Translation: During the interrogation of the defendant named Gao of a Chongqing spinning/weaving company, Gao said something surprising. This illegal company had once advertised on CCTV. Gao had given 1,000,000 yuan to Chai Jing as a betrothal present so that she could use her connections to get the advertisement onto CCTV. At first, the prosecutor did not believe him. Astonishingly Gao produced the contract between himself and Chai Jing.
After the prosecutor obtained the evidence, the CCTV director was immediately notified. The CCTV director was upset but he did not know what was going on. So he summoned Chai Jing, who had been gathering news outside, to return. The procuratorate took her away at 12:37pm today for interrogation.
[ESWN Comment: This was a poorly fabricated rumor on a slow news days. Here are some of the problems:
- The original Chinese post contained numerous grammatical mistakes, so that it could not have come from any proper outlet. For example, the bribe is referred to as a "betrothal present."
- The information is not sourced (e.g. the Chongqing city procuratorate, the Chongqing city government information office, etc).
- It is common to hear about illegal coal mines, illegal brothels, illegal drug companies, and the like. Who has heard of an illegal spinning/weaving factory? Local governments couldn't welcome you fast enough if you want to start a spinning/weaving factory because there is nothing shady or controversial about it. Given the state of the anti-corruption campaign in Chongqing at this time, there is no reason to not name Gao in full or the name of the illegal spinning/weaving factory.
- Let say that you taking a bribe -- would you draw up and sign a contract with the briber? Conversely, you are offering a bribe -- would you draw up and sign a contract with the recipient?
- Why would an illegal spinning/weaving factory in Chongqing need to spend millions of yuan to advertise on the national television network CCTV? You advertise will on CCTV if you want a mass national audience. A fabric manufacturer is also likely to be a B2B (business-to-business) business and not a B2C (business-to-consumer).
- There are standard procedures for getting your advertisements aired on television. It is not enough to pay. You are required to be a legal entity (and therefore no unregistered spinning/weaving company) and you are required to have a legal product (e.g. clothing fabric that is not poisonous, flammable, etc). If you don't pass these criteria, no amount of money will get you on air because the television station may bear legal responsibility for not having conducted due diligence and harming the public as a result. If you pass these criteria and you have the cash, you don't need a news program hostess to introduce you to the CCTV ad sales department. You can pick up the telephone and call them yourself, and they will be very glad to take your money.
- When someone is suspected of having committed a crime, he/she is usually detained by the police and not the prosecutor. After the police gathered the evidence, they may request the person be formally arrested. Then the police will refer the case to the procuratorate for prosecution. It is not normal for the procuratorate to take charge of the case in the first instance.
- Finally, why does Chai Jing have to suffer the annoyance from the rumor? People are calling her up from everywhere. They should have read the the post clearly, analyzed it and then they could have spared themselves and her the annoyance.]
Yesterday afternoon, our reporter went to the Guozhan branch of Carrefour. In the kitchen utensils on the second floor, he could not find any kitchen knives. Furthermore, he could not even find any fruit knives, scissor knives or any other kind of knife. A store worker said that with National Day approaching, they have received orders from above not to sell kitchen knives and the like around October 1st. At the Wangjing brach of Carrefour, kitchens knives were also taken off the shelf and the same response was given about no knife saves around National Day.
At the Zhichunlu branch of Wal-Mart, kitchen knife sales have also stopped. A supermarket manager on duty said that they received company orders from above that kitchen knives will be temporarily taken down from the shelves around National Day for security reasons. If one wants to buy kitchen knives and other kinds of knife, one can go to smaller hardware stores or markets.
The reporter called the Meilianmedia Supermarket and a worker there said that they are still selling kitchen knives because they have not received any instructions to take them down.
[ESWN Comment: This report is credible for the following reasons:
- Beijing News is a reputable mainstream media outlet. If this report should turn out to be untrue in any way, there will be grave consequences for many people there.
- The report spelled out the exact locals and stores that were checked, which makes them easily verifiable.]
(Apple Daily; video included)
In the Sau Mau Ping district of Hong Kong yesterday afternoon, a 40-year-old woman stepped out onto the ledge of her sixth-floor apartment and made as if to leap out. Her 64-year-old mother called the police. When the firemen arrived, the woman climbed up the water pipes to the eleventh floor. Three firemen took positions to her left, right and above to encircle her.
There was a stalemate of about one hour, after which the woman began to get agitated. When she saw the firemen climbing out from the windows, she cursed them out and climbed down to the 10th floor. The three firemen lowered themselves by rope to follow her. They grabbed her and then came a wrestling match. The woman tried to kick one fireman. One fireman grabbed her from the rear and put an bear bug around her. Another fireman grabbed her foot. The third fireman tried to control her upper body. All the while, the woman struggled.
Then the controversial part began. One fireman suddenly punched the woman hard in the head. Then the three tried to pull her inside the apartment, but they did not succeed immediately. 20 seconds later, another fireman landed a hard blow on the head of the woman, then one punch on the waist, and then another blow on the head. They tried to pull her in again but did not succeed. The fireman on the right then hit the woman five times in a row. In total, the woman was punched ten times. After three more minutes of wrestling, the woman was pulled inside and taken to the hospital. She is said to be in critical condition. It is not clear her condition was determined by the depression that she has been suffering from for the past two years or the physical battle yesterday afternoon.
(China Youth Daily) September 17, 2009.
At the "Building Scientific Morality Forum" of the annual meeting of the China Science Association, Chinese Academy of Engineering vide-dean Du Xiangwan enumerated 13 types of unethical academic behaviors, including: plagiarized articles; using connections to obtain projects and funding; faked c.v.'s; faked prizes and awards; faked SCI citation data; etc.
Academician Du Xiangwan thought it was necessary to establish standards for evaluating science and correcting the tendency towards emphasizing quantity over quality. "I have written only one essay in my life, about 5,000 words long. Right now, this would count only as an article. Based upon the current standards for degree requirement, it may not even earn a masters' degree. This should cause us to reflect on how we deal with quantity versus quality." (original quote: “我一生就写了一篇文章，只有5000字，现在只能算一篇论文，按照现在的学位标准可能连硕士学位都得不到。这就启发我们反思，对定量和定性的评价该如何掌握。”)
Is it possible that Academician Du Xiangwan only wrote one essay in his entire career? How could he have risen to become an Academician (and vice-dean of the Academy of Engineering)?
