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America Tries Some Disney Diplomacy

Secretary of Commerce visits China Disney
Credit: Flickr/ Disney

In the past, the Walt Disney Company has been criticized for bending the knee to China. Most notably, Disney has changed or edited part of its Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney Princess films to appease Chinese censors.

Mulan Remake

Credit: Disney

But since the end of the Pandemic, China has been softening on Disney films. The last few releases, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), Ant-Man and the Wasp: Qunatumania (2023), and The Little Mermaid (2023), have all bombed in China.

However, it’s easy to say that most American company’s relationship with China has been “complex” since the end of the Pandemic. There has been enormous distrust between the two nations, especially after the U.S. shot down two Chinese spy balloons.

But U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimond tried a little Disney diplomacy with the Chinese. After spending four days meeting with Chinese officials discussing trade between the two nations, the former Rhode Island governor headed to Shanghai Disneyland to show off some of what America has already given to the Chinese people.

Shanghai Disneyland Reopening

Credit: Disney

Raimondo said:

It’s an important form of soft power for the U.S. It’s an iconic U.S. brand, it’s gorgeous. How cool is this? 

Raimondo toured Shanghai Disneyland with the U.S. Ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns. She did admit that it was the first time she had ever been to a Disney park, but she did say that she had seen all of Disney’s animated classics.

Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2016 as a joint venture between the Walt Disney Company and the Shendi Group, which is state-owned. The Disney park has several distinctly Chinese attractions, like a Tarzan musical featuring Chinese acrobats and a tea garden. But there is also plenty of distinctly American features, including Mickey Mouse.

Shanghai Disneyland Reopening

Credit: Disney

United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo went to speak with Chinese officials on behalf of the Biden Administration to hopefully open up better lines of communication and make it easier for American companies to do business in the Communist Country.

It remains to be seen if Secretary Raimondo’s Disney diplomacy will work, but as she was leaving, a young girl hugged her, and the two spoke together in English. It’s a start, taking place at a Disney park.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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