Feeling towards different governments (%positive/%negative)
24%/23%: Hong Kong
45%/13%: Mainland
23%/35%: Taiwan
50%/  7%: Macau

Feelings towards different peoples (%positive/%negative)
43%/ 7%: Hong Kong
37%/20%: Mainland
31%/20%: Taiwan
45%/  2%: Macau

[Trending from May 2008:

Positive feelings towards Hong Kong government: 42% -> 24%
Positive feelings towards Mainland government: 48% -> 43%
Positive feelings towards Taiwan government: 22% ->23%
Positive feelings towards Macau government: 41% ->50%

Positive feelings towards Hong Kong people: 57% -> 43%
Positive feelings towards Mainland people: 48% -> 43%
Positive feelings towards Taiwan people: 48% -> 31%
Positive feelings towards Macau people: 46% -> 45%]

When a president is found guilty of a crime after he leaves office, does this represent a step forward or backward for the spirit of democracy in Taiwan?
64.4%: A step forward
22.2%: A step backwards

Recently many former senior government officials and current county commissioners have been arrested for alleged involvement in corruption.  How would you classify these cases?
57.3%: Judicial matters
25.5%: Political matters

Satisfaction with the job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou (%Satisfied/%dissatisfied)
60.4%/17.5%: 2008/04
58.3%/11.9%: 2008/05
37.8%/46.2%: 2008/06
27.0%/60.4%: 2008/07
36.1%/47.6%: 2008/08
24.9%/64.5%: 2008/09
23.6%/67.6%: 2008/10
29.8%/58.2%: 2008/11

Confidence in President Ma Ying-jeou (%Confidence/%No confidence)
55.4%/27.7%: 2008/06
46.3%/38.5%: 2008/07
51.3%/31.0%: 2008/08
46.0%/41.2%: 2008/09
42.9%/43.4%: 2008/10
48.1%/38.5%: 2008/11

Q1.  Satisfaction with job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou (%Satisfied/@dissatisfied)
41%/37%: One month after taking office
30%/48%: Two months after taking office
40%/41%: 100 days after taking office
28%/51%: Four months after taking office
25%/55%: Five months after taking office
34%/52%: Six months after taking office

Q3. Overall, do you link President Ma Ying-jeou is leading out national policies in the right direction?  (%Right direction/%wrong direction)
54%/17%: One month after taking office
49%/25%: 100 days after taking office
38%/34%: Five months after taking office
47%/38%: Six months after taking office

Q4. Do you approve of the government's economic performance?
  7%: Very satisfied
28%: Somewhat satisfied
27%: Somewhat dissastisfied
33%: Very dissatisfied
  6%: No opinion

Q5. Some people say that the judiciary is unfair because they go after 'greens' but not 'blues.'  Do you agree?
39%: Agree
52%: Disagree
10%: No opinion

The HKISPA proposes a solution framework known as: FiLial 2.0 (short for Fillter List ally and it is 2.0 because it is based upon user-generated contents).  Oh, it also means 'filial love and respect to our parents and ancestors.'  The system is designed to more effectively protect children and youngsters from harmful contents.

From the viewpoint of a user, there is an account (which requires email address or mobile number); a client program installed on the relevant computer; logging in to a Portal to select the filter list, report harmful sites, check usage/status (e.g. total number of online time, number of sites per list being blocked, etc); etc.

The cost is said to be HKD 24,300,000 for hardware/software/salary/hosting for initial four years, not including marketing and administrative costs.  The cost for Internet Service Providers is said to be zero.  This means that the users will have to pay for the filter list, or else the government will be picking up the tab.

There is no attempt to discuss the false negative and false positive rates.  False negatives will occur because there are millions of 'harmful' websites out there, and there are more new ones going online every day.  This filter system will only create the illusion of safety.  False positives will occur as people will file false reports for whatever reasons (e.g. they are prudes, they hold grudges, they want to ban their commercial competitor, etc).  Of course, the cost of litigation for damages is not included in the proposed budget.

Related Link (in Chinese): 淫審諮詢:孝2.0 VS 性權  阿藹,香港獨立媒體

At the NetEase forum, a shocking photo was uploaded on the day before yesterday.  A topless teenage boy was hung up in the air and being whipped.  There were welts over this body.  The poster claimed that this photo was sent to him by whoever kidnapped his son.  His son's life is in imminent danger.  The father went to the police and told them that the kidnappers demanded 30,000 RMB.  The police refused to accept the case because the amount has to be 50,000 RMB or more.  The helpless father therefore went onto the Internet for help.

The reporter contacted the police.  They rejected the claims made in the post.  They said that this was just another con game.  If there was a kidnap, they would never turn the case down.

The poster is named Guo Yaogan.  He is from Macheng, Hubei  province and he has worked in the Huadu district, Guangzhou city for more than a decade.  He told the reporter that his son is named Guo Zhuwe, 17-years-old.  On October 25, his son was tricked by friends to go to Qinhuangdao city, Hebei province.

On November 4, Guo Yaogan received a telephone call from an unidentified middle-aged man.  The man threatened him to hand over 30,000 RMB in return for his son's life.  The man said that he will cut off a finger for every day's delay.  He also received a SMS: "Not a cent less than 30,000 RMB.  If the money is sent to my card in two days, I will guarantee that not a hair will be missing on your son's head.  He will be released as soon as the money arrives."

On the same day, Guo Yaogan called the Qinhuangdao police from Huacheng.  He was referred to the Haigang district public security bureau.  He said that the police said, "This is a big place, and it is late.  Where are we going to find a person for you?"  When he called again, the other party hung up the telephone immediately.

On November 5, Guo Yaogan went personally to Qinhuangdao to file a case.  He went directly to the security division, where he was told to see the Crime Squad.  Over there, he was told, "Forget it.  The case is too minor.  It is just 30,000 RMB.  We can set up a case unless there is 50,000 RMB involved."

Guo then asked his uncle to file a report with the Macheng police, who made this suggestion: Go to the Petition Office of the Qinhuangdao public security bureau.  The Petition Office proposed: If 30,000 RMB was not enough to set up a case, you go to the Haigang district and said that the random was 300,000 RMB -- they will set up a case for you immediately.

Guo followed the instructions, but the Haigang district police wanted him to provide a voice recording in addition to the SMS.  Guo Yaogan complained: "Where was I going to get a fake recording?"

Failing to get police attention, Guo Yaogan followed the number of the threatening call to a small grocery store.  The owner told Guo that there were many outsides in the direct sales industry, but he could not provide more useful information.  Guo went to more than a dozen direct-sales locations but was unsuccessful.

On November 13, Guo returned to Guangzhou without being able to locate his son.  On November 16, his eldest son received a color photo on his mobile phone.  This was the photo that got posted on the Internet.  The kidnapper called him repeatedly to ask for the ransom payment.  He heard the screams of his son being beaten.  He was allowed to speak to his son.  When his son tried to use local dialect, the kidnappers forced him to use putonghua.  His son managed to communicate that he was held in a house somewhere in a rural village.  He was being beaten every day.  There are more than 30 others being held hostage.

Guo Yaogan followed the police advice not to pay directly.  He insisted on a simultaneous exchange.  The kidnappers refused.  They have been stuck since.

The reporter called the Xigang city police station.  The policeman on duty knew what the issue was as soon as the word "kidnap" was brought up.  "He told you that it was a kidnapping?  Did he tell you what his son was up to?  Would we as a public security organ fail to act in a serious kidnapping case?  What is the point of a public security organ if we can't even accept a case?  As soon as I got the information, I knew that this was a direct sales trick.  Lots of people are involved in direct sales.  But all we do is to give them some education.  If they refuse to listen, I can't do everything to them.  I don't know if we tried to look for this specific person, because I was not on duty that day."

Is this a ruse by direct sales people to trick him?  Guo Yaogan rejected this possibility.  Apart from calling home, Guo Zhuwu has not called anyone else.  Guo Yaogan is extremely worried about the safety of his son, but he could not get police help.  That was why he got on the Internet to plead for help: "I hope that the netizens of Qinhuangdao can search for my son.  I also hope that the relevant authorities will pay attention to help me get my son back."

(Xinhua)  Petitioners unrest "under control" in NW China's Gansu.  November 19, 2008.

Authorities in northwest China's Gansu Province have put the violent protest under control after a group of petitioners attacked local government buildings on Monday night, said a provincial government official. The protesters have left the government building and the social order has resumed normal in Longnan City, where the unrest erupted, on Tuesday night.

