Kuo Kuan-ying, fired as public information officer at Toronto for calling himself a "superior out-of-province" man, is returning to Taipei as he has promised. In an interview with TVBS cable TV network, Kuo said he will appeal for invalidation of his dismissal as first secretary for public information at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office at Toronto, Ontario.

A TVBS correspondent was able to speak to Kuo at Vancouver in transit from Toronto to Taipei. Kuo is expected to arrive at Taoyuan International Airport this morning. Asked if he is going to visit the Government Information Office, Kuo said,"What GIO? What is it? Tell me what the GIO is. I don't know. Why should I visit it?" But Kuo, alias Fan Lanqin, promised to continue writing for his own blog.

Though he said he isn't visiting the GIO, Kuo may have to. The GIO is looking into another controversy Kuo has just raised.

Fan Lanqin, which literally means "Pan-Blue Respectable," is the pen name he used to write articles insulting native-born islanders of the nominally existing province of Taiwan. He calls the islanders "Taiwan yokels." In those articles, Fan Lanqin calls Taiwan a "Ghost Island," a renegade province of the People's Republic, which should take it over by force and place it under military rule.

On last Wednesday, the United Daily News published an article signed by "Pan Shun-yun, GIO officer in France." Pan wrote in support of Fan Lanqin, who is described as a "literary genius" very popular among GIO colleagues. Kuo said he wrote the Pan article. "I wrote it and asked Mr. Pan if I could use his name and official title to have it published as his," he pointed out. "And Mr. Pan agreed," said Kuo, who may be required to testify at another GIO disciplinary committee meeting.





As soon as Kuo Kuan-yin, appeared, more than twenty mysterious men dressed in black formed a human wall and manhandled the protestors and media reporters.  After Kuo got into his car, an even more physical brawl broke out.  One man wearing a brown jacket kicked and punched, and then he fled.  All this was captured on film.  Reporter: "I was hurt when you people shoved me.  What do you think?"  Response: "Did I shove you?  I didn't shove you, so don't ask me."

Reporter: "Mr. Kuo, do you know the people who are forming a cordon around you?  Do you know them?"  No response.  But inside the airport hall, he said something.  Reporter: "Are you going down to the Government Information Office to complete your paperwork?"  Kuo: "I already told TVBS (in Canada) that I have no idea where the Government Information Office is.  I need to look up a map and figure what that place is.  I need to find out more."  Reporter: "Will you file an appeal?"  Kuo: "Isn't that nonsensical?  You tell me whether I am going to have lunch or not.  I have to eat.  In the evening, I am going to have dinner to."

"It's your turn to strip now!"

On the afternoon of March 20, a netizen posted this story onto KDNet with the explanation: "Southern Metropolis Daily made a report on Internet activity and the most compelling part is this cartoon.  It is a good thought-provoking cartoon that says more than a thousand words can."  For the next ten days or so, that post was always near the top of the page there.  It stayed there not because the editors put it on top, but because of popular netizen support.  By March 29, more than 780,000 people have read it and more than 16,000 have commented (which was more than 1,000 pages in length).

Netizens were encouraging others to comment: "Dear netizen friend, how are you?  At this moment, you and thousands of others are perusing thsi post.  How do you feel?  Do you feel any sadness and bitterness in your heart?  Indeed.  That which comes straight from the deepest part of the heart will always resonate.  The number of page views for this post is rapidly rising, but fewer than 2% of readers are commenting.  This is somewhat surprising.  I really want to know why people stay silent.  Why not say something in your own words?"

According to the cartoon artist himself, "This cartoon is not the best news cartoon.  However, it managed to tap into a sore point among the Chinese people.  It showed how the Chinese people hate corruption and incompetence, and this cartoon struck a sensitive nerve and resonated with the people ..."

Recently, the Jiangsu Industrial Park Prosecutor's Office and the Department of Education joined to design, develop and distribute an computer RPG (Role Playing Game) game known as "The Sword of Justice" among primary and secondary school students in their district.

The game begins with a young man who dreams of becoming a prosecutor.  During the process, he encounters numerous hardships and obstacles.  He learns to act righteously to defend himself and helps his fellow citizens to solve problems until he finally becomes a prosecutor.

According to the relevant government departments, "the game brings out knowledge and interest such as the <Criminal Law Code> as well as the contents of the civics textbooks used by primary and secondary students.  The objective is to let the children learn about the relevant laws and regulations that exist in their real lives."

In 2009, this game was given out as a "winter break assignment" at the Xinhai School.  Almost five hundred 7-th and 8-th grade students were given this "special assignment" and instructed to write a report after playing the game.

Student A: "After playing <The Sword of Jutsice>, I understood many things.  Whenever I cooperated with others to fight the monsters, I was almost invincible.  Why does lesson nine in the civics textbook say that people can never live apart from their social group?  Because the group is the cradle and fertile soil for the maturation of the individual ..."

Student B: "After playing this game, I learned that we must obey traffic rules.  I lost many HPs (Health Ponts) for disobeying the traffic rules.  Therefore, I urge all citizens to obey the traffic rules."

Student C: "<The Sword of Justice> is truly an excellent game.  It taught me to know and obey the law, which is a sword of justice in the fight against evil.  The storyline in the game inspires us to raise ourselves and move forward.  Let us all hold swords of justice in our hands and strive towards our dreams!"

Student D: "I am very happy that the teacher recommended this game to us for the winter break.  By playing this game, I learned a lot about the laws, including the laws about gambling, 'tofu' construction projects, bribery and so on.  I also learned that these illegal activities can cause great harm to me and my family."

According to one netizen, "This is a very lousy and crudely made game.  It is hard to imagine that something like this could be made part of the government budget and introduced as an official product.  The screens are awful looking.  It is impossible to imagine how this could attract the attention of young people who are used to playing games with high production values."  In the comments, one netizen said: "This game took 100,000 yuan (note: unconfirmed) to create, but I could have done it with the barest knowledge."  Another netizen commented: "If you give me 50,000 yuan, I could have created a game that is 100 times better."

Previously, the Zhenjiang province Ningbo city Party Disciplinary Committee had introduced the first computer game about government corruption.  During the game, the user faces many enemies, including corrupt officials, their children and even their mistresses.  Furthermore, the user is out there to arrest these corrupt officials; instead, the user is supposed to use weapons, magic and torture to kill these corrupt officials and gain experence points.  The ultimate goal is to create a corruption-free environment in which people live happily forever in a wealthy and harmonious nation.  This game was introduced on July 25, 2007 and shut down on August 14 due to the immense publicity.

Best Photo Award: <Motherly Love, Earthquake>

Golden Prize: Couple begins new life in Beichuan after the earthquake

Silver Prize: A young girl with cardiac problems rests under
a Hollywood movie poster

Bronze Prize: An accident caused mother and daughter to lose one leg each, but did not take away their joie de vivre

Actually, I have no time to sort through the arguments made at Chinageeks, Hecaitou and Wang Xiaofeng about racism in China.  The truth is that I really don't care about 'racism' because it is a false issue to me.  I speak from personal experience.

As a high schooler, my parents dispatched me to study at a boarding school in Sydney, Australia.  At the time, Australia must be the second most racist country in the world.  The most racist country in the world was South Africa, where racism was institutionalized in "Apartheid."  In Australia, the "white Australian policy" had just lapsed, but racism was supposed to be socially rampant.

