In Jun'an town, Shunde city, Guangdong province, several hundred employees of a garment factory assembled.  The company person-in-charge made a public speech, and then 200 employees used scissors to cut up more than 1,000 pairs of jeans into pieces.  According to the company person-in-charge, these jeans were manufactured last week.  Before they were shipped out to sell at the company's four retail subsidiaries, it was discovered that there were quality problems.  "The problem was about the color matching.  During the production process, the workers had used cloth material from different dye vats to make the jeans.  This meant that a large number of jeans had different shades of colors.  In the worst case, one pair of jeans had four shades of colors."  He said that this was not the first time that this had happened.  It would be wrong for the company to distribute these jeans into the market as a "new style" which the consumers can observe.  Therefore, the company chose to stop work for a day and assemble the workers to explain and reflect.  The jeans were estimated to be worth 120,000 RMB in the market.

The company person-in-charge said that the action was done purely for internal reasons as opposed to a publicity stunt.  He also said that he does not want to make enemies with other companies which would have sold the imperfect jeans at discount price.


As mentioned before, this story had a twist.  The woman posted the video in order to embarrass Maxim and the chef.  Instead, the netizens reacted strongly against the aggressive behavior of his "Kong girl."  They did not hear what the chef said to her in the first place, but they can hear what she said in the video.  Instead of a consumer boycott campaign against Maxim, there was a concerted effort to dig out the background of the woman.  The woman has removed the video, but netizens have uploaded backup copies (search for the term 快餐店亞叔).

In addition, there were rumors that the woman eventually called the police and the chef was fired by Maxim as a result.  So there is a threatened consumer boycott campaign against Maxim unless they keep the chef on the job.  Maxim has responded that the chef is still employed but is now working in a different restaurant.

港女 : 講鴉 你頭先講乜o野呀
美心女職員: (半咸淡廣東話)唔好意思呀對唔住唔好意思
港女: 你講乜o野呀
燒臘佬: 關你撚事咩 叫咩名
美心女職員: (咁住燒臘佬) 喂 唔好 唔好咁樣呀你
美心女職員: 呀小姐呀 唔好意思
港女: 唔你我傻呀 你失禮炸 你係度做
燒臘佬: 走啦
港女: 佢話打撚死我喎 你就出黎打撚死我囉
美心女職員: 對唔住 唔好意思呀小姐 唔好意思 唔好意思
港女: 出黎鴉
港女男友 : 唔係唔好意思呀拿
港女: 依家就出黎
港女: 洗唔洗幫你報警呀
港女: 縮手呀
港女男友 : 你咪唔講粗口呀拿
美心女職員: 唔好意思呀小姐唔好意思yo
港女男友 : 你講咩o野呀 講多次鴉 !!
燒臘佬2號: 呀唔好意思 唔好意思
港女: 唔緊要o架唔緊要o架 出黎鴉 我唔驚o架 香港黎o架呢度 你估邊度呀 依度邊度呀
港女男友: 你講粗口鬧人o架 你有冇禮貌o架
燒臘佬2號 : 對唔住呀對唔住
港女: 你對唔住就真 不過我都投訴你 拍o左短片......同你公司投訴你o架啦
港女男友: xxxx新黎
港女: 經理係邊度呀
港女: 經理係邊? 呀陳生啊, Clerk 黎o架, 啊Supervisor 你經理係邊呀
美心女職員: 係 搵經理係咪呀
港女: 係呀
美心女職員: 我地有個同事出去搵緊佢o架啦, 麻煩你等一陣呀 唔好意思呀 我地會搵個經理出黎解釋返件事o架啦
港女: 唔, 好哇.
美心女職員: 唔好意思呀
美心女職員2: 你係咪叉X飯 洗唔洗XX比你呀小姐
經理: 爭乜o野爭乜o野

Q. When you wrote the essay to oppose the Carrefour boycott, were you prepared to be cursed out?
A. At first, that was just a short essay about the Olympic torch relay written for the sports page of a website.  After it was labelled by the media as "Bai Yansong opposes the Carrefour boycott," it became a controversy among netizens.  On one hand, this was not my original intention.  On the other hand, I was deeply gratified because it is a form of democracy to be able to debate in public.  But when debate crosses the line to become a struggle, it makes me feel bad.

Q. Ten years ago, it was protesting against the United States.  Four years ago, it was protesting against Japan.  Now there is a boycott of Carrefour.  Do you feel the same way?  What did you think and do back then?
A.  Everything began with anger, which will probably dissipate soon enough like the wind.  We were expressing our feelings but we cannot stand still on the same grounds.  The Seventeenth Congress has clearly placed democracy ahead for China.  Perhaps we can quickly jump out of the Carrefour affair and move on to contemplate how we can make the process of democratization quicker and more stable by elevating the quality, method and mentality for democracy.
Having gone through the initialization of democracy in the 1980's, I can easily understand how young people can be inflamed by patriotic passions.  But today's young people should also understand how the patriotism of a middle-aged person has evolved to become more reasoned and worried with the responsibility for persisting and constructing.  Yelling is one form of patriotism, and rationality is another.  But it takes much effort to be rational than to yell.  When the Chinese embassy got bombed in Serbia, I was conducting a television show and I said something that I can still remember today: "The true response must be to make our nation become stronger."

