Yesterday the Beijing police confirmed that Jaycee Chan (房祖名; Fang Zuming), the son of martial arts film star Jackie Chan, and Taiwanese Actor Ke Zhendong (柯震東, also spelt Ko Chen-tung in Taiwan’s Wade-Giles system) were arrested on August 14 in the Chinese capital on charges of drug use.
The 23-year-old Ke Zhendong had achieved notoriety on both sides of the Taiwan Strait with the 2011 romantic film You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩, literally “Those Years, The Girl We Chased Together”). Ke is accused of drug consumption and faces 14 days in prison.
Jaycee Chan, however, is accused of a much more serious crime. The police found in his Beijing residence 100 grams of marijuana which was probably destined for other people’s consumption. He faces a prison sentence of up to 4 years.
In a video made public by China’s state television CCTV, Ke Zhendong apologised to “his family, friends and everyone who supports him“. He stated that he had done something bad and given “the worst example“. In the meantime, Ke Zhendong’s parents have apologised to the public for their son’s misbehaviour, following a traditional Confucian belief in interrelated familial responsibility.
Jaycee Chan is the only son of martial artist and actor Jackie Chan and of retired Taiwanese actress Lin Fengjiao. Born in December 1984, Jaycee pursued a career in show business, but without achieving his parents’ success. He has starred in several films, which were all major flops. One of them, Double Trouble, a Taiwanese production, grossed only 9000 dollars at the box office, making it one of the biggest failures of all times.
In 1997 Jaycee was sent by his father to a private school in California and later he enrolled at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. However, he dropped out of college because he wanted to be a musician. Enraged by his son’s flops, in 2011 Jackie Chan declared that he would donate his entire fortune to charity. “If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money,” he said.
Jaycee’s arrest is a big blow to Jackie Chan’s image. He is not only a super star, but also one of the “global faces” of China’s Communist state. Chan is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body, and some of his public statements seem to suggest that he prefers a mild autocratic rule to democratic freedom. “If you’re too free, you’re like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic,” Chan said in 2009. “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”