Q: But there are many laws in China to protect the various rights of the citizens.
A: You are wrong.  These laws are used to scare cowards.  If you are bold enough, these laws become useless.
Q: Alright, let's not talk about rights.  Let's talk about respect instead.  Baidu is disrespectful in the way that it acts.
A: Respect?  Since when did the word "respect" show up in the vocabulary of the Chinese people?
Q: What do you mean?
A: The Chinese people don't respect anything.  They have no notion about contracts.  They don't respect music -- they never want to buy recordings and so why shouldn't we provide them with free music to listen to?  They don't respect literature -- they never want to buy books and so why shouldn't we provide them with free electronic books to read?  Of course, they won't really read them.  They will never read free books carefully.  But do you think that they will spend money at a bookstore to buy books?  In China, I can only provide the contents that correspond to their notions about consumption.  Free -- it will always have to be cost-free.
Q: What if these writers ultimate use legal methods to solve this problem?  How will you cope with that?
A: I welcome any lawsuits.  Baidu grew in the midst of lawsuits.  We are not afraid of losing in court, and we have never ever lost in court no matter how wrong we were.
Q: Why are you so confident and arrogant?
A: You ought to know why.  Baidu is a quasi-state-owned enterprise.  If Baidu loses, it means that state-owned capital suffers a loss.  Do you think that the courts in China would ever let a state-owned enterprise lose?  The interests of the state override the interests of individuals.  Therefore, Baidu cannot possibly lose in court.
Q: The writers will be taking action next.
A: Let them.  We will follow them all the way.
Q: In the event that you lose your case, what kind of compensation will you make?
A: We won't lose.  I am fully confident about this.
Q: But you have actually violated the rights of many people.  How dare you be so shameless?
A: Because my name is Robin Li and my dad is Li Gang.

Xie Sanxiu came from Hubei to work in Guangzhou with her husband.  Her husband presently earns about 2,000 yuan per month in a clothing manufacturing factory.

The daughter of Xie Sanxiu named Hou Sansan was born on August 31 last year.  According to her mother, her daughter appeared to be unable to follow objects with her eyes.  She took her daughter to consult a doctor and found out that the infant had a tumor on the cornea.  This was a tremendous blow to the family.  Xie Sanxiu broke out in tears: "The child is only two months old and she is suddenly severely ill.  And why did this happen to an impoverished family?"

Xie Sanxiu took her daughter to the pediatric hospital and has spend 50,000 yuan so far on treatments.  This exhausted the family savings.  "The first two surgical operations yielded no improvement as the left eye began to shrivel."  Yesterday, our reporter observed in person that the right eyeball of the infant was sunken as if there was nothing there.  Xie Sanxiu used her fingers to lift the eye open and it looked dim and lifeless.

The parents went out borrowing money from friends and relatives.  They went to a specialist hospital and were told that the child should receive six doses of chemotheraphy first.  "If the treatment is not given promptly, the child's life is at risk beyond just the right eye.  The husband had been taking taking days off from work in order to seek medical treatment for his daughter."

The desperate Xie Sanxiu decided to seek help over the Internet.  She made a post entitled "Seeking kind-hearted people to held an infant with optical cancel" at the G4 Online BBS at the Tianya Forum.  She provided the medical history as well as the official documents and photos.

Most netizens were sympathetic towards Xie Sanxiu's child.  But there was a netizen named "Rich young man in Guangzhou" who told Xie: "So many people need help in this world.  Why should I help you?"  Then this person added: "Not every person in this society is kind-hearted.  You said that you are willing to give up your own life for the healthy well-being of your child.   It is easy to say empty talk.  Who is going to believe you?  If you can, you can crawl 1,000 meters in a Guangzhou street and I will immediately donate 20,000 yuan to you."

Another netizen said angrily: "I don't care if you can help this infant or not, but you cannot say things like that to make the mother feel lousy."

But Xie Sanxiu was not angry because she cared too much about her baby.  She said: "Rain or snow, I will go.  I will do anything possible to save my baby.  I hope that this rich young man of Guangzhou will keep his world."

Yesterday at around 2pm, Xie Sanxiu brought her child to the bus depot at Guangzhou Boulevard and began to walk forward on her knees.

Pedestrians gave her strange looks, but she was oblivious.  Our reporter asked her if she knew how to contact "Rich Young Man of Guangzhou."  She didn't.  "In order to save my baby, I will try anything as long as there is a sliver of hope."

When some pedestrians found out about her situation, they gave her money generously.  20 yuan, 50 yuan, 100 yuan ...

At around 5pm, a young man who claimed to be the webmaster of the G4 BBS at Tianya Forum appeared at where Xie Sanxiu.  Upon learning who the reporter was, he said: "Tell her that the 'Rich Young Man of Guangzhou' knows what she is doing.  He wants her not to traverse on her knees.  There will be some way of raising the money."

But Xie Sanxiu was oblivious.  She insisted on going forward and refused to stop until she reached the Sports Center.  The G4 BBS webmaster said taht even though the "Rich Young Man of Guangzhou" said that he will find some way out, he did not explicity say that he will donate 20,000 yuan personally.

An hour later, the G4 BBS webmaster contacted the reporter: "Let me give you a piece of bad news.  I have contacted the 'Rich Young Man of Guangzhou' to verify the donation.  He said, 'I won't be donating any money.  She was just asking for it.' "  Later, the G4 BBS webmaster told the reporter: "When I tried to reach the 'Rich Young Man of Guangzhou' again, he ignored me."

UPDATE:  It has been uncovered that the 'Rich Young Man of Guangzhou' is the alias of the G4 BBS webmaster.  This person has been immediately suspended by the Tianya Forum.  Netizens asked: "Is suspension sufficient punishment?"  They also asked cynically: "Why didn't someone call the police and haul this woman and her infant down to the police station for a compulsory DNA test?"

Some of the newspapers featured the Great Salt Buying spree in Hong Kong/Macau/mainland China.

Apple Daily:
China/Hong Kong/Macau: blind rush for salt

Sing Pao
China/Hong Kong/Macau salt grab
Rumored to resist radiation, becomes international joke

Headline Daily
Hong Kong people urgently and blindly fight for salt
Chow Yat-ngok: Citizens should have commonsense

The Standard

Panicked shoppers stripped stores of table salt in Hong Kong - and in cities across the mainland - amid internet claims that it can ward off radiation exposure from Japan. The alarm sparked calls from Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok for people to be level-headed and stop listening to false rumors. Consumers also worry that salt in future may be produced from radiation- contaminated seawater.

The panic-buying pushed up the retail price of salt to as high as HK$30 a catty, from the usual HK$2.

The salt frenzy also hit Macau, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other mainland cities as misinformation crisscrossed the region via the internet in the wake of Japan's nuclear emergency.

Chow said the rumors about salt being a radiation remedy and affected seawater are "totally unfounded." "Three-quarters of the Earth's surface is made up of seawater," he said. "We believe the supply of salt will not be affected. The contamination of the seawater around Japan will be much diluted or washed away after some time." Chow said iodine - which can help lower the absorption of certain radioactive chemicals in the body - is useful only if people take iodine tablets within six hours before or after radiation exposure. [...]

"What matters most is that Hong Kong citizens should have common sense and analytical skills, and understand how radiation may affect our bodies," Chow said. "We should not get affected by such rumors and the speculators who may be spreading the rumors in the hope of making profits."

People with edema, high blood pressure and kidney disease risk damaging their health more if they consume too much salt. Undersecretary for Food and Health Gabriel Leung said about 85 percent of the table salt on the market is not iodized. "One has to take about 2.5 to five kilograms of [iodized] table salt a day in order to absorb the dose of iodine that is contained in an iodine tablet," he said.

Tommy Chan Hing-moon, a clinical psychologist at Matilda Medical Centre, said a "herd mentality" causes shoppers to follow what others do amid a panic. "This is an overreaction by citizens after hearing rumors and seeing negative media coverage about the potential dangers of nuclear disasters," Chan said ...

As  if that was not enough, here is further incitement to action:

Hong Kong Daily News
Rice-buying spree all set to happen

The other newspaper carried stories about Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan's statement that eastern Japan may be ruined under the worst case scenario.

Oriental Daily
Helpless to ward off nuclear disaster, Naoto Kan forewarns
Eastern Japan will be completely ruined

Ming Pao
Japanese Prime Minister does not exclude the complete ruin of eastern Japan

Ta Kung Pao
Naoto Kan's worse case scenario
Fears eastern Japan be completely ruined

Wen Wei Po
Naoto Kan: Makes worst case scenario
Total ruin of eastern Japan

Naoto Kan's terrifying forewarning:
Eastern Japan will be completely ruined


(MRzine)  Special Advisor to the Cabinet Kiyoshi Sasamori, at a press conference on the night of the 16th, revealed that in a conversation with him, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said: "[If the worst case scenario of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant accident comes true,] we must consider the possibility that eastern Japan will be ruined."

