Way back in the mists of time when this blog was launched one of our first posts was a picture of actress Zhang Ziyi canoodling with her obviously western boyfriend at an L.A. Lakers games. There was a good deal of silly stuff on the internet accusing her of being a traitor to China etc etc. There was an similar outbreak when news broke that Gong Li had taken Singapore citizenship, presumably out of deference to her Singaporean businessman husband and just possibly because, like many internationally known Chinese, she likes to travel the world without the hassle of constantly applying for visas. Now Zhang is about to get married to that same boyfriend, an Israeli called Vivi Nuevo and a paparazzo has caught them fooling around at the beach in various states of undress. Roland Soong at Eastsouthwestnorth has a round up of netizen’s reactions, a good number of which are in the same negative strain (and yes, he does have some of the pictures, too). This has the feel of a manufactured controversy to me though. As we have remarked in the past, you can find anyone saying anything you want on the vast spaces of the Chinese internet. In fact, this is likely much more about people wanting to post the racy pics to boost traffic to their websites and blogs than getting into a tither about Zhang’s patriotism or lack thereof. (And, ahem, here’s the link to Roland’s site :), not that we would want to increase traffic or anything…..