The actor told a forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, whose attendees included Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, he was not sure “freedom” was necessary.
Chan, 55, whose latest movie, Shinjuku incident, was banned in China, was asked about censorship and restriction on the mainland. He expanded his comments to discuss Chinese society in general.
“I’m not sure if it is good to have freedom or not,” he said. “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.”
He added: “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.”
His comments were applauded by the Chinese audience, but triggered fury in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Update: Chan’s comments may have been intentionally or unintentionally mistranslated.