Ming Cheng is best known as the handsome and diligent butler of the well-connected Ming family in 1940s Shanghai. He also happens to work for the KMT intelligence agency – and as an undercover operative for the Communist Party of China.
The fictional star of TV drama The Disguiser, a hugely popular spy drama that aired in China last year, Ming Cheng quickly became beloved by viewers as a brave and resourceful patriot. He was a character whose very appeal seemed to spring from the dramatic period in which he resided – until, that is, this spring, when Ming walked out from the screen into the real world.
In May, news began to spread online about the construction of a 1.5-kilometer dirt road in an impoverished, mountainous area of Sichuan Province that was to be a boon for the village, allowing for students to attend school and the local economy to develop. The project in and of itself wasn’t so unusual – what was, was the plaque naming its benefactor. It read, “Donator: Ming Cheng.”
Fans of the show were abuzz – who really donated that road on behalf of Ming Cheng?
I cried when I first saw news of this because Ming Cheng is so close to my heart, and it was incredibly touching to see that a fan chose to do this in his name. Since then, a few of Wang Kai’s fans have individually donated roads in the names of Xiao Jingyan from Nirvana in Fire, Fang Mengwei from All Quiet in Peking, and a school library in the name of Qi Yong from Educated Youth in his home-province.
More on Global Times’ article on fans of Chris Li Yuchun, Lu Han, Kris Wu, and TF Boys doing charity here.
P.S. The caption is a hint to the next Disguiser Discussions post.