Q. How can one be rationally patriotic as you say?  Isn't emotional patriotism good enough?
A. "I disagree with your opinion, but I will defend your right to speak."  This is an important cornerstone of democracy.  It is your choice not to go to Carrefour, but other people are free to shop there.  When you forcibly deprive or interfere with other people's rights and freedom, this is not only undemocratic but it is another form of violence and dictatorship.
One must be restrained by rationality when one expresses one's voices.  One must observe the legal and moral bottom lines.  When passions coalesce, it is easy to step past the line with bad consequences.  Since the law does not hold bar these expressions, people seldom reflect and discipline themselves and they will repeat the same thing the next time.  The attraction of democracy is rationality.  A democracy not supported by rationality is destructive as opposed to constructive.

Q. In the view of certain people, we are facing huge threats and challenges.
A: We must say farewell to the simplistic duality of black versus white, or right versus wrong.  When someone says, "If you don't boycott Carrefour, you are supporting France," the logic does not hold.  If you simply divide people into either enemies or friends, you create more enemies and your views run into obstacles.  Among the people that you consider to be your enemies, many are really your friends.

Q. If you were there at the scene and you saw the boycotters, would you try to stop them?
A. As an individual, it is hard for you to say anything.  You may makes things worse.  At those moments, it is necessary to use a public platform.

Q.  Regrettably, we lack education and training in democracy.
A.  We now have opportunity to speak out.  Democracy is a good thing and we have begun to articulate the voices inside our hearts about the road to democracy for China.  When the people of Xiamen went out to stroll to protest the PX project and the citizens of Shanghai used group buying to oppose the Maglev, we can see the creativity and increasing rationality and self-restraint of the Chinese people in the face of democracy.
The easily invoked patriotic passion may seem invincible, but it is actually a double-edged sword.
Concerning what has happened, we don't need to be overly concerned even though there were some worrisome things.  If there had been some calm thinking during the heat of passion, this could be a good lesson in democracy.  Amidst this, the government, the media and the expert scholars should perform their duties.  It could be disastrous if someone suppress, or indulge, or exploit, or even just pander to the situation.  These passionate young people are the cornerstones of the future democracy, and the Internet and mobile phones will be new media that will play an important role in that democratization process.  The coordination and enhancement between the two will be required for the Chinese democratization process.  Of course, the country needs to learn how to use the standard rules of democratic societies in order to express its own voices more convincingly.  This is an urgently needed educational lesson.

Q. For the Chinese media, are there certain rigid ideas that affected them in speaking out rationally?
A. It is the mission of the media to be rational.  In the past, we were accustomed to people saying how good we were.  After a while, it seems that everybody was saying nice things about us.  During the Serbian affair, I said that the world is never as simple and kind as we imagined, because there are complicated relationships.  In normal communication, we should be able to hear both the good and bad things from overseas.  This will gradually immunize our audiences.  When something specific happens, we will know how to use international standard rules to communicate our own voices more effectively.  This is not about publishing editorials over a short period of time.  This is about using multiple voices from people telling their own stories and making appeals using common language and sentiments.

(  The photo appeared at N24 on April 21, 2008.  The title is "Propaganda War: China begins re-education in Tibet."  The accompanying photo shows three Chinese police officers and three elderly Tibetan monks.  The photo does not appear to be captioned.  But if you move your mouse cursor over the photo, a caption appears: "Chinese police watching a ceremony for Tibetan monks in Beijing."

The issue is not even about using a Beijing photo of a religious ceremony for a story about re-education (if you insist, the informal term is 'brain-washing').  Some of these religious ceremonies are attended by large crowds and the police are present to maintain public order.  The problem here is that the Chinese netizens are having big problems with the photo itself.

The first technical problem is that the police uniforms date back to the 1990's as confirmed by archived photos over the years.  The best guess is that the policemen were filmed in 1998.  In addition, the third policeman who is only partially available in the rear is actually from a different branch of the police.

The bigger problem can be determined by studying the photo carefully yourself.  The more one looks at the details, the more illogical problems are discerned  For example, there is sunlight on the chest of the policeman in the middle, but nobody else is getting any sun.  Furthermore, the lighting angles on the faces of the monks are coming from different directions.  Finally, a lot more is discernible if the photo is magnified in PhotoShop whereupon one can discern the typical lines of pasting around the edges of the persons.  This photo is apparently a composite with the people coming from several other photos.

This photo is generating more response and indignation than much more worse gaffes.  Why?  Because just as in the South China tiger affair, there is a technical group project here and that generates interest.  There is also competition among the various forums to be the first to come up with the conclusive analysis (such as finding the photos where the people first appeared in).

[in translation]

The following is a discussion of the tactics for the meetings between representatives of the Beijing government and the Dalai Lama.  There is nothing here about the substance of the meetings.

China is prepared to make contact with the Dalai Lama for the purpose of understanding his intentions and views of the current situation as well as preparing for future negotiations.

