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Action star Jet Li has urged his fellow Chinese to be more charitable.

The 45-year-old star of The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor spoke to a group of entrepreneurs at a conference held by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba on Saturday, and explained his views on charity in China.

“Politely speaking, our charitable institutions in China are 20 years behind our economic development and reform,” Li said. “Speaking more directly, they are probably 30 years behind.”

He also explained that the concept of corporate social responsibility sometimes fosters the wrong attitude. While companies have money to make large donations, it is individual citizens who should take action.

Li has spent the last few months campaigning for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, and is declining all movie roles in 2008 to focus on his charity work.

Li also established the One Foundation to provide relief to victims of natural disasters, as well as youth suffering from mental health problems. He told the conference attendees a little about what inspired him to start the charity.

“Once I was in the hospital, being treated for a neck injury,” he explained. “While I was there, I could see that everyone, no matter where they were from, no matter whether they were rich or poor. Everyone has the same needs. Everyone cries.”

Li’s One Foundation asks people to give one dollar or one Chinese yuan – or one hour of their time – to charity each month.

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