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China: Controversial Speeches from Party Members

The Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) closed yesterday (March 14 2011) in Beijing. Against the background of the “Jasmine Revolution” in the Arab world, the Chinese government has stressed more innovative social management, and the Chairman of the standing committee of NPC Wu Bangguo openly ruled out the possibility of a political system that allows multiple parties holding office in rotation.

One-Party leadership thus was not a subject up for deliberation at the Two Congresses. People then turned their attention to the speeches and proposals made by the so-called “people's representatives”.

China's rulers in the Great Hall of the People at the beginning of the National People's Congress 2011 in Beijing, China. Image by Flickr user Remko Tanis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

China's rulers in the Great Hall of the People at the beginning of the National People's Congress 2011 in Beijing, China. Image by Flickr user Remko Tanis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Managing the rural population

Policy discrimination against rural population is a major source of social discontent. Against such a background, CPPCC member and Head of the China Ethnic Museum Wang Ping's opinion that the government should not encourage rural youth to attend university, in order to stop the brain drain problem, provoked a strong response from netizens.

Sina microblog user Neptune Knows Not Love:

强烈谴责中国政协伪员,王平,要求为它的愚蠢的言论负责,希望社会给农村大学生以支持!既然说农村孩子上大学困难,为何不提案降低农村大学生学费,而是抹杀农民孩子的未来!我作为农村大学生唾弃她!

I strongly condemn this fake CPPCC member Wang Ping. She has to be held responsible for her stupidity. We have to give support to university students coming from rural areas. It is very difficult for rural-born kids to attend university; we should have proposed to reduce their school fees, not take away their futures! As a university student from a rural background, I spit on her!

Microblog-a-log2010:

全国政协委员王平:“不要鼓励农村孩子上大学。”人说,往上查三代估计都是农民的后代,全国政协委员王平当年是怎么进的城市?什么问题都不要绝对!“不要 鼓励农村孩子上大学。”这不是“王侯将相宁有种乎”的现代版吗?希望政协委员们如果自己实在提不出好的议案就不要提好了!我们不需要雷人提案!

CPPCC member Wang Ping: “Don't encourage rural kids to attend university”. People say, three generations back, all of our ancestors were farmers. How then did CPPCC member Wang Ping enter the city? “Don't encourage rural kids to attend university”, isn't it another way of saying “powerful people are born with power” [while the poor cannot change their fate]? If they can't think of any good proposals, why don't they just leave? We don't need these kind of ideas!

CPPCC member Gong Biyang meanwhile made a suggestion that rural farmers should be required to get work permits. Weibo user yhc_001 comments on Weibo delicious‘s [zh] collection of Gong Biyang's “thunder-striking” (shocking) speeches:

【雷人雷语】农民也要持证上岗,没有证件不得从事务农工作。农民也分5个等级:无证农民、初级农民、中级农民、高级农民、特级农民。填补国际空白。(政协委员龚碧阳)

yhc__001 龚碧阳委员明年的提案,俺已经猜到:流浪汉也要持证流浪,可分为5个等级:无证流浪汉、初级流浪汉、中级流浪汉、高级流浪汉、特级流浪汉!后年的提案是: 流浪狗也要持证流浪,可分为5个等级:无证流浪狗、初级流浪狗、中级流浪狗、高级流浪狗、特级流浪狗!(3月13日 16:20)

[Thunder-striking person and speech] “Farmers should get work permits. Without them they should not be allowed to cultivate their land. We should divide farmers into five categories: farmers without work permits; novice farmers; beginner farmers; advanced farmers; and expert farmers. To fill the gap.” (CPPCC member Gong Biyang)

yhc_001: I know what Gong Biyang will propose next year: homeless people must get a permit to wander the streets. They will be divided in five categories: homeless without permits; novice homeles;, beginner homeless; advanced homeless; and expert homeless. The year after next, the proposal will be: street dogs need permits. They will be divided into five categories: street dogs without permits; novice street dogs; beginner street dogs; advanced street dogs; expert street dogs. (March 13, 16:20)

CPPCC member and Vice Principle of South China Agricultural University Wen Simei, suggested that in order to discourage the use of chemical fertilizers, the government should mark up the price to the extent that farmers cannot afford them.

Here are some responses in a Sina Weibo forum discussion thread:

华南农业大学副校长温思美在民盟5组政协委员分组讨论中说,农民现在都不愿费力气使用畜禽粪便等农家肥了,“要大幅提高农药、化肥的价格,让他们(农民)用不起。”(3月9日《华商报》)——评:副校长先生,你以为现在的农民很有钱吗?!你还嫌贫富差距不大啊?!

Special Franchise Li Weihua: The Vice President of South China Agricultural University Wen Simei said in the CPPCC subgroup meeting that now that farmers don't want to use animal faeces as fertilizer anymore, “we have to strongly increase the price of pesticide and fertilizer so that they (farmers) can't afford to use them.” (March 9, Chinese Commercial Daily Post) — comment: Mr. Vice President, do you think farmers are rich? You think the income disparity is still too narrow?

