I have never read any books or essays by Mo Yan previously, and I do not intend to do so either.  In so saying, I am not trying to make any points.  But nowadays I won't read any novels unless I have to force myself to; I even feel that novellas are too long for me; so maybe only micro-novels are alright with me.

But it was a good thing for Mo Yan to win the Nobel Prize, because it satisfied the Nobel obsession of many Chinese people.  Of course, some people are upset because they can no longer pose the perennial question of "How come the Chinese can never win a Nobel Prize?"  Instead, they will have to ask other questions such as "How come Mo Yan won this Nobel Prize?" and "What difference will it make now?"

I was amazed that even before the Nobel Prize for Literature was announced, some Chinese Internet users were already criticizing Mo Yan en masse.  They said that Mo Yan did not deserve the Nobel Prize.  When the result was announced, these critics were angry.  Some said that this was aiding and abetting the dictatorship.  Although I take no interest in Mo Yan, I am interested in observing and thinking about the social reactions.  I am interested in the criticisms, and I came to realize something.

First of all, who are Mo Yan's critics?  My observation is that they are mostly liberal intellectuals and their fans.  There is a small number of leftists, which I am going to ignore due to the small number.  I will be mainly talking about the liberals.

The liberals treat this as an important event because they regard the Nobel Prize for Literature is an embodiment of the western world that they adore.  The liberals have two reactions over Mo Yan's win: anger and understanding.  Why anger?  Simply put, Mo Yan did not pass their "political test."  They rarely discussed the actual writings of Mo Yan.  Instead, they complained that Mo Yan did not actively oppose the government before.  Therefore, their western overlords erred in giving the Prize to Mo Yan this time.  Why understanding?  This other group of liberals scoured through the works of Mo Yan and found some fragments that appear to oppose or insult the Chinese government.  This showed that the western overlords were keen-eyed and did not err in giving the Prize to Mo Yan this time.  Therefore, these two groups of liberals actually shared the same line of thinking (with respect to the western overlords).

When the Reforms began last century, I was cultivated as a liberal.  I very much agreed with the liberal concept of "de-politicization."  At the time, our lives encompassed many different things of which politics was just one.  However, politics was pervasive in every aspect of our lives, and became the ultimate authority in our judgments on everything.  We were obviously unhappy.  Therefore, I was very supportive of intellectuals who advocate the "de-politicization" of our society.  This was also the mainstream thinking at the time.

But many years of "de-politicization" later, I found that those who advocate "de-politicization" on the Internet today are full of politics.  When Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize this time, the intellectuals seemed oblivious to the fact that he won the Nobel Prize for Literature and not a Nobel prize for Politics.  Their criticisms against Mo Yan's win was completely politicized, and very much similar to the various "political tests" that the government was making back then -- they didn't care about the expertise of the person and they only cared whether the politics of the person passed the test that they made up.  The intellectuals who criticized Mo Yan this time usually abhor Mao Zedong's theory of literature, but their behavior showed that they were Mao's good students who believe that literature exists to serve politics.

Looking back now at the "de-politicization" advocated by the intellectuals and looking at the "politicization" of intellectuals today, I finally realized something about the "de-politicization."  The so-called "de-politicization" back then  was not really meant to eradicate all politics from our lives.  The intellectuals only wanted to eradicate the politics that they did not like and replace it with the politics that they like.  The treatment of Mo Yan on this occasion showed that the process has been successfully carried out.  The "political tests" back then is now in disrepute after the "de-politicization."  Today, there is a new politics which holds the absolute and sole right to speak with political correctness.  Today, the intellectuals can conduct their own "political tests" of others and make fools of common folks like us.

Of course, "de-politicization" is merely one aspect.  After the Reforms began, the intellectuals and the authorities began to transform our thinking from both sides.  These were very successful transformations.  We were rescued from one type of superstition and thrown into a different type of superstition ...

2012 Nobel Lecture.  Storytellers.

I am a storyteller, so I am going to tell you some stories.

When I was a third-grade student in the 1960s, my school organized a field trip to an exhibit of suffering, where, under the direction of our teacher, we cried bitter tears. I let my tears stay on my cheeks for the benefit of our teacher, and watched as some of my classmates spat in their hands and rubbed it on their faces as pretend tears. I saw one student among all those wailing children – some real, some phony – whose face was dry and who remained silent without covering his face with his hands. He just looked at us, eyes wide open in an expression of surprise or confusion. After the visit I reported him to the teacher, and he was given a disciplinary warning. Years later, when I expressed my remorse over informing on the boy, the teacher said that at least ten students had done what I did. The boy himself had died a decade or more earlier, and my conscience was deeply troubled when I thought of him. But I learned something important from this incident, and that is: When everyone around you is crying, you deserve to be allowed not to cry, and when the tears are all for show, your right not to cry is greater still.

Here is another story: More than thirty years ago, when I was in the army, I was in my office reading one evening when an elderly officer opened the door and came in. He glanced down at the seat in front of me and muttered, “Hm, where is everyone?” I stood up and said in a loud voice, “Are you saying I’m no one?” The old fellow’s ears turned red from embarrassment, and he walked out. For a long time after that I was proud about what I consider a gutsy performance. Years later, that pride turned to intense qualms of conscience.

Bear with me, please, for one last story, one my grandfather told me many years ago: A group of eight out-of-town bricklayers took refuge from a storm in a rundown temple. Thunder rumbled outside, sending fireballs their way. They even heard what sounded like dragon shrieks. The men were terrified, their faces ashen. “Among the eight of us,” one of them said, “is someone who must have offended the heavens with a terrible deed. The guilty person ought to volunteer to step outside to accept his punishment and spare the innocent from suffering. Naturally, there were no volunteers. So one of the others came up with a proposal: Since no one is willing to go outside, let’s all fling our straw hats toward the door. Whoever’s hat flies out through the temple door is the guilty party, and we’ll ask him to go out and accept his punishment.” So they flung their hats toward the door. Seven hats were blown back inside; one went out the door. They pressured the eighth man to go out and accept his punishment, and when he balked, they picked him up and flung him out the door. I’ll bet you all know how the story ends: They had no sooner flung him out the door than the temple collapsed around them.

I am a storyteller.

Telling stories earned me the Nobel Prize for Literature.

What are the allegorical meanings behind these stories?  Here are some conjectures from Chinese Internet users.


Story #1: This story is addressed to the critics inside China: "Right now, it is fashionable to fight the establishment and object to everything that the government does.  Can one be allowed not to do so?"

Story #2: This story is also addressed to the critics: "I said something unintentionally, but you over-interpret and nitpick.  Although you may look like a brave warrior, you are just as naïve as I was back then."

Story #3: The story is even more vicious against the critics: "You stand in the rundown temple of morality and you cast me out into the storm of criticisms.  Ultimately, it is you who will be punished by the heavens!"

After decoding these stories, we can go back to the full essay with this understanding: "I was a poor child growing up in a rural village.  I came across all sorts of bitter experiences during my childhood, and I was often insulted.  My elders also suffered many insults.  But I can tell stories.  After the reforms began (in China), I became a well-known writer through the good policies of the Communist Party, until I ended up this day on the podium of the Nobel Prize.  Without the Party, there would not be a writer like myself, who even has the rank of deputy bureau director.  The Communist Party is my godparents, and her kindness is deeper than the ocean and higher than the sky.  You are wrong to criticize me.  I reject your criticisms.  Right now, this expert storyteller will stand on this podium and use his stories to rebut you.  There is no point to fight me.  With your intelligence, I don't expect you to ever decode the meaning of these three stories."


Story #1: The Chinese people are brought up as expert actors.
Story #2: I feel sorry for being a human.
Story #3: God is always working against the Chinese.

Story #1: The Chinese are "forced" to become expert actors.
Story #2: Do not ask other people to think exactly the same as you do.
Story #3: Mass campaigns often result in tragedy.

Story #1: You don't have to cry, but you have to pretend to cry.  Under these circumstances when everybody is acting, it becomes normal to make denunciations.
Story #2: Very often, Mo Yan is upset due to misunderstanding the superiors.
Story #3: God often ignores the majority opinion of people.

Story #1: Everybody is acting, including crying, not crying, making denunciation ... it is human nature to do so.
Story #2: Everybody is talking to themselves, including me, the officer ... communication is like a conversation between a chicken and a duck.
Story #3: People are stupid, human values are meaningless ... existence is rational.

Story #1: Do not force others people to state their position.  Alternate viewpoints should be tolerated.
Story #2: Do not show off, because your brash actions merely expose your own immaturity.
Story #3: Democracy is not necessary good.  The consequences are worse when the majority of the people turn out to be wrong.  From the religious viewpoint, God is watching what the people do and reward/punishment awaits; alternately, God is unpredictable and the consequences can be severe if you guess wrong.  From the personal viewpoint, a gentleman does not stand underneath a shaky wall (for fear that it would collapse); however, the apparently safest place may actually be very dangerous.  From the decision-making viewpoint, majority opinion can be wrong and one has to accept the consequences.  Therefore democracy is not necessarily a good thing.

Story #1: In most case, people are play-acting.  Different viewpoints and independent actions should be allowed, because the majority do not represent the truth.
Story #2: The senior official said that there was no one at the empty seat, but Mo Yan insisted that he be counted.  When one is young, one tries to find reasons to show off.  Reflect and repent.
Story #3.  Seven persons died when the temple collapsed during the thunderstorm.  Most of us are sinners, and God has made his choice.  Sometimes God's choice is the opposite of what people choose.

Story #1: I have the right not to express my opinions on that other Nobel Prize winner from China.
Story #2: I am not necessarily wrong if I refuse to express my opinions.
Story #3: You all think that I am wrong, but I am not necessarily the one who is wrong.

Story #1: Human nature gets twisted under totalitarianism.
Story #2: They don't know what they are doing.
Story #3: Populism hurts everybody.

Story #1.  Mo Yan is an actor.
Story #2.  Mo Yan knows how to gain the attention of senior officials.
Story #3.  Mo Yan knows how to make stories up.

Story #1: Denouncing others is a common human flaw in a totalitarian regime.
Story #2: Keep justice in your heart, but do not hurt those who carry no malice.
Story #3: Those who use God and the people are their justification in order to achieve their own selfish goals will be punished.

Story #1.  Totalitarianism is false and deceptive, and therefore the enemy of truth.  Those educated under totalitarianism are hypocritical and amoral.
Story #2.  Those slaves liberated from totalitarianism cannot adjust to normal human relationships.  They are either too proud (which is the same as too humble), too selfish or too sensitive getting the respect from others.  These are the consequence of totalitarian oppression, and will take more than one or two generations to eliminate.
Story #3.  Do not think that things will be better when democracy arrives.  Be careful about those who use democracy to do bad things, or the violence of the majority, or the crimes of the majority!

