July 15, 2021
Chan espoused his admiration for the CCP during a symposium organized by the China Film Association last week. The Hong Kong native said during the event that when traveling abroad he often says that he’s “proud of being Chinese.”
“I also envy that you are Communist Party members, I think the Communist Party is just great, what the Communist Party says, what they promised, will always be delivered within a few decades,” he said in an interview with a Chinese broadcaster. “I want to be a Communist Party member, thank you,” he added, a comment that reportedly triggered applause from others in the room.
His Beijing-praising comments soon spread across social media, eliciting a colorful range of reactions. On China’s main social media platform, Weibo, users argued that Chan was unworthy of official membership in the party.
“I have no doubt over his patriotism and professionalism, but his lifestyle… our party members need to set a positive example,” one said, according to the South China Morning Post.
“He’s probably not serious, he’s just acting on different occasions,” another Weibo user was quoted as saying.
Criticism of Chan’s “lifestyle” likely stems from an extramarital affair dating back to 1999, as well as a six-month jail sentence for drug offenses that his son received in mainland China.
Others accused Chan of “embarrassing” China abroad, which is why the CCP would rather not be associated with him. “He’s too American,” read another comment.
Ha. Jackie Chan made his fortune by embarrassing Chinese people abroad. That's why the ccp would rather not be associated with him.
— AlternateFuture (@AFuture10001) July 14, 2021
The thumbs-down responses weren’t universal, however. Some argued that it was very open-minded of Chan to seek membership of the party.
The 67-year-old action star is currently a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a Beijing-based legislative advisory council.
While some seem less than enthusiastic about Chan formally joining the CCP, the filmmaker has long considered himself a Chinese patriot. In 2019, Chan criticized the violent anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong, describing the demonstrations as “sad and depressing.”
In August of that month, Chan posted a photo of the Chinese flag on Weibo, after Hong Kong protesters were seen defacing the country’s emblem.
“I feel the pride of being Chinese everywhere, the five-starred red flag is respected worldwide,” he later said in an interview.