(Professor Ben Ng's blog)

Will the media please don't make any more of these exaggerated, inflated reports for the sake of increasing circulation and creating fear among people?  This is not only unprofessional but also immoral.  Today many Hong Kong newspapers carried headlines about Naoto Kan announcing (or warning) that "eastern Japan will be ruined."  This was a clear case of distortion/hyping.  The storm in the teacup has been blown up to a headline news story.  This is appalling and repulsive.

The original facts are these: On the evening of March 16, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the cabinet advisor Kiyoshi Sasamori held a 15-minute private conversation.  Naoto Kan was strongly dissatisfied with the lack of any sense of crisis at the Tokyo Electric Power Company and he said angrily to Kiyoshi Sasamori: "(TEPCO) has a very weak awareness about the crisis.  They need to imagine that eastern Japan may be ruined.  I have some knowledge about the issue (about nuclear energy).  TEPCO must have an extra sense of crisis."

Clearly Naoto Kan's words were meant to express his anger at TEPCO several days ago.  Specifically, he was referring to the fact that TEPCO reported the latest situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant one later later.  The public comments were directed against Kiyoshi Sasamori for having "a big mouth" in relaying the words of the Prime Minister to the media with demoralizing effect.

But the local Hong Kong media managed to inflate something that happened several days ago into front pages, as if the Prime Minister thought that things were out of control and the people needs to be warned.


"Hey, man, give me one whole salted chicken -- but hold the chicken."

Salt all sold out in Hohhot (Inner Mongolia)!

Fuck!  A relative told me that there is no salt in Changji city (Xinjiang province).  This is the inland city which is farthest from the ocean.

In Zhejiang, a male citizen expired yesterday after taking in too much salt in order to ward off radiation.  By the time that his family took him to the hospital, it was too late.

If at first people bought out salt, it was through sheer ignorance.  But those who are now buying salt, soy sauce and even chicken bouillon cubes are suffering from psychological fears.  I heard someone said while making a purchase, "Are people doing this because the price of salt is expected to rise?"  "Are salt being shipped off to Japan?"  "If there is no salt left, we better hoard up on chicken bouillon cubes."  You can clear up the ignorance via popular science education, but it is hard to eliminate the mass fears.

If I bring two packs of salt to see my thesis advisor, will she pass my proposed outline this time?

According to my field observations in Hangzhou, the supply of iodized salt is normal (with no restrictions on purchase amount), the price was fair (1.5 yuan per pack) and there was no panic buying (people typically bought two packs each).  If you spend all day reading the Twitter and Weibo and refuse to reach out to the real world, you will be misled into believing that the Chinese people are a bunch of panic-stricken stupid c*nts.

I am shocked that the person above was the only one who was in touch with the real world.

All supermarkets large and small are out of salt.  There is only one supermarket which is still selling -- the original 1.3 yuan pack is now going at 20 yuan per pack.

On August 4, 2006, the China News Agency had this report: "The Qinghai Salt Lake Development Group president Xie Kongmin told our reporter that they have a reserve of 55 billion tons of sodium chloride (that is, salt), enough to last 2,000 years for the entire global population."

They are making buying sprees while we scorn them.  But when we need salt at home, we find that we have none.

At the Beijing Jinyuan supermarket, salt is all sold out.  They are now buying and hoarding seaweed.

Among the salt buyers, middle-aged and senior citizens are pre-dominant.  This has to do with their education and information, which have to do with what happened during the first 30 years of the people's republic.

We heard that the Jasmine Revolution meeting points this Sunday have been moved to the various large supermarkets, and the secret code is to buy 10 packs of salt.

The Jasmine Revolution advocates do not understand the true situation in China.  Actually, if they had released the story that children are at risk on such a date and that the parents must walk three times around a government building, it would have been a much bigger event than calling people to come down to McDonald's.

On Taobao, someone has come up with the ultimate trick -- one pack of salt free if you purchase something from them!

Salt panic buying has reached Macau.

When people believe in rumors, lack a sense of security and are easily panic stricken, who do you blame except the government?  First, you have to blame the education system for not proving common basic knowledge.  Secondly, you have to blame the government for not gaining public trust and therefore cannot dispel rumors effectively.  Thirdly, the government has not lifted up the quality of Chinese citizens and this is the unfortunate result of a system which has economic development as its core.

This episode shows that the Chinese people are so ready for democracy.  They wanted something and they showed that they are ready to do everything possible to get it.

This episode also shows that the Chinese government is failing its people.  The people want salt but there is no salt to be found anywhere.  This is the failure of the government.  If there were free elections, salt would be available to anyone who wants it anytime.

I was buying a magazine at a newsstand and the owner said that salt has been sold out at the nearby supermarket.  It does not matter which city you are, there is no way to hold back a bunch of uneducated/uninformed people.

The Carrefour salesperson told me that the salt rush here at Beican began in the afternoon.  After salt sold out in Ningpo, people traveled to Beican to buy salt.  But he told me quietly that they will be getting another salt shipment at 2pm.  That is less than one hour from now -- I wonder if I want to taste the joy of being able to procure salt ...

Can we talk about something else?  All I see are salt stories.  This is getting to be very boring.  Can we talk about something more interesting instead?

My wife called her parents in Xinshao city, Hunan province.  There does not seem to be any rush on salt in Xinshao.  Her mother said that there had been salt-buying panic last year for unknown reasons.  Nowadays old men and women are hoarding musical instruments.  Her mother purchased an er-hu for 880 yuan, which is the cheapest around.  Many old men and women are buying saxophones which cost several thousand yuan apiece.  Er-hus can cost more than 10,000 yuan.  We felt very happy.  Praises!

It is true that I went to buy salt, but several supermarkets were all sold out.  I was heartbroken.  But it is pointless now to buy salt because the rumor has faded away.  I have decided to start a rumor to say that the Android phones are radioactive and then I will buy a cheap second-hand one after the rumor takes effect.

The salt buying spree shows that the Chinese people lack a sense of security.  I don't think that this came because of a certain natural disaster, or the distrust of the government.  Instead, it comes from the deep memories of hunger, want and chaos over several thousand years.  These memories have become part of the collective sub-consciousness of the people.


Someone recommended that there should be a "Don't buy salt" campaign on the microblogosphere.  I think that the salt buyers are those who don't use the Internet and lack accurate information.  That is why traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers should be used to bring more accurate information to these people.  [Comment: The people on this side of the information gap are obliged to communicate their knowledge to the people on the other side.  They should do so by getting away from the computer and talk to others directly.  The more people they speak to the better.  The total number of conversions may be small, but this is doing a good deed.]

The government is being blamed for lack of public trust in this salt-buying mass panic.  I think that the answer is the lack of commonsense.  People say that commonsense requires the government to provide education.  But the government is never omnipotent and omniscient.  If we have to rely on the government to give you commonsense, then how could we complain that the government has too much power?  How could we complain that the government is depriving our civil rights by saying that we are not good enough?  The people who need commonsense education are those in government. 

There is even a rush on salt in Sichuan.  In Sichuan, the salt comes from the salt mines!  Even if the ocean is contaminated, it won't affect Sichuan.  My friend called to say that he ran out of salt and went to buy salt.  He was stunned to see the empty shelf at the supermarket.  He had to go and fetch a spoonful from his grandmother ... everybody is talking about salt ... it is rumored that Sichuan will be sending its salt to the eastern coastal region.

Do not be deceived by these crooked businessmen.  Stop buying salt.  Most of the salt comes from salt mines anyway, not from the Pacific Ocean.  So they have nothing to do with any nuclear radiation.  Besides, radioactive elements are quickly diluted by the sea water.  Eating salt won't ward off radiation.  But you can end up with edema if you eat too much salt and have hypertension.  The crooked businessmen are jacking up the price, so why do you want to be a sucker?  The salt-buying spree shows that people are ignorant.  They have become the global butts of the jokes.  A grand nation may have risen, but the wisdom of its people is lagging far behind.

Happiness is being able to buy salt

How to dispel the rumors?  There is no salt to find anywhere from large supermarkets to small corner stores.  Meanwhile the salt industry representatives say that there is a sufficient supply of salt in store.  So why not move the stored salt into the stores?  Isn't this the best way to dispel rumors.  The more you talk without doing anything, the more suspicious people become.  Just shut up!

At the supermarket, everybody was clamoring to buy salt except for one old lady who was shopping for other items while scoring at the other people.  When asked why she didn't want to buy salt, she said: "I haven't even finished using the salt that I bought during the SARS period ..."

Caixin: We started a debate this morning: "There are salt buying sprees in many places in China.  What is your view?  What would you do?"  At this time, 359 people said that this was stupid; 51 people said that they would go and buy salt; 19 people were neutral.

At Hong Kong supermarkets, people were buying rice and salt.  This shows that Hong Kong people still lack commonsense.  The salt supply is basically inexhaustible.  The rice comes mostly from Thailand and is not affected by radiation.

At a time when people have such poor scientific knowledge, it seems premature to discuss freedom.  It is a luxury.  Rebuttal: What has scientific knowledge got to do with freedom?

