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Home » Reports » After 16-Year-Old Is Forced to Flee China, State Broadcaster Spins a Mendacious Tale

After 16-Year-Old Is Forced to Flee China, State Broadcaster Spins a Mendacious Tale

By He Fei, published: October 17, 2015

 

包蒙蒙 漫画

By @badiucao

Bao Zhuoxuan, the son of prominent rights lawyer Wang Yu and activist Bao Longjun, earlier this month attempted to escape China with the help of his parents’ friends, and was apprehended in Myanmar on October 6. His parents have been under secret detention, and denied access to lawyers, since July. The following post is a response to a report by China Central Television (CCTV) which suggested that Bao had been either deceived or forced into leaving China. The author of this post, published under the pseudonym He Fei on Weiquanwang, chooses to remain anonymous for reasons readily understood. The individual is understood to have strong information about the arrest of rights lawyers and the capture of Bao Zhuoxuan. — The Editors

 

On one of its most prominent morning news programs on Saturday October 17, China Central Television broadcast the report “The truth about the flight of human rights lawyer’s son: foreign forces stirring the pot and coercing him to leave China.” The editorial logic of the news item was confused, it contained numerous lies, and it pulled together disparate items to create a chain of so-called facts which entirely covered up the most important things about the situation. The purpose was to mislead the public.

I. Was he taken away, or forced to flee?

On July 9 Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩) and his father Bao Longjun (包龙军) were arrested at the Beijing Capital Airport. Zhuoxuan’s life went from heaven to hell in the space of a day. It was the beginning of the Chinese Communist Party’s mass arrest of rights lawyers, and Bao Zhuoxuan’s parents—Wang Yu (王宇) and Bao Longjun—became among the first targets they lashed out against.

That day, Bao Zhuoxuan and his father Bao Longjun were abducted at the airport, kidnapped and led away with their hands cuffed behind their backs. The 16-year-old Zhuoxuan was locked in solitary confinement for 40 hours, insulted and beaten by public security agents, and not given a meal for over 20 hours. When his aunt came to the Tianjin police lockup to take him home, he was informed that his passport had been confiscated. He was forbidden from going to the family home in Beijing, forbidden from meeting either journalists or friends of his parents, and forbidden from seeking legal counsel for his parents.

This 16-year-old minor was subpoenaed by the police four times within a few days, and each time repeatedly threatened and intimidated. Whenever they menaced him they’d claim “We’re doing this for your own good.”

While he was at the home of his paternal grandparents in Tianjin, anyone who visited was interrogated by police; notices of power of attorney, already signed, were snatched away; and lawyers who visited were given judicial warnings and called in for “a chat.”

Later, the police struck upon an idea: send the kid out to his maternal grandmother in the remote city of Ulanhot (乌兰浩特), eastern Inner Mongolia. It’s not that they cared what Zhuoxuan thought. They simply wanted to make it more difficult for anyone to have any contact with him.

Xing Qianxian (幸清贤 )

Xing Qianxian (幸清贤 )

The Ulanhot police put him under surveillance and made the same threats. Neither Zhuoxuan nor his grandmother were allowed to leave town.

In media interviews, Zhuoxuan is on record saying: “I don’t want to go to school in Inner Mongolia. Our family has planned and prepared for years for me to study abroad; it’s also what I want. We’ve already paid school fees and homestay costs… going abroad for my studies is my own wish… now they deprive me of the right to make my own choice.”

Zhuoxuan wants desperately to leave Ulanhot and go abroad to study.

If the Chinese police didn’t confiscate his passport, and allowed him his own legitimate rights to study overseas, would he be trying to flee the country?

CCTV, Xinhua, and Global Times all ignore these most basic facts in their reporting, and do their utmost to hide the repulsive manner in which this minor has been treated.

II.  Why did he embark on such a dangerous journey? And what was the real danger?

If Bao Zhuoxuan had his passport, would he have embarked on such a perilous journey? This key point was ignored and expunged from the official reporting.

Official media also omitted the most important fact about the journey: what was the most dangerous part of trip? What did Zhuoxuan fear the most?

CCTV’s report includes several cuts to surveillance footage, often showing Tang Zhishun (唐志顺; family friend of Wang Yu and Bao Longjun) walking in front, while Zhuoxuan lingers back a few paces, following him. Both are often wearing hoodies to prevent from being identified.

