(Southern Metropolis Daily)
On the afternoon of March 27, a "news story" with the title <Rapist died after his penis snapped during an attempted rape; the raped woman was sentenced to jail> appeared at a certain website in Zhejiang province. The post said:
At 22:00 on February 31, 2009 in Luolong district, Gualin town, a young woman named Song Li had just finished her overtime work and was walking home. The public servant male named Jiang had just finished dinner (plus a few drinks) and spotted her. Jiang put his hand over Song's mouth and dragged her into the woods to rape her. But Song Li refused to cooperate. As a result of the ensuing struggle, the penis of Jiang was snapped off and he bled to death. On March 26, 2010, the Luoyang city Luolong district procuratorate pressed charges against Song Li for intentionally injuring another person. The prosecutor believed that Song's actions caused injury to another person, resulting in his death. Yesterday, the Luoyang city Luolong district court found that the woman had committed manslaughter. She was sentenced to death with a three year suspension. In addition, she had to pay 88,000 yuan in compensation to Jiang's family.
For the next two days, this story gathered hundreds of thousands of page views and tens of thousands of comments on the various major websites. At the Sina.com microblog, more than two thousand people recommended it. Even Internet media websites in Shanghai and Hong Kong published it as if it was a true news story. The first reaction of many netizens was not to question the veracity of the story, but to lambaste the court decision. They said that the woman was defending herself properly and the court decision was completely wrong.
However, some netizens did question the veracity of the "news story." They offered two key points to show that this was a hoax. First, the incident was said to have occurred on February 31. There is no such day in the calendar. Secondly, this was a variation on an earlier case being reported by the media to have occurred in Luolong district, Luoyang city.
According to the Henan Commercial Press on March 25, the Luolong district People's Court made a decision on March 24 about the young man Cao Tian who chased a thief who fell to his death. Cao was found to be guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in jail (with a three year suspended sentence). This case was controversial.
If you go back to re-read that story, you will find that the writing style and even specific words were almost identical to this latest story. Only certain details were changed, as in "A man in Luoyang city (Henan province) was chasing after a thief, who died after his car tipped over. On March 23, the Luolong district court ruled that the man caused death by negligence and sentenced him to a death sentence with a three year suspension. In addition, he had to pay the family of the victim 25,000 yuan in economic loss."
At 17:10 on March 29, the Luolong district court and procuratorate issued a joint statement: "The case of the woman named Song being raped does not exist. The Luolong district procuratorate and the court have never taken on such a case. This story was fabricated by people with ulterior motives to malign and libel the reputation of the Luolong district court/procuratorate. We have reported the matter to the public security bureau to ask them to hold the responsible person(s) accountable under the law."
(Southern Metropolis Daily) March 25, 2010.
On March 22, the media reported that "a man in Yibin city, Sichuan province was fined 3,000 yuan for viewing pornographic photos at home." This incident caused a huge storm on the Internet as netizens were almost completely one-sided against this police action.
But over the next couple of days, there was little or no development in the case itself. On one hand, the Nanxi Public Security Bureau's Internet Supervisory Department did not comment on all the criticisms against them. On the other hand, the principal Yang Huajun (note: the name has been altered for publication) did not go public to defend his rights. Instead, he was "completely distressed" according to a friend who was interviewed by our newspaper.
On March 23, there was a post made by someone who appeared to be Yang Huajun. But nobody paid much attention to it. Our reporter confirmed on the evening of March 24 that Yang indeed made the post.
In that post, Yang wondered: "Although I was aware that it was wrong to download the material, which Internet user in China or elsewhere in the world has not seen or downloaded that sort of thing? I don't know." Then he brought forth two questions: "(1) While it is true that I downloaded the material, but is downloading it the same as reproducing it? (2) Based upon my circumstances, the penalty is too much. 3,000 yuan is equal to three months of my salary. I have an ailing mother, a 5-month-old son and an unemployed wife at home. I am the sole income-earner in the family, which can said to be barely not having to starve."
Yang said that his personal life has been severely affected. The initial photo of him in the media reports was not completely masked, so that his friends and colleagues were able to identify him. People in the streets were even pointing and whispering at him.
"Faced with all this, I cannot continue to work. I asked for time off and went home to rest. My wife found out, because her relatives found out and began to call her. My wife is infuriated."
"I am a celebrity in the county city. I don't dare walk in the streets. Dear netizen friends, please tell me what I should be doing now."
The storm on the Internet did not die down as a result of the silence of the principals. One netizen identified himself, admitted to having downloaded and watched pornography, stated that the evidence still resides in his computer and invited the police to arrest him.
(Southern Metropolis Daily) March 30, 2010.
On March 29, the Nanxi public security bureau political department director named Liu Yingnan told our reporter that the penalty against Yang Huajun has been revoked and the 3,000 yuan fine has been returned. Liu said that the fine had been imposed based upon the 1997 <Computer Information Network and Internet safety administrative rules>. Yang Huajun downloaded and watched pornography at home, but there was no proof that he distributed it or used it for profit. Therefore, the charge against Yang Huajun has been withdrawn.
But how did Yang Huajun ever come to the attention of the police anyway to the point where they searched his computer? Did they do so randomly? Or did they have specific information?
According to a police investigator, the Ministry of Public Security was conducting a nationwide campaign against the QQ chat groups that featured "molestation of young girls." All those who were members of these QQ groups were investigated. According to the relevant police bulletin, "The Jiangsu Provincial Internet Supervisory Department and the Criminal Investigation Department were investigating the rapes of female minors when they found people using QQ chat groups and pornographic websites to exchange stories and photos of child molestation. More than 1,600 suspects were identified, coming from 29 provinces/cities across China. The preliminary investigation showed that 45 of these are suspected of molesting and raping young girls and distributing child pornography ..."
The investigator believed that Yang Huajun might be one of those suspects in a QQ group. But Yang did not commit any crimes and should have been let off with just a lecture. However, the Nanxi police applied the law inappropriately and led to this outcome.
Here is a sample:
- Former John Edwards aide Andrew Young writes a tell-all book about the formerly valid political figure, his affair and subsequent love-child with Rielle Hunter, and his requests for DNA-filled diapers.
- Writer-Director of size, Kevin Smith, started a Twitter war with Southwest Airlines over their indelicate handling of his husky frame from off of their dainty plane.
- Actor-comedian Andy Dick was recently arrested for sexual assault at Rum Runners in Huntington, WV.
- When the University of Mississippi dropped its Colonel Reb mascot due to its racistness, some suggested he be replaced by a puppet alien from the popular Star Wars movies.
- Australia and America unite over their hatred for Ice Dancing. Israel and Palestine had no comment.
oment Michelle "Bombshell" McGee recently broke up Sandra Bullock's marriage by bringing out the douchier side of Bullock's husband, extremely douchey motorcycle douche, Jesse "Monster Douche" James.
But by focusing on international news, they are missing some of the most lurid pieces. The following is the killings at Fujian elementary school, with 13 persons stabbed in 55 seconds.
At some time past 2am on March 13, a man dressed in black entered a cybercafe in Hengshui city, Henan province and asked to access the Internet. While the cashier went through the registration process, the man inspected the wares on the snacks/drinks stand. When the registration process was completed, the man began to chat with the cashier. Then he went behind the cashier, pulled out an object and proceeded to hit the cashier. The slow-motion replay showed that the object was a piece of sugar cane. The cashier fought back vigorously. He relieved his attacker of the sugar cane and used it to counterattack. Meanwhile, he also summoned colleagues to help him subdue his attacker. The man in black has been arrested. According to him, he was laid off and had no money, so he got the idea of committing a robbery.
<Chongqing Evening News> has published an article that challenged the Central Publicity Department. The article is titled <The Story of How the Internet God "Ancient Dove" Migrated>, and uses the form of an ancient legend to describe how Google left mainland China for Hong Kong last week. Since the Central Publicity Department had previously issued an itemized list against media hype of the incident, this move represents a challenge to its authority.
In this article that appeared on Page 32 of <Chongqing Evening News> on March 27, the "Ancient Dove" (which is a homonym to "Google" in Chinese) is described as a "hidden bird" (which is a homonym to to the word for "search engine" in Chinese) known for its gentle demeanor, quick speed, accurate navigation skills and ability to search for things. As such, it was highly popular among the people and has made indelible contributions to human civilization. However, it was unable to adapt to climate changes or the proliferation of its natural enemies -- the "River Crab" (which is a homonym of the term "harmony" in Chinese) and the "Mosquito Blessed Crab" (which is a homonym for the term "Writers' Association" in Chinese). Therefore, the "Ancient Dove" is migrating southwards.
The story also pointed out that "As of March 23, 2010, this bird genus has migrated on a large scale to a port in South China and will hereafter not be found in mainland China." "It was unable to survive like the "Grass Mud Horse" (which is a homonym for "Fuck Your Mother" in Chinese) and has moved away en masse." "Many animal lovers went to the Beijing Ancient Dove Garden in the Birds' Gate in Beijing to commemorate."
The story also pointed out that the "Poison-laying Bird" (which is the homonym to the Chinese search engine "Baidu") will replace the "Ancient Dove" to rule over China, and mainland citizens will be forced to use this "poisonous and vicious fierce bird."
This <Chongqing Evening News> article drew attention. As of the evening of March 27, the newspaper's website and other major websites have purged the article. But people kept commenting on the Internet: "<Chongqing Evening News> has guts!" "It is so brilliant to use a legend to bring out the story." "Let us see how Chongqing city party secretary Bo Xilai will explain this to the Central Publicity Department." "<Chongqing Evening News> is going to get into trouble and face re-organization."
"Without this photo, I wouldn't even remember what those people look like." The young photographer was trying to remember what happened, and she repeated the phrase "it was too chaotic" five or six times. Fortunately, there was the photograph. Even when the incident is eventually forgotten, this photograph will be there to show: the dignity of the reporter was trampled upon once upon a time.
At just past 9am on March 23, 2010, the Beijing Times female reporter and a photographer went to cover a fire in a courtyard in the vicinity of the west side of the Beijing Olympics Center. The reporter posed questions to those present at the scene while the photographer took photos. But immediately the two got shoved and pushed around several men.
"Where are you from?" A man rushed up to stop the photographer. "I work for a newspaper." The man blocked the camera view and tried to drag her out by the shoulder. The photographer could not take any more photos, so she walked away in the opposite direction.
What happened next was like a theatrical drama to the photographer.
The photographer was being dragged away from the reporter. She grabbed her camera with both hands and held it in front of her chest. She turned around once and saw that the reporter was being surrounded by a group of people. She turned around again and saw that the reporter was sitting on the ground while being dragged off by many people. She turned around the third time and she saw her colleague being hauled off in the air. The photographer worked madly to get rid of those people around her to reach the reporter. She turned her body, but she could not break off their restraint. She did not know how many people were trying to stop her -- there were two men in front of her while someone was dragging her from behind. Hands were reaching for her camera. She was frightened. She put the strap of the camera around her neck and hands, she held the camera in front of her chest and she just clicked away.
"You set my colleague free!" "I must go over to my colleague!" The female photographer yelled while she struggled. They were now almost at the exit gate. She freed her right hand to call the police with her mobile phone. Before she even pressed the three numbers, they tried to seize the phone. She used her hands and mouth to protect her mobile phone. The reporter could remember the scene. Even though she was held up in the air, she kept calling out the name of her photographer.
The photographer raised her head and saw her partner. She instantly understood her. Ignoring whether the camera was in focus, she kept pressing the button. The photographer was confused, but she knew that she had to record the evil deeds while protecting her camera. When the reporter heard the clicking of the camera, she was comforted at the idea that there will be evidence of their maltreatment.
The Beijing Times deputy editor-in-chief saw the photos and wrote on his microblog: "A female reporter was dragged out by several strong men like a little chicken." The photographer thought that the men treated the reporter like a prisoner being tossed out. The reporter said, "There wasn't anything that I can do when they are so many in numbers."
After they exited, they called the police. In front of men who can physically control them with one hand, they felt like two "little lambs." The buttons on the coat of the reporter had all fallen off. The neck of the photographer was bruised by her camera strap.
At noon on March 23, 2010 in front of the Liaoyang City Experimental Elementary School, a little girl in a red coat was playing with her classmates and chipped a piece of paint about the size of the fingernail on the little finger from a sedan carrying license plate Liaoning K-66373. The car owner and two relatives grabbed the little girl, punched her, kicked her and slapped her on both sides of the face. When the police arrived, this woman denied assaulting the little girl. She said unabashedly: "I studied the law. If you like, you can sue me!" This woman is a prosecutor with the Liaoyang City Procuratorate. Let us give expose her arrogance so that all Chinese netizens can join in to condemn her action.
The female reporter was hospitalized for concussion. She was visited by Guizhou city leaders while the female driver has been sentenced to ten days of administrative detention.
But you will be surprised at how some Chinese Internet users want to make this a major human rights case -- they are talking about the rights of the female driver and they want the female reporter jailed and/or fired. Here are some selected comments:
From the law's viewpoint, the female driver Guo Li is suspected of breaking the public safety law and may be punished according to the degree of injury on the reporter. No matter what, it is wrong to hit someone. Therefore it was correct to detain her. But a citizen has the right not to be interviewed. In particular, when the incident does not involve the "public interest," she has the right not to be interviewed. But refusal to be interviewed does not imply the right to use violence.
So how come so many people are supporting Guo Li? The reporter was wrong because she failed to appreciate how important "face" is in Chinese culture. So you broke the law and you are trying to explain to the policeman, someone is buzzing you from the side with a camera and asking: "Aren't you embarrassing the people of the city?" Even a normal person cn break down. You lose your face and your dignity, so where do you let off steam? You wouldn't dare attack the policeman so you hit the female reporter. This whole case fits the logic of common citizens: You make me lose face and I give you trouble.
Comment: Yes, this is a fair commentary.
Comment: Yes, the reporter deserves to be hit.
Comment: People from mouthpieces should be beaten up.
Comment: What is so big deal about violating traffic laws? Why should a reporter care?
Comment: May the cheap stupid shameless Guiyang reporter continue to be a prositute in all your reincarnations!
Comment: Why do you say that it was right to detain her? Why did she do wrong? What law did she break?
Comment: What did Ms. Guo do wrong to be deained? She was just sick at being insulted and she hit a shameless slut. Everything she did was just the resistance by a citizen who was deprived of all dignity! They both have mouths and fists. If the reporter didn't like this, they can chose an isolated spot after work to duke it out! This is what human beings do!
The female reporter Lu Youli graduated in 2008 from Guizhou University majoring in philosophy. What connections got her a job at Guizhou TV? How many graduates could not get a job at a TV station? She must almost surely have connections. Otherwise the Guizhou government would not have risked their reputation to back an unethical, unprofessional reporter. This is the truly sad thing about our society today!
Comment: Lu Youli, your mom's is calling you home! Do not stay in the hospital and pretend that you are brain-dead.
Comment: I watched the video. How can a slap in the face cause brain concussion? She was hit in the face. Does she have a brain, or was that a chicken egg?
At around 11am on March 23, a red Zhonghua car violated traffic regulations at Zhonghua road. A Guizhou TV female reporter named of Lu also broke the law by standing on the roadway and accused the driver of breaking the law. When the driver indicated that she did not want to be interviewed, the female reporter accused her of being the first person since the founding of the republic to lose face for Greater Guiyang. She asked whether the driver thought she was big deal just because she drove a car. When the driver indicated her anger, the reporter struck her with an electric baton. At that moment, the reporter's companion, the policeman and the other ex-boyfriends of the reporter prevented the driver from fighting back. The reporter then dug her fingernails into the driver's face and seriously violated her character and dignity.
This is the truth as I saw in the video!
Zhonghua girl, when I first watched the video, I supported the reporter. But I am now supporting you!!!!
Comment: It is not much of a violation to drive a new car without a license plate!
Comment: So the female driver was forced to hit back. Once again a reporter is suspected of covering up the facts.
Comment: What electric baton was the reporter holding? It is her microphone. If she could hit someone with this fragile and expensive instrument, she would have lost her job already. Please do not mislead people!
Comment: Have you ever used a microphone? It is just a metal tube with a foam wrap outside. Besides, if the instrument is broken, the other party pays.
Comment: It is a much more serious violation of the law for a reporter not to follow professional rules and insult an interviewee than to violate a traffic law or physically assault someone!
