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Jackie Chan's Jab at Freedom

Jackie Chan believes that the Chinese people need to be controlled! He's beffudled about democracy. He doesn't know about freedom.

Speaking at the Boao Forum in southern China, Chan said this: "I'm not sure if it is good to have freedom or not. I'm really confused now. If you are too free, you are like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic."

And this: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we are not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."

The Chinese audience loved it.

Now. there are a lot of reactions you could have to this. There's the "Jackie Chan is self-hating Chinese" reaction. This erudite post sums that up. There's the cynical take. Chan's latest movie, Shinjuku, is not being distributed in China because it's too violent so maybe he's kowtowing to China's censors. (His next project is a comedy, directed by a mainlander.)

My reaction, however, is this: Chan is just saying what a lot of other rich Chinese feel. In the 20 years since Tiananmen, Chinese society has changed enormously. One of the most astounding ways has been in the return of a class society and in the disdain with which China's rich view China's poor. When Chan was saying Chinese need to be "controlled," to be sure, he was speaking about the poor. He didn't have to say it, But that's what the audience at Boao heard and that's why they cheered him on. Anyone who has conversations of depth with members of China's elite has heard this argument before. "The quality of the average Chinese is too low," the line goes. (Zhongguoren de suzhi tai di le.) "So of course we can't have full freedom."

Of course, the elite have become increasingly free. But they also increasingly rely on the instruments of state to maintain those freedoms and to maintain their advantages over China's hoi polloi. Chan is happy, no doubt, that Communism is dead, but he likes the fact that the Communist Party is safeguarding the interests of the well-heeled.

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Comments (108)

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

'水能载舟,亦能覆舟:Water can carry boats, but it can topple them, too'.

This line is written by Wei Zheng, a Tang Minister and adviser of The Emperor Tai Zhong, however people must read it with caution, that not only this is warning, but it is also propaganda that Tang Emperor let their people to know he is a wise emperor, a good ruler.

Even KMT and CCP officials often use this verse to give their people's illusion that they work for their people, they are afraid of people; but, their people all are played, one must look at the result, result only.

Culture Revolution, June 4th,

Now, who really afraid this 'truth'?

'水能载舟,亦能覆舟:Water can carry boats, but it can topple them, too'.

It is just image.

Tell me how many time in history, this happens?

MartindeMars Author Profile Page:

'No matter what government people are under, whether in heaven o on earth, as long as you are in the grand view garden, all methods are fit as long as people are controlled, whether thru a "Democratic" or "Capitalist-based Communist-named" system that fits those group people's object.'


come on, man ...Through all the histories, Chinese overthrown the most governments than anyone else did. Even 1500 years ago, the rulers knew '水能载舟,亦能覆舟:Water can carry boats, but it can topple them, too'.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

Have anyones read some Chinese novels?
The classical ones?

like 'Journey to the West', 'Outlaw of Marsh', and 'Dream of Red Chamber'?

For any political result, that no matter how the main characters fight with the skill of Stone Monkey, or Determination of Bao Yu, or how madly were pressed the outlaws, people or freedom fighters can never win over against their government.

It is rooted from culture. It's truth.
No matter what government people are under, whether in heaven o on earth, as long as you are in the grand view garden, all methods are fit as long as people are controlled, whether thru a "Democratic" or "Capitalist-based Communist-named" system that fits those group people's object.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

To Dear Carryanne,

I think we are hopeless. It seems every government failed human right principal.

I know that Chinese government used to torture, or so called "enhanced interrogation", but only for Chinese criminals, but never for foreign people, if you were an foreigner who violated the law, then the local government and cops would not dare to touch you. But US government did to foreigners.

I think this is culture thing.

Think about it, US government can be tamed by American people; Chinese government since Qing Dynasty treated their people so bad, bad to foreigners they can keep smiling while the foreigner strike their face.

I am telling the truth. A few examples:
There is no Chinese dare to put on his or her official Chinese on the foreign post like this one, for they are scared to be held by the government. 21st Century huh?
Jackie dares to say something discredited HK and Taiwan, but never he dares to say anything bad about mainland central government.
If you are an American and hold HR protest, you are caught and kicked out of China; but if you are a Chinese, your whole life is ruined.

What you can do? It is culture thing. Not the government, it is the people, it roots deep in our culture since Qing Dynasty.

sqrl Author Profile Page:

Here's the full translation: http://zonaeuropa.com/20090426_1.htm

Judge for yourself what he said before you let others decide and reinterpret what he said.

carryanne Author Profile Page:

Just to be clear General,

The central government does condone torture, though they surely are not open about that. If they did not, it would not be so rampant, check the evidence.

About Mr. Chan, Chinese society is used to having laws to abide by, same as any country pretty much, so no one is really free to just do whatever they want. So I don't really know what he implied, except it sounded to me like parroting the party line, reassuring the Chinese people that somehow they need the CCP.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

the difference is the name for "enhanced interrogation," and torture.

I think only the victim understands there is no difference btwn "enhanced interrogation," and torture.

Anyone is put in this situation, then he is changed forever. Think about anyone's family and love ones are put into these program, what he will do in future?

Those people each by each were dragged into a room and howl like pig...

That's how US politicians sow the enmity seeds for their people, death punishment and abortion are even more human than this.

infoshop Author Profile Page:

Sorry, I have to take back my last posted comment. Our politicians approve "enhanced interrogation," not torture. My bad.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

Unless the torture program changed to:

Memorize All the Shakespeare Sonnets,
Each Prisoner buckled up in front a piano and master Mozart and Beethoven...

Then maybe, some people may feel a little proud about it.

My parents locked me for 5 days to memorize my first English Class Textbook when I was at Junior High, now I can recite it every word. Every body heard my experience, say it was good for me.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

To infoshop,

It is outrageous. US is Human Rights nation, but it is not American people, it is a few bad guys.

It is not for China, I mean in China criminals do get tortured by cops, even though central government disallow, but most people have not learned about the true concept of HR and Freedom.

But US, a government who upholds this banner, it is unbelievable.

If the terrorists deserved death, gave them a bullet. But it is not way, there is no human way to torture.

People who do that need to go to therapy, not only jail.

Human Being should not think this way, Even Chinese central government disallows torture, but political prisoners can be charged and framed for criminal name, but not torture:)

Even Barbarians cannot believe it:)

infoshop Author Profile Page:

The reason our country in deep sh1t is because we hold comedian on higher standard than our politicians. Where is the outrage when these politicians approve the torture????

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

hey Guys,

I support Jackie and understand his meaning, even though he makes a mistake, he is to forgiven, not to be attacked.

