Beijing Bans Mainland Filmmakers From Attending "Chinese Language Oscars" In Taiwan

In what appears to be Beijing's latest offensive against Taiwan after deciding last week to ban most of the tourism from the mainland to island, senior Communist Party officials have decided that mainland filmmakers will not be allowed to take part in the Golden Horse Film Festival, also known as the "Chinese-language Oscars."

Here's more from the SCMP:

Mainland China will not take part in the film awards dubbed the “Chinese-language Oscars”, held in Taiwan, the country’s film administrators announced on Wednesday, reflecting tensions across the strait.

A newspaper affiliated with the China Film Administration reported that representatives from the mainland movie industry would not attend the annual Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards on November 23.

But Beijing isn't simply boycotting the Taiwanese ceremony, it's reportedly moving the date of its own mainland film festival - the Golden Rooster Film Festival - to coincide with the Golden Horse festival, forcing Chinese language filmmakers from other areas, like Hong Kong, to choose between them.

Earlier reports had suggested that the Golden Rooster Awards, the mainland’s annual film event, would be held on the same date in Xiamen in southeast China.

This will be the first time that Beijing has banned its films and filmmakers from attending the Golden Horse Awards since Taiwan officially allowed the mainland to take part in 1996.

Though tensions between the mainland and Taiwan have been particularly high as of late, talk of a ban has been going on for some time. It started after Taiwan-born documentary director Fu Yue called for the world to recognize Taiwan as an independent country during an acceptance speech at last year's ceremony. Meanwhile, a mainland actor won best actor, and a mainland film won best feature film.

The Golden Horse awards organizing committee said Beijing's decision was "regrettable," but that the festival's events would be held as scheduled.

"This is creating division and rivalry between the two festivals," said Lo Wai-luk, honorary resident writer at the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University. "This is not beneficial to the exchanges between filmmakers across the strait. This policy does not have any political wisdom."

Beijing released a defense policy paper last month that warned against any foreign intervention to bolster Taiwan's claims of independence, and insisted that Taiwan would one day be reunited with the mainland.