Comment: Crazy female reporter used abusive words and had poor professionalism. Sooner or later, she will be beaten to death. She is ill-suited to be a reporter. She should change jobs quickly and become a streetside vendor.
Comment: Streetside vendors can be beaten to death by city administrators. Since she seemed to have good qualifications, she should become a prostitute. At worst, she gets fucked to death.
Comment: Guo Li is very pretty.
Comment: All reporter sluts should be beaten up. I salute Guo Li!
Comment: It was clearly a small Zhonghua economy sedan, but it was reported as an "unlicensed luxury car."
Comment: Should public sympathy be decided on the basis of the price of the car and not on the rights/wrongs of the case? What if the car was a red BMW? What has the actions of the driver got to do with the brand of the car? Is the average moral index for grassroots higher than upper-class people?
Comment: I think that the reporting had been severly biased.
Firstly, driving an unlicensed car does not mean that I am driving illegally. New cars can be driver without a license plate as long as there is a permit. This was legal driving.
Secondly, the driver was being fined by the traffic policeman, but the reporter said that she refused to accept the fine.
Thirdly, the driver was not a public servant and she has the right to refuse to be interviewed. She got upset and fought with the reporter. While it is wrong to attack first, it does not change the nature of the incident. Both sides took action and it was due to the reporter going after the driver who refused to be interviewed.
Fourthly, the reporter had no right to interfere with the law enforcement process. This is not referring to the policeman carrying out job, but to the driver cooperating with the process.
Fifthly, the TV station distorted the facts and reported this simple civil dispute to the public without the authorization of the driver. This has serious consequences on the reputation of the driver. I recommend that the driver pursue legal recourse. Of course, I know that this will likely fail but failure does not mean that we will let the power-that-be trample upon our rights!
Just because I was wrong does not mean that my rights can be trampled upon.
Comment: How can so many people are supporting the attacker? She drove an unlicensed car and she assaulted someone. She is surely not a good person. I really wonder if the Wumadang are out in full flight.
Comment: To see the truth, you need social experience and thinking ability. You will understand when you grow old.
Comment: Which driver can guarantee that he will never break any traffic rules? Besides, Guo Li is a new driver. When Guo Li was patiently accepted the fine from the traffic policeman, a female reporter jumped out and accused Guo of losing face for the city. This was a clear provocation.
Guo Li, you did right by hitting her!
Comment: I supporet all those shameless reporter sluts!
(Han Han's blog)
All those who have watched the video will have heard what the reporter asked: "Guiyang City is running the 'Three Innovations, One Implementation' campaign. Don't you feel that you are losing face for Guiyang?" Doesn't this high-and-might question sound awful enough? She continued to thrust her microphone forward to pose questions. Guo turned her head away several times and tried to ignore the questions. Finally, she became angry at this persistent reporter. Based upon their looks, these two women look like the gentle type. But nobody expected that Guiyang women would talk as well as fight tough. I heard today that the Guiyang city leader went to visit the reporter in the hospital and said, "At the critical moment when Guiyang city is running the Three Innovations, One Implementation, reporters should work harder to realize the watchdog role given by the state." I really find myself having the urge to swing my fists!
(Washington Post) In response to new rules, GoDaddy to stop registering domain names in China By Ellen Nakashima and Cecilia Kang March 25, 2010.
GoDaddy.com, the world's largest domain name registration company, told lawmakers Wednesday that it will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves. The rules, the company said, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk. The company also said the rules will have a "chilling effect" on new domain name registrations.
GoDaddy's move follows Google's announcement Monday that it will no longer censor search results on its site in China. Analysts and human rights advocates have warned that China's insistence on censorship and control over information is becoming a serious barrier to trade.
"GoDaddy and Google deserve more than praise for doing the right thing in China -- they deserve our government's support," said Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), who has sponsored a bill that would prevent U.S. companies from sharing personal user information with "Internet-restricting" countries.
In December, China began to enforce a new policy that required any registrant of a new .cn domain name to provide a color, head-and-shoulders photograph and other business identification, including a Chinese business registration number and physical, signed registration forms. That data was to be forwarded to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a quasi-governmental agency. Most domain name registries require only a name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.
"We were immediately concerned about the motives behind the increased level of registrant verification being required," Christine N. Jones, general counsel of the Go Daddy Group, told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday. "The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals."
GoDaddy has been registering domain names since 2000 and has more than 40 million under management.
Jones said China was the first government to retroactively seek additional verification and documentation of registrants. Jones also said GoDaddy customers with Chinese domain names have recently been attacked more frequently than in the past. The sites targeted tend to be those "deemed not appropriate" by Beijing -- sites that contain content about the Tiananmen Square uprising or human rights, for instance. "When our sites get shut down in China, we are never told why . . . and it's impossible to know why," Jones said.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
Arvind Ganesan, business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch, said China's new rules are yet another example of the country tightening its censorship policies and undermining the ability of U.S. companies to operate freely. "The underlying intent is, if you're engaging in political speech, we want to know who's engaging in it and what Web site is behind it," Ganesan said. "This is a way the Chinese government can send a chilling message to people that they shouldn't speak freely online. It's forcing us companies to be both the censor and the spy on behalf of the Chinese government."
Jones said GoDaddy's decision to stop registering new domains was unrelated to Google's recent decision. "With all due respect, this has nothing to do with Google," she said. She added that the company had been deliberating what it would do about its business in China before Google's announcement. "We decided we didn't want to be agents of China," she said.
(The Wall Street Journal) What Does It Cost Go Daddy To Leave China? By Geoffey A. Fowler. March 24, 2010.
Go Daddy, the large Internet domain registration company known for its sexy TV ads, announced on Wednesday that it was going where so far only Google has been willing to go: out of China.
During a hearing in Washington of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Go Daddys General Counsel Christine Jones told members of Congress that her company would discontinue offering new .cn domain registrations in China. The reason: New regulations from China that require domain registration companies like hers to turn over to the government a color image of ID documents, a business license and a signed physical contract for each registered domain.
As the Journal reported in December, the Chinese government said that its increased scrutiny of Chinese domain-name registrations is part of a campaign against pornography on the Internet.
The move makes Go Daddy the first American Internet company to publicly follow Google in exiting the Chinese market over disagreements with the government over how much information it is required to disclose.Go Daddy will continue to service existing .cn customers they just wont take on new ones.
But how much does it really hurt Go Daddy to leave China? In an interview after testifying to Congress, Jones said her company has 27,000 registered .cn domains in China since 2005 more than any other non-Chinese company. But China still accounts for less than 1% of Go Daddys revenue.
Jones said that getting attention wasnt the plan. Our decision to discontinue selling the .cn names had nothing to do with Googles decision to move its search into Hong Kong. Nor does it have anything to do with generating publicity, she said. It had only to do with preventing extensive personal information on domain name registrants from being supplied to the Chinese government.
Providing additional information to the Chinese government is something that Go Daddys customers clearly didnt want to do, she said. When the company went to existing .cn registrants asking them to provide the additional information that the government now requires, only 20% of them replied a sign that the many were willing to give up their registration rather than turn over details.
So far, Jones said she hasnt heard from Chinese authorities about the move. But even before Wednesdays announcement, the company already noticed that from time to time access to its site was blocked in China.
(Daily Economy News) March 24, 2010.
In late 2009, GoDaddy announced in a high-profile manner that they were offering Internet domain registration at the price of USD 0.99 for .com's over the Internet. GoDaddy claimed that the registration process was very simple, requiring only an email address and nothing else.
GoDaddy's promotional campaign occurred at a time when the Chiense government was cleaning up pornographic websites. On December 14, CNNIC announced that domain registration shall require three identification proofs (a stamped domain registration application; corrporate registration license; personal identification of the registrant). This meant that individuals can no longer register an Internet domain. At the same time, all previous registrations were reviewed to see if they meet these requirements. As a result, many websites were frozen.
GoDaddy fully recognized the mindsets of those website owners who were held in limbo and they advertised in a timely manner. Our reporter found that GoDaddy promoted at the various websites, forums and chat groups: "Overseas registration of .com domains is quick and simple -- no need to fill in the personal or corporate information of the domain owners." They also hired a Chinese public relations firm to send out emails to targeted groups.
Domain registrars were not the only people to try to take a free ride on the anti-pornography campaign. Commercially-savvy enterprises such as IXWebihosting, HostEase and other overseas webhosting services also came on. Late last year, American webhosting service IXWebHosting started a Chinese-language website to serve the China market. In order to attract Chinese customers, IXWebhosting even offered free domain names while emphasizing "No website registration filing necessary."
Many small- and medium-sized websites which were held in limbo quickly spread the news around and organized to leave en masse.
But the legality of these marketing efforts by overseas domain registrars and webhosting services is suspect within China.
One reader wrote us: "GoDaddy has gone beyond the relevant regulations for domain registration in China. Besides, GoDaddy is not listed among the domain registrars of the Ministry of Industry and Information."
Our invesgiation showed that as of May 2009, a total of 72 domain registrars were qualified by the Ministry of Industry and Information to provide domain registration of .cn, .com, .net, .or and other domains. But GoDaddy was not one of them. The relevant worker informed our report that such services must be approved by the relevant Ministry of Industry and Information as well as CNNIC.
Domain registration expert Shen Yang said that GoDaddy may very well become the first domain registrar to be sanctioned. Shen Yang said that according to either ICANN or MITT, the domain registrar must follow the principle of providing accurate information with respect to the "whois" database.
If GoDaddy claims that "overseas registration does not require real information from the domain registrant," then it is violating the ICANN agreement as well as Chinese regulations. "GoDaddy may be penalized by ICANN or MITT for its actions in China."
Shen Yang said that the Chinese departments not only have jurisdiction only .cn domains, but also on all domains used, registered and/or administered in China.
According to information released by the Internet Illegal Activities Reporting Centre, the number of illegal .cn websites have dropped drastically but the overseas .com and .net webistes have increased meanwile. By registering a .com domain overseas, operators are avoiding the Chinese IDC supervision.
At the end of 2009, the total number of registered domains in China is 16.81 million, of which 80% are .cn domains. In 2008, the .com domains were the leaders. Over time, .cn domains accounteed for 16.3% in 2006, 25.4% in 2007, 40.5% in 2008 and 80% in 2009.
Real-name registration and other more stringent requirements are possibly many personal websites to obtain .com registation overseas. The Internet research organization WebHosting.Infor showed that the number of .com registrations in China increased by 180,000 during December 7-14, which is a 1300% increase over the same period last year.
According to one Chinese domain registrar worker, many customers gave up applying for .cn domains and went for .com domains isntead. "The price for a .cn domain is 108 yuan/year versus 128 yuan/year for a .com domain. The registration process is also easier. Many customers found it quite acceptable."
A Beijing Internet insider said: "This is tough! Since the anti-pornography campaing on the Chinese Internet began in 2009, I must have changed N IDC suppliers. They were either crooks or they stalled for time. So I moved my webspace overseas. I lost a lot of traffic due to the moves. I used to have several business partners, but they left after all the moves."
Classical GoDaddy.com television ad:
If America were to attack China, I will run off with my girlfriend to her family home. She lives in the mountains where there is nothing of value except for food and water. The American Tomahawk cruise missiles could not possibly be targeted there. Therefore, our families will be safe and sound.
As long as we don't get annhilated by Tomahawk cruise missles, everything else will be fine. From watching television, I know that American soldiers are not like the Japanese soldiers of yore. Americans do not plunder, kill, rape or torch everything ("the three all policy" of burning, killing and plundering everything during WWII). During the Korean War, the Chinese were fervent in fighting the Americans because their government had demonized America. They thought that when American occupies China, they would be even worst than the little Japanese. But the Chinese misunderstood America and its people. Quite on the contrary, American soldiers will do everything possible not to harm innocent citizens. They will provide food and water and they will assist any casualties in a way much better than the Chinese ever will. So what is there to worry about? I should stay home quietly to wait for America to defeat China.
It does not matter who becomes the ruler of our county. I have been an subservient citizen for decades already. It makes no difference to me who is in charge. If I obey the Americans (or their appointed puppet), the days will be better. Aren't the people of Afghanistan better off now than when they were under the Taliban?
If the government won't let me off and insists on thrusting a rifle into my hands to force me to fight, I will go ahead. But I won't become a hero like a "human suicide bomber"!!! I won't do that even if you offer me 300,000 or 400,000 American dolalrs. I will shout along with everybody else, I will advance along with everybody else but when they retreat, I will lead the way. My guess is that by the time that the country needs someone like me to go into the battlefield, they are almost finished already and they will be routed. I won't go into the mountains to conduct a guerrilla war of resistance. I will surrender to the Americans and show them the way.
What is so bad about becoming a prisoner of war? I get food and water in the prison camp. Most importantly, I get to live. I can survive if I become an subservient citizen. I have a wife and kids back home. For me, they are one hundred times more important than the nation or the people.
Many patriots will curse me out as a Chinese traitor. They can curse me, but I don't care. The country does not matter a wee bit to me. I am just an insignificant citizen. I know that in my heart. Over the past few decades, I have seen through my government. I am no longer the patriotic young man that I was when I was twenty years old.
In the past, I did not realize that. When I was still a student, I was like many other anti-Americans. I was a hot-blooded young man. I and my fellow students thought that we formed the stalwart of the nation and that we should serve the nation. So we curried favors with the masters. When I said, "Master, there is a dirty spot on your clothing," I got a couple of slaps in the face as well as a heap of verbal abuse. I woke up and I recognized what my status was.
I was always destined to be an subservient citizen. Matters of state are none of my concern. So why should I bother? From that time onwards, I concentrated on becoming a subservient citizen. I don't care who my masters were. I will be the servant of whoever is the master.
But even subservient citizens have their principle, which is: You sell your character but you won't sell your life. When my masters do not treat me like as a human being, I won't treat myself as such either. I have never been interested in things such as human rights, etc.
My masters do not treat me like a human being. They only want me to show obedience and nothing contradictory. By the time that the nation is in jeodpardy, they want me to act like a real man. I am sorry but at that moment, I have to tell the masters: "Why didn't you do that earlier? Sorry, but I can't serve you now."
Therefore, I will surrender to the American army! I will show the way for the American army!
31-year-old Xia Yuntao was found guilty of theft in 1999 and served a prison term in 2006. In September 2008, Xia Yuntao's computer was hacked. He contacted the hacker and offered 300 yuan in return for a copy of the hacking software. Thereafter, Xia Yuntao got a pornographic website to link to his hacking software (in the form of an .EXE file). As soon as someone clicks on that link, he would get immediate access to that computer.
By November 2008, Xia Yuntao had five victims already. He intruded into one computer and found that it was the CCTV program host Ma Bin. That computer happened to contain many personal photos. Xia contacted Ma who offered "to solve the problem with money."
The two sides agreed to a sum of 260,000 yuan. At the time of transacdtion, Xia became afraid that Ma would contact the police and did not show up. Shortly afterwards, Xia uploaded three indecent photos of Ma onto the Internet in order to increase his leverage. This became known as "Ma Bin's Sexy Photo Gate." On August 10, 2009, Xia made another extortion attempt. On August 12, 2009, the police arrested Xia when he tried to collect the payoff.
At the subsequent court trial, Xia was found guilty of extortion and sentenced to five years in prison. Xia said that he will appeal the sentence.
In the city of Guiyang, there is a public service campaign titled "Three Innovations, One Implementation" going on. Guizhou TV's Channel Five program <Rule of Law Frontline> covered this campaign to go after illegal behavior by car drivers, motorcycle drivers and pedestrians.
On the morning of March 23, 2010, the program team filmed an incident in which a female driver in a car with no license plate was stopped by the traffic police for inspection. According to the video, this Zhonghua sedan was stopped as it went from Taiping Road to Zhonghua Road. While the traffic police officer dealt with the irregulaties of this vehicle, a female reporter went up to interview the driver. When the reporter asked the driver if she is giving Guiyang city a bad image at a time when a public service program was gonig on, something unexpected took place. The female driver turned around, slapped, kicked and punched the female driver and heaped insults. The female driver was stopped by the traffic police officer and spectators.
The female driver sat in the driver's seat of her car and ignored the order by the police to step out. She kept making calls on her mobile phone. Thirty minutes later, a man who claimed to be a colleague of the female driver showed up. Like his colleague, he refused to speak to the reporter. Eventually, the female driver stepped out and was taken down to the police station.
Guizhou TV said: "This incident has drawn a high degree of attention from the Guizhou provincial and the Guiyang city leaders because of its appalling nature. The relevant police authorities have indicated that the matter will be dealt with in a serious manner."