So I was told.

Reality was completely different.

As a stranger in a strange land, I was very observant about social norms and behavior.  Australians did indeed appear to be virulently racist.  My last name is Soong.  So when I arrived at the school, it was not before long that other students began to yell, "Soong, you blood boong!"

The majority of my readers have no idea what a 'boong' is.  Let me refer you to the "Urban dictionary":

1.Native Australian 
2.Person with flat, upturned nose. 
3.Person used as target practice or human shield. 
4.Dole bludger. 
5.Ingestor of methylated spirits, bagged wine and insects. 
6.Cave dweller. 
7.Person who lives like a bum or is dirty. 
8.Semi-evolved being. 

Examples of usage:  
1.If it weren't for boongs, this country would be richer. 
2.Lets throw another boong on the barbie.

None of these meant well.  What should I do?  Throw a punch at the speaker and start a brawl?  There would be many brawls in my life.  Or should  figure out the basis for such behavior?

By examining how the 'inmates' at the school behave, I came to the conclusion that racism was totally rampant but quite harmless in Australia.  You see, everybody in Australia is subject to racial discrimination in Australia.  In South Africa, the white race was supposed to be superior to the backs.  But in Australia, who is supposed to be mainstream elite?  People who descended from Britiish immigrants?

Well, there is the term "pommy" in reference to the fact that any British immigrant was probably sent to exile in Australia in punishment for crimes (such as theft, robbery, etc):

1. A derogatory word used to refer to a Brit, derived from the acronym POME (Prisoner of Mother England).

2. A derogatory term started by Australians to describe recent British immigrants. There is no proof that it had to do with the acronym Prisoners of Her Majesty. It is more likely that it was an abbreviation of the word pomegranate and referred to the flush complexion of Brits (like a pomegranate's flesh).

By the way, the First Australian Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities also equates "pommy" with "pommy bastard" as "a person with British origin with no redeeming features" on the grounds that it is tautological that a "pommy" has to be a "bastard" as well.

More generally, it does not matter if you are Irish, Greek, Italian, French, Israeli or whatever, because there is already a nasty derogatory term reserved for you.  For example, the term 'wog" is used for a foreigner with Middle East or Mediterranean characteristics (W.O.G. is the abbreviation for Westernized Oriental Gentleman) and soccer is called "wogball."  Even the seemingly neutral term of "migrant" was a standard term of abuse in the 1950's and had to officially replace by the term "New Australian."  The term for a Chinese person is "chink", which the First Australia Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities defines as:

A person of Chinese extraction.  Henry Lawson once wrote: "Get a move upon the pigtails when you've got an hour to spare," reflecting on the habits of gold miners last century who would get out on Sundays for recreation and beat up a few Chinamen.  Australians have always instinctively anyone who works harder than they do: Chinamen are no exception.

So what are you to do?  Throw that punch, or throw a punch line based upon the racial characteristics of persons who threw that insult to you.  In the end, nothing really matter, because this is just a way of being 'matey.'

And this is before even getting into the culture of poofterism in Australia.

I have also lived and traveled extensively in the United States, and encountered all forms of "racism."  This happens at casual encounters as well as in the workplace.  In the end, I have to tell you that this is about how you handle yourself.  If you decide to throw a punch at the first sign, you better take martial arts lessons first and you should expect a tough life.  In my case, I refused to fight and I set out to change their views.  They might think that I could not speak or write English or understand the intricacies of the business, but I showed that I could do everything better than they can.  There is no better way to fight racism.  I am otherwise completely uninterested in whining in public about possible mistreatment.  If I couldn't even do my job well, what right do I have to complain?

(March 23, 2009)

C. Custer posted an article named Racism in China. It seems that I have made a big trouble in my article Evolution. Mr.Custer said:

So is it ignorance or indifference that caused most people (including the bloggers themselves) to ignore the racism and post the image?

Let me tell you why:

1None of my race ever caught and shipped any single black man from Africa to China as slave. So I can make fun of them, just as they can make fun of me. So, What the damn "Racism" is?

2There is no any single black man in China has been treated differently. They can take any bus as they want, enter any college as they wish, date any girl as they like. So, What the damn "Racism" is?

3I am sick of "Political correctness". It is because what you American have done makes the word "Negro" a taboo. You guys can not make any joke on skin color only because some of you named "KKK" had special predilection in skin color when they tried to make their human-flesh-barbecue. You guys do need the "Political correctness" . It is a made-in-USA taboo, a made-in -USA G-point, but count me out, please. So, What the damn "Racism" is?

4On the very day I first knew there is Black Men exist in this world, I thought that they do look like the ape. It is neither Black men's nor my fault, DNA made it. I can't help laughing when I think of the ape, which calls "solecism", not "Racism" . So, What the damn "Racism" is?

5Even when your charming Obama is using money-making machine to resolve economic crisis, I only blame him as a waterful-mouthed political vase. I don't say "go back to Kenya jungle, take banana as much as you can". See? I know What the "Racism" is.

By the way, is there any "Racism" for white man? Maybe A ape with albinism?

Feb 18th,2009.
NewYork Post

(March 23, 2009)

Americans are cautious about the racism issue to the point of being obsessed, but I never imagined the Chinese people to be infected similarly.  When we speak of racial discrimination against black people in China, it is as if Buddha did not hire some long-term contract workers to till his fields but imported black slaves from Africa instead.  In China, blacks are not being discriminated against.  They have never been asked to sit at the back of buses, they did not need armed police escort to attend university, and they were not threatened with death by hanging in small towns by men wearing white sheets.  On the contrary, China has given aid, constructed infrastructure, provided medical care and invited young people to study in China.  At the shopping malls of China, African presidents, sheiks and generals are forever present.  Black people are treated just like white people in China, which means that they are treated better than Chinese nationals themselves.  So how does this generosity become "racial discrimination"?

A white person named Josh wrote:

As a white man in China, I must disagree with the above poster that what happens cannot be qualified as racism. All the times that people have said to me, “I don’t like Africans,” or “How come, in America, the blacks don’t care about education?” come to mind. Of course these are personal anecdotes and are certainly not representative of the whole, but it does make me angry when someone says to me, “There’s racism in your country, not ours.”

An Asian person named "rogerlee" commented on my blog:

I don't think that the essay can completely explain it.  Hecaitou kept saying that we never did anything to black people in our history or now.  Therefore, the issue is not racial discrimination.  But this is just nonsense.

I feel that as long as we treat race as a special characteristic, we are suspected of racism.  More importantly, the key is whether we have caused harm to the other party as opposed to what we say that we may or may not have done.

If you show this cartoon to people in the streets of Africa, would you think that they feel nothing and unoffended?  If you don't get beaten up, then I will agree that this isn't racial discrimination.

In history, black people may not have invaded China.  But if someone wrote an essay or drew a cartoon that characterized the Chinese people as weak pygmies, you may not think that this is not racial discrimination?

I am really vexed.  Do I have to like Africans?  If I don't like them, is it a crime?  Can't I think that Africans look like apes?  Even the apes aren't complaining, so why are you complaining?  The human race has been progressing for more than 5,000 years, but there continues to be famine in Africa.  The warlords there can rob the UN relief food to trade for ammunition.  If it is up to me, I would say that they are worse than apes.  Famines, wars, ethnic cleansing, child soldiers, AIDS proliferation ... even if the apes were to rule the continent, they couldn't be that bad.

