Horrible

I try  to present a nuanced picture of my host country. I try to highlight its successes and also the built-in prejudices China often faces, especially over emotional and complex issues like Tibet. I try to distinguish between different parts of the Chinese government, to make it clear I know the government (like most governments) is not categorically evil, that many bureaucrats are doing the best they can to improve a country that faces daunting problems. I try to point out the economic impact of China’s rise and the extraordinary success of Hu Jintao’s ruthless, pragmatic and daring foreign policy strategy, how he has managed to re-stack the deck, and not the way America would like.

So the reason for the boring and somewhat defensive preamble is that I just came across one of those sickening stories that brings back all the animosity I felt for the CCP back in 2002-3. I know this is almost certainly the fault of local officials in Guizhou and not the central party in Beijing. And it’s one of those agonizing stories that we keep hoping will stop appearing as local leaders realize they can no longer contain and keep secret their malfeasances. And still, the stories appear.

The cause for hope: at least we are reading about it and it has made the world headlines thanks to the Internet. The cause for anxiety is that these things are often hushed up and forgotten.

And I know, we killed American Indians and kept slaves in the US, and we supported eugenics and gave rise to the Ku Klux Klan. And I know China’s a great country and has a lot to deal with. But when any country allows what appear to be acts of barbarism like this to take place, the story has to be told.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 86 Comments

Don’t be sensationalist. We don’t know all the facts about this incident, we don’t know exactly what happened, and Xinhua news agency already gave a preliminary account of the incident. Therefore it is very harmful and not conducive to getting the facts straight, if we start making hasty judgment and rushing to conclusions. I think at this point, all reports other than the official and first hand account is not reliable, please show restraint.

June 29, 2008 @ 11:09 pm | Comment

I don’t think the PRC government (or any gov these days…) has a track record for “official accounts” that one can reasonably trust.

June 29, 2008 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

but I too would urge my fellow Westerners to show restraint. Please refrain from rioting, asserting mob rule, even in countries other than our own, boycotting Chinese business, and villifying those who question the mass narrative and harass their relatives into hiding.
I mean if the Chinese could resist doing so, we can too!

June 29, 2008 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

I haven’t read the article yet, but

“The cause for hope: at least we are reading about it and it has made the world headlines thanks to the Internet. The cause for anxiety is that these things are often hushed up and forgotten.”

I owe you MUCH appreciation (- :

June 29, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Comment

@ Janus: LoL, nice.

@ HongXing: You’re right, but hey, at least Richard lauded great Chinese triumps and rehashed a bunch of evil American ills for you. I mean, that’s balanced and fair, right? If thousands of Chinese can make hasty judgments, rush to conclusions, and riot over it, can’t Richard? Or is it forbidden just because he’s not Chinese and he should keep his nose out of “the internal affairs of Chinese people?”

Hey, who knows, maybe all these people are indeed wrong about this issue. Most educated people know the fallacy of declaring something to be true simply because others believe it to be. But we’re still missing the forest for the trees. Why the suspicion? Is it because there’s an overwhelming distrust of how governments and organized power handles such matters? The terrible reputation must count for something, right? It must imply that there’s a persistent problem, right? And if so, why not lament it? Seriously, why not? We all spend our time lamenting the possible horrors of Pax Americana, why not the possible horrors of government cover-ups at the expense of ordinary people?

Richard doesn’t want to see such news because he doesn’t want this stuff to happen anymore. Don’t you wish for the same things? Why can’t we unite in such circumstances to say “if this is true, that’s awful” instead of donning our colored-lenses and perceiving any foreign commentary as “oh no, another foreign devil passing judgment on us.” Can’t we, for once, set aside our nationalistic egos and say “wrong is wrong?” Can’t we do it for a dead school girl? For an uncle who was beaten to death by the police for demanding justice?

Seriously, maybe the girl did commit suicide, but did the uncle really need to have been beaten…to death? Put the pieces together, and damn, say something introspective just for the sake of being against police brutality if not possible corruption of power.

June 29, 2008 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

Just goes to show what a primitive and dirty nation China is.

June 30, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Comment

Richard you do a good job in trying to present both sides of the story. It’s difficult to remain optimistic in many difficult circumstances. If you ever think you have lost all/most faith in the authorities then I would shift your hope towards NGOs, honest lawyers and ordinary citizens.

And it’s one of those agonizing stories that we keep hoping will stop appearing as local leaders realize they can no longer contain and keep secret their malfeasances.

As with all these incidents it isn’t about people hearing about it. It’s about whether those above them punish them severely enough. If officials decide that they’ve got more chance of being hit by a car when crossing the road than being punished for acting like regional emperors then they will do as they please.

I fear that these events will only stop when all corruption is dealt with harshly. But then, as one Chinese friend once told me, that mght mean purging 40%+ of China’s officials – which would create a political crisis for China. One party rule means that people can get away with a lot if they know enough others act just as they do. They can’t all be rooted out, so the only problem is being made an example of. That breeds complacency and arrogance – then this sort of stuff happens.

at least we are reading about it and it has made the world headlines thanks to the Internet

To be fair, it is more important that Chinese people hear about it – they’re the ones best able to change their own country. If every person outside of China hears about this it won’t make a jot of difference if reporting in China is restricted and relatively few Chinese hear all the details.

@Kai

You’re trying to reason with an unreasonable person. You are not the first person to try to get Hong to not react on auto-pilot. Sadly he seems to think he is some sort of “super-hero” whose duty it is to attack criticism of China/its government/ruling party – don’t waste your time on him.

June 30, 2008 @ 1:03 am | Comment

“And I know China’s a great country and has a lot to deal with.”

Sad that you feel the need to contribute this tired, worn-out palliative. If, just for the sake of argument, we define great nations as those that successfully export their values, then China WAS once a great nation. Sadly, however, China is no longer great. Confucius and the four great inventions were so very long ago. Will China be great again? Who knows. I’m not holding my breath.

June 30, 2008 @ 1:12 am | Comment

Very sad set of facts. Thanks for posting this and spreading awareness though.

June 30, 2008 @ 2:26 am | Comment

Kebab Boy,

Your comment is not only nasty and totally wrong, it’s also very stupid. This is not about a nation or a society being primitive and dirty (that’s what we could say about your language), it’s about a system being so corrupt that it protects evil-doers, if they happen to have the right connections, tries to cover up their deeds and kills those who seek justice. Your broken-record-routine won’t help to change that system, it’ll just deliver new ammunition to all those CCP shills who accuse us of being anti-Chinese every time we dare to talk about cases like this.

