Actor due to play Chairman Mao causes uproar due to British citizenship

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A Chinese actor who is playing Chairman Mao in a forthcoming Chinese television drama has been accused of "blaspheming" the memory of the late dictator because he had taken British citizenship.

Zhang Tielin, 53, who studied for a master's degree at the National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire in the late 1980s, was attacked on several Chinese internet forums as an inappropriate choice to play a revolutionary 'hero' like Mao Tse-tung.

The attacks on Mr Zhang are the latest example of rising nationalism in China where the public are increasingly aware of their status as a rising superpower but still keenly remembers its history of oppression at the hands of the Japanese and the European colonial powers.

National sentiments have been running high in recent weeks following a diplomatic spat between China and its old enemy Japan that sparked anti-Japanese demonstrations in several cities across China with minor damage to Japanese shops and cars....

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