If you want to debase a certain race, it is racial discrimination.  The issue is whether I am deliberately debasing the black people in order to lift up the white or yellow people?  More to the point, can I follow the common practice by the Chinese people not to treat a person's race as anything different from the nationality or geographical region?

So far, there is a bunch of idiots in China who uses the magnifying glass to scrutinize all the maps of China to to see if Taiwan or the Pescadores Islands are included.  If not, they will scream and holler, because that would be the politically correct reaction.  At a time when globalization is fashionable, the magnifying glass is scrutinizing three more subjects: racial discrimination, wildlife animal protection and environmental protection . This is an expression of political correctness based upon moral superiority.

In the end, if African newspapers say that the Chinese people are weak pygmies, I would be very happy because it showed that they have finally discovered "rogerlee."

(March 23, 2009)

A netizen tells that the great Custer has updated his blog:

For those who don’t know already, Hecaitou has responded to this post. He offers five reasons why the post isn’t racist, which include ‘China never had slaves’, ‘black people really do look like monkeys’ and ‘black people in China are not treated differently than Chinese’. All in all, I think it supports what I’m saying in this post pretty well, but you’re welcome to go there to check it — and the comments — out.

It would seem that the right to unilaterally declare victory is not the sole right of patriotic thugs.  Our white brothers are also skilled at this by declaring "it supports what I'm saying in this post" and "pretty well" at that.  More praiseworthy is that he cited selectively to make Hecaitou say "black people really do look like monkeys" as well as defending the Chinese government (because Hecaitou declared that "black people in China are not treated differently than Chinese.")

This is enough to cause despair because the openness of the Internet has not increased understanding and knowledge among people.  Instead, it has widened the chasm instead.  Of course, I don't want to be that pessimistic, so I will revise my statement: the Internet will make the extremists more extreme.  This Custer person cited my three sentences as if he was an upset priest wagging his white beard and condemning me: "Blasphemy!  This is disgusting blasphemy!"

From the moment when I posted the cartoon (which came from Wang Xiaofeng) up to now, I feel that the most absurd thing is that Custer who came from a country with a longlasting history of racial discrimination would be accusing people in another country of racism.  Let me count: from the founding of the United States of America more than 200 years ago to the Civil Rights Act, that nation was engaged in extensive racial discrimination against blacks.  The era of equal rights is just a small proportion of that history.  But today, American citizens have become the vanguard against racism.

Custer is not just an isolated case.  Among Americans, there are many similar people with fervent preaching passions.  They know that racism is bad, but they have no idea that other people are aware of the fact a long time ago.  Therefore, just like the Silly Big Sister of Wang Xiaobo who has just learned that about buttoning up clothes and so she tells everyone to "button up!."  They may be well-intentioned people, but they are also narrow-minded and therefore quite annoying.

Narrow-mindedness is a very precise term.  When Custer saw the cartoon, he was stunned and he went on to discuss the indifference of the Chinese people towards racism.  However, he refused to consider this issue from the perspective of a Chinese person.  He tacitly assumed that the whole world needs to contemplate this issue from an American viewpoint.  When people decline, he gets outraged and he makes an update to draw the whole world in.  How can such a foreigner look civilized in China?

So what if you make a hundred more updates?  There is still no racism in China.  Why did the high jumper Zhu Jianhua and the hurdler Liu Qiang trigger such a national passion?  Where did the passion come from?  Because the Chinese people are keenly aware that jumping higher and running faster are related to racial characteristics.  For the longest time, it was accepted that these areas were owned by white and black peoples.  Therefore, when a yellow person can become a champion, they are excited.  But there is no evidence whatsoever that the elite class or the general population of China would feel that they are superior to the other races.  So where does racism come from?

The only thing that we can deplore is that discrimination is prevalent in China.  The people in the cities discriminate against those from the rural areas, the rich people discriminate against the poor, the intellectual workers discriminate against the physical laborers, the general population discriminate against those from Henan province and Shanghai city.  These types of discrimination are awful, but also prevalent.  They are based upon social position, wealth or geographical region, but not upon race.  At far as discrimination is concerned, we have equal rights for our people (note: this is dark humor, and not anti-WTO).  A black man may be searched in Beijing for no reason and be deprived of his right to privacy, but the police treat Chinese citizens the same way (note: this is an example, and does not imply that I condone such police action).  When a black man runs a small business in Guangzhou, the upper-class citizens may despise him but not any more than against other Chinese small businessmen (note: this is an example which does not imply that I support what these citizens think).

If Custer wants to expose this problem or tries to come up with a solution, I am grateful to him.  But he is clearly clueless about China and brings up a completely false issue.  Frankly, I have no patience for such people.  They haven't even weaned themselves from milk and they are already offering prescriptions because they think that they hold the truth in hand.

It is the middle of the night, and a foreigner is screaming from his heart: "People of China, you are racists!  Why can't you hear me!?  Why do you think this is normal!?"  When I hear that, I find it annoying and I wind up the slingshot in my hand.

(March 24, 2009)

Anon Said:


[translation]  (Do I have to like Africans?  If I don't like them, then is it a sin?)

Okay, then, I guess you won't have a problem when I tell you that I generally dislike Chinese people for their disgusting racism and ignorance. No problem, right? Who says I have to like Chinese people?

Okay, dude, save your claim of "their disgusting racism and ignorance."  Even if you tell me that you generally dislike any of Chinese people, that's fine.

I don't care about what you thought. I don't care you like or dislike Chinese people.  Should I?

God! It seems that the North America is not big enough for those hypocritical puritans, so they want to occupy all the blogsophere in the world.

(March 24, 2009)

Yimao's comment is very pointed and timely.  To forestall more idiotic comments, let me make these points:

1. Yimao is only talking about "westerners and especially their so-called leftists" and not the West as a whole.

2. Yimao supports democracy and therefore he says that "they think that democracy and freedom are for them to enjoy alone."  He thinks that the hypocrisy of the western leftists and their diversity talk are materially supporting many totalitarian regimes around the world.

3. Yimao does not discriminate against black people, but he detests the black politician Barack Obama, whom he regards as a slick politico.

4. Yimao's post contains a lot of information, as always.  If you don't understand, you should research more and then you can speak out.

From Racial Discrimination to Western Hypocrisy, by Yimao.

Most Chinese people do not like Japanese people, because the latter will try everyway possible to deny all the bad things that were done during 1931-1945.  Actually, this type of culture in which admitting mistakes is tantamount to losing face is common in East Asia.  Conversely, the Chinese like to talk about the Germans who are often found to be confessing to their crimes during the Second World War.  But when you read how <The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich> is roundly criticized in Germany (including by the Chancellor Adenauer who fell down on his knees in tears at the stele in commemoration of the dead Jews in Poland), it was because the author suggested that Adolf Hitler was an inevitable monster that came out of the blood of the German people.  The Germans were outraged: If Hitler was inevitable, why should we be sorry?  Thus came the blowback.

Once you understand this flaw about Christian civilization, you will undesrtand the various odd behaviors of the western leftists.

For example, racism.

