Heard on Weibo – 10/30 – 11/05

This week we continue to follow the Free Guangcheng movement (自由光诚), even though some of the more vocal Weibo accounts have been shut down, and nearly all CGC avatars wiped out.  We also offer items about increasing number of false cases against private entrepreneurs; sign of judiciary collapse; dire need for political reform; latest inflation number, and the latest on Ai Weiwei. Click on date below item for link to the original.

  • Zheng Wei/郑维/(Editor of Zaobao Online in Singapore)【Zao Bao special report on Chen Guangcheng 】Chen Guangcheng’s case has been elevated by the local government as a “conflict between enemy and us,” the measures taken against him can be traced back to the revolutionary era, and he has been judged by ideology. It has been 32 years since China opened up and implemented reforms, but whenever challenged, the authorities can, without hesitation, go back the old either-friend-or-enemy mindset. To outside observers, this reminds them all too well of an earlier China.

Oct. 31  14:34  From Sina Weibo  Repost(331) | Comment(116)

  • Teng Biao/滕彪/(author, rights lawyer, a close friend of CGC)/5 of the 8 counties under the jurisdiction of Linyi Municipality are national-level impoverished counties….  Yinan County (沂南县), where Chen Guangcheng lives, is the poorest county in Shandong province. Linyi Municipality has the lowest GDP per capita in Shandong. Nonetheless, the civil servants of Linyin have built for themselves this stunning, eight-star, über-luxurious government building.

Nov.2 via Tencent Weibo Reposts and Replies(77)

  • Guo Zhicheng/郭志成 /(netizen who posted the following message on many people’s Weibo) /: I am a pedicabman, I want to go to Dong Shi Gu (东师古) to visit Guangcheng, but I have to work to keep up with living. If any of you are going again, I want to send you one thousand yuan for emergency use. It would be ideal if you can give part of it to Guangcheng; if you were met with those bandit policemen, just tear the money into pieces.

Nov.2 10:57 via Tencent Weibo Reposts and Replies(3) |

Another group of netizens from all over the country gathered in Linyi to visit Chen Guangcheng, or embark on what they call the “Linyi Tour.”

  • (Earlier this week, Ai Weiwei and his wife’s company received orders from Beijing tax authority for RMB15 million (about USD2.4 million) “evaded taxes” and “fines” due on the 16th this month. Following a call on Twitter midday Friday to raise money for them, Ai responded by saying he would borrow from netizens, pay the authority on time so that he and his lawyers can request “administrative review” on the orders, and pay back the “lenders” later regardless the outcome of the review. The following Twitter item by one of his volunteers provides details of the less-than-two-day-old campaign that’s becoming a boisterous online “performance art.” I am also counting on Ai Weiwei to produce an artwork with this mountain of bills before he trucks it over to the authority. )


Up to 12 o’clock midnight, Nov. 5, the latest debt @aiww has incurred: 11,209 transactions via Alipay totaling 1,647,554 yuan; 870 transactions via Construction Bank card totaling 575,695 yuan; payment via Paypal RMB252,284 yuan (after currency exchange); 70 cash payments totaling 157,693 yuan; 5 postal remittances totaling 850 yuan. The grand total is 2,634,075 yuan, and the number of lenders exceeds 12,650.

12:20PM Nov 5thvia web

  • Caixin China Reform magazine/财新中国改革杂志/cai xin zhongguo gai ge za zhi/: 【Protect entrepreneurs’ property rights】It has become a phenomenon that the state power violates the property rights and individual freedom of private entrepreneurs. It follows a common pattern: Local government officials use their power to muster together the public security, the procuratorate and the court to handle cases by, first, making false charges, and then confiscating assets of enterprises in the name of the state. Read China Reform’s special series authored by Hu Deping (胡德平), Chen Youxi (陈有西), Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), Zhang Lifan (章立凡) and more.

Oct. 31  17:21 from Sina Weibo  Repost(1181) | Comment(388)

  • Chen Youxi/陈有西/(lawyer known for his role in some high-profiled cases)/:The trial of Yang Jinde (杨金德) case in Nanying (河南省南阳市) ended and [the court] upheld the 18-year sentence against him. The case affirms that, in China, forcing confessions through torture will not be held accountable and have little effect on the outcome of the trial. The Chinese judiciary has completely collapsed, and is unable to safeguard the bottom line of social fairness. From now on, there will be many emulations of judiciary players conspiring to create false cases.  …. Leadership on higher levels chose to turn a blind eye on such a horrendous problem. It is clear that people in the system are looking on but do nothing, and fast approaching is the risk of the society resorting to irrational means to solve its problems. ….We [as lawyers] have done all we can to help maintain this system and regime, and now let’s leave it to the people to choose and decide.(link and video in which Yang Jinde’s lawyer speaks and he himself recounts tortures used on him.)
  • Han Zhiguo/韩志国/(Economist)/:【Nothing but political reform can garner social energy again】Reform has come to a dead end, development has trouble to sustain, stability can no longer be maintained, and integrity hits the bottom—all China’s economic and social ills are coming to a head and pointing to one thing: political systemic reform. Energy once suppressed in the previous era has all been released by now, and new debilitating factors are increasingly taking the society to abyss.  Without clean-cut, far-reaching reforms, China will have no place to go but downhill.