The reason for the salt buying spree is due to the sense of insecurity and the distrust of the government.  "I don't understand what your experts are saying and I am not willing to listen to them.  I don't trust the authorities.  I can only depend on myself."

Japan had a magnitude 9 earthquake and they held up.  But we fell apart over salt!  We can see how the Chinese are psychologically vulnerable and how they cannot distinguish rumors from facts!  When the government hears the word "jasmine," they fall apart!  When the people hear the word "salt," they fall apart!  We don't need any earthquake, tsunami or volcano -- all it takes is a rumor for China to collapse!

The worst thing in the world -- I have been forwarding salt-related items on my microblog all day but when I got home, there was no salt.

With respect to all these compatriots who are said to be buying salt, I can only say: "Please line up and stay in order -- everybody will get their share."  This reminds me of the panic buying of honeysuckle during the SARS period -- the price went from 10 yuan per kilogram to 600 yuan per kilogram in a matter of days.  Many people who bought were sorry later on.  Eight years have passed, but people have not gotten any better.  [Comment: Can such 'people' build a democracy?  I have my doubts.  If they really build a democracy, it would be a tofu-residue construction project which will topple at the sign of a breeze.]

The most awesome and richest city in all of China right now is Yancheng (Jiangsu province)  [Explanation: The literal translation is "Salt City."]

China was not stricken by any disaster, but there is a nationwide salt-buying panic spree.  Meanwhile the Japanese are holding steady in the face of earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear radiation leakages.  What does this say?  Which society is more stable?  Apart from the troublesome Tokyo Electric Power Company, how is Japan worse than us?  Apart from our fearless People's Liberation Army soldiers, what can be do better than Japan?

Frankly, the various microblog posts that make fun of the panicky salt-buying spree seems to indicate that everybody has superior wisdom.  On the microblogsphere, have you seen anyone saying that they lined up to buy salt in order to ward off radiation?  Frankly, I have not seen anyone yet.  This is how microblogs are successful as media because the rumors have been filtered out.

Now that we are done with salt-buying, the next step will be to hoard lead pencils!!!  Why?  Because the Baidu encyclopedia says that lead can keep out nuclear radiation!!!!  Attention: Stick to type 2B!!!!!!!

In Foshan, the police came out and restricted citizens to 2 packs of salt per person.  One citizen somehow came out smiling with ten packs in hand.

To summarize Chinese reactions to the Japan earthquake: hoard salt, create rumors, scare themselves.

My understanding is that the Chinese people are in a prisoner's dilemma situation.  We are all living in black boxes and we assume the worst about other people.  What is they are stupid?  When everybody else is buying up salt, you would think: "Maybe I won't have any salt."  So you buy salt not because you are stupid, but because you are worried that other people may be stupid.  If I hadn't just purchased a pack of salt, I would have gone downstairs and gotten into line to buy a pack ...

Salt is all sold out in Shenzhen.  Many people are rushing over to Hong Kong to buy salt.  Very soon, the foreign media will be printing large numbers of reports about the salt-buying panic and we will lose face around the world.

They have panic salt-buying in Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and even Xinjiang.  For the sake of harmony, I ask: Are they buying up salt in Lhasa yet?

On the Internet yesterday, it was rumored that the Japanese nuclear leakage will be reaching China and that iodine can repel nuclear radiation.  It was also said that sea water will be contaminated by nuclear fallout and therefore sea salt will be unsafe.  As a result, people were rushing out to buy as much salt as possible.  Yesterday evening, the Guangzhou supermarkets and convenience stores were all sold out of salt.  Many 500gm packages of salt were being sold at 10 yuan apiece.  The Guangdong province Salt Industry Bureau convened an emergency meeting.  They announced that they have a three month supply of salt on hand and therefore they can fully meet the demand.

According to Shenzhen City Salt Industry Company's general manager Yi Huanqing, the rush to buy salt began in the afternoon in eastern Guangdong province and spread westwards.  Salt was sold out after 6pm in certain locations.  In Shenzhen, the rush began around 6pm and extended across the city later.

According to Guangdong province Emergency Office director Ji Jiaqi, the rush for salt is presently more serious in medium- and small-sized cities such as Shantou.  The situation in the larger cities is not as bad.  "We have made announcements on Shantou television.  We are telling the public that the sea water around China has not been polluted by nuclear fallout.  The Guangzhou Marine Affairs Department and the Ocean Fishery Bureau are monitoring the situation closely.  There is no need to buy and hoard salt.  We will be making similar announcements in other cities."

According to the Guangdong province Department of Health, there is no scientific basis to think that iodized salt can fend off nuclear radioactive fallout.  Beijing Fuwai Hospital Nuclear Medicine Department director He Zuoxiang said that the panic buying of salt is due to unfounded fear.

He Zuoxiang said that it was pointless for people to buy iodine tablets or iodized salt.  Based upon all the information, the nuclear leakage in Japan will not have any practical impact on China.  There is no need to buy anything to fend off nuclear radiation.  "Our biggest problems now are the excessive fear and the lack of basic knowledge."

If radioactive iodine were to enter the body, then the intake of iodine tablets may lessen the thyroid gland's absorption of radioactive iodine.  But we are worried about the nuclear radioactive contaminants coming in the air and the environment.  In such cases, the iodine tablets are useless and the iodized salt which contains only a minute amount of iodine is even less meaningful.  Besides, iodine tablets may have unnecessary side effects.

Some people are concerned that the sea water will be polluted by the nuclear fallout, and thus the sea salt will be contaminated in the future.  He Zuoxiang said that there is absolutely no reason to worry about this because the likelihood is extremely small.

On March 15, the World Health Organisation stated on its website that potassium iodine tablets cannot ward off external radiation nor can it prevent harm caused by radioactive materials other than iodine.

Just before or shortly after receiving radiation, the intake of potassium iodine can saturate the thyroid gland and reduce the intake of the radioactive iodine-131 (and thus the risk of cancer).  However, one has to be cautious about taking potassium iodine.  For example, those will kidney problems may fall ill and pregnant women may damage the thyroid functions of their fetuses.

But here are some interviews with the men in the street:

"We bought enough salt to last three years."  Yesterday Mr. Chen drove his car all the city to visit numerous supermarkets.  He spent more than four hours and bought more than 100 packets of salt.  "In the afternoon, some customers were coming to blows over salt."  At 9pm, the supermarket manager also named Chen said their iodized salt was sold out in the morning.  They were not able to re-shelve because the supplier could not meet the demand.  So it is likely that this supermarket won't have any iodized salt for the next couple of days.

The Shenzhen Salt Industry Company said that the mayor has taken a personal interest in the matter.  According to the company, sea salt accounts of 1/3 of the salt on sale with rock salt accounting for the rest.  "Shenzhen can guarantee a four months supply of salt to its citizens."

Salt dealers deal in boxes of of iodized salt.  Each box has 40 packs, each pack weighing 500 grams.  The wholesale price of a box is 43.5 yuan and the retail price of a pack is 1.3 yuan (although some retailers sell two packs for 2.5 yuan).  With a period of 35 minutes or so beginning 5pm, the wholesaler Mr. Huang's 300 plus boxes of salt was sold to retailers.  "This was like the rush for kelp during the SARS period."  In one instance, a BMW drove up to a supermarket at around 1030pm and a man got off and purchased a whole box of iodized salt.

At the Chang'an Yongtou market, things were normal at 8pm as salt was still being sold at 1.30 yuan per pack.  By 9:20pm, there was a sudden influx of customers for salt.  Many convenience stores jacked up their prices to 2.5 yuan per pack.  The 43.5 yuan per box wholesale price became 150 yuan per box at the retail level.  A convenience store owner said, "This has never happened before."

The Shantou City Salt Industry Bureau's retail outlet was mobbed by citizens seeking to buy salt.  The outlet sold out all its salt.  At past 8pm, there were still citizens waiting outside.  In Puning, the price of a pack of salt went up to 3 yuan but the demand continued to be high.  The Shantou city government made announcements on the local television stations as well as sent out text messages.

(Xinhua, May 26, 2008)

On May 25, 2008, medical workers and volunteers evacuate injured persons from the Shifang Number Two Hospital.  Korean rescue team members gave help.  On that day, a special train went from Deyang (Sichuan) to Changsha (Hunan).  58 injured persons at the Shifang Number Two Hospital took this train in order to receive treatment in Changsha.

Fast forward to March 2011 right after the earthquake in Japan.

(Dianzizheng's blog)

According to Kyoto News, the South Korean earthquake rescue team arrived at Haneda Airport (Tokyo) on March 12.  They are the first foreign rescue team to arrive in Japan.  There are two officers and two canines.  The South Korean government decided on March 13 to send an reinforcement team of 102 rescues.

(Chunandi.com BBS)

"According to the latest NHK reports: South Korean sent five humans and two canines for the rescue mission.  But the two canines got lost in Tokyo and the five humans are trying to find those canines.  According to information, one canine was found but the other one went missing.  The team members are taking the one just found to look for the missing one.  We expect to see a new update very soon: The missing canine was found, but the five humans have gone missing."