(Global Times) Shanxi vows to investigate killer vaccines. By Song Shengxia. March 23, 2010.
In what appears to be a response to public outrage over an alleged vaccine scandal involving four deaths and dozens of cases of illnesses, Shanxi provincial authorities assured the public Monday that experts had been sent to inspect 15 children who were reportedly victims of tainted vaccines.
The response has been seen as a positive turn from the provincial health bureau, which affirmed last week that related media reports were "basically untrue."
Speaking at Monday's press conference, Ju Xianhua, deputy secretary general of the Shanxi government, assured local residents that vaccines in the province are being "strictly monitored and their quality is guaranteed."
He said that, following the latest media reports, the local government had sent experts to check on all 15 children named in the news stories, and would announce later whether their illnesses were connected to the vaccinces.
Shanxi authorities and the Ministry of Health sent experts to investigate the case in 2007 and 2008, without finding any problem with the vaccines, he added.
Well, the more interesting story here is really what happened at the press conference.
(Days On The Clouds' blog)
At 4:30pm, the Shanxi provincial government called a press conference on the matter of the vaccines. Provincial government deputy secretary-general Ju Xianhua read a progress report on the investigation. Before the reporters even got their questions answered, Provincial Party publicity department deputy director Yang Bo declared that the press conference was over. This aroused the ire of the more than 100 reporters from 52 media outlets. The reporters surrounded Yang Bo and peppered him with questions.
Q: I am from CCTV. I want to ask about the media report on how the Huawei Company put labels on the vaccine. Is this true?
A: Based upon what I know, the Huawei Company did put the labels on. The Ministry of Health is very concerned about whether this labeling process affected the quality of the vaccine. In October 2008, the State Drug Administration began a preliminary investigation of the children's vaccines in three areas. The result was that the vaccines all passed the tests.
Q: Many parents said that nobody from the Ministry of Health was willing to meet them. Is that true? Thank you.
A: No matter what the causes may be, it is always unfortunate for the parents and all of society when young children die or become ill. We are deeply sympathetic. At about 4:15pm on the day before yesterday, some parents went to the Ministry of Health to discuss the vaccine matter. The worker on duty received them and asked them to go into the conference room. But Saturday was a day for which there were regular office hours. The worker contacted the relevant comrades and experts in order to provide an answer. Unfortunately, the parents left during the process.
Q: Can it be determined that there is a relationship between the vaccines and the illnesses that afflicted the children?
A: Secretary-general Ju Xianhua had just said that 15 childrens died or fell sick after receiving the vaccines according to the China Economic Times report. The Shanxi Provincial Ministry of Health formed an investigation team. When Xinhua interviewed us on March 18, the conditions of the 15 children were basically known and made public. To be cautious, we will investigate these 15 children further. We will ask experts from outside Shanxi province to analyze these 15 cases. If this is related to the vaccine from Huawei, we will give a responsible account to society. Please be reassured.
Q: There is a one-millionth chance of a vaccine going bad. So far, we have given the vaccine 30 million times, and we admit that there are two to three cases of vaccines going bad. Is this because our vaccines are so much better than average?
A: Overall, I am not qualified to answer the questions about the quality of the vaccines. We will ask the experts to answer your question.
Q: I want to ask if there is a problem with Tian Jianguo obtaining the vaccine contract from the Shanxi Centre for Disease Control?
A: Somone just spoke about that. Were you listening? The Disciplinary Committee and the relevant departments are investigating the partnership between Huawei Company and the Shanxi Provincial Centre for Disease Control.
Q: Why was director Li relieved of his job?
A: Some of these issues have already been addressed. He's got problems.
Q: Is he inside or outside of China today?
A: He was supposed to be outside of China as of yesterday.
Q: Did he flee?
A: He did not flee. He will appear again.
Q: When will he appear?
A: His personal action was not a flight. Our understanding is that he will appear again.
Q: Has he been placed under "double regulations"?
A: He has not been placed under "double regulations."
Q. So where is he now?
A: I don't know. I will tell you after further investigation.
Q: What is Li Shukai's role in the process?
A: We will tell you after the Disciplinary Committee has completed their investigation.
Q: In all of China, only Shanxi has subcontracted the vaccines to a so-called company of the Ministry of Health. Is this really a company belonging to the Ministry of Health?
A: We will certainly look into that.
Q: The Beijing Huawei Company has left the Shanxi market. Are they a Ministry of Health company right now?
A: I told you already. The relevant departments will investigate all the problems associated with the Huawei Company. We will responsibly inform everybody afterwards.
Q: In 2007, the media already reported on it. How could there is still no result two to three years later?
A: This requires more investigation.
(Daqi) Reporters' messages.
"Shall we surround him or not?" One reporter asked another. "Surround!" The other reporter replied resolutely. The fleeing government officials were surrounded by more than one hundred reporters. "Was there any corruption involved? How is the investigation coming along?" Faced with these questions, the goverment officials lost their composure and struggled to find the words while sweating it out. The reporters surrounded them so closely that there was no way to flee.
"Please be more polite." Faced with a reporter's question about the vaccine, a government spokesperson named Yang Bo interrupted a reporter's question. The press conference was terminated in less than ten minutes. The reporters continued with their questions while the government officials got scared and became incoherent. This was the single most volatile press conference I had ever attended. Even reporters can refuse to be jerked around.
At 4:30pm this afternoon, the Shanxi government held a press conference about the vaccine problems. The provincial government deputy secretary-general read a press release first. The meeting went on for ten minutes. The publicity department deputy director Yang Bo then declared the meeting over without answering all the questions. The reporters pounded on their desks in protest and surrounded Yang Bo. This was designed to be a perfunctory press conference with the reporters. During the time, Yang Bo accused the China Youth Daily reporter of wasting 30 seconds of time. The Shanxi government really knows the value of time.
According to Sina.com microblog reporting, the entire press conference took ten minutes with two questions answered. They had no results from the investigation to report. Was this a news conference? Or was this a no-news conference?
Yesterday there was an attempted suicide at the Cheung On Estate in the Tsing Yi district. A 62-year-old man named Lam was believed to be worn out by illness and attempted to kill himself. However, his method was unheard of.
Last evening, Lam came up with the idea of thrusting a zucchini into his anus to kill himself. The zucchini ripped his colon apart and caused massive bleeding. After doing so, Lam laid down in bed and waited to die.
At around 10:40pm, his family members found it strange that he did not come out of his room. When they entered his room, they found him lying in a pool of blood on his bed. They summoned emergency medical services immediately.
When the emergency medical workers arrived, Lam told him that he was the one who inserted the zucchini into himself and that he was using this "ancience suicide method" to kill himself. Lam was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment. He had lost almost 1 litre of blood.
Did this story offend your sensibility or intrude upon your sensitivity? Well, regardless of how you feel, this is the sort of thing that is reported in the Chinese newspapers.
(New York Times) Report Says China Sold Bad Vaccines to Hospitals. By Keith Bradser. March 18, 2010.
A newspaper article by one of Chinas best-known investigative reporters has reawakened a controversy over whether provincial authorities improperly stored vaccines in rooms without air-conditioning, rendering them ineffective, and then let them be administered to children.
Chinas Health Ministry said Thursday that it would look into the report, by Wang Keqin in The China Economic Times, while cautioning that it examined the evidence in late 2008 and did not find a widespread problem.
But Chen Taoan, the former chief spokesman of the Shanxi Province Disease Control and Prevention Center, who is still on the centers staff, said Thursday in a telephone interview that a senior official there was relieved of all responsibilities at the end of last year because of improprieties related to the vaccines.
Mr. Chen said that the center, which is part of the Shanxi Health Department, had required all hospitals in the province to buy vaccines at steep prices. To monitor compliance by the hospitals, the center put a sticker on each package of vaccine to show that it had been approved.
But the stickers would not adhere to the packages in air-conditioned rooms, Mr. Chen said, so through 2006 and 2007 the center routinely had the vaccines transferred to a warm room where the stickers were attached.
I saw boxes and boxes of vaccines piled up high like a hill in a hot room without air-conditioning, he said. Over the course of two years, I complained more than 30 times to the centers leaders that these vaccines were no longer effective.
Mr. Chen said that he was still on the centers payroll but that he had been relieved of his duties because of his objections to the handling of the vaccines. The center stopped exposing them to heat in 2008 but did not issue a recall for those that might have already been damaged, he said.
The press office of the Shanxi Health Department declined to comment, saying that it had already made a statement to the official Xinhua news agency. Xinhua reported that Li Shukai, the deputy director of the department, had said that the China Economic Times article was basically not true.
The article said the parents of 4 children who died and 74 children who developed severe health problems were blaming the vaccines. Mr. Li told Xinhua that provincial health experts had examined some of the children and concluded that their problems were not caused by vaccines.
Mr. Wang, the investigative reporter, said in a statement that he used pseudonyms for many of the children in a list he published of those affected, and that the provincial authorities had not requested the true names of the children to check on their health.
(Global Times) Health officials refute vaccine allegations. By Deng Jingyin. March 18, 2010.
Heath authorities in Shanxi Province denied that unsafe vaccines were responsible for killing or seriously disabling about 100 children, in response to a report published in the China Economic Times. Shanxi Provincial Health Department asserted Wednesday that they haven't received any report about abnormal reactions to the vaccines.
"The authorities sampled the stored vaccines in 2008 and the test results showed all samples were in line with national standards," Li Gui, an official from the department, told the Xinhua News Agency Wednesday. The department sent health workers to look into the cases mentioned in the news report, he added.
The Ministry of Health sent a team in November 2008 to investigate after some websites ran reports in 2007 about the vaccines in the province, but found no problems, according to the China News Service. The team found that the province's medical institutions filed 11 cases of abnormal reactions to vaccines between January 2006 and November 2008, which involved children. Six of them were mild, four of them were not related to vaccines. Only one was deemed abnormal, but the vaccine did not belong to the batch mentioned in the report. It also said that the ministry required the Shanxin health authority to submit a new report on abnormal reactions.
The latest government actions followed the China Economic Time's report, which said four children died and about 74 children were disabled or left with sequela. Most of them received vaccines before they were diagnosed with a medical problem.
Wang Mingliang's only son,Xiao'er, who was born in 2007, developed convulsions and a fever a week after receiving a hepatitis B vaccine for the second time in the hospital. And one week later, Xiao'er was sent to the hospital due to breathing difficulties, the newspaper reported. Despite treatments in the hospitals in Liulin, Taiyuan and Beijing, Xiao'er died in March 2008, four months after he was born. Doctors at the hospital failed to reach an unanimous explanation about the reason for his death. "I have excluded almost all possible causes, except the vaccine," the father told the newspaper.
It was not an isolated case. Liu Ziyang, 8 months old, died of so-called "henoch-Schonlein purpura." Two boys from Yangquan, 3 years old, both died after getting vaccinated for rabies in 2008 and 2009 respectively, the paper reported.
Zhai Rufang, an official from the Shangxi Provincial Disease Control and Prevention Center, said in a report in the Shangxi Evening News in 2008 that one out of 2 or 3 million people have an abnormal reaction to vaccines. But Chen Tao'an, former chief of the information department of the center, said that since 2006, many vaccines had been found with problems resulting, among other reasons, exposure to warm temperatures, the China Economic Times reported. "These vaccines have been used for a long period of time in Shanxi, which will definitely increase the probability of an abnormal reaction," he said.
According to Chen, Tian Jianguo, who was appointed as the head of the center's biological products distribution office in 2005, responsible for the supply and management of vaccines for 35 million people. "Tian asked his staff to move the boxes of vaccines to a new building that hadn't been put into use at the time They opened the boxes and put the vaccines on the ground, accumulating like a hill," said Wei Junli, a worker, the report said. "The vaccines exposed to high temperatures for a long time should have been abandoned, otherwise they are killers," Chen said. "These vaccines were not recalled until the end of 2008," he added.
The local health authority told media Wednesday that the report was basically "untrue" and that the nation's health authorities conduct stringent monitoring on vaccine injections.
(Southern Metropolis Daily) March 21, 2010.
Q. How did you obtain the vaccine samples now in your possession? Did the Centre for Disease Control provide them to you? Or did the parents provided them to you?
A. Some of vaccine samples came from the parents, but most of them came from the informant Chen Taoan of the Shanxi Province Centre of Disease Control. Chen Taoan provided a lot of testimony as well as documents.
Q. How did you gather the information on the children? Did Chen Taoon also provided it to you.
A. I decided to come to gather news in Shanxi because I only had limited information at the time. After I arrived in Shanxi, I found out that my information was insufficient to support a report. I had to do a large-scale investigation. At first, I investigated alongside Chen Taoon. He graduated from the Capital Medical University and he worked on the statistical analysis of epidemics, vaccines and abnormal post-vaccination reactions. He is an expert in this field. Chen Taoon had a database from which he can contact the parents of children which had abnormal reactions after vaccination. Based upon the information, I contacted the families one by one with the assistance of Chen Taoon. We gradually put everything together.
Q. Did you think that the vaccines were suspect right from the beginning, or did you begin to pay attention to the vaccine during the investigation?
A. From the start, the data from the Chen Taoon pointed to the vaccines. So we began to seek evidence. We did a large amount of investigation, but we could not get a definitive answer. The only exception is the child of Wei Leisheng of Gaoping city. The court determined that the death of the child of Wei Leisheng was related to the vaccine.
Q. Was the vaccine ineffective to begin with, or did it go bad?
A. The verdict document did not explain. Why did we follow the issue to the next point? Many parents suspected that the vaccines were faulty. Then we found out that there was a large amount of vaccines in Shanxi which were exposed under high temperatures between 2006 and 2008. These may be called vaccines that are flawed or suspect in quality. We did a large amount of investigation and we did find that there were problems with the vaccines.
The reason why the vaccines were exposed to high temperatures was that the Shanxi Ministry of Health demanded that all Shanxi vaccines must have appropriate labels attached. These labels were manually attached, which must take place in warm temperatures because the labels would not stick in cold temperatures. This was how the vaccines became exposed to high temperatures. Since the Shanxi authorities now acknowledged that labels were affixed, they are admitting that the vaccines were exposed to high temperatures.
Many workers at the Shanxi Provincial Centre for Disease Control testified: "Whole crates of vaccine were moved from the cold storage room to the first floor of the unfinished Centre for Disease Control building. The crates covered the floor like a small mountain. Many people worked to affix 'Shanxi provincial disease control' labels. In the summer, people wore short pants and worked in the extremely hot lobby." According to the driver Yuan Jiang for the Shanxi Provincial Centre for Disease Control, they not only affixed labels in the first floor of the Centre for Disease Control building but there was an equally serious problem. The refrigerator in the truck that delivered vaccines around the provice was broken and never fixed. The truck was like a hot sealed can in the summer.
After the "high temperature" vaccines, we found a series of other problems behind the scene: The Huawei Company from the Ministry of Health showed up. I have carefully studied all the information about this company. This company controlled all management, distribution and operation of vaccines in Shanxi over a period of one year and nine months. On October 15, 2007, it suddenly disappeared.
I studied the information on this company. During a media interview, Shanxi Ministry of Health deputy director Li Shukai said: "This company is a large corporation. A very trustworthy company. It could bring benefits to the people and children of Shanxi. Therefore, we entrust the vaccines in Shanxi to them." These were Li Shukia's recorded words. I had listened to the original audio recording.
First of all, it is not a so-called big company. The registered capital was only 500,000 yuan. Furthermore, the 500,000 yuan was borrowed. We found that the Chaoyang District Ministry of Industry and Commerce had imposed a 50,000 yuan fine when the deposited capital was taken out. You can see what the document says: "At the time of registration, the principal had asked the agent to pay the registered capital. After receiving the permit, the agent took back all of the 500,000 yuan. The principal should have put the capital back in accordance with the law. The failure by the principal to take action constituted false capital registration. Therefore a fine is being imposed." Based upon this information from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, we believe that this is a shell company.
This range of activities engaged by the company included: "Technology development, technology transfer, technology service, technology training, selling biological products, instruments and equipment, consulting, investment consulting, conference services, enterprise image planning, marketing planning, conference/expositions, cultural exchange activities, etc." Laughably, we saw that this company which had been doing vaccines did not list "vaccines" as one of its activities.
On September 6, 2007, the Huawei Company held its first annual shareholders' meeting (with minutes). The main purpose of the meeting was to increase the range of activities, changing the list of shareholders and including "vaccine" was one of its businesses. This information came from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Q: Why did this change occur?
