Recently the hottest subject on the Hong Kong Internet was not the debate over the "fruit money" for senior citizens.  Instead, it was "The Fox Hunt" (狐狸精事件).

On October 13, a "Mrs. Lai" posted onto the Hong Kong Discuss Forum with the title <I am pregnant ... but I discovered>. 

[I am really unhappy.  Why does my husband hurt me again and again.  We have been married for six years.  We have a two-year-old son and I am five months pregnant.  But I discovered that my husband has another woman besides me.

Actually, this is not the first time.  The last time when I was pregnant, I found out that he has a pretty girl with whom he went away on vacation several times.  This pretty girl is smart and pretty.  When they traveled that time, I ran into them in Japan.  Otherwise I would never have known.  The pretty has even posted their vacation on the photos and even send a link.]

The curses and advice piled up in the comment sections.  Based upon the feedback from netizens, Mrs. Lai decided to seek legal counsel.  Meanwhile, netizens found photos of Mr. Lai with the third-party "foxy spirit 狐狸精."  Thus, it became known that she was the starlet Maggie Poon.  On October 16, she wrote that her husband wants a divorce.  Mrs. Lai came back with these words:

[After the story got exposed, the guy came and scolded me for a long time.  He thought that I made him and his woman lose face.  With the case blown up to this proportion, how can he face anyone from now on?  Many of his clients know about it, and this indirectly affected this business.]

(Taipei Times)  Councilor Indicted For Overthrowing 'Values'  By Jimmy Chuang.  October 31, 2008.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tainan City Councilor Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) was indicted yesterday for inciting supporters to use violence against Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清) during his visit to Taiwan last week, with prosecutors suggesting a 14-month jail sentence.

Zhang was allegedly jostled by Wang and several pro-independence supporters during a private visit to Tainan’s Confucius Temple. In the melee, Zhang fell to the ground and was slightly injured.

“Video footage from the scene proves that Wang pushed Zhang and that made him fall. The actions of Wang and his supporters damaged Taiwan’s image,” Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Lee Ching-wen (李靜文) said.

Six of Wang’s supporters present at the protest on Oct. 21 were also indicted.  Wang was indicted on charges of intimidation and assault.

Prosecutors also said that Lin Chin-hsun (林進勳), who jumped on the roof of Zhang’s car, should receive an eight-month sentence; while Tu Yung-nan (杜永南), Tseng Chao-chi (曾朝枝), Wu Ping-chin (伍平進) and Wang Chen-juei (王貞瑞) should be given six months each for trying to block Zhang’s car by standing in front of it.

Seventy-year-old Ho Kuei-hua (何桂花) was indicted for trying to attack Zhang by hitting his car with a crutch. Prosecutors asked for a six-month sentence for her.

The six were indicted on charges of intimidation and interference and for “overthrowing” democratic values.

“Obviously, politics are interfering with our judicial system. The authorities have taken advantage of this incident to flatter the Chinese government, especially as it took less than one week for prosecutors to wrap up the case,” Wang said. Wang made his remarks after learning of his indictment yesterday morning. He said he would cooperate and help prosecutors with their investigation, but accused prosecutor Su Tsung-jung (蘇聰榮), who is leading the case, of allowing politics to influence his actions.

(Apple Daily) (718 persons were interviewed via interactive voice system from a random sample drawn from the telephone directory)

Wang Ting-yu was indicted for intimidation and assault with a recommended jail sentence of 14 months.  Do you think that the punishment is too harsh?

33.4%: Yes (we should not punish our own children in front of the Chinese Communists)
53.6%: No (Wang Ting-yu deserves to be severely punished for breaking the law.

(TVBS) (866 persons age 20 or over interviewed by telephone on October 30.  Telephone numbers were drawn from the telephone directory and the last four digits were randomized.)

Q1. Democratic Progressive Party Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu jostled ARATS vice chairman Zhang Mingqing.  Yesterday, the prosecutor asked for a jail sentence of 14 months.  At a time when ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin is about to visit Taiwan, do you think that it is appropriate for the prosecutor to do this?
34%: Appropriate
34%: Inappropriate
32%: No opinion

Q2. Do you know why ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin is coming to Taiwan?
34%: Yes
66%: No

Q3. Do you welcome ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin to come to Taiwan to discuss cross-strait affairs with the Straits Exchange Foundation?
50%: Welcome
28%: Not welcome
22%: No opinion

Q4. Chen Yunlin is coming to Taiwan to meet with Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung to discuss and sign agreements.  Do you think that the results will meet the expectations of the people of Taiwan?
25%: Yes
44%: No
31%: No opinion


Democratic Progressive Party Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu promised yesterday that he will file charges against ARATS chairman Chen Yunlin for intimidating the people of Taiwan.  "We will go down to the prosecutor's office and ring the bell.  We want the prosecutor to tell us why they will not handle the case."


Some people now believe that Wang Ting-yu is trying to get exposure in order to win the Democratic Progressive Party nomination for Tainan city mayor.  Recently, outdoor boards have shown up in Tainan city to support Wang Ting-yu's entry into the mayoral election.  Wang Ting-yu denies that he has anything to do with this.  His office said that the outdoor boards were erected by supporters on their own initiative.

Wang Ting-yu said: "I thank you for your concern.  Now that the situation of the nation is such shape, what is the point of getting elected?  I feel that the present value is to maintain the environment of two-party politics, party politics and democracy in Taiwan.  When this is maintained, everyone (or every media outlet) will have freedom, democracy and participation in politics.
I am not a hero.  I don't want to be made into a hero.  There is no point in being made into a hero.  The defense of Taiwan requires many people to work together.  Sometimes, it is harmful to the movement to highlight one individual.  As for the business about the election, it not on my mind.  All our previous preparations have been disrupted over the past few days.  I thank everybody for their concern."

At 8pm on the night before yesterday, Mr. Chen looked a suite at a Shenzhen seafood restaurant to dine with his family.  At around 8:40pm, his 11-year-old daughter stepped out of the suite and walked across the hall to use the restroom.  When she walked past one table, a 50-year-old tall and big man called her and asked her where the restroom was.  She described the location, but the man still did not understand.  He asked her to show the way and she naively agreed.

The surveillance camera in the restaurant showed the girl leading the way and a man in a white shirt and dark pants following her.  They went out of view.  In less than one minute, the girl raced back to the suite.  Several minutes later, Chen, his wife took the girl and her younger brother to look for the man.  They also spoke to the restaurant manager.  Several minutes, the wife took the children back to the suite.  Meanwhile the man in the white shirt kept pushing the father around and making arrogant gestures.  A woman in a white dress came to calm the man in white down, but he kept pushing the father.  The woman tried to take the man out, but the father blocked them ...

According to Mr. Chen, they were eating when the daughter came running back from the restroom and shivering.  They quickly comforted her, and she told her that she was molested by a man in the 50's.  She had acted out of good will to show the restroom to the man.  But when they got near the restroom, he grabbed her neck and dragged her into the restroom.  The girl was terrified but could not scream because of the hands around her neck.  She struggled free and fled back to the suite.

When the family heard the account from the girl, they were shocked.  How could anyone molest a young girl who was trying in help him in a public place?  They charged out of the room and saw the woman who was dining with the man.  The mother asked: "Where was the man you were dining with?"  The woman was scared and kept shaking her head: "I don't know him.  I know nothing."  When she wanted to leave, the family prevented her from doing so.

Just as they were arguing, the man in white returned from the restroom.  At that moment, the man shocked everybody with these words: "So I did it.  What about it?  How much money do you want?  I am willing to pay."  The family was outraged.  The man went further and wagged his finger: "Do you know who I am?  I am from the Ministry of Transportation in Beijing.  I have the same grade level as the mayor of your city.  So what if I grabbed the neck of a small child.  You people count for fart!  If you dare challenge me, just wait and see how I will deal with you."

The father was forced to summon the police.  After the police was called, the man in white was advised by the woman in white to leave.  He struggled with the security guards and restaurant workers.  A militia policeman arrived and placed the man in white under cibtrik,

According to the reporter, the man in white is named Lin, he was born in 1950 and his home is in Yintai city, Shandong province.


Very quickly, the human flesh engines went to work on this prick who is being accused of the heinous crime of molesting an 11-year-old.  The name of the man is Lin Jiaxiang.  He is the party secretary at the Shenzhen Marine Affairs Bureau.  Here are the photos found on the Internet.

[Notice From The Tudou Administrator: Your video has been deleted because the program contains bloody and violent content.  Please do not upload similar programs in the future.


At 6:43pm on October 28, China University of Political Science and Law teacher Cheng Chunming was stabbed to death by a student.  Cheng Chunming was taken to a hospital where he died that evenining.  The student has been detained by the police.  On the morning of October 29, the vice chancellor of the university Ma Huaide was interviewed by the Southern Weekend reporter.

Q. What was the reaction of the university after the incident?
A. On behalf of the university party committee, let me present the relevant information.  When the news came that evening, all the dozen or so university leader went to Changping to hold a party standing committee.  We were all very shocked.
At first, the news was that he was injured.  We were hoping that his life could be saved.  But later he was confirmed dead.  That was truly a great shock and sorrow.
After the incident, we immediately fetched the family and designated people to comfort them.  The university expressed its sorrow about what happened to teacher Cheng.  At 1:11pm, the official university website published the obituary notice.  The university established a leader group to deal with the matter, including stabilizing the university community.  At the same time, the university condemned the violence.

Q. Are you acquainted with the deceased teacher Cheng?
A. In 2000, he returned from France to join the China University of Political Science and Law.  We knew each other well.  His French was very good.  He even served as the deputy director of the research institute.  Last year, when the chancellor of a French university came here to visit, he served as the translator.  His professional expertise was divided between comparative law theory and administrative law.  He was studying the laws and systems about public servants.  He translated the French law on notarization.

Q. Was it true that the university has halted all classes?
A. The university has not stopped all classes.  We are now providing psychological counseling at various levels.  We are asking the various counselors, advisors and psychologists to visit the student dormitories and help them.

Q. At the October 29 morning press conference of the China University of Political Science and Law, the incident was described as a "rare incident seldom seen on university campuses."  Why?
A. The incident itself appears to be a rare tragedy.  Nobody can predict or prevent it.  Many people asked why nobody stopped it.  The fact is that there was no way to stop him, because the whole thing happened in an instant.

Q. What were the considerations in this first press conference?
A. We took this step in order to objectively disclose this incident in a timely manner, so that the rumors do not go out ahead of the facts.  We held the press conference at 10am this morning.

Q. Did any reporter mentioned at the press conference that this was a love murder?
A. There had been some speculative reports on the Internet.  The police has not disclose any information about the case.  In the absence of any evidence, it is unfair to the deceased to speculate that this was a love murder and it is irresponsible to the public as well.  We await the conclusion from the police.

Q. On the Internet, people are blaming the China University of Political Science and Law.  What does the university think?
A. This is a criminal case, and the responsibility will be determined in accordance with the law.  Accidents can happen on any university campus.  Accountability would be more objective after the evidence and the police conclusion comes out as to where the problems occurred.
The university takes the idea that a human life is most precious and losing a teacher is most rueful.  At the same time, there needs to be stability on the university campus.  At the moment, the main tasks are to comfort the family of the deceased and to intervene psychologically with the students.  Everything else should be left to the law.

Q. Before the police conclusions are known, how do you think society should think about this incident?
A. A university campus is a special place which is supposed to nurture talents.  We should be reflective when such a tragedy occurs.  Before the case has been thoroughly investigated, we should refrain from drawing any conclusions.  The various kinds of speculations may be partial.  We will cooperate with the public security bureau in the investigation.  Through this case, we hope that the various sectors of society will pay attention to the thinking and psychology of young people today, to love life more and to stop these vicious incidents from recurring.

During the presidential election this year, DPP legislator Yu Tien claimed that Ma Ying-jeou's "entire family has American passports."  As a result, criminal charges were filed against him.  Yesterday, the first hearing of his trial took place in a local court.  His lawyer requested to enter a guilty plea and a negotiated settlement.  But the public prosecutor reminded him that if a guilty plea is entered, then there will be a conviction as a result of which Yu Tien will lose his position as legislator.  A grim-looking Yu Tien withdrew his guilty plea.

