JACKIE Chan has suggested protests should be restricted in Hong Kong.

The action star lamented that the semi-autonomous Chinese city has become a city of protest, where people "scold China, scold the leaders, scold anything, protest against anything".

"There should be regulations on what can and cannot be protested," Chan said, though did not say what kinds of protests needed restricting.

Loading article content

The star of movies such as Rush Hour and Rumble In The Bronx triggered a backlash three years ago with similar comments.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. Residents are fiercely proud of the Western-style civil liberties they enjoy that are not seen on the mainland, including the freedom to demonstrate.

Chan also reflected on how different Hong Kong was before 1997. He said: "Hong Kong in the British era was not so free. Did you hear so much gossipy news? Were there so many taking to the streets? No. Very well behaved. The British badly repressed us."

The city has been the scene lately of a rising number of protests by people upset with Beijing-backed leader Leung Chun-ying, a lack of full democracy and China's growing influence.

In 2009, Chan sparked outrage when he said he was "beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled".