- "Anything for a friend."
- —Chien Na Wei's promise to her allies
Chien Na Wei (简娜伟), generally referred to as China White, is a top mercenary and assassin of the Chinese Triad. After the death of her former mentor Zhishan, Chien became the new leader of the Triad. She was a frequent adversary of the Arrow until being arrested and later recruited into the Ghost Initiative by A.R.G.U.S..
Chien Na Wei lived in China with her parents. As a child, she and her mother would be abused by her father. One afternoon, Chien's father began hitting her for running through the house with her toys. Suddenly, a man named Zhishan broke into the family's home, shooting and killing Chien's father before doing the same to her mother. Chien watched in terror, spattered with her father's blood. However, she glared in defiance at Zhishan when he aimed his gun at her and he chose to spare the young girl, seeing "potential" in her. The fear of her father turned a shock of Chien's hair white.
As she grew up, Chien's white hair and status as an orphan resulted in her being bullied and ostracized by her peers. One day at school when she was a preteen, a girl in Chien's class mocked that her parents were "better off dead". Chien flew into a rage and stabbed her classmate in the hand with a pencil. Shocked at what she had done, Chien rushed out of school and encountered Zhishan, who offered to help her become stronger so no one could hurt her again. Chien took up his offer and as a symbol of her new identity, she soaked her hair in hydrogen peroxide, permanently turning it white.
Under the tutelage of Zhishan, Chien Na Wei grew up to become a mercenary and an assassin of the Chinese Triad and was soon considered one of, if not the best. She would use the alias "China White" when working with westerners.
Failed assassination attempt by Edward Fyers
By 2008, Chien was important enough to merit the attention of Amanda Waller, who hired Edward Fyers to set up a missile launcher on Lian Yu to destroy a Ferris Air flight embarking for China that Chien was on, which would have also killed hundreds of innocent people. However, Fyers was killed and his plan foiled by Chien's future nemesis Oliver Queen, with the help of his friends Slade Wilson and Shado, who believed Fyers to be attempting to cripple her home country's economic system.
Activities in Hong Kong
In 2010, two years after the failed assassination attempt, Chien arrived in Hong Kong, which once again brought Waller's attention to her. Chien drugged a man with Vitura to force him in stealing the Omega virus for her. After the man was captured by Oliver and Maseo Yamashiro to be tortured for information, she stormed into Maseo's home and battled his wife, Tatsu Yamashiro, in a sword fight in front of their son Akio Yamashiro. Chien eventually gained the upper hand and took Tatsu hostage.
When Maseo contacted her, Chien told him she was willing to trade his wife for the Omega virus. She waited in a club which was a front of the Chinese Triad. Her associates quickly captured Oliver and Maseo as they came in and Chien brought in Tatsu as Maseo handed her the virus. However, the virus was revealed to be a fake after she had it tested. Angered, Chien ordered her associates to kill them. However, two managed to free Tatsu and fought their way out of the club. Chien chased them with a gun, but they were able to escape.
Activities in Starling City
Omega auction attempt
Chien traveled to Starling City and prepared to sell the Omega virus on an auction to the highest bidder. During the auction, Chien's associates found an A.R.G.U.S. team led by Maseo sent to stop her. Chien calmly continued the auction while the Triad members killed the team and captured Maseo. Chien ordered him to be executed but Oliver burst in and freed Maseo, after which the two took out multiple Triad members. Chien and Peter Kang fled in a car while Chien ordered to arrange for Maseo's family to be killed. Suddenly, the car was shot by Oliver and they crashed. As Chien got out of the car, Oliver swiftly knocked her out. Afterwards, Chen was arrested.
By 2012, Chien somehow escaped from prison and rejoined the Chinese Triad, now lead by Zhishan. As a member of the Triad, Chien lead a drug smuggling operation in Starling City and became an assassin-for-hire, willing to kill any target for fair pay. Chien was also associated with Martin Somers, to whom she paid large bribes in exchange for allowing the Triad to use Starling Port to aid in their drug trafficking. When stevedore Victor Nocenti was threatening to expose Somers, Chien slit his throat. However, Victor's daughter, Emily Nocenti, filed a civil suit against Somers and her attorney, Laurel Lance, opened a trial to prosecute him.