It turns out that Du Xiangwan was misquoted. His original words were: "Laozi wrote only one essay in his life, about 5,000 words long. Right now, this would count only as an article. Based upon the current standards for degree requirement, it may not even earn a masters' degree. This should cause use to reflect on how we deal with quantity versus quality." “老子一生就写了一篇文章，只有5000字，现在只能算一篇论文，按照现在的学位标准可能连硕士学位都得不到。这就启发我们反思，对定量和定性的评价该如何掌握。”
The term Laozi (老子) (also Lao Tse) may refer to the ancient Chinese sage Laozi who wrote the book titled The Book of the Way and its Virtue (Tao Te Ching). That was who Du Xiangwan was talking about. In modern colloquial Chinese, Laozi (老子) refers to "I" or "me."(我) In this China Youth Daily essay, the reporter thought that Du Xiangwan was talking about himself while using the colloquial term Laozi. In writing the essay, this was changed to the more formal wo (我). This was a complete misunderstanding.
Here is an example of how Laozi is used in contemporary China.
(Xinhua) August 16, 2009.
At midnight on July 31, 2009, Teacher Pu and his family were asleep. Suddenly someone knocked on the day. Teacher Pu's youngest son looked through the peephole on the door and saw a man looking around. He was scared and he asked: "Who are you?" The man hollered: "Open the door for Laozi! I am the new town party secretary Luo." When Teacher Pu's youngest son opened the door, the man barged in. But the two sons of Teacher Pu expelled him from the home. At the time, they thought that the man reeked of alcohol. As the man was being pushed out, he threatened: "Do you know who Laozi is? I am the new town party secretary Luo. Over here, the only thing that counts is whatever Laozi says. How dare you push me out!" On the morning of August 11, this reporter interviewed secretary Luo. He said: "I was inspecting safety at the elementary school that night." The reporter asked: "You charged into a private residence in the middle of the night to inspect safety. Is that possible?" Luo said: "My working style may have been improper. The next day, I summoned the elementary school principal to my office and gave him a tongue-lashing!" (August 12, 2009, Chengdu News Net)
(China Journal (The Wall Street Journal))
Just as Beijing prepares for another weekend of street closures and security cordons to seal off city center for another big 60th anniversary parade rehearsal, tragedy struck in the heart of the capital: A stabbing spree left two dead and at least a dozen others injured.
The attack took place in Dashilan, a shopping area just south of Tiananmen Square that is popular with tourists, shortly before 7 p.m. last night. More than a dozen people were stabbed and rushed to the hospital in what appears to have been an indiscriminate attack, state-run media reported. Two people, both security guards, died at the hospital while receiving treatment, the report said.
Xinhua said that a 46-year-old man from the northeast city of Jilin, named Zhang Jianfei, was captured by police at the scene. Xinhua reports that Mr. Zhang was drunk at the time and had a history of causing disturbances while under the influence in Jilin.
Beyond that, further details are murky. While Chinese media report the stabbings as the work of one man, the South China Morning Post (subscription required) cited witnesses who said three men, armed with long knives, “began their attack outside the two busiest stores, stabbing and slashing shoppers and pedestrians,” before turning into a side street. The report said that onlookers fought back with bricks and pieces of wood and caught one of the men, while the other two assailants fled.
(Christian Science Monitor) China covers up Tiananmen knifing amid 60th anniversary security boost. By Peter Ford. September 18, 2009.
Less than two weeks from a massive celebration of China’s 60th anniversary as a Communist state, Beijing is flooded with policemen and the city is on the highest state of security alert permissible outside wartime.
But that did not stop a man going beserk with a knife yesterday evening not far from Tiananmen Square, where a huge military parade is planned for Oct. 1. He killed two people and injured 14.
So much for the massive security presence. But what is equally striking is that the public has been told practically nothing about the dramatic incident.
The state news agency Xinhua issued a terse report Thursday evening giving the man’s name, home town, and the number of his victims. On Friday it released another brief article saying he had been drunk when he went on the rampage.
No newspaper website was allowed to print anything more. Blogs and Twitter posts discussing the stabbings and adding supposed details of what happened were censored almost as soon as they went up. (The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, for example, reported that three men were wielding knives and that two escaped.)
Perhaps the authorities were embarrassed that something so dreadful could happen a few hundred yards from Tiananmen Square at a time when it was blanketed with policemen guarding preparations for a parade rehearsal due to be held throughout Friday night.
Perhaps the perpetrator had just lost his job, or suffered some other indignity that would not promote the image of harmony and peace that the government is so keen to present at the anniversary.
But perhaps, too, the massive and sudden censorship reveals something about the Chinese leadership’s idea of security – and of reality. They can’t keep people safe from an attack like this (nor can any government) but they can stop people talking about it, and it is the talking that really makes them nervous.
It is as if they think that if nobody knows what happened, it didn’t happen. But even if nobody hears a tree falling in the forest, that does not mean that it did not fall.
(Southern Metropolis Daily via New Culture News) The Beijing Killer Was Intoxicated. September 19, 2009.
Concerning the case of a man stabbing people in Dashilan, Beijing, the Beijing public security bureau has basically determined that the suspect Zhang Jianfei was in a state of intoxication when he committed the act.
According to the police, 46-year-old Zhang Jianfei comes from Jilin city, Jilin province. According to the investigation by our reporter, Zhang Jianfei used to be worker at the printing press under the Department of Education in Yongji county, Jilin province. In 1994, he applied to leave work under an arrangement whereby he kept his job position but did not receive wages. After he left, he roved around, sometimes doing business in the rural areas. According to general manager Gao of the printing press, Zhang Jianfei transferred his job to the Jinjia town Centre School, Jinlin province, several years ago.
According to a worker named Li at the Jinjia town Centre School, Zhang Jianfei has not shown up at the school for more than a year and they did not know his whereabouts. "We have looked for him many times all this time. His work relationship is here, but he has disappeared." When Zhang Jianfei quit his job back then, he tried to run a snack shop in school. "But he quit after a few days. He has not been seen since." With respect to the stabbings in Beijing, the worker said, "We have all seen the news. This is him. No question about it."