June 30, 2008 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Lol @ HongXing and Janus. For different reasons though.

June 30, 2008 @ 4:12 am | Comment

@moor
“This is not about a nation or a society being primitive and dirty (that’s what we could say about your language), it’s about a system being so corrupt that it protects evil-doers,”

Agree.

No accountability, to transparency, and normal people end paying for it. It is not a dirty country or people, is the dirt inside the system.

More than inefficient use of resources and pollution, is the moral corruption which is allowed within that system. And those who dear to rise the voice asking for justice are slammed down or jailed. How ironic, their best people are persecuted. I wonder what would happen to Mencius or Confucius if he lived today. Would we hear about the Confucius/Mencius clicke?

There is no “harmony” there, but the seeds of destruction.

It is not enough to cut some heads to correct it, just to put a show I fear, the system itself need still major upgrades… but anyone there with intelligence knows that.

June 30, 2008 @ 4:17 am | Comment

This is a terrible incident, sparked by a shocking series of events. But Richard, you are right to point out that this is the result of local authorities, not the Central Government. It’s worth keeping in mind two things:

(1). Most corruption and human rights violations in China take place at the local level, especially in the poorer regions, as pointed out by Manfred Nowak in his report for the UN – see the “Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments” – which notes too, that the human rights situation in China is generally improving,

and

(2) that China, while being the world’s fastest growing economy over the past two decades, with per capita incomes rising threefold, has created serious and growing inequalities that have left Guizhou Province (where this incident took place) ranking alongside Namibia (ranked 125 on the index) whereas Shanghai is more comparable to Portugal (which ranks 25 on the index). There is of course a link between human rights and economic development.

I point these things out NOT to excuse what has happened, but so that these terrible events can be placed more easily into a wider context.

June 30, 2008 @ 5:35 am | Comment

“I wonder what would happen to Mencius or Confucius if he lived today.”

They would probably be sent to some laogai camp in Qinghai for “endangering state security.”

June 30, 2008 @ 5:42 am | Comment

The investigation is still ongoing, we don’t know all the details of this incident. Until we do, isn’t it not appropriate to be prudent and not rush to conclusions, that is the first rule in investigative journalism, right?

If the investigation reveals that the local officials were indeed in the wrong, then I have no doubt that actions will be taken and it’ll be swift and severe. China today is promoting a law-based society, and any acts of corruption and abuse of power will be dealt with in accordance with Chinese laws. Rest assured, if those local officials were found to be in the wrong, they will not escape, and the victims will be compensated properly. This is the guarantee of the central Government, of the Hu-Wen administration.

The most important thing, I believe, is to trust the central government, trust the authorities, and be united, and not spread false rumors and create sensationalism, and feed the desires of certain interest groups in the West that have an agenda.

June 30, 2008 @ 5:42 am | Comment

Kebab Boy,

Your comment is not only nasty and totally wrong, it’s also very stupid. This is not about a nation or a society being primitive and dirty (that’s what we could say about your language), it’s about a system being so corrupt that it protects evil-doers, if they happen to have the right connections, tries to cover up their deeds and kills those who seek justice. Your broken-record-routine won’t help to change that system, it’ll just deliver new ammunition to all those CCP shills who accuse us of being anti-Chinese every time we dare to talk about cases like this.

But Mor, that Kebab man is a treasured contributor to this blog, a star writer. Everything he writes is protected, and he must never be criticized. Before of those things you wrote, because then you are engaging in personal attacks. I’m sure very soon someone will come out and say that Kebab boy said nothing wrong.

June 30, 2008 @ 5:47 am | Comment

What mor said at #10.

eco, I guess they’d be placed under indefinite house arrest (without charge) or sent for “re-education” for spreading “dangerous” thoughts. They’re far from perfect, but some of what they said was rather poignant. If someone popped up with the start of a following, preaching good governance as they did it would probably scare the CCP shitless.

One of my favourites:

When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are something to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honours are something to be ashamed of.

Confucius

June 30, 2008 @ 5:54 am | Comment

@HoangXing
“The most important thing, I believe, is to trust the central government, trust the authorities, and be united, and not spread false rumors and create sensationalism, and feed the desires of certain interest groups in the West that have an agenda.”

Whatever agenda anyone may have for CH, that is irrelevant here, and must not be used as an excuse to refrain people from their outrage.

Authorities must earn the trust of the people, not the other way around.

Usually these explosions or rage are not the result of one incident, but of many until one more is one too many.
Better to deal with them in time an in the right way rather than swept them under the carpet.
Rule of law and not rule by law.

Such things happen not only in CH. Have seen some incidents here too, but maybe not so extreme.

June 30, 2008 @ 6:09 am | Comment

It’s droll to see HongXing urging us all to be prudent and wait, considering how he rushed to smear Sun Zhigang a few years ago (if anyone doesn’t know the story send me an email). Anyway, I didn’t rush to any judgement except to say a situation in Guizhou was horrible and an example of the potential for evil of local governments. I left it undefined so readers could draw their own conclusions. We don’t know the entire story of the the young girl who is dead. I do know it’s horrible when someone complains to the government and is beaten to death. If she was indeed raped and murdered, then that adds a whole new dimension to the horribleness. But the death of her uncle alone makes this a horror, and I understand why those good Chinese people have taken to the streets. I am with them.

June 30, 2008 @ 7:00 am | Comment

Conditions are not so extreme here anyway (not so long time ago, maybe yes)

June 30, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Comment

It’s surprising that the central government doesn’t jump on this faster. Even after Hu’s speech about upgrading the media to modern standards, they still react too slow, which may cause some unnecessary anger. This would be a excellent test case for the new media plan. Anything that they report wouldn’t cause as bad as an effect as the rumors and speculations that have been going around from the lack of info. This is only the local government. I don’t think this kind of news would actually embarrass the central government if they reacted fast enough. I think everyone in Beijing want to fight corruption.

Also, did the girl’s uncle of really die? I just saw a Hong Kong news report which was broadcasted on 6/29 which interviewed him. He seems fine there. Maybe it’s a rumor?

June 30, 2008 @ 8:09 am | Comment

What silly people you are.

China is a one-party police state.

There is no freedom.

The Party and leaders have absolute power.

Guizhou is Beijinng is Shanghai is CHINA!

How Chinese treat Chinese is China’s concern.

Get with the program, useful idiots!

June 30, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Comment

Red Star, I have banned kebab boy in the past and deleted sveral of his comments. I’ve never done that to you, though I’ve been tempted. So that remark about his being “protected” is, like all else that oozes from your myriad orifices, horseshit.

