Actor Christian Bale, in China to promote 'The Flowers of War,' tussled with thugs as he tried to visit Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Was the encounter a bit self-promotional or helpful?
Far be it from me to suggest that Christian Bale, the Oscar winning Hollywood star who made his name as Batman, is anything but a noble warrior for international human rights.
But it is hard not to detect a smidgeon of self-promotion in his latest stunt – getting himself filmed by CNN being roughed up by Chinese thugs during a vain attempt to visit Chen Guangcheng, a famous human rights activist who has been under house arrest for the past 15 months.
Mr. Bale is in China to promote his latest movie “The Flowers of War,” about the brutal Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937, which some critics have panned as Chinese propaganda. His successful televised bid to draw world attention to the illegal detention of one of the sharpest thorns in the Chinese government’s side has certainly undercut such criticism.
CNN said Bale contacted the network’s Beijing office asking for help in visiting Mr. Chen, whose village in eastern China has been locked down by plainclothes security men for more than a year. Diplomats, journalists, and ordinary Chinese citizens have been violently turned away whenever they have sought to visit the blind lawyer who helped alleged victims of forced abortions.