Friday, May 7, 2021

This year’s Oscars could have been a moment of pride for China. Then politics got in the way


Beijing-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao created history by winning the Oscar for Best Director for her film on Sunday “Nomaland”Became the first Asian woman And only the second woman to win the award. Zhao’s film also won the best picture.

But China is not celebrating – at least not officially.

In contrast, this year’s Oscars were not broadcast anywhere in China – including two major streaming platforms where the annual ceremony was shown live in previous years. In Hong Kong, a major broadcaster opted not to broadcast the Oscars for the first time in more than half a century.

Even as Zhao’s victory makes headlines around the world, the Chinese state media remains quietly silent. Hours after the announcement, no reports of his victory could be found on the websites of state news agency Xinhua or state broadcaster CCTV. Social media posts sharing the news of his victory have also been censored.

The official silence contrasted with March, when Zhao won Best Director at the Golden Globes. After this, the Chinese state media was quick to congratulate Zhao, the nationalist newspaper Global Times called him “Pride of china
But praise for Zhao did not last long. Chinese Internet users dug 2013 The interview She gave it to the American film magazine Filmmaker, during which she appeared to criticize her childhood in a place in China “where the bus seems everywhere”. In another Recent interview With the Australian media, Zhao was quoted as saying that the United States “is now my country, eventually.” The site later clarified that Zhao was wrongly portrayed – what he actually said was that America “is not my country.”
But the damage was done. Reached China’s online nationalists Attack Zhao, accusing China of “blotting”. Some even called for a boycott of the film.

Before long, promotional material for Zhao’s “Nomadland” disappeared from platforms such as social media site Weibo, China’s Twitter. Originally released in China on April 23, the film was also removed from major film websites in the country. As of Monday, there is no sign “Nomadland” is coming soon to Chinese theaters.

Zhao’s rapid spread is widely indicative of China’s nationalist sentiment led by President Xi Jinping. Zhao has not spoken to China seriously since she rose to fame, but it seems that a comment made eight years ago is enough to destroy her image – and prevent the release of her film.

Furthermore, in the eyes of China’s ruling Communist Party, Zhao’s comparative upbringing and Western education may not make him an ideal candidate to adopt as a Chinese success story. Zhao Attended schools In Britain and the US, the experience was inaccessible to most Chinese people – before eventually enrolling in film school at New York University.

In addition to the nationalist struggle against Zhao, this year’s Oscar is also a political thorn for the Chinese government for another reason – “Don’t Split”, a 35-minute film chronicling Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests of 2019, Best of Nominated for short documentary (it did not win in the end).

Whether the film’s nomenclature contributed to the lowering of the Oscars is open to question. The Academy Awards was underway in Los Angeles as one of China’s most popular social media sites – the event didn’t even make the top 50 trending topics of the day. This was despite the Chinese film “Better Days” being nominated for Best International Feature. The young adult crime romance has been a smash hit in China, and is the first Chinese film to be nominated in that category in nearly two decades.

But in China, Zhao is still part of his supporters. As news of his victory over Weibo was shared by unauthorized accounts, many users left comments congratulating Zhao and criticized the nationalist attack against him. But censorship soon subsided and the posts disappeared within hours.

One of the popular posts scrubbed from Weibo was Video Zhao’s acceptance speech at the ceremony, in which he spoke proudly of his Chinese roots. Zhao said she used to recite classic Chinese poems and texts with her father, and a special line of the three-character classic – “People born are naturally good” – to help her continue when things get tough. Had.

“Those six letters had such a huge impact on me when I was a child, and I still really believe in them today. Even though sometimes it may seem that the opposite is true, I always found goodness in those people Everybody I met, I went everywhere in the world, ”he said.

Asia Roundup

  • Indonesian Naval Submarine It was found missing since Wednesday when it broke from sea level on Sunday. Officials said the deaths of all 53 crew members have been confirmed.
  • India has recorded in the world Daily Kovid-19 highest number of cases For five consecutive days, as its crisis progresses and desperate families beg for oxygen. Many countries including the United States and United Kingdom are sending life saving medical equipment to India.
  • On ASEAN summit Later this week in Indonesia, South East Asian leaders agreed with Myanmar’s Junta chief on a plan to end the violence that has continued since the military seized power in February. But activists have deferred the decision not to include a provision to release thousands of political prisoners, including senior political figures currently under house arrest.
  • Tokyo Olympics Only three months away – but Japan is still struggling to control its fourth coronovirus wave, which has seen an increase in various infections. The government has issued a state of emergency for four provinces, including Tokyo.
  • Eu – Jung Yun She became the first Korean actress to win Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars on Sunday for her role in the film “Minari”. The film, and Yun has received critical acclaim throughout the award season.

photo of the Day

Beijing Half Marathon: The race 24 April attracted more than 10,000 people, with masked (and dinosaur) participants. In most of mainland China, daily life has returned to something leading to a pre-pandemic, with few restrictions remaining and large events moving forward.

China’s business: Tech companies partner with government on ‘digital yuan’

China is tapping some of the largest tech companies in the country to help rollout the official digital currency known as the digital yuan.

State media reported on Sunday that Ant Group and Tencent are partnering with People’s Bank of China to develop technology related to the digital version of the country’s currency.

The Ant Group – Alibaba’s financial technical partner – will work with the central bank to create a technology platform for the digital yuan, according to state media reports that said the company could use its highly popular digital payment app in partnership. K. Meanwhile, Tencent is also participating in currency-related research and development, state media reports said.

The announcement is not a total surprise. Ant Group announced earlier this year that its online bank, MyBank, had joined the Digital Yuan pilot program. According to Chinese state media, Tencent has been reported to have some involvement with the Digital Yuan project, although this is the first time the company has publicly spoken about its involvement.

Ant Group and Tencent did not immediately respond to CNN Business’s requests for comment.

China’s digital yuan trial has expanded to nine cities and one province so far, and the country could become the first major economy in the world to create an official, digital version of its currency. A deputy governor at the central bank even said that recently the country could offer foreign athletes and visitors a chance to use the digital yuan at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

– by Laura

Quoted and noted

“This project is designed to prevent a major flood that occurs once in a century. The floods last year were 40 years old, not to pose a threat to the Three Gorges Dam.”

China is ready for the monsoon season, Engineers and experts Expecting more moderate rainfall than last year, when large-scale drift overflowed the rivers and displaced millions of residents. It also investigated the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric project to date, with some critics stating that the disaster traced its limited effectiveness.

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