Kai, thanks for the excellent comment above. Kebab boy, your slander of China is reprehensible. Mor, thanks for calling him out.. .

June 30, 2008 @ 9:19 am | Comment

Like it or not, it is true.

June 30, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Comment

Will the water sink the boat?

http://www.danwei.org/books/will_the_boat_sink_the_water_a.php

read the translation. thought this covers somme incidents similar to the problem of the son of the vice head of Wengan county.

Last fall my chinese teacher (from the mainland) shared the story that a teenage relative had been kidnapped off the street to be sold as a wife in another province to someone willing to pay for a wife because the one child policy had resulted in females being aborted to produce a son resulting in more marriage age men than women in some provinces.

the girl was recovered mostly because many of her relatives were professionals in media, in government etc so that she had connections yǒu guānxi 有关系. the police did not really want to get involved but were pressured.

my teacher’s relative said there was another girl also kidnapped to become a wife, but she was left with the kidnappers beacause she had no connections méiyǒu guānxi 没有关系. the police had no intention of pursuing the other case and expending any political capital to save the peasant girl. they may have been aware of the kidnap gang and paid to look the other way.

once my teacher’s relative was saved no investigation or charges were filed.

June 30, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Comment

the central government still is weak when it comes to enforcing basic laws consistently in the provinces and at the local level. they hesitate to get involved unless it threatens CCP control.

will the water sink the boat? deals with many cases were the central government was attempting to reduce the tax burden on peasants at the local level and the local leaders ignored this and continued to collect taxes or squeeze the villagers for more money with many uprisings and backlash.

June 30, 2008 @ 9:38 am | Comment

@ Raj:

You’re right. While I read Peking Duck regularly, I almost never dive into the mountain of comments unless I’m one of the first few. As such, I haven’t lurked enough to know that HongXing might just be a troll.

@ Hong:

You’re witnessing a moment in history where China’s influence on the rest of the world is once again reaching great (or frightening) levels. Could it be derailed? Sure, but its really hard to dismiss how far China has come in the past decade. Credit where credit is due, when its due.

June 30, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Kai, I try to avoid the comments as much as I can, too.

June 30, 2008 @ 10:58 am | Comment

But the death of her uncle alone makes this a horror, and I understand why those good Chinese people have taken to the streets. I am with them.

I’m waiting for the central government to step in and demonize the rioters as instruments of that well known terrorist His Holiness.

Our instincts tell us that if that was our own daughter, sister, friend, niece, uncle, brother, or teacher, we would react in the same way: if the ‘law’ is deliberately and brutally obstructing justice, people have a tendency to get cranky – especially when the alleged crime is the rape and murder of a young girl.

In such cases as these (and there are very many), sympathy is almost exclusively with the disgruntled group seeking justice. This is true even when their anger expresses itself in a violent manner that includes damage to property. This sense of solidarity is in part founded on the principle that mobs of 10 000 don’t gather in protest for no reason.

Unless, that is, a centrally orchestrated campaign of propaganda and disinformation tells you that the mob are an ungrateful, savage people who don’t know when they’re well off. When this happened in Lhasa, as the culmination of decades of such horrific injustices, the CCP effectively erased the reasons behind the rioters’ anger from the discussion.

I trust that on this occasion the boys in Beijing will realise that they should stand with the people who have suffered injustice and expose and punish local officials for their crimes. More likely they’ll publish a picture of a monk in the midst of the crowd and blame it all on the ‘Dalai clique’.

June 30, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

Stuart, I basically agree until your last paragraph, where you show your own bias (even if you were joking). Looking at how the CCP has dealt with corruption in recent years I have never seen them try to blame it on the Dalai Lama or his “clique.” With the sickening murder of Sun Zhigang, for example, they took severe action against the perpetrators (who were executed) and made a big deal out of it. They use these high profile cases to get across their anti-corruption message. However, even if they are completely sincere about this, they refuse to come to terms with the simple truth that their one-party system, based entirely on a network of loyal apparatchiks willing to deceive the people, by its very nature is conducive to corruption. They can’t have it both ways. Unless they implement real checks and balances, they are inviting horror stories like this to happen. But if they implemented such a system, they’d be tying their own noose around their necks.

June 30, 2008 @ 2:02 pm | Comment

[...] A bunch of comments over at the Peking Duck [...]

June 30, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Pingback

I guess I’m a little cynical, but I don’t think most of the people who have taken to the streets were doing it because of some sense of justice. We all like to think that mass movements are united for some cause, whether its demanding for justice or calling for a Carrefour boycott, but other than the core group of people who were impacted by the death of that girl and some people who were touched enough by the story to act on it, I have to say that most people who are involved are just there to watch (maybe shout some slogans or turn over a few cars) and take pictures.

With that said, it doesn’t really matter what the masses are thinking or feeling while their joining the protest. In the end, the violence and damage of property was great enough to catch the attention of the Chinese public and people world wide. This attention will force the central government to act. Whether or not justice will be found at the end is unknown, but at least the eyes of the public will be scrutinizing the investigation and results.

June 30, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

@richard
“Unless they implement real checks and balances, they are inviting horror stories like this to happen. But if they implemented such a system, they’d be tying their own noose around their necks.”

That is the CCP….. and CH dilemma.

I think, that deep in themselves, they know it. What they will decide, can or are forced by circumstances to do, that will be interesting to see.

June 30, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

Such things as a town turning angry against injustice of evil officials and taking justice in their hands when it was denied to them, has found its way into our literature and popular culture
There is a say here “Fuente Ovejuna todos a una” (Fuente Ovejuna, everybody do it together”

“Fuente Ovejuna is a play by the Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega. First published in Madrid in 1619 as part of Docena Parte de las Comedias de Lope de Vega (Volume 12 of the Collected plays of Lope de Vega),[1] the play is believed to have been written between 1612 and 1614.[2] The play is based upon an actual historical incident that took place in the village of Fuente Ovejuna in Castile in 1476.[3] While under the command of the Order of Calatrava, a commander, Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, mistreated the villagers, who banded together and killed him. When a magistrate sent by King Ferdinand II of Aragon arrived at the village to investigate, the villagers, even under the pain of torture, responded only by saying “Fuente Ovejuna did it.”

Yes we used to have corrupt officials here too. Some still remains, but they concentrate mainly with corruption in the housing construction business…. ;-)

June 30, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

If the CCP is not categorically evil, then why does it keep on dragging its feet in instituting reforms which will make such cases of exploiation of the people impossible for the a**holes, say by giving more power to the people so they can deal with the miscreants themselves?

