Actor Simon Yam recovering in hospital following stabbing

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam speaks during a news conference to promote his movie ‘Nightfall’ in Seoul. (Reuters pic)

BEIJING: Hong Kong film star Simon Yam is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in the stomach while on stage for a promotional event in southern China, state media said Monday.

Yam, 64, is currently in an intensive care unit in Hong Kong after undergoing surgery and “remains in critical condition”, said state-run Global Times.

The veteran actor was stabbed by a man wielding a fruit knife on Saturday during a promotional event in Zhongshan, southern Guangdong province.

The attacker ran onto the stage and stabbed and slashed at Yam while he was on stage, video broadcast on local media showed.

The suspect — a 53-year-old surnamed Chen — suffers from schizophrenia, they added, citing a mental health assessment conducted after he was taken into police custody.

Yam has cancelled all work appointments following the knife attack, according to the state-run China Daily.

“We are extremely shocked by this incident,” Yam’s management company said in a Weibo statement on Saturday.

The Hong Kong actor has over 200 film and TV credits to his name, according to IMDB, including an appearance as a crime lord in the 2003 adventure movie “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life”.

Knife attacks are not uncommon in China, where violent crime has been on the rise in recent decades as the nation’s economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.

Studies have also described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.

Last October, a woman attacked and injured 14 children with a knife at a kindergarten in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

In April 2018, a knife-wielding man killed seven middle school children and injured 12 others as they returned home in northern China.

The suspect later confessed that he had been “bullied” while attending the same school as a child and had “hated” his classmates.