A. In an official document, the Shanxi Ministry of Health indicated that the Huawei Company and the Shanxi Ministry of Health rescinded their contract in September 2007. The contract had been signed for a five-year temr, but it was rescinded prematurely. Why? Because Chen Taoon kept complaining about them and the relevant authorities investigated the business permit of the Huawei Company and found out that it was unqualified to handle vaccines. I speculate that if they wanted to continue, they must include vaccine as one of their business areas. This whole thing is quite absurd. This company is unqualified to handle vaccines. Yet for one year and nine months, it was handling vaccines for the 35 million people living in Shanxi province.
Q. This means that when Chen Taoan began to denounce the company in May 2007, the company had already controlled the entire vaccine market in Shanxi?
A: The Huawei Company entered Shanxi in the second half of 2005. It formally assumed the management and distribution of vaccines in Shanxi as of January 1, 2006.
Q. Have the relevant departments offer an explanation about this affair? What developments are you aware of?
A. Like everybody else, I read the Internet for information about the reactions from the Ministry of Health, the Shanxi provincial authorities, the Shanxi Ministry of Health. That's all. No official organization has contacted me.
Q: The Shanxi authorites has reacted to the 15 individual cases. They thought that the report was inaccurate? What is your view?
A. I firmly reject anything about inaccuracy in my report. My full report was 20,000 words long. Which word is inaccurate? Which paragraph is inaccurate? Which fact is inaccurate? Please point them out. I reject any broad characterization of inaccuracy in my report. Our newspaper had issued a formal statement, which basically said: "Through his investigation, our reporter has gathered a large amount of information (including personal testimonies, physical evidence and audio-visual recordings) about vaccines being exposed to high temperature, government officials and private business people colluding to monopolize the vaccine market, etc. The existence of these problems are bound to lead one to become suspicious of the vaccine products. Furthermore, these vaccine problems took place closely in time with the deaths of several dozen children, so that the possibility of an association cannot be excluded. Our newspaper paid a high degree of attention to the production and publication of this series of reports, and we were also very careful. We are willing to accept full legal responsibility for all the facts cited in the report."
Recently the Shanxi province announced that the deaths or sicknesses of these children were unrelated to the vaccines. But I never said in my report that what happened to these children was caused by the vaccines. As a reporter, I merely presented these facts in an objective manner. I presented the doubts of the parents, who believed that their children died because of problems with the vaccines. I never made the "judgment" that the vaccines caused the deaths or sicknesses of the children.
Q. Why do you hope to see happen next with the vaccine issue?
A. Recently, the Shanxi government announced that their investigation showed that "there was only one abnormal case out of the ten who were located." Firstly, let me state my doubt about the investigative agency. The Shanxi Provincial Ministry of Health is an important player in the vaccine affair in Shanxi. Their investigation does not carry public trust. I hope that the relevant department from the State Council or the Ministry of Health can form an investigative team to come up with a relative more objective and neutral result. Only such an investigation will gain the trust of the 1.3 billion Chinese people.
I accept responsibility of every word that I wrote because every word is based upon evidence including a lot of video images, audio recordings and photographs. Why hasn't the Shanxi Provincial Ministry of Health clarify whether the Huawei Company was not licensed to handle vaccines? Is the Huawei Company a shell company? Is it a company belonging to the Ministry of Health? Did the Ministry of Health issue a document requiring that vaccines carry the Huawei label? Were the vaccines exposed to warm temperatures during the labeling process?
There was one point that caused me to be suspicious -- the problem with vaccines did not just come up in Shanxi now. It was already there in 2006. Why are they suddenly saying now that they serve the people and they want to be responsible to the people. Why didn't they act responsibly earlier on?
Irregular petitioning will be deal with under the law with
(1) warning (2) detention (3) labor reform or criminal liability
Illegal petitioning shall be punished
Improve our work on petitioning and build a harmonious society
First, we had the pair of reports from the Nieman Journalism Lab:
- The Google/China hacking case: How many news outlets do the original reporting on a big story? Jonathan Stray February 13, 2010
- The Google/China hacking case: How did the story flow through Chinese-language media? Jinzhi Dong March 15, 2010
So who among the mainstream media actually do original reporting (as in, actually interviewing the principals in the story)? The following is an example. I have an interest in this case through this lengthy blog post:The Case Of Zhou Yongjun. Since this latest South Morning China Post article is behind a subscription wall, I am going to publish it in full as an example of "real mainstream media reporting."
(South China Morning Post) The twisted tale of a flawed dissident By Kristin Jones. March 20, 2010.
When spiritual sect leader and businessman Zhang Hongbao was killed in a car crash east of the Grand Canyon in Arizona in July 2006, his body lay unclaimed for months.
In Denison, Texas, Zhang's three-level house with a spiral staircase and a view of Lake Texoma, a 153 kilometre reservoir in the flatlands bordering Oklahoma, sat empty.
Food rotted in his refrigerator, and field mice took up residence in his Lincoln Town Car.
John Munson, a slow-talking real estate agent and the developer of the lakeside property, says Arizona police found his name on a cheque after the accident and called him. For a time, no other friend or relative could be found.
But in the autumn of 2006, a man named Zhou Yongjun showed up in Texas, bearing a bottle of VSOP Cognac and an invitation for Munson to dine with him.
The late Zhang, he revealed, was known to millions on the other side of the globe as the leader of the Zhong Gong spiritual movement, banned on the mainland since 1999.
Zhou was a close friend and disciple, he told Munson. He convinced the property developer to let him stay in the lake house, and to hand over all the letters and documents there.
"We didn't really trust him," says Munson. "But on the other hand, we couldn't find anyone who could tell us what to do."
In January, Zhou was sentenced to a nine-year prison term for fraud, accused of using a false name, Wang Xingxiang, to attempt to illegally transfer millions of dollars from accounts in Hong Kong. Wang Xingxiang was a pseudonym once used by Zhang.
Zhou's sentence sparked controversy in Hong Kong over the government's alleged mishandling of the case. Zhou was detained in Hong Kong, accused of committing a crime in Hong Kong - and yet held incommunicado in a mainland prison for several months before being convicted by a mainland court.
Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who is acting as Zhou's lawyer in Hong Kong, calls the case a dire challenge to the "one country, two systems" principle.
At the heart of his supporters' outrage over Zhou's treatment is his documented history as a pro-democracy activist. A student leader in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he was twice before jailed on the mainland for political reasons.
But Zhou is not a saint, his friends acknowledge. Over the course of two decades in exile in the United States, he showed that he could be headstrong and impatient. He was a risk-taker who sometimes made alliances that others saw as distasteful.
One such alliance was with Zhang Hongbao, a lightning rod who seemed to have made as many enemies as disciples during his lifetime.
Munson thought Zhang was strange. He would disappear for months and then reappear at inopportune times like holidays to make demands through an interpreter.
But he tried to be solicitous. He once supplied a crane so that Zhang could lift gold-lacquered furniture and a washer and dryer to the upper levels of the mansion.
In Texas, Zhou began a battle for control of Zhang's estate that took him to court in Arizona and California. And some wonder whether his bid for Zhang's assets may have brought him to Hong Kong.
In a small office above a Korean barbeque in Flushing, Queens, a poster calling for the release of Zhou Yongjun sits propped among piles of documents. The office belongs to Ye Ning, a lawyer and a long-time compatriot in the fight for democracy on the mainland. Ye remembers when his friend Zhou first arrived in the United States in 1993 and settled in an apartment nearby.
"Zhou Yongjun was a very handsome, energetic, vigorous young boy" when they met for the first time, says Ye, who is several years older. "He has a pragmatic sense of how to promote the pro-democracy movement inside China. He's not a thinker, but an activist."
When asked why he thinks Zhou travelled to Hong Kong, Ye is silent for a moment. He folds his hands in front of his face and looks down at his desk before peering up again.
"I want to preserve his legacy," Ye says, finally.
Zhou's legacy as a pro-democracy leader, earned at Tiananmen Square and locked in through his prison time, gave him a place among New York-based dissidents in the 1990s.
Lawyer Li Jinjin picked Zhou up from John F. Kennedy Airport when he first arrived in New York. Li remains one of his strongest advocates.
The two men had been leaders in the Beijing Workers' Autonomous Federation during the 1989 protests. They had last seen each other while handcuffed wrist-to-wrist in a jeep that transferred them from one prison to another as they were jailed for counter-revolutionary activity.
Zhou quickly found a home and a role for himself among the dissidents in New York. He shared an apartment with another former Tiananmen Square activist in upper Manhattan, and later moved to the growing Chinese neighbourhood of Flushing.
He co-founded the Party for Freedom and Democracy in China and was active in events to commemorate June 4 and to call on the US to put political pressure on Beijing. A charismatic public speaker, his friends say Zhou made an energetic contribution to the movement in exile.
Zhou's wife, whom he had married shortly after his release from prison, soon joined him in New York. They had a son.
But if the pro-democracy movement provided Zhou with a support system and a measure of respect and authority in the dissident community, it did not make him rich.
While some of his fellow activists thrived in the US as lawyers and businessmen, Zhou seemed to struggle, says Ye. Working odd jobs, Zhou sometimes had difficulty making ends meet for his young family.
"He had more hardship than most," said Ye, who recalls his wife complaining that Zhou did not provide for their son.
Zhou did achieve a period of relative
prosperity, said Li, as the founder of Chinese-language magazine that steered clear of political controversy. He even had an office in the World Trade Centre, Li said.
But that era ended abruptly when he tried unsuccessfully to sneak back into the mainland in 1998. Without a passport, he was detained in Guangzhou. After disappearing for several months, he managed to smuggle a letter to his wife revealing that he was being held in a labour camp in Sichuan province . He was not released until 2001 and Zhou's decision to risk jail by returning to China perplexed his friends.
"I have no idea why he went to China," said Li, who speculated that it was because he missed his family.
Ye knew Zhou as a renegade, who sometimes tried to convince him to venture back to China with him, despite the risks. He believed Zhou was trying to organise fellow student leaders from 1989 still in the country.
On Zhou's return to New York in 2002, his wife and son were not there to meet him. He later told a reporter for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that his marriage had been a casualty of his imprisonment. Still, he seemed undefeated. He showed Ye a photo of himself he somehow managed to sneak out of the labour camp. His legs were rails, though he said he was not treated as poorly as the Falun Gong prisoners. Zhou had made himself a leader among the inmates, he said.
It was a precarious time for dissidents abroad. Some of the energy from the early days of the movement had drained away as China's economic boom eroded the power of Beijing's critics. Zhou's release from jail came just months before Beijing won its bid to host the Olympic Games. And the Falun Gong, a cohesive force which had aligned itself with the pro-democracy cause abroad, appeared utterly defeated.
And with child support to pay, Zhou needed money.
Zhang Hongbao was known to be a complicated character. The Chinese government accused him of serial rape and murder. But he was rich. Zhang and his long-time partner Yan Qingyan built a successful business as well as a spiritual movement in China in the 1990s. Zhong Gong had its own schools and a hospital before catching the attention of mainland authorities, who banned it along with the more popular Falun Gong sect.
Zhang also had a network of disciples. Zhang claimed to have 38 million followers. Many of these disciples believed he possessed supernatural powers.
Zhang and Yan fled China in 1994, says Arthur Liu, who is now married to Yan and acts as her lawyer. When they left, says Liu, Zhang set up accounts using a passport he purchased, in the name Wang Xingxiang.
He eventually made his way to Guam, where US immigration authorities detained him in 2000. Beijing demanded that he be extradited to the mainland.
Ye Ning and other dissidents in the US set aside doubts about his character to petition for his release.
"We thought the Zhong Gong spiritual movement could be grassroots support for the pro-democracy movement in China," said Ye. "For its network and financial reasons, I thought it was a strategic asset."
Any hope for an alliance soured quickly, however, once Zhang was granted political asylum in the US in 2001. He soon reneged, says Ye, on a promise to donate US$4 million to the cause. He settled into a large house in Pasadena, California, and appointed himself the leader of a Chinese shadow government.
His reputation took another hit in March 2003 when he was arrested for detaining and beating his housekeeper.
Zhou's friends do not remember when the struggling activist met Zhang.
John Kusumi, a Connecticut-based activist who is spearheading the campaign for Zhou's release from prison, believes he was "following the money" when he moved to Pasadena to work for Zhang in 2003.
"He thought that was the route to get funded as an activist," says Kusumi. He notes that as a member of Zhang's Anti-Political Persecution Alliance of China, Zhou remained active in pro-democracy activities, speaking at a press conference in Washington in 2005 to urge the European Union to maintain its arms embargo against Beijing. "I had no doubt that [Zhou] was still on the case of Chinese democracy."
Zhou's work at Zhang's behest brought him into the crosshairs of some of the Zhong Gong master's critics. Several of them sued him for defamation for statements accusing them of being Communist agents - a charge that flies frequently among dissidents in the US.
One such lawsuit, filed in March 2005 by Zhang's then estranged partner Yan, referred to the Zhong Gong master by the pseudonym he had used when he left China: Wang Xingxiang. Zhou was also named in that lawsuit.
The former student leader wrote his own account of his work for Zhang in documents he filed in Arizona and Los Angeles courts after the Zhong Gong master's death. His aim was to gain control over the administration of Zhang's estate.
He began working for the Zhong Gong master in January 2003, Zhou wrote in a statement submitted to an Arizona court, as a "special adviser and assistant".
In particular, his job was to "investigate and recover" US$2.2 million "which was stolen by" Yan, according to a document he provided to the court.
"Hongbao Zhang is my master, mentor and fatherly friend," he wrote in a statement. "For quite a period of time I had the opportunity to converse with him for three hours everyday and we were very close."
At the centre of Zhou's petition to administer Zhang's estate was a document that came by way of Denison, Texas.
The document, a letter written in Chinese and translated for the benefit of the court, was signed by Zhang Hongbao and dated less than two months before his death.
Calling Zhou "courageous and competent" as well as "faithful, loyal, filial, righteous", the document leaves the administration of the Zhong Gong duties to him.
"After preparing this letter," it concludes, "I will entrust my neighbour in Texas to keep it and he shall mail it to [Yongjun] Zhou."
Munson's name appears as the source of the document provided to the Arizona court. But he says he doubts its authenticity.
"I never saw that letter before [Zhou] showed up," Munson says.
In April 2007, the Texan real estate agent received notice from a Los Angeles County probate court - where the dispute over Zhang's estate still simmers - instructing him to stop sending all of the dead man's important documents to Zhou.
"The court found that the letter [Zhou provided to the court] was not a legal will, and that it had no legal effect," wrote the Los Angeles county general counsel, in a letter also sent to the Chinese consulate. "Since Zhou has no standing in the Zhang estate, we urge you to stop having any contact with him."
Zhang Yuewei began dating Zhou while visiting California on business in 2005. She did not know about his political background, she says, until she started receiving warnings from the Chinese government to cut off contact with him.
Then she Googled him.
The 34-year-old had grown up believing what she had learned in school, that students had killed police at Tiananmen Square in 1989, at the instigation of foreign agents. When she read that Zhou was a leader in the protests, she was terrified.
"My head went blank," she says. "I felt dizzy."
It took her months to come to the slow and painful realisation that she could not return easily to her job and life in China. She came to believe she would be punished because of her association with him.
Even after she found out about his past as a political dissident, Zhou kept his girlfriend in the dark about his activities with people like the pro-democracy activist John Kusumi, as well as Zhang Hongbao. He wanted to protect her, she said.
Their daughter was born in April 2008.
A month later, a massive earthquake hit Sichuan province, where Zhou grew up. His parents were unharmed. But fearful of the tremors, they had been sleeping outside. Zhou, rattled, called them daily, his girlfriend says.
He had always been homesick, but this was unusual.
He begged Zhang Yuewei to take their daughter to visit his parents in China - sometimes saying he would go, too.
That summer, he seemed thrilled to show her a fake passport he had bought from an agent in San Francisco. In English letters, the name read: Wang Xingxiang. The man had promised that the name was clean, he told her.
Zhou did not mention that it was Zhang Hongbao's former pseudonym, a name that appeared alongside his own in a 2005 lawsuit.
And if he knew from his research into his former boss' financial affairs, he certainly did not say that Zhang had once used this name to set up bank accounts in Hong Kong.
In fact, he gave no details of his plans when he left Los Angeles on September 26, 2008, his birthday. He said only that he was going abroad.