As I see it, the CCP wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to root out things like corruption, bean-curd-dregs public facilities and the like, but at the same time wants to keep ALL the power in its hands. Sorry mate, that’s not the way things work — unless dear Mr Hu Jintao can magically create thousands of clones of himself, like Monkey did all the time in JOURNEY TO THE WEST, and situate each of these clones in every single Chinese province where he can then keep a close eye on the local officials and party cadres at all times.

Maybe the CCP is not categorically evil, but I honestly think it must be categorically stupid. Or categorically unwilling to relinquish its absolute hold on power. Or both.

June 30, 2008 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

[...] over the death of a teenage girl and her uncle.  AFP has the details and Richard at TPD offers his thoughts and a space for discussion by the usual suspects inhabiting his duck [...]

June 30, 2008 @ 3:15 pm | Pingback

KT, the problem is, there is more than one “CCP.” Just as there is more than one “US government.” We can point to splendid things done in the name of both governments, and god-awful things as well. (This is equally true for a lot of corporations, total schizophrenia.) The government is not monolithic, especially when you look at central vs. local control. And when you look at China historically, the government is basically doing what it’s always done. Nothing shockingly new.

A more appropriate word for the CCP than evil might be darwinistic (if there is such a word). It does what it feels it has to do to survive and keep its power. I think they could do this with a lot more finesse (I am constantly asking why they do things contrary to their own self-interest), but they never ask for my advice.

June 30, 2008 @ 4:03 pm | Comment

Stuart, Richard:

Unfortunately, it appears that the Central gov’t is using the riots as an excuse for more crackdowns on what limited freedoms the Chinese people have to express their grievances, once again using the Olympics as the excuse. See the following piece:

‘China announces Olympics stability drive after riot’

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080630/wl_nm/olympics_unrest_dc_1

So much for standing with the people.

One World, One Dream, let the Games begin, no matter how heavy handed we will be!

June 30, 2008 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

Richard, I’m definitely biased against the notion that a ‘Dalai clique’ is operating as a terrorist cell hell bent on bringing chaos to the Olympics (or anything else). And anyone who has traveled a bit and been exposed to more than one idea must see this as demonisation pure and simple.

That said, I was interrupted in my flow and lost my way in the last ‘graph – had something to do with different public perceptions of angry mobs and injustices.

bigdog – that sounds like local officials have been given carte blanche to put down demonstrations of any kind, anywhere, any time: Good news day for the perpetrators of injustice.

June 30, 2008 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

Interesting article by William Kristol in the NYT about Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “The fate of equality, also depends on those who see further than, and act first on behalf of, their fellow citizens.” I think this pretty much sums up my feelings on why China’s proclivity towards anonymous protest/criticism is ultimately ineffective.

As it relates to the topic of this post. I ask the question: Who will stand up for these people? You will see a bunch of netizens condemning the local government anonymously in chat rooms, but whose “sense of honor” will lead them to put their name on the line for their “fellow citizen”? The answer of course is nobody because they would be incarcerated or worse for doing so. People will hide behind the cover of their avatars and complain, and in the end let the government handle the case in its own interest. The families will be paid off to keep quiet, and the local official might be ousted for the cover-up (not that their aren’t a hundred or so of his buddies that can find him suitable work in the private sector).

Chunzhu is absolutely right when he/she says “I don’t think most of the people who have taken to the streets were doing it because of some sense of justice. We all like to think that mass movements are united for some cause, whether its demanding for justice or calling for a Carrefour boycott, but other than the core group of people who were impacted by the death of that girl and some people who were touched enough by the story to act on it, I have to say that most people who are involved are just there to watch (maybe shout some slogans or turn over a few cars) and take pictures.”

If you’ve lived here you’ve inevitably seen a street scene of some sort and how even an ordinary traffic accident can attract the attention of a group of gawkers. The rioters could have been people already pissed off at the local authorities for some other reason, and decided to use the opportunity to lash out. I would love to say that the gathering was representative of support for the family and calls for justice, but I highly doubt it. Even if it was, will you see a protracted engagement? No. People will give up, and those that try to stick it out will eventually be “convinced” that they are in err. The CCP has proven time and time again that they are experts in splitting up such protests.

The only way protests can be effective is if they are organized and they draw the participation of people from all walks of life and more than one area of the country. Look at the civil rights movement, the media successfully got people from all over the country interested in what was going on in the South, and it worked (for the most part). Perhaps the Internet has the same potential in China. Maybe it can get people in Shanghai to care about people in Guizhou, but so far, I have yet to see it done when it comes to domestic issues. My feeling is that this is due on the one hand to fear of government retaliation and on the other hand because the Internet is both a private and public medium. When we post we feel like we are making a public statement and a personal contribution, but when done anonymously, what does this contribution ultimately amount to? When you don’t know where an opinion is coming from, it is much easier to cast doubt on its worth.

June 30, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | Comment

“Unless they implement real checks and balances, they are inviting horror stories like this to happen. But if they implemented such a system, they’d be tying their own noose around their necks.”
————————-
“I think, that deep in themselves, they know it. What they will decide, can or are forced by circumstances to do, that will be interesting to see.”

I really don’t see it as deep within themselves, they know it more than anything in their lives. In their party meetings they are always focusing on the party’s stability and sooo hung up on various forces that do not approve of the party. They’re darned if they open and darned if they close because they are darned guilty to a very extreme degree (which I would say the majority of people are still not aware of due to the party’s all out efforts to drag out their existence through controls on information).

“Maybe the CCP is not categorically evil, but I honestly think it must be categorically stupid. Or categorically unwilling to relinquish its absolute hold on power. Or both.”

Up till recently it has been able to safeguard it’s precious impunity by making people stupid, lying and using economic and political leverage.

Evil, stupid and greedy, there’s no doubt in my mind, I have seen what they do, and I would really question whoever said that the special rapporteur on torture has sighted improving conditions… I’ll have to read up on that. What I recall him saying was that 66% of torture victims were Falun Gong, and that his investigation was almost totally obstructed by the CCP. I’ll have to check it again.

June 30, 2008 @ 11:16 pm | Comment

Mor said that he is waiting for the CCP to scapegoat the “Dalai Clique” with regards to this call for justice protest.

I don’t see how they can use their old Dalai Clique move, but the point is, they will indefinitely have to use their old tricks to make sure that people do not understand whats going on. They will have to come up with some fairy tale in order to set the masses against some people that the CCP is afraid of and somehow make the people closer to the CCP through the event… Now how will they do it? Well it’s a tough one, very tough, maybe they will have to say they made a mistake and cut a few heads. I find as long as they safeguard the mechanism (the mob organization that allows the party to feed off the people) they dont mind to cut some CCP heads, as long as most powerful and rich are protected, thats what matters to that organization. So gross.

