Taiwan film shelved in China due to actor’s alleged politics

Beijing, The Taiwanese film, "Missing Johnny (?????)," has had its big screen premier in China canceled after one its lead actors was blasted by Chinese netizens as a "Taiwan independence entertainer."

The film, which was scheduled to go on general release in China on April 13, has had its release canceled, confirmed An Fengshan (???), spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office at a regular press conference Wednesday, after being asked about political statements made by Lawrence Ko (???).

The Chinese authorities will "never allow films to be shown on the mainland that include entertainers who support Taiwan's independence or have made remarks or taken action in support of Taiwan independence," said An.

The 2017 film "Missing Johnny," produced by award-winning Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (???), was scheduled to be released in mainland China on April 13, but over the past few days several Chinese netizens have posted online criticisms denouncing Ko for his independence remarks and actions.

Chinese newspaper Global Times published some of the posts Tuesday that included Ko denouncing the idea of "one country, two territories (????)," proposed by Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (???) in 2012 and visiting protesters occupying the Legislative Yuan during the Sunflower Student Movement, which opposed a cross-strait services trade act, in 2014, to voice his support.

Some posts even claimed Ko's father Ko I-chen (???), a director and actor, is a longstanding Taiwan independence advocate.

Meanwhile, asked about allegations that National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (???) had been paid to give lectures and teach in China on numerous occasions, An explained that Kuan had been made a visiting chair professor at Xiamen University, but gave no lectures nor received any salary.

"Professor Kuan never taught, gave professional courses, or served as a tutor to graduates or students taking doctoral degree programs," An said.

Kuan was selected to serve as president of NTU, Taiwan's leading university, on Jan 5 but has since been accused of plagiarism and conflicts of interest that have raised questions about the legitimacy of his selection and prevented him taking office on Feb. 1 as scheduled. He was later cleared of plagiarism.

The NTU selection committee on Jan. 31 upheld its Jan. 5 selection of Kuan as president, affirming that all allegations made against him have been dealt with.

In the latest development, online news media newtalk.tw reported on March 16 that Kuan has taught at three universities in China since 2005. It was to this allegation that An Fengshan was responding.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office is conducting an investigation into Kuan's alleged violation of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act, the provisions of which forbid him as a former government official from teaching in China.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel