Big Chill With China Takes Its Toll On Flow Of Money, People And Ideas
The chill between the two countries has even hit entertainment. In May, after the governments’ trade talks collapsed, Chinese studios began quietly removing American actors and directors from projects and deleting references to the U.S. in scripts, according to multiple people in the film industry.
“Time and time again, the reason they gave me was they can’t risk working with an American right now,” Matt Knowles, an American actor frequently cast in Chinese films and commercials, tells NPR. He had roles in multiple projects, including a $75 million movie, canceled abruptly in May. “This [trade] conflict has caused an immediate silencing of the interaction between both sides. It’s devastating.”
Entrepreneurs and former diplomats are encountering more monitoring in China or curtailing travel there altogether after Chinese authorities arrested two Canadians — former diplomat Michael Kovrig and consultant Michael Spavor — on suspicion of espionage in December. Both men remain detained.