The jokes about the South Korean rescue team is getting more and more lame.  At first, the two canines were missing and the five humans went looking for them.  Now the latest version is that the canines have been found but the humans have gone missing.

Actually, all these stories were reported in the Japanese BBS forum 2ch.  There has not been any mainstream Japanese news reports about any missing canines/humans on the South Korean rescue team.

(Sina.com Weibo)

@"Japanese Adult Video Comforter Group"  According to information, the five members of the South Korean rescue team has suddenly been reduced to four persons.  Why was one missing?  We have now confirmed that one of the team members broke his leg while searching for the missing canine and he has been sent to a hospital for treatment.  We are forwarding this news to seek blessing for a country who value canines more than humans.  We hope that you can save more pretty girls so that they can guarantee that the Japanese adult video industry will continue to flourish ... Amen.

(Tianya, WJ001, Zhang Hongfeng, Shao Fangqing)

According to a colleague at <Anhui Market News>, a Henan media colleague Wang Can was beaten to death while fathering news in Fuyang city, Anhui province.  This colleague at the <Anhui Market News> said that his information came from the Fuyang city Public Security Bureau and Publicity Department.

Another media colleague sought confirmation from the Fuyang City Publicity Department and was told: <Dahe News> reporter Wang Can "fell to his death" while gathering news in Fuyang city, Anhui province.

According to local Anhui media: China News Agency reporter Wang Can (real name Wang Lancui) of Yinghshang county was beaten to death by a mob at the Sanbai Supermarket in Fuyang city, Anhui province.  The police have detained the murderers and the mastermind.  The supermarket owner is a Anhui Provincial People's Congress delegate.  This information is pending verification.  At this time, there has been no official information.

Zhang Hongfeng: I have just contacted Wang Yun at the Fuyang City Public Security Bureau Publicity Department.  She confirmed that a reporter was beaten to death.  But she has not seen the details yet so she will have more to say later.

The current information is that this person carried identification from China News Agency.  However, the Henan and Anhui bureaus of the agency denies that this person worked for that.  The cause of death of this person was that he was meeting with his lover.  His lover and her husband were both fellow students.  This time, Wang was caught in flagrante by the husband.  While trying to escape, he fell down the building.  The supervisor of the place where Wang's wife says that he is unaware of the matter.  Wang's wife could not be reached.  An official bulletin is forthcoming.

Fuyang City Public Security Bureau Publicity Department director Liu Hongtao told me that Wang is not a China News Agency reporter.  He is a Fuyang city reporter and he was not beaten to death.  He fell to his death.  During this conversation, the Yinghshang Public Security Bureau called Liu and our call was interrupted.  I will call back later.  At the same time, China News Agency's Anhui bureau said that they had no such employee.

Awaiting the official bulletin: The deceased, the female fellow student and her husband are acquainted with each other.  It was the family of the deceased who claimed that he was a reporter, but that awaits verification.  This incident had nothing to do with being beaten up during news gathering or any People's Congress delegate.  Please do not propagate these rumors.

Official bulletin: At around 16:00 on March 14, 2011, Wang Lancui (also known as Wang Can, male, 42 years old, a teacher at the Zhabei Middle School, Woyang county)  fell to his death the fifth floor apartment of his female student at Liberation Road, Yingshang county.  The crime scene investigation showed that he died due to a fall, that he had no signs of other injuries and that he was not a reporter.  The investigation continues.

A study as to how microblogs seek to verify: 1. There was informating claiming that a reporter was beaten to death.  2.  I contacted the source and I explained that verification is pending.  3.  I contacted that the local police.  The police could not confirm the information.  But they said that they heard about a reporter beaten to death.  4. I continued to try to confirm whether that it was a case of beating to death.  5.  The police confirmed that the person died after falling down.  Question 1: Do I need to apologize?  Question 2: What are the pros and cons about this method of seeking verification?

The rumormongers are contemptible.

(Zhang Hongfeng)  For those who think I ought to apologize, I apologize here to you; for those who do not think that I need to apologize, I bow here to you.  In summary, this adulterer/fake-reporter incident has caused me great pain.  I don't want to look back.  Look at the graphic!
Mother's, I was taken in by a fake reporter!!!!!!!
He was even a fucking adulterer!!!!!
He was even fucking dead!!!
I wasted an afternoon!!!
There was news that he was beaten to death!!!
There was news that he jumped out of a building!!!!!
There was news that he was pushed and he fell to his death!!!!
Mother's!  I spent a whole afternoon trying to confirm!!!!
In the end, he fell to his death while being caught committing adultery!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can afford to be hurt, oh, oh, oh, oh!!!!!!!!! 


At the moment when I posted bond for you at the police station, I really had a lot of mixed feelings ...

Son, your father is not blaming you for forcing him to make this trip.  Instead, I am worried about whether you understand what you are doing.  Therefore, when we got home we discussed what you did.  I asked you why you went to the demonstration.  You said that that you demonstrated because the budget proposal was bad since it didn't look after senior citizens, it had no retirement pension and it had nothing for a 13-year-old (that is, no 6,000 dollars and no subsidies).  On one hand, I am pleased by your attention to current affairs.  On the other hand, I am very worried about your incessant demands on society and/or the government.

Son, your incessant demands have increased your dependence on society.  Your father is not well-educated.  At the age of 18, I began working.  Like many Hong Kong persons, I earned my living with my two hands and hard work for the sake of my future.  Of course, I admit that not everybody can survive in this society through their own efforts, and so some people have to rely on help from society.  But you are 13 years old and why don't you try to improve your own life instead of asking the government for more welfare?  You have made no contribution to society as yet, so why are you demanding more from society?  At this moment, our family makes a plain and ordinary living.  We have three meals a day, and we have the basic conditions to live without worries.  Your life has just begun.  You can use studying, learning, diligence and wisdom to change or improve your future.  You said to me, "There is no change without revolution."  But I am more inclined to think that "there is no change without hard work"!  I hope that you can forge your own future by relying on yourself!

Son, your father is going from middle-age to old-age.  When I heard that you wanted universal retirement pension, my reaction was more worry than delight.  I remembered that my father (that is, your grandfather) telling me that he did not expect me to take care of him because he did not want to be a burden on his children.  I was grateful to him because my burden became less and I enjoy life better.  Therefore your father also wanted to continue this "tradition."  I would rather spend less and save more, instead of hoping that I could have my fun and then become a burden to you or society.  Let me tell you something.  Your uncle once came to borrow money after losing money in gambling at Macau.  I told your uncle: "Why not let me gamble instead of you?  It was fun for you to enjoy gambling, but why should I foot your bill?"  In the end, I did not lend him a single cent.  Although I should be delighted about universal retirement pension because I are near retirement age and I can get it almost immediately, you and other taxpayers will have to pay more!

Son, there is a trend towards shifting one's responsibilities to others in our society.  People require others to remind or warn them on everything.  I remember that we went to the supermarket to shop and a customer was blaming the supermarket worker for not reminding him to record the bonus points; as another example, a parent complained against a teacher for not reminding her child to turn in homework on time; also the government is held accountable for everything that happens to people; etc.  What government can possibly do so much?  When we shift our responsibilities to others or the government, we become more irresponsible, more dependent and less alert.  This is a particularly perilous phenomenon.  If we continue to abrogate our responsibilities and shift them to others or the government, we will be the ones to suffer!  But it is popular now to "be demanding on others and forgiving about oneself."

Son, frankly speaking, I am concerned about your extreme actions.  If we are living under totalitarian regimes like Libya and Egypt, I would be proud of your extreme actions because my son is unafraid of the hegemons and is willing to risk his life to fight for freedom and democracy and to resist the powers-that-be.  But you are in Hong Kong and you have many channels to articulate your dissatisfaction and demands, including demonstrating and voting.  Why is it necessary to charge at the police and block the streets?  Putting yourself in the place of others, you blocked the streets and inconvenience other people.  Aren't you depriving the freedom of others?  The police that you charged at are merely carrying out their duties.  Why do you have to charge at them and cause injuries?  Why can't you look at things from their viewpoints?

Son, society uses law to maintain order and it also wants us to use our moral character to make the world better.  I remember that you and I enter an elevator together once.  We were the first to enter.  I asked you to hold the "OPEN" button for those who were coming behind.  You asked me, "Why do I have to be responsible for holding the button?  Why can't someone else do it?"  At that instant, I was surprised.  Of course I explained to you that this was being considerate for others!  Manners, respect and considerateness are good moral virtues.  When society becomes too individualistic and free, people lose these moral virtues and become ego-centric and inconsiderate, and society becomes more and more greedy and selfish!

Son, it is actually the responsibility of your father to discuss current affairs with you.  There are many opinions and reports in society which are partial and biased.  A 13-year-old like yourself may not be able to analyze these matters.  As your father, I should have more responsibility to analyze for you so that your thoughts about these issues can be more solid.  Of course, these are merely the opinions of your father that are offered for you consideration.  I do not want to impose my ideas upon you.

In life, you need to feel and appreciate many things on your own.  In time, you will be wise with the experience.  This incident is a valuable lesson for you and it is a foundation for your future.

