Jackie Chan has been busy promoting his new album in Taiwan. So busy, in fact, that he may have been unaware of the mass protests happening in his home city of Hong Kong.
The movie star and martial arts sensation was promoting his latest album “I Am Jackie Chan” in Taipei. The media event at Taipei coincided with the mass movement in Hong Kong where citizens took to the streets to protest a controversial extradition bill.
The bill proposes that arrested criminals in Hong Kong would be sent to China for trial. Civil rights activists, businesses and unions, journalists, as well as Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are against the bill which can “leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by Chinese authorities.”
During the media event in Taipei, Jackie Chan was asked about his thoughts regarding the situation in his home city. Chan was apparently ignorant of the riots and ongoing political turmoil.
“I only found out yesterday there was a big march in Hong Kong. I don’t know anything about it,” Chan reportedly said.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jackie Chan has long become an unpopular figure in his home city because of his pro-Beijing sentiments. He has participated in pro-China publicity stunts and expressed praises for China during media gala events.
Chan has also made a controversial remark saying democracy is dangerous. “With too much freedom, we become like Hong Kong and Taiwan, such huge messes. I’m beginning to think that Chinese people need to be controlled,” he said in a 2009 statement regarding protests against Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s political affairs.
The recent protests against the extradition bill has grown violent, with police using tear gas, rubber bullets, and water canons to drive away protesters. Around 79 protesters have been injured, with two in critical condition.
Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam still refuses to withdraw the bill, but legislative debate over the bill has currently been postponed./TISG