June 30, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

@Jason Lee

I agree and I might add that this kind of corruption doesn’t only happen here. Recently in NYC there was an incident with Sean Bell being killed by Cops and the Cops are not found guilty. This sparked outrage but I would suggest to let justice would run its course.

June 30, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

“Recently in NYC there was an incident with Sean Bell being killed by Cops and the Cops are not found guilty.”

And the next day the FBI opened investigations of the NYPD, the judge and even the jury selection process.

July 1, 2008 @ 12:54 am | Comment

@nanheyangrouchuan

Exactly, hopefully the CCP government will evaluate this matter and make the lower government to re-evaluate this issue.

July 1, 2008 @ 1:55 am | Comment

@ Pete

Exactly, hopefully the CCP government will evaluate this matter and make the lower government to re-evaluate this issue.

If the local government re-evaluates the issue and decides it shouldn’t have done/should not now do anything differently, then what? One problem in China that crops up in different areas is a higher authority directing a lower authority to look at a decision again. But if nothing upon “re-consideration” the lower authority decides to carry on as it has done, the higher authority often says “well we’ve done our bit – case closed!”

More importantly, what is the central government going to do to try to ensure this doesn’t happen again? It is very good at sometimes making a fuss about things after the event. Yet I am not sure it is so willing to take the painful decisions that are necessary to reform the system and in doing so reduce the chances of further human rights violations.

July 1, 2008 @ 2:48 am | Comment

The “Southern China Tiger” incident should serve as a great example of how, one of these days, sooner or later, somehow, somewhere, the official truth will come out. All we need is patience. However, if only very few people voiced up when the glorious Tiger incident broke, what do you think will happen ? Will the government investigate and punish the truly guilty, or just throw those few “dissidents” in jail and we can all forget about it.

By the way, just like many events before, we should be rush to lay blame. We must wait till all is quiet and nicely resolved to the government’s comfort, and by that time, we can say “It is a long time ago. Now China has changed a lot and there were a lot of improvement. We should focus on the positive and not bring up any bad feelings.”

July 1, 2008 @ 4:06 am | Comment

“Yes we used to have corrupt officials here too. Some still remains, but they concentrate mainly with corruption in the housing construction business….”

Great. This provided all the justification and rationale for all Chinese officials to be corrupt in everything. All they have to do is to quote this and say “They do it there too!”.

July 1, 2008 @ 4:11 am | Comment

@bill

Calm down Bill. That was not the intention. Rather to show CH blog colleagues that here (my own country) we also have problems.

But that is not a justification to do the same!

July 1, 2008 @ 4:47 am | Comment

Bottom line is:

There is an organization called CCP (Chinese Communist Pigs) that claims that they are the only ones who can uphold harmony, security and stability in China, but they are not even able to protect the people against their own (the CCP’s) goons and thugs. What a great government that is! And in August, these pigs expect all of us (people around the world) to jubilate and join in the refrain “One World, One Dream”. Once more: Modern China is a joke, and it’s a very bad joke, especially for those people who have to live under this rotten system for the rest of their lives.

July 1, 2008 @ 9:08 am | Comment

Photos.

July 1, 2008 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

Mor, I think you’re being harsh. Some in the party are pigs, and many people here live rotten lives (not that unusual in this inhumane and brutal world). Most people here still seem to love their government and compare where they are today to where there were under Mao. Through our Western lens this can seem bizarre. Yet that’s the way it is.

About Modern China being “a joke.” I think some of it is, having seen how some domestic companies are “managed” in the old SOE tradition where sloth, waste and inefficiency are cherished. But…but… I’ve also seen some companies being managed in line with six sigma principles under ISO9001 standards and doing an amazingly good job, albeit usually with the help of foreign managers. But these black/white scenarios – they are almost always misleading. Nothing is ever so black and white.

No matter how much there is to complain about, 400 million or so were lifted from poverty since the Mao days. Not that the CCP deserves the credit for this, but it did happen “under their watch” and it’s not really so surprising that the government enjoys a high degree of support. No matter how rotten we say it is, as long as this support is so strong, the party is here to stay.

July 1, 2008 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

@richard
“Some in the party are pigs,”

And some of course not.

You can even find a “righteous among gentile” in an ex member of the Nazi party!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Righteous_Among_the_Nations

Sometimes there is no option for some people to join the party, for one reason or another.
That is intentional in such political systems.

But Joining the party, in such circumstances, does not make you automatically evil. Others things make you evil…

July 2, 2008 @ 12:24 am | Comment

“No matter how much there is to complain about, 400 million or so were lifted from poverty since the Mao days. Not that the CCP deserves the credit for this, but it did happen “under their watch” and it’s not really so surprising that the government enjoys a high degree of support.”

And 800 million were pushed into much deeper poverty. Well done!

July 2, 2008 @ 3:32 am | Comment

I don’t think the CCP wants to link the general corruption problems in china with the Dalai Lama or “clique”.

They do not want to run the risk that people will see through that tactic and realize that it is possible the riots in Tibet and incident in Weng’an have similar root causes.

They do not want these protests to become linked in the minds of the Renmin as being performed by people dissatisfied with failings and corruption of the government.

July 2, 2008 @ 4:02 am | Comment

The rule of law does not exist in China. Enforcement is arbitrary and left in the hands of corrupt, ignorant, untrained cadres or their lackeys. The lack of accountability to the governed by those that hold power is the crux of the matter. Defending the sad conditions of Chinese society and lawlessness under the guise of patriotism is lame. You need to have something to be proud of before you assert your pride. Building skyscrapers and manufacturing all of the world’s junk are not great accomplishments. Feeding, educating and providing health care to your own people in a free and open society are how a nation’s success should be judged. By those standards, China is a dismal failure and the US is mediocre at best.

July 2, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

i’m a Chinese.and i’m so sad to here your words.but some of them is true.i like my country,but it need two most important things ,fair and freedom.

July 2, 2008 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

Thanks for the comment Edison.

July 3, 2008 @ 12:24 am | Comment

There is already an indisputable fact that contradicts the original story: the dead girl’s uncle is not dead.

Initially when I read this blog entry, I had the almost same reaction as that of Richard. As things unfold, I just don’t know which side to believe.

July 3, 2008 @ 5:38 am | Comment

I’ve ben locked at work the past two days and haven’t been able to follow the story. If he turns out to be alive it obviously changes the entire story. It also says something about having a censored media where the lack of verifiable information creates rampant rumors that can lead to violence, something we see too often.

