Is Jackie Chan's anti-Americanism displayed in a recent interview hypocritical as some suggest? Arguably, the "Rush Hour" star's outward accusations of widespread U.S. corruption do not jive with his commitment to Western films, which made him a household name overnight. Perhaps, his fierce defense of Beijing and China's Communist Party has something to do with it?
The Washington Post followed up on an interview the Hong Kong-born actor gave to a Chinese TV show. In its Jan. 10 report, it suggested Jackie Chan's anti-Americanism, while less mild than his bashing of Democratic Taiwan, bordered on hypocrisy.
Chan responded to a question about the furor in China over its recent censorship of the reform-minded Southern Weekly. While many natives are speaking out against the oppressive move, Chan admonished anyone who would denigrate China or the Communist government in public.
In fact, in order to drive home his comparative points of mass political corruption of a people, Chan said that the United States is the most corrupt government in the world.
"The New China. The real success has been made in the past dozen of years. Our country's president also admits they have the corruption problem, and some other stuff, but we are making progress. What I can see is our country is continuously making progress and learning. If you talk about corruption, the entire world, the United State, has no corruption? Chan said.
The host then mentions the word "America," to which Chan replied, "The most corrupt in the world."
"Really?" the host asked in amazement.
Was Jackie Chan using anti-American rhetoric -- you know -- similar to what Psy once did in defense of his Korean roots? Or was he simply protecting home court as a many Chinese natives have done long before him?
Case in point: WP brings up the story of a Chinese TV documentary that aired in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11.
A young Chinese student appeared in a segment and said he was "very happy" about the 911 attacks. On Osama Bin Laden, he said, "Anyone who quarrels with the Americans is a hero."
However, here is where things become hypocritical: When asked by about his feelings towards the United States, the student said, "I love it. I’m studying in the U.S. soon. If I don't have to come back, then I won't come back."
This is but one example of how many in China are fiercely protective of their country against foreign denigration and intrusion. However, outside of watchful eyes, many -- like Chan -- acknowledge the People's Republic of China is corrupt and oppressive.
Jacki Chan's alleged anti-Americanism may have sparked an outrage, but one can speak out against values and practices here without fear of sanctions; freedom of expression is what this country is based on.
Besides, the actor surely knows by now that the same country he blasts as corrupt is quick to forgive.