As China employs a more muscular drug-control policy, the local entertainment industry is under the gun to comply with state regulations. In the wake of an increasingly utilitarian approach towards deterring citizens from drug use and curbing high-profile decadence, movie star Jackie Chan’s son, actor-singer Jaycee Chan was arrested in Beijing after he tested positive for marijuana, reported Reuters.
Jaycee, 32, was taken into custody last Thursday along with his friend, Taiwanese movie star Ko Chen-tung (Kai Ko), 23, for possessing the drug that both the actors admitted to using. Beijing police said they found over three-and-a-half ounces of marijuana at Jaycee’s house, the Telegraph reported. Jaycee and Chen-tung were arrested in central Beijing after police received a tip-off from residents. A third man named Song was arrested for dealing the drugs found in Jaycee’s possession.
Chen-tung was part of an anti-drug campaign two years ago, in which he joined other celebrities in publicly declaring: “I don’t use drugs,” reported abcnews.go. Interestingly, Jaycee’s father Jackie served as a goodwill ambassador of the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education.
Jackie maintains strong influence in China, where he is a member of the advisory body People’s Political Consultative Conference, a spokesperson for the Chinese political system and an investor in mainland property and film, reported Quartz. But given the country’s ragingly staunch policy on drug use, it seems unlikely that Jackie’s personal ties with local authorities will take precedence over national needs.
Of his relationship with Jaycee, Jackie once said, “I really don’t know if I’m a good father because I’ve never looked after my son... The one time I went to pick him up [from school], I went to the wrong one,” reported straitstimes.com.
Jackie, who arrived in Beijing following the incident, expressed shame and sadness over his son’s detention on drug charges and made a public apology on his behalf. He took to his microblog and said that Jaycee would have to face the consequences of his actions, but that the two will do so together.
“Regarding this issue with my son Jaycee, I feel very angry and very shocked. As a public figure, I’m very ashamed. As a father, I’m heartbroken,” wrote Jackie. “Jaycee and I together express our deep apology to society and the public. I hope all young people will learn a lesson from Jaycee and stay far from the harm of drugs.”
The Chinese government has paced up detaining of celebrities found with drugs, conducting random drug tests at bars and pressurising institutions to ensure they don’t hire people with a record of drug use, reported the Guardian. Spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has been aiming towards installing this anti-drug crackdown. He said in June that China would “harshly crack down” on narcotics, state media reported.
Last week, Chinese actor Gao Hu, 40, was detained for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. Over the past six months, he was the ninth celebrity to have been arrested for drug possession. Drug-related crimes carry harsh penalties in China including death or life imprisonment in serious cases.
According to a government white paper, China lends great importance to “attending to drug control as a vital matter involving the rise and fall of the Chinese nation.” The government holds that drugs “disrupt” and “endanger” the country’s national security and sustainable development. With domestic stability pivotal to China’s peaceful rise, its current war on drugs can only be expected to become more aggressive.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.
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