July 3, 2008 @ 8:27 am | Comment

It also says something about having a censored media where the lack of verifiable information creates rampant rumors that can lead to violence, something we see too often.

I agree. The Chinese official media sucks.

However, what does this say about AFP? Shouldn’t AFP use only verifiable information in their reports? Did they jump the gun? I mean, Again? Foreign reporters were not banned from reporting in Guizhou, why didn’t they go there and check the facts?

This says a lot about the Western media’s China reports. Based on my observation, about 60% of what they write is based on pure rumors and speculations. Reuters is the lesser of the three “evils.” AFP is the worst, just like their president. What’s wrong with the French these days?

The girl was not raped either. Her uncle is still alive, he was attacked. As to who attacked him, it’s still unclear, this is the key to the whole thing.

It turns out that HongXing is the most cool-headed person in this whole thread.

July 3, 2008 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Let’s see how AFP reported this:

The riots occurred Saturday in Guizhou province when protesters ransacked three government and police buildings after the girl’s uncle died from an alleged beating by police trying to stop him from protesting against the handling of the case, locals and Internet postings said.

The official Xinhua news agency said the riots had erupted due to “dissatisfaction” over the investigation into the girl’s death, but added no further details.

Pictures posted on Internet blogs showed several thousand people gathered in front of the Wengan county police station, its windows shattered and the building smouldering.
The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said that over 10,000 people took to the streets in the protests, with up to 150 people injured in clashes with police.

The reporters scrupulously state all their sources and add that they are alleged. The article is transparent and fair. (How often do the CCP mouthpiece publications say glorious stories about the government and awful news about the Dalai Lama et. al. are “alleged”? Let me help with the answer: Never.) Did you see further down, where they said local officials wouldn’t answer their calls? Don’t blame the AFP if this article doesn’t tell the government’s side of the story.

AC, this is a great example of how you work: Instantly find a way to reverse the situation and put blame on the Western devils, never China (although it was nice of you to throw in the first line about how you agree Chinese media suck BUT…and then your usual script). You and Hong Xing deserve one another.

July 3, 2008 @ 10:37 am | Comment

I suspect many, many Chinese (including most of the CCP) would be terrified of the Blue Fairy. (You know, the fairy who turned Pinocchio into a real boy.) If you lied in front of her, your nose would grow longer and longer. I think if she ever visited China, the aggregate length of Chinese noses resulting from her lie-revealing magic would suffice to circumnavigate our solar system several times over.

Looking forward to the day when enough Chinese people would finally decide that the predicament faced by them (courtesy of the CCP of course) is so awful they’ve got nothing to lose, whereupon they’d stage another major people’s revolution, led by a hero who would be the answer to Andy Raynor’s post (#40 above). Of course, it would be possible that Western governments, fearing the consequences for their own economies, would decide that this wouldn’t do and therefore help the CCP to put the revolution down. Then we’d suddenly realise that the West is in fact perfectly on a par with China! :D

Alternatively, the revolution migh push through, albeit at the cost of turning the Yellow River into a Red River, if you get what I mean. Then it would appear as if a new hope has finally dawned on China… until a couple generations later, when the new ruling powers will turn out yet again to be as rotten as the CCP. And so on ad nauseum.

Enough fantasising for one day.

July 3, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Comment

Please tell me, which of the following can be considered credible source?

“locals and Internet postings”, “Pictures posted on Internet blogs”, “The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy”, “Locals contacted by AFP by phone”, “locals said”, “one local who refused to name herself”.

They sure found a lot of sources to support the allegation, didn’t they?

When people read such report, they usually take these big news agencies’ word for it. And the result? Just read the comments in this thread, can you honestly tell me these commenters didn’t believe the allegation? And please read your original post, can you honestly tell me you didn’t believe the allegation?

I know this is almost certainly the fault of local officials in Guizhou and not the central party in Beijing. And it’s one of those agonizing stories that we keep hoping will stop appearing as local leaders realize they can no longer contain and keep secret their malfeasances. And still, the stories appear.

July 3, 2008 @ 11:35 am | Comment

When people read such report, they usually take these big news agencies’ word for it. And the result? Just read the comments in this thread, can you honestly tell me these commenters didn’t believe the allegation?

That’s because the big news agencies generally have credibility….something which Xinhua and any other mouthpiece for the thoroughly corrupt Chinese system doesn’t have. Without transparency, freedom and accountability nothing they say is credible. Just becuase the Chinese have been forced to live in their little box doesn’t make it right or desirable. It’s amazing the number of commenters that blindly continue to defend the indefensible. Perhaps it would be best if the rest of the world just isolated them once again, stopped buying their junk, stopped letting their students study, stopped letting their tourists roam the world. Then the Chinese could have the “great” country all to themselves and live “harmoniously.” Pathetic!

July 3, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

@not_a_sinophile
“Perhaps it would be best if the rest of the world just isolated them once again, stopped buying their junk, stopped letting their students study, stopped letting their tourists roam the world. Then the Chinese could have the “great” country all to themselves and live “harmoniously.””

That will be most unjust for CH people. Why make them pay for the acts of a minority who holds the rein of power and their acolytes?
They pay enough day by day. We only have to deal with the ravings of those that wittingly or not act like their lackeys.
We also only see from a comfortable distance their day to day life, but we do not have to suffer it. Do not bottled them up, that is what the hardliner wish

Hope that those in CCP who really care for their country (yes there are some) can keep pushing reforms for a open society and rule of law forward.

CH tourists , CH students and CH migrants are welcome here. And all in all do not refrain to buy from time to time CH goods, although I prefer made in EU. Some are not so shoddy, you know?, and I think more of the people who can get a job there thanks to them than of the “glorius” CCP.

Yes, they try to get their products through through law price, but if they just could promote their own brands they could move up the price ladder. But with the image CH is given just recently, it is going to be difficult to push high status CH brands here.

July 3, 2008 @ 2:44 pm | Comment

AC, what Not a Sinophile said above about credibility.

This article is in line with journalistic standards – state your sources, do all you can to verify what you hear. The government could have nipped this in the bud, if indeed the story is false. You may not think those sources are reliable, but the government leaves reporters with no choices when it refuses to be transparent. I give the reporter high marks for the way this story was told. If they were being dishonest or had an agenda, they could have simply said, “Informed sources say…” But no, they were very upfront that all they had to work with were second-hand reports and the Internet, and that government officials wouldn’t speak with them. You can blame them all you want, but you have no argument. The story may well turn out to be false, but the way the reporters wrote it, they are telling you they cannot guarantee the validity of their sources.