Afterwards, Yu Tien said that he said those things because people were all questioning whether the entire Ma family has 'green cards.'  Therefore, he raised the doubts based upon what was in the newspapers and on television.  He said that "he spoke too hastily" but those were just political campaign talk and he had no intention of making sure that someone does not get elected.  Thus, he is entering a not-guilty plea.

It was on March 2 that Yu Tien participated in a DPP rally in Kaohsiung city and stood on the stage to accuse the Ma family of having American passports.  He also said: "This type of person is prepared.  When there is chaos in Taiwan, he can run away.  Can such a person be president?"  The KMT legislators then lodged a complaint against him.

At the first day of hearing yesterday, Yu Tien's lawyer proposed a guilty plea with a negotiated penalty.  He also claimed that Yu Tien was willing to apologize to Ma Ying-jeou through the media.  He asked the court to impose a lenient sentence.  The past is past and it is necessary to look ahead towards the future, as these kinds of prosecutions are quite meaningless now.

The prosecutor then reminded Yu Tien that a guilty plea leads to a conviction, and the nature of this case implies that there would be a prison term during which time Yu will lose his civic rights (including the right to serve in public service).  Furthermore, he may not even be eligible for the next parliamentary elections.

The prosecutor asked Yu's lawyer: "Does Yu Tien not want to run again?"  The lawyer immediately denied that.  Yu Tien stood on the side, looking very grim.  After discussing with his lawyer, Yu Tien decided to withdrew the guilty plea and entered a not-guilty plea in the hope that he would be found innocent.

Legal professionals point out that the election law imposes a sentence of five years or less for "attempting to ensure that a candidate does not get elected" with loss of civic rights.  If the final verdict is rendered within a year with a guilty verdict, Yu Tien faces being dismissed as a legislator and will be barred temporarily from running for election again.


A funeral for Xie Jin, a well-known Chinese director whose movies have won popularity among generations, was held Sunday afternoon in Shanghai. More than 10,000 people, including film stars and ordinary citizens from across the country, came to the Longhua Funeral Hometo mourn for the filmmaker who died on Oct. 18 in Shangyu, eastern Zhejiang Province.

This was big entertainment news, not the least because film star Fan Bingbing got crushed in the crowd and started kicking people to make them take their hands off her breast.



At the 2008 Film and Television Industry Development Forum/Television Program Sales meeting, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Media Organization Management Office director Ren Qian gave a speech in which he asked the production units for "self-discipline, self-respect and self-importance."  This means that they should not be manufacturing sensationalistic news stories to increase audience.  Instead, they should have a healthy, excellent and fair environment for competition.  He specifically named Song Zude: "Song Zude's company in Guangdong libeled director Xie Jin and has drawn a high degree of attention from the SARFT's Media Organization Management Office.  We are discussing with the Guangdong provincial SARFT bureau and the Guangdong Production Unit Association.  We have to eradicate these types of bad apples."

In reply, Song Zude said: "I am not happy with the fact that director Ren would criticize me in such a public setting.  What right does he have to call me a bad apple?  He is libeling me.  I have spoken with my lawyer.  We will try to determine in what capacity director Ren was speaking and we will issue a legal letter in two or three days to demand an apology over the bad apple talk.  Otherwise, I will file suit next week."  Song Zude insisted that everything he said about director Xie Jin on his blog was based upon evidence and he is willing to accept all legal responsibility.

So what did Song Zude write about Xie Jin?


... October 17, Kangqiao Company shareholder Li Xinda was asked by the company headquarters to study the market in Shangyu city.  That night, he and his assistant checked into the Shangyu International hotel.  Sometime between 8pm and 9pm, Liu Xinda called to tell me about the results of his trip.  Over the telephone, he mentioned that he spotted Xie Jin in the hotel.  At the time, I did not pay too much attention.  So what if he saw Xie Jin? ...

Liu Xinda is a night owl who usually goes to bed at 2am or 3am.  He claims that it is easier to write poetry in the still of the night.  At around 2am on October 18, my mobile phone rang.  I did not want to answer but I saw that it was coming from Liu Xinda.  So I sat up in bed and chatted with him.

Liu Xinda said that something was wrong.  I asked him what.  He said that his room happened to be next to Xie Jin's.  He was hearing wild sounds made by a young woman from next door and Xie was panting very hard.  ... He said that he thought that Xie Jin must have called a girl to keep him company at night ...

The next morning, before I even got a call from Liu Xinda, an entertainment news reporter had already called to tell me about the sudden demise of Xie Jin.  At noon, Liu Xinda called to confirm the death of Xie Jin.

I would rather prefer to think that nothing Liu Xinda told me that day was true.  I would rather prefer to think that Xie Jin did not went to perform that wanton act in spite of his old age ... China has entered an era in which the population is ageing.  I call on all old people to maintain their virtues.  I call on all children to protect their elders like young children and not let them suffer sudden deaths.  Even if they die suddenly, they should not imitate Xie Jin!  As a so-called veteran artist, Xie Jin should have stayed away from booze.  Even if he drank, he should not let his lust run amok and get a call girl.  Inevitably, the tragedy occurred.  Actually, I have always been contemptuous of the character of Xie Jin.  This man played the role of a bold and unconstrained elderly statesman who behaved wildly after imbibing alcohol.  Therefore, his children are unhealthy, with his son dying before him.  But he had no compunction and continued to consume alcohol.  It is one thing to get drunk, but he should have avoided hard exercises in bed in a drunken state.  But he had to go for it ...


Song Zude is an oddity in the entertainment industry, where there is the "Song Zude phenomenon."  Logically speaking, Song Zude had published many disgusting private stories about entertainers.  These stories may be true, or false, or just gibberish.  But in an age where people litigate over every tiny thing in the name of defending their rights and reputations, very few of those entertainers actually come out to counter-attack or sue Song Zude.  Since this only occurs with Song Zude, it is known as the 'Song Zude phenomenon.'

Even if Song Zude really libeled these entertainments and smeared the reputation of the esteemed director Xie Jin, the issue of legal responsibility should be decided by Song Zude and the other principals.  What business is this to SAFRT?  What is the basis for SAFRT to ban Song Zude?  SAFRT is showing its true face when it tries to use administrative sanction instead of legal processes to shut Song Zude up.

(Chengdu Commercial Press via Xinhua)

Yesterday, Song Zude wrote on his blog that he has sent a legal letter to SAFT Ren Qian to demand an apology plus 1 million yuan in compensation.  When the reporter called Song Zude, he said, "I have already accumulated 5 million yuan in losses today over this matter.  Of course, I have to defend my reputation too."

On October 19, the reporter had called Song Zude after his blog post about Xie Jin appeared.  Song Zude guaranteed with his character that it was the truth.  He also provided the mobile phone number of Liu Xinda to the reporter.

Liu Xinda gave the same account basically.  But his explanations to the questions raised by the reporters were somewhat stretched.  First, the reporter asked Liu Xinda for his hotel room number in order to confirm that he stayed next door to Xie Jin.  But Liu Xinda refused to provide the information.  When the reporter said that he could check with the hotel anyway, Liu Xinda said that he registered under the name of his assistant.  He said that he needed to protect the privacy of his assistant.

Liu Xinda told the reporter that he heard the sounds around 2am in the morning.  When the reporter pointed out that the autopsy showed that Xie Jin died at 1am, Liu Xinda immediately said that he forgot when time it was.  Liu Xinda said that he had accidentally made a recording of the sounds that night.  When the reporter asked for the tape, Liu Xinda refused because only the court was going to get the evidence.

Related Link: Reluctant support for a nasty gossip's case against SARFT  Joel Martinsen, Danwei

Q1. Last Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party held the "anti-evil, protect Taiwan" rally.  How are satisfied with this activity that was led by DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen?
37%: Satisfied
27%: Dissatisfied
36%: No opinion

Q2. Would you say that the activity was successful?
43%: Successful
26%: Not successful
30%: No opinion

Q3. Do you know that Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yun-lin is coming to visit Taiwan?
85%: Yes
15%: No

Q4. Do you welcome Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yun-lin to come come to Taiwan to discuss cross-strait affairs?
47%: Yes
30%: No
23%: No opinion

Q5. Overall, do you feel that the visit by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yun-lin will be favorable or unfavorable to the development of Taiwan?
33%: Favorable
22%: Unfavorable
23%: No impact
22%: No opinion

Q6. Are you concerned that the visit by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yun-lin will debase the position of Taiwan?
45%: Concerned
44%: Not concerned
10%: No opinion

Q7. Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yun-lin is coming to Taiwan to hold meetings and sign cross-strait agreements.  Are you concerned that president Ma Ying-jeou will sell out Taiwan's interests?
42%: Concerned
50%: Not concerned
  8%: No opinion

Q8. Some people say that the cross-strait policies of the Ma Ying-jeou administration lean towards mainland China too far.  Do you agree?
46%: Agree
40%: Disagree
14%: No opinion

Q9. The Democratic Progressive Party will set up nightly vigils during Chen Yun-lin's visit.  Do you support this action?
33%: Support
49%: Not support
17%: No opinion

Q10. Which do you prefer?  Maintain status quo? Independence? Unification?
58%: Maintain status quo
24%: Lean towards independence
  5%: Lean towards unification

Q11. If there is only one choice between independence and unification, which would you choose?
68%: Independence
14%: Unification with mainland China
18%: No opinion

Q1. Value public opinion?
38%: Kuomintang
38%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q2. Clean and non-corrupt?
37%: Kuomintang
14%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q3. Dynamic?
33%: Kuomintang
42%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q4. Value reform?
43%: Kuomintang
46%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q5. Unified?
54%: Kuomintang
31%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q6. Able to self-reflect?
47%: Kuomintang
33%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q7. Satisfied with recent performance?
21%: Kuomintang
23%: Democratic Progressive Party

Q. Job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou
25%: Satisfied (+2%)
55%: Dissatisfied

Q. Job performance of Premier Liu Chao-shiuan
25%: Satisfied (+6%)
53%: Dissatisfied

Q. Job performance of Mainland Affairs Council chairwoman Lai Hsin-yuan
21%: Satisfied
36%: Dissatisfied

Q. Job performance of Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen
34%: Satisfied (-15%)
37%: Dissatisfied

Q. Satisfaction with former president Chen Shui-bian
  5%: Satisfied
81%: Dissatisfied

Q. Overall, is President Ma Ying-jeou leading the state policies in the right direction?
38%: Right direction (-11%)
34%: Wrong direction

Q. Do you agree that Taiwan should accept mainland Chinese academic records?
25%: Agree
62%: Disagree

Q. Overall, do you have confidence in the ability of Ma Ying-jeou administration to handle the economy?
39%: Have confidence
49%: Have no confidence

Q. If the Democratic Progressive Party were the ruling party, do you feel that their performance would be better than the Nationalists?
19%: Yes
53%: No
10%: About the same

On the morning of September 30, Premier Wen Jiabao was interviewed by the American journal <Science>.  Once again, Chinese media got to be jealous.

Apart from the fact that Wen Jiabao is the leader of the Chinese government, the dialogue with <Science> editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts was interesting in the personal revelations.  During the interview, Wen said that if he had not entered politics, he "might have become a very good scientist."  Wen also specifically requested that they should have a "heart-to-heart talk" "to discuss the issues."

... One major reason why the dialogue between Wen Jiabao and Bruce Alberts was so refreshing is Wen's depiction of how politics work and his reflections on the responsibility and role of a leader.  At the end of the interview, Wen Jiabao said: "A little bit more scientific talk and a little less diplomatic talk may make the world better."  This saying is similarly applicable to the relevant political news in Chinese society today: if there could be a little bit more bilateral exchange and a little bit less unidirectional propaganda; if there could be a little more language from daily life and a little bit less political jargon; then the once-dreaded politics can even become enjoyable.

Why can't we see such refreshing and high-quality interviews in our own media?  Why does Premier Wen Jiabao's equal exchange need to be "exported" and then "re-imported"?  Obviously, this is related the under-development of Chinese media politics.

