Hong Kong’s most famous film star, the martial arts and comedy legend Jackie Chan, has been named a member of the Chinese government’s senior political advisory body.
The 58-year-old Rush Hour actor will be a Hong Kong delegate for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which reports to China’s annual rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, next month.
A staunch defender of single-party rule by the Communist Party, Chan has become a controversial figure after saying there should be limits on public protests in Hong Kong, which enjoys greater political freedom than the mainland. He also described the US as the world’s “most corrupt” country and said China had long been bullied by foreign powers.
Chan’s movie CZ12, which is about a quest to track down Chinese zodiac statues taken by Western troops during the Opium Wars in the 1840s, was China’s fifth-highest grossing film last year. Another prominent member of this year’s CPPCC, according to the Phoenix report, is the Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan.
Mo has been criticised by some for not being outspoken enough about fellow writers who have suffered at the hands of the Chinese government, such as fellow Nobel laureate, Liu Xiaobo.