The Chinese government has to be careful about its policy towards the Dalai Lama.  On the one hand, it has to consider the various forces within the Tibet independence movement.  It has to consider whether the Dalai Lama is a relevant factor: it is possible that the Dalai Lama has lost his influence in the Tibet independence movement because his policies have been ineffective.  (The strong and uncompromising stance of the Chinese government has to a certain extent caused an internal rupture within the Tibet independence movement.)  Over time, the Dalai Lama will become less and less useful.

Secondly, the Chinese government has to consider whether the Tibet Youth Council and other radical movements are relevant factrors: if these groups decide to employ violence and thus ruin the Dalai Lama's established "brand" of non-violence within the international community over the years, the Chinese government can suppress them in the name of anti-terrorism.  Militarily speaking, China has no fear about the radicals.  Even if China refuses to negotiate at all, it can still use the internal divisions within the Tibet independence movement to achieve results.

But refusal to negotiate with the Dalai Lama will put China in an awkward position internationally.  The Dalai Lama is making a request that deserves some respect and China should show the willingness to hold a dialogue to solve the problem.  The Dalai Lama has broad influence internationally, and he has the sympathy of many western citizens, social groups and politicians.  The Dalai Lama is also influential in the Tibetan areas of China.  The Dalai Lama is still the undeniable spiritual leader of the Tibet independence movement.  Even if the negotiations failed to deliver any results (just like the previous six rounds), the Chinese government can point out that the Dalai Lama side was intransigent and that may be convincing.  Certain western observers have already recognized that the demands of the Dalai Lama for a high degree of autonomy are impractical and have asked him to use his political wisdom and pragmatism to make concessions.  By opening the gate to reach out to the Dalai Lama, China stands to win international approval regardless of the outcome.

Therefore, China should have a dialogue with the Dalai lama.


In the western theory of negotiations, the action is not just at the table.  Rather, there has to be preparations beforehand (building up public opinion, changing the language of discourse and influencing the interest groups at the third level); the determination of the agenda, goals and strategies (at the second level); and the actual discussion at the table (including the interaction techniques at the first level).

On China's side: From the viewpoint of the world at large, there were disturbances in Tibet and China was subjected to international criticisms and unfair treatment.  The Olympics are politicized and interfered with.  If they are making contact with the Dalai Lama now, then they appear to be disadvantaged.  In reality, the action of the Tibet independence movement has increased the distrust and alienation of the Chinese government towards the Dalai Lama, and thus make any negotiation between the two sides infinitely more difficult.  The Tibet independence movement people must realize that the Chinese government may not like a soft approach but they will never accept a hard approach.  The Tibet disturbances, the biased western media coverage and the subsequent protests during the Olympic torch relay has gained the Chinese government tremendous support from its citizens over the Tibet issue (to the point where this support has become a pressure that limits its options).  Presently, the Chinese government continues to build its public support and this will become a powerful bargaining chip.  Insofar as three-dimension negotiations, China has been very successfully domestically but it is relatively less so internationally.

On the Dalai Lama's side: They have certain international support and sympathy and they are the special opportunity of the Olympics.  Yet, the Chinese government is more concerned about support and stability within China.  International opinion cannot help the situation too much.  China is the key towards the resolution of the Tibet problem.  Besides, the Dalai Lama has publicly stated that he supports the Beijing Olympics.  At this point, linking the Tibet issue with the Olympics can only cause even bigger blowback inside China.  Therefore, the Dalai Lama is unlikely to cause trouble for China over the Olympics and thus increase his estrangement from China.

Finally, the Dalai Lama has a time crisis that China does not have.  The Dalai Lama needs to solve the problem quickly but China is in no hurry.  As the Dalai Lama grows older, the movement that he leads will be a total failure if he cannot use his own influence to resolve the problem or at least bring the solution closer.  At the same time, if the Dalai Lama fails to make progress in his dialogue with China, then he must have to worry about losing his credibility among the radical elements within his movement.

In summary, the Dalai Lama is standing out in the open while China is standing in the shadows.  The Dalai is a successful political leader internationally, but he has been a failure in his dealings with China with many dreadful mistakes.  As far as public relations is concerned, the Dalai Lama must realize that while his efforts in the west are successful, the problem is going to have to solve through "public relations" with the Chinese people.  The Chinese government and the Chinese people are the ones who can solve the Tibet problem.  He needs to use all possible channels and he needs to take all possible actions.

Finally, we look at the cards.  The Chinese government clearly holds the upper hand.  Apart from the support of the people, they also see that the Dalai Lama is getting old.  China only has to quietly wait for his demise (that is, disappearing physically from the international stage) and then bring up a new Dalai Lama.  No matter whether this new Dalai Lama is recognized inside and outside of China, it is for certain that the next one or two decades afterwards will not see a new Dalai Lama with personal charisma conducting public relations campaign in the western world.  When that happens, the Tibet independence movement will drift into further confusion and division.