Story #3.  Why were there seven people in the rundown temple?  Why not nine people?  (explanation: the Central Politburo recently reduced its size from nine to seven persons).

Story #1.  When most people have been brainwashed, an un-brainwashed person sometimes get crushed by the majority.
Story #2.  There is nothing wrong with fighting for human rights, but the proper method has to be used.
Story #3.  It is dangerous to make judgments emotionally, especially when most people think that they are right.

Story #1.  You should allow and understand different opinions and behaviors.
Story #2.  People should be tolerant, and not be too demanding on the unintentional mistakes of others.
Story #3.  Sacrificing others may not save yourself.

Story #1.  Mo Yan declined to discuss the origination of the pressure to cry, the culture of making denunciations and the specific socio-political atmosphere of the times.  He reduced it all down to an issue of to cry or not, thereby arguing for the right not to cry.  So is he revealing something, or is he covering up other more important things?
Story #2.  It is common for people to misunderstand or misinterpret others in daily life, and it is fair to suggest to people to avoid or reduce misunderstanding.  But Mo Yan is wrong to use a soldier and a superior officer as the characters in his story, wherein the soldier felt "heroic" at first in correcting the officer but felt rueful later.  Does Mo Yan imply that subordinates must never cross superiors?  If so, then this is the most disgusting story of the lot.
Story #3.  In the classical book Ghost Stories, there is a story about a boat full of people crossing the river.  Thunder and lightning came, and the boat was about to capsize.  Suddenly, the name of one of the passengers appeared in the sky.  The boat riders thought that the gods wanted to punish this person, so they threw him into the river.  But it was the boat that was smitten and all on board perished, whereas the person thrown into the river was safe.  Mo Yan declined to discuss either the issue of just rewards and punishments for actions or the disunity and selfishness in the face of calamity.  Instead, he is only boasting that the gods wanted him to win the Nobel Prize.
These three stories are supposed to expose the flaws in human nature.  But as always, Mo Yan uses the wily guiles of the Chinese peasant and neutralize the critical edges to incorporate into his own writing.  Everything that Mo Yan has written fall into this type of obscurantist exhibitionism.

Story #1: As an individual, I have the right to be different from you.
Story #2: I hope that you will treat me like an individual.
Story #3: God will save someone like me who is abandoned by others.

These three stories are a guessing game.  You see whatever you want to see.

(Daqi)  A Strong, Solid Bridge - Shuai River, Luoshan county, Henan province

Forty years ago we walked over it.  The bridge is said to be built 80 years ago, and it turned out that several dozen tonnes of steel beams and concrete were held up by wooden pylons!  All those May 7th soldiers from the May 7th Cadres School who went through Luoshan, Xixian, Huangchuan and other places never imagined that these wooden pylons are still holding up!  They can be seen during the dry season but they are under water during the rainy season.  I think this is a miracle!  So stunning!

According to the microblog for Caijing magazine: "On December 6, the Weibo user @RebirthOfTheFreeMen: 'The support of a bridge on a public road in Luoshan county, Xunyang city, Henan province had previously been covered by river water, but an incredible sight emerged during the recent drought.  The bridge is actually supported by wood!'  The microblogger emphasized that there was nothing else was done.  The Luoshan county roads department said that they heard about this bridge only from the reporter, but they will investigate the matter.

Public intellectual Yu Jianrong forwarded a post from the Weibo user @HumanBodyArt: "There is a public road whose support was previously under the water in the river.  Now that the river bed is drying during the drought, a miraculous sight is seen: The steel-beam-and-concrete are propped only by wooden beams.  If the bridge should collapse some day, it will be due to overloading!"  These photos are not Photoshop'ed.  Internet users can verify that."  Yu wrote: "I still don't believe it that such a marvelous miracle was wrought by men."

These powerful images tell a compelling story.  But what story?  It depends on what your personal preference.  For example, you can use these photos as proof that democracy (or reform) is urgently needed to protect the public from shoddy construction practice by ruthless builders in collusion with corrupt government officials.

But what is the REAL story behind these photos?  If you are astute, you would be able to guess already (see the first photo and check the state of the railings on the bridge!).


According to the investigation by our reporter, a simliar story had previously been reported by Xian Evening News on September 15, 2011 about the Nanqin River bridge in Shangluo city, Shaanxi province.

That previous report cited Shangluo city's former public road design and inspection engineer Wang Haobin: "This particular bridge was built in the 1960's.  The particular method considered that the bridge may not be able to bear too much weight, so that using dense wooden pylons can increase the ability to carry weight and decrease the rate at which the bridge sinks into the ground.  This is not an issue of shoddy workmanship or skimping on construction materials.  At that time, all bridges were built with the same method."

Last evening at 845pm, deputy director Luo of the Luoshan county publicity department said that they have done a lot of investigation and they have identified the bridge as being the bridge over Shuai River on National Expressway No.312 in Luoshan county.  The bridge was constructed by the Japanese during the Eight Year War of Resistance era (1937-1945).  "This was the Japanese method of construction, so you cannot appraise it on the basis of modern technology."

In addition, the Xunyang City Public Road Department also did their research.  They confirmed that the bridge was situated over the Shuai River at the border between Luoshan county and Pingqiao district.  The bridge was built in 1938.  In 1979, National Expressway No. 312 was re-routed, and the bridge was abandoned.

(Sydney Morning Herald)  Public anger in China erupts online as official caught in sex tape scandal.  November 26, 2012.

A citizen journalist who released a sex tape of a Communist Party official says there are more videos featuring at least five other senior figures, as public anger over abuse of power erupts online, local media reports.

The whistleblower Zhu Ruifeng said a police source had revealed the young woman in the video with the official, Lei Zhengfu, was hired by a property developer so Lei could be blackmailed, the South China Morning Post reported.

Screenshots from the sex video first appeared on Sina Corp's Weibo site on Tuesday. Net-savvy Chinese people have found a potent weapon for fighting official corruption and abuse of power in microblogs like Weibo, which had more than 420 million users at the end of the third quarter this year.

Mr Lei, a district party chief in the southwestern city of Chongqing, was fired after an investigation by the party's discipline watchdog confirmed that it was he who appeared in the video, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Quoting an unnamed police source, Zhu said the young woman was one of many to be trained by the construction company and "given" to officials, said another report from the South China Morning Post.

This is the simplified story, but there is another interesting story about journalism behind the whole thing.

First, there were several still photographs of a naked couple in bed.  The photographs carried the watermark of the website jdwsy.com (People's Supervisory Network).

The man in the photographs was identified as Lei Zhengfu, a district Communist Party secretary in the city of Chongqing.  When asked about the photographs, Lei said that they were fakes.  This led to the posting of a 12-second animated graphic file.  However, he said that he would not pursue legal redress and he was willing to "become friends" with the journalist who claimed to have the full-length video.

The woman in the photographs was identified by the journlaist as Zhao Hongxia, who was said to be 18 years old when the tryst in the photographs took place in 2007.  Very soon, a set of photographs of Zhao Hongxia appeared on the Internet.  The media quickly followed through.

(Global Times)  Sex tape mistress has right to dignity, too.  By Tom Fearon.  November 27, 2012.

The time-honored adage "sex sells" has been proven in the media over the past week since the Lei Zhengfu sex tape surfaced online. The video showed Lei, a district Party chief from Chongqing sacked in the wake of the scandal, surreptitiously caught in the act with his 18-year-old mistress in 2007. 

There is a certain sense of schadenfreude that comes from reading about politicians embroiled in sex scandals. Lei's case is perhaps more bemusing than anything else given his glorious comb-over, menacing carp eye stare and uncanny resemblance to Mr Toad from The Wind and the Willows.

But what about the woman at the center of the scandal?

It was inevitable in the Weibo Dynasty that her identity would be revealed sooner rather than later. On Monday, the world was introduced to Zhao Hongxia through a series of photos of her pulling sultry, yet by no means uncommon, poses that dominate most social networking websites.

Popular expat-oriented China blog Shanghaiist was quick to upload her photos - a move that drew barbed responses from some Web users, who questioned whether it was necessary to name and shame a teenage mistress.

She was a "victim of institutionalized, socially accepted rape," one Web user claimed on the blog's Facebook page - a statement that was countered with equal passion from others who denounced her in harsh terms, hinting she had a promising career in the future as an auto show promo model.

At this point, any journalist should become wary.  While the source identified the woman to be Zhao Hongxia, he did not provide any photographs of her.  Those photographs emerged without sourcing, and that should be a telltale sign for rumor mongering.  The western media should be credited for not falling for this.

(iFeng)  Female Xiamen University student's photographs were used as Lei Zhengfu's mistress.  November 25, 2012.

"What happened?"

Xiao Lin (pseudonym), a female student at a certain university in Xiamen city, was stunned when she came across an Internet news story about the mistress of Chongqing official Lei Zhengfu: "Isn't that my photographs?"

"Who linked my photographs with the principal of the indecent photographs?  And they even spread it all over the Internet?"  Xiao Lin was very angry.  She never imagined that even though she was faraway in Xiamen, she would be swept into the Lei Zhengfu indecent photographs incident.

"How did I become a principal in the indecent photographs case?  I don't know any Chongqing Communist Party secretary.  The photographs on the Internet were taken at a certain film studio which posted them on the Internet.  I also have them in my personal page, but the photographs are locked up," Xiao Lin said.

Xiao Lin said that a friend told her that someone had misappropriated her photographs.  By the time she got on the Internet to check, the photographs has already spread everywhere.

"This is really vexing."  Xiao Lin filed a police report yesterday.  The public security bureau is investigating.  She also said that she reserves the right to seek legal redress.

But the even more interesting story comes next in the form of a expanded microblog post by a journalist.

The Honor and Shame Of Ji Xuguang.

Lei Zhengfu has fallen, and Ji Xiguang is "hot."  He is presently a V-lettered microblogger with 300,000 followers.

But has he been honest?  In this blog post, I will tell you about the facts that I am aware of, and let you readers decided for yourself.


In truth, I was the first person who received the tip about the explosive story of the indecent video involving Lei Zhengfu.  But let me recount a piece of history first.

On the morning of November 20, I was still out on business in Fuzhou city.  I suddenly received a telephone call from Zhu Ruifeng of the People's Supervisory Network (jdwsy.com).  He said that he has a sex video of an official, and he wanted to report on the case.  At the time, I was rushing to finish my own report, so I told him that I would decide after I viewed the material.

After finishing my report, I called back Zhu Ruifeng and asked him to send the sex video and other materials to me.  The QQ chat record showed that I received the sex video at noon.