Oriental Daily
Radioactive Crisis Reaching Hong Kong
24 reporters in Japan fell ill after returning to Hong Kong
Emergency biohazard procedures set up at airport

Apple Daily
Seventh Fleet retreating rapidly to avoid nuclear fallout
Radioactive rain hitting the disaster zone today

Headline Daily
American aircraft carrier retreated quickly after detecting radioactivity
Another explosion at nuclear reactor plant
Japan insists that everything is alright

Ming Pao
Nuclear reactor burned dry
Leaked highly radioactive steam
Radioactive materials from Fukushima spreads over one hundred mile
American aircraft carrier retreats

Sing Pao
Nuclear explosion
City in crisis
People fleeing for their lives

Sing Tao
17 American soldiers picked up radioactivity 161 kilometers away
Another explosion at Japanese nuclear plant
USS Ronald Reagan scared off

The Standard

Page A1: Premier Wen: Hong Kong must set long-range plans, dedicate to improving people's livelihood

Page A7
Japanese nuclear plant explodes again
Nuclear panic spreads across the globe

Ta Kung Pao
Page A1
Premier Wen advises Hong Kong
Pay attention to three things
- Must have long-range scientific development plan
- Must be concerned about deep-structure conflicts
- Must work hard to improve people's livelihoods

Ta Kung Pao
Page A12
Number Two reactor burning dry, hydrogen explosion at Number Three reactor
Fukushima nuclear disaster ready to happen at a moment's notice

Zhang Nan (pseudonym) was the business manager of a computer technology company in Dongguan (Guangzhou city).  Part of his job was to solicit mass advertising delivered through mobile phone text messages (SMS).

According to the Dongguan public security bureau, there was a massive wave of SMS advertisements after the Chinese New Year.  The public security bureau received numerous complaints from the public about SMS advertisements related to gambling and prostitution.  In early March, the Dongguan public security bureau took action against 11 prostitution-connected establishments in 8 towns and arrested 58 persons.

For example, the police found that a sauna manager named Yang confessed that he spent 200 yuan to ask an individual named Zhang Nan to send multiple advertising text messages.  As a result, the police locked in on this Zhang Nan person.  At 3pm on March 9, the police arrested this individual in his rented home.

However, the police did not imagine that Zhang Nan would have business dealings with hotels in many towns all over Dongguan.  He was veritably a sub-contractor for "spreading prostitution text messages."

When arrested, Zhang Nan confessed to the police that he spent 6,000 yuan to purchase the "text message sender" equipment from a certain QQ group.  He also spent 800 yuan to acquire 600,000 mobile telephone numbers based mostly in Shenzhen-Guangzhou-Dongguan.  With the equipment and database in hand, Zhang Nan was able to find many business opportunities from saunas all over Dongguan.

According to Zhang Nan, the sauna manager would send over the text of the message to him.  Zhang owns seven pieces of the machine known as "text message cat" which cost 6,000 yuan apiece.  Next, Zhang purchases phone usage cards at 26 yuan apiece which carries 50 yuan value apiece.  Each "text message cat" can accept 8 phone usage cards.  Once the cards are inserted, Zhang can instruct the computer to send text messages to the mobile phone numbers in the 600,000-strong database until the phone usage cards are exhausted in their values.  Then Zhang would insert a new batch of phone usage cards and continue.

According to Zhang, he charges 50 cents per message.  Subtracting the costs, he stands to earn 1.2 cents per message.  Zhang sends as many as 60,000 messages per day (which would work out to a profit of 7,200 yuan) and never less than 10,000 messages per day (which would work out to a profit of 1,200 yuan).

Zhang is presently under arrest.  Those establishments which paid him to sent these messages will be investigated and dealt with.  Under the <Criminal Law Code>, Zhang faced 3 years or less in prison for manufacturing, reproducing, publishing, selling and disseminating obscene articles for profit in addition to monetary fines at a minimum.  If his case is deemed to be extremely serious, he faces life imprisonment.

Oriental Daily
8.9 magnitude once-in-a-century big earthquake
Tsunami end-of-day

Apple Daily
Top small box: Kelly Chen miscarriage, lost twins
Main story: Big earthquake in Japan

Headline News
Japan: 8.9 magnitude big earthquake

Ming Pao
Earthquake/tsunami overrun Japan
At least 1,000 dead; radiation leak scare for nuclear plant

Hong Kong Daily News
8.9 magnitude strong earthquake, 10 meter high waves, at least 500 dead
Tsunami swallows Sendai

Sing Pao
Worst in history
8.9 magnitude earthquake
Heavy damage inflicted on Japan
Triggered tsunami, more than 1,000 dead

Sing Tao
8.9 magnitude big earthquake
"Day After Tomorrow" for Japan

Tai Kung Pao (page A6 -- pages A1-A5 were given to advertisements and advertorials)
Strongest earthquake ever in Japan
Tsunami swallows Sendai

Wen Wei Po
Page A1 (Special Issue)  Bo Xilai: Improving people's livelihoods, Chongqing moves ahead

Page A2: Strongest earthquake ever in Japan, tsunami swallows Sendai

According to information, the son Lin Dayu of the deceased woman has apologized on behalf of his family to the teachers and students of Xinhe Middle School and to the people of Wenling city.

Lin Dayu said that the funeral for his mother has seriously violated the relevant city regulations with respect to funeral arrangement as well as bringing ignominy to the city.  He has reflected deeply on the matter.  "The memorial service was held on the school sports ground, and thus it severely affected the students' learning, the teachers' instructions and traffic around the area.  I sincerely apologize on behalf of my family to the teachers and the students of the Middle School and to the various sectors of society."

According to a Xinhe town cadre, the town requires that any family needs to supply the relevant documents as well as a deposit of 3,000 RMB when they want to hold a funeral service.

"This extravagant funeral service violated multiple regulations.  Therefore, the 3,000 RMB deposit has been confiscated and donated to a charitable cause.  In addition, the 30,000 RMB redwood coffin prepared for the mother has been incinerated at the request of the government."  A town worker said.

Another town worker said that the "troubles" for Mr. Lin have not ceased yet: "The helium balloons released during the funeral service represent another violation of regulations.  The Weather Observatory will be imposing sanctions.  The public security bureau is gathering other evidence which will be handled in accordance with the law."

The town worker also revealed that the key to the sports ground was provided by a vice-principal of Xinhe Middle School.  This vice-principal is a friend of Mr. Lin.  "At the time, Mr. Lin told the vice-principal that he wanted to borrow the sports ground so that funeral service attendees can park their cars.  But the sports ground was ultimately used to hold an unprecedented funeral service.  When the vice-principal found out, he did not immediately inform the principal who was attending a meeting away from school."

On the evening of March 8, there was a joint Wenling city government-party meeting to discuss the matter of the "extravagant funeral."  The decision was made to accept the resignation application from the Xinhe Middle School principal.  The suspended vice-principal was relieved of his duties.  The Wenling State Tax Office director who assisted in running the funeral service was also relieved of his duties.

It was also decided that the Xinhe town government-party will publicly announce that Mr. Lin's company will be excluded from running in the "Star Company" competition.

For the background of this story, see

- Zhejiang Entrepreneur Holds 5 Million RMB Funeral For Mother  ChinaSMACK
- Photos: China’s million-dollar funeral  Ministry of Tofu

When <Henan Business News> reported on this matter, it used the headline: "The tycoon: his mother's funeral took over a large sports ground."

So what?

Well, actually, the title is an extremely rude wordplay.

First of all, there is the phrase "his mother's."  In the Chinese language, "mother" can be either 'ma' () or 'niang' ().  So "his mother's" (他娘的) can be swapped with "his mother's" (他媽的).  This latter three-character word is often known as the national curse phrase in China, standing for "(Fuck) his mother's (cunt)!"  

Next, there is the "the large sports ground" (大操場).  The word cao () can mean "drill" or "exercise" but a more popular meaning is "fuck."

So the whole phrase can be re-read as "The fucking funeral of the tycoon was fucked over big time."

The image of this newspaper front page is currently going around the microblogs without comments.  People merely said: "Forward."  Why comment on the obvious?

Prejudice (with the colored lens referring to differential treatment of permanent residents and new immigrants)

The government has announced that it would be distributing $6,000 to every adult permanent resident.  Many new immigrants were upset, but that in turn caused tens of thousands of permanent residents to express their hostility towards new immigrants.

On Wednesday, the government made its announcement.  Someone set up a Facebook page with the subject being: "New immigrants are not getting $6,000, this is a benefit reserved for permanent residents, we want 100,000 persons to say 'LIKE' to show those new immigrants."  As of early morning yesterday, more than 80,000 persons have clicked 'LIKE' and the page was heading towards the 100,000 barrier.  But someone complained that this FB page was prejudicial and it got deleted.  The FB page was re-opened and several dozens of people were signing up every minute.  As of 00:30, more than 15,000 people have already signed up.  They complained that the previous group was "harmonized" by Facebook and that "freedom of expression was not being respected."  They also have mean things to say about the former City University Student Association president who had filed the complaint against them and they published personal details of that person.