More than 30 residents in Dongjiang Town, Wudu District, who faced resettlement, gathered at the city's government around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, asking the authorities for proper solutions concerning their farmland, housing and livelihoods. The unrest resulted from a planned relocation of the city's government which would force the residents to be resettled.

The protesters talked with some officials on Monday but they failed to reach any agreement. On Monday night, more people joined them and some of the protesters attacked government buildings, damaged vehicles and facilities, and injured some policemen who tried to maintain order, according to a report of the provincial government. The government's relocation plan has not been approved by the central government yet, the report said.

How many protestors were there?  More than 30?  How many more is 'more people'?

(New York Times)  Thousands Battle Police In China’s Northwest.  By Andrew Jacobs.  November 18, 2008.

A local government’s decision to move its administrative headquarters from one city to another has provoked two days of unrest in northwestern China, according to state media and witnesses who said protesters had burned police cars and looted government offices.

A local newspaper and Xinhua, the official news agency, said the skirmishes, in Longnan, a prefectural capital in southern Gansu Province, began on Monday and involved 2,000 people. Witnesses reached by phone, however, said the crowds had swelled to more than 10,000 and many of the protesters were still battling the police on Tuesday night. Although the state media did not explain the source of the unrest, residents said many protesters were motivated by the government’s decision to transfer its offices to another city. The move, residents said, would deprive Longnan of desperately needed jobs and lower real estate values.


In Longnan, residents said the disturbances were provoked by economic distress, rampant corruption and a lack of transparency by the local Communist Party.

Officials have said the decision to move the administrative headquarters from Longnan was based on the city’s location in a seismically unstable area. The earthquake that devastated parts of Sichuan in May, they point out, claimed more than 300 lives in Gansu, which borders Sichuan to the north.

Some residents have questioned the rationale behind the move, saying that if the area is so dangerous, Longnan’s 2.6 million people should be moved as well. According to a news release issued by the Longnan municipal government, the trouble began Monday morning when more than 30 people whose homes had been demolished gathered at the city’s Communist Party offices to petition for compensation. By the evening, thousands of others had joined them.

Dissatisfied with the pace of discussions, the petitioners began attacking officials and the police with rocks and metal batons, the government news release said. Then they charged the building, breaking windows and burning whatever they could, including motorcycles and bicycles, it said.

Officials said more than 60 people were injured. “Around 10 p.m., government officials spoke to the petitioners with loudspeakers trying to persuade them to stop but failed,” the release said. “The law enforcement department then decided to handle the problem immediately and controlled the situation.” Witnesses said armed police officers from the provincial capital used tear gas to subdue the rioters, some of whom were tossing bricks and burning cars. As of Tuesday night, the witnesses said, smoke was still rising from the city center.

“People are furious, and now many farmers from surrounding villages and townships came to support them,” a man who described himself as a retired government worker said in a telephone interview. “Though I used to work in the government, I’m for those people now.”

(South China Morning Post)  Protestors in stand-off after day of clashes.  By Zhuang Pinghui.  November 19, 2008.

Thousands of people in Longnan , Gansu , staged a violent stand-off with police yesterday, one day after they mobbed the city's Communist Party headquarters, burning dozens of cars and leaving more than 60 government workers and police injured.

Monday's riots were triggered when representatives of 30 households in Dongjiang town, under Longnan's jurisdiction, went to the petition office at the party headquarters to demand the government act on promises made in relation to a relocation plan. The petitioners were joined by crowds of residents in Wudu district, where the party headquarters is located, a statement on the city government's website said.

The crowd grew, and by Monday night more than 2,000 people had mobbed the headquarters and vandalised two office buildings. Eleven government vehicles were also destroyed, and the crowd later left, state media said. But witnesses said thousands of people were still gathered near the party headquarters last night as hundreds of riot police stood guard. One witness said six streets in front of the headquarters were crowded with people, and a protester threw an explosive at the officers at about 4pm.

The city mapped out a redevelopment plan in 2006 to build a new development area in Dongjiang and started mass relocations. The Dongjiang households, most of them farmers, have since been living in temporary shelters, waiting to move into the new development. But discontent has been simmering in Wudu and Dongjiang since March as rumours spread that the municipality's administrative centre was moving to Cheng county.

It grew stronger in September when local media reported the move would be part of the post-earthquake redevelopment. Longnan was one of the areas in Gansu worst hit by the May 12 quake, with 275 people dead and more than 6,000 injured.

"The government promised many things in 2006, but when the administrative centre moves to another county, do you think they will continue with the development plan?" a driver who took part in the protests said. "We are a poor city. Why should they use the quake relief fund to build a new office compound rather than develop the city?" He said Wudu residents felt they had been "deserted" and would struggle to make a living after the government moved its office.

Some residents in temporary housing, waiting to move into the new buildings, also feared the project would be halted and they would have to stay in the shelters. The driver said rumours were spreading that several people had been beaten to death and three students seriously injured. The claims could not be confirmed.

The Longnan government said the petitioners had been fired up by "a few with ulterior motives" and the protesters had rejected requests to select representatives to hold meetings with senior party and government officials. The government said police "had no option but to use force to disperse the leaders of the rioting criminals" but were met with a hail of rocks, bricks and flower pots and attacked with iron bars, axes and hoes.

It said rioters had set fire to motorcycles, bicycles, office buildings and 11 government cars. Seventy per cent of the windows of two office buildings were smashed and telephones, computers and printers vandalised. Rioters even hijacked a fire engine that came to put out the fire, but were stopped by police.

(ChinaNews via NetEase)  More than 60 injured in petition incident over relocation in Longnan, Gansu.  November 19, 2008.

[in translation]

At 9:30am on the morning of November 17, more than 30 relocated householders from the Wudu district went to the Party Committee Petition Office to get answers about what happens to their homes, lands and livelihood after the Longnan City Administration Center moves away.  Their appearance drew a crowd of spectators which blocked the building entrance.  The principal leaders of the Party Committee organized leaders to meet with them.  But the petitioners refuse to listen and others joined in.  The Party Committee principal leaders asked the petitioners to select delegates for a personal meeting.  But the petitioners refused again, even as more spectators arrived.

By 8pm that evening, there were 1,000 people assembled in the backyard of the Party Committee building.  Under the instigation of a small number persons with ulterior motives, certain criminals charged into the new building wing and assaulted the cadres and police officers.  The pleas by the principal leaders and police to leave the scene and use normal channels to communicate were rejected.  The police had no choice but to disperse the leaders of the disturbance and to force the crowd to vacate the backyard of the building.

By 9pm that evening, the same number of persons with ulterior motives instigated the crowd to throw rocks, bricks, flower pots and so on at the cadres and police in front of the building.  They used iron bars, iron chains, axes and pickaxes to assault the cadres and police, leading to more than 60 casualties.

By 10pm that evening, the principal leaders read out the relevant laws by megaphone to the crowd and asked the people to use normal channels of communication by electing delegates to meet with the leaders and articulate their demands.  But certain rioters refused to pay heed and charged once again into the Party Committee office building.  They smashed, vandalized, robbed and set fire.  They broke more than 70% of the windows.  They smashed all the telephones, computers and printers in the office.  Worse yet, they destroyed public and private property in the building.  They used their iron bars, axes and pickaxes to destroy 11 government vehicles parked in the middle court.  They destroyed files and materials in the offices.  They set motorcycles, bicycles and other damaged property on fire in the front yard.  They even hijacked a fire truck until the police stopped them.

Faced with this dangerous situation, the law enforcement authorities  had to take decisive action in order to prevent the incident from worsening.

(Ramblings of a Drunkard blog)

During the May 12 earthquake, more than 300 people died in Longnan, which makes this the largest disaster area outside of Sichuan.  In July 2008, the rumor was that the local government/party had done a geological survey and concluded that the administrative center should be moved from Wudu to Chengyuan.  This caused the people who had previously been relocated in Wudu to be very unhappy.  After this rumor appeared, the local government issued an official statement in the local media and quickly calmed things down.  But one week later, the Longnan netizens found out that the discussion paper about the proposed relocation due to geological factors was posted at the website of the State Council.  In this case, the Longnan government failed to clarify.  As a result, contradictions between the government and the people intensified.  From there on, the rumors and criticisms on the Internet increased.

On the morning of November 17, the news came that "the State Council has approved the relocation of the Longnan city administrative cener to Chengyuan."  This rumor was the direct cause why the petitioners showed up.

