China: Media literacy, meetings, Macau, memories and mooncakes

Do Chinese police see bloggers as some sort of criminal element? Blogging undisturbed nearly requires a mastermind these days, and it's getting worse. Liu Di (刘荻), aka Stainless Steel Mouse, imprisoned in late 2002 for over a year for writings she'd posted on the internet, updated her blog late last month [zh] following six months of silence with examples of what she suspects are traps being set by authorities—just days and months prior to high-level government meetings in China—aimed at the kind of blogger that she used to be.


Renowned lawyer Gao Zhisheng once got a phone call that went like this: “Somebody phoned today. He had masked his voice, using one of those devices that change your voice. I wasn't sure who he was.” He said, “Gao Zhisheng, I must take measures to change my voice. If I don't take these measures, the public will know.” I said he must be someone important. He laughed and said, “we're resolved to supporting you.” “We're resolved to supporting you,” he said, “but you keep on cursing us.” Having said that, “but you are our old friend. You don't know who I am, but I know who you are.” Hearing this it sounds as though it's from within the system. He says “I'm watching you only because you keep on cursing us.” I said, “you're encouraging me to keep on cursing.” He said, “cursing is fine.”
A few months later, lawyer Gao got arrested.


That's not all. A conversation between two Chinese Pan-Blue Alliance members posted on the internet not long ago read as following: “I imagine both parties are purposefully using Pan-Blue in some sort of experiment!” “It feels like the Pan-Blue are being favored, intentionally letting Pan-Blue become the new flavor, the buffer that holds things together!” “I heard a bit of news, that Hu has had Kuomintang lobbyists as home guests.” “The Communist Youth League faction, young, Pan-Blue; Hu Jintao; anti-corruption, new revolution; The Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, harmonious society, political systems; can you figure it out?” “Hu wants to use the youth to start a revolution of his own!” “Don't worry about being used, and don't worry about who you're being used by, as long as you can push for system change and civilization.” “Just what the fate of the Pan-Blue will be, we still don't know.”
Similar to this, there recently has also been the ‘Voice from the Military’ ‘China of the future forum’ [keywords that instantly Google in China], declaring the army's wanting to launch a coup, hoping that netizens would provide concrete actions and propositions for the establishment of a democratic government.


These few examples all have something in common: some figures in the democratic movement and netizens have been doing business with the devil. The devil symbolizes just this kind of force: it's powerful, but it's also unknown, something you have no way of controlling. If you strike a deal with this kind of force, you will only end up being controlled by it.


An anoymouse phone call, I've heard a rumor that some posts online didn't come from “the high levels” but from “the army”, seems there's a powerful force in the background, but in fact you know nothing about it. If you bet your own future and hopes completely on this kind of unreliable force, and let this kind of force control you, dominate you, that amounts to doing trade with the devil, selling yourself completely out to the other side.

真的是与魔鬼作交易吗,其实也不尽然,那些人可能还不如魔鬼呢。从民间传说中我们可以得知:基督教中的魔鬼其实是一个言而有信的绅士,当魔鬼与人签订出卖灵魂的契约时,从来没有人怀疑过魔鬼的信用。但以上几个例子中,那种来自”高层”、”军方” 的力量其实什么也没有承诺,什么责任也不用负。就拿”军中声音”来说,其实他只说了”不排除今年六中全会期间采取行动宣布某省或地区暂时独立的可能性”,后来又说 “今年不行的话,明年还有两会、十七大,后年还有机会。”事实上他什么也没有承诺。而如果国内的网友听信了他的这些话,真的提供了什么”建立民主政府的具体举措和主张”的话,那么对不起,今后你的命运就不是自己所能掌控的了,至少定你个颠覆罪是没有问题的了。

Is that really doing trade with the devil? Actually not really, those people might be worse than the devil. From what's said among the people, we know that the Christian devil is actually a gentleman who keeps his word, that when the devil signs the contract with people to sell their souls, nobody has ever doubted the devil's trustworthiness. But among the above examples, with that kind of force coming from “the high levels” or “the military”, nothing has actually been promised, and no responsibility will be taken. Just take “Voice from the Military” as an example. Actually all he said was, “don't discount the possibility that actions will be taken to announce the temporary independence of some province or region during this year's sixth session of the Communist Party of China's sixteenth plenary conference,” and then, “if not this year, there's the Two Meetings [National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference], the Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the following year there will also be a chance.” In fact he hasn't promised anything. And if mainland netizens pay heed to what he says, and actually provide ‘concrete actions and propositions for the establishment of a democratic government’, well then I'm sorry, but from now on control over your fate will no longer be in your hands; at least charging you with subversion won't be a problem.


