It’s a tale of two sides of the Strait last week as the big scandal from last summer 2014 came to an end at nearly the same time for the two major participants involved. It’s nearly six months since the August 2014 shocking Beijing drug arrest of Taiwanese actor Kai Ko and Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan, better known as legendary martial arts star Jackie Chan’s only son. The two were swept up in China’s crackdown on drugs, an initiative started by PRC President Xi Jin Ping as part of his nationwide tightening of various laws and initiatives all aimed at righting public behavior.
Kai got off easier of the two, having been charged only for using marijuana and given a two week administrative detention before being released and kicked out of China. Jaycee was charged with the more serious offense of drug distribution, a crime that carried the specter of the death penalty in no-nonsense draconian drug law China. This past week Jaycee’s sentencing trial was held publicly as he admitted to the drug distribution, apologized for his misconduct, and vowed never to touch drugs again. He was given a small monetary fine and a six month sentence with credit for time served which means he’ll be out next month in early Feb in time for lunar new year. Kai coincidentally also returned to the limelight last week while attending his first public event as a spokesperson for a bag brand that retained him as a model.
Kai continues to look happy and healthy and never shies away from answering the media’s questions about his drug arrest, rehabilitation, determination never to use drugs again and be a role model for his fans, and in general his slow return to his entertainment career. Jaycee probably has less of a career to return to and also a steeper uphill climb to return to the public’s good graces. At least the his eventual sentence doesn’t seem overly harsh even by Chinese drug sentencing guidelines, and really let this be a lesson for anyone wanting to live and work in China without abiding by its drug laws. It’s not an argument over personal beliefs in which recreational drugs are safe to use, this very public sentencing trial was clearly intended to hammer home the point that “live in China, follow Chinese laws, otherwise get out and smoke your weed somewhere else.”