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Jackie Chan's 'freedom' talk sparks debate
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08:17, April 22, 2009

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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 on Tuesday.

"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.

Kungfu movie star Jackie Chan speaks at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province last Saturday. His comments on cultural freedom was lambasted by netizens.(China Daily)

Solon So, the chief executive of Chan's company JC Group and his main spokesman, told AP in a phone interview Tuesday 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 Tuesday that the company would hold a press conference on the matter after Chan's concert in the Bird's Nest, the main venue of last year's Beijing Olympics, on May 1.

A netizen going by the moniker "dhp0448" posted on popular Chinese online forum Tianya.com 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 Tuesday: "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 to 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 Tuesday.

This is not the first time that Chan has got 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".

Source: Xinhua

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