After viewing the video, I had plenty of questions.  How was the video made?  How come the woman never showed her face?  I called up Zhu Ruifeng.  He told me that the video came from within the public security bureau, but he did not mention anything about bribery with sex or coercion.  But I observed that the man in the video had a high resemblance to Lei Zhengfu.  So I communicated with my supervisor about this story, and he approved.

In the afternoon of November 20, I began interviewing for confirmation.  I called up Lei Zhengfu.  He said "No such thing" and denied it.  I called up the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee, and they said that they were not aware of any sex videos.  But they have an Internet monitoring department, and if they come across such information, they would initiate an investigation.  They also asked me to provide them with the contact information for the People's Supervisory Network.

That evening, I wrote the report <The principal denies the Internet story about the sex video of the Chongqing City Beipei District Party Secretary>.  But my bosses felt that the case cannot be so simple and that there must be some ulterior motive for leaking the video, so the story was suppressed for a day until more information is obtained the next day.  In retrospect, there was a story behind and the decision not to publish on the first day was correct.

On the evening of November 20, Ji Xuguang saw the post at People's Supervisory Network and immediately contacted Zhu Ruifeng.

Later on, Zhu Ruifeng told me that Ji Xuguang claimed to be a reporter with Southern Metropolis Daily and wanted to report on the case.  He also said that he wants to provide the video information to the Southern Metropolis Daily's Legal Affairs Department as evidence.

"He kept calling me all night to ask for the video and other information."  Zhu Ruifeng complained to me.  But Zhu did not send Ji the video that night.  He told Ji that Southern Metropolis Daily is also under the Publicity Department.

On the afternoon of November 21, the Southern Metropolis Daily In-depth Reporting microblog announced: "Ji Xuguang left Southern Metropolis Daily in March this year.  Since some netizens are still saying that he is a Southern Metropolis Daily in-depth reporter, this announcement is made."  In addition, "his honor and shame pertains only to himself."

I don't know if Zhu Ruifeng now knows that Ji Xuguang is not a Southern Metropolis Daily reporter; I don't know if the Southern Metropolis Daily's Legal Affairs Department really wanted Ji to provide the video as evidence.

The earliest People's Supervisory Network post on the case was made at 16:41 on November 20.  There were not many details, but there were five screen captures from the video.

After Ji Xuguang saw this post, he went crazy forwarding it.  But at the time, he did not have the full video nor any other material.  As of now, his earliest post was made at 23:25 on November 20.  According to him, all his previous attempts to post were deleted (by the microblog administrators).

There is one detail that deserves attention -- the earlier screen captures forwarded by Ji Xuguang all carried the People's Supervisory Network watermark.

Zhu Ruifeng said that Ji Xuguang came to his home the next day.  Zhu felt too embarrassed not to give Ji a copy of the video.  From that point on, Ji Xuguang got more energetic with his microblogging, even though everything came from Zhu and he made no new contribution himself.

I don't know if Ji Xuguang had Zhu Ruifeng's authorization to make those posts.  After all, Zhu Ruifeng was the "source" and it would be wrong to ignore the situation or opinion of a source.

But Zhu Ruifeng complained to me many times that he disapproved of Ji Xuguang's ways which he felt were too high-profiled.

"A reporter is only supposed to gather information and report.  If the Communist Party Disciplinary Committee declines to act afterwards, you can keep reporting, reporting, reporting.  But Ji Xuguang is treating himself like the source and the principal in the story."  On the evening of November 23, Zhu Ruifeng told me that.  It seemed that he was still unaware that Ji Xuguang was no longer with Southern Metropolis Daily.


Many people may say that Ji Xuguang's denunciation caused Lei Zhengfu to fall.

Is that really true?

In truth, the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee had already began an investigation before Ji Xuguang made his denunciation.

As mentioned before, I had provided the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee with the contact information of the People's Supervisory Network on November 20.  The next day, November 21, I contacted them again.  They said that their Internet monitoring department had seen the Internet post on the evening of November 20, and their leaders have immediately initiated the process to investigate.

I remembered that as soon as I identified myself, the worker on the other side immediately said: "After you spoke to me yesterday, I immediately informed the operations department.  When they saw the Internet post, they immediately informed the leaders.  The leaders took it seriously and immediately initiated the investigation."

After hearing that, I was surprised at the speed of the process.  But in retrospect, this is expected because Wang Lijun was investigating in 2009 and so how could the Disciplinary Committee not know?

At 14:23 on November 21, the Chongqing City Information Office's microblog posted: "Concerning the recent Internet posts about the sex photographs of Chongqing City Beipei District Communist Party Party Secretary Lei Zhenggu, the Chongqing Chinese Communist Party Disciplinary Committee indicates that it is aware and is investigating."

At about this time, Ji Xuguang was still making his "denunciations" and taunting the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee.

Finally, on the evening of November 21, the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee contacted Ji Xuguang and invited him to provide evidence and material in Chongqing.  On November 22, the Disciplinary Committee also issued a news bulleting to define the case as one of a denunciation from a person using his real identity.  That probably means Ji Xuguang.

According to the source Zhu Ruifeng, Wang Lijun had established a special case squad in 2009 on this matter.  So how could the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee not know about the sex video?

Various signs indicate that the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee did not invite Ji Xuguang to Chongqing in order to obtain more evidence.  Rather, it was a pose which may have been "forced" by Ji Xuguang's taunts.

But then, how information could Ji Xuguang provide?

Everything that he had was second-handed materials from Zhu Ruifeng.  As far was I know, Zhu Ruifeng still have some more core materials, including the interrogation reports provided by the informant inside the public security bureau.  Zhu had never given those to Ji.

Does Ji Xuguang know who provided the materials to Zhu Ruifeng?  Does he know where the woman Zhao Hongxia is?  Does he know which property developer took the video?

Actually, as soon as I heard that the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee had invited Ji Xuguang to Chongqing, I knew that there was going to be a "good show."

Indeed, on the evening of November 23, Ji Xuguang fled Chongqing on the pretext of not wanting to register his ID.  He had no valuable information to offer, and he had to find a way out.

It seemed that the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Committee was conned by Ji Xuguang.

If Ji Xuguang really thought that registering his ID would endanger himself, why did he show off the photographs of his son before he came?  Why did he display the information on his boarding pass?  Was he worried about retaliation against his son?  Was he worried about kidnapping?

Before he left for Chongqing, Ji Xuguang bravely wrote on his microblog: "After failing to elicit an opinion from the source Zhu Ruifeng (he has many worries), I have decided to go there alone!"

But Zhu Ruifeng told me on the night of November 23 that he did not receive any invitation from Ji Xuguang to go to Chongqing.  Zhu Ruifeng said: "It is none of his business whether I go to Chongqing or not.  But he deliberately spelled my name wrong as Zhu Ruichun on his microblog."


Maybe Ji Xuguang is a reporter with a newspaper, or maybe he is civic reporter.  But he has said many times on his microblog that "it is the duty of a reporter to investigate, interview, seek confirmation and expose the truth."

But what kind of investigation, interviewing or verifcation has he done?  Did he interview the woman Zhao Hongxia?  Did he contact the property developer who took the video?  I only see him exposing second-handed facts.

All he ever did was to make a telephone call to Lei Zhengfu.  He moved all the material from Zhu Ruifeng onto his own microblog, and that is supposed to count as "verification"?  Did he even ask for Zhu Ruifeng's permission?

Ji Xuguang has always characterized himself as "going after the truth".  But I don't seem him contributing any effort here.

All the way through, he did not say that this was a "honey trap."  He deliberately concealed this important detail.

When another media outlet learned from Zhu Ruifeng early morning of November 24 that "a property developer hired an 18-year-old pretty woman to become mistress to Lei Zhengfu and took the indecent video," Ji Xuguang said: "The evidence that I obtained indicated that the Chongqing City Beipei District Party Secretary Lei Zhengfu was denounced this time in a very complicated situation."

When Internet users challenged Ji Xuguang for deliberately concealing the "honey trap" angle before, he demurred: "The fact that Beipei District Party Secretary Lei Zhengfu was ultimately relieved of his job and placed under investigation due to the indecent video is enough for me to justify myself to my readers and followers."

Actually, Ji Xuguang's goal was "the core of professional journalism is about the facts and the truth" as he claimed.  Instead, he had only one goal: to bring down Lei Zhengfu.

Maybe the idea of 300,000 followers made him so enthusiastic.

Therefore, he proclaimed on his microblog: "My resumé now contains a bureau director!"

As for the threats from the KTV boss that Ji Xuguang kept talking about as if he was going to the execution field, I find it hard to understand.

The fact is that two hours after I interviewed Lei Zhengfu on the afternoon of November 20, this KTV boss called me.  He talked tough, but I did not sense anything like a death threat.  I think that this is the kind of stuff that investigative reporters must deal with.

Actually, I was more concerned about the safety of the original source, Zhu Ruifeng.

"Stealing the credit" and "Hype" are the two terms that Zhu Ruifeng used to describe his opinion of Ji Xuguang.

Zhu Ruifeng thought that based upon his past experience, it would take at most one week to bring Lei Zhengfu down by releasing the indecent video.

He said that he sought out a reporter to share the material on November 20 out of timing considerations.  The Eighteenth Chinese Communist Party Congress was just over, so there are fewer restraints on public opinion.  On the morning of November 20, Sun Zhengcai was just named as the Chongqing City Communist Party Secretary.  "New officials need accomplishments on the job!"  Once the indecent video gets shown, the principal will become a target.

In retrospect, the Chongqing City Communist Party Disciplinary Party acted even faster than expected, and Lei Zhengfu was dismissed within three days.

Because the "prospects" were so good, someone was bound to come along for "the free ride."

Relevant link:  雷政富案后案罗生门:调查记者的操守与利益之争

Background: Han Han is widely praised by the western media as a popular young Chinese writer who dares to speak out.  In 2010, the American magazine TIME held their "Time 100" poll.  Han Han came second, ahead of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo (at #8), disgraced Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai (at #50) and current Poliburo member Wang Qishan (at #138).  In December 2011, Han Han made three blog posts, which were translated here: On Revolution, On Democracy and On Wanting Freedom.  These essays great deal of coverage by the western media.  Since then, Han Han's star has waned somewhat in China as he came under a barrage of criticisms from skeptics who believe that he is a front man for a team of marketers, promoters and ghostwriters. 

Recently, information has surfaced to the point where people are saying the three Han Han essays were actually written by his father Han Renjun.  As such, the author of the three essays is not "Han Han" but more appropriately Han Renjun (or "Team Han Han").  I have not been able to see a word about this development in the western media, possibly because the story is too complex for westerners to grasp.  Nevertheless this is an important story, so I am translating the critic Fang Zhouxi's blog post on this matter.

