Former Hong Kong Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming has the nickname "Chinese Traitor Lee." Since retiring from the Legislative Council, he is gradually showing his true face as Hong Kong's Lee Teng-hui. Yesterday, he disclosed that he admires the last Hong Kong governor Chris Patten (who has the nickname of 'sinner who deserves to be condemned for a thousand generations') the most. He also hinted that the four second-ladder Democratic Party members running in the upcoming Legislative Council elections have neither future nor hope. He expressed his praise and support for the competitor Civic Party. Thus, he was behaving exactly like former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui, who expressed his nostalgia for the Japanese occupation era and betrayed his own Nationalist Party to support the Democratic Progress Party's Chen Shui-bian.
Yesterday, Martin Lee was interviewed on the RTHK radio show <Training Class for Political Novices>. When asked which Hong Kong governor or chief executive he admired the most among those with whom he served, he said "The sinner who deserves to be condemned by a thousand generations" without hesitating. The program host asked if Lee was referring to Chris Patten? He said yes, and he praised Patten for lighting up the flame for democratic development in Hong Kong which cannot be put out by anyone now. Chris Patten was the last governor of Hong Kong and ignored strong Chinese objections to push through the "Three Against" political reforms and thus was called by then Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Director Lu Ping as the "sinner who deserves to be condemned for a thousand generations." The result was that the former Legislative Council could not be continued past 1997.
Martin Lee has gone many times overseas to "bad-mouth Hong Kong" and "bad-mouth China." He openly defended the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Serbia. He wrote an essay in The Wall Street Journal to call for international pressure on China during the Beijing Olympics. For these activities, he has been denounced as "Chinese traitor Lee," "a traitor to his own county" and even "Wu Sangui" (note: the Han general who surrendered to the Manchurians). Yesterday, he continued to insist that he did not do anything wrong. One of his considerations for retiring is to spend more time to promote the development of democracy in Hong Kong from "a thousand miles away." He will be working with Anson Chan, who also decided to retire from the Legislative Council. He explained that this was "truth-mounthing China."
Martin Lee said that during his more than 20 years in politics, he was happiest about the 1995 Legislative Council elections when he led the Democratic Party to win 19 seats. The Democratic Party's number of seats in Legco has been shrinking, and it has been said that they are an ageing party unable to attract young people. Martin Lee acknowledged that he has not been able to leave his political assets for the party. He said that he has "failed" because he lacked political wisdom and often made the wrong decisions and said the wrong things. He said that British and American political parties are family operations, but his son declined to join the party that the father started.
The Democratic Party has entered second-ladder members over 40 years old in the upcoming Legislative Council elections. Martin Lee said that the party cannot do this again next time, because it needs to find some people who are 20 or 30 years old with more future and hope. But he declined to say which pan-democratic newcomers are favored by him. He said that he is not an independent like Anson Chan and he cannot lobby for votes for non-Democratic Party candidates. He predicted that the worst case situation in Hong Kong Island would be two Legco seats for Civic Party and none of the Democratic Party.
[Note: The Martin Lee story got three articles in Oriental Daily. But that does not make Oriental Daily a pro-establishment newspaper, because the next four articles about against the Donald Tsang and the Hong Kong government. So does that make Oriental Daily a pro-Beijing newspaper? No, because the Chinese news articles included: the arrest of dissident Huang Qi, the Yunnan mass incident/bloodshed, people getting sick from swimming in the Pearl River, unenforceable regulations in Beijing, etc). So what is Oriental Daily's position? It is actually very clear just what is left after you eliminate the government and the politicians.]
Q: You have been surrounded by controversy over the years. How do you view those controversies?
A: All the "controversies" are weird. There has never ever been any controversy about anything that I wrote or said. The "controversies" have been about three things: (1) what I did and wrote during the Cultural Revolution; (2) the "errors in historical studies" in what I had written; (3) the culturati should not appear on television.
The issue is with the first point about my problem during the Cultural Revolution. I had "written" during the Cultural Revolution ... but there is little or no political content in what I wrote. Years ago, I offered an reward in the form of my entire salary of the year to anyone who can show a single sentence that I ever wrote is consistent with their accusation. After 600 days, nobody has claimed the reward. That was a thorough falsehood. This was libel as opposed to any controversy.
These smears and attacks exposed a serious problem in Chinese culture today: the forces of destruction are far more stronger than the forces of construction. The destroyers always have the image of heroes, they always rely on rumors, they never need to prove anything, they never have to apologize and they never have to feel embarrassed. The increasingly fewer constructors are always serving as 'targets.' Wang Xiaobo wrote: In the Chinese culture field, there are two types of people: those who do things and those who prevent others from doing things. The present problem is that the number of people who prevent others from doing things is at least ten times (or even several dozen times) as many as those who do things. More shockingly, many media will take the side of those who prevent others from doing things by advocating exposés and criticisms against those who want to do things.
I am a typical case in this peculiar trend. Twenty years ago, I quit my job. I am not a department head and I don't get involved in any of the China Writers Association activities. I am not a delegate or member of anything. I am a pure member of the culturati. But I have been assaulted in several thousand essays that were published in newspapers that have the public trust. Nothing in those criticisms contain any trace of accuracy and nobody has ever apologized. The absurdity of the situation is beyond description.
As for myself, I have completely ignored the absurd attacks. I have too much to do and I don't have the time to get distracted. The experience over the years have shown that we are living in good times. No matter how forceful the attacks on me are, it does not affect my progress and work. The mass of readers are firmly on my side, and nothing that my detractors did has taken a foothold in the cultural realm. I am confident enough to announce from my experience that the age of personal grudges has gone past us already.
Therefore, there is no need to regard the "controversy" of the attacks on me as an issue. These were the dark waves of yesternight without any need to remember.
Q: How do you explain what you said after the 5.12 earthquake?
A: The 5.12 earthquake showed the spirit of mutual help in the Chinese people during natural disasters. This spirit did not get raised by mobilization, education, guidance and enlightenment. Rather, it spontaneously emerged all over China. This shows that it was a natural emergence of human nature that belongs to "collective unconscious." This is the most profound aspect of culture. I once defined culture as: "Culture is the customary lifestyle and spiritual values." Under this definition, the key term is "spiritual value" because a lifestyle becomes customary as the result of choosing certain spiritual values over generations.
The spiritual values of the Chinese culture had been covered up for a long time. This nationwide disaster relief and memorial realized the spiritual values of the Chinese culture. The fact show that goodness exist not just in our familiar cultural language but within the hearts of the masses. This goodness exists across gender, age, occupation and place of origin. The world learned the Chinese culture anew.
As for the various post-earthquake cultural phenomena, I don't know which you are referring to. If this is about the constant harping from the cultural commentators who live far away from the disaster zone, then that is just as fleeting as the smoke and not worthy of attention. Instead, we pay attention to whether the goodness and kindheartedness can be reinforced, moulded, expanded and circulated to become the soul of Chinese culture.
The soul of Chinese culture rests with the spiritual values of Chinese culture. The 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake has revealed a spiritual map that let us know where we are situated. This is an important flight of steps for Chinese culture.
"At 8pm on June 25, our family had finished eating dinner and we sat in the courtyard to cool down. Suddenly, several vans and a dozen taxis showed up with 70 to 80 men holding guns, machetes and poles. They assaulted us and vandalized our home before leaving."
