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Miss World Canada must accept consequences of political action

(Global Times)    08:54, December 28, 2015
Miss World Canada must accept consequences of political action
Anastasia Lin (Xinhua File Photo)

Mireia Lalaguna Royo from Spain claimed the crown at the just concluded Miss World pageant in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province. Before Miss Spain's glamour, beauty and talent captured the world's attention, the event had been shrouded in a political controversy.

In November, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, said she was denied a visa to come to China for the competition. Chinese immigration officials also stopped her boarding a flight from Hong Kong to Sanya, foiling her attempt to benefit from Hainan Province's special visa policy for Canadian nationals.

In a response to inquiries made by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, the Chinese embassy in Canada declared that "China does not allow any persona non grata to come to China." Lin had earned the "unwelcome person" status before she claimed the title of Miss Canada, and it was for a reason.

Moving from China to Canada at a young age, Lin's career as an actress and human rights activist is closely attached to her place of birth, but on a controversial path. Several roles she played showed Falun Gong in a positive light, a group branded a dangerous cult by the Chinese government due to its brainwashing and the risk it poses to social stability.

Her advocacy for "human rights" based on her "sympathy" for Tibet and Xinjiang separatists aims to smear the Chinese authorities, regardless of the separatists' notoriety in Chinese society. In July, she testified at a US Congressional hearing, criticizing China's "persecution" of religious freedom.

Many entertainers are avid political activists. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but they must accept and face up to the possible consequences. American diva Jennifer Lopez once tasted the bitter lesson of performing for a political figure that American mainstream society deems unacceptable. Tayu Lo, a singer from Taiwan, was censured by local Taiwan authorities for his stand against so-called Taiwan independence. Sometimes, even careless mistakes could trigger public uproar. In 2001, mainland actress Zhao Wei was hit by a public image crisis when she posed for a magazine cover photo in a Japanese military flag outfit. She later made a public apology.

Falun Gong, though it claims to be a religious organization, has political motives and takes a radical anti-government stance. Lin may have limited understanding of Chinese affairs since she left the country at a young age.

People with a Chinese background and artistic dreams can easily catch the attention of Western media, if they take a position against Chinese established system.

In every society, there are always a handful of entertainers who are also political speculators, and a few of them can make a name for themselves. Perhaps Lin was misled by people of this sort around her.

Every society should stick to certain principles. If Lin continues on her way, she should bear the costs. In most cases, political speculation is like walking on the edge of a cliff. It's only a delusion if she wants to be a double-dealer, tarnishing China's image to please the West, and while gaining popularity in the Chinese market.

Lin's view about China has certain audience in the Western world, outdated due to lack of knowledge and arbitrary through a lens of prejudice. As for Lin, an immigrant from China to Canada, she should have assumed a role of bridging cultural gaps and clearing up misunderstandings between China and the Western world. However, she has chosen the opposite way, which only generates more misconceptions. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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