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Crisis in China: Yao's baby could be American

Mar 3, 2010, 11:12 AM EDT

Want to know what the celebrity gossip is in China? Of course you do, who doesn’t? One of my goals in life was always to be a Chinese gossip columnist, so here goes:

Yao Ming’s baby could be born in America — and that would be a national disgrace.

Yao and his wife Ye Li are expecting their first child this summer. A proud moment for them. And we are all expecting another basketball prodigy — Ye is a basketball player herself.

Yao and Ye recently returned to America, fueling rampant speculation in China that the couple intends to have the baby on American soil, giving the child full citizenship in the USA. Turns out in China, they closely follow the personal lives of their celebrities and make big deals out of personal things — thank goodness we don’t do that here in America.

And people are freaking out on the (heavily restricted) Internet in China. Thank goodness people don’t do that here, either.

Chinese fans online have said that would be a betrayal of China – in part because it could deny the country a future star for the national team. Ye is also a basketball player, and stands 6 feet, 2 inches tall – still well short of Yao’s 7-6.

Yao’s baby would automatically be an American citizen if born in the U.S. She also could claim Chinese citizenship as the child of Chinese nationals, though Chinese law does not recognize dual citizenship.

Isn’t it fun to watch nations struggle in an increasingly borderless world? Well, it would be if it wasn’t so sad.

  1. P. Ami - Mar 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    There are elements to this story which I find funny, in the uncomfortable, “ha, ha” sort of way. The fact that our country is so corporately (financially) tied to an Autocratic country with such a high level of nationalistic tendency on all levels of the society, is disturbing and this Yao thing is the least sign of how easily people can differ in attitude. The NBA has bet a fair portion of it’s future on the continued growth in popularity of basketball in China (an lets just say that a diplomatic faux pa large enough would increase the popularity of the CBA in China at the expense of the NBA).
    I would suggest that ending this post with the sentence “Well, it would be if it wasn’t so sad” expresses an opinion without providing the reader any reasoning for what is sad about such struggles. It might be nations, it might be states, it might be cities, tribes or individuals that struggle against each other and while some of the fall out is sad and sometimes tragic, there are many who argue that there are many elements to struggle which are beautiful. A mother struggles to push out her child in birth. Children struggle to perfect skills. Patients struggle to live. Success is often the result of those who struggle through many failures. So, I wonder how this episode of the China/Yao love affair is sad in itself. It seems to me to signify something greater which could become sad, but on it’s own it’s just cultural bs that would be self-evident to something like 1 billion people..

  2. Zak - Mar 4, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    It isn’t just about basketball either. When Jet Li and Gong Li (Chinese actors) decided to obtain citizenship in Singapore because it was far less restrictive than China., there was a massive outcry against it.

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