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Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Mulan, is under attack for expressing her support for police in Hong Kong, who have struggled to maintain public order after violent protests broke out in the city.
On her personal Weibo account, the popular actress reposted and commented on a People’s Daily post which shamed the rioters in Hong Kong for their extreme violence. The post says in English, “What a shame for Hong Kong” and includes the now-viral quote by a Global Times reporter who was tied up and beaten by radical protestors at Hong Kong’s airport: “I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.”
The original post has received roughly 2.8 million likes and has been reposted close to 7.8 million times as of press time. In her post, the actress included the popular hashtag: “I also support the Hong Kong police.” And her voice is not alone. It adds to the growing list of posts by other Chinese celebrities who have spoken out against the violence in Hong Kong.
Internationally, however, the actress was slammed for supporting Hong Kong police. The post was translated into English and then reposted with the tag #BoycottDisney, with many calling for Disney to drop her and for movie-goers to boycott the remake.
It is a shame that the Chinese-American actress is being attacked for supporting Hong Kong police. As native of China, Liu Yifei is obviously concerned about the violence and chaos in the city and she has the right to voice her opinion on it. She is also in a better position to comment on the situation than people who have it out for China.
But the Western media has largely framed the Hong Kong police response in a negative light while downplaying the increasingly violent acts that have triggered it and in some cases praising or at least encouraging the violence.
The #BoycottDisney hashtag reveals the bias against China and shows that some people are just looking for any excuse to attack China. Millions of Chinese people have expressed support for Hong Kong police because they want to see law and order be restored in Hong Kong and it is wrong to equate that support with support for brutality and oppression.
In fact, some have even gone so far as to accuse her of spitting in the face of democracy. However, it is those who are attacking her for her opinion and support who are the real enemies of democracy. The vicious attack on Liu Yifei and the mindless call to boycott the Mulan remake is nothing short of an attempt to silence certain voices and to drag Hong Kong into an abyss.
The backlash against Liu Yifei puts on display the hypocrisy of their criticism. Hong Kong has been rocked by increasingly violent protests for months, which has prompted the police to respond on an almost daily basis. The demonstrations have gone far beyond the scope of peaceful demonstrations and have devolved into extreme violence. It cannot be left unchecked.
Some have accused the Hong Kong police of brutality and support for the police has been equated with support for police brutality, but you would never see this amount of restraint on the streets of the United States for instance. In 2014, after riots broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, police responded like an invading army.
What a shame Liu Yifei is being attacked for simply expressing her opinion and support. We should try to better understand the situation in Hong Kong and not be so quick to attack China. (By Curtis Stone, Peoples' Daily Online)