Jackie Chan has dismissed the controversy online over his cuddling of a singer at a political meeting in Beijing as "a lot of fuss over nothing", according to a mainland media report.
The actor said at a press conference publicising his upcoming birthday concert that he was a friendly and tactile man, the China News Service reported. He said he was amazed by the publicity that pictures of him greeting Song Zuying had created.
Photos of Chan approaching Song from behind and snuggling cheek to cheek at an arts and culture group meeting at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference last week went viral online.
Some internet users accused the actor of flirting with the 47-year-old singer, who is the director of a People's Liberation Army song and dance troupe. They reminded him that he was attending the country's top political advisory body, not going to a night club or on a date.
"That day, I was behind her. She turned her head, saw me and said 'Oh, it's you,'" he said. "I'm always like this. Only this time it was photographed and published."
Chan moved close to Chun Ni, who was hosting Monday's press conference, and pressed his cheek next to hers twice.
"Do you want to be in the headlines?" he laughed.
"It's a lot of fuss over nothing. This is a very normal thing. I was just like this with Chun Ni. Will this also make the headlines tomorrow?"
Chan has invited 1,000 fans from 52 countries to his 60th birthday concert on April 6 in Beijing, according to the report.
He will pay for their travel expenses and take them on a tour of the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and on a trip to eat Peking duck.
The fans will all also fly with him to Shanghai to visit the Jackie Chan museum, JC Film Gallery.
Stars including Jay Chou, Wang Lee-hom, Coco Lee and Kim Hee-sun have confirmed they would be attending the concert, although the report did not make clear who would be performing.
When asked whether he would invite Song to the event, Chan said: "I have invited too many people this time. If I invite Song Zuying then I'll also have to invite [folk singers] Chen Sisi and Liu Huanhuan.
"It's very hard to choose who to invite and who not to invite."