One hundred years ago, I would differently be classified as a firm anti-racists by the westerners.  I firmly believe that there is no inherent different due to race.  When people live in the same environment with the same resources, they will have the same achievements.  It is evil to restrict or deprive political, religious and economic rights on the basis of race.

But today, I am classified as a racist because the westerners have changed their minds.

When they realized all the bad things that they have done, they began to go all out.  Anything said against other races becomes racial discrimination.

The problem is that different races have different history, which lead to differences in economics, culture and politics with different habits and characteristics.  Some things are bad, while others are good.  If you are now allowed to say anything, then it is like blindfolding yourself and pronounce that Earth is the centre of the universe.

Then these hypocritical westerns export various odd theories.  Iraq and North Korea are not dictatorships; they are just different cultures.  As for the chaotic countries in Africa, they would not be so chaotic if the western powers did not meddle.

In Rwanda, the western nations did not supply armaments, but the Hutus managed to use machetes to massacre more than 1 million Tutsis.  Of course, hypocrites say that these were the racial divisions left behind by western colonialism.  But I am perplexed because do you mean that the Africans didn't know how to fight before the westerners came?

The evolution of the economy, politics and culture go through phases.  Some people move ahead faster than others.  Are we not allowed to talk about this?

The more I come into contact with westerners, the more I resent them.  At heart, they carry a strong racism.  They hold up the manner of cultural diversity and they firmly believe that democracy and freedom are good things that only they can enjoy; as for other people, they have different cultures ... 

As I arrive at this point, I read in the news that your recently elected American president Barack Obama has just begun to print more money to save the economy.  I am not going to talk about the hard-earned foreign reserves of the Chinese people are going to evaporate.  I only want to ask Obama a question, "Do you know who was the only person to save the economy through widespread inflation in the twentieth century?"

Let me tell you: it was Adolf Hitler.

No wonder the Zimbabwe Central Bank director complained: You Americans criticize me for a long time and then your fiscal policies turned out to be the same as mine.

You black brothers really have the same level of intelligence!

Related Links:

Wuhan University is famous for the sakura trees on its campus, and this is flower blossom time.  At around 3pm, two women wearing Japanese kimonos showed up on the sakura avenue.  The older woman wore a purple kimono while the younger woman wore a flowery kimono.  A middle-aged man acted as their photographer along with a younger woman.  All four spoke in Wuhan accent, and they stayed for about 10 minutes.

As they go on with the filming, a  young man charged up and howled: "Do not wear kimonos to film inside Wuhan University!" and "Kimono-wearing Japanese get out of there!"  Another young woman joined him in the harangue.  The group of four quickly fled to another spot, where they were now followed by more than 10 young persons.  Many spectators also expressed their anger too.

The mother and daughter did not talk back.  They quickly took off their kimonos, packed up and left.  The reporter saw that the mother's face was flushed, while the young girl comforted the daughter: "Don't pay any attention to them.  This is nothing.  They are just a bunch of crazies."

The reporter went up and asked them why they wore kimonos to the sakura garden.  They said: "We thought that the kimonos looked good for photographs.  We did not consider anything else.  We have no other motive."

According to a young woman who joined in the heckling: "Although kimonos are pretty, they are ultimately the dresses for the Japanese and it makes people feel uneasy and peculiar."  But other students thought that other people should not be interfering with individual acts.

Netizen commen5s from KDNet:

I am perplexed that if the patriotic students at Wuhan University could permit these trees to continue to grow on their campus.  Why not just cut them down, uproot them and burn them?  Wouldn't that be so satisfying?  So patriotic?  Huh?

Eh, didn't you notice that Wuhan University charges admission fees to view those sakura flowers?  The revenue is in the hundreds of thousands of yuan.

This does appear to be somewhat bigoted and narrow-minded.  Even those people who have received higher education act this way, so others can only expected to be like that.  This is pitiful and saddening

The love of beauty has no borders.  Nobody can stop that.

The president of Wuhan University thinks that Harvard University is located in the city of Harvard and that the American education system is the best ever in the world.  Thus, the students of Wuhan University are now as Wu First Son (note: this is the name of a short and ugly man in <Water Margin> whose pretty wife Pan Jinlian cheated no him murdered him.  This story also shows up in the erotic novel <The Plum in the Golden Vase>.).

My prediction is that the term Wu First Son will be an instant Internet hit phrase.

According tin ChinaNews: Wuhan University forbids the wearing of kimonos on campus for filming during sakura blossom season.  Several years ago, professional photographs rent out kimonos to tourists for filming.  In the 1980's, someone even rented out Japanese military uniforms and sabers for filming.  Based upon the special history of these sakura trees as the products of the Japanese invasion of China, the university decided to ban all such items during sakura season hereafter. 

A national class university could not even tolerate a kimono?  How do you expect them to communicate and exchange with Japan and the rest of the world?

Great Chinese figures such as Lu Xun, Guo Moruo and Qiu Jin had all worn Japanese dresses and had photos taken.  It looks like we need to re-evaluate them now.

Why did the sakura flowers do wrong?  What did the kimonos do wrong?

If you want to wear a kimono, you should go to Tokyo.  The Pacific Ocean should not stop you.

This is the lovely of March, and there is nothing wrong with a mother and her daughter wanting to take photos while wearing kimonos.  But they chose a university venue with a known history under Japanese occupation, so this clearly touches the public nerve.  As a result, their experience there is only expected.

You can't blame everything on Wuhan University.  Angry young people do not grow up on one day.  Instead, their parents, their teachers in elementary and secondary schools, their playmates and the media molded them this way.

In recent years the patriotic Chinese youth have struck hard at the Japanese ghouls.  Their major accomplishments include:
- They surrounded a Japanese sedan driven by a Chinese woman (in Shanghai 2004)
- They harangued two Chinese woman wearing kimonos
Meanwhile, Japanese Hondas and Toyotas are everywhere even as the sakura trees planted by the Japanese invaders continue to flourish at Wuhan University.

Extreme anti-Japanese sentiments and extreme pro-Japanese sentiment are present simultaneously on this forum.  This is a unique Chinese characteristic.

This is a fantastic country, this is a great people, anything can happen here ...

At around 14:00 on March 14, a netizen with ID coco_int posted at the international affairs forum of Sohu.com under the title <China begins to evacuate its citizens from the Philippines, war is about to break out any second>.

coco_int cites the largest media company ABS-CBN in the Philippines as the source of information.  Supposedly, China is actively evacuating its nationals after "futile" and "ineffective" negotiations over the sovereignty of south sea islands.  As of March 13, China has evacuated about 30,000 persons already.  When contacted by Southern Metropolis Daily, ABS-CBN denied ever publishing such information.

At around 16:00 on March 14, another netizen with ID activeway posted on a NetEase blog under the title <Signs of war: China announces the evacuation of its nationals from the Philippines>.  The source of information is Strait Times of Singapore.  Supposedly, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Civic Affairs Bureau and the Ministry of Defense have been planning the evacuation of Chinese nationals from the Philippines.  A deposit has even been paid for the use of the seaport and airport facilities in Singapore.  When contacted by Southern Metropolis Daily, Strait Times denied ever publishing such information.