Zhou disappeared for several months. It was not until November that his family learned he had been jailed on the mainland. In May 2009, they received his arrest warrant. His indictment revealed that Zhou was accused of sending letters in May 2008 using the name Wang Xingxiang to Hang Seng Bank (SEHK: 0011, announcements, news) in Hong Kong requesting the transfer of HK$6 million. He was convicted and sentenced in January.
Most of Zhou's friends dismiss the idea that there could be any truth to the central government's charges that Zhou was attempting financial fraud.
"I cannot imagine that," says Li, his advocate in New York. "He's an intelligent person."
Li notes that the mainland government has never linked the fraud case to the name of the late Zhong Gong master.
"If this case was related to Zhang Hongbao," says Li, "it would be a burden for the Chinese government to say that".
Ye has a more nuanced assessment of the case.
As a critic of Zhang Hongbao, Ye filed one of the many lawsuits against the Zhong Gong master and his "special adviser" Zhou. But that's all in the past, he said.
More recently, he and Zhou would sit and plot the future of the movement to bring political change to China. When he visited New York in recent years, Zhou stayed in unlicensed hotels in Flushing, Queens for US$30 a night.
He may have been struggling, says Ye. Or he may have been saving his money for the revolution.
Ye has no doubt that Zhou's true purpose lies with the movement.
"If he went to Hong Kong for money," says Ye, "it was also for another cause".
The above is a list of ingredients that can be ordered separately at a certain Hong Kong restaurant. The ingredients are given in Chinese and their English-language translations.
Assume that you don't read Chinese. What do you make of the English? Some things are no-brainers, because there can be no mistake: Rice; Udon; Fish (to be distinguished from "fish"); Fresh mushrooms; Tofu; Luncheon meat; Ostrich meat; Home-made beef ball; ... But other things are less obvious but maybe you can make a good guess: Pho (which is the Vietnamese word for flat noodles), Big head; Corn pieces; Lobster pill; ...
Then come things that are completely unfathomable:
- U.S. Cephalomappa (American beef)
- Cirrhina hand fighting fish (hand-made fish meatballs)
- Lobster pill (lobster meatballs)
- Fresh beef balls hits the hands (hand-made fresh beef meatballs)
- Hand pills to fight pork (hand-made pork meatballs)
- Fans (cellophane noodles; a term which is used on mainland China to refer to the fans of movie/singing stars because it is a homonym to the English word "fans")
- Horseshoe meat (water chestnuts)
- Intestinal cheese (cheese sausage)
- A Previous Small (the Demae Itcho brand of instant noodles)
- Tzu-Film flowers (sliced squid meat)
- Albert Yip (beef tripe)
How did the last entry come about? The name "Albert Yip" is a homonym for the Chinese term for the honeycombed beef stomach. There turns out to be a long list of names that are homonyms:
Judy Fan (come back early)
Andy Fan (come later)
Judy Heung (meet death early)
Robert Ko (turnip cake)
Frankie Tong (tomato soup)
Pinky Lam (ice cream)
Samuel Lam (sexually impotent)
Ben Chu (stupid pig)
Paul Chan (go bankrupt)
Polly Cheung (glass window)
Molly Yau (no reasonable basis)
The translator of that menu may have consulted such a list for the translation of beef tripe.
The most acerbic gold-digger in history, Ma Nuo
Since the beginning of the year, many real-life dating programs have graced the television screen and became popular among audiences. The "insane but frank" attitudes on marriage have stunned the audiences even as the players become Internet celebrities.
Some netizens are pointing out that the "unmarried women" in Jiangsu TV's <Not Welcomed Unless You Are Sincere> program were deliberately chosen and directed to achieve high television ratings. There is no doubt that they have become Internet celebrities even though they may be after different goals other than finding a boyfriend.
Last weekend, Liu Yunchao became famous overnight on <Not Welcomed Unless You Are Sincere>. During that program episode, he described himself as follows: his parents are rich business people; he works in the stocks/equity industry; he wants to open a restaurant; he has 6 million yuan in his bank account; he owns three race cars. During the program, he even challenged Ma Nuo: "Didn't you say that you want to cry in a BMW? You can come to my BMW."
After the program was aired, many netizens began a human flesh search on Liu Yunchao. Someone said that Liu used to known as Liu Yunling and was in the Second Central/Northern China training class run by the Emperor Group. Liu, Shi Yang and others had formed the G-box group which won the "best newcomers award" at an Asian song competition. Another netizen claimed to have gone to the Beijing Contemporary Music Studies Institute with Liu Yunchao. "He used to wear a 35 yuan t-shirt. From where does he get three race cars?"
The Sofres television ratings data showed that <Not Welcomed Unless You Are Sincere> has a 2.61 rating and leads its time slot. Many of the contestants are now celebrities. Foremost among them is 20-year-old student Ma Nuo who is a photo model.
An unemployed man who likes to cycle asked Ma Nuo: "Would you like to go cycling with me?" She replied without hesitation: "I would rather cry in a BMW (than be happy riding a bicycle)." A male guest who works as a TV host tried to show off his speaking ability, but Ma Nuo interrupted him: "I listen to you speak and I think you are looking for a whipping. Let me go find a whip ..."
From joining the first episode of <Not Welcomed Unless You Are Sincere>, Ma Nuo is known for her acerbic talk and sexy dress style. "She is the most acerbic gold-digger in history. She was a nobody previously, but how come she be comes so popular as soon as she gets on a dating program?" Although many people are critical of Ma Nuo, the fact is that her blog is getting more than 10,000 visits per day and her work assignments have increased dramatically.
"I am running between Beijing and Nanjing and making buckets of money non-stop." Ma Nuo told the media that she wanted to use the program to enter the entertainment industry. This frankness drew netizen criticisms: "No wonder she does not want to choose any of the male guests. She obviously does not want to leave the program." "She always tries to speak during the program, and she always says the most shocking things. This is all to garner fame for herself!"
Guangzhou Daily: Is Ma Nuo a shill?
Producer Wang Gang: Definitely not.
GZD: As the principal magnet for TV ratings, she has become the biggest attraction on the program. Many viewers want to know how long will she continue to stay on the program?
WG: I don't even know. We can say that under the present rules, she will stay until she was chosen to leave. We never imagined that this could happen when we started the program. Therefore, we don't have the relevant measures among the rules of the show. We thought that a competitor would be lucky to last several episodes. We did not foresee that she could stay on until how.
GZD: Are you concerned that viewers will get tired of her?
WG: We are concerned. But we cannot do anything unless the rules of the game are changed.
GZD: How do you intend to change the rules of the game?
WG: We have gathered a lot of audience feedback, such as whether a competitor should be allowed to stay so long. We may be making some minor adjustments to increase guest turnover.
GZ: It is rumored that Ma Nuo gets paid 500 yuan per appearance. Is that true?
WG: No. We don't give out appearance fees. Why should we give her an appearance fee? We only provide certain transportation subsidies for guests from out of town, such as part of their train fare. If they have economic hardship, we can pay reimburse them for certain expenses. That is all.
GZD: Ma Nuo is popular due to the program. Have you considered signing her up as an artiste?
WG: Not at present. We are not a competition program and we don't have the ability to promote people. She became popular as a by-product of the program. The reason why she was able to continue on the program for so long is largely because she has an acid tongue.
GZD: Many netizens said that Liu Yunchao went too far in flaunting his wealth during that episode. What does your team think?
WG: We even felt that he went overboard.
GZD: Liu Yunchao appeared as a second-generation rich person on your show, but some netizens say that this identity was faked. Someone says that he is a student at the Beijing Contemporary Music Studies Institute. Did you know that? Will you look into it?
WG: No. Every day, someone or the other is claiming to be making exposés on the Internet. We don't have that much energy to follow through on everything. We sign contracts with our guests beforehand in which they promise to use their real identities. They are held responsible otherwise.
GZD: Does that contract stipulate what kind of responsibility is implied if a fake identity is used?
WG: No. As I said, they are responsible for using false information. We will try our best to confirm. Many of the things said on the Internet are not reliable. Therefore, many of these exposés aren't necessarily true.
GZD: Some netizens say that many of your female guests are students from the Beijing Contemporary Music Studies Institute. Did your program group visit that school to recruit guests?
WG: No. We have never visited this school.
GZD: So how come so many of the female guests are from this school? Do you realize this?
WG: I am not sure about that.
GZD: Did any Jiangsu TV worker participate in the program?
WG: No. We don't let insiders participate.
(China Daily) Actress denies charity fraud By Raymond Zhou. March 16, 2010.
Zhang Ziyi has been criticized for not replying to accusations of charity fraud leveled against her, but in an exclusive interview with Raymond Zhou she tells all.
LIAONING PROVINCE: Zhang Ziyi has vehemently denied accusations that she committed fraud in the name of charity, but admitted to inexperience when organizing a donation drive for the relief of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake victims.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, the internationally-celebrated Chinese actress - for the first time - answered some 100 questions, most of which involve details about the money she gave to charity or collected for her own foundation.
Ever since an advertisement featuring her was defaced with paint in December, Zhang has been embroiled in a series of allegations. The most serious of the accusations - mostly from netizens - are about discrepancies in the sums that surfaced in various reports. Shortly after the earthquake struck Sichuan on May 12, 2008, killing some 80,000 and dislocating millions, she decided to donate 1 million yuan ($147,000) to the China Red Cross.
As she was in the United States at the time, she asked her representative in China to transfer the money. But due to what she claimed to be a "communication glitch", only 840,000 yuan was sent. She said she took "primary responsibility" for it and had already made up for the shortfall. The other contentious figure was $1 million, which she said she had "hoped" to raise, but had never claimed to have "already" raised. The actual amount pledged for the Zhang Ziyi Foundation is slightly less than $500,000, most of which has not been paid.
The event in the eye of the storm was a fund-raising drive on May 21, 2008, at the Cannes Film Festival. During the one-hour "hastily arranged" initiative, only $1,392 in cash was collected, far less than the previously reported $50,000. The rest were informal pledges. The total adds up to about $500,000, which is the amount she said she had always referred to when answering the media.
Since then, she said she had been making efforts to pressure the donors to honor their pledges, but her efforts have not been very successful. So far, only $15,050 has been collected.
Zhang said she would personally make up for the shortfall but would not reveal the people's names against their will. Zhang also mentioned her foundation was registered in California two days before her fund-raising effort in Cannes. The foundation, a non-profit organization, is of good standing and there have been no financial irregularities, she said.
Tears welled in her eyes when she talked about the incident's impact on her and her family, and again when she recounted the solace and support she got from friends. She said she wants to give back to society because she had got so much from it, using her heavily-subsidized tuition in the drama academy and the dance school as an example.
This story is not as interesting as the story of how Raymond Zhou got that interview. So before you dismiss the above piece as a paid advertorial, you should read this second piece first.
(Southern Metropolis Daily)
Ever since "Donation Gate" imploded, Zhang Ziyi has rarely shown up in public. Most of time, her agent Qi Lingling spoke on her behalf. An exclusive interview of Zhang Ziyi became the objective of almost all the media outlets in China. Raymond Zhou told our reporter that the degree of difficulty in procuring this interview was completely unexpected: "At first, we did not hold out much hope when we made contact. We wanted to make a try. If they say no, I give up. So we tried and we found out that they did not issue an outright refusal. So there seemed to be some hope." Why did things work out? In Raymond Zhou's words, "a blind cat can even run over a mouse sometimes." He said that he did not make contact with Qi Lingling. "I don't know her. I don't have her contact information." So he found another person in Zhang Ziyi's team, who is a foreigner who keeps a low profile. "At first, I wasn't even sure. In retrospect, the person that I contacted held the English-language title of 'press manager'. Therefore he was responsible for media publicity. Qi Lingling was not responsible for publicity. This meant that I had found the right person at first try."
Raymond Zhou said that he asked for an interview beginning on February 10. The major reason why the interview did not take place until March 12 was: "scheduling." The interview finally took place after he stayed two days at the location and waited for Zhang Ziyi to have a break during her filming. The scheduled time kept changing all the while. "She was very busy. It was very hard for her to find a break in the middle."
"She did not stipluate that personal questions were out of bounds. She basically only promised to talk about the matter of the donation. When I tried to broach softly on personal issues, she gave more officious replies." Raymond Zhou said that he specified a condition to the other side: "There must not be any restrictions about Donation Gate. I can ask any questions that I want and I can frame them in any term without restriction." Zhang Ziyi's side said: "No problem." Both sides also signed confidentiality agreements, which included not disclosing the location of the interview and keeping the contents confidential prior to publication.
Raymond Zhou recalled that the interview took four hours from the intial meeting to the conclusion. "1:30am to 5:30am in the morning." During the whole time, Zhang Ziyi "did not get out of her chair." Apart from the lightings set-up, the initial chat, the midway make-up adjustment and the breaks, the interview itself took about 1 hour. "The video was just over one hour long."
Raymond Zhou said that during the pre-interview chat, he told Zhang Ziyi: "Please do not regard me as your enemy. But you should not regard me as a friend either. I am just forwarding the questions from the people." At that moment, Zhang Ziyi seemed to "have become more relaxed." On one hand, she was in the middle of making a film (note: Wong Ka-wai's <A Famous Master>) and she would have to hurry over to the studio as soon as the interview was over. "Maybe I was over-sensitive. But when the camera started, my first words were: 'How are you, Ms. Zhang Ziyi?' She seemed to have trembled once. I think she did not expect that I would start off by addressing her as Ms. Zhang Ziyi. She was surprised."
Raymong Zhou said that the China Daily film crew was there along with workers on Zhang Ziyi. But during the interview, all unrelated persons were in the room next door. Only Raymond Zhou, Zhang Ziyi and the cameraman were at the scene. Due to fact that Donation Gate involved many details, Zhang Ziyi kept the relevant information by her side to consult. "She read from the material quite often. I will release the information later tonight. It came from a Los Angeles lawyer's office. She asked the lawyer's office to make a detailed investigation. The information contained most of the data."
"When I began with the questions, she was typically saying either Yes or No. After the basic numbers were presented, she became more open and she teared up." As for the tension that Zhang Ziyi showed, Raymond Zhou said: "Everybody knows how important this interview was to her. She said that she has never been interviewed before in this manner. I said that this was not a trial, and I do not have the right to make judgments. I was only forwarding the questions from the people. Howver, those questions certainly have that feeling. I only want to deal with the facts. You can give us an explanation. Whether we accept the explanation is our problem."
Raymond Zhou said: "She teared up on two occasions. The first time was when she spoke about the impact of the affair on her family. The second time was when she narrated the story of the child of a friend giving her encouragement. She was supposed to say something to encourage the child. Before she finished, the child said: 'Ziyi, I spport you. You must be strong. The truth will come out.' When she came to this point, tears came out."
Raymond Zhou said that this was the second time that he had an exclusive interview with Zhang Ziyi. The first time was a chat about the movie <Extraordinarily Perfect>. The two interviews were completely different: "In the first interview, she was very natural in her responses. She felt like a charismatic girl and a big star. This time, it can be said that my questions came mainly from scouring the Internet. Therefore, she was somewhat tense." Only when the interview ended did the old Zhang Ziyi resurfaced. "After the interview was completed and the camera turned off, we began to chat about movies. She was relazed and became her old charismatic self."
Did Zhang Ziyi talk to him about her reactions to the interview? Raymond Zhou thought for a moment and said: "She did not seem to have." As for the published article, the two sides agreed beforehand: "This is what she was going to say anyway. I can let her review it. If she did not say something, it can be removed. For example, what are the experts saying about the case? We don't have to have that."
As to why Zhang Ziyi's team chose him for an exclusive interview, Raymond Zhou's view was: First of all, China Daily was an influential platform. "The key is that our platorm is in English. I feel that she wanted to send the same message out inside and outside China without any distortion. There was no reason to choose an English-language newspaper otherwise." Secondly, it may be because Raymond Zhou is a bilingual writer. "I went back and thought out it. I had written two reviews about movies in which she starred in. One was <Mei Lanfang> and the other was <The Banquet>. But I did not mention her in those reviews. I remembered that I have never praised her and I have never denigrated her. Therefore, this should not have anything to do with my previous movie reviews."
On March 16, Taichung mayor Jason Hu encountered an embarrassing situation. Hu was speaking at the National Chung Hsing University about ECFA. As he got up to leave, a student wearing a surgical mask and handgloves and carrying a backpack (which contains a megaphone) yelled at him: "You Taiwan traitor!" Faced with the unfriendly display, Hu replied: "Don't get too excited." Although embarrassed, Hu tried to keep up a smile.