"Our family has no feud with Cai Xinlong but he sent a bunch of thugs to assault the four members of our family!" Hengyan city Zhuhui district Linghu town Shuangjiang village resident Cai Ronghua mumbled on his hospital bed. "This was because we did not vote for Cai Xinlong as village cadre. After the incident, the government pretended that they know nothing and nobody cares about our injuries."
Cai Ronghua said that he knew two of the attackers who came from the same village. One of them was nicknamed "Old Wintermelon" and hung around Cai Xinlong; the other was a village bum nicknamed "Shortie." After the incident, both "Old Wintermelon" and "Shortie" have gone into hiding.
According to another injured person Xie Xiaoying, they were assaulted because they did not vote for Cai Xinlong in the village mayoral election. She said: "Cai Xinlong sent people to beat us up not just for revenge, but to establish an example for all those who did not vote for him. He is setting up the condition for the people in the next election."
Cai Ronghua said that Cai Xinlong was unqualified to be village mayor, and he offered three shortcomings:
1. When Cai Xinlong became the construction team leader of Shuanghu village, he transferred the village land compensation fund to finance a personal loan of 150,000 RMB over a three year period. Since 2004, the government has given the team more than 7 million RMB in land compensation but nobody has a clue about how that money was dispensed. Nothing about village finances is known.
2. When females in the village brigade get married, their families should receive land compensation money. But apart from Cai Xinlong's two sisters and their two daughters receiving more than 100,000 RMB, nobody else has received a cent.
3. Cai Xinlong built a six-storey house and filed the application after the fact.
The reporter also interviewed Cai Xinlong, who sounded very much the aggrieved party. According to him, a villager named Luo Weijiu got drunk at a bar near the Engineering Institute and started ranting and raving. He was beaten up by persons unknown. Afterwards, Luo's son and Cai Ronghua's nephew filed a police complaint to say that "Shortie" had beaten Luo up. The next day happened to be the wedding day for "Shortie" but the police hauled him in for interrogation before concluding out that he was not the perpetrator.
But "Shortie" was upset that the police ruined his wedding date. On the afternoon of July 25, "Shortie" called Cai Ronghua's nephew to demand an explanation as to why the police was called. A meeting was agreed upon to discuss.
For his own protection, "Shortie" showed up with some friends at around 8pm that evening. For some reason, a fight broke out. Cai Xinlong said: "On the next morning, I found 'Shortie.' He told me what had happened. 'Shortie' is scared and he has gone into hiding."
But the injured persons rebutted this story: "When 'Old Watermelon' and 'Shortie' assaulted us, they cursed us out for not voting for Cai Xinlong! If this was a fight, then how come nobody else on the other side suffered a nick? Why didn't the police arrest 'Shortie' that night? All this shows that Cai Xinlong cannot avoid responsibility!"
Villager Zou Ying told the reporter: "We are asking for the leaders at various levels to apprehend the attackers and the mastermind behind all this in order to protect the legal rights of the voters. If this incident is not handled properly, who would dare to come out and vote in the future? If they don't vote for Cai Xinlong, they may get knifed too!"
(SCMP) Authorities order bars not to serve black people. By Tom Miller. July 18, 2008.
Beijing authorities are secretly planning to ban black people and others it considers social undesirables from entering the city's bars during the Olympic Games, a move that would contradict the official slogan, "One World, One Dream". Bar owners near the Workers' Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises. "Uniformed Public Security Bureau officers came into the bar recently and told me not to serve black people or Mongolians," said the co-owner of a western-style bar, who asked not to be named.
Security officials are targeting Sanlitun, which Olympic organisers expect to be a key destination for foreign tourists looking for a party during the Games. The pledges that Sanlitun bar owners had been instructed to sign agreed to stop a variety of activities in their establishments, including dancing and serving customers with black skin, they said. They have been allowed to keep copies of all the pledges except those relating to blacks, implying that the authorities are wary of charges of racism. "I am appalled," said a black British national who works in Beijing. "I understand that the government is trying to stop certain illegal activities, but I don't think blanket discrimination is going about it the right way. "Chinese people are prejudiced, but I would have hoped that the government would set a better example as it debuts on the world stage."
Calls to Dongcheng district and Chaoyang district public security bureaus, which oversee the bar districts, went unanswered.
(SCMP) Police deny bar owners' claims of restrictions on blacks in Sanlitun. By Tom Miller. July 19, 2008.
Police in Beijing's popular Sanlitun bar district deny they are conducting a racist campaign ahead of the Olympics, as another bar owner revealed he had been ordered not to let in blacks. "They made us sign and chop a document saying we would not allow black people in [during the Olympics]," the owner said. "But no one is willing to say so because we'll all get deported ... and have our business shut."
Asked yesterday whether they had told landlords not to let blacks in bars, an officer at the Sanlitun police station had a one-word answer: "No."
The bar owner said police had given landlords a list of dos and don'ts during the Olympics. "We simply can't let them in [during the Olympics], it's what I was told," he said. "It's [the restrictions on blacks] definitely happening. It will all happen in 24 hours." His revelation comes after the Post reported yesterday how another bar owner had been verbally warned by Public Security Bureau officers not to serve customers of Mongolian and African descent, while other bars had been ordered to sign chopped pledges to keep to curfews, not allow the illegal sale of drugs, and refuse certain customers.
"They [local police] call meetings, and everyone has to go, or else ... If you don't go, they'll come back and shut you down," he said. Further investigation found that not all bars in the newly revamped area known for its nightlife had been ordered to refuse black customers, suggesting police are targeting specific bars. "Black guys can come in and drink as long as they have valid visas," another bar manager in Sanlitun said. "But we have been told to watch out for black guys acting suspiciously, such as constantly talking on their mobile phones. The aim is to crack down on drug dealing."
(Beijing Boyce) Um, really? Update on SCMP story II. July 19, 2008. [Note: This is a blogger who should be commended for conducting fieldwork to confirm the reported information]
I hit some Sanlitun bars last night and made some phone calls today, and this is what I found:
- An owner said police met with Sanlitun bar reps and told them to monitor black patrons. He said the police told the reps that drug dealers are predominantly black in the area. He said the police did not ask bar owners to ban blacks.
- Several Sanlitun area bar owners said they had not been told by police to ban blacks or Mongolians.
- I also spoke to several people in the restaurant business and they told me they have not heard of police telling city eateries to ban people.
- Most interesting, two people working at one bar had different perspectives on the terminology used by the police. One said the police used “black” in reference to skin color; while the other said it was used in terms of bad elements (the Chinese character for “black” is part of a phrase used to describe criminals).
The last bit was the most interesting bit. In Chinese, 黑人 (heiren) refers to a person with dark skin. This is a racial descriptor. In Chinese, 黑帮 (heibang) refers to a criminal gang, and 黑帮份子 (heibangfenzi) refers to criminal gang elements (for example, in the Weng'an incident, the authorities talks about 'criminal gang elements' misleading the masses and starting a riot). So could this be a case when the police asked the bar owners to look out for 黑帮份子 (heibangfenzi) involved in drug sales, prostitution, extortion, pickpocketing, robbery, etc but this came through (via translation?) to some people as 'black people'?
Addendum (from Wild Goose Journal): The confusion around "black people" isn't necessarily due to translation, it exist even in Chinese: In some parts of China (including Beijing), the word "black people" (黑人) sometimes means
person or persons without valid residence registration (户口) - include "over-quota" (超标) children who haven't received an official registration at birth, and all kinds of adult "illegal migrants".
