(Southern Metropolis Daily)

The China Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010

Recently, an Internet post claimed that a large piece of farmland at the intersection of National Expressway 209 and Provincial Route 329 in Funing county, Jiangsu province has been taken over for the purpose of constructing a plaza.  At the center of this plaza was a copy of the China Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.  It was claimed that this red building was 24 meters tall and the square platform on top was 43 meters by 43 meters.  The whole structure was largely similar in structure, color and appearance to the China Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

The Funing edition of the China Pavilion.

At the local Funing Internet forums, this building was a popular subject for discussion.  People were angry that this building used up 600 tons of high-grade steel while taking over a large piece of farmland.  Other people made it clear that they were angry with this ill-advised expenditure because it was an image project with no conceivable utility.  There are others who thought that this plaza will be a landmark (soon to be surrounded by commercial buildings) for the people of Funing, which was otherwise completely buried in unsightly poverty.

Is this true?

On the afternoon of April 28, the Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter searched the Internet and located the bid request for project BNX20100100501-02, which included the project location, the price, the source of funding, the method of contract awarding, the bidder qualifications etc.  This project has been approved by the relevant government departments, the funding comes from the government and the price is about 3.5 million yuan for the project to be completed in 80 days.

The Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter then contacted the company which managed the bidding process.  A worker there said that the county needed an imitation copy of the China Pavilion in order to welcome the World Expo.  The specifications came from the government departments.  The project was awarded before the Lunar New Year and construction is presently in progress.

On the afternoon of April 28, the Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter contacted the Funing County Planning Bureau.  A worker there said that he knew nothing about the reason, the costs, the land ownership or intellectual property rights of the project.  He quoted a statement from the project director named Wu: "I don't know."

The Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter then contacted the Funing county government information office.  Deputy director Zhou Kong said that this scaled down sculpture China Pavilion was built to meet the demands of the masses for the purpose of bringing honor to the cultural spirit of the World Expo.  The land was previously fallow and not some farmland as alleged.  According to Zhou Kong, the total cost of the project was less than 1 million yuan and the project was scheduled to be completed on or about May 20."

"Besides, where is an impoverished county going to come up with 10 million yuan?  The Internet figure is wrong.  But we won't hold the netizen accountable for the inaccuracy."  Zhou Kong said that the majority of the local people approve of this project because the county does not have any landmark building.  This new sculpture will become a landmark right off the National Expressway intersection.  He said that even though Funing county is classified as an "impoverished" county, it is better off than many of the other places in Anhui province.  "The skeptical netizens are just a small number of people who don't know the truth."

When asked about intellectual property violations, Zhou Kong said that they had not consider this issue beforehand.  But they have consulted experts who said that their sculpture (which has no interior content) is only an image and therefore not an intellectual property violation.

"Anything not disallowed by the central government can be done.  Since the leaders say that the Shanghai World Expo is also the World Expo for all Chinese persons, we built a sculpture to show our participation in the World Expo."  Zhou Kong said.

On the afternoon of April 28, Xiangtan University Institute of Intellectual Property Rights associate professor Liu Youhua was interviewed by the Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter.  He said that according to Chinese law, any uniquely created architecture is an intellectual property that is protected under the law.  The Funing county sculpture is a reproduction of the China Pavilion of the Shanghai World Expo and is therefore an IPR violation.

Professor Liu said that even if the Shanghai World Expo declines to seek legal redress, the action by Funing county should be criticized in terms of urban planning and brand building because it was disrespectful towards creativity, innovation and intellectual property rights.

(China Times)

Does Liberty Times have a public opinion polling centre?  If so, are they run by professionally competent people?  Does the setup meet professional standards?  Is the supervision of the interviewers up to professional standards?  Is the questionnaire design and data processing up to the professional standards?  These are the key issued in assessing the professionalism and credibility of public opinion polls run by media outlets.

In order to show that they did conduct a telephone poll after the ECFA debate, Liberty Times published a photo of its telephone call center.

Well, this only makes it look worse for any professional pollster.

First of all, in a professional telephone call center, the interviewers should be separated by wall partitions at least 150cm tall so that they do not interfere with each other.  The Liberty Times photo showed a cubicle area more like what is seen in a normal office than in a telephone call center.  Here are two photos of the Want Want-China Times call center.  The interviewers wear headphones to make sure that they only hear the respondents, and they are looking only at the computer monitor in front of them instead of other interviewers.  The Liberty Times interviewers are using conventional handsets.

Liberty Times also claimed that they have a video recording of the entire process.  This is even more hilarious to professionals.  At professional telephone call centers, the equipment comes with recording and listening in functions.  Supervisors will monitor the interviewers in order to make sure that they are doing the right thing.  The recordings can be checked later if there should be any problems.  Nobody in the world would make a video recording, which will only show a bunch of people in a room moving their lips without knowing what they said.  To emphasize that they had a video recording only showed that they lack professionalism.

The Want Want-China Times public opinion polling center is willing to make public its entire questionnaire, raw data and telephone recordings for scrutiny.  Any public opinion polling center which has confidence in its work will do the same.

(China Times)

Liberty Times said that "they conduct occasional public opinion polls whose results are published in the newspaper."  A review of the record showed that Liberty Times had released only three sets of poll results over a period of almost five years.

Liberty Times claimed that it was the only media outlet to get the right results in the Kaohsiung mayoral election in 2006.  However, it ignored to mention its two failures during the 2005 Taipei County mayoral election.

In 2005, mayoral elections were held all across Taiwan.  All the other media polled every single county/city.  But Liberty Times only "selectively" polled Taipei county.

At the time, the various other media polls showed that Chou Hsi-wei (KMT) had a lead of better than 10%.  Our own poll in mid-October showed that Chou Hsi-wei (KMT) leading Lo Wen-jia (DPP) by 32% to 25%.  Translated into votes, this implied a lead of 12%.  The final result was that Chou Hsi-wei won by 11% (55% versus 44%).

At a time when all the media gave Chou Hsi-wei a lead of 10% or more, the previously unknown Liberty Times public opinion polling center showed up and released two sets of results on November 10 and November 30.  These polls said that Chou Hsi-wei and Lo Wen-jia were in a dead heat.  Of course, the actual results showed that they were wrong.

Liberty Times refused to mention those failures.  Instead, it took delight in being the only media outlet to get the right result in the 2006 Kaohsiung mayoral election.  At the time, the other media polls showed Huang Jun-ying (KMT) ahead.  But the Liberty Times public opinion polling center said that Huang Jun-ying (KMT) was in a dead head with Chen Chu (DPP).  This was a similar situation, but the difference was that the pan-greens spread the rumor on election eve that Huang Jun-ying bought votes and gave him no time to response.  Some experts think that this was the cause of the sudden reversal that resulted in a victory by several thousand votes by Chen Chun.  Liberty Times was ecstatic for being the "sole accurate" poll.

(China Times)

1.  On April 26, we called on Liberty Times to disclose its "raw files" on the ECFA poll in order to dispel the various "professional" questions.  But Liberty Times declined to discuss the "raw files" and instead tried to say that it had a "full video recording" in order to misdirect attention.  The only way to gain public and professional trust is to disclose the "raw files".  This is the main point.  Liberty Times must not evade this point again.

2. China Times is willing to disclose all the raw files over the years to any professional polling organization to scrutinize.  We call on Liberty Times to do the same and allow third parties to scrutinize them.  Liberty Times must not evade this point again.

3. With respect to Liberty Times's claim that "they have contacted lawyers to study the possibility of filing a lawsuit," China Times ask them not to "study" any more.  If they think that we were inaccurate, they should file suit immediately.

Ming Pao commissioned the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme to conduct a public opinion poll from April 15 to 21.  543 Hong Kong citizens were interviewed.

With respect to the proposed package for electing the Chief Executive, 41% supported it while 33% opposed it.  This is about the same levels as before.

With respect to the proposed package for electing the Legislative Council, 37% supported it while 37% opposed it.  The support level dipped slightly from before.

With respect to whether the Legislator Councilors should vote for or against the proposed package, Ming Pao conducted two rounds of polling.  In the first round, the reasons that the pan-democrats offered for vetoing the proposal package were highlighted (such as the lack of a guarantee that the functional constituencies will be eliminated, the lack of a roadmap to universal suffrage and District Council appointment system).  The results showed that 41% wanted the package vetoed while 37% wanted it passed.

In the second round of polling with 502 persons interviewed between April 23 and 26, the above reasons were not highlighted.  Instead, the commonly given reasons for and against were briefly presented.  The results showed that 46% wanted the pack passed while 32% wanted it vetoed.

In addition, after the revised political reform package was published by the government, 48% of the respondents opposed the "five district de facto referendum" and 30% supported it.  This is about the same as the pre-publication levels.  Therefore, this revised political reform package has no impact on the "five district de facto referendum."

BOB GARFIELD: At the moment, 27.5 percent of Internet conversation is in English, but it’s clear that the future of the Internet will be one where no single language dominates. Next week, OTM producer Mark Phillips will report on what this means and how new tools could try to link these different languages together.

