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Heard on Weibo

This week there was heated discussion about the toddler who was twice run over by a van and not helped by passersby and people around until a rubbish-collecting woman picked her up (read here).  Below is this week’s offer about the continued Weibo activism to free Chen Guangcheng; what are “socialist core values”; China’s luxurious prisons for jailed officials; and more. Click on the date under the item for link to the original.

  • Lu Qiu Lu-wei/闾丘露薇/Journalist with ifeng TV, Hong Kong/: My book-signing and lecture tour in three Northeastern cities has come to an end. A young female reader asked me to write “Give Light to Guangcheng” on her copy. In Shenyang, about ten readers asked me to write “I want Guang (light), I want Cheng (honesty)”.  Today in Dalian, a man came to the bookstore and asked me to tell him all about Chen Guangcheng. This afternoon in Dalian Foreign Language College, several dozens of students asked me to write “I want Guang (light), I want Cheng (honesty)”. More and more people are asking: Why?

16 Oct. 23:46 via Tencent Weibo Reposts and Replies (883)  More

Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚,with sunglasses) and Teng Biao (滕彪,a lawyer) talking to victims of violent implementation of family planning policies in June 2005.

  • Ran Xian/染香 (According to her own profile, she is “the most famous virtual ID”, and for those who don’t agree with her, she is the most famous Wu Mao—五毛):【The truth about the escalation of Chen Guangcheng incident】Chen Guangcheng was jailed for inciting [people] to smash police cars and engage in other forms of violent rights campaign. He lived a peaceful life after serving time, just like any other released prisoners. The reason for the escalation of the Chen Guangcheng incident was that various Western journalists went to Linyi, Shandong, to interview him and were blocked. The western media, for anti-China purposes, has made up things and twisted the facts, including making up lies about Chen Guangcheng and his family being beaten every day,  him being seriously ill, and his child not allowed to go to school…

Oct. 16  21:51  from Sina Weibo  Repost(1622) | Comment(1067)

  • Weibo of Yang Hengjun /杨恒均的微博/ (Independent commentator)/: Great News—the Party’s 17th Central Committee held its 6th Plenary Session, and it said [in its Communiqué] that “the socialist core values are the soul for building a stronger China, the essence of an advanced socialist culture…. [We] must integrate the socialist core value system into citizen education and into the building of spiritual civilization and the building of the Party, and [we must] continue to lead social tides with socialist core values.” But having read the entire Communiqué,  I still don’t know: What are the socialist core values anyway?

Oct. 19 11:40  From Sina Weibo  Repost(375) | Commentary(217)

  • Politics & Law Diary/政法日记/zheng fa ri ji/ :【Palatial Chinese prisons】Jiangsu Yancheng Prison (江苏省盐城监狱) is a luxurious prison built exclusively for fallen corrupt officials. The European-style buildings have all possible amenities, such as bars, offices and conference center….(more pictures of this and other similar prisons here)

Oct. 16, 16:57  from Sina Weibo  Repost(582) | Comment(204)

  • Zhang Ming / 张鸣 /(Professor of Political Science at People’s University of China): Today I received a call from someone with the Party Committee of the School [of International Studies]. He asked me not to say anything more about Chen Guangcheng, and he said this was per instructions from the School.  I asked, “Why?” He said he was merely passing on the words. This is the first time the School tries to interfere with my online activities, and I hope they will not do it again.

Oct. 15  18:52  from Sina Weibo  Repost(7148) | Comment(3778)

(In a separate Weibo item, a commentator based in Beijing said several professors at Peking University told him that they received similar calls from the university warning them not to speak about Chen Guangcheng.)

  • Zhou Shuheng /周述恒 /(Author of Chinese-Style Laborers (《中国式民工》)/:  China is holding “2011 Chinese Film Week” in New York right now. Despite lavish promotion, there was not a single audience when “The Founding of a Republic” (《建国大业》) was shown in Walter Reade Theatre in Lincoln Center on the 17th, the opening day.Not even a soul from the sponsors.  It’s a joke now among the Chinese media here. These con artists so underestimated the IQ of people in the free world that they deserve to lose their face and money!

Oct. 20 04:40  from Sina Weibo   Repost(996) | Comment(394)

(Across Weibo people celebrated the death of Gaddafi, while those who supported the Colonel kept mostly quiet. The following item pokes fun at a professor of military strategic studies named Zhang Zhaozhong (张召忠) who regularly appears on CCTV to make comments on international current affairs that reflect the government’s position.) 

  • Wu Zuolai  / 吴祚来 /(critic, scholar)/ : Zhang Zhaozhong killed Saddam, ruined Mubarak, and now he killed Gaddafi too. Without leaving his house, a Chinese military researcher accomplished the task the Americans assigned him. What amazing military wisdom! Sun Tzu (ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, author of Art of War) says, the way to kill the leader of the opposing side is to hail him, exalt him, and admire him, until you ballyhoo him to death. Zhang Zhaozhong ballyhooed all of them to death.

Oct. 20 22:59  from Sina Weibo   Repost(1523) | Comment(503)


5 Comments

  1. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    Dear Yaxue, Thank you so much for giving us this insight into Weibo. I really appreciate it. I have been interested in China and the Chinese people for more than 40 years but it is such a difficult culture to access. With your assistance, I am learning a little bit more. I am very grateful to you. Best Wishes from Meryl

    • Yaxue C. says:

      美丽,I am so glad you, hopefully others too, find it useful. I hope you had fun with the Chinese-general-taking-order-from-the-Americans-killed-Gaddafi-by-ballyhooing-him-to-death joke.

      There isn’t a word for me to describe the significance of Weibo to China, even though posts are still regularly deleted. It is plain clear that the deletion can’t possibly catch up with the postings and re-postings. It’s a similar tool as Twitter, but for a country like China where basic freedoms are still lacking, Weibo, as one commentator said, is tantamount to freedom of press. And it is bubbling right under the hard shell of People’s Daily and CCTV, and it is the source of real news these days, for better or worse. I feel strongly about offering our audience this weekly sampling on Tom’s blog. Thanks, 美丽,as always. Thanks, Tom, for letting me do this.

  2. Lao Why? says:

    Yanxue, Keep it up! BTW, China Media Project website has a little more of the central committee communique. Reading that piece of dribble, i defy anyone to explain what the author is talking about. It reminds me of the student, asked to write an essay on a subject about which he knows nothing and must stretch it to 1000 words. Perhaps the party cannot explain socialist values because none exist.

    • Lao Why? says:

      Sorry, Yaxue not Yanxue. My bad.

      • yaxue c. says:

        No problem 🙂 No spelling nazi here.

        A few years ago I was contacted for a job similar to the China Media Project. When it didn’t work out, I was rather relieved: Translating the Party’s Communiques and People’s Daily editorials and the like can cause serious brain damage–seriously.

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