Ironclad evidence that the three Han Han essays are written by Han Renjun  By Fang Zhouzi (via Wu Fatian).  November 17, 2012.

Last year, Han Han's Sina.com blog carried three essays <On Revolution> (December 13, 2011), <On Democracy> (December 24, 2010) and <On Wanting Freedom> (December 26, 2010) in which the author offered his political views.  This was praised by the Sina.com management as "historical documents" and promoted heavily at the Sina.com blogs and microblogs.  Each blog post was viewed more than 1 million times with tremendous impact and discussion.  These essays are now known as "The Three Han Essays," and was the pinnacle of the Han family's career before Han Han was exposed to use ghostwriter(s).  A well-known Han family hack "Broken Broken Bridge" who has frequently written on behalf of Han Han to attack his critics has even said that Joint Publishing Press will be publishing a volume especially focused on the study of "The Three Han Essays".

After the Han Han novels and some of his blog psots were proven to be written by his father Han Renjun and other ghostwriters and Han Han's poor literary skills become evident, it was clear that "The Three Han Essays" could not have been written by Han Han.  Various speculations arose as to the actual author(s).  Yesterday, an Internet user came up with ironclad evidence that Han Han's father Han Renjun was the author of the first essay <On Revolution>.  In the following, I will summarize the various evidence that Internet users (including myself) have gathered so far.

<On Revolution> was 'first' posted at 06:09:34 on 2011-12-23 on Han Han's Sina.com blog (ID: twocold).  Here is the screen capture:

But 41 minutes before at 05:28 on 2011-12-23, this same essay was posted at another Sina.com blog (ID: fjfh6602, URL:http://blog.sina.com.cn/fjfh6602) which almost nobody knew about and which has very little traffic (a grand total of 117 visit prior to this moment).  The blog fjfh6602 also carried other blog posts by "Han Han."  After Internet users found out about this blog, the contents of the blog fjfh6602 were completely gutted.  (The Google cache contained nothing, but) the Tencent's search engine Soso.com yielded this blog post by searching for "fjfh6602 sina my 2011" (see screen capture).

When the fjfh6602 blog post is compared to the twocold blog post, several dozen word changes were found.  So was the twocold blog post released 41 minutes later because it was being editing?  No, at the Sina.com system, a blog post could be started and then edited anytime, but its "initial" posting time is the moment when the writer presses the "publish" button.  And did the twocold blog post have an earlier version which was deleted and replaced by the latter one?  That can't be true either.  After the twocold blog post was published, it was widely re-posted by others.  Some of these re-posts are actually identical to the original fjfh6602 without the word changes.  Here is one example at the blog Sunnyboy:


The above evidence showed that <On Revolution> first appeared on the Sina.com blog fjfh6602, and then showed up at Han Han's Sina.com blog 41 minutes later.  Afterwards, somebody changed a few dozen words at an unknown time.

So who owns the Sina.com blog with ID fjfh6602?  Multiple pieces of evidence point to Han Han's father Han Renjun:

1. Every Sina.com blog has a place for a link to the blogger's microblog (Weibo).  fjfh6602's microblog link goes to Han Renjun's Sina.com microblog (Weibo).

2. Although all the text blog posts on fjfh6602 have been deleted since, the video blog posts remains.  There were two videos still present at the time of this writing at http://you.video.sina.com.cn/fjfh6602 .

These two videos are identical to the videos that Han Renjun's microblog linked previously as what he had filmed before.

3. "fjfh" is the five-stroke code for the family name "Han."  Everybody knows by now that Han Renjun uses the five-stroke code whereas Han Han claims that he does not know that system and uses the pinyin system instead.  [Note: These facts emerged from previous disputes over typographic mistakes in some writings that could only be made by a person using the five-stroke code system.]

4. Han Renjun had previously used the email address fjfh6602@163.com to handle Taobao e-commerce payments (see screen capture).

5. The e-commerce website http://www.alihz.com/ has a "Han Han Bookstore" (that is, a Taobao store which sells books written by Han Han) and the store owner is Han Renjun whose email address is fjfh6602@sina.com (see screen capture).


6. "Han Han Bookstore" advertised to hire workers on November 20, 2010 with the contact email of fjfh6602@sina.com (see screen capture).

This rather unusual combination "fjfh6602" has been used by Han Renjun on various occasions, and thus the fjfh6602 blog must be the the Sina.com blog being used by Han Renjun in secret.  When comparing the twocold and fjfh6602 blog posts <On Revolution>, certain clues can be detected through the differences.  For example, the fjfh6602 version has "History once gave the chance to China, and today's situation is the choice of our fathers' generation" while the twocold version changed "our fathers' generation" to "our grandfathers' generation".  This shows that the original author of <On Revolution> is one generation older than Han Han.

In summary, the fjfh6602 blog belongs to Han Renjun.  <On Revolution> and other blog posts signed under the name Han Han were secretly posted there first ("secretly" because practically nobody goes to visit that blog which is clearly known only to insiders) and then later on the "Han Han" twocold blog.  The "Han Han" twocold blog posts have been edited over there, while fjfh6602 contains the original version.  It is certain now that Han Han's <On Revolution> (as well as the two other essays which shares the same styles and viewpoints) were written by Han Renjun.  It is unsure just who was making those editing changes (including covering up the slips that reveal the identity of the true author).  Han Han claims that many people has the password to his blog and can edit his blog posts.  But it is certain that Han Han was not doing it himself, because he does not possess such writing ability.

This is something quite unimaginable.  Within China, the state media are supposed to mouth the official line.  Outside China, the non-state Chinese-language media (e.g. Boxun, DWnews, Epoch Times, Mingjing News) are supposed to hostile towards the Chinese Communist regime.  This has been almost always true in the past.  It gets so bad that one needs not bother reading any of these media because their positions on any issue are completely predictable.

On October 25, the New York Times published the article Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader by their Shanghai-based reporter David Barboza.  You would think that the non-state overseas Chinese-language media would pick up on this huge scandal.  According to past practice, they will even magnify the case with unsubstantiated rumors.  But no, the non-state overseas Chinese-language media are also uniform in expressing skepticism about the New York Times report.  This is really unthinkable that the Chinese state media and the overseas non-state Chinese-language media would converge on a major issue such as this one.

The following is a selection of translations from the overseas non-state Chinese-language media.

(DWnews)  October 28, 2012.

After the Chinese government announced that the trial of former Chongqing Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai would be starting, the New York Times reporter David Barboza pushed a report that exposed the hidden wealth of the family members of Premier Wen Jiabo.  Subsequently, the overseas Chinese-language media (which are rumored to be receiving US state subsidies) unexpectedly spoke out on behalf of Wen Jiabao while hinting that David Barboza who had been a cheerleader for Bo Xilai may be biased.

... Based upon the reputation of the New York Times over the years, many people are willing to believe that the newspaper must have some basis ... Strangely enough, the Hong Kong-based Mingjing News website (which is affiliated with Mirror Books which concentrates on publishing books that are critical of the Chinese Communists, has suddenly became the mouthpiece of the family members of Wen Jiabao.

On the day after the New York Times story appeared, Mingjing News interviewed a key person Duan Weihong who was featured in the New York Times inevestigation.  Duan is the founder of the Taihong Company, which the New York Times believe is an investment platform in which the family members of Wen Jiabao held shares.  Duan Weihong charged that the New York Times article contained many out-of-context quotations and misplaced interpretations.  The New York Times claimed that the family members of Wen Jiabao are the holders of the relevant shares of Taihong Company, but Duan Weihong said that the family members of Wen Jiabao were merely temporary shareholders by name, and all the shares have reverted to herself in full since 2008.  Duan Weihong said that the family members of Wen Jiabao did not receive any financial gains as a result of this process.

The lawyers of the family members of Wen Jiabao made a statement to Mingjing News.  The statement emphasized that the family members of Wen Jiabao do not hold any shares in the Taihong Company.  Furthermore, their business activities were all legal and proper.  In the case of the mother of Wen Jiabao, she had no assets beyond her retirement pension.  The lawyers said that the family reserves the right to hold the New York Times legally responsible.

Meanwhile, the overseas Chinese website Boxun which had been rumored to be subsidized by the American government came out with questions.  They raised doubts about the scope of the hidden riches of the family members of Wen Jiabao, and they even raised questions about the New York Times reporter David Barboza who wrote the article.

On October 27, Boxun published its own "counter-investigation" and pointed out that the New York Times report was deeply flawed: 81% of the alleged riches were unverified.  Boxun said that at least USD 2.2 billion out of the alleged USD 2.7 billion wealth were the assets of Duan Weihong's Taihong Company.  This USD 2.2 billion has not been verified to belong to the family members of Wen Jiabao.  Boxun said, "If the USD 2.2 billion is suspect, and there may be doubts about the remaining USD 500 million."

Boxun also ran an investigative report on David Barboza.  Unfortunately, they ran into a case of mistaken identity.

(Mingjing News)  October 29, 2012.

According to reports, a number of media have received anonymous mail containing information about the family of Wen Jiabao.  An overseas Chinese-language website said that several overseas Chinese-language websites and many western mainstream media have received these heavyweight material against Wen Jiabao.  They interpret this to be a sign that the "smear campaign" within the struggle by senior-level Chinese Communist officials is heating up.  According RFI, the information is very detailed so that it is likely that government departments and workers are involved.  For example, the material includes all the reports from the company that Wen Jiabao's son Wen Yuansong had worked for.  Such information is unobtainable unless someone within the government is cooperating.

The reporter with the Beijing Bureau of Voice of America said that they have not received the mail parcel with the materials on the riches of the family members of Wen Jiabao.  The New York Times insisted that their information is based upon tracking publicly available information in China.

But many China observers are deeply skeptical that it is possible to obtain information on the families of Poliburo members through public available information channels ... Observers also point out that it is well-known that news inside and outside China are different.  It is an established propaganda method to leak information overseas in order to test the reaction within China.  People call this "exporting news for internal consumption."  The New York Times report this time is likely to be "exporting news for internal consumption" through someone within the system.

At the KDnet forum, a commentator wrote: "This New York Times swear on Wen Jiabao's family was due to the Chinese ultra-leftists buying off bad overseas media to launch an attack on reformist Wen Jiabao right before the key Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.  As a result, reformers will be excluded from the Poliburo and reform becomes stalled in China.  We cannot tolerate them for holding on to the Chairman Mao's thoughts and defending the old system.

But another commentator said that this exposé may eventually lead to a "sunshine law" on the wealth of government and party officials, and that may be a good thing.