Using Google, the reporter found that coco_int's post has 4,600 results including the Strong Nation forum, the Iron Blood forum, Sina.comm, Tianya forum plus all sorts of other forums.  At one Global Times forum, the post has accumulated more than 100,000 unique IP visits.  At the Navy Forum, the post had more than 9,000 unique IP visits.  At the Tianya forum, the post had more than 133,000 visits with more than 400 comments.  Most of the comments were skeptical, including from those who visited the ABS-CBN websites and found nothing of the sort.  But there were also some who supported war with the Philippines.

On March 18, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Qin Gan issued a denial and declared the story to be "completely fabricated without any factual basis whatsoever."  Afterwards the related Internet posts drew less attention.

Yesterday, there was a special topic set up at the Tianya forum: <Perfume female student -- shameless self-promotion in the name of freedom>.

The "perfume female student" claimed to have been forced to withdraw from Beijing Foreign Studies University because she had criticized the Ministry of Education in her blog.  This outraged innumerable netizens.  But after the publication of investigative media reports and the disclosure of more information, the rage is shifting over to the likelihood that the whole matter was a promotion gimmick.  While netizens are very tolerant about people promoting themselves through showing their bodies or disclosing personal information, they are angry when people use their respect for freedom to promote themselves.

In this special Tianya topic, it is said: "We do not oppose hyping, but we oppose vulgar commercial promotion that is carried out in the name of civil rights, in the name of education and in the name of freedom!  At this point, we can more or less see that 'BFSU perfume female student' is the result of tireless efforts by her promoters as well as a certain website.  This has only revealed your vulgarity and shamelessness.  Civil rights and freedom of speech are what every one of us wants, but they cannot become the tools by which certain people gain fame.  Even if you are uncontrite, shouldn't you reflect?"

I began to care about this affair because of a forum post made by Dahuzi, whom I admired for his efforts to make accurate information available on the Internet over the years.  Besides, I trust his professional conduct and standards.  After seeing his posting of the Beijing Foreign Studies University female student being forced to withdraw for criticizing the Ministry of Education, I spent some time to understand the case.

But I was immediately skeptical.  Could BFSU really have asked a student to withdraw for writing something on her blog?  If true, this is real news story.  So many media reports came out, including the response from the school, the comments from fellow students and the statements by the principal herself on her blog.  That should be enough for people to decide.  I just read Dahuzi's apology to teacher Liu after he contacted the Southern Metropolis Daily reporter who covered this incident.

Indeed, it is necessary to apologize to teacher Liu.  When people called for a human flesh search on teacher Liu, it was based upon a one-sided story with no chance for teacher Liu to explain.  When the netizens began their criticisms of BFSU, they did not wait for any explanations from the university.  Perhaps people believe that an individual is a weak force whereas an institution is a strong force, and therefore the individual will always be oppressed by the institution.  But even as we stand up for the individual, we forgot that sometimes an individual can use the strength of the institution to her own advantage.

The key point here is whether this BFSU withdrew on her own, or was forced to withdraw?  After we clear up this point, we can worry about whether she was ousted for expression her views on her blog.  The latest post by the Chanel girl is an essay full of diplomatic niceties which give no clue.  She said that everything should be based upon what the university president and teacher Liu say, and she will not explain any further.  So is she unable to explain her lies?  Was she pressured to shut up?  Or was she so physically exhausted as to be unable to explain?  The essay clearly left enough room for everyone to speculate.

If the university is lying in this affair, then this affair is far from reaching an end.  The public will obviously want to get to the bottom of this, or even seek justice through legal means.

If Chanel is lying in this affair, then we all the more so to reflect why we believed such a lie so readily and why we were even willing to stir up a storm to hurt innocent persons?

If this was just a promotional tactic, then we must similarly reflect on this tactic turned out to be so successfully?  Why were we willing to give up our concern and judgment of facts because we hold some kind of position

If Chanel is lying in this affair, then it is personally sad for her that she would use lies to gain fame, or a future career.  But if she really did become famous as a result, we ought to reflect why in this society, hype is the only thing that matters, right and wrong don't matter and fame is everything?

As I have written, I am presently overwhelmed by interview requests about the late Chinese writer Eileen Chang, to whom I presently hold the role of literary estate executor.  Almost every reporter wanted to know about my personal impressions of her.

Now that is very tough.  What can I say about someone that I met briefly forty-seven years ago when I was only twelve years old?  Not much, I am afraid.  I remember her as a tall, thin woman who spoke the Shanghainese dialect.  She did not want to mix with us children, but she kept a keen eye on our behavior as if she was keeping notes for her next novel (but that never happened because she did not know us well enough).

There are other members in our household, and I began to compare our recollections of Eileen Chang.  According to my sister, who is two years old than me, Eileen Chang was myopic but refused to wear glasses.  Therefore, the world must have appeared as a blur to her.  My sister shared the same problem and was therefore more appreciative of the problems.  I had no clue.

According to our maid, who started to work for us in Shanghai in the late 1940's, Eileen Chang probably had a digestion problem during her stay with us in the 1962.  Eileen went out to buy bread for herself every day, but would not eat them until the next day when they were stale.  I had no clue either.

My maid also told me that when Eileen Chang arrived in Hong Kong to write film scripts for Cathay Pictures, she was picked up at the airport by the studio manager Tu Meiqing (屠梅卿).  That was a trivial detail in the matter of Eileen Chang, but quite a significant step in my personal life.

How was a twelve-year-old boy supposed to learn about the facts of life?  Could he have asked his parents to explain the birds, the bees and other matters in the 1960's in Hong Kong?  They will probably just laugh him off.

Instead, my tutors were the chauffeurs in the apartment building with whom I played cards and coin-tossing games in the hope of learning more.  Understandably, they would never explain certain facts of life to me because if that ever got back to my parents, they could lose their jobs.  So I lived enshrouded in ignorance.  How was I supposed to find out?

I had another possible resource.  Since my father was the executive producer at the Cathay Pictures movie studio, I could visit the studio sometimes, wander about and talk to the various people there.  As a child,  I can ask any question that I want without embarrassment because I was in blissful ignorance of the facts of life.  So it was that I asked the studio manager Tu Meqing: "娘希匹是什麼意思?  (translation: What is the meaning of the term娘希匹?)  He had nothing to say on that score.

Years later, I began to read the many so-called biographies of Chiang Kai-shek and I began to appreciate why I receive no reply from Mr. Tu.  It was bad to reply just as it was bad not to.  I am sorry that I ever asked.  But I had the excuse of being only twelve years old.

So what is 娘希匹?  It is the Ningbo dialect version of Tamadi (他媽的), which is politely translated as "damn it" and literally translated as "his mother's [c*nt]. 

By the way, when I was attending university, I formed a champion soccer team under the name of Tamadi, and the university administration had no idea what the word meant.

Related Link: 宋祖英自曝靠说脏话发泄情绪 惹许戈辉大笑

(Taipei Times)  Kuo returning from Toronto to explain offending articles.  By Shih Hsiu-chuan.  March 15, 2009.

Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), information division director of Taiwan’s representative office in Toronto, will report to the Government Information Office (GIO) tomorrow to account for whether he published online articles defaming Taiwan under the alias Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽). “[Kuo] is on his way back to Taiwan and will explain the matter to Minister Su Jun-pin [蘇俊賓] on Monday,” GIO Vice Minister Hsu Chiu-huang (?? said yesterday.

