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‘Anti-American fighter’ denies move to US

(Global Times)    08:23, January 27, 2015

Sima Nan criticized online for ‘abandoning beliefs and cashing in’

A controversial celebrity commentator best known for his leftist political stance has denied that he had emigrated to the US, a rumor that triggered enormous debate on the Internet recently that once again reflects the split of today's Chinese society between different ideologies.

Dubbed by Chinese netizens as "the anti-American fighter," Sima Nan wrote on his Sina Weibo blog on Monday that "I did not emigrate [to the US], nor did my family … There were people who spread rumors and criticized me."

Sima was accused of migrating on January 20 by online blogger Naxiaobing, a self-proclaimed Chinese-American political scientist.

Naxiaobing alleged that Sima had approached his company for help and that's when he learned Sima had moved to the US.

"Mr Sima is capable of depicting Karl Marx both as a great man and a failure. Though inappropriate, it shows the mentality of political celebrities in today's China: they are good at playing politics but lack convictions," wrote Naxiaobing, who could not be reached for comment by the Global Times as of Monday. As of press time, the blog post by Naxiaobing on ifeng.com had been viewed over 360,000 times.

Naxiaobing's post went viral on the Internet and was reposted by many of China's "big Vs," influential bloggers on Sina Weibo.

Sima was criticized online by both rightists and some of his supporters, who accused him of "abandoning his beliefs and cashing in on politics."

A song, "Where are you, Sima Nan?" written by an anonymous netizen quickly became a hit on the Internet, in which the singer asks Sima whether he plans to work as an undercover agent in the US.

Sima denied emigrating but admitted that he had received a 10-year US visa and is currently in Los Angeles working on a talk show to be broadcast by the US-based TV station, International Chinese Network.

"Some pundits have purposely politicized the subject of emigration," Sima said.

He also claimed that he had also been the victim of other false accusations in the past.

In November last year, the Communication University of China abruptly canceled a talk by Sima after organizers cited security concerns over radical comments targeting Sima.

"In the past 20-plus years, my words have offended many people who hold different views on politics and ideologies … To those pundits who openly attack China's fundamental political system, Sima Nan is a vicious enemy because he would jump out of the trench and open fire at them," Sima said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Yao Chun)

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