Top Chinese TV Host Labeled 'Traitor' After Giving Birth in U.S.
One of China's top TV anchors, Chai Jing's apparent decision to have her baby in a U.S. hospital has caused a furor online, with some commentators calling her a "traitor," while others hail her ingenuity.
After pictures were posted online showing Chai holding a newborn baby at an airport, reports began to emerge that she had given birth to a daughter in October 2013 in the U.S.
China's medical system is massively overstretched, and many who can afford it choose to have their babies overseas, often in Hong Kong or the U.S. There is the added benefit that the child often becomes a citizen of the country in which he or she is born.
Also a well-known author, Chai is regarded as a champion of the liberal media in China and solidified her name practicing investigative journalism during the SARS epidemic in 2003 and covering the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. She subsequently became an anchor on various news shows on CCTV.
The Offbeat China website quoted someone named c7 in the comment section: "I have no problem of her giving birth in the U.S, but she shouldn't put on a show on TV as if she is a patriot and cares about this country or its people." Another person wrote: "If she is an ordinary mom, I won't be so disgusted. But Chai's been trying hard to establish herself as a patriot who cares about this country. If so, be a Chinese!"
Other posts accused her of "liberal hypocrisy" and of lacking credibility.
Part of the reason for the anger is that her decision to have her baby in the U.S. would appear to put her in the same bracket as corrupt government officials, called "naked officials," who move their families into comfortable lives overseas and stay in China to exploit the economic growth.
However, a large number of people also seem to support her.
Liu liu wrote: "Why do people care so much about Chai Jing having a baby in America? She didn't spend a penny of other people's money. If you are jealous of her having the ability to do this in America, I think you should be ashamed that you are not doing as well as she is."
LeiWen1970 wrote that it was up to Chai where she wanted to give birth, as long as she didn't break the law, while Yu du wrote that Chai had made her decision because she despaired China's medical system.
"She is still my goodness," said Yu du.
Some commentators mentioned the case of director Zhang Yimou, who had three children in contravention of the One Child Policy of population control and was forced to pay a fine of $1.23 million.
"Zhang Yimou had the babies delivered in China, and he got fined because he used more of the social resources," said Haotaode. "If he had the babies born in the U.S., he wouldn't need to pay 7.48 million yuan. In this way, Zhang Yimou is stupid and Chai Jing is smarter."