The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious film festivals, and it prides itself on its international lineup.
Taiwan demands correction after Cannes calls a Taiwanese actor ‘Chinese’
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s immune from diplomatic blunders.
In announcing its 2018 jury on Wednesday, the festival’s organizers called Taiwanese actor Chang Chen a “Chinese actor.”
The apparent mix-up has prompted a request for a correction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.
Foreign governments and international institutions routinely come under pressure from the Chinese government not to recognize self-ruling, democratic Taiwan as a state but as part of China.
Earlier this month, The Man Booker International Prize identified nominee Wu Ming-yi as being from “Taiwan,” before changing it to “Taiwan, China” after the Chinese embassy in London complained.
The prize’s organizer reversed the change after drawing criticism that it was bowing to pressure from Beijing.
The episodes highlight the geopolitical tensions between the two ethnic Chinese-majority neighbors, and how they have often spilled over to international interactions.
And it can be genuinely confusing because the ambiguity over what constitutes “China” – and therefore what being “Chinese” means – is partly by design.
In a speech last month, Xi said China would uphold the 1992 Consensus, a term referring to a tacit agreement that there is only one China, but each side can interpret what that means differently.
President Tsai Ing-wen, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, has not recognized the consensus, but has said that she’s committed to maintaining the status quo.
Beijing claims Taiwan as a province, and has not ruled out taking it by force if necessary.
On Wednesday, Beijing carried out live-fire drills in the strait separating the mainland and Taiwan, a move analysts said was intended as a warning message to its neighbor.
The relationship between Taiwan and China has tripped up people who probably should have known better, like the Trump administration.
Last year, after Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Germany, the White House issued a statement referring to Xi as president of the “Republic of China.”
That’s the official name of Taiwan – China is the People’s Republic of China.