Tai$hi: China’s Lidice?

No, China didn’t bulldoze Tai$hi and murder its men, women and children the way those irrepressible Nazis did to the Czech town of Lidice. But they have tried to create the same effect, i.e., causing Tai$hi to cease to exist, at least in the public consciousness. No record and no written history, and it’s as though it never happened. As this post at CDT reminds us, they shut down the message boards and delted the Internet posts about the ugly incident and, in all probability, Tai$hi inspired the recent blocking of Wikipedia in China. Call it historical bulldozing, or intellectual erasure.

In the same post, CDT provides a link to an essay in Chinese by Chinese sociologist Li Yinhe, and I’d like to repeat here the one portion CDT offers in translation:

People are equal; the rights of individuals as citizens cannot be divided by hierarchical levels. But in today’s China, because of historical and cultural reasons, it is a cruel reality that the rights of rural and urban residents, while equal under law, are, in reality, not equal. The rights of urban residents are basically protected, but in comparison the rights of villagers lack protection. It is not so easy for urban residents to be mistreated, but it is relatively easy for villagers. It is rare for urban residents to experience violent treatment in their lives, but it is relatively common for villagers. In their effort to impeach a very small official, Tai$hi residents suffered too much pain. Moreover, after villagers suffer violent treatment, the chances of them receiving justice is very small.

I wish I could read the whole thing. ESWN, is a translation pending?

The Discussion: 15 Comments

Oh what a coincidence. Today I was just doing some research on the Communists’ man-made famine of 1932-34. At least 10 million died, especially in Ukraine. (I’ve met some people who lived through it.)

It was air-brushed from all Russian newspapers and history books until the 1990s. Another lovely Communist tradition, still going on in China.

October 31, 2005 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Ivan, any trouble logging on to my site? Maybe the “Taishi” in the headline is causing problems…?

October 31, 2005 @ 2:07 am | Comment

No problems here, except that I had another idea for the Bush-photo-caption thread and the censors blocked it no matter how I amended it.

Well you know how I can be when I get on a roll…

October 31, 2005 @ 2:15 am | Comment

Ivan, if you email it to me I can get it posted.

October 31, 2005 @ 2:18 am | Comment

Richard, you mean that you can’t read Chinese even after all those years of living in China?

Shame on you.

October 31, 2005 @ 4:52 am | Comment

I can’t visit this website directly tonight,why? blocked?

October 31, 2005 @ 7:10 am | Comment

Yeah, I think you’ve gotten blocked in some neighborhoods. I had to come in the back window to get here.

October 31, 2005 @ 7:39 am | Comment

Hmm, no problem waltzing through the front door from Shanghai.

October 31, 2005 @ 10:41 am | Comment

ACB, don’t say “shame on you” if you don’t know what youire talking about, please. I am self-taught in Chinese, can hold a conversation at an elementary (very) level and read quite a few characters. I was there working and never studied there. Learning to read Chinese takes a lot of study and work. I am learning it now, three nights a week, but it has to take a back seat to my work.

Sorry about the blockage; usually it lasts a few days or until the offending post drops down lower on the page….

October 31, 2005 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

Joel Martinsen posted a full translation on Danwei:


October 31, 2005 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Jeremy, that is fantastic. Incredibly beautiful. Thanks for the link.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:06 am | Comment

It’s still blocked here.

November 1, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

“But they have tried to create the same effect, i.e., causing Tai$hi to cease to exist, at least in the public consciousness. No record and no written history, and it’s as though it never happened.”


a simple word search for “taishi” in the chinadaily newstalk forum pulls up about 20 threads on the subject.

November 2, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

How about in Chinese language forums?

November 2, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

I’m looking at some of the stuff on China Daily right now. It seems to prove the point: if it isn’t being outright deleted, it tends to be a whitewash. This thread is revealing; though there are a couple of mildly critical comments, the overwhelming consensus is that the who thing is the fault of foreign rumor mongerers.

November 2, 2005 @ 7:59 pm | Comment

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