As Hu turned to leave, the student pursued him as other students joined in as well. They followed Hu and kept yelling. The security guards stopped the university student. Someone yelled: "Get the guards to come over! He has a knife. He is not a student. He has a knife. I just saw him take out a knife!"
The situation grew more heated. The guards took the student outside. The police found a knife in his trouser pocket. But the student said: "What crime did I commit? What did I do? I didn't do anything!"
This student claimed to be an Asia University student, but he did not carry any identification. Why did he carry a knife? Is this because he disagreed with Jason Hu's views about ECFA? Does this have anything to do with the upcoming elections? The police have taken him away for questioning. Even though he is a student, carrying a knife during a public heckle poses risks to the public. In any case, this must be the most embarrassing situation that the highly popular Jason Hu has ever come across.
The above written report does not convey the actual circumstances. The following is a television report, in which it was pointed out that the student wore a mask to avoid recognition and gloves to leave no fingerprints behind.
"Certain local governments regard the Internet as a monstrous beast. They are scared of the Internet, they hate the Internet, they blame the Internet, they ignore the Internet, they cut themselves off the Internet, they choose to be silent in front of Internet opinion. That is uncalled for." At just past 10pm on March 14, Yunnan Provincial Communist Party Committee Department of Publicity deputy director Wu Hao thus wrote on his microblog.
Just a few hours ago, Wu Hao who was undergoing training in Beijing made a few phone calls and then made one post on his microblog. This was enough to smash the Internet rumor about a Yunnan leader having made the proposal at the two Congresses to "detain the familes of those died in detention centres in insane asylums."
Many netizens are concerned that certain unsourced rumors may lead to greater control of the Internet as an exchange platofrm. But Wu Hao and some reasonable netizens gave people confidence through their actions this time. "The Internet has its own ability to correct mistakes and most netizens are reasonable." Wu Hao told our reporter last night. He said that the key is the attitude of the government towards handling crises. The governent also has to respond immediately. "The goverment must take an active attitude."
In the present case, the rumor was based upon an Internet post titled <Yunnan People's Congress delegate: The families of those who died in detention centre should be sent quickly to insane asylums>. This post was wildly popular over the past couple of days. It was supposed to be based upon a report written by <Legal Times> reporter Zhou Bin: "Since the Internet reaches everywhere, the deaths of many criminal suspects in the disciplinary committee offices, the public security bureaus, the police stations and the detention centres have frequently been hyped up on the Internet ... this has brought a lot of pressure of the political and legal departments ..." Therefore, the National People's Congress delegate and Yunnan provincial commitee deputy secretary has said at the two Congresses, "We recommend to enact the <Methods of handling the accidental deaths of criminal suspects within the political and legal systems> into law. It will be required that the direct relatives be sent to the local asylums within two hours of the death of a criminal suspect so that they cannot complain all over the Internet and cause an Internet incident."
Internet searching showed that this post had actually been circulating on the Internet more than a month ago. In February, the post titled <Yunnan Provincial Party Committee: The families of those who died accidentally inside detention centres should be sent to insane asylums quickly> appeared on the Internet. It was specified that this article was "suppressed by the chief editor before going into print, but some newspaper worker has leaked it out for general consumption." Now that the Two Congresses are taking place, this story morphed into a proposal by the Yunnan People's Congress delegate.
Some netizens noticed this point too. Southern Metropolis Daily verified that the earlier post had originated from an overseas website.
This post drew attention because its sensitive content appeared during the two Congress. Certain netizens re-posted it and criticized the National People's Congress delegate for being foolish. Yet many other netizens did not just pound on their desks in anger because they were thinking about the authenticity of the post. They even asked the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee Department of Publicity deputy director Wu Hao for confirmation.
"I found this speech by a Yunnan provincial leader to be unbelievable. How could a government official be so foolish? This was suspicious. I thought that I ought to ask director Wu." A netizen who posed the question to Wu Hao told our reporter.
The messages from netizens drew Wu Hao to look at the rumor and check with the relevant departments. A microblogger also helped to obtain the telephone number of <Legal Times>'s reporter Zhou Bin. "I spoke to Zhou Bin. He said that he had never covered the Yunnan delegation and he had never spoken to this deputy secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee. The so-called interview with secretary Li on the Internet was forged using his name, because he was <Legal Times>'s reporter on the Two Congresses beat and he had written many articles already. Therefore, his name was used as the author of the Internet post." At 8pm on March 14, Wu Hao made this clarification on his microblog.
"This was entirely fictional." Wu Hao explained to our reporter again. He said that this view had never been mentioned by the Yunnan province delegation. He had checked with the Yunnan province delegation at the Two Congresses and nobody had made any such proposal.
The <Legal Times> reporter Zhou Bin wrote on his own blog: "I have never published such an article for any media or Internet. I did not write this article. I have not interviewed any of the principals mentioned in the article."
From there on, the Internet opinion leaned overwhelmingly in support of Wu Hao and against the rumormongers. Some people were concerned that these types of malicious lies can only lead to the narrowing of speech space on the Internet. "Even the information from microblogs has to be scrutinised for veracity -- we cannot just all chime in," said another netizen. One netizen wrote: "I did not re-post this article because it had not been confirmed." Another reporter wrote on the microblog: "This was a nice piece of interaction. This time, no one is likely to criticize you."
But even Wu Hao was surprised that a timely response in the form of a single microblog post was sufficient to smash the Internet rumor. "I totally did not expect that."
In his view, the success this time depended on the speediness of the response but it was also important to have the authoritativeness. "I am the Internet spokesperson for the Yunnan provincial party committee." Wu Hao said that some local governments also have Internet spokespersons, but they don't use their real names. "If you need to use a real name, you should use your real name. This showed that the government is open and sincere."
A female university in Chengdu wrote the card supplied by the student apartment management committee: "Wish. My name is Zhang Mingqian. I am a first year female university student. I think that I have good quailties, but I have not been able to find a boyfriend. But I believe in destiny. So if you would like to get to know me, plesae show up between 12:30pm and 12:45pm on March 12 in front of Building Number 5 and call out my name. I will be peeking secretly from upstairs. If I think you are the right one, I will come downstairs to meet with you."
At around noon, as many as 1,000 students from inside and outside the university showed up at the location. They were waiting to see which male students will have the courage to shout out her name. People were even live-blogging about the developments. According to the reports, a man in a red sweater stepped up and starting shouting her name, leadig the show to the climax. However, the female never showed up. According to information, the male:female at this technology school is 25:1, so that this high-profile act was found to draw in the men.
The above was the initial report. The next one is a more detailed report.
March 8th is Women's Day in China. March 7th is Female University Students' Day at the Chengdu Electronics Science and Technology University, this being the third annual edition. As in past year, the female students posted their wishes on the bulletin board in front of the cafeteria. Male students can pick out a card and help the wish come true. So out came: "I want some sexy underwear," "I want a husband," "I want a villa," I want a green plant", "I want someone to watch over my bicycle," "I want N handsome guys and a carful of roses" ... and other awesome wishes.
Among the female students was one named Zhang Mingqian, who expressed her wish to have a boyfriend. The candidate was asked to show up between 1230pm and 1245pm on March 10 in front of her dormitory and call out her name. This may seem commonplace, but several thouasnd people showed up and clogged up the area underneath the dormitory. Then a man in a red sweater called out the name "Zhang Mingqian" aloud, only to be joined by countless other guys.
At the same time, the meeting was live-blogged on the Internet. People began to run human flesh search on "Zhang Mingqian" and "the red-shirted guy." Someone claimed to have found the photo of Zhang Mingqian at Xiaonei Net. Meanwhile a person claiming to be Zhang Mingqian said at Douban that she has canceler her Xiaonei account due to the public pressure.
Several thuosand people were chanting the name "Zhang Mingqian" but she never showed up. The crowds gradually dispersed after 13:50pm.
People told each other, "She lives in the fifth floor of Number 5 Building." Many male students went and asked the building manager. "Who is Zhang Mingqian?" "Where does she live?" "What is her major?" But the building manager said that there is no student by the name of Zhang Mingqian. Other female students said that the first-year students lived on floors 1 through 3 and the fifth floor is occupied by fourth-year students only. The legendary first-year student Zhang Mingqian could not be staying on the fifth floor.
The deputy director Wang Gang of the Student Affairs Office said, "There is no student here by the name of Zhang Mingqian." The school conducted an investigation afterwards. According to Wang Gang, the man in the red sweater is a registered second-year student. A guidance counselor has spoken to him already. "The male student said that he only called out her name for fun." Wang Gang said that the male student will not be punished. But if a similar activity should take place in the future, the school will provide proper guidance. After all, there may be public safety issues when thousand of people gather in one place.
Google street maps captured a nude Taiwanese girl in Hualien city, Taiwan as she lounged just inside a second story apartment window. The risque nude shot was spotted last night by a Google maps user and subsequently spread around the Internet, leading Google to quickly obscure the image this morning. So don't bother trying to find the address.
According to the article, a reporter was sent to the home in question but was unable to get a response from the resident. Understandably so.
The following are translations from Chinese-language reports:
Last night around 8pm at the PTT forum, thousands of netizens were discussing the Google Maps result for Hualien city, XX Street Number XX for which a nude female can be seen on the second floor.
Netizen s9415154: "This is going too far!!!" Netizen zaknafein: "Go sue Google!" Netizen mliaso: "This is very dangerous if this is now it goes."
The Apple Daily interviewed the neighbor Mr. Wu of this woman. Mr. Wu pointed out that this 50-something-year-old woman had been institutionalized before but her family has taken home to look after her." Mr. Wu said: "Although she was naked, she did not walk into the street. Google managed to photograph her all the same. This is too scary!" Citizen Ms. Chao said: "Businesses should watch over their services."
This is a forgery. Anyone who has used any photography software an see that this was a composite, with at least three flaws.
1. The iron gate window shows signs of being joined together. The left hand side of the window is often but you cannot see how it might connect with the right hand side, because the edge of the right hand side has been crudely covered. The right hand side should terminate in a straight iron bar instead. This is an amateurish act.
2. The window sill on which the young woman is stepping on showed clear signs of being severed from the top to bottom. The left and right sides do not match up.
3. The left side of the young woman's body (including her left breast, her left stomach and her left leg) are completely invisible. Under normal circumstances, the left side of the body should be visible through the iron bars. But the left side of the body was blacked out. This alone proved that this is a forgery.
24-year-old man Chan Wing-leung was trying to use the computer at the Tuen Mun Library. He was waiting in a queue when he had a quarrel with a library worker whom he described as having a bad attitude.. He left and went over to the Pok Oi Community Cyber Centre in Yuen Long instead to go online.
To express his unhappiness, he made four posts at the Hong Kong Golden Forum under the following titles:
(1) I want to manufacture a bomb to blow up Donald Tsang's house. What kind of materials do I need?
(2) Where in Hong Kong can I rape a school girl without being easily caught?
(3) My life is cheap -- I will kill someone for you for only 10,000 dollars.
(4) I am the rapist with the thick-rimmed glasses. I feel really cool when I molest females.
These posts drew plenty of comments as well as the attention of the Hong Kong police. The Technology Crime Squad found his posts and contacted a Hong Kong Golden Forum administrator to obtain the IP (Internet Protocol) address. The police then went to the Pok Oi Community Cyber Centre and obtained the personal details of the suspect. After being arrested, the suspect was told about his rights under the law but he nevertheless admitted to all the alleged acts.
According to his lawyer, the defendant had been unemployed for more than 2 years and is suffering from depression with suicidal tendencies. Sentencing will be held at a later date after the judge gets the psychiatric evaluation.
A mainland tabloid magazine has dropped a bomb about an alleged 6-minute video of actress/singer Stephy Tang.
<New Hope> magazine exclusive
Stephy Tang in passion
Better than Cecilia and Gillian
The police leaked Sexy Gate video
By current practice, "no video = no truth." Since this video has not surfaced on the Internet, so people are still skeptical.
Stephy has respondend via her Sina.com microblog: "I just read some comments left by fans, and I could not figure out what happened. Did something happened? ... oh, it was another creative story from those busybody magazines!!! But this time they went too far. My company is dealing with it now ... don't worry!
Postscript: In less than 24 hours, Hong Kong netizens have found the original video from which the photos came. That video goes by the title "Sex bribery in Miss China pageant" and appeared months ago.
(The Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report) March 8, 2010.
Li Hongzhong, governor of Hubei province, was asked by a Peoples Daily reporter about last years case of a hotel worker whose murder charges were dismissed after she claimed she had acted in self-defense when an official and his colleague tried to rape her. His reply: Are you really from the Peoples Daily? And you ask such a question? What kind of Communist Party mouthpiece are you? Is this how you guide public opinion? Whats your name? Im going to find your boss.
What is 'fair and balanced journalism'? According to the Urban Dictionary:
The art of writing a story that, under certain circumstances, can lead to the subject losing their credibility, their reputation, or their job. Then the writer of the story sitting back and laughing. Source: Rush Limbaugh.
I am joking, of course, when I made that quote. The general idea of being "fair and balanced" is that both sides of the story should be represented. Did Li Hongzhong get a fair shake avove? Not at all. What do you think his perception was coming from his position? You wouldn't have a clue, do you? So how can you condemn him?
Here is the interview with the man himself about what happened.
Q. On the Internet, it was reported you clashed with the Beijing Times reporter. Can you elaborate?
A. I asked her: "Which news organization do you come from?" She said that she was from People's Daily. I asked her, "Are you from People's Daily?" She hemmed and hawed and did not respond. We found out later that she was from Beijing Times and not People's Daily. But it does not matter to me because every media organiztion has the right to gather news for the purpose of watchdog journalism. That is normal. I felt that she should have just said Beijing Times without any inhibition and there wouldn't be any problems.
Q. The discussion seemed to be concentrated on the recording pen of the female reporter (note: Li Hongzhong swiped the recording pen away from the reporter and it was returned to the reporter later by a third person without apology/explanation).
A. That was because she would not disclose her media organization affiliation in a straightforward manner. I felt that it was unbecoming of her to say that she was from People's Daily when she was in fact from Beijing Times. We were concerned that she was not a reporter at all. So I took her recording pen to check out what was on it.
Q. How do you feel that the government and the People's Congress delegates ought to face the media?
A. In 2004, I was the mayor of Shenzhen and I said that the news media have the the "three lights." First, they provide the sunlight. The Premier had said that the authorities must operate under the sunlight so that everything is clear. Secondly, there is are the eyes of the masses which are part of watchdog supervision. Thirdly, this is about laser light. With laser surgery, the disease is healed with minimal damage. Watchdog journalism is a good way to make amends for mistakes. My "three lights" emphasized the importance of the role of the media. I believe that the media play an essential role just ike the rule of law, the supervision by the people's political consultative conference and the superivsion by the masses.
Q. On the Internet, public opinion has been one-sided on behalf of the reporter?
A. I think she ought to be more open and magnanimous.
Q. Do you think that she did wrong?
A. I don't think that there were any mistakes as such. During the process, we need mutual understanding.
Q. Many netizens demand that you apologize to the reporter. What do you think?
A. Hmmm ... I don't think that we have to talk about that. Actually, this is not the only way to judge a person. It is not important to have some misunderstanding.
Q. So you don't think that an apology is required?
A. (somewhat excitedly) I don't think an apology is called for. Our common goal is to have harmonious development of society. The Party is working towards the harmonious development of society. The media work hard to encourage and applaud social fairness and justice while deploring the bad things in society. Misunderstanding arises some times, because information is incomplete. I don't think that an apology is required. Things will get better. It is tough, especially for young people who just got their jobs. If she wants to meet with me just as you are meeting with me right now, I think that is alright But I don't think that I need to do anything on the Internet.
Now that you have heard Li Hongzhong's side of the story, you should feel free to say whatever you want ... but not before!
Have you noticed that this blog has been spotty over the last few days? That is because I was traveling back to New York City for work-related reasons. But before I can even begin to work, I had to deal with jury duty first. My last stint was in 1999, during which I served four weeks on a grand jury, returned indictments on 101 out of 101 cases and given eight years off in recognition of that effort. This year, I have been called up again and I synchornized the timing to coincide with my annual long trip back.
