Kong Qingdong, born in northeastern China in 1964, place of origin Shandong province, 73rd generation descendant of Confucius, Peking University Chinese Department professor, author of books including <Surpassing Refinement and Vulgarity>, <Who Decides the Rise and Fall> etc, lecturer at China National Radio and various universities about the novels of Jin Yong, nicknamed <The Drunken Knight of Peking University>.  He is a master of the Chinese language.  His writings are lively, interesting and filled with resentment against the world.  His natural humor impresses his readers greatly.  In real life, he is an endearing old man to children; to people of his age, he is a funny young boy; he holds no bars against social ills and his criticisms are sharp and acerbic, clearly reflecting the popular will.  He has been called by many as the Lu Xun of the modern era.

For a long time, Kong Qingdong was one of the Internet critics of the actions and positions of a certain newspaper group.  This newspaper group holds a grudge against him, and a large group of followers and hired hands have showed him with insults and personal attacks on the microblogs and blogs.  He has also frequently been harassed on telephone.  In turn, Kong Qingdong has counter-attacked and this upsets that newspaper group even more so.

Under these circumstances, a magazine belonging to this newspaper group instigated a so-called project to interview Kong Qingdong.  They started by conducting interviews with people in his circle.  On September 18, a date of infamy for China, the chief editor of a magazine belonging to this newspaper group posted a microblog to urge "all young Chinese women to take resolute action by refusing to be fucked by their boyfriends and husbands for the sake of resisting Japan."  This is wordplay as "resisting Japan" means the same as "refusing to fuck."  For this grossly insulting comment, this chief editor was vigorously denounced by many Internet users.

At around 3pm on November 7, a young reporter from the Southern People Weekly magazine called Kong Qingdong at home with the intention of conducting an interview.  At first, both parties spoke politely to each after.  After Kong Qingdong found out whom the young reporter worked for, he cursed angrily: "I don't accept any interviews with the Southern Daily group.  Scram your mother's!"  Kong then hung up the telephone.

According to information, the Southern People Weekly had previously sent him an interview outline which was maliciously provocative.  In addition, Kong Qingdong was aware of the surreptitious interviews with those people around him.  Therefore Kong had been very angry.  When he learned that this reporter was from the Southern People Weekly, he blew his top.

A minute later, an incensed Kong Qingdong made an over-the-top microblog post to express his attitude towards the Southern People Weekly magazine and its organization: "One minute ago, the Chinese traitor publication <Southern People Weekly> harassed me by telephone about an interview.  The tone was polite but the words were very insidious.  Kong the Monk made a string of resolute statements: Get lost your mother's! Scram your mother's!  Fuck your mother's!"  Then Kong sent a text message to that Southern People Weekly reporter to say that the anger was not directed personally at the reporter and asked for his understanding.  He wrote that many people at the Southern Daily group has offended him before.  So if they want an interview, then the top man in charge will have to talk to him first personally.

According to an informed source, this interview was not about any particular matter.  Instead, the aim of this interview is to deconstruct the subject of that interview.  Such interviews usually contain positive and negative aspects.  The interview with Kong Qingdong was discussed at a staff meeting a week ago under the premise that "Kong Qingdong should be interviewed because he has been cursing people again recently."  "Although there have been many reports about Kong Qingdong, no media has presented him as a complete person" was the guideline.  The purpose of this interview was to deconstruct this Peking University professor who "has been cursing people again recently" and use the "changes in the individual known as Kong Qingdong" to "reflect certain routines and characteristics of Chinese society in transition."

What are these "routines and characteristics" of "Chinese society in transition"?  First of all, it is known for sure that there is not going to be any goodwill or positive feeling towards Kong Qingdong.  It is claimed that the Southern People Weekly has already made its conclusion about the person Kong Qingdong, and this so-called interview merely adds some more flavor, realism and persuasion to the pre-determined portrait.  According to the Hong Kong current affairs commentator Qiu Zhenhai, this interview outline was full of traps such as the Cultural Revolution and North Korea.  It is also noted that the young reporter was not going to be main author; at the very least, someone else was going to write the conclusive statement about Kong Qingdong.  Why else would a well-known scholar and public figure such as Peking University professor Kong Qingdong be interviewed by a young reporter who had just been at Southern People Weekly for only one month?  These circumstances explains why Kong Qingdong told the reporter to "scram your mother's" and then sent him the text message to explain afterwards.

It is also noted that apart from any prior antagonisms, the Southern People Weekly approached this interview with the pre-established that Kong Qingdong is a "learned peson" who "speaks nonsense" and "loves to curse people out."  Furthermore the magazine has been interviewing other people around Kong Qingdong in a secretive manner.  Finally the magazine approached Kong Qingdong with an inflammatory outline for an interview filled with tricky questions.  How could Kong Qingdong not be incensed?  Such was the malice and treachery of Southern People Weekly, and that is the key to this incident.  This is the reason why Kong Qingdong said that "this is a not a place for food, wine and love.  This is a battlefield for either life or death."

On that day, a group of Internet hirelings attacked Kong Qingdong.  That night, that particular newspaper group organized 70 to 80 Internet media outlets (including iFeng) under the theme of <Peking University professor Kong Qingdong used foul language to curse a newspaper reporter and upset Internet users> to launch a massive criticism campaign against Kong Qingdong while making no mention of the purpose, process and content of the interview.

At noon on November 8 during the program segment <Kong the Monk has something to say> in <Channel One Broadband News>, Kong Qingdong explained: "Many silly people think that it is wrong to curse people out.  That is wrong.  The Eighth Route Army curses out the Japanese ghouls in the battlefield ... we are involved in a life-or-death struggle against Chinese traitors in the microblogosphere ... this is a life-or-death battlefield, so wouldn't you curse? ... the key issue is just who do you curse out.  You cannot curse the working people out, but you must curse the bad guys out."  "Everyday, they use foul language to curse me out on my blog and microblog.  Today we read Lu Xun and we only see how he counter-attacks people but we don't know how these people insult him each and every day.  In truth, the Southern Chinese Traitor newspaper group has been attacking patriots like me in a systematic and organized manner each and every day.  They have insulted and cursed out many people!  As soon as people respond, they said that 'Peking University professors,' 'Tsinghua University professors,' 'Renmin University professors' must behave according to a certain norm.  Aren't professors human too?  Should they be butchered as you please?"  Kong also said: "I wrote on my blog that 'I cursed someone out on phone yesterday.'  Is that 'using foul language on my microblog'?  I have dug a ditch for them already."  "Aren't they suppose to embrace 'freedom and democracy'?  How come they won't put up with dissenting opinions?  They organize so many sock puppets to insult me using foul language.  Did Kong Qingdong curse you out?  Kong Qingdong only said: 'I cursed you over the telephone.'  Did I really curse on the telephone?  Did you confirm it with me? ... You organized 70 to 80 media outlets and began a counter-revolutionary campaign against me today ... Actually I didn't curse anyone -- who can prove that I cursed people out on telephone? ... They organized the Chinese traitor media ... Once again Kong Qingdong has tricked the snake to crawl out of its hole, so that the broad revolutionary masses can see who these Chinese traitors are..."  Clearly, Kong Qingdong was angry and ferocious, but he still kept his humor.  Those who have read his works know that humor is his forte.

On the afternoon of November 8, a person claiming to be a Xinhua reporter interviewed Kong Qingdong by telephone.  After the explanations lapsed into an argument, a disgusted Kong Qingdong yelled "Get lost" and hung up.  Five minutes later, Kong Qingdong wrote about the incident on his microblog.  He also wrote: "This shows that Kong the Monk is just as blunt towards the Xinhua News Agency.  I will scold anyone who harass me without cause and waste my time in order to earn money for himself."

On the afternoon of November 10, the Xinhua website posted Xinhua reporter Huang Guan's essay <Xinhua current affairs commentary: We cannot regard the rudeness of the "cursing professor" as a personal quirk>.  This essay was re-published by many other media.  On the morning of November 11, The Legal System Daily mobile phone edition released Huang Guan's <"The cursing professor" suspected of breaching moral bottom line>.  This essay was re-published by many other media.

At noon on November 11 on the <Kong the Monk has something to say> segment of <Channel One Broadband News>, Kong Qingdong discussed the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's newly issued directive <Media are strictly forbidden to publish unconfirmed Internet-based information>.  He said: "How can we stop the reporting of false news?  First of all, we must made strict demands on reporters.  How should a reporter conduct an interview?  Does a telephone interview count?  Telephone interviews should not count, online interviews should not count, only genuine in-person interviews count.  Shouldn't you request an interview, receive approval, agree upon the time and location before you interview?  This is the nature of your work.  Do you think people earn money without doing anything?  I insist on in-person interviews.  All those who interview by telephone are turtle eggs."  "If a good-willed person wants to ask me questions, I will comply.  But if you maliciously, arbitrarily and rudely interview me, I regret that I won't oblige."  He also said that he does not curse reporters but he curses Chinese traitors out; Xinhua directly quoted an unconfirmed Internet story and published an insulting essay, thus contravening the new SARFT directive and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and leading the way to bow to the Chinese traitor media; therefore he demands an apology from Xinhua.

The "Professor Kong used foul langauge" affair was a thunderclap that shook up the Internet mediasphere.  Many Internet users interested in politics and society joined the discussion.  Normally, it is uncivilized to use foul language.  Furthermore, the media made blanket coverage under the headings of <Professor used foul language to scold reporter and upset Internet users>, <How can rudeness be regarded as personal quirk>, <Suspected of breaching moral bottom line> to guide public opinion.  So there ought to have been a completely one-sided anti-Kong wave on the Internet.  But the opposite occurred, as there was the astonishing phenomenon of an absolute pro-Kong majority in stark terms.  According to a Xinhua website survey, 95% supported Kong and 5% opposed.  According to the rightwing iFeng survey which was specially crafted, 63% supported Kong and 37% opposed.  Even the anti-Kong vanguard Hong Kong commentator Qiu Zhenhai thought that "this phenomenon deserves careful reflection."  However, his conclusion was that the phenomenon was due to the residual ills of the ten disastrous years of the Cultural Revolution.

In analyzing why this debate was so vigorous and definitive, a foreign media report cited Qiu Zhenhai: The matter is surely not so simple.  "This is a confrontation between two completely opposite political stances."  "The reform in China has reached a crossroad, with many problems in internal and foreign politics, economics and society.  People are unsure about how to proceed.  They don't know which direction to go, and they don't know why."  The consensus is now divided.

One Chinese Internet user said:  While the heated battle on the Internet arose from a specific incident, the key issue is not either about whether Kong Qingdong used foul language to curse a reporter out, or whether the Southern People Weekly reporter interviewed "in accordance with the law" or made a malicious provocation, or whether Southern People Weekly set Kong Qingdong up first or Kong Qingdong used curse words first, or whether the Southern Daily newspaper group manipulated the media to launch a massive surprise campaign or Kong Qingdong triggered an public opinion crisis with his cursing.  The key point is that this angry outburst from Kong Qingdong has suddenly opened up the issue of Chinese traitors that had been boiling underneath for more than 30 years.

The supporters of Kong Qingdong believe that there are Chinese traitors around today.  The list of evidence includes:

Economics

  • the loss of state assets to the private sector in the economic realm
  • the control of the major professions by foreign capital
  • the cheap sell-off of rare earth minerals
  • the popularization of genetically modified food
  • the huge economic losses due to foreign currency policies and debts
  • the fleeing of corrupt officials whose families are overseas
  • the transferal of capital into private hands

Media

  • the misreporting/mis-characterization of the Tibet riots
  • the insults made on the September 18 day of infamy
  • the sarcasm made about the Carrefour mass boycotts
  • the characterization of the Wenchuan earthquake as God's punishment
  • the deconstruction of historical and revolutionary figures, including the vindication of bad people such as Qin Gui and Huang Shiren
  • the effusive praises for persons who oppose Mao Zedong, the Communist Party and socialism
  • the characterization of the anti-crime and Red song campaigns as residues of the Cultural Revolutoin
  • the distorted reporting about Nanjia Village
  • the extreme prejudices against state-owned enterprises
  • the coolness towards dictatorship by the people
  • the enthusiastic promotion of so-called universal values

The result has been an unprecedented confusion in ideology, erosion of morality and loss of faith, which have laid waste to culture, thinking, spirituality and cohesiveness.  Chinese traitors should be cursed out, and Kong Qingdong does well in cursing them out.  Kong Qingdong is praised as a patriotic knight, who represents the resurgence of the May 4th spirit at Peking University.  He is the conscience of intellectuals, he is the pillar of the Chinese people. 

Another Internet user said frankly: To selectively and purposefully simplify, excerpt and guide the reporting of the Kong Qingdong affair reveals the ugly nature of certain media, thus proving the correctness of "using foul language to curse reporters out."  This is the reason why Professor Kong received the support and sympathy of the majority of the people afterwards.

Another Internet user said: While Kong Qingdong's foul language may be uncivilized, he was forced to use the 'national curse' by the Chinese traitor forces.  The reasons why Kong Qingdong was able to win the popular support of the majority of Internet users are: this is a loud roar of previously suppressed anger from the vast majority of grassroots citizens whose speech rights were taken away; this is an expression of the strong discontent among the masses against the lies fabricated by a certain newspaper group to malign the last thirty years of revolutionary and nation-building histories in China; the vicious smears against the leader of the people Mao Zedong and the rejection of scientific socialism; this is an expression of the extreme contempt by the masses against the thugs who fawn upon the western forces and the Chinese traitors-reporters who act as the vanguards for western capitalism; this is an expression of the rejection by the masses of Chinese people of western values and rules of existence ...

(Apple Daily (Hong Kong))  November 14, 2011.

According to the residents of Yilong village, Zhongshan city, Guangdong province, the incident arose from land requisition.  The villagers claimed that the land was worth more than 400 million RMB but the government sold it to a developer for a mere 750,000 RMB for which the villagers have not received their share yet.  More than a month ago, the villagers occupied a piece of industrial land under dispute in protest.  They warned the government that they will move on to stop industrial production.

At just after 8am on the day before yesterday, the protestors were suppressed by more than 1,000 armed anti-riot police officers.  Many people were injured and arrested.  Then someone set fire to the microwave oven storage house belonging to the Meidi Company, resulting in the destruction of over 40 million RMB in property.  The villagers denied that they set the fire.

According to the Internet, two villagers were beaten to death.  But the government denies that, pointing out that the photos of the deceased persons which were published by Hong Kong media came from a 2009 incident in Anhui province.

 

(Oriental Daily)  November 14, 2011.

There was a large-scale clash between citizens and police at Yilong village, Dongsheng town on the day before yesterday.  According to information posted on the Internet, several thousand police went into the village and were met by resistance.  Three persons died and a hundred were injured.  But the Zhongshan police insisted that nobody died and the only incident was that an old man passed out from a heart attack but he was revived by the doctors at the scene.

According to information, the police were still present in Yilong village yesterday.  There were many signs of the clash, including many broken windows and car wreckage.  As for the Xiaolanjinrui Industrial Park where a factory was set on fire, the curfew was listed on the night before yesterday. 

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences scholar Yu Jianrong asked the media to investigate.


(Phoenix Oriental Media)  November 13, 2011.
There was a mass riot in Dongsheng town, Zhongshan city by villagers who were protesting against illegal land sale.  For several months, Yilong village, Dongsheng town residents were objecting to the government selling land for their personal gain.  With no other recourse, several thousand villagers set two factories on fire in anger.  A village mayor was even beat to death.  The authorities sent out 3,000 armed policemen to suppress.  The villagers threw petrol bombs and light gas canisters.  Some private houses caught fire.  It was like a battle scene.

That an incident occurred is not in doubt.  What precisely happened is in doubt, given that much of the information is based upon what people were posting on the Internet.  The following are some examples of information known to be false now, but was previously published by overseas media.

(Dianzizheng's blog)  November 15, 2011.


(Lushan Water Fall 01)  On November 12, the Dongsheng town government refused to pay the Yilong villagers the price of 1.5 million RMB per mu of land which had been improperly seized.  When the negotiations failed, the government sent in more than 1,000 armed policemen to attack the villagers.  At the seventh brigade section of Yilong village, they beat up everyone in sight including old ladies.  They beat the young people half to death.  Many motorcycles parked by the roadside were vandalized.  They beat an old man in the eleventh brigade of Yilong village to death.


Explanation: This photo was taken of a dead villager who got into a fight with the local party secretary in an Anhui province village.  The photo was posted on July 3, 2009 (see link).  There was no explanation on what the fight was about, or what happened afterwards.

==============================


... these armed policemen are accessories who are willing to commit any and every atrocity.

Explanation: The photo on the left has a vertical banner that clearly identifies the location as being Jianqiao town, Jianggan district, Hangzhou city, which has to be about a thousand miles away from Zhongshan city.

==============================


@Hello小家 The village party committee is being accused of leasing 12.8 mu of land for a duration of fifty years.  The amount involved is said to be as much as 400 million RMB.  Not a single cent has been distributed to villagers.  For months the villagers have taken turns to prevent the land from being taken over.  The situation escalated until the mass incident took place.  The local hospital has taken in large number of casualties including small children.  Some of the villagers are in serious condition as a result of the bloody beatings.  The villagers have called the local television stations and newspapers for coverage but the media refused to report on the suppression by the authorities.

Explanation: The photo of the man being dragged away on the ground had been taken during the 7.5.2009 incident in Urumqi city, Xinjiang province (see link (WARNING)).

Recently, Yu Hua made a post to his QQ microblog:


Yu Hua: The principal source of funds for American universities is private donations.  When I was at New York University, I heard this true story: A donor in barefeet walked into the Chancellor's office.  When the Chancellor saw that the donor was barefooted, his immediate reaction was to take off his own socks and shoes.  So the two barefooted persons sat down and had a serious discussion.  Then the donor took out a check book to write out a check.  The Chancellor observed the donor add zero after zero to the sum.  The donor had just donated 100 million American dollars to New York University.  After I heard this, I said: This Chancellor is really fucking awesome!

At this time, this post has been forwarded 11,304 times with 628 comments.

Fact or fiction?

(NYU Alumni Magazine)  Here are the donations whose totals exceed $100 million.

August 2005

Using royalties from Remicade, a widely used anti–inflammatory he helped to develop, NYU microbiology professor Jan T. Vilcek pledges $105 million to the School of Medicine.

[Note: This gift is divided into three parts -- a lump sum in cash, the rights of certain future royalties and a trust -- the values of which the school declined to detail (see link).  It is unlikely that the lump sum is $100 million while the future royalties and trust is only $5 million.  So it is almost certain that there was no $100 million check in this case.

Is Professor Vilcek likely to march barefooted into the Chancellor's office?]

May 2006

A $200 million gift from the Leon Levy Foundation helps establish the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in a town house on East 84th Street.

[Note:  The NYU donation is from the Leon Levy Foundation. Shelby White, a trustee of the foundation, and her husband, Leon Levy, who died in 2003, had been longtime benefactors of higher-education programs related to archaeology.  The first payment, of $45-million, will be made immediately; subsequent operating budgets for the institute will be approved by the foundation on an annual basis. (see link)  So there is no $100 million check either.

Note:  Shelby White serves on the boards of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Institute for Advanced Study, The New York Botanical Garden, New York University, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Bard Graduate Center, and The Writers Room. She is president of both the American Friends of the Cycladic Art Foundation and the American Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.  (see link
]

Is she likely to march barefooted into the Chancellor's Office?]

April 2008

Langone Medical Center is renamed in honor of a $200 million gift, its largest ever, from Kenneth and Elaine Langone.