We have protect our hero from those American politicians.

No man is God, makes mistake or chose wrong word choice, so what!?

Our family do that all the time, everyday.

But we just can not be like Americans, that nagging all the time, becomes bi-t-ching culture as freedom and democracy:)

Only me that influenced by American so much can't stop yapping about everything.

AnnOCoward Author Profile Page:

I couldn't believe what I read about Jackie Chan's recent statements on Chinese freedom. I hope it was not dragged out of the context and twisted somehow. However, it is possible that he gets very different taste of "freedom" in China as he is not a regular citizen to begin with and never lived there as a regular resident under the tight control. His special status puts him in an entirely different category - Would anyone believe someone who is from a billionaire family saying that unemployment is not a problem or health care cost is not a problem in the US? Not only Jackie Chan but many other Chinese in special status would say the same (I had a colleague who was a relative of a high rank Chinese official and felt very satisfied with what he was getting back there. Duh, what a surprise!). So, please don't forget that Chan can't represent Chinese people or Chinese elite (of course, what is the definition of elite to begin with.). He's a superstar of martial arts from HK and never ever lived under the real control of Chinese government. Even his Chinese language puts him in a limited understanding of Chinese in general. Furthermore, I don't even know if he has only Chinese citizenship which would put him in a very different category, too. -- It makes a huge difference as anyone has foreign citizenship is automatically considered non-Chinese citizen by the Chinese government to begin with. And thus, that person has a lot more freedom and security in a way. ... I wish Jackie Chan studied some more history and knew more reality before he made his remarks on Chinese freedom. I hope he didn't say it under the pressure of Chinese for him to continue his businesses and fame there. :\

TigerSF Author Profile Page:

Give him a break
Jackie Chan is not an educated man and so he spoke from his personal experience and observation and not from research. What he said is true regarding the chaotic political landscapes in Taiwan and Hongkong unleashed by democracy. What he meant to say, you have to forgive his lack of choice words, is that Chinese are not really mature enough politically to exercise unrestrained and unrestricted democracy. And that at the moment, they still needed to be controlled... by the rules of law. Jackie Chan's articulation is at fault but his observation and experience with Hongkong and Taiwan aren't.

Jackie Chan is a self-made man and he owes no one for his livelihood. Yeah he has a big mouth but self-made men and action men are never known to be quiet.


generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

On another thought,

Jackie said which was to express his freedom of speech, even racist speech are openly welcome in American society and congress as Freedom.

Did Jackie do anything wrong?


He simply took his freedom rights in action.

There are so many American Religious zealots and Hitler supporters openly march in public.

And no one dare to touch them. They are actually protected.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

Anti-Jap Government is needed for Chinese, that was history, yet we may not revenge, but we cannot forget it, the Jews denying Hitler's camp.

We learn from history, I like the Ugly Chinese Book, is Chinese pride, at least our people do have such self-conscience so they be humble.

Not like American, who are proud for what their government have done things that bearing their name.

We Chinese should learn from American, that we be self-disciplined, to realize being in world, we are our own challenge, Freedom and Democracy are the things brought in time matter, if not now, then later; but thru a violent method is not good.

vwam Author Profile Page:

i disagree with chan. there's a tonne of chinese who are really committed to being good people. what i am impressed by is the seemingly mile wide gap between those who have such goals and those who are ready to screw the system. i don't see many shades of grey. so, while i disagree with him, i can also see his point. there's alot of really freaky chinese out there... alot of corruption. of course, it's pretty silly to think that a deeply corrupt government could reduce the corruption, whether it was in a single-party setup or democratically elected. so, what's needed is repentance, not control. maybe that taiwanese geezer's book, "the ugly chinese", could be made compulsory reading in schools... instead of the anti-jap stuff.. try bashing yourself round a bit, see what happens.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

I think what Jackie means freedom is total freedom.
And I Jackie is one who supports Free Press and media.

Right now, China is ready for Democratic System building for government.

Spring and Autumn says: "If officials are corrupt, then common are chaotic."

These two things are good for any society, whether communist or capitalist.

Chinese defines Freedom as total Freedom.
Even US have balance and checking system, the free press check all for people.

peace4all1 Author Profile Page:

There are comments from some readers who claimed that America never has a Tiananmen Square moment due to its superior democratic system. Those American (or American imposters) must be oblivious to American Civil Rights movement’s long struggle against injustice and unfair treatment suffered by colored people. Despite the great triumph of Obama’s election as the President of United States, American Civil Rights Movement is still not over yet.
Of course the frequency of such a struggle is much less in America than in China today. Chinese government still has a long way to go to achieve equal Justice and Fairness for all Chinese citizens. However attributing this completely to the superiority of Western-style democratic system is absolutely misleading.
While China has the equivalent geographic land mass as America does, China has only one 3rd of comparable American cultivable land for farming. With 80% of Chinese 1.3 billions people have to concentrate along livable eastern coast, it is equivalent to quadruple American current population and then migrate them all to the east of Mississippi river. Will current American democratic system still guarantee the same level of personal freedom in that situation? Definitely not. American happens to live on a land of plenty.
Whenever demand starts exceeding the supply, the priority of governance of each country will have to make adjustment. This has been exemplified by today’s financial credit crunch, a product of our great democratic and capitalistic system, where American has already lost its financial freedom. In dealing with the current financial crisis, White House is trying to impose Discipline, Justice and Fairness among US industries in financial troubles as opposed to lending a complete free hand to private industries so they could execute whatever benefit-driven schemes they please. Some critics call it Socialism but this collective sacrifices and adjustments are exactly what we must do in order to survive this unprecedented crisis. I believe that this is also the spirit of what Jackie meant for Chinese.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:


I think before we argue that we have to define two concept, so we may at least on same page of understanding "Freedom" and "Control".

I don't even think we all interpret them the same.

What is FREEDOM?
what is CONTROL?
On what GROUND?

I think no one would have same understanding, especially Chinese and American.

Maybe we need to calm down, and explain them, we may find out we actually agree with each other.

so anyone please give some definition?

Otherwise, this is like Junior High School Class.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

"China without a recognized leader is preferable to foreigners with all their leaders."

The above is from Confucius.

Freedom lovers (they would never defend tyranny) are encouraged, after reading that quote, to peruse Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America : Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent". That is the book a copy of which was offered to President Obama by President Hugo Chavez, at the Fifth Summit of the Americas. From the bottom of the list, it has now risen to number 2 on Amazon.com list.

"Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." (not from Confucius...)

thmak Author Profile Page:

To Crm1951: By falsely accuse others as paid posters, you violate and suppress other people's freedom, democracy and human right. Your are very UnAmerican.

hawksmoor Author Profile Page:

excellent point crm1951! why try to discuss anything when it's obviously so easy to pretend to be a paranoid idiot and brand others' opinion as the work of communist propaganda.

I guess you've figured out my secret employment too, but oh boy let me tell you, the pay sucks and the insurance doesn't cover carpel tunnel syndrome.

crm1951 Author Profile Page:

Interesting to hear from all the posters who are paid by the Chinese Communist Party to monitor U.S. websites and defend tyrrany.

dagege Author Profile Page:

It's odd that someone with martial art training can so misconstrue the likely consequences of removing oppression and dictatorship from a political system.

The longer power and wealth is concentrated within a minority, the greater the social upheaval when it inevitably finds its own level among the entire populace.

Share it now if you know what's good for your children.

danchow Author Profile Page:

Many of us do not take into consideration China's recent history. For decades the Chinese people were under total communist rule. Their social interactions were based on group decisions; their friends and neighbors were Comrades; they work for the People and not for any company; profit was for the good of the People and not for the individual; the land belonged to the People.

Suddenly, this society of over 1 billion people was thrust into a new world in which individuals can have properties, can profit for Self, can work for different companies, and travel between towns and cities without relative hinderances. Comparing to where this society came from, its people suddenly have so much freedom that they do not quite know how to respond to it. I believe that it is common knowledge that it is human nature to take more than it is allowed, so it is inevitable that abuse will follow. Thus, for a lack of a better way of saying this, control becomes necessary.

Inevitably, freedom for the Chinese will evolve accordingly within limits set forth by themselves as a society to maintain order and to improve their quality of life as a free Chinese society. However, it is not the freedom that we all know in the western world, but the freedom that they understand according to their history and values. This we must understand and respect.

Unfortunately, western evangelists for freedom impose their values on this new society without regard to the history behind China's current state of affairs. Instead of helping and allowing China to evolve and develop its own brand of a free Chinese society, they impose their brand of freedom, treating China as an unequal, and looking upon its society as one that needs to come up to their standards.

We must step down from our pedestal and demonstrate respect and understanding of their recent history, the immense size of their land and population, the very rapid changes happening to their environment, their villages, towns, cities, families, and society. The ideological, social, economic, and environmental changes that are happening in China within a short time frame are unprecedented in the history of our world. Our current attitude towards China will not open channels for dialog leading to changes, instead, it will close them.

With these in mind, I think we can perhaps try to understand what Jackie might have in mind when he made his comment regarding control.

Geja Author Profile Page:

Chan is the one who dares to speak out the obvious. He is just not as articulate as a politician.

Controlling of people is a basic necessity of any society to prevent chaos. The US uses laws and law enforcement officers to achieve that. People seem to assume freedom and control are opposite. But in reality, only controlling the unruly can ensure majority of people freedom.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

Yeah! Jackie is Hero!

Speaks for Truth! Can be trusted!

I go buy some some more his movies.

I am sure when China ready for Freedom, he will be the first to tell truth.

He is the guy who willing to speak for truth, even though he knows many people may be angry.

Not like Rickard and Ford and Sharon Jerks, use Dalai for publicity to make themselves look good.

Maybe they should do more good movies, any way, I won't watch. Not even bothered for illegal copies.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

I don't even think that people like John Pomfret should have more freedom in China, simply he is one brings chaos:) like Taiwan Independence, Free Tibet craps that he organize gansters:O and thugs...

ha ha ha

And he may think protest is like Rockin Roll party, went all nights like 60s

lucky9 Author Profile Page:
helloisanyoneoutthere Author Profile Page:

It seems rather unusual that the vast majority of Chinese who come to our country are well mannered and attempt to understand and respect our laws; probably better than our own citizens.

Maybe we're the ones who need to be under more control.

kanderson319 Author Profile Page:

This isn't the first time a person known around the world has said something that was offensive. Behind closed doors we all do it. But when your in front of a camera and speakers it's a whole different world out there--if you say something without thinking, everyone will know about it five seconds later. Once something else happens, it'll be just like the other stories--unnoticed by the general public.

alex65 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Pomfret,

Thank you very much for providing a forum to collect view points from different perspectives.

I can not agree with you more on your reaction to Mr. Chan's idiotic statement. China is increasingly polarized between the rich and poor. You now see the ugly face of the rich as they want "the chinese people be controlled".

One might ask, who does Mr. Chan want to control the chinese people? How does Mr. Chan want the chinese people to be controlled? Is Mr. Chan satisfied with the current control the chinese people are under?

Years of control under the chinese communists had brought unimmaginable suffering to the chinese people. The start of China economic take-off 30 years ago was also the start when the chinese people became less controlled by the communist-turned-authoritarian government. Just when an elite group emerge from the economical development they want to control the rest of the people. This is not a chinese thing...we've seen enough examples of this minority controlling majority. All previous controls were based on either physical or mental brutality.

What form of brutality does Mr. Chan prefer?

Or better, why would anyone take Mr. Chan's statement about governing a country seriously?

sing1 Author Profile Page:

According to the survey of one Taiwanese newspaper, 48% of people in Taiwan agreed with Chan and said he got a point. What we saw in Taiwan is an abuse and misinterpretation of freedom. Freedom without sense of responsibility is no freedom at all. Some 30% of people in Taiwan said that they should take a hard look at themselves before they criticize Chan. For all it is worth, Taiwan is used in Mainland as an example why imported democracy is not good for China. One has to realize democracy is a very unstable political system. Look at India, Thailand for that matter. Walk slowly and think for yourselves instead following the footstep of the West just because they said it is good for you. It is time for the Western Liberal Democracy to step aside and the other country to be what they want to be.

marcopolo1 Author Profile Page:

If the suggestion that has been made in some places--namely, that Chan is pandering to advance his own naked economic interests--is, in fact, true, then that would only appear to strengthen the perception of an out-of-control and chaotic mentality needing "guidance", which adds nothing to support the anti-orientalist argument being presented in some circles, but ironically supports Chan's own contention (and his own culpability in feeding the "chaos").

cyborg_bob Author Profile Page:

Jackie Chan is using the SAME EXACT ARGUMENT that the Leftists in China used against Deng Xiaoping's program of reform back in the 70s and 80s. He is using the same argument that Mao used for decades also.