此刻即永恒 据我所知,现在的农药化肥的价格比4年前已经翻倍了!但是农副产品价格上涨幅度不大,可能只有20%。(3月11日 23:08)

Now Forever: From what I know, the price of fertilizer has doubled over the past 4 years, but the increase in the price of agricultural produce has only risen about 20%. (March 11, 23:08)

有一说一V 中国如果失去了农民这个群体,那些所谓的官员们连饭都不知道去哪里吃。农民不是不愿意费力气使用农家肥,而是政府对农民的关注太少了,放农家肥都挣不回来体力费。(3月11日 23:04)

有一说一V: If we don't have farmers, these so-called officials would lose their rice bowl. Farmers do want to use organic fertilizer, but the government gives it little support. Too much time and energy is spent in processing animal feces. (March 11 23:04)

王诗旺 好呀,提就提呗,我们就提高粮价,让他吃不起,(3月11日 23:04)

Wang Shiwang: Great, let's raise the price. Let's raise the price of grain too while we're at it, so that they cannot afford to eat. (March 11 23:04)

Income disparity? Not a problem!

While the social consensus is to combat the disparity between rich and poor, Kunming region CPPCC member Hu Kailin decided to go against the grain. Weibo delicious [zh] quotes his speech in the Weibo online forum:

【贫富差距就是要大】昆明市政协委员胡开林在昆明市“两会”上的发言:别说目前的基尼系数是4,就是40都没问题,社会贫富差距就是要大。尧舜讲财富平 等,所以连个子都没留下;考古挖出殷商多少财宝,都是巨大贫富差距形成的。面对这番言论,网友表示被“雷”得不轻,感叹“没文化,真可怕”

[The disparity between poor and rich needs to be wide] Kuming city PCC member Hu Kailin stated in the city's CPPCC: Not to mention that the current Gini coefficient is 4, even if it raises to 40 it is still OK. The disparity between poor and rich needs to be wide. In ancient China's YaoShun period, they upheld equality, which is why they had nothing to leave behind. All the treasures from the Yanshang era discovered by archaeologists, on the other hand, were the result of large income disparity. Netizens found the speech appalling and terrifying.

Blogger Bright moon tries to explain [zh] why Hu could have made such a stupid statement:

这些人民的代表和参政议政的委员因何越来越这样大胆?就是在两会这样严肃的会议上也敢于胡说八道,说话如同放屁?
答案很简单,因为这帮人身后有一个越来越强大的越来越走向劳动人民对立面的腐朽而反动的既得利益阶层在为他们撑腰,因为这个阶层的撑腰,这些人大放厥词,胡说八道,不仅不会被查处、究责,相反还会借机大肆谋利,大出风头。

Why are all these people representatives and CPPCC members daring to make such stupid statements in the solemn gathering of the Two Congresses?

The answer is simple. These people are supported by a corrupt and privileged class which stands in opposition to the working class. With the support of the privileged, this group of people can talk any bullshit without any consequences. On the contrary, they can probably win a better reputation.

Another appalling speech came from Beijing PCC member Liang Pai who suggests cross-generation marriage to deal with the rocketing property market. Zenious quotes [zh] Liang Pai's speech in a forum post:

上海是全世界的上海,上海的房价应该和国际接轨,不应该以80后的承受能力为标准。 我觉得80后男孩子如果买不起房子,80后女孩子可以嫁给40岁的男人。80后的男人如果有条件了,到40岁再娶20岁的女孩子也是不错的选择。

Shanghai is a global city, the property market should be aligned with the world rather than with the post-80s generation's consumption power. If post-80s boys can't afford to buy an apartment, post-80s girls can marry men in their 40s, and post-80s men can wait until their 40s to marry 20-year-old girls. This is a good choice.

Zenious then imagines:

我作为80后的一员,看着大学的漂亮女生都嫁给了70后也就忍了,毕竟那会刚毕业的80后都还只是愣头青,而70后已经成功上位,身强力壮,是社会的中坚力量……

然而梁大教授竟说80后的女孩得嫁40岁的老男淫,你说现如今40岁的男同志有多少还没娶?这80后女生一股脑过去,得多少家庭家破人亡,多少孩子变孤儿,多少80女孩变小三,多少官员需腐败,多少老男人得阳痿……

不愤愤不平了,再说说80男生,原来我40岁后还得去残害如今才10岁以下的祖国花骨朵,辣手摧花是人渣,原来娶老婆真要从娃娃抓起,看来以后得经常去幼儿园蹲点,对着美人胚子目露淫光……