But there’s something that didn't quite make it into his piece, a conversation he had with a man named Roland Soong, one of the few people in the world right now who’s translating Chinese Internet content into English. And Mark’s here to tell us about him. Hey, Mark, welcome to the microphone.

MARK PHILLIPS: Hey, how’s it going?

BOB GARFIELD: Listen, before we get to this guy, just tell me briefly about the English/Chinese language gap, what that means and what we're doing to close it.

MARK PHILLIPS: Well, there’s actually some sites that are translating English content into Chinese. There’s a group that calls themselves the Eco Team. They're huge fans of The Economist, and they take the print version of The Economist each week and translate it into Chinese. There’s another site called Yi Yan which translates New York Times articles, influential blogs, The Guardian. So there’s lots of English being translated into Chinese. There’s just this one guy translating Chinese into English.

BOB GARFIELD: This is Roland Soong.

MARK PHILLIPS: Yeah, he’s got a blog called EastSouthWestNorth, to translate Chinese newspapers and blogs into English. And the site is – it’s not pretty to look at, and it only gets about 20,000 page views a day, but it’s a really interesting site and really important, in a way. I went over to talk to him at his apartment in New York, and he told me just how influential his blog is.

ROLAND SOONG: A survey of foreign correspondents based in China showed that about two-thirds of all foreign correspondents will consult my website. So the influence that my blog has is not so much the 20,000 but how foreign correspondents may be influenced by what I write and, in turn, will influence tens of millions of people all over the world.

BOB GARFIELD: So this guy is a translator. He’s also an aggregator and, I guess, a curator because what he decides is translation-worthy makes a big difference, huh?

MARK PHILLIPS: Yeah, I mean, I asked him which articles he chooses, and he said, at first, you know, just kind of whatever I'm interested in. But I pressed him and tried to get him to really explain why he chooses what he chooses.

ROLAND SOONG: My starting point is reading news about China written in English, so I get some sense what the sort of main theme of the day is, according to the English-language media. Then I would go into the Chinese media or the Internet and follow up on these stories. Very often what I find is that the Chinese media or the Internet have taken a completely different angle.

BOB GARFIELD: Did he give you any examples?

MARK PHILLIPS: Google was hacked, apparently, by someone in China, and when that was first happening The New York Times reported on it and said that the cyberattacks were carried out from two schools inside China. Soong looked into it, though, and this is what he found:

ROLAND SOONG: One school I recognized because it’s a famous technology school, and I can believe that, but the other school I had never heard of. So I went into the Chinese search engines and look it up, and lo and behold, this is a vocational school which principally trains people to become hairdressers or bulldozer drivers, and so on.


So from the Chinese side, they think this whole story is hilarious. If you were to only read the English-language media, you would never get the impression that this is how the Chinese are reacting to the story.

BOB GARFIELD: That’s pretty funny.

MARK PHILLIPS: Yeah, and he told me another story about this journalist who was tagging along with a police officer, and I guess she was writing a story about cracking down on traffic violations. And the police officer pulled over this woman for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, and the reporter tried to ask the woman a couple of questions. And the lady - hit her in the face. At first, Roland thought this was a pretty simple story. He kind of ignored it. But listen to what happened.

ROLAND SOONG: Two days later, I get on the Internet and I am completely astonished by Chinese Internet users responding to this very simple story. They are saying she was defending her civil rights to slap the reporter in the face. So coming out of China is an emergence of a sense of a person’s civil rights, which to Chinese people include, I don't have to talk to the press if I don't feel like it. When you look back and say, oh my God, you know, this sort of thing, if it were to happen five years ago, you know, the female driver would have been sent away for five years in jail or something like that for an assault.

BOB GARFIELD: We were talking about his methodology for choosing what to translate. I guess some of it has to do with the art and science of figuring out what is just state propaganda and what has just been very heavily censored by the government or the party, huh?

MARK PHILLIPS: Yeah, and Roland says you have to know how to pick and choose which media is going to tell an interesting story.

ROLAND SOONG: There are more than 2,000 newspapers in China. You can't have a - one guy sitting in the capital reading all of them before you allow them to go out. This guy may be looking at the national newspaper, but then you have provincial newspapers that has a different bunch of people looking over it. You have city newspapers. You have county newspapers, and so on. They have different degrees of tolerance.

MARK PHILLIPS: So there’s one paper called Southern Metropolis Daily that’s in a city that’s pretty lax with censorship, and Roland relies on that paper a lot for his material.

ROLAND SOONG: They are a Chinese-only newspaper that is published in the city of Guangzhou, no further reach, but they are considered an international force, thanks to my translations. They actually keep me on a internal mailing list just to make sure I get the editorials [LAUGHS] before it shows up in the newspaper.

BOB GARFIELD: [LAUGHS] But he doesn't work for the newspaper. What does he do for a living? Is he a professional translator?

MARK PHILLIPS: No, no. He works for this company that has a New York office, and it has nothing to do with translation. I asked him how he manages to spend so much time translating these articles and keep a regular job.

ROLAND SOONG: One reason: In my regular job I actually don’t do anything. I merely tell people, you do this or that, but I actually don't do much.

MARK PHILLIPS: And does your boss know that you don't do much work?



Definitely. [LAUGHS]

BOB GARFIELD: [LAUGHS] Mark, this is fascinating. I really look forward to your big piece next week.

MARK PHILLIPS: Yeah, thank you.

BOB GARFIELD: Mark Phillips is a producer and reporter for OTM. We'll be airing a report by Mark next week all about translation on the Internet. Here’s a sneak peak, courtesy of Ethan Zuckerman, cofounder of the multilingual blog, Network Global Voices.

ETHAN ZUCKERMAN: When you can read what people say in their own languages, it’s often a lot less diplomatic, it’s often a lot more nationalistic. My favorite example of this is Jack Cafferty of CNN.

JACK CAFFERTY: We’re in hock to the Chinese up to our eyeballs as we continue to import their junk-

ETHAN ZUCKERMAN: Who referred to the Chinese as:

JACK CAFFERTY: Basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.

ETHAN ZUCKERMAN: That comment was widely translated. And some Chinese citizens sued CNN, and while the lawsuit, I don't think, had legal implications, CNN was forced to apologize. As we get better and better at translating, I think what it’s really going to do is force us to address each other’s preconceptions, prejudices, biases. But unless we can actually hear what people are saying, it’s very hard to start on that process.

(Amsel's Blog)  Without Understanding How Research Funding Works, Angry Young People Condemn "Insufficient Investment In Earthquake Prediction Research."

Over at Science Net, Zeng Jiqing wrote the essay titled <China Earthquake Administration: A Scary and Shocking Murderous Budget>.  Based upon the funding items by the Central Government, it was concluded that the China Earthquake Administration budgets only 2.7 million yuan on earthquake prediction, which is less than 0.1% of its total budget."  This clearly shows an ignorance of the funding sources for earthquake prediction research.

As a research project with Chinese characteristics, "earth prediction" gets a significant amount of its funding from the State Science and Technology Division.  As an example, academician Xu Shaoxie of the Earthquake Administration has received funding approval on February 23, 2010 for "earthquake monitoring, prediction and applications from space" under China's "115" Science and Technology Plan.  The total funding was 18.85 million yuan.  Spread over five years, the annual funding was 3.7 million yuan.

Also the China Earthquake Administration also has an Earthquake Prediction Research Institute that no other country in the world has.  This institute has as many as one hundred researchers and senior engineers and surely must take up millions of yuan in operational expenses.  According to its information, the institute obtained more than 15 million yuan in research funds in 2004.

We don't even have to go into the details of the investment of several billion yuan in hardware.  Official earthquake predictions must surely be based upon the data from the hardware, right?

Even those prediction fans outside the system can get funding if they don't how to bullshit.  Sun Wei's Sendiment Dynamic Instrument was installed at various places by the Earthquake Administration and almost obtained several tens of millions of yuan in funding from the Science and Technology Division.  Qian Fuye's HRT method which can predict earthquakes from 4,000 kilometers away was "clearly supported" by the China State Development Committee which wanted the Earthquake Administration to write a report and the Science and Technology Division to provide the funding.  However, this has not occurred because some people still find it hard to overcome their conscience to accept false science.

Therefore, you can charge Chinese government officials for being wrong on this or that.  But it is a gross injustice to say that they were unwilling to invest in earthquake prediction.  They have invested so much that they can claim that "China leads the world in earthquake prediction" or "earthquake prediction is recognized as a hard problem all over the world."  But they won't mention that the international earthquake research community no longer treats earth prediction can be studied at this time.

(Note: 地震预测研究所 is literally translated as "Earthquake Prediction Research Institute."  But the English title at its website only says, Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration.  That is, they have excluded the word 'prediction.'  It seems that they recognize that earthquake prediction has unique Chinese characteristics and they are embarrassed to let foreigners know.)

"4,000 corrupt government officials fled overseas with USD 50 billion."  This absurd allegation has been broadly circulated inside and outside China for almost six years.  Recently, it has resurfaced again so that the Ministry of Commerce has to issue denials to the media.  As a principal in how this rumor got started, I used to think that this absurd rumor was not even worth discussing; however, the rumor has refused to go away.  Even the Party's Central Disciplinary Committee has questioned me twice through the Ministry of Commerce.  Therefore, I have to write this clarification.

