Jackie Chan has angered protesters in Hong Kong after calling recent events in the Chinese capital “sad and depressing”.
The city has been rife with protests and demonstrations by Hong Kong residents over the past few months, against the increasing erosion of the freedoms they enjoy as an autonomous region of China.
And the martial artist and actor, who was born in Hong Kong, broke his silence on the pro-democracy demonstrations, admitting he hopes the territory “can return to peace soon".
“Hong Kong and China are my birthplaces and my home. China is my country, I love my country, I love my home,” the 65-year-old Rush Hour star told the Chinese CGTN TV. “When I saw on (Chinese microblogging website) Weibo that CCTV had shown the ‘The Five-starred Red Flag has 1.4 Billion flag guards’, I came here immediately. On the other hand, I wanted to express the most basic principles of patriotism as a Hong Kong citizen and a Chinese. I am a national flag guard.
“Furthermore, I wanted to go to this event to represent everyone’s voice,” he continued. “I also deeply feel that safety, stability, and peace are just like fresh air, you never know how precious it is until you lose it.”
The Karate Kid star's comments drew a backlash on social media, as fans slammed the star as “shameless” and told him that “Hong Kong hates you”.
Another user called Chan a "greedy has-been", while a fourth critic labelled him a "shameless communist b**tard".
Chan has previously shown his support for Beijing when he called Hong Kong a “city of protest” during an interview in 2012.
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