(Ramblings of a Drunkard blog)



Related Link: The Longnan riots and the CCP’s global spin campaign  David Bandurski, China Media Project

On November 15 and 16, CCTV's <30 Minute News> ran a series to expose the dark secrets behind Baidu's competitive ranking system.  Baidu was accused of intervening in its search results on a massive scale, inserting paid junk information and filtering out information for evil intent.  This business model was known as "blackmail marketing."  As a result, the public is becoming strongly dissatisfied with the fairness of information and business ethics of Baidu.  Previously Baidu was caught filtering out negative information and providing PR help to Sanlu during the melamine-tainted milk powder crisis.  Now the largest Chinese-language search engine once again faces more public skepticism.

Previously, a Hebei company filed an request with the National Chamber of Commerce to conduct an investigation of monopolistic practices at Baidu in offering competitive ranking as well as unilaterally filtering out information.  Thus, Baidu became the target in the first anti-monopoly Internet case.  Meanwhile, Taobao and other websites are expressing their discontent with Baidu by blocking the Baidu robots from accessing their websites.  There is a anti-Baidu alliance of filtered websites who are complaining against the business practices of Baidu.  So it would seem that there is a storm of public opinion against the Baidu hegemony.

If we have to summarize the nature of this storm, we should emphasize this point: Following the permeation of the Internet into people's lives, search engines are no longer just an Internet technology; instead it is a new kind of media tool for the public.  At every moment in time, search engines are required to provide huge volumes of information that have to be non-deceptive and responsible to the users.  In the case of Baidu, the purity of this Chinese search engine has been overwhelmed by excessive commercial considerations to the point that people are resorting to collective boycott to demand undistorted information.

At the present, Baidu has the largest market share among Chinese-language search engines.  The iResearch search engine market report for the third quarter of 2008 shows that its share was as high as 70%.  The published information shows that Baidu is embroiled in all these scandals not because of misunderstandings by the public or so-called smearing by its competitors.  Instead, its chosen business profit model determines its actions and ethical position.  According to the revealed secrets about competitive ranking, Baidu was indifferent to its social responsibility in its attempt to become an Internet business leader, and it did not attempt to set up ethical standards that correspond to it market position.  This is unfortunate for Baidu, and also shows that the Chinese search engine industry is directionless.

The use of competitive ranking guarantees that profit grew at Baidu, and this was one of its original sins.  This business model had been thoroughly rejected by the American search engines as early as 2002.  But Baidu pushed this model to its limits.  As long as you pay enough to buy keywords, Baidu will insert your commercials into its search results in accordance with the price that you are paying while being indifferent to the claims made in those commercials.  When a company refuses to go along or cooperate, Baidu will filter it out from the search results as punishment.  Thus, Baidu is using coercion.

Ordinary netizens should not think that Baidu's approach does not affect them, because the search results (especially those near the top) may be false.  Such search results were not obtained from statistical data about the webpages and the hyperlinks.  Instead, they came from the collusion between Baidu and the conscienceless advertisers.  The distinction between commercial links and the natural results from searching is being made fuzzy deliberately.  When the search engines manipulate its results, people may be misled into traps and become victims of these special interest groups.  The damage to the public interest is tremendous.

It is bad enough to interfere with search results so that people cannot accurately find what they need.  But that is just the first level of Baidu's model.  Even more alarming is that apart from competitive ranking, Baidu also provides value-added services such as "PR protection."  Baidu promises to eliminate negative news stories about its major clients so that they can control public opinion.  This technology is worse than just being able to buy a position in the search results, because it conceals the ability of people to know the truth.  Baidu has truly gone too far when it sacrifices the truth for the sake of commercial considerations.

Baidu has become the target of criticisms.  But Baidu has its defenders, who attempt to use arguments that "precision" should replace "fairness" or "junk information is the course of lack of fairness in search results."  But eliminating junk information is a technical problem, whereas the anti-Baidu voices emphasize the importance of independence of search results and support fairness in the Internet world.  Thus, the fight between Baidu supporters and detractors is not about technology.  The key point is whether a search engine should be considered a public tool that abides by the value of fairness.  We believe that it needs to be that.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

On the day before yesterday, the Shanghai Business School published the names of the four female students who died during a dorm fire.  Netizens found out that two of them -- Liu Wenwen and Wang Jiayan -- have registered blogs at Xiaonei.com, which is the social networking site for university students.

In Liu Wenwen's blog, we found a photograph of her smiling joyfully and we read about her humorous diary about losing her mobile phone.  At the blog of Wang Jiayan's boyfriend, we read the simple happiness of a couple in love.  The words written in memory of his girlfriend caused many netizens to sheer tears as well.

Meanwhile a third student Chen Rui had a namesake at another university.  This other student was mistaken to be a victim and her photo was plastered across the Internet.  Tens of thousands of netizens went to her blog to bid her farewell.

"Waiting for the arrival of number 1,000" was the tag that Liu Wenwen wrote on her blog.  She was waiting for the 1,000-th visitor to her blog.  The date was 3 days ago.  In three days time at 11pm last night, the blog had more than 800,000 visits.  By refreshing the page, the reporter noted that the number is continuing to climb. Liu Wenwen's wish was realized, but she wasn't there to witness it.

In the "About" section of her blog, Liu Wenwen described herself as a girl with a wide variety of interests.  Although she confessed to be an idiot as far as online games, she said that "she liked the games that boys played, especially the venturesome and exciting games such as bungee jumping."  Four days ago, she and three fellow students were forced by a fire to jump out of their dorm room and died.

On May 16, Liu Wenwen posted photos of herself in a nurse's uniform.  She said that this was the first time that she had ever worked.  She did it to help out a fellow student.  Although the work was hard, it was meaningful.  The photo was taken inside the dorm room where the fire occurred.

Wang Jiayan also registered a blog at Xiaonei.com.  But her blog is not open to the public.  The only thing that shows is one diary entry and four photos.  However, another blog called Yang Zhengjie-Wang Jiayan" described Yang as the boyfriend of Wang.  Before the accident, the last update was on October 16.  After the fire on November 14, the blog has been updated daily.  "How come you didn't send me any SMS today?  This is so unlike you.  Isn't because if I don't send an SMS to you, you won't send one to me?  Yes, I am sending it.  I sending you many SMS." The reporter noted this blog is no longer open to the public as of 10pm last night.

Related Link: 4 Girls Fall To Death To Escape Dorm Fire  ChinaSMACK

The September issue of Yanhuang Chunqiu published a 7,000-word essay by the former chief of Xinhua's Sichuan bureau Sun Zhen titled <My relationship with the Sichuan Party Secretary in the late stages of the Cultural Revolution>.  The title does not make it clear, but the Sichuan Party Secretary at issue is Zhao Ziyang.  This was the first time since 1989 that there has been a full-length positive report about Zhao Ziyang.  The essay recalled how the Sichuan Party Secretary went into the field to study the peasant economy and introduced those reform measures that earned him the saying: "If you want food, go and look up Ziyang."

At the moment, there are many essays to review the thirty years of economic refrom.  In another seven months, it will be twentieth anniversary of the June 4th incident.  At this sensitive moment, Yanhuang Chunqiu brings out this essay.  According to information, the essay from Sun Zhen make a certain former party leader very unhappy.  As a result, a member of the Politburo has been asked to take action.

Organizationally, Yanhuang Chunqiu is under the Yanhuang Cultural Research Association, which is underneath the Ministry of Culture.  The Ministry of Culture has suggested to Yanhuang Chunqiu that its publisher, deputy publisher, secretary general and the editorial committee are too old and should be replaced.  However, Yanhuang Chunqiu is not an official magazine, and does not receive a dime from the government towards its operations.  Therefore, the government has no right to meddle with personnel issues in as much as it has not right to challenge the age of the boss of a private enterprise.

Therefore, the Ministry of Culture did not take action for almost a month.  But now, the Yanghuang Cultural Research Association has communicated the directive that the publisher Du Daozheng and other senior staff should retire due to their age.

The article by Sun Zhen was brought out by Yanhuang Chunqiu publisher Du Daozheng, who is in his 80's.  In the 1980's, Du was the editor-in-chief at Guangming Daily.  He then began the director of the General Administration of Press and Publications.  He is presently vice-chairman of the Yanhuang Cultural Research Association and the publisher of Yanhuang Chunqiu magazine.  He is physically robust, he personally edits some of the major articles and he makes the decisive calls.  He is said to have "the age of an 80-year-old, the body of a 60-year-old and the thinking of a 40-year-old."  Du Daozheng advocates that the reform must not go backwards but it must also not be too drastic.  Instead, the reforms should proceed in an orderly and steady manner in small steps.