But guess what? That argument was proven ridiculous and incorrect then, just as it is now. If people like Deng had listened to people like Jackie Chan, the Chinese would still be eating bark.

jiaming Author Profile Page:

Let me give a good example of the extremely limited freedom Americans have to speak. The economic meltdown of 2008 was primiarily caused by the US financial industry which acted irresponsible for many years. The government began its multi-trillion-dollar bailouts for the financial industriy. The vast majority of Americans deeply resent the bailouts. However, every mainstream media portrayed the bailouts as a crucial step to save the economy, even if it means robbing from the average citizen to give to the weathy bankers. The average US citizen has no means to voice their opinions and be heard by a wide audience. So the strange phonomenon happened. On the streets, people are complaining about the Wall Street bailouts while the TV and newspapers are talking about how important it is the rescue the financial institutions.

In America, the rich has full access to Congress, the White House, and the various levels of government. They also have exclusive access to news media like the Washington Post. The common people have no chance against them because the rich apparently has far more freedom to protect their interests.

danchow Author Profile Page:

I believe that Jackie was referring to the sort of freedom that is exercised with little or no concern for another's rights to the same freedom. The sort of freedom that has no regards for boundaries or fences.

When I think of Freedom, Robert Frost's poem, Mending Walls, always come to my mind: "Good fences make good neighbors". There are limitations to freedom. It's granted that we all want enjoy it as much as we can without violating our neighbor's rights to the same freedom that we uphold. If we over step our boundaries of our freedom, then we make the neighborly effort to mend the walls. Good fences make good neighbors.

I think we often think of freedom as liberty to do anything we all please. When we exercise freedom at the expense of someone else's right to the same freedom we enjoy, then it's no longer freedom but abuse.

In all fairness, we ought to keep in mind that perhaps Jackie may not have a good command in the English language. His choice of words may not have been appropriately placed to communicate his perspective. Wars have been fought over misplaced words. So lets not lift ourselves onto the pedestal as though we're all great communicators. Anyone deserves a benefit of a doubt. Instead of threatening Jackie, calling him names, or telling him to shut up, we ought to keep an open channel for clear communication, and to make effort to understand someone who appears to contradict our views of freedom.

SOCIETY1 Author Profile Page:

Powerful & The Rich live by a different set of laws on a different plain.
It's No Different in our own country or in any other country for that matter.

Powerful & The Rich will Never understand the lower class and Never will know what it is to be in the lower stratum.

Powerful & The Rich have Pretend-to-understant to the hilt and Most of the rest of the population Will believe them and follow them.

jiaming Author Profile Page:

Mr. Pomfret shows the typical arrogance of a Western elite again. Let's define freedom before we talk about it. Jackie Chan may not be an eloquent statesman, but he may be onto something here.

In the West, freedom is the ability to express or behave as one wishes, BUT as long as you own the venue or channel which allows you to reach your audience. For instance, you can talk to individuals all you want about any subjects, but you are not allowed to take over the front page of Washington Post to express your opinions so that you can reach a bigger audience. You have to have a lot of money to buy front page ads or have control of the newspaper in order to do that. Only the rich have that previlage. That means as an individual, your freedom of speech is very very limited in the West. Without a large sum of money, you opinions do not reach very far. The right to speak freely and be heard is still reserved for the wealthy.

TaiYuanRen Author Profile Page:

Hey, he's an action star, known for his fists and stupidity, not his brain nor his wisdom. Taking him seriously lowers your intelligence level.

GARETJAX Author Profile Page:

It's easy to speak of curtailing others' human rights and freedoms when you know, as Chan does, you're rich and influential enough to know you won't be one of those it happens to.

GARETJAX Author Profile Page:

"I echo Chan's statement, but with regards to American rednecks as well. We'd be considerably better off as a country if we didn't have to give the Palin's of the world their 15 minutes of fame. The simple truth of the matter is that if you are unwilling to familiarize yourself with how to run a country, and people are going to vote for you because they find this ignorance refreshing, then you, and anyone who would vote for you should not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. This is common sense, just as we don't let 9 year old children drive vehicles."

I agree that people who don't have a clue how to run a country shouldn't. And so.....don't blame me - I voted for John McCain.

MHawke Author Profile Page:

If China woke up tomorrow with the same level of freedoms we enjoy it would be a disaster. The migration of rural people to the cities would devastate the economic balance of the country, leading to devastating results.

Any transition to western style freedoms would take decades to accomplish in a safe way. Our systems could not withstand the sheer number of people and the necessary allocation of resources required to keep 1.5b people alive.

lembukong Author Profile Page:

There is some truth in Jackie's statement. It sounded mean but too much freedom can jeopardize the whole country now. China is an extremely large country and if you haven't been there you can't possibly imagine. Again, the truth always hurts.
Look at America today.......turning into a wild west again.

Janman Author Profile Page:

What is the fuss when it's just an opinion? Even then Jackie as a Chinese, is confining his opinion within the Chinese society. Like alike the Hollywood jerks like Richard Gere and Harrison Ford, who not only support the Dalai Lama, but even go to the extent of promoting Tibet Independence. In the way, their action is an assault to China and the Chinese people. Can we classify them as ugly white terrorist?

Kai_92604 Author Profile Page:

"Chinese people need to be controlled", Yes, Jackie Chen, definitely need to be controlled! How about having Jackie Chen family move back to China?

By the way, since he mentioned Taiwan in his comment, it's been clear that Taiwanese is not Chinese.

Donald2 Author Profile Page:

A survey in Taiwan today shows 48% of people agrees with him that there is too much chaos in Taiwan, etc.

To follow up, if I open a Jackie Chan Discipline House (with Jackie Chan's ugly big teeth picture in the center of studio) to discipline kids in United States, I will absolutely have people lined up to send their kids to me. Maybe that's really what he has in mind.

asmara12 Author Profile Page:

Wonder if Chan would think the same if he were to be on the other end of what he spews...some ppl ought to stick to what theyre good at!

hiberniantears Author Profile Page:

For example: If you think Obama is a muslim, then you are either to uninformed, or too willfully ignorant to vote. 1 in 10 Americans think Obama is a Muslim, in a recent poll reported in the Economist two weeks ago.

hiberniantears Author Profile Page:

I echo Chan's statement, but with regards to American rednecks as well. We'd be considerably better off as a country if we didn't have to give the Palin's of the world their 15 minutes of fame. The simple truth of the matter is that if you are unwilling to familiarize yourself with how to run a country, and people are going to vote for you because they find this ignorance refreshing, then you, and anyone who would vote for you should not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. This is common sense, just as we don't let 9 year old children drive vehicles.