In recent years, the central government leaders are increasingly aware that "China is weaker than the west" in terms of international public opinion, and they are working to change to that.  But we must recognize first that one reason why "China is weaker than the west" is that certain government officials do not recognize the relation between politics and public opinion because the Chinese media operates in an abnormal environment.  The simplest thing is that even up to now, many government officials measure their own political influence in terms of formalities such as the sizes of the fonts of the headlines, the sizes of their photographs and the positions and placements of their articles about their political activities in newspapers and magazines.

In the minds of many media workers and managers, it is "mission impossible" to have any equal exchange between the Chinese media and senior officials.  The media may be awesome in the market, but they immediately fall in line with administrative rules as soon as they face the government officials.  The so-called 'equal exchange' necessarily becomes a conversation between a superior and a subordinate.  For this reason, many political news which could have increased social cohesion and political mobilization are made dull and unbearable by the "logic of propaganda" and become "a must to avoid."

In the history of the world, the media of many countries have gone through a stage where their country is weak in terms of international public opinion.  Napoleon Bonaparte once swept through the continent of Europe and his habit was to never read any newspapers from France.  His reasoning was: "The stuff published in the newspapers of my own country are all written according to my wishes."  Such were the facts.  At the time in France, the media were just cheerleaders for the government of Napoleon Bonaparte.  Meanwhile, Napoleon Bonaparte believed that "three oppositional newspapers are scarier than one thousand bayonets" and he was totally unaware that the opposition could be a voice that can effect corrections in the market of public opinions.

Since everybody says that "politics is the art of balancing," then politics should begin by having a balance of opinion.  People must be guaranteed that they can speak their "true words" in the public media.  If the media only carries top-down orders and sermons without equal exchange, then the media will lose its exchange function.  The mass media will be cut down to "mass propaganda" and yield its place to "publicity for important people."

We should say that China is moving towards greater openness today compared to Chinese society several decades ago.  But it cannot be denied that it is still true that the public cannot fully understand how politics work or what society is really thinking through the published newspapers and magazines.  That is probably one important reason why some leaders emphasize that they want to find out about public opinion through the Internet.  If the media cannot function as platforms for equal exchange, then politics cannot be discussed in a relatively tolerant environment.  The result will inevitably be one where the speakers have no opportunity to speak in a relaxed manner and the audience (from ordinary citizens to political leaders) lose the opportunity to hear the truth.

My email box has recently been flooded by so-called Chinese human rights protection emails.

There are at least several, sometimes as many as dozens.

There seems to be no way to stop them regardless of how I request them to stop the subscription.

Certain Internet magazines are acting the same way.

Some of these people may have seen my blog.

But there is an issue about the effectiveness of communication that deserves to be discussed.

If you want to market any idea of yours, you should find a way that does not upset people.

If you choose forceful bombardment, the effectiveness will be low or even contrarian.

You are just wasting your time with those emails of yours.

You are just waiting my time to locate and delete those emails of yours.

When you ignore other people's wishes, you are not respecting their rights.

I cannot believe that such people can do anything for the protection of human rights.

[ESWN Comment: Ditto for my own email problems.]

(Apple Daily)

Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu gained fame and popularity initially by pushing ARATS vice chairman Zhang Mingqing onto the ground.  Afterwards, he was threatened by the gangster Huang Ju-yi and he even got a television station to cover the incident.  In front of the camera, Huang Ju-yi punched Wang Ting-yu tiwce and said: "Wang Ting-yu is my younger brother.  I apologize to Zhang Mingqing on his behalf."  During the ten minutes' interview, Huang Ju-yi did all the talking and Wang Ting-yu looked embarrassed and nervous.  It was rumored that he signed a letter of apology.  Yesterday, Huang Ju-yi went down to the city crime investigation unit to explain his case, while the police announced that they are offering round-the-clock protection for Wang Ting-yu.

... On Tuesday morning last week, Wang Ting-yu brought his people to the Confucius Temple in Taiwan and shoved Zhang Mingqing onto the ground.  At around 2pm or so, a reporter received a call from Huang Ju-yi who angrily said: "Wang Ting-yu is one of my guys.  How can he treat a guest this way?  I want him not to elected as a councilor.  I want to issue a kill order against all pro-Bian people!"

Yesterday Huang Ju-yi was interviewed by Apple Daily and he said that Wang Ting-yu was one of his gang members.  On the day after the incident involving Zhang Mingqing, he personally went down to the Tainan office of Wang Ting-yu to learn about Wang's ideas about how to defend the dignity of Taiwan.

At around 6pm, Wang Ting-yu received a telephone call from Huang Ju-yi and went to Huang's office in Taipei.  Wang was accompanied by Huang to an office on the eighth floor of the building.  There were about 20 'brothers' there, all looking mean and tough.  Someone said: "You got people to harass Zhang Mingqing and pushed him over such that he got injured.  Not only is the mainland government unhappy, but our brothers on the other side of the strait are also displeased.  So you must write a note of apology to Zhang Mingqing, or else you are not going to walk out of there!"

At 7:30pm, Wang Ting-yu was taken into another office room and placed next to Huang Ju-yi.  Shortly afterwards, two reporters from CTI-TV were summoned.  According to them, there were six or seven guys standing outside the room.  The reporters entered the room and found Huang Ju-yi and Wang Ting-yu sitting down.

After the CTI-TV reporters set up their cameras, Huang Ju-yi said fiercely: "Zhang Mingqing is my friend.  Wang Ting-yu is my younger brother (=a member of my gang).  He pushed Zhang Mingqing down on the ground because he wanted to gain fame in his run for city mayor.  He wanted to defend the people of Taiwan."  He added: "This was not violence.  But he erred, I will hit him directly."  Then he punched Wang twice on his chest.  He emphasized: "Nobody in Taiwan except me can touch him.  I can apologize to Zhang Mingqing on his behalf."

Wang Ting-yu sat totally embarrassed without saying a word.  At the very end, he said: "I thank you for caring about my personal safety.  I am very sorry about causing so much worry for my brothers."  Huang Ju-yi said: "It does not matter.  I forgive you."  The entire interview lasted about 10 ten minutes.  The CTI-TV reporters saw that Wang Ting-yu held a rigid expression and said nothing.  They thought that the atmosphere was strange.  They left after the interview.

Afterwards, the 'brothers' entered the room and ordered Wang Ting-yu to sign a note of apology.  He refused.  Finally, Huang escorted Wang to the train station to return to Tainan.  A friend of Wang Ting-yu said: "He left at 10am after four hours of threats.  It was tortuous!"

Huang Ju-yi explained to Apple Daily that Wang Ting-yu came to see him on Thursday evening after his meeting.  At the time, he did not rough up Wang Ting-yu.  He did not personally threaten Wang Ting-yu but a young man named "Ah Yi" issued a threat: "If you won't apologize, I'll beat you to death!"  Huang found out about this after he got back to the office.  "I cursed them out.  When the young guys err, the adults will teach them.  I will not be kind to anyone who touches him!"  He emphasized that he personally escorted Wang out.  Ah Yi showed up and personally explained; "At the time, I thought that Wang over-reacted and therefore I insisted that he make a public apology."

The police commissioner Wang Cho-chiun said: "Someone wanted Wang Ting-yu to apologize for the Zhang Mingqing incident, but he refused."  When the police asked Wang Ting-yu, he said that he was invited by a friend to go there.  Many people were present, and someone wanted him to apologize to Zhang Mingqing.  But he refused.

The following is the CTI-TV video.  The mystery is that the incident occurred on October 23, but the reporters kept it secret until almost one week later.  If there was really a threat, why didn't they inform the police?  And why didn't Wang Ting-yu inform the police immediately?  The pan-blue legislators are accusing Wang Ting-yu of staging the whole incidence in his pursuit of election as Tainan mayor.  Wang Ting-yu denied all such charges in a press conference in the company of his wife.


The first time that I saw the news about "six policemen beat a university student to death," I thought that this is a troublesome world we live in because people always seem to resolve their problems by using force.  Compared to Yang Jia killing six policemen, this case seemed to have less news value.  After all, the police "wounding" one or two "criminal elements" accidentally during the course of carrying out their duties seems commonplace.

So I did not pay too much attention.  Basically, the Internet opinion was critical of the police and they demanded punishment, etc.

Then a mysterious video appeared on the Internet (it is mysterious because nobody knows how it got there).  From this 8-minute video, we saw that the deceased Lin Songling was really very overbearing.  He chased and attacked the police viciously thrice.  The police were forced to retaliate because they have no choice.

Internet opinion swung from condemnation of the police to sympathy for them.  We can see that in the comments.  The majority of the netizens who watched the video thought that the deceased was too overbearing and deserved to die.  Some netizens say that the police should not bear primary responsibility because they caused the death during self-defense.  At the same time, netizens revealed that the deceased had been taking drugs, so that his death may be due to heart failure caused by the sudden excitement.

It is very rare to hear voices on the Internet that support the police.  I think that this is the first time that the police have been supported, which became really loud after some netizens revealed the deceased had senior government officials among his family!  Based upon such information, the netizens conjectured that Lin Songling felt that he had impunity as a highly connected person to attack the policeman (the netizens speculate that the police must have identified themselves because the deceased would not be issuing threatening remarks such as "Do you know who my maternal uncle is?").  Thus, the police was weeding out a public menace, whose next victim may be an ordinary citizen.

The more than 100 protestors in front of the Harbin police station and the timely statements from the Harbin public security bureau only re-affirmed the rumors on the Internet.  Who can mobilize so many people to show up in front of the Harbin police station unless it is a underworld crime gang?  Why would the Harbin city leaders make statements immediately  unless there are senior government officials involved?

At the same time, netizens found out that the deceased was no longer a university study anymore.  So why did the media use an inflammatory and biased headline such as "six policemen beat a university student" to death?  Unless there are senior government officials involved, why would the media make such biased reports?

The various facts and indications seem to confirm the Internet rumor that the deceased had connections to senior government officials as well as underworld crime gangs.  The case seemed very straightforward: A spoiled brat with special connections attacked the police in a pub and the police reluctantly fought back in self defense, whereupon death occurred possibly due to drug abuse.

Is that what really happened?  Certain people wished it were so.

Although many netizens had doubts about whether the police acted inapprpriately and improperly (they should have identified earlier on and hauled the three specially connected persons back to the police station, or summoned the police, and the tragedy could have been avoided).  But the sympathy for police grew stronger and stronger.

It seemed as if public opinion can decide the outcome.

But following more in-depth investigation, the situation changed gradually.  The relevant departments and individuals clarified that it was not true that the deceased was connected to senior government officials.  The claim that his father was "a real estate developer with connections of underworld crime figures" was fictitious.  Ironically, the father sold socks as a living.

The truth gradually came out bit by bit.  Most astonishing was the fact that the 8-minute video had been edited.  Who was manufacturing these rumors?  Who edited the video?  Where is the real video?  What was the purpose of manufacturing the rumors?  Was it purely for fun?  What was hidden in the real video?

Like Rashomon, these doubts did not provide any answers.  But it sounded an alarm bell for the masses of netizens!

When Baidu shut down the information about Sanlu milk powder, people were reminded that certain things can be erased from the Internet.  This present case reminds us that certain persons with ulterior motives can distort the facts and exploit the goodness and sympathy of netizens to cover up their crimes and avoid punishment.  Behind the ID's of people who seem to call for justice, there could be evil transactions in which "justice" is traded for power and money.

Thankfully, truth is not determined by some fake assertions in this world.  When the truth emerges, the previous schemes to exploit public opinion will only help to highlight the schemes as being evil and disgusting.

The rumor mongering in this incident make me wistful.  The Internet has become the field of contestation among various forces.  Both the weak and the strong want to seize the high point and gain the support of the Internet.  All kinds and manners of voices fill the Internet.  If netizens are careless, they will be exploited.  In the virtual world, it is impossible to have the complete truth immediately.  There had been rumors such as "police beat university students to death" to "the deceased is an arrogant brat with special family connections" and netizens have to make judgments based only the rumors themselves.  It is easy to imagine that sometimes some netizens may stray way off the mark.

Now the Internet has become out magical tool, we must be extra cautious not to be exploited by persons with ulterior motives.  Before the truth has arrived, we must not speculate!  We should be careful about our suppositions and brave in our quest for proof!

