China is mad at Angelina Jolie.

U.K. publication The Independent reported the actress recently "became the subject of controversy in China, after she labeled film director Ang Lee Taiwanese, not Chinese, inadvertently embroiling herself in complex cross-Strait relations."

During a "Maleficent" news conference in Shanghai, Jolie was asked to name her favorite Chinese director. According to the Independent and the Wall Street Journal, were answer set off a firestorm of controversy.

"I am not sure if you consider Ang Lee Chinese, he's Taiwanese, but he does many Chinese-language films with many Chinese artists and actors, and I think his works and the actors in his films are the ones I am most familiar with and very fond of," she said.

OK ... so?

The speech was "widely" disseminated across Chinese media, according to the Chinese-language news site ET Today. People weren't happy about Jolie's reference to Lee as Taiwanese.

"By implying that Taiwan and China are two separate countries, in a moment of excitement, a brilliant woman (Jolie) became a stupid laughing stock," said one Chinese microblog user, according to the Independent. Another reportedly labeled Jolie a "deranged Taiwan independence supporter."

Oh ... OK.

As you may or may not know, China has disputed Taiwan's sovereignty since the island's government was established in 1949, after the Chinese Civil War. China sees Taiwan as a "renegade province" and is prepared to take it back by force, according to the Wall Street Journal.


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"It's not clear whether Ms. Jolie knew that she risked getting caught in the cross-Strait cross-fire," the Journal said, "but her comments certainly set off a volley of scathing comments among Chinese Internet users, with some threatening to boycott her movies for, as one put it, 'disrespecting China's sovereignty.'"

You ever get the feeling China should lighten up ... maybe go on vacation or get a massage or something?

"Maleficent" hasn't opened yet in China, but has held the No. 2 box office spot in Taipei since its May 30 opening.

The Journal reported there's been a "new surge in popularity" for the "Maleficent" star in Taiwan because of her comments.

The Chinese government cut Jolie some slack by letting her partner, Brad Pitt, into the country for her press tour. Pitt was banned from China after filming "Seven Years In Tibet."

Tony Hicks provides celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Contact him at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.