The writer Sun Zhen was the former chief of the Sichuan Bureau of the Xinhua News Agency.  He joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1946 at the age of 16.  His essay began thus: "It is difficult to introduce reforms.  It is even more difficult to introduce reforms during a time of chaos.  Zhang Ziyang was the Sichuan Communist Party Secretary.  In the latter stages of the Cultural Revolution, he was concerned about people's livelihood.  At the political risk of being accused of being a counter-revolutionary, he sought economic reforms in the rural area.

In the early 1970's, Sun Zhen was transferred from Xinhua's Jiangsu bureau to the Sichuan bureau.  Meanwhile, Zhao Ziyang was transferred from the Guangdong provincial party to become Sichuan Party Secretary.  That was how the two met.  In 1976, the sectarian fights of the Cultural Revolution were still going strong.  Sun Zhen accompanied Zhao Ziyang into the countryside on one occasion.  Sun recalled that Zhao issued orders not to be met by local government and party officials.  Instead, he walked directly into the fields to speak with the peasants.  On that trip, Zhao and Sun visited more than a dozen counties.  The zero-distance contact was the basis of the pragmatism of Zhao's agricultural reforms.

Yanhuang Chunqiu was founded by a group of elderly Communist Party members in 1991 with the support of retired generals Xiao Ke and Zhang Aiping.  In its entire life, it has never asked for or received a dime from the state.  The magazine subsists mostly on subscription fees.  Most of the readers are elderly cadres and culturati.  The initial circulation was more than 40,000.  In recent months, the subscription has been going up by several hundreds (even thousands) per month.  Today, the circulation is over 80,000.

In early 2008, Du Daozheng said: "The magazine framework for Yanghuang Chunqiu in 2008 is about the liberation of thinking and search for breakthroughs.  We want to maintain the large frameworks while freeing the smaller frameworks.  The large-frameworks are the party line from the Third Plenum of the Eleventhy Congress, the Deng Xiaoping theory, the three represents, the report from the Seventeen Congress.  We must keep to them.  We have certain hard rules about what can be discussed internally but not publicly.  We won't touch multi-party rule.  We won't touch the nationalization of the military.  We won't touch the June 4th incident.  We won't touch FLG.  We won't touch the personal lives and affairs of the current and preceding government and party leaders."

(Sydney Morning Herald)  Top ranks divided over magazine's focus on taboo figure.  By John Garnaut.  November 18, 2008.

A retired Chinese leader has picked a fight with China's most forthright magazine, shedding rare light on the feuds and insecurities that shape China's political landscape. The feud, which threatens to expose deep fissures in the country's top leadership circle, dates back to the Tiananmen massacres of 1989, when the then party secretary Zhao Ziyang was purged for refusing to support the military suppression of students and workers.

Mr Zhao was replaced by the former president Jiang Zemin, who formally held China's top leadership positions until 2002 and 2003. Mr Jiang continues to exercise political influence.

An official from the Ministry of Culture visited the editor-in-chief of the magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu - Annals Of The Yellow Emperor - at his home on Friday, seeking his resignation. The official told Du Daozheng that a retired leader had taken offence at the magazine's favourable treatment of Mr Zhao, whose name has been taboo in the Chinese media for 19 years. It is understood the instructions were conveyed via a member of the Politburo, the Communist Party's inner sanctum.

But Mr Du, 85, has been a feisty stalwart of the Communist Party since 1937, and his publication enjoys protection from many progressive senior party officials.

"He said, "Old Du, you're getting old. Are you thinking about … " Mr Du told the Herald yesterday. "He never directly said change the editor … but his meaning was extremely clear. I said the government's official retirement age doesn't apply to non-government enterprises like us; if I work until I'm 120 that's got nothing to with you." Mr Du said the matter had now become "a major issue" and might trigger intervention from senior party officials. "It seems like we're playing chess. This is not the result they expected, and they don't know what move to make next."

Related Link: Taboo Yanhuang Chunqiu article still available online  Emma Lupano, China Media Project

Slogan: Rely on you, rely on you, rely on everybody (e.g. to keep the neighborhood clean)
Slang: Fuck you, fuck me, fuck everybody

(Huasheng News via 163.com)
Literary translation: The tallest hair salon
Homonym of: Supreme Court
In Benxi city, a hair salon opened up with the name of "The tallest hair salon" which is a homonym of "Supreme Court."  According to the owner, she chose this name in order to stand out from the crowd. However, it did not seem to have drawn in more business. Instead, it drew the attention of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  The hair salon had been registered under a name, and therefore the Ministry has ordered the salon to use its registered name within seven days or be fined as much as 1,000 RMB.

(Xinhua via hn315.gov.cn)
In Chongqing, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce received a citizen complaint about a restaurant having a name that is a homonym to "512 Earthquake Epicenter Wok."  The Ministry send workers down there to give "critical education" to the store owner and ordered the sign to be removed.

(Chongqing Evening News via Duowei News)
In Chongqing, a new restaurant by the name of "Black Shop" is opening.  In Chinese, "Black Shop" refers to a "rip-off joint" that may even include drugging the patrons, robbing their money, killing them and serving their flesh as food.  According to the restaurant owner named Yang, "I chose this name because attracts attention.  Was this name approved by and registered with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce?  Yang said he only has a business operating license under this own name.  "If business turns out to be good, I will register the name.  According to a worker at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the regulations state that the name of a shop should be positive for the mental and physical well-being of the people, it should improve the quality of the products and services, it should protect the rights of consumers, it should follow social ethics and professional morality and it should protect the dignity and interests of the nation.  The name "Black Shop" is detrimental to the construction of a civilized spirit.  Therefore, the Ministry will send someone down as soon as possible to remove this sign.

About a month ago, a netizen posted onto the Jiujiang Forum to question the fairness of the Jiujiang city teacher hiring process.  Simply put, a female candidate named Mei had not received her university diploma and teacher permit on the day of the examination, but she was nevertheless allowed to take the test.

This is nothing unusual.  But after the discussion at the Jiujiang Forum drew attention, the Jiujiang City Department of Education issued a strongly worded reply which stated that all the documents were in place.

The Jiujiang News Net reporter interviewed the Jiujiang City Department of Education, and published photos of the three documents.

But those three documents only drew more doubts.  For example, the name of the principal on the graduation diploma is different from that of the actual principal today.  The teacher's certificate was issued "prematurely."  This embarrassed the Jiujiang City Department of Education, which provided a second response and re-iterated that the documents were in order.

Two days later, a netizen went on the Internet and checked.  The serial number of the graduation diploma exists, but it belongs to a male students.  The netizen called the school and found out that it was for a general undergraduate degree and not a professional degree.  The name of the school principal was also different from the one on the graduation diploma.

So after all this, the Jiujiang Department of Education workers could not even tell a fake diploma from a real one?  Is the Jiujiang Department of Education insulting its own intelligence?

On November 7, the Jiujiang Department of Education quietly revised its list of candidates.  Without explanation, the name of candidate Mei was removed.

It would appear that the leaders of the Jiujiang Department of Education has slapped itself quietly under the scrutiny of the netizens.

(Telegraph)  China outlaws lip-synching after Olympics row.  By David Eimer.  November 14, 2008.

Lin Miaoke who lip-synched at the opening ceremony over the voice of Yang Peiyi [right]
who was considered unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth Photo: GETTY/AFP

The Ministry of Culture wants to outlaw the widespread practice during live performances, as well as clamping down on musicians who pretend to play their instruments during shows. The ban comes three months after many Chinese were outraged to discover that one of the stars of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics had been miming rather than singing during the spectacular show. There was an outpouring of anger following the revelation that child star Lin Miaoke had been miming when she sang 'Ode To The Motherland' during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. The cute nine-year-old's performance captured the hearts of the Chinese, until organisers of the ceremony admitted she had been lip-synching. Another girl had sung the popular song, but had been judged not pretty enough to represent China in front of the world. Officials justified the decision as being in the "national interest".

Now, the Ministry of Culture plans to name and shame performers caught lip-synching. Those who are caught miming twice will have their performing licenses revoked, according to proposed new legislation. Sun Qiuxia, an official with the Ministry of Culture, said: "People who perform for profit should not cheat audiences with fake singing or by pretending to play instruments."

