Chinese megastar Jackie Chan said he was heartbroken by the mass unrest in his native Hong Kong, and supported the state TV’s initiative to protect the national flag “desecrated” by protesters.
World-famous actor and Kung Fu master Jackie Chan has thrown his weight behind Beijing over the mass protests that have swept the semi-autonomous city since March. In an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, the Hollywood celebrity said it is “heartbreaking and worrying for many” to witness the violence gripping the former British colonial outpost.
Chan said he immediately joined the social media campaign launched by CCTV after a group of protesters took down a Chinese flag flying over Victoria Harbour and threw it into the sea. The incident took place earlier in August and saw the demonstrators replacing the red banner with flags sporting the words ‘Hong Kong independence’.
The incident has sparked outrage in mainland China and prompted the former Hong Kong chief executive to put up a HK$1 million (US$127,000) reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrest.
The campaign is called ‘Five-Star red flag has 1.4 billion guards’, which is a reference to China’s population size.
“On one hand, I needed to express my most basic patriotism as a Hong Kong citizen and a Chinese. I am also one of the flag guards. On the other hand, I hoped to express our collective voice through participating in such a campaign,” the actor told CCTV.
Hong Kong is my birthplace and my hometown. China is my country. I love my country. I love my hometown. I truly hope peace can return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.
Large-scale protests erupted in Hong Kong in late March over a proposed law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be handed over to the mainland. Although the law has since been suspended, the protests have only gained momentum, spiraling into fierce clashes with police. A recent spate of unrest has disrupted the operation of Hong Kong international airport, and saw police facing off with demonstrators in attempts to clear the terminals. Beijing has called the protesters “arrogant lunatics” that represent a “tiny minority” of the population, promising “imminent punishment” to those who engage in violence.