The 55-year-old star of the "Rush Hour" action films caused a huge uproar after he told a business forum on Saturday [4/18/09] that it may not be good for authoritarian China to become a free society.
"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said last Saturday, adding freedoms in his native Hong Kong and Taiwan made those societies "chaotic." Taiwan, which split from China in 1949, is democratic and Hong Kong, a separately ruled Chinese territory, enjoys some free elections.
"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 said.
Hong Kong and Taiwanese legislators lashed out at the comments, with some accusing Chan of insulting the Chinese race.
Solon So, the chief executive of Chan's company JC Group and his main spokesman, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday the actor was referring to freedom in the entertainment industry and not Chinese society at large.
Chan was speaking at a panel discussion about Asian entertainment industries and was asked to discuss movie censorship in China. More>>