We’re pretty used to celebrities being the face of international causes and campaigns, whether it be global warming or genocide in Darfur. Then again, that’s probably because Americans have developed an outstanding capacity to listen to famous people weigh in on important topics like intellectual welterweights. But rarely do we see celebrities attend significant events: save Bono, the realm of actual policy is reserved for experts and politicians, leaving fundraisers and PR events for the publicity-minded.
Needless to say, we were pretty much shocked when we read that Jet Li stood in for Climate Change Minister Xie Zhenhua at one of the events at the Copenhagen Climate Change Convention. At the event, titled “China’s pathway to a low carbon economy and society,” the kung fu king told the international audience that he is ““100 percent made in China but a citizen of the world.”
We can’t think of many good reasons why Jet Li would weigh in on climate change in such an officially sanctioned way: maybe he’s acting as China’s warm-up guy for Wen Jiabao’s appearance tomorrow. We know he’s a philanthropist with his charity, One Foundation, but that’s not quite enough to obtain “fill-in-for-a-state-official-at-an-international-conference” status. In any case, maybe Jet Li’s appearance will fill everyone with happiness, so they can all get along and reach an agreement on limiting carbon emissions. Or maybe it will have the converse effect, and everyone will be moved to start kung fu fighting with bloodlust. We’ll just have to wait and see.
If you’re just reading up on Copenhagen news, check out our explanatory posting and news roundup. And in related news, ChinaSmack has a gallery of climate-change photos from the Chinese web accompanied by netizen’s reactions.