Hopes raised of 'Disney diplomacy'
Could Mickey Mouse prove to be the goodwill ambassador needed to break the political impasse between the mainland and Taiwan? To Taiwan opposition leader James Soong Chu-yu, at least, the opening of China's first Disney theme park was an encouraging sign of the mainland's reform and marked a good time to try to improve relations.
'As we all saw recently, [Vice-President] Zeng Qinghong went to Hong Kong to host the opening of the Disney park. It looked like a small matter, but actually it was a big thing,' Mr Soong said.
The acceptance of foreign culture beyond traditional figures like the Monkey King, the hero of the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West, put a more friendly face on the mainland government, he said.
'Chinese have confidence in accepting Snow White and Mickey Mouse. This confidence doesn't come from seeing an emperor open a summer palace, but from seeing [a government] wanting everyone to experience joy,' Mr Soong said.