Jackie Chan, left, and Feng Xiaogang, March 11. (Photo/Xinhua)
Action star Jackie Chan said on Tuesday that he did not fall asleep during a session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference after photos of him rubbing his eyes and dozing off were spread on the internet, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.
During Tuesday's meeting of the national political advisory body in Beijing, around a third of the 48 members of the conference's culture and art group were absent, including comedian and director Zhao Benshan. Most of these members are the elite talent in their industry so they are all very busy, said the group's chief Chen Xiaoguang.
Chan, now in his second year as a member of the CPPCC, sought to give an explanation for the unflattering photos of him, adding that he attended the meetings every day and sat in the front row at the Great Hall of the People. Film director Feng Xiaogang also called the photos a misunderstanding, saying Chan accidentally got grease in his eyes when he rubbed his face.
The presence of Chan and Feng as well as fellow directors Zhang Guoli and Chen Kaige, not to mention Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan, all members of the group, have turned media reports on the meetings into something of a red-carpet celebrity watch. Soon after Chan arrived at the hall for a meeting on Sunday, reporters asked him for his autograph. The Hong Kong star obligingly turned out to sign a thick pile of autographs before the meeting began and was interrupted three times for more signatures, as well as being snapped at close range hundreds of times on cameras and smartphones.
As someone who has played many movie roles over the years as hero cops and fighters for justice, Chan was asked to make suggestions on China's legal system. The actor said he has been as helpless as any other member of the public since he has been unable to develop a property due to red tape. His application for the property's development has gone unapproved for seven years because he refused to resort to back-door methods to get it done, he said.
Zhao Benshan 趙本山
Chen Xiaoguang 陳曉光
Feng Xiaogang 馮小剛
Zhang Guoli 張國立
Jackie Chan 成龍
Chen Kaige 陳凱歌
Mo Yan 莫言