On the afternoon of July 3, Mr. Xiong called the newspaper's hotline and aid: "There is a video of a school girl being raped and abused on the Internet.  I hope that you can pay some attention to it."

Based upon the information provided by Mr. Xiong, the reporter went to a webpage and saw a series of screen capture: a naked girl was being assaulted and abused by several other girls.

The post was made on May 20: "Today, I saw a video clip of about 7 minutes long.  This was allegedly committed by middle school students in Kaiping.  The video showed a girl being abused ... I am angry beyond words.  I hope that people will pay attention to this matter, especially the citizens of Kaiping ..."

The reporter spotted at least 6 girls and 4 boys.  Two of the boys were naked.

According to the locals, this video showed up after the Lunar New Year.  Previously to being posted on the Internet, people were already circulating it by mobile phones.  They said that the characters in the video spoke the Kaiping dialect and one of the perpetrators wore a school uniform similar to that for a Kaiping school.

According to a source, the incident took place in mid-July 2007.  The victim was a 17-year old girl.  The suspects were 7 girls and 4 boys.  Some of the girls attended the same school as the victim.  The seven girls formed the "Seven Sisters."  Because the victim had said something about them, they found her at an Internet bar, dragged her out, stripped her and assaulted her.  They took the girl to a hotel and called four boys to gang-rape her.  During the rape, the girls held the victim down.  Afterwards, the girls continued to assault and abuse the victim, including forcing her to slap herself and toe the line.  One of the perpetrators recorded the happenings on camphone and shared it among friends.  This video would be distributed onto the Internet.  Based upon this video, the police arrested the four boys and some of the girls (note: some of them are fugitives from the law).

(WARNING: OFFENSIVE)  (Screen captures

Severa days ago, I read in the news that CCTV and Phoenix may finally obtain broadcast landing rights in Taiwan after many tries.  Yesterday, the news came that Phoenix TV applied in June and will likely be approved.  CCTV has also expressed the desire to go to Taiwan.  The Taiwan Government Information Office suggested that this could be included as one of the cross-strait commercial projects.  Meanwhile, Taiwan television channels also express the desire to enter mainland China and they may be applying to do so.

Phoenix TV and the Taiwan television channels have been working in market economies for a long time, so I am not that much interested in what they will do.  For example, the Taiwan television channels have the obvious tendency towards entertainment and their principal direction will probably be "entertain you until you drop dead" when they enter mainland China.  But the interesting question is, Why would be on the menu of CCTV if it should land in Taiwan?

This depends on the market positioning and operation model of CCTV.  In terms of market positioning, I think that there are three possibilities: (1) the "political propaganda route" to promote mainland Chinese policies and the accomplishments of the economic reforms; (2) the "profit-above-all" route in the market economy; (3) both of the above, in that CCTV will maintain its special propaganda role as well as hoping to make money.  The third possibility is likely to fit CCTV's history and reality more.

As a result of the market positioning, there are three operational models: (1) Select the programs from existing CCTV channels and present a variety channel.  But if I were the CCTV leader, I would not do so.  There is no technical substance and it is a waste of program resources.  (2) Open a new Taiwan channel and provide specially produced content.  (3) Cooperate with local television channels and professonals to localize its television programs.  I think that CCTV will be using the second model when it lands in Taiwan.

In any case, it will be a challenge to CCTV when it lands in Taiwan.  As an opportunity, it is a good thing for CCTV to increase its influence and expand its market.  But this will likely be a painful experience for CCTV.  Purely in terms of audience ratings, it will be an embarrassing situation with very few viewers unless CCTV changes its overall image and program quality.  In terms of news reporting, for example, if CCTV were to show progams such as <Joint News Broadcasts>, it would be a miracle if the viewers don't hit the remote control button to move away.  Many of the so-called 'live broadcast' programs on CCTV would be given a failing grade in the presence of fair competition.

This means that CCTV must elevate its news reporting quality as well as study the market effects.  Then it can create a news service that is objective, independent and professional with a more personable image.  Otherwise, CCTV can only be a venue which shows mainland Chinese television serial drama or programs about the arts and humanities.

It is true that CCTV could gain a foothold in Taiwan without providing any news programs.  But I think that this would be damaging to CCTV.  If they do that, they would be following the "entertain you to death" route, right?  When CCTV possesses such tremendous news resources but could only present entertainment programs outside of China, isn't this most embarrassing?  Besides, if CCTV cannot compete with Taiwan television channels on news reporting, how will the self-respect and morale of CCTV reporters be affect?  If they concede this territory, they will concede the right to speak on important news stories.  That would be seriously detrimental to the authority and trustworthiness of CCTV.

So it is a genuine problem about what CCTV would broadcast in Taiwan.  In recent years, it is said that CCTV's Spring Gala Festival is very popular overseas.  This is a result of the traditional habits of the Chinese people and their strong sense of cultural identity.  But is not enough to provide the audience with these entertainment specials.  For example, it is almost certain that the people of Taiwan will want to understand through CCTV just what is happening on mainland China.  In order to do so, CCTV must want to pursue this objective and there has to be a relaxation in the relevant policies.  This is the unavoidable issue in trying to raise the competitiveness of CCTV in the marketplace.

As is well known by now, "push-up" (or "press-up") is the hottest term on the Chinese Internet.  Yesterday, the term showed up on a real estate wall board on Central Road, Nanjing City.  The words say: "Housing prices will not be water-diving; it is just doing push-up's!"  The ad only has this slogan, the logo of the real estate development, a hotline phone number, a reception address and a logo.

"So 'push-ups' can be used this way," a young man said.  "Do you know what 'push-up' means?" asked the reporter.  "The whole world knows that 'push-up' is the most popular term on the Internet right now."  This man praised the "creativity" for this real estate ad.

"Why does this mean?  This means that housing prices won't be falling."  Said the sales girl on the hotline when the reporter called.

According to the person in charge, "The words mainly want to make a humorous comment with the hottest Internet term of the moment.  At present, housing prises are doing 'push-ups' -- they may go down temporarily, but they don't keep sinking; there is room to rise again.  Thus housing prices are fluctuating in a normal range."

The incident itself was over after seven hours.  There were no repeats on ensuing days, due to the overwhelming presence of several thousand armed police officers sent to Weng'an from elsewhere in Guizhou province.  The residual activities deal with the causes of the incident.  There are two main aspects.  The most obvious one is the death of the 15-year-old school girl Li Shufen.  It was said that the riot was triggered by dissatisfaction wiht how her death was handled (or not handled at all by the authorities!).  But that cannot be the only thing.  In a place like Hong Kong, the suspicious death of a school girl would not lead to a riot by 30,000 people who attack government buildings.  So the other aspect is that there must have been widespread dissatisfaction with the local government of Weng'an.

On the first aspect, the reason why people (inside and outside of Weng'an) felt that "rebellion was justified" was that justice had not been served for Li Shufen.  Here were some of the popular rumors circulated around June 28.

  • The son of the Weng'an county deputy mayor and another youth raped and killed a 15-year-old female middle school student named Li Shufei and then tossed her body into the Ximen river aferwards.  The police detained the suspects for five hours and released them without charge.  The police said that the girl had committed suicide by leaping into the river.
  • The relatives of the girl went to complain to the police.  Instead of getting justice, the relatives were assaulted.  An uncle of the girl was beaten unconscious and eventually died. 
  • At around 6pm on June 21, Li Shufen was asked to go out by her classmate Wang Jiao.  Li was raped by two young men who killed her and tossed her body into the Simen river. 
  • Li Shufen took her middle school exams this year with excellent results.  She died for a reason that you may find it unimaginable -- during the exams, she refused to let three male students copy her answers.  In revenge, the three male students raped her and then pushed her into the Simen river where she drowned.
  • When the body of Li Shufen was brought out of the river, there were many spectators.  The parents of one of the murderers called a certain department head named Jiang at the Guizhou provincial level, and this person then issued an order.  The next day, the Weng'an county police released the three murderers. 

The main angle here is the the murderers have family connections with senior government officials and therefore the police are willing to turn a blind eye.  Later on, it would emerge that the three 'suspects' have these backgrounds:

21-year-old Chen Guangquan is a resident of Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.  He is presently an apprentice at aluminum alloy workshop located at the address of a defunct paper factory in Weng'an county.  His parents are villagers of the Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.

18-year-old Liu Yanchao comes from the same villager as Chen and is presentlu an apprentice at the same place as Chen Guangquan.  His parents are villagers of the Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.

16-year-old Wang Jiao is a Form 2 student at the Number 3 Middle School in Weng'an County.  Her parents are villagers of the Jiajiabo bridgade, Jiajiabo village, Tianwen town, Weng'an county.

So there went the angle about connections to senior government/party officials.  Once that angle is removed, only the physical evidence is left.  And there is nothing (unless the official report of the third autopsy contains a surprise) to support a murder case.  You can harp all you want about why Liu Yanchao was doing push-ups on the Simen bridge in the middle of the night, you won't get any court to convict him for murder on that basis alone.  It is irrelevant -- he could be doing push-ups, he could be doing back blips, he could be fishing, he could be singing "O Sole Mio" ... On the Chinese Internet, there are people circulating lists of doubts about those cases.  These are 'doubts' and not 'proofs' and cannot be used to arrest, charge or convict anyone for murder.

The more unsettilng aspect about pursuing these three is that they have lower-class backgrounds.  If the original point was to seek justice for the underpriviledged Li Shufen, will justice be served by punishing the underprivileged Chen, Liu and Wang for murder when there is insufficient evidence?  The worst thing that could happen is for the police to arrest and charge them with murder in order to appease public opinion. 

A side question is that if the physical evidence remains the same but one of the three is in fact related to some senior party/government official.  Does that change things (in the absence of any evidence of interference by this official)?  Are we back to the idea of class background determines everything?  Another point to reflect on is why so many people could be gullible on the first rumors?  The moment when you see that there is more than one version, you should be skeptical.