The members of this group targeted new immigrants: "Haven't these new immigrants gotten enough welfare?  How much resource have these mainlanders taken from Hong Kong?  First, they got housing.  Then they got healthcare, infant formulae and education and they are still complaining."  "We oppose those locusts who want to take away the very little welfare that Hong Kong people have.  They want all the public housing, and they even want to steal all our husbands."  Etc.

Some people wanted to vindicate the new immigrants on Facebook.  Someone started: "New immigrants are Hong Kong residents too, I want 100,000 'LIKE' to prevent the $6,000 from splitting up Hong Kong!'  More than 2,000 persons have joined so far.  Another person started: "The new immigrants did not do anything wrong, we do not despise new immigrants, we only despise those who are lazy but still want to take advantage, whether they are new immigrants or not!"  This group has almost 100 persons joining in.

At the discussion forums, there were criticisms of the "welfare state," "welfare system breeds lazy people" and so on.  Some people equated the opposition against new immigrants with "right-wing ideology," "the rise of Hong Kong consciousness" or even "extremist fascism."

Ms. Chen immigrated from mainland China to Hong Kong three years ago: "Recently, a relative posted a video at my Facebook page.  It says that we new immigrants are lazy and trashy.  This relative is a non-working housewife who contributes nothing to society.  I have a job and I am not receiving welfare.  So why does she want to target me?" 

According to the Executive Director of the Community Organizations Association, "After the government announced that it was distributing money to the permanent residents, the new immigrants called us to complain.  The taxpayers then cursed us for helping the new immigrants."  She said that a social rift was created when the government gave money only to permanent residents.  This will only widen the wealth gap.  The Association is studying whether they will ask for a judicial review and to write the Untied Nations to pay attention to the Hong Kong problem.

(YouTube)  A anti-mainland-immigrant video (250,000+ viewings)


When I meet new people, the atmosphere can cool down rapidly.  We each describe our backgrounds and then we find nothing to say to each other.  But some acquaintance would come around and say: "Hey, do you know that her boyfriend is Japanese!"  As soon as that subject is brought up, the masses who don't know the truth become curious and the conversation heats up.  It never misses.

That's right.  I have a Japanese boyfriend and this has been going on for 18 months.

My friends are accustomed to calling him "Ghoul," as in "Hey, Rabbit, when is Ghoul coming over?"  My fellow student "Ghoul" does not mind and he frequently jokes: "But I am a Japanese Ghoul!"  But I know that he regards "Ghoul" merely as a name no different from "Walnut" or "Pear."  I have asked him about what the Japanese think of the Chinese people.  He said that some of his grandfather's generation look down on the Chinese people but the younger generation don't think that way any more.  "The notion of nationality has faded away.  Only during sport competitions can one sense the presence of nationalism."  But when I ran into the hassle involved in getting a replacement bank card, he would say, "You Chinese people are so troublesome!"

In life, at least in Peking University, it is easy to like Japanese people.  They are different from the distinctly fashionable and flamboyant Korean students.  The Japanese students are cautious and well-mannered, and never seek to stand out.  One time, a fellow student complained on the BBS that a Japanese student used stickers to claim an entire row of seats.  Almost all the commentators said that it must have been a Korean student and gave many examples why this was not in the style of Japanese students.  This post became one of the top ten most popular posts of the day.

In order to have more things to talk about with "Ghoul," I had to start paying attention to Japanese drama, anime and pop music as well as learn the Japanese language.  Yet my efforts were nothing compared to many Chinese friends.  Unlike those students who study hard in order to go overseas, these people studied Japanese out of fanaticism for a certain Japanese singer or a certain Japanese anime series.  "Ghoul" once said: "I never imagined that so many Chinese persons would be studying the Japanese language!"

There are also many who hate the Japanese people, or so it seems.  At September 18 or the commemorative day for the Nanjing massacre, the Renren website is filled with videos and photos of Japanese soldiers butchering the Chinese people.  The title is usually: "Show your support if you are a Chinese person!"  A broadly shared post said: "I like to watch <Detective Conan> because one Japanese person dies each episode; I like to watch <Death Noteboon> because a dozen Japanese persons die each episode.  I like to to watch <Pirate King> because a boatload of Japanese dies each episode.  I like to watch <Fire Shadow> because an entire village of Japanese people dies each episodes.  I like to watch <Ultraman> because an entire city of Japanese die each episode.  I like to watch <2012> because the Japanese islands were wiped out within thirty minutes!  In 2009, I and "Ghoul" went to watch <Nanjing!  Nanjing!> in which "many Chinese persons died."  After the final music came up and before the lights came on, I saw him stealthily wiped tears from the corners of his eyes.  As we walked out, we felt grim and did not say anything.  As we waited to cross the road, a young couple was standing next to us.  The man said: "The little Japanese are too detestable!  If I saw a Japanese person, I really want to run him over and kill him!"

My dad lovers to watch Resistance Against Japan television drama.  Whenever he saw scenes of the Japanese killing the Chinese, he would be grinding his teeth in anger.  Recently he traveled to Japan on business.  When he got back, he said: "I have been to Europe and America, but I have never seen any country as neat, serene and orderly as Japan.  At the Japanese print factory, there is not even a single piece of paper on the floor!"  He had worked all his life in a printing factory and this was inconceivable to him.  When I told him that I found a Japanese boyfriend, he was not angry.  He was in fact very happy.  After the trip to Japan, he spent more than four hours eating, drinking and chatting with "Ghoul."  My grandmother and my great grandfather had gone through the experience of "Ghouls marching into their village" but they did not object to me having a Japanese boyfriend.  My grandmother even recalled that the Japanese soldiers gave her sweets as a child.  My great grandmother was happy because "Japanese people are rich."

Because of the dispute over the Diaotyutai Islets, Sino-Japanese relationship fell into a low point once again.  In late September when the public sentiments were at their highest, "Ghoul" came back to China to see me.  When my father heard that, he said semi-seriously: "I am going to give him a punch on behalf of the people of China."  "Ghoul" made a painting especially for me titled: "Rabbit goes to Japan."  There is an airplane leaving from China, skirting around the Korean peninsula which was labeled as "Smecta."  There is a small black spot with an arrow leading to a magnified island labeled "Diaoyutai Islets, Japanese possession."  Would you be outraged over this?  For "Ghoul" and me at least, this was merely some black humor about our concern for state affairs.

(The Standard)  Riot Baptism For Kid   Colleen Lee, Dennis Chong and Diana Lee   March 8, 2011

Parents have been warned against taking their kids to street demonstrations after an eight-year-old boy was pepper- sprayed by police during anti-budget clashes. Security chief Ambrose Lee Siu- kwong yesterday condemned the violence in Sunday's protest and said it was "quite inappropriate" to use children as "a weapon for resistance." His remarks came hours after police arrested 113 protesters - the youngest aged just 12 - who blocked the intersection of Des Voeux Road Central and Ice House Street. All have been released on bail but told to report back to the police in early June.

Protester Elsa Ko said her son Joseph, eight, was pepper-sprayed without warning. "Why did the government and the police in which I put so much trust fire pepper spray without warning?" she asked. "Hong Kong is a safe place, so I thought there was nothing wrong with bringing children on to the streets to air our views. Can we no longer do this in Hong Kong?"

Ko, a mother of two, said taking her son to the protest was part of his "civic education." Joseph was treated at the scene and went to school as usual yesterday. His 12-year-old sister did not join the protest. Ko said she would have removed her son from the scene had the police warned they would use pepper spray. But Lee said that, as far as he knew, police issued several warnings before using pepper spray. Officers used "minimal force" only after some protesters clashed with the police and refused to disperse.

Responding to Ko's accusation about an absence of advance warnings, Lee said: "If this really happened, I would feel regret." But he added: "No children should be brought to clash areas as they are not psychologically mature yet. Violent scenes could set a bad example for them. As I have said many times before, no matter how noble protesters' motives, or how just your actions, resorting to violence will make your acts unlawful."

One of the three police officers injured in Sunday's clashes remained in Queen Mary Hospital last night. After visiting him yesterday, Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung said the officer was injured around the waist and could not walk. He warned protesters that seizing or pushing police barricades will be seen as a challenge to authority and will lead to prosecutions. Those who disrupt road traffic or movement of people will be forcibly removed, he warned, while all officers have been authorized to use pepper spray on "those who are particularly violent."

League of Social Democrats chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang, who was among the 113 arrested, admitted he was unable to control some of the rowdier protesters. Pan-democrat lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said the rowdiness in protests is a warning to the government that social discontent is escalating.

(South China Morning Post)  Mother of boy injured at protest decries security minister    Phyllis Tsang and Simpson Cheung's comments   March 8, 2011.

 A mother whose eight-year-old son was sprayed with pepper foam by police during an anti-budget protest in Central on Sunday says the security minister's comments about the incident are an insult.

