By Alice Jones
The Chinese actor and martial artist Jackie Chan, whose latest role is as a spokesman for the Beijing Olympics in August, has described China's human rights record in Tibet as "ancient history" and accused protesters of being attention-grabbing contrarians seeking television fame.
"It is sad, very sad," Chan told The Independent. "But I am the Olympic ambassador and I just want to say: Olympics is Olympics. You cannot mix sports with politics. Olympics for me is love, peace, united. In every country when they have [the] Olympics, a lot of people come out opposed. This year everyone is concentrated on China but it doesn't just happen in China, it happens everywhere."
The Hong Kong-born action star, 54, dismissed the international condemnation that followed China's brutal crackdown in Tibet in April, when troops killed and arrested Tibetan dissidents.
Referring to this year's Olympic torch relay, which was halted in London as protesters surrounded the runners, Chan said the human rights activists were "just naughty boys [who] want to be on TV". He added: "They know if they can get the torch, then they can get on TV." He insisted Tibet was "ancient history", saying: "That's not just two or three years, that's like a million years... of myths. Nobody can solve this kind of problem."