Just as the Olympic flame is about to reach Hong Kong and mainland China, the Guangdong province police have recently uncovered a case in which a cheap-rate factory in Guangdong was filling out orders by overseas Tibet splittist organizations to manufacture the snow-mountain-lion flags of Free Tibet.  The factory workers thought that they were just making some colorful flags.  But some workers had watched Hong Kong television and seen the flag before.  They also went on the Internet and checked.  When they found out what the flags were, they called the police immediately.  The Guangdong police intercepted several thousand printed flags that were packed for shipment, and they determined many people to assist in their investigation.  The factory owner said that the flags were ordered from overseas, and he did not know that these flags stand for Tibet independence.  The Guangdong police does not preclude the possibility that some of the flags had already been shipped overseas and may appear in Hong Kong during the Olympic torch relay there.  The Guangdong police has now intensified their inspection of cars heading to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

According to the Hong Kong Department of Security, demonstrators are entitled to express their opinions.  There is no Hong Kong law that prohibits the snow-mountain-lion flag.

(Associated Press)  Olympic torch relay ends in Japan without major incident.  By Jim Armstrong.

Heavy security and a large contingent of pro-Chinese supporters thwarted protesters' efforts Saturday to disrupt the Japanese leg of the Olympic torch relay.  On Saturday, police guards in track suits surrounded the torch bearers and another 100 uniformed riot police ran alongside six patrol cars and two motorcycles, largely preventing incidents. They were backed up by thousands of other police.

Only minor scuffles and protests broke out along the 11.6-mile route through the city that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics.  Five men were arrested separately during the relay. Three tried to charge the torch, a fourth threw eggs, and a fifth hurled tomatoes at the flame.  All were quickly pounced on by police, police official Akiko Fuseya said.

(Wenxue City)  According to eyewitnesses at the 69-th handoff point of the Olympic torch relay, a group of Japanese rightists charged into the motorcycle lane to confront some overseas Chinese students.  They grabbed the Chinese national flags in the students' hands and used the flag poles to poke at the Chinese behind the fence.  They also punched and kicked.  One Chinese student fell to the ground bleeding in the head.

Here  is an excerpt from the Adxonist blog:

[in translation]

Here, I am thinking about an interesting example.  There is a Hong Kong blog named ESWN that specializes in translating information from Chinese into English.  It is a principal source of information for many western media.  For the Tibet incident, ESWN translated many Chinese-language reports about Tibet.  One can say that those reports are very much leaning towards China's viewpoints but they were nevertheless cited by the western media.  But if you pay close attention, you will discover that ESWN that has often included many gory photos about police/municipal administrators beating people up.  Thus, the blog was still framed within the 'linguistic logic" of keywords such as "human rights," "abuse" and "democracy."  This makes it fit into the "linguistic logic" that the western media can accept (even though the western media may feel that the overall tone of the essays were unsuitable, the angle and structure of the narratives are nevertheless acceptable because they are on the same side).

With due respect, this is unfair to me as well as the 'western media.'  I am honored by the reference that ESWN is a "principal source of information for western media.'  This assertion was probably based upon Rebecca MacKinnon's survey of foreign correspondence (see link).  But the reasons given here are wrong.

What do I think why I should appeal to these western media workers?  I should think that I am a person who is able to spend a lot of time scouring through the Chinese (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas) Internet every day.  I do not have the time to translate every interesting item that I come across.  So I do what I can, and my selections necessarily reflect my predilections.  I choose whatever pleases me and the calculations of the 'western media' (I put the term in apostrophes because I have no idea what that means) do not matter to me at all.  If they like to cite me, so be it; it they won't, so be it too.  I do not live and write for the imaginary desires of the western media.

As for the specifics, the references in the Adxonist blog were probably about certain coincidental incidents such as Bloody Land Grab #1 and Bloody Land Grab #2.  This impression had to be based upon a cursory reading about those items.  After all, ESWN is best known for Statistics of Mass Incidents, which is a debunking of the standard western media narrative about mass incidents in China.  Upon information and belief, that ESWN blog post had an effect on subsequent reporting about mass incident.  If anything, I have frequently accused because of such posts that I must hate freedom, liberty, democracy and all that because I decline to recite the standard script.

I also don't proselytize on this blog.  I believe that if I were just another blogger sitting in his pyjamas and pounding the keyboard in the middle of the night to instruct people about the meaning of freedom and democracy (alternately, patriotism and loyalty), nobody would (and should) come here.  In fact, my belief is so strong that I don't allow reader comments.  In the May 4th 2008 issue of Yazzhou Zhoukan, there is this paragraph at the end of the editorial column:

In this wave of anti-western demonstrations, there were certain unpleasant reactions inside China.  On one side, certain people are over-excited and they hand out terms such as "Chinese traitors" and "treason."  On the other side, certain other people are charging people with being "brain-dead" and "fenqing (=shitty young people)."  On one side, those people are overly natoinalistic and react to everything as if this was the second coming of the Cultural Revolution.  On the other side, those people have made it a habit to oppose the Communists at every turn so that they will applaud whenever foreigners debase China as if this was the second coming of anti-Communist fascism.  Neither side care about any facts.  Neither side care about what is right or wrong.  Their chosen positions determine everything for them.  Actually, these two sides are Siamese twins that cannot live without each other.  One side is the polar opposite of the other side.  For China to continue to develop, it must leave these two burdens behind.  Modern China has suffered a lot and the biggest loss is rationality.  The two types of people above have both been twisted first by their times, and then they are twisting themselves and others.  People should not pay heed to these two types of people who represent two simplistic polarized extremisms.