On Wednesday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) accused Kuo of having written a number of articles defaming Taiwan and its people under the pen name.

In the articles, the author referred to the Taiwanese as taibazi (台巴子, “Taiwanese rednecks”) and wokou (倭寇, “Japanese pirates”). The author said “the imposition of martial law had been a benevolent act of the then government,” and that “[China] should spend many years suppressing [people in Taiwan] instead of granting any political freedom [to them] once it has taken Taiwan by force.” The author also called Taiwan a “ghost island.”

Kuan said her allegation was based on the fact that one of the online articles about Taipei’s Jiancheng Circle market posted on Fan Lan-chin’ blog on July 25, 2006, was also published by Kuo in the Chinese-language China Times on Aug. 2, 2006. The article described feelings about the decline of the Jiancheng Circle, Taipei’s oldest food market. A phrase that read “we are high-class mainlanders” was mentioned in the article.

Hsu said Kuo sent a statement to the GIO to explain himself, in which he said that he wrote the China Times article but not the others under the name Fan Lan-chin. Kuo was quoted by Hsu as saying the article he wrote was then posted on Fan Lan-chin’s blog. Kuo was also quoted by Hsu as conceding that he did write “we are high-class mainlanders” in the article, but saying that the phrase was meant as “an expression of self-depreciation.”

(Apple Daily)  So far, Taiwan netizens have found 55 essays by Kuo Kuan-ying/Fan Lan-chin.  Among them is an article by Kuo Kuan-ying about the movie <Lust, Caution> titled: 先辈尝炎凉 后人续春秋    看《色,戒》如此颠覆国史!

So I went ahead and looked up a copy of the article at Utopia.  I burst out laughing when I read the following paragraphs:

  在台北《色,戒》首映后的酒会上,我见老友高信疆进来,问他怎么来了?他说他的儿子高英轩在片里饰一角(演司机及房东),他由北京来参加首映。我告诉他我有一批评《色,戒》之文,《联合报》未经我同意就刊发了。他说他一回来,太太就把此剪报给他看。高妻柯元馨是一虔诚教徒,又看此文,乃在首映会中凡 有色处皆闭眼不看,垂首祷告。


  高信疆说:张文是1978年间香港文学家唐文标拿来给我登的。唐是张爱玲风潮的启蒙者,后来编了《张爱玲资料大全集》,由时报出版公司出版。张爱玲在美国看到书后很生气,认为侵犯她的著作权,时报只得停止发行。19856月,时任时报出版总经理的柯元馨,打电话给当时住在台中的唐文标,说仓库还有 400本书:你如果要,我就雇一辆小车给你送去;如果不要,就准备销毁。老唐自是满口要要要。司机把书送到唐家楼下,老唐一人搬上楼。他患鼻咽癌多年,照过钴六十的伤口,承受不住重力压挤,竟出血不止而亡。一位台北文艺界朋友听闻消息后痛哭失声,说:唉,唐文标,爱死了张爱玲!爱张爱玲爱到赔掉一条命,现代文学史上也仅老唐一人啊。

[in translation]

At the cocktail party for the Taipei premiere of <Lust, Caution>.  I saw my old friend Kao Hsin-chiang come in.  I asked him what he came.  He said that his son Kao Ying-hsien had a role in the film (as the chauffeur and landlord) and therefore he came from Beijing to attend this premiers.  I told him that I have a series of essays critical of <Lust, Caution> which United Daily published without my permission.  He said that his wife showed him the clippings as soon as he came back.  His wife is a devout Christian who read the essays and she "promised to close her eyes and pray whenever there is any sexy scene during the movie."

I said: "You're the one who created the problem."  I object to <Lust, Caution> because of the story.  It is based upon an Eileen Chang novel published while Kao Hsin-chiang was the chief editor of the China Times supplement section.

Kao Hsin-chiang said: "Chang's story was turned over to me in 1978 by the Hong Kong literary expert Tang Wen-piao.  Tang is the initiator of the Eileen Chang craze and edited the <The Collected Information On Eileen Chang> published by China Times.  When Eileen Chang saw the book in the United States, she was very angry because she felt that Tang had violated her intellectual property rights.  So China Times had to stop distribution.  In June 1985, the China Times Publishing House general manager called Tang Wen-piao in Taichung and told him that there were 400 more copies of the book in the warehouse.  'If you like, I will rent a van and shipped them over to you; if not, I will destroy them.'  Tang said that he wanted them.  So the driver brought the books over to the door of his house, and Tang had to carry them to his first-floor apartment by himself.  Tang had nasopharyngeal cancer for years already, and the effort caused him to bleed to death.  A friend in the Taipei literary circle cried when he learned the news: 'Sigh, Tang Wen-piao, you loved Eileen Chang to death!'  In modern literary history, Tang is the only person who died as a result of loving Eileen Chang."

How could Kao Hsin-chiang have told Kuo Kuan-ying this?  The story was shipped over to Kao Hsin-chiang by my father, who is named Stephen Soong Chi and not Tang Wen-piao.  It is C.T. Hsia whose essay in his book on Contemporary Chinese Literature established Eileen Chang's reputation.  The mistakes go on and on ...

(SCMP)  Fan frenzy for Gillian Chung.  By Amy Nip.  March 12, 2009

Scandal-hit pop singer Gillian Chung Yan-tung caused chaos in Mong Kok yesterday when she made her first public appearance since her showbiz comeback. About 300 people, including screaming fans, the press and curious pedestrians, gathered in Sai Yeung Choi Street as Chung stepped out of a car and headed to the Bauhaus store, for which she is acting as a spokeswoman. The crowd - held back by about a dozen policemen and security guards - spilled into the road during the excitement.

Chung, wearing a T-shirt, jacket and jeans, said she was nervous before attending the promotional event. It was her first since she was embroiled in the sex-photos scandal surrounding Edison Chen Koon-hei, in which photographs of stars having sex with the actor were put on the internet. "I slept for three hours before waking up. Then I slept again but woke up once more. I haven't been to Mong Kok for a very long time," she said.

One male fan shouted "I love you", to which Chung replied: "Thank you for tolerating me." When asked by reporters if singer Juno Mak Chun-lung was her boyfriend, she said she had never admitted they were in a relationship. Most people in the crowd welcomed Chung's return to showbiz, although some were critical. "The sex photos are her private matter. She was just unlucky that somebody posted it in public," Catherine Wong said. Ching Ka-chun, a Form Four pupil, said: "I support her because she is brave enough to face the public. She has my sympathy." But his schoolmate, Yeung Chun-fui, said: "If she took the pictures in order to save her relationship with Edison, then she is too stupid. Edison is famous for being a playboy."

(Oriental Daily)  Three hundred spectators gathered at Gillian's promotional activity.

This is Gillian Chung's second day back at work and she showed up at Bauhaus' TOUGH Jeansmith in Mongkok!  On her first day back at work, she held a press conference which attracted more than 100 media workers.  Today, she faced the public and her fans for the first time.  When she showed up in Mongkok, she was greeted enthusiastically.  Two to three hundred spectators were present, including some fans who brought along gongs to welcome her.  Gillian showed up in a sports utility vehicle.  She wore a cap and looked very stylish!  She played the role of the store manager for her fans.  The spectators cheered for her.  This was yet another big step towards success for Gillian!