Lip-synching has long been common practise in China. Yesterday, one Chinese pop star claimed that less than 20 per cent of singers actually sang when performing live. Zheng Jun told local media: "I once met a well-known singer at a show who didn't even recognise his song was playing, because it had been so long since he performed it live." In February, China's biggest movie star Zhang Ziyi was the subject of widespread derision after she mimed her way through a song while appearing on China's most-watched TV show on Chinese New Year's Eve.

Here we go again -- the ban was all due to the scandal over the girl with the buck teeth not being allowed on air during the Olympics opening ceremony!  For details, please see The Girl With The Uneven/Crooked/Buck Teeth and the Fat/Chubby Face.  But let us see the Chinese perspective:

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

Here are the three main points of the regulations after penetrating through the legalese:

1. When a performer is paid to perform, he/she is allowed to lip-synch to a pre-taped recording.

2. If a performer breaks the regulation, the deed will be exposed publicly.  If the performer repeats the same within two years, his/her performance license will be revoked.

3. A performer cannot use the guise of a charitable performance to enrich himself/herself.  The performer must take all receipts (including ticket sales, donations, sponsorship and other performance-related income), subtract the costs and donate the remainder to causes of public interest.

Why do singers mime?

1.  The practice has been longstanding.  If everybody mimes, why shouldn't I?

2. Sometimes the acoustic conditions are less than ideal, and therefore I must mime in order to
act responsibly to the paying audience.

3. I don't do it every show.  I just do it occasionally, so it doesn't count!

4. I don't have a choice, because the miming is arranged by the show's director.

5. I used to sing live, but I am getting old and I am losing my singing skills.  So I have to mime when I show up.

The most famous instances of lip-synching as reported by the media:

Gigi Leung was caught in the Beijing TV Spring Festival gala

Song Zuying was miming at the 2007 CCTV Spring Festival Evening Gala

Wu Jing cried when doubts were raised over possible miming

Zhang Ziyi mimed during the 2008 CCTV Spring Festival Evening Gala

Qu Ying bent over to receive flowers from enthusiastic fans while the song went on without her moving her lips

Singers reacted to the legislation:

Gao Linsheng: "90% of singing on a certain television show is mimed.  99% of lip-synching occurs at the request of the program producers."

Cui Jian: "Our audio environment has reached an intolerable stage -- 90% of all television programs are mimed; 50% of live performances are mimed!  The rights of the masses are seriously abridged!  This is a total fraud."

Zheng Jun: "The lip-synching and fake award ceremonies are appalling.  Only 20% of all singers insist on singing for real!"

Han Hong: "I raise both hands to support the ban!  Singers who participate in commercial performances should observe professional ethics.  When the audience members buy tickets, they want to hear the real voices of the singers.  If they get lip-synching instead, they would be better off buying a CD and listening it at home."

Crimes Ordinance, Chapter 200, Section 161:

(1) Any person who obtains access to a computer-

        (a) with intent to commit an offence;
        (b) with a dishonest intent to deceive;
        (c) with a view to dishonest gain for himself or another; or
        (d) with a dishonest intent to cause loss to another,

whether on the same occasion as he obtains such access or on any future occasion, commits an offence and is liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 5 years.

(Apple Daily)

According to the police, someone was posting information at the Yahoo! (HK) Knowledge Forum between May 13 to 19 this year to seduce young girls under 16 years old to engage in sexual activity.  The post read: "I am looking for a girls who are willing to be caressed and fondled for $150-$200 per hour, or $250 to $300 for a two hour session.  I don't want to engage in sexual intercourse.  Therefore, I want girls 16 or under ..."  A email address sob9999@yahoo.com.hk was included.

Based upon the website registration information, the police proceeded on May 29 to an apartment in Yuen Long district and arrested a 22-year-old unemployed man named Yip.  The police retrieved similar information from the home computer.  Yip admitted that he has received three or four replies, including an appointment to meet at the KCR West station in Yuen Long in which the other party did not show.  Yip also said that he targeted 12 to 16 years old because they are young and poor, and therefore more easily tricked.

At court yesterday, Yip pleaded guilty to the crime of "access to computer with criminal or dishonest intent."  He has been remanded pending sentencing.

(Those Were The Days)

I was very upset after I read the news report.  I don't understand how Hong Kong could have a law about "access to computer with dishonest intent"!  Why does it mean to access a computer with dishonest internet?  "Honesty" is a moral judgment.  There are plenty of "dishonest" behavior in the world which are socially unacceptable but not criminalized ...

The computer is merely a tool, so it is the dishonest intent that constitutes the crime.  For example, certain media are smearing the pan-democratic political figures day and night.  Isn't that "access to a printing press with dishonest intent"?  Those reporters who used computers to write their stories must also use notebooks to take notes and digital recording pens to conduct interviews.  Can the police charge them with "using a pencil with dishonest intent," "using a recording pen with dishonest intent" and even "taking notes with a notebook with dishonest intent"?  So why is only "access to a computer with dishonest intent" a crime?  Why are there no crimes of using printing presses, pencils, recording pens and notebooks with dishonest intent?

... I am even more perplexed by the Hong Kong Police Commercial Crime Bureau Technology Crime Squad's senior inspector saying that "this was the first case of the crime of using the Internet to recruit underage girls for fondling in exchange for money."  In Hong Kong, it is a crime to fondle underage girls.  But today, we find out that een "using the Internet to recruit underage girls for fondling in exchange for money" is a crime.  More interesting, the defendant had not touched any girl as a result!  All he did was write something on the Internet, and he is being charged!  That is not say, if you just bullshit on the Internet without doing anything, you have committed a crime!  If we ever get Article 23 and Legislative Councilor "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung were to write on the Internet, "Put an end to one-party rule," is he committing a crime?

The political commentary magazine <Open> is published on the first of each month.  After the October 2008 issue went out, it was discovered that the monthly column <Beijing News> and the important essays in the <Cafe> section had been tampered with in at least 50 places so that the results were unreadable.

By careful comparison, we found that the tampering was selective.  All three essays in <Beijing News> were tampered with, including the exclusive story on <Official theorists attack Wen Jiabao en masse> as well as sensitive topics such as the food supply at Zhongnanhai during the tainted milk crisis, the international federation of journalists condemning the Chinese Communists for not allowing coverage of the tainted milk incident, the scandal over the ages of the Chinese gymnasts, the farce of Hu Jintao's visit to South Korea, the Zhang Danhong affair at Deutsche Welle, etc.

In the news summary section known as <Cafe>, the selectivity became most obvious.  There were three items on page 6.  The two that were not political (namely, about movies and medical care) were unmodified, but the third item <Hu Jia nominated for Sahkarov Prize> was changed beyond recognition.

Our magazine has computerized its operation many years ago.  We understand that mistakes can occur during computer operations.  After this incident, we asked the opinions of experts and readers, and we are convinced that these modifications did not occur as a result of computer viruses or technical glitches.  Instead, they were man-made, with a lot of thought  going into it: the changes did not appear in the headlines and they did not affect the number of lines (just their contents).  The changes were also inserted on the final version just before the deadline.

Our publishing procedure is done in three stages: the editorial department prepares the contents, the film studio prepares the printing film and the printer prints the magazine.  The film studio and the printer are outside suppliers.  Afterwards, the magazines go to the distributor.  The quality assurance during the procedure has been quite reliable in the past without this type of problem ever occurring during the twenty years of publishing.  After the incident, we contacted the film studio and the printer many times.  The investigation concluded that the problem occurred with the film preparation.  On one hand, the printer showed that they received a modified film from the film studio, and they printed that which was given to them.  On the other hand, the film studio found that their computer still had the correct file that our editorial department sent to them.  However, they denied that there is any possibility of anyone tampering with their film production process.

After several days of effort, we were unable to locate those who perpetuated the act or are responsible for so doing.  Apart from improving our security measures and continuing to investigate the matter, we decided to make a public disclosure to our readers and authors.  We believe that this malicious act not only different hurt the readers' and the public's right to now as well as damage the reputation of our magazine, but it is also an invasion of the freedom of press and publishing in Hong Kong.  No matter what the motive of the perpetrators is, this should be deplored gravely.  We call for the Hong Kong SAR government to pay attention to the increasing deterioration of freedom of press in Hong Kong.  We also hope that people will help us with clues to discover the truth behind the case.