Q6. Are you satisfied with the Chief Executive's policy address?
34.1%: Dissatisfied
41.1%: So-so/half-half
16.1%: Satisfied
  8.7%: Don't know/hard to say

Q7.  Overall, what is your ratings (0-100) of the Chief Executive's policy address?

Q8.  What is the single most urgent problem that needs to be solved in Hong Kong?
29.2%: Develop the economy and consolidate the position as financial centre
21.2%: Improve employment and solve unemployment
16.0%: Hold down prices
13.1%: Improve governance ability and increase people's trust in the government
12.1%: Reduce rich-poor gap
  7.4%: Others
  1.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q9. Are you confident about the stability of the Hong Kong financial system?
18.1%: Not very confident
46.4%: Somewhat confident
32.5%: A lot of confidence
  3.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q10.  Are you optimistic about the economic prospects of Hong Kong in the next three years?
44.8%: Pessimistic
36.9%: So-so
17.1%: Optimistic
  1.2%: Don't know/hard to say

Q11. How much impact does the international financial tsunami have on Hong Kong?
  2.9%: Not a lot of impact
22.8%: So-so impact
72.6%: A great deal of impact
  1.7%: Don't know/hard to say

Q12. How confident are you about Hong Kong successfully warding off the international financial tsunami?
17.1%: Not very confident
47.6%: Somewhat confident
32.2%: Very confident
  3.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Q13. How satisfied are you with the Hong Kong SAR Government (including the Money Authority)'s handling of the international financial tsunami?
24.6%: Dissatisfied
44.0%: So-so/half-and-half
27.3%: Satisfied
  4.1%: Don't know/hard to say

First, you go to the Chinese search engine Baidu and search for "female teacher photos" (女教师图片).  You are informed: "Sorry, we were unable to find any photos related to female teachers."

Is that possible?  Actually, there had been plenty of photos of female teachers at Baidu that it became the subject of a CCTV report titled "Unbearably disgusting photos found by searching for 'female teacher photos'.  Subsequently, Baidu must have changed its algorithm to make sure that no results are shown for this search term.  Here are the screen captures from MOP:

Well, you get the idea ...  This was not intentional, for it only reflects what people are saying about female teachers on the Chinese Internet.

(Pro States In Flames)

This incident is obviously a pre-planned, self-scripted and self-directed melodrama.

1. Why did the student commit suicide?  Why did he let his parents, his teachers, the Party and the People down?  He was just a mere junior high school student, so where did he learn how to commit suicide?  My nephew said the same thing before, and it was scary.  But how can one die just like that!  This is the second time that I have heard of such an event.  The first time was an elementary school student in about the same situation.  His parents beat him up badly, so he was in utter despair.  He did not put up a fight.  When his parents went out, he used his leather belt tied around his red neckerchief to hang himself.  The red neckerchief was dyed red with blood.

This is an age in which the strong eliminates the weak.  The inferior types will be eliminated.  The teachers push hard, the parents push hard ... and the child kills himself.  If the teacher doesn't beat or scold you, the graduation rate will go down and he will lose his bonus pay.  How do you expect the teacher's family to survive?  Even the teacher wants to commit suicide.

2. Why didn't the school offer an explanation?  A school cannot stop educating the other students on account of one death.  These children have exams to take, and they face brutal and even bloody competition.  "Anyone who does not look after himself deserve to perish!"  This is the way it is.  What more is there to say?

3. Who hung out the banner with the words "Give me back my child"?  Obviously, someone is trying to use this as an excuse to cause trouble!  In Chongqing, the police arrested 10,000 gangsters.  So the gangsters are looking to cause trouble now.

4. Why were there so many spectators (as many as 10,000)?  Economic competition is so tough nowadays and there is also the American economic crisis.  We may lose our jobs if we are not careful.  So who has got time to watch these things?  Who is behind these people?  It has to be the people with ulterior motives.

5. The police came to take away the body of the child.  The parents should be cooperating because it coincides with the "greater interest."  If they don't cooperate, it will end up like in the Huang Jing and Weng'an cases, right?  They will be beaten up.  When you don't know the law, you will be beaten up.  Besides, the police are there to make decision for you.  You belong to the government while you alive.  Even when you are dead, you still belong to the government.  Your body belongs to the government.  If the police want the body, you must give it to them.  If you refuse, then who is inciting you?

6. The police badge numbers were removed?  What kind of police are they?  This arouses suspicion.

7. The police must be fake, because there is no other explanation why these people could assault the father and grandfather of the child.  This has to be a smear by the criminal gangs against the government.  The lesson from Weng'an has been deeply felt, and the lesson from Shanghai even more deeply felt.  I cannot believe that the police could try to seize the body at this time.  I can only believe that these are gangsters who are pretending to be police officers.

8. The grandfather of the child is more than 70 years old, and he was clinging onto the body of his grandson.  Even this old man was not spared as the police assaulted him.  The sister of the child was then dragged out.  The other relatives of the child got down on their knees to beg the spectators to help.  The scene was indescribable.  Anyone with a conscience would be moved (but this kind of scene is only ever seen in movies and therefore this whole thing must be planned).  The crowd was angered by the police action.  A minute later, the crowd finally erupted and the situation went out of control ... How can the Chinese police be so mean?  A couple of days ago, we stopped a train in order to facilitate seven Japanese tourists to catch their airplane.  The police escorted them to the airport.  The Chinese police "serve the people."  So how can they be so cruel and brutal?  What more can we do except to blame those hostile forces who have been plotting against us for so long?

All of the above circumstances show that the hostile forces are trying their very best to ruin the image of the government!

In order to effectively deal with the criminal gangs in China, is it possible for China not to have diplomatic ties with the United States?  Is it possible of China not to have diplomatic ties with Japan?  Is it possible for China not to bail out the American economy?

In order to tamp down the arrogance of the enemies, I suggest that we arrest all those present at the scene.  We must arrest those who assaulted the police (but if they were real policemen, it is impossible that anyone could assault them) and punish them.  As for the spectators, we must detain and whip them.

We must use the army to protect the fruits of the reform, to protect our 1.8 trillion American dollars in foreign reserve, to protect the Donghai natural gas fields and to ensure that the reforms/opening will be carried out smoothly.  We must use force.

Faced with the aggressive hostility, the government must be decisive.  Yesterday, I saw the 10.22 military observation report, which said that the Chinese military must be reformed in order to increase their military power.  The recommendation was to make sure that the Chinese soldiers are all university graduates.  At the same time, school tuition must be raised so that the students with less than 200,000 RMB income per year cannot graduate.

I feel grave in my heart.  The police over there were even worse than bandits.  They were inefficient, clumsy and indecisive.  What kind of police is that?  I don't understand, and therefore I have my doubts.

Here are the front pages of <Oriental Daily> and <The Sun>.  The top story is the fact that <Next Weekly> is somehow available on selected Hong Kong newsstands (not everywhere, but at places such as the Hong Kong International Airport and Star Ferry).

What is in this week's <Next Weekly>?


It's that story about the emerging new industry of erotic photography sessions that you can have with nude models (see Comment 200810c#013).  According to <Next Weekly>'s explanation, they were covering a new and important but controversial social trend.  Should this new creative idea be allowed to prosper?  Or should it be banned because it crosses over some imaginary moral bottom line?  <Next Weekly> says that it wants to present the facts and let society to decide.  Fair enough, but does the presentation of the facts have to be so explicit?  That is the crux of the present meta-debate over this issue of <Next Weekly>.  Fair enough, but how can we discuss whether this issue of <Next Weekly> goes too far unless we have an opportunity to read it?  This goes on ad infinitum ...

The interesting thing is why should <Oriental Daily>/<The Sun> of Hong Kong makes such an issue about a Taiwan newsweekly magazine that is available only at limited locations in Hong Kong?

There are two guesses:

(1) <Next Media> is the parent company of <Apple Daily>, which is the major competitor of <Oriental Daily>/<The Sun>.  Therefore any chance of attacking the competitor will be exploited to maximum effect.

(2) Featuring <Next Weekly>'s not-widely-distributed pornographic story on the front pages of <Oriental Daily>/<The Sun> will actually help sell more copies.  Imagine that the front cover of <Next Weekly> is a story about the family of Chen Shui-bian being accused of more corruption/money-laundering actions which is drawing the threat of a libel suit (oh, stop, that is exactly what the the top front page story of this issue of <Next Weekly> is!) and there is no chance of <Oriental Daily>/<The Sun> paying any attention to a out-of-Hong-Kong story.

(Taipei Times)  I work ofr the PRC, police officer tells rally protestors.  By Jimmy Chuang.  October 26, 2008.

The director-general of the National Police Agency (NPA) Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) yesterday apologized for the conduct of a female officer who told protesters that she works for “the People’s Republic of China.”

“What she said has damaged the police’s public image,” Wang said. “I would like to apologize on behalf of my fellow police and instruct her superior officers to come up with proper punishment for her.”

Wang made the remarks when asked by the press for comments on the incident, which took place earlier yesterday during the demonstration.

The female officer, surnamed Chou (周), belongs to Jen-ai Road Police Station of the Chungcheng First Precinct in Taipei City. Around 2pm, while on duty dispersing vendors who crowded around the Jing Fu Men (景福門) on Ketagalan Boulevard, she said in response to a protesters’ question about whether her boss is President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that “my boss is the People’s Republic of China.”

Chou’s response irritated pan-green supporters, who surrounded her, demanding an apology. 
The female officer apologized and then left the scene.

“We will find out what was wrong with her, but she will be punished for sure,” Wang said.


(SCMP)  Assailant thumps lawmaker and shoves banana in his face.  By Eva Wu.  October 26, 2008.

Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan was punched in the face and had a banana shoved at his mouth on a street in Tuen Mun yesterday in an attack condemned by the government and lawmakers. The unionist was collecting signatures in support of the introduction of old age pensions when a middle-aged man walked up to the table he was sitting at, wrote down his ID number and next to it the name of "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, then began turning over the tables and throwing papers on the floor. He began hitting union staff and bystanders with his walking stick, then struck Mr Lee and tried to feed him a banana, Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee, 51, general secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, and an aide were taken to Tuen Mun Hospital with minor facial injuries. Both were discharged after treatment. Police arrested a 58-year-old man in connection with the incident. Mr Lee said he had not been threatened recently, did not know the attacker and had no idea why he had assaulted him.


(Apple Daily)

Lee Cheuk-yan was conducting a signature campaign in Tuen Mun.  A volunteer informed him that a suspicious-looking man was glaring at him.

The suspicious-looking male wrote down "Going to buy a butcher knife and do away with Long Hair Dog Hung" (referring to Legislative Council Leung Kwok-hung, nicknamed "Long Hair") and then left

Ten minutes later, the suspicious-looking male returned with a batch of bananas and threw one at Lee Cheuk-yan who evaded it.  The man then used his cane to overturn the wooden table and scattered the leaflets

Admidst the confusion, the man punched Lee Cheuk-yan on the right cheek.  Lee was later taken to the hospital for treatment.

Lee Cheuk-yan and the volunteers subdued the man and made him sit on a plastic chair.  The man used his feet to squash the bananas.

The man then picked up a banana and tried to stuff it into Lee Cheuk-yan's mouth

(Apple Daily)

Afterwards, the police questioned him about why he threw a banana at people as well as try to stuff a banana in someone else's mouth.  He said: "I saw Raymond Wong Yuk-man throw a banana on television.  I am imitating him!"  ...  According to his son, his father had been mentally ill for many years and under regular medication.  However, the man indicated to the police that he stopped taking the medication recently because he could not procure it.

(Ming Pao)

Raymond Wong Yuk-man insisted that his action at the Legislative Council did not teach people to do wrong things.  He said that everybody has his own independent way of thinking.  He said that after his own 'banana throwing' incident, he has been praised by senior citizens every time.

Bonus:  Monty Python: How To Defend Against An Attacker Armed With A Banana




Two years ago, the Green Sea Wood Products Company offered the low price of 70 RMB per mu of forest land to harvest wood in Daduan town, Tonggu County, Yichun city, Jiangxi province.  Reportedly, they were aided by collusion with the relevant local government leaders.