According to an informed source who knew Zhang Jiafei, "Zhang is about 1.6 meters tall. He is not tall. But he is brainy. Even though he only has a high school education, he is smart. He has a sound business mind. He seems to have gotten divorced after a few years of marriage." With respect to his weak points, "He loves to drink liquor. He is the type of person who is unhappy without alcohol. Everybody knows that."
Wu’s presentation was delayed by 80 minutes as DPP lawmakers staged a boycott of the session following his refusal to offer an apology for what they said were his “unclear accounts” of his trip and the “numerous lies” he had told when explaining it.
Flanked by DPP lawmakers holding banners that read: “Liar Yih, Apologize,” “Liar premier, how can you rule a country without honesty?” Wu skipped a large portion of his 15-page statement, polishing it off in just 10 minutes.
Wu raised his voice toward the end of his presentation as DPP lawmakers interrupted him by shouting “liar” whenever Wu talked about what he expected to achieve.
On the main street, many street peddlers are pushing their tricycles and hawking their wares. Then two uniformed municipal administrators came along and advised the street peddlers to cease and desist. Pretty soon there was a quarrel which led to physical body contact. More and more street peddlers gathered around. Reluctantly one municipal administrator called 110 to summon the police. Many police officers came over from the local police station. But the body contact quickly turned into a three-way mass brawl involving the street peddlers, the municipal administrators and the police. Then some people began to smash the surrounding shops and taking merchandise away. The police arrested those who were suspected of being engaged in "assault, vandalizing, robbery and arson."
But there is something different about this mass incident. Look at the photo. Doesn't the expression of the man on the right almost look like a big smile? And what about the shops on the street in the background? Does it look distinctly two-dimensional?
Here is the real story: yesterday morning, various districts in Guangzhou city held drill rehearsals for "emergency incidents." In particular, the citizens in Tianhe district really enjoyed watching the drills there.
Rule Britannia: Music by Sir Edward Elgar.
Jerusalem: Lyrics by William Blake and music by Sir Hubert Parry.
Land of Hope and Glory: Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1 by Sir Edward Elgar.
God Save The Queen
In September 2007, Wu Baoquan spoke from his Qingdao home to Kang Shulin who lives in Kangbashi village, Ordos city, Inner Mongolia. They chatted about certain issues that villagers have against the land requisition by the government. So Wu Baoquan made the post <XX, do you want to murder your peasant brethen?> about the problems. Soon afterwards, he was arrested by Ordos police who traveled across provinces and detained for ten days for libel. After Wu Baoquan was released, he continued to made Internet posts to support the villagers who have lost their land. In April 2008, Wu Baoquan was detained again. He was formally arrested in June, charged in August and sentenced to one year in jail in October.
Wu Baoquan filed an appeal and the case was reheard in February this year. In the absence of new evidence, the Dongsheng district People's Court increased the jail sentence from one year to two years.
Wu Baoquan appealed again but the Ordos city middle court upheld the original sentence.
This case drew a lot of social attention. The Ordos city middle court then ordered the case to be re-tried.
In July, the Dongsheng district People's Court re-tried the case. Yesterday, the verdict was delivered.
The prosecutor pointed out that Wu Baoquan libeled then Ordos city party secretary Yun Feng. Afterwards, Wu Baoquan went to Kangbashi village to act as the spokesperson for the peasants. He accepted more than 295,000 yuan in cash from the peasants. Wu used the Internet, pretended that he was a reporter, used his imagine to make up facts in order to libel others and he did all this for the money. His action has defamed the character and reputation of others as well as seriously endangered local social stability.
The court said that Wu Baoquan repeatedly published the same content to liberl and insult people. Objectively, his actions were intentional. Furthermore, Wu made up and distorted facts to libel people on the Internet, where the information traveled far, wide and quickly. At the same time, it also seriously endangered local social stability. Therefore, Wu was guity and sentenced to 18 months in jail (which was 6 months less than the previous sentence). Wu said in court that he will not make any further appeal. He is due to be released on October 28 barring any new developments.
Yesterday Wu Baoquan's elder brother attended the court hearing. He said that compared to the previous trials, this trial introduced the new element of "pretending to be a reporter" because Wu Baoquan wrote as if he were a reporter in the Internet post. As for the libel aspect, the evidence now included the statement from current Inner Mognolia Autonomous Region Political Consultative Conference vice-chairman Yun Feng who said that the posts caused his family to be suspicious of him and netizens to curse him so that he could not concentrate on his work, etc.
As for "profiteering by Wu Baoquan," a Kangbashi villager told the reporter that while Wu took more than 200,000 yuan from them, they gave it to him willingly so that he can file lawsuits to help them. When Wu Baoquan was arrested, many villagers cried and donated money for him to hire a lawyer. If Wu really swindled the villagers' money, would they be so good to him?
Background: Ordos (鄂尔多斯) Becomes Nationally Known Word
Recently a netizen made a post entitled <Young woman carries milk-drinking baby to play World of Warcraft in Internet cafe>. There are photos of a young woman who is cradling a baby while playing World of Warcraft. A bottle of milk stands on the desk. The netizen commented: What do you think when you see this scene? I was thoroughly overwhelmed. Will the expert scholars blames this sort of deplorable behavior on the Internet or World of Warcraft?
Last evening, a person who claimed to be the female in the photo made a post at a World of Warcraft forum to clarify. She claimed: "This post has been made at many forums so that even my friends are asking me whether this was me. Even people around me are re-posting it, to the point where it is causing trouble for me and my family. Therefore I have decided to clarify matters."
According to her, she was the aunt and not the mother of the baby. The reason why the baby appeared in the Internet cafe is that the mother is the manager there and the family lives in the apartment right above the Internet cafe. When they go out, they have to pass through the Internet cafe. The aunt lives nearby and comes over to look after her beloved niece periodically.
At the time when the photo was taken, the mother had a errand to run and therefore asked the aunt to look after the baby. As everybody knows, the milk bottle goes wherever the baby goes.