So just what was Zhuoxuan hiding from?

Anyone with a bit of common sense will be able to tell you: he was most afraid of being discovered by the Chinese police, captured, sent back to Inner Mongolia, and being put under tight house arrest again—along with the regular threats and intimidation that come with it.

Clearly what gave the child the greatest sense of dread was none other than the Chinese government! And this why he made every possible effort to escape China.

III. Was he captured for crossing the border illegally, or because the authorities wanted to hold him hostage?

Tang Zhishun (唐志顺)

Tang Zhishun (唐志顺)

Those who have spent any time on the Myanmar border with China will know that anyone with a Chinese identification card won’t be subject to accusations of illegal immigration. Special Region No. 4 of the Shan state in Myanmar welcomes tourists from China, who come to spend big on gambling. In Jinghong (景洪; a Chinese city near the border) there are even special buses to take you to Myanmar. Once there you can use your Chinese ID card to get a tourist permit. If it was as CCTV would have it, the Myanmar police would be repatriating thousands of Chinese daily.

The Chinese regime has informants throughout Myanmar, especially in the border areas, and once they got word that Bao Zhuoxuan was there they crossed the border to grab him. They’d prefer to do this than let him escape, given that he’s a valuable hostage they can use to blackmail his parents.

After the three were captured, Chinese living in Mong La, and some locals there, found out what happened: the chief of the local tourism bureau is a Chinese government agent, and he passed on the information about Bao Zhuoxuan’s whereabouts. The three of them (Bao Zhuoxuan, Tang Zhixun, and Xing Qingxian [幸清贤]) were then arrested.

Both Myanmar and Chinese police participated in the raid, but official media reports elided this detail—it too deeply contradicts the Chinese government’s much vaunted claims about respecting Myanmar’s sovereignty.

The wives of Tang Zhixun and Xing Qingxian said that both Tang and Xing have got Canadian or U.S. visas, and that if they wanted to go to America they could do so easily—they don’t need anyone to help them.

IV. Why did they initially hide his whereabouts after capturing him?

After contact was lost with Bao, Tang and Xing in Myanmar, overseas Chinese living there and local people began making enquiries about their whereabouts. To this day the families of Tang Zhixun and Xing Qingxian have not received legal notice that they were taken into custody by police.

The Chinese asked police in Myanmar to get rid of all traces of the operation, even going to the hotel the three were staying in and deleting surveillance footage.

Bao Zhuoxuan with grandmothers

Bao Zhuoxuan with grandmothers

This certainly wasn’t a matter of protecting the privacy of a minor, as the official media falsely claimed. Initially, the authorities’ goal was to secretly capture Bao, not let the public know, and not let lawyers get involved. They wanted to force them into submission in a closed information environment.

Later, when the paper bag could no longer contain the fire, they hastily pulled together this report with all the “details” ten days after the incident. And these so-called details were falsely stitched together as a way to retaliate against those who attempted to help the boy.  

V. Why were his parents Wang Yu and Bao Longjun allowed to meet reporters but not their their lawyers ?

Since their arrest on July 9, Wang Yu and Bao Longjun haven’t been able to see a lawyer, and CCTV and other official media now have carried these distorted reports about them. Some of the scenes look as though they were secretly recorded, then cleverly and carefully edited together, with pieces of dialogue and context missing. It’s hard to believe that what was shown on CCTV represents their true attitude and thoughts.

If even defense lawyers have not been able to visit them, why was official media allowed to do so?

[While Wang Yu is presented sympathetically, as a worried mother in the recent item, it is interesting to note that in July CCTV vilified her in another distorted report. – The Editors]

VI. What’s the story behind the teacher?

There was a particularly ridiculous figure in the CCTV report: Meng Fanling (孟凡玲), a school teacher in the First High School of Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia. (After the report was broadcast, Internet users tracked down this person’s name and information.) Meng said that the Bao Zhuanxuan had told her that a mysterious man had furtively approached him on the streets of Beijing and said he’d take him overseas.

Before July 9, Bao Zhuoxuan’s family had already arranged for Bao to go to Australia to study; from July 9 on, Bao never returned to Beijing. Ms. Meng, being a teacher, don’t you have any idea about what you’re talking about when you lie to the world on television?   

