China Change

Home » Internet Freedom » Young Columnist Disappeared in Beijing, Believed to be Related to Open Letter to Xi Jinping

Young Columnist Disappeared in Beijing, Believed to be Related to Open Letter to Xi Jinping

China Change, March 16, 2016

 

贾葭At around 8:15 p.m. on March 15, the Chinese columnist Jia Jia (贾葭) disappeared, after going to the Beijing airport in the afternoon for a flight to Hong Kong. The incident is believed to be connected to an open letter to Xi Jinping published on the website www.watching.cn (无界新闻).

Jia Jia told to friends privately that, on March 4 when he learned from a WeChat friend circle about the letter’s appearance on watching.cn, he contacted the Executive Director Ouyang Hongliang (欧阳洪亮), who was a former colleague of his, about it. When the censorship authorities investigated the incident, Ouyang, in response to questioning, said he’d first heard about it from Jia Jia. Soon thereafter, family members of Jia Jia in Shaanxi Province were also questioned by authorities.

Before Jia Jia left for Hong Kong, he told a number of friends that he was afraid that he’d be detained and subject to questioning.

The open letter in question carried the byline “Loyal Communist Party members,” and was titled “Open letter demanding that Comrade Xi Jinping resign from his post as leader of the Party and state.” It appeared at 00:00:00 on March 4 in the “One Belt, One Road” section of the watching.cn site (see photo below). It was on the opening day of the “Two Sessions” — the annual assemblies of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference — in Beijing.

Soon after the letter appeared in watching.cn, an online media outlet funded by the Xinjiang propaganda department (as well as Alibaba and the SEEC Media Group), it went viral online, and the website was shut down. After the website came back online, the article had been deleted.

贾葭_无界新闻

Open letter on watching.cn site, and the source is canyu.org, an overseas Chinese website that reposted content from Mingjing.

The open letter was first published in the overseas Chinese website Canyu.org at 8:47pm Beijing Time on March 3, Canyu editor Mr. Cai Chu told China Change. He said that he received the letter in his private email that day. The same letter was also posted on Mingjing (明镜) website at 8:56 March 4 (we assume that was Beijing Time as well).  

So the timeline of the letter’s publication seems to be as follow (Beijing Time):

20:47, Mar 3 canyu.org/n110479c6.aspx

00:00, Mar 4 watching.cn

08:56, Mar 4 mingjingnews.com/MIB/Blog/blog_

 

The letter (full translation) criticizes Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping for directly seizing authority and policymaking over the economy, the cultural sphere, and foreign relations, and argues that all these areas have regressed since Xi came to power, creating “unprecedented crises.”

Friends told China Change that it’s highly unlikely that Jia Jia wrote the letter or had anything to do at all with its appearance on watching.cn.

 

Jia Jia is a columnist, author, and well-known media personality whose commentaries are published widely. He publishes a regular column in Tencent Online. He is a former editor at Tencent, Hong Kong’s iSun Affairs Weekly, and Initium. Jia Jia currently resides in Hong Kong.

 

—————

Articles by Jia Jia on China Change:

You’ve Got Candles, I’ve Got a Whip, August 16, 2015.

Fury and Angst — The Recent Confrontation between State Media and Social Media in China, February 23, 2014.

 

 

 


18 Comments

  1. […] asking President Xi Jinping to step down lived shortly on Wujie News (watching.cn), a media site funded in part by the Xinjiang propaganda department. China Change has tracked its brief history, also reporting that journalist Jia Jia appears to […]

  2. […] en exil – Canyu (China Free Press) et Mingjing Press. Le site étranger China Change estime que Canyu a été le premier à le faire, suivi par Watching puis Mingjing […]

  3. […] en exil – Canyu (China Free Press) et Mingjing Press. Le site étranger China Change estime que Canyu a été le premier à le faire, suivi par Watching puis Mingjing […]

  4. […] en exil – Canyu (China Free Press) et Mingjing Press. Le site étranger China Change estime que Canyu a été le premier à le faire, suivi par Watching puis Mingjing […]

  5. […] démocratique en exil – Canyu (China Free Press) et Mingjing Press. Le site étranger China Change estime que Canyu a été le premier à le faire, suivi par Watching puis Mingjing news. Tout le […]

  6. […] démocratique en exil – Canyu (China Free Press) et Mingjing Press. Le site étranger China Change estime que Canyu a été le premier à le faire, suivi par Watching puis Mingjing news. Tout le […]

  7. […] scorsa il noto giornalista cinese Jia Jia (oltre 80 mila follower su Twitter) è misteriosamente scomparso nell’aeroporto della capitale mentre prendeva un volo per Hong Kong. La vicenda sembra essere […]

  8. […] step of calling out the censors not once, but twice (incurring, of course, more censorship); and a Chinese journalist vanished on his way to Hong Kong. The journalist’s arrest is believed to be linked with an odd open […]

  9. […] Hongliang, editor in chief of Wujie. People with knowledge of the situation have said that Mr. Jia called Mr. Ouyang to ask him to take the letter off Wujie after he noticed it circulating online. Mr. Ouyang is one […]

  10. […] Hongliang, editor in chief of Wujie. People with knowledge of the situation have said that Mr. Jia called Mr. Ouyang to ask him to take the letter off Wujie after he noticed it circulating online. Mr. Ouyang is one […]

  11. […] Hongliang, editor in chief of Wujie. People with knowledge of the situation have said that Mr. Jia called Mr. Ouyang to ask him to take the letter off Wujie after he noticed it circulating online. Mr. Ouyang is one […]

  12. […] Hongliang, editor in chief of Wujie. People with knowledge of the situation have said Mr. Jia called Mr. Ouyang to ask him to take the letter off Wujie after he noticed it circulating online. Mr. Ouyang is one […]

  13. […] Since the reposting of the open letter on a state-controlled website, about 20 Chinese citizens have been disappeared. […]

  14. […] Young Columnist Disappeared in Beijing, Believed to be Related to Open Letter to Xi Jinping, March 16, 2016. […]

  15. […] Since the reposting of the open letter on a state-controlled website, about 20 Chinese citizens have been disappeared. […]

  16. […] Young Columnist Disappeared in Beijing, “Unable to Bear the Party Surname,” Editor Resigns Families of Dissidents Threatened Over Open Letter Xi Resignation Letter: 20 Detained, Site Faces Closure China Said to Be Holding Journalist Over Xi Letter Sensitive Words: Closing Down an Open Letter Do You Speak for the Party or the People? Growing Resistance Challenges Political Controls China’s Censors Denounced in Online Attack National Security: a “Distinctly Chinese Approach” […]

  17. […] Hongliang, editor in chief of Wujie. People with knowledge of the situation have said Mr. Jia called Mr. Ouyang to ask him to take the letter off Wujie after he noticed it circulating online. Mr. Ouyang is one […]

  18. […] scorsa il noto giornalista cinese Jia Jia (oltre 80 mila follower su Twitter) è misteriosamente scomparso nell’aeroporto della capitale mentre prendeva un volo per Hong Kong. La vicenda sembra essere […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,979 other followers