Once upon a time, a Hong Kong magazine reporter interviewed me.  Afterwards, she told a mutual friend of ours that the ESWN blog was not especially meaningful.  After all, she could read Chinese and all the ESWN-translated materials were available to her in the original Chinese.  She is technically right, but she is wrong at the end.  The key is about those selections.  Many people can read Chinese.  Some people can translate from Chinese into English.  A lot fewer people have the instinct for news to discern which stories will eventually become prominent.

That doesn't sound too hard, does it?  So why are there not many ESWN-like translation/bridge blogs from Hong Kong or elsewhere, given that this model has been proven to be popular and influential?  That is because it is easier said than done.

For comparison, here are some English-language from the new blog of the famous Hong Kong commentator Martin Oei:

Last weekend, I spoke to a group of journalism students about the mainland Chinese media operation model and reform.  I asked them about their overall impression about China and they said: "one party dictatorship," "rule of law is inadequate," "but the economy is growing rapidly," "Hong Kong relies on mainland China on many things" ... such were their answers.  Then I asked the second question:  "Where did you get that impression?"  They said: "From reading the newspapers and watching television news."  My third question was: "Do you watch CCTV or read the mainland newspapers?"  Answers: "Very rarely" and "Those are government propaganda."  I asked next: "What do you think of the latest popular mainland catchphrase 'Do not be too CNN'?"  These students replied: "CNN is biased against China" and "news reporting ought to be objective."  These future news workers of Hong Kong remembered the most basic principle of journalism.

For the longest time, if you asked: "Who do you trust?  CCTV or CNN?" many Chinese citizens (especially the young people) probably feel the same way as these Hong Kong journalism students.  The obvsiou choice was CNN because CCTV is official government media.  But today, the mainland Chinese citizens are not so sure.  That is because CNN has disappointed and infuriated them!  The American-Arab thinker and political critic Edward Said said in his famous work <Orientalism>: "The Orient was invented by the westerners as The Other in their prejudice-filled cultural imagination."  Today, China and the Beijing Olympics seems to have just been "invented" by the western media over the Tibet and human rights issues.

But this latest "invention" of the western mainstream media turned out to be a double-edged sword.  While China has been wounded, the "inventor" unexpectedly found that the people who struck back against them would be precisely the young Chinese people who tended to trust them previously.

When China opened up thirty years ago, a countless number of Chinese people reached for VOA and BBC.  Through these western media, the Chinese people (especially the young people) expanded their vistas and found out that media were not just propaganda tools but can actually serve as watchdog over the government.  As China opened up further and technology improved, the Chinese people came into contact with more western media.  Among these, CNN stood out because it had 24/7 news coverage as well as bringing live coverage right from the scene.  Through CNN, the common folks as well as national leaders can understand what was happening around the world.  CNN made it impossible for the authorities to shut down information.  CNN caused the official Chinese media to open up their eyes and imitate how to become quicker and better.  Although the mainstream western media are still not freely available inside China, the Internet age has made the names of CNN, BBC, ABC and CBS familiar to the Chinese people.  Many people (especially the young people) regard these as important sources for the latest information.

Of course, more and more Chinese people (including journalists) have adopted the value that the media should be watchdogs as opposed to mouthpieces.  They agree that news reporting should be fair and objective.  But then all of a sudden now, they found out that mainstream western media such as CNN which had embraced freedom of press and objectivity/fairness were in fact cropping/editing news photos, mislabelling photos and making prejudicial commentary.  Rather than saying that the Chinese are angry, it is more appropriate to say that they feel cheated.

Actually, there is no such thing as absolute freedom of press in the world and there is no absolutely objective news reporting.  Journalists have their unique backgrounds and education which form their ideas and positions.  The key is whether a journalist can make a fair and balanced report irrespective of personal position.  The renowned American journalist Walter Lippmann pointed out that "news does not equal facts."  He said that "people (including journalists) prefer to use the stored impressions in their brains instead of using critical thinking to make judgments."   Lippmann was not trying to demean the subjectiviy of journalists, because he was a journalist himself.  He was pointing out a fact that everybody has to admit whether they like it or not -- reporters and common people have preconceived notions (or prejudices).  The journalist must put aside these preconceived prejudices in order to guarantee that the news reporting is objective and fair.

After "Don't be too CNN" became the most fashionable phrase in China of the moment, do western media such as CNN recognize that the young China people who used to be more receptive to the western viewpoints have now become the major force in opposing the inaccurate western media coverage and any Olympic boycott?  This should be something that the western media and certain politicians to think about.

CNN and other western media have 're-educated' the Chinese people.  The Chinese people (especially the young people) no longer believe blindly in the western media.  That was an unexpected windfall for the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration and it was definitely not the intention of the western media.  We do not want to see the young Chinese people to have passion without rationality.  We should not say that all western media are biased.  This is just one part of the storm over the Beijing Olympics whether we are talking about the media war or the China public relations image war.  One biased report by CNN and one unfair comment by a CNN newscaster should not cause the Chinese people to doubt the importance of objectivity and fairness in journalism.  We should place even greater value and we should work harder to maintain freedom of press and objective reporting.  Only when we have been truly objective and balanced shall we have the most effective weapons to deal with the attacks from others.

