Tuesday, April 21, 2009

成龙失控,还是港台失控? Is Jackie Out of ‘Control’?

The American Associated Press filed the following reports on 18 April 2009 on Jackie Chan’s comment that ‘we Chinese need to be controlled’ and on responses from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Action movie star Jackie Chan questioned the need for freedom for Chinese people during a speech Saturday, prompting outrage from lawmakers in Taiwan and Hong Kong, who accused him of insulting his own race.
The 55-year-old star of "Rush Hour" said at a business forum in the southern Chinese island province Hainan on Saturday that a free society may not be beneficial for authoritarian mainland China.
"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said at the Boao Forum. "If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic."
Chan added, "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."
Chan's comments drew applause from his audience of mainly business leaders in Hainan on Saturday, but prompted fierce criticism from lawmakers in Taiwan and his hometown Hong Kong on Sunday.
Taiwan, which split with mainland China amid civil war in 1949, is a democratically self-ruled island.
Former British colony Hong Kong enjoys Western-style civil liberties and some democratic elections under Chinese rule. Half of its 60-member legislature is elected, with the other half picked by special interest groups. But Hong Kong's leader is chosen by a panel stacked with Beijing loyalists.
"He's insulted the Chinese people. Chinese people aren't pets," pro-democracy Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "Chinese society needs a democratic system to protect human rights and rule of law."
"His comments are racist. People around the world are running their own countries. Why can't Chinese do the same?" another Hong Kong lawmaker, Albert Ho, told the AP.
"He himself has enjoyed freedom and democracy and has reaped the economic benefits of capitalism. But he has yet to grasp the true meaning of freedom and democracy," Taiwanese legislator Huang Wei-che said.
While Chan's comments were reported by the Hong Kong and Taiwanese news outlets, they were ignored by the mainland Chinese press.

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