the title “Issues related to the country’s artist management and legal system.”
This was evidenced by the fact that Zingostik social media users in China argued that he was a pro-independence Taiwanese and should be blacklisted যদিও although Chang is one of the most outspoken Taiwanese entertainers to take a pro-China stance.
The latest indication of how politicized China’s volatile entertainment industry has become in recent months, governments on both sides have recently jumped on the bandwagon to comment on the seemingly inconsistent celebrity news item.
Democratic Taiwan is self-governing, but China insists it is a Ranged province. Taiwanese celebrities must pledge allegiance to Beijing and its political views in order to continue their careers in China.
Rumors that Chang’s upcoming TV series – which translates to “female psychiatrist” – may have been influenced by the uproar, prompted his studio to close the negative news with an official statement that “he has always seen himself as Chinese.”
Chang wrote on his official Weibo: “The Chinese people on both sides of the aisle are all part of the Chinese nation. I am not in favor of Taiwan’s independence. Its legal representatives have written to online commentators asking them to remove” defamatory and false “content.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen issued a statement on the situation without naming Chang directly, threatening Chinese artists for their political ideology as “unbelievable and unacceptable.”
“Banning someone and depriving them of their right to work because of speech is not only a violation of personal rights, but also highlights the difference in values between democracy and authoritarianism on both sides of the Strait,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. “It will not contribute in any positive way to cross-strait exchanges.”
China’s official Taiwan Affairs Office fired back, calling his remarks “intentional slander.”
Spokesman Zhu Fenglian said, “The motives of some political forces and harmful media are bad.”[We] Taiwanese entertainers are warmly welcomed to build their careers on the mainland.
Chang appeared last year in Ann Hui’s “Love After Love”, which premiered in Venice, as well as pushing “Detective Chinatown sma” at this year’s box office. He will next star in Chinese director Lu Chuan’s long-awaited thriller “Bureau 749” and the upcoming one-hour, ten-episode HBO Asia original series “Who’s By Your Side” directed by Peter Ho.
The German-born actor is also best known for his appearances in popular TV dramas such as the 2011 viral hit “Rui’s Royal Love in the Palace” and the spin-off “Detective Chinatown” franchise TV series.
Chang often re-posts patriotic content and memes from state media outlets. Earlier this year, he first canceled his approval deal with Adidas in response to Chinese calls to boycott cotton-related brands produced in Xinjiang, where the United States announced a genocide was taking place.
The results of his actions matched. According to a ranking published by Apple Daily Taiwan’s outlets in July, Chang was Taiwan’s highest paid actor in the first half of this year. She was Taiwan’s highest paid actor in 2019-2019 and the third highest paid actress in 2020. Most of his income comes from work and approval agreements in China.
Unusual official media support for him indicates that his career will probably remain intact.
The identification as Taiwanese is not only in favor of pro-Taiwan independence, it is the truth of a wonderful op-ed published by a top regulatory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
The conclusion, however, was more familiar, reading: “China still welcomes those who engage in inappropriate comments or actions, unless they acknowledge their shortcomings, change their wrong position, and strongly support the reunification of the motherland.”