- Emperor: clothes; USA: history; South China Morning Post: ??? Fool's Mountain, July 21, 2008.
- More on the Beijing bar ban confusion The Shanghaiist, July 21, 2008.
The Germany magazine Stern's website carried a article titled: "Gigant China: Die kapitalistischen Kommunisten" which was accompanied by a background map. In this map, it did not indicate Taiwan as a part of China. Worse yet, Tibet was marked as part of China but it was given a different color. Chinese netizens question whether the Stern editors lack basic knowledge or else they are deliberately misinforming their readers.
When the Global Times reporter contacted Stern, whose spokesperson said that they have to go through a process of understanding what happened before a reply can be provided. But even before the reply came, the Stern website can changed the coloring of Tibet, although the boundary line is still there.
[ESWN Comment: Chinese netizens did not praise Stern for other items on the same page, such as the photos in Das Land der Superlative and the test of knowledge about China in Wie gut kennen Sie China?. You should check them out instead of worrying about the hurt feelings of the Chinese people.]
Clicking on "Why was this site blocked?" led to this explanation:
Clicking on 'Ignore this warning' brings to the actual home page of the Independent Chinese PEN Center. But do I dare to click on any of the articles?
Red: Satisfied with the job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou
Green: Dissatisfied with the job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou
Q1. Favorable/unfavorable opinions of ten political figures
1. Tsai Ing-wen (49%/19%)
2. Wang Jin-pyng (45%/25%)
3. Wu Poh-hsiung (43%/33%)
4. Su Tseng-chang (42%/20%)
5. Lee Teng-hui (32%/34%)
6. Vincent Siew (31%/35%)
7. Ma Ying-jeou (30%/49%)
8. Frank Hsieh (30%/42%)
9. Liu Chao-shiuan (28%/50%)
10. Chen Shui-bian (18%/47%)
Q2. Ma Ying-jeou's favorable opinions over time
In Wudian Middle School, Changfeng county, Anhui province, two students fought in a classroom but the teacher did nothing to stop them. Afterwards, one student lapsed into unconsciousness and then died. This incident was exposed in the media and drew a great deal of attention. The teacher Yang Jinggui was labeled by netizens as "Do Nothing Yang" and became just as hot on the Internet as the teacher nicknamed Runner Fan. Yang has been transferred away from the school and also agreed to pay 100,000 RMB in compensation to the family of the deceased. He also received a major demerit. The Wudian Middle School principal Fang Qifu was also relieved of his post and given a major demerit.
The following is the first media interview of Yang Jinggui, as conducted by Henan Commercial News.
Q. Did you hear the two students fighting with each other?
A. I was writing the key points of the textbook on the blackboard. I had my back turned and I did not hear anything unusual. When I finished, I turned around and I saw the two wrestling and jostling with each other. Chen Kong had his shoulder up against Yang Tao's neck, while Yang Tao was fending off Chen's shoulder.
Q. Did you try to stop them?
A. I stopped them. It is not true that I did nothing as the media said. I was very angry at the time because these two were very unbecoming. I said angrily: "If you want, you can continue this on the sports field after class." By that time, two other students had pulled the two apart.
Q. When you saw Yang Tao foaming in the mouth and passing out, what did you do?
A. I did not see how they fought and I didn't know how much force was used. I did not think too much of it. I instructed three students to take Yang Tao to the health clinic. At the same time, I instructed students to inform the class director and the school principal. The class director and the school principal came over. I thought that I had performed my duty.
Q. Was it appropriate to only say "If you want, you can continue this on the sports field after class" when you see two students fighting?
A. I know now that this is inappropriate. I spoke out of anger. I was condemning them for ignoring the presence of the teacher. I never imagined that there would be such an outcome.
Q. Since Yang Tao died, you have not accepted any media interview. Why?
A. It is not that I don't want to tell you what I think. But I feel sorry about Yang Tao and I don't want to hurt his family any more. My silence may lessen the hurt of his parents.
Q. What does Yang Tao's family think about you?
A. Yang Tao's family has been to my home to tell me that they will "make sure that I die." To avoid any conflict, I have gone into hiding. The parents of Yang Tao might feel that I could have stopped the tragedy from occurring, but that was not how it was. The police believed that there were underlying reasons for the death. The school was too far away from the hospital, so that Yang Tao could not be treated immediately.
Q. After the media reports came out, some people have labeled you as "Do Nothing Yang" and ranked you as the same level as "Runner Fan." What do you think?
A. This is an insult to me. This is extremely irresponsible. I actually interceded, so how can you say that I did nothing? Since I refused to be interviewed, they get to say everything. I find this unacceptable. This is trampling on my character and dignity. It hurts.
Q. You reported the matter to the class director and the school principal, but the school told the media that "you did not report a fight between students and you were negligent in your duties." Why are you being held accountable? Did someone work on you to do so?
A. Nobody worked on me. I thought that I had to do whatever it takes for the parents. I cannot rebut the charges, but public opinion is forcing me to tell the truth.
Q. Have you paid the 100,000 RMB compensation to Yang Tao's family? Based upon your annual income, how many years will it take to repay the debt that you have to incur?
A. I have give the money to the family already. I did not have the cash on hand. But the more than 30 teachers at the school are lending me 1,000+ RMB apiece. Based upon my 2,800+ RMB monthly income (minus normal expenses), it will take four to five years to repay the debt.
Q. According to media reports, there had been a case at your school in which a student used a knife to cut off the fingers of a teacher?
A. Yes. About six months ago, a student named Liu used a chopper to cut off four fingers of his class director. This student was frequently late for class and the class director summoned the parents for an explanation. On the next day, the student appeared with a machete. If the teacher had not used his hand to fend off the blow, his head would have been chopped off. The student was only 15 years old, and therefore not responsible under the law. The class director incurred more than 30,000 RMB in medical expenses, but the student only paid more than 3,000 RMB in compensation.
Q. Did that incident affect you?
A. Definitely. Not just for me, but for all the teachers at the school. Should we do anything about the students? How far must we go? Many teachers do not have any standards or guidelines.
Q. When did you find out that you were coming here to Weng'an?
Xie Xiaodong: At 11pm on July 3, the provincial party organizational department wanted me to go in for a talk. I speculated that I might be going to Weng'an. At the time, I could feel that. I spoke to the head of the provincial party organizational department, so I cannot hesitate. He was speaking to me across party hierarchical levels. He was evaluating whether I am fit for the job. He posed many questions. I had served a long time at the grassroots level. I had been town deputy mayor, town mayor and town party secretary. I had been the executive vice-mayor at Chishui city. I was also one of four cadres selected as test cases in 2006, when the local cadres and provincial department cadres swapped jobs in a one-for-one exchange. I have handled quite a few mass incidents. Previously, I had handled the case of an illegal building complex. Premiers Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao both wrote directives on that case. I took less than 3 years to resolve the case. About 1,400 persons were involved in that case, and the six 9-story buildings were eventually demolished. There were no mass petitions. On July 3, I had my interview. On July 4, I came to Weng'an. I met the new Weng'an county party secretary Long Changchun for the first time at 3pm on July 4. We did not know each other before that. At 3pm, we met at the office of Provincial Party Secretary Shi Zongyuan.