The other aspect was about the general dissatisfaction of the people of Weng'an with their party/government.  The Guizhou provincial party secretary Shi Zongyuan acknowledged that as fact on various occasions.  The Weng'an county mayor and party secretary have now been replaced.  The people of Weng'an and the Chinese netizens can proclaim victory in sweeping out incompetent and/or corrupt officials.  What more do you want?  Where else can you go? ...  That is why the momentum has stalled.

Do you remember the Chongqing story of the "most awesome nailhouse in history"?  At the time, the Chinese forums were heatedly discussing them and even treated it as a case study for right defense.  But I would like to offer a different viewpoint at this time.  Last month, I was chatting with a friend in the construction business and this story came up.  His view: This was really a fake nailhouse!

According to the land usage policy, a real estate developer buys the land and then must complete construction within a specified time period (or else the government will repossess the land).  BUt the real estate developer can foresee that housing prices will be soaring soon.  If the real estate developer starts construction too soon, he would be making less.  However, he has to consttruct.  So he levels the land and lays down the infrastructure but he leaves a nailhouse behind.  Now he can turn to the government and proclaims: "See!  It is not that I don't want to, but I really cannot proceed."  The so-called nailhouse wner has a conspiratorial relationship with the real estate developer, becaue both wanted to delay things as long as possible while housing prices and relocation compensation both rise.  Such joy!

In the Chongqing case, a free-style martial artist guards his small building by himself.  This is rather touching.  But the relocation compensation paid to him eventually could have hired 15 natoinal champion free-style martial artists who could beat the heck out of him.  At any place that was genuinely targeted for demolition, the owner only has to leave for 15 minutes and the house would be totally leveled.  Therefore, the reason why the "most awesome nailhouse in history" existed not because it was really awesome but because certain people wanted it to be awesome.  Just take a look at this famous 2006 photo <The demolition/reloation crew arrives in the village>, you would understand.  How could an individual win against these odds?

On the morning of June 30, Guizou provincial party secretary Shi Zongyuan hurried over to Weng'an county where the mass incident had taken place.

He inspected the burned out county party building and the vandalized county government building, and he felt grim.

He entered the lobby of the public security bureau building.  The inside had been completely burned out and black smoke was still rising from the ground.  Shi Zongyuan went out of the blackened entrance.  Wihout a word to his entourage, he entered a small blind-person massage parlor next to the public security bureau and sat down to chat with the female owner Lu Xiaoli and her husband.

Shi: When the public security bureau was set on fire, were you here?  Were you afraid?
Lu: I was right here.  I am blind.  I dare not go out.  I heard terrifying sounds outside.  I was scared, so I shut the door.  Nobody is coming here for masages.

Shi: Guizhou is so impoverished.  The most important things are stability and unity.  Then the economy can develop and then we can have good times.  Why did you choose to set up shop here?  Is it because the proximity to the public security bureau gives you a sense of security?  Do you still feel secure now?
Lu: (Hesitantly)  I don't even feel safe here.  (She wanted to say something but stopped.  Her husband kept tugging at her clothes).

Shi: I can understand that you are hesitant in speaking.  I won't force you.  Without security and with the criminal forces around, Weng'an will not be safe.  You wouldn't want to tell anyone that you are from Weng'an, right?  This is because our Pary and our government have failed in their work.  It is not safe in Weng'an.  The people don't feel safe, and there are more and more bad people.  Even a man like you (that is, the husband of Lu Xiaoli) dare not tell the truth.  The good people are scared of the bad people.  The Party and the government are responsible.  I apoloize to y ou.  We must learn the lessons and amend our ways.  The cadres of the Communist Party must first thik abut serving the people, as opposed to getting promotions or making money.  I am ashamed towards the people of Weng'an county for this incident.  This incident occurred due to the long-term accumulation of conflicts which were not handled in a timely manner.

A relative of Lu Xiaoli normally in Zhejiang, but he happened to be at the shop on this day.

Shi: Is public safety good in Weng'an or not?
Answer: It is chaos in Weng'an.  When even the public security bureau gets torched, is any place safe?

Shi: How about Dujun (note: the capital of southern Guizhou province)?
Answer: Dujun is probably about the same.

Shi: How about Zhejiang province?
Answer: Zhejiang is fine.  Actually we are all forty to fifty years old, and we have nothing much to be afraid of anymore.  But we are worried for the children.  Each year, many primary school children get killed, and the cases go unsolved.  You tell me whether it is safe or not.

Shi: What is your name?
Answer: I am not telling.

Shi: Don't you trust me?  Are you afraid of retaliation?
Answer: I trust you.  But you are a senior official who lives in the provincial capital.  You cannot protect me every day.  While you are here, we are safe; when you leave, whom can we count on?

Shi (tears in his eyes): It is our fault that Weng'an is unsafe and the people don't tell to tell the truth.  (turns around and asks)  Where is the county party secretary here?  Why won't people tell the truth?
Weng'an county party secretary Wang Qin: I am here.  I did not do my work well.

Shi: How much do you earn a month?
Wang: More than 3,000 RMB.

Shi (to Lu Xiaoli) How much do you make?
Lu: More than 2,000 RMB in income.

Shi: After deducting rent, electricity and water bills, how much is left?
Lu: Five to six hundred RMB.

Shi: The Party was founded to serve the people, the government is there for the people.  That is no empy talk from the dais, because it must be carried out.  If the public security bureau was effective, would the people not dare to speak?  Your husband is timid.  He hides in the rear.  He hears you speaking and he tries to sop  you.  As Comrade Deng Xiaoping said, it is not enough to have a good economy because what is the point if the people don't feel safe?
Guizhou Provincial Public Security Bureau director Cui Yadong: According to the public opinion poll for Guizhou province, only 59% of the people here feel safe, and that is in last place in the entire province.

Shi: Which one of the five of you feel safe?  Raise your hand.  (Nobody raised their hands)  When you wanted to find a store location, you chose one right by the pubilc security bureau.  But you don't feel safe now.
Another female: When you murder someone in Weng'an, you can pay money to get off.  The government needs to uncover the truth.

Shi: Murderers can pay money to get out.  You spoke honestly.  (turns around)  Is the county public security bureau director here?  Did you hear that?  When the cases of child murders are not solved, how can the people trust you?  Our people are very good.  But when the government cannot stop the bad guys, the people suffer.  There is no safety in Weng'an because the evil is winning over the good.

Family consideration is not the sole reason.  Ming Pao reports ("based upon understanding") that Anson Chan was disappointed about her ineffectiveness at the Legislative Council, especially with respect to her wish to serve as a bridge between the Hong Kong Legislative Council and the central government.  For the past seven months, the central government has ignored her and the pan-democrats have not worked tightly with her either.  The most memorable piece of Legco history for Anson Chan was her confrontation with the Secretary of Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing (see Comment 200712a#015).

This decision was already reported in the local newspapers this morning prior to the press conference this afternoon.  In fact, Apple Daily had been running a campaign to build up pressure for her to run for the sake of 'democracy' upon belief that she would not run.  Without her, it is asserted that the pan-democrats may slip to fewer than 2/3 of the 60-member Legislative Council and thus lose the numbers to veto any 'undemocratic' political 'reform' vote.

Here is something that nobody wants to seriously address: Why does the withdrawal of Anson Chan lead to the loss of 'pro-democracy' votes?  If you are for 'democracy,' then you should just vote for another 'pro-democracy' candidate on Hong Kong Island, where Anson Chan is presently serving.

South China Morning Post wrote this morning: "If Mrs Chan does not run, Mrs Ip and her putative running mate, Medical Association vice-president Louis Shih Tai-cho, are expected to benefit."  Ming Pao quotes Chinese University of Hong Kong Senior Lecturer Ivan Choy that some of the Anson Chan voters will drift towards Regina Ip.

Way back in December, the head-to-head Legco by-election between Anson Chan and Regina Ip was described as being as the end-all/be-all between "pro-democracy" and "pro-establishment."  Now all of a sudden we are being told that some of Anson Chan's supporters are really middle-class voters more influenced by the fame and status as former government administrators than by any consideration of "democracy" versus "establishment."  What gives?

Is this so shocking?  Not really.  In the recent HKU POP poll:

What are you most concerned about?
56%: economic problems
35%: social problems
  4%: political problems

Unfortunately, there is no consensus about any magical cures for economic and social problems.  Therefore, the candidates all run on political issues to differentiate.  Meanwhile, many voters are actually ignoring the political angle and trying to find some hint as to who is better on economic and social issues.  The political marketer would see an open market for someone with a reasonable government/business background to come in and run as an anti-politics candidate. 

Chen Guangquan

Liu Yanchao

Wang Jiao

(ni translation)

Yesterday noon, our reporter went to Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.  After some runaround, the reporter managed to locate the Yanmen brigade where Liu Yanchao and Chen Guangquan belonged.  "The Chen and Liu families are all respectable farmers whose standard of living belongs to the lower class in his village," said the village party secretary Wen Wenchuan.

Liu Yanchao's father Liu Yangfu had gone to Weng'an county city.  With the help of villagers, the reporter found Liu Yanchao's mother Xu Zhengying who was working in the fields.

According to Xu Zhenghing, at around 5pm on June 27, Liu Yanchao returned home from Weng'an county city.  That evening, Liu Yanchao informed his parents that he and some friends were playing by the river on June 22 and one of the friend Li Shufen suddenly jumpted into river and drowned.  He also jumped into the river to save Li Shufen.  "But for Chen Guangquan, I might have drowned as well."  Around noon on June 29, the public security bureau criminal investigation squad called and asked Liu Yanchao to be interrogated.  "At the time, his dad accompanied him.  I have not seen my son since.  His dad has called me and told me not to worry because he is with our son," said Xu Zhengying.