Oct. 28  01:49 from Sina Weibo  Repost(2226) | Comment(614)

  • Hu Shizhi/胡释之/(financial writer)/: Xie Guozhong (谢国忠, economist): Right now everybody is talking about inflation, this month’s number and that month’s number. But in China, everything is political, and numbers are not to be trusted. Leadership doesn’t even have to call the Statistics Bureau, and the latter will take care of it. Will the Bureau report it when the inflation rate hits 15%? Of course not.

Nov.3 07:34  from Sina Weibo  Repost(904)|Comment(211)

  • On a black foggy day like the other day in Beijing, do you wonder what air the Chinese leaders breathe? A netizen found the answer for you on the site of an air purifier manufacturer:

click to enlarge

(In this description of successful cases, the maker of Broad Air Purifier-远大空气净化机 says, since every object the Chinese leaders use must be “absolutely safe, poison free, giving off no strange smell, noiseless, and subjected to extremely strict testing,” it is very proud to be providing clean air for residents of Zhongnanhai (中南海).  The number one significance of this is “it creates for the national leaders a healthy, refreshing working environment, which is a blessing to the ordinary people. Huh?)

17 responses to “Heard on Weibo – 10/30 – 11/05”

  1. courage89 says:

    Great blog!

  2. […] China, Civil Rights, Detention, Harassment, Issues, Nations, Travel Restrictions | 0 Comment SeeingRedinChina.com reports that human rights lawyer Teng Biao recently posted a message on Sina Weibo, a […]

  3. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    Really enjoying Heard on Weibo. A million thanks!

  4. Yaxue C. says:

    US Congressman Chris Smith announced on Wednesday that he plans to visit the blind Chinese rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng.


    • Yaxue C. says:

      Chris Smith: “Again, we have not gotten a visa yet, my hope is we will, but I’m trying to because this is such an emergency for Chen Guangcheng and his wife and young child that we would look to leave by Wednesday of next week and seek to visit his home.”

      “We’re looking to put a visa ban on gross abusers of human rights. For the Chinese government to put a visa ban on a member of the US Congress because he speaks truth to power, that would bring further dishonor to this government.”

  5. NiubiCowboy says:

    Yaxue, I saw that Ambassador Locke recently paid a visit to his ancestral village (http://www.npr.org/2011/11/04/142031025/locke-returns-to-ancestral-village-in-china). I’m curious to know if you’ve heard any responses from netizens on Weibo about his visit?

    • Yaxue C. says:

      Yes, NiubiCowboy, there are talks on Weibo, but I didn’t follow closely. The pattern is Wu Maos work hard to undermine whatever the ambassador does (everything is a conspiracy!), because whatever he does, he makes the Chinese officials look really bad (as though they don’t look bad enough even without comparison :)), while reasoanable people define him vigoriously.

      • Yaxue C. says:

        Oh, the latest joke I heard is this: “The one and only ministrial-level official whose entire family lives in Beijing is Gary Locke.”

        —Meaning the others have moved members of their family out of the country.

      • NiubiCowboy says:

        Thanks for the info! Yes, I read that Guangming Daily editorial a few weeks ago that suggested that Gary Locke being Chinese-American, humble, and down to earth was all part of an American plot to destabilize the country in preparation for colonization. I thought I was reading an Onion article at first!

      • Yaxue C. says:

        Perhaps the Onion should merge with Guangming Daily? Mmm, interesting proposition.

      • Lorin Yochim says:

        I’ve always thought that Wang Shuo’s novels, especially 千万别把我当人 (Please don’t call me human), have an Onion-like quality about them. Perhaps a collaboration is in order.

  6. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    BBC TV News 24 has just broadcast a telephone interview with Ai Wei Wei. They also announced that thousands of “netizens” had contributed towards payment of his fine.

  7. Lorin Yochim says:

    Thanks, Yaxue. It’s always interesting stuff. Following weibo must be nearly a full-time job.

    • Yaxue C. says:

      I am glad you find it interesting, Lorin. But no, it is not anywhere nearly part-time, let alone full-time, and it is a lot of fun. The connectibility of Weibo makes it very easy to track what people are talking about.

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