That said, the alternative shouldn't be autocracy, either. Nor should this be misconstrued as advocating a plutocracy of the intellectual class. Rather, it would behoove us to find a way to devise a testing regime that allows people to earn the right to vote. Key elements would be an objective testing and teaching curriculum, as well as proper funding to ensure that all classes of society have equal access, so as to avoid the racially biased literacy tests of the past. Then, if you prove too ill informed to vote, you don't pose any additional risk to the rest of us. The goal is to deny only ignorant voting.

bikinibottom Author Profile Page:

To me, the comment sounded tongue in cheek, and was meant to stir thoughts....

jsubscriber Author Profile Page:

Here's the truth of the matter: Both China and the US are not democracies, both are oligarchies. An in both countries the oligarchs want to keep the poor from power. Both countries are equally hypocritical; China because its putative communism states a belief in the power of the poor working class, and the US because it claims to be a liberal democracy. Jackie Chan is not so different in his views from what is practiced by Democrats and Republicans in the US.

Donald2 Author Profile Page:

Jackie Chen is absolutely wrong.

He is wrong in that it's Amercians need to be disciplined, not Chinese.

Chinese style discipline is not enough for Americans. Americams need Korean or Singapore style discipline.

JohnBGriffith Author Profile Page:

First things first: you don't know what or how Mr. Chan feels, you only know what he said. Minor point, maybe, but let's be precise with our language, eh.

This is disappointing to hear. I am a longtime fan of Jackie and have enjoyed many of his movies. Was he speaking in English at this forum? If he was, how accurate is the translation?

I wonder how this will affect his fan base, which is directly tied to the profitability of his movies?

vikram3 Author Profile Page:

Interesting choice of words. I can only say that he grew up as a Chinese, so he respects the authority and the control. Just like Muslims, who grow up in a Muslim household, they love and respect Islam, even though it calls for slaying of infidels and women treated as property.

So the conclusion is a child will form lasting impressions in whatever conditions he grows up in.

But there is something to be said and admired about some organization and order- two things lacking or non-existent in a place where I grew up-India.

crossed-needlescom Author Profile Page:

As a pupil i loved his movies. But soon, as an actor in american movies, he lost my attention. For me it was very strange – looking at this "Mr. Nice Guy" performing his show @ the Olympic Games 08. For the first time i thought critical about him: that he just might be someone who arranges himself perfectly with the system – just for his own profit, whatever. This statement is just a piece of the puzzle that underlines my thoughts... in the other way around: Is it possible to be sucessfull in china without being a rich "Mr. Nice Guy"?

HeathenChemist Author Profile Page:

Peace4All. I don't see how you can have a true rule of "published laws" without something pretty closely resembling "western style democracy". Anything else is a dictatorship and I'm not sure I've heard of a dictator anywhere, at any ime in world history that didn't bend that published law, with force if necessary, when it suits his own agenda. That's why America's demcracy works so well: One side gains too much power, they can get nearly totally voted out of power within 2 years. Tienamen protests wouldn't have been necessary with a system like ours.

cab50151 Author Profile Page:

I have just what he needs- leather, boots and a whip. Where are you, Jackie?

peace4all1 Author Profile Page:

I certainly disagree with Jackie’s choice of words but do understand the spirit of his intention. What China needs the most today is Justice and Fairness to all Chinese citizens according to published Chinese laws but not Western-style personal freedom and democratic systems which had produced the current unprecedented Global Financial crisis. The June 4th Tiananmen Square movement occurred twenty years ago was intended to be anti-corruption and anti-privileged classes at that time. It was certainly not a movement for Western-style democracy as self-claimed by all Western media. But as long as there are huge spreads of injustice and wealth disparity among Chinese citizens, another Tiananmen Square incident will be inevitable in the near future.

HeathenChemist Author Profile Page:

I didn't know Chan was a democrat

surfer-joe Author Profile Page:

I agree with Chan.

spidey103 Author Profile Page:

I didn't know Jackie Chan was a Republican.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

I am sure prison is built for criminals, but may not be for Jackie.

dpb23 Author Profile Page:

The question is, does Chan feel that he, himself, also needs to be controlled? If so, then there's no reason to criticize his authoritarian views.

But if he doesn't, then the question is why he should be special.

jhtlag1 Author Profile Page:

Just off the top of my head, I remember Jackie Chan talking about his career and wishing to do more films in China and less is the US (west) What I took away from it was slightly desparaging, that is, Chinese work was more serious, US not...

...which all may mean that he is "going home" (or getting older if you wish) where the rule breaking kid slowly becomes the older guy who likes law and order. Maybe he wants the old place he came from.

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:


Now China is anarchy.

Whatever the top gives a good order, locally just won't process or figure out new ways to bypass it.

Some people refuse to send their children to school, nor they get home school. And they are kids just dragged to make fake bags and sell on streets. They call their freedom.

Parents beating their kids, villages gathered together rob the trains and trailers....

Do you see these things happened in US?

All of our people lived thru 100 years chaotic society, they need a strong government to bring order, then to learn peacefully and later obtain democracy and freedom.

In Taiwan and HK, people know when to protest, they follow the schedule and public rules when they march.

Look at the June 4th, and Tibet?

Monks, College students, like thugs burn, rob, and after, do not know when to stop it.

Taiwan people protest on weekend, and nights.

But Chinese in Mainland, they march, they think they are revolution, and revolution is not freedom, not democracy, not Human Rights.

They go beat, rob, burn and kill.

Think about 20G, London, mob got mad, started violent. only hundreds of them brought chaos.

Anyone can control 3 or 2 million marching? To make sure they do not go wrong?

Why could not they send letters? Make a phone calls?

Freedom and Human Rights must base on Society's peace.

Without Peace, you get nothing. Not even love!

quickian Author Profile Page:

"karate chop"? your complaint might be more effective if it didn't start with glib (and geographically inaccurate) racism.

pgr88 Author Profile Page:

Chan is caught up in appearances. Taiwan and Hong Kong APPEAR chaotic, because they are relatively open societies, and therefore they can't avoid airing political and societal "dirty laundry" in public. In fact, they are normal and quite stable societies.

China appears stable, but only because keeps its dirty laundry well-hidden. The politics of the Communist party is tribal and brutal, and we only see the result China's political conflicts very rarely (Tiananmen in 1989, for example).

romath Author Profile Page:

First off, Chinese Stalinism, mislabeled communism, is alive and kicking. Its willingness to allow some capitalist practices and institutions has not fundamentally changed the nature of the economy or regime. The kind of central control over the economy, planning, importation/exportation and major industries is not known anywhere in the major capitalist world, namely because it's incompatible with capitalism (except for very short periods, such as in Nazi Germany).

