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Chinese controversy surrounds Miss Universe Myanmar

Business graduate Moe Set Wine scoops the prize as Miss Universe Myanmar on 3 October 2013. (DVB)

Controversy swirled around the new Miss Universe Myanmar, Moe Set Wine, once again following media reports in China that reveal she was the runner-up in the Miss Chinese International contest in 2009 under the name Yang Xinrong.

Moe Set Wine leapt to fame on the evening of 3 October when she was crowned winner of the Miss Universe Myanmar 2013, the first time the event had been held in Burma for 52 years.

But within a week of winning the prize, she became the target of criticism on Burmese social media for appearing at a public event alongside Nay Shwe Thway Aung, the grandson of former Burmese dictator Than Shwe. In response to the criticism, she held a press conference denying any connection with Nay Shwe Thway Aung.

Following this week’s revelation that she has competed as a Chinese beauty contestant, DVB contacted her for comment, but she was unavailable. An official from Hello Madam, the agency that organised the Miss Universe Myanmar 2013 competition, said she was busy training for the Miss Universe pageant which will be held in Moscow next month.

Chan Linn Thu, the media officer at the agency, said the pageant Moe Set Wine contested in 2009 was not a Chinese event but a Burmese event hosted in Rangoon.

“It was not held in China but at the Sedona Hotel in Rangoon for the anniversary of the International Traders Association in 2009,” said Chan Linn Thu, adding that the controversy was created by a small group of individuals attempting to damage the credibility of his agency.