The post ends: "This innocent baby is living a happy life. Her grandmother looks after her, and she has a nanny. Everybody around her loves her. The father is in the military and cannot be by her side to take care of her. The mother manages the Internet cafe to earn money while taking care of baby. So she is a hard-working mother. I hope that people can understand her and appreciate how I feel."
Many netizens are sympathetic to the female prnicipal here, because she was the innocent victim of Internet violence. A netizen wrote: "The Internet poster did not try to understand the situation. Without the consent of the principal, photos were taken surreptiously and publised. This is uncivilized and unethical."
Other netizens are concerned that the already controversial enough World of Warcraft will once become the target of universal criticism.
Translation of sign:
"The militia police reminds you:
Do not respond to questions from strangers.
Be careful not to be cheated or swindled."
The sign by the Hankou railroad station caused tourist Mr. Gu to say: "I am from northeast China. When I got out at Hankou railroad station, I tried to ask for directions. I asked four persons and they each pointed at the big blue street sign and then ignored me. This sign causes outsiders to be uneasy when they read it."
According to the public transportation authorities, there have been many swindling cases around the Hankou railroad station. The sign was well-meaning in order to protect the interests of visitors from the outside.
At 11:24am on September 12, a netizen by the ID of "Love Just In Time" posted a video titled "The East Village Video" at the Xingtan section of the Xunde People BBS based in Xingtan county, Xunde city (Guangdong province). A sex video was included. At 23:49pm on September 13, the post was re-edited and the video was no longer available.
On September 14, a netizen who had downloaded the video showed it to this reporter: in the video, a female student in school uniform was sitting by the bed; a male who was naked on the upper body appeared and expertly removed the clothing on the female; they had sexual intercourse ... during the process, the male adjusted the angle of the camera many times. Close-ups were also taken of the sexual organ of the female. The female was cooperative and not displaying any shyness. The duration of the video was 6:33. The dialogue on the video have the Xunde accent.
As soon as the post appeared, the Xingtan BBS forum reached unprecedented popularity. Within two days, the original post drew 124 pages of comments. Those who have not seen the video begged for others to share. Information about the male and female principals were disclosed by those who have seen the video.
According to netizens, the male and female principals are both from East Village, Xingtan county, Xunde city. The two attended Xingluan Middle School together. The male is named Huang. He is the son of a teacher at the Xingtan East Village Elementary School and lives right across the East Village Elementary School. He is not in school at this time. The female has just entered first year in senior high school.
A female who claims to be a classmate of the female in the video said: "The girl is majoring in tourism industry at school. The male is not a good character. His father is physically handicapped and the mother teaches at the East Village Elementary School. They are aware of what their son has done. The male and the female are not lovers. The female comes from a poor family and agreed to have sexual intercourse with the male while being filmed for the sum of 400 yuan."
Perplexingly, the female knew that the video is being disseminated but is still attending school as usual without caring. Supposedly the video had been taken with a DV camera some time ago. The male then stored the film on his computer and sent a copy to a fellow student who disseminated it. The video then showed up in school and Internet forums until it became an Internet storm. The male and the female did not intend to distribute the video widely.
Since all Xunde city schools have the same style of school uniforms and the female was not wearing any school emblem, it was hard to identify the school. According to Xinde People BBS administrator A-Jie, it cannot be established that "Love Just In Time" was the first netizen to post the video. After the post was made, many leaders at the Xinglian Middle School called the Xinde People BBS to say that "the female student did not come from their school. Since this affair is having such a huge impact, the female student may become suicidal. So therefore you should make the appropriate technical adjustment." A-Jie said that as long as the netizens did not post any pornographic photos/videos and not make extreme statements, the BBS supports rational discussion by netizens. The video has now been deleted by the poster himself, and the BBS will monitor future developments.
... Even as we pay attention to this incident, we can attempt to switch to a different angle of thinking about it. At a certain discussion session last week, I brought up this question: How is that compared to other places, Hong Kong reporters always become the principal actors in the news? I see many young Hong Kong reporters around me whose model for imitation are those peers who became famous because of being "investigated," "beaten" or "cursed out." Should we think about how when we make these types of news reports, we might be ignoring the news itself? A Hong Kong reporter walked out of the meeting saying: "That's because you have never been beaten before!"
This Hong Kong reporter believes that I am not subject to interference in my work because I work for a media outlet that he considers to be pro-China. The ensuing logic is that I will naturally receive many privileges. In reality, a reporter will encounter interference in her work for various reasons, whether in China or any other country in the world. The interference may come from the authorities or civilians. It may take the form of physical violence, or psychological torment. This happens as soon as the work of the reporter is regarded as negatively affecting someone's interests. Not even the CCTV reporters are spared because when the incident occurs, the other party only recognizes you as a reporter. Afterwards, the matter may have different resolutions as a result of the identities of the media outlets. With respect to those outcomes, the Hong Kong reporters are luckier than the mainland media which work under restrictions.
The reason why I bring up this problem is that I have been thinking about this problem: when the reporter becomes the principal character in the news, the reader often ignores the news itself. The various hardships encountered by reporters, including paying with their lives, are the risks associated with their profession. Is that sufficient to turn these into the news itself and use their right to speech to seek justice for the media. Is this fair to the other characters in the news, or even the readers?
At the same discussion session, another Hong Kong reporter offered an example about the role of reporters in western news reports. He said that during the Olympics last year, CNN aired a news story which showed reporters being blocked by umbrellas during their news gathering at Tiananmen Square.
But the reporters were still not the principal characters in that news story. They are just part of the news and they serve to explain the main theme of the news report: during the Olympics, security was extremely tight. The headlines in Hong Kong media over the past several days have not been wrong, because they make the public realize how difficult it is for reporters to gather information. But would it serve the public interest even more by reflecting on whether this ignores the news that people should care more about (such as the situation in Urumqi, and the civilian casualties and the consequences after the armed police dispersed the crowd).
This is a question that is open for discussion. But it was unfortunate that the Hong Kong reporter walked out because of his anger and sense of justice and rejected the possibility of dialogue. If we don't want to hold discussions or dialogues, if we don't want to switch positions and see other people's views and if we insist on adhering only to our own ideas, there cannot be change or progress.
