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As Hong Kong heads into a 10th week of mass demonstrations against a controversial China extradition bill, facing a major political crisis, it was inevitable that local celebrities would speak out in support of either side of the divide. Notably, high profile stars Jackie Chan and Tony Leung, both native to the semi-autonomous city, have publicly thrown their weight behind Beijing over the mass protests that have swept the former British colonial outpost since March.
In an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Chan said (via Variety) it is “heartbreaking and worrying for many” to witness the gripping violence of the mass unrest, and that he supported the state TV’s campaign to protect the national flag “desecrated” by protesters. Specifically, Chan was referring to an incident in which pro-democracy protesters had thrown the flag of the People’s Republic of China into the sea.
Hand - Patriotism - Hong - Kong - Citizen
“On one hand, I needed to express my most basic patriotism as a Hong Kong citizen and a Chinese,” Chan said. “I am also one of the flag guards. On the other hand, I hoped to express our collective voice through participating in such a campaign.”
Meanwhile, Tony Leung Ka-fai took part in a pro-police rally on June 30, where he posed with a sign reading, “Support the Police,” although he did not actually speak.
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The controversial move by Chan might especially come as a surprise, given that he has long been Hong Kong’s most recognizable and influential export, launching a career that would thrive while the city was still under British colonial rule (it was handed back to China in 1997). Once considered a likely successor to Bruce Lee in Hong Kong cinema, Chan instead developed his own blended style of martial arts and screwball physical comedy which proved to be box office gold, en route to making him Hong...
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