Hong Kong native Jackie Chan takes part in pro-Beijing campaign to protect national flag

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Chinese megastar Jackie Chan has said that he was heartbroken by the mass unrest that has rattled his native Hong Kong, and supported the state TV’s initiative to protect the national flag ‘desecrated’ by protesters.

The world-famous actor and Kung Fu master Jackie Chan has thrown his weight behind Beijing over the mass protests that have swept the semi-autonomous city since March. In an interview with China’s state broadcaster CCTV, the Hollywood celebrity said it was “heartbreaking and worrying for many” to witness the violence gripping the former British colonial outpost.

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Chan said he had immediately joined the social media campaign launched by CCTV after a group of protesters took down a Chinese flag flying over Victoria Harbour and threw it into the sea. The incident took place earlier in August and saw the demonstrators replacing the red banner with flags sporting the words ‘Hong Kong independence.’

The incident has sparked outrage in mainland China and prompted former Hong Kong chief executive to put up a HK$1 million [US $127,000] reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrest. 

The campaign is called ‘Five-Star red flag has 1.4 billion guards’, which is a reference to China’s population size.

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“On one hand, I needed to express my most basic patriotism as a Hong Kong citizen and a Chinese. 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,” the actor told CCTV.

Hong Kong is my birthplace and my hometown. China is my country. I love my country. I love my hometown. I truly hope peace can return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.

Large-scale protests erupted in Hong Kong late March over a proposed law that would have allowed crime suspects to be handed over to the mainland. Although the law has since been suspended, the protests have only gained momentum, spiraling into fierce clashes with law enforcement. A recent spate of unrest has disrupted the operation of Hong Kong international airport, and saw police facing off with demonstrators in attempts to clear the terminals. Beijing has dubbed protesters “arrogant lunatics” that represent a “tiny minority” of the population, promising “imminent punishment” to those who engage in violence.

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