(Boxun)  October 29, 2012.

The New York Times article also mentioned the Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung in conjunction with a "hidden wealthy man" named Zheng Jianyuan.  According to information, the New York Times reporter interviewed Zheng Jianyuan, and is therefore completely aware of how Zheng Jianyuan got to know Cheng Yu-tong and eventually amassed his own fortune.  According to our informed source as well as publicly available information, the Sino-Life company as reported in the NYT article was an joint investment by Cheng Yu-tung and Zheng Jianyuan through the Shenzhen city Wuxin Yufu Real Estate Limited Company.  Zheng and Cheng held about 30% of Sino-Life, but they backed out in 2008 because of management squabbles as well as capital needs.  In the New York Times article, someone else said that Zheng Jianyuan earned USD 100 million as a result of this investment, and this is part of the so-called USD 2.7 billion pot.

The article also mentioned the National Trust Company.  Now this company is 100% owned by Zheng Jianyuan.  According to publicly available information, National Trust established a joint-venture insurance company with the HSBC bank in 2007, wherein HSBC is also a major shareholder in the Pingan Insurance Company.  According to the information at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the National Trush Company has a registered capital of 1 billion yuan and assets close to 1.3 billion yuan.  The New York Times reporter valued the stake at USD 200 million belonging to the family members of Wen Jiabao.

Over the past decade, there has also been rumors that "Zheng Jianyuan" was the alias of Wen Jiabao's son Wen Yuansong.  But Zheng Jianyuan is apparently a real Hong Kong resident who is the chairman of the Hong Kong Baohua Investment Company and whose backer is Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tong.  So why does the New York Times reporter continue to propagate the rumor after learning the facts?

(Mingjing News)  October 28, 2012.

Mingjing News has obtained an exclusive report from a supporter of Wen Jiabao.  But for special reasons, Mingjing News cannot disclose the identity of this person.

Wen Yuansong is the only son of Wen Jiabao and Zhang Beili.  He was reared by his grandmother and grew up in a Tianjin hutong.  To a large degree, his experiences are similar to those of the same age as him.

Following the wishes of his parents, Wen Yuansong joined the Space Administration as a common researchers after he graduated from university.  In order to help his son decide on his future, Wen Jiabao as state leader went with his son by biccle to visit a famous scholar for advice.  Wen Yuansong joked that this was the only time that his father used his "job privileges" to help him.

In the early 1990's, Wen Yuansong left China to study in Canada.  During the seven or eight years abroad, he led a low-keyed, frugal life just like many other Chinese students.  He took a part-time job at a restaurant to earn living expenses.  After he got his MBA degree, he returned to China with other fellow Chinese students.

The New York Times emphasized that Wen Yuansong was involved in many business areas where he profited tremendously.  The fact was that Wen Yuansong was involved only in science/technology and investment upon his return to China in 2000.  According to the founding partner of Wen Yuansong, they suffered multiple setbacks.  For example, Wen Yuansong founded Excel Science/Technology Company, but he found himself hamstrung because the state-owned enterprises controlled all the data centers.  Ultimately he chose to merge with PCCW (Hong Kong) for a breakthrough.

The New York Times assertion that Wen Yuansong depended on the state-owned enterprises to gain market advantages seems to be at odds with this actual experience.

(Mingjing News)  October 28, 2012.

Mingjing News has obtained an exclusive report from a supporter of Wen Jiabao.  But for special reasons, Mingjing News cannot disclose the identity of this person.

According to information, the said company was established in 1996 to develop waste incineration technology in conjunction with Tsinghua University.  These facilities and technologies were deployed in the incinerators of a number of cities.  So how is this linked to the 2003 government decision which only came later?

The New York Times report intentionally misled readers that the business development of the waste water/medical waste disposal company of Wen Jiabao's brother Wen Jiahong was related to the 2003 decision by the government to increase supervision of medical disposal.

According to experts, environmental protection projects entail heavy capital investment upfront whereas the payoffs only come slowly over time.  Specifically, the cost of medical waste disposal is fixed by a Pricing Regulatory Commission on a per-hospital-bed basis.  The government does not subsidize any companies.  The government only supervises the price and the environmental protection standards.  In a medium-sized city, there are often many waste disposal centers in competition.  This is a tough business.

As of December 31, 2011, the Hanyang Company has a a registered capital of 200 million RMB and net assets just over 200 million RMB.  The so-called USD 200 million is a figure just to pad up the total to USD 2.7 billion.

(Mingjing News)  October 28, 2012.

Mingjing News has obtained an exclusive report from a supporter of Wen Jiabao.  But for special reasons, Mingjing News cannot disclose the identity of this person.

When Wen Jiabao's wife Zhang Beili was in university, she majored in geology.  After she graduated, she became the engineer for appraising mineral rocks on behalf of a geological team in Gansu province.  Just like her husband Wen Jiabao, she spent a long time working in the fields of northwestern China.  She had appraised more than 10,000 pieces of mineral rocks.

In 1983, Wen Jiabao was transferred to Beijing to become the policy research office director at the Department of Mineral Rocks.  Zhang gave up her job to follow her husband in Beijing.  She took a job at the China Geological Museum.  At the time, the most obvious application of her skill was to appraise precious rocks.  So she established the Precious Rocks Exhibit Hall and the Precious Mineral Rocks Research Laboratory.

In the 1980's, the Chinese economy went into high gear, and precious gems began to assume significance.  There were many instances in which glass pieces or inferior rocks were fraudulently presented as precious gems.  At the time, many people were coming to the Precious Mineral Rocks Research Laboratory of the China Geological Museum for assistance.

Under these circumstances, Zhang Beili obtained permission for the Precious Mineral Rocks Reseach Laboratory to provide appraisal and consulting services to the public.  In 1997, she re-organized the Daimengde Shares Limited Company.

As the person in charge, Zhang Beili quickly realized that there was jewelry sales and appraisals represent a conflict of interest.  Therefore, she spinned off the Daimengde chain stores into a separate operation from the appraisal laboratory.  Zhang Beili was the director of the laboratory.

Although Daimengde gained the initiative, it did not have sufficient capital or sales outlet.  Later on, the company quickly fell behind the Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewelry and Chow Tai Seng Jewelry.  This proves that the jewelry market had the characteristics of a competitive market, whereas the New York Times article stated that the government regulated the market and Daimengde benefited from Zhang Beili's support.

According to those who know Zhang Beili, she is straightforward and helpful, and very much indifferent to the pursuits of materialistic living.  In 2006, there was a rumor that she purchased a 2 million RMB jade piece at the Jewelry Exhibit.  The instigator of that rumor has acknowledged that he made it up.

(Epoch Times)  October 27, 2012.

A lengthy exposé by The New York Times detailing the wealth of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s family has sparked controversy over the origins of the report, its accuracy, and uses to which it may be put. At issue is whether the story was planted to advance the political interests of the faction of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai, or whether the story is the product of the NY Times’ own research, done without regard for political consequences inside China.

On Oct. 25, The New York Times published a 4,700-word report that describes the vast wealth amassed by members of Premier Wen Jiabao’s family—said to total US$2.7 billion—and how Wen’s family members traded on his name and influence to make the deals that made that fortune.

Boxun, a Chinese-language news website based outside of China, anticipated the NY Times report in an article published on Oct. 23, Beijing time, describing how information that sounds very similar to what would soon appear in The New York Times had been widely shopped to Chinese and English-language media by a “conservative faction.”

Boxun wrote, “a number of American mainstream English-language media have also received a lot of detailed material” about Wen Jiabao. That information was part of an ongoing effort by a “conservative faction” to attack its opponents in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to Boxun.

In an Oct. 26 broadcast, Voice of America quoted Beijing reporter Dong Fang as saying that all of the media had received the same information on Wen as was published by the NY Times. The information came with audited material according to Dong.

The publisher of an independent Chinese-language news website, speaking anonymously said in a phone interview that whenever Korean, Japanese, or Western media publish detailed reports about the secrets of CCP officials, “The reports are fed to them. These media can never develop this kind of information on their own.”

Around 10:30 p.m. ET Oct. 26, the NY Times published an article in which David Barboza, the author of the piece on the Wen family’s wealth, explained how he got the information.

According to Barboza, most corporate and financial records are publicly available to news organizations in China, and “beginning late last year, The Times reviewed documents obtained in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, and other cities.

“The records allowed The Times to trace a network of friends and relatives of the prime minister as they built a multibillion-dollar business empire over the last decade, often with the aid of wealthy entrepreneurs.” A $2.2 Billion Disagreement

Since The Times article about Wen’s family was published, two articles have called into question the account it gives of the wealth the family is said to have acquired.

The New York-based Chinese-language website Mingjing interviewed Ms. Duan Weihong, who features prominently in The Times report. Duan is identified as the conduit for the Wen family acquiring stock in Ping An Insurance Company, stock that would grow to be worth US$2.2 billion.

The Mingjing article confirms the NY Times did research for its article on Wen’s family—Duan spoke with Mingjing of being interviewed by the NY Times. In the interview with Mingjing, Duan emphasized that she told the NY Times that the stock shares in the name of members of the Wen family were in fact owned by her, which the NY Times reported.

The NY Times and the Mingjing accounts differ over the current ownership of the stock shares. The Times reports the company’s records were no longer public after 2008, but assumes the Wen family gained US$2.2 billion in wealth from the stock.

Duan told Mingjing News that after 2008, all shareholders left her company, and all the shares were put under her name. “But the New York Times reporter didn’t take note of my words at all,” she told Mingjing.

Mingjing commented, “If this is true, not a dime from the US$2.2 billion in stocks went into the accounts of Wen’s relatives.”

In an article published on Oct. 27 Beijing time, Boxun also takes a look at the Duan-Wen connection.

According to Boxun’s Beijing reporter, Wen’s family members held stock in Ping An between 2004 and 2005, when Duan used their IDs to purchase the shares.

According to Boxun, Ping An became a listed company in 2008, and Wen’s relatives had all left the company by then. Ping An started becoming profitable in 2009. Duan has kept records that prove her account, according to Boxun.

Boxun claims the NY Times cannot prove that Wen’s relatives made US$2.2 billion in profits on the Ping An stock. Boxun asks, if the Wen family did not make the US$2.2 billion the NY Times claimed, what about the other US$.5 billion, of the US$2.7 billion Wen’s family is said to have acquired? ‘Ulterior Motives’

The NY Times article about Wen’s family touched a nerve in Beijing—the paper’s website was immediately blocked in China.

On Friday in Beijing, according to Voice of America, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei condemned the NY Times article as having an agenda, telling reporters that it was meant to “smear China” and had “ulterior motives.”

