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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.

著名律师高智晟曾经接到过这样一个电话,他说:”今天有一个人打来电话,他把声音变了,就是那种变音的设备,咱们就不清楚他是谁了。他说高智晟,我的声音必须采取变音措施,如果不采取变音措施的话,公众都知道。我说这又是大人物,他哈哈一笑,他说我们坚决支持你,坚决支持你,他说:你持续的在骂我们,他来了这么一句,但是,你是我们的老朋友,你不知道我是谁,我知道你是谁。听这话也是体制内的。他说我关注你就是因为你持续的在骂我们。我说你在鼓励我继续骂。他说骂的好。”
几个月以后,高律师就被捕了。

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.

无独有偶,不久之前发表的中国泛蓝联盟两名成员的对话也有如下内容:”估计两党有故意拿泛蓝在做什么试验!””也有抬举泛蓝的感觉,有意让泛蓝成为一个新的有味道的可以充当缓冲的黏合剂!””我听说的一个小道消息,胡的家宾就有国民党的说客。””团派,年轻,泛蓝;胡锦涛;反腐败,新文革;十七大,和谐社会,政治体制;你可以联想嘛?””胡要利用年轻人搞一次自己的新文革!””不要在意被利用,也不要在意被谁利用,只要可以推动一个体制的变化和文明。”
泛蓝将来的命运如何,我们还不得而知。
最近类似的事情还有”未来中国论坛”的”军中声音”,声明军队要发动政变,希望网友提供建立民主政府的具体举措和主张。

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.

这几个例子都有一个共同之处:有些民运人士和网友在与魔鬼作交易。魔鬼象征这样一种力量:它是强大的,但又是未知的,是你所无法控制的;如果你要与这种力量打交道,你只能被它控制。

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.

一个匿名电话,听说的小道消息,网上的几个帖子,不是来自”高层”,就是来自”军队”,貌似背后有强大的力量,但实际上你对它一无所知。如果你把自己的未来和希望完全寄托在这种靠不住的”力量”上,让这种力量来控制你,支配你,就等于是在与魔鬼作交易,把自己完全卖给对方了。

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.

这个网友可能还在盼望军事政变呢,但是对方没有承诺任何事。把自己的命运完全交到对方手里,对方出卖起你来是没商量的,据说高律师在被捕前,心里其实还是相信自己不会被捕的。从中共建政后的历史上来看,体制外力量企图利用或介入中共内斗的,从西单民主墙到八九**,再到最近的高智晟,无一有好结果。

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:

【共同社10月1日电】共同社1日获悉,日本首相安倍晋三将于8日访问北京,并于当天会晤中国国家主席胡锦涛和总理温家宝。据知情人士透露,中方已向日方传达了同意会晤的意向。安倍随后计划于9日访问韩国,并与卢武铉总统举行会晤。这是自2002年4月日本前首相小泉纯一郎访华以来,日本首相时隔约4年半访华。日中首脑会晤则是去年4月在雅加达以来的首次。
8日正值中国共产党第16届6中全会开幕。在党的最重要会议期间安排首脑会晤实属例外。由于日本前首相小泉多次参拜靖国神社,中国甚至拒绝在第三国举行日中首脑会谈。但随着安倍政权的诞生,日中关系有可能因此迎来转机。

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:

澳门的永利在9月6日开业后,万人蜂拥而去,这其中怎么能够少了Fredyan的身影呢?终于在国庆日当天,找到时间,揣上钞票,坐上船直接杀奔永利。
进得大堂,果然气宇轩昂,金碧辉煌。对面的葡京一比照,简直一个是茶餐厅,一个是五星级会所。整栋永利的大楼里,高档奢侈品,像泰王宫殿一般的后花园,考究的食肆等等,给人的感觉就是档次高档。所以,尽管老字号的葡京送叉烧饭,也吸引不了我。
废话少说,直入赌场。人声鼎沸啊,Fredyan之心在此等场面刺激之下,怎能按捺的住?于是挥拳捋袖,好赌一把,结果……
另外提醒一句。永利目前正在招聘中国业务市场助理。对赌彩业有兴趣的人士,赶紧上他们的主页投简历!

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:

五十年代末,母亲在天津上中专。有一年国庆节,和两个同学在操场的单双杠旁边玩,那天恰是阴天,就说起每逢五一、十一,不是阴天,就是下雨。一个有点矮胖、平时爱说爱笑的女生忽然说:”人家都说,毛主席是王八变的,所以一到节日就下雨。”当时说过听过就算了,也没当回事。谁知过了两天,公安局来车将那个胖女生带走了。当时在场的总共就三个人,母亲清楚一定是那个”第三者”向上面报告的。而那个被带走的女生,母亲再也没有见过,不知她命运如何。
又是国庆节,又是阴天,至少那个人人自危的年代已经过去了。

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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