The rumor that forced the Ministry of Commerce to issue a denial is this: According to the estimation made by the Ministry of Commerce, about 4,000 corrupt government officials have fled overseas with USD 50 billion even since the economic reforms began in the early 1980's.  The average amount per person was close to 100 million yuan.

This rumor began with a news report in a certain evening newspaper on August 16, 2003: <4,000 corrupt government officials fled overseas with USD 50 billion, offshore companies helped them to launder their money>.  The report was written by a reporter after interviewing me.  At the time, my research report <A study of transnational capital flow between China and international offshore financial centers> was drawing attention from general society, the financial sector, the supervisory agencies and the overseas offshore financial centers.  Many media reporters, business people and government officials sought me out.  When the British Virgin Islands Finance Minister and his team came to China, they asked specifically to speak to me.  So there was nothing unusual about this reporter wanting to interview me.

My report was openly published.  It was included in <Blue Book of Foreign Trade in China, 2004> published by the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce where I was employed.  Due to the good response, the Chinese Financial Economics Press published a small booklet of that study in June 2004.

When I was interviewed, I told the reporter how to obtain the copy of the report.  The problem was that the reporter (or the editor) was not willing to spend the time to find a copy of the report and give it even a cursory glance.  Instead, the reporter added many things that seemed logical to him as well as attributed many things to me that I never said.  He did not show me the article before it was published.  As a result, there were many serious errors in that article -- it did not represent what I said and it was inconsistent with some basic scholarly facts.  "4,000 corrupt government officials flew with USD 50 billion" is one of those absurd allegations.

I don't deny that I was perhaps one of the earliest people in China to address the issue of "transnational bribery" on account of what I have heard or seen during the course of my regular work.  In the 1990's while still working on my doctorate, I had published several articles on the subject.  Thereafter I continued to write on the subject.  But I have never studied the matter of the total amount of money taken overseas by corrupt government officials.  There was no way that I could obtain reliable data on my own.  During my interview, I did not mention anything about corrupt government officials fleeing overseas and I did not mention the statistics.

... Because the title <4,000 corrupt government officials fled overseas with USD 50 billion, offshore companies helped them to launder their money> was so sensationalistic, that August 16, 2004 report in that evening newspaper was an instant hit.  The next morning, it was the top story at Sina.com and other big portals.  I spotted the headline immediately that day.  I read the content and I was shocked.  I immediately called the reporter and ask for their newspaper to remove that story from Sina.com and others.  I composed an email more than 1,300 words long to list the major fabrications and errors in that report and I sent it out that afternoon.  But since that report was already on the Internet, it was impossible to stop it from being spread all over the place.

"4,000 corrupt government officials fled overseas with USD 50 billion" may attract eyeballs, but if you think about it calmly, you will know that this is preposterous.  At the rate of exchange back then, USD 50 billion was worth 400 billion yuan.  Could each corrupt government official flee with 100 million yuan per person?  Cheng Kejie was the deputy chairman of the National People's Congress, and he only took 40 million yuan in bribes including some that he was unable to take outside of China.  How can each corrupt government official take out 2.5 times the total ill-gotten gains of the deputy chairman of the National People's Congress?  Could there be so many government officials in flight who rank much higher than the deputy director of the National People's Congress?

Not only was "4,000 corrupt government officials fled overseas with USD 50 billion" fictional and absurd, but the reporter, the editor and the leaders at the newspaper also lacked basic knowledge and therefore made numerous errors.  Let me give some examples here:

-- They were mistaken about the basic difference between an "offshore" company and an ordinary company.  In the report, "The 'offshore company' is one in which the company was incorporated offshore in another jurisdiction and the investor could conduct business directly without being there.  For example, you register a company in the Bahamas and you conduct trade between America and Europe."  This is incorrect.  When the reporter interviewed me, I said that "offshore" refers to business conducted by non-residents.  This is a basic concept and it is the main difference between an offshore company and an ordinary company.  As a researcher, I cannot be one if I don't even understand such a basic concept.  The basic difference between an offshore company and an ordinary company is that business is conducted by non-residents.  It is not defined by tax status, even though tax treatment and transparency of information are also distinguishing characteristics.

-- They fabricated the issue of "capital flight as a proportion of foreign deficit."  The report quoted me as saying: "Since 1985, the growth rate of capital flight as a proportion of foreign deficit has gone up by 50%.  China has become the country with the fourth largest amount of capital flight behind Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina."  Actually, capital flight is not counted within the foreign debit portion of international balance of payment.  Anyone who has studied the <International balance of payment sheet> has to know that.  And I never said that "China has become the country with the fourth largest amount of capital flight behind Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina."

-- They vastly exaggerated the amount of money that the Chinese capital companies have brought to the offshore financial centers in the Caribbean.  The report quoted me as saying: "We have once estimated that in a certain Caribbean island state, the investment by Chinese capital companies brought in half of their total financial income each year.  If the money was divided among the resident, each person would receive USD 4,000 to 5,000."  This is completely wrong.  International corporation registration fee accounts for 47.2% of the regular income of the government there, which works out to be US 4,395 per capita.  However, when I quoted these figures in my original report and subsequent articles, I had stated that this refers to the income coming from all the nations in the world.  "All nations" ≠ "China"!

At noon on March 20, an Indian traveler named Mehra was napping on a seat in the Number 2 Departure Terminal while waiting for her flight.  She woke up more than an hour later and found that her notebook computer bag next to her was gone.  She reported to the airport police.

The police patiently interviewed every passenger in the terminal.  Nobody saw anything.  There was a family of five persons in the row of seats in front of Mehra, but they had their back to her and therefore saw nothing.  But the family also mentioned that they took some group photos.  "May I look at your photos?"  The family agreed and the police went through the camera file until he came across this one photo.

Yes, the thief was caught in the act!  The police obtained a copy of this photo, blow it up and distributed it to all the police officers at the airport so that they can pay special attention to this man.  It is likely that the man might come back and work the scene again.

At around 8am on April 20, a police patrolman arrested the suspect at the Number 2 Departure Terminal.  The man admitted to committing the theft.

(China Times)

After the debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwan media conducted public opinion polls about debate performances, support for ECFA, etc.  The above table shows a summary of support levels for ECFA.  The five media from left to right are China Times, TVBS, Apple Daily, Liberty Times and United Daily News.  Four of the media show about the same levels even though their samples were different, whereas Liberty Times was completely reverse the other results.

(China Times)

Does Liberty Times have a public opinion polling center.  Yesterday, commentators raised their doubts.  The CTS reporter called up Liberty Times and asked to be transferred to the public opinion polling center.  The call was transferred several times before the receptionist told the reporter to call Mr. Su of the Political News Editorial Team.  According to information, this is the spokesperson Jackson Su.

Our newspaper raised questions to Jackson Su last evening about the ECFA-related poll, including the date of establishment, the scale, the equipment and the methodology.  But Jackson Su answered only that "Liberty Times continues to conduct public opinion polling and has published the results many times in Liberty Times."  He refused to answer all the other quesions.

According to Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan (KMT), his understanding was that there is no public opinion polling center at Liberty Times.  Therefore, Liberty Times need to clarify about the location and leadership of this public opinion polling center.

The Want Want-China Times public opinion polling center deputy director Chiu Yuan-bao said that in order for Liberty Times to complete 1,367 interviews within a span of 210 minutes (as claimed), that it needs a reasonably large staff of 35 persons to do so.  Chiu said that Liberty Times need to explain how they carried their poll, as well as the language used in their questions.

Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (DPP) said that media can have political positions but they should be fair.  Legislator Lin Yu-fang said that while it is normal for media to have political positions, they cannot distort the facts because of those positions.

(China Times)

Yesterday media commentator Clara Chou Yu-kou criticized Liberty Times using strong language in denouncing it as <Evil public opinion poll?  Evil newspaper?  Evil toothpaste?  Is Liberty Times an evil newspaper?>.  Chou cited Common Wealth magazine as the subject of a lawsuit from Liberty Times for saying that the newspaper pumped its circulation up with free gift copies.  She said that her friend who operates a beauty salon was given free copies of the newspaper without asking.  She accused the newspaper for being "evil" with these newspaper distribution tactics.  Chou quoted another commentator Tung Chih-sen who accused the Liberty Times group of operating a hotel which uses contaminated Commie-made toothpaste.  Since Liberty Times did not respond to that charge, it means that it has quietly acknowledged this to be factual.  Finally, Chou closed off with: "Is Taiwan's Liberty Times an evil newspaper?  Please do not insult the word 'liberty'."

(Liberty Times)

Liberty Times conducted a public opinion poll between 5pm and 8:30pm on April 25, 2020.  Telephone numbers were drawn from the national residential telephone directory and then the last two digits were randomized.  A total of 1,367 interviews were completed.

During this poll, Liberty Times used 64 interviewers.  A video recording of the entire process was made.

Liberty Times has hired a lawyer to see how it can seek legal redress for the inaccurate charges made by the Want Want-China Times Group.