I, too, couched the post in languaqe indicating that I could not say for sure where the fault lay: “I know this is almost certainly the fault of local officials in Guizhou and not the central party in Beijing.” That is based on my knowledge of past violent events in China, but I leave room for other possibilities. Anyway, we won’t get anywhere with this….

July 3, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Comment

what Not a Sinophile said above about credibility.

That’s a big strawman argument. I wasn’t defending anybody’s credibility.

You may not think those sources are reliable, but the government leaves reporters with no choices when it refuses to be transparent.

That’s no excuse for reporting rumors. The undeniable fact that so many people believed the story prematurely speaks for itself. People were misled because the report is misleading. It’s misleading because the reporter used a lot of unreliable information and innocent readers mistook them as facts. The undefendable in this case is that the reporter provided unreliable information which has been proven to be wrong.

That is based on my knowledge of past violent events in China,

Yeah, one man must be guilty because he has been guilty before, right? This is exactly what the problem is in this kind of reporting. A conclusion is already drawn, then you go look for evidence to support it, if you can’t find any credible evidence, rumor will work too. And this is exactly how so many myths about China were created, you know, like “thousands of students were killed in TAM square”, and “there was a bloody crackdown in Tibet on 3/14″.

Your speculation could very well be true, but one week after the incident, the facts are still not clear. To me, two key questions in this case have not been answered, why did the girl kill herself and who attacked the girl’s uncle? Shouldn’t we wait for the evidence first instead of speculating?

July 4, 2008 @ 12:06 am | Comment

correction:

… The indefensible in this case is that the reporter provided unreliable information which has been proven to be wrong

July 4, 2008 @ 1:18 am | Comment

@AC,

There is enough reports coming out now that we have a pretty good picture of what’s going on. Even the family’s own petition (translated on Fool’s Mountain) isn’t as outrageous as these reports in the overseas media, sourced directly to activist groups in Hong Kong.

I’m a little thankful most of the foreign press has basically ignored the issue; not nearly important enough compared to the “real” issuse like Hu Jia and Dalai Lama, of course.

The happen ending to this story here is the fact that two officials in the county are now sacked, and everyone else is being investigated by the provincial government.

July 4, 2008 @ 5:14 am | Comment

“The happen ending to this story here is the fact that two officials in the county are now sacked, and everyone else is being investigated by the provincial government.”

What is a “happen ending”, great master Tang Buxi CCTV? Why don’t you learn proper English, before you start patronizing us, Great Wanker Tang?

July 4, 2008 @ 6:59 am | Comment

AC, last time I’ll say it – the reporter said most of their sources were 2nd hand (rumors), even if that went over your head. When the government refuses to speak and when when you receive photos and videos of a city in flames, you need to file a story. If all you have is stuff from the Internet and people’s stories of what happened, you report it, telling your readers that this is all you have and that everything you’re hearing is alleged and not yet verified, and that the government refuses to say what’s going on. In your world, it would be better for the reporter to just forget it – don’t tell the world there is a major riot and a city in flames, because they don’t have all the details. Bullshit. You report what you’ve got and tell the readers you can only base the story on 2nd hand and/or online sources. Many of the early reports from the Big Earthquake were word of mouth and, in effect, rumor, and the media had every right to run those, telling readers who was being quoted. Maybe in you world the should have waited a few days to get the full picture. Seriously, you have no idea what journalism is. This doesn’t mean every rumor a reporter hears should be used. They have to apply judgment and common sense, asking themselves whether they’ve interviewed enough people to establish a pattern, whether the rumor appears to have some grounding in reality, etc. Then as the breaking news evolves you clarify. Look at all the early stories about 911 on that day. Anyway, this is Journalism 101, and I shouldn’t have to spoon-feed it to you.

Now let’s look at Tang’s well-researched and unarguable point that makes him really grateful: I’m a little thankful most of the foreign press has basically ignored the issue; not nearly important enough compared to the “real” issuse like Hu Jia and Dalai Lama, of course.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it means to be “ignored” by the foreign press.

Hmm, let’s see all those media who have not ignored the story:

CNN
Al Jazerra
Reuters
AFP
Guardian UK
Associated Press
CBC Canada
Dispatch (S. Africa)
Washington Post

Many hundreds of foreign media. Several of these did multiple stories. And you know something Tang? I would list out many, many more publications, but after scrolling to the third page of Google News hits, the server suddenly wouldn’t respond. How could this be?? Tell us, oh media scholar.

And yeah, we all agree, the media shouldn’t have reported the Hu Jia story. Blind activist framed and imprisoned – no story there. I would love it if you were my newspaper editor, helping separate the wheat from the chaff. I can just imagine what my paper would look like.

July 4, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Comment

I remember a similar case a couple of years ago. Girl who was working in a hotel as a maid, got murdered after being sexually assaulted by local bigwigs and rioting happened soon after. When I first read this I thought it was just a continuation of that story. It’s positive this is coming out in the media, but with 30,000 people involved and IM posts, I don’t see how it could have been covered.

On the issue about what this says about China. I would take the hopeful outlook, that China is improving. Unfortunately local officials still have too much power and do abuse it.

July 4, 2008 @ 10:41 am | Comment

Ray, agree with your conclusions – improvement, but a long way to go and unconscionable abuse of power by many local officials.

July 4, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Comment

Certainly don’t expect Tang to reply. He is far too busy fighting against Western media bias, dressed in a Superman costume with a gigantic “zhong” character in place of the big S.

July 4, 2008 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

“Unfortunately local officials still have too much power and do abuse it.”

No accountability, no surprise this things happens.

A media struggling to be more open, sometimes allowed sometimes not depending on the whims/interest of the powers that be, is an improvement.

Even more and more difficult to keep this things under the rug with modern communication technologies available to common people.

If suddenly 30000 town people show up at government building wit torches, surely there are more grievances than that single incident. People do not feel protected by the authorities who are supposed to serve them, rather abused by them, and have no easy way to protect themselves against them.

Sad to see that things are only tried to be solved when they really flare up.
Which other injustices have they committed until this last one?

July 4, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Comment

““real” issuse like Hu Jia ”

Just the day before yesterday there was a reportage in German TV about Hu Jia where his wife appeared. As lawyer explained also the hair wired “law” they used to justify jailing him. Rule by law indeed!

Once again footage of the”VIP” treatment or her wife where shown, treatment courtesy of CH gov.
I have no words to express how deeply the behavior of the thugs with her, and the officials that allowed it, enraged me.
It may be a cultural difference… But that kind of behavior is not allowed here, no matter who exercise it… and it is quite dangerous to try it by anyone.

