Nov 07, 2019 / 19:12

Jackie Chan widely boycotted in Vietnam for backing China’s illegal U-shaped line

The Hanoitimes - It is unknown whether Jackie, who has earned a huge number of fans in Vietnam, will come to Vietnam after this boycott call.

Vietnamese netizens have launched a call to boycott Hong Kong-based movie star Jackie Chan, who is set to come to Vietnam this week as Ambassador of Operation Smile, for his backing of China’s vast South China Sea claims.

Operation Smile Vietnam (OSV) on October 31 announced on its Facebook page that Jackie Chan will join a night event on November 10 in Hanoi to celebrate its 30th year of presence in the Southeast Asian country.

Netizens expressed their anger by adding a cross on a poster with the image of Jackie Chan carrying a child posted on OSV’s Facebook page. The poster has been removed from the page and replaced with a neutral one.

 A poster originally posted on OSV's Facebook page, with a cross.

The post received an angry backlash from netizens with a large number of “Angry face” reactions, saying that the 55-year-old action movie star does not deserve to be an Operation Smile ambassador because he denied his own child and publicly supported China’s nine-dash line.
The vague nine-dash line, aka U-shaped line, represents China’s illegal claims which cover more than 80% of the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam. The line has stirred protest from the Vietnamese public.

Many Facebook users commented that they appreciate what the OSV has done in Vietnam but strongly protest Jackie’s presence in the country in any position. They also suggested Operation Smile not bring Jackie to such a special event.
“Boycott Jackie Chan! Jackie Chan does not deserve to be the ambassador of the Operation Smile Vietnam” has gone viral on internet and repeatedly seen at the comment section of OSV’s Facebook page.  

Facebook user Phuong Nam wrote: “We are against Jackie Chan as Ambassador of the meaningful Operation Smile. His image will destroy all the good deeds offered by the program for children because he does not deserve to be a father for refusing to recognize his own child and backing the nine-dash line that violates our homeland’s sacred sovereignty”.

“Jackie Chan, don’t ever hope to enter our country,” Phuong Nam emphasized.

It is unknown whether Jackie, who has earned a huge number of fans in Vietnam, will come to Vietnam. Jackie came to Vietnam in 2009 to attend an Operation Smile event.

Asked to comment on this widespread boycott, Deputy Spokesperson Ngo Toan Thang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a regular press meeting on Thursday that he was not aware of this information.

Thang, however, said: “As we have asserted many times before, Vietnam has sufficient legal ground and historical evidence to assert our sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands.”

Speaking to Tuoi Tre Online, Nguyen Viet Phuong, chief representative of OSV, said that Operation Smile is a charity organization, bearing neither political nor religious stance. Its ultimate goal is to bring smile to and change life of children with mouth defects.

Phuong said that Jackie Chan’s charity efforts have been recognized globally and in Vietnam as well. Coming to Vietnam in 2009, “he brought positive optimism to patients and their families. That’s what we highly appreciate”.

Phuong did not directly answer whether Jackie will return to Vietnam given the boycott call. “As a charity organization, we always respect support from all individuals,” said the representative.

Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper quoted Phuong as saying that Jackie would not attend a press meeting by Operation Smile on November 8 in Ho Chi Minh City. South Korean star Hajiwon will be present at the meeting.