On the night before yesterday, at least 30 young men who were wielding sticks and knives and claiming to be from the Green Sea Wood Products Company charged into a village in Daduan town.  They assaulted villagers including the town director, the town party secretary and the town mayor.  Dozens of young and old villagers were injured, and the town mayor ended up with a bleeding head.  Afterwards, there were many malicious rumors being circulated around.  The local government had to dispel the rumors over television broadcasts.

Yesterday morning  at 10am, at least 200 villagers charged into the office of Green Sea Wood Products Company.  They crashed through the gate, smashed all the glass windows in the factory and office building and overturned more than a dozen vehicles parked in front of the buildings.  Afterwards the local government dispatched at least 80 police officers to the scene to restore order.

When the reporter arrived at the scene, the Tonggu county government had already send out county cadres to calm the villagers down in order to prevent any recurrence.

(InMediaHK)  By Oiwan Lam.  October 23, 2008.

The Hong Kong Commerce and Economic Development Bureau brought out a public consultation paper about the control of obscene and indecent articles in early October.  Meanwhile, it had been quietly inviting civil organizations to participate in focus groups.  How many of these focus groups has the government held?  Which individuals or groups did they invite?  The public has no idea.

From hearsay, I gathered that the focus groups for women's groups were completed last Sunday.  Most of the attendees were representatives from pro-Beijing women's groups.  The  youth sector focus groups will be held shortly.  Again, it is unclear who has been invited.

From Charles Mok, I learned that the focus groups for the IT sector will be held on October 28.  But most of the OSPs (Online Service Providers) are unaware.  Yesterday, I called the Communications and Technology Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and demanded the right to be consulted.  They accepted my request this morning and they wanted the list of OSPs by this afternoon.

The entire process was very absurd.  Why do I have to rely on hearsay to find out about the existence of these focus groups?  The definition of participatory democracy is that all citizens enjoy the same right to express their opinions.  But this non-transparent arrangement for consultation clearly violates the principle of open debate.

Everybody knows that ever since the case of the Chinese University Student Press last year, more than a dozen civic organizations interested in students, youth, art groups, women, academics and human rights organized the SEXpress website and held forums.  In the end, only one women's group and one "morality" group received letters of invitation to participate in the focus groups.  I have called many mainstream media reporters and they have not heard about the focus groups.  They are now asking the government to disclose the relevant information.  When I spoke to to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, I asked the sectors and participants in the focus groups be disclosed and also let certain groups and OSPs which will be directly affected by the system of control of obscene and indecent articles, be given the right to participate in the focus groups.

Actually, in the consultation paper, the government used the phrases: "The public believes ..." "the opinion of certain members of the public is ..." and the like many times.  But they did not include the 'public opinion' about the Chinese University Student Press and the complaint against the Bible as background information.  They define the entire consultation as about "how to prevent the spread of obscenity and/or indecency" instead of "how to prevent the system of controlling obscene and indecent articles from being abused."  This is because the government has certain pre-determined positions that they need "selective public members" to justify and support.

At this point, the consultation paper is going into formal public consultation.  We cannot let the government continue to make use of "selective members of the public."  If the government quietly completes the focus groups, the next round of consultation paper will indicate that the human rights, youth, women, morality and IT sectors prefer to have more severe penalties, etc.

(Those Were The Days)

"Bowtie" Tsang suddenly decided yesterday to drop the means test for the Old Age Allowance.  Legislator A watched Tsang grimly characterized the public opposition as "a rational policy debate being taken over by emotional responses."  Legislator A is familiar with Tsang's personality and said that it was clear that Tsang made the decision unwillingly.  Tsang did not think that he should be held responsible because he did what he had to do but the irrational public opinion distorted the whole affair.

I am not surprised by Bowtie's behavior beginning with the days when he was the Treasurer.  When he was questioned at the Legislative Council or asked to retract his papers, he always found the requests unreasonable and his most "classical" action was to throw his pen!  At the time, I thought that Tsang had poor EQ.

Later on, Bowtie rose up in the bureaucracy until he finally became the Chief Executive.  During this period, he discovered that he could make use of public opinion.  That was a major reason why he gained the favors of Beijing and became the Chief Executive.  When he took over the job, he used political spin doctors and ran internal public opinion polls.  He claimed that he valued public opinion overall.

But in the end analysis, is he merely using public opinion in a purely technical manner, or does he genuinely believe and respect public opinion?

Someone who wants to exploit public opinion will propose the policies and made adjustments according to public opinion.  The decision power lies in the hands of the government officials, and public opinion is just an indicator to adjust their policies and make their governance easier.  Someone who respects public opinion should have listened to the people beforehand and decide only later.

I have argued with government official B over this.  B said that the government offered the proposal and the consultation paper in order to gather public opinion!  "How can you say that we don't respect public opinion?"

I can only say, "Please don't mess around with my mind!  Which government consultation paper does not pretend that it "does not have any position"?  You are offered three choices, two of which are completely not viable.  The civic sector offers a fourth or a fifth choice, but you say that it is not within the scope of consultation?  Is that respecting public opinion?

It would seem that Bowtie must learn how to respect public opinion.  Your salary is paid by taxpayers.  Since when does the boss have to get disrespected by the worker and even called "irrational"?

Perhaps in Bowtie's eyes, the real boss is Beijing and not Hong Kong public opinion!

Winston Churchill led Great Britain to victory in the Second World War.  When he failed in his bid to be elected, he only had this to say about public opinion: "Ingratitude towards great men is the mark of a strong people."  Bowtime should try to imitate Winston Churchill!

[in translation]

The dumbest thing that the Chinese government this year made this year is to send Hu Jia to jail for writing a few essays.  They thought that making him a "criminal" would shut other people up.

China is one of the few countries in the world where people can go to jail for their speech.  In other words, it is a country without freedom of speech.  The crime of Hu Jia is the so-called "inciting subversion of state power."  Irrespective of whether Hu Jia commit such a crime, it is his freedom of speech to advocate the subversion of state authority.  This is the natural right of everybody.

When someone goes to jail just for saying some things that the government does not like, then it is the government which is guilty of a crime and not Hu Jia.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can praise the Communist Party even as other people oppose the Communist Party.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can praise freedom and democracy while others can denigrate freedom and democracy.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can say that praise the belief in Qigong while others can heap scorn upon the superstition of Qigong.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can oppose for the sake of opposing while others can praise for the sake of praising.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can seek the grand unification while others can agree on secession.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can be obsessed in pornography while others can find pornography disgusting.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can adore totalitarianism while others can detest totalitarianism.

The so-called freedom of speech means that some people can advocate the subversion of the government while others can defend the government.

The so-called freedom of speech means that you can say anything you want.

Freedom of speech is a basic human right.  A country in which citizens can be found guilty of crime for speaking out is a country that violates human rights.  Hu Jia is a criminal for speaking out.  The word "criminal" is a red letter that the government has put on this prisoner of conscience.  To the Chinese government, this is a symbol of shame.  To normal people, this signifies virtue.

In the case of the six Harbin policemen beating a university student to death, eyewitnesses claimed that the deceased Lin Songling warned the other party: "Do you know who my maternal uncle is?"  This phrase became popular at the Tianya and KDNet forums immediately.  This phrase is akin to saying "Do you know that I have connections with important persons?"

For this case, the various Internet media have seen the appearances of the surveillance video, the eyewitness accounts, the statements from the public security bureau spokespersons, the statements from the family of the deceased and so on.  But somewhere along the way the focus has drifted away from the facts and the criminal liabilities into whether the deceased Lin Songling had threatened the policemen with "Do you know what my maternal uncle is?"  Why did he mention his maternal uncle at the moment of crisis?  Who in the world is his maternal uncle?  Netizens "researched" out the "facts" that his maternal uncle is a senior official with the local political/legal system and his father is a big real estate developer.  So this made him a brat born into a family in which government and business collude with each other.  By comparison, the much disliked police are just the lowest rung of the system of special privileges.  But just when the story seemed to steamrolling along, the media found out from the family of the deceased that Lin Songling was just the child of an ordinary family and the father was just a small entrepreneur.

The rollercoaster ride of public opinion in this case casts a light on social prejudices -- just because a person belongs to a certain group causes people to revile and hate him.  From the viewpoint of social psychology, prejudices are a way of seeking "scapegoats" under a system "black-or-white" model.  For example, at a time when the economy is in recession, the local population may place the blame on immigrants or minority groups.  Prejudices are prevalent in modern life, to the point where we often regard them as "part of human nature" and we may even be unaware that we hold prejudices within ourselves.

In this case, when the anger of the people shifted on the basis of the identities of the principals, it is largely built upon social prejudices.  People hold bad opinions (or even disgust) against "rich people" and "persons with special privileges."  So the policemen and Lin Songling are merely scapegoats through their labels under the prevailing social prejudices.

When someone is rich, it must have something to with "grey income" or "the case of the BMW hitting pedestrians with impunity."  When someone is a senior government official, he must be involved in "trading power for money" or "keeping a mistress."  Of course, policemen must "necessarily be linked to unusual deaths of citizens."  When everything is classified into either black or white, people have an easy life because everything wrong or abnormal in our society can be sourced.  Most importantly, it is always someone else's fault and never theirs.  ... So this was how the story morphed from "six policemen beat a university student to death" into "six prefects punch out the specially connected Lin."

The handling of the case is a legal matter, but the emotional responses to the case are a social problem.  People's impressions of policemen and the children of senior government officials are based upon daily anecdotes that are imprinted into their social memories.  This specific case is just a wake-up call that provided an opportunity for the attitudes to come forth.

Do you know who my maternal uncle is?  To tell the truth, you don't know and you don't want to know.

On October 20, 2008, a second-year junior high school male student committed suicide by hanging in Suqian city, Jiangsu province.  He left behind a letter which basically said: The teachers frequently physically and verbally abuse him to the point where he could not endure anymore.  Meanwhile his family forced him to attend school.  Therefore, he was forced to choose to die.

After the suicide, the parents came to the school to find out what happened.  They were blocked outside the entrance and denied entrance.  Meanwhile the school refused to send anyone to come out and talk to him.  At around noon, a big white banner was hung on the school entrance with the words "Give us our child back."  The relatives brought the body of the boy to the school and demanded that the school leaders deal with the matter.  More and more people gathered to watch.

At around 1pm, about 20 police vehicles appeared and more than 100 police officers came out.  This only drew more spectators.  Interestingly, there was a funeral hearse and an ambulance parked in front of the school as well.  The relatives had demanded that the school give an explanation before they would let the boy be cremated.  So the police were there to seize the body by force and take it away in the funeral hearse for cremation.  But what was the ambulance doing there?

Sharp-eyed spectators saw that the police officers had removed their badge so that they cannot be identified.  About fifty or sixty of them stood at the south side of the school entrance, dressed in helmets and armed with batons.  At this point, there were 10,000 spectators and the road was blocked by the masses.  At around 2:30pm, the police entered the school to seize the body of the boy.  The relatives fought with the police.  But one after another, the relatives were dragged away by the police.  Then the spectators realized what the ambulance was for.  The spectators began to yell loudly as the situation spun out of control.

Finally, the father of the boy was knocked unconsciously.  The 70-something-year-old grandfather clung to the body of the boy, but he was not spared.  The sister of of the boy was also dragged out.  The other relatives knelt down on the ground and implored the crowd to help.  Incensed by the police violence, the crowd finally erupted as the situation went totally out of control.

More than 10,000 people charged at the police fine.  Some of the police officers were stunned because they could not imagine that the masses would dare to attack the police.  In the melee, the police were outnumbered by several dozen civilians versus each police officer.  The police officers fled the scene, and the police vehicles were overturned by the crowd.

(7-tarot)  "Actually, I was really stupid"

I was really very stupid.

As soon as I exposed that the man had drawn the card of Death, I should have held a press conference and honest admit:

Yes!  It was me!  I was that fake tarot master.  I conned the biggest con man in the history of Taiwan!!

That man was so stupid because he was conned by me and the three lama monks.  I did all this in order to take revenge on behalf of the people of Taiwan!

If I had said that, I would have become a hero that everybody loves.  The little con man conned the big con man, and took revenge on behalf of the people of Taiwan!  That big con man would have lost face all the way to Lichtenstein!