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong yesterday said it was "inappropriate to be using children as a weapon to defend amid confrontation", and that "it is bad for children to bring them to those violent scenes". He criticised the protesters, saying police officers gave several warnings before they used the pepper spray. "Some of the protesters used their bodies in clashes with police and were not willing to leave in a peaceful way, which led to a police decision on using a minimum level of force," Lee said.

The boy's mother, Elsa Ko, told a media conference yesterday that she was "very disappointed a senior official made such a comment". "I see this as a civil education to my child, a way to have a better understanding of society. Is it wrong for me to bring my child to join a protest? Is this not allowed in Hong Kong any more?" Ko said that she, her aunt and son Joseph left the protest at 7.30pm for dinner. After dinner she went back to say goodbye to friends at the protest in Des Voeux Road Central and they got trapped in the crowd. Ko said they heard no police warning and the police operation was swift. "My son was crying and rubbed his eye," Ko said. A doctor at the scene helped wash the pepper spray from his eye. Ambulance attendants later gave the boy a medical check. Joseph went to school as usual yesterday and said he supported the protesters.

(Wen Hui Po)  Op/Ed.  March 8, 2011.

On the day before yesterday, the opposition camp demonstrated against the budget proposal and triggered yet another violent clash.  The League of Social Democrats demonstrators refused to leave Government Headquarters and Queens Road Central after the demonstration finished.  The demonstrators even broke through the police cordon and took over Des Voeux Central and shut down traffic, causing chaos in Central district.  When night came, the police took action to clear the scene but they were violently resisted by the demonstrators.  The police were forced to use pepper spray to clear the scene.  During the process, an eight-year-old child was struck by pepper spray.

Yesterday, the mother of the child held a press conference in the company of Legislator Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats.  She said that she brought the child along to the demonstration as civic education.  She questioned why the police used pepper spray without any prior warning.  She also complained with plenty of misgivings that there is no more freedom of expression in Hong Kong.  An eight-year-old boy had no idea what the demonstration was for and he also lacks the ability to defend himself.  The parents' biggest concern should be the safety of their child.  How can they bring their child along to participate in a violent charge?  The League of Social Democrats should be deplored for instigating naive children to charge with them without regard for personal safety.

The right and freedom of expression exist in Hong Kong, but the premise is the that law has to be followed peacefully.  The League of Social Democrats turned a peaceful demonstration into a violent clash.  They went as a group to cause trouble in the busy Central district and they broke the <Traffic Regulations>.  They even charged at the police and they used obscene language to curse out the police.  It is this wayward action by the League of Social Democrats which turned a peaceful demonstration into a clash during which both police officers and demonstrators were injured.  The extreme violence of the League of Social Democrats was the cause.  So why did this parent not condemn the evil deeds of the League of Social Democrats and instead she criticized the police who were acting in accordance with the law?

The police officers were very restrained in the face of these ferocious demonstrators.  In the television news broadcasts, the people of Hong Kong can see how the angry young men of the League of Social Democrats charge at the metal barriers, chase the police and curse them out, jump up and down perilously in Central with utter disregard of the safety of pedestrians.  Should the police refrain from clearing the scene and let these demonstrators create havoc in Central in order to show that they respect freedom of expression?  As Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said yesterday, the citizens have the right to demonstrate but the police also have to protect the right of other citizens to use the roads.  Rights come along with duties and obligations, and freedom of expression has to be law-abiding.  This is the first lesson of civic education.  The League of Social Democrats has assaulted the core values of society repeatedly and created bad influence on social mores.

In truth, it is the choice of the parent to take her son to the demonstration, and the child cannot dissent.  But the parent ought to consider the safety of her child.  The demonstration against the budget proposal was over in the afternoon and she has had her chance to express her opinions.  If the parent was not participating in the assault launched by the League of Social Democrats, then why was she still at the scene late at night?  Is watching the League of Social Democrats charging the metal barriers a form of civic education?  If this parent is a member of the League of Social Democrats and she brought her son along to participate in the incident, then she ought to be criticized for not considering the safety of her child.  This experience is not civic education; it is an education in how to exercise violence.  This parent even held a press conference afterwards to criticize the police.  Even if she were a supporter of the League of Social Democrats, she did not have to bring her son along to charge at the police alongside the League of Social Democrats.  The parent can go by herself.  The child is innocent.

Of course, it is the League of Social Democrats which is most deplorable for inflaming young people to engage in violent.  They not only instigate naive young people to assault the government, they even ask their supporters to bring their friends and even children to join in.  In the many recent clashes, many naive young faces can be seen.  Many of them have no idea why they are marching.  Some of them came with friends while others came with their families.  They have no idea about the seriousness of charging at the police.  Unwittingly they become the weapons of resistance by the League of Social Democrats.  They are shoved into the front lines and become the victims of the violent clashes.  The League of Social Democrats are known for their disorderly behavior at the Legislative Council where they use obscene language that set bad examples for children.  Now they want to recruit children to cause trouble everywhere.  If these children get into legal trouble, their lives will be ruined.  Yesterday the police arrested a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy.  Society should protect our future generations and not let them become the chess pieces of the League of Social Democrats.

(Apple Daily)  The following video clip contains an interview with the 8-year-old boy named Joseph.  He said: "People say that the government is bad.  The plan was bad."  Reporter: "What did the government do wrong?"  Joseph: "Using money.  They were bad in how they use money."  Reporter: "Will you continue to demonstrate?"  Joseph: "I will continue."  Reporter: "Why?"  Joseph: "I want to care about them and support them."


In 2010, the Shanghai Jiatong University National Image and Urban Cultural Innovation Strategic Research Base and Duke University's Chinese Media Research Center organized a large-scale research project about "China in the eyes of Americans."  That is to say, the survey respondents are Americans who are being asked about China.

Here are the results:

On a scale of 0 to 100, how would rate your feelings towards China?  (If the average score is between 50 and 100, it means positive feelings; if the average score is between 0 and 50, it means negative feelings.)  The actual average score was 47.97, which means that the Americans are almost neutral towards China.

Statement: China has a political system that satisfies the needs of its people.
14.1%: completely inaccurate statement
11.4%: somewhat inaccurate statement
17.8%: more or less accurate
19.4%: somewhat accurate statement
35.6%: completely accurate statement

Statement: China is already influential in global politics.
 7.0%: completely inaccurate statement
 6.8%: somewhat inaccurate statement
24.8%: more or less accurate
32.1%: somewhat accurate statement
28.9%: completely accurate statement

Question: Ten years later, do you think the global influence of China will increase or decrease?
  5.7%: Decrease
17.3%: Same as now
77.0%: Increase

Question: Do you think China is America's ally or enemy?
27.3%: Enemy
29.6%: Neutral
42.2%: Ally

Statement: China has a very rich cultural heritage.
18.6%: Completely inaccurate
16.3%: Somewhat inaccurate
23.6%: More or less
16.0%: Somewhat accurate
24.6%: Very accurate

Statement: China is economically competitive at the international level.
  8.1%: Completely inaccurate
  9.4%: Somewhat inaccurate
18.0%: More of less
23.6%: Somewhat accurate
40.7%: Very accurate

Statement: China has a very appealing popular culture.
46.2%: Completely inaccurate
26.3%: Somewhat inaccurate
18.0%: More or less
  6.2%: Somewhat accurate
  3.1%: Very accurate

Question: Do you think China is a strong enemy, weak enemy, neutral, weak ally or strong ally of America?
16.4%: Strong enemy
10.9%: Weak enemy
29.6%: Neutral
36.8%: Weak ally
  5.4%: Strong ally

Question: Ten years from now, do you think China will become more democratic or more responsible to its people?
27.7%: More democratic, more responsible to its people
59.3%: Same as today
12.6%: More undemocratic, less responsible to its people

Apple Daily: 
Ten thousand persons howl angrily in the streets:
The two Tsangs must go

Oriental Daily
Top one-third box: Advertising for FedEx courier service
Middle one-third box: Object to budget proposal, dissatisfied with treating new immigrants like beggars
15,000 persons demand John Tsang to resign
Bottom one-third box: Crack in flyover pass in road

Small top box: Liverpool beats Manchester United, Kuyt gets hat trick
Main story: Demonstrators blockade Central District,
Police arrested 113 persons
Ten thousand persons marched to demand the resignation of the Secretary of Finance
(Photo: Man with a simulated money bill saying '$6,000 gag fee')

Hong Kong Daily News
Top half panel: Next Chief Executive, designated Henry Tang, C.Y. Leung, Rita Fan, John Tsang
Bottom half panel: Ten thousand persons demonstrate, more than 100 arrested
Pepper spray used to clear the scene

Headline Daily
Demonstrators blockade street, one hundred arrested
Night raid in Hong Kong Central District, big clash

Sing Pao
Ten thousand persons march
Chaotic clash between police and citizens

Wen Hui Po
(Front page was an advertisement for trade in Luxunkou city, southern Liaoning province) 
Page A14: Top one-third box: Opposition camp advocate "Bauhinia Revolution" to ruin Hong Kong
Middle one-third box: Opposition camp exploit the demonstration
Exaggerate the count to boost their cause

Ta Kung Pao
(Front page was an advertisement for trade with Tianjin city)
Page A08: 
Top one- third box: An industrial development agreement signed between Macau and Guangdong province
Middle one-third box: $6,000 handout can be either cashed or saved
Bottom one-third box: Violent force used to dismantle metal barriers, say "Never been afraid"
Causing trouble in the name of demonstration, League of Social Democrats injured two police officers

Ming Pao
Ten thousand people march to oppose budget proposal
Police use pepper spray, arrest 113 persons

Sing Tao
Hong Kong stock exchange opens longer by one hour
Increase competitiveness, market open at 9:30am

(The Standard)  Budget bruiser    Colleen Lee and Diana Lee

Cops fired pepper spray and hauled away about 50 protesters last night as anti- budget demonstrations in Central left two officers injured. The demonstrators were venting their anger at the revised budget proposals and the lack of long-term policies.