THe reporter asked Xu Zhengying about contacting her son.  She said that she could try.  At 2:22pm, Xu Zhengying used the home telephone to call Liu Yanchao's mobile telephone.  "Chao-son!  Where are you?"  The phone call got through and Xu Zhengying got excited.  "I'm staying in the office of the detention center.   You don't have to worry."  After learning that her son was safe, Xu Zhengying breathed a sigh of relief.  When Liu Yanchao heard that a reporter wanted to interview him, he said, "We can speak by phone.  We don't have to meet."

By telephone, Liu Yanchao told the reporter what happened.  At around 20:00 on June 21, he and Chen Guangquan were with fellow student Qin ing at a rented room in Weng'an.  During that time, he rode a motorcycle to pick up Li Shufen and Wang Jiao.  Then He, Li Shufe, Wang Jiao, Chen Guangquan, Qin Ming and Liu Sitao began to drink liquor.  Li Shufen drank one full cup of rice wine, Wang Jiao drank half a cup, while the other men drank two cups.  At around 10pm, they were about to go home.  Li Shufen suggested that they go down by the Simen river.  So Liu Yanchao, Li Shufen, Wang Jiao and Chen Guangquan walked down to the rier.  When they reached the Dayan bridge, Li Shufen sat down on the railing facing the water.  At the time, Liu Yanchao was about two meters on the left of Li Shufen, while Chen Guangquan was lying on the ground by the riverside.  "I was shooting the breeze with Li Shufen.  She said that she wanted jump into the river; if she survives, she wants to live well afterwards."  As soon as Liu heard that, he went up, grabbed her and said, "You want to jump into the river? Have you gone mad?"  Li was dissuaded by Liu and things calmed down.

After about ten minutes, Cheng Guangquan said that he was tired and left early.  About two minutes later, Liu Yanchao heard a loud cry of "I'm going" and Li Shufen jumped into the river.  Liu jumped into the river immediately to rescue her.  Wang Jiao was standing at the top of the bridge and immeidately called Chen Guangquan.  Chen returned immediately.  At the time, Liu Yanchao was physically tired, and Chen and Wang had to pull him ashore first.  By the time, they were ready to try to rescue Li Shufen, she could no longer be seen.

Wang Jiao called 110 (police) immediately, and then she called Li Shufen's elder brother Li Shuyong.

When the reporter asked "Why did Li Shufen kill herself by jumping into the river?", Li Yanchao said that she had told him that she felt that her parents favored males over females; her elder brother bullied her frequently; her parents childed her frequently, and therefore she was better off dead than alive.

The reporter then went to the home Chen Guangquan.  His mother Lu dengyong used the home telephone to dial her son's mobile phone.  Chen Guangquan said that he was staying at the office fo the detention center and everything was fine.  He told the reporter that he was in a romantic relationship with Li Shufen.  But he emphasized repeatedly: "I have never had sexual intercourse with Li Shufen."


Wang Jiao speaks coherently and unhurriedly.  Apart from her petite size, her coolness and maturity makes it hard to realize that she is just a Form 2 students.  Wang Jiao, who claims to be the best friend of Li Shufen, met with the reporter in a courtyard of the Weng'an county detention center.

"I have known Li Shufen since sixth grade in elementary school.  Since then, we have been classmates.  It can be said that we are best friends among classmates," said Wang Jiao.

She told the reporter what happened on the early morning of June 22 when Li Shufen jumped into the river.  "On that night, the four of us (Wang Jiao, Li Shufen, Liu Yanchao, Chen Guangquan) ate dinner and drank wine at the place of Liu's classmate QIn Ming.  We were going to go  home, but Li SHufen that we walk home.  When we got to the Dayan bridge of SImen river, Li Shufen suggested that we go play around.  We got on the bridge.  I was about 20 meters away from Li Shufen and I was worried about being scolded by my parents for going home late.  Liu Yanchao and Li Shufen were about two meters away from each other.  Li Shufen was sitting on the railing facing the river.  They talked and they laughed.  Then came the horrible scene when Li Shufen said 'I am going' and jumped into the river.  I saw that she actually jumped into the river."

Wang Jiao said that Liu Yanchao jumped into the river to save Li while she called Chen Guangquan to come back to help.

This girl who did not seem saddened by the death of her best friend said that Liu Shufen loved to get on the Internet and she may have been having an Internet romantic affair for a month because the guy was calling her by phone.  She also told the reporter that Li Shufen has been staying at a rental room with her elder brother Li Shuyong.  Her elder brother is in High School Form 3 and has just taken the university entrance exam this year.  Wang Jiao said that Li Shuyong resents her sister's Internet addiction and has been verbally abusive towards her.  The parents give Li Shuyong 500 RMB for living expenses, but just 100 RMB to Li Shufen.  Thus, the parents favored boys over girls.  "Her death may be related to her family," Wang Jiao told the reporter.

At around 8am on the morning of July 1 more than one hundred persons were already gathered around the refrigerated coffin that held the body of Li Shufen.  When they learned that we were Hong Kong reporers, they surrounded us to tell us about what has been happening in Weng'an during the past week.  "Hong Kong reporters serve some use.  Our local newspapers are useless, because officials protect each other."

There were old, middle-aged, young people and children in the crowd.  They wore peasant clothes, t-shirts, leather shoes, slippers, ... the talk went back and forth.  Some people were angry and emoted; other people were only here to enjoy the spectacle and they laughed as they spoke.  "We are Weng'an citizens not related to the deceased.  We spontaneously come here to watch over the refrigerated coffin out of sympathy."

"The body was retrieved by the uncle of Li Shufen in the middle of the night, and the fire department showed up after daybreak on the next morning.  But the broadcasts are saying that the fire department recovered the body."  "There were signs of injuries on the body.  There were strangulation marks on the throat.  On the night of the incident, nearby peasants heard cries for help."  "This was a rape scene.  There was blood here.  The public security people arrived and destroyed the evidence."

This is a news story that is vey exciting, rich and fully of legends.  So we asked: "Which one of you personally witnessed the recovery of the body? the beating of the uncle? the blood at the rape scene? the removal of the internal organs during the autopsy?"  Everybody became quiet for a while.  Finally, a Ms. Zhang in front laughed and said: "We all heard about it.  We did not see it."  "But all officials are crooked.  When the son of the director of the public security bureau murders someone, he is not punished!" she added.

As we left, a dozen citizens walked with us along the side of the Simen river and waited until we got into the taxi and left.  "You should take care and leave Weng'an quickly.  There are bad people who may want to take revenge on you."  The people may not be able to tell right from wrong, but they are not asking for too much.  More than one taxi driver told us: "The Li Shufen affair was just the fuse.  Many people may not know what the truth is.  But public anger has been tremendous during the recent years.  Things have calmed down because there are several thousand armed policemen here.  If they are not around, the people will go into action again sooner or later."

There are varous civilian versions about the death of Li Shufen: it was a rape-murder; it was revenge; it was a love quarrel.  But none of these are backed up by accurate information.  Likewise, the government version does not pass either.  Nobody has been able to contact the three key persons at the scene: Wang Jiao, Chen Guangquan and Liu Yanchao.  Everybody says, "They have disappeared."

The models of this paper treat binary decisions -- those where an actor has two distinct and mutually exclusive behavioral alternatives.  In most cases the decision can be thought of as having a positive side and negative side -- deciding to do a thing or not, as in deciding whether to join a riot -- though this is not required for formal analysis.  A further requirement is that the decision be one where the costs and benefits to the actor of making one or the other choice depends in part on how many others make which choice.  We may take riots as an example.  The cost to an individual of joining a riot declines as riots size increases, since the probabiilty of being apprehended is smaller the larger the number involved.

The individuals in these models are assumed rational -- that is, given their goals and preferences, and their perception of their situations, they act so as to maximize their utility.  Individual differences are a main focus of the models.  Different individuals require different levels of safety before entering a riot and also vary in the benefits they derive from rioting.  The crucial concept for describing such variation among individuals is that of "threshold."  A person's threshold for joining a riot is defined here as the proportion of a group he would have to see before he woudl do so.  A "radical" will have a low threshold: the benefits of rioting are high to him, the cost of arrest, low.  Some would be sufficiently radical to have a threshold of 0% -- people who will riot even when no one else does  These are the "instigators."  Conservatives will have high thresholds: the benefits of rioting are small or negative to them and the consequences of arrest high since they are likely to be "respectable citizens" rather than "known rabble-rousers."  Thresholds of 80% or 90% may be common, and we may allow for these individuals who would not join under any circumstances by assigning them a threshold of 100%.


Imagine 100 people milling around in a square -- a potential riot situation.  Suppose their riot thresholds are distributed as follows: there is one individual with threshold 0, one with threshold 1, one with threshold 2, and so on up to the last individual with thershold 99.  This is a uniform distribution of thresholds.  The outcome is clear and could be described as a "bandwagon" or "domino" effect: the person with threshold 0, the "instigator," engages in riot behavior - -braeks a window, say.  This activates the person with threshold 1; the acivity of these two people then activates the person with thrshold 2, and so on, until all 100 people have joined.  The equilibrium is 100.

Now perturb this distribution as follows.  Remove the individual with threshold 1 and replace  him by one with threshold 2.  By all of our usual awys of describing groups of people, the two crowds are essentially identical.  But the outcome of the second case is quite different -- the instigator riots, but there is now no one with threshold 1, and so the riot ends at that point, with one rioter.

Even this simple-minded example makes the main point suggested earlier: it is hazardous to infer individual dispositions from aggregate outcomes.  Newspaper reports of the two events would surely be written as, in the first cae, "A crowd of radicals engaged in riotous behavior"; in the second, "A demented troublemaker broke a window while a group of solid citizens looked on."  We know, however (since we constructied the example), that the two crowds are almost identical in composition; the different in outcome results only from the process in aggregation, and in particular from the gap in the frequency distributionin the second case.