[Note: Kenneth G. Langone, a billionaire financier and a founder of Home Depot, is giving another $100 million donation to New York University Medical Center, matching the one that he made anonymously in 1999.  In return, the university plans to name the medical center the N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center, effective Wednesday.  Mr. Langone has not been uninvolved in planning the medical center’s future. He was named chairman of its board nine years ago, and he said that after talking with his wife about taking on the job, “we concluded if I was going to be chairman of the place, I had to demonstrate some tangible commitment.” That led to the first $100 million. “But we wanted it done anonymously,” he said. “I didn’t want people to think I was just showing up and doing this.”  Unlike many large donations to colleges and universities, the Langones’ gift is unrestricted, meaning that the Langones did not dictate how the money had to be spent.  (see New York Times)  So it is possible that Frank Langone wrote a check for $100 million in either 1999 or 2008.

(Forbes profile of Kenneth G. Langone) 
Langone made his mark taking Ross Perot's Electronic Data Systems public in 1968. He later raised millions in capital to cofound Home Depot in 1978; left board in 2010 after 30 years but still has a large stake in the retailer whose stock is up almost 20% in past year. Also former chair of New York Stock Exchange's compensation committee from 1999 to 2002 and board member until 2003, Langone was thrust into limelight when he was forced to testify in lawsuit over $187 million pay package awarded to former NYSE chief Richard Grasso. He has been married to his wife Elaine for 55 years. Chairman of the Promise Academy, a charter school in NYC. Gave unrestricted $200 million gift to NYU Langone Medical center in 2008. Graduate of the MBA part-time program at NYU, a program which also now bears his name after his $10 million donation in 1999.

Is this man likely to march barefooted into the Chancellor's office?]

It is actually not necessary to go through any research as such.  For anyone who has lived in New York City (as I have), it is simply preposterous to walk around barefooted because the streets have all sorts of glass, nails, rocks and other objects on them.  Yu Hua said that he heard this true story while he was over at New York University.  He should have taken a look at the streets and consider whether it is plausible.

(Li Mu's microblog)


Li Mu: I have had enough of these media workers/scholars/public intellectuals.  In the Shenzhen rape case, the person under detention (not arrest!) is merely a suspect, but the public opinion has not only rendered the final verdict on the suspect, it has also sentenced the victim and her family.  In the Jilin case of soldiers fleeing with a rifle, even the investigators have not finished writing their report but the microblogosphere has already concluded on the truth.  Damn, these reporters/scholars/public intellectuals deserve to be bottled up.  If they can freely do this all the time, China will have plenty of trouble on hand.

(Chai Jing's blog)  I could not help it.  November 9, 2011.

1.

The case of the rape of Yang Wu's wife has been reported extensively.  In the initial report, there was something that broke my heart.

During the dialog, the reporter told the man who did not come out to help his wife who was being raped: "You are too cowardly."

The reporter should not have said that.

A short while ago, I was chatting with a colleague about a certain program in which he interviewed a father trying to elude volunteers.  The volunteers were angry because they thought that the man wanted to hide the child in order to avoid medical treatment.  So this colleague had dinner with the father in order to understand better.  The father who is a peasant said that this was his first time in Shanghai and he had previously heard that "Grand Shanghai" was chaotic and so he was afraid of strangers.

My colleague tried to comfort the father by saying: "This is not chaos; this is prosperity."

I told my colleague: "If this man comes from the rural area, you can ask him where he got the impression that 'Grand Shanghai' is 'chaotic'?  If it came from fellow villagers, what did they tell him?  What happened after he arrived in Shanghai?  Was that impression get reinforced or reduced?  What did he think those volunteers wanted?  Did he think that his child was being threatened?  Why did he hide?"

I know this colleague very well and I know that he is kind-hearted.  That was why I conversed with him.  During interviews, we tend to evaluate and rectify other people based upon our personal experiences and we forget to ask: "Why did this person choose to do this in this case?"

Yang Wu was classmates with that Joint Defense Force member since elementary school.  According to Yang Wu, "he bullied me since we were young."  How did it first happen?  Why was he always being bullied?  Has he ever fought back?  What was the result?  Did he seek help each time?  If not, what were his considerations?  If he sought help, how did the teachers and/or family members handle it?  What did the other party do if someone interceded?  How many times did this happen?  Was that how he end up dealing with the other party since?

He said that when he came to work, the other party came to drink alcohol with him.  If he refused, the other party beat him up.  What were the beatings like?  How many times?  Did he fight back?  What were the consequences?  Did he get fellow villagers to intercede?  What were the consequences?  Did he report to the police?  What were the consequences?  Did the fact that the other party was a Joint Defense Force member affect him?

Why did this man make this choice under those circumstances?  How much do we know about the reasons and causes?

"You are too cowardly."  The direct assessment by a reporter is like a stab in people's hearts.

2.

Last evening, I watched the latest video which includes the video of the entire incident.  The media cameraperson was filming the surveillance video being played on computer.  Yang Wu and the police officer can be heard speaking in the background.

As I watched, I said to myself: "Please don't turn the camera around.  Please don't turn the camera around."

Indeed the camera turned around and aimed right into Yang Wu's face.  There was no cover-up.  The question was posed directly at Yang Wu: "Why didn't you help you wife?"

The tone was accusatory.  Yang Wu explained: "I was afraid that I could kill him.  I still have a 70-something-year-old mother ..."

"Why didn't you exercise justifiable defense?"

Yang Wu looked stupefied for a moment.  Did he apparently not understand the term "justifiable defense"?  He mumbled a bit, used his sleeve to cover up his face and sobbed loudly: "I am not a man.  I am too useless..."

I would have asked how much education this man has received?  Did he understand the concept?  How much does he know about the law?  How much assistance do migrant workers receive about legal education and aid in cities?

None.

The final shot showed full views of his home and his shop directly.

3.

I saw another photograph today.

Many media workers have entered Yang Wu's home directly.  They surrounded the wife in her bed.  She is already suffering from mental problems.  They demanded that she answered personal questions.  They piled their microphones on the bed.  The woman is curled up in her pajamas.  She tried to slink away while covering her face with her hands.

This case of sexual assault is still under investigation.  But the media are already issuing "case bulletins" which claimed that "the suspect and the woman had committed adultery on many previous occasions."  Is this information accurate?  Was it based upon sufficient evidence?  Was such information released after seeking the principals' consent?

This couple comes from the rural area.  They may not be aware that it is illegal for the media to forcibly enter a private residence.  They may not be aware that the media reports about the victim of a sex crime should protect her privacy so as not to be hurt her a second time.  This is standard media ethics.  They may not be aware that the court trial of such a case may be held in a closed courtroom.  But such a news report was now rashly and callously laid out in front of their neighbors, parents and children.

Indeed they don't know how to protect themselves against violence.  They can only exercise the feeblest of defenses by using their sleeves to cover their faces in order to avoid the media questions.

Yes.  This was a shame, but not on them.

(The China Beat)  Li Yang's Model: Questions of Morality.  Tom Baxter.  October 28, 2011.

At the start of September 2011 Li Yang’s American-born wife, Kim Lee, publicly accused him of domestic abuse against her and their two children. She wrote comments and posted pictures on her Weibo blog, sparking outrage against Li Yang in the press. Li Yang was slow to admit to the accusations, waiting almost a week until he wrote on his own Weibo page, “I wholeheartedly apologize to my wife Kim and my girls for committing domestic violence”. Li Yang undermined his seeming repentance four days later, however, in an interview with China Daily in which he said that he “never thought she would make it public since it’s not Chinese tradition to expose family conflicts to outsiders”.

How this will impact on Li Yang’s cult status is unclear now, just a month after the events. Will his role-model-self diminish in the eyes of young Chinese English enthusiasts? Kim Lee sees his image as ruined, writing in response to accusations of her improper conduct and her role in his possible downfall; “He chose to beat me… He chose to leave me alone after doing so… He chose the media spotlight. Who destroyed his image?” Her blog posts certainly attracted a huge following, provoking shock and condemnation. But Li Yang has survived media and public outrage in the past—the kowtowing incident seems long gone and forgotten now. The couple’s online marital arguments continue to unfold on Weibo and in the Chinese press, and it will take time to understand the impact, if any, on Li Yang’s status and reputation amongst the millions of English-learning Chinese for whom he is a role-model of success and one who has shown the path for aspiring youths of the 21st century.

In case you missed out Kim Lee's microblog posts, here they are:


Apple Daily:
Pan-democrats lose badly
Seven mainstays lose


AM 730:
41.4% voter turnout rate surpasses last time
No help to pan-democrats


Ming Pao: The pan-democrat stars lose in district elections


Wen Wei Po:
'FTU young girl' knocks down Lee Cheuk-yan
'Liberal rookie' boots Tanya Chan
Citizens won't accept empty talk and no accomplishments
Many oppositions big brothers lose


Sing Pao:
District Council elections voter turnout at 41.4%
No help to pan-democrats
Many political stars lose badly


Ta Kung Pao:
1,200,000 voters set new record
Opposition camp routed
Lee Cheuk-yan/Leung Kwok-hung/Ronny Tong Ka-wah/Sin Chung-kai/Tanya Chan lose


Headline Daily:
Internecine squabble among pan-democrats
Celebrity leaders lose


Sing Tao Daily: Civic Party loses badly


Hong Kong Daily News:
Lee Cheuk-yan/Ronny Tong Ka-wah lost


Oriental Daily: Cancer-causing trees being planted everywhere

(South China Morning Post)  Pro-Beijing camp achieves landslide in district polls.  Peter So.  November 7, 2011 7:00am.

The pro-Beijing camp scored a landslide victory in Sunday’s district council elections – with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) and Federation of Trade Unions winning 146 of the 412 seats.

In contrast, the pan-democratic camp suffered an even worse defeat than it had experienced in 2007. The Democratic Party won only 47 seats, while the Civic Party won seven.

A record turnout of 1.2 million people voted on Sunday in the most hotly contested district council elections in Hong Kong history – which saw 839 candidates contest 336 constituencies. Some 76 councillors were returned.

Of the 2.9 million eligible voters, 41.4 per cent cast their ballots – compared with a turnout of 38.8 per cent in the 2007 district council polls and 44.06 per cent in 2003 – when there were nearly 500,000 fewer registered voters.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said he was satisfied his party had secured more seats.

DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him defeated Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrat (LSD). Ip received 2,723 votes, while Leung, also known as “Long Hair”, only got 973 votes. Ip said this showed voters were unwilling to back radical politicians.

All the results were released by 4am, and it was soon obvious the pan-democrats were in for a long, painful night.

Civic Party legislators Tanya Chan and Ronny Tong Ka-wah both lost their seats. Chan was beaten by Liberal Party first-time candidate Joseph Chan Ho-lim in the Peak constituency of Central and Western. Tong lost to incumbent independent Wong Ka-wing in City One, Sha Tin. Civic Party leader Alan Leong Ka-kit said the goal of achieving full universal suffrage would be more difficult after the landslide defeat. The party only won seven seats, despite fielding 41 candidates.

The Democratic Party also suffered, as its lawmakers Lee Wing-tat and Wong Sing-chi were defeated in Kwai Tsing and North District, respectively. The party’s vice-chairman and former lawmaker Sin Chung-kai lost to incumbent councillor David Wong Chor-fung, of the New People’s Party, in Wan Chai’s Tai Hang constituency. However, party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan fended off a challenge from People Power candidate Albert Chan Wai-yip and independent Shum Kam-tim in Lok Tsui, the Tuen Mun District. Ho said the party had “passed a test” because it did not lose too many seats. However, the party now has three fewer seats. He said the pan-democrats would need to review their strategy. Democrat lawmakers Kam Nai-wai and James To Kun-sun held on to their seats in Central, Western and the Yau Tsim Mong District.

Radical pan-democratic group People Power – whose goal was to punish the Democratic Party and Association of Democratic and People’s Livelihood for backing the government’s reform package for the 2012 elections – was the biggest loser. Of its 62 candidates, only one achieved a victory. Its campaign mostly received lukewarm support from voters.

The radical LSD which fielded 28 candidates failed to win any seats. Party chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang lost his seat in Chuk Yuen North, the Wong Tai Sin district.

The New People’s Party – which contested the elections for the first time – secured four seats. The party fielded 12 candidates this year.


Partial District Council election results by party affiliation
[Color code: Purple 2011; Pink 2007; Blue 2003]
Row 1 DAB; row 2 Democratic Party; row 3 ADPL; row 4 Liberal Party; row 5 Civic Party; row 6 League of Social Democrats; row 7 People Power; row 8 New People's Party.

(Hong Kong Research Association)  (1,184 Hong Kong voters interviewed by telephone October 21-26, 2011)

Q1.  Attention level to information about the District Council elections
28%: Very attentive
27%: Somewhat attentive
39%: So-so
  4%: Somewhat inattentive
  2%: Very inattentive
  1%: No opinion

Q2. Assessment of enthusiasm about these elections
15%: Intense
53%: So-so
27%: Not intense
  5%: No opinion

Q3. Principal factor in deciding whom to vote for
51%: District work performance
14%: Election platform
17%: Political party affiliation
  7%: Personal image
  4%: Other
  6%: No opinion

Q4. Preference for candidate's focus
36%: Hong Kong-wide issues
56%: Local district issues
  9%: No opinion

Q5. Likelihood of voting in this District Council election
52%: Definitely
27%: Most likely
  7%: Most likely not
  4%: Definitely not
  8%: Undecided
  3%: No opinion

Q6. Many political celebrities are participating in these elections.  Does that make you more likely to vote?
18%: Yes
64%: No
18%: No opinion

Q7. Timing of decision of whom to vote for
25%: On election day
40%: Within the week of the election
  9%: Within two weeks of the election
17%: Earlier than two weeks before the election
  9%: No opinion

Q8. Principal means of obtaining election information
  7%: Internet
17%: Newspapers
  4%: Radio
11%: Television
39%: Election campaign materials
  2%: Magazines
11%: Other means
  9%: No opinion

So who will be the big winners?  Here are some predictions:

(South China Morning Post) Democrats predicted to storm election  November 3, 2011.  Peter So and Tanna Chong

The Democratic Party will be the biggest winner in Sunday's district council elections, according to a research institute's prediction that 60 per cent of the party's candidates will win a seat.

Hong Kong Transition Project predicted yesterday that 80 of the Democratic Party's 132 candidates, or 60.6 per cent, will be victorious.

That is well ahead of the 21.1 per cent success rate predicted for the combined forces of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and Federation of Trade Unions - many candidates are representing both Beijing loyalist parties simultaneously. Only 50 of their 237 candidates would win seats, the project said. The group describes itself as a non-partisan research organisation.

The figures exclude wins by uncontested candidates.

Pro-government parties might suffer after fielding many young and inexperienced candidates, said project member Dr Sonny Lo Shiu-hing, an associate dean at the Institute of Education. Also, rivalry within the pan-democratic camp may be less damaging than expected.

The predictions were based on comparisons of the perceived worthiness of candidates - which drew upon their work performance in the community and success in previous elections. The actual results could be different, Lo conceded, because of the large number of "iron-clad" pro-government voters who might not consider candidates' merits.

Lo predicted victories for 17 out of 26 candidates from the pan-democratic Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, and for 14 out of 21 candidates fielded by Civil Force - a group linked to the DAB.

The Civic Party might win up to 19 seats among 41 candidates, while People Power would win only three seats from 59 candidates, he said. The Civic Party could win five more seats if it was not hurt by two recent controversies - its championing of court challenges that opened the door to right of abode for foreign domestic helpers and briefly blocked the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, Lo said.


Hong Kong Transition Project: Prediction of District Council election

(South China Morning Post)  Voter turnout no guide to who will win.  November 5, 2011.  Stuart Lau.

Traditional political wisdom that high voter turnout is good for pan-democrats has been shaken up by a study of the last district council elections in 2007. While areas with a low turnout did hurt the democrats in the elections four years ago, the same was true of areas with the highest turnouts, a South China Morning Post examination of the figures shows.

Candidates and analysts are not hopeful about the pan-democratic camp's chances in tomorrow's elections, in which 839 candidates are contesting 412 seats on in 18 district councils. The turnout is predicted to be lower than the 39 per cent seen in 2007.

The traditional wisdom was that the behaviour of borderline voters determined whether turnout was high or low, Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said. "If the turnout is lower this time, it will look gloomy for the pan-democrats."

Four years ago, the Kowloon East districts of Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong saw voter turnout of 42.19 per cent and 41.46 per cent respectively. They were the second- and third- highest turnouts among the 18 districts, but the pan-democrats did not benefit. (Though the Islands district saw the highest turnout in 2007, 44.73 per cent, since it is a large district and only 51,162 people voted, the figure was less representative.) Of Wong Tai Sin's 20 contested constituencies, the pan-democratic and pro-government camps took nine seats each and independents two. In Kwun Tong, where turnout was 2.33 points above the city-wide average of 38.83 per cent, pan-democrats suffered a landslide defeat, winning just three of the 28 seats. Leading the field were self-proclaimed independents, who took 19 seats. The pro- establishment camp won the remainder.

"The high voting figures [in Kowloon East] are basically due to supporters of the pro-establishment camp," said Democratic Party lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming. He has been active in the area since the 1980s. Democratic Party vice-chairwoman and legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing said the "so-called independents" were not really so independent." They are backed by the pro-establishment [camp]," Lau said. "Who in society doesn't have a stance now?" Li also attributed the rival camp's success to propaganda and what he called "satellite groups" of social activists who claimed to promote everything from Cantonese opera to women's rights to environmental concerns. "Many of them basically work on behalf of the pro-Beijing camp," he said.

Federation of Trade Unions legislator Wong Kwok-kin rejected this. "We don't have a lot of strategies," he said. "Our candidates - mostly district assistants - have served their communities for many years."

In the areas with low voting rates, the pro-democracy camp's influence was negligible. Wan Chai saw the lowest turnout, 30.65 per cent. The pan-democrats won only one of the 11 constituencies, the pro-establishment camp won three and independents got the rest. In Yau Tsim Mong, which had the second-lowest turnout, 34.15 per cent, pan-democrats won two seats, pro-establishment candidates took seven and independents picked up seven.

Choy, of Chinese University, said the pan-democrats had done well in the highly politicised polls of 2003, which followed the landmark pro-democracy march by 500,000 people earlier in the year. That produced turnout of 44 per cent and gave the camp a resounding victory. However, the lack of pressing issues in 2007 led to a loss for the pan-democrats, Choy said.

Earlier this week, 66 per cent of respondents to a a University of Hong Kong survey said they would vote, 10 points down from a similar poll four years ago.

Democratic Party chairman and lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan, who is running in the Lok Tsui constituency of Tuen Mun against People Power's Albert Chan Wai-yip and independent Shum Kam-tim, said: A high turnout is not necessarily to our benefit. It's merely because of the opposing camp's core support. "But a low rate is definitely to [the pan democrats'] disadvantage."

(Bauhinia Magazine via Wen Wei Po)  November 5, 2011.

... In the 2007 District Council elections, the faux democrats encountered an unprecedented setback.  They lost more than 40 of their approximately 130 seats.  For the past four years, the faux democrats do not seem to be doing better with their district work, relying as usual on their empty political/ideological struggles.  Objectively, they will find it hard to recover their lost seats.

In the 2011 District Council elections, the faux democrats will field about 300 candidates and their success rate may only be about 1/3.  The Democratic Party, the Civic Party, ADPL, LSD and People Power parties will likely win about 90 to 100 seats as opposed to the 110 (or even as much as 130) that they are internally targeting for.

The Democratic Party is the largest political party among the faux democrats.  They are fielding 126 candidates this time compared to 108 last time, of which 45 are running for re-election.  There are six Democratic Party members who are Legislative Councilors also running.  But People Power led by Raymond Wong Yuk-man is fielding 36 candidates against the Democratic Party candidates.  Of these, there are 12 districts in which the Democratic Party candidates are less than 10% of the votes from their rivals last time.  If the People Power candidates siphon off some votes, the Democratic Party candidates may end up losing.  However, the Democratic Party leaders think that they won't lose more than 5 seats on this account.

