Jackie Chan’s freedom and control comments deliberately mistranslated?

Okay, the rampant Western media frenzy over Jackie Chan supposedly saying that “Chinese people still need to be controlled ” during a panel discussion at the Boao Forum in Hainan, China is…well, getting out of control. This is the kind of Western media bullshit that makes Westerners look like they’re frothing at the bits to use anything they can to paint China in a negative political light: “Oh look, even lovable kung-fu funny-man Jackie Chan has betrayed his own, selling out both himself and his kind to the evil Communist regime!” To which the Western masses reply in unison: “Gasp!”

The relevant excerpt from the Associated Press:

“I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not,” Chan said. “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.”

Chan added: “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.”

And a Chinese report of what Jackie Chan said to foreign reporters:


He himself is now very conflicted with regards to whether freedom is better, or is not freedom is better, because if [people] are too free, it will be just like Taiwan and Hong Kong, which have become very disorderly. So, he has slowly come to feel/think that, “Chinese people still need to be regulated.”

Jackie Chan Said “Chinese Need To Be Controlled”, Or Did He?

I’m not sure what Chan said is much better than what he was reported as saying, but I’m far less sure of just what it is he actually said now.

(Thanks Sydney)


  1. While I’m quite pro-freedom, it might be worth keeping in mind what would happen if China suddenly freed-up a little too fast, which is probably what will happen to China eventually anyway. I just hope that when it does — i.e. when China fragments into federated states or just separate countries — it does it peacefully and gently. China would totally suck as a failed state, and while that may not sound likely from over here, it is just that prospect that drives many Chinese governement policies. They have ethnic and class challenges to cohesion that, in the long run, are very intense. I’m in no way saying that China is just fine the way it is, but I am saying that if they loosened-up to US levels next week, it might not be as nice as it sounds.

  2. …and by the way, none of my previous comment has any bearing on Tibet, where what the Chinese have and are doing just plain sucks, lacking pretty much any upside for Tibetans.

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