Here is the one traditional version of the legend:

"White Snake" is an old chinese legend about a white snake who lived in the West Lake (Xi Hu) near Hangzhou. The snake possessed magical powers and worked hard at bettering herself. Eventually, she was able to take the form of a beautiful woman called "Lady White." She rescued and befriended another snake of lesser powers who becomes her handmaiden. Her name was "Little Blue". They set up a home in Hangzhou and met a young trainee apothecary called Xu Xien. Lady White falls in love with Xu Xian and marries him. Together, they set up a Herbalist shop and White Snake used her magical powers to make the medicines especially potent. Hence, their business began to do very well.

A buddist monk, named Fa Hai warned Xu Xian that his wife was actually a large snake and that if she drank wine she would change her into her real self. Xu Xian took the opportunity of the occasion of the Dragon Boat races and the announcement of Lady White's news that she was pregnant to press her to drink some wine. Lady White was frightened because she knew that if she did this she might turn her back into her original snake form. Xu Xian continued to urge her so she agreed to have one sip hoping that her magic would protect her. However, because of her pregnancy, her magical powers were weakened and she could feel herself changing. She ran into the bedroom to hide and her transformation however Xu Xian followed her and witnessed it. When he saw her in her old form he died of fright.

Then Lady White went to a magic mountain, fought off the stork guardian and brought home the powerful herb that restored him back to life. Far from being grateful, Xu Xian became more scared of her than ever. He went to the Buddist Monastery by the Yangtse River where the Monk protected him. White Snake came and pleaded with the Monk Fa Hai, but to no avail.

Then in anger, she gathered together a great army of underwater creatures such as crabs and shrimps. Neither side won this battle. The monk tried to capture Lady White and failed while Lady White could not get her husband back. However, Fa Hai realised that one reason that his magical powers were not working, was because of Lady White's pregnant state. So Fa Hai advised Xu Xian to go home and live with Lady White until the birth of their child. After their son was born, Xu Xian with the help of Fa Hai contrived to have White Snake revert back to her old form and to imprison her under the Thunder Peak Pagoda by the West Lake in Hangzhou. However, Little Blue managed to destroy the pagoda and set White Snake free.

But now comes the modernised television drama (roughly translated from Southern Metropolis Daily)

On April 24, a press conference was held on the new television drama <The White Lady, once again>.  The producer presented a description of the new drama.  The brand new elements included (1) The monk Fa Hai fell in love with the White Lady; (2) Little Blue was a lesbian in her previous life; (3) the White Lady was a usurping third party in the first marriage of Xu Xian; (4) the original wife of Xu Xian was raped.

The old version of <The White Lady> was a classic which left behind many subjects for discussion.  So why would they put in bedroom scenes in this new version?  There are two considerations.

Firstly, subjectively speaking, many scriptwriters and producers want bedroom scenes in order to attract eyeballs and make money.  This is rash and irresponsible with respect to social effects.  When there are too many bedroom scenes, even the audience gets bored.  So they have to resort to bedroom scenes with a high degree of technical difficulty that are sometimes torture for the actors and actresses.  However, many Chinese viewers like these bedroom scenes and so they deserve to be entertained to death (or, more precisely, into stupidity).

Secondly, objectively speaking, the producers are more interested in economic effects than social effects.  Economically speaking, one cannot blame them for showing bedroom scenes.  It is an iron rule in television and film that "celebrity + sex = box office sales."  Of course, they will offer explanations such as "requirements of the story" and "for art's sake" to show that they are being impelled by their refined tastes.

However, the eyes of the people are crystal clear.  When they spend so much time and money to watch these shows, they surely know what they are after.  Don't most people want to look at Fan Bingbing's butt?  Don't they want to see Tony Leung and Tang Wei rolling in bed?  Of course, I also think that people are not just interested in these scenes.  They are also interested in the story, its presentation, the background music, etc.  Television drama is an art that people can learn from.  But will people bother to learn when the show is drowning in bedroom scenes?  In that case, you are not contributing to society; you are endangering society.

I don't want to say too much about this television drama.  As a classic story, it is a failure; however, it may succeed as a farce that people can make fun of.

Ever since Shamuchong Road opened for traffic in Changsha city last year, many accidents have taken place at the corner with Wanfu Road.

Yesterday at 2pm, Mr. Chen was busy conducting business in his liquor/tobacco stall at the intersection of Wanfu Road and Shamuchong Road.  A loud bang like an explosion was heard.  Mr. Chen immediately picked up his camera and sprinted outside.  At the intersection, a Chevrolet sedan had collided with a mid-sized truck.  The airbags in the sedan had been released.  The front of the truck was dented and its left windshield was smashed.  A 69-year-old man had flew out of the truck and was lying on the ground with his head bleeding.

According to Mr. Chen, Shamuchong Road opened for traffic last year.  Ever since, the sounds of emergency braking and loud collisions have been going on daily.  One of his worker calculated that there were 20 accidents over a 15 day period, with a maximum of four accidents one day.  After a while, he and his workers got numbed to it.  Then he began to think about what he could do to change things.  So he put a camera in his shop solely for the purpose of recording the sufferings of those involved in the accidents.  In the file folder on his computer, he has 65 photos already.

10:31 March 3, 2010

11:28 March 6, 2010

13:03 March 9, 2010

13:05 April 12, 2010

15:35 April 17, 2010

9:02 April 19, 2010

16:42 April 26, 2010

16:55 April 26, 2010

16:55 April 27, 2010

18:07 April 27, 2010


Shortly after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Yushu, rumors appeared about new earthquakes due in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Baotou (Inner Mongolia) and elsewhere in China.  The Chinese Earthquake Administration and its local bureaus had to dispel these rumors.

At the Strong Nation Forum, a netizen wrote a post titled <Rumors must not be allowed to proliferate at the time of an earthquake disaster>.  He recalled that shorting after the Wenchuan earthquake, there were rumors about "the explosion at the Dujiangyan chemical factory" and "the contamination of the water supply in Chengdu."  As a result of the first rumor, tens of thousands of residents in Chengdu, Dujiangyan and Chongzhou began to evacuate towards the direction of Pixian.  As a result of the second rumor, all bottled water in Chengdu stores were sold out in a buying panic. 


Recently, there was an Internet post:

According to predictions from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA) and the US Earthquake Administration, there will be a big earthquake in Henan province on June 13.  The epicenter is Xinxiang city and the magnitude is between 7 and 8 on the Richter scale.  More than 600 aftershocks will follow.

At 17:53, the Zhonglian Number 2 satellite was successfully launched from the Satellite Launch Center in Xichang.  At 18:14, it achieved the planned orbit.  The goal of this satellite is to monitor abnormal conditions in Henan in order to help the people make the necessary preparations.

Experts from the Earthquake Monitoring Bureau arrived at around 10am, April 20 in Xinxiang city along with the instruments for measurement.  They have found that the underground noise has increased by 55 decibels already.

This earthquake will also affect nearby cities such as Huaxian, Fengqiu, Changyuan, Puyang and Kaifeng.  The Henan provincial political committee has approved <Document Number 1 for 6.13 in Xinxiang>.  The document will state that as of June 6, schools and businesses will be suspended for one week in Zhengzhou, Xinxiang, Faikeng, Puyang and Anyang beginning June 6.

According to the Henan Provincial Earthquake Administration publicity centre director Wang Zhimin, the post is sheer rumor.  He said: "There are three characteristics about earthquake rumors.  Firstly, they are rumors that did not come from any authoritative department.  Secondly, they carry elements of superstition.  Thirdly, the more accurate they are, they less reliable they are, especially when they are accurate down to the day, location and magnitude."  Wang Zhimin also said, "Earthquake prediction is a hard problem everywhere.  Even the United States cannot predict accurately.  So how can they predict an earthquake in China when they don't even know our geological structure as well as we do?"

Other netizens pointed out four flaws in the Internet post:

1. There is no such thing as the US Earthquake Administration.  Shortly after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, someone posted a rumor on the Internet that "the US Earthquake Administration predicts that the earthquakes will move in the direction of Xi'an."  It was pointed out back then that there was no US Earthquake Administration.

2. There is no such thing as the Earthquake Monitoring Bureau in China.

3. There was no known report about the launch of any Zhonglian Number 2 satellite.

4. There was no such thing as the Henan provincial political committee.


On the evening of April 20, a netizen made a post to claim: "There will be an earthquake around the area of Jiangsu.  The Shanghai Expo will be canceled as a result."  The Taizhou police determined that the netizen was situated in the university campus area.  They acted quickly and found the rumormonger named Jiang.  According to information, the university student Jiang heard the earthquake rumor from some other netizen and irresponsibly posted it on the Internet.  The police lectured Jiang who was very sorry about what he did.


At around 9pm on April 25, someone made an Internet post: "Everybody get prepared because there will be an earthquake in Nanjing city."  The Nanjing Internet police quickly investigated.  Yesterday at around 4pm, the Pukou police located the 25-year-old female netizen named Ding.  Ding runs a photography studio and enjoys commenting on the Internet.  At around 7pm on April 25, Ding saw a post entitled "Experts predict earthquake in Nanjing."