"Authoritarianism" is a political term used by western middle-class types to describe all sorts of fundamentally different regimes (fascism, Stalinist/Maoist communism, tin-pot dictatorships), but says nothing about the economic system itself. It's the latter that capitalist countries, especially the U.S., want to overthrow. If there had been a capitalist counterrevolution in China, we'd have heard the gunshots loud and clear.

Chan expresses the viewpoint of the newer bourgeoisie, the varied strata that's benefitted greatly from the "reforms." But that incipient class is relatively small and politically weak, thus must turn to the Stalinist government for support against the masses of workers, peasants and unemployed. Both Chan's class and the regime are deathly afraid of them. This was well demonstrated 20 years ago by the government's reaction to the events set off by Tiananmen Square, namely the workers' strikes, street battles and marches. There is enormous pressure on the regime to keep the lid on this more-than-simmering cauldron and Chan's comments speak to that. Too bad, because I've liked the guy on film.

KT11 Author Profile Page:

Jackie might have a number of honorary doctoral degrees, but he's not a scholar, or even a politician. It's silly to analyze his very words on their face value. However, I'm sure most of us understand what he's really referring to. For democracy to work well, voters need to be well educated and informed - we only need to look at ourselves and the last 8 years to realize that! What he is saying is that the Chinese people currently are still ill-prepared for western-styled democracy and they do not want democracy to turn into anarchy either.

To infer from his words that Jackie Chan's a rich snob or a running dog of the government is unfair to him because he's really a decent (though somewhat naive) individual.

BEEPEE Author Profile Page:

"Key elements would be an objective testing and teaching curriculum, as well as proper funding to ensure that all classes of society have equal access."

Gee, maybe we can impose a tax as a prerequisite to voting too.

jenchienjack.chang@gmail.com Author Profile Page:

I agree with Mr. Chan's sentiment. Most Chinese people do not yet have the concept and respect of law and order. To many Chinese people (PRC,HK, TW), there is difference between committing a crime (stealing, murdering) and breaking a law (does not follow traffic rules, etc.) They will not commit crimes but they tend to break rules. There should be no difference at all. Law and order is the foundation for a mature democracy. Democracy does not mean having boundless freedom. Simply having voting rights to elect public officials does not equate a good government. Look at TW, politicians there win votes by playing populism and the whole society pay the price.

infoshop Author Profile Page:

Since when do we take the comedian actor so seriously? Oh no, we did take our comedians seriously over our air head congress members. By the way, I don't understand a thing come out of his mouth. I can say the same thing about some of our congress members.

clay11 Author Profile Page:

This is a funny discussion because, as the post points out, none of us here in the U.S. really know what he meant by control and chaos. I think I disagree with Chan though because I rather enjoy the "chaos" of Taiwan.

Ironically, though, we're a bunch of Americans railing about Chan's advocacy of restricting freedoms, but in terms of every day life, I'd for sure that the average citizen of Taiwan or Hong Kong have more freedom then the average U.S. citizen, and you could argue that even Mainland Chinese do to.

dj333 Author Profile Page:

Perhaps Jackie Chan should give up his freedom and see what it is like to be "controlled."

Actually, he grew up in a Peking Opera school, so he's lived under pretty strict control and harsh conditions, but that's neither here nor there.

Not to defend China, but here in America "freedom" means different things at different income levels. How "free" is someone when they are forced to work a dead-end job or lose what little healthcare they have? How "free" are they when their company forces them to take benefits in company stock, then runs that company into the ground? How "free" are they when the have to conform to neighborhood and condo associations, or when they are arrested for drinking a beer in their front yard? And that's not even getting into the spying on groups because of their political positions (anti-war groups under the previous administrations, and very likely the various "militia" groups now).

Here in America we also believe that the hoi polloi need to be controlled - isn't that the point of drug laws? Gun laws? The requirement to get a permit to exercise your First Amendment right to Assembly? Maybe what Chan was "confused" about was how the democracies of the world insist that their controls fundamentally are different from those of the non-democracies in kind, rather than simply in degree? We lock up more of our population than anyone else in the world, and most of them are guilty of little more than being poor.

We have a Bill of Rights enshrined in our founding document, and we have never had a government that actually respected all ten of them. Not even Washington's. Maybe we should try radical Freedom here, instead of bailing out the rich and building more prisons for everybody else.

TalkingHead1 Author Profile Page:

Which is more preferable, starving in more freedom or not in less freedom? I think the choice is obvious. All the desirable freedom in a capitalistic society does not mean a thing if one cannot afford those and many cannot, except perhaps the undesirable freedom that comes with being destitute. Most Americans are too hung up on the notion of freedom without fully comprehending its concept in an organized society.

sqrl Author Profile Page:

While some of you may fawn at the idea of "control" there's quite an important thing most people forget and that is democracy is not some universal value that can applied wherever. Look at Iraq and you can see the limit of structural democracy and the resulting chaos or the best example being India. A vibrant democracy however political infighting and not being able to reach concensus means a very slow development resulting in massive poverty compared to China albeit with much more freedom then China.

It's one of the reasons when western academics try to sell democracy to China they'll rarely mention Indian democracy, but instead focus on how wonderful it is in the US even if China's development phase more closely mirrors that of India.

luan_sbci Author Profile Page:

I used to like Jackie Chan, but less now. I find his comment ironic! He was able to state his mind to find free speech and freedom in general may not be the best thing or even chaotic, because of the very same freedom he is criticising.

Freedom is not free, for there is a downside cost to it, but the alternative is even worse!

Beacon2 Author Profile Page:

Let's be honest, China has made great strides forward in the past few years by means of controlled capitalism. We have made similar strides backwards when uncontrolled greed took over. Of course he is confused. You don't go from a feudal system to the 22nd Century over night. Even our so called democracy is not serving us well. As we are learning, democracy can and will be corrupted by uncontrolled capitalism. People continue to confuse capitalism with democracy. During WWII, our economy made great strides and it was completely controlled.

Ayn Rand would probably add a few chapters to the second edition of Atlas Shrugged and call it Atlas Mugged. New characters would include the self-dealing Money Changers and self-dealing Executive Management, the new socialist Moochers and Highwaymen. Long, long, gone are the Industrialist owners with vision, founded in demand side economics. Even Microsoft is clipping other companies' coupons and looking for handouts after the anticipated 99.999% of the world did not upgrade their OS and applications, regardless of their monopoly.