The NY Times spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy, responded to the criticism by saying that the paper refused to compromise its journalistic standards and would not adjust its reporting “based on the demands of the Chinese government,” according to VOA’s report.

The Times article acknowledges political agendas may be served by it. An anonymous former colleague of Wen’s is quoted as saying, “His enemies are intentionally trying to smear him by letting this leak out.”

The Times also reports that the news about the Wen family’s wealth may weaken Wen politically in advance of the crucial 18th Party Congress. At that Congress, set to convene on Nov. 8, a new generation of CCP leaders will be named.

The former head of China affairs for the currently-out-of-power DPP Party in Taiwan, Dong Li-wen, is quoted by Radio France Internationale as saying the NY Times article “is directly related to the power struggle ahead of the 18th Party Congress. Wen Jiabao has long maintained a tough political stance, and this article may be retaliation for Wen supporting or opposing certain Politburo members. His opponents might have leaked the information to foreign media.” ‘Conservative Faction’

Boxun wrote of “heavyweight information” about Wen’s family distributed by a conservative faction that uses “long-term careful planning and comprehensive materials obtained by personnel in government departments” in orchestrating attacks on its opponents.

Boxun mentioned as a previous example an article in June by Bloomberg that talked about the wealth of the family of the presumptive next head of the CCP, Xi Jinping, who is considered an enemy by the conservative faction.

Bloomberg’s article relied on a massive amount of material, including over 1,000 pages about Xi’s family and their companies, all collated, including even copies of these people’s identity cards and photos of their residences, according to Boxun.

The material circulated about Wen Jiabao was said to be similarly thorough. According to Boxun, the information was “exhaustive” in its detail and included “information on Wen’s son Wen Yunsong’s business dealings, including even the monthly bulletins.”

Boxun said the conservative faction sought to achieve “the effect of a stereoscopic assault.”

“From this it can be seen that if there were no people in the state apparatus helping collect this material, it would be impossible to get this kind of highly confidential information,” Boxun wrote.

Boxun said the conservative faction sought to achieve “the effect of a stereoscopic assault.” In the cases of the attack on Xi Jinping in June and the current attack on Wen Jiabao, the information used was circulated to both English-language and Chinese-language media in the hopes of getting simultaneous coverage in both. Ongoing Information War

Boxun places the information circulated about Wen Jiabao’s family in the context of ongoing attempts by the now disgraced former Party heavyweight Bo Xilai and others to use “large resources and manpower to continually launch media attacks on Wen Jiabao and his family members in the past few years.”

An information war being waged as part of the power struggle going on in China has been reported on by others, including The Epoch Times.

According to an article published by Hong Kong’s Open Magazine in May, when Bo Xilai’s former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun attempted to defect at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu in February, among the items he brought with him were documents detailing orders Bo Xilai gave to attack top leaders, including Wen Jiabao, by spreading information online.

The Epoch Times published an exclusive report in April that described how Bo Xilai and the domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang worked in 2009 and 2010 with the Chinese search engine Baidu to drive Google out of China.

Based on information provided by a high-ranking government official in Beijing, the article described how Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang did this in order to use Baidu to attack their opponents.

According to investigative reports by the CCP’s Committee for Disciplinary Inspection, Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang came up with a “very detailed plan to achieve a powerful online campaign against [CCP head] Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, and Xi Jinping.”

Articles published in 2010 on Baidu as a result of Bo and Zhou’s efforts had titles such as “Hu Jintao’s Son Terribly Corrupt, Jiang Zemin Wants to Get to the Bottom of It,” and “Xi Jinping is a Lecher, Plays With Women in Zhejiang Behind His Second Wife.”

A more recent example of this kind of manipulation of the media occurred this past August, when Chinese-language media outside China and Western media carried stories claiming that Hu Jintao was planning on resigning from the Central Military Commission. According to an Epoch Times source, these stories were planted by domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang, a member of the faction formed by former CCP head Jiang Zemin.

Rumors of Hu Jintao “resigning completely” could degrade his power inside the CCP, and he was forced to have former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa deny them in an interview he gave to CNN on Sept. 19.

Boxun emphasized the role of Bo Xilai and an unspecified “conservative faction” in arranging for the distribution to media of the information about the wealth of Wen Jiabao’s family. How Bo could have had any recent, direct involvement is not clear. He is currently in Qincheng Prison in Beijing.

Bo Xilai is very closely identified with Jiang Zemin’s faction.

Bo Xilai is very closely identified with Jiang Zemin’s faction. When Jiang began his campaign in July 1999 to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, Bo enthusiastically implemented the persecution.

The Epoch Times has reported previously how Jiang’s faction, which has lost its hold on power, is now seeking to avoid being held accountable for the atrocities committed during the still ongoing persecution of Falun Gong, leading to a continuing power struggle.

According to Boxun, “behind the scenes, the conservative faction is manipulating things.”

So this is where we are -- It is the New York Times on one side, and an alliance of strange bedfellows of Chinese state media and overseas Chinese dissident media on the other side.  Since the New York Times so infallible?  For a reprise, please see the work by the same David Barboza at The Lanxiang Vocational School Hacked Google.

Additional links David Barboza Answers Reader Questions on Reporting in China  October 29, 2012; Insider trading, Chinese style  Peter Lee, Asia Times Online  October 30, 2012

(Foreign Policy (blog))  The many (imagined) lives of Xi Jinping.  By Mark Jia.  September 12, 2012.

On this, the eleventh day since Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping has disappeared from public view, speculation has yet to abate over the senior leader's condition and whereabouts. The 59 year-old heir apparent has not been spotted since Sept. 1, causing many to wonder whether the absence is merely health-related, or if it is tied into the leadership succession next month. Over the past two weeks, scheduled meetings between Xi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were abruptly canceled. When asked to confirm whether Xi was alive, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei retorted, "I hope you have serious questions to ask."

As expected, the Chinese government's information blackout (which is no isolated incident - see the government's period of silence over the rumored death of former President Jiang Zemin a year ago) has only fanned the flames of speculation over what has actually befallen the ascendant leader. Censors have clamped down tightly on Chinese social media, blocking searches for "vice-president" or "Xi Jinping," while rapidly removing related posts on Sina Weibo -- China's version of twitter. One Weibo user reports that his link to a Wall Street Journal article on Xi's disappearance was deleted within ten minutes of publication. Chinese netizens have sought to circumvent censors by using the pseudonym "crown prince" -- though this was later blocked as well. Currently, the best way to search for Xi-related news is by inputting his given name, Jinping, which censors have not targeted just yet.

Rumors accounting for his disappearance range from the sensational to the mundane. Some allege Xi was hurt in a car crash or even an assassination attempt by forces from a rival faction, fueled by a story suggesting as much that was published and later retracted by the gossip site Boxun. "Jinping hasn't emerged in ten days. Does this mean a big domestic crisis is about to hit China??" one netizen asked. "Internal Party struggles are incredibly heated!" another poster remarked, "...[Xi] Jinping has disappeared for so many days, now you know why." Others have suggested that Xi hurt his back while swimming or playing soccer in Zhongnanhai, the senior leadership compound in Beijing. This aligns with the most recent account offered by Reuters, which quoted two anonymous sources suggesting that Xi had indeed injured himself while swimming.

Most of the listings that pop up after searching "Jinping" on Weibo are either expressions of sympathy for the leader's wellbeing, or plain, inoffensive queries as to why the vice-president has yet to emerge. More "inflammatory" posts have probably already been censored out. "X.i. jinping, where are you?" asked one concerned netizen. "[W]hy haven't we seen you for so many days? Are you okay? What happened?" Another post asks simply: "Jinping, where are you? You've almost been gone for 8 days, even the New York Times is looking for you..." With tensions running high over the disputed Diaoyutai islands, Weibo users have also combined their pleas for Xi's whereabouts with demand for Chinese escalation against Japan. In response to an article about Japan's "nationalization" of the islands, one netizen urged that, "Jinping, you should attack! We will support you."

The clock, however, continues to tick. The longer Xi waits before emerging, the greater the domestic and international speculation over the severity of what has befallen him. Some netizens, who have seen this drama play out many times before, have expressed weariness over the government's default approach to handling incidents like this. "Typical in a year of Chinese top political circle mysteries," one poster commented. "I'm sure we'll find it less exciting if our glorious party just tells us what is going on honestly." "A back injury from swimming? Football?" another poster asked, "They try so hard to hide this. At least this sounds like he's only human. But of course, being human is not acceptable for Chinese party leadership."

(Associated Press)  More rumors swirl on status of China's absent VP.  By Christopher Bodeen.  September 13, 2012.

New rumors about health problems facing China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping swirled Thursday as the government continued to stonewall on commenting on his condition or whereabouts 12 days after he dropped from sight.

Official media mentioned Xi for the first time since his last appearance on Sept. 1, but the brief, obscure report failed to explain the extended absence that has sparked the rumors.

The reports said Xi, President Hu Jintao and other top officials had expressed their condolences "through various means" for the death of 102-year-old former general Huang Rong last week. The Guangxi Daily newspaper reported no other details. Identical reports were carried on the websites of the Communist Party and the official Xinhua News Agency.

China's vice president, Xi is due to take over as Communist Party head later this year and as president next year as the country transitions to a new generation of leaders. His prolonged and unexplained disappearance has sparked rumors and raised questions about the stability of the succession process.

For a fourth consecutive day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to offer any information on Xi.

Early rumors said Xi, 59, threw his back out swimming or pulled a muscle playing football. As the days passed, the speculation escalated to more serious conditions, including a heart attack, stroke, or emergency surgery.

And on Thursday, Hong Kong's Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said a small cancerous growth had been discovered on Xi's liver on Sept. 2 and that he had undergone surgery to remove it this week at the elite military 301 Hospital in Beijing. The center said he was expected to reappear in public next week.

A man who answered the phone at the hospital's administrative office said he did not know whether Xi was being treated there. But he dismissed reports on Xi's condition as guesswork.

"I can say that these can definitely be only rumors. Information about the leaders' health is a big secret, known only to people at the highest levels," said the man, who refused to give his name because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

The silence on Xi isn't unusual, since China's top leaders live and work in isolation and information about leading personnel is only released after it has been carefully molded for positive effect. While the ruling party has become more sensitive to public opinion over nationalism and social unrest, it reverts to its roots as a clandestine organization when it comes to the leaders' private lives.

But the leader-in-waiting's sudden disappearance on the eve of his ascension comes during a year full of unforeseen political developments that had already threatened hopes for a smooth party leadership transition.

Most notably, the case of Bo Xilai, one of China's most charismatic and ambitious politicians who fell from power in March, remains unsettled. Bo's downfall sparked a dramatic scandal that led to his wife's conviction for murdering a British businessman.