The post said: "According to the Jiangsu Geological Survey Bureau, 76% of the hot spas in the Jiangning district (Nanjing city) have rising temperature and blackened water.  The relevant experts arrived in Nanjing city at 10am on April 20.  Their measurements showed that the underground sound level has increased by 55 decibels.  It is predicted that there will be a big earthquake in Nanjing on June 13, affecting neighboring cities such as Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Chuzhou, etc."

Ding associated this with the horrible scenes in the movie <2012>, the earthquake in Yushu (Qinghai) and the recent abnormal weather in Nanjing city.  The more she thought about it, the more scared for it.  Therefore, she made her post at the "Post-Marital Space" and "Pukou Forum" forums.  Dozens of people commented.  One netizen pointed out that the original rumor about "experts predicting earthquake in Nanjing" was a straight adaptation from another rumor "experts predicting earthquake in Shaanxi."  Last night at around 9pm, the Pukou police placed Ding under administration detention for spreading rumors that disturbed the public order.

If you search for "June 13 earthquake," you will come across more than 2 million results.  However, the location was not just Nanjing, because the same posts have been adapted for Foshan city, Shaanxi province, Henan province, etc.  This alone should be enough to determine that "June 13 earthquake" is a rumor.

Where do earthquake rumors come from?

(1) Certain natural phenomena (such as flowers blooming again due to weather change; water levels due to snow melting; etc) were regarded as earthquake-related anomalies.

(2) Normal activities by the Earthquake Administration such as outdoor measurements, geological surveys, normal publicity for earthquake preparedness, etc aroused suspicions.

(3) Rumors from overseas people with ulterior motives

(4) Superstitious beliefs led to people being misled.

How to tell earthquake rumors?

(1) The precision of the prediction (with respect to timing, location and magnitude) far exceeds current prediction ability.

(2) The prediction comes from a foreign source.  Even if a foreign source is involved, the information will always be released by an authoritative Chinese department.  This is international practice.

(3) The after-effects of the earthquake are inflated.  For example, "a certain place will collapse and be covered by water" after the predicted earthquake.

Q. Do you intend to vote in the Legislative Council by-elections on May 16?
25%: Proportion of respondents definitely will vote
43%: Propensity to vote (summation of "definitely will" and "most likely will" vote)

[Historically, the actual voter turnout is about 50% to 67% of the propensity vote.  If that holds, the voter turnout will be somewhere between 22% and 27% this time.  By comparison, the propensity to vote was 84% at the 2008 Legislative Council elections.]

Q. Support levels for the five candidates from the Civic Party/League of Social Democrats
42%: Tanya Chan (Hong Kong Island)
27%: Raymond Wong Yuk-man (Kowloon West)
47%: Alan Leong Kah-kit (Kowloon East)
37%: Chan Wai-yip (New Territories West)
40%: Leung Kwok-hung (New Territories East)


Okay nowr(now) I’m talking in(正確為speaking in) English, firsta fall (first of all), I want to porn cout(point out) some common mistick(mistake) of Hong Kong people. Even my Engalish(English) is not willy(really) good, maybe I have some my prolounshiation(pronunciation) is not willy(really) accurate, my grammatical mistick(mistake) is a bit serious, but I also want to talk in(正確為speak in) Engalish(English). Because I want to tell you guys some thing willy Willy WILLY(really) funny, and I want to share to the whole world. Okay firsta fall(first of all) wen(when) I got into theerer(the) hall of the skool(應該為the school hall) the teacher may, should told us what we should do after the exam start, and he just said, ‘Si-dup(sit up) your bag and put it under your ch-chair.’, WHAT IS IT ‘Siiit-up(sit up) YOUR BAG’ ? Is it doing si-dup(sit up)? Or, take your bag and hel tis bag to doing siee-dup(sit up) OH MY GOD, the teacher want to say ‘zi-dup(zip up) your bag’, but he say ‘sit up(si-dup) your bag’ Oh oh oh, Okay lumber(number) two, this is the ket-son bullet(question booklet) and tis is the aunsa bullet(answer booklet), and he said ‘Write your name on your aunsa(answer) shit.’ What? Are you talking file(foul) language? What is aunsa(answer) shit? The world(real) one is aunsa(answer) sheeeeet, why he said aunsa(answer) shit? Oh don know why, and number free(three), he sait ‘Juling(During) the ex-samination(examination), you can’t s-lif(sleep).’ Juling(During), is correct, but he said dealing, DEALING, okay, Hong Kong people may know that I’m talking file(foul) language, okay? But, I zhust(just) want to say he said juling(during) the exam and said to be dealing the exam. Whaaaa--(走音) is dealing the exam? Okay, I’m going to teach you FUCK in Chinese is ‘屌’ Okay? Okay, and lumber(number) four and the last one.’If you have any question, piss(please) pu-dup(put up) your hand and ast(ask) your question, ast(ask) your question,’ but he said, ars(ass), AS(ass)? It is he miss his ass too much and he said ‘ Pu-dup(put up) your hand and ask(ass) your quetions.’ As(ass) the querktion? How to ars(ass) the querktion? Its willy willy(really) funny, I, I, ohh, I don’t sow(know) why the teacher can told us something nite(like) tis(this). sip(zip) up and tobe(to be) si-dup(sit up), answer shit to be answer sheeeet, juling(juring) and dealing, ass-k(ask) to be as(ass), that’s willy willy(really) funny, ohhhh, I hooe(hope) all the teacher can have their higher langach(language) le-food(level). Tell me, okay so, that wat(what) I want to tell you guys, see you later, bye bye!



On April 6, 15-year-old Lei Mengjia had a fight with a fellow female student.  On April 7, the class master named Zhou organized a vote among the students in the class.  Before the vote began, Zhou asked Lei Mengjia to excuse herself from the classroom.  Then Zhou asked the students to vote on two options.  Option 1 would give Lei Mengjia one more chance.  Option 2 would mean that Lei Mengjia stays home for one week while her parents discipline her.  12 students voted for option 1 and 26 voted for option 2. 

Based upon the outcome, Zhou called Lei Mengjia's mother Zhu to tell her to come to school to pick up her daughter.  Zhu said that she "did not object" to the teacher's decision.  But when she arrived at school, her daughter had gone missing.

Lei Mengjia had gone out and jumped into the river channel where she drowned.  She left a message on a rock: "The life of Lei Mengjia ends here!  Dad and mom, I am sorry but I will have to repay your goodness in my next life!  Huihui, let us be good friends in the next life!"

April 10 would have been her 15th birthday.  Last year, Lei Mengjia invited several good friends to celebrate.  But this year, who knows if she is happy in the next world?

On April 15, the Lei family reached a settlement of 90,000 yuan with the town government, the village party committee, the Xixia Academy Junior High School and the teacher.

The father Mr. Lei thought that the teacher was acting inappropriately.  No matter how naughty the child was, a teacher should not organize fellow students to oust her.  This was an extreme method of treating students who are not yet psychologically mature.

The teacher named Zhou admitted to the reporter that there was a vote to decide whether Lei Mengjia stays or goes.  However, he did not expect that the child would kill herself.  Teacher Zhou said that the class rules were that the students shall democratically decide on what happens to students who misbehave.

The principal named Li asked the media to spare teacher Zhou, who is resting at home.  Zhou family has indicated that he is not in a good state of mind.  After the incident, teacher Zhou was criticized by the Department of Education leaders.  The school principal named Li was suspended from duty, but still acting as principal as a substitute.  All the other 48 teachers in the school are scared about how to deal with the students after this incident.

The focus of the media and the public is just why students get to vote?  The school principal named Li said that the Department of Education had decided that students should learn to manage themselves.  Self-management is a new concept.  The Department of Education and the schools encourage teachers to explore the idea.  However, there are no explicit rules on whether students get to vote on specific punishment over rule violations or fighting in class.

In western court trials, sometimes jury systems are used for citizens to be judged by their peers.  So can't schools and teachers use the same system?  Lawyer Zhang Yaoxian said that the jury system is used for suspected criminals whereas junior high school students are not adults.  Therefore, it was ridiculous and irresponsible for a bunch of juveniles to decide the fate of another juvenile (specifically, the deprivation of one week in school).

Part 1: At around noon on April 21, an Internet forum post was drawing attention.  A netizen had seen an unusual business card at a hotel front desk belonging to Zhejiang province, Dafeng city, State Taxation Bureau director general Zhao Xuezhong.  The card was unusual because it was apparently made of GOLD.  Even as he wondered how much the card might cost, he used a camera to film the front and the back of this card.

Part 2: The Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter attempted to contact the person listed on the business card.  No one answered the phone.  The reporter called up the Zhejiang province Dafeng city State Taxation Bureau.  A worker said that the whole matter was fabricated.  After all, who would carry such a heavy, expensive card?  Besides, the photos were clearly created by PhotoShop.  The worker also said that the telephone number did not belong to Director General Zhao.

Part 3: The blogger Zhang Hongfeng got interested in the case.  Now Zhang did not think that the card was unusual.  He went to check with a stationery store and was told that these copper-painted cards were no longer fashionable because they reeked of vulgarity and nouveau riche.

However, Zhang Hongfeng was more interested in how this State Taxation Bureau director general attempted to deal with this public incident.  Zhang Hongfeng did the following:

1. He gave the photos to the website photograph editor for examination, and was told that there was no sign of PhotoShop manipulation.