Q. Did Party Secretary Shi Zongyuan make any demands?
Xie: His position was that Weng'an must be stablized and not create more problems for the provincial party and government. He specifically told us to consider our family issues: We can decide whether we want to go to Guiyang, Weng'an or the provincial level. At the time, my wife was waiting for me outside. I came out and told her that I had to go immediately. We said goodbye. I did not take anything with me. I just left. On the way, my phone and Long Changchun's phone kept ringing non-stop.
Q. Is there pressure to become mayor at this time?
Xie: First of all, there is the public opinion. CCTV ran the news crawler that I was the new Weng'an county mayor and Guizhou TV ran a full broadcast. On the first day on the job, there were at least 300 telephone calls for me. I just ignored anything that did not come from Weng'an. I spent 90 minutes replying to SMS. Some of those who called me were friends and relatives who were concerned about me going to this hardship place. Some were giving me their best wishes, others were asking for information, all sorts of calls. From Beijing, from Shanghai, from everywhere. There is pressure on me when I get this kind of attention.
The second kind of pressure is that the social conflicts have been fermenting in Weng'an for a long time. No matter how you put it, there is a limit as to how much I can do. Everybody expects me to accomplish this within six months and that within one year. Frankly speaking, if the cadres are still my original team, I will learn quickly.
Q. The world is worried about the stability of Weng'an. What have you been doing over the past several days?
Xie: When the two of us got here, the first thing that we did was to carry out the demands from the provincial party committee. We asked the cadres to visit every home to tell the people about the truth of the 6.28 incident and explain how the provincial party and government are handling the case. The propaganda work has been completed. Basically, it is 100% done. At some places, we did two to three times more than the required work.
Q. Repeated propagandizing?
Xie: Repeated propagandizing. Some people have heard it two to three times alerady. They said, "You don't know have to tell us because we know the truth already." (Laughs) We are also rapidly going through re-organization. We are asking the cadres to tell what they did during the period around the 6.28 incident. We ask people to discuss and assess. In the future, whenever there is a mass incident of more than 100 people, the town secretary and mayor will be held accountable (basically, it means that they lose their jobs). The relevant departments related to the mass incident will also be held accountable (basically, it means that the department heads lose their jobs). There will also be accountability as to why the hidden danger had not been detected and reported to the county government beforehand.
For the 6.28 incident, it was largely an issue of the cadres not talking properly to the people. Although I cannot promise people that I can solve all their problems, we can at least speak nicely and make sure that people don't get too emotional ...
Q. Do you feel that some of the Weng'an local party and government officials that you have met over the past several days are scared?
Xie: The people who are anxious and afraid are all the people who have problems. They are a minority. There are more of them at the public security bureau. It is for certain that there are some bad elements within the public security bureau. I will give the media a satisfactory answer in one month's time. We are now investigating very hard.
<Battling Internet Demons>
This game is really scary
There is only endless slaughters
You go there to kill, you fight and you kill.
Inside this Internet world, you kill people there
The online game developers are like producing opium
Walk out of the World of Warcraft and recover your human decency
This program was criticized by many online gamers as being biased, inaccurate and partial. At Baidu's CCTV forum and other game forums, the online gamers flooded protest posts (see below for a screen capture).
Q. Will you be voting in the Legislative Council elections this September?
10%: Don't know
10%: No opinion
Q. If the Legislative Council election were to be held today, which list in your district would you vote for?
Hong Kong Island
27.9%: Tanya Chan/Audrey Eu (Civic Party)
19.1%: Regina Ip/Louis Shi Tai-cho
17.5%: Jasper Tsang/Tsoi So-yuk (DAB)
12.8%: Kam Nai-wai (Democratic Party)
3.1%: Cyd Ho (Civic Action)
2.8%: Lo Wing-lok (independent)
2.0%: Yuen Tai-ming (independent)
Under the proportionate allocation system, the six seats will be allocated as follows:
1. Tanya Chan (Civic Party)
2. Regina Ip (Savantas)
3. Jasper Tsang (DAB)
4. Audrey Eu (Civic Party)
5. Kam Nai-wai (Democratic Party)
6. Louis Shi Tai-cho
26.0%: Alan Leong Kah-kit (Civic Party)
16.0%: Wong Kwok-kin/Chen Yuan-han (Federation of Trade Unions)
15.8%: Lee Wah-ming (Democratic Party)
15.1%: Chan Kam-lam (DAB)
3.8%: Andew To (League of Social Democrats)
Under the proportionate allocation system, the four seats will be allocated as follows:
1. Alan Leong (Civic Party)
2. Wong Kwok-kin (Federation of Trade Unions)
3. Lee Wah-ming (Democratic Party)
4. Chan Kam-lam (DAB)
13.1%: James To (Democratic Party)
11.9%: Lee Wai-king/Chung Kong-mo (DAB)
10.9%: Frederick Fung (Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood)
9.9%: Michael Tien Park-sun (Liberal Party)
7.9%: Lau Chin-shek (independent)
7.4%: Priscilla Leung Mei-fun
6.4%: Raymond Wong (League of Socialist Democrats)
5.9%: Claudai Mo (Civic Party)
1.0%: Tam Hoi-bong
Under the proportionate allocation system, the five seats will be allocated as follows:
1. James To (Democratic Party)
2. Lee Wai-king (DAB)
3. Frederick Fung (ADPL)
4. Michael Tien (Liberal Party)
5. Lau Chin-shek (independent)
New Territories East
19.0%: Lau Kong-wah/Chan Hak-kan (DAB)
16.0%: Ronny Tong/Tsang Kwok-fung (Civic Party)
15.2%: Cheng Kar-foo/Wong Chi-sing (Democratic Party)
13.0%: James Tien (Liberal Party)
8.9%: Emily Lau (Front Line)
7.8%: Leung Kwok-hung (League of Socialist Democrats)
Under the proportionate allocation system, the seven seats will be allocated as follows:
1. Lau Kong-wah (DAB)
2. Ronny Tong (Civic Party)
3. Cheng Kar-foo (Democratic Party)
4. James Tien (Liberal Party)
5. Emily Lau
6. Leung Kwok-hung
7. Chan Hak-kan (DAB)
New Territories West
20.7%: Tam Yiu-chung/Cheung Hok-ming (DAB)
20.4%: Albert Ho/Lee Wing-tat (Democratic Party)
10.5%: Leung Yiiu-chung (Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service)
7.0%: Selina Chow (Liberal Party)
5.3%: Lee Cheuk-yan (Confederation of Trade Unions)
4.2%: Wong Kwok-hing (Federation of Trade Unions)
3.5%: Albert Chan Wai-yip (League of Socialist Democrats)
2.8%: Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung (Civic Party)
2.5%: Stanley Chiang Chi-wai
Under the proportionate allocation system, the eight seats will be allocated as follows:
1. Albert Ho (Democratic Party)
2. Lee Wing-tat (Democratic Party)
3. Tam Yiu-chung (DAB)
4. Cheung Hok-ming (DAB)
5. Leung Yiu-chung (Neighbourhood and Worker's Service)
6. Selina Chow (Liberal Party)
7. Lee Cheuk-yan (Confederation of Trade Unions)
8. Wong Kwok-hing (Federation of Trade Unions)
The background references are these two posts:
- China’s Guerrilla War for the Web David Bandurski, Far East Economic review
- Weng'an riots, push-up protests, fifty-cent party, astroturf...head spinning yet? Rebecca MacKinnon, RConversation
The initial question is: Is the ESWN blogger a 50 cent gang member? Well, why would you take my YES or NO answer as truth? Tautologically, this is unprovable (that is to say, a 50 cent gang member will deny being such in order to remain effective and that kind of response is indistinguishable from those people who are genuinely not).