Part 1:  On April 22, 2008, the entertainment section on page A23 of <Southeast Commercial News> reported on the North Korea classical opera <The Flower Girl>.  The photograph was accompanied by a text that said that <The Flower Girl> was created with the participation of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and then perfected by Kim Il-sung personally.  In truth, Kim Il-sung ruled North Korea until he passed away in 1994 and he was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il, who is the current leader.  Presently, <Southeast Commercial News> is going through self-criticism before the local and provincial publicity departments.

Part 2: On the same day, the blogger Tang Zewen reported on the mistake in <Southern Commercial News> in this blog.  Tang was the editor at the newspaper <Metro Express> in the city of Hangzhou.  His blog contains other interesting entries.  For example, he posted the internal bulletin from the Zhejiang provincial party publicity department criticising <Metro Express> on its reporting of the Tan Jing 'suicide' case.  Internal bulletins are for internal use by definition, but Tang posted it on his blog for the public to read.  Tang commented that the Zhejiang provincial party publicity department was the Department of Truth in George Orwell's <1984>.

Shortly afterwards, Tang's blog was 'harmonized' into oblivion.  On April 24, it was reported that Tan was suspended from his job by the provincial party publicty department.  On April 25, the name Tang Zewen was removed from the list of editors at <Metro Express>.

Here is the criticisms against <Metro Express> over the reporting on the Tan Jing case:

1. This is hyping up old news from the outside.  This incident was just an ordinary social incident that took place in Guangzhou ten days ago.  The Guangzhou media had reported the case and issued an conclusive report.  But <Metro Express> collected and edited information from various newspaper websites without conducting any verification and then made a full report.  The choice of news story is unbecoming for a responsible newspaper.  The newspaper is not trying to satisfy the public's need for timely social news; instead, it is trying to satisfy the prurient interests of certain readers.

2. The story deliberately exaggerated the details, with color photos of the woman before her death and the photo of her half-naked body being lowered to the ground by the police.  This is highly inappropriate because it disrespected the deceased and completely ignores the feelings of the the family of the deceased as well as the readers.  This is against the basic ethics of journalism.

3. In order increase 'readability,' inaccurate rumors and speculations were exaggerated.  The Guangzhou police had made its statement that "the possibility of death caused by others can be eliminated" and this was reported in the Guangzhou media.  <Metro Express> continued to relay the various speculations and rumors before the police statement: "Female unhappy with fees was thrown down the building by three foreign men," "offering sexual services" and so on.  The terms "sex worker," "sexual service," and "order by public security bureau not to talk" appeared repeatedly.  The report ended with the emphatic conclusion: "It is still a mystery as to whether the deceased provided sexual services to the three foreign men."  This report was done in poor taste.  The angle and focus were clearly about scandalizing, partiality and melodrama.

Q1.  When Ma Ying-jeou officially becomes the president of Taiwan, should he issue a general amnesty for government officials at various levels about possible misuse of special fees?
20%: Yes
48%: No
32%: No opinion

Q2. Should Ma Ying-jeou official issue an amnesty to current President Chen Shui-bian and his wife Wu Shu-jen about possible use of the state secret funds?
19%: Yes
57%: No
24%: No opinion

Q3. What should Ma Ying-jeou do with respect to the state secret funds case?
39%: No amnesty whatsoever, not even if Chen and Wu are found guilty and sentenced to prison
17%: No amnesty up front, but Chen and Wu should be pardoned if found guilty and sentenced to prison
13%: Amnesty up front with the case being discontinued
30%: No opinion

... In recent days, rumors were circulated on the Internet that Carrefour intends to offer huge discounts during the May 1st "Golden Week".  According to netizens, Carrefour had released advertisements about the special May 1st campaign, including offering coupons worth 250 RMB for the purchase of selected merchandise worth 500 RMB.  Thus, the discount is as much as 50%.

Some netizens have posted screen captures of those sales offers from the Carrefour website.  This reporter saw that the advertisements say that Carrefour will have a weekend sale from May 1 to 4.  For men and women clothing and shoes, children clothing and shoes, dining accessories and kitchen utensils, 45 RMB coupons are offered for 150 RMB in purchase, 120 RMB coupons are offered for 300 RMB in purchase and 250 RMB coupons are offered for 500 RMB in purchase.  On the Internet, some people are saying that Carrefour adopted these measures to counter the "boycott Carrefour" campaign through the offer of large-scale sales discounts.  These ads provide the evidence for the Carrefour counterattack.

This reporter went to the official Carrefour website.  The original advertisements are gone.  There is only a notice on the home page that the Carrefour website is down for maintenance and renovation.  The website will be back after maintenance and renovation are complete.

The reporter contacted the public relations person for Carrefour in Shenzhen.  She said that Carrefour was running a series of sales promotions between March 27 and May 2 for the fourth anniversary.  But she emphasized that there were all part of the anniversary celebrations and not specifically targeted to the May 1st holidays.  As for the special discounts that were advertised previously for the May 1st Golden Week, she said that the corporate headquarters have issued a notice to cancel all sales promotions.