If Xi's absence were to linger, it might also disrupt plans for the party congress -widely expected in late October - where Xi is to succeed Hu as party leader. The dates for the congress, held once every five years, were expected to be announced following a meeting of the 25-member Politburo this month, but it may be delayed if Xi remains out of action.

It isn't clear what would happen if Xi was indisposed for long. The party has never institutionalized its succession process, and the formula by which Xi was picked as Hu's successor five years ago remains a mystery to insiders.

(Telegraph)  Xin Jinping "under huge pressure" from inside the Communist Party.  By Malcolm Moore.  September 14, 2012.

Xi Jinping, 59, came under attack from party elders, who described him as "unreliable" and questioned whether he should be elevated to the pinnacle of Chinese power.

The attacks came at the beginning of August at a short and bad-tempered meeting in Beidaihe, a Chinese seaside resort, when senior party members gathered to negotiate and plan their once-in-a-decade leadership change.

Two critical issues were on the agenda: who should be on the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, and how to deal with Bo Xilai, the Politburo member whose wife has been convicted of murdering the British businessman Neil Heywood.

There was no agreement on either question, according to a well-connected former editor of a state media outlet.

As China begins to count down the weeks to the 18th party congress, factions are again vying for power in process is still clad in Soviet-era secrecy.

"At the Beidaihe meeting, no decisions were made but the old gang criticised Xi harshly, especially Qiao Shi and Song Ping," said the former editor, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the topic.

Both Mr Qiao, 87, and Mr Song, 95, are strong supporters of Hu Jintao, the outgoing president.

The elders allegedly accused Mr Xi of not sticking to the rules by meeting twice with members of the Central Military Commission, which controls the People's Liberation Army, while Mr Hu was visiting Hong Kong in early July.

One meeting occurred in Mr Xi's house and the other at the commission's compound.

"They called him unreliable and even brought up the idea of significantly delaying the party congress," said the source. "The fight was so harsh that Jiang Zemin [the former president] had to mediate."

With Hu Jintao preparing to step down from power, and hand over to Mr Xi, he faces the uncertainty of whether his successor will continue his legacy, or turn against him, a perennial fear for a Chinese politician.

A new rift appears to have emerged between the two main factions in the Communist Party: the "red" princelings, the up-and-coming children of Communist Party heroes, and the technocrats.

Mr Xi is a princeling, while Mr Hu is a technocrat, although Mr Xi has been successful at bridging the divide. "Song Ping and the other elders are suspicious of Mr Xi and the other princelings because they are not obedient. They saw these princelings grow up and know the difference between them and Mr Hu and Wen Jiabao [China's premier], who are more polite and less personally ambitious".

The pressure on Mr Xi, who is the focus of the world's attention as he tries to grasp his chance to be president, may explain his mysterious absence.

A number of sources have indicated that he suffered a mild heart attack, but is now "recovering well". He is expected to make a public appearance Saturday, according to one commentator. However, other sources have suggested that Mr Xi has been occupied with trying to consolidate his position as he prepares for power.

On Friday, when asked if the condolences that Mr Xi sent on the death of a former general was a sign of his good health, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said: "I am happy you have taken notice of the relevant information".

Zhang Ming, a professor of politics at Renmin university, said he had heard that Mr Xi was criticised by the party elders. However, he still expected him to take control. "No one would risk ruining the stability of the party at such a late point," he said. He added that physical illness was also no barrier to Mr Xi's ascendancy. "Who on the Politburo is not nursing some sort of chronic illness?"

(Apple Daily)  Xi Jinping serious ill: Major changes at the Eighteenth Party Congress

... According to information, Xi Jinping has a hereditary heart condition and he is in serious condition following a recent onset.  As quoted in The Times (London UK), the many Beijing hotels that will host the attendees of the Eighteenth Party Congress have been told that the meeting may go on longer than earlier scheduled.  "Originally the schedule ran from mid-October to the end of October.  We have been notified that the meeting may be delayed, but they have not given us the new dates."  Previously, our newspaper had disclosed that the meeting was going to be held between October 10 and 18.  In Beijing, 15 hotels have the job of hosting the Eighteenth Party Congress.

According to the New York Times (USA), Xi Jinping "disappeared" due to a mild heart attack.  According to information, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thought that Xi Jinping's condition was not serious and therefore they arranged for him to meet with the Danish Prime Minister.  But the fact was that Xi was seriously ill.  His heart disease may be hereditary within the family.  His elder brother (from a different mother) Xi Jinning died from a heart disease in 1998 at the age of 57; his elder sister Qi Qiaoqiao (she follows the family name of her mother) also has heart disease; his father Xi Zhongxun died in 2002 and there was no official cause of death.

According to a businessman from Hong Kong, Xi Jinping is infirmed and needs three weeks of treatment.  This will not impact the Eighteenth Party Congress.  According to The Wall Street Journal (USA), Xi Jinping does not have big problems with his physical health and is in the process of recovering.

(BBC via Wenxue City)  September 14, 2012.

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping made his first public appearance on September 15 in Beijing at a popular science event.  In the photo taken by the Xinhua report, Xi Jinping wore a dark-colored jacket, pants and a white shirt.  He looked at the agricultural products with a smile in the company of his entourage.  The short Xinhua bulletin did not explain why Xi Jinping had not made any public appearance since September 1.  Previously, there had been all sorts of speculations, including a back injury from swimming; a heart attack; a stroke; surgery for liver cancer, an assassination attempt; etc.  In China, the physical health of the state leaders is a matter of state secret on which the authorities never comment upon.

But on September 13, there was a report on the death of former Guangxi Province People's Congress chairman Huang Rong in which it was said that Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping sent their condolences to the surviving family of this 102-year-old Red Army veteran.

However, this public appearance did not quell the continued media doubts.

[ESWN comments: Was there any element of truth to the rumors?  Consider the original sources: an unidentified Hong Kong businessman; the website Boxun; the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy; a former editor who wouldn't give out his/her name; Apple Daily (Hong Kong); Zhang Ming, a professor of politics at Renmin university.  Their statements are either unconfirmed or unverifiable, and/or their past performances are extremely poor.  If something took place at the Central Military Commission in Beidaihe, do you think that these people would know?  If they reported what had actually taken place (and that information is known to very few people), then the original source of information will be in a lot of trouble for leaking state secrets.  So why report rumors?  What happens if the rumors are busted?  Of course, the fault must lie with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for not dispelling the rumors in the first place because it is their job to respond to every crackpot theory.]


If this writer had directed out that the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme headed by Doctor Robert Chung is neither credible nor objective nor scholastic, it is not sure if the Hong Kong Economic Journal will publish this article due to its possible libel or over-sensitivity.

But these are the views and analyses by this commentator and fall in the realm of freedom of speech.  Moreover, this author had made similar charges four years ago for the Legislative Council elections (September 10, 2008: "Robert Chung suspected for serving the pan-democrats in the election").  This article is a follow-up to the accusations four years ago.

Public opinion polling is surely not the same as serious academic activities.  The latter exists to seek the truth.  Public opinion polls and other survey data may provide the supporting evidence for academic research, provided that they are carefully gathered.  But they can only play a supporting role in academic research and they cannot be the main activity.  This is particularly so for public opinion polling of political issues, because political spin is often mixed in.  Genuine scholars will never treat political spin as academic research.  But in Hong Kong, a few minor scholars regard this gimmick as treasure, because most Hong Kong people are ignorant of but also blinding enamored with academic research.

I think that many people know that the universities in Hong Kong look for every opportunity to increase exposure of their institutions.  So these public opinion polling centers have become extensions of the universities while generating income too.

Many people are ware of this, but nevertheless they have selectively chosen to believe these public opinion polls.  These even include political figures.  The reason why I want to expose this is not because I hold a grudge against Dr. Chung, but because I want to educate the public and raise the political qualities of the people of Hong Kong.

Dr. Robert Chung's public opinion programme has always been part of propagandism.  Its genius is that it is seemingly conducted outside any party or camp.  But it is also clear that it is being paid by various pan-democrat funders and carrying out the work either openly or surreptitiously to serve the overall interests of the pan-democratic camp.  This is something well-understood by anyone who takes an interest in politics.  This writer is not saying that it is wrong to make a living, nor is he a political moralist.  But this writer detests the hypocrisy of packaging everything as "neutral".

In today's society, everybody is talking about taking sides and refusing to be brainwashed by the totalitarian regime, everybody is also ready to be gladly brainwashed by those close to us.  It is human nature to feel close to like-minded people.  Only the very few truly intelligent people will stay critical, because thinking is hard work.  This creates space for the political spin doctors.  Here is a question: Why does a public opinion polling organization which lays claim to objectivity and neutrality suddenly want to start doing political mobilization and propagandizing?

By popular wisdom, this happens because "the boss wants it".  The reason why "the boss wants it" is because he can leverage your objectivity and neutrality.  On March 24 this year, Dr. Chung's Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme suddenly ran a simulated Chief Executive popular election, and derived the "public opinion" that 65% of the citizens do not support C.Y Leung as their Chief Executive.  Dr. Chung should have the political wisdom to recognize that this is not a public opinion poll, that this is not a referendum and that this is a political mobilization campaign.  So who mobilized the "neutral and objective" Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme to do this?

This writer obviously does not have any evidence, but it is not difficult to infer!

Four years ago, Doctor Chung worked with the pan-democrats to try to force the government to restrict the exit polls done by the pro-establishment camp.  They claimed that the exit polls helped the pro-establishment camp to divvy up their votes.  But they only managed to hurt themselves, because the cooperate rate for all exit polls plummeted with loss of accuracy.  The only victims are the media clients who commissioned exit polls and the voters who were anxious to learn the outcomes.  Dr. Chung made many appeals to the government.  He said that if the government refused to restrict non-academic organizations (to be determined by experts who have doctoral degrees) from exit polling, he would consider boycotting the exit polls.  He is not boycotting right now.  As popular wisdom would say, making a living is more important than holding on to respect.

As for the rolling polls for this current Legislative Council elections, this writer does not understand why two electronic media outfits both chose to hire the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme.  So the judgment of the Hong Kong people over the past three weeks (and even how the votes are being divvied up) are being affected by the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme polls which I just said are extremely lacking in objectivity.  This is a very unhealthy situation.

Straight from the start, everybody knows that public opinion polls have a margin of error of plus/minus 5%.  Most candidates are within 5% of each other.  Therefore the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programmed poll is not going to be credible.  This is the basic problem.  So why are the people of Hong Kong so willing to be misled by this fundamentally flawed Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme poll?  How come there are no other public opinion poll results?  This is perplexing.

