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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gong Li villified after this

Gong Li villified after this
Source : Asia One

SO CHINA-BORN superstar Gong Li has finally become a Singaporean - after missing an earlier citizenship ceremony in September.

Maybe the 42-year-old knew the kind of ruckus her passport switch would stir up: It has aroused indignation and outrage as Chinese netizens piled on their anger at the perceived betrayal.

Harsh labels like "fake Chinese", "traitor", "celebrity brat" and even "slut" were hurled at her on portals such as Sohu, Chinaren and Chinanews.

Sohu, one of the most popular portals, published the results of a poll showing that close to a thousand Chinese netizens condemned her.

There were even calls for a boycott of her films, which include the English-language Hannibal Rising (2007) and Miami Vice (2006).

"What's so great about a foreign citizenship? Boycott Gong Li! What kind of role model is she?" one netizen demanded. Surely, these responses are extreme.

As my paper sports editor Chia Han Keong points out, Gong Li has a Singaporean husband, Mr Ooi Hoe Seong. They wed way back in 1996.

Surely, she cannot be a slut for devoting more time to her husband, observes Mr Chia.

Ironically, when news first broke that Gong had been granted Singapore citizenship, there was online debate here over whether she had been granted citizenship too easily.

Some Chinese critiqued the Net fury.

Mr Bi Shicheng said in the China Youth Daily: "You would have expected, with globalisation, that nationality changes would become more common.

"It's interesting that the mentality of Chinese citizens has not kept pace."

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