(Apple Daily)

Sexy Photo Gate female principal Gillian Chung stayed out of the limelight for a year and then appeared on TVB and held a press conference.  Yesterday, she attended a promotional activity at the Bauhaus store in Mongkok.  Even before she arrived, there were up to a thousand spectators already, in addition to almost 100 fans and more than 100 reporters.  When Gillian showed up, the fans supported her by cheering.  But there were also citizens who yelled aloud "Naive Gillian" along with her indecent nickname.

Throughout the event, Gillian was covered with smiles.  She was clearly more relaxed than during the press conference yesterday.  She said that she only slept for three hours and then she woke up at 6am to read the Internet reports.  She said: "I am very nervous.  I have not been to Mongkok for a long time.  I have not seen my fans for a long time."

As for how she felt after her press conference, she smiled and said: "Yesterday was the best that I have ever done.  I did not stutter."

So of the two biggest Chinese-language newspapers in Hong Kong, one announced a roaring success while the other hinted at an indecent nickname being shouted out.  At HK Golden Forum, they had no qualms at spelling out what was being chanted by dissidents.

Gillian Chung Yan-tung thought about killing herself - but only for a fleeting moment.

The Canto-pop star's girl-next door image was shattered after explicit sex photos of her and actor-singer Edison Chen Koon-hei were posted on the internet last year, and her future career looked bleak. But, she said yesterday, "If I died, all my problems will be passed on to the people around me, the people who care about me." So she abandoned the idea, and picked herself up for a grand return to showbiz.

Chung's long-awaited interview was shot yesterday at the Repulse Bay mansion of tycoon Albert Yeung Sau-sing, owner of Emperor Entertainment Group to which Chung belongs.

Chung said that after the outbreak of the sex-photo scandal, she lost all her dignity. "There's no privacy any more," she said. "I showed everything to everyone, and no matter what I do, I'll get the blame. But dignity is the most important."

Last February, when the scandal was still at its peak, Chung said that she was too naive and silly. A year later, she still has not changed the way she thought of herself - or her appearance; her dark straight hair was centre-parted, just like the way she looked a year ago.

"I blame myself for doing such a foolish thing," she said, tearfully. When asked why she took the photos, Chung gave a puzzling answer. "I don't know ... maybe I don't want to lose ..." But she did not elaborate on what she did not want to lose.

After the outbreak of the scandal, Chung attempted to continue her work as usual, making an appearance on a TVB charity variety show, but it attracted more than 2,000 complaints from the public. Mr Chan said it accounted for a quarter of the total number of complaints the station received a year. "I called my mother, and I cried really hard. I said to my mother, 'I'm exhausted. I can't stand it any more'. She was being very supportive and said, 'If you want to quit, then quit'," Chung said.

Chung will make an official comeback next Tuesday as the regional ambassador for local fashion chain Bauhaus' TOUGH Jeansmith for which she will earn a seven-digit sum. A Bauhaus' spokesman said that the company approached Chung for the job in the middle of last year, believing her toughness and willingness to face challenges fitted with the brand's corporate image.

The full interview will be aired on TVB Pay Vision on Saturday.

(SCMP)  Where's my apology, cries Gillian Chung   By Vivienne Chow and Ng Kang-chung.  March 7, 2009.

Gillian Chung Yan-tung wants an explanation and apology from Edison Chen Koon-hei over the sex-photo scandal that drove her to the brink of suicide, even though she doubts she will ever see him again. "I've been under so much pressure. I want an apology or some kind of consolation, but there's nothing," Chung said, echoing remarks made earlier by fellow victim Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi.

Cheung had accused Chen of failing to come forward with a personal apology to the four women who were photographed in intimate acts with the pop star. The images were later leaked onto the internet. Chung said she was deeply bothered that Chen, now overseas, had not tried to contact her.

"What he said in public does not matter. But at least, he should have talked to us ... When it happened, when I wanted to make sure what had actually happened, of course he was the one to talk to. But I could not find him. I felt so helpless."

Chung made the comments on TVB Pay Vision's show Be My Guest, previewed to the media last night. She said Chen had been stringing her along on and off for nearly five years, ever since her showbiz career began in 2000 as one half of the pop duo Twins, a brainchild of the Emperor Entertainment Group. Her singing partner, Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin, had warned her that Chen was a bad guy, she said, but she did not listen.

Chung, 28, said that Chen was her greatest love, and he had had a profound influence on her. Why did she let him take photos of them engaged in sex? She said she did not want to lose him and Chen had assured her no one else would see them - that they were for his own pleasure.

"I thought why didn't [Edison] call to apologise. Or why didn't he explain the whole thing to me? But I have had nothing to do with him any more, so whether I forgive him does not matter ... I think I will not see him again."

Chung made a brief statement in February last year when the scandal was at its peak, saying she had been naive and silly. She explained that what she meant by "naive and silly" was her love for Chen.

Her remarks in February led to criticism from those who said her response was in stark contrast to her tearful reaction to being secretly photographed while changing her clothes in Malaysia. "I was angry. I felt that I had been raped," she said. "But those [Malaysian] photos ... it was unfortunate they were leaked. There's a big difference between voluntary and involuntary actions."

Chung said she thought of killing herself and quitting showbiz. But she chose to continue, largely for the sake of her family. "I'm in this business for my family. I want to give them a better life. So I don't want to give up just like that," Chung said, referring to her sister, mother and grandparents.

After a year out of the spotlight, Chung will make an official return on Tuesday at a press conference for local fashion chain Bauhaus' TOUGH Jeansmith, a jeans brand she endorsed. She admitted her fear of the press, but she insisted that she will not run away. "[The scandal] was so long ago and all I hope is that people can at least give me some dignity," she said. "I do not expect people to forgive me ... I know the future will be tough but I will not give up."

Clips of the interview were aired on TVB on Thursday night - and led to 215 complaints being filed against Chung with the Broadcasting Authority. TVB said it received 60 complaints and 28 supportive messages. The full interview will be aired on TVB Pay Vision tomorrow.

(Apple Daily)

Just like the Cecilia Cheung interview, the Gillian Chung interview was a sensation in Hong Kong.  I don't have TVB Pay Vision at hom, so I can only read the transcript in the newspapers.  I don't doubt that Gillian Chung is sincere, but her interview showed too many hints of public relations techniques from her company.  First of all, the interview took place in the house of her boss Albert Yeung.  Second, her manager Mani Fok interfered at the scene to the point that the interviewer Stephen Chan got upset.  Thirdly, there were significant discussions of Gillian Chung re-starting her career in entertainment and thus making it quite clear that this was a public relations show for her.  These signs make people think that this interview was plotted by her company, as opposed to Gillian Chung truly wanting to express her feelings or admitting her mistakes.

By comparison, Cecilia Cheung was much more plain.  First of all, she contacted Cable TV herself to have an interview.  Her motive was quite clear because she was just incensed when she read what Edison Chen said in an interview in Vancouver.  The interview took place at Cable TV without the presence of her manager or public relations personnel.  She did not mention anything about her career during the interview.  Perhaps she wanted to resume her career, but she certainly made no mention of that during this interview.  She emphasized many times during the interview that she was not a victim even though she really was.  But in doing so, she is acknowledging her mistake.  When the interview is so pure and plain without any hint of pre-planning, the public is sympathetic.

