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Jackie Chan's 'People Need To Be Controlled' Comment Prompts Backlash

Jackie Chan's comments wondering whether Chinese people 'need to be controlled' are drawing criticism from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Chan made the comment at a business forum in the southern Chinese province of Hainan when asked whether a free society would be a positive for China.

"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," said Chan. "I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic."

"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."

"He's insulted the Chinese people. Chinese people aren't pets," Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Leung Kwok-hung tells AP. "Chinese society needs a democratic system to protect human rights and rule of law."

Another called the comments "racist" and asked: "People around the world are running their own countries. Why can't Chinese do the same? Chan 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."

The theme at the panel discussion was 'Tapping into Asia's Creative Industry Potential', and the action star said Chinese goods still had a long way to go when it came to producing quality. He referenced the contaminated milk powder that sickened tens of thousands of Chinese babies last year.

"If I need to buy a TV, I'll definitely buy a Japanese TV. A Chinese TV might explode," he joked.

April 20, 2009 |

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