You should try to read the book <How to lie with statistics>.

An expert can funnel the wrong information to the public through the selection of the sample, the arrangement of the information and the manipulation of psychology in a so-called objective and neutral academic investigation.

Let me provide you with the polling data on Leung Kwok-hung ("Long Hair") four years ago!  At first, he had just over 2% support far lower than Wong Shing-chi (Democratic Party) in the same election district.  An ignorant supporter of the pan-democrats might think of not wasting the vote on Leung and giving it instead to Wong.  For weeks, Leung could not break past 4%.  But in the final couple of polls, Leung suddenly shot up to 8%.  In the end, he was elected with more than 40,000 votes (12%).  Isn't that miraculous?  I believed that this happened because the political strategy of inducing people to switch preferences was clearly failing and therefore the poll results had to be adjusted quickly so that the election outcomes do not become too glaring.

There are other weird examples.  James Tien was holding steady at 8% but he actually lost.  Andrew To tallied between 2.4% and 5.5% in the public opinion polls, but he actually got 12.14% of the votes.  So some who got high poll numbers did not get high votes, and some who got poor poll numbers did not get poor votes.  In any case, once the election is over, nobody goes back to "challenge" the not-so-credible "professional and objective" public opinion polls.

You should not think that the pan-democrats are victims who don't know any better.  Actually most big parties commission the same public opinion polling organization to conduct private polls for reference, but they won't publish those results.  The leftists and the pro-establishment camp used to complain but now they pay no attention, because they have their own mechanisms for assessing the situations.  There is no law that says public opinion poll results must be published, so the publicly known poll results can be coordinated with the proprietary ones.  The only victims are the smaller political parties which do not have the resources or connections to do their own polling, and the voters who are being persuaded by these poll results.

- On the evening of August 29, China Southern air stewardess "花Money买毛豆" posted on her microblog about being assaulted verbally and physically by a man on flight CZ3874 from Hefei city to Guangzhou city.  She had multiple bruises on her arms, neck and body.  Her uniform was also torn.

Here is her account:

(translation)  Two passengers called me to put their luggage in the overhead compartment.  There were two suitcases and several smaller items.  Because some of the other passengers were not yet seated and those items were blocking the passageway, and the airplane could not take off until all passengers were seated, I asked this passenger to wait and let the other passengers pass through first.  I offered to help him move the luggage away.  But this couple got excited and demanded that I remove the video playing equipment in the overhead compartment of row 55 so that they can put their luggage it.  I explained to them repeated that the video player was fixed and could not be moved.  But they refused to listen.  Suddenly the man took his bag and hit me on my shoulder, where a red sore spot immediately appeared.  I asked him why he hit me.  He said that it was because I refused to help him stow his luggage by removing the video playing equipment.  I explained once again that the video playing equipment was fixed and could not be moved.  The couple then pointed at me and began shouting, saying that I was arrogant, that was a ceramic doll which could not be touched.  Then the cabin chief came and tried to mediate.  My hand was already bruised, and I felt mistreated.  I decided to report to the police.  So I took out my mobile camera and took  photo of my wounded hand as well as the video playing equipment.  The male passenger rushed over and said that I filming him.  I told him that I was only taking a photo of the video playing equipment in the overhead compartment.  He charged into the workstation, he scratched me, he hit me and he ripped my clothes.  He even grabbed my mobile phone.  I was bruised green and red all over.  He even ripped my uniform.  The cabin chief pulled him away even as he continued to hurl insults.  His wife pointed at me and yelled: "Aren't you just a stewardess?  I am acquainted with you boss!"

- In early morning of August 30, the cabin chief was posted on his microblog along with the photos.

- On August 30, the Internet user "潘争_NCG" identified the male attacker as Fang Daguo, who is a member of the Guangzhou city Yuexiu district Communist Party Standing Committee and also the political commissar of the district People's Armed Forces.  He also posted previous photos of Fang Daguo showing him visiting old, impoverished Communist Party members in order to show that the Communist Party and the government care about them.  The stewardess "花Money买毛豆" confirmed that this was the man who assaulted her: "That's him!  That is him, the family of three were on today's flight!  They did those things right in front of their small child."

- On August 30, the air stewardess "花Money买毛豆" wrote: "On August 29, during China Southern flight CZ3874 from Hefei to Guangzhou, Mr. and Mrs. Fang Daguo clashed with me over the stowing of luggage.  Mr. and Mrs. Fang Daguo have made genuine apologies to me, and the case has been properly handled.  I thank the broad masses of Internet users for their concern!"

But this does not mean that the case is closed.


The Yuexue District Communist Party Publicity Department issued the following statement: "... because the family got on the airplane late and had a quarrel with the air stewardess over the stowing of luggage.  Fang Daguo's family members and a shoving-and-pushing match with the air stewardess.  Fang Daguo did not assault the air stewardness."

So this account of events appears to be at odds with those of the air stewardess and the cabin chief.  Who is lying here?

On September 1, a Xinhua reporter interviewed a student named Princelione Doubane from the Central African Republic.  This student still had his boarding pass to prove that he was in seat 56C, right behind row 55 where Fang Daguo and his family were sitting.  Therefore this student had a close view of what transpired.

According to Mr. Doubane, he noted immediately that Fang Dauo and his wife were intoxicated.  "They reeked of alcohol."  There was a lot of luggage beside them, but the overhead compartment in their row was already full.  The air stewardess suggested that they move their luggage to the front, but they refused.

According to Mr. Doubane, the male passenger suddenly began to talk loudly to the air stewardess, as if in a quarrel.  The air stewardess said, "Sir, please do not speak so loudly.  I am only here to serve you.  Your loud voice is disturbing the other passengers."  After saying that, the air stewardess got ready to return to her station.  At that moment, Fang Daguo yelled: "You are so rude to us."  Then he grabbed her forearm.  "I don't know how hard he held her, but I saw the bruise on the arm of the air stewardess."

Mr. Doubane said that the air stewardess also began to talk loudly.  She said: "Why are you doing this?  I am only trying to serving you.  What are you like this?"  Mrs. Fang Daguo said: "If it weren't for us, you wouldn't even have food to eat."  When the air stewardess went back to her workstation, Mr. and Mrs. Fang Daguo followed her.  "There were more quarreling back there, but I couldn't see it."  He said that he was quite a distance away from the workstation, and so he could not confirm whether the physical assault as described on the  Internet took place.  But Mr. Doubane told our reporter that the air stewardess did not make any attacks throughout the incident.

As an observer and a passenger, Mr. Doubane said, "I feel that there wouldn't be a clash if the couple were a bit more polite and the man didn't use his hands.  In my view, it was the fault of the couple."

This account from Mr. Doubane drew much attention from the Chinese Internet users, because it was so different than the account of the Yuexiu District Communist Part Publicity Department.  We are sure of two things: (1) Mr. and Mrs. Fang Daguo were drunk when they embarked; (2) Fang Daguo participated in the so-called "pushing and shoving match" and he was the first to take action.  So Internet users want to know: If intoxicated passengers are not normally allowed to embark, then why could this late-arriving, intoxicated couple be allowed to embark?  Internet users also noted that the airport police released Ms. Fang Daguo first and kept the air stewardess and Fang Daguo for interrogation.  How could this be when the Yuexiu District Publicity Department said that the clash was between the air stewardess and Mrs. Fang Daguo while Mr. Fang Daguo was not involved in any physical action?

So this case goes on.

(Headline News)  August 27, 2012.

(translation)  First astronaut Armstrong ( 杭思朗, pinyin Hangsitang) to land on the moon: Armstrong dead at 82 due to illness

(Hong Kong Golden Forum)  August 27, 2012

Title: Chinese Communist bandit Headline Daily translated Armstrong (
岩士唐, pinyin Yanshitang) as Armstrong ( 杭思朗, pinyin Hangsitang)
How can they translate it this way?  Hong Kong people have called him Armstrong (
岩士唐, pinyin Yanshitang) all their lives
In mainland China, they call him Armstrong (
阿姆斯特朗, pinyin Amusitelang).  Where did 杭思朗 come from?
Here is a newspaper which cannot even perform basic functions.  They should go back and suck the milk of the Communists.

From the Small Editor's Desk  July 22, 2009

(Summary)  Way back in October 1969, a group of translation experts had compiled a vocabulary specifically for the Apollo moon landing, because a number of new terms were being introduced.  This booklet was published jointly by the Hong Kong Chinese University Department of Extramural Studies, the Asia Association and the World Chinese Newspaper Industry Association.  In it, there is a list of American astronauts and Neil A. Armstrong (Apollo 11) was translated either as 阿姆斯莊 or 杭思朗.  Why two versions?  The first one simply imitates the sound and the second one is more refined and cultured.

The editorial group consisted of six persons, one of whom was Stephen C. Soong of the Hong Kong Chinese University Department of Extramural Studies.  He is my late father.

It all began with this microblog post:

(translation)  A scene seen at the office within the police station in Zhenghe county, Nanping district, Fujian province ...

The sensational photo drew public condemnation of the police in Zhenghe county Fujian province.  The police responded with their own microblog post:

(translation) Solemn declaration: The aforementioned post was purely fictionally and created out of malice.  Since the end of last year, we have followed the regulations of the Ministry of Public Security whereby all cases are handled in enclosed facilities with simultaneous recording.  Our bureau will take investigate anyone suspected of fabricating lies and maliciously spreading them.

The attention turned back to the original microblogger known as "Zhenghe Guy", who describes himself to be located in Nanping district, Fujian province and his slogan is: "I only do what I fully understand."

On August 31, "Zhenghe Guy" came back with this microblog post:

Declaration: I, "Zhenghe guy", was looking for fun and took a photo of myself with hands tied behind my back with my bicycle lock and kneeling in front of the window of my bedroom.  I posted the photo and said that it was a scene observed at a certain police station in Zhenghe county.  My original intent was to provide some amusement for Internet users.  I did not imagine that it would have grave consequences for the Zhenghe county police.  I am hereby removing the pervious post.  I apologize here to the Zhenghe public security bureau.  I want to say that I am sorry!

Here are some comments:

- These troublemaking liars should be punished.  Are you going to prosecute this person in accordance with the law?  I am concerned if the cost for rumor mongering is too low, more stupid people will do the same.

- When we find out that our outrage at injustice was based upon lies time and again, eventually nobody will be outraged at injustice and we become numb.  This is much more important than the image of a particular organization.  This person must be severely punished!

- A pair of handcuffs costs only 18 yuan, but how much does a bicycle chain-lock costs?  Sometimes these rumor mongers are testing the lower limits of human intelligence.

- How many fans did he gain by this deception?  This type of account should be banned, restricted or given the "rumor monger" badge.