Why was former president Chen Shui-bian detained?
60%: he was clearly involved in graft
11%: he is being subjected to political persecution

Among pan-greens, the split was 34% versus 34%.

(Apple Daily)

Ten reasons why Chen Shui-bian is going on a fast:
1. Sorrow over the death of the judiciary
2. Mourning over democracy going backwards
3. Willing to to jail for the Taiwanese people
4. Willing to sacrifice his life for a Taiwan nation
5. Opposition to authoritarianism, communism and dictatorship
6. Demands sovereignty, freedom and democracy for Taiwan
7. Caring about Taiwan, repelling China
8. Taiwan and China are "one nation on each side of the Taiwan Strait"
9. Taiwanese people must rise and make an all-out effort for the cause
10. Never give up because we will succeed

(Apple Daily) (775 persons interviewed on November 13, 2008 by interactive voice system.  Telephone numbers were drawn randomly from the telephone directory)

Chen Shui-bian went into fasting after his detention.  What do you think?

42.71%: I don't support him because it is another one of his tricks
27.74%: I don't support him because nobody should take his life lightly
23.87%: I support him -- an innocent person should be protesting
  5.68%: Don't know/no opinion

(The Independent)  Outrage as China's leading lay defects to Singapore.  Cliff Coonan.  November 12, 2008.

China's leading lady Gong Li, best known in Britain for her role in Memoirs of a Geisha, is being accused of treason by her irate countrymen for becoming a Singaporean citizen. The 43-year-old actress embodies Chinese womanhood in the way Helen Mirren sets British hearts racing, or the way Catherine Deneuve is an icon in France, so her decision to take Singaporean citizenship was always bound to cause trouble.

State media ran images of the actress with her hand on her heart being sworn in at a ceremony alongside 149 others at the Teck Ghee Community Club in the island state, which has a large Chinese community. Her husband is the Singapore businessman Ooi Hoe Seong, whom she married in 1996.

Angry webizens said Ms Gong was betraying her Chinese roots. "She earned enough money in China, didn't she?" wrote one online commentator on Sina.com. "Then she becomes a foreigner! Why do we make her money for her, just so she can take the money and run." Another complained: "I'm disappointed in her. Why do rich and famous people all want to change their nationality?"

(Times Online)  Memoirs of a Geisha star, Gong Li, branded 'traitor' by Chinese.  Jane Macartney.  November 11, 2008.

Most Netizens voiced fury at her decision to take her husband’s nationality. Commenting in a chat forum on popular portal Sohu.com, one said: “All traitors will be nailed to history’s mast of shame. We should resolutely reject any further contact with such people.” Another fulminated: “Traitors like this don’t even love their own country. These people were only fake countrymen of ours. Let them slink off to other countries and die!” 

Most of the comments on another portal, sina.com, followed a similar tone, reflecting the strident nationalism that has dominated Chinese cyberspace this year. A few, however, voiced understanding of Ms Gong’s decision, noting the pressure such stars face in China and making veiled criticisms of the constraints on life – particularly for artists – in the communist country. One said: “Why doesn’t anyone ask why people want to emigrate? We see one Chinese person after another taking U.S. citizenship. Why don’t we see Americans taking Chinese citizenship?”

One writer suggested that many of those criticising Gong Li would be only too ready to follow her example like moths to a flame – if only they had the opportunity. “My compatriots, as you blab here, can you really say you love your country? Ask yourself are you not moths as well?” But the vein of nationalism runs deep. International criticism of a military crackdown on anti-Chinese protesters in Tibet following an uprising in the region in March provoked widespread anger. And when pro-Tibet demonstrators tried to disrupt the Olympic torch relay in cities such as London and Paris, anti-Western diatribes filled internet forums.

(AsiaOne News)

Chinese actress Gong Li had only last year served as a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's lower house of Parliament.  This may have added extra sting after it was reported that she had collected her Singapore citizenship over the weekend, accompanied by her husband, Singaporean tobacco businessman Ooi Hoe Seong.

Online, the condemnation Chinese netizens heaped upon the star of Farewell My Concubine and Memoirs Of A Geisha was fierce. The China Youth Daily reported that an online survey found 65 per cent opposed her change of citizenship. Just 26 per cent said they didn't care, while 9 per cent endorsed her move, saying she had better prospects abroad. The bitterness was summed up by a netizen who wrote: "How do you think you managed to rise to fame, if it wasn't because of your local fans and audience" "Once you qualify as a citizen of another country, you abandon us. Are you trying to say that China is not as good as other countries? You claim that you love your country and that your roots are in China - it's all a load of rubbish!" Another netizen claimed that "China will be ruined because of the departure of migrants".

(Alone in the Fart blog)  Internet surveys cannot be trusted.  November 13, 2008.

The media cited survey results in order to show public opinion leanings.  But Internet surveys can be very misleading.  First of all, Internet surveys are self-selective as opposed to random sampling.  Without random sampling, they cannot be representative of the population universe.  Second, Internet survey results are reported based upon what happened at a particular moment in time.  A short while later, the results may be completely different.  For the QQ.com survey, Ming Pao and Xinhua (English) quoted 42.4% of the respondents respecting Gong Li's decision, 30.3% not caring and 27.3% objecting.  Meanwhile Sing Tao and Xinhua (Chinese) cited 9.17% of the respondents respecting her decision, 26.06% not caring and 64.77% objecting.  The impressions of these results from the same survey at different times are radically different.

Worse yet, the media were reporting survey results that were obviously flawed.  60% of Singaporeans was reported to object to Gong Li getting citizenship.  According to the Strait Times:

A Sunday Times online poll reveals that only 36 per cent of the 33 respondents think she should give up her China citizenship.

Thus, when the news report said that 60% of Singaporeans objected, it only meant that 21 out of 33 respondents thought so!  One cannot even use ignorance as the explanation -- the editor and the reporter were either lazy or did not care.

When newspapers cite public opinion polls, they are less than rigorous.  As for these Internet surveys, I suggest that you all ignore it.  It is too easy for the media to cherry-pick or misinterpret those results.  For example, this sina.com poll shows that 83% of netizens thought that it was alright for Gong Li to get Singaporean citizenship.  The sample base was 77 voters.

So why won't the western media cite these Internet survey results?  Could it be that they don't know about the existence of these surveys?  Or because they don't trust or understand these results?  That is an interesting question.

Q. You went to mainland China and then you returned to Taiwan.  You experienced two different worlds and went through many twists and turns.  How has that influenced your writing?
A. My creative raw material was enriched.  But of course I did not go to mainland China just to look for creative material.  I went there for an ideal and for my principles.  We were children born after the Second World War.  People like Chen Ying-chen and myself placed the state and its people first.  Therefore, we were strongly opposed to the Kuomintang government.  I was voting with my feet.  There was a meeting among leftists, and we announced that we were the first ones to leave for the mainland.  They congratulated us.  I said, "Yes, we are returning to Taiwan via Beijing.  We will be liberating Taiwan.  (laughter).  Those were our ideals."

Q. In <The Birthday of Jingjing>, you described the pervasive white terror on mainland China.  Jingjing did not even dare mention her birthday to anyone.  From freedom to totalitarianism.  From totalitarianism to freedom.  How did you adjust yourself?
A. We were afraid.  We kept silent.  My husband was afraid and wanted to leave mainland China.  I objected at first.  But I thought that his fear may get us into trouble later.  Now that I am back in the freedom of Taiwan, I feel that Taiwan is not so democratic, because there is populism sometimes.  When I was in middle school and university, I knew that there was cheating during voting when entire boxes of ballots were replaced.  The students from the National Taiwan University School of Medicine were sent to monitor the votes and came back to tell us about the switches.  Today, things are a lot better.  But there are still things like "the two bullets."  Like the United States where I had stayed, the ruling party has certain advantages and controls things to a certain degree.  One can only say that things are better or worse in a relative sense.

Q. You take no interest in politics, but you got involved in politics anyway.  You appealed personally to Chiang Ching-guo on behalf of the defendants in the Formosa incident.  Then you went to see Hu Yaobang and pleaded on behalf of the poet Beidao.  Where did you get that kind of courage?
A. I did not intend to see these two leaders ever again.  I needed nothing else from them.  I did not have to hold back.  I could say whatever I want.  After I said it, it was goodbye.  There will not be a second time.  Therefore, I did not have to worry about anything.