JosephGAnthony Author Profile Page:

The lack of democracy and a free press actually lead to a certain chaos. Would a democracy allow the cover up to stories ranging from the kidnapping of baby boys, the poisioning of infant formulas, the choking pollution that is killing hundreds of thousands and the endemic corruption of officials that make this all possible? Democracy would bring an order to these conditions though it might be a a noisy order. Chan's idea of order is the order of the privaleged who think any noise is the noise of the mob. It might turn into that if China's middle class continues to support a control that stifles the huge majority of China's peoples.

marty108 Author Profile Page:

Chan always seemed like a personable person and most of his movies are simple but entertaining. However, obviously his political understanding does not match his martial arts prowess.

Maybe he did not mean exactly what he said, or perhaps it was a clumsy attempt at humor. If he actually believes what he said, then he is either an idiot, or wants to court favor with the Chinese government so he can make a financial killing.

karzengawang Author Profile Page:

Mao physically put Chinese in prison simply for not a following his doctrines.

Deng wanted Chinese to be "Well Fed Morons".

Let Jacki stay in prison for just 24 hrs as a political prisoner and see if he change his views whether Chinese should be controlled.

ProfessorWrightBSU Author Profile Page:

The author of this blog presumes that Jackie Chan was speaking about social order as it relates to class.

But if you take Chan's use of the word FREEDOM to mean a total lack of authority then it would be understood that some governance (control) among the people is necessary.

In America, we call that governance a Democratic Republic. Sometimes we get it right and KKK, Civil Rights, and GLBT Rights organizations are free to express themselves by marching in the streets in as large a group as they can muster. Sometimes we get the Patriot Act and attempts by congress to make flag burning illegal (2006 Congress' attempt was shot down by 1 vote in the Senate).

generalyuefei Author Profile Page:

He told the truth.

Currently Chinese cannot have freedom, because they don't know what is the meaning of freedom, or Human Rights.

Have we seen Iraq, when US army went in, the whole cities were looted by people.

It is not we don't deserve, it is are we ready to have.

It is just like car key, that you can't trust the teenagers to drive.

And now most Chinese adults are not ready to drive, before they drive they must learn and follow the rules.

If they don't follow, then it will crash whole nation.

Maybe after 50 year, 30 years, it is fast.

Have you guys looked those US politicians attacked each other last voting season? That is nation of 100 year freedom and demacrocy, still there are lot people misuse it.

I love my nation and people as Jackie, he is truthful man.

Have you looked how Chinese reacted on the bus, on the street, in public?

They can't even abide common rules, how can they handle something that more advance?

Unless, we don't care about their life, let they have it right now.

So after people live with no rules for some 20 or 10 years, many people die and abuse for 20 years, so they can learn from hard time.

skewb Author Profile Page:

Yes, Chan's comment is reflective of some attitudes in China. I met a Chinese exchange student last year, and she said something similar. She was convinced too much freedom would be a net loss for Chinese society. I asked her how this opinion jibed with what she had come to learn of America, and she admitted, in part, that she might be wrong.

Chan is right to believe that with freedom comes a bit of chaos. It is the price we pay. Chan simply doesn't want to pay it. Its quite clear he doesn't comprehend the true meaning of freedom.

tyler_kwofen Author Profile Page:

Although it is very easy to criticize such comments from the safe confines of an advanced democracy, it is important to note that there are a number of structural challenges that make a Chinese democracy very problematic. They are too numerous to go into all of them, but one excellent example is the fact that it may very well be the first country in human history to grow old before it grows rich. That is to say that it has an aging population that, largely, has not benefitted from the transition to a market economy in a democratic fashion (it is the nature of market economies to distribute wealth most UNdemocratically). My point is this: Give the 1 billion or so Chinese who are poorer now because of capitalism the vote and they will almost certainly vote for a hardcore Maoist or Chinese version of Hugo Chavez. Be very careful what you wish for. Perhaps Mr. Chan isn't as daft as he's played out by the ethnocentric Wester press.

threegoal Author Profile Page:

I can't zero in on the exact reference, but I remember reading a Shirley McLain book where she recounted her involvement with a Russian political figure who said about the same thing about Russians needing to be controlled.

Maybe the point is that a totalitarian state like the USSR or China breeds dependent people who learn to function without freedom, and are not sure how to handle it if they get it. I don't think it has anything to do with national character; but I do think that freedom, and the corresponding responsibility that come with it, is hard work, and that its sudden introduction will come with a lot of chaos.

On the other hand, I am not sure who I trust to be the puppet master who decides how to dole it out gradually so there isn't so much chaos.

Additional thought: Maybe Jackie Chan needs to stick to acting?

DocChuck08 Author Profile Page:

YAWN!!! ZZZZzzzzzzz.

cyborg_bob Author Profile Page:

>>like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic.

Yes, exactly. That is the best thing about mainland China: it isn't chaotic.

Actually, that line is the most hilarious part of his entire statement. Comparing a country that has virtually no rule of law that is overrun by corruption favorably to democracies like Taiwan on the grounds that China is more "orderly" is, well, so stunningly false and stupid that it is hard to fathom.

shawnp220 Author Profile Page:

This is another typical example of words lost in translation. Jackie Chan used the word “Guan”, which is meant to be “setting rules and guidelines” more than “control”. The Chinese use “Guan” in occasions such as “fathers guan their kids”, “teachers Guan their students” and “police Guan traffic”, etc. There are other words in Chinese mean control. But Jackie Chan didn’t say that. Like many other stories related to China, this one is created out of a bad translation.

Another point I would like to point out is that many reporters, some worked Washington Post (although I don’t see their columns recently, probably have been laid off) intentionally use bad translations to create stories about China. It is truly pathetic.

hawksmoor Author Profile Page:

The audience there might have clapped, but a cursory search on baidu (Chinese google) reveal that Chinese netizens response are far from "loved it". Comments range from ambivalent dismissal to outright anger but most just expressed a mild displeasure while noting Jackie Chan is a movie star, who doesn't necessarily represent any particular segment of the population and certainly not a source for insightful political commentary. It's his personal opinion, lets not attach too much significance to it.

snowflower Author Profile Page:

Perhaps Jackie Chan should give up his freedom and see what it is like to be "controlled."

derekbill Author Profile Page:

Am I alone in wondering if this whole discussion could be applied to events and conditions closer to home? Or maybe it's a look at the way things might have been had the Big O not come along....

Also, let us not forget Churchill's observation about those believing in pure democracy never having spent ten minutes with the average voter. To which I sugggest that pure democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

renzob5 Author Profile Page:

I find some of the posts quite amazing -- rationing of democracry to only people who you agree with or saying that they don't have debt or a president who lied.

Firstly I wonder if the chinese government has had anybody post any of these -- of course not because the Chinese govt doesn't believe in censorship or manipulating western media or hacking into western computer systems.

