Starring in a Marvel blockbuster doesn't exempt this Canadian from scrutiny in Xi's China

Una versión de esta historia apareció en el boletín Mientras tanto en China de CNN., una actualización tres veces a la semana que explora lo que necesita saber sobre el ascenso del país y cómo impacta al mundo. Registrate aquí.

Hong Kong Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s new blockbuster “Shang-Chi y la leyenda de los diez anillos,” has enjoyed positive reviews around the world since the movie’s release, barring one notable exception: his birthplace.

In China, where he was born before moving to Canada as a child, he’s coming under fire for a 2017 interview in which he allegedly described the country his parents left in less than flattering terms. El video, originally published by the Canadian public broadcaster CBC, is no longer available on its website.
The comments resurfaced this week on the Chinese social media platform Weiboand the backlash was swift.
    Is this the superiority of ‘high-class’ chino?” one comment reada sarcastic term referring to Chinese people who leave the country to study or live abroad, similar in meaning towhitewashed.Other Weibo users threatened to report or boycott the movie if it was released in China.
      CNN has reached out to Marvel’s parent company Disney for comment.
        Liu is the latest celebrity of Chinese ancestry to be called out over comments perceived to be critical of the mainland. And the list is growing, reflecting increasing pressure on what the Chinese government callsoverseas Chinese.
        El término “overseas Chinesehas been widely used by Communist Party officials and state-run media in recent years to refer to foreign citizens or residents of Chinese descentregardless of their nationality or how many generations of their family have lived overseas. Since President Xi Jinping took office, he has repeatedly asserted that overseas Chinese, también, belong to the nationpurposefully erasing the line between ethnicity and nationality.
          en un 2017 discurso, Xi pledged tounite overseas Chinesewith their relatives in Chinaso that they can join our endeavors to revitalize the Chinese nation.And last October, él “stressed uniting the vast number of overseas Chinese to realize the Chinese dream,” reported state-run news outlet Xinhua.
          Esto, combined with surging nationalism and patriotic rhetoric in recent years, has placed heavy scrutiny on high-profile figures of Chinese descent, who are often branded by some in China asdisloyal” o “treacherousif they criticize the country or its government.
          Por ejemplo, when Beijing-born US-based filmmaker Chloe Zhao won an Oscar for her film “Nomadland” this spring, her victory was censored on Chinese social media and ignored by state mediaall because, en un 2013 entrevista, she described the China of her childhood as a placewhere there are lies everywhere.
          Though Zhao spoke proudly of her Chinese roots at the Oscars ceremony, she still faced attacks from online Chinese nationalistsillustrating the diminishing tolerance of criticism of China, especially for celebrities on the world stage.
          The same tensions have also been highlighted in the controversy over dual citizenship. China does not officially recognize dual citizenshipbut it had been loosely enforced in previous decades, especially as the country opened up and more Chinese nationals began going overseas for education or work.
          Bajo Xi, sin embargo, the government has cracked down, encouraging the public to report people secretly holding two passports. Those caught can find their access to public services curtailed. Celebrities with two passports have also come under scrutiny from the Chinese public, with demands that they prove loyalty to the mainlandprompting many to publicly renounce their foreign citizenship.
          Nicholas Tse, a Hong Kong actor who also holds a Canadian passport, said in an interview aired on state-run broadcaster CCTV last week that he was applying to renounce his Canadian citizenship. “Tse said he has a responsibility to spread Chinese culture and spirit to the world,” reported state-run nationalist tabloid the Global Times.
          Arthur Chen Fei-yu, a Chinese-American actor born in the US, also renounced his American citizenship in July. En el anuncio on Weibo, his studio said Chenhas always staunchly loved the great motherland,” complete with several emojis of the Chinese flag.
          Increasingly, as political tensions rise and Xi steps up his nationalist campaign, people of Chinese descent around the world are forced to contend with questions of loyalty. This has been especially acute during the pandemic, during which racism and hate crimes against Asians have risen.
          Never mind that many people of Chinese descent have rejected the termoverseas Chinese,” or pushed back at attempts by the Communist Party to claim ownership of Chinese identity.
          For those in the public eye, sin embargo, declaring a side can have a huge impact on their careers and public image.
          En 2020, China overtook the US to become the top movie market in the world, after years of rapid growth. It means celebrities with Chinese heritage have good reason to think twice before angering the nation’s public or governmentone misplaced comment could spark boycotts or online attacks, and tank a star’s success in the country.
          And it’s a weapon fans are willing to wield. After Liu’s comments resurfaced this week, one Weibo user commented, “Now they need Communist China to promote their movie and contribute to their box office? How ironic is that?”
          But on the other hand, those who fully embrace China risk alienating fans in the West as US-China relations worsenstringing a tightrope for ethnically Chinese stars that appears to be growing ever more narrow.

