Asian values redux? The international politics of rights, democracy and culture

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Film stars and celebrities often serve as emissaries for ideas and causes. They bring all the glamour of their trade to the less than sexy issues of malnutrition, malaria, rights and peace. Jackie Chan, the famous kung fu film star, has for example acted as a UN ambassador on AIDS and landmines. But the ham-actor’s range of good causes is limited. The English newspaper, The Independent, noted that Chan would be ‘unlikely to use his martial arts skills to fight for democracy’. That particular lament followed a speech Chan made to a business forum in Southern China in 2009. To applause, Chan declared that: ‘I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not. 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’. Chan was speaking on whether greater freedoms in China were warranted. Not so, he declared: ‘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’ (cited in Coonan 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Global Politics of the Asia Pacific
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780203808993
ISBN (Print)9780415464963, 9780415464970
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

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