Chan Kong-sang, (陳港生; born 7 April 1954), known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman and singer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself. Chan has trained in Kung Fu and Hapkido. He has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in over 150 films.
Political views and controversy
During a news conference in Shanghai on 28 March 2004, Chan referred to the recently concluded Republic of China 2004 presidential election in Taiwan, in which Democratic Progressive Party candidates Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu were re-elected as President and Vice-President, as “the biggest joke in the world”. A Taiwanese legislator and senior member of the DPP, Parris Chang, called for the government of Taiwan to ban his films and bar him the right to visit Taiwan. Police and security personnel separated Chan from scores of protesters shouting “Jackie Chan, get out” when he arrived at Taipei airport in June 2008.
Referring to his participation in the torch relay for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Chan spoke out against demonstrators who disrupted the relay several times attempting to draw attention to a wide-ranging number of grievances against the Chinese government. He warned that “publicity seekers” planning to stop him from carrying the Olympic Torch “not get anywhere near” him. Chan also argued that the Olympics coverage that year would “provide another way for us to tell the world about Chinese culture.”
In 2009, Chan was named an “anti-drug ambassador” by the Chinese government, actively taking part in anti-drug campaigns and supporting President Xi Jinping’s declaration that illegal drugs should be eradicated, and their users punished severely. In 2014, when his own son Jaycee was arrested for cannabis use, he said that he was “angry”, “shocked”, “heartbroken” and “ashamed” of his son. He also remarked, “I hope all young people will learn a lesson from Jaycee and stay far from the harm of drugs. I say to Jaycee that you have to accept the consequences when you do something wrong.”
On 18 April 2009, during a panel discussion at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, he questioned whether or not broad freedom is a good thing. Noting the strong tensions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, he said, “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.” Chan’s comments prompted angry responses from several prominent figures in Taiwan and Hong Kong. A spokesman later said Chan was referring to freedom in the entertainment industry, rather than in Chinese society at large.
In December 2012, Chan caused outrage when he criticised Hong Kong as a “city of protest”, suggesting that demonstrators’ rights in Hong Kong should be limited. The same month, in an interview with Phoenix TV, Chan stated that the United States was the “most corrupt” country in the world, which in turn angered parts of the online community and prompted a critical response from journalist Max Fisher, who argued that Chan’s comments were rooted “not just in attitudes toward America but in China’s proud but sometimes insecure view of itself.” Other articles situated Chan’s comments in the context of his career and life in the United States, including his “embrace of the American film market” and his seeking asylum in the United States from Hong Kong triads.
In April 2016, Chan was named in the Panama Papers.
Chan is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and has championed charitable works and causes. He has campaigned for conservation, against animal abuse and has promoted disaster relief efforts for floods in mainland China and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
In June 2006, citing his admiration of the efforts made by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to help those in need, Chan pledged the donation of half his assets to charity upon his death.