2. He checked the telephone number 13961990300 on the Internet and found that it was based in Dafeng city, Zhejiang province.

3. He obtained the registration information for 13961990300 legally from China Mobile and found that the registrant was Zhao Xuexhong.

4. He visited the Dafeng city government website and found that as far back as 2008, the mobile phone number listed for director general Zhao was the same one on the business card.

Zhang Hongfeng commented: A business card and a lie showed the timidity and diffidence by a public servant with respect to a public incident.  He was willing to employ a lie to cover up a matter which really did not mean much to begin with.  Instead, an even bigger public incident has now resulted.  The whole thing could have settled initially by a straight explanation from director general Zhao.  Instead, Zhao was evasive and his office colleague told a blatant lie to a reporter.  When a public servant is prepared to lie in order to avoid public scrutiny on such a trivial matter, how can he be expected to carry out his job?  Why should the people pay their taxes to a tax bureau that tells lies?  How can the people not be suspicious of this director general?

Zhang wrote: I ask the media to follow up on this case.  I ask the Zhejiang provincial state tax bureau to look into the matter.  This is not about the business card.  This is about who was lying to the public and deceiving the netizens.

The Democratic Progressive Party immediately conducted a telephone survey after the debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen.  The telephone numbers were drawn from the telephone directory with the last two digits randomized.  A total of 693 persons were interviewed.

Among those who watched the televised debate, 40.2% thought that Tsai Ing-wen was more persuasive and 39.9% thought that Ma Ying-jeou was more persuasive.

56.6% of the people did not believe in Ma Ying-jeou's guarantee that he will defend the sovereignty and interests of Taiwan at the ECFA negotiations.  60% of the people approved of Tsai Ing-wen's proposal to delay signing ECFA with China.

Although certain media polls showed that many people know about ECFA, the DPP poll showed that 75.5% of the people may know the acronym but not what it entails.  Only 20.9% claimed that they are knowledgeable about ECFA.

During the debate, President Ma Ying-jeou said that "he will not permit mainland laborers to come to Taiwan or admit mainland agricultural products into Taiwan."  57.5% of the people did not believe him compared to 36.1% who did.  Among the pan-green supporters, 93% did not believe him; among the independents, 57% did not believe him; among the pan-blue supporters, 31% did not believe him but 66% did.

(People Net)

Yesterday, the renowned sports commentator and writer Li Chengpeng appeared at the book launch of the new book <More soccer stories> by renowned sports reporter Hao Hongjun at the Chengdu Book Fair.  At the press conference, one reporter asked Hao Hongjun: "You make money and you gain fame by publishing these books.  Is that why you publish books?"  Hao Hongjun replied: "I have reached an age where I no longer care for fame or fortune.  I publish these books to let soccer fans learn more about the truth behind Chinese soccer.  More importantly, I want to write the conclusion to my career as a sports reporter for memory's sake."

When Hao Hongjun finished saying that, Li Chengpeng jumped in: "I have always thought that Hao Hongjun is more hot-tempered than I am.  But today I just found out that I am more hot-tempered than he is.  At least he was able to answer your question patiently.  Let me respond to you now.  First of all, I want to say that your question is a dumb-ass question.  There is no technique in it."

Li Chengpeng got on a roll: "All you post-80's reporters should try not to be so shallow.  Do people like me or Hongjun need to promote ourselves?  Do we lack money?  We don't need to hype ourselves.  I can write any book and I will make several hundred thousand yuan in royalty.  We are responsible media workers.  We do not write the truth; we write the facts.  If you don't even understand this, how can you be a reporter?"

No sooner than Li finished than a female reporter stood up to say: "Master Li, you are a media worker.  I think that your words to a fellow reporter were inappropriate."  Li Chengpeng said: "Are we not allowed to criticize reporters?  Especially when the reporter posed such a dog-fart of a question!"

This female reporter did not back down.  She said: "You are chewing gum while attacking a colleague.  Isn't there a character issue?"  Li Chengpeng said: "Let me ask you.  You are a female reporter.  If someone said that you followed the 'unwritten rule' in order to get the interview, how will you reply?"

These words of Li Chengpeng clearly antagonized the female reporter.  She was obviously no match for the fast-talking Li Chengpeng.  She got up, packed her things and walked out of the press conference with a clear expression of disgust.

Li Chengpeng looked at her back and said: "I really hope that young reporters will have the ability to tell right from wrong and speak the truth instead of rubbish.  At least I and Hao Hongjun speak the truth.  We are very truthful.  Untruthful reporters are ruining Chinese soccer!"

Did you watch the televised debate?
46%: Yes
54%: No

If you watched the debate, who did you think performed better?
42%: Ma Ying-jeou
30%: Tsai Ing-wen
  7%: Both did well
  3%: Neither did well
17%: No opinion

Did you learn more about ECFA as a result of this debate?
46%: Yes
44%: No

Did you change your position on ECFA as a result of watching the debate?
6%: Yes (of which 81% changed from oppose to support; 1.9% changed from support to oppose)

Q1. Did you watch the debate (between Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen on ECFA)?
67.6%: Yes
32.4%: No

Q2. Who did you think won the debate?
53.3%: Ma Ying-jeou
41.7%: Tsai Ing-wen
 5.0%: Don't know/no opinion

Q3. After this debate, do you support or oppose the signing of ECFA?
52.1%: Support
43.1%: Oppose
  4.8%: Don't know/no opinion

With respect to the question: "The government is prepared to sign ECFA in May/June.  Will you support that?"  28.02% of the respondents support, and 35.77% do not support.  36.21% did not have an opinion.

Among those who identify themselves with the Kuomintang, the agree rate is 73% compared to 4% disagree.  Among those who identify themselves with the Democratic Progressive Party, the agree rate is 5% compared to 78% disagree.  Among the independents (neither KMT nor DPP), the agree rate is 25% compared to 31% disagree.

With respect of the question: "Before Taiwan signs ECFA with China, should there be a referendum held first?"  59.84% says that there should be a referendum while 23.7% thinks not.  16.46% had no opinion.

With respect to the question: "Will the signing of ECFA hurt the sovereignty of Taiwan?"  40.57% agreed while 32.77% disagreed.  26.55% said no.

Did you watch the televised debate?  43.82% watched while 56.18% did not.

Do you know what ECFA is about?  20.41% said that they are clear while 78.86% said no.  0.73% said that they have no opinion.

(TVBS)  (1,107 persons age 20 or over were interviewed by telephone on April 20-21, 2010)

Q1. Are you satisfied/dissatisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou's recent performance?
25%: Satisfied
50%: Dissatisfied
24%: No opinion

Q2. Do you agree/disagree with the Ma Ying-jeou administration signing ECFA with mainland China?
38%: Agree
36%: Disagree
26%: No opinion

Q3. Are you clear about the substance or direction of ECFA?
25%: Clear
72%: Unclear
  3%: No answer

Q4. Do you agree/disagree that a referendum should be held before the government officially signs the ECFA with mainland China?
62%: Agree
23%: Disagree
15%: No opinion

Q5. On Sunday (April 25), President Ma Ying-jeou will be debating DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen about ECFA.  Are you aware of this?
61%: Aware
39%: No aware

Q6. Will you be watching the televised ECFA debate on April 25?
58%: Yes
31%: No
  8%: Not sure
  2%: Don't know

Q7. President Ma Ying-jeou will be holding a debate on ECFA with DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen.  Who do you expect to do better?
24%: Ma Ying-jeou
28%: Tsai Ing-wen
48%: Don't know

(TVBS)  (906 persons age 20 or over were interviewed on April 25, 2010 between 16:30-19:50)

Q1. Are you satisfied/dissatisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou's recent performance?
30%: Satisfied
48%: Dissatisfied
22%: No opinion

Q2. Do you agree/disagree with the Ma Ying-jeou administration signing ECFA with mainland China?
41%: Agree
33%: Disagree
26%: No opinion

Q3. Did you watch the televised ECFA debate on April 25?
41%: Yes
59%: No

Q4. President Ma Ying-jeou held a debate on ECFA with DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen.  Who do you think did better?
46%: Ma Ying-jeou
34%: Tsai Ing-wen
20%: Don't know

Q5. After watching today's televised debate, are you more clear or unclear about ECFA?
38%: More clear
12%: Less clear
42%: Unchanged
  8%: Don't know

Q6. If Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen are the candidates in the 2012 presidential election, who would you vote for?
38%: Ma Ying-jeou
28%: Tsai Ing-wen
34%: No opinion

(Taipei Times)

The Tourism Bureau yesterday said it had sent its regards to a Taiwanese tour guide who was slapped by Chinese tourists after their flight was canceled. Flights between Kinmen and Taiwan were unable to cope with the number of tourists flying to Taiwanese mainland after heavy fog earlier this week caused airlines to divert and cancel most flights. Tempers flared among some Chinese tourists after they were informed that they would not be able to catch a flight or book a hotel for days, forcing them to sleep under military blankets in the airport. A group of Chinese tourists were caught on television slapping a female Taiwanese tour guide on Thursday after she informed the tourists that their flight had been canceled. Bureau officials said they had sent their regards to the tour guide, adding that it had also reported the names of the Chinese tourists involved in the incident to China’s Cross-Strait Tourism Association and asked the association to demand that the tourists not slap people again.