The article has got the rights and wrongs reversed. It is not that the reporters are not reporting the confrontation between the armed police and the citizens. The armed police are interfering with their news gathering activities. Imagine that if the armed police did not interfere and the reporters gathered the news in a normal fashion, we would not be seeing a news report on the armed police beating the reporters but the news from the scene.
The reporters did not want to manufacture news. They were violently interfered with during their news gathering. For the public, isn't the armed police violently beating reporters important news? Isn't this something that the public cares about?
The Hong Kong reporters are not showing themselves off for being "investigated, beaten or cursed out." Is it fun to be searched by the police for concealing drugs and prevented from working? Is it enjoyment to be beaten and forced to kneel down? The fact is that the armed police broke the law knowingly and victimized the reporters. While they are being abused and assaulted, how shall they "switch positions to think"? Should they file no reports in order to avoid becoming the principal characters in the news? Should they suppress the brutal methods of the armed police "because it does not meet the public interest"?
This is very peculiar logic. The author is too clever with "switching positions to think." The natural duty of the reporter is to report the news and to adhere to the thinking from their positions. If they switch back and forth, they are just going to be news lobbyists.
In the series of mass incidents in recent years, the logic of the narrative was almost always about a weak and vulnerable group of people fighting back against a powerful group. But at the same time, it also showed that this logic cannot encompass the full complexity of things.
According to a reporter who went to gather news on the case of Deng Yuqiao in Badong, he had gone there with the image of a strong-willed girl fighting the powers-that-be but instead he obtained a lot of intriguing information: before his retirement, Deng Yuqiao's grandfather was the chief judge in the Badong county court; she has relatives working in the Yichang judiciary system; her mother was a cook at the Yesanguan town police station for three years. Meanwhile, the three male principals including the late Deng Dagui all had farming background. The elder brother of Deng Dagui is a farmer; his elder and young sisters are small merchants. The reporter observed from the "cracks in the rocks and the mud-brick walls" of their house that the family of Deng Dagui was just as poor as their neighbors.
Is it always reliable to dichotomize the world into the strong and the weak solely on the grounds that they are "officials" and "civilians"?
Usually in the media reports, the ramshackle house of the principals are shown together with their looks of helplessness. But just because they are undeniably weak and vulnerable, does that mean that their cause if undeniably just?
I have gone through a case of personal assault among adolescents in the rural area. A young man had a dispute with someone, grabbed a knife and killed the other party. The case was clear-cut and eyewitnesses saw the entire incident. Both sides came from plain families without special backgrounds. But the family of the deceased said that the judicial process was unfair "because the other family had people working in the court." From the way that they talk, they clearly communicated the wish to obtain higher compensation. Meanwhile, the family of the perpetrator kept saying that "the other family had people working in the public security bureau." Therefore, they questioned the fairness of the justice system. Thus, it has become a subconscious game to raise doubts about the fairness of the judicial system. I have also witnessed a case in which a middle-aged female farmer who refused to be relocated sat down on the ground and cried loudly in front of the television camera. But as soon as the camera crew left, the teardrops stopped instantly.
Before the increasing complexity, the natural assumption that the weak and vulnerable group are being victimized is getting somewhat feeble. It may affect our ability to grasp reality fully. At the same time, this is also a slight against these people. Just like any other group, they come in various faces and spirits. They will naturally use every possible means to join the game and fight for their own interests. These methods are often automatically labeled to represent justice by the media, urban elite and netizens.
The game is neutral. To use a psychological frame of mind with pre-established values to read the game is like wearing colored lens. Of course, the premise on everything is that any power that brings disgrace to the legal system cannot be forgiven under any circumstance.
(Taipei Times) Su shows 'proof' of Wu's itinerary in Hong Kong. By Shih Hsiu-chuan. September 16, 2009.
The Cabinet yesterday showed an invitation letter from Leung Chun-ying, a Beijing-favored candidate for Hong Kong’s next chief executive, to support its statement that Premier Wu Den-yih had visited the territory on Sept. 5 to learn about mudslide prevention. “We have made the letter public,” Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin told a press conference. “Now those who have accused [Wu] of going to Hong Kong to ask [Chinese authorities] for instructions, please show proof.” In the letter addressed to “Secretary-General Wu,” referring to Wu’s position then in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Leung said he would wait respectfully for Wu and his family at 12:30pm and brief Wu about mountain protection. The letter was dated Sept. 4.
Wu has said President Ma Ying-jeou asked whether he would be interested in assuming the premiership on Sept. 3 and Sept 4. Wu left for Hong Kong on Sept. 5 and returned the next afternoon. The Presidential Office announced on Sept. 7 that Ma had appointed Wu as the new premier. Wu was sworn into office on Sept. 10. Wu’s short trip to Hong Kong right after Ma asked him about the premiership drew the suspicion of the Democratic Progressive Party, which accused Wu of discussing his premiership plans with China via Leung.
Su also presented another letter that Leung sent Wu on Aug. 20 in which Leung expressed his thanks for meeting Wu when he was in Taiwan on Aug. 14 and his hope that Taiwan’s post-disaster reconstruction work would proceed smoothly. Another document presented by Su showed that Jeff Yang, Taiwan’s representative to Hong Kong, helped fixed the date and time for the meeting between Leung and Wu last month. Leung had been invited to deliver a speech by the Lung Yingtai Cultural Foundation.
Su dismissed reports whether Leung was an expert on mudslide prevention, saying Hong Kong had set up its mudslide warning system in 1972. “Although Taiwan has its own system, there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, which was why an exchange of ideas is necessary. Premier Wu had referred [what he had learned in Hong Kong] to the Council of Agriculture for reference,” Su said.
Apple Daily contacted the Civil Engineering and Development Department of the Hong Kong SAR government and received a written statement: "Civil Engineering and Development Department officials have not met with Mister Wu Den-yih recently, and it had not received a request from Mister Wu Den-yih to state his wish for a meeting."
Why did Wu Den-yih want to meet with Leung Chun-ying? There are some who think that Wu Den-yih and his people thought that the Hong Kong SAR Executive Council is equivalent to the Taiwan Executive Yuan. As the convenor of the Hong Kong SAR Executive Council, Leung Chun-ying must therefore have the corresponding position as Premier Wu Den-yih. But, in truth, the two bodies are vastly different in terms of administrative powers.