And then I could follow up with:

Oh! Yes! Sorry!  I actually don't have two bachelor degrees.  I have been outside of Taiwan.  My tarot skills came from reading some books.  Please pardon me ..."

If I did this, nobody would blame me.  They may even comfort me, thank me; I would be invited to an endless number of television programs to discuss how I conned that big con man.  Right?

Regrettably, I was too stupid.  I didn't think of doing that at first and I lost this great opportunity.  So now I am being besieged on the Internet.  When I go to Seven/Eleven to buy something, I have to cover up my face.

Sigh!  Actually, I was really stupid.

Instead, Charlier Huang is getting e-mails such as (7-tarot):

Date: 23 October 2008 15:38:37
Subject: Fuck you faggot

you are a pathetic gay cunt. fucking faggot. why don't you go home and fuck yourself. FAG


Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 12:28:37 -0700
Subject: important

Poor Trash,

Kiss my ASSHOLE,




The most recent issue of <Next Weekly> contained many photos of nude models with photographers.  The Taipei City government received numerous complaints from citizens and has sent notices to the supermarket chains (such as Seven/Eleven, OK and others) that sell the magazine.  They have also instructed the prosecutors to investigate.  The target of investigation includes the <Next Weekly> editor-in-chief, the reporter, the subjects of the erotic photos and the persons in charge of the pornographic website that is the subject of the report. 

The theme of the story was "interactive pornographic photography."  Such photography may seem like any ordinary photography session but it is different in that the filming takes place in a motel and the photographer gets to have sexual intercourse with a fully nude female model.  Although the faces and vital body parts of the principals are covered with mosaic in the photos, it is clear just what they are doing.

I first picked up an old piece of news from the Duke of Aberdeen blog under the title: Is something f*cking wrong here? on October 13, 2008.

The reference was to a news report in Ming Pao on October 12, 2008.

According to the Hong Kong Police public relations department, the 999 report centre received a report at 6:49am on October 9 from a citizen about a feline corpse.  The police did not explain if any personnel was dispatched to the scene.  They said that they would investigate how the dispatcher handled the telephone call that day.  If there should be any violation of procedure, severe sanctions will be administered.

According to the complainant Ms. Chan, she found a tiger-triped cat lying by the roadside that day.  Ms. Chan identified the cat as an adult male, who has been roving in that neighborhood with a female and three kittens.  On that day, this cat was lying on the ground with no sign of life.  Ms. Chan went up and examined the cat: "The right eye of the male cat was bulging out while the left eye has been extracted with the wound still bleeding.  There was no pulse or breathing.  It was very scary!"

Ms. Chan believed that the cat had been murdered and therefore she called the police.  However, the dispatcher said: "The police will not accept the case if nobody witnessed how the cat was killed.  Please contact the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals instead."  When Ms. Chan called up the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals, she was told that if the cat was dead, she should contact the Hong Kong Police and the Food and Environment Hygiene Department.  So Ms. Chan was bounced right back to the Police where the dispatcher told her: "There is nothing that we can do."  The incensed Ms. Chan took photos of the death scene and went to work.  When she went back to the scene in the evening, the cat carcass had been removed.

Ms. Chan then posted the cat photos and the incident on the Internet.  Many netizens pilloried the Hong Kong police for improper handling.

So what? 

Well, at around 2pm today, I walked along Kadoorie Avenue towards Argyle Street in the Mongkok district, Kowloon.  Somewhere near the downhill section close to the Diocesan Boys School, I spotted a white plastic strip with the words "Police" in blue roping off the hillside.  I approached and I spotted three cat carcasses.  There were no humans in sight anywhere around.  Apparently, three cats had either expired simultaneously at the same spot, or else they had died elsewhere and their carcasses disposed in this spot.

Apparently, the police had been notified already.  They came, they saw, they left the white plastic strip and then they left the follow-up work to unknown parties.  There was not need to call the police dispatcher again, especially given Ms. Chan's experience.  I could have gone home, get my camera and come back to take photos.  But what good does that do?

This past August, I and my friend flew to Beijing to cheer for the Taiwanese athletes in the Olympics.  At the airport, we were taken into an enclosed room for interrogation.  We were unreasonably sent back to Taiwan because the two of us have "a prior record of waving the Republic of China flag to lead the cheering in international competition."  At the time, I was angry, very sad but also helpless.  After I returned to Taiwan, my friends and relatives told me that it was good that I was able to return to Taiwan safely.  After all, Taiwan is different from China because it is a democratic and rational nation.  No matter whether anyone supports or opposes me, their agreement or criticisms will not endanger my personal safety.

On October 22, I saw on television the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing being chased by a crowd until he was finally bumped and fell on the ground.  I did not feel the delight of a tooth-for-a-tooth or the happiness over the sorrows of others.  I was worried and sad instead.

The two nations of Taiwan and China are very disparate in terms of military might, population and international power.  But Taiwan has an absolute advantage in democracy, and this is a flag to be proud of.  The spirit of democracy means that we are willing to defend the freedom of speech of others, that we will engage with each other in a rational way and that the people will ultimately vote and make their choice in a peaceful manner.

For me, China is an unreasonable nation.  By soft and hard approaches, they seal off the international space of Taiwan and they interfere with domestic politics inside Taiwan.  Their conscienceless product infiltrate our nation and endanger our health and safety.  Yet, their boorishness and barbarism does not mean that we the people of Taiwan should use the same type of methods against them when they come over here.

The friends in the green camp should hold back their dissatisfaction.  The President's Office, the Executive Yuan and the various Kuomintang leaders are using the Zhang Mingqing incident to pillory the green camp.  I can immediately sense the difference compared to the previous cold indifference or sarcasm that I got when I got turned back by China.  But just because someone else is using violence, does it mean that we should use violence against them?

I support Taiwan independence.  I strongly protest the presence of toxic mainland food in Taiwan.  If China were to really use violence to invade our nation, I will do my best to fight them in order to protect my beloved land.  But this is not a time of war.  If we are angry, we can gather to protest.  We can raise our banners and shout out our dissatisfaction.  This incident makes us aware that if we get too close to him and he gets hurt when he falls down, it will be regarded as violence.  Then we become just like them.  And then ... we will have lost our most valuable democratic value.

I was someone who was sent back by China without reasonable cause.  But I do not support applying this type of treatment against Zhang Mingqing.  I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME JUST LIKE CHINA!

On October 25, I will be in the streets.  When Chen Yunlin comes, I will bring my national flag to protest in order to defend our national character.  I want to let China know about the democracy of the people of Taiwan.  Let us peacefully but firmly let the world hear us say that if Chen Yunlin wants to come to Taiwan, he should apologize and compensate for all the toxic food that China has produced.  This is the real way to express our fury.

(Southern Weekend)  Idiots, You Are Only Overthrowing Yourselves!  By Hsieh Chi-ta, former chairman of the New Party in Taiwan.  October 23, 2008.

[in translation]

When I saw on the news that the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing was pushed onto the ground by diehard "Taiwan independence" loyalists, I felt very bad.  These diehard "Taiwan independence" loyalists may not realize that they are not just overthrowing one of their so-called "evil Chinese persons."  More likely, they have smashed their own livelihoods as well as ruined the future lives of their own children.

Whether these diehard 'green' loyalists like it or not, the facts are right in front of the 23 million people of Taiwan: the area of mainland China is 260 times that of Taiwan; the population of mainland China is 57 times that of Taiwan; mainland China has overcome numerous obstacles over the past few decades to catch up to the United States in terms of economic and political power.

Compare Taiwan by contrast: Under the leadership of the so-called "evil Chinese persons" (that is what the "Taiwan independence" loyalists call the two 'president' Chiang's) over almost forty years, there was the economic miracle in Taiwan which made the people wealthy and prosperous.  Under the leadership of the two "Taiwan independence" leaders (that is, Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian) that they adored, the wealth has melted away during their almost twenty years of rule.

Ma Ying-jeou and Liu Chao-shiuan have not told the truth.  After almost twenty years, almost a trillion NT dollars have evaporated and tens of billions of public assets have been transferred into personal overseas accounts.  Do Ma Ying-jeou and Liu Chao-shiuan dare to tell the compatriots of Taiwan that the Ma-Liu team can repair the damage in a short four or eight years?  Besides, there is a global financial crisis now.  It will be very hard for the economy of Taiwan to revive.  The only path of salvation for Taiwan has just been wrecked by these idiots.

Mainland China really does not want to rush towards unification with Taiwan.  They are working towards the future and they have plenty of more important things to deal with.  Mainland China may decide after this incident that Chen Yunlin should postpone his visit to Taiwan.  This will be to prevent Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan independence elements from hyping the event and allowing Chen Shui-bian to shift the focus away from his own corruption scandal.  Mainland China can use this incident to delay the expansion of more mainland tourists to sight-see in Taiwan.  Even if the mainland government does not take such action, their people may consider postponing tourist trips after seeing this incident.  There are plenty of exciting and interesting to see elsewhere.  As long as you have money and are willing to spend it, you will be welcome everywhere.  Why go to an unfriendly place and look for unpleasantness?  If the Taiwan economy does not bounce back, that is a problem that their government and their people will have to solve themselves.

Even if the mainland government and the mainland people do not give up tourism to Taiwan, those tourist trips should avoid the counties and cities governed by the Democratic Progressive Party with high concentrations of "Taiwan independence" elements.  In particular, the tours should not include Tainan city.  No money should be spent there, and no economic contribution should be made there.  Since they have declared that they are willing to starve for the sake of "Taiwan independence," they should get their wish.

Mainland China is the hinterland for the development of our next generation.  Without the mainland, the prospects for our next generation are limited.  Besides, almost a million Taiwanese business persons have contributed over decades to make mainland China a strong nation.  These Taiwanese business persons of Chinese descent did not stand on the sideline.  They joined the effort to find their own path for future development.  Taiwan had been ruled by foreigners before.  When democracy arrived, certain people with different ideas could do whatever they want.  But it is one thing for them to act as they please and destroy their own future, they are also affecting the future development of our next generation.  There is no reason for us to tolerate this group of people destroying the space of existence for our next generation.

These idiots are not just smashing their own livelihoods.  They are ruining the future existence of our children.

This is how to pick up a pretty girl.

One day, a plain-looking man came with a pretty-looking OL (Office Lady) to the LV store in Causeway Bay (Hong Kong Island).  He chose an LV bag worth HKD 65,000 for the OL.

When it came time to pay, the man took out a checkbook and wrote out a check.  The salesperson was hesitant because the couple hadn't shopped there before.

The man discerned what the salesperson was thinking and he said calmly: "I sense that you are concerned that this check may bounce, right?  Today is Saturday and the banks are closed.  Let me suggest that I leave the check and the handbag here.  When the check clears on Monday, you can deliver the handbag to this lady.  How about that?

The salesperson was reassured and gladly accepted the suggestion.  In addition, he waived the delivery charges.  He promised that he would personally make sure that this gets done.

On Monday, the salesperson took the check to the bank.  The check bounced!  The irate salesperson called up the client, who told him: "What is the big deal?  Neither you nor I have suffered any loss.  Last Saturday night, I went to bed with that girl already!  Oh, by the way, I thank you for your cooperation."

This story reveals the nature of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.  When people have high hopes for huge future returns, they lower their guard about the potential risks.  This pretty girl thought that the HKD 65,000 LV bag was going to come home on Monday, and so she lowered her guard.  Therefore, she believed that her investment in the ONS (=one night stand) was worth it even though it was based upon huge and highly uncertain risks.  Investment companies are great with packaging high return (but high risk) deals.  The Chinese stock speculators are like this pretty woman.  As such, they deserve to lose money.  Without people like these, how are people going to make money from the stock market?  As for the media and the stock analysts, they often play the role of the LV salesperson.

As the violent incident of Zhang Mingqing being pushed down on the ground became bigger and bigger, Tainan city legislator Wan Ting-yu held a press conference to clarify things.

How did Zhang Mingqing fell down?  Wang Ting-yu was right there.  Immediately afterwards, Wang Ting-yu said: "He was dodging right and left.  He then kicked a tree stump in the Confucius Temple grounds and fell down.  I was protesting vehemently at him, but he fell down on his own accord."

