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Chan's 'freedom' talk sparks debate

[ 2009-04-22 13:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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Kungfu star Jackie Chan's comments on freedom - lambasted by netizens and scholars - were taken out of context, his spokesman said yesterday.

"I'm confused about whether it is good to have freedom," Chan said last Saturday at the Boao Forum for Asia, responding to a media query on his understanding of cultural freedom.

"Hong Kong and Taiwan are very chaotic due to their freedom. I gradually feel that the Chinese need some kind of regulation and control," Chan said.

He also said he would choose Japanese television sets instead of Chinese ones, as the latter might explode.

Solon So, the chief executive of Chan's company JC Group and his main spokesman, told the Associated Press in a phone interview yesterday that the actor was referring to freedom in the entertainment industry, rather than Chinese society at large.

"Some people with ulterior motives deliberately misinterpreted what he said," So said.

He told China Daily yesterday that the company would hold a press conference on the matter after Chan's concert at Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing.

A netizen on popular Chinese online forum Tianya.com said that Chan, being a celebrity, was only trying to get some publicity and his remarks should not be taken seriously.

Some scholars said Chan was not totally wrong.

Cai Shangwei, director of the center of culture industry in Sichuan University, said yesterday: "Some Chinese products do have quality problems, which means we must intensify regulation."

Su Minsheng, a deputy editor from Taiwan Voice magazine, said: "He is just an actor rather than a politician. He should be cautious about his comments on politics. I like him, because he is patriotic and he is just so eager to see China growing strong."

But Chan's comments sparked outrage in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some legislators blamed him for insulting the Chinese race.

Some people called for a ban on Chan's movies and the products he endorsed.

Taiwanese politicians on Monday demanded that the city government of Taipei strip Chan of his role as ambassador of the Deaf Olympic Games. The games will be held in the provincial capital in September.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board, of which Chan is an ambassador, received many complaints on Monday, saying, his comments "hurt the image of Hong Kong and aren't reflective of Hong Kong people," Singaporean newspaper website Zaobao.com reported yesterday.

This is not the first time that Chan has gotten into trouble for making "improper comments". He was banned from entering Taiwan for four years, after he described the shooting of "presidential" candidate Chen Shui-bian on the day before the election as the "biggest joke in the world".

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Chan's 'freedom' talk sparks debate

About the broadcaster:

Chan's 'freedom' talk sparks debate

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.