The jury summons asked me to show up at 8:45 in a New York City court. The session began with a DVD show about the jury process in case people have never served before. Then booklets were handed out so that we can figure out how to get paid (Does New York City or my employer pay for lost wages? etc). The pay rate is USD 40 per diem and it is taxable.
The next thing is what happens most of the time during jury service -- I sat and waited (of course, I had the foresight to bring an Amazon Kindle and I managed to read all of F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom on the first day, leading to the inspiring idea of a project (for someone else!) titled How Apple Daily Wants To Lead You Into Serfdom).
At 11am, my name was randomly selected among 19 persons to be screened for a civil lawsuit. A civil case requires 6 jurors (and 2 alternates). We were told that the case involved the New York City government as the defendant, so that all NYC government workers were automatically excluded. The 19 persons were herded into a drab room. Like all US state and city governments, New York City/State have huge budget deficits, so they couldn't afford to make a jury room look pretty.
The brief introduction by the lawyers is as follows: A worker for telecommunications company Verizon had been hit by a New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development van. As a result, he sustained a knee injury for which he is suing the van owner (namely, the New York City government) for damages (including medical expenses, lost wages and the loss of enjoyment of life).
The 19 jurors were then handed questionnaires to fill out. The key questions were the following:
Q14. Have you or someone that you know well ever been ...
[ ] Involved or acquainted with law enforcement/legal profession personnel
[ ] A victim of a crime
[ ] Sued anybody
[ ] Sued by somebody
Q15. Have you previously served on a jury? [ ] Yes [ ] No
If Yes, then
Was the case: [ ] Civil [ ] Criminal [ ] Grand jury?
Did the case result in [ ] a verdict [ ] no verdict?
In my case, my answer to Q14 is Yes to the first three items but No to the last one. For item 1, the explanation is at Translation and its Discontents. For item 2, I was a burglary victim in New York City once upon a time. For item 3, I have sued dozens of Chinese publishers for violating the intellectual property rights of Eileen Chang and won all the cases. My answer to Q15 was Yes to all options -- I have been serving jury duty since becoming an American citizen and I have seen a lot during my time.
After completing the questionnaire, the 19 persons were sent out at 1130am for a 2-1/2 hour lunch (returning at 2pm) while the lawyers perused the questionnaires. The courthouse was next to Chinatown, so this was a familiar neighborhood for me.
At 2pm, everybody came back. The plaintiff's attorney began the voir dire questioning of potential jurors. During the process, everybody could learn something about the other jurors. Racially, the 19 people were divided as 5 Asians, 4 Hispanics, 0 blacks and 10 whites. Economically, 4 of the 19 were unemployed at the moment. Those who are employed come from various sectors (e.g. an H&R Block tax preparer; a financial service company compliance officer; an NBC TV interviewer who had just returned from the Vancouver Winter Olympics covering ice skating and speed skating; an interior decorator who proposed to decorate the jury room; the person sitting on my right works for a TV advertising company whose latest project is for the five-feet-long Subway sandwich; the person sitting on my left works for a financial company involved with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; etc).
The plaintiff's attorney was very interested in getting elaborations from those who checked Yes on Q14 and Q15, looking for possible pre-dispositions. The attorneys from both sides did not see eye to eye on many issues (such as the phrasing of issues for the sake of the jurors) and frequently had to exit the room and discuss away from the hearing of the potential jurors. Some sample questions posed to the jurors were:
Do you object to making monetary compensation as a matter of principle? (For example, there may be people who attribute misfortunes to acts of God)
If you make the defendant pay compensation, would it make a difference if the defendant is New York City as opposed to any ordinary citizen? (Note: the compensation made by the NYC government comes ultimately from the taxpayers)
Would it make a difference if you knew that the defendant weighed between 280 and 300 pounds at the time of the incident?
Would it make a difference if the incident occurred in year 2000 (ten years ago) but is only coming in front of the court today?
When my turn came up, the plaintiff's attorney asked me to elaborate on Q14 item 1. I explained my former career as a translator, including testifying in court as an expert witness. He asked, "What did you learn from your experience as an expert witness?" This was an issue because there will be medical expert witnesses from both sides of this case. I said that I learned that I should only answer the question directly but I am not obliged to offer any help even if I understand the intent of the question. From the perspective of jurors, they have to restrict themselves to the evidence that was presented even if they think that there must be more to it. I was asked about the civil case in which I served as juror. I summarized it as: "An eighty-something-year old man gets run over by a truck from behind at the corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street. The case was settled while the trial was going on without requiring a jury decision."
By the time the plaintiff's attorney got through the questioning with everyone, it was past 4pm already. So we were sent home with instructions to reconvene at 930am the next day.
Today it was the turn of the defense attorney to question the potential jurors. Unlike the plaintiff's attorney, he was interested not in the contents of the questionnaire in general but only in any experience related to knee problems. He asked each person: "Did you or someone you know have knee surgery?" If someone had knee surgery, he asked them about their knowledge about the anatomy of the knee, the efficacy of knee surgery, etc.
During the course of this questioning, more details about the case was revealed. The incident occurred in year 2000. Since then, the plaintiff has had two knee operations, but he felt that he had not recovered fully. That was the reason why he filed for compensation at this time. However, it is the contention of the defendant that the latest knee operation was unrelated to the original incident. Both sides will surely produce their own medical expert witnesses who will contradict each other. How is the jury to decide? What the defense attorney wants to avoid is to have a smart-alec juror who will offer his own "expert" opinion about knee surgery. Of course, this is a tricky issue because the whole point of have a jury of one's peers is that they can apply commonsense to decide a case based upon the evidence. But here you are asking someone to put aside that knowledge for the trial.
When my turn came, I said that I was a runner and I am effectively retired due to a knee problem. About 5 years ago, things got very bad when I could hardly walk up stairs. While I had no problem walking horizontally, the motion of bending my left knee, lifting the left leg up the next step and straightening my leg out was extremely painful. Things got better after I stopped running. Today there is no pain but I have a clicking knee. Now I happened to be a member of a running club. A running club is a social club with members from all walks of life brought together by running. When teammates sit down together, the only common topic is running. This is usually subdivided into race times (either current or lifetime), training regime (mileage or intensity) and injuries. Dozens of my teammates have undergone knee surgery. My overall lesson from those discussions was that (1) there are different kinds of knee injuries and (2) the results of knee surgery vary across people. There is just a great deal of uncertainty involved. I would have sought to have orthopedic knee surgery if it was really clear-cut.
This second round of questioning ended around 1030am. The potential jurors were told to take a 10 minute break. Of course, nothing ever happens according to plan because the lawyers did not come back until 1200n. At that time, they read out the names of the 8 jurors (including 2 alternates) and sent the rest back to the big waiting room. I was not among the chosen ones.
I sat around in the waiting room. At 12:30pm, we were told to go to lunch and return at 2:15pm. So I continued to explore Chinatown.
I returned at 2:15pm and sat around. Nothing happened. At 3:45pm, we were told that we have completed our service. I picked up my certificate of service. It will be four more years before I have to serve again.
The blogger "No Evil Thought" claims to be a female announcer at CCTV and had graduated from the Communication University of China in Beijing. In her blog post, she described how she followed the "hidden rules" in order to get accepted by the School of Cinema and Television at CUC. In order to pass the entrance exam (of which 6,000 applied and 17 were accepted), she offered her body to the male instructor Song Nannan who was associate professor in the Department of Television Directing, School of Cinema and Television, CUC.
After she graduated, "No Evil Thought" got married and she found that she had to offer her body to Song Nannan a second time in order to procure a job at the media group where he worked.
The blog post is accomapanied by a series of photo featuring a man who is asleep and a woman whose facial features have been deliberately covered up.
The man in these photos bear a resemblance to the Song Nannan as taken at public events:
Q. Did you read what member Zhang Weiqing said about "how it is harder and harder for government officials to tell the truth"? How do you feel?
A: I saw his speech. I agree. I feel the same way.
Q. In some places, there are fewer truthful words and more officialese jargon. Why is that?
A. My personal view is that there are serious problems with work styles, writing styles and thinking styles in some places. The problem of corruption has become the focus of society. Each year, the central government ratchets up its anti-corruption efforts, but they still find many provincial-level corrupt cadres. The reforms may have achieved some major results, but social development has been uneven, the superstructure and the economic base are unevenly balanced and political reform is stuck. These are the basic problems.
Also, the sense of royal authority still persists after several thousand years in China. Some officials think too much about their positions without being consciously aware.
Q. When you were the Minister of General Administration of Customs, did you dare to speak the truth?
A. I was daring by comparison. Let me add that the corruption problem could not be solved because of the hiring system. I told the organization department that the various rules and regulations were fine, but they were not being followed. Under the current system, the locals and the departments hold all the power, especially with respect to hiring people. I was at the General Administration of Customs for ten years, including eight years as the leader. I feel that the leader had too much power, especially with respect to hiring people. If I say something, very few people dare say no to me. Once I discovered this problem, I paid attention to it.
Q. How important was the word of the leader to select/promote a cadre?
A. It is decisive. When a leader is in his position after a while, he did not have to articulate his wishes directly because someone will take his hint and act accordingly. This system is very dangerous. Once I recognize that, I paid special attention. Later I found out that some people were not what they appeared to be. Some cadres are two-faced people -- they act one way in front of the boss and another way in front of the people. My rating of them and the ratings by the masses were completely different. I paid special attention. The decision of the leader is the key factor
As long as this problem is not solved, many things cannot be solved. This is especially obvious in the hiring of people. The system is the system, but you say something and you do something else -- the hiring list is determined by a small group of people, mainly from the leader. The vista is not broad enough.
Q. Zhang Weiqing also spoke about the authenticity of the leader going down to inspect and investigation the conditions at the base level. How do you see it?
A. This problem definitely exists. For example, when the leader goes down to visit, the locals will make very detailed and meticulous preparations. The leader becomes a 'machine' and this is very tragic. Sometimes a leader goes to inspect with dozens of people around him. But most of them are police officers and cadres in disguise. They pretend to be the masses. This is the truth. Some leaders know about these practices and often conduct surprise visits. But that is rare.
Q. The writing style is another issue of concern for society?
A. I hold some sharp views on writing style. Presently, in the speeches of certain leaders, the first half is laden with clichés and only the second half contains any substance. The mountain has been covered up by the mists. The "party talk" is too overwhelming. Sometimes, something can be explained succintly in one sentence, but you have to beat around the bush many times before you get to say it. Many of the speeches and writings of the leaders are written by secretaries. Sometimes, they run out of ideas.
Q. When you were secretary-general, did you write your own speeches?
A. To tell the truth, I wrote my own speeches for the party organization meetings. For the general meeting of the Customs directors from all over China, I did not write the speeches because the report is on behalf of the general assembly. I and my assistants held a few discussion forums first to gather opinion, we came up with an outline and we listened to the opinions of the bureau-level cadres. I gave an oral outline which my secretary wrote up. The document is sent out for feedback. After the text was written, it was sent out again for discussion and amendment before being finalized. But I will write my own speeches for most meetings.
Q. What about other cadre leaders?
A. I understand that many cadre leaders do well. They are pragmatic and they write their own speeches, even including scribbling on their worn-out small notebooks. Some leaders may be using prepared speeches, but you can tell that they are using their own materials. But there are also some cadres who read off printed copies. Overall, I estimate that one-third of cadre leaders insist on writing their own speeches.
Q. How can the situation be changed?
A. I agree with the recommendation of Zhang Weiqing. I suggest that the cadre leaders show by example to tell the truth. Only if they lead the way will their underlings speak out. At the same time, we have to criticize untruthful speeches. This is the way to change habits. I should say that most cadres want to tell the truth, but there are situations in which they dare not or cannot.
Q. You mentioned that one worker changed your speech once upon a time, causing you to rip up the summary?
A. At one meeting, I gave a speech and a worker made a summary. The summary said that I agreed with something or the other. They were all standard clichés. It did not contain a single thing that I actually said. So I ripped up the summary, causing a great deal of embarrassment. But I really couldn't stand it. I always feel that if we don't want to listen to different opinions, we shouldn't bother to hold meetings. The improper practice of officialdom is shown in its lack of democracy. I like the atmosphere at the National People's Congress Standing Committee meeting. The summary reports whatever you say. You feel that your words mean something.
Q. What prescriptions do you have for changing habits?
A. First and foremost, we must enhance demoracy, we must cultivate habits and we must avoid officialese because our writing style reflects our thinking. At the Fourth Plenary of the Sixteenth Congress of the Communist Party of China when they asked for ideas, my suggestion was that if you seriously want to solve a problem, then you should let people speak their minds. Our social environment is different nowadays, and we cannot have a closed system anymore.
My view is that Chinese society has reached a new stage which requires a new liberation of thinking as well as genuine internal reforms (especially the reform of the political system). The key to these reforms is to subject public authority to a legal system. First, we must increase democracy and change our styles. When the political atmosphere improves, social atmosphere will improve as well.
Secondly, the reform of the political system requires new ideas. At present, economic progress is going quite well which makes social problems even more urgent to deal with. I think that the central government is aware of this because they are paying attention to the problem of income distribution. I am happy to see that. The key is to come up with concrete measures that can be implemented.
For background, read Must thank the country before your parents at ChinaHush.
At the CPPCC session, State Sports General Administration deputy director Yu Zaiqing criticized Olympic champion Zhou Yang for saying: "There is nothing wrong with thanking your father and mother, but you should thank your country first. You have to put the country ahead of your parents. You cannot stop at thanking your parents."
On the morning of March 8, our reporter spoke to Zhou Yang's parents by telephone. They said that Zhou Yang is still young, inexperienced and innocent and they hope the leader would not pick on her words. The father Zhou Jiwen said, "The girl is still young. She spoke from her heart. I was touched when I heard it. I agree with what the girl said. Of course, the parents come first! Of course, after the parents bringing her up, everything else is for the country. Ultimately, she won glory for China!"
The mother Wang Shuying said: "The girl is not good at expressing herself. She is only 18 years old. Very inexperienced. Very innocent. Even if she said something wrong, you should understand why she said it. As her mother, I don't think she said the wrong thing. She only told the truth. Whose good results were not due to the parents? Even if some people won't say it, they probably think so inside. I don't think there is anything wrong with what the girl said."
Wang Shuying said: "The country spent so much money to train the girl. Can she forget the country? Ever since my girl joined the national team, she only did three things every day: train, eat, sleep. This year, the girl gained glory for the country. She does not know how to talk tall. I and her dad are plain folks. We don't have much social experience and we don't know how to talk tall. We don't know how to teach our girl to talk tall either."
"What Chinese person does not love China? We bring up our child in order to gain glory for the country! Is it necessary for the leader to pick on words? It is such a great honor to gain glory for the country, so what is this tiny matter?" Wang Shuying said.
Wang Shuying said that the next time they communicate with their child, they will tell her to thank the country first before thanking the parents.
According to information, Zhou Yang's parents saw her in Beijing on March 6 and then returned to their home in Changchun so as not to interrupt the training. Also, before Zhou Yang became champion, the family was relatively poor. Both parents have physical handicaps and they don't have any regular employers. Their family relied on a small lottery station as well as the mother weaving sweaters to make a living.
The parents' hearts are the most touching of all! Who has heard of parents having to apologize to society after their daughter gained glory for the county!? Yesterday at the Oscar awards ceremony, not a single winner from the USA or elsewhere "thanked the motherland"!
Is it appropriate for a National People's Congress delegate who represents the sports industry to denounce an athlete this way? Is it appropriate it for him to suck up to the government?
Recently the netizen "Seven Not Up Eight Down" made a post titled <2012: Will the intersection point of the two rivers look like this?>. Included was a photo that was created by PhotoShop.
In the photo, the two rivers have dried up altogether and the Chaotian Gate is standing between two Grand Canyons. The inspiration for the photo is the drought that has led to the biggest drop in water level in a century.
Our reporter went out to check the situation. Although it was drizzling, the Jialing River was dried up with large muddy patches rising in the water. Many boats were grounded on the river bank, with only some small boats still moving in the middle of the river. According to one sailor, his boat has been grounded for more than a month already.
On March 7, the Chongqing Marine Affairs Bureau leader said that the river drought in the Chongqing section has been going on for more than two months. Here are the reasons that contribute to the phenomenon:
1. The weather in western China has been abnormal with very little rainfall. This led to a reduction in water volume in the Yangtze river.
2. Deforestation has led to less water volume in the green reservoirs.
3. Chongqing industrial development has been rapidly growing, resulting in bigger intake of water for industrial purposes.