When Sexy Photo Gate first broke open last year, the public felt most deceived by Gillian Chung's company coming out to say that the photos were "fabricated by criminal elements" and filing a police report.  The company and Gillian Chung never gave an explanation about their actions afterwards.  Last year, Gillian Chung's 65-second press conference was also staged by her company, for which bad reviews poured in like a tide.  One year later, this interview staged by the company did not win any applause, never mind her reputation.

It is no big deal for someone to make a mistake.  The most important thing is to be able to face up to that mistake and accept responsibility.  The public will be tolerant.  But when there are too many hints of public relations manipulation, the effect is often quite the opposite.  Even if you are sincere, people will be suspicious.


The story came from Agence France Presse under the byline Peter Parks and was carried by major western media (see also France 24).

What is wrong here?  Here are the magnified description cards.  There is a vast difference between "guns used by Chinese soldiers" and "guns used by rebels."

Every time that this happens, all of western media suffers for it even though it was only one person's action.

Q1. During the budget speech of finance secretary John Tsang at Legco, three members of the League of Social Democrats (Raymond Wong Yuk-man, Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan Wai-yip) created a disturbance.  Do you support their actions?
17%: Support
73%: Don't support
10%: No opinion

Q2. Did this incident affect your image of Legislative Councilors?
  8%: Became better
57%: Became worse
25%: The same
10%: No opinion

Q3. Did this incident damage the image of the Legislative Council?
64%: Yes
27%: No
  9%: No opinion

Q4. Did this incident create bad influence among young people?
70%: Yes
21%: No
  9%: No opinion

Q5. Should the three Legislative Councilors apologize to the public?
66%: Yes
18%: No
16%: No opinion

Q6. Do you agree that the Meeting Rules should be amended to prevent future occurrences of similar incidents?
64%: Yes
24%: No
12%: No opinion

Q1. Some people have said that if former president Chen Shui-bian is found guilty and sentenced to jail, president Ma Ying-jeou should consider a special amnesty in order to avoid social diverseness.  Do you approve of a special amnesty in which president Ma Ying-jeou pardons former president Chen Shui-bian?
23%: Yes (51% among Democratic Progressive Party supporters; 13%: among KMT supporters; 22% among independents)
49%: No
28%: No opinion

Q2. Overall, do you think that performance of the judge during the corruption trials connected to former president Chen Shui-bian is impartial and fair, or favoring Chen Shui-bian, or disfavoring him?
43%: Impartial and fair
  7%: Favoring Chen Shui-bian
20%: Disfavoring Chen Shui-bian
30%: No opinion

Q3. In your personal view, do you believe that Chen Shui-bian is innocent of corruption?
10%: Yes
71%: No
20%: No opinion

Let us imagine that there is an Internet post that we shall nickname Postie.  How does Postie a become headline story?  From the moment of birth, Postie seeks to become a star.  The road is not easy because Postie has to step through a minefield before the "hidden rules" of the editors even apply.

There are some clearly visible mines, such as banned terms related to politics or pornography.  That is relatively easy for Postie.  Many other competitors aim for sensationalism and disruption, but they get quickly purged at this first step.

The next step involves detecting the hidden mines which are not easy to spot.  If Postie steps on one, it will die without even knowing why.  For example, a netizen in Hebei posted repeatedly on the singer Renee Liu but his posts were always rejected.  By checking and testing the contents carefully, he discovered that there was a song title <Sitting quietly 静静坐着> which contains the sensitive keyword "静坐" (for sitting still and meditating) in the middle.  Meanwhile a military enthusiast netizen wrote "armor piercing within twenty meters 可在20米内射穿板甲" but it was deleted.  It took someone else to point out that the sentence contains the term "内射" (which is used in the adult video industry to refer to ejaculation inside the body) in the middle.

After passing through the first two stages, Postie now faces the initial scrutiny of the webmaster (=the administrator in charge of the section).

River is a webmaster at Xici Hutong and was voted one of the top 10 webmasters in 2005.  His daily job is to delete unharmonious posts, to ban rule-breaking ID's, to handle complaints as well as highlight the best posts.  Postie has to get pass him.  He has three rules for posts like Postie: (1) Filthy language and vulgar content will lead to death; (2) Outdated information and pedestrian opinions are allowed to survive on their own; (3) Brilliant, innovative, interesting and though-provoking posts will be put onto the list of recommended items.  Postie will meet one of these three fates based upon its own merits.

"Apart from the webmasters, Xici Hutong also has a department that supervises the entire website," said River.  "These are the people who are in direct contact with the government and who will delete posts in accordance with the orders.  The webmasters in charge of the sections have no direct knowledge of these orders."  Usually, the posts that are wiped out by the supervisory department are speculative exposés of government malfeasance.  When the situation is unclear, it is inappropriate to publicize it.  So even though these posts have good potential to become stars, the timing is wrong.

The posts which are recommended by the webmasters stand a chance of gaining the approval of the website editors.  "The nature of our job is similar to the newspaper industry," said Sohu chief editor Liang Chunyuan.  "The blogs and the BBS's provide a lot of information.  Our job is to select the most valuable and topical issues."  When Postie meets this requirement, it will become a star that may even show up in the front page headline.

In order to become a star, Postie needed someone in charge to appreciate its value.  In December 2008, the post "Bureau director smoke sky-high-priced cigarettes" appeared at the Tianya Forum.  The editor of the weekly news report immediately detected its star potential.  How can a public servant afford to smoke cigarettes that cost 1,500 yuan per carton?  Given the current interest in wasteful government spending, that post had a "selling point."  The next day, the editor verified the story and made it the headline of Tianya Weekly Report with a flashing red face.  The post became hot immediately with more than 70,000 page views and 2,000 comments within one day.  On the next day, netizens found out that this bureau director wore an expensive Vauchon Constantin watch.  On the sixth day, netizens found out that this bureau director drove a Cadillac.  Eventually, the bureau director lost his job.  Other stories such as the Lin Jiaxiang affair and the Qiang Jianguo affair also followed the same trajectory as the headline of Tianya Weekly Report.

Even if Postie has star value, it may sink into oblivion if it does not have the right line.  "Take for example the posts about the CCTV fire," said one website editor.  "Persistent discussion would negatively affect the image of CCTV.  So while we didn't delete the posts, we didn't recommend them either.  They just sank away slowly."

So this is how Postie becomes famous, and this path is a simplified picture of how information is being controlled on the Internet today.  But at the same time, there are other types of control coming in from outside this system.

In July 2008, a netizen posted at Tianya: "Certain Henan provincial officials paid 200,000 yuan to purchase villas that cost 2,000,000 yuan to construct."  Afterwards, a worker at the Xinyang city State Land Resources Department told a reporter: "The director is aware of this post and is working to get it deleted."  Another example is the sensational post on "Sanlu paid Baidu 3,000,000 yuan for public relations work."  Although Baidu denied it ever took any "shut-up" money from Sanlu, many netizens wondered why Baidu returns fewer results on "melamine" than Google.

"Although technology has brought about a certain equality, the relationship between those who own the technology and those who don't is also one in which some are in control while others are being controlled due to the digital gap," commentator Xiong Peiyun wrote in his blog.  "When power merges with technology, does society become impotent?"