While China may be rather prudish about showing sex on screen, its attitude to actresses with careers in eroticism seems more relaxed, if the case of Diana Pang is anything to go by.
Known as the “divine bosom” for her role in several racy movies in Hong Kong in the 1990s, 40 year-old Pang was back in the headlines last week on becoming a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in the western province of Gansu.
Representing the Zhi Gong Dang – one of the eight legally-recognised political parties in China other than the Communist Party – Peng Dan, as she is known in mainland China, said she would use her new role to boost the film industry in the impoverished province.
The former beauty queen further explained to reporters: “I hope to make some investments in Gansu, and make some more Gansu-themed movies.”
This soon set internet users off on a flight of fancy. Some imagined Pang’s best known films (including Erotic Ghost Story: The Perfect Match, obviously) going through remakes on the province’s dusty plateau.
“Is it possible we might get another instalment of Erotic Ghost Story set in Gansu? If so, thank you CPPCC,” wrote one contributor.
Others pondered the bigger picture, wondering if Pang’s election might signal looser rules on adult fare for mainland audiences.
“Maybe this means China will have its own category III industry at last,” another mused happily.
There was also the suggestion that the recent spate of sex scandals involving Chinese officials offers fertile ground for adult filmmakers. Many netizens drew mocking comparisons with the video released of Chongqing official Lei Zhengfu enjoying himself with a nubile 18 year-old (see page 14) and another common observation was that – as so many politicians seem to be appearing in sex tapes – the quid pro quo is that more erotic actresses should be allowed to get into politics.
“It’s only fair that the crossover goes the other way,” noted one weibo wag, approvingly. “To be honest I’d rather see Peng Dan trying politics, than politicians having a go at sex.”
Salty comments aside, some newspapers questioned whether Pang and other celebrities are qualified for a political role.
“Why are they included? Is it to further their own ends or attract investment to their province? The harm to the work of the CPPCC is huge,” fumed one commentary piece on the People’s Daily website.
But Pang explained her own involvement by saying that her grandfather had fought for the People’s Liberation Army, even participating in the Long March in the 1930s.
Despite being born in Hunan province, Pang has also been playing up her connections with Gansu, including her time spent starring in a film set in the province.
“In the film I even drove a train from Jiayuguan to Jiuquan,” she insisted.
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