iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, February 07, 2013
Till recently, Peng Dan, 40, was mostly known for her starring roles in skin flicks like Honk Kong Show Girls and Erotic Ghost Story: Perfect Match. The Communist Party of China (CPC), however, has finally found a more than perfect match for her: politics.

Peng's nomination to the top advisory council -- Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - of the northwestern province of Gansu's capital Lanzhou has divided opinion and triggered an online debate about the selection procedure to the council and the reason behind the selection.

That Peng starred in a patriotic movie called Lovely China in 2009 could have certainly helped her. Also helpful in cementing her position as a political advisor was one of her first proposals to the council: a revolutionary movie on Mao's Red Army.

Some of China's increasingly irreverent microbloggers have different takes though.

"I think the significance of Peng being selected is that the male members will not fall asleep but will keep their eyes on where she sits," Kong Zhiyong, a sales manager, commented on his Sina Weibo.

"Thus, more porn stars will be admitted to the committees," Kong was quoted by the state-run Global Times newspaper.

Some felt that inclusion of celebrities in political committees increased media coverage of the CPPCC meetings.

The newspaper said that according to the list of the 12th CPPCC National Committee released recently, among its 2,237 members - which included actor Jackie Chan and Noble Laureate Mo Yan -- the representatives from literature, art and sports circles total 166, not including celebrities from other groups, were higher than the 151 members from economic circles and 67 with an agricultural background.

"Absorbing film stars without any political experience into such a serious organisation would not only damage its authority but also make it a laughing stock for other countries," Qiao Qiao Xinsheng, professor from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, told the newspaper.

But Peng is certain she can fit into her new role. "As a political advisor, I know I should do things for the people, represent them and reflect their will. But it has no essential connection with my profession in film," she told China News Service.