(Liberty Times)

Yesterday at around 1pm, more than 130 mainland Chinese tourists from Zhengzhou (Henan), Xiamen (Fujiang) and Zhejiang province wanted to fly from the Kaohsiung International Airport to Kinmen in order to return home.  However, heavy fog at the destination made the situation uncertain.

Wang Qiying who claims to be a university professor from Zhengzhou used her hand cart to block the entrance.  The police employed female officers to remove her.  During the confusion, Wang fell and the back of her head hit the ground.  A male tourist named Zhang Zijun attempted to grapple with a male police officer.  According to the Kaohsiung International Airport police station deputy director Cheng Kewu, the mainland Chinese tourists were blocking the entrances/exits and interfering with operations but the police acted with maximum restraint.  According to the tour group leader, they have been waiting at the airport for four days in a row already.  Every day, they came at noon, they got their tickets and they checked in their luggage.  In the evening, they were told to retrieve their luggage and go back to their hotels.  Meanwhile, they observed that Taiwanese travelers were able to fly stand-by and got on.

According to the airline, the no-show seats are usually individual ones so that individual Taiwanese passengers can easily get in.  But the mainland Chinese groups were between 40 and 70 in numbers.  The 3pm flight yesterday had 30 standby seats available but the mainland Chinese group leaders did not want to split the groups up.  Therefore, individual Taiwanese travelers were allowed to take the seats.  A Kaohsiung policeman who watched the news report about the airport incident said: "How come the authorities become so weak when they face mainlanders?"  One police officer said that when so many mainland travelers were delayed by the snowstorms in central and eastern China last year, how come they didn't behave so aggressively!?


"334?  334?  Anybody?"  At the airline counter, the workers had to call out aloud because of the mass of travelers anxious to go home.  Over the past few days, the Kinmen Airport has been open and closed on and off due to heavy fog.  One delayed traveler said: "I have been here since 4 o'clock yesterday."

The delayed travelers could not restrain their anger.  Mainland Chinese travelers took their anger out on their female tour guide and pushed her around.  A police officer said: "They are assaulting her.  She ran off.  You see, you see, they are pushing in."

From the video surveillance tape, it can be seen that a large number of tourists were surrounding this female tour guide.  There appeared to be some kind of dispute and then physical contact.  The police arrived to take control of the situation.  They took away three mainland Chinese tourist for questioning.  Some Taiwanese traveler videotaped the incident.  Even though the video quality was not great, the entire scene was on record.  The Taiwanese traveler said: "She was likely to be a tour leader or guide.  She was being chased by the mainland Chinese tourists.  She even fell down on the ground."

The female tour guide said: "It was very frustrating.  I want to go home."  She did not want to say more on camera.  But she indicated privately that she intends to sue the tourists who assaulted her.

(Sing Tao)

Many flights to Kinmen Airport were canceled over the past few days due to heavy fog.  In Kaohsiung, three tour groups from Fujian and Henan were scheduled to return home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively via Kinmen.  But the fog caused their flights to be canceled.  Some of them have been delayed for five days already.

"Every day, we lug our heavy baggage to the airport and wait.  But we never got to depart.  This is so frustrating."  A mainland Chinese tourist said that they were not satisfied with the attitude of the airport and airline workers.  "We want them to come out and apologize!"

"The airline arranged for us to take the 4:40pm flight to Kinmen.  But the last boat from Kinmen to Xiamen leaves at just past 5pm.  We will be forced to stay an extra day in Kinmen."  One mainland Chinese tourist complained angrily in the airport lounge.

These mainland Chinese tourists demanded that their flight should leave earlier.  But nobody paid them any attention.  So they started by chanting out loud.  Then they stacked their luggage up to block the boarding gate so that nobody else can get to their planes.

The police came to stop them and remove their luggage.  There was a physical tussle.  One mainland woman dressed in red probably tried too hard and fell down on the ground screaming in pain: "Help!  Help!"  Another five or six mainland Chinese men rushed up to surround the police and questioned them loudly: "How can you beat people up?"

More and more police came to pull the mainland Chinese tourists away.  One mainland Chinese tourist complained: "Several of them dragged me away.  They dragged me along the ground over a long distance."  These clashes continued on and off for more than two hours.  The situation was resolved only when the airport allowed these mainland Chinese tourists to board their flight.

The Kaohsiung airport police said that they can understand how these mainland Chinese tourists feel after being delayed for so many days.  Therefore, they tried to counsel and persuade them rather than make any arrest.


165 mainland Chinese tourists were held up at Kaohsiung International Airport due to heavy fog shutting down the Kinmen Airport.  On April 23, some of them tried to take over airport to protest.  An airport policeman was prepared to pull out his pistol to stop them.  After negotiations, the airline sent a big airplane to take these mainland Chinese passengers to Kinmen.  During the protest, one woman fainted.  Fortunately, she did not suffer any serious injury.

Over the past three days, more than 2,000 persons have been stuck at the Kinmen airport.  The Taiwan Air Force flew eight C-130H flights to take passengers to their destinations.

A Taiwan police officer pulling a pistol out to stop the chaos

And now for the television news report:




On April 19, the blogger Huxiaoha made a blog post titled <The touching story of the heroic rescue dogs>.  He wrote: During the relief efforts after the Yushu earthquake, a large number of rescue teams rushed into the quake zone and they worked miracles.  Among these are the familiar sights of the rescue dogs.  The term 'rescue dog' became known to us first during the 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake."  The blog post continued: "Do you remember the heroic rescue dog that saved 35 persons?  That rescue dog sacrificed its life while trying to save an old man in Yingxiu on May 2008.  The soldier named Li who handled it was seen crying his eyes out while cradling its body."

At 11:30pm on April 21, the netizen "Wumeishi" posted on his micro-blog: <Let us silently remember the rescue dog which saved 32 lives>: "Yesterday afternoon, a rescue dog detected an old man.  When the dog tried to burrow in, the rubble collapsed.  By the time the soldiers dug the dog out, it was dead.  This dog had found 35 survivors over the past few days, of which 32 were rescued.  The handler named Li cried like a baby upon learning of its death."  A photo was attached.

This micro-blog post was re-posted by more than 10,000 netizens with almost 4,000 comments.  One netizen reflected: "Man's best friend.  A silent hero.  The people of Yushu will never forget you."  Other netizens proposed to erect a memorial stele for this dog.  On many websites, the story appeared under the title <A rescue dog in the Yushu disaster zone saved 32 lives before dying>.

On the evening of April 22, the CCTV News channel reported that a rescue dog died in Yushu after saving 32 persons.  The major websites such as Tianya and Sohu also reported this story.

But there were dissenting voices out on the Internet.  "How come I have seemed to have heard an almost identical news story from the Wenchuan earthquake?"  "Yes, I have seen the same story in 2008.  It was identical except Wenchuan becomes Yushu."  Some more investigative work reconstructed the evolution of this story.

Some netizens were angry at how the rescue dog of Yingxiu was turned into a hero at Yushu, thus deceiving their feelings.  But other netizens do not think that it is necessary to dwell on this point, because "dogs sacrifice themselves for us all the time.  It is enough that we get moved by the love and warmth."

Peking University sociology professor Xia Xueluan said that the public became first aware of the heroism of rescue dogs at the Wenchuan earthquake.  The Yushu earthquake took place some time after the Wenchuan earthquake, so the public may have been confused intentionally or unintentionally about the chronology of events.  "But this is definitely not malicious because the focus was on the heroic sacrifice made by the rescue dog.  This type of 'mistake' is completely understandable."  He believes that the public can use this opportunity to care more about man's best friend.  However, professor Xia said, "In other matters, we must first and foremost respect the basic facts."

Q1.  Do you think that the Legislative Council ought to pass the 2012 political reform package put forward by the government?
52%: Yes
25%: No
  7%: Don't care
16%: No opinion

Q2. Do you think that the development of the political system in Hong Kong should be made gradually in the light of actual conditions in Hong Kong?
82%: Agree
13%: Disagree
  2%: Don't care
  3%: No opinion

Q3. Do you want the various political parties within the Legislative Council to reach a consensus through rational communication and compromise over the 2012 political reform package in order to move the political system in Hong Kong ahead?
82%: Agree
12%: Disagree
  2%: Don't care
  4%: No opinion

Q4. Some pan-democratic legislators propose to "veto the political reform package unless there is a road map to universal suffrage."  Do you support that position?
31%: Support
60%: Do not support
  4%: Don't care
  5%: No opinion

Q5. If the 2012 political reform package fails to pass, do you think that it will affect the 2017 and 2020 universal suffrage?
68%: Yes
23%: No
  2%: Don't care
  7%: No opinion

Q6. The National People's Congress Standing Committee had decided that universal suffrage can take place for the 2017 Chief Executive's election and the 2012 Legislative Council election.  The SAR government has said that the decision of the NPC Standing Committee is the best guarantee for universal suffrage.  Do you agree?
55%: Agree
36%: Disagree
  3%: Don't care
  6%: No opinion

Q7. Do you think the five-district by-elections are ... ?
30%: A de factor "referendum"
44%: A political farce
19%: An ordinary Legco by-election
  4%: Other
  3%: No opinion

This afternoon, Yunnan Province Party Committee Publicity Department deputy director Wu Hao came to the Renmin University Cisco Live Broadcast Studio to give a talk to the School of Journalism.  After the host gave a short introduction, Wu Hao stepped onto the podium.  Before he even said anything, a man about 25-years-old walked up to him, took out a wad of fifty-cent bills and threw it at him.  The man also yelled: "Wu Hao, wu mao!"  Then he walked out of the studio.  Workers picked up the bills afterwards.  "Wu mao" refers to the mythical pay that a commentator receives for each Internet post/comment made according to government instructions.

