Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Chinese People Need to be Controlled"

Last week at a panel during the BoAo business forum, Jackie Chan made certain comments that might raise a few of your eyebrows:
  • "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."
  • "I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not. 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."
There's been quite a bit of backlash from both Hong Kong and Taiwan (see here and here), as well as in China itself over these statements. Here's a good round-up of the whole situation from the New York Times:

"Jackie Chan Strikes a Chinese Nerve"

So I'm wondering, what do you guys think about his comments? Is there some merit to the claimshe made about Chinese people needing to be "controlled"? Or is he mistaken, and even feeding into some problematic stereotypes?

Secondly, why do you think he said these things, and how should people respond to them? (By the way, has anyone seen discussion of this on Chinese websites that you can share with us?)

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