In 2007, the Democratic Party won 59 seats.  Over the next your years, the number was down to 45 seats for various reasons, of which at least 10 are at risk.  They would be lucky to retain five of those at-risk seats.   Therefore, it is likely that they will end up with around 50 seats.

In 2007, the Civic Party fielded 42 candidates and won 8 (increased later to 9).  This time the Civic Party is fielding 41 candidates of which 11 are running for re-election.  The Civic Party has relied on the celebrity effect of several barristers and paid scant attention to district work.  Of the 41 candidates, about half are "parachuted" into the districts with no previous experience.  Some voters don't even know what these candidates look like.

On one hand, the Civic Party candidates are poor in quality.  On the other hand, the Civic Party is facing an unprecedented public image crisis over the politically motivated lawsuits related to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the residency of foreign domestic workers.  The Civic Party leaders had optimistically hoped for 18 to 20 seats, but the Party Head Alan Leong has conceded that their target is to retain the 11 seats.

In 2007, the League of Social Democrats fielded 30 candidates of which 6 were elected.  Over the past 4 years, the League of Social Democrats has been plagued by internal scandals.  This time they are fielding 26 candidates.  The internal estimate is that they would be lucky to retain four seats.

People Power split away from the League of Social Democrats.  They are fielding 36 candidates.  Their main goal is not to win any seats.  Instead they want to take revenge through political suicide.  They have three current District Councilors now, but none of them are likely to be re-elected.  In the case of Chan Wai-yip, he abandoned his current district in order to compete against Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho in another district. 

In 2007, ADPL fielded 37 candidates and won 14 seats.  Even their chairman Frederick Fung almost lost.  This time, ADPL is fielding 26 candidates.  ADPL is being increasingly marginalized under the present political framework.  They would be lucky to retain their 14 seats.

Meanwhile, the pro-establishment DAB is fielding 182 candidates and hoping to retain their current 117 seats.  The DAB have better candidates who have worked in their respective districts for long periods of time.  Therefore their current councilors are likely to be re-elected.  In the end, they may end up with 120 or more seats.  FTU is fielding 48 candidates and may win about 15 seats.  LP used to have 14 councilors but only 6 are running for re-election.  Their own candidates are rookies so that they will likely only retain those seats.  The New People's Party is running for the first time, and their 12 candidates may win 2 to 3 seats.

Overall, the pro-establishment camp led by DAB should win 140 to 150 seats, while the faux democrats won't be able surpass this sum.

At 17:20 on October 15, there was a traffic accident in Haining City, Zhejiang Province.  A 56-year-old man named Liang was going down Jiahai Road on an electric cycle.  At the Shuiyueting intersection, his vehicle collided with another and he fell down.  His head hit the ground and he lost consciousness.  He is still hospitalized at this time.  Yesterday, his daughter told the reporter: "He doesn't even recognize me."

When the traffic police arrived at the scene, a couple named Guo said that the electric cycle had been knocked down by a red sedan.  The driver of that vehicle had fled the scene.  The Guo's had been riding on a motorcycle.  Mrs. Guo who was in the back seat gave her eyewitness account: "I saw the electric cycle wobbling.  Then a red sedan passed by and scraped the electric cycle which fell to the ground.  The Guo's told the police repeatedly that they were "helping out."

The traffic police officer who handled the case told our reporter: "When we arrived at the scene, only the Guo's were there.  Based upon their description, the culprit was the red sedan.  So our investigation was focused on tracking down this car."

The police managed to find the red sedan driver Ms. Xu.  She claimed that when she got to the Shuiyueting intersection, she heard a loud sound and then she saw an electric cycle on the ground.  An old man was laying on the ground.  She stopped her sedan by the roadside.  She got out of the car and saw that the old man was bleeding in the nose and mouth.  The Guo's were ready to help the old man get up but she stopped them.  "The old man suffered a head injury.  We have no medical knowledge and we should therefore avoid hurting him even more."  Ms. Xu, the Guo's and another pedestrian all called the emergency telephone numbers 110/120.

Ms. Xu said that the Guo's told her at the time that the electric cycle hit their motorcycle.  Ms. Xu said that the case will be clear upon investigation, but the priority should be to get help for the injured person.  After the ambulance took Liang away, the Guo's stayed to wait for the traffic police and Ms. Xu left for an appointment.

The police reviewed the surveillance video tape at the Shuiyueting intersection.  At the time of the incident, Ms. Xu's red sedan was going from south to north in Lane 2 whereas the Guo's motorcycle and Liang's electric cycle were going in Lane 4.  A black sedan suddenly turned from Lane 3 into Lane 4.  The electric cycle veered left and collided with the back of the motorcycle.  The electric cycle toppled down.  At that moment, the red sedan was just ready to switch from Lane 2 to Lane 3.  After the incident, the red sedan stopped on the side of Lane 4.

But since the Guo's were adamant that "the red sedan knocked down the electric cycle," the traffic police summoned the Guo's, Ms. Xu and the family of Liang to review the surveillance camera. Mr. Guo conceded that the red sedan did not hit the electric cycle.

Here is the conversation:

Traffic police: What did you say when you phoned the police?

Guo: I said that the electric cycle and the motorcycle collided.

Traffic police: Then how did this became a collision with a sedan?

Guo: Then ... who told her to stop?  If she didn't stop, none of this would have happened.

Following the suggestion by the traffic police officer, Mr. Guo apologized to Ms. Xu.  Ms. Xu said that she understood how the Guo's felt.  She emphasized to our reporter that the Guo's did not flee but stayed at the scene to help.  The reason why they falsely accused her "may be due to economic considerations."

But yesterday Mr. Guo called our reporter and gave an new explanatoin.  He said that the rear-view mirror of the electric cycle scraped his wife's clothing and their motorcycle wobbled.  They stopped when they heard the noise.  At first, they thought that the electric cycle scraped their motorcycle and fell.  After Ms. Xu left, "Someone told me that 'the sedan hit the person, so why is it allowed to leave?'  When someone else says that, I obviously believe him."

 

Your name is Gao Tianjun.  You say that you are a reporter for the <Xiandai Jinbao> newspaper, which is a local newspaper based in Wenzhou City (Zhejiang Province) and owned by the Xinhua News Agency.  Your self-description says that you are concerned about the various social conflicts that arise in this new era.  However, nobody pays any attention to what you say.  Your microblog posts do not get forwarded or commented upon.

On October 28, you make the following post.  You get forwarded 3,419 times and you drew 1,013 times.  Now everybody refers you as the Xinhua reporter with a conscience.  Here is the post:


Translation: This is the famous photo of the Lisu tribe girls crossing the river to attend school!  Each year, more than a dozen children fell into the the roaring Nujiang River.  It cost 400,000 RMB to build a bridge.  But the local government said that they don't have the money because their county is impoverished.  Meanwhile, the Communist Party Secretary drives an Audi car that costs more than 700,000 RMB.

Where did this photo come from?

Here is the report in the Yunnan Daily dated December 7, 2007.  The title is: Yunnan Nujiang River students crossing by cable will be past history.

The news story contains a transcript of a CCTV television program:  Let us look at a photo.  Two children are hanging from a cable over the roaring Nujiang River.  Many people are stunned by the sight.  These children are not playing games.  Rather this is the path that they must travel every day to get to school.  This photo showed that education conditions are harsh in many places in western China.  Let us ask the Lisu Tribe Autonomous People's Government governor Hou Xinhua.  How many such cables are there in the Nujiang Prefecture?

Hou Xinhua:  There were more than 200 such cables right after the Liberation.  Today, there are 26 left.  These cables have received the attention of the Provincial Communist Party Committee and the Prefecture Government.  We intend to spend a large sum of money to completely solve the river crossing problem for the people.

There is a follow-up report in Yunnan Daily on March 13, 2008.  The title is: "The first Loving Heart Bridge over the Nujiang River is done, crossing the river by cable is history."

Text: ... The Nujiang River bridge construction project organized by the Yunnan Daily Group and other media outlets in China have received tremendous response in society.  On this day, the Loving Heart Bridge will go into full operation after passing inspection.

This Loving Heart Bridge is 170 meters long and 2 meters wide.  Even the simplest steel cable draw bridge across the Nujiang canyon costs 300,000 yuan or so.  Previously, people have donated more than 1 million RMB already.

There is no evidence that Xiandai Jinbao reporter Gao Tianjin has ever been to Nujiang River, nor is there any evidence that the Communist Party Secretary drives an Audi that costs 700,000 RMB, nor is there any reference to the dozen children falling into the river each year.  All he did was to use an old photo to tap into certain prejudices and he had a hit on his hands.  However, he may find himself banned on Weibo for rumor mongering.

(m4)

Translation: New York City premiere of <The Founding of a Republic>: Not a single audience member present.  October 20, 2011.

According to <China Times>, China presented the "2011 Chinese Film Culture Week" in New York.  In spite of spending a huge amount on publicity, the premiere of <The Founding of a Republic> at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Centre on October 17 was attended by not even a single audience member.  Even the organizers were absent.  This has become a joke among the Chinese-language media here.

This story was then forwarded by a number of prominent Chinese public intellectuals:

@于建嵘 Yu Jianrong: Haha //@贺卫方 He Weifang: This news is too cool.  //@丛日云 Cong Riyun: When the news first appeared, I thought that it was not necessarily reliable.  But now that Brother Xueliang has mentioned it, it is apparently true.

@丁学良Ding Xueliang: The number of audience members at the New York City premiere of <The Founding of a Republic> was zero.  The Sino-American research conference on <Developments in Chinese cinema and the contributions towards global culture> was originally scheduled for October 18 but it has now been abruptly postponed.  The topic is too risky.  Someone may produce a list of ten most popular overseas films that are banned by a certain Chinese government department.  The New York City <Chinese Film Culture Week> is organized by the Department of Culture and the State Administration of Radio, Television and Film>.  On October 17, there was zero audience at the premiere of <The Founding of a Republic>.  This has become a joke among the local Chinese-language media.

@周述恒 Zhou Shuheng: There not a single audience member at the New York City premiere of <The Founding of a Republic>.  China organized the <2011 Chinese Film Culture Week> in New York City.  Although they spend a lot of money on publicity, not a single audience member showed up at the October 17 premiere of <The Founding of the Republic> at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Centre.  Even the organizers did not show up to watch the film.  This has become a joke among the local Chinese-language media.  These swindlers have underestimated the intelligence quotient of people living in the free world.  They deserve to lose money as well as face!

The rebuttal came quickly:

@人权总统麦卡锡 Human rights president McCarthy: [Brain-damaged idiots who posted on the <The Founding of a Republic>]: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Department of Social Sciences @Ding Xueliang spread the rumor that the number of audience members at the New York City premiere of <The Founding of a Republic> was zero.  The following also participated in the spreading of this rumor: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences @Yu Jianrong, Peking University School of Legal Studiies @He Weifang, Chinese University of Politics and Law Politics and Public Administration School @Cong Riyun.  For the truth, please see the video at: http://t.cn/SPOYem   http://weibo.com/2309486453/xugIHbXn6

@人权总统麦卡锡 Human rights president McCarthy:  After I posted the video last evening, there were still denials.  Someone questioned whether the video was taken in New York City and others said that the video was forged.  So let me show you another video.  Please note: At 1:40 into the video, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Centre is identifiable.  At 2:06, you can see the audience.  At 2:27, you can see the title of the film.  The person responsible for the video is the USA-based ICN International Satellite TV executive producer @Wang Wenjun.  http://t.cn/SvHfX3  http://weibo.com/2309486453/xukhX79Bm

@Wang Wenjun:  You can forward any post, but you must not mislead your readers.  We are media reporters who attended the entire premiere.  There were foreign and Chinese audience members.  They laughed and they applauded.  If you believe the rumors and make jokes, then you are casting a blemish on the truth as well as disrespecting those who are earnestly disseminating Chinese culture.  P.S.  I am with a local American media outlet that does not take money from the Chinese government.

@Wang Wenjun: As a media worker who was present at the scene, I present the news reports on the <2011 Film Culture Week>.  Let the rumor mongers see if nobody was present.  Premiere http://t.cn/SvHfX3  Opening Ceremony http://t.cn/SvHBE1

@Weibo Rumor Clearing Section: With respect to the cancellation of the <Developments in Chinese cinema and the contributions towards global culture> conference, the organizers claimed that the event was cancelled because the Chinese representatives were unable to obtain visas in time.

Here are some more comments:

@Wang Wenjun: Responding to Zhou Shuheng: Are your canine eyes blind?  Do you know what is called pigheadedness?  China may need democracy, but it does not need shameless clowns like you to lead everybody.  And you call me trash?  You are the rat scurrying across the street, understand?

@Wang Wenjun: Responding to Zhou Shuheng: It would lower my intelligence quotient to argue with a mad dog like you.  I will go back to the television station tomorrow and find some video to shut your dog mouth.  I covered the Culture Week all the way.  I was present at the scene.  Even if I was the only person there, your view that "not a single audience member was present" is still rubbish!!! The organizers would not be stupid to do something that even a fool wouldn't believe.

@三框:  Responding to Zhou Shuheng: I don't know what kind of person Wang Wenjun.  But I would call someone a fool without reason nor would I contemptuously dismiss someone as lowly material.  But this time I did see how you published information without evidence and how you curse people out.  As for the case itself, it is not very credible.  I am going to ban you from reading me.

@兔洛夫斯:  Mr. Zhou is still calm and might even after being slapped around in the face ... when he encountered various objections, he called the critics "fifty cent gangs" and "stupid cunt fools."  This is extraordinary for people like that to talk about democracy ... Only I have freedom and my opponents have no freedom.  This is the modern version of supporting your own side and attacking the other side.  Why talk about freedom and democracy then ... disgusting!

@云隐归舟: Responding to Zhou Shuheng: After heeding your instructions, I went back to examine the two videos carefully.  I observed that there were people sitting in the theater seats.  There is really true.  If this does not prove that there were film watchers, I don't know how it can be proven.  Are you the only one who see just empty seats?

@天府狂想曲  The original source of the story has been traced to the Mirror Books website.  Their logo even says: "Exclusivity means influence; tolerance means universality."  I started to laugh when I saw "universality"...

@U235: This is further proof that there are people systemically spreading rumors on the microblog, aided by the brain-dead public intellectuals and conscience-free media.  Together they constitute the chain for rumor mongering.

@有时真飞  Rumors are not shameful, because they are merely rumors.  What is shameful is t he glee with which those people with the V credentials and their fans spread rumors.

@东风石榴  I am sorry but I just saw the videos.  Afterwards I came to this conclusion: Either Professor Ding is a big stupid cunt fool or else the rumor busters are big stupid cunt fools.

@马迷糊  So this was a rumor after all!  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology tenured professor sounded so bold and confident when he manufactured that rumor.  And people were so happy to believe in that rumor.  What ugly behavior!

@nightowl2011: It is an open question whether this tenured university professor lacked basic judgment on the veracity of news because he was too stupid or because he underestimated the intelligence of the masses!

@尼尔在路上-YM  This story is really fucking retarded.  If you want to make something up, you must at least make an effort.  How can you talk about freedom and demography when you are so stupid ... I am embarrassed for Uncle Ding ... If nobody bought the movie tickets, couldn't they give tickets away?  Wouldn't the embassy organize the overseas Chinese to attend?  Even no overseas Chinese want to see this, what about the overseas Chinese companies?  If the Chinese companies organizers their workers to attend, they can fill the theater for 100 showings ...

@莫非-morpheus  To those who want to apply to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology undergraduate program, your school's tenured professor manufactures rumors in public.  This tenured professor of social sciences knows how to set an example: To be my student, you must have the courage to lie because our goal is to change this society and rumor mongering is just a means.

Sina.com Weibo Rumor Clearing Section, October 26, 2011.

The two microbloggers who made the original posts have their privileges to read/write suspended for one month.

(XinhuaMurderous driver Yao Jiaxin executed.  June 7, 2011.

Yao Jiaxin, a university student who stabbed a young mother to death to cover up a hit-and-run accident, was executed on Tuesday in Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, with the approval of the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

Yao, 21, a student at the Xi'an Conservatory of Music, was convicted of murdering Zhang Miao last October in Xi'an to prevent her from reporting an earlier incident in which Yao hit her with his car.

Yao was sentenced to death by the Xi'an Intermediate People's Court on April 22. He appealed his sentence after the trial.

The Shaanxi Provincial People's Procuratorate held that the facts of the case are clear and the evidence is sufficient and suggested rejecting the appeal and maintaining the court's judgment.

The Shaanxi Provincial Higher People's Court heard the case and rejected the appeal on May 20, sending the case to the Supreme People's Court for review.

The SPC reviewed the case and held that Yao had committed the crime of intentional killing, based on the fact that Yao ran into the victim while driving his car and resorted to murder to silence her.

"Yao stabbed the victim's chest, stomach and back several times until she died. The motive was extremely despicable, the measures extremely cruel and the consequences extremely serious," said a statement provided by the SPC.

Yao surrendered himself to police in the company of his parents four days after the murder. This was not enough for him to earn leniency, according to the SPC.

The SPC held that the court judgments produced after the first and second trials were accurate and appropriate and gave its approval for the death sentence.

The Xi'an Intemediate People's Court executed Yao on Tuesday after announcing the SPC's review results.

(Want/China Times)  Father of executed killer Yao Jiaxin to sue victim's lawyer.  August 6, 2011.

The father of a student executed for killing a hit-and-run victim in order to cover up the accident is suing the victim's lawyer for defamation, the father's attorney revealed yesterday.

According to Shanghai Daily, Yao Qingwei has filed a lawsuit against Zhang Xian, who represented the family of Zhang Miao, a 26-year-old mother stabbed to death by Yao's son Yao Jiaxin last October, Lan He, a lawyer with Beijing-based W&H Law Firm China said on his microblog.

The lawsuit is likely to stir a new round of public debate which seemed to have ended after Yao Jiaxin, a 21-year-old student of the Xi'an Conservatory of Music, was put to death for the murder on June 7, the report said.

The case has been accepted by the People's Court of Yanta district in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province, Lan said.   "After long tolerance, Mr Yao literally resorted to law to defend the dignity of his family and himself," Lan said.

Zhang Xian said he had not yet received a subpoena. In his blog, the lawyer said he had a clear conscience regarding the case and Yao Jiaxin deserved the death penalty whether he represented the victim's family or not.

Yao Qingwei earlier posted that Zhang fanned public anger to influence media coverage and the trial itself by spreading rumors that Yao's family was related to powerful high-ranking officials or rich businesspeople.

Zhang had published personal information concerning members of the family, suggesting Yao Qingwei and his father held major positions in China's military defense industries, Yao said.

Yao Qingwei said he was an ordinary worker in the industry on an average income.

(6Park)  Yao Jiaxin's father publishes telephone conversation transcripts with Zhang Xian.  October 20, 2011.

Here is a summary:

Section 1.  Zhang Xian was afraid of the court appearance.

1.  If you want me to kneel down in front of you, I will do it.

2. People who are as old as us cannot deal with more hurt.  Let me tell you frankly with my conscience -- I wouldn't want you to be hurt again.

3. I really don't want to go to court.  I just opened this blog, and Lan He wants to go to court.  I don't want to go to court.

4. Let the two of us settle this and get everything straightened out.  I admit that I was wrong and all is understood.

5. Old Yao, I still want to meet with you.  You can decide where we can meet secretly.

6. I will tell Sina.com that we are going to settle amicably.  I will shut down my microblog.  The two of us will settle.  We will tell the world that we settled and I will shut my microblog down.  If this case goes to court, it will be more than something between the two of us.  If it goes to court, it won't be something just between the two of us.