But let me make the argument purely from the economic angle. First, it is public information that my official job title is the Chief Technical Officer of the second largest media research organization in the world. As such, I am earning a certain wage, which is neither exceptionally low nor high.
If you offer me 50 cents per blog post, would I be doing what I am doing? NO. YOU MUST BE F*CKING JOKING!
If you offer me 5 RMB per blog post, would I be doing what I am doing? NO. YOU MUST BE F*CKING JOKING!
If you offer me 50 RMB per blog post, would I be doing what I am doing? NO. YOU MUST BE F*CKING JOKING!
If you offer me 500 RMB per blog post, would I be doing what I am doing? NO. YOU MUST BE F*CKING JOKING! I run 3 posts per day on the average, and therefore you are paying me 1,500 RMB per day (or 45,000 RMB per month). With due respect, my regular day job pays much more than that. This is just not worth the hassle.
If you offer me 5,000 RMB per blog post, would I be doing what I am doing? Well, you are the one who needs your F*CKING HEAD examined. I run 3 posts per day on the average, and therefore you are paying me 15,000 RMB per day (or 450,000 RMB per month). This may be in the same order of magnitude as my day wages, but there is no way that what I do here is worth that much money. Your supervisor would have a SH*T FIT if he finds out that is how you are squandering money on me. You cannot squeeze more productivity out of me, because my effectiveness would decline in direct proportion to the display of partisanship. Most people who hurl insults at me do not understand this simple piece of economics.
In conclusion, it makes no economic sense to employ me as a '50 cent gang member' (even if the wages are set at 'market levels').
The more interesting question is: Does the 50 Cent gang actually exist in China?
Of course, they exist. As noted in the post by Rebecca MacKinnon, they exist in China as well as elsewhere in the world (including the 'democratic' countries which enjoy 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of press'). In the Internet age, any government ('democratic' or otherwise) would do the same thing with their resources. But I believe that their effectiveness in China won't be felt in another two years or so. Why? Because they still have no idea how to harness the power of 280,000 Internet commentators at this time in China. I see no need to have 280,000 Internet commentators to 'guide' public opinion. 'Big' in not necessarily 'better.' The main job can be done more effectively by just a few hundred purposeful Internet commentators.
What is there to be worked on for the next two years? For each 'regrettable incident' (such as The Weng'an Mass Incident, Why Did the Building Collapse?, The Olympic Torch Tour As Public Relations Disaster, etc), they obviously need to get the positive spin story out. The 50-cent gang is likely only to be able to support an official story as opposed to providing the original information on their own. I don't think that the group of directionless 50 Cent Gang people are doing a particularly good job right now. This is not just about repeating the official story, but making a coherent and even enhanced argument. They need a lot more training and practice, and you cannot do so with a bunch of loose sub-contractors.
But there is also the task of neutralizing the negative stories offered by 'hostile forces' and 'bored rumor mongers looking for excitement.' The solution is to outdo them by providing multiple fabrications that cast doubt on everything. For example, in the matter of the Weng'an incident, a 50-cent gang member could write an erotic story about the rape-torture of the victim (e.g. she was drugged, she was gang-raped, her nipples were cut out with a knife, a flashlight was rammed up her vagina ... oh wait, they don't even have to work very hard because they can just copy-and-paste from The Case of Gao Yingying). If there are hundreds of well-scripted sicko stories out there, you can only dismiss all of them as crap and you will have to wait for an authoritative version. This condition can be achieved more readily by a small focused force than by 280,000 directionless 50 Cent gang members. The way to negate negative stories is not filter them by the GFW (Great FireWall) but to offer so many versions that one has to conclude that nothing is credible. This is a simple tenet of information theory which has not yet gotten through. In another two years, they will get it.
In The Weng'an Mass Incident, there were multiple stories that turned out to be false eventually (or, at the very least, they could not be all true at the same time). How simple is it to discredit all of them by enumerate them side by side? I haven't seen anyone doing that. If that were done, a truthseeker would be totally confounded. I know that I was -- all I had was doubts, but I had no idea what the truth was. In other words, I was disarmed. That was not because of any work by the 50 cent gang, but because the oppositionists themselves screwed up with their incoherent versions.
What are the long-term prospects (that is, two year or more into the future)? The Chinese government's '50 cent gang' (possibly under re-organization) will prevail over an oppositionist side in disarray and disunity. When the oppositionists come up with multiple conflicting stories, it can only damage themselves and help the Chinese government.
I have been back in Hong Kong for a couple days and I am still not in the mood to do long translation posts. Besides, this looks like a very slow news week anyway. So I'll talk about some current topics from my personal perspective.
First, I'll talk about Kung Fu Panda's relevance to this blog. Strange, isn't it? But this unexceptional story does tell something that is not necessarily what they teach at school.
Ever since I began this website, I have been repeatedly given advice about how to turn this into a 'real' blog. Here are some examples:
- This is the Web 2.0 era and a proper blog needs to have interactive features such as comments, trackbacks, tags, etc. You are still stuck in the Web 0.1 Beta era.
- I refuse to come to your website because you don't allow comments. It is unacceptable for you to have your say (and your voice is louder than most) and not to allow people to respond.
- You don't allow comments and all you have to say is to tell me to go and start my own blog!? F*ck you and the horse that you came in on!
- Your website is too text-heavy -- it will turn readers away like droves. You need to make sure that every post is liberally sprinkled with graphics.
- I can offer Search Engine Optimization for your blog in order to improve your traffic statistics.
- You have an influential blog and therefore you must be fair and balanced by presenting both sides of every story.
- You are clearly biased so I have to admire you for being able to deceive some people that you are not (note: this is sub-divided into accusations of being "CIA special agent," "Li Kar-shing's paid agent," "pan-blue blogger who hates freedom, liberty and democracy," "pro-Taiwan, China-hating blogger who only publishes negative information on China," "Hong Kong DAB shill," "amoralist," "anarchist," etc).
- You shouldn't be linking to the E*** W*** blog because the message and tone are hate material.
But I ignore all that and go my own way. If I had listened to these advice, I should be following the traditional, mainstream path. [The Panda would have tried to learned Kung Fu from his teacher (Shifu) in the classical fashion and become like the five disciples (The Tigress, The Monkey, The Viper, The Crane and The Mantis).] As such, I would be living according to someone else's rules, and my job accomplishments and satisfaction level would be prescribed. [The Panda would never be able to surpass The Leopard.] However, I choose to do things my way. I will not use any traditional yardstick to measure my success or lack thereof. You can argue whether I could have done even better by taking those advice. I can only say with certainty that I have no regrets at the end of the day. [The Panda reads the Dragon Scroll, sees no written instructions and then learns indirectly from his father that it is all about self-confidence and self-reassurance.] At the end of the day, I am satisfied. If good things come out of this, so much the better; if good things don't occur, so be it.