Secondly we are lucky we can voice our opinions in a system without that control although some people posting would obviously like to ship anybody they don't agree with to a "reeducation camp" people like Sarah Palin or anybody who deosn't see it their way.

The people who are trying to suppress the masses will find out in the day of technology eventually not even they can control the masses, and democracy while messy is the best form of government instead of some totalitarian regime where any right you may have, extends only so far as somebody won't remove it in the next heart beat, or where there are knocks on the door at night and people disappear into prison.

bevjims1 Author Profile Page:

Wow, some real sad comments here about people not having enough education to vote. I suggest those who feel that way, including Chan, read "Animal Farm". The concept of equality where some people are more equal than others will never fly in a truly free society. China's freedoms are illusionary if this is what they consider freedom to be. As for me, a free American, I choose to boycott his movies until he explains his insulting statements.

dpks Author Profile Page:

In my visits to China I often hear well educated people express the opinion that the leadership is wise and can be trusted to make good decisions. This is specifically said in relation to internet censorship and public demonstrations, which many feel threaten social stability. Given the economic miracle of the last twent years, who can blame them? China has had authoritarian rule for millenia; it has fallen from its historical place at the center of the world and been humiliated by the West in the 19th c; it was conquered and brutalized by the upstart Japanese in the 20th c; it has suffered debilitating poverty, mass starvation and the cultural revolution since kicking out the foreigners in 1959. Intellectuals and free thinkers exist in China, but the openings that Deng proposed in the eighties still don't extend to the kind of freedoms we take for granted.

legendarypunk Author Profile Page:

And this: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we are not being controlled, we'll just do what we want."

Easy to say when you are the one doing the controlling, and not the one who will be controlled.

Regardless, China is their country, not ours. We can offer them all the tools and advice we want about how to be a democratic nation, but as common sense dictates (and recent examples in the Middle-East as well), democracy is not something that can just be shoved upon a country.

If they aren't ready, then they aren't ready. We can try to push "freedom" on them all we want, but I think it's one of those things that won't work unless they figure it out for themselves.

FrankRizzo1 Author Profile Page:

I picked this article up on yahoo last night and then bought the Shanghai Daily and China Daily ( I usually only buy one but this was to juicy to chance it ) to read their spin. What I read? Not a drop.

Chinese people I spoke to about it had no idea whatsoever either, and upon hearing it either feigned disinterest or changed the subject because it was none of my business.

This information gap no longer surprises me, but it speaks to Mr. Pomfret's blurb: "The Chinese audience loved it" . Which part of the sinodichotomy was that audience again?

I suppose we ought not to speak of the Chinese as one socially harmonious monolith anymore; and if the degrading profundity of this rhetorical oversite does ever reach the hearts of the masses here, perhaps the so called "chaos" of Taiwan and Hong Kong will not look so bad to mister Chan.

mpowe Author Profile Page:

In re: "...it would behoove us to find a way to devise a testing regime that allows people to earn the right to vote."

They used to have this; it was called a 'literacy test' and eventually was ruled unconstitutional because it was arbitrarily manipulated to disenfranchise certain classes of people. Voting is either a right, or it isn't. If it's a right, then the gov't has no business interfering with it.

Jackie Chan is a performer who is sometimes enjoyable to watch. This fact should not entitle him to the role of political pundit, nor to be taken seriously in that role, should he choose to adopt it. I'm inclined to agree with the assessment in the article, that he unconsciously reflects the class bias of the Chinese elite.



leegan02 Author Profile Page:

His comment is really open to interpretation. I am not so certain he is talking about the poor but about people in general. Taiwan and Hong Kong have a lot of rich people and yet Chan still call their freedom "chaotic".

While freedom is nice, I don't think complete freedom is realistic. What about people who hurt others? Don't they need to be controlled and be made aware their behavior is wrong? What about criminals who commit murder or rape? Don't they need to be controlled and punished?

Your post try to portray the rich Chinese as if they try to suppress the poor. That is an oversimplification of the issue. In today's China, people who worked hard have a good chance of climbing up the economic/social ladder.

For example, several years ago, when migrant workers from the countryside flocked to cities like Shanghai for a jobs, there were some tensions between them and the better-educated, richer locals. However, now many migrant worker are among the rich in Shanghai and other cities. They had earned a better life for themselves and their children through their hard work and talents.

But despite the progress, there are still a lot of poor in China and that is a concern for the Chinese government. But is it really fair to single out the rich elite when actually many of them used to be poor but got where they are today through their own efforts?

SHADuck Author Profile Page:

people principally in china do not have the leisure time to access the political issues. most are working everyday to keep "food on the table" and other basic needs.

they are not in debt. further they are not lied to like previous president.

ricinro85212 Author Profile Page:

It is not what anyone wants to hear but democracy requires education and participation. There was a reason that Jefferson designed and built the University of Virginia because he knew that large uneducated mobs could threaten civil democracy. He saw it in the French Revolution.
China is no different but much larger. I feel that Chan should use his "art" to educate Chinese about democracy rather than just write them off.

hiberniantears Author Profile Page:

I echo Chan's statement, but with regards to American rednecks as well. We'd be considerably better off as a country if we didn't have to give the Palin's of the world their 15 minutes of fame. The simple truth of the matter is that if you are unwilling to familiarize yourself with how to run a country, and people are going to vote for you because they find this ignorance refreshing, then you, and anyone who would vote for you should not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. This is common sense, just as we don't let 9 year old children drive vehicles.

That said, the alternative shouldn't be autocracy, either. Nor should this be misconstrued as advocating a plutocracy of the intellectual class. Rather, it would behoove us to find a way to devise a testing regime that allows people to earn the right to vote. Key elements would be an objective testing and teaching curriculum, as well as proper funding to ensure that all classes of society have equal access. Then, if you prove to ill informed to vote, you don't pose any additional risk to the rest of us.

kdtalksport Author Profile Page:

In a karate chop to cultural understanding, a post blogger uses a hackneyed phrase to dramatize a point without realizing that karate is a Japanese martial art, and Jackie Chan practices martial arts originating in his native country, China.

permagrin Author Profile Page:

"I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we are not being controlled, we'll just do what we want"

So basically Chan sounds like an American environmentalist.

EnemyOfTheState Author Profile Page:

For his sake and the sakes of China's new elite, he better hope the poor masses continue to agree with him.

When they wake up, and history shows they inevitably do, there will be a bloodbath that no amount of choreographed Kung Fu will be able stop.

wenyuyahoo Author Profile Page:

He is the one to be controlled

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