7. We are both passive.  In court, we can only react.  Individually we make decisions.  We make our own decisions now.  When Lan He and Shi Ya criticize me, I don't respond privately.  I don't counterattack Shi Ya.  I respond to Lan He privately.

8. If we can settle, I will shut down my microblog if you want me.  I will destroy whatever you want.  We can draft a public statement to tell the world.

9. I didn't say that you had paid Internet commentators.  Did I ever say that the Yao family had paid Internet commentators?

10. So I can afford to lose this court case.

11. Previously Lan He told me to apologize to the Chinese people.  To tell all the Chinese people.  How can I do that?  You are going through the legal process.

Section 2. Zhang Xian tries to sow dissension on the opposite side

1. Lan He has his own personal ideas.

2. If you tell me privately to apologize, I will apologize immediately to you.  I will do anything you want.  But as soon as Lan He enters the case, things get complicated and never ending.  They have their ulterior motives.

3. I am dubious about Lan He.  He is from Beijing.  I have examined the political views of this person.  He is far too reactionary.  You can checks his microblog for his views about this automobile accident and those systems.  He is politically ambitious.

4. After I spoke to him by telephone, Shi Ya came to the university and cursed me (Zhang Xian) out for destroying the thirty years of rule of law in China.  This peasant is tough to deal with.  I make an audio recording.  I can let you listen to the recording of Shi Ya, so that you know what kind of person this is.  Then he said to me: "You called and scared that young girl."  How does he know that I called?  Hereafter I am suspicious of Uneven Shoulders.  I can let you listen to the audio recording.

5. As Shi Ya said, "You are an elite.  You destroyed the thirty years of rule of law.  This society is one in which only the elite counts and the peasants are just riff-raff.  Zhang Xian, you are wrong.  You are wrong about the whole thing.  If you apologize, it will all end.  This is only starting.  You can back out.  They are beginning to debase me.  The whole process is just starting."

6. I have not called Uneven Shoulders so far.  I am suspicious about him.  I even wondered if he is the same person as Shi Ya.  I have the evidence.

Section 3.  Zhang Xian reveals the truth

1.  The XX court asked me to go there.  To have tea.  XX court wanted to talk to me about something ... Qing Dao in the afternoon ... they did not produce any proof.  They introduced you without even knowing what your age is.  They introduced you as a representative of the military.  Then the guy Qing Dao finally said what the military representative does.  He said it was about quality inspection or something?

2. Jiao Qingwei said: "I think that the reason why you cast doubts about my family background is that you want to build up your momentum of your fund raising."

Zhang Xian: "Right right right."

3. Too deep.  I won't say any more.  Too deep.  I went too far.  Not only you said that I went too far, but even my younger brother said that I went too far.  Even my younger brother won't talk to me anymore.

4. I am like that.  I was greedy.  I recently spoke to my younger brother by phone.  He said that I deserved to be sued.

5. The other guy was Zhou Bin.  He wanted me to raise the campaign to collect donations.

Section 4.  Zhang Xian issues subtle threats

1.  Based upon my present understanding, you are being passive.

2. Zhang Xian said: This is what I think right now.  You see if you agree.  When we settle, we will tell the outside world that we have settled.  A settlement means that we accept each other.  You forgive me and I forgive you.

Yao Qingwei said: What are you forgiving me for?

Zhang Xian said: "Oh.  Nothing.  This is about mutual forgiveness."

Section 5.  Zhang Xian never tires of attacking people.

1. You see that the media is always saying rubbish.

2. I am not the only one who did this.  There is also Xu Tao.

3. Zhang Xian: The second trial has not taken place yet.  Because there was no appeal on the second trial, Wang Rong has not yet gotten the right to attend the trial.  If he attended the trial, he would be.

Yao Qingwei: But he still states on his microblog that he was the defense lawyer for Yao Jiaxin and Li Changkui.

Zhang Xian: That is what he says.  The second trial is not recognized under the law.

Yao Qingwei: So did you pay for his roundtrip airplane ticket and room & board?  Or did he pay himself?

Zhang Xian: I paid him.  I paid his room & board.

Yao Qingwei: You spent it.  Not Wang Hui?

Zhang Xian: I paid it.  I paid it.  Our school operates a hotel.  When he came, he stayed there and he ate there.  He ate at the restaurant.  Sign ... sign ... this matter ... we have far too many misunderstandings ... this matter ...

Section 6.  Zhang Xian reveals his secrets

Yao Qingwei: I went over to Zhang Pingxuan's home to deliver money.  This was Jiaxin's wish.  Zhang Pingxuan told you that I threw the money down and ran away.  Did he tell you that?

Zhang Xian: He lied.  You don't understand Zhang Pingxuan.  What is it about the money?  When he told me to go over there, I went.  He wasn't home and he didn't know.  Only his mother was at home.  He went out to work.  I don't know.  That is one story.  This is what he said.  Zhang Pingxuan loves money.  Let me give you an example.  His son was involved in direct sales and lost over one hundred thousand yuan.  He went down to Guangzhou to sell his kidney.  He was ready to sell his kidney.  Someone brought him back home.

Yao Qingwei: Zhang Pingxuan was ready to sell his kidney?

Zhang Xian: Zhang Pingxuan's son.

Yao Qingwei: Zhang Pingxuan's son was ready to sell his kidney?

Zhang Xian: Yes.  He was going to Guangzhou.  Villagers told me.

Yao Qingwei: So did the kidney of the boy ...?

Zhang Xian: No.  No.  The person who was watching him was careless and he came back.  Two persons went from the villagers.  A young man.  Zhang Pingxuan sent him.  So this man ... I don't understand too much ...

Yao Qingwei: Did he tell you what was published on the microblog?

Zhang Xian: He gave me two stories.

Yao Qingwei: He gave you two stories.

Zhang Xian: Yes.  He said that ...

Yao Qingwei: Two stories?  One story was what you posted on the Internet.

Zhang Xian:  He didn't know.  I asked him, "Was the money given to you before?"  He said that he didn't know.

Yao Qingwei: As for what you said later that I put the money down and then I ran away -- did he tell you that?

Zhang Xian: Yes.  He said it.  He said that you ran away.  He said that you ran away.

Yao Qingwei:  So why did you choose the second story out of two stories?

Zhang Xian: Sigh ...

Yao Qingwei: You can post both stories, or else ... I am staying that you can post both stories.  So why did you choose to post the second story?

Zhang Xian: Sigh, this ... sigh!

Yao Qingwei: Twice with Zhang Pingxuan.  I have met him twice.  I gave him 30,000 yuan.  I gave him 30,000 yuan for the body storage fee.  I don't know why you say that I had more money hidden up my sleeve.  I don't know why you ...

Zhang Xian:  Let me tell you.  That was what Xu Tao said.  Xu Tao said, "I saw the Shaanxi TV Channel 2 program.  It was April 12.  There was a television interview."  Xu Tao said: "You put that on that whatever.  Or else I can help you find it.  You can look at it."  This is what I saw on Xu Tao's program.  Alright.

Yao Qingwei: Every time that I go there, you can just state what happens.  How come there is always some problem after I go there?  And they are all weird things.

Zhang Xian: I didn't get this from there.  I did not see the thing about the 20,000 yuan.  I might have been seen on television.  Lu Gang was interviewed.  Lu Gang said it.  It was Lu Gang who brought the matter up.

After Yao Qingwei revealed the telephone conversations with Zhang Xian, the latter had this explanation:

As an adult university student, Yao Jiaxin is legally responsible.  His cruelty has caused him to pay with his life.  I represented the victims to attain the appropriate justice, respect and rights.

I find it incomprehensible and disgusting that some people should exploit the "Yao Qingwei reputation case" to come up with the truth about the Yao Jiaxin case, because that Yao Jiaxin case is an ironclad case without any controversy.

Like many others, I am also a father and I can understand how Yao Qingwei feels about losing his son.  The reason why I called Mr. Yao Qingwei is to dispel his various misunderstandings about me so that they can regain calm.  The various things that I told Yao Qingwei does not imply that I think that the execution of Yao Jiaxin was wrong.  I am only sorry for the parents of Yao Jiaxin because it is not easy to bring a son up.  In seeking a settlement with Yao Qingwei, I said certain things that I can only say in private.  In order to reach a final settlement, I was willing to say things that were disadvantageous to myself.  Since time immemorial, the Chinese people have always sought peace and harmony.

Some people may think that there are many other ways to reach a settlement.  I thought of everything, but I really cannot come up anything suitable except to call up by telephone and communicate.  I wanted to visit them personally to comfort them, but I was unsuccessful.  I am very sympathetic about the circumstances of the parents of Yao Jiaxin.  The mother of Yao Jiaxin is suffering from severe depression and the father has to take care of her.

Recently a kind-hearted woman from Henan encouraged me to settle.  Therefore I called Yao Qingwei five times.  I have always believed that if I am sincere, I can avoid heavy conflicts.  Recently I have been begging Mr. Yao Qingwei to withdraw his case and settle.  Please do not wrong think that I am doing this because I am afraid of losing the court case.  It is not like that at all.  The more confident I am about my court case, the more confident I am about calling Yao Qingwei.  The more confident I am, the more sympathetic I become.  It was my benevolence and conscience which made me call Yao Qingwei.  Because I feel that I will win my court case with certainty, I want to give them to withdraw their case and avoid the farce.  This is the win-win strategy.  I am doing this only because I know that I will win the court case.  I hope that my supporters will understand me.  This is the glory of humanity and goodness.  I hope that those people who misunderstand me and support the father of Yao Jiaxin will provide more healthy and practical advice, and give them more space instead of driving them into desperate straits.

It is my style to deal with people with care and love.  I believe the dispute between Yao Qingwei and myself is an internal conflict among the people, and this can be resolved by private communication.  Telephone calls between two persons are private.  It is hard to reach understanding without paying, giving up or sacrificing certain things.  But I never imagined that Yao Qingwei made recordings right from the start.  This type of dishonest and disgusting behavior has shocked and angered me.  Whereas I had optimistically tried to change things, I was apparently wrong from the very beginning.

Now that the private settlement attempt has failed, I can only wait for the law to resolve the reputation case in a reasonable manner.  This case and the various public comments have also serious affected my personal reputation.  Therefore this case must necessarily bring up the matter of defending my own reputation.

(Zhongan Online)  October 20, 2011.

On the Weibo microblog service, it was reported that the female Chinese student Xu Li from Gongqiao town, Funan city, Anhui Province was walking through the Cornel University campus Ithaca, New York State, USA when she noted a ten-year-old boy falling from the tenth floor of the faculty dormitory.  Although Xu Li is less than 1.6 meters tall and weighs less than 50 kilograms, she used her arms to catch the falling child.  As a result, she sustained a broken left foot and a bleeding head.  She was unconscious.  Both individuals were treated at the hospital and both are out of critical conditions.

Yesterday, our reporter contacted a worker with the Gongqiao town, Funan city, Anhui province government.  According to information, there is a girl named Xu Li studying at Cornel University at this time.  She left home for school more than a month ago and the local government held a sending-off ceremony too.  This government worker said that they have received the information about the incident.

With the assistance of this government worker, our reporter found Xu Li's QQ number.  Our reporter also learned that Xu Li is 25-years-old and hails from Yanzhuang village, Tanglin village committee in Gongqiao town.

At first, our reporter chatted with a "fellow student of Xu Li."  "My fellow student wants to think quietly."  Then the reporter reached Xu Li herself.  Our reporter asked Xu Li to confirm the Weibo story.  Xu Li indicated that this was how it happened.  Xu Li informed our reporter that her parents did not know that she was injured in the USA and she did not want to do any media interviews.

Yesterday at 3pm, our reporter went to Xu Li's home.  The mother Ma Juchen told our reporter that she is 62 years old and her husband Xu Xintang is 66 years old.  The two have 3 sons and one daughter.  Xu Li is the youngest.  For many years, the couple had lived mainly by farming seven to eight mu of land.  During the off season, Xu Xintang works at construction sites.

Because the family is poor, the three sons quit school to work.  When Xu Li graduated from junior high school, she also left to work in Shanghai but she could not find any work.  She returned to Funan city and eventually qualified to enter a university in Hefei.  Ma Juchen is illiterate and therefore is not sure where Xu Li is attending school.  Usually Xu Li calls home and the parents do not call her.

According to Ma Juchen, Xu Li was a graduate student in Hefei, majoring in advertising design.  Our reporter contacted both universities in Hefei.  Each university has students named Xu Li, but they do no match in details.

Our reporter was unable to reach other members of Xu Li's family.  Therefore our reporter was unable to confirm what happened.  We will continue to pay attention to this case.

As a result of the Weibo story, people have called Xu Li "the most beautiful overseas female student."  However, there were skeptics.  First of all, in the case of the 2-year-old girl who fell off the building, the "most beautiful mother "Xu Juping suffered shattered bones because the equivalent weight of the girl was calculated to be 300 kilograms.  In the case of a ten-year-old boy, the equivalent weight of the boy would be like 1 tonne!  Furthermore, people familiar with the Cornel University campus say that there is no faculty dormitory there (only Chinese universities have faculty dormitories).

(Yangzi Evening News at Weibo)  October 21, 2011.

After two days of intensive investigation, Xu Li has been found to have never left China.  According to a person who "claimed to be Xu Li's fellow student" using Xu Li's QQ account, it was all false information that was made up without thinking or intention.  When our reporter asked why the lie was made up, the other party did not explain directly but only said, "I wish you wouldn't keep asking.  Let this matter end here."

Recently, the death of Little Yueyue in Foshan city drew plenty of sadness and despair.  So when the story of Xu Li came our, we really wanted to believe that this was true.  We went about obtaining more information and details in order to make the image of this "most beautiful female overseas student" more concrete and full.

Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm the incident through checking with the two Hefei universities, her family, the Hefei passport control office or the Americans (namely, Cornel University).  Instead, signs of doubts emerged to indicate that this was a false story.  But if this story is false, then where is Xu Li (if not in the USA)?  What is the story behind this?  We hope to get to the bottom of this.  The public need warm feelings now, but they need the truth even more so.

(Want/China Times)  Defendant accuses Henan police of paralyzing torture.  October 10, 2011.


Yang Jinde is taken away after a court session on a stretcher. (Internet Photo)

The owner of a car dealership in central China's Henan province is appealing a guilty sentence on six counts, claiming he was framed by the authorities and treated in an inhuman manner that left him partially paralyzed, the local New Express Daily reports.

A video clip of Yang Jinde describing the torture he claimed to have suffered in the police dog training facility in the prefecture-level city of Nanyang prior to his recent trial has caused heated discussion among legal professionals in China. Yang was a prime suspect in an alleged organized crime ring and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Well-known criminal defense lawyers, including Cheng Youxi, Zhou Ze and Fu Minrong, told the newspaper they had not heard of such a horrifying case like Yang's for years and said they are willing to defend Yang, while asking that an inquiry be held against the people responsible for his torture.

Along with several of his employees, Yang was arrested by local police after they returned to Nanyang from a trip to file a petition in Beijing. This was after they protested the city's Wolong district court's confiscation of 86,000 yuan (US$13,540) from Yang's company on Sept. 27 last year.

According to a statement made by the defendants, including Yang, during the trial they were sent to the training facility and subjected to various forms of torture including being handcuffed, chained and locked up with dogs.

"I was so afraid that I would be eaten by the dogs and no one would come to collect my remains," said Yang, who described his torture as living hell.

Only after they gave the confession the police wanted, the defendants said, were they sent to a detention center for trial.

In its rebuttal of the defendants' allegations, the prosecutor only provided a statement from the police, saying it did not use torture in its investigation. He failed to produce any video or audio recording of the police interrogation, as requested by the defense.

Zhu Minyong, Yang's attorney for the appeal, wrote on his microblog that Yang's protests may constitute a crime for gathering crowds to attack government agencies but the businessman failed to live up to the prosecution's portrayal of him as the leader of a criminal gang.

Zhu told the newspaper that the torture meted out to Yang and his lack of medical attention despite several requests has resulted in paralysis. Yang now needs to be carried on a stretcher to attend court proceedings.

Moreover, Yang's younger sister alleged that he was the victim of a cover-up by court officials and the police to hide their own illegal activities.

While Qiao Guo, head of the district court, said all court procedures were legal, Niu Haili, the judge presiding over the trial that found Yang guilty, declined to comment on the case.

(NDTV)
 

(Henan Daily)  Nanyang City (Henan province) governments responds to news report about petitioner being tortured and tossed into a cage with a dog.  October 19, 2011.

Recently, the story of suspected criminal gang member Yang Jinde being tortured for confession has been circulated widely on the Internet.  On October 16, Yang Jinde was given a complete physical examination by a forensic doctor under the supervision of the Nanyang City Communist Party Committee and City Government.  The results were published yesterday, and showed that the Internet reports were seriously inaccurate and that there was no evidence of torture for confession in the case of Yang Jinde.

On July 28 this year, the Tanghe County People's Court issued the verdict in the first trial of Yang Jinde.  Yang appealed his case.  On October 10, a news report entitled <Civilian enterprise boss in criminal trial claims to have been tortured for confession; physical punishment as well as being locked up in a cage with a dog>.  This resulted in bad publicity.  The Nanyang City Communist Party Committee and City Government paid attention and organized the relevant departments to conduct a full investigation.

On October 16, the Tanghe County Detention Center commissioned the Nanyang City Central Hospital to organize a team of expert doctors including specialists in optics, neurology, internal medicine, dermatology and otorhinolaryngology.  The examination was conducted in the presence of two provincial delegates to the National People's Congress, two delegates to the Provincial Chinese Communist Party Political Consultative Conference, two newspaper reporters and two television reporters.  The entire examination was also video-taped.  Yang Jinde underwent tests including X-ray, MRI, nervous system imaging, ultrasound and NMR.

During the examination, Yang Jinde claimed to have been physically assaulted many times, leading to loss of vision in his left eye; loss of hearing in his right ear; paralysis of both lower limbs; fecal incontinence for one year.  On that day, Yang Jinde's left eye, right ear, left wrist, thumb and pinkie were covered with bandage.  The doctors removed the bandage to conduct the examination.  Yang refused to cooperate with the testing of joint movements and muscle conditions of the lower limbs, overall body response and vision.

The Nanyang City Central Hospital forensic doctor determined that there were no dermatological damage on the body of Yang Jinde; his lower legs and the back and bottom of his feet were covered with light brownish/black dried crime which could be removed by cleansing; all twenty nails on his hands and feet were complete, smooth and hard.  Based upon the computerized electrical stimulation, photography, ear and eardrum inspections, there is no clinical evidence that Yang Jinde is suffering from blindness/deafness.  The dermatological, colon and rectal examinations showed no clinical evidence of damage at this time.  Yang Jinde did not cooperate with the examination of his lack of motion on his lower limbs.  However, his knee jerks were normal and there was nothing abnormal in the MRI scan of his spinal cord.  The analysis concluded that Yang Jinde was suffering from muscle disuse atrophy because he had not been using his legs.

Separately, on the afternoon of October 10, the Nanyang Public Security Bureau formed a joint investigation team as a result of the news report about the interrogation of Yang Jinde.  The team interviewed the police charges in charge of the investigation; reviewed the hospital examination results; reviewed the video tapes of the interrogation; and interviewed the cellmates of Yang Jinde at the detention center.  The team found no evidence of physical torture to extract a confession.

On October 14, the Henan Provincial Public Security Bureau decided to go over the Nanyang Public Security Bureau investigation reports.  They formed a team of investigators from outside Nanyang City.  This team traced the chronology of events from the arrest of Yang Jinde on October 12, 2010; to his transfer to the Sheqi Detention Center on October 13; and to his transfer to the Tanghe County Detention Center from October 30 2010 until today.  They found no evidence of physical torture to extract a confession.