This discussion can easily be extended to my view of modern China. Shall China pursue its modernization in accordance to western prescription (as the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, US Department of Treasury, Jeffrey Sachs, European Union, Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Rand Corporation, Tibetan Youth Congress, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Wang Dan, Grace Wang Qianyuan, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Apple Daily, Boxun, Epoch Times and you can add your own preferences here)? Or shall it try to look for its own path? I think that it is clear that China is pursuing its own path, and you can debate whether that is right or wrong (either overall or by parts). Once that is accepted, then there is no need for the kind of nationalistic defensiveness over China's actions that is sometimes evident. When you have to counterattack your critics, it only shows that you are insecure. When you are self-confident and self-reassured, you don't have to pander to anyone.
Of course, self-confidence and self-reassurance does not mean that you can dismiss all the problems that will inevitably arise in a rapidly changing society (such as the 'mass incidents'). Rather, you are self-confident and self-reassured because you know that those problems can and shall be handled in your own way.
Will my comments here upset people? They probably will. But I don't care. And that is the whole point here, isn't it?
Five former ministers who served under Chen Shui-bian when he was president of Taiwan were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges related to the alleged misuse of special expense accounts.
The Taiwan Supreme Prosecutor's Office said in a statement that former justice minister Shih Mao-lin, former education minister Tu Cheng-sheng, former interior minister Lee Yi-yang, former examination minister Lin Chia-cheng and former civil service minister Chu Wu-hsien were among nine people indicted Tuesday. The sums each of the five former ministers were alleged to have embezzled by using false receipts to claim expenses ranged from about $12,000 to $200,000, according to the state-run Central News Agency.
(China Times; Liberty Times)
Tu Cheng-sheng is charged with misusing NT$361355 in special fees during the eight years of the Chen Shui-bian presidency.
In 2000, Tu Cheng-sheng was the Director of the National Palace Museum and he was submitting the personal receipts of himself and his wife as special fees expense. His secretary was aware of what was happening but continued to process improper receipts between May 2001 and December 2003.
Among the list of gift recipients, some of them never received the items. These included: Professor C.Y. Hsu and Academician Tao Jing-shen of the Academia Sinica; Gail M. Harrit; Lin I-liu; Sweden Far East Museum Director Smett; Professor Chu Yun-han; Yunlin Science and Technology University Chancellor Chou Hung-chang; Mr. Tsai Chi-nan of the Taiwan History Archive Society; Wisconsin Museum director one set of CD's for guest Professor David Barton; gifts mailed to Dr. Jacob Wensel of the Bonn Museum; gift mailed to Dr. Gunther Schauerte; Mr. Kao Yuan-yin; Kung De-cheng et alia; Hiroko Koyama of the Miho Museum; "Academician Hsu"; etc.
The investigators went through the expenses with a fine toothcomb. Among the items that were considered 'faulty' were:
- One NT$6,600 receipt was recorded as a gift for Gail M. Harrit. During the interrogation, Tu's secretary admitted that Tu Cheng-sheng spent the money to buy a size 39 white shirt from a department store because he had to meet with foreign guests.
- One NT$7,400 receipt was recorded as a gift for Professor Chu Yun-han, who denied ever receiving such a gift. During interrogation, Tu admitted that it was for personal use.
- One NT$34,360 receipt was recorded as a gift for Academician C.Y. Hsu, who declined comment. During interrogation admitted this and another receipt for NT$51,500 were for personal use.
- One NT$3,500 receipt for women's clothes was recorded as a gift for Yunlin Science and Technology University chancellor Chou Hung-chang. But there is no such chancellor by that name at that university. Another receipt for men's clothes was recorded as a gift for Misho Museum director Hiroko Koyama, who is a woman.
- One receipt was recorded as a gift of dental appliance to the writer Bai Yang, whose wife replied by telephone that no such gift has ever been receivfed.
- The prosecutor interviewed C.Y. Hsu, Chu Yun-han, David Barton and other recipients inside Taiwan and they denied receiving gifts from Tu. The prosecutor emailed the Sweden Far East Museum director and the Wisconsin Museum director, and they also denied receiving gifts from Tu. Academcians C.Y. Hsu and Tao Jing-shen had been listed as receiving Curruti 1881 accessories valued at more than NT$34,000, while Chu Yun-hand was listed as receiving accessories valued at more than NT$7,000. Tu Cheng-sheng admitted that the gifts were never sent.
- Tu Cheng-sheng's son Tu Ming-yi purchased a bottle of champagne to give to EMI chairman Chen Tse-shan, but the receipt was listed as a gift to Professor Chi Pang-yuan. Tu Cheng-sheng blamed his aide for "making a mistake."
- A friend of Tu Cheng-sheng defended him over the NT$61,992 for purchasing personal clothing. He said that Tu was known to be sloppily dressed as Education Minister and therefore the money was spent to purchase a decent-looking suit. This was therefore a business-related expense.
25 pan-democratic legislative councilor signed a joint statement yesterday to protest the election guidelines published by the Election Affairs Commission for not including regulations on exit polls being conducted by organizations of uncertain backgrounds. They claimed that these polls are electioneering tools for the rich and powerful political parties and seriously damage the fairness of elections.
Legislative councilor Anson Chan said that she was very disappointed with the decision of the Election Affairs Commission. "Both the Election Affairs Commission and the government know very well that certain people are using the exit polls to affect the election outcomes so that we cannot have a fair, just and open election." She pointed out that citizens have the right to refuse to participate in these exit polls if the Election Affairs Commission fails to improve its guidelines.
Democratic Party's Lee Wing-tat said that the current guidelines of the Election Affairs Commission is abetting and encouraging certain political parties to conduct exit polls contrary to the principle of fairness. He pointed out that the cost of organizing exit polls is enormous, but not a single cent of that is included in the election campaign expenses. This has led to an extremely unfair election system.
Civic Party's leader Audrey Eu said that some political parties are using the exit polls to influence the election outcomes and this has made the elections more and more unfair. "I find the government decision to be extremely, extremely, extremely regrettable (我 對 政 府 咁 做 係 極 度 、 極 度 、 極 度 遺 憾). We must protest sternly." Civic Party's Ronny Tong said that not only does the Election Affairs Commission not regulate exit polls, but its guidelines imply that there is no problem with leaking exit poll results to election campaigners. He believes that if the authorities refuses to revise the guidelines, then the voters have no choice but to decline participation in these election polls.
For more on this extremely extremely extremely conflated non-issue, see Banning Exit Polls in Hong Kong.
Zhang Dingchao stood on the podium and spoke with a slightly quivering voice. He was facing a panel of seriously looking judges whom he needs to convince with a speech about his policy platform in a few minutes. He was aiming to become the party secretary of Xifeng county, Guiyang city, Guizhou province.
Currently, Zhang Dingchao is a deputy party secretary of Xifeng county as well as the dean of the county party school.
Nineteen other people are in the same situation. They have emerged as victors from 81 competitors and now they are in the finals of the Guiyang city election of party secretaries in four counties. The nomination of these candidates had been through public recommendation, and that was why this has become a matter of national attention that is covered live by CCTV.
Amazingly, the 6.28 Weng'an Mass Incident has become a "critical focus" of these elections.
Zhang Dingchao said: "We must stay alert and not allow individual cadres to become 'the herd that hurts the horse'." As soon as he said that, there was a good-willed chuckle from the audience. Zhang Dingchao paused, chuckled and said: "That should have been 'the horse that hurts the herd'." After a pause, he continued to speak off the cuff. For Zhang, the speech was actually critical. During the recommendation phase of the selection, he received 66 votes whereas the top of his five competitors had 221 recommendations. He was behind already. According to Zhang, this was an opportunity to learn.
