Recently, Chinese actor Liu Yifei, who is also known as Crystal Liu, has been picked to star as the incredible female warrior in Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role Mulan requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and star quality. As a result, Liu stood out from nearly 1,000 candidates and won Disney's favour. Audiences from both China and the western world have sent congratulations to this 30-year-old Chinese actor. Voices on social media mainly focus on these three perspectives:

The trend against 'whitewashing'

Hollywood has long been criticised for casting white actors to play Asian characters.

As stated by The Guardian, this new movie can be regarded as a victory for Asian actors against whitewashing. There was also a petition signed by more than 112,000 supporters demanding an Asian actor be cast to play Mulan, the legend originated from a Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan.

Why would they choose Liu Yifei?

Although Liu has acted in several well-received international films, this Chinese actor is still unknown to many except in her own country. A number of Chinese audiences questioned on social media why Liu rather than any other Chinese actor has been chosen since Liu fits the role of a fairy tale character better while the spirit of Mulan is heroic. However, due to the number of Chinese stars that are welcomed by Hollywood is rather small, it is reasonable for Liu to win this role in the end.

Besides, her rich experiences in TV dramas and films that require martial arts skills are undoubtedly helpful.

Who will be cast in the male lead role?

Meanwhile, Chinese audiences on social media are discussing enthusiastically who would be suitable for the male lead role. Dou Xiao or Shawn Dou has been suggested because of his classic appearance and his martial arts skills in acting.

Another actor, Daniel Wu, who is popular on screen has been suggested by his fans. Apart from his excellent martial arts acting skills, his Hollywood experiences fit well.

Furthermore, there is a 2009 Chinese film called Mulan: Legendary Warrior, in which Zhao Wei was cast by director Jingle Ma as Mulan over actors Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, and Liu Yifei, who were reportedly also considered for the main role.

The male lead role, Chen Kun has been brought up again by audiences for the new Disney movie. After all, Chen has acted as the general before.

However, the heated discussion on the male starring is merely entertainment for fans. According to sources updated in the petition, there is also a white male lead interest. If Disney wins praise for choosing a Chinese Mulan, it is still too early to say that success has been achieved. Liu's performance is to be evaluated by audiences around the world, and the protest against whitewashing has a long way to go.