And that is one injustice we can see, how many other are we can´t see?

To CH Gov. If because your angst and prejudices you just cant help to put someone like her and in her situation under house arrest, and least treat her with some respect. I cannot imagine you could give worst image of CH by allowing or condoning such behavior.

And no, it does not work to isolate her and prevent no open media to get to her.
If with some public light you are able to do what you did, what would you be able to do without no public light at all to press her. What are you able to do with those that are no visible at all to public eyes?

If in CH some people are publicly shown by netcitizens, I would not mind to put as many photos and videos of those thugs action in the internet for their (world)public shame.

Only positive things I can say, is that at least something of what is going on is been (almost)openly reported.

Now, CCP, go a little step further and try to make some fixes, please. Good ones,I mean. Just with a little bit would be enough, it could do wonders for the success of OGame party you are so lavishly preparing and spend so much money so far.

If you really care about CH image, CCP, just try to make a little effort, and treat her(and others) with some respect, at least until the end of the games, it does not cost so much money. OK?

July 4, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

A similar story took place in 2000 when a young Peking University student was raped and murdered while waiting for a bus to return her to her dorm at PKU’s satellite campus (she had spent that day at the main campus in Haidian). The Chinese media had been ordered not to report the incident. However, overseas Chinese students read of the crime in U.S. newspapers and forwarded the story to friends in China, whereupon students at various Beijing universities began to share information, question the failure of local media to report the incident, and plan for a memorial service. True to form, Chinese authorities quickly shut down university internet chatrooms and warned students not to cause trouble. In the end, the story was never properly reported in the Chinese press, though Peking University students were finally allowed to hold a modest memorial service in their classmate’s honor.

At the time, the Chinese media’s handling of this incident stood in stark contrast to their handling of the murder of a female Chinese foreign student studying in Texas just a few months earlier (late 1999, I think). The specifics of THAT murder were reported quickly and in great detail.

July 4, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

The PKU student’s name was Qiu Qingfeng.

July 4, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

@hong
“True to form, Chinese authorities quickly shut down university internet chatrooms and warned students not to cause trouble. ”

Ah!… The differences between harmonic society and an “harmonized” society….

“At the time, the Chinese media’s handling of this incident stood in stark contrast to their handling of the murder of a female Chinese foreign student studying in Texas..”
Reporting about wrongdoing of foreign (real or alleged) companies, even whole countries (France, Japan), is a free fire zone for CH media most of the time.
You can even get allowed demonstration!
Glad to know that foreign companies/contries make a contribution to the right of CH people for freedom of expression, although somewhat one sided.
Do they get any tax/import rates reduction for that service? ;-)

July 4, 2008 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

“Hmm, let’s see all those media who have not ignored the story:

CNN
Al Jazerra
Reuters
AFP
Guardian UK
Associated Press
CBC Canada
Dispatch (S. Africa)
Washington Post”

But Richard, don’t you know these are all heavily biased propaganda instruments of the CIA?

July 6, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Comment

I think by saying the media “ignored” this news means that the media didn’t give much attention to it. They do report it, but they didn’t not give nearly enough attention to it than a Tibet or Hu Jia story. You can search China news with google and compare this story with any story about Tibet. I am not accusing the western media of being biased by the way. I am just clarifying Buxi’s point so it will be cheapened.
Also, why are you guys getting so offended when someone try to defend Chinese government? It’s as if CCP or its defenders/apologists did something horrible to you in the past. Even the Chinese which is the main victim of CCP don’t hate it as much as some of you guys. Don’t insult those of us who don’t think CCP is that bad by saying that we are brainwashed and incapable of making a point. Maybe we don’t like people complaining about China or its government just like you don’t like people complaining about the western media. Maybe that helps explain why even when the clearest distinction is made between the government and the Chinese people, some of us still choose to argue against you.
By the way, newest information is out on ESWN. I don’t think the local government did anything wrong in the handling of this ?suicide?, except on public relation and attempts to lock down information.

July 6, 2008 @ 4:31 pm | Comment

bw , you’ll find many views of the CCP here, some very critical, some less so, some even optimistic about they way they are handling things. Please give the link to the ESWN article you are referring to. I just went and looked at the site and there was an article about a Hong Kong reporter interviewing villagers, none of whom were eyewitnesses to the alleged crime though many of them had very strong opinions about it based on hearsay. Where is the information that leads you to believe the local government did nothing wrong? Thanks fior commenting.

July 6, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

richard, I am just saying I don’t understand the hostility against Buxi or AC or other defenders (not including Hong). The variety of opinion is of course good, but I don’t understand where did so much personal hate against them came from.

The article’s under brief comment section “Wang Jiao, Chen Guangquan and Liu Yanchao Meet The Press”. Those are the 3 suspect who were suppose to be related to local officials. It turns out that they are really children of farmers. Why would the local police try to cover for them? Their short detainment and release was following the laws that deals with such criminal cases. When no further evidence is presented to suggest that they are the killers, the police has to release them after getting a statement and detaining them for 12 hours. The 3rd autopsy conducted under the eyes of the victims family and some villagers shows the same result as the first two: Li Shufen was not raped. Now there are still some questions as to who beat the girl’s uncle and did Li’s friends pushed her down the bridge, but I don’t see how the local government handle it wrong, legally speaking.

July 7, 2008 @ 1:49 am | Comment

bw, I in now way hate Buxi – it’s simply that when someone makes a statement as a matter of fact I expect them to be able to stand by it. See the new post above about AntiCNN and how it works. That’s the kind of thing that frustrates me – but it doesn’t make me hate anybody. CCT (Tang Buxi) has always been welcome to comment here and I don’t hate him and never have. Sometimes we have strongly agreed with one another. So please don’t read to much into things. I think you also read too much into that Brief Comment article, pointing to it as thought it absolves the local official who, I believe,have since been dismissed.

July 7, 2008 @ 7:03 am | Comment

“It also says something about having a censored media where the lack of verifiable information creates rampant rumors that can lead to violence, something we see too often.”

The conflict on this thread is best summed up by your statement, Richard. People seeking news and information about China are largely forced to choose between the bleached, sanitized official media, the filtered lens of the Western media, and the wild frontier of the internet. Since the most effective antidote to internet rumor-mongering – a free and independent media – would have potentially fatal side effects on the CCP, the credibility gap will remain and we will continue to hear about more incidents like this one.

July 11, 2008 @ 2:06 am | Comment

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