According to the relevant Carrefour person in charge, the preceding series of incidents has placed Carrefour in a perilous position.  Under these circumstances, there was no way that Carrefour would run sales promotions during this sensitive period.  Therefore, the company has asked the local stores to cancel all large-scale sales promotions.  But she said that the various specific promotions will continue to run, because they were national campaigns for certain product brand series in conjunction with the manufacturers.  Those campaigns were decided several months ago and cannot be canceled at this time.


(Apple Daily)  As for the news story itself, there are two versions.  You''ll have to make up your own mind about who the good and bad guys are.  The facts as shown in the eight photos above can be used to support either version.

The two versions agree that the location is Jiazi town, Lufeng county, Shanwei city, Guangdong province.

Version 1 is provided by a Hong Kong businessman named Liu who invested in the Jinhai Hotel in Jiazi town.  In 2005, Liu invested HKD 50 million to construct the hotel.  On January 3, 2008 the hotel began business on a trial basis.  On January 12, several hundred men holding AK47 sub-machine guns, Remington shotguns, machetes and pitchforks surrounded the hotel to cause trouble.  The men used an earth remover to knock down the wall of the town family planning service center under construction near the hotel.  The police showed up to mediate but nothing came out of it.

At 3:30am on the day before yesterday, two men wearing helmets on a motorcycle showed up outside the hotel and fired two shots from a shotgun at the hotel.  An exterior glass window was broken.  More shots were fired at cars parked in front of the hotel.  The men then fled.  The hotel management called the police, who ignored them.  Yesterday afternoon, a bunch of women and children showed up to demonstrate outside the hotel.  Someone said: "He (meaning Mr. Liu) keeps a mistress.

According to Mrs. Liu, "When we first made the investment, an influential person helped us and then he wanted us to donate 5 million RMB to pave a road in the name of public interest.  We only donated 100,000 RMB.  Someone was unhappy and they want to force us out!"   Mrs. Liu said that their ancestral graves had been flattened by unidentified persons.  She said that they intent to terminate their investment and return to Hong Kong due to the poor security situation.

Version 2 is provided by local Jiazi town residents.  This incident arose the Hong Kong businessman named Liu wanted to have that plot of land next to the Jiazi ferry pier to build a dormitory for employees.  Meanwhile, someone else wants the land for charitable purposes.  There was a quarrel.  The residents said that Liu then built a brick wall to corral off the land.  This infuriated the residents, who organized to demand the demolition of the wall.  The residents armed themselves with guns and knives because they were scared of Liu's goons.  Ultimately, Liu agreed to demolish the wall.  Liu tried to appeal to the Shanwei government, but he lost.  As for Liu's ancestral graves, the residents thought that the plot of land belonged to the Li family.  When Liu settled his ancestors' remnants there, the Li's thought that it damaged their fengshui.  This was a dispute between the Liu and Li families, but Liu put the blame on the Jiazi residents instead.

So, are you any wiser after reading all this?

Related Link:  An old gang war makes the front page  Eric Mu, Danwei

Between April 14 to 16, the Qianlong reporter went to visit the Agence France Presse Beijing office twice, the Reuters Beijing office thrice and the Associated Press Beijing office twice in order to determine if the big three news agencies were objectively and fairly reporting the assault, vandalizing, looting and arson in Tibet, the Olympic torch relay and especially about how the Tibet splittists are sabotaging the latter.  But the Qianlong reporter was turned away with the comment "You can look it up yourself on the Internet" being the common answer provided by these three biggest news agencies in the world.

Accordingly, the Qianlong reporter used the Reuters, AFP and AP search engines and found that these western media were disproportionate in terms of their reports wherein they deliberately over-amplified the voices of the Tibet splittists versus the protesting against the separatism and sabotage by the Dalai Lama.  The western news agencies provided a one-sided tilt towards Tibet independence.  This "selective reporting" prettified the "non-violent" "spiritual leader" image of the Dalai Lama in order to realize their ulterior goal.

On April 19, the Qianlong reporter went to the Reuters Chinese-language website and searched for the keyword "snatching the Olympic torch."  The search result was that "there was nothing that matched 'snatching the Olympic torch; please revise your search requirements and try again."  When "Tibet independence" and "assault, vandalizing, looting and arson" were searched, the result was that "the page could not be displayed."

On April 19, 20 and 21, the Qianlong reporter went to the English-language websites of AFP, AP and Reuters and used the search engine to look for keywords such as "Olympic torch,"  "Tibet" and "Dalai Lama".  There were about 3,100 news photo over the past 30 days.  Astonishingly, "Olympic torch" showed virtually no photos of overseas Chinese supporting the Beijing Olympics and waving the five-star national flags.

At the AFP website, the Qianlong reporter used "Olympic torch" as the keyword and restricted the search to April 7 in France.  This resulted in 143 news photos.  Among these, 95 were about the Tibet independence marchers and protestors or the attack on the Olympic torch relay runners and the local police.  There were 4 photos that showed the Chinese protesting against the Tibet independence demonstration.  There was not a single photo of any cheering for the Olympic torch or China.