Why do I want to tell you this?  On one hand, here is this bit from The Weng'an Mass Incident:

Interview with detained young troublemaker: 13-year-old Huang X had just graduated from elementary school.  An armed police officer brought him into the courtyard.  He cried and said: "At just past 4pm on June 28, I was at the school entrance and someone said that many people are causing a scene at the county government office.  Out of curiosity, I went over there to see.  I saw many people throwing rocks to smash the windows at the county government and public security bureau buildings.  Someone was calling to dare the police on top of the public security bureau building to come down.  Several dozen adults led the way by overturning cars.  Someone else was settling the cars on fire.  The people who set the fires were armed with steel rods.  I did not know what was going on, but I joined them.  I pushed at one car.  I did not overturn it, and I did not set it on fire.  Afterwards, I was scared and I hid on the roof for a while."

[ESWN Comment: In Weng'an, it was an explosive mix of several things.  First, there was apparently a large number (to the order of 200 to 300) of instigators (whom the government is now claiming to be local criminal organizations such as the Yushan gang).  Second, when these instigators took action, the police did not respond with force.  This reduces the perception of risk for the spectators and lowers their thresholds to join.  Third, the threshold distribution among the Weng'a population was relatively shifted towards the low end due to festering dissatisfation about economic, social, corruption and crime issues over the long term.]

On the other hand, there is an example of what has been frequently happening (BBC News, July 19, 2000):

Dozens of members of China's banned spiritual sect, Falun Gong, have attempted a daring protest in Tiananmen Square in the centre of Beijing. Eyewitnesses say at least 100 members of the group were dragged away by police as they attempted to unfurl banners and shout slogans.  This latest protest by Falun Gong comes despite a massive police operation to try and prevent members of the banned group from entering Beijing.  Eyewitnesses say the protest appeared to be well organised. As if on cue, small groups of followers, dotted across the vast square, unfurled banners and began chanting slogans.  In a frenzied response, teams of police pounced on the protestors often knocking them to the ground before dragging them away.  

[ESWN Comment: Tiananmen Square is China's most visible open space.  It is known pratice for the public security bureau to remove all demonstrators as quickly as possible.  Without instigators, it is hard to start anything (unless the threshold distribution has really moved towards the low end).  However, this policy cannot be used everywhere in China because it is impossible to have an overwhelming presence everywhere all of the time.  In the case of Weng'an county, the local militia and armed poilce was looking at a crowd estimated to be in the order of 10,000, and had to summon reinforcements from elsewhere.  The best policy is to find ways of shfiting the threshold distribution to the upper end and render the instigators irrelevant.  For example, the Weng'an incident does not seem likely to be possible in Hong Kong.]

A girlfriend of mine who only cares about Korean serial dramas and cosmetics but not current affairs angrily told me: "Have you heard about the Guizhou affair?  The son of a department chief raped many girls, but the government took no action.  So several tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest."  At first, I thought that there was a new incident in Guizhou.  After listening to her some more, I was sure that she was talking about the Weng'an incident.  I tried to explain to her, but I found out that she was actually not interested in the truth.  The reason why she was angry was that she found that this piece of hearsay once again reaffirmed her fixed opinion about local governments in mainland China.

The Weng'an Mass Incident collects many different versions and interpretations.  As such, there is plenty of opportunity for people to be 'stupid' about this.  What is 'stupidity'?  Is there more than one kind of stupidity?  Here is one typology:

(TomDispatch.com)  How Ignorant Are We?  Rick Shenkman

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." -- Thomas Jefferson

Just how stupid are we? Pretty stupid, it would seem, when we come across headlines like this: "Homer Simpson, Yes -- 1st Amendment 'Doh,' Survey Finds" (Associated Press 3/1/06).

"About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the fictional cartoon family, according to a survey.

"The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms."

But what does it mean exactly to say that American voters are stupid? About this there is unfortunately no consensus. Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who confessed not knowing how to define pornography, we are apt simply to throw up our hands in frustration and say: We know it when we see it. But unless we attempt a definition of some sort, we risk incoherence, dooming our investigation of stupidity from the outset. Stupidity cannot mean, as Humpty Dumpty would have it, whatever we say it means.

Five defining characteristics of stupidity, it seems to me, are readily apparent.

  • First, is sheer ignorance: Ignorance of critical facts about important events in the news, and ignorance of how our government functions and who's in charge.
  • Second, is negligence: The disinclination to seek reliable sources of information about important news events.
  • Third, is wooden-headedness, as the historian Barbara Tuchman defined it: The inclination to believe what we want to believe regardless of the facts.
  • Fourth, is shortsightedness: The support of public policies that are mutually contradictory, or contrary to the country's long-term interests.
  • Fifth, and finally, is a broad category I call bone-headedness, for want of a better name: The susceptibility to meaningless phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases, and simplistic diagnoses and solutions that play on our hopes and fears.

A reporter for Hong Kong's populist Apple Daily newspaper, known for its critical editorial line on China, was denied entry into Beijing this week, the paper's chief editor said on Thursday.  With just over a month to go before the start of the Beijing Olympics on August 8, the Hong Kong based newspaper, known for its pro-democracy stance and critical Chinese reportage, said one of its senior reporters had been turned away at Beijing on July 1 and had his travel document confiscated.

"We had a reporter attempt to go to Beijing to report and he had his home return permit confiscated and he was forced onto the next plane back," Apple Daily's chief editor Cheng Ming-yan told Reuters, referring to the travel document that allows Hong Kong residents to enter mainland China.  Cheng said no reasons were given for barring the reporter -- Norman Choy -- except a citing of national security laws by Chinese authorities.

Beijing, as part of its pre-Olympic pledges, has undertaken to allow journalists, particularly those from overseas, full access to report in the country.  In reality however, incidents such as the Tibet riots in March and the running of the Olympic torch relay in Xinjiang have seen the movement of foreign reporters severely curtailed.

"We feel this incident is very serious ... they have violated their Olympic promise to allow full press freedoms," Cheng added.

Apple Daily's reporters are unique among Hong Kong's media outlets for not usually being granted official journalistic accreditation to enter mainland China, but are nevertheless often allowed to travel there on an unofficial basis.

"We've been hearing rumors that Beijing has been tightening restrictions on certain media and suspicious individuals ... I was prepared to be followed or to have my credentials checked, but to have my travel document confiscated surprised me," said Choy, Apple Daily's principal reporter, who said he had been allowed into Beijing for previous trips in May and last August.

(Apple Daily)

According to Apple Daily principal reporter Norman Choy, he was on a Dragon Air flight with cameraman on Tuesday.  At about 7pm, they arrived at the Beijing airport.  The cameraman in front of him passed border control inspection.  When he provided his home return permit, the border control officer looked at the computer, asked Choy to wait and summoned a colleague.  This other border control officer asked to see Choy's Hong Kong resident card and then took him into a room.  Five minutes later, another border control officer asked Choy where he worked (Apple Daily), his Hong Kong address as well as where he planned to say in Beijing.  Ten minutes later, a border control officer told Choy that his home return permit has been confiscated under the National Security Laws and he has to return to Hong Kong immediately.  Choy asked for the reason why his home permit card was being confiscated.  A senior border control officer stood at attention, pointed to his ID and repeated the same words before.  There was no explanation about which articles of the National Security Laws were being invoked.

Norman Choy asked for a written statement about why he was being sent back.  But the border control officer named Zhao told him to go back and look up the National Security Laws on the Internet.  Finally, Choy was escorted by two border control officers to board the 6:30pm Dragon Air flight back to Hong Kong.

According to Apple Daily's chief editor Cheng Ming-yan, the newspaper understands that Norman Choy should be able to cover the Beijing Olympics.  He has prepaid the fees to stay at the Olympic village and he has filed right documents with the relevant authorities.  He does not understand why the Beijing authorities could invoke the National Security Laws to confiscate the home return permit and make it impossible to conduct news coverage.

(The Sun/Oriental Daily)

Apple Daily reporter Norman Choy quoted local officials that he was being denied entry according to National Security Laws and his home return permit was also confiscated.  He returned to Hong Kong by air on the same day.  Apple Daily said that the reporter had applied to Beijing to cover the Olympics and he had also paid the fees to stay at the Olympic village.  But he has not received a press card yet.  The newspaper believes that filing an application and paying the relevant fees qualified Choy to gather news.  The newspaper will be negotiating with the relevant parties.

Next Media publications including Apple Daily advocate citizens to demonstrate on July 1 each year.  They are regarded as being opposed to China, making trouble in Hong Kong and colluding with American interests.  Their reporters have requested repeatedly to cover news in China and repeatedly rejected.  Earlier this year, Next Media Group chairman Jimmy Lai said in Taiwan that he does not like to see the word Zhongguo (=China) and that since the Chinese Nationalist Party was elected by the people of Taiwan and unconnected to China, the prefix Chinese should be purged from the name of the party.  In April this year, Apple Daily (Taiwan) wanted to accompany former premier Vincent Siew to cover the Bo Ao Forum in Hainan, but permission was not granted.  Mainland officials have commented many times on Apple Daily/Next Media reporters not being permitted to cover news on the mainland, saying "They know what they've done."

A girlfriend of mine who only cares about Korean serial dramas and cosmetics but not current affairs angrily told me: "Have you heard about the Guizhou affair?  The son of a department chief raped many girls, but the government took no action.  So several tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest."  At first, I thought that there was a new incident in Guizhou.  After listening to her some more, I was sure that she was talking about the Weng'an incident.  I tried to explain to her, but I found out that she was actually not interested in the truth.  The reason why she was angry was that she found that this piece of hearsay once again reaffirmed her fixed opinion about local governments in mainland China.