Q. You met twice with Chiang Ching-guo.  Do you have any specific observations?
A. I believe that he was sincere about finding the truth about the Kaohsiung incident (=the Formosa incident), unless he was putting on a show.  But I did not think so.  Was I relaying what the taxi drivers were saying?  No.  But the taxi drivers at the time were terrorized, like as if this was another 2/28 incident.  Chiang Ching-kuo seemed surprised.  He did not realize that things were so serious, and the people were reacted so strongly.  He may have heard his subordinates telling him to suppress the crowd.  The television programs also supported the government actions to suppress.  I guessed that he was surprised by what I said about what the people were thinking.  Therefore he wanted to see if for himself in a taxi.  He was seeking the truth.  I admire that.

Q. Can you compare the styles of Chiang Ching-guo and Hu Yangbang?
A. They are very similar in many ways.  There were many listeners on the side at the meetings.  Chiang Ching-guo let you keep talking.  Every 30 minutes, someone comes in to make a report to him.  He only said, "Pour some tea for Ms. Chen."  And the person exited.  Later, I found out that this was a cue for the visitor to leave.  But I met with him for 90 minutes.  Hu Yaobang also let me speak.  But he also spoke himself, in fact more than I did.  These are two very special leaders.  Hu Yaobang was amicable with people and he respected intellectuals.  I heard about those traits before the meeting, and I observed it in person.  Therefore his death meant a lot.  The intellectuals did not know how another such person could be found.

Q. Very few Taiwanese have experienced the Cultural Revolution like you did.  What was your most memorable experience during the Cultural Revolution?
A. The Cultural Revolution wanted to erase culture.  The best of culture was destroyed.  They destroyed the Confucian temples, but now they want to establish Confucius Institutes to repair the damage.  At the time, the political terror reached a peak.

Q. Did the Cultural Revolution make you become completely disillusioned about the Communist Party?
A. Yes.  Total disillusionment.  But what could I do?  We were afraid to say the wrong things.  If you know that there are only two persons and you trust the other person, you can speak from your heart.  Even if the other person files a report on you, you can deny everything and there is no tape recording.  But if there are three people there, you cannot say anything.  I cannot control both of the other persons.  So we just did social talk when there are three people.  We never talked politics.  Everybody knew that.

Q. You lived on the mainland for seven years.  What are your views on unification versus independence?
A. At the time, I wanted to return to Taiwan via Beijing.  Later, I found that this was not feasible.  Taiwan cannot be united with the mainland.  At the time, the Kuomintang was the ruling party.  My view back then was that the Communists said that the Kuomintang were thugs, but this is just the man who fled 50 steps laughing at the man who fled 100 steps.  The Kuomintang was nowhere as terrifying as the Communists.  Besides, when I came out, I found Taiwan democratizing.  It was very good.

Q. Do you now agree with unification today?
A. I agree with peaceful unification.  The mainland has been changing.  It has been changing tremendously.  I go to mainland China three or four times each year.  Last year, I went five times.  The friends that I knew -- common folks in Pudong, professors, government officials -- have seen their standard of living raised tremendously.  They are willing to talk openly to me, because they know that I won't write about them carelessly.  But there is still no freedom in mainland China.  My friends do not receive the emails that I send them.  They are still being screened.

Q. What are your views on Taiwan independence?
A. I feel that there is no hope for Taiwan independence within the next twenty years.  The conditions are not there.  Firstly, the Chinese people will never agree to it.  Secondly, independence requires international recognition.  There is no way that international recognition will ever be accorded.  It is useless to have some small country recognize you.  The bigger countries don't want to offend China.  Nobody can ignore China today, with trade being an issue.  China is also strong.  The Chinese people believe that Taiwan was separated from China.  Furthermore, Taiwan will have to rely on foreign nations -- America and Japan.  Would you feel proud to be client states of those nations?  Therefore, I don't think Taiwan independence is viable.

Q. Although you left mainland China, has your political position changed?
A. No.  I feel that I am both Chinese and Taiwanese.  My identification with China is based first and foremost upon culture, followed next by nationalism.  The cultural identification is stronger than anything else.

Q. You personally experience the 2/28 incident.  What was its greatest impact on  you?
A. I saw people being assaulted right in front of our home.  I saw that the soldiers from mainland did not speak Taiwanese dialect and when the Taiwanese could not communicate themselves, they were beaten.  If the children misbehaved, they were told: "You'll be send to the killing field and be dispatched with a bullet."  We all experienced that terror.  A friend of mine personally witnessed two mainlanders being assaulted by people with white headbands and wearing wooden sandals and kicked into a ditch.  I was very scared.  I wanted to leave Taiwan if I can.  My teacher Cui Xiaoping, my dancer teacher Cai Ruiyue and my drama teacher all got into trouble.  I read <Free China> in secret.  Its publisher Lei Chen was arrested.  We were afraid to speak out, and therefore we got into contemporary literature.  Our publisher was Pai Hsien-yung.  His dad was General Pai Chung-hsi.  We were not afraid of getting into trouble.

Q. Your novels always had a strong flavor of realism.  Was Mayor Yin a real person?
A. His real name is Lei.  Mayor Lei.  I didn't know him.  A friend who was sent to the countryside in Shaanxi told me about the story.

Q. Did Mayor Yin meet a tragic end?
A. The most shocking part that I learned was the Mayor Yin was still yelling out "Long live Chairman Mao" and "Long live the Communist Party" right before his death.  I don't know whether he was being ironic or he genuinely think that he was wrongfully accused.  I don't know what it was.  But it was more meaningful if he was being ironic.

Q1.  The Taipei District Court approved the detention under isolation of former president Chen Shui-bian on grounds of suspected graft and the possibility of colluding with others on testimony and destruction of evidence.  Are you aware of this development?
87%: Yes
13%: No

Q2. Former president Chen Shui-bian was put in detention under isolation today.  Do you think that it was because of suspected graft? Or political persecution?
57%: Graft
15%: Political persecution
  5%: Both
23%: No opinion

By political affiliation,
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters
24%: Graft
50%: Political persecution
13%: Both
Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters
92%: Graft
  0%: Political persecution
  2%: Both
50%: Graft
13%: Political persecution
  5%: Both

Q3. Do you believe that former president Chen Shui-bian is innocent and free of corruption?
13%: Believe innocent
63%: Believe not innocent
24%: No opinion

By political affiliation,
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters
39%: Believe innocent
37%: Believe not innocent
Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters
  5%: Believe innocent
91%: Believe not innocent
  9%: Believe innocent
57%: Believe not innocent

Q4. Do you believe that the huge sums of money in the accounts of former president Chen Shui-bian and his family members are meant for Taiwan independence, diplomacy and/or public interest, and not for personal enrichment?
10%: Yes
65%: No
24%: No opinion

By political affiliation,
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters
32%: Yes
42%: No
Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters
  2%: Yes
95%: No
  8%: Yes
58%: No

Now that former President Chen Shiu-bian is under detention, what will Apple Daily print? A blogger has made a predicting by using the old Apple Daily illustration and transplanting the head of Chen Shui-bian.

Well, Apple Daily said that "out of respect for the former president, it will not provide any illustration of the rectal inspection of Chen Shui-bian during the processing."  But Apple Daily also supplied a link to that blog post in its story.