At the Associated Press website, the Qianlong reporter found 186 news photos for the keyword "Olympic torch" for April 7.  96 of these are about the Tibet splittists smearing the Olympics and opposing China.  There was no photo in support of China and the Olympics.

At the Reuters website, the reporter entered "Dalai Lama" on April 19 and found 744 reports about the Dalai Lama expressing views about Tibetan independence.  As for news photos, there were 21 of them.  When the Qianlong reporter repeated the exercise on April 21, there were 556 photos related to the Dalai Lama, including one photo of American president George W. Bush meeting with the Dalai Lama credited to "Reuters/Jim Young."

... There were 409 unique photos among the 556 news photos.  Of these, 354 were about the travels, meetings, religious activities and peaceful petitions in support of Tibet independence as well as glorifying "Tibet's exiled spiritual leader."   By contrast, there were only 13 photos about the assault, vandalizing, lotting and arson committed by the Dalai Lama clique.  With this huge discrepancy, how must credibility is there about "objectivity and fairness"?

On April 19, the "Dalai Lama" keyword at Associated Press resulted in 476 news photos, most of which are about the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and meeting with important politicians.  There were also photos of Tibet splittists protesting in the form of "peaceful" petitions as well as making a show at the Olympic torch relay.  But there was nothing about the Chinese people protesting against the evil deeds of the Dalai Lama and the Tibet splittists.

On April 19, the Qianlong reporter visited the AFP website and used the keyword "Dalai Lama" to find 483 news photos, with the contents being comparable to those at Reuters and Associated Press ...

(Ramblings of a Drunkard blog)  Do not credit the GFW on someone else.  April 22, 2008.

At some of the big portals, the story about AFP, Reuters and AP filtering Tibet separatist information figured prominently.  This was probably a report designated to be highlighted, but it made for some truly extraordinary reading.

The author attempted to examine the search results at the various search engines of the major news agency websites in order to prove that the western media are seriously biased.  Using "Dalai Lama" as the search term, the results from AFP did not have a single photo about "assault, vandalizing, looting and arson."  This is significant because the Qianlong reporter subjectively believe that the "assault, vandalizing, looting and arson" were connected to the Dalai Lama clique because that was the charge made by the Chinese government.  However, the western news agencies may not draw the same connection.  Therefore, the outcome was not surprising.  The Qianlong reporter made an assumption, and then put the onus on other people.

On April 19, the Qianlong reporter first went to the Chinese-language news agency websites and searched for "snatching the Olympic torch".  The search result was that there was no relevant information and the user is advised to change the requirements and retry.  Searching for "Tibet independence" ended with the message "this page cannot be displayed."

For the first part, this only showed the Qianlong reporter had lousy search engine skills.  Why would one expect the Chinese-language website of a western news agency to have very good Chinese language functionality?  It was not surprising that a long keyword such as "snatching the Olympic torch" will result in nothing.  The western news agency website is neither Baidu nor Google.

More interesting is the second part when the Qianlong reporter said that "the page could not be displayed."  Either this reporter is living in a true vacuum, or else he/she is being sarcastic by saying the exact opposite.  Most people who use overseas search engines know that "the page could not be displayed" will pop up for sensitive terms.  This is not about the Reuters Chinese-language website, because the credit should have been given to the Great Firewall of China.

Addendum based upon the work by a commentator:


1. Searching for "Tibet independence," the link was re-routed; if the Tor service is used, the results were normal.

2. Searching for "assault, vandalizing, looting and arson," the link was re-routed; if the Tor service is used, the results were normal.

(ProState in Flames)

Warning: We are firmly determined not to repeat the tragedy of March 14!

At the QQ groups, people are talking about vandalizing cars, handing out propaganda flyers, picking out goods at Carrefour but not checking out, even vandalizing the stores on May 1st ... the most infuriating as well as most shameful proposal is that the method which the majority of the people have been persuaded by the Internet agents provocateurs to do against Carrefour: Pick a whole bunch of sea food/ice cream, put them in your shopping cart, drop the cart off elsewhere in the store, walk away without checking out and thus making sure the products spoil!  I am ashamed of what you say and do!  What is the difference between you and the rioters!?  Do you realize that you are being exploited?

According to reliable information, 200,000 special agents from various nations as well as Chinese traitors have spread across China to misinform and incite the masses to engage in assault, vandalism and looting, even harming and murdering people.  When that happens, the blame will be assigned squarely to China and the Chinese people.

When that happens, who would dare to come to attend the Olympics in China?  You people are stupid to follow those calls to smash cars!

The United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Germany must be laughing even in their dreams when they sleep!

You can boycott by refusing to go to make purchases.  You can stick to buying Chinese goods only!

All those people who wave banners inciting people to assault and murder are special agents and traitors.

If you follow their lead, China is in the shit dump!

So please make a reverse turn and let everybody know, because there is still time!

Please watch those around you who are deliberately stoking up conflicts!  Report them to the Public Security Bureau as quickly as possible!

We must hold our positions firmly!  Under the premise of not hurting the feelings of the Chinese people, we support peace, we support the Olympics and we support China.  We will use appropriate methods to support and love our motherland!