When faced with this kind of hearsay, a journalist would not accept it lightly.  Instead, it may ignite an interest to investigate the case.  After all, the videos and photos on the Internet are not hearsay.  As for the cause, it requires a third-party confirmation.  Another type of person who would not accept it lightly are those who are used to listening to hearsays and prefer to use their own judgment and thinking to reach a conclusion.  These people hold a cautious attitude and pay continual attention to the developments.  After all, rumors usually contain too many flaws, some of which are not reasonable.  Of course, sometimes the rumors get confirmed and it only makes it worse.

The people who readily believe it are like my girlfriend.  They have a pre-existing credibility issue with the local governments in mainland China.  Therefore, they will believe it anything bad because this re-affirms the fact that the local governments are bad.  These people hold such attitudes out of a strong sense of justice and sympathy.  And then there are some people who will believe whatever they hear.  There are also those who want to have a good time whether the activity is legal or not, because if other people are doing it, then it must be alright.


Hong Kong media paid close attention to this affair.  Many reporters went to Weng'an immediately, even though they did not have any investigative reporting.  Even so, the Hong Kong media interviewed the uncle of the deceased girl.  His comments on camera and the follow-up mainland media reports provided at least two credible facts.  First, the uncle had not been beaten to death.  Secondly, he was beaten by unidentified persons.  Another confirmed fact was that the local citizens have been asked to be careful about what they say.  It is somewhat abnormal to demand that citizens be careful about what they say.  I frequently receive letters and telephone calls to ask about certain injustices, as if the petition system does not exist.  This is also somewhat abnormal, because this leads one to wonder why these people could not count on the administrative and judicial systems and had to place their hopes on the media (and public opinion) instead.

It does not matter how dissatisfied you are, because it is definitely against the law to take those kinds of actions (namely, hitting, vandalizing, looting, arson, etc).  As the Guizhou provincial government official said, it is necessary to reflect on the underlying structural causes about why these people employed such extreme methods.  If this was a case of organized crime challenging the authority of the government, then two questions are raised.  First of all, how did the government leave room for organized crime to grow and flourish?  Secondly, does the government have the ability to go after organized crime?  But if this case was an explosion of public discontent and distrust, then this case rose out of other problems (and not organized crime).  This kind of distrust is like the distrust of my girlfriend.  The distrust of the local citizens is the accumulation of many mundane issues in daily life over time.  To regain their trust, it is necessary to make them feel that the government is there to serve the people.  Of course, after the local citizens regain their trust, the prejudices of people like my girlfriend will also change gradually over time because there will be fewer biased rumors to go around.

Even if organized crime was involved in the Weng'an incident, the local government cannot avoid its share of responsibility.  It was dereliction of duty on the part of the local government that organized crime had the power and opportunities.  Some people may use the excuse that people are dumb and ignorant, but even so it is still the responsibility of the government (to educate people about civics and law).

In order to absorb the lessons from "Tiger Photo Gate as well as educate and rectify bureaucratic style, the Shaanxi provincial government called a meeting of a thousand senior cadres.  But even as the speakers on the podium enumerated the painful problems of bureaucratic indifference and carelessness found in this case, sounds of snoring came from the audience.  Indeed, it was an awesome sight -- there could not have been a more ironic meeting.  The snoring sounds that rose around hall reminded the leaders on the podium that this was the perfect demonstration of what they wanted to communicate.

Maybe it is normal for government officials to fall asleep during meetings; maybe they have been working hard day and night and they want to take a short nap to recover ... apart from all that, I think that the main reason was that most of the attendees believed that "they were not involved in the tiger photo affair and therefore they didn't need to care."  Thus, they considered themselves to be outsiders.

... To put it bluntly, Tiger Photos Gate was the product of bureaucratic behavior.  We now know that the South China tiger photo affair took place in Shaanxi province, and its impact was felt across only somebody had been a bit more responsible, a bit more cautious, a bit more strict, a bit more disciplined during any stage of the affair, the final outcome could have been avoided ..."  It was the bureaucratic style that led to the mistakes.  The Zhenping town and Shaanxi provincial forestry departments and governments took more than 8 months to solve the case of the tiger photos.  Meanwhile, the verdict was already well-known to the general public already.  This can be considered a classical case of the bureaucratic style in action.  So it is no surprise that some of the attendees at this meeting still have not waken up.

Although the tiger photos affair is over, some officials have yet to learn the lesson.  The conclusion was that Zhou Zhenglong alone was responsible for forging the photos but some government officials were sanctioned for personal activities.  For example, Guan Ke was dismissed because "he violated organizational discipline by setting up a personal blog."  Zhu Julong was relieved of his duties because "he spoke inappropriately and seriously violated discipline."  So it would seem that this entire affair was caused by specific persons or departments.  As a result, other government officials might wonder: "Someone else made those mistakes, so why is there a rectification campaign for us?"  The lack of the will to pursue this case to the bottom has meant the true lessons cannot be taught and learned.

More importantly, there hasn't been a sufficiently thorough consideration of the tiger photos affair.  On the surface, the relevant individuals have been punished.  But the deep structural reasons have not been sufficiently considered.  Anyone who knows how this affair happened know that the people with the forestry departments of Zhenping town and Shaanxi province were interested in the tiger photos on account of the economic interests for their departments and themselves.  When Zhenping town heard that a tiger has been seen, they set up an advertising billboard for their town; the provincial forestry department began to budget for a "wildlife preservation area."  While the farce of the tiger photos affair has ended, the mad desire to pursue economic interests has persisted among the local government departments and officials.  Unless this "GDP over all else" mentality is stopped, officials will continue to use "Tiger Zhou"-like methods to get promotions and make money.  In my opinion, this is the fatal cause of Tiger Photos Gate. ...

Zhou Zhenglong collected an interview fee, and then promptly asked that same reporter to swear that he does not accept money.  This seemingly absurd story shows an aspect of Zhou Zhenglong's personality.

Southern Weekend's Pan Xiaoling was one of the first to arrive in Zhenping town to interview Zhou Zhenglong.  She told <yWeekend> that her interviews at the various local government departments did not get more information.  More critical to her was how the netizens advanced the story.  Here is Pan Xiaoling's story in her own words.

On the second day after the publication of the tiger photos, I was on my way.  When I headed out there, I was not dubious.  At the time, I thought that this was a very important story about the South China tiger which had not been seen in the wilderness for 20 to 30 years.  When I arrived in Xi'an, I interviewed the provincial forestry department's wildlife preservation bureau chief Wang Wanyun.  On the third day, I arrived in Zhenping and I sensed that something was wrong.  The dubious voices on the Internet had begun and they became increasingly vociferous.  At the time, I felt that there was a big change in the direction of the reporting.

After the tiger photos were published, a netizen used an animated file to combine the three photos and showed that the tiger had not moved an inch.  Meanwhile, everything else had moved and not just negligibly.  The backgrounds were different, the heights were different, the angles were different but the tiger did not change.  This was impossible.  A solid object has to look different when viewed from a different angle.  People found out that the tiger was like the two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional object.  There was a different in the distance, but the angle of viewing induced no change.

This was a relatively early analysis made by a netizen, and it was very persuasive.

The first three media to arrive in Zhenping town were Southern Weekend, Guangzhou Daily and Beijing News.  At first, we all held a very positive view to bear witness to this important discovery.  In the end, we all reversed positions and started to have doubts.  Therefore, the entire traditional mainstream media reporting of this affair followed the direction indicated by the Internet opinion.  The true player who determined the importance and process was the Internet.

Zhou Zhenglong demanded us to pay him an interview.  He believed that he was losing money by sitting home and talking to us.  We bargained until we got down to 200 RMB per newspaper.  I did not give him any money, but the Beijing News and Guangzhou Daily reporters gave him money.

On that evening, I blogged to say that Tiger Zhou wanted an interview fee.  On the next day, we were once again sitting at his home to chat.  A Shanghai newspaper reporter called up and asked if it was true that Zhou demanded an interview fee as reported in Southern Weekend.  He got very angry and said, "How could I be demanding money?  Why do I want money from the reporters?  I have never done any such thing!"  Then he passed the telephone to us so that we can be his witness: "Have I ever taken your money?"  At the time, the three of us were stunned.  A normal person should have been embarrassed.  But he was not only not embarrassed, he even talked bravely as if we had done wrong.  From this alone, we can tell that he was no ordinary person and that was why he was able to receive hundreds of reporters eat month and repeat his set of lies about how the tiger frightened him, how he reacted and how firm and steady he was.

I cannot forget about his animated way of talking.  I felt that he even began to believe himself and that the tiger was real.

The county city hotel owners said that this period was the best for their business.  A hundred media organizations sent people there, and the seven or eight local hotels were full.  In such a small town, the reporters frequently run into each other.  For example, a large group may be over at Zhou Zhenglong's house, or they go out and dine in the evening, or they return to their hotels.  When the reporters met, they discuss the tiger photos.  At first, the reporters were divided into the pro- and con- camps.  When the arguments got heated, people even employed foul language.  We all wanted to convince the other side.

But after two or three days, more and more evidence appeared on the Internet.  Experts spoke out.  Things became clear pretty soon, and everybody quickly reached the consensus that the tiger photos were forgeries for certain.  Then everybody shifted the focus of their stories, and they went to question Zhou Zhenlong and wanted him to tell the truth.  Apart from one newspaper, basically no other media believed what the relevant local government departments were saying.

Now that the results are out, many netizens are still not satisfied.  Netizens did not think that Zhou Zhenlong had the required photography skills and wondered if there was someone pulling the strings behind the scene.  I feel that the netizens' opinion is not unreasonable, so why shouldn't we wonder?

(Journalist Wu Hanpin's blog)

I visited several places this morning, including a hospital.  I saw a seven-year-old boy whose left leg was injured.  The doctor said that it was a flesh wound and there was no bone damage.

On June 28, this boy took part in the mass incident.  A reporter asked him why.  He said that he was angry because the police refused to care about the death of a person.  Someone asked him who told him to say these things.  He said that this was what he saw himself.  He said that he went down by the river to look at the refrigerated coffin of the dead girl.  Nobody cared either.

