Mulan: Disney thanks China for help filming in region where Muslims jailed – Business Insider

Chinese actor Liu Yifei, who plays the title character “Mulan,” seen in the movie.


  • Disney filmed scenes from “Mulan” in Xinjiang, a western Chinese region where the government is detaining and oppressing millions of ethnic Muslims.
  • In the credits, the movie thanked the Chinese Communist Party Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee and the Bureau of Public Security in Turpan, a city in the region.
  • Both bodies have facilitated the detention of more than one million Uighur Muslims in detention camps masquerading as “reeducation centers.”
  • At the camps, people are brainwashed, made to adopt Han Chinese culture, and forced to work production lines. To slash birth rates, women are sterilized or made to have abortions.
  • Liu Yifei, the lead actor in “Mulan,” has also beem criticized for saying that she supported the Hong Kong police’s crackdown on protesters last year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Disney filmed parts of its live-action remake of “Mulan” in Xinjiang, western China, where the government is detaining and committing human-rights atrocities against millions of Uighur Muslims.

In the end credits of “Mulan” — which premiered on the Disney+ streaming platform last Friday — Disney thanked the Chinese Communist Party Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee and the Bureau of Public Security in the city of Turpan. (Uyghur is an alternative spelling for “Uighur.”)

In an interview published in Architectural Digest on Friday, Grant Major, the film’s production designer, said his team had spent “months in and around the northwest province of Xinjiang.”

Novelist Jeannette Ng also tweeted that in “Mulan,” Xinjiang is referred to simply as Western China.

—Jeannette Ng 吳志麗 (@jeannette_ng) September 7, 2020

Since 2016, more than one million Uighurs and other Turkic minorities have been detained in at least 500 prison camps masquerading as “reeducation centers” across Xinjiang.

The Bureau of Public Security in the city of Turpan “has been deeply involved in the Xinjiang concentration camps,” Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China reporter for Axios, tweeted Monday. 

The US placed the bureau on the Entity List of the Export Administration Regulations in July 2020, saying it was implicated in “human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs.”

Protesters rally in support of Xinjiang Uighurs in Hong Kong on December 22, 2019.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

China has singled out Uighurs as a terror threat, and has spent at least three years trying to brainwash them and slash the birth rate with forced abortions, sterilizations, and child quotas.

In the camps, ethnic Muslims are forced to learn Mandarin Chinese and adopt Han Chinese culture. Thousands are made to work on production lines. China has also been accused of harvesting the organs of some Uighurs.

Uighurs living across China that are not interned in camps are also subject to 24/7 surveillance. Those who lives outside China are also forced to cut off contact with their friends and family in the region.

Joshua Wong, a prominent human-rights activist from Hong Kong, tweeted: “When you watch #Mulan … you’re also potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs.”

Liu in “Mulan.”


It is not the first time that “Mulan” and Disney have been met with criticism.

In August 2019, the Chinese actor Liu Yifei, who plays the title character Mulan, said Hong Kong Police were right to crackdown on pro-democracy protesters with violence in early 2020.

“I support Hong Kong’s police. You can all beat me up now,” she wrote in post on the Chinese blogging site Weibo. 

Since that time, #BoycottMulan has trended multiple times across English-language Twitter. 

“Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong,” Wong, the activist, tweeted on Friday. “I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan.”

Disney did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The release date of “Mulan” was pushed back a number of times due to the coronavirus pandemic. In an apparent attempt to gain subscribers, Disney has said “Mulan” will not be shown in US cinemas.

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