What people are not understanding is that Marvel specifically DIDN’T want him to be Chinese. It’s not a case where they just didn’t care that the character in the comics is Chinese and chose to change the race for the movie out of ignorance like Hollywood often does. Every single minority character from the comics has been adapted “racially correct”, and even some white characters from the comics were changed into minorities for the films (Nck Fury, Hogun, Heimdall, Algrim/Kurse, etc.) They simply, specifically DIDN’T want him to be Chinese, and for a reason.
There is no way to adapt the Mandaran straight from the comics and it not be seen as racist by a large group of people. So instead, Marvel changed around his character and origin so that instead of risking being seen as racist, the character himself is a racist in a way. He’s a true bad guy and not a Fu Manchu stereotype. The fact that they cast several Chinese actors to play supporting roles says a lot about the situation. This is not a case of racism, it’s an attempt to avoid racism.
NOTE: To anyone who may respond, keep in mind that I myself am a minority, so don’t just assume that I’m some white kid sticking up for Marvel just because he loves everything about them (even though that’s half true, I do love them), because the reason I’m arguing this point has nothing to do with that. I call it like I see it. Now one thing I can agree on is that Marvel needs to find more ways to get minority characters in their adaptations, and they’re off to a decent start. Iron Man 3 probably has the most “named” minorities in a Marvel Studios film yet with 6 so far, which is a little less than half the main cast. They can do better though. The Winter Soldier so far has 1 less minority than the first movie did. That better change as production goes on considering this one takes place in modern day where there are much more minorities in America. Thor: The Dark World has 1 less minority than the first one, but the fact that Adriana Barraza and Max Hernandez barely did anything in the first one and AAA has a major role in the second one evens it out IMO. Quality > quantity. GotG only has one member cast so far which is Chris Pratt. Jason Momoa reportedly has been cast as Drax. So that’s one to one if that comes to fruition.
“This is not a case of racism, it’s an attempt to avoid racism.”
These two acts are not mutually exclusive. Attempts to avoid racism—even when they are well-intentioned— can still end up perpetuating racism.
For example, Marvel’s recent efforts to add more secondary characters of color to its films may be part an effort to increase diversity. At the same time, this effort can still reinforce racism by effectively slapping a glass ceiling on main/lead character roles: All ten films in Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 and Phase 2 will have a white male lead.
(Essentially, saying, “Look, at least they’re letting more people ride in the back! Before they weren’t on board at all” still doesn’t account for why only white dudes are allowed in the driver’s seat of the plot bus.)