Here are the descriptons for the two executive bodies:
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Executive Council:
Under the Basic Law, the Executive Council is an organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy-making. The Executive Council normally meets once a week. The Chief Executive presides over its meetings. Except for the appointment, removal and disciplining of officials and the adoption of measures in emergencies, the Chief Executive shall consult the Executive Council before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the Legislative Council, making subordinate legislation, or dissolving the Legislative Council ...
Article 55 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Chief Executive shall appoint members of the Executive Council from among the principal officials of the executive authorities, members of the Legislative Council and public figures. At present, the membership of the Executive Council comprises the 15 Principal Officials appointed under the Accountability System and 14 non-officials. Members' appointment or removal is decided by the Chief Executive.
Republic of China Executive Yuan:
The Executive Yuan is the highest administrative organ of the Republic of China (ROC). Its functions and obligations are stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of China and the Organizational Act of the Executive Yuan. The Executive Yuan has a president (usually referred to as the premier of the ROC); a vice president (vice premier); a number of ministers and chairpersons of commissions; and several ministers without portfolio. The premier is appointed by the president of the Republic. The vice premier, ministers, and chairpersons are also appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier.
There are currently 8 ministries and 31 ministerial-level organizations under the Executive Yuan, including the Ministry of the Interior; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of National Defense; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Economic Affairs; Ministry of Transportation and Communications; Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission; and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission. Also under its charge are the Central Bank of the Republic of China（Taiwan）; Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics; Central Personnel Administration; Government Information Office; Department of Health; Environmental Protection Administration; and Coast Guard Administration. In addition to the aforementioned administrative agencies, the Executive Yuan also oversees the National Palace Museum; Mainland Affairs Council; Council for Economic Planning and Development; Veterans Affairs Commission; National Youth Commission; Atomic Energy Council; National Science Council; Research, Development and Evaluation Commission; Coordination Council for North American Affairs; Council of Agriculture; Council for Cultural Affairs; Council of Labor Affairs; Fair Trade Commission; Consumer Protection Commission; Public Construction Commission; Council of Indigenous Peoples; Sports Affairs Council; Council for Hakka Affairs; Financial Supervisory Commission; Central Election Commission; Aviation Safety Council; and National Communications Commission.
(Cable TV News)
Exco convenor to press issue of Xinjiang beatings. September 14, 2009.
Angered by the Xinjiang authorities' remarks, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Foreign Correspondents' Club called a march yesterday to protest. "Respect truth, respect reporters, reporting the news is no crime," the crowd, all wearing black, chanted as they marched to Beijing's representative office in Western district.
They marched once around the central government's liaison office and rallied outside the building before taping petition letters and banners and tying red ribbons to the main gate. The protesters included pro-democracy lawmakers and journalism students.
The organisers said about 700 people turned out, while the police estimate was 650. It was the biggest rally by the local media since 2003, when 1,000 journalists protested against the proposed national security law.
The chairman of the journalists' association, Mak Yin-ting, said she was encouraged by the turnout. "Press freedom is not for journalists only - it is all about Hong Kong people. I am very encouraged to see so many people come out to show their support for us reporters."
A spokesman for the liaison office could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, May Chan Suk-mei, of the News Executives' Association, said it had written to the liaison office and asked it to look into the issue. She said she felt the mainland authorities had tightened their grip on the press.
Allegations against reporters draw protest. September 14, 2009.
Hundreds of journalists and supporters staged a protest in Hong Kong Sunday to counter allegations by Urumqi police that the three reporters detained and abused while covering riots had incited unrest and refused to cooperate with security personnel.
The protest followed an official response by Hou Hanmin, a media official in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, who told reporters Tuesday she regretted the alleged beating of three Hong Kong journalists in Urumqi, but noted that they violated local regulations of refusing to work with security staff, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
Approximately 700 protesters, mostly journalists, students and residents wore black and gathered outside the Western District Police Station, and then marched to the front door of the Liaison Office of the central government.
The protest nearly turned problematic. "The situation was chaotic when the liaison office staff tried to stop the protesters. The crowd disbanded after the office staff gave up taking any action," said the report.
Three Hong Kong TV journalists covering the protest were apparently kicked, punched, shoved to the ground and then handcuffed by police and detained for about half an hour. However, Hou said security personnel "repeatedly asked them to leave but failed, under which circumstances, they detained the three of them." She criticized media for making "irresponsible remarks" after the incident and said local authorities would maintain a media openness policy that has been in place after the July 5 riots. Hou said journalists must abide by relevant laws and regulators, and refrain from doing anything that goes against their identity of being journalists.
(Apple Daily) The Center for Communication Research, School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong interviewed 620 random citizens age 18 or over by telephone.
Do you believe that the Hong Kong reporters broke regulations and incited disturbance?
Do you believe that the Hong Kong reporters had valid press permits and were engaged in normal news gathering activities?
Do you believe that the reporters are professionally qualified?
Do you believe that Hong Kong reporters have lesser freedom to gather news on the mainland?
Do you believe that this incident will have a negative impact on the international image of China?
Do you think that this incident will cause the Hong Kong citizens to have less confidence in the Chinese government?
On the evening of September 10, the Lonely Gate affair unfolded at the first floor of the men's dormitory at Nanjing University. At 10:45pm, male student A was defeated repeatedly by the same tactic in an online game. He broke down mentally and ran screaming out of his room without any clothes on. He yelled that he was going to jump out of the building and kill himself. When other dormitory denizens heard that there was a nude runner, they came out to watch. Student A tried to climb on the roof, but his roommates held him back while telling him that he still has many things left unaccomplished in his life. Indeed, student A suddenly remembered that he had never professed his feelings to the guidance counselor whom he had admired for a long time. So he charged out of the dormitory building.
It happened that the university was testing its broadcasting system in the area between Dormitory 1 and Dormitory 3, and the recording happened to be a declaration from the military training instructor to the guidance counselor whom student A admired. Student A was filled with sorrow and anger when he heard that, and he began to scream and yell downstairs.
Meanwhile, another male student trying to declare to another female guidance counselor on the corridor of Dormitory 3. When he saw a naked man screaming at Dormitory 3, he thought that could be the boyfriend of his object of desire. So he cursed back. Student A and his roommates cursed back in retaliation. Soon all the students in Dormitories 1 and 3 were out in force cursing at each other. A large number of people gathered in the space between the two dormitories.
