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”.
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:
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:
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:
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)
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)
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:
Blogger Bright moon tries to explain [zh] why Hu could have made such a stupid statement:
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:
Zenious then imagines:
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)
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)
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:
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)
_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)