Angelina Jolie is getting a hard lesson dealing with the sensitivities of Chinese politics as she finds herself caught up in controversy during a recent visit to China. Jolie has angered many Mainland Chinese fans into a possible boycott of "Maleficent" reported The Huffington Post on June 10, 2014. Although Beijing lightened up on Jolie's fiancé, Brad Pitt, by allowing him into the country for the ongoing "Maleficent" press tour after years of being banned for his role in "Seven Years In Tibet," she nevertheless has problems of her own with China now.
Jolie became the target of controversy in China after she referred film director Ang Lee as Taiwanese instead of Chinese. Jolie placed herself right in the center of the heat in dealing with the complex relations between China and Taiwan with this comment. At a press conference in Shanghai an AP reporter asked Jolie to name her favorite Chinese director. Jolie replied she was very fond of Lee but was not certain if Lee was considered Chinese because he is from Taiwan.
Jolie was immediately attacked in the Chinese media for her reference to Lee as Taiwanese. A Chinese Weibo user said due to her implications that Taiwan and China are two separate countries Jolie became a stupid laughing stock instead of being seen as a brilliant woman. Another Chinese person referred to Jolie as being a deranged supporter of Taiwan independence.
Beijing has taken the position that Taiwan is a renegade province ever since a rival Chinese government was established there in 1949. Beijing has at all times made it clear it is prepared to take Taiwan back by force if necessary. Jolie's comment had led to threats of a boycott of her movie "Maleficent" by Mainland China because she has shown disrespect for China’s sovereignty. However, suddenly Jolie is extremely popular in Taiwan.
Jolie is being accused of disrespecting the sovereignty of China after the Lee comment reports The Independent. Lee, who created Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, was referred to as Taiwanese by Jolie instead of Chinese. Lee was born in Pingtung, which is in southern Taiwan, however Jolie’s comment angered some Chinese natives who were offended by the implication that Taiwan and China are not the same countries.
Jolie is now in a jam in dealing with Chinese affairs because if she doesn't apologize to China and publicly recognize Beijing's sovereignty over all of China she may really be boycotted in China and refused future entry to the country. Yet if she throws her public support behind Beijing she will risk losing her new popularity among the Taiwanese who feel the U.S. government and many other American interests sold them out a long time ago by recognizing and doing business with the Communist Chinese.