The joint investigations and the medical examination showed that the claims by the lawyers and the media that the criminal suspect Yang Jinde had been physically tortured such that he was blind in the left eye, deaf in the right year, paralyzed in both lower limbs, fingers being pulled out by pliers and liquor bottle stuck up his rectum are lies.

The joint investigation team also found that Yang Jinde's claims that he was tortured by the methods known as <Ghosts washing the face> and <Dancing with wolves> at the police dog training facility were false.  The police dog training facility is located at the headquarters of the Nanyang City Public Security Bureau Criminal Investigation Division along with the Organized Crime Investigation Division.  The police training facility is isolated from the other two divisions, and the use of police dogs is subject to strict rules -- nobody other than a police dog trainer is allowed to approach the police dogs under training, much less putting someone in the same cage with a police dog.

On October 15, there was a media report that the "Nanyang City Public Security Bureau is urgently demolishing the police training facility interrogation room in order to destroy the evidence."  This is inaccurate.  The truth is that the Nanyang City Organized Crime Investigation Division was seeking more space and began renovating the two interrogation rooms on the farthest west side of the building beginning in August this year.  When Yang Jinde was first arrested on October 12, 2010, he was interrogated in the room on the farthest eastern end of the building.  That room has not been modified to date, and it is still in use.

(New York TImes)  Tasking Big Risks To See A Chinese Dissident Under House Arrest.  October 18, 2011.  Andrew Jacobs.

They have been pummeled with sticks or chased by rock-throwing security agents. Some have been beaten, robbed and dumped in remote farm fields without cellphones or money.

In the year since the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng was released from jail and promptly imprisoned at home, a trickle of foolhardy souls has been thus rebuffed after attempting to penetrate the cordon of paid thugs who repel visitors from his village in eastern Shandong Province. Foreign journalists and European diplomats who have tried to see him have fared little better.

But during the past two weeks, the trickle of would-be visitors has become a campaign, with dozens of admirers and activists from across the country embarking on the journey, human rights groups say. Inspired by a stream of microblog messages that at times overwhelms government censors, these ad hoc rights activists and their online supporters are still being turned away.

However, their campaign — Operation Free Chen Guangcheng — is drawing increased attention to a figure that Shandong party officials have for years struggled to silence and is spotlighting the kind of extralegal punishment that Beijing prefers to keep under wraps.

“I couldn’t believe something so dark and evil could happen in my country, so I had to see for myself,” said Hu Xuming, 38, a computer salesman, explaining why he joined a group of five strangers, all of whom were attacked the moment their vehicle pulled up the road leading to the village, Dongshigu.

The campaign is also reinvigorating the small but persistent band of Chinese rights advocates still reeling from an eight-month-old crackdown on dissent that has led to dozens of detentions.

In recent days, a number of prominent writers and bloggers have made the trip to Shandong, and an even wider circle of academics, lawyers and essayists have weighed in on what amounts to a rare wave of civil disobedience.

Hu Jia, a well-known dissident recently released from jail, posted a photo of himself wearing black sunglasses and a “Free Chen Guangcheng” T-shirt. Lei Yu, a historian at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, posted a poem lamenting Mr. Chen’s suffering, and Mao Yushi, an economist and public intellectual, hinted that Mr. Chen’s mistreatment could stoke social disharmony.

“The extreme difficulties he has encountered shake the foundation of justice in our society,” he wrote.

In an act of guerrilla theater this week, a group of activists in Beijing plastered a banner across the front of Shandong’s offices here that accused the authorities of harming China’s image.

“I think the campaign has entered an important new phase,” said He Peirong, 40, a rights advocate from Nanjing who has made the trip to Shandong four times — each resulting in beatings by both thugs and uniformed police officers. “This time the social elite and the media are standing up for him.”

The flurry of attempted visits prompted the party-owned Global Times to pierce the media blackout surrounding Mr. Chen, 39, a self-trained lawyer who earned the ire of Shandong party officials by exposing a program of forced sterilizations and abortions and completed a 51-month prison term in September last year. But instead of being freed, he and his family were isolated.

Last week, in editorials in its English and Chinese editions, the newspaper gently suggested that local authorities provide information about his predicament in an effort to “depoliticize” the issue. “Blocking information and hoping inquires go away will only lead to worse consequences,” the English version read.

Taking advantage of a rare opening on a formerly banned subject, The Oriental Morning News of Shanghai weighed in, criticizing The Global Times for treating the authorities with kid gloves and disparaging Mr. Chen. The commentary described how local officials over the years have detained, beaten and chased away a succession of Chinese journalists trying to approach Mr. Chen’s hometown. “The media needs to objectively and comprehensively tell the public ‘who is Chen Guangcheng’ and the public will see things clearly,” it said.

Once hailed by the state media for defending peasants’ rights, Mr. Chen makes for a compelling cause célèbre. Blinded by a childhood illness, he helped the disabled win public benefits and aided farmers fighting illegal land seizures. But in 2005, Shandong officials turned against him when he tried to defend thousands of victims of a coercive family-planning campaign. A year later, in a trial that many legal experts described as a sham, a local court convicted him of destroying property and organizing a crowd to block traffic while he was under house arrest.

Since his release from jail, Mr. Chen, his wife and young daughter have been confined to their home without telephone service or Internet access. A revolving crew of guards is outside his house night and day.

According to rights advocates, Mr. Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing, were beaten earlier this year by local officials after a video detailing their detention was posted on the Internet. In a letter circulated outside the village, Ms. Yuan described how the authorities later confiscated their electronic equipment and legal papers, cut power to the house and sealed their window with metal panels.

The details of Mr. Chen’s mistreatment and the harrowing encounters of those trying to break the blockade have galvanized a growing number of people. Last week, such accounts inspired a carload of physically disabled men and women to drive from nearby Anhui Province. “We just wanted Chen Guangcheng to know he’s not alone,” said Zhou Weiling, 46, who lost an arm in an industrial accident. The group was not attacked, but its members did not earn much sympathy from the guards, who tried to steal the milk they brought for Mr. Chen as they pushed them back toward their car.

Most visitors report gratuitous brutality. Writing on his blog, one reporter, Shi Yu, described how the police forced his taxi off the road and then allowed a group of men to rough him up while stealing his money, cellphone and jewelry.

Such accounts do not appear to be deterring the latest wave of crusaders. Among them is Xu Zhirong, 45, a real estate consultant who said he was terrified but resolved to “confront the evil of the system” this weekend. Although he believes that his visit will most likely prove futile, he hopes he may inspire others. “Just because you feel hopeless doesn’t mean you should stay complacent,” he said in an interview. “Even if it goes badly, I’ll keep going back until either Chen’s situation improves or there is no hope left at all.”

On March 17, 2009, I posted a translation of investigative reporter Wang Keqin's A Visit To Chen Guangcheng's Family.  The following is a translation of a microblog account of a recent visit.  This is a comparison of the Modernist and Post-Modernist eras on the Chinese Internet.

Microblogger "Hu Chenchen Tim V"

22:31 October 10 (via Android client) (forwarded 12 times, 16 comments)  I thank every woman who has ever entered my life.  You taught me how to be a good person, you told me that women can be strong, you told me that love can be very pure and simple, you told me that I can pursue whatever I like.  But I did not tell you that I like you.  You let me grow up.   You are awesome.  But I am not qualified to have you.  Goodnight.

10:55 October 11 (via Sina micrblog website)  (forwarded 4 times, 2 comments) Sometimes sometimes I would rather believe that everything has an end!

11:00 October 11 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 36 times; 29 comments)  Sometime you feel that the world has abandoned you.  Many years later you go over this again and you realize that it was you who abandoned the world!  One moment you feel that you will be dead very soon.  Several days later you find that it was actually because you didn't have the courage to live!

17:54 October 13 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 779 times; 178 comments)  Han Han said: "If I were a National People's Congress delegate, I would propose to have taxes paid with the Zhifubao service.  If and when the government accomplishes things or fulfills its promises, we will validate payment.  Otherwise we get the whole sum refunded to us.  When that time comes, the government officials will chase after our butts and yell: Dear, give me a good report!  Dear, vote for me because I promise to serve the people!  Dear, please check my accomplishments, Dear?"

20:11 October 13 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 17 tiimes; 13 comments)  Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest.

13:15 October 14 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 396 times; 78 comments)  [Wang Shuo on being brain-dead]  A group of people with no voting rights, no land and no political rights got together to discuss what is wrong with democracy.  It is as if I am looking at a group of eunuchs saying "Having sex is bad for your health and we are lucky to have been castrated"; or a group of beggars saying "Money is filthy stuff and we beggars are the ones who are clean."  Microblog comments: Brothers and sisters, let us rise together and give the "fifty cent gangs"/"brain-dead people" a  lesson.

14:34 October 15 (via Android client)  (forwarded 71 times; 60 comments)  Setting out.

17:25 October 15 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 22 times; 14 comments)  Someday life will be better, but the premise is that you haven't give up yet.

01:36 October 16 (via Android client) (forwarded 8 times; 24 comments)  Sleepless.  Thinking about tomorrow.

02:06 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 390 times; 222 comments) I can calm down only late at night to read the microblog comments and suggestions.  I am pensive.  Today Wang Xiaoshan/Murong Xuecun's group have arrived in Linyi city and they are ready to enter Dongshigu village.  Our group will arrive tomorrow.  Lawyer Guo Dan and friends will be coming from Shanghai.  Countless netizens say that this trip is a show.  We don't have to prove anything.  We only need to maintain our courage and good intentions and we will have nothing to be ashamed about!!

02:24 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 1102 times; 408 comments) We made a reservation at a very simple and convenient hotel in Jinan city.  Since there are friends coming from Hohhot city, we have to wait an extra day in Jinan city.  I just spoke by phone to the local Linyi people whom we contacted before.  They have obtained several ordinary looking cars with local plates for us.  According to information, there are roadblocks at the expressway exits, but we don't have the details yet!  A netizen has just provided the best route.  I thank everybody for their help.  Thanks.

09:15 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 855 times; 297 comments)  Best travel city in China 2011 -- Linyi city, Shandong province; @Wang Xiaoshan @Yu Jianrong @ Murong Xuecun @Tujia Yefu @Lu Cun.

09:39 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 546 times; 204 comments) Emergency: The Zhengzhou netizen Zhang Xiaofeng who contacted me previously about meeting us in Jinan has gone missing.  His cell phone is off and none of the other contact methods are working.  Anxious.

11:49 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 1327 times; 539 comments) @Wang Xiaoshan and others have left Linyi in their rented cars.  They did not see Guangcheng, but I firmly believe in their courage and good intentions.  Our group will arrive in the afternoon.  Our group will be the largest in history and therefore we hope to try the hardest.  We will be joined by more people from this area this afternoon.  There is a local person who just returned from Beijing to work in Linyi.  Although we are still on the road and everything is still uncertain, we are getting closer and closer to Guangcheng.

12:27 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 392 times; 216 comments) I have given the microblog password to the female Chongqing netizen @Hairy Rabbit Feet.  I told her that if this microblog is not updated for longer than 10 hours during this Linyi trip and if the mobile phones are off, she should send out calls for help!  It is very important to plan for every contingency!

13:04 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 132 times; 139 comments) There is still a while to go.  Many people are sleeping!  We are going to find a service station to eat.  We are taking tourist buses with local plates.  We will change cars in Linyi!  Very tired now.

13:16 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 5434 times; 1799 comments) I just received information from @Demon Girl Luo Keke who is supposed to meet us.  There is a roadblock at the border between Zaozhuang and Linyi.  She just went through that section and saw many traffic police officers checking the cars entering Linyi from Zaozhuang.  Every car is checked.  There are even SWAT police officers carrying guns.  At the same time, the netizen @Anti Corruption Express has posted a photo as evidence.

14:30 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 2063 times; 772 comments)  I just received information from the missing netizen Zhang Xiaofeng: "Brother Hu, I am Xiaofeng.  I was set upon by a bunch of people while I was eating at the Sheng Hou Hotel.  They seized my mobile phone and they kicked and punched me.  I am sorry that I cannot go with you on the trip.  I have taken a taxi to Linyi county city and I will send you information from a cybercafe.  I wish you a safe trip.  If you can't go, you don't have to.  Everybody can understand it if you have to turn back.  Safety first!

16:33 October 16 (via Sina microblog website)  (forwarded 1182 times; 660 comments)  Ready to enter the village.  Don't know what will happen next.  I took out the mobile phone whose signals have been blocked to send a message to my most beloved woman @Momo_Win.  I don't know if it will get there.  Maybe she will never get it!

17:03 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 982 times; 506 comments)  Our tourist bus is being followed by a black Santana sedan.  Several men on motorcycles are also chasing us.  The battle seems to be starting.

17:18 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 341 times; 223 comments)  I told the driver to proceed more slowly.  But the driver is speeding up instead because he is clearly intimidated by the sight of the chasers.  I am making a digital video recording.  All this shall be evidence.

18:00 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 1205 times; 603 comments)  Damn those bandits.  They have vandalized a black Modern sedan with local plates that we borrowed!  We are exposed, but they do not know what our intentions are.  We have decided to go to @Demon Girl Luo Keke's home tonight as if we are visiting relatives!  We will decide what to do later.

18:27 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 482 times; 425 comments)  It was very dangerous today.  Everybody was somewhat anxious.  Several friends who came with me from Guangzhou want to leave.  But my goal is very clear.  Now that I am here, I will do my best.  Today is merely the first day!  I can understand why someone wants to back out.  I can only persist myself!

20:33 October 16 (via Android client)  (forwarded 1201 times; 940 comments)  Someone has been injured.  Got to run away.

15 minutes ago (via SIna microblog website)  (forwarded 173 times; 254 comments)  Going back to Jinan tonight.  Then we will split up and go home.  Everybody back to their own mothers!

The adventure of Hu Chen Chen Time came under scrutiny, as many doubts were raised about this account.  For example, if more than twenty netizen strangers got together for this trip over the Internet, then how come there is only one microbloggers?  Shouldn't everybody be microblogging?  As another example, the photo of the traffic police officers at the roadblock actually accompanied a anti-drunk-driving campaign in the Zaozhuang area in February 2010 (this is obvious from the cold-weather clothing which would be too hot at this time of year).

The Sina microblog came out later with an announcement:


(translation: Upon investigation: Yesterday the IP addresses from which @Demon Girl Luo Keke and @Hu Chenchen Tim made their microblog posts were the one and the same address located somewhere in Guangzhou City.

So this particular group trip to visit Chen Guangcheng was a hoax.

Who is behind the hoax?  One conspiracy theory is that the local Linyi authorities fabricated this flawed case in order to discredit all those who have come to visit Chen Guangcheng.  That would be giving too much credit to them. 

In any case, human flesh search has revealed a lot about the person(s) behind the hoax (see Yet Another Egotistical Blog).  Some key information includes the mobile phone number 15018705988 and the QQ user ID 2239718447.  Hu Chenchen Tim is an independent Internet promoter who has also used the name Hu Hainan and claimed to have been a guest on the CCTV program <Front Line>.  The other persons involved @Demon Girl Luo Keke and @Zhang Xiaofeng are most likely his sock puppets.  The phone number has been used as the contact in an advertisement to recruit hackers to steal user accounts and passwords.  There is also a company called the Guangzhou Weilang Marketing Company Limited.  Among its previous accomplishments is the registration of a fake microblog for the wife of the deceased Jiangxi serial bomber Qian Mingqi.

First of all, I kept a journal of the club workouts (see 2001 entry).

(Workout of 9/11/2001)

WORKOUT DESCRIPTION (from Tony Ruiz)

  • 3 x 200, used as a warmup 
  • 2 x 2000 with 800 meter recovery, these 2 items should be run 5k pace
  • 3 x 300 with 100 meter recovery, these should be run at finishing speed. 
  • Select a pace for the 2000's and run them at precisely the same pace. This type of long repetition allows you to become familiar with a pace and find a rhythm which should translate into a race situation where you are zoned in to your own pace. Do not allow others to distract you from your goal. The purpose is not to run these as fast as you possibly can but to recognize a target goal pace and repeat each 1/4 mile at this desired pace. The 300's are good for form. As you know from your own racing experience, it is crucial to hold form at the end of a race to better your chances of nailing people who have tortured you all race long!

FIELD NOTES:

  • The above workout has actually been cancelled.  Although we will run in hurricanes and tornados, this day represented a great day of tragedy for New York City, when the two World Trade Centers were demolished by separate airplane collisions.  Reportedly, about 50,000 people work at the World Trade Center on a typical workday, so we are all likely to know someone over there.  This is the time to reach out and bring comfort to each other. 
  • Message from Run The Planet:  "We were shocked this morning when we found out what happened in New York City. We hope everything is ok with you.   Your friends in running,  RTP Staff"

(Workout of 9/13/2001)

WORKOUT DESCRIPTION

  • Will there be a team workout?  On the minus side, the air quality will be bad, people will have plenty on their minds and it also seems to be disrespectful under the circumstances.  (P.S.  Unless you can live below 14th Street, you cannot get to the East 6th Street track, so the track workout will not take place).  On the plus side, people may want to get away from watching television all day and to give your running friends some emotional support.  We will be gathering as usual at the Daniel Webster statue this evening at 7 pm. There will be no workout as such, but there will be a group "solidarity" run.

FIELD NOTES:

  • Given the workout description that was posted above during the day as well as sent be e-mail, we had forty-seven people showing up today.  The mood was subdued, without the usual laughter and joy.  Coach Tony Ruiz said, "I was an eyewitness to the second airplane crashing into the World Trade Center.  It was a devastating sight.  After seeing something like that, I must say that running is very low on my list right now.  Nevertheless, I am here today and I just want to run a loop with my friends.  Then I want to go home to my son, who still finds it hard to understand."  A moment of silence was observed by the group holding hands in a circle.
  • Among our teammates, the biggest question that people had was about John ("The Fireman") Gleason, in view of the fact that FDNY has about 300 members missing at this moment.  The high casualty figure was the result of the heroic firemen heading into the Twin Towers after the airplane crashes to rescue people, and then having both towers collapsing on them.  So today there was a loud cheer when John appeared (topless) at the workout.
  • From Etsuko Kizawa: "If you're in NYC, please join me Friday night at 7 p.m. on West Side Highway @ Christopher Street with your candle. Let's fill West Side with our candles and send cheers to our rescue workers. All the news crews are in the area. We'll be able to show the world that we'll fight against terrorism and everything else that tries to destroy us."
  • This weekend's big race is the Philadelphia Distance Run, in which we have three teams entered.  The race organizers have decided that the race will take place as scheduled.  Fundamentally, it is an individual choice to run or not under these circumstances.  Some people may find it impossible to put together a race; other people may turn adversity into strength; and still others may simply want to get out of town to watch the race.  In any case, if you are signed up with the van, please contact Sarah Gross and/or Eve Bois to confirm your plans.
  • As for next Tuesday's workout, it will be predicated on a number of things.  (1)  accessibility --- as of today, the area below 14th Street are open only to residents (proof required --- driver's license, utility bills, etc); we believe that the demarcation line will be moved down to Canal Street by tomorrow; (2) air quality --- that strong scent of burning steel is quite pervasive in Manhattan right now.  In any case, please check the website (and your Coollist email) early next week for information.
  • SUNDAY PARK RUN:  From Frank Handelman: "With the support of team president Alan Ruben, and in the spirit of Roland's description of this Thursday's workout, I am writing to invite all CPTC members and friends who are not traveling to Philadelphia for the half-marathon to join in a group run in Central Park on Sunday morning, to give us a chance to be together in this most difficult of times. We would gather at 9:00 a.m. at our traditional meeting place, the Daniel Webster statue on the Park drive at West 72nd Street. I suggest a six mile loop at an easy pace, so all can run together (and so that I can keep up) going south from 72nd and running in "race direction", for the benefit of those who might hook up along the way. All those who want, and/or need, to go longer and faster can do so after our loop.

