Action star Jackie Chan, who stirred controversy with his comments on limiting people's right to protest, has been named a Hong Kong delegate to China's top political advisory body.
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference standing committee member Chan Wing-kee, who has seen the proposed list of members who will serve for the next five-year term, said yesterday the Hollywood actor's name was on the list.
One of the incumbents, TV actress Liza Wang Ming-chun, was said to have kept her membership, while actor and director Stephen Chow Sing-chi was also recently appointed to the Guangdong chapter of the CPPCC.
Political observer Dr Chung Kim-wah, of Polytechnic University, described Chan's appointment - yet to be officially announced - as "another political vase" for decoration's sake.
"I don't expect there's anything revolutionary Chan can or will do for Hong Kong in the CPPCC, which is largely a talk shop," said Chung.
"But for him, it is very good because he can more strongly secure the China market."
Chan's latest movie, CZ12, released in December, reportedly broke China's box office records, earning more than US$130 million in just its first three weeks.
The film has a patriotic theme that sees Chan on a quest to steal 12 ancient Chinese zodiac statues taken by Western forces during the 1840s Opium Wars.
Chan, 58, has drawn criticism in recent years over his perceived pro-Beijing political stance.
"[Chan] knows that his future, and Hong Kong's future, is in China," said cultural critic Perry Lam Pui-li. "If his market were still in Hong Kong, he wouldn't have made those comments."
Chan came under fire in December after he told a newspaper that the city's authorities should stipulate what issues people could protest about.