The TVBS reporter said: "Based upon Wang Ting-yu's description, Zhang Mingqing was tripped by a tree stump at the time.  But today we returned to the scene of the incident, and we found that the ground was completely flat.  There are no tree stumps here."

There are trees on the side of the Confucius Temple plaza.  But it was completely flat in the area where Zhang Mingqing fell.  It was quite flat.  A citizen said: "No.  There are no tree trumps.  He was lying."

Now that the story about the tree stump has been shot, Wang Ting-yu changed his tune.  He said:  "When he fell down, I was looking back away from him.  It seemed that someone was tugging at my shoulder.  I wanted to shake him off with my hands.  Therefore my hands were raised, but my face was turned backwards away from him.  By the time that I turned around, he was falling backwards."

Let us look at the video once again.  When Wang Ting-yu was intercepted by the plainclothes policeman wearing the baseball hat, an old man shoved Zhang Mingqing.  Wang Ting-yu was waving his hands and he took one big step backwards.  His hands were indeed raised up and he was not shoving anyone.  But he played a contributory role by causing the wobbly Zhang Mingqing to fly backwards and onto the ground.  Wang Ting-yu said: "I am sorry to say that his falling down has nothing to do with me."

First, Wang Ting-yu used the tree stump as his defense.  Now he insists that his hands were raised up and therefore he did not shove anyone.  The explanations may be different, but he is consistent in saying that it has nothing to do with him.

Q.  Do you agree that the government should let the Taiwan Affairs Office director Chen Yunlin to come to Taiwan?
18.6%: Agree very much
31.7%: Agree somewhat
  9.1%: Disagree somewhat
22.1%: Disagree very much
18.4%: No opinion

Q. Which of the following agreements between Taiwan and mainland China might help you, your relatives or friends?
56.9%: A reporting system on food safety
43.3%: Straightline airplane flight paths
42.4%: Increased number of airplane flights
49.1%: Normalization of weekend charter flights
38.4%: Cargo charter flights
38.1%: Direct sea travel
33.8%: Open to more mainland visitors

Q. Which of the following agreements between Taiwan and mainland China might help Taiwan society as a whole?
64.3%: A reporting system on food safety
56.9%: Straightline airplane flight paths
57.0%: Increased number of airplane flights
58.2%: Normalization of weekend charter flights
62.9%: Cargo charter flights
61.9%: Direct sea travel
51.3%: Open to more mainland visitors
Q. How do you feel about President Ma Ying-jeou's performance? (%satisfied/%unsatisfied)
2008/4: 60.4%/17.5%
2008/5: 58.3%/11.9%
2008/6: 37.8%/46.2%
2008/7: 27.0%/60.4%
2008/8: 36.1%/51.3%
2008/9: 24.9%/64.5%
2008/10: 23.6%/67.6%

Q. How much confidence do you have in President Ma Ying-jeou? (%confidence/%no confidence
2008/6: 55.4%/27.7%
2008/7: 46.3%/38.5%
2008/8: 51.3%/31.0%
2008/9: 46.0%/41.2%
2008/10: 42.9%/43.4%

Q. How do you feel about the performance of the KMT legislators in the Legislature? (%satisfied/%unsatisfied)
2008/4: 38.7%/39.3%
2008/5: 27.2%/49.4%
2008/6: 22.4%/59.7%
2008/7: 26.3%/53.6%
2008/8: 21.7%/59.3%
2008/9: 22.1%/61.7%

Q. Who is more effective in leading the Democratic Progressive Party?

(Base: Democratic Progressive Party supporters)
36.7%: Former president Chen Shui-bian
47.9%: DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen

(Base: KMT supporters)
15.5%: Former president Chen Shui-bian
62.5%: DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen

(Base: Independents)
11.9%: Former president Chen Shui-bian
43.3%: DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen

Yesterday, a Ms. Li who lives in South Lane 6, Nantian Road, Haizhu district, Guangzhou city called this newspaper and said that a one-meter deep moat had been draw around her home.  "I never imagined that they could have dug a moat in front of the house."

Yesterday afternoon, the reporter went to the home of Ms. Li.  She and others have homes that are due to be relocated.  However, since there has not been an agreement over compensation with the real estate developer, they have stayed put.  Stepping around the rubble, the reporter could see that there was a moat about one meter deep and more than one meter wide.  The moat was filled with water.  Ms. Li instructed the reporter to step on some bricks in a shallower section to enter her home.

According to Ms. Li, the family was awaken on early morning of October 13 by loud machine noises.  They came out and saw that seven or eight workers operating a bulldozer.  The neighbors tried to stop the work.  "The workers said that they were digging out the steel beams underneath the earth.  But this was just several meters from our house.  What if they collapse the building?"  Although Ms. Li and her neighbors protested, the digging continued.  In one week's time, a crescent-shaped moat appeared.

"This is cutting off our connection to the outside world!"  Ms. Li said the moat caused a number of senior citizens with poor health to stay trapped inside their own homes.  It also caused great inconvenience to them."  In July this year, someone let loose some snakes into their home.  They suspected that it was a way to get them to leave.

The reporter then went to see the real estate developer.  According to the real estate developer, they have met many times with the residents to discuss relocation since 2006.  During the two years, most of the residents have left.  But the eight remaining families are making huge demands for compensation.  "Many of these old houses are illegally built.  The company decided to give some excellent compensation, but they kept refusing.  Some families even made outrageous demands that go to more than 1 million yuan.  We find it really unacceptable."  The real estate development spokesperson said that he was not familiar with the moat.


Did Zhang Mingqing trip on a tree stump?  Or was this once again the pro-blue media smearing a Taiwanese patriot?  Watch for yourself on slow-motion video:

Was Zhang Mingqing punched on the head from behind?

(Taipei Times)  TV footage showed Tainan City Councilor Wang Ding-wu (王定宇) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shouting “Taiwan wants independence” and “Taiwan is not part of China” during a shoving match with Zhang, who fell to the ground, losing his glasses. But it was not clear if Zhang tripped or was pushed down ... Wang Ding-wu, who was summoned for questioning after the charges were filed, said that Zhang fell because he stumbled over a tree trunk.

(Apple Daily)  (659 persons interviewed in Taiwan via interactive voice system)  Concerning the incident at the Confucius Temple in Tainan where Zhang Mingqing faced protestors and fell to the ground during the shoving:
68.7%: The protestors have really lost face for the people of Taiwan
17.8%: This was truly a moment of great joy
13.5%: Don't know/no opinion

(Apple Daily)

A Taiwan netizen said: "Cool!  When the Taiwanese people speak out, they scared the Communist bandit.  Cool, cool, cool!"  A mainland netizen said: "After reading the comments by Taiwanese people, I feel that you are beyond hope ... it is better just to use armed force against Taiwan!"  The video showing ARATS vice chairman Zhang Mingqing being pushed onto the ground led to an unexpected war of words between netizens across the Taiwan Strait.

At in Taiwan, netizen posted the breaking news first at 11:16pm.  At Tianya Forum in mainland China, the news first appeared 27 minutes later.  The majority of Taiwan netizens condemned the action, but there are some who think that Zhang Mingqing "asked for it."  The mainland netizens were uniform in their stance.  They felt aggrieved on behalf of Zhang Mingqing and they made sarcastic remarks about the so-called 'democracy' in Taiwan, saying "Oh, so democracy is barbarity!"  Some mainland netizen even said: "Unification had better be postponed!  If we incorporate such a region with us, it would affect the spirit of civilization on the mainland."  Mainland netizens even visited the Apple Daily forum and warned Wang Ting-yu: "You better not come to mainland China!"

Here are some comments from street interviews in Taiwan:

- No matter which political party it is, it is bad to use violence.  This will lead foreigners to think that the people of Taiwan have no democratic qualities.

- This type of violent behavior is very embarrassing.  Everybody has the right to express their objections, but there is not need to use force.

- Even if you hold a different position, you should not use violence.  An elected representative should not act rashly.  This type of behavior is unbecoming of an elected representative of the people.

- I think that that we can express different opinions.  But when the person is a guest, we should be tolerant.  It is wrong to use violence.

- It is acceptable to protest at the scene.  But if violence is used, foreigners may think that Taiwan is a barbaric place with no refinement.

- That is going too far.  Is there really a need to assault people?  In an era where people have human rights, why use your fists and feet?  You can just communicate and exchange.

- It is wrong to use violence in a democratic society.  You can protest, march and demonstrate.  It may endanger the security of Taiwan to assault Zhang Mingqing.

- Wang Ting-yu made the wrong decision.  On the eve of the large demonstration march, this violence incident occurred.  This will give the KMT the opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

- The reputation of the people is totally destroyed by this clash.  The person is a guest.  We should be showing the courteousness of the people of Taiwan.  It was wrong to assault him.

- The toxic mainland Chinese product has harmed Taiwan, so it is inevitable that there should be an "emotional reaction."  I don't think that there is anything wrong with doing this.  Mainland China must apologize first for the toxic milk powder.

Here are some comments from (Taiwan):

- This is now the 21st century already.  Democratic demands can be articulated through publicity, debate or demonstrations.  It does not look good to shove people around and curse them out.  How do you justify jumping on top of the car?  I don't see any Democratic Progressive Party.  I only see the Democratic Retrogressive Party!

- This is scary ... I will have to very careful when I visit Taiwan -- one can fall down because the roads are unevenly paved; my glasses could fly off on their own so I better get contact lenses.

- The truth is that the democracy of the Democratic Progressive Party is "If I don't agree with what you say, I'm going to beat you up until you shut up!"  On the news video, someone kept repeating "Taiwan does not belong to China!"  Do you think that people will believe you if you repeat this enough times?  That's impossible!  This is not trying to convince or debate someone.  This is trying force them to accept what you say.

- They are a pack of wild animals ... if they are so tough, why don't they go to the mainland and show your toughness?  Why hide inside Taiwan Nation and act like thugs?  I wish you godspeed.

- It is one thing to beat up someone who has come to do sightseeing.  At first, you could at least feel cool even though your reputation is ruined.  But now you don't even want to admit that you beat him up.  You insist that you did not hit him.  This means that the people of Taiwan lost their reputation but still don't get to feel good.  This is really too disappointing!

- I think that Zhang Mingqing is a fool ... this person has been a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office.  I think that he must know better than anyone else.  Instead, he deliberately goes to Taiwan to trigger the clash.  If he isn't ignorant, then he must have an ulterior political motive.

- Awesome!  This will let those Chinese pigs know that we Taiwanese people are not so easy to bully.  We will beat them up every time.  We will beat the piglets so bad that they won't dare to come to Taiwan.  Compatriots, please don't forget: On October 25, we will come together to join the "Support Bian, Defend Taiwan" demonstration march.

Here are some comments from the Tianya Forum (mainland China):

- Aren't they on a democratic small island?  Isn't it a place that tolerates different viewpoints?  Now it turns out that they are just like us!

- Taiwan is really not a place for humans to live.  They are a bunch of violent thugs, who are unevolved animals!  How can they do this to a white-haired old man?

- Those people who want to go on tourist trips in Taiwan should reconsider, because it is very dangerous there!  When you go there, you can be beaten up and killed!  The government should protest strongly to Taiwan over this incident.  When the panda bears go to Taiwan, they may be killed!

- I hope that no mainlander (except for the uncles in the People's Liberation Army) would eve go over there.  Let them live or die on their own!  Especially mainland government officials.  A few days ago, the Mainland Affairs Council chairman said that we must apologize first before going there.  I spit on these uncouth people!

- I think that if Chen Yunlin were to go to Taiwan, the world would be topsy-turvy!  Would these so-called violent thugs directly assassinate our official?  I am just kidding  Once again, I strongly deplore the violence.

- The people of Taiwan will only antagonize the people of mainland China more and more.  We have only wanted the island, and not the people on that island.

- When I watched the news, I see that Taiwan did this deliberately.  There were no policemen around.  They pushed over an elderly man and they hit him.  That was really disgusting.  Just wait for the payback!