I asked him what he did on that day.  He said that he was small and could not do the other things.  So he only released air from the car tires.  I asked him how many car tires did he work on.  He answered in his childish voice, "Two."

How did he get injured?  He said that he got hurt when the police advanced.  He had no idea what caused his injury.  He said that there were too many people around him at the time.

His dad was unhappy.  He took the boy there to watch what was happening.  At first, he held the boy in his arm.  But the boy said that he could not see anything and wanted to come down.  Once down, he vanished in a flash.  The next time the dad saw the boy, it was at the hospital.

I don't know what to say.  This matter gave me a lot to think about.

Also on the morning, Guizhou provincial deputy party secretary Wang Fuyu and vice-governor Huang Kongsheng visited the Weng'an 6.28 incident command center to check on the preparations of the report from the working group of seven persons.

These seven people are the Weng'an Number Three Middle School Form 2 student Wu Qing, Weng'an entrepreneur Zhao Chengguo, 82-year-old retired cadre and party member Cheng Wenqing, Weng'an county Yuhua town party disciplinary committee secretary Huang Guoxing, Weng'an county Fire Department comander Huang Wei, Weng'ai county public security bureau police patrol squad commander Huang Cheng and Weng'ai county deputy mayor Xiao Song.

The draft speeches for these seven persons have been repeatedly edited and revised by the Publicity Department.  My guess is that the local Publicity Department "interviewed" these individuals first and then wrote their speeches based upon what these said, while adding what needs to be added and deleting what needs to be deleted.  I just received a copy of their speeches and some of the content is impenetrable and won't be easily understood by ordinary people.

This morning, the Guizhou provincial leaders listened to the speeches once and gave it a "high rating."  Tomorrow, these people will go to Guiyang City and deliver the speeches again.

(Guiyang Daily via 163.com)

At 7:00pm on June 30, this reporter interviewed some of the eyewitnesses of the 6.28 incident.  They told the reporter what they saw and heard.

Villager Peng Qinggui: I personally saw how the county party, the county government, the public security bureau, the treasury and the civic affairs bureau buildings being set on fire.  It was a terrifying situation.  The decent people of Weng'an know that it is a crime to smash car and set fire to buildings so they would not be doing that.  It is just some criminal elements who used the drowning death of Li Shufen to incite the crowd to riot.  Based upon the situation, there was about a couple of hundred people who were leading the the looting, vandalism and arson.  They usually charged at the sound of long whistles and they retreated at the sound of short whistles.

Villager Chen Qingshu: At the time of the incident, I saw a few teenagers throwing rocks at the police and the building as well as setting off fireworks.  I was very worried.  I asked them why they were throwing rocks.  The children said that they had no idea and they were doing this because others were doing it.  This showed that they did not realize the causes or consequences of the incident and they were just feeding off rumors.  This showed that the crowd and the students were being used.

Entrepreneur Zhao Chenggui (the boss of a hair salon): At around 4pm that afternoon, I had just finished talking business.  Suddenly my family called me to say that up to ten thousand people are causing trouble at the county public security bureau building.  It went through my head immediately that the Toyota Corolla that I parked in front of the public security building was doomed.  So I rushed over to the scene and saw that my vehicle was resting upside down.  Someone had punctured the gasoline tank and set a fire.  I saw that there must be 10,000 spectators.  Several hundred people were ready to charge into the lobby of the public security building.  Several dozen militia policemen had formed a police line.  Several dozen people threw rocks and bricks at these militia policemen, some of whom were bleeding from the assault.  But the militia policeman were restrained and stuck to their discipline of never retaliating with words or actions.  Finally, when the bricks, rocks and steel rods got too much, the militia policemen retreated into the lobby.  At the sound of long whistles, two to three hundred people attacked; at the sound of short whistles, they retreated.  I saw many people going into the public security bureau building and coming out with confiscated restricted weapons such as machetes and daggers.  After the militia policemen were forced to retreat to the second floor, a few dozen people hauled two police vehicles up the steps in front of the entrance.  Someone smashed the car windows, placed large numbers of file documents taken from the offices on the car seats and set off fires.  The flames soared high while the black smoke rose into the sky.  The entire public security bureau building was on fire.  The crowd then charged at the county government building which they set on fire with the liquid gas that they brought.  People went through the first floor to the fifth floor, emptying drawers, smashing desks and throwing computers on the ground.  Someone looted the computer CPU boxes and monitors.  Then they set the county party office building on fire.  The sky was red from the fire.  Several dozen armed police officers came to defend the county party office and county government office buildings.  But a group of people with machetes and iron rods attacked them and made them back off.

A Weng'an High School student: At 4:30pm on that afternoon, we were still taking an examination.  After the exam was over, we heard that there was an incident at the county.  When I and my fellow students arrived at the scene, the looting, vandalism and arson had already begun.  We did not understand the truth, but we wanted to watch.

Provincial People's Congress and County People's Congress representative Cao Dongmei: I did not think that this was a case of middle school students causing trouble.  This was not as simple as people speaking out on behalf of the dead person.  This incident was exploited by persons with ulterior motives, with the possible direct participation of organized crime figures.  At the scene, I observed that someone was directing the charges and retreats by blowing long and short whistles.  When the students and the masses moved up, the 200 rioters backed off.  When the students and the masses got quiet, these people moved up to create disturbance.  Sometimes, the noise was too loud and people could not hear the sound of the whistles.  So these people watched the hand signal from their leader.  When I told the students not to charge, one of the persons in the group told me fiercely, "If you dare to dissuade them again, I'll beat you to death."

7-year-old boy Wang XX participated in releasing air from car tires: At around 1pm on July 1, the reporter interviewed Wang XX at the Weng'an County People's Hospital.  At the time, his father Wang Huafei was tending after him.  The young boy was lying on the bed.  When asked why he was releasing air from car tires, he said: "I heard that people were creating a scene over at the county government building.  So I went with my father to see what was going on.  Since there were too many people standing in front of us, I could not see anything.  My father put me on top of the engine hood of a tricycle.  When my father was not paying attention, I sneaked out into the crowd.  Then two adults told me to release the air out of car times.  So I went and released the air out of two car tires.  When asked how he got hurt, he said: "The police moved up and the people retreated.  I got hurt."

Detained troublemaking youth Huang X: At 2pm, the reporter went to the Weng'an county detention center and interviewed 13-year-old Huang X who had just graduated from elementary school.  An armed police officer brought him into the courtyard.  He cried and said: "At just past 4pm on June 28, I was at the school entrance and someone said that many people are causing a scene at the county government office.  Out of curiosity, I went over there to see.  I saw many people throwing rocks to smash the windows at the county government and public security bureau buildings.  Someone was calling to dare the police on top of the public security bureau building to come down.  Several dozen adults led the way by overturning cars.  Someone else was settling the cars on fire.  The people who set the fires were armed with steel rods.  I did not know what was going on, but I joined them.  I pushed at one car.  I did not overturn it, and I did not set it on fire.  Afterwards, I was scared and I hid on the roof for a while.

What are you most concerned about?
56%: economic problems (compared to 40% in December 2007)
35%: social problems (compared to 53% in December 2007)
  4%: political problems (compared to 6% in December 2007)


Current social condition
40%: Satisfied (compared to 53% in December 2007)
27%: Dissatisfied (compared to 18% in December 2007)

Current economic condition
31%: Satisfied (compared to 55% in December 2007)
34%: Dissatisfied (compared to 31% in December 2007)

Current political condition
30%: Satisfied (compared to 37% in December 2007)
33%: Dissatisfied (compared to 27% in December 2007)


Social condition in last 3 years
41%: Better (compared to 59% in December 2007)
31%: Worse (compared to 16% in December 2007)

Economic condition in last 3 years
48%: Better (compared to 73% in December 2007)
35%: Worse (compared to 11% in December 2007)

Political condition in last 3 years
39%: Better (compared to 49% in December 2007)
28%: Worse (compared to 16% in December 2007)


Social conditions in next 3 years
31%: Better (compared to 39% in December 2007)
31%: Worse (compared to 18% in December 2007)

Economic conditions in next 3 years
31%: Better (compared to 40% in December 2007)
36%: Worse (compared to 19% in December 2007)

Political conditions in next 3 years
33%: Better (compared to 37% in December 2007)
24%: Worse (compared to 15% in December 2007)

The Shaanxi 'Tiger Zhou' has finally been determined to be a forgery by the government.  The principal Zhou Zhenglong has been arrested and 13 government officials have been disciplined.  Although the "pro-tiger" folks tried hard, mainstream public opinion had announced this conclusion a long time ago and pressed for an official declaration.  Therefore, this is a victory for public opinion that deserves to be cheered.

Since this victory was hard-earned, I think it is less important to cheer than to summarize how the victory was gained.  That is to say, how did public opinion advance the situation positively and affect the eventual government decision?


First, when the affair began, public opinion quickly went beyond the pursuit of the person known as Zhou Zhenglong to point towards the possible manipulation by authorities behind the scene.  While it is important to monitor and condemn what a person does, we do not want a "violence of the majority" to invade personal privacy without restriction.  From the Internet affairs such as the "Bronze Moustache affair," "the Jiang Yan affair" and other cases, it is easy to overstep that boundary with the invocation of "human flesh search engines" in a spurt of rage.  It is more important to question the use of public power.  If Zhou Zhenglong had just faked some photos for his own amusement or to defraud a clean government, the public opinion would not have become a raging torrent as it did.  The wonderful thing here was that the mainstream public opinion was focused on uncovering the truth while still being sympathetic towards Zhou Zhenglong as a person because he is regarded as a sacrificial lamb for interests of the bureaucrats behind the scene.