The election then went into the Q&A phase. The Master of Ceremony repeatedly asked the candidates: "There was a mass incident in Weng'an county in which the masses attacked the government buildings. Please tell us the revelations and lessons of this incident" and "a small number of cadres are either doing nothing or abuseing their authority and that is the key to holding back local economic and social development -- how would you solve that problem if you should be elected the county party secretary?"
When Zhang Dingchao's turn came up, he said: "In handling such problems, we must have an open communication channel and resolve the reasonable demands of the masses in a timely manner ... the water can carry the ship, but it can also capsize it." He was greeted by a warm applause.
Guiyang city party secretary Li Jun said that there was a mass incident on the afternoon of June 28th during which there was vandalism, looting and arson at the Weng'an county party, government and public security bureau buildings. The situation was serious and awful, and seldom seen in the history of New China. This should ring a warning bell for all the cadres of Guiyang city. "Right now, the people are dissatisfied with two political things. First, a small number of cadres are corrupt; second, the wrong people are being selected." Li Ju said: "We want to use open nominations and elections to prevent those people who are shameless, corrupt and abusive from attaining leadership positions."
Related Link: Guiyang party secretary selection has a democratic flavor Fool's Mountain
1. I was unable to finish watching it.
2. I was so stunned that I have nothing left to say
3. Such a country ...
4. Why did I think of the murder by burial under concrete story? I was assaulted before and it was dreadful. I could not finish watching it. I couldn't take it.
5. I was vexed as I watched it.
6. This was the first time that I saw a video that I regret watching it. This is unbelievable.
7. For the sake of the victim, please delete this video from the world. It hurts to be stripped naked, raped and filmed.
8. Demons wearing human skins.
9. If I were the father of this girl, I would go and kill all the trash.
10. This can happen in any county in the world. This is a terrible thing for the girl and her family for this video to be seen by the whole world. If I were the girl in the video, I would feel like an object of contempt. This is less about forgetting the past than looking for a better future.
11. I don't know what happened ...
12. This is repetition of a Japanese incident 12 years ago. You cannot get eliminate of the video.
13. Stop it, this is so cruel and heartbreaking. I hope the people who can calmly carry out this sort of thing will disappear from the world.
14. This is a minor bump in a peace society. We ought to be jealous. Look at Japan -- gang rapes, private tortures, kidnappings, accidents occur around us frequently ...
15. The face of the girl on the video should have been masked ... in Japan, similar but not identical stories happen every day (especially in Tokyo). Will her parents beat her for this?
16. The abused and beaten girl did not seem to resist. Did she give up fighting back? The immobility of the girl showed how terrible her tormentors are.
17. The chaos was good. I'm getting an erection.
18. It is better to consider this from the viewpoint of the victim. It is not right if we are unsympathetic when we see the look of a little lamb begging for mercy.
More than a decade ago, actress Carina Lau was kidnapped and the kidnappers took some photos of her. She recalled: "It was more than ten years ago. The crime bosses liked to invest in movie production and one of them wanted me to make a movie for them. I refused, and they punished me this way. How was it settled? I made a movie for them without payment." She disclosed that the movie was made in Holland.
On the day of her kidnapping, she visited a friend and was kidnapped on her way home. She does not blame her four kidnappers: "They did not violate me. They were just following orders. I am grateful to them."
More than a decade late, EastWeek magazine acquired the photos and published them as a front page story. The entire entertainment world came out to protest and EastWeek was forced to fold (note: the current EastWeek magazine is published by someone else). Carina Lau said: "I always had an inferiority complex because I felt that people regarded me as a 'mainland girl.' When those photos came out a decade later, the entertainment world as well as all the Hong Kong people came out to support me. I did not expect that. I have to thank everybody. I was really very touched."
Netizens believe that the movie was China White. The information on the movie itself is very sparse, so it is still not known just who the backer is. The human flesh search engines will eventually flush the person out (and it may be the wrong person). Why is Carina Lau virtually fingering the person now?
Postscript: Here are the answers as provided by a commentator:
Q1. Who is the financial backer of this movie? (see link for a not-well-known person)
Q2. Why is Carina Lau fingering this person now? (see link for the death by gunshot of this person)
During the Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, the son of He Dezhi and Cheng Xingfeng was buried in the rubble of Beichuan MIddle School. The body of He Chuan has not been recovered. It had been the dream of He Chuan to attend university in Beijing.
On the day after the earthquake (May 13), Premier Wen Jiabao visited Mianyang and spoke to four children, including the sister of He Chuan at the Jiuzhou Sports Auditorium. Wen told them: "The government will look after you, the government will look after your lives, the government will look after your studies. You should think that you are still living in your own homes. Don't cry! Don't cry! This was a disaster and you are lucky to survive. Therefore, you must live well."
In late June, He Dezhi, Chengxingfeng and their daughter He Xiaomei came to Beijing and opened a small restaurant (about 10 square meters in area) named "Beichuan Chengfeng Restaurant." The parents were not well-educated and so they chose a name that was a combination of their hometown and the first and third characters in the name of the female owner. The name Chengfeng can also be taken to mean that Beichuan is rising from the ashes like a phoenix.
On July 12, exactly two months after the Wenchuan earthquake, the He family woke up to find that someone had spray-painted the words "Sichuan persons, scram back to the disaster zone!" on the gate of their restaurant. Less than two months ago, the Chinese people were all swearing: "We are all Sichuan people."
Who did that? Why they did do it? Nobody knows at this time.
But here is part of the Internet controversy which may have caused this piece of incivility. At first, netizens praised the restaurant: "the Beichuan Chengfeng Restaurant is the flag that showed that the people of Beichuan shall never concede to the natural disaaster" and "the Beichuan Chengfeng Restaurant is the finest example of people helping themselves to get their lives back together." Many netizens organized volunteers and QQ groups to help the Beichuan Chengfeng Restaurant.
Then one day someone walked into the restaurant and asked whether the owners were from Beichuan. They said yes. The person put down 50 RMB and walked out without dining. The owners felt really bad because they were not looking for alms. Thereafter, when asked where she came from, the female owner said that she was from Chongqing in order to avoid a recurrence of the stiatuion. This caused some other netizens to denounce this couple from Chongqing for impersonating Beichuan earthquake survivors to deceive the Beijing public. That became a huge Internet scandal.
Finally, a traditional media reporter conducted an in-depth investigation and verified that the owners were indeed from Beichuan. The interview showed that the two were strong and proud Beichuan people; they are grateful, but they are self-reliant and self-respecting. They did not to sit in the disaster zone to wait for state relief. They wanted to earn their own living and not wallow in the pity and alms from others.
But on the morning of July 12, the family read the spray-painted words: "Sichuan people, scram back to the disaster zone!" One explanation was that this was someone who read the part about the Chongqinq imposters but not the media follow-up. Another explanation is that "when the forest is large, there are all kinds of birds, including some very nasty ones."
Some people seemed terrified of hearing the words "universal values," as if these words represented western forces. Actually, if they are universal, then they are applicable to the human race regardless of whether they come from the west or east. And they can even come from China.
Recently, the movie <Kung Fu Panda> has been received well around the world. People of different races, beliefs and cultural backgrounds like the movie because the kind of values in the movie are applicable to everyone in the world.