          A ‘dining hallfor elephants

          When elephants keep breaking into your farm to steal your crops, there’s only one solution: build them a dining hall.
          Authorities opened a 670,000 square meter (about 165.5-acre) “dining hallfor elephants in the city of Jinghong, in China’s Yunnan province, el martes, according to Xinhua.
          The food base, built in forested areas, is stocked with elephantsfavorite plants like reed leaves and bananas, as well as five salt pools. It took one million yuan (sobre $ 154,700) and five months to build.
          If elephants have ample food in their habitat, they are less likely to roam into villages or steal crops planted by local farmers,” said Zha Wei, of the Jinghong nature reserve management bureau, in the Xinhua report.
          The problem of elephant-human conflict has steadily increased over the years, with regular reports of wild elephants damaging farmlandand sometimes even trying to break into people’s houses in search of food.
          There are several reasons behind this: as human land use has expanded, elephantsnatural habitats have shrunk, leaving them with increasingly little space and food. It’s a particularly pressing problem for these massive creaturesadult elephants need about 200 kilogramos (sobre 220 libras) of food every day, Zha said.
          Al mismo tiempo, new regulatory protections have allowed the elephant population to grow, creating more hungry mouths. The number of wild Asian elephants in Jinghong was about 80 at the turn of the centurybut has now increased to 185, Xinhua said.
          If thedining hallsucceeds in keeping wild elephants in forest areas, authorities will designate more areas for growing elephant-friendly plants, Xinhua reported.

          Pic of the day

          Tourists take photos at Universal Studios Beijing Resort en septiembre 7, during the widely anticipated theme park’s soft opening. It has many of the popular attractions found at its counterparts in Singapore, Osaka, Los Angeles and Orlandobut there are some Universal firsts as well, including the Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness.

          Soaring inflation and energy costs are forcing China to sell some of its precious oil supply

          China is starting to sell off some of the oil it keeps in strategic reserve in a bid to lower prices in the market, a historic first for the world’s biggest importer of oil and its second-largest consumer.
          The State Bureau of Grain and Material Reserves said late Thursday that it will release crude oil from its national reserve in batches. It intends to sell the oil to refining and petrochemical companies.
          Putting national reserve crude oil on the market through open auction sales will better stabilize the domestic market supply and demand and effectively guarantee national energy security,” the bureau said in a statement, adding that releasing oil wouldease the pressure of rising raw material prices for production companies.
          Oil prices fell to their lowest levels in two weeks on Thursday after China’s announcement. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 1.6%, while US oil dropped 1.7%. They recovered slightly, last trading at $ 71.85 y $ 68.45 per barrel, respectivamente.
          The government didn’t say how much oil it would eventually sell, but hoarding barrels is critical for China. The country is heavily reliant on foreign oil to power its economy, and has been working for years to bolster its emergency stockpile of oil reserves.
          But China’s economy is also contending with several headaches right now. Inflation is soaring, and the country’s producer price index hit a 13-year high last month, driven by rising commodity prices. Energy costs are also spiking, and demand is so high that some provinces have even experienced power shortages.
          Despite Beijing’s efforts to contain soaring costs, factory inflation remains high. The government has warned high costs for raw materials such as energy and petrochemical products will exacerbate the tough conditions facing manufacturersespecially small and medium-sized businesses. Costs are also weighing on growth and employment.
          Rising prices also complicate any effort the government may consider to prevent an economic slowdown with more fiscal and monetary support. Por ejemplo, expansionary policy to bolster growthsuch as increased government spending or expanded money supplywill only increase inflation further.
          China’s economy has already been rattled by other issues, también, including an outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant and the shipping crisis.
          An official survey of manufacturing activity last month indicated the lowest rate of growth since the start of the pandemic, while a private survey showed the first contraction since April 2020. Services industries also suffered, with the official non-manufacturing survey registering the first contraction since February 2020.
          By Laura He

            Around Asia

            • Por lo menos 41 prisoners were killed after a fire tore through an overcrowded prison block on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
            • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte accepted his party’s nomination to run for vice president in next year’s election, forging ahead with a plan criticized by rivals as a move to maintain his political power.
            • A four-year-old pooch named Baekgu was made South Korea’s first honorary rescue dog after he saved the life of a 90-year-old woman with dementia who went missing.
            • North Korea has been barred from competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as punishment for dropping out of the Tokyo Summer Games.

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