Kung Fu action movie star Jackie Chan has started a new political life in China's Communist party.
Hong Kong-born Chan has become a member of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an important Chinese political advisory body, local media reports.
Chan, 57, star of such movies such as Rumble in the Bronx, Mr Nice Guy and Kung Fu Panda, has increasingly found a political voice, backing the regime in Beijing and courting controversy. In recent interviews, the actor has expressed strong nationalistic views, praising some of Beijing's anti-democratic laws and criticising his native Hong Kong and the US.
In December Chan told the Southern People Weekly that China should introduce measures to curb rights to protest in of Hong Kong, because people in the former UK colony are allowed to "scold China, scold the leaders, scold anything, and protest against anything".
"There should be regulations on what can and cannot be protested," Chan said.
In 2009, Chan had already expressed an aversion to democratic freedoms, saying the Chinese people "needed to be controlled."
"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said at the Boao business forum. "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."
"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."
In January, the actor attacked the US, where he has made numerous movies, describing the country as "the most corrupt in the world" and defending China's right to not to heed foreign criticisms.
"I said now that China has become strong, everyone is making an issue of China," Chan told Phoenix TV. "We know our country has many problems. We [can] talk about it when the door is closed. To outsiders [we should say] 'our country is the best.''
Chan's political remarks have surprised and displeased many of his western fans.
"Nooooooooo, Jakie is a commy," commented a netizen on Bloomberg.
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