At around this time, some new students heard the commotion and thought that this was a military training emergency assembly call. So they rushed out of their dormitory rooms immediately. The crowd spotted these people who were dashing out partially naked. Then someone else yelled: "The Type A flu patients are trying to break quarantine!" The whole school then fell into chaos. Some students pointed out tragically that Type A flu has spread beyond control and now the entire university will be locked down! This rumor was quickly spread around and the school district fell into disarray. The members of the Lonely Gang declared that they will set fire to the school if there should be a lockdown. So now the arson rumors took currency, and the disturbance escalated ...
[ESWN Comment: This is the translation of the post. You decide whether this is true or not. I lean towards a parody.]
(South China Morning Post) Man charged over threats to Nina Wang case judge. By Clifford Lo. September 13, 2009.
Police have charged a man with criminal intimidation over a letter sent to the judge hearing the court battle for the estate of late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum. He will appear in Eastern Court tomorrow.
The man, 48, was arrested when officers from the commercial crime bureau raided his flat in Cheung Sha Wan at noon on Friday.
The letter - addressed to Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon and sent last month - contained statements that reminded the judge to pay attention to his personal safety. Although the letter was signed "Chan Chun Chuen", police said yesterday that the surname of the arrested man was Hung.
Officers seized some letters and envelopes during the raid on the flat. Police were investigating the motive behind the letter.
They identified the suspect and found out his home address after examining evidence such as fingerprints on the threatening letter.
How did the police solve the case and made the arrest? According to our understanding, every letter that is mailed via the Hong Kong Post Office will have a serial number for the particular post office. The police could search through the surveillance video tapes. Furthermore, the police may take the fingerprints from the letter itself and match against those of the relevant persons.
When the commercial crime bureau got the case, they spend one month in analyzing the information and intelligence, as well as following suspects. They finally found a middle-aged man who was involved in the case. When the commercial crime bureau detectives thought that the moment was ripe, they went to the target apartment in Cheung Sha Wan and arrested the man named Hung. The detectives took away a set of envelops and letter stationery from the apartment. After analyzing the stationery (compared to the letter sent to the judge), the police charged Hung with one count of criminal intimidation.
(Ta Kung Pao)
The police collected the fingerprints on the letter as evidence. They also determined the area from which the letter was mailed and narrowed down the range. They also found out the possible locations at which the stationery might be sold. Finally, they obtained important information on the day before yesterday and raided an apartment in Cheung Sha Wan where they arrested the suspect. They took away some stationery which is believed to be related to the case.
According to information, the threatening letter was faxed to the court. The letter contained only one A4 page. It was written in Chinese, addressed to the judge and signed Chan Chun Chuen. The court turned the letter over to the police. When the commercial crime bureau got the case, they examined the faxed letter first. On faxes, there is usually the telephone number of the sender. According to information, the police asked the telephone company about the sending telephone and confirmed that the letter came from a store which provided fax services. The police checked with the store and retrieved the surveillance video tapes in the neighborhood to see who had been at the store around the time when the fax was sent. The police then identified one particular individual. They believed that this individual will come back to the store to fax more documents. So the police staked out the store for many days. On the day before yesterday, the man re-appeared and the police arrested him immediately. They took him back to his apartment, where they found more letters and envelops of the same nature as the threatening letter.
From July 5 to September 3 when the syringe attacks brought unprecedented fear, the relationship between the Uighurs and the Han reached coldest point in 60 years. The Han marched in the streets to seek revenge. The Uighurs are assaulted.
Day and night the rumors about pending terror circulate in Urumqi: Uighurs are buying axes, the Han are buying wooden rods, the Han are dying from syringe attacks, Uighurs are beaten to death, armed police are assassinated. In the Xinjiang Autonomous Region People's Hospital Surgical Department, there are 14 Uihgur victims from September 3. One has died from the injuries and another one is paralyzed from the waist down. One laid in bed and contemplated the "ethnic melting pot: "Both ethnic groups have been victims."
On July 5 when the Uighurs went into the streets and rampaged, the Han citizen Zou Yuqiang's family suffered worst of all. His sister Zou Yuhui said that Zou Yuqiang, his wfie and his two elderly parents were dragged out of a car in the street and beaten to death. The four-year-old daughter Liyang was saved by a young Uighur man. In a strange twist of the plot, this young Uighur man was later arrested by the police. "Perhaps he might have participated in the assaults, lootings and robberies, but he could not bring himself to see a small child killed."
The 15-year-old son Haoyi has four fractures in his skull. The doctors said that there was little or no chance of survival. Miraculously, Haoyi regained consciousness 28 days later. "As soon as he woke up, he asked where his parents are. He cried every day. We dare not tell him the truth. We lied to him that they are still in the hospital. We promised to take him to see them as soon as he recovers." In truth, the four deceased members of the Zou family have been buried in Sichuan already. The family members tried to prepare Zou Haoyi for his third surgical operation by playing music for him every day. Each time the music stopped, Haoyi would break out in tears.
His uncle smoked a cigarette in front of the window at the hospital. "I feel very conflicted. The government has paid a lot of money in compensation. 420,000 yuan per person. But if I give you 2 million yuan, can you return the people to me? It has been two months already. Not a single murderer has been executed. Can we accept what the government has been doing? Can we not march in the streets?" On the day of July 5, neighbors saw Zou Yuqiang being beaten in the street for half an hnour. The neighbors told the Zou family that they called 110 and the police said: "We don't have enough people. If you want to save him, you do it yourself!" The uncle is still angry: "For two or three hours, where did the armed police go? Wang Lequan has to resign."
Four members of the Zou family died at the hands of Uighurs. At the funeral, the neighbors who carried the wreaths were Uighurs. "I am filled with hate, but I am also conflicted. The demonstrators marched past my home chanting that they want to beat up Uighurs. I thought about it. (Sigh) I did not join them." But he said that every time that he thought about the deceased family members, he is still so filled with hatred that he cannot fall asleep. "That day, a Uighur who attacked someone was apprehended by several dozen people who wanted to beat him to death. I stood there watching. Then someone handed me a wooden rod. I don't know why but I charged over." The wooden rod had splinters in it. As the uncle caressed the splinter wound on his palm, he kept repeating: "I am very conflicted."