    I suggest this for the most simple and selfish of reasons - I want the company of my teammates. I have lived in New York for 32 years, and been a member of the CPTC for almost 29 of them. The response in New York over the past three days shows the courage, power, enormous love of humanity and the unrivaled strength of diversity and acceptance that makes New York unique in the world, and our team reflects all those qualities.

    So, best of luck to our teams in Philadelphia, and I hope even a few you can join me in the Park on Sunday. For those who don't know me, I'll be the guy in the orange shirt and grey hair."


I also kept a page entitled "Famous People, Famous Sayings" that recorded comments from and media reports about my teammates.

#1343.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN: September 11, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "First among our top 10 favorite photos of year 2000, we showed the above photograph with this caption:

Our first favorite photo is not of any team member.  This is a photo of Manhattan viewed from the Staten Island ferry.  At the start of the new millennium, we lived and ran together here in this city.  Many of us came from far corners of the world and, in time, some of us will be scattered to other far corners of the earth, but just remember that once upon a time we were in this most gorgeous and vibrant of all places --- New York City.

As of this morning, the two World Trade Center towers that dominate the New York City skyline have been demolished by airplanes crashing into them.  At the personal level, this is a strong reminder of the fragility of our lives.  Today we are here, tomorrow we may be no more.  We should cherish all our moments.  At the collective level, we realize that no place in the world can really said to be totally safe.  While we as individuals or a small group of individuals may not be able to bring about world peace, we can each try to reduce the pain in the world each in our little ways."


#1345.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  September 16, 2001
SUBJECT:  The aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks
WHAT HE WROTE: "On September 11, the dominant landmarks (the World Trade Center Towers) in the New York City skyline were demolished by airplanes hijacked by terrorists, leading to an estimated loss of 5,000 lives.  For anyone living in New York City, this must be the single most cataclysmic event in their lives.  Yet the coverage about this event on this website has been minimalist.

My reticence in doing extensive reports (e.g. near-real-time report of events, or a team roll call) comes from a sense of proportion.  Many times in the past, John Kenney has described running as being at most the third most important priority in our lives, after family and work (and even lower for our triathletes); today, some may want to elevate the nation to top priority.  In view of the circumstances, I believed that people should give attention and comfort to those who are dearest to them and to those who are in need, especially those who have suffered losses.  That was essentially my message.

But this is not to say that people on this team do not care about each other.  I have also received many e-mail messages about the team and individual team members.  I am especially grateful to Jonathan Cane for providing me with information on our FDNY/NYPD members, who are the bravest and the finest.  At this time, I believe that we had no casualties on our team, but that is just a small blessing in the larger context.

At the Thursday night workout, Stuart Calderwood made these remarks: 'The disaster made the importance of our team very clear to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened, the first normal thought that I had was 'There could be people on our team down there.'  And then, coming to this meeting, I realized that our team was the group of people I wanted to see the most, and that I depended on the most right now.   I'm very grateful to Tony and Roland and Alan and everyone else here who came up to me and made me feel like part of something this good.'

Perhaps another way of expressing my message is this --- the Central Park Track Club may not be the most important thing in your life, but you can count on us being there.  We have been there for you for the last 28 years, and we will continue to be there for you.  As all of us struggle to return to normalcy, it is reassuring to know that there is at least one constancy."


#1346.  WHO:  Valentine Low
WHEN:  September 18, 2001
WHERE:  Evening Standard (London, UK)
TITLE:  Cries for Revenge Drown Peace Calls
WHAT HE WROTE: 

Just one word screamed out from the front page of the New York Post. "WAR" it said, in big bold capital letters, as if there could never be any doubt. On the face of it, there is no doubt. President Bush has talked of the United States being at war. An opinion poll for the New York Times suggests that 85per cent of Americans want military action against the perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack, and even if it means innocent people getting killed, 75per cent say they are in favour.

War: it is what America wants. But on the streets of New York, where there is hardly anyone who was not affected by last week's carnage, do they really want war? Is war the answer?

Certainly it is not hard to find New Yorkers who are keen for President Bush to pursue a military solution. Some are like the cab driver who said he wanted to "bomb 'em all". Even innocent women and children? "Sure," he said. "You got a problem with that?"

But it is not just the rednecks, not just the die-hard militarists who favour a swift armed response; even those who come across as moderate, liberal types have been transformed into hawks in the last week. Take Noah Perlis, an advertising executive who was jogging in Central Park yesterday morning with his daughter Rebecca, a law student. He was quite clear that he wanted military action, even if it was at the cost of American lives.

"The anger is so great that most people would not give a second thought to sacrificing American blood to achieve our goals," he said. "Americans have given a lot of blood in situations that have been less personally invasive. Vietnam was half a world away and we gave plenty of blood there, God knows. Then there has been action in Europe and Somalia.

"How can we be any less determined when they strike within our shores? I just hope that any action we take is judicious, effective and minimal. I don't want us to blow holes in the sand, I want to accomplish something.

"The potential is there for worse calamities if we allow this terror to go unchecked. Next time it could be biological, or chemical, or nuclear."

Rebecca, 24, was less sure. "Something definitely has to be done. I just don't know if it should be war. I just don't want any more Americans killed," she said.

WHAT Noah Perlis WROTE: "I was jogging with my daughter Rebecca to join the group at 9am for the CPTC run/jog in the park when we were stopped and interviewed by a reporter and photographer from the London Evening Standard.  They took a picture of us and I was wearing my old orange club tee with the full CPTC name across the front.  I thought they might print the photo but I fooled them - they thought I wasn't a redneck.   In their haste, they forgot to look under my collar for the sunburn."


#1352.  WHO:  Roland Soong
WHEN:  September 27, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "A couple of people have complimented me about how the website has handled the World Trade Center events.  In my opinion, I deserve no credit when all I did was to try to be very low-keyed.  Although the objective reality was there for all to see, the interpretation of those events is still personal and controversial.  I felt that this website is not the appropriate forum to deal with such issues.

Now, however, a recent event has suggested to me that this running club may not be insulated from what is happening in society at large.  At the last team workout, someone recounted an incident in which one of our teammates said, 'I hope the team doesn't blame me for all this.'  Understand that I (and everyone of you) would regard this person as one of the sweetest persons on this team.  Why would he say that?  He said, 'Because I am of Arab descent.'  I cannot tell you how much it hurts me to hear something  like that.

The four plane crashes were allegedly committed by 19 individuals who died in the process.  There may well be others who acted as leaders and accomplices.  At this time, we can reasonably attribute guilt to a small circle of conspirators.  Neverthess, there is now a mass hysteria directed against entire classes of people (to wit, Arabs, Muslims, Afghans, Sikhs, etc) that number in the billions.  It is not for me to insist on this website that Americans should go out and study up on weighty matters such as the concepts Islam and the sects, the definition of an Arab, contemporary Middle East peace politics, OPEC and oil politics, the Palestine-Israel relationship, the India-Pakistan relationship, Algeria's fight for independence from the French, the Crusades, the history of the involvement of the British Empire, the USSR and the CIA in Afghanistan, the CIA and the Shah of Iran, Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafy and his green book, the Iran-Iraq war, Sadaam Hussein and the Persian Gulf War, the Kurds in Iraq, the concept of terrorism and its historical origins, Edward Said's concept of Orientialism, etc, before they take up positions.  Regardless of how much knowledge we amass, there will never be a consensus on the interpretation of facts.

But I do know that what we say may have an impact in our personal relationships.  Blanket statements and assertions about entire classes of people may turn out to be hurtful to people whom we personally know, respect and would never associate those statements with."


#1353.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini / Stacy Creamer / Stuart Calderwood / Irene Jackson
WHERE:  RunnersWorld.com
WHEN:  September 26, 2001

Stacy Creamer, winner of this year's Central Park Triathlon and the Race to Home Plate 5-K in the Mets' Shea Stadium, is one of the leading fiction editors in the country. She works at the Putnam Publishing Group, about a mile north of the World Trade Center site.

     "Uncannily, I just got a book, a 600-page manuscript, from a new author of mine who just finished it two weeks ago," she said. "And it opens with a missile attack on the Department of Agriculture in Washington by Osama Bin Laden. I don't think we're going to be able to publish this book."

     At Putnam, she says, "we went through a whole list of jacket art and things we had to change. Some things we've had to postpone."

     Creamer had got a slow heading to work on September 11. She'd paused to vote in the Mayoral Primary to select a successor to Rudolph Giuliani, then she and boyfriend Stuart Calderwood got on the subway headed to her office.

     They soon began encountering switches from express to local trains and other disruptions of service.

     "By now I'm really fuming, because I'm getting to work well past what I thought was an acceptable time," recalls Creamer. "At Christopher Street, they stopped for a long time and made some garbled announcement that I couldn't hear. Stuart said 'I think we should give them a break, they just said two trains crashed at the World Trade Center.'"

     "Then a guy next to us said 'no, two planes crashed.' And even at that moment, I thought two air traffic controllers had sent planes crashing into the Tower," remembers Creamer. "It didn't make sense to me at all."

     "We came up at Christopher Street and one of the towers had already collapsed and the other one was smoking. I never knew from which downtown perspective you can see them or you can't see, but Stuart, who loves the Towers, said 'No, one of them is gone.'"

     Creamer proceeded to work and never left until 4:00 p.m. "My boss thought we should stay. She was more concerned that the streets would be hectic and crazed," explains Creamer, adding "I have a stress fracture, so the prospect of walking 120 blocks wasn't very thrilling. And I felt very safe. Later I talked to people who thought there would be anthrax or more stuff. I figured whoever it was shot their wad. I wasn't concerned."

     Nearly two weeks after the World Trade Center tragedy, she concedes, "sometimes I walk down the street and I still can't believe it. That it didn't happen, I was just having some fantasy."

     For so many New Yorkers like Creamer who escaped physical harm, the September 11 attack still has deep personal resonance. "I love it here so much and I want so much to be part of the rejuvenation and the rebuilding," she affirms. "I have been spending money like mad. I hung the flag from the New York Times in my window, and the 'I Love New York, more than ever' page from the Daily News. I'm more pro-New York than jingoistic."

     Stuart Calderwood had his own perspective on the World Trade Center tragedy when he came to his next workout with the Central Park Track Club. "The disaster made the importance of our team very clear to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened, the first normal thought that I had was there could be people on our team down there," he told his teammates. "And then, coming to this meeting, I realized that our team was the group of people I wanted to see the most, and that I depended on the most right now." Calderwood thanked everyone "who came up to me and made me feel like part of something this good."

     The Sunday after Tuesday's events, CPTC stalwarts met in Central Park, for a kind of a memorial run, reports longtime club member Irene Jackson. "We had about 30 people, and we picked up others along the way. It was really nice. Everybody hugged each other and was glad to see that everybody was alive," said Jackson. While Jackson's club has over 400 members, none were lost on September 11, and the most active members didn't report losing anyone close to them. "We all were commenting that we seemed to have been passed by."

     "I don't know how other people feel, but training for the [New York City] marathon seems like a really frivolous activity right now," submits Jackson. "I can't get my head into it."


#1354.  WHO:  Peter Gambaccini / Alan Bautista
WHERE:  Runnersworld.com
WHEN:  September 27, 2001

     Dr. Alan Bautista, who races from 200 meters up to 5-K, is an emergency medicine physician in the Bronx who is in Naval Reserve. On September 11, "I was feeling what everyone else was feeling. I need to do something." He ended up going down to the Trade Center in his naval uniform so I could get where I needed to go and wouldn't be questioned."

     "I got a small crew, and they gave us a litter and some ropes and some axes and some fire extinguishers. I said 'okay, we gotta get in there.'  I wasn't even scared." He was actually putting out fires at 7 World Center before he was warned it was about to collapse.

     Bautista made his way to nearby Liberty Plaza, across the street from the now destroyed South Tower of the World Trade Center. "Trauma is kind of my specialty. I had packed a 45-pound medical kit issued to me by the Navy three days before the incident; luckily I had it with me."

     "We found someone in the pile of rubble," notes Bautista." His name was Lenny. I would like to know his last name and who he was. He was in civilian clothes; to my knowledge, he might have been the last civilian pulled out of the wreckage (other than rescuers). They think he might have been from the 70th floor, because the girders around him said 70. I was running back and forth with my pack - I'm training for the Fifth Avenue Mile and I'm trying to get in shape. He had a broken arm, broken leg, and a broken foot and a couple of ribs, but he was alive and talking. We stabilized him, put him in a splint, put in an IV to give him fluids, and put a hard collar on him to protect his neck, and we shipped him."

     "And that was it. We waited for the next one and the next one and they never came. Once I found my usefulness over, I left. There were too many chefs, as it were."

     Bautista the reservist is now on High Alert. "I want to go," he affirms. "I don't want to be stuck on some base in Idaho. I want to be deployed. I want to be where I'm need, where I think I can be of best use. The scary thing is, I'm not scared. I was at the World Trade Center on Day Zero, and now I may be on the other side of the world. They aren't too many people who've had the opportunity to be in both places."


#1359.  WHO:  Richard Shadick, Ph.D., Director of Training, Pace University, Counseling Center
TO WHOM:  NYU Cole Center-Triathlon Club e-list (forwarded by Shula Sarner)
SUBJECT:  Coping with 9/11
WHAT HE WROTE:  "Ann Snoeyenbos thought it might be a good idea to have someone in the field of mental health comment on the effect of experiencing the WTC attack on training might be. As a psychologist, and a triathlete, I think this is a great idea.

Here are a couple of issues to consider. What we all have experienced is a highly traumatic, abnormal yet historic event.  Depending on the level of exposure one has had (e.g., watching it on TV, seeing it in real life, being at ground zero), our minds and bodies will react, for a while.  We may have experienced a whole host of reactions, physically and emotionally, from anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, nightmares, exaggerated startle responses, loss of appetite, sadness, among many other things.

There are some symptoms particularly relevant for this listserve: lack of energy or motivation to do things we normally enjoy (assuming you enjoy training) or boundless amounts of energy, increased appetite and little need for sleep. Thus you may not have any desire to train or you have been training very hard, non-stop since the attack.  These are all common reactions and to be expected.  (If you are not aware of any reaction at all, remember numbness and avoidance are reactions too.)

Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Try to get back to a normal routine-first eating and sleeping, and then training. Don't worry about training until your eating and sleeping is normal. Missing some training time is not going to hurt us, after all isn't this the off season?

2) Don't overdo it. While it is adaptive to work out anxiety and fear through exercise, it is important to not over exercise especially since your body is already stressed from the attack and may be prone to injury.

3)  Cut yourself some slack. You are going through an extremely traumatic, historic event and you should not expect to be at 100% during this time.

4) You should be alarmed if symptoms linger or if they get worse. If this is the case, seek professional help.


#1361.  WHO:  Adam Bleifeld
WHEN:  October 18, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  "As you know, I now live in Boston and run up here.  I work for Newsweek magazine as the Boston Ad Sales Manager.

In this week's issue (8/22/01 cover date -- ANTHRAX) there is a picture of Tony Ruiz on page 67.  Small world -- eight million people in NYC and someone I know gets pictured in the magazine.

Hope all is well with the team. Please say hello for me."

COMMENT:  This photo was taken on the morning of September 11, 2001 in the area of the World Trade Center area.  Two days later at our workout, coach Tony Ruiz said, "I was an eyewitness to the second airplane crashing into the World Trade Center.  It was a devastating sight.  After seeing something like that, I must say that running is very low on my list right now.  Nevertheless, I am here today and I just want to run a loop with my friends.  Then I want to go home to my son, who still finds it hard to understand."


#1370.  WHO:  George Hirsch
TITLE: We'll Keep On Running
WHERE:  Runner's World, December 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:  

On Tuesday morning, September 11, the president of the United States woke up early in Sarasota, Fla., and went for a hard 4-1/2 mile run before visiting an elementary school.  That same morning my wife Shay joined me on my walk to work as she does every day.  It was a crisp, crystal-clear day in New York after a summer of typical heat and humidity, and I was looking forward to my run at lunchtime.

That run never happened.

Like each one of us, I vividly recall --- and will forever recall --- how the unspeakable tragedy unfolded.  I was beginning my day in the Runner's World publishing office on the east side of Manhattan when we heard the first report about a plane flying into the World Trade Center.  The news sent us to the TV in our conference room, where we spent the next few hours watching in horror and disbelief.

The disbelief turned slowly to harsh reality, as we realized that a tremendous blow had wounded our city and country.  Eventually I left the office, heading for home through a world far different from the one that had seen the day's sunrise.  That innocent world now seemed shattered.

As I walked, I passed thousands of New Yorkers trudging northward in quiet, calm groups.  We all looked up when military jets screeched overhead.  I've lived in New York most of my life, and have learned to accept the sound of sirens piercing the air as no more than background music in this busy city's cacophony.

But I'd never heard such a persistent wailing.  At the same time, thick clouds of smoke loomed over lower Manhattan.

When I reached home, the telephone was ringing.  It kept ringing all night.  Friends from around the world were calling to express their concern and offer their support.  We heard from Idaho and California, and also from England, Italy, and South Africa.  Everyone agreed that he or she had never witnessed such a wanton, destructive act.

For the rest of the day and night, we watched TV, trying to make sense of the senseless.  An e-mail from Joe Henderson told us of friends, two of Dr. George Sheehan's sons, who'd barely escaped the tragedy.  Tim Sheehan was still on the subway heading to his job in the North Tower when it was struck.  Michael Sheehan escaped from his 55-th floor office in the South Tower, helping an elder woman negotiate the last 15 flights of stairs.

The next morning, I jogged to office through holiday-quiet streets.  The National Guard in camouflage fatigues directed traffic as fire trucks and ambulances hurtled by.  Very few New Yorkers reported to their offices that day, so I was surprised to find Claudia Malley, our publisher, and every member of our New York staff at their desks.  I can't say that we got much accomplished on Wednesday, but we all felt better being together as colleagues in our work family.

At midday, I ran to Central Park, my city's refuge and my own country club for the past 35 years.  Unlike the city streets, the park was bustling.  Parents with strollers.  Lovers hand in hand.  And runners --- lots of runners.  Apparently many of us needed to leave our apartments, houses and offices to find something familiar in this unfathomable new world.

The experience reminded me of how running has helped me through other tough stages of my life.  As I settled into a relaxed, comfortable rhythm, I recalled that I'd also gone out for a run the day after my  father died many years ago.  I needed to go off by myself to sift though my thoughts and emotions while doing what comes naturally.  I did  the same after my mother passed away.  My daily runs have always brought me a sense of calm and peace.

Note:  George Hirsch and Claudia Malley are members of the Central Park Track Club.


Yesterday the Internet user "三好青年RO-COCO" uploaded a video to Weibo entitled "Guangzhou city Cencun village video of large UFO."  By the deadline of this article, that microblog post had been forwarded more than 80,000 times with more than 20,000 comments.

The text: "Super-stunning!  Super clear resolution!  At 5pm on August 30, a strange-shaped UFO was filmed up close in Guangzhou.  The spectators at the scene were crying out in surprise ..."

The video lasts 30 seconds.  A flying saucer much like those seen in American movies approaches from the distance over what was identified as the pond in Cuncen village, Guangzhou city.  There is a huge close-up at the end, clearly showing the bright lights at the bottom of the UFO.

Chinese Internet users held various opinions about the veracity of this video.  According to one online survey, 74% thought that the video was "faked in an entertaining manner" while 10% thought that it was "authentic."  One user found that at the 4-th second when a female voice was heard to make an exclamation, the sound was actually identical to the sound in the video entitled <Riots in London (England) on August 6>.

At the Cenceun village website, no village residents have come forth as eyewitnesses to this incident.  Instead many people said that there are usually people cooling off under the tree shades during that time of day and someone should have seen this.

