Following an incident earlier this month in which Taiwanese actor Leon Dai (戴立忍) was removed from a film project in China due to his alleged pro-Taiwan independence ideology, rumors are now circulating in the artistic community that Taiwanese and Hong Kong artists wishing to work on Chinese productions must sign a declaration promising not to “split the country.”

The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported on July 26 that a number of Taiwanese artists had heard that the Chinese government was now asking performing artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong to sign a declaration vowing not to participate in various “separatist” activities to “split the country.” However, prior involvement in such “separatist” activities will be “forgiven.”

Although this has yet to be confirmed, the new rule would reportedly apply to personnel in the movie, TV, and music industry, including directors, producers and music producers. According to what a number of artists have heard, the rule is to take effect immediately, and failure to sign the said document would bar an artist from participating in projects in China.

Chinese central authorities have yet to comment on the matter or to confirm whether such rules have been implemented. Rumors of the new rule for performing artists occur amid an intensifying propaganda campaign against "separatist" forces in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where a more Taiwan-centric government was elected in January, as well as a crackdown on journalistic freedoms and new restrictions on social media across China.

Apple Daily reports that Taiwanese director Wu Nien-chen (吳念真) also had to postpone the《人間條件3》(Human Condition 3) theater tour in China in March due to “political sensitivities.”

Dai was removed from Chinese actress-turned-director Vicky Zhao’s (趙薇) movie “No Other Love” after a vicious online campaign initiated by the Chinese Communist Youth League, which threatened to boycott the film.

Edited by: Olivia Yang