The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) applies rules and bans to Chinese celebrities, in order to set Chinese society on the path to a kind of extreme nationalism.
Chinese media stars are obliged to show their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, obey its narrative, and renounce everything that links them to any foreigner, even their name or their true origin.
Some stars are willing to give up everything just to belong to China’s lucrative market.
This is the case of Rainie Yang, a Taiwanese actress, born in Taipei, an established artist in China. She is famous for her leading roles in romantic movies, comedies, TV series, and drama, who followed the narrative of the CCP.
In a recent interview on Zhejiang Satellite TV, the actress said that she had “never eaten seafood before.” And that “eating seafood is a luxury” in Taiwan.
She also said she grew up in Taipei, but is Cantonese, that is Chinese.
The actress’s statements prompted many Taiwanese netizens to comment.
Some openly said that Yang was not telling the truth and others dared to publish photos of the actress eating seafood in Taiwan.
Disappointed Taiwanese fans wrote many negative messages on social media, resulting in Yang having to shut down the message and comment functions on Facebook and Instagram.
Tang Hao, an expert on international issues, said that many Taiwanese and foreign artists for fear of losing their fame and fortune obey the CCP’s orders.
The specialist said that the Taiwanese public, with their comments, was trying to get the actress to “restore her memory.”
He added that Taiwan is surrounded by the sea, which is rich in fish and seafood, so it is not difficult to eat them anywhere and they are economically accessible.
Tang Hao also listed how artists apply the rules imposed by the CCP.
First, the CCP forces them to deny their foreign identity. For example, Taiwanese artists are asked to say that they are from “Taiwan, China”, or that they are from Shanghai, Fujian, or Anhui.
Second, they should say that “life abroad is not necessarily as good as life in China and that there is no better leadership than that of the CCP, that is, cooperate with indoctrination.
Third, on a festive date, foreign artists should shout slogans such as “Love the homeland.”
On the other hand, they must follow the production’s directives in order to generate the desired effect on viewers, that is celebrities must lie, misinform, or make a speech in favor of the CCP.
For example, Jackie Chan is another celebrity, who this year upset some Western fans for his recent message about his nationality and pro-CCP messages.
The famous actor, of Hong Kong origin, said he is “proud to be Chinese.”
He added, “I just think the Chinese Communist Party is really so magnificent.” He added, “What the Party says, what it promises, it doesn’t need 100 years to accomplish, it will definitely accomplish it in just a few decades. I want to be a Party member!”
Chan’s remarks, which were made during a symposium organized by the China Film Association, were immediately broadcast by CCTV, the CCP’s official news agency.
On July 1, the Hong Kong actor also participated in a propaganda event organized by the CCP at the Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing with an audience of 91,000 people. He sang along with Taiwanese singer Angela Chang and Liu Naiqi, a tenor from Macau, “Defend your hometown, defend the Yellow River… defend all of China!”
Thousands of artists participated in the event dressed as Red Army soldiers of the 1930s and 1940s, following the orders of the CCP.
Chinese regime retaliates against celebrities who do not comply with rules
There are several examples of how the CCP puts pressure on stars who want to stay in the lucrative Chinese entertainment market.
Since 2021, the CCP has focused on a “greater crackdown” on celebrities, especially those on the internet, accusing them of promoting luxury and creating chaos.
For example, in August of that year, several unforeseen events happened to the stars, causing them to lose prestige, money, and fame, and some were even arrested or even disappeared.
This is the case of Zheng Shuang, a young Chinese actress, who was fined $299 million by the CCP for alleged tax evasion.
Also at the end of August, Zhao Wei, one of the best-known Chinese actresses of the 1990s, disappeared. Her social media accounts, fan sites, her movies, and TV shows disappeared as if she had never existed.
Stanley Rosen, a professor at the University of Southern California, said the CCP crackdown shows that “no one, no matter how rich or popular, is too big to chase.”
Following the strict controls of the CCP’s Propaganda Department, Chinese artists must do their job—encouraging nationalism and passion for the CCP, especially on holidays such as the CCTV Spring Festival Gala and on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Artists have an obligation to be part of the red movies, and celebrate the centenary of the birth of the People’s Liberation Army, especially young male stars, who attract the largest audiences.
Influencers must also do their part in indoctrinating the youngest, in addition to launching CCP propaganda they have to spread free internet video games, where key CCP policies for building and organizing cities are taught.
In addition, digital communicators must express a discourse in favor of CCP policies and orders. For example, during the Hong Kong protests in 2019, social media celebrities had the role of condemning the actions of Hong Kong protesters calling for democracy.
Once an artist enters the Chinese entertainment industry, they enter a vicious circle from which they cannot easily escape. Because once they agree to pay allegiance to the CPP and follow its rules, either for money or fame, their lives will be under constant control and surveillance, turning them into a tool of indoctrination, disinformation, and propaganda.