Ms. Meng’s evasive glances and stalling speech are telling. How can a teacher, who is supposed to be a role model for others, go against her conscience and spread shameless lies?

VII. What does Bao Zhuoxuan himself want?

The CCTV report emphasized how the wishes of the boy must be respected. But we know that Bao Zhuoxuan, in interviews after his mother and father were arrested, clearly stated that he hopes he can go abroad to study. The police don’t want to give up their hostage, so they’re not letting him leave. After Bao was returned to Inner Mongolia, a journalist went to the house to interview him, but was stopped by the grandmother. Bao clearly expressed the wish to be interviewed, however.

So we must ask: does the child have the freedom to accept interviews? Do other family members have the freedom to accept interviews? If the child is really free like you claim, then please return his passport.

VIII. On the matter of ‘overseas organizations’

This is a recurring theme: it seems that every time the authorities want to blacken someone’s name, they say there are “overseas organizations” or “anti-China forces” involved. The righteous act of individual citizens trying to help a young man attend the school of his choosing gets forcefully distorted into the work of some organization.

Burmese police was seen to be deleting surveillance video at the guest house.

Burmese police were seen deleting surveillance video at the guest house.

After Wang Min (汪泯) and Xu Wenli (徐文立), two veteran overseas dissidents, were reported by Global Times (《环球时报》) to have been involved, and then refuted that they had been, CCTV’s reports simply changed their names to “Wang so-and-so” and “Xu so-and-so.” This is just absurd. Making things up should at least be done with some logic: if Wang Min and Xu Wenli were involved in trying to help Bao Zhuoxuan escape, why would they deny it? They both live safely outside China.

“Overseas organizations” and “anti-Chinese forces” are part of the daily vocabulary for CCTV and other state media. But like encouraging donations to the China Red Cross, or stirring up hatred against Japan, they’re becoming more and more of a joke.

In sum, the practice of the authorities and the official media is that they’ll seize anyone they can, and then force them or cheat them into reading from the script they’ve written. These dirty tricks don’t fool anyone anymore.

 

————-

Related:

The Vilification of Lawyer Wang Yu and Violence By Other Means, July 27, 2015.

A Child Hunted Down by the Chinese State, October 12, 2015. 

81 Chinese Lawyers Make Urgent Statement on Disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan and Two Others in Myanmar, October 12, 2015.

Breaking: Chinese Citizens Bao Zhuoxuan, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian Missing in Burma, October 9, 2015. 

 

原文《何飞:16岁少年被迫逃亡,遭中国央视歪曲报道》, translated by China Change.

 


8 Comments

  1. […] After 16-Year-Old Is Forced to Flee China, State Broadcaster Spins a Mendacious Tale « China Change Bao Zhuoxuan, the son of prominent rights lawyer Wang Yu and activist Bao Longjun, earlier this month attempted to escape China with the help of his parents’ friends, and was apprehended in Myanmar on October 6. His parents have been under secret detention, and denied access to lawyers, since July. The following post is a response to a report by China Central Television (CCTV) which suggested that Bao had been either deceived or forced into leaving China. The author of this post, published under the pseudonym He Fei on Weiquanwang, chooses to remain anonymous for reasons readily understood. […]

  2. Godfree Roberts says:

    This article is an anonymous person’s ideas about something that happened far from him and in which he had no involvement?

    It’s part of an ongoing campaign to hide the fact that the USA has fallen behind China in human rights.

    Part of the US’s ‘Chinese human rights’ strategy is to stage stunts like this and point fingers. God only knows what actually happened. But we CAN know that, since 9/11 we’ve dropped out of the human rights Olympics: we’re not even in the top 100 human rights countries, as a perusal of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights makes clear:

    China and U.N. Human Rights is a favorite topic of our Western media, that frequently accuses China of ‘violations’ of its citizens human rights. No doubt some Chinese provincial governments do violate people’s human rights occasionally. So do ours, after all. But on balance, China’s human rights record is considerably better than America’s. Don’t believe me? Look down this list and think of how our government treats its citizens. I’ve added some memory-joggers:

    UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights

    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. [Blacks? Indians?]
    Article 2.
    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. [Muslims?]
    Article 3.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. [Assassinations are US state policy]
    Article 4.
    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. [Florida fruit pickers?]
    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [Torture is US state policy]
    Article 6.
    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [Guantanamo?]
    Article 7.
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. [Bank CEOs?]
    Article 8.
    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. [Mortgage foreclosures?]
    Article 9.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. [Our authorities practice all three – almost every day].
    Article 10.
    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. [Bradley Manning]
    Article 11.
    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense. [Unless we want to assassinate him by drone].
    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. [Privacy?!!]
    Article 13.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. [Unless he’s on a secret no-fly list].
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
    Article 14.
    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. [Edward Snowdon].
    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. [Julian Assange].
    Article 15.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
    Article 16.
    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
    Article 17.
    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
    Article 18.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. [Unless you’re Muslim].
    Article 19.
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. [Unless you’re a whistle-blower].
    Article 20.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. [Hahahaha].
    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
    Article 21.
    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. [If you have $100,000,000].
    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. Only people funded by oligarchs may enter our elections.
    Article 22.
    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. [US cops shoot 1,000 unarmed people each year.
    Article 23.
    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Unless you’re poor or black.
    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. [If you can live on $7.25/hour].
    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. [Our trade unions have been deliberately destroyed].
    Article 24.
    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. [Chinese get 3 weeks mandatory vacation. We get none].
    Article 25.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. [Just kidding].
    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. [Ask poor, working mothers about this].
    Article 26.
    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. [We’re stripping our education system while the Chinese are investing in theirs].
    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
    Article 27.
    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
    Article 28.
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. [Unless we want to bomb or assassinate you].
    Article 29.
    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
    Article 30.
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

  3. […] China Change has translated a pseudonymous Weiquanwang article from an “individual […] understood to have strong information about the arrest of rights lawyers and the capture of Bao Zhuoxuan,” criticizing state media’s coverage of the 16-year-old point by point. After arguing that Bao attempted to leave China on his own will, afraid of authorities potentially using him as a hostage, the author asks why Wang Yu and Bao Longjun were allowed to talk to state media when they’ve been kept fr…: […]

  4. Daniel says:

    Media like to arouse hyper attention of people,especially about politics,and in specific the human rights in emerging countries.The mass who care about what is going on around them are tend to be infused because of the relevance between the hot issue and themselves, be it the equity of the story or their own identity with the leading character of the story.In this sense, since those people have witnessed everything about the story, they cannot tell whether the news coverage is true,or which part of story is truth.

    As Lippman put it, “The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance”, between people and their environment (reality). That people construct a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world; therefore, to a degree, everyone’s pseudo-environment is a fiction. Hence, people “live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones”. Human behavior is stimulated by the person’s pseudo-environment and then is acted upon in the real world.

    Simply because the interactive nature flowing in human’s blood, we need to interact with the outside world.However, without the impartial and unbiased input from the source,we cannot decide who to believe in,who is telling the lies.Just as this story,western media criticize harshly towards Chinese government’s actions to right lawyers and arrest of the 16-year-old,while the defendant claimed that the western media have spared no effort to make up rumours to confound the audience,in order to achieve the goal which cannot be clarified to the public.

    Remember,the most vulnerable group,from a professional in media studies is the receivers, not the victim of the story, who has forces to back them up.The ordinary people being perplexed and stimulated ,or agitated, might gather and riot,for the worst part,which is the pathetic story or headline.

  5. Daniel says:

    Whatever news coverage people read from about this issue,the most vulnerable group is not the victim of the story, but the audience.People need to know what is happening around them to keep fresh and dynamic.But the truth is that they gradually have no idea who to believe in, who is telling lies.As Lippman put it,

    “The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance”, between people and their environment (reality). That people construct a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world; therefore, to a degree, everyone’s pseudo-environment is a fiction. Hence, people “live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones”. Human behavior is stimulated by the person’s pseudo-environment and then is acted upon in the real world.

    Back to this story, we heard two contradictory voices from two side, one is from western media, criticizing and speculating the human rights in China,the other is from defendant,who claimed that don’t make up stories to confound the mass.Irrespective of who represents the truth or equity, we should be clear about one thing: who is responsible for the audience?

  6. […] After 16-Year-Old Is Forced to Flee China, State Broadcaster Spins a Mendacious Tale, October 17, 2015. […]

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