Those with close ties to former Chinese Communist Party head Jiang Zemin have suffered investigations, prison sentences, and purges as current leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has moved relentlessly through the Party. Now, a superstar has been embarrassed due to his connections to the former leader, say analysts.
Police only reported the news of the arrest on Aug. 18. Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko was arrested with Jaycee Chan at Jackie Chan’s house in Beijing. 100 grams (3.53 ounces) of marijuana was seized, and Jaycee Chan is put under criminal detention by the Dongcheng Police Department on the charge of accommodating drug users.
On Aug. 19, the Party mouthpiece Chinese Central Television (CCTV) aired footage of Jaycee Chan stating that he started to take drugs eight years ago and keeps drugs at home. Kai Ko was shown wearing a prison uniform, being ashamed and in tears, and confessing to being guilty.
Forcing a public confession in public has often been used by the Chinese Communist regime since Mao Zedong’s time. The confessions warn others while humiliating those who confess.
The Hong Kong-born actor Jackie Chan has played a role in mainland China’s politics, serving as a member of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s political advisory body.
He has gained notoriety, and also inspired a good deal of resentment, for a string of controversial, pro-CCP remarks Chan made to the media: “Hong Kong and Taiwan are chaotic because they’ve got too much freedom,” “Chinese people need to be controlled,” and “Taiwan’s election is a joke.”
According to Zhao Xiaohui, a senior Taiwanese financial journalist, officials as well-connected in China as Jackie Chan would normally be able to get their sons out of trouble. That Chan couldn’t is telling.
In a commentary, Zhao wrote that Chan’s son’s arrest sends out a message that the political power behind Chan has fallen down. China is a nation ruled by men, and not by laws, Zhao points out, and so individual power and status is the key consideration.
Jackie Chan has strong connections in the faction surrounding Jiang Zemin.
For instance, Chan has a close relationship with Bo Guagua, the son of the disgraced former CCP official Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison in September 2013. Bo Guagua invited Chan to Oxford University in the UK in 2008 to give a speech. Photos from the Hong Kong news outlet Takungpao show Jackie Chan in a Kung Fu pose on stage with Bo standing next to him.
Chan also has close ties with the Chinese folk singer, Song Zuying, whose is widely believed to be Jiang Zemin’s mistress. A photo of Chan intimately putting his cheek on Song’s cheek from the back with one hand holding her shoulder was taken at the CPPCC session on March 5 this year.
Chan intimately puts his cheek on Song Zuying’s cheek from the back with one hand holding her shoulder at the CPPCC session in Beijing on March 5, 2014. Song Zuying is widely believed to be Jiang Zemin’s mistress. (Screenshot/takungpao.com)
Zhao says the arrest of Chan’s son is “just an effect of Xi Jinping’s rectification of Jiang’s power.” A number of high officials that followed Jiang have been sacked in the past year. The biggest “tiger” taken down so far has been Zhou Yongkang, former czar of China’s security system and Jiang’s loyal lieutenant. Zhou was formally put under investigation on July 29.
Even Jiang’s rumored mistress, Song, has disappeared from public view for more than a month. Rumor has spread in Chinese society and in overseas Chinese media that Song has actually been put under investigation by the anti-corruption team and the military (Song is an officer in the People’s Liberation Army) due to her ties to Jiang Zemin.
Some say the date that the arrest of Chan’s son was announced was significant.
The day before, Aug. 17, a large protest was held in Hong Kong against the democracy movement there. Many of the protesters were found to be from mainland China and paid US$50 each to join the protest.
Coincidentally, Aug. 17 is also Jiang Zemin’s 88th birthday. Some have speculated that the Hong Kong protesters were hired by Jiang’s faction.
“Throwing the news of Chan’s son out right after the 17th is not only to scare Chan, but also meant to warn those in Jiang’s faction who are behind Chan,” wrote Chen Simin, a political commentator.