This netfriend probably still hopes to see a military coup, but the other party involved hasn't promised to do a single thing. If you completely hand your fate over to them, that they'll sell you out is without a doubt. They say that before lawyer Gao was arrested, he believed deep down that he wouldn't actually get arrested. Looking at history since the formation of the Communist government, forces outside the system that have attempted to take advantage or get involved in the Party's internal struggles, from the Xidan democracy wall to 1989 and now to Gao Zhisheng, have never had a good outcome.

Journalist-blogger Taras, just back from a reporting stint in Japan, also sees some peculiarity leading up to this weekend's Communist Party of China plenary session:


As seen from Kyodo News, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to visit Beijing on October eighth, when he will meet with Chinese national Chairman Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. According to inside sources, the Chinese side has already agreed to the Japanese side's request for a meeting. Abe then made plans to visit Korea on the ninth and meet with Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. This is the first time in four and a half years that a Japanese Prime Minister will have visited China since former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi‘s visit in April 2002. It is the first time the leaders of Japan and China will have met since Jakarta in April last year.
The eight just happens to be the opening of the sixth session of the Communist Party of China's sixteenth plenary conference. To organize a meeting with another head of state during one of the Party's most important meeting times is an exception. Due to former Premier Koizumi's numerous visits to the Yasukuni shrine, China adamantly refused to see talks between the heads of the two countries in a third country. But given the birth of the Abe regime, relations between Japan and China might just take a turn for the better as a result.

The Chinese blogsphere is offline for the week-long National Day holiday says the China Web2.0 Review blogger, but has a nice surprise waiting for them in the launch of Feedsky, a Chinese version of Feedburner also playing a very active role in preparing for this year's Chinese Blogger Conference.

But what's the point of going on vacation if you don't blog about it? Hong Kong-based blogger Fred Yan spent his in Macau, where the opening competition in the casino industry has seen some interesting results:


Since Wynn in Macau opened for business on the sixth of September, tens of thousands of people have stormed over. How could I not be there? I finally found time on National Day, grabbed some money, got on the boat and made a mad dash for Wynn.
I walked into the main hall, as dignified as I'd expected, splendid with gold and green jade. Compared with the Lisboa Hotel opposite, one is like a coffee diner, the other a five-star clubhouse. The entire Wynn complex is full of top grade luxury items, like any imperial palace's backyard, exquisite foods, etc, giving you the feeling everything is the best of the best. That's why even the Lisboa's time-honored complimentary barbecue pork didn't pull me away.
Enough with the empty talk. I went straight into the casino, flooded with people's voices. Excited to be in a place like this, how long could I control myself? So I shook my fist, made some bets, and then……
Which reminds me, Wynn is currently looking for a China operations market assistant. Those interested in the gambling and lottery industry, hurry over to their website and send in your resume!

October first, China's National Day, was grey and drizzly in Guangzhou from where blogger Nick Wong blogged a family story from China's Cultural Revolution days:


At the end of the fifties, my mother was in high school in Tianjin. During National Day one year she was playing near the monkey bars with some classmates. That day just happened to be a cloudy one. Labor Days, National Days, if it's not overcast it's usually raining. One off the classmates was a little short and fat. Fond of cracking jokes, she suddenly said, “some people say that Chairman Mao was a turtle [‘turd’] in his past life. That's why whenever there's a holiday, it always rains.” At the time I didn't pay it much attention, didn't seem like a big deal. Who knew that two days later a police car would come and take that fat little girl away. At the time on the playground there was a third person and mom is certain is was “the third” that told them. As for the girl who was taken away, mother never saw her again and doesn't know what fate she met.
Again, it's National Day, again it's overcast, at least those days when people were all dangers to each other have already passed.

Hung Huang, CEO of China Interactive Media Group and offspring of Communist Party of China elite, takes a break from blogging in Chinese to share her biggest problem this holiday week in “I Hate Mooncakes“.

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