The one who should be embarrassed about Christian Bale's recent scuffle with Chinese government guards is Bale, not China, a government spokesman said Wednesday.
China had been widely suspected in the West to be embarrassed by the run-in earlier this week, but according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, the blame rested solely on Bale, who recently shot the big-budget, government-backed historical epic "The Flowers of War" in China.
"He was not invited to fabricate news," said Liu. "If you want to make up news in China, you will not be welcome here."
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Bale had been trying to visit an activist who is effectively under house arrest. Blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng documented forced abortions and sterilizations in reproach of the government's population policies, and Bale said he was hoping to "meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is."
But the security guards who patrol Chen's house around the clock had other ideas. CNN's footage showed the "Batman" star being ordered to leave and then jostled by the guards.
"The Flowers of War," a project of China's state-controlled movie industry that's directed by feted filmmaker Zhang Yimou, is the most expensive movie ever made in China. It tells the story — a biased, historically inaccurate and propagandistic one, say critics — of the 1937 rape of Nanjing. It opens next week in the U.S.