After Somers was attacked by the Hood, Chien visited him to discuss the threats to their business. Chien wanted to kill Emily in order to suppress the allegations against them, but Somers knew this would only draw more heat from Laurel. Chien then voted to kill her instead. The next night, Chien and two other Triad members stormed Laurel's apartment after murdering the police offers guarding her. Laurel's friend, Oliver, fended them off until John Diggle arrived and killed Chien's accomplices. Chien then fought Diggle and was able to overpower him. She tried to stab Diggle with a knife but Oliver disarmed her. Chien was then forced to flee when the police showed up.
Seeking to kill Somers to tie up loose ends on their drug operation, Chien returned to the Starling City Docks, only to face the Hood. After an intense fight, Chien knocked down the vigilante, but had to escape once more when the police arrived.
Bertinelli family attacks
Later, Frank Bertinelli suspected the Chinese Triad of killing people close to him, and so he arranged a meeting with China White and her mentor Zhishan, threatening them if they didn't stop. They declared that they had no idea of what he was talking about. When Helena killed Zhishan and convinced the Chinese Triad that her father was behind it, China takes it personally. She leads a group to Frank's mansion and declares they must kill everyone. She kills some of his bodyguards and tries to kill Frank but is stopped by the Hood, who shoots her in the leg. However, Chen manages to escape.
Assassination attempt of Malcolm Merlyn
Frank Chen was able to get China to meet with Moira Queen, who China seemed to have been previously associated with. Moira requested that she kill Malcolm Merlyn. Chien first tried to recruit Guillermo Barrera, but he ended up getting killed by the Hood. She then recruited Floyd Lawton. They took out his protective detail, but Malcolm went into the building and she and her team were forced to chase him. China White and her team nearly succeeded but the intervention of the Hood prevented his death. After a brutal fight with the Hood, Chien seemed at the losing end, but managed to get away when McKenna Hall interrupted.
Hospital theft operation
After the Undertaking, Chien started a working relationship with a new partner, Ben Turner, aka Bronze Tiger. The two got involved in hijacking trucks transporting medicine to Glades Memorial Hospital. In the first raid, Roy Harper took out one of Chien motorcyclists attacking the truck. However, she was waiting for the truck on the other side and took out both of the drivers using her knives. Chien and her henchmen quickly took over the truck and left. Their actions created a shortage of medicine at Glades Memorial, attracting the attention of the Hood.
During the next raid, two of Chien's motorcyclists attacked another medicine truck but were swiftly taken out by the Hood. Chien confronted the archer, stating she desired to see him dead, and had Bronze Tiger attack him. However, the police arrived, forcing everyone to flee.
In a third raid, Chien and Turner were attacked once again by the Hood and double-teamed him. The Hood managed to knock down Chien while Diggle fled with the stolen truck. Chien jumped on the truck and attacked Diggle, causing the truck to crash. After a short skirmish, Chien defeated Diggle and prepared to kill him, only for the Hood to shoot a trick arrow which tied her wrists to a pole, keeping her immobilized. The Hood and Diggle then left the scene. Chien mocked her adversary, claiming that he'd "softened" since they last met. Chien warned the Hood that although he defeated her, he would never be a hero, but he responded with indifference, stating that keeping the city safe was what mattered. Chien and Turner were then taken into custody by the police and incarcerated at Iron Heights Prison.
Over three years later around early 2017, Chien struck a deal with fellow inmates Carrie Cutter and Liza Warner to find Tobias Church's money. Together, they escaped the prison bus they were on, freeing the rest of the prisoners and killing the guards in the process. The three then went on a murderous rampage throughout the city in search of the money. The first target of this rampage would be Chien's former gang, the Triad. Upon discovering that they did not know the location of the money, the Chien, Cutter and Warner then targeted the Bertinellis. During this confrontation, the Green Arrow intervened and engaged them in combat. Chien and Cutter fought together against Oliver. When the ACU showed up to arrest Green Arrow, the three women fled the scene.
