Envy behind the rage?
Backlash against Gong follows a recent spike in nationalist sentiments. -myp
BEIJING - CHINESE actress Gong Li had only last year served as a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's lower house of Parliament.
This may have added extra sting after it was reported that she had collected her Singapore citizenship over the weekend, accompanied by her husband, Singaporean tobacco businessman Ooi Hoe Seong.
Online, the condemnation Chinese netizens heaped upon the star of Farewell My Concubine and Memoirs Of A Geisha was fierce.
The China Youth Daily reported that an online survey found 65 per cent opposed her change of citizenship. Just 26 per cent said they didn't care, while 9 per cent endorsed her move, saying she had better prospects abroad.
The bitterness was summed up by a netizen who wrote: "How do you think you managed to rise to fame, if it wasn't because of your local fans and audience"
"Once you qualify as a citizen of another country, you abandon us. Are you trying to say that China is not as good as other countries? You claim that you love your country and that your roots are in China - it's all a load of rubbish!"
Another netizen claimed that "China will be ruined because of the departure of migrants".
The state-run Xinhua news agency said speculation that Gong was actively seeking foreign citizenship had resulted in her being left off the list of delegates for this year's session of Parliament earlier this year.
Still, there were many netizens who expressed understanding for Gong's decision, noting the pressure such stars face in China, and making veiled criticisms of life in the communist country.
Some implied that envy was behind the rage. "Why doesn't anyone ask why people want to emigrate? We see one Chinese person after another take US citizenship," one person wrote on Sohu.com
Another suggested many of the critics would leap at the chance to migrate, "like a moth to a flame".
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