我不禁想到,如果梁教授的建议被采纳了,若干年我我结婚了,见到丈母娘的时候,我不禁内牛满面:我的丈母娘竟然是陪伴我大学四年的女友。真是何等的悲剧。

As a member of the post-80s generation, I can accept that beautiful university girls get married to post-70s men. Freshly graduated post-80s are still young without much experience, while post-70s men are on their way to success and they are still strong in their bodies. They support the society…

However, Professor Liang said post-80s girls should get married to 40 year-old men, tell me how many 40-year-old men remain single now? These girls would have to destroy others’ families in order to do that. Or, they have to become someone's mistress: so many corrupted government officials, so many impotent old men…

Let's stay calm and talk about post-80s boys. When I reach my 40s, I'll have to go ruin precious little things that aren't even 10 years old now. What kind of scum will I be? Should I go to a kindergarten to pick up my future wife and look at her with a lusty gaze…

If Professor Liang's suggestion is accepted, many years later, I'll get married and when I meet my future mother-in-law, tears will spring from my eyes: My future mother-in-law is my girlfriend from back in my university days. What a tragedy.

Women should stay at home

Liang's suggestion also implied that a young woman's career path is to become some wealthy 40-year-old man's wife. Her idea has been explicitly spelled out by another woman CPPCC member Zhang Xiaomei, who made a proposal that the government should encourage some women to stay home [zh] in order to raise the happiness index.

Many microbloggers have criticized the proposal in a discussion thread [zh] Weibo ran on the main page:

Vita_Bella 这提议就是性别歧视,在美国她早下课了。(3月9日 11:56)

Vita_Bella: This is a discriminatory proposal. She would lose her teaching job if she was in the U.S. (March 9, 11:56)

殇无玥 女性没有自立的能力,那不是只能依靠男人?那不就又回到万恶的旧社会了?(3月9日 08:36)

殇无玥: Woman lack the ability to become independent and can only rely on men? We are back to the evil old society. (March 9, 08:36)

丹妮fr 女性凭什么回归家庭、又拿什么回归家庭?在人类的历史长河中女人做出了巨大的牺牲,为社会的发展也做出了无法替代贡献,为什么在当今社会发生巨变时又要她 们让位,让位后她们的社会地位和生活保障从何而来?人性永远是弱肉强食的,当男人在社会完全占主导地位时,女性就只能哭泣甚至流血!(3月8日 22:38)

丹妮fr: Why should women return home? Women have made huge sacrifices for the development of society. Why should they have to step down when a society undergoes transformation? How to ensure their social status and livelihood? Only the fittest survive, and man occupies the dominant position in society; woman can just go cry and bleed! (March 8, 22:38)

Professor Li Yinhe from Beijing University also reacts [zh] in her Weibo:

看到张晓梅的提案,非常诧异。几年前,有一帮男社会学家呼吁让妇女回家,简直像捅了马蜂窝,女界全体愤怒声讨,吓得他们马上收了声。现在居然有位女代表提女性回家的提案!这个提案最大的问题是:要抹杀妇女解放的最重要成果:妇女走出家庭,参加社会生产劳动。

I am so surprised to see Zhang Xiaomei's proposal. A few years ago, a bunch of male sociologists urged women to return home. The whole female sector fought back and they had to shut up. Now, a woman representative suggests woman to return home! The proposal takes away the fruit of women's liberation – that they could leave their family and participate in social productivity.

These and other damaging speeches and proposals seem to show that the so-called “people's representatives” are moving away from the revolution and socialist tradition, which makes it no wonder that one CPPCC member Li Yuxiang, even suggested changing the lyrics of the national anthem.

Lawyer Yin Zhiming comments [zh] on his Weibo:

惊闻有政协委员提议改国歌,理由是国歌已经过时,如今已不需冒着敌人的炮火前进了。心想难道国歌也要与时俱进,莫非要唱《好日子》、《越来越好》。其实委 员也知是不可能的,也许仅仅把参加会议当成一年一度的旅游,没有什么准备,到开会奏国歌,灵光一现就来了,说不定暗地里为自己的思维敏捷窃喜呢。

I'm surprised to find that some CPPCC member has suggested a change to the national anthem. He said that it is outdated and people no longer have to move forward under enemy's gunfire [anthem lyric reference]. So our national anthem has to change with the times. We will probably have to adopt “Wonderful Day” or “Better and Better” as our anthem, then. A CPPCC member should know that the current anthem is impossible to amend, does he treat this as an annual travel opportunity, without doing any preparation? Perhaps the national anthem in the conference hall gave him the inspiration.

Predictably, his microblog attracted a few comments:

朕-黄界平 就因为国歌里敏感词太多,容易煽动被压迫人民 (3月14 09:16)

朕-黄界平 There are too many sensitive words in the national anthem and it could easily incite the oppressed (March 14, 09:16)

_虚竹_ 转发此微博:冒着脑残的炮火,前进…前进…前进进!(3月14 09:22)

_虚竹_ Retweet: Under the gunfire of the brain damaged, march on! March on! March on! (March 14 09:22)

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