Later, they hit three more thugs, this time with more success. Having discovered the location of the money, the women hired several gangs as back up in case the SCPD or any vigilantes tried to stop them. Just as they were about to leave the scene, Team Arrow arrived and a fight broke out. Chien gained the upper hand in a fight with Black Canary until the latter used her sonic scream, forcing Chien to flee. However, Green Arrow stopped her. The two fought again until the ACU showed. Chien mocked Green Arrow as she expected ACU to arrest him. However, they left Green Arrow alone and promptly shot and arrested her.
The Ghost Initiative
In 2019, Chien was selected as a potential new recruit for a reborn Task Force X, renamed the Ghost Initiative. Transferred from Iron Heights Prison into the custody of A.R.G.U.S., Chien was interrogated by John Diggle and Lyla Michaels. Chien refused to join the Squad, even pointing out Diggle's past association with Oliver Queen. Though later she was placed asleep in order to test out her neck bomb, indicating she eventually joined.
She and the other members Carrie Cutter, Joe Wilson of the Ghost Initiative joined Diaz to talk to an associate of Dante. While training for the meeting a sparring match nearly escalated as Chien Na Wei fought Joe and Diaz simultaneously. During the meeting, the associate wanted to capture Diaz while sending a large group to kill Chien Na Wei and the other members. Chien Na Wei and the other members fought back and killed their attackers while displaying impressive teamwork, however, the associate killed himself to avoid capture.
Return to Hong Kong
After the U.S. government found out A.R.G.U.S. had planted bombs in their operative's heads they did not want a human rights scandal and bought her silence in exchange for her freedom. Chien returned to Hong Kong where she connected again with the Triads.
She and the Triad managed to get an a hold of a scientist, Dr. Robert Wong who was recreating the Alpha-Omega virus. When Oliver and his allies arrived in Hong Kong they tried to take the scientist. Chien intercepted Oliver from getting to her scientist and defeated him after which she used a smoke bomb in the crowded street as a diversion to get away. Oliver managed to get the virus and offered it in exchange for the scientist.
Chien agreed to the trade but to be sure she forced a bomb vest on the scientist and would only disarm it after she and the virus were away. After greeting him cordially with her catchphrase anything for a friend. she explained that she did not want him to pull off any tricks. However, Oliver and her allies attacked as they never had the intention of actually giving her the virus. A wild fight ensued in which Chien fled with the detonator of the vest but got chased down by Tatsu. Chien fought Tatsu in single combat and was momentarily knocked down. However, after handing her the detonator she injured Tatsu and prepared to execute her with her own sword. However, at the last moment, she got blown away into the water by a sonic scream from Laurel, who saved Tatsu and got the detonator.
Chien Na Wei was trained by Zhishan to be a cold-blooded assassin. She kills quickly and efficiently, each kill to her is nothing more than a job. She follows a type of "warrior's code", showing no mercy to her enemies and expecting none in return. She does have a sense of revenge; when Helena Bertinelli kills Zhishan, she attacks the Bertinelli Mansion and declares that they will kill everyone. She seems to hold a grudge against the Arrow for injuring her and interfering with her plans.
Chien is a ruthless criminal as she robbed medicine transports and even wanted to sell the lethal Omega virus on an auction to the highest bidder. Chien carried out her missions regardless of collateral damage and civilian body count.
Later, she is detailed further, showing her "warrior" side and giving her motivations other than bloodshed. She shows these things when she is spared by the Arrow. She mocks him for sparing her life, implying that he's softened.
Chien has also been shown to be loyal to her allies, which is encapsulated by her catchphrase, "Anything for a friend", which she usually says when her allies request help or thank her.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a highly skilled assassin, Chien is in top physical condition, able to take on and pin down much larger, imposing adversaries.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Chien is extremely proficient in unarmed combat and martial arts, having trained with the Chinese Triad since early teenhood. She was able to quickly overpower John Diggle and nearly killed him on two occasions. Chien was able to beat the Arrow in their first encounter and stalemate in their second encounter before finally being defeated in her third encounter with the Emerald Archer, despite being aided by Ben Turner. Along with Carrie Cutter, Chien could hold her own against the vigilante, now Green Arrow and far more skilled than in their last encounters, even managing to briefly knock him down long enough to flee, although they were initially outpaced and struggled to do so. In their next encounter, Chien briefly fought evenly with Green Arrow before being defeated again. She was also able to fight on par with Dinah Drake, blocking the latter's bo-staff attacks while barehanded and even managed to pin her down, forcing Dinah to use her sonic scream to push Chien back. After her time with the Ghost Initiative, Chien's fighting prowess seemingly tremendously increased, allowing her to best Oliver in their latest duel, though not without great effort.