4. There are more hydro-electricity stations upstream, and they slow down the river flow in order to generate electricity.
Is there any chance of the 2012 vision happening? The Chongqing Marine Affairs Bureau said that there is no sceientic basis whatsoever for this scenario. The river drought is only temporary. When the rain season begins in April, the rivers will rise again. However, it may not be a bad thing if this photo can remind people to be more conscious of environmental preservation and use water frugally.
Unemployed man threw shoe
to attack Henry Tang
Threw shoe, blck street
Post-'80s laid siege on Henry Tang
(South China Morning Post) Shoes thrown at Tang at youth summit. By Kobi Chan. March 7, 2010.
It was another day for the so-called "Post-80s" protesters - those disenchanted youth born in the 1980s - to make their latest statement against the government. This time the venue was the Youth Summit, co-organised by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Commission on Youth, where government officials and the public were supposed to come together to share opinions and discuss government policy. However, the biggest stir was caused by a man who threw a pair of sports shoes at acting Chief Executive Henry Tang Ying-yen, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing and Commission on Youth chairman Bunny Chan Chung-bun, who were opening the event in Chai Wan. The incident reminded the audience of the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at former US president George Bush in December 2008.
While yesterday's shoe-thrower was being dragged away, he shouted for the government to support a minimum wage. Police would not reveal his identity as he was not charged. The man later said he was jobless for nine months and angered by the government's inaction in helping youths find jobs. The former computer repairman added he chose to act in this manner because he believed using foul language in public was inappropriate.
Before the summit began, about 30 people from several youth groups gathered outside the building where it was held, waving banners and chanting that the forum was a "fake consultation" and that "young people's opinions are being neglected".
As soon as Tang left the building after the summit, the protesters blocked his passage and demanded to speak to him. However, Tang managed to get into his car while police scuffled with the protesters. One protester, Anson Wong Hin-wai, lay in front of Tang's car in an attempt to block him from leaving, but was forcibly removed by the police and security guards. More than 20 officers had to clear a path before Tang could leave. "I want government officials to listen to young people seriously. We need communication," Wong, 21, said.
During the summit, two youths posed as reporters to get close to the officials to voice their demands, but were caught. "The topics being discussed at this summit are not those that any young person would be interested in," protester Au Yiu-pong said. Another protester, Kong Kwai-sang, said he was disappointed with the summit because it was not a useful venue for young people to voice their opinions. "The summit focuses on the role of young people," he said. "It mainly tells young people how to behave. It neglects the difficulties faced by young people. This is just a forum for parents to lecture children." Chan said they were keen on having a dialogue with the young and the summit was to provide an opportunity for them to voice their opinions directly to government officials.
Tang answered questions about the trial voluntary drug-testing scheme, air pollution problems in Hong Kong, and the challenges arising from an ageing population. When asked for his opinions on post-'80s issues, he said: "We respect the opinions of everyone. We encourage people to respect each other, to be tolerant and help each other. We are seeking common ground while reserving differences. This is the culture of Hong Kong. We should respect and treasure it." He made no mention of whether he believed shoe-throwing would become part of the culture.
(Skywu1986's blog) Director Wang, I am not afraid anymore!
Wuhan Marine Affairs Bureau director Wang Changqing, this is the end of you! I will no longer be intimidated by you, I will expose your scandalous behavior to the public!
Hello everyone. My name is Wu Xi. I am a female student who graduated from university recently. My four years in university were an awful time. For those four years, that shameful episode was unforgettable because it etched a deep scar in my heart. Whenever I close my eyes, I remember those heartbreaking moments which rouse me out of my nightmare.
It was my birthday in August 2006. Afer class, I went to a bar near Jianghuai to celebrate. Unfortunately it would leave me with an unerasable stain. I went inside the bar, I ordered a drink, I sat at the round table, I listened to the music and I watched the dancers. A 40-something-year-old man came over to me with two glasses in his hand and appeared to offer me a drink. I stood up ready to leave, but he prevented me from leaving. I was not as strong as him. But I thought that it was just a drink anyway. At worst, I could make up some excuse and split. He began to say something like he would be terribly embarrassed in front of his friends if I didn't accept the drink. So I took the drink. At first, I didn't feel anything. Then I got dizzy and wanted to throw up. I walked towards the restroom, but I was getting more dizzy. Finally, I passed out while being dimly aware that someone picked me up. I can't remember what happened afterwards.
When I woke up, my head was aching and so was my lower body. I took a look around and I burst in tears. A man was asleep by my side. I pulled aside the blanket and I found a blood spot on the bed. I realized that I had been raped -- I had been a virgin. I rushed over and slapped the man. He woke up, he put on his glasses and said some terrible things (such as not realizing that I was a virgin). I got angrier. I was ready to hit him again but he blocked me off with his hand. He said: "It does not matter. You can be my lover. I have money and power. I can give you anything you want." I sat down and took out the phone to call the police. He grabbed my phone and tossed it on the bed. He said: "Don't even think about calling the police. I know the Wuhan Public Security Bureau chief. It is useless for you to call the police. I will get off on my say-so. Frankly, I tell you that while you were unconscious, I took pictures of your body. If you are unafraid, I will post your photos onto the Internet. You won't be able to complete your studies." I was completely defeated by this. I only remembered that I did nothing besides sobbing. He put on this clothes, tossed 4,000 yuan on the bed and walked out of the door with a smile on his face.
In the days to come, I lost interest in attending class or taking exams. My fellow students and guidance counselor were concerned about me. They asked me why I cut classes. I couldn't tell them, because I was afraid that they would despise me if they knew. I was even more concerned about my mother because this will kill her. She brought me up for twenty years and this was how I repay her? The more I thought about it, the more scared I became. The more scared I was, the more withdrawn I became. I locked myself in the bedroom every day and I refused to go out. Meanwhile, he kept calling me to ask me out. He said more disgusting things to me. I really don't know how a man could be so filthy and disgusting. I had to put up with the repeated torment. Worst yet, I was on vacation one time and he made me go out with him. I ended with up with vaginal infection. I did not dare to seek treatment at the hospital. So I ended up taking my own medicine in the dormitory. I don't know if you can appreciate how depressing I felt.
Then one day I asked my friend to check out his name and job title. I was shocked to find that he was Wang Changqing, director of the Wuhan Marine Affairs Bureau. A government official, a bureau director, a Communist Party member ... and he does something so filthy and repulsive. Does the harmonious society today produce such people who are lower than beasts?
The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I called him to ask him out and I told him what I found out about him. I thought that he would be scared. But he actually got more aggressive and said: "So what if you know? Yes, I am a bureau director. I have many connections at the provincial and city levels. So what can you do about me? I could toss you into the Yangzi River and have you drowned. We can make sure that your body will never be found. There was someone in our bureau who drowned and we made sure that the family never found his body. I can ruin a person any time that I want." When I heard him say that, I broke down once again.
Four years have gone by. He kept harassing me. He made me come out under various pretexts. Over the four years, I tried to change numbers but he figured them out. He continued to issue threats to me. I was helpless and had to obey him.
But today, I have grown up. I have thought it through. Rather than let him oppress me, I will use the strength of the Internet to put this evil man to justice. I believe that there is justice in the world. I cannot believe that the city, provincial and national leaders would not care. When I mail this essay to the mayor and the provincial governor, I shall be free. I can go on. Mama, I am sorry! Your daughter will have to leave first. I will have to repay my debt to you in the next life!
On March 4, the netizen Skywu1986 uploaded the post <Director Wang, I am not afraid anymore!>. As of yesterday afternoon at 6pm, 15,287 persons have read the post and 202 persons made comments.
Yesterday afternoon, our reporter went to the Marine Affairs Bureau. According to an office worker, director Wang was out of the office. However, director Wang is aware of the blog post and has filed a police report. The bureau's spokesperson named Zhu also told our reporter that director Wang does not know this woman Wu Xi. He also said that Wang is a model worker who ahbors alcohol and works overtime frequently. Therefore, Zhu can say responsibly that the whole affair is made up.
At around 5pm yesterday afternoon, our reporter reached director Wang. Wang said that everybody knows about the irresponsible way by which people make Internet posts. He has already filed a report to the public security apparatus. He declined to comment on the veracity of the post.
The Hong Kong Catholic Diocese publishes a weekly newspaper called Kung Kao Po. In the March 7 issue of this newspaper, there was an article about "the human anatomy behind the clothes" which is accompanied by a painting provided by an art studio. The point was that the drawing the female body requires less emphasis on the bones and muscles than the male body due to structural differences in anatomy.
Obscene Articles Tribunal adjudicator Cheung Man-bing read the relevant article and drawing and said that showing female nipples may make it a Type II Indecent Article. But he pointed out that articles that are about religion, art and literature are exempt during the classification process. He said that the Kung Kao Po did not need to show these breasts which artistically controversial and are not even aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
When our reporter checked with Kung Kao Po, they said that the purpose of the column which has appeared for several years is to show the techniques of drawing. The Television and Entertainment Licenssing Authority said that they have not received any complaints so far. But based upon the "Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance> and the classification results for previously classified articles, TELA does not believe that this particle obsence is either indecent or obscene.
[ESWN Comment: If that is the case, then why is Oriental Daily pixelating the nipples in their photo? Well, the same photo might just be indecent if it showed up in Oriental Daily!]
(Han Han's blog)
Recently the diary of the Guangxi Tobacco Bureau's director Han Feng has been red hot. In a time when sexy photos and videos proliferate on the Internet, the appearance of literary and authentic depictions represent a fresh spring breeze. This has to be the literary work that has the highest literary and social values of the year. After reading the diary, I feel that we should not get too worked up about how to punish this bureau chief. If we assume that the diary is authentic, then this bureau chief is actually a good cadre.
1. During a six month period, the bureau chief only accepted 60,000 yuan in bribes. This is the first five-figure bribery total that I have read about in the last few years. How are we going to find such a clean bureau chief anywhere?
2. Among the women he fooled around with, fools around with, regularly fools around with and plans to fool around with, none of them are his kept mistresses.
3. This bureau chief does not gamble, does not patronise prostitutes and does not bribe his superiors. When he tried to handle the matter of his mobile phone card, he stood in line (at the Telecom company store) for two hours.
4. In this diary, we see a state cadre who spends the minimal amount to get his women. At a time when other cadre give cars and buy houses to their mistresses, the most expensive presents for his women are mobile phones or MP4 players. On this point, this bureau chief is pretty good and so too are his women. With men and women like these, our nation can save enough money to build many aircraft carriers.
5. (Over the course of the 140 days in the published portion of the diary) he only got drunk 89 times during social functions. I know that many village cadres attend more than 365 social functions each year. Since he got drunk so many times, his alcohol consumption ability is so-so and less than national standards for cadres. Thus, the most serious charge against him is that he sullied the image of public servants.
6. Although he fooled around with other women many times, he went out with his wife 25 times and he bought a mobile phone for his father. There was no hint that he leveraged his job to open the "back door" for his relatives.
7. He knew how to install his own computer software, he loved digital gear, photography and sports and he kept a diary written in microblog style. He is a leader who has kept up with the times.
8. In his diary we see no mention of the usual quest of a state cadre for luxury cars, upscale apartments and books/painting/antiue collections. He did not even harbor any such thought. Instead, he just silently played with his mobile phones and computers. He even wrote in this diary: "Today I bought a pair of Sony headphone for 160 yuan. Really fantastic!" This is a satisfied and happy cadre.
9. As for his work ... there may be no indication that he did any work whatsoever. But as long as the so-called cadre did ("to do someone" is to "to fuck someone") did his subordinates, it satisfies the literal meaning.
Based upon the above as well as the current mores in China, Han Feng is definitely a good cadre who surpassed the standards. This type of cadre is easily satisfied with entertaining himself and does not think about harming common citizens. He poses a minimal threat to the nation and its people. After buying a mobile phone, his diary showed that he "played with the mobile phone at home" for the next three days without fooling around with his women. There are a lot worse cadres in his job position.
I strongly recommend that the netizens ease up on this cadre and his women. They are merely small shrimps in this game of evil. Their biggest crime is to nibble at a few micro-organisms which happened to drift near them. We may wish that they be punished in accordance with the law, but we should never take them to be the typical representatives of bad officials. In the evil corruption within officialdom, Han Feng is the most green and harmless type. Let this bureau cheif continue at his post while playing with this digital toys. If he is fired, his replacement may do much more harmful to society without keeping a diary.
In recent days, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Yan Qi declared that he will be proposing legislation to replace all privately owned-and-operated cyber cafes by government-run ones. The media gave broad coverage to Yan Qi's proposal. The story was cross-posted at many Internet forums with thousands of comments. Supporters and opponents abound, but they agree that the proposal was drastic. People even proposed to boybot the Taoranju restaurant group thta Yan Qi runs.
On the night of March 2, the website of Taoranju was hacked. Here are the screen captures:
Cigarette Butt Brother: Don't be obsessed with Brother because Brother is merely a legend
* Cigarette Butt Brother *
Long live the People's Republic of China
Renowned Internet expert Mai Tian said that he disagree with the hacker's actions. He said that Internet violence is wrong.
In the early morning of February 26, 2010, Sun Xingchen who who had
escaped from the Harbin Liming Prison 68 hours ago was nabbed
by the Harbin police. Harbin city party standing committee member
and Political and Legal Committee secretary Wang Weixu (left third)
conducted the interrogation at the scene.
Early morning on February 23, two convicts escaped from the Liming Prison. The public security bureau mobilized all its personnel to pursue these escapees. The 13 exit routes from the city were guarded and checked. 89 public security hot spots were clocked. People and vehicles leaving the city were inspected. The police also continuously checked all hotels, hostels, bath houses, karaoke bars, cybercafes, work sheds, unoccupied houses, etc which are possible hideouts for the escapees around the clock. Announcements were made on television, in the newspapers and other media. Rewards were offered for the arrest of these escapees.
On the night of February 25, a tip was received about the temporary location for the two escapees. At around 10pm, the police found the bag, mobile phones and battery charges for the two escapees at that location.
At around 3:40am, the police spotted a taxi slowly approaching the Jinxing police inspection station. The escapee Sun Xingchen was the passenger. When Sun saw the police officers from afar, he got nervous and told the taxi driver to turn around. The taxi driver, "It's alright. They can't arrest you if there is nothing wrong. I'll register and then we can leave." So Sun decided to take a chance.
When the taxi dropped, the policemen found the fan wearing a black wool cap and black rimmed glasses to be highly suspicious. So they took him indoors for interrogation. A comparison showed that the tatoo on this person matched the description in the warrant. Thus, Sun Xingchen was arrested.
When the news came, the city party standing committee member Wang Weixu, the deputy mayor Wang Xiaoji, the deputy public security director Hong Shi, the special police patrol division captain Sun Tingheng all came down to the police station and directed the interrogation with city public security bureau Ren Ruishen, deputy director Han Zhi and criminal investigation division captain Yu Tao.
According to the police, the other escapee Chen Congcong may have left the city disguised as a woman.
This news story drew the following comments from a Tianya Forum netizen:
On the basis of the first photos alone, there are many questions:
1. What are there so many people in the interrogation room? With so many people, this is more like a religious mass ceremony.
2. Also, what right does a member of the Political and Legal Committee got to interrogate people? Is this the "rule by individuals" instead of "rule of law"?
3. No stenographer is visible in this photo. Instead there are miscellaneous spectators, who may be plainclothes police officers. They and their leaders should know that this photo will be distributed nationwide and worldwide. Aren't they concerned about the image of the police? Do they not care about what people think?
4. When I saw this photo, I cannot help but recall the time when the robber Zhang Junshi was arrested in Chongqing. The then public security bureau deputy director Wen Qiang put his foot on Zhang's face and ask, "Do you yield or not?" Do you feel the same way?
The second photo is even more frightening.
1. Compared to the photo on the wanted poster, his face features seemed to have been altered. Why wasn't the blood on his face wiped clean? Don't you know that the overseas media are waiting for this type of thing in order to attack us over human rights conditions. Great, you are handing it to them? Who is going to be held responsible for this mistake?
2. Sun's neck is loosely bandaged. Why? Supposedly he was injured on the neck. Did he resist violently during the arrest? Why else was there such an obvious wound?
3. The terror and helplessness on Sun's face evoke many thoughts!
Finally, I want to remind people that the questions on the minds of the Chinese people are: How did these two convicts escape? Who is going to be held responsible?
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