(ChinaNews via Wenxue City)

After the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait vice-chairman Zhang Mingqing was knocked down on the ground by Democratic Progressive Party supporters, the DPP Central did not make any self-reflection.  Instead, the DPP Central issued a press release in the afternoon and said that the entire incident was the fault of the Ma Ying-jeou administration and Zhang Mingqing himself.

The DPP stated that Zhang Mingqing had been with the Taiwan Affairs Office and he must have a certain understanding about Taiwan society.  As such, he has the obligation to avoid situations where clashes may occur.  When Zhang Mingqing came to Taiwan, he publicly stated that "if there is no Taiwan independence, there will be no war."  "This is obviously an inflammatory and intimidating statement, which the people of Taiwan cannot accept."

The statement also said that the Ma Ying-jeou administration bears the largest responsibility for the personal safety of Zhang Mingqing in Taiwan.  When this clash occurred, Zhang Mingqing did not receive adequate security.  The police cannot avoid blame.  The Democratic Progressive Party further called on the Kuomintang not to seize this opportunity to proceed with political manipulations or smear the Democratic Progressive Party.

The Democratic Progressive Party chairman Tsai Ing-wen said that she was sorry about this incident, but he reminded the Kuomintang not to politicize this incident.  She also said that the Ma Ying-jeou administration or the mainland government should "understand why there is such bitter feelings which should not be just suppressed.  Instead, the government should deal with them appropriately.  Mainland Chinese should not insist on coming over to Taiwan at a time when there is so much argument in society, because it will create opposition within Taiwan.  They should consider this carefully."

(ETTV via NOWnews)

Former president Chen Shui-bian said that Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) vice chairman Zhang Mingqing was asking for the beating.  Chen said: "There are so many other places that he could have gone to.  Instead why did he intentionally come to Ah Bian's hometown of Tainan?  When he goes there, we can say that he was deliberately targeting.  Zhang Mingqing said in addition that war would not happen without Taiwan independence.  Therefore, people say that he was itching for a beating.  It is best that Chen Yunlin does not come either."

He also accused President Ma Ying-jeou of having double standards by paying too much attention to Zhang Mingqing.  Chen Shui-bian said: "Why is that the Kuomintang government refused to issue a condemnation when Ah Bian got kicked?  They even invited the person who kicked me as a guest at the National Day celebrations?  What kind of standards do they have?"

Chen Shui-bian also said that someone wants to assassinate him during the demonstration march of October 25.  But he said: "We are not worried and we are not afraid.  We will march bravely on the streets of Taipei."  Chen Shui-bian also hinted that even though his life is in danger, he has decided that the pro-Bian marchers on October 25 will carry their own flags and banners so that people cannot ignore his existence.


This morning, Wang Ting-yu held a press conference.  He said: "This resistance effort was for the sake for the children.  This action was for the sake of the children of Taiwan.  I don't hope that my children will have to take to the streets 30 or 40 years later just like the young people of Tibet.  You have to go to the other people's place to resist and speak out!"

"We are facing someone who is scheming hard to destroy the people of Taiwan.  He said that there would be no war unless there is Taiwan independence!  He meant to say that if you advocate Taiwan independence, we will attack you.  The Chinese Communists want to take over Taiwan.  They are our common enemy."

"A certain electronic media outlet has a videotape of the entire incident.  I watched it frame by frame until he fell down.  I had raised my hands up and my face was in the opposite direction.  When he feel down, there was a hand in front of him.  bzut I don't know whether he was pushed and then fell.  I went around behind him to pull him up.  I wanted to take a step back.  That is the truth!"


Last May, the Obscene Articles Tribunal had classified the February and March 2007 editions of the <Chinese University Student Press> as 'indecent.'  When Ming Pao's Sunday Life section reported on the case, it was also classified as 'indecent.'  (See The Ming Pao Category II Indecent Material).

Both the Chinese University Student Press editor at the time as well as Ming Pao objected to the fact that the Obscene Articles Tribunal refuse to indicate which section of the newspapers was deemed to 'indecent' and therefore they filed for a judicial review.

This morning, the High Court decided in favor of Ming Pao and the CUSP editor at the time.  Furthermore, there was no need for the relevant newspapers to be re-submitted to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification again.  In the verdict, it was pointed out the classification was flawed because the Obscene Articles Tribunal failed to indicate which parts of the publications were indecent as required by the guidelines.  Therefore, the classifications has to be vacated.

(SCMP)  Judge raps obscenity watchdog.  Peter Brieger, Martin Wong and Yvonne Tsui.  October 22, 2008.

The obscenity watchdog failed to do its job when it ruled that a series of sex articles in a student newspaper was indecent, a Court of First Instance judge ruled yesterday.

Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon quashed the Obscene Articles Tribunal's decision and chastised the regulator for its handling of the high-profile case. A heavy workload did not excuse the tribunal's "lax approach", he said.

"The tribunal is asked to make decisions which have a bearing on the freedom of expression, a fundamental right cherished by our society," the judge wrote in his 30-page decision. "There is no room for arbitrariness or slackness."

Tong Sai-ho, the articles' author and former chief editor of Chinese University's CU Student Press, launched a legal battle with the regulator after it classified his stories indecent in May last year.

Ming Pao Daily News also weighed into the dispute after reprinting Mr Tong's articles, a compilation of surveys and questionnaires about various sexual topics, including bestiality and incest. The material was accompanied by several illustrations, including foreign objects being inserted into bodily orifices.

Thomas Tsang, the student newspaper's former editor, argued that more should be done to revamp how the watchdog decided what material was indecent. The ruling "has not challenged the core value of the Obscene Articles Tribunal that it lacks a reasonable transparency and convincing credibility", he said outside the High Court.

He called on the university to issue a public apology for sending warning letters to some students after the tribunal's ruling last year.

In a statement, the university said it had never disciplined any student over the incident, adding that letters sent to the students only reminded them not to publish articles beyond the acceptance of the public.

"CU Student Press has always enjoyed freedom of expression and publication. It also has room to explore different topics, but then students of the editorial team should pay attention to the bottom line of society on moral standards," the university said.

Ming Pao chief editor Cheung Kin-bor said the tribunal should be more cautious with its decisions.

Undersecretary for commerce and economic development Greg So Kam-leung said the government would study the ruling before commenting on it. The court's decision would definitely be included in a forthcoming review of the tribunal, which would hear public comments about the watchdog, he said.

Lawyers for Mr Tong and Ming Pao argued that the watchdog's failure to give reasons for banning the material was an affront to free speech and breached regulations governing the tribunal.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Lam agreed that the regulator fell short of its mandate and should have elaborated on why the articles were banned.

The tribunal also erred by grouping separate articles together instead of looking at each one individually, the judge said. Some material that "cannot remotely be regarded as indecent" was unfairly labelled as such.

He rejected arguments that tribunal members - a magistrate and two other adjudicators - must have decided in their own minds what was indecent about the articles, even if they chose not to put their reasoning on paper.

Last month, the tribunal, represented by the secretary for justice, told a judicial review it was not required to provide detailed reasons before the case went to a full hearing.

The watchdog must issue an interim decision quickly to give publishers time to decide if they wanted to pursue the matter, and may change its mind after a full hearing, the review was told.

But Mr Justice Lam rejected claims that the tribunal's interim decision was just an "expression of opinion", since its classification could lead to criminal charges against the material's author, or anyone who reprinted it.

(Taipei Times)  October 20, 2008.

A group of Chinese academics, including Zhang Mingqing (張銘清), vice chairman of China’s intermediary body, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), arrived in Taiwan yesterday. They are scheduled to take part in an academic symposium in Tainan County today.

Zhang, formerly a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China’s State Council before becoming the deputy head of ARATS in 2006, is leading a 21-member Chinese academic group to attend the 2008 Cross-Strait Academic Symposium on Mass Communications and Image Arts to be held at Tainan National University of the Arts (TNUA) located in Guantian Township (官田), Tainan County. Zhang is taking part in the academic symposium in his capacity as dean of Xiamen University’s School of Journalism and Communication.

“The symposium, which is titled Globalization and Reflection on Values, is aimed at examining the cultural assets and unique values in Taiwan and China, respectively, in the face of increasing globalization and the development of homogeneity in modern societies,” said Chen Ling-hui (陳齡慧), director of the TNUA College of Sound and Image Arts, one of the sponsors of the symposium. Zhang and other Chinese academics will deliver speeches and share their research papers with their Taiwanese counterparts during the one-day symposium, which is the seventh of its kind, Chen said. 

They are also scheduled to make field trips to other universities in southern Taiwan tomorrow to “hear in person more local voices from Taiwan,” Chen said.

On reports that some Democratic Progressive Party supporters will protest against Zhang at TNUA, Chen Ling-hui said Zhang’s visit is for purely academic purposes and has nothing to do with politics. “TNUA respects the freedom of speech of all members of Taiwanese society, but the school hopes that the protesters will look rationally at the reality and not interrupt the symposium,” the director said.


This morning, Zhang Mingqing and other symposium participants went around sightseeing.  The pan-green protestors staked out the various scenic spots in Tainan.  Finally at the Confucius Temple, the protestors (including Tainan city councilor Wang Dingyu) found Zhang Mingqing and his companions.  They punched Zhang and they pushed him onto the ground with his glasses sent flying.  When he got up, they continued to try to punch him.  There were only two policemen there, so they were obviously outnumbered.  Zhang ran back into the car and ducked inside.  A protestor jumped onto the car roof and stomped on it, creating some dents.

Video Links 张铭清被绿营民众推倒追打 台当局震惊  凤凰资讯; 張銘清晚上已發表談話 早上被打民眾跳車猛踹敲窗  CTV; 張銘清訪孔廟 遭追打推倒  聯合新聞網


KMT legislator Hung Hsu-chu said: "I found this extremely absurd and also extremely rude.  This person is our guest.  He claimed that we have democracy and rule of law, and we have a wealthy and courteous society.  But on this day, we have just show a social model filled with violence.  Don't forget that when Democratic Progressive Party members go and visit mainland China, how do they treat you!  When they come over here as guest, they have plenty to talk and communicate about.  They want to see if there is anything that the two sides of the Strait can work together on.  So is this acceptable?  This is rule and it is also extremely shameless.  How do you think society and the international community will feel about the people of Taiwan.  Is this what Chinese culture is like?  This is losing so much face."

(Central News Agency)

Tainan city councilor Wang Ting-yu said that Zhang Mingqing tripped on a tree root and fell down on his own.  "I helped him get up behind by pulling him hup."  Wang said that his only motive was to protest the fact that Zhang came to Taiwan without China making an apology first about the tainted milk powder.  "I did not want to physically harm him."  Wang also said, "I did not touch him at all from start to end."    [ESWN Comment: Check the videos yourself for the tree root.]

Wang Ting-yu said that all the activities were spontaneously organized by civilians.  Yesterday, Zhang had announced that his itinerary for the next day would be canceled but he actually went ahead with the sightseeing.  Wang said, "This was deceptive."  Everywhere that Zhang went today, he was met with spontaneous protests from citizens.

Wang said that "Zhang Mingqing is responsible for what happened today.

As for the dented car roof, Wang Ting-yu said that he is willing to consider paying compensation.


[ESWN Comment: This will be re-played again and again on television in Taiwan.  The question is: Will they ever show it in mainland China?  Maybe not on television, but it is bound to create a buzz on the mainland Chinese Internet.  P.S. The video of the incident made it onto CCTV 4.]

Yesterday, a Tianya Forum netizen stated that renowned Phoenix TV commentator Leung Man-tao is courting a married woman.  As evidence, this netizen published a love letter purportedly from Leung.

But many netizens expressed skepticism about the veracity of the letter.  First of all, the quality of the letter hardly matches that from a cultured writer/tv host.  Leung is based in Hong Kong and writes in traditional Chinese character.  While this letter uses traditional Chinese characters, many of them are the wrong ones.  This implies that the author is probably a mainlander.

More importantly, a netizen detective has found a signature of Leung Man-tao, and it is clearly different from the one in the letter.

A certain neighborhood in the Dongling district, Shenyang city is about to be re-developed.  In order to encourage the inhabitants to leave, the real estate developer has resorted to employing more than a dozen really loud loudspeakers that work from 8am to 9pm every day!  The boiler room has also been dismantled so that the inhabitants won't have an easy winter ...