Christian Bale Blocked From Visiting Chinese Human Rights Activist (See Video)
12/16/2011 8:22am EST
Christian Bale was rounded on by authorities as he tried to meet with an activist under home arrest in China.
The Dark Knight star made an eight-hour car journey from Beijing to visit Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights campaigner who has been detained in his home for 15 months.
However, upon reaching a checkpoint near the village of Dongshigu, Bale and a CNN camera crew were jostled by plain-clothes officers and turned away.
In footage of the incident, Bale can be heard asking through a translator, "Why can I not visit this man?" as the officials attempted to grab the group's cameras. The actor then returned to his vehicle to leave, but the guards refused to let him out of their sight and pursued him in a van for more than half an hour.
During the chase, Bale explains his motivation for the visit, insisting, "What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is. I'm not brave doing this. The local people who are standing up to the authorities, who are visiting Chen and his family and getting beaten or detained, I want to support them..."
"This doesn't come naturally to me, this is not what I actually enjoy - it isn't about me. But this was just a situation that said I can't look the other way."
The Welsh star is currently in the country promoting The Flowers of War, his new drama set in 1930s China.