Secondly, public opinion was not hijacked by certain abstract ideas and trapped in the quagmire of empty talk.  Instead, public opinion was seriously analzying the issues and dealing with the facts.  The mainstream public opinion was not about wielding the big stick of morality.  It did not label Zhou Zhenglong as a "Shaanxi corrupt element," "peasant traitor" and other terms.  The netizens and the experts made detailed studies of the photographs, they followed up on the evidence, they reconstructed the scene and so on.  It is commonsense to say that facts always win over the arguments.  This was adequately proven in this affair.

Thirdly, the most important thing was that public opinion was not controlled by the authorities.  In this affair, the public opinions were rational and clear.  As with anything else, many people ignored the facts and engaged in abuse.  That is normal, and also not so frightening.  What is more frightening is when the authorities control, restrict or manipulate public opinion.  During the 'Tiger Zhou' affair, the local official attempted to interfere with public opinion.  For example, none of the local Shaanxi media carried much coverage or commentary.  During the 'two Congresses' earlier this year, all the Shaanxi delegates and representatives kept mum.  The invisible hand of power could be perceived.  But overall, the public space was basically healthy without being too restrictive.  I believe that in an open public space without the ghosts of power lurking behind, the rational voices will ultimately be heard and lead the public opinion.

[in transation]

At 13:30 on July 1, our reporter interviewed Weng'an county Yuhua Town Middle School teacher Li Xiuzhong at the Weng'an People's Hospital.  Li Xiuzhong is the uncle of the Form 3 Weng'an County Number Three Middle School student Li Shufen.  At the time of the interview, Li Xiuzhong was in bed.  He was very angry about the rumors of his death at the hands of the militia police: "I am not dead yet.  Please do not spread rumors."

He told the reporter: "Late night on June 22, I received the news that my niece Li Shufen had died in the Simen River of the county city.  I immediately went to the scene to help recover the body.  After the body was recovered, the county public security bureau notified me to go down.  I entered the office of militia police officer Zhang Ming.  He was working and he impatiently yelled at me: "What are you doing here?"  Due to the recent death of my niece, I was impatient and I said: "I've come to fool around."  Zhang Ming yelled: "Get out!"  Then he came over to push me out.  There was a clash.  Afterwards, the Education Department asked me to go down to the police station so that they can find out what happened.  Afterwards, I left the police station.  When I reached the insurance company office, six unidentified persons suddenly appeared and assaulted me.  I called 110 and the police came and took me to the hospital for treatment.  Since I was seriously injured, I was kept in the hospital during the whole time.  I had no idea that there was a demonstration that led to hitting, vandalizing and arson.  On the day of the incident, my family members told me that nine out of ten people in the street thought that the police had beaten me death and that as many as 10,000 people were seeking justice for me and Li Shufen."

Li Xiuzhong said: "As a member of the family of the deceased, I never imagine that things would turn out this way.  I believe that my family members would never hit, vandalize and burn the county party, county government and public security bureau offices.  I did not want to see instances of hitting, vandalism and arson.  My family members knew that I was still alive, and they would never say that I was dead.  They knew that the public security people would not beat me to get a confession and there had only been an accidental clash.  They knew that I was assaulted by unidentified persons outside of the public security bureau office.  They would never say that I was beaten to confess."

"I believe that the matter had been expanded and manipulated by certain people with ulterior motives," said Li Xiuzhong.  "I am thankful to the leaders, reporters and citizens who care about me.  The provincial public security bureau, county education department and other leaders have visited me at the hospital.  With the good care from the hospital, I am feeling a lot better physically.  I heard that the militia police officer who clashed me was suspended for fifteen days.  The public security bureau is investigating the incident of my being assaulted by unidentified persons.  I believe that the government will be fair and just in how they handled the hitting, vandalism and arson, and give justice to those criminal elements, my attackers as well as the masterminds.  I believe that the government will deal with the case of my niece appropriately.  I hope that she will be buried in peace.  I hope that people will not believe in any rumors."

Well, it has nothing to do with the photos of famous television host Ou Zhihang's series of photos of himself doing push-ups in the nude overlooking famous landmarks in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Instead, it has to do with The Weng'an Mass Incident.  The official Guizhou provincial version of the suicide death of the 15-year-old female student contains this description:

At around 20:00 on June 21, Li Shufen and her girlfriend Wang went out.  They had dinner along with Wang's boyfriend Chen and Chen's friend Liu.  Afterwards, they strolled down to the bridge over Simen river to chat.  During the chat, Li Shufen suddenly told Liu: "I might as well as kill myself by jumping into the river.  But if I don't die, I will try to lead a good life afterwards."  Liu immediately grabbed Li and stopped her from doing so.  About 10 minutes later, Chen said that he was leaving.  Liu saw that Li had calmed down and so he began to do push-ups.  By the third one, Liu suddenly heard Li said: "I'm going" and then she jumped into the river.  Liu jumped in after her immediately ...

Fed up with the repeated deletions of forum posts on the Weng'an mass incident, the netizens began instead to flood the forums with discussions of doing push-ups without any reference to Weng'an.  This phrase has many potential interpretations, but the overall tone is sarcastic.  Hey, are you doing to delete posts about push-ups now?

According to the Guizhou provincial public security bureau information office spokesperson, the Weng'an county public security bureau received a call at 00:27 on June 22, 2008 that someone had jumped into the river.  The command center ordered the Yongyang town police station to send militia police officers to the scene and also notified the fire department.  The militia police arrived at the scene and began to search for the body.  Since it was dark, it was around 3am that they finally fetched the body of the drowned girl.  The emergency medical crew determined that the girl was already dead.  The police then interrogated the three persons (Liu, Chen and Wang) who made the call to 110 (the police telephone number).  The police learned that the drowned girl was named Li Shufen, who was born in July 1991 and is a Form 2 student at the Number 3 Middle School in Weng'an county.  The Yongyang police also inspected the scene, examined the body and conducted the investigative work.

According to the investigation: At around 20:00 on June 21, Li Shufen and her girlfriend Wang went out.  They had dinner along with Wang's boyfriend Chen and Chen's friend Liu.  Afterwards, they strolled down to the bridge over Simen river to chat.  During the chat, Li Shufen suddenly told Liu: "I might as well as kill myself by jumping into the river.  But if I don't die, I will try to lead a good life afterwards."  Liu immediately grabbed Li and stopped her from doing so.  About 10 minutes later, Chen said that he was leaving.  Liu saw that Li had calmed down and so he began to do push-ups.  By the third one, Liu suddenly heard Li said: "I am leaving" and then she jumped into the river.  Liu jumped in after her immediately.  Wang phoned Chen and then she began to cry for help.  Chen raced back to the riverside and jumped in to help search for Li.  Liu was exhausted, so Chen had to drag him back to shore first.  Wang and Liu called the police and notified Li's elder brother.

According to information, Chen is a resident of Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.  He is presently working at a paper factory in Weng'an county.  His parents are villagers of the Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.

Liu comes from the same villager as Chen and is presently working at a paper factory in Weng'an county.  His parents are villagers of the Yanmen brigade, Naxiang village, Caotang town, Weng'an county.

Wang is a Form 2 student at the Number 3 Middle School in Weng'an County.  Her parents are villagers of the Jiajiabo bridage, Jiajiabo village, Tianwen town, Weng'an county.

According to the investigation conducted by the Weng'an public security bureau, Li Shufen committed suicide by jumping into the river.  This was not a criminal case.  They informed the family which refused to accept the conclusion because they believed that this was a rape case.  They asked for a DNA analysis.  On the afternoon of June 5, the southern Guizhou public security bureau sent a medical examiner to conduct another examination and the conclusion was that this was death by drowning.  At the time, the family accepted the conclusion.  However, they indicated that they would not bury the Li Shufen yet and they asked the public security bureau to order Wang Jiao, Liu Yanchao and Chen Guangquan to pay restitution to the amount of 500,000 RMB.

On June 26, the family of Li Shufen said that they agreed with the mediation advice by the county work group and promised to sign an agreement on June 28.  On June 28 at 16:00, the family invited more than 300 people to march in the streets of Weng'an with banners.  This was a Saturday and there were many people in the street, some of whom began to follow the procession.  At 16:30, the marchers assembled in front of the public security building.  The police set up a police line, but the marchers in front got emotionally excited.  At the incitement of a small number of people, some criminal elements threw water bottles, rocks and bricks at the police.  They broke through the wall of police officers and chaged into the first floor lobby, smashing the equipment, setting fire to the vehicles and assaulting the police and firemen.  They grabbed the fire nozzles and they cut up the fire hoses.  The firemen were forced to withdraw.  At about 20:00, the criminal elements hit, vandalized, looted and burned the Weng'an county Party and government office buildings.  They even charged at the county detention center.  The whole incident took almost seven hours.

On July 1, after repeated explanations to the family, they agreed for a burial after another medical examination.  The body will be unfrozen and the Guizhou provincial procuratorate and the medical examiner will conduct a joint examination.

Public Security Bureau Office Building

Public Security Bureau Office Building

Weng'an County Party and Government Building

Weng'an County Party and Government Building

Weng'an County Party and Government Building

[in translation]

I am a Weng'an resident and I am one of the few people who know the entire story from beginning to end.  My information comes from official sources, civilian sources and even people who have ulterior motives.

At just past 8pm on June 21, Weng'an middle school Form 4 female student Li Shufen and apprentices Liu Yantao and Chen Guangquan from a certain aluminum alloy factory dined at a friend's place.  At 11:30pm, the four went down by the Simen river.  Li Shufen sat on the bridge and said: "If I jump down from here, will I die?"  The other three people thought she was joking and did not pay too much attention.  She said: "If I don't die after I jump, I will try to lead a good life afterwards."  At that time, Chen Guangquan was chatting with another girl and Liu Yantao was doing push-ups.  At 00:10pm June 22, there was the sound of a splash.  The three looked and saw that Li Shufen had jumped into the river.  Liu Yantao jumped in immediately after her, and then Chen Guangquan did so too.  But by the time that they got in, Li Shufen was nowhere to be seen.  Liu Yantao called aloud for help too.  So Chen could only save Liu first and then they called the police.  Half an hour later, the fire brigade retrieved the body of Li Shufen.

The Weng'an county medical doctor determined that Li Shufen had no signs of physical trauma except for a mild injury on her forearm from brushing with the sand in the bottom of the river.  There were no signs of sexual violence, so that there was no possibility of rape.  The results of the medical exam and the verdict of the public security bureau were handed over to the parents of Li Shufen.  At the time, the parents did not object.  On June 24, through the insistence of other family members, the parents took the body of Li Shufen in front of the public security bureau and demanded that Liu Yantao and Chen Guangquan be arrested for raping and killing Li Shufen.  Since there was no factual basis, the public security bureau officers refused.  According to information, the Li family wanted to extort money from the families of the three persons (Liu Yantao, Chen Guangquan and the other female student) and this was the excuse.

At 10am on June 25, Li Shufen's uncle led the family members to the office of the Criminal Investigative Bureau on the third floor of the county public security bureau building.  The officer on duty was Zhang Ming, who asked them: "What are you here for?"  The uncle said: "Nothing.  Can't we just come in?"  Zhang Ming said: "This is an office.  If you don't have business here, please leave."  The uncle refused and Zhang Ming attempted to push him out.  But as soon as Zhang Ming touched the uncle, the latter fell down on the floor and screamed: "The police is beating me!  Save me!"  The aunt and another woman took off their high-heel shoes and hit Zhang Ming with them.  Zhang Ming considered his own status and did not fight back.  As a result, he suffered some minor injuries.  Other police officers heard the commotion and arrived to restrain the two women.  A video-taped interrogation of the three individuals was made in the presence of an education department leader.  The uncle admitted that he and his family had assaulted Zhang Ming (there is a signed statement as well as videotape as evidence).

At 16:30 on June 25, the uncle completed his testimony and left the building.  Outside the public security bureau office, he was assaulted by the friends of Liu Yantao and Chen Guangquan. (This was based upon the testimony of the uncle and other family relatives in the form of signed statements and videotapes).  The uncle was admitted to the Weng'an County Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a mild concussion.

At 6am on June 28, the uncle and other family members placed the body of Li Shufen by the Simen river with big-character posters to appeal to the central government.  All those who wish to view the body was charged 5 RMB apiece, and almost 20,000 RMB was collected.

On the afternoon of June 28, the uncle and his sister (who was a teacher at the Number Three Middle School in Weng'an) instigated the students (who are as young as eight years old) who did not know the truth to march and demonstrate in order to magnify the impact.  But certain criminal elements used the opportunity to gather almost 10,000 people together.  These criminal elements prepared rocks, bricks and gasoline and went to the public security bureau building where they smashed and burned all the police vehicles in front.  They also set fire to the first floor office and destroyed files and computers.  Several dozen police officers were injured, including one in critical condition.  The first three floors of the buildings were in flames.  The rioters then turned to attack the armed police, whose leader fired one shot in the air and stopped the mob.  The rioters then backed out of the public security bureau building and turned their attention to the Weng'an county government building, where they smashed all the cars and set fire to the courtyard.  Next the rioters turned their attention to the private cars parked in the basement garage of the Civic Affairs Bureau.  The rioters went over to the Telecommunications and Postal Building and destroyed the communication structures.

From start to end, none of the militia or armed police officers was seen using violence.

I personally witnessed these incidents and I am willing to accept legal responsibility for what I wrote.  But I would like to say a few more things.

1. According to the uncle, Liu Yantao and Chen Guangquan are family members of people working in the Weng'an county public security bureau and that was why no full autopsy was conducted.  (Later on, one of the two was said to be the son of a deputy mayor of Weng'an county; this morning, he had become the son of the provincial public security bureau director).  The Guizhou provincial county public security bureau has done its own investigation and their findings are identical to the initial one.  There is no possibility of secret help to Liu and Chen, who were found to be farmer children presently working as apprentices at an aluminum alloy factory.  Therefore, the facts are inconsistent with the allegations.

2. According to the uncle, Li Shufen was raped and then tossed into the river.  Three separate medical exams showed that the deceased had not been sexually violated -- she was still a virgin.  So how could she have been gang-raped?  Besides, nobody heard any cries of help or sounds of struggle that night.

3. According to certain people with ulterior motives, the armed police assaulted the masses.  As for 23:00 on June 29, no Weng'an hospital has come across a single person who was injured on June 28.  Instead, the hospitals have admitted more than 30 seriously injured police officers.  More than 100 other police officers had their wounds treated and bandaged and then released.  You  can check out all the photos on the Internet and there are no scenes of the police officers attacking the rioters.

4. If this was just dissatisfaction with the police action, why were the government, political consultative conference and telecommunications buildings also set on fire?  Why vandalize the private vehicles parked in the underground garage?

5. You have all seen the photos on the Internet.  These photos were of high resolution and did not come from mobile camphones.  Many of them were taken from above.  How do these photos come about from a suddenly breaking incident?  Also, the incident took place at the center of the county town.  Where did the crowd find all the rocks and bricks?  Where did they get the gasoline and machetes?  All of this shows that this was a well-organized, pre-planned riot.

6. This incident is analogous to the 3.14 Tibet incident in that certain people who did not know the truth were incited to "hit, smash and loot."  The uncle and the aunt could not have started something on this scale.  I cannot preclude the possibility that organized criminal elements are involved in the planning and execution behind the scene.

The above is based upon the facts that I experienced personally.  If you disagree, please provide your counter-evidence.  Or else you should not mislead people with rumors to further the interests of those with ulterior motives.

Q. Are you proud of becoming a national citizen of China?
Year 2004: 39% yes; 53% no
Year 2005: 46% yes; 45% no
Year 2006: 47% yes; 51% no
Year 2007: 50% yes; 48% no

Q. How do you feel about the Central Government's policies towards Hong Kong?
Year 2004: 25% positive; 29% negative
Year 2005: 36% positive; 15% negative
Year 2006: 56% positive; 10% negative
Year 2007: 56% positive; 10% negative
Year 2008: 57% positive;   8% negative

On June 30, the Guizhou provincial party secretary and provincial people's congress standing committee chairman Shi Zhongyuan rushed to Weng'an county to personally supervise the handling of the 6.28 incident ... At around 11am, Secretary Shi Zhongyuan arrived at the scene of the incident; he went deep among the people to understand the situation; he met with militia and armed police officers.  At around noon, Secretary Shi Zhongyuan left the scene and held a meeting with the relevant Weng'an county leaders; he summoned the school principals and education department director to listen to their reprots; he invited more than 100 county people's congress delegates and political consultative conference members to attend a forum.  They representatives enthusiastically condemned the criminal elements whose smashing, vandalizing, looting and arson have seriously damaged the images of Weng'an county and Guizhou province, the excellent social and economic development of Weng'an county and disrupted the unity and harmony of the county and the province.  The representatives asked the Party Committee and the government to severely punish the saboteurs and defend social stability and harmony.  At 7pm, Shi Zhongyuan proceeded to another meeting in Yongyang town with veteran cadres, representatives of the masses, businesses operators, middle school students and teachers and other eyewitnesses of the mass incident.

Shi Zhongyuan pointed out the 6.28 incident was a simple affair that a small number of people with ulterior motives manage to manipulate and leverage, with the direct participation of organized crime forces, to provoke and challenge the Party and the government publicly.  It was a bad situation with serious damages, leading to huge property and economic losses while also affecting the stability and image of Guizhou.  Afterwards, the Party central and the State Council paid a high degree of attention.  Secretary General Hu Jintao issued an important directive; the Politburo standing committee member and Central Political and Legal Committee secretary Zhou Yongkong issued two important directives; Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu telephoned multiple times to command the frontline actions ... The provincial Party Commitee and government carried bout the spirit of the important directives from the central government leaders and calmed things down with the restoration of stability being the top priority ...

The above Xinhua article is just about unreadable because it is just another stream of homilies without content.  Is this how people really think and talk?  What exactly are these 'important directives' from the central government leaders?  Wouldn't you want to do?

(Ming Pao)

A disturbance took place in Weng'an county, Guizhou province.  It is said that Chinese president Hu Jintao has questioned why the disturbance took place.  According to informed sources, Hu Jintao personally asked about this incident and what to know, "Why did such a small criminal case trigger such a large-scale mass incident?"  In his directive, Hu Jintao demanded that the local government should calm down the demonstrators and protect social stability; at the same time, the directive asked that the local Guizhou media should actively report the affair and lead public opinion, without blocking information from going to the outside.


The 6.28 incident in Weng'an (Guizhou) was defined by the Chinese Communist as "smashing, vandalizing, looting and arson" and thte local public security, armed police and armies imposed heavy suppression.  The news is that there were many deaths.  At present, the entire county and the surrounding towns are under martial law.

According to known internal information and published reports, this massacre was personally ordered by Hu Jintao and supervised by Zhou Yongkong and others.  The murders were carried out by Guizhou officials and the locally based soldiers.  Someday, the 6.28 Weng'an (Guizhou) massacre will be vindicated and the people will have already recorded the names of those Chinese Communist officials who ordered and participated in the massacre beginning with Chinese Communist Party secretary-general Hu Jintao ...

[ESWN comment:  The last report above shows why Boxun is an example of what the Chinese government refers to as "hostile overseas forces."  Nobody else but the "hostile overseas forces" and the "Internet special agents" have talked about a massacre carried out by military soldiers.  Boxun cites anonymous "internal information" which it is very unlikely to have access to (as in, what insider would speak to a 'hostile overseas force'?) and does not name the 'published reports' (as in, Epoch Times? Radio Free Asia? BBC? New York Times?).]