Little Bian Bian (adapted by PTT netizen Frehrt from the theme song for the cartoon series Little Candy Candy):
There once was a boy named A-Bian.
When he grew up, he made money all the way to the President's office
He had many helpers
They loved each other and they betrayed each other
Over there friendship is measured in terms of money
The dumplings here are the best
It is like one big crime syndicate
Everybody loves Little Bian Bian
The days passed one after another
The years passed one after another
Soon his term expired
And he reluctantly enters Tucheng Prison
Every single partner began to turn on each other
Every single helper was prosecuted
He pushes the wheelchair and suffer the blame
Who knows where his future lies?
The people of Hong Kong are giving broad attention to the Hong Kong reporters being assaulted by armed police in Urumqi while gathering news. Not only are the media organizations making statements and launching protests but certain legislators from political party as well as society representatives are doing so too. The response grew stronger when the Xinjiang Government Information Office spokesperson charged the Hong Kong reporters with "waving their arms and legs" possibly to incite the trouble-makers.
It is not clear whether the Xinjiang authorities understand why the people of Hong Kong are reacting so forcefully. In Hong Kong, there is nothing unusual about some clashes between news-gathering reporters and law enforcement personnel in charge of maintaining public order. At worse, one side makes loud protests and the other side says "Sorry, it was a misunderstanding" and that's would be it. But now that "suspicion of incitement" has been invoked, this is now a serious manner. In the minds of Hong Kong people, "incitement" is an "crime" that cannot be easily accepted.
In Cantonese, there is a saying: "You can eat anything you want, but you cannot say anything that you want." So what is the basis for charging the Hong Kong reporters with "incitement"? What is the basis? Anyone with a brain must know that this was a fictive charge. The Hong Kong reporters are just visitors who don't know anyone there. So how can they incite trouble?
The Beijing-based TV reporter who was involved in the incident raised a question at the State Council Information Office press conference yesterday: "Since my 'incitement to make trouble' is such a serious crime, should I go back to Urumqi to turn myself in?" Ms. Jiang had to waffle her response. When the Xinjiang Information Office spokesperson accused the Hong Kong reporters of incitement, did they consider the consequences?
In retrospect, the issue of whether the reporters were beaten is no longer key. Instead, the unfounded accusation must be clarified. Otherwise, the ability and honesty of the Xinjiang authorities will not be trusted by the people of Hong Kong.
(Note: Ta Kung Pao is often regarded as a mouthpiece of the Chinese government, but even it is standing squarely on the side of the Hong Kong reporters in this case.)
Yesterday at the Hong Kong Legislative Council, legislator Leung Kwok-hung said: "Someone at the China Liaison Office told me that my file is getting thicker and thicker. Do you want to know who is leaking the stuff? Li Gang told me that my file is getting thicker and thicker and he advised me to be careful. I asked him whether I can look it up. He told me to ask Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Roderick Woo to see if I the right."
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung replied that the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data or the government will act in accordance with the law.
Leung: "If you don't believe me, you can ask Li Gang."
Lam: "I believe in what Leung Kwok-hung says. The media already know."
Afterwards, the Ming Pao reporter asked Leung under what circumstances he had met with Li Gang. Leung pointed out that this "Li Gang" does not have to be the Li Gang of the China Liaison Office, thus indirectly negating any statement about meeting with Li Gang of the China Liaison Office.
Leung explained: "This Li Gang does not have to be that Li Gang. You can choose to write any word that sounds like 'Gang' ... I never said that the China Liaison Office told me ... I am prepared to be criticized for libel ... But I hd to do this. If I did not do this, Stephen Lam would not answer my question." He emphasized that a citizen who claims that his name is Li Gang once talked to him about his file and that was not fictional.
Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho said that it is very hard to say whether Leung Kwok-hung's conduct was improper. However, it is not a good thing to lie because it affects the credibility of legislative councilors.
What do you think of the sentences for the various defendants?
Chen Shui-bian (life sentence)
15%: Too light
34%: Just right
21%: Too heavy
Wu Shu-jen (life sentence)
17%: Too light
37%: Just right
19%: Too heavy
Chen Chih-chung (30 months jail time) and wife Huang Jui-ching (20 months jail time)
34%: Too light
26%: Just right
14%: Too heavy
Former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng (20 years jail time)
8%: Too light
35%: Just right
25%: Too heavy
Q. What do you think that the sentence on former President Chen Shui-bian and First Lady Wu Shu-jen?
13%: Too light
24%: Too heavy
Q. Chen Shu-bian's son Chen Chih-chung received a sentence of two years and six months. What do you think?
40%: Too light
13%: Too heavy
Q. Do you believe that the verdicts and sentences were politically motivated?
53%: The results showed judicial independence
24%: The results showed political motives
Q. Do you think that Chen Shui-bian should be released on bail pending appeal?
48%: No, he should continue to be detained
31%: Yes, he should be out on bail
Q. Certain Democratic Progressive Party members want to stage large-scale demonstrations if Chen Shui-bian is not released on bail. Do you agree?
65%: No, these supporters should respect the judicial outcome and not get into street politics
20%: Yes, they should hold demonstrations
Q. Should the Democratic Progressive Party which emphasizes non-corruption sever its ties with Chen Shui-bian after these verdicts?
Chen Shui-bian and Wu Shu-jen were both sentenced to life terms in prison. What do you think?
58.1%: The judge did the right thing and the people are pleased
32.1%: The sentences are too heavy due to political manipulation
9.7%: Don't know/no opinion
Q1. Former President Chen Shui-bian and First Lady Wu Shu-jen were accused for graft and today the first trial at the Taipei district court found them guilty and sentenced them to life sentences. Do you think that these sentences are too severe?
21%: No opinion
Q2. Former President Chen Shui-bian has been held in detention for over two hundred days. Do you believe that Chen Shui-bian should continued to be held in detention? Or should he be bailed out?
46%: Continued detention
34%: Bailed out
21%: No opinion
Q3. Do you think the verdict against President Chen Shui-bian is a political verdict?
22%: No opinion
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