Almost 100 protesters stormed the traffic lanes and tramway at the intersection of Des Voeux Road Central and Ice House Street, bringing traffic to a halt. Police fired pepper spray to disperse them but to no avail. At 10pm officers started to carry protesters away to vans before taking them to police stations.

Deputy district commander (Central) Felix Law Cheuk-hung said two officers were injured when protesters pulled down metal barriers. One was struck in the waist and was taken to hospital, while the other suffered cuts.

In the afternoon, demonstrators from all walks of life packed Central despite a decision by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah to scrap the plan to bolster Mandatory Provident Fund accounts and, instead, hand out HK$6,000 cash to adult permanent residents, plus a 75 percent salaries tax rebate capped at HK$6,000. Chanting slogans such as "Tsang Chun-wah, step down" and "Say no to budget without vision," more than 10,000 protesters - according to the organizers - marched from Chater Garden to the Central Government Offices to slam the budget proposals. "If John Tsang does not further revise his budget, he should be ashamed to stay in office as he no longer has vision and integrity," said lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, of the Confederation of Trade Unions, which co-organized the protest. The pan-democrats want to see an additional HK$20 billion a year spent in areas such as health care, education and environmental protection. Pan- democratic lawmakers meet Tsang tomorrow to discuss the budget.

Police estimated about 6,300 protesters set off from the Chater Garden and Chater Road area, where a separate group of demonstrators from People Power held a rally yesterday afternoon. Others marched from the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai.

Soon after 5pm, almost 100 protesters - mainly from Post-80s City Boys & Girls and the League of Social Democrats - held sit-ins at the government offices and Queen's Road Central, keeping three traffic lanes closed. Some urged Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and John Tsang to step down. After 22 demonstrators at the CGO were removed or asked to leave around 8.20pm, the protesters joined others on Queen's Road Central. Tension escalated when the groups stormed the intersection of Des Voeux Road Central and Ice House Street.

Earlier, People Power protesters, joined by "Mad Dog" Raymond Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan Wai-yip, used slippers to strike "villain papers" containing the name of Donald Tsang or John Tsang.

Apple Daily
Small box across the top: Responding to split-up for the first time, Richard Li: Heartbroken and pained
Main story: Claimed to be shoved in the chest while attending a commemoration event for the 1911 Revolution
Donald Tsang "assaulted," examined at hospital

Oriental Daily
Top left small box: Aircraft carrier sent to Mediterranean Sea, USA prepares to attack Qaddafi
Top right small box: Richard Li makes statement, admits to be the father of the three sons for the first time
Main story: Encountered demonstrators, got rice tossed at him, shoved and bumped, chest pain
Donald Tsang bruised and numbed (note: this is a word play because the phrase also means "very embarrassed")

Headline Daily
Small box under the logo: "Chief Executive assaulted, injury examined at hospital"
Main Story: First response on the split with Isabella, Richard Li: No third party, no huge settlement

Hong Kong Daily News
Box on top: Chief Executive assaulted, went to Queen Mary Hospital at night
Main story: Isabella hurt Richard Li's heart

Sing Pao
Demonstrator injured Chief Executive
Swelling on chest and breathing pangs found at hospital

Donald Tsang shoved, chest bone injured

Wen Wei Po
Chief Executive injured in assault
League of Social Democrats member arrested
25-year-old young man used violence during demonstration
Hong Kong government strong condemnation

Ta Kung Pao
League of Social Democrats violent assault
Chief Executive injured on chest bone

Ming Pao
Chief Executive claimed to have been bumped, file police report
Demonstrator arrested

Sing Tao
Meet with pro-establishment camp today, decision to open the tap
Finance boss passes out money, expect every person will get $6,000


The Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, has been slightly injured in the chest after being pushed by a protester from the League of Social Democrats at the History Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui. He was discharged from hospital after a medical check-up which showed that he suffered no serious injury.

The incident happened when several members of the LSD staged a rowdy protest at the opening of an exhibition to mark the centenary of the 1911 revolution. One of them used his body to push Mr Tsang while others disrupted the proceedings and damaged some stage settings. They were unhappy the Financial Secretary's budget had done nothing for the poor.

After a medical check-up at Queen Mary Hospital, the Chief Executive told reporters that there was some discomfort around his chest after the incident. He rested for ten minutes before making a speech at the ceremony. Mr Tsang said he continued suffering pain in his chest and his wife suggested he go to hospital for a check-up. Later a doctor said an x-ray showed the Chief Executive had no apparent injury but he would continue to feel pain for a few days. Mr Tsang said it was important for all protests to be conducted in a peaceful and lawful manner.

Police detained the alleged attacker, surnamed Wong, and he has now been released on Bail.

(7th Space)

In response to a protest which disrupted a ceremony of an exhibition to mark the centenary of the 1911 revolution, a government spokesman today (March 1) issued the following statement:

Several protestors staged a rowdy protest when the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, arrived at an exhibition marking the centenary of the 1911 revolution today. One of them used his body to push the Chief Executive. During the ceremony, some protesters disrupted the proceedings and damaged some stage setting. It is important that all protests are conducted in a peaceful and lawful manner. We strongly condemn the use of violence today. The Police are following up on the incident.

(The Standard)

Police last night arrested a 25-year-old man after an alleged assault on Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen during a rowdy protest yesterday afternoon. Tsang later complained of chest pains and went to Queen Mary Hospital for an examination. His condition is not serious though he is in some pain, the doctor who examined him said.

The suspect, surnamed Wong, was detained overnight to help with the investigation, police said. "Police will strengthen the protection of the chief executive's personal safety following the violent incident yesterday afternoon," a spokesman said.

The protest was staged by eight members of the League of Social Democrats, including lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, during the opening ceremony of an exhibition in Tsim Sha Tsui East to mark the centenary of the 1911 revolution.

Tsang was allegedly ambushed and hit by a protester after getting out of his car on arriving at the venue. Several hours after the protest at the Hong Kong Museum of History, he had a medical checkup at Queen Mary Hospital.

"A [protester] came forward and hit me in the chest. I went into a room and rested for 10 minutes. I felt all right then and went on to the stage to make my speech," Tsang said. "When [I was] on the stage, they kept causing a disturbance. Later, when I was having dinner, I felt a dull pain. So my wife [Selina Tsang Pau Siu-mei] asked me to have a checkup. Hong Kong is a civilized society. Brutal acts are unacceptable. Hong Kong is also a free society. Anyone who wants to express their views - even by staging protests - can do so in a lawful manner."

Queen Mary's accident and emergency chief of service Dr Tong Hon-kuan said the sore area on Tsang's chest was about 10cm wide and consistent with being hit by a hard object. The position is close to the chest bone and heart. "As he had pain when breathing, we X-rayed him but found no fractures. We also conducted CT scans for the heart and did not find any special problems," Tong said. "But I anticipate he will have pain when he breathes, as every breath will move the joints in his ribs and chest bones," Tong said, adding that Tsang might feel more pain as he has sensitive a throat that triggers coughing. Tsang might find more swelling and feel some pain this morning and has been prescribed painkillers, Tong said. Asked if the injury is serious, Tong said it is a superficial wound that does not affect any internal organ.

During the opening ceremony, when Tsang and other guests were seated on the stage, league member Tsang Chun- ying, 20, stormed towards Tsang but was stopped by Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing and security guards. Meanwhile League executive committee member Raphael Wong Ho- ming, 23, shouted from the floor "Return wealth to the people" and "There are 1.23 million poor [elderly] people! What have you done? What have you done?"

Leung said he found it ridiculous for the chief executive to have a check-up several hours after the protest. "He's turning a small matter into a big deal. He is the leader of the state. Is this act necessary?" Leung asked. "If he was indeed injured, he should have called for an ambulance soon after the ceremony. Perhaps it's about losing face before representatives from the Central Government Liaison Office."

The league said in a statement that Donald Tsang was abusing his power by seeking a medical checkup and called on the crime squad to investigate. The group also demanded the immediate release of one of its members and warned of more waves of "revolution" targeting Donald Tsang and his officials if there is no change in policy.

The following videos were taken at the scene.  So are you going to believe Donald Tsang or your lying eyes?