It is an eternal theme that good triumps over evil. That is something that everybody accepts. That is how the malevolent and selfish Leopard ultimately lost to the Panda. Respecting one's teacher may be a bit removed for the westerners who stress individuality, more so than easterners. But from the handling of the respect of the Cat Teacher towards the Turtle Master, it can be seen that the western scriptwripters were maintaining a respect for character. There is not much difference between east and west with respect to the sense of responsibililty, although there may be a difference with respect to the target of responsibilty (the human race? society? nation? government?). No matter what, the sense of responsibilty and mission is an accepted value. It is out of this quality that the Cat Teacher decided to confront the Leopard on behalf of the villagers; for the same reason, the Panda dared to confront the Leopard. Another value is that individuals should be given adequate space to develop and control their own characters. Perhaps some people feel that this concept is more western, but when we see the Panda finally achieving his dream to become a Kung Fu Maser, we as easterners must also agree with letting an individual realize and surpass himself through his own efforts in a relaxed environment. There is also love, between friends and between people. Love is an eternal theme. It is also an eternal theme for humankind, although its realization may be different depending on the differences by culture, religion, race and so on.
These values can be applied to China's panda, just as it could be applied to Mickey Mouse which symbolizes American culture. That is why the values in the movie are actually what we call universal values.
But we must admit that whenever we speak of universal values, we often feel that they are very western. That is because these values were nurtured from western culture and that is why they are familiar. Due to problems of state power and influence, the values nurtured by eastern cultures (and especially Chinese valus) are not known or accepted by the west.
When I watched <Kung Fu Panda>, I was most impressed when the five knights respectfully addressed the Panda as "Master." This expressed their acceptance and respect for the Panda that they once despised. The Hollywood stars who provided their voices for dubbing probably know little about Chinese Kung Fu and its spirit before making this movie. But this final call of "Master" required a deep understanding of this respect. Actually, the movie company did provide a great deal of information as well as personal experience of Kung Fu for the purpose of dubbing. Without this acceptance and familiarity, it would be difficult to come up with a movie like this one.
For the audience, they don't require four or five years of preparation and learning. Through this movie that conveys the spiritual essense of Kung Fu, many people will have a sense of identification, and even participation. This reminds me of how Indian Yoga became popular in the west. In Hong Kong, people are enthusiastic about yoga for the purpose of weight reduction. In the west, people were intrigued by the sense of mystery in this eastern practice as well as the expectation for the purification of the soul. This enthusiasm created a certain image for India, just as Chinese Kung Fu and Pandas have created a certain image for China and exported Chinese values.
If and when we feel that we are not being understood by the west, what we need is not to scream about the unfair treatment. Force is required, but force requires reasoning that the other side can accept. When we are unsure just what our commonly accepted values are, or when we have not established those values yet, it becomes very hard to convince others. The whole thing becomes burdensome and futile.
When the criticisms from others are baseless, or even erroneous, you show the evidence that they are wrong. But boycotts and counter-criticisms may have the opposite effect in modern society. This is not because you don't have reason on your side. But when you boycott and counter-criticize, it can create feelings of extremism and totalitarianism. For this reason, freedom of speech is regarded as a universal value. With freedom of speech, mistakes (or even malicious slander) in a mature society can be restricted or punished through an independent judiciary system. By contrast, a mass critcism session will only create the impression of a society that bans diversified voices. In truth, this is how a society without diversified voices acts.
Everybody cares about the impression of other people. Over recent years, many Americans are frustrated over their sagging international image due to American government policies. The worries of the people will be reflected in the upcoming voting if they want to have change. For the Chinese, they want to show an open, prosperous China to the world through the Olympics. The Chinese people obviously share that goal. But the issue is about how to export certain values and voices. Actually, if these values are universal, then they will gain resonance and acceptance. It is only that people had not been acquainted or realized this previously.
On June 19, a post titled <What happened here? Southwestern University pretty girl became Sichuan earthquake victim?> appeared at the Southwestern Normal University forum.
The post was accompanied by a photo of the Chengdu memorial wall for the victims of the Wenchuan earthquake. Among those photos was one of Southwestern Normal University 'pretty queen' Han Shan. Many commentators noted that this was the well-recognized photo of Han Shan who had been very hot on the Internet once upon a time.
The memorial wall is located at the Daba Jianchuan Museum in Chengdu. The memorial wall was part of an exhibit which included more than 4,000 artefacts recovered from the rubble. Most striking was the memorial wall of photos of the earthquake victims, measuring four meters tall and more than 20 meters wide. There were almost 5,000 photos. Candles and joss sticks were lit in front of the wall.
Where did the museum collect its photos from? According to the person in charge, the hotos came from several websiet that specialized in collecting such photos. Why did Han Shan's photo appear here? The explanation was that they were in a hurry to prepare this wall and they did not have enough photos. So they downloaded some photos from the Internet, printed them and posted them on the wall without verifying that these people were earthquake victims.
Reporter: Are you aware tht your photo is on the Chengdu memorial wall for earthquake victims?
Han Shan: I know.
Reporter: Did this impact you?
Han Shan: Of course. Relatives and friends were calling to see if I was alright.
Reporter: You are supposed to be a "pretty queen" of the Southerwestern Normal University?
Han Shan: Yes. I participated in the "pretty university queens" context organized by a certain media outlet.
Reporter: How do you view this mistake of the organizers?
Han Shan: The organizers have been quite irresponsible in running this activity. It has caused unnecessary scares and worries.
At the 3rd International Art Biennale China 2008, there is a sculture of a Qing dynasty female palace attendant sitting semi-nude but her vulva is covered up by a white tower. According to the sculptor, the figure was based upon the Empress Dowager Cixi and the white towel was not in the original design. "The sculture was submitted for review and the relevant department did not object." But on the afternoon of opening day , the organizers claimed that there was a complaint from an audience member. Therefore, a white towel had to used to cover up the private parts of the Empress Dowager.
Recently, a series of photos that seemingly come from Amnesty International has been drawing attention in China. These photos became prominent for seemingly winning a bronze lion prize for the TBWA agency at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. The photos included three Olympic ' sports' (swimming, weightlifting and archery) to highlight the abuse of prisoners in China. You can click on the photos above to access the high-resolution ones.
The words at the bottom righthand side of the photos are:
AFTER THE OLYMPIC GAMES,
THE FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MUST GO ON.
In June 19, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson JIang Yu said: "Amnesty International is an orgainziation with a persistent prejudice against China. It frequently issues irresponsible reports to attack China. Its words does not have the public trust." China Society for Human Rights Studies vice-chairman Chen Shiqiu said: "Amnesty Internatonal chose to issue these anti-China ads right before the Olympics for the purpose of smearing the image of China with the pretext of defending human rights. They want to disrupt China's goals for peace, stability, ethnic unity and social progress."
But here is the trick: Amnesty International's website is Amnesty.org. The photos here are signed for Amnesty.com. If you go to Amnesty.com, it is a domain name for sale. So who is paying for these print ads? To what purpose?
A campaign about the Beijing Olympics produced for Amnesty International France was considered so aggressive by its creators that they decided to call off its release.
Advertising agency TBWA\Paris did however seek permission from their client to present the project at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. And it even received a prize. Since then the images, which show Chinese prisoners tortured with the help of Olympics sports equipment, have been circulated on blogs and forums in China, causing outrage in the country.
Related Link: Try to view Amnesty International calmly (translated) Fool's Mountain; The art of PR: lying without technical falsehood Fool's Mountain
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