Janine Chang agitates Chinese netizens after they found out that she called Taiwan “My Country” in her Master’s Thesis 11 years ago


    By LEE WEI LIN, Today

    9th September 2021 – (Taipei) How Taiwanese and Hongkong celebs view the One-China policy has always been a contentious topic for Chinese netizens. Even more so now that the Chinese government is reportedly placing new restrictions on celebs with foreign citizenships working in the Mainland.

    And any star who has ever expressed views or said anything that remotely sounds like they think Taiwan or Hongkong is separate from China have incurred the wrath of these Chinese netizens.

    Just look at what happened to Dee Hsu and Jolin Tsai.

    The latest celeb to come under fire is 39-year-old Taiwanese actress Janine Chang. And it’s all because of a thesis she wrote when she was studying for her master’s degree in industrial economics at Taiwan’s National Central University in 2010.

    Yes, 11 years ago.

    The topic of her thesis was ‘issues regarding artiste management in my country’ and Chinese netizens have taken umbrage with her use of “my country” when referring to Taiwan.

    It’s not known how Chinese netizens came across the thesis in the first place or why they decided to even look for it, but they’ve since taken it as evidence that Janine is pro-Taiwan independence. They also brought up Janine’s past interviews, in which she compared the work environments in the mainland and Taiwan. ‘It was then that I realised that Taiwan shouldn’t fall behind. I felt that we needed to show how professional we are too”, she said in one such interview.

    Netizens took Janine’s statement to mean that she thinks of Taiwan and China as two separate entities, which of course led them to accuse her of “betraying” China while raking in money from mainland dramas.

    After the scandal broke out, Janine was rumoured to have been removed from the cast list of upcoming drama The Psychologist. Some also believe that she’s on the brink of being blacklisted by China.

    In response, Janine’s work studio issued a statement on 6th September, calling the rumours “baseless” and “unreliable”.

    “Janine Chang is not pro-Taiwan independence. She has always regarded herself as Chinese,” read part of the statement.

    The actress also updated her personal Weibo with this declaration: “In the course of my acting career, I’ve met respectable seniors from the mainland, Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau. I love acting, which I treat as my career. We are Chinese regardless of which land we are from. I am not pro-Taiwan independence.”