Q1. The performance of President Ma Ying-jeou
  6%: Very satisfied
28%: Somewhat satisfied
22%: Somewhat dissatisfied
26%: Very dissatisfied
18%: No opinion

Q2. Overall, do you think that the meeting between the ARATS and SEF was successful?
45%: Successful
29%: Not successful
27%: No opinion

Q3. Four agreements were signed at the meeting.  Do you think that they are helpful, unhelpful or have no effect on economic development of Taiwan?
49%: Advantageous
18%: Disadvantageous
12%: No effect
21%: No opinion

Q4. President Ma Ying-jeou met ARATS chairman Chen Yun-lin in a Taipei hotel.  Are you satisfied with President Ying-jeou's performance during the meeting?
  5%: Very satisfied
30%: Somewhat satisfied
19%: Somewhat dissatisfied
22%: Very dissatisfied
23%: No opinion

Q5. Did you think that Taiwan was belittled by the visit of ARATS chairman Chen Yun-lin?
42%: Yes
48%: No
11%: No opinion

Q6. ARATS chairman Chen Yun-lin came for meetings in Taiwan and signed cross-strait agreements.  Did you think that President Ma Ying-jeou sold out the interests of Taiwan?
23%: Yes
60%: No
17%: No opinion

Q7. Some people say that the Ma Ying-jeou administration leans towards mainland China.  Do you agree?
42%: Agree
47%: Disagree
11%: No opinion

Q8. Do you support the protest actions by the Democratic Progressive Party during Chen Yun-lin's visit in Taiwan?
23%: Support
65%: Do not support
11%: No opinion

Q9. Do you approve of Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen's job performance during the protests against Chen Yun-lin?
  7%: Very satisfied
13%: Somewhat satisfied
22%: Somewhat dissatisfied
42%: Very dissatisfied
16%: No opinion

Q10. Do you support the protest sit-ins by the university students at Freedom Plaza?
38%: Support
50%: Do not support
11%: No opinion

Q11.  Do you know what the university students are demanding through their protests?
63%: Know
37%: Don't know

Q12. The university students are asking for an amendment to the parade and assembly law, such that an application is sufficient without requiring police approval.  Do you agree?
29%: Agree
59%: Disagree
13%: No opinion

Q13. Based upon the current conditions, do you think our relationship with mainland China is hostile?  Or friendly?
32%: Hostile
46%: Friendly
  3%: Neither hostile nor friendly
  2%: Both hostile and friendly
16%: No opinion
[In March 2006, 47% thought it as hostile and 29% thought it was friendly]

A photo taken by a United Daily News photographer of a female student demonstrator being physically removed by the police on November 8 became the subject of Internet discussion.

According to netizens, this student has a "face that is of movie star quality," "she looked classy even as she was being hauled off," "she looked like as if she was posing in a photography studio."  This led to a search for her identity.  Some people are guessing that she is from either the National Taiwan University or  the National Chengchi University. Others speculate that she may even be a student, but is a university tutor or an outside supporter.  They all give him full marks for her pose, look, posture and composure.


A 79-year-old Taiwan man set himself on fire on Tuesday near a week-old anti-government protest but the reason for his action and his condition were not immediately known, the capital's fire department said.

The man, Liu Bo-yan of central Taiwan, poured fuel on himself and then set himself alight. Firefighters found him alive and sent him to a hospital for treatment, a department official said.

Fire investigators are examining the incident near the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Plaza in downtown Taipei, where a group of students have been staging anti-government demonstrations for the last six days.

A United Evening News photograph showed him on the ground with flames rising a metre above his body, except for his lower legs, as a bystander poured water on him from a bottle.

(Apple Daily)


The detention hearing for former President Chen Shui-bian was being held at the Taipei District Court.  At the hearing, Chen claimed that he was assaulted by court police on his way from the Special Investigation Panel to the Taipei District Court.  This charge was treated seriously by the panel of judges.  Late in the evening, Chen was taken to the Taiwan National University Hospital for a medical examination along with the three judges.  Meanwhile, the prosecutors are asking the media to provide their films as well as obtaining any closed-circuit monitoring tapes."



Apparently, the assault was caught right on television film.  First, Chen Shui-bian raised his cuffed hands straight up into the air.  A court police officer next to him used his right hand to hold Chen's raised right hand.  In the next second, another court police officer emerged from behind Chen's back to hold up the armpit of Chen.  At the same moment, a third court police officer held Chen from the other side.  As Chen yelled out his portests, a fourth hand pressed down on Chen's hand and asked him to enter the car.  Finally, a fifth hand pointed the direction of the car to Chen.

Dear elders, compatriots and members of the press, good morning to you all.  Today, I found it funny that it was necessarily to trouble so many people just for the appearance of myself in court for the special investigative unit.  The recent Chen Yun-lin affair shows that the voices of the people of Taiwan can never be kept away by anti-riot police or police barriers.

Everybody knows that I, Chen Shui-bian, am the designated war criminal of the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.  I am also the largest rock on the way to unification for the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.  This time, Chen Yun-lin was very displeased in Taiwan, and he got even angrier when he returned to Beijing.  Therefore, Ma Ying-jeou has to appease China by joining hands with the Communist Party to arrest Ah Bian.  I have to be sacrificed to appease the angry senior officials in China and Zhongnanhai.

Ah Bian is very honored and also very proud to play this role.  Today, I am going in.  I am going into the Bastille Prison of Taiwan.  I was there 22 years ago.  They may be able to keep my body inside there, but they will not be able to lock up my heart.  The heart of Ah Bian will forever stand with the 23 million people of Taiwan.

No matter how strong the Bastille Prison may be, it will be overrun some day.  Democracy, freedom and independent sovereignty of Taiwan cannot be imprisoned in the Bastille Prison.  They will blossom and bear fruits.  Ah Bian appeals to everybody.  I will not be imprisoned for nothing.  I will spend my limited years and life in there to continue the struggle with everybody.

Our eternal goal will be "Taiwan and China, one nation on each side."  We will make Taiwan head towards a new and independent nation.  This is our never changing belief.  We will succeed with certainly.  Finally, I want to give encouragement to everybody.  Go, Taiwan!  Long live the people of Taiwan!  Long live Taiwan democracy!  Long live Taiwan independence!  Thank you, everybody.  See you again!


(Apple Daily)

Former president Chen Shui-bian was interrogated for more than 6 hours, after which he was placed under arrest.  On his way out, he raised his hand-cuffed hands and cried out to the media: "The judiciary is unjust!  Political persecution!  Go, Taiwan!"


Dongguan does not seem to have ever received as much national attention as now.  Ever since the global financial tsunami began, the closing of a toy factory and a shoe factory brought Dongguan to the forefront of the economic downturn, in spite of the lack of sufficient evidence.

Yesterday at around 4pm, the netizen named "My name is Liangshan Uncle" posted a 15,000-word essay <Dongguan: The global factory in the eye of the storm> onto the top of the front page of Tianya forum.  In a flash, that post drew more than 200,000 page views and more than 800 comments.  "My name is Liangshan Uncle" used his familiarity with the economic environment of Dongguan to present a neutral view.  He believed that there are statistical problems with the official estimate of the number of closed factories.  However, he also believes that the present crisis has not affected the foundation of industry in Dongguan, unless the electronics businesses and Taiwan capital businesses become shaky as well.

"On the day before yesterday, I went back to my hometown.  My mother told me that they were talking about Dongguan every day on television.  They said that many companies have closed down and the people are leaving.  She asked me what I might do."  The netizen "My name is Liangshan Uncle" wrote.  That kind of attention motivated him to write that long essay.

Concerning the number of closed companies, he believes that the official estimate of the number of companies that have "ceased operations" is based upon the registry at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  Many companies that were closed did not proceed to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to register their new status.  They had simply 'evaporated.'  There are also a number of illegal factories that were never registered.  Therefore, the official number will be different from what citizens are guessing to be.

He also believes that the present crisis is a process of natural selection in which the bad companies are being limited.  However, public opinion often tends to inflate the significance of the global environment while de-emphasizing the nature of the companies themselves.  "My assessment on Dongguan is that the failure of these companies do not affect the industrial foundation of Dongguan.  The only way to truly hurt Dongguan is when the electronic factories and the Taiwan capital companies are shaken up as well."

He offered six ways for Dongguan to live through this winter: (1) reduce government expenditure; (2) reduce various corporate taxes and levies; (3) provide direct and quick credit through the commercial banks and credit unions; (4) rapidly solve the practical problems faced by small and medium enterprises; (5) pay attention to the systematic problems within the industrial groups; (6) enhance the ability of corporations to work together so that they can help each other to live through this winter.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

Yesterday at around 10pm, the reporter went to Tianya forum again.  The essay <Dongguan: The global factory in the eye of the storm> was still at the top of the front page.  But when the reporter clicked on the page, the message was: "Sorry, the page that you want to visit does not exist.  The page may have been deleted, renamed or temporarily out of use."

Did Tianya delete the page, or did the author delete the page?

Even in the record of posts made by "My Name is Liangshan Uncle," this post does not appear.  The reporter contacted "My Name is Liangshan Uncle."  He was surprised.  "I wouldn't know if you didn't tell me."  He said that he did not delete the post, and he cannot imagine why it would be deleted.

Could it be that Tianya deleted that post?  The four administrators, the intern and the specially invited administrator were all not online.  So the reporter called Tianya's editor-in-chie Xiao Hei.  He was dumbfounded: "We did not delete it!  We are going to investigate this matter.  The essay was pushed to the top of the front page by us.  So why would we delete it?  Even if we want to deal with it, we would have first removed it from the front page.  We could not just directly delete the post itself."