According to a university video expert, there were four suspicious points.  Firstly, the camera was held shakily by hand as seen from the ground objects but the UFO appeared to be quite steady.  This meant that the UFO was probably added on.  Secondly, the UFO's reflection in the pond water was sometimes present and sometimes absent which violates the laws of physics.  Thirdly, the sizes of the trees kept changing even though the camera was at the same location.  In the close-up of the UFO, the tree leaves were added in during post-production because they were different sizes from before.  Fourthly, the UFO appeared initially with a blue sky background but the sky became blue-grey in the close-up.

According to information obtained by the reporter, this video was created by several Chinese animators who had studied overseas.  The UFO was based upon the American sci-fi movie <Battle of Los Angeles>.  The purpose of this faked video was to draw attention.

 

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  August 30, 2011.

At 12:34 August 26, the Nantong Motor Transportation Company driver Yan Hongbin was driving towards the Zhanghuang Bridge in Shizhuang town, Rugao city, Jiangsu province.  Coming off the bridge, Yan spotted a vehicle stopped on the roadside and an elderly woman was underneath the vehicle.  So Yan stopped his bus, got off with his conductor and helped the elderly woman get up.  Because Yan was rushed for time, he turned the elderly woman to the care of a local villager who knew the woman.  Then Yan went back on the road again.

Later the son of the elderly woman called the police and said that Yan's bus had knocked his mother down.  The police began an investigation.  It turned out that the Nantong Motor Transportation Company bus was equipped with a surveillance video system which recorded what was happening both inside and outside the bus.  The video tapes showed conclusively that Yan and his conductor had been doing a good deed as they claimed.

On the afternoon of August 29, the son of the elderly woman Mr. Hao went to Nantong city and presented bus driver Yan Hongbin and his conductor with a silk banner with the words "Thanks to good people."  Mr. Hao said that his mother was 81 years old and had gotten confused after falling down.  She misunderstood what Yan and his bus conductor had done.  Mr. Hao was misled by others and thought that Yan's bus hit his mother.  After the truth came out, both mother and son were extremely rueful.  The mother could not sleep that night, and told her son to go to Nantong to personally express gratitude to Yan and the bus conductor.

Yan Hongbin said that he had no regrets about what he did.  He did not think that any good act should require recognition.  If he runs into the same situation the next time, he would still help out.

 

(Beijing News)  August 31, 2011.  Op-ed piece.

On August 26, the Rugao city bus driver Yan Hongbin stopped on his way to help an old lady Mrs. Shi who had fallen off a vehicle.  Instead he was accused of knocking the old lady down.  Fortunately the video taken by the bus surveillance camera had a clear recording of the process.

This is a story with twists and turns as tragedy ultimately ended with a happy ending.  Unfortunately, people are not happy.  Just imagine: If the bus was not equipped with a video surveillance system, would Yan Hongbin end up in legal trouble just like Peng Yu did?  (Note: Nanjing citizen Peng Yu stepped off a bus and helped an old lady who had fallen down.  He was accused and found guilty of causing injury to the old lady, because the judge said that nobody would consider helping others unless he felt guilty to begin with.)  There is no difference between the two cases, because they were both about evil people trying to vanquish good people.  The only difference is that Yan Hongbin was luckier.

From the Peng Yu case to the Xu Wenxue case to the Yan Hongbin case, there is a clear thread: selfish interests pressing up against morality.  As selfish interests become magnified, some people become utterly shameless and requite kindness with enmity.  If this trend is allowed to continue, there will be serious consequences: First, nobody would ever help anyone else; secondly, there will be no public moral order left; thirdly, nobody will ever trust anyone else.

In the case of Yan Hongbin, Mrs. Shi was adamant at first that Yan Hongbin's bus hit her.  If her lies were supported by others or if they could not be refuted, then the good man Yan Hongbing will have to pay compensation.  In this sense, the lies of Mrs. Shi were not merely immoral but they actually constitute fraud.  The only reason why she failed was that there was external circumstances outside the control of her will.

For this reason, the judiciary should charge Mrs. Shi with attempted fraud and penalize her accordingly.  If Mrs. Shi is allowed to go unpunished, there will be the impression that there is no cost to frame other people and more people will be encouraged to do the same in future.  But if Mrs. Shi is punished, people will be aware that immorality becomes a crime after a certain point.  Justice must be rendered to reassure the people.

At 11:34 on August 16, an Internet user nicknamed "Red Lady's little sock puppet Plum" posted at the Tianya Forum under the subject: <Exposure of the sexy photos of Shaanxi Province Ankong City Ningshaan County vice-mayor Tang XX and female cadre>.  The text ran fewer than 200 words and contained six charges (Forum.china.com.cn):

1.  Tang Xincheng took bribes in exchange for favors during promotion tests.  He leaked the test questions beforehand.  Those connected to him nearly all got full marks.  There is nothing that the people of Ningshaan county can do about him.  They can't denounce him because he is protected by higher-up's.

2. When Tang Xincheng came from Langao county to Ningshaan county, he brought along a construction team which is currently carrying out projects through his influence with the Traffic Department, Urban Construction Department and the Planning Department.

3. Tang Xincheng is a partner in the mines of Guanghuojie Town and Xunyangba Town.  He owned plenty of shares.  His mining assets are conservatively estimated to be worth more than 100 million yuan.

4. He owns many hydro-electric stations in Ningshaan county.  The hydro-electric stations are worth at least 10 million yuan.

5. He has an improper relationship with a certain female cadre in Guanghuojie Town (every official in Ningshaan knows).  She was quickly promoted from regular cadre to town vice-mayor to town mayor in less than three years' time.

6. He owns many real estate properties in Xian, Ankong and Langao.

Next we have the sexy photo!!  Let all Internet users join in and run a human flesh search on him!!

The person underneath the blanket is the female cadre.  I won't expose her name right now.  I will do so in the next post...

Yesterday this post began to be forwarded on the Internet.  As of 7pm, there have been more than 400,00 page views.  According to the Tianya Forum registration information, "The Red Lady's small sock puppet Plu" was registered on July 16 this year.  Prior to this post, there were only five posts, about health and beauty.

Yesterday afternoon, our reporter interviewed the principal Tang Xincheng.  He said that the post's text and photos were all inaccurate.  According to Tang, he was transferred from Langao county to Ningshaan county in September 9.  He is currently serving as the Ningshaan county mayor as well as Standing Committee member, and he is in charge of planning, land resources, water works, traffic and environmental protection.  He said that the charges in the posts about "outsourced construction projects, owning shares in mines and having an improper relationship with a female cadre" are all "fictional."  According to him, these charges had appeared as early as August 6 at the Baidu Shaanxi, Ankong and Ningshaan post bars.  At the time, he had filed a report with the Ningshaan County Public Security Bureau.  Those posts did not draw a lot of attention (because they did not have any accompanying sexy photos).

At around noon on August 16 after the appearance of the photo-included Tianya post, Tang Xincheng filed another complaint with the local police.  "The naked person in these fuzzy photos is not me.  You can see that by comparing the physical shapes."

On August 17, the Ningshaan County External Publicity Office issued a statement:

(Translation}  Recently certain Forums, Post Bars and Portals claimed that our county vice-mayor Comrade Tang Xincheng is involved in corruption, graft and lifestyle problems.  This has drawn the attention of many Internet users and caused a social effect.  Tang Xincheng has filed a complaint with our city public security bureau, which has set up a case for investigation.  The details will be disclosed after the investigation is complete.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

On August 18, Ningshaan city government workers responded to our newspaper, "The photos in this post was first presented by Internet users in March this year to expose that Henan Province Jiaozuo City Wuzhi County Communist Party Secretary Du Mingqian patronizing prostitutes.  On August 16, an Internet user used those same photos but named the person as Vice-mayor Tang Xincheng."

Here are the photos that were used to expose Party Secretary Du Mingqian earlier this year.  The first four photos were used in the Tianya Forum post on Vice-mayor Tang Xincheng.

According to some, the motive may have to do with the upcoming government/party transition moves as people jockey for position.  As for the problems identified in the posts, the truth will have to wait for the investigation to finish.

I once interviewed a criminal suspect.  He said: "On that day, I stole three wallets.  Basically what happened was that as soon as I stole a wallet, I found an undercover policeman watching me and so I discarded it immediately.  First of all, I despise people who can't keep watch on their own wallets.  I even suspect that they are deliberately exhibiting their wealth.  Secondly, I think self-discipline should be good enough and we don't need to get the police involved.  Finally, I hope that the police wouldn't keep watching us thieves and enforce the law selectively.  If they are so capable, they should be arresting corrupt officials."  I interrupted him and said: "It is up to the Procuratorate to go after corrupt officials, not the police."

This is a story that I wrote a while ago in the style of the blogger Ning Caishen.  It fits nicely with the recent debate over rumor busting.  The "Alliance To Bust Rumors" was formed in May this year over at Sina.com's Weibo service.  In early June, <Fangyuan> published the first interview.  In August, both the CCTV News Channel and People's Daily followed up on the battle achievements of the Alliance.  This led to a hot debate on the Internet.  The most typical criticism against the Alliance was that they "bust rumors selectively" -- that is, why do they go after civilian rumors so eagerly?  Why don't they bust official rumors!?

The short story above is significant.  The difference is that the Alliance To Bust Rumors consists of civilians who rely on their own resources and they are not undercover policemen.  Under the <Law on Criminal Prosecution> Article 63, any civilian can bring suspected criminals to the law enforcement authorities.  It is the right for citizens to voluntarily dispel rumors.  But they do not have the right to enforce the law because they are mere citizens.  As to whether it was right to arrest the thief or not, it all depends on the available evidence.

The Alliance To Bust Rumors was spontaneously organized by a group of ordinary Internet users who are interested in getting to the truth on the Internet.  I am one of the founders.  We define the group as a "self-disciplinary Internet user organization in an era of individual media."  This is what we emphasize in our media interviews.  In less than three months' time, the Alliance had busted more than 120 rumors, from "Many young girls work as child prostitutes in the Sichuan earthquake zone" to "the Beijing subway knock-out drug attacks" to "Guo Yao who pretends to be the family member of a victim of the 7.23 train crash."  The Alliance has more than 60,000 followers at Sina.com's Weibo.  But what do these these spontaneously organized rumor busters come under abusive criticisms and personal attacks from certain Internet users?  Why does such a large number of people think that the Alliance is only "selectively" busting rumors?

I think that the main reason is due to the special characteristics of the rumors themselves.  To be more precise, rumor busting is a passive activity which is always trailing behind the rumors.  The selectivity of rumor busting is the result of the selectivity of rumor manufacturing/disseminating.  The government departments and the official media hold the traditional grounds for propaganda whereas the microblogs are the means by which ordinary citizens can express their personal opinions or air their gripes.

According to the usual definition, rumor manufacturing means the deliberate fabrications of lies and distortion of information in order to sow mistrust and fear.  The official propaganda methods may involve guiding public opinion, or embellishing certain aspects, or even covering up certain facts.  But these do not fall under the definition of "fabricating facts" in the definition of a rumor.  If the authorities actually fabricated facts and they are exposed, they will suffer a tremendous confidence blow; if the authorities want to create mistrust and fear, that will be contrary to the stated goal of maintaining stability.  Therefore, on the Internet, very few rumors come from the authorities.  But for civilian public opinion leaders and ordinary Internet users, they can achieve superior standing by using false facts to support their positions and to use rumors to attack the authorities.  In the world of microblogs, the issue about whether to stand with "the egg or the wall" is not one of right versus wrong.  Instead, those who stand with the egg will always gain applause.

A review of microblog rumors showed that the majority of them came from civilians to the point where they have become a blight.  The Alliance To Bust Rumors cannot hope to dispel all possible rumors.  Instead they can only target a few largely disseminated and highly harmful rumors.  This is the selectivity that people are criticizing them for.

Behind the more influential rumors, there are always a few rumor manufacturers plus a few celebrities who are disseminating them.  These celebrities may have millions of followers.  If they are negligent and forward inaccurate information, the effect can be quite deleterious.  For example, Guo Yao who pretended to be the family member of a victim of the 7.23 train crash had only very few followers before.  Courtesy of the forwarding by some celebrities, her information was spread hundred thousands of times.  It requires courage for the rumor busters to challenge these celebrities.  Of course, rumor busting is based upon evidence.  If rumor busting is directed against the false facts and themselves but not at the viewpoints, it will ensure that the person is not being targeted.  If a celebrity does not manufacture or disseminate any rumors, one can watch him/her for an eternity without catching him/her.

In the face of this futile Internet battle of saliva, I ultimately chose to dodge the battle.  I can persuade certain rational and calm observers who respect the facts, but I can never persuade those people who manufacture/disseminate malicious rumors or those bigots who deeply believe that "it is right to disseminate rumors and it is criminal to bust rumors."  We are rumor busters who seek the truth and we also support the civil right to monitor and criticize the government.  We support the right to challenge the processes by which public authority is being exercised.  The difference is that we advocate that everything should be based upon facts and we will not rely on the power of rumors.

Relevant link: Hu Yong: Busting the bias of the rumor busters  China Media Project

Li Chengpeng has picked up a microblog war with Fang Zhouzi right after the last war of words with Ni Ping.  Here are the key developments:

1. Was Li Chengpeng a spokesperson for real estate companies?

On August 5, Fang Zhouzi wrote that Li Chengpeng was the spokesperson for a certain real estate company.  He asked Li: "Is there a problem if you speak for the weak and vulnerable folks who are being forcibly evicted/relocated and act as a spokesperson for a real estate company?"

Li Chengpeng replied that he was not a spokesperson for that company.  Instead, he went there "to supervise whether there were any problems with the real estate project" at the time.  He wrote that "the advertisement was part of the sponsorship of my son's tennis career and the autographed advertisement was not in my handwriting."  As for the advertising revenue paid by the real estate company, Li said that he would return the money as well as donate the sponsorship fees for his son's tennis career.

This reply did not satisfy Fang Zhouzi.  "So he was a voluntary monitor who made free advertisements?"  Other real estate businesses should imitate this and invite celebrities to monitor their activities."  Even as Fang Zhouzi scorned at Li's reply, he raised more questions: "Since 2008, Li Chengpeng has published 'soft advertisement' essays in Chengdu newspapers.  Was that also for sponsoring his son's tennis career?"

Later Fang Zhouzi revealed that Li Chengpeng had acted as spokesperson for other real estate companies, including the Shenyu Real Estate Company.  Li Chengpeng denied that.  He said that he was unaware of this company.  In his long essay <My apologies>, Li Chengpeng said that he reached a friend of a friend representing Shenyu/Nanhu who can prove that "I have not received a single cent."  As for the photo in the newspaper, he was improperly photographed.

Late August 7, the Shenyu Real Estate Company stated on its official microblog that they have no relationship with Li Chengpeng.  "Li Chengpeng has not signed any business agreement with this project, and there has never been any form of economic tradeoff."

2. Did Li Chengpeng write "soft articles" on behalf of real estate companies?

With respect to the "soft article" entitled <Southern Lake has turned from Southern Muddy Bay to paradise>, Li Chengpeng said that he "did not write this article."  He also joked: "Please, whosoever wrote that article using my name should please come out and admit it instead of leaving me with the burden."

Fang Zhouzi replied on his microblog: "The 'wise soft article' under Li Chengpeng's byline about the Southern Lake International Community appeared in a Chengdu newspaper on March 25, 2009.  The title was <Big Eyes' Column: Why is Southern Lake unaffected by real estate market conditions>.  It was accompanied by a portrait of Li Chengpeng.  Right now Li Chengpeng and the Southern Lake International Community are both saying that they have not cooperated before and Li is saying that he did not write that article.  So did this newspaper misappropriated the name of Li Chengpeng?"

Fang Zhouzi teased: "Apart from saying that the article was not his writing, Li Chengpeng has not issued any condemnation against the Southern Lake International Community or the Chengdu newspaper for violating his rights.  Instead, he thanked the Southern Lake International Community for clarifying on his behalf.  This coolness is not the style of Big Eyes Li.  Even I am worried that he does not know how to protect his own rights."

3. Was Li Chengpeng's apology a cover-up?

Fang Zhouzi went after Li Chengpeng like someone going after a dog fallen into the river.  Li Chengpeng came under more and more public pressure.  On August 6, Li Chengpeng used an "extended" microblog post with an apology that went on for several thousand words.  This was his fourth apology to the public.  But this letter of apology did not satisfy Fang Zhouzi.

On August 9, Fang Zhouzi responded to an Internet user: "How can Li Chengpeng ever lose?  With this apology, hasn't his image become even grander?  If only he would go after the real estate company or the newspaper to defend his rights, his image would be as tall as the skies."  Another Internet user pointed out succinctly: "Is it so easy to wipe clean the real estate business's arse?  Big Eyes Li is trying to be evasive and inconspicuous, but he ends up being too smart for himself."

So this time, Fang Zhouli is letting Li Chengpeng experience the relentless pressure himself.

The United States said Wednesday it would like China to explain why it needs an aircraft carrier amid broader US concerns about Beijing's lack of transparency over its military aims.

"We would welcome any kind of explanation that China would like to give for needing this kind of equipment," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters when asked whether the carrier would raise regional tensions. This is part of our larger concern that China is not as transparent as other countries. It's not as transparent as the United States about its military acquisitions, about its military budget," she said. "And we'd like to have the kind of open, transparent relationship in military-to-military affairs," Nuland said.  But China and the United States are "not at that level of transparency" to which the two nations aspire, Nuland added.

Here is the a favorite photograph being forwarded on the Chinese microblogs:

The trick about Weibo rumors is that one does not have to start with a rumor.  On this day, the Chinese aircraft carrier Varyag put to sea.  So one microblogger posted this photo and wrote: "I think this aircraft carrier is emitting too much smoke."  If you forwarded this photo with the comment that "Varyag is on fire!", then you are being stupid.

There are many photos of the Varyag already, and its design to distinctly different from the one in this photo.  This photo is that of the French-made Brazilian aircraft carrier São Paulo.  Here is the Dongguan Times newspaper front page photo of the Russian-made Chinese aircraft carrier.

Why was a photo of a burning Chinese aircraft carrier so popular on Weibo?  Because some people have an internal need to see everything fail in China (to wit, The Three Gorges Dam which caused droughts/floods; the High Speed Trains which malfunction/crash; etc).

(China Youth Daily reporter Cao Lin's microblog)


Why don't I like the term "Dispelling rumors"?  That is because it carries a conceited tone of high-handedness as if one has the truth in one's hands whereas other people are only disseminating rumors that I shall dispel.  This term is therefore "aggressive" and will necessarily upset others.  When this term is combined into "The Alliance To Dispel Rumors," it is even more cocky and arrogant.  The veracity of information certainly needs to be ascertained, but whether a rumor has to be dispelled or not is part of the process of truth-seeking.  You are not God.

Okay.  Fair enough.  Here is an example of a rumor.

(Tiexue BBS)  Several hundred people commit suicide at the Nanchang Bridge.


Translation: "Give me back my blood-and-sweat money"

In Nanchang city, Jiangxi province, several hundred people jumped off the Nanchang bridge to commit suicide.  According to the banners at the scene, the current Jiangxi Province Supreme Court deputy director Guo Bing caused a certain real estate's 700 million yuan assets to dwindle to nothing.  A news reporter who revealed the truth about Guo Bing's group was imprisoned for several years such that his family was ruined.  More than 300 migrant laborers who were seeking several tens of millions yuan in pay got nothing after five years of litigation.  Reported, the Guo Bing group received 1 million yuan to cause this.  It is also reported that several other companies were affected by bargaining/favoritism/cronyism led by the Guo Bing interest group.

(ChinaNews.com)

On the evening of August 6, an Internet post entitled <Special News: Hundreds of people commit suicide at the Nanchang bridge> was broadly disseminated on the Internet.