- Expert swordswoman: Chien is highly skilled in swordsmanship, able to go head-on with and eventually defeat Tatsu Yamashiro (off-screen).
- Master knife wielder/Knife thrower: Chien is proven to have lethal skill in wielding a pair of karambit knives and uses them as her main weapons, both in close combat and throwing them from long distances. In their first battle, Chien battled with and overpowered the Arrow with her knives while he used his bow as a melee weapon. She was also able to throw two karambit with exceptional precision straight through a windshield, killing two guards. Chien even simultaneously fought against Ricardo Diaz and Joe Wilson with her knives.
- Expert markswoman: Chien is skilled in the use of firearms, able to fire multiple shots from a driving car.
- High-level intellect/Expert tactician/Leader: Chien was able to carry out her various plans and outwit her enemies through surprise tactics. For example, she obtained Omega virus by drugging an employee with Vitura, making him steal it for her and not remember it afterwards. Cien was able to track down the house of Maseo Yamashiro and kidnap Tatsu in a bid to force Maseo into returning the Omega virus to her. Chien planned attacks on both the Bertinelli Mansion and Malcolm Merlyn and was able to successfully ambush and steal trucks transporting medicine in The Glades.
- Stealth/Infiltration: As a highly skilled assassin, Chien can move around unnoticed. She was able to silently take out multiple guards and even sneak up on the Arrow in their first encounter. In many of her encounters with the vigilante archer, Chien managed to quickly flee the scene when disarmed or the police interrupted.
- Karambit knives: Chien uses karambit knives as her main weapon of choice. She has backups for these weapons and is always seen fighting with them in each hand.
- Guns: Chien used a gun while guarding her mentor, Zhishan. She used this gun to return fire when Helena Bertinelli attempted to shoot him.
- Katana: Chien can proficiently wield a katana and was able to hold her own against Tatsu Yamashiro, eventually winning their fight (off-screen). During their rematch, Chien disarmed Tatsu of one of her katana's using it against her in tandem with one of her karambit knives.
- Smoke grenade: Chien used a smoke grenade to escape from Green Arrow.
- Throwing knife: Chien used this throwing knife to mortally wound Tatsu Yamashiro in their final fight.
- Chien's karambit knives resemble cold steel double agent knives.
- Chien has appeared in every season of except Season 4 and Season 6.
- Chien is the longest surviving enemy of Oliver Queen, dating from his time in Hong Kong to his mission to save the multiverse.
- Chien is one of the few individuals who managed to keep up with and even best Oliver on several occasions in hand-to-hand combat and one of the fewer who did so without powers.
- Chien was dubbed China White by Oliver due to his inability to pronounce her full name in its natural dialect; he opted for an easier-to-remember moniker.
- The term "China White" is typically a metaphor for heroin. This coincides with Chien's role as a heroin smuggler in the comics.
Behind the scenes
- A deleted scene from "" revealed that Chien had a promiscuous relationship with Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger.
- In DC Comics, China White is a leader of a drug crime group on Starfish Island, forcing its inhabitants to work on her heroin fields. She was indirectly responsible for kidnapping Oliver Queen in the boat, The Pacific Ocean, carried on by her mercenary to kill him, but Oliver survived. After he rescued the villagers and sabotaged China White's drug operation on Starfish island, she became a recurring foe to him.
- China White was introduced in Green Arrow: Year One #3 (October 2007), by writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock, a miniseries of retelling Green Arrow's origin. This miniseries also served as an inspiration for the TV series regarding Oliver's disappearance from Star City (in this version 5 years).