TAIPEI – Taiwanese stuntwoman Chen Chuyin announced on Chinese social media Weibo early this month that she was preparing to give up her household registration in Taiwan and was in the process of applying for household registration in China.
“I’m also giving up healthcare in Taiwan and looking forward to receiving a People’s Republic of China ID as soon as possible,” she said in her post on Feb 7.
Ms Chen, who is in her late 30s, is well known in her field, having performed stunts for Taiwanese actresses Shu Qi and Chen Yi-han, as well as Hong Kong actress Gaile Lok, and has been living in China for the past four years.
“In the years I have been living in China, I have felt how the motherland protects its 1.4 billion people… the motherland has to be reunified, and the chaos in Taiwan’s society will undoubtedly cease after reunification,” she wrote on Weibo.
Ms Chen’s declaration is a rare case. She is the first from the entertainment industry to openly announce that she wants to take up Chinese citizenship.
Under the laws on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, a person cannot hold dual household registrations and passports. Taiwan’s household registration allows a person the right to vote in elections, recalls and referendums; serve in public office and the military; and access affordable universal healthcare.
Mr Chiu Chui-cheng, Deputy Minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said: “Since the two sides (of the Taiwan Strait) use household registrations to determine citizenship, the authorities will be annulling Chen Chuyin’s household registration in Taiwan.”
Netizens expressed anger over Ms Chen’s announcement. On PTT – Taiwan’s equivalent of the Reddit online forum – one user wrote: “Using this ploy to surrender to ‘Little Pinks’ and betraying your place of birth”. “Little Pinks” refer to nationalistic cyber warriors.
“Since you’re so eager to return to the ‘motherland’, safe travel!” another wrote.
Ms Chen is one of many from Taiwan’s entertainment industry who have taken their careers to China in the hopes of winning over a bigger audience. Some have been similarly vocal in their support of China.
In 2016, celebrity couple Ruby Lin and Wallace Huo, both seasoned actors in China’s period dramas, took to Weibo to protest the South China Sea ruling by an international tribunal, which ruled overwhelmingly in favour of the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China over the waters.
During China’s National Day celebrations last year, Rainie Yang, Angela Chang, Eddie Peng, Ethan Juan, Nicky Wu and Jimmy Lin were among nearly 30 Taiwanese celebrities who posted celebratory messages on social media.
And while both Taiwan and China celebrate Chinese New Year, it is increasingly common to see Taiwanese singers perform at the annual Spring Festival Gala broadcast on China Central Television.
In late January, veteran Taiwanese actress Fang Fang said in an interview with Chinese media that she welcomed China “teaching Taiwan a lesson – when a child is being unreasonable, two slaps in the face will let him know who’s boss.”