The Nanchang police began an investigation.  Basically, the so-called mass suicide incident was planned by a father-and-son team named Jiang.  They organized people to assemble on the bridge, took photos and posted on the Internet with the pre-written text.

According to the police, the father Jiang was a construction sub-contractor; the son Jiang had just graduated from university and is working at a media company.  The father has been unhappy with how the court was handling a financial dispute over a construction project and he has been using various ruses to draw public attention.

According to the police, nobody jumped off the bridge.

The police deemed that the Jiang's had used inflammatory terms such as "suicide" and "jumping off the bridge" for personal reasons and therefore violated the penal code.  The Jiang's have been given administrative fines, which have not been described.  But the police say that the father Jiang has recognized his mistake, deleted his posts and issued an apology.

According to the police, anyone can express their discontent through reasonable, legal and proper channels.  But the police will intervene when people express their discontent in a way that is detrimental to the public interest/order.

Questions: (1) Did you forward this 'rumor'?  (2) Are you going to dispel this 'rumor'? (3) Or are you going to gripe about how "rumor-dispelling" is so cocky, arrogant and conceited?

The stone monument erected for Japanese settlers who died during World War II in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, which provoked anger and disdain from Chinese netizens, was removed on Saturday, according to local authorities.

The authorities in Fangzheng county, where the monument is located, said in a microblog post on Saturday that they would close the cemetery in which the monument was set up and remove the monument as a result of public criticism over the local government's intentions. Witnesses said the monument, which was engraved with the names of 229 Japanese settlers, had been removed Saturday morning.

The Fangzheng county government has been under fire a week ago when a microblog post accused the county of spending 700,000 yuan ($108,500) to erect a monument for Japanese invaders in order to attract foreign investments. The news was extensively forwarded and attracted a huge amount of comments at weibo.com, China's largest microblog website. Hong Zhenguo, the county's deputy head, denied that the monument was erected to attract Japanese investment. "Our original intention was to reflect on the past and wish for peace," he said.

Many netizens, however, do not buy his explanation, especially those who have taken a hard line against Japan over bilateral disputes. They accused local authorities of kowtowing to money and forgetting the humiliation China suffered during Japan's invasion of China in the 1930s and 1940s.

On Wednesday, five Chinese from the China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, poured red paint on the monument and tried to smash it with hammers. Song Huaduo, one of the five men, urged the county government to apologize to the whole nation. They were briefly detained by local police afterwards.

The term "Japanese settlers" is applied to those Japanese who came to Northeast China after 1905. After Japan surrendered in 1945, many of the settlers tried to return to their country. However, due to long journey back to Japan and spread of epidemics, more than 5,000 Japanese settlers died in Fangzheng county, according to Wang Weixin, director of the foreign affairs office of Fangzheng county government. "Their remains were collected by local people and buried," he said.

In 1963, a cemetery, approved by the late premier Zhou Enlai, was established in the county for the Japanese.

(Dianzizheng's blog)

This so-called monument incident began with the premise that "the county government tried to appease the Japanese in order to attract investment.  Therefore, from the beginning, the "group of settlers" and the "group of deceased settlers" were made to stand opposite to the "alliance of resistance martyrs" and "site of the resistance alliance."  Through the exaggerations by Feng Xiang (Southern Metropolis Daily), this type of dualistic logic has put the Fangzheng county government and other groups/individuals interested in promoting Sino-Japanese friendship into extremely awkward (even perilous) situations. 

The truth is that there are in fact two different monuments for the deceased Japanese settlers.

The history of the first monument is as follows: In 1945, Japanese lost the war and surrendered.  More than 15,000 settlers assembled in Fangzheng awaiting expatriation to Japanese.  Due to famine and cold, more than 5,000 of them died in the wilderness and were buried hastily.  About 20 years later, the people of Fangzheng gathered their remains in an act of compassion.  Premier Zhou Enlai approved the cemetery known as the "Public Cemetry For The Japanese People Of Fangzheng" in 1963.  Although most of the names of the deceased were no longer known, an effort was made to gather as many names as possible for listing purposes.  Firstly, this is to tell their Japanese descendants that their ancestors were buried here to be remembered.  Secondly, this is an act of basic humanity.  Thirdly, this is to remind the world of the perils of war and the value of peace.

The history of the second monument is as follows: In the autumn/winter of 1945, the Japanese settlers left while leaving many small children behind as orphans.  The people of Fangzheng did not abandon them just because there were Japanese children.  Instead, they display the fine compassionate characteristics of the Chinese people in adopting and bringing up these children.  When the children grew up and could take care of themselves, they were sent back to Japan.  In order to praise the efforts of these foster parents, a monument was erected with their names being listed as an example for future generations.

The monument defaced by those five just men was the monument for the Chinese foster parents.  But in the massive media coverage of this incident, not a single mention was made of the monument for Chinese foster parents in the Sino-Japanese Friendship Park.  The monument for Chinese foster parents was established by the war orphans to "express their disgust with war and their heart-felt gratitude towards their foster parents."  But why won't our media report on this aspect?  The so-called 700,000 yuan maintenance fee was approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the names of the departed ones were provided by the Japanese war orphans, some of whom have lived in China for more than twenty years and speak fluent Chinese!

Instead, these war dead (most of whom were women and children who could not fend for themselves) were simply characterized as dead Japanese settlers.  With the help of the misinformation by reporters, linkage was made with terms such as "economic interests," "government/party officials with no conscience," and "Chinese traitors."

The site for the resistance alliance and the Japanese public cemetery were both meant to be part of the "Red Culture."  On one hand, the former showed the barbarity of the Japanese settlers towards the Chinese people during the Japanese incursion.  On the other hand, the latter showed how the Chinese people returned good for evil in an act of compassion and magnanimity.

Back then, the Japanese government coerced and/or lured their citizens to settle in northeastern China.  When the war was lost, the Japanese abandoned these citizens.  They actually destroyed the household registration so that the war orphans became "undocumented ghosts" when they returned to Japanese.  It was the Chinese people who took in these Japanese children and fulfilled the obligations that the Japanese government failed to keep.  Let us ask, when the Fangzheng government established the monument, was it a shame on the Chinese people, or the Japanese people?

Our media have lost their basic ethics.  The Fangzheng monument affair should have been reported in a more rational manner.  But instead there was a huge brouhaha with lots of misinformation and name-calling.  So how do we expect that the government to promote Sino-Japanese friendship under these circumstances?

Here are the relevant photos from People.cn (via Sina.com)


Sino-Japanese Friendship Park


The list of deceased Chinese adoptive parents


The list of deceased Japanese settlers

And here is the monument upon which the five just men splattered red paint on (Beijing Times):

So which was it?  Let your lyin' eyes decide for yourself.

Q. You said that you were with the Red Cross Society ... why did you say that?
Guo Meimei: At the time, I was dining with my godfather and other people.  I heard that their company was called China Red Cross Universal Love.

Q: Underneath the Red Cross Society of China is the Business Industry Red Cross Society, underneath which is the Wangding Company.  It is the Wangding Company which started the China Red Cross Universal Love that you spoke about.
Guo Meimei: My godfather and them love me.  They told me that to come to work after the company is started.  I joked and said that I wouldn't unless I can be a general manager.  Then he said, So you can be the general manager.  He was like trying to placate a small child.  Actually, I did not take him seriously.  A few days later, on my microblog ... because the good friends that I follow on the microblog are all chairmen, CEO and the like, I have a kind of vanity to stand up alongside them.  So I changed my original Sina.com Weibo identity from singer/actress to China Red Cross Business Industry general manager.  Actually, at the time, I didn't even know that their company was called China Red Cross Universal Love.  I only knew that it was China something Red something.  I only remembered those two words, so I changed it to Red Cross Society of China.

Q: Apart from that, what else did you write about?
A: I wrote in my microblog: "Each day I must go to English class, I must swim and I must learn to be the general manager of the Red Cross Society of China."  During that dinner, I asked about where I could learn to be a general manager.  My godfather said, "If you don't know how to, you can learn."  I was on the Internet and I was bored.  I suddenly remembered what my godfather said and I wrote that I want to learn to become the general manager of the Red Cross Society of China.  I never imagined that it would be such a huge affair.

Q: Is your so-called "godfather" Wang Jun?
Guo Meimei: Yes.  But he is not the Wang Jun of the Red Cross Society of China as claimed on the Internet.  I read on the Internet that there is someone by the name of Wang Jun at the Red Cross Society.  My godfather is in Shenzhen.  He is a businessman.  He invests in real estate and some such.

Q: Ms. Guo, what is your relation with her godfather?  Are you husband and wife?  Or are you unrelated?
Guo Dengfeng: No relationship.

Q: According to you, Wang Jun is in the real estate business.  What kind of money did he use to buy a car for you?
Guo Meimei: Money that he earned from his business.

Q: What is his position there?
Guo Meimei: Based upon what I know, China Red Cross Universal Love is underneath the Red Cross Society of China Business Industry.  Wang Jun seems to be a board director.  He invested money.  The amount is like 60 to 70 million yuan.  He invested more than 10 million yuan later.  I heard my mother say a few days ago that he does not want to do it anymore.

Q: If he invested in China Red Cross Universal Love, did he earn any money from there?
Guo Meimei:  No.  It has not started yet.  It is still being decorated.

Q: Since he didn't make any money, then the money for the car that he gave you does not belong to China Red Cross Universal Love?
Guo Dengfeng: Definitely not.

Q: I want to ask you.  Your family name is Guo and so is your daughter.  Is she using your family name?
Guo Dengfeng: He is using my family name.  Meimei's father and I split up a long time ago.

Q: Divorced?
Guo Denfeng: We split up before she was even born.

Q: I heard that you have two cars.  One is a Lamborghini, right?  The other is a Maserati?
Guo Meimei: No.  One is a Maserati, one is a Mini Cooper.

Q: Who bought the Mini Cooper?
Guo Meimei:  Mama bought it.
Guo Dengfeng: An eighteenth birthday present.

Q: Is your family relatively well-off?
Guo Dengfeng:  Can't say that we are very rich, but we have money to spend.  In 1990 before she was born, I owned two apartments in Shenzhen and I had several million yuan in cash.  I managed to bring her up without having to work.  I began to buy and sell stocks in 1990.  I made several million yuan.  I had only had several tens of thousands of yuan, but I made several million yuan in a few months.  In those days, the stock price can go up by several dozen yuan a day.

Q: You posted a lot of photos on the micrblog.  You have a lot of Hermes handbags, a lot of brand name handbags, right?
Guo Meimei: I want to clarify.
Guo Dengfeng: I bought them.

Q: Where did you buy them?
Guo Dengfeng: I bought them in Luohu (Shenzhen).  Only two of them are genuine.  The rest are fakes.

Q: Which two are genuine?
Guo Meimei: The green one.  There is also an orange one.

Q: Who bought it for you?
Guo Meimei:  My mom bought one.  The green one ...

Q: Who gave you the green one?
Guo Meimei: My godfather.  My godfather gave it to me.
Guo Dengfeng: I saw those awful things that they are saying.  They are untrue.  Anyway, the things that they found from human flesh search are mostly untrue.
Guo Meimei: I know that I am vain ... actually, I am a very decent person.  I wasn't like this before.  I have a girl ...

Q: You weren't like this before.  What were you like before?  Why did you become vain after you got to Beijing?
Guo Memei: I don't know the reason.  Maybe it is because I got older and know more about society.  When I was back home, we were frugal on water and electricity.  If an extra light is turned on, I would tell my mother to turn it off because I don't want to waste electricity  After I got to Beijing, I took class at the Beijing Film Academy for a year and I got to know people in society, I began to feel that I became ...

Q: Ms. Guo, the two of you live together.  What kind of change did she have after arriving in Beijing?
Guo Meimei: This is not necessarily negative.  That is to say, after entering society, everybody is very ... girls like to compare against each other.

Q: How do you educate your daughter with respect to these changes?
Guo Dengfeng: Changes.  Actually I may have spoiled her since she was small.  I am a single parent.  She does not have a dad.  I thought that I ought to give her more love ...

Q: Frankly I can understand that.  Our audience friends can understand that too.  This is a single parent family.  So what do you want to do next?
Guo Dengfeng: She should get into the entertainment field.

============================================

Internet users comments:

@闾丘露薇:Journalism students, this is very lousy interview as a case study.  1. You only let the other party say what they want to say.  2. The leading questions are too obvious.  3. No follow-up questions, just interrupting without waiting to finish.  But I ultimately understood why this program was produced -- this is to let Guo Meimei clear herself, to let Wang Jun and the Red Cross Society of China to clarify that it is Wang Jun's own money.

@徐呀么徐小豆:The money of unknown origin were all earned from stock speculations.  Several tens of thousands became several million in the blink of an eye.  They are trying to treat the public like fools!

@海鸥:Today's news lessons.  1. Master Lang is an unqualified interviewer.  I can't stand his nagging.  2. Guo Meimei and her mother were trained for this interview, but the instructor is pretty lousy.  3. This program was probably created because the Red Cross Society of China was getting zero donations last month.  4. We must continue to pay attention to the Red Cross Society of China.  My grandmother says that paper cannot keep fire wrapped up, even if it is extra-heavy waxed paper!  Keep going, little people!  Keep going, the fire of truth!

@微博小飞象:I was utterly speechless after watching the Guo Meimei interview ... a person who drew the ire of the people can calmly sit through this interview with a smile on her face, without any recognition of the absurdity of her past actions!  Pathetic!  Pathetic!  I have seen thick-skinned people before, but I have never seen anyone as thick-skinned as this one!

@张欣:People are interested in Guo Meimei because they are unhappy with the Red Cross of Society and they are suspicious about the officially sanctioned charities.  In people's eyes, luxury is close to corruption whereas charity is close to honesty.

@虒亭人氏:What is the godfather's relationship with Mother Guo?  What is the godfather's relationship with Meimei?  Who is the godfather's kept woman?

@右边的石头jun:Guo Meimei told Lang Xianping that she used to be a decent girl who saved electricity and water.  If mom turns on an extra light, she would tell mom not to waste electricity.  She is worried that her own children won't have water or electricity, because electricity comes from water ... she is a really decent kid.  We have all misunderstood her.  What do you fart people know?  She got her Maserati by saving on electricity and water usage.

[This is about the porno pics in the Brief Comment right below this one.]

On the evening of August 3, Yunnan Net and Kunming Information Harbor both published news that the Kunming Public Security Bureau Criminal Investigation Division's Technical Department has examined the three photographs and declared the to have been "modified and composed artificially."  The Kunming City Communist Party Committee's official microblog also forwarded this information.

Chinese Internet users who are savvy about such matters say that they have no been able to find any signs of manipulation in these photos.  So when the official announcements came, Internet users were in an uproar as they questioned the decision.

But the story would change quickly.  On the night of August 3, Kunming City Public Security Bureau Joint Office director Li Yunfeng said that the Kunming Public Security Bureau has not made such an announcement.  Very shortly afterwards, the Kunnming City Communist Party Committee's official microblog removed the story.

Yesterday morning, Kunming City Public Security Bureau Party Committee deputy secretary Yang Congyi told the media that the Kunming City Public Security Bureau did not release any such informatoin.  In the afternoon, Kunming Information Harbor announced: "After checking with the Kunming Public Security Bureau, the photos of the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform official have been technically determined to be the result of cropping and composition."  The Kunming City Communist Party Committee's official microblog forwarded this story again.

More than half an hour later, the Kunming City Public Security Bureau spokesperson and Information Office director Yao Zhihong posted this item on his own microblog.  But he also made a notation which deserves some scrutiny: "As for the photos themselves, the police photograph analysis expert determined that they have been enhanced.  The results of the examination has been forwarded to relevant department."

If a photo is cropped, enlarged or reduced in size, or changed in resolution, it is said to have been modified/enhanced.  Obviously, appending the head of a person in one photo onto the body of another person in another photo is modification/enhancement.  So Yao's statement is ambiguous as to what he meant exactly by 'enhanced.'  The Kunming police also failed to address the key question: Is the person in the photo Cheng Jianjun, section chief at the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform?  And were these people really in an orgy?

The Kunming Commission of Development and Reform claimed to be ignorant of the progress of events.  Yesterday afternoon, the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform Employee Disciplinary Committee cadre Liu Xinggui said that he has received no official notification yet.  "We only found out about this news via Kunming Information Harbor."  Since one of their own is under investigation, it would be against procedure for them to contact the Public Security Bureau for information.

This whole affair is very mysterious with multiple versions.  On August 1, a female worker with the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform said: "We are sure that the man is one of us."  This statement was overturned the next day by the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform.  On August 2, its Employee Disciplinary Committee director Liu Xinggui that the man in the multiple-person sex photos was section chief Cheng Jianjun and they were working with the police to examine whether these photos were artifacts created by PhotoShop.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  August 10, 2011.

After these photos appeared on the Internet along with the identification of Cheng Jianjun, the police set up a a special case squad.  The police found that four criminal suspects had conspired earlier this year to look for blackmail targets over the Internet.  Cheng Jianjun responded to their message.  In April this year, Cheng was invited to attend a sexy orgy which was surreptitiously filmed.  Afterwards, the suspects showed Cheng the photos and attempted to extort 63,000 yuan from him.  When Cheng refused, they posted those photos on the Internet, along with the identification of Cheng Jianjun.  The four suspects have been arrested in Kunming, Hunan and Henan, and they have confessed.

According to information, this is the first case in which the Kunming police came across a planned extortion which was initiated over the Internet.  As for the previous police statement that the photos had been enhanced/modified, the police said that this was the information provided by the four suspects as well as Cheng Jianjun.

(Global Times)  Section chief says porno pics 'fake'   By Zheng Yi.  August 3, 2011.

Three fuzzy photos of two men having sex on a bed with a woman and a person of an unclear gender are not his, an official surnamed Cheng at the Kunming Development and Reform Commission told government website kunming.cn.

Cheng Jianjun, a section chief at the Kunming Commission of Development and Reform in the Yunnan Province capital city looks like a man in the photos, according to the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily. The commission official surnamed Cheng told kunming.cn that his head had been artificially "Photoshopped" into the photo set released online Sunday and he has reported the matter to the police, according to kunming.cn.  Cheng also alleged he had been threatened before the photos went public and denied taking or appearing in any.

Web user Dongtaishan posted the photos on a forum of kunming.cn on Sunday, claiming he had found a USB flash disk at a bath center containing pornographic videos taken on January 1, 2007. The disk might belong to an official at the commission, judging by other files in the disk, he wrote.

Web users split over whether the photo really was Cheng or whether Dongtaishan might be smearing the official, according to kunming.cn.

A man surnamed Cheng claiming himself an official of the commission called kunming.cn and demanded the photos be deleted on Sunday. A Kunming Public Security Bureau policeman confirmed Cheng had called the police, but declined to reveal detailed information. Calls from the Global Times to Kunming Public Security Bureau went unanswered on Tuesday.

"We're investigating this affair and we have called the police," Liu Xinggui, a staff member at the commission, told the Global Times on Tuesday. One of his colleagues was involved in this affair, he said, but he wasn't sure about the authenticity of the photos.

A case of "He said/she said" and you don't know which way to lean?  In China, there is a saying: "No truth without photos!"  So here are the photos and you can let your own eyes guide your judgment.

(Anhui.cc)  According to the an Internet user who is a professional photography art worker, these photos were taken in dim lights with low resolution, making it practically impossible to "Photoshop."  Many Internet users think that Mr. Cheng's claims was either too stupid or maybe he thinks that Internet users are too stupid to tell.  Worse yet, Mr. Cheng even showed up at the police station to identify himself.  Under the prevailing circumstances, if the police were to declare these photos to be fakes, they will probably be drown by curses from Internet users.

Here is a picture of Mr. Cheng in happier times:


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