The man who threw the money is Wang Zhongxia.  He said that he is a Renmin University graduate.  Earlier today, he got 30 yuan's worth of 50 cent bills from his bank "in order to salute Mr. Wu Hao."


Interview of Wu Hao by Xiaoxiang Morning News

Q: What do you think about the act of tossing money at you?
A: I thought that this was quite normal.  In a society that is increasingly open and a county that is increasingly open, this situation is quite normal.  It is one way of expressing oneself.  But this should not be normal behavior, because the public does not want it.

Q: What was your immediate reaction?
A: I laughed it off.  This incident did not affect my speech.  As I recall, I spoke for two-and-a-half hours, including more than an hour of interaction with the students.  Some students wanted my autograph.  They asked a lot of questions.  The students did not think it was big deal.

Q: What was the topic of your talk.
A: Mainly "treating and using the media well in order to achieve the goal of managing the media well."  We in Yunnan province were the first to establish Internet spokespersons.  This was selected as one of the top ten most influential Internet events of the year by a television station.

Q: What do you think of the person who threw money at you?
A: I still don't know what they intend by this action.  I respect them and I respect their action.

Q: Netizens want to know if this incident will lead to a cross-province arrest.
A: No.  We are looking for social communication and we are continuing experimenting with openness and transparency.  So there are no cross-provincial issues.

Q: If you have a chance to hear that person give a talk, would you throw fifty cents back at him?
A: No, I am not of that kind of poor quality.

Q: Some people say that your profile is too high and that is why someone threw money at you.
A: If you want to accomplish something, you have to maintain a high profile.  There is no way out.  But a person should keep a low profile.

Interview with Lei Weizhen, vice-dean of the Chinese Renmin University School of Journalism.

Q: Were you there when the money was thrown?
A: I was the host.  This is an academic exchange.  A salon.  We heard that Mr. Wu Hao was taking classes in Beijing, so we invited him to speak to our teachers and students.  At the time of the incident, I was walking towards back stage.  It all happened within seconds.  A student told me about the incident.  When I came back out, it was already over.

Q: Was there anything abnormal?
A: There wasn't anything abnormal.  They were smug about it, but actually nothing happened.  It was quite normal.  The discussion went smoothly.  Many questions were asked, including sharp ones.  Mr. Wu Hao answered them readily.  I remember that the subject of this talk was: <Openness of government information and Internet governance>.

Q: What do you think of their action?
A: First of all, I think it was definitely pre-planned.  It only took several seconds during which someone threw money and someone else took photos.  How could this not have been pre-planned?  According to information, they were at the scene earlier and took photos.  They entered suddenly and ran away afterwards.  They never interacted with us.  We don't need to react to what they did.  I even think that they had no other motive other than wanting to become famous.  Our activity has no commercial overtone or any other flavor.  This was purely academic exchange.  If a netizen has any opinion about our activity or Wu Hao, they could have raised questions during the session.  We had one hour of time.  I feel that this action was disrespectful towards the Renmin University and Mr. Wu Hao.  It was also incomprehensible.

Interview with columnist Wang Xiaoshan.

Q: What do you think about throwing money at Wu Hao during his talk?
A: I think that this is a normal form of protest.  Alternately, this may be performance art.  This is no insult.  There was neither physical contact nor insulting language.

Q: If it were you, how would you react?
A: I would have picked up the money and donated it towards earthquake relief.  Everybody will be happy.

Q: A netizen asked why you once said that Wu Hao was a hypocrite?
A: I remember that during the drought in Yunnan, Wu Hao wrote on his microblog that "Yunnan will put every cent to good use."  So I said that a full account of how the donations are being spent should be published.  He shut up.  So I feel that he puts on a good show but he never carries it out.


In the evening, Wu Hao posted at his microblog: "Some media asked me whether I would effect a cross-province arrest of the person who threw the money at me.  I said, 'Is that called for?'  I think that it is a good sign.  I am poor and it wasn't easy to be hit with money.  Looks like there will be more chances to become rich in the future.  Ha ha."

Netizen Xiaojuzi: I am against the action of throwing fifty cent bills at Wu Hao.  Insulting someone is not engaging in battle; bullying and showing off are nothing; this is just sensationalism.

Netizen Sunyafei: The right to protest.  Why not express yourself for once?

Netizen Choumeizi: As an official with a modern awareness, it is an honor for Wu Hao to have money thrown at him.  The logic is something like: only an issue that can be shown to be false may be true.  In like manner, an official who can be insulted may just be a good official.

Netizen Wuyuesanren: I don't think throwing fifty cent real bills or billions of ghost money constitute an insult to people like Wu Hao.

Netizen Rose Luqiu: Arnold Schwarzenegger got eggs thrown at him, but still managed to crack a joke and win votes.  If votes are not involved, then it is a measure of tolerance.

Netizen Yang Jinlun: He is actually not bad.  He is rational and reasonable.  I noticed that his demeanor after the surprise attack was quite steady.

This morning, the Education Committee of the Legislative Yuan began to review the proposed legislation with respect to mainland Chinese students coming to study in Taiwan.  The Democratic Progressive Party mobilized all their legislators.  Before the meeting began, they occupied the speaker's dais.  So when the Committee Chairwoman Chao Liyun (KMT) wanted to announce the commencement, she could not get a microphone.  Therefore, she had to yell aloud.  She found herself physically gagged many times by DPP legislators.  At 9:17am, Chao Liyun fainted due to lack of oxygen from the pushing and shoving.  She was taken to the National Taiwan University Hospital for treatment.  Two other DPP legislators also sought treatment for injuries at 9:50am.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:55am.  Nothing was accomplished, although the KMT claimed the preliminary review has been completed.  The DPP convenor said: "We absolutely refuse to accept this.  This is nonsense!"

(Taipei TimesDPP Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) accused Chao of faking her collapse, saying: “I heard other KMT lawmakers telling her to faint.”  The KMT caucus, however, accused the DPP of resorting to violence. KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) called the DPP “psycho” and told DPP lawmakers to go see a psychiatrist.




The blogger is supposed a 19-year-old female named "Sisi."  The sub-title of her blog is in English: "I am a Bitch ... Just Wannta Fuck."  Her stated goal is to have "one hundred different sex partners."

The blog is in a diary format, with each blog post being about sexual intercourse, betrayal, 3P, role playing, etc.  Sexy photos are always included.  The blog posts are supposed to be locked as private, but they might as well as be open since she provided the password.

But alas, cc1033cc is no more after one brief moment at the top.

The funeral of a leading Taiwan crime figure is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, including senior politicians and members of Japan's mafia, organizers say. Lee Chao-hsiung, who died of liver cancer last month at the age of 73, will be laid to rest on April 26 in Taichung in the biggest funeral in years for a member of Taiwan's underworld.

The mayor of Taichung, Jason Hu, who is a former foreign minister, will also be at the funeral. An assistant to legislator Yen Ching- piao, a member of the funeral organizing committee, said at least 20,000 were expected to attend the ceremony. "He was the big boss and it's natural that many gang members want to bid a last farewell to him," he said. Parliamentary speaker Wang Jin- pyng and Liao Liao-yi, chief secretary to President Ma Ying-jeou, are both listed as members of the same organizing committee, the China Times said.

(Sina.com)  When crime gangs attend a funeral, they will fight over the order of attendance and the display of power.  The Bamboo Union, the Four Seas, the Heavenly Way gangs were originally prepared to mobilize as many as 1,000 persons.  However, the police have issued three guidelines: "No mobilization; no associating; no gang identification."  The organizing committee decided to limit the number of persons to 300 per gang for the purpose of paying tribute in public.  Furthermore, no persons under 18 years of age will be admitted into the ceremonial hall.  But even with the limit on over numbers, the gangs are going to select their most impressive members (180cm or taller, identical black suits and ties, etc) to represent them.  According to information, the amount of donations to the family will likely exceed NTD 100 million.  The family has promised to donate all proceeds to charity.

(The Standard)  Row over security hits RTHK forum.  By Colleen Lee and Phila Siu.  April 19, 2010.

Stepped-up security was in place at RTHK's weekly City Forum yesterday in the wake of boycott threats by pro-establishment lawmakers after they were "threatened" by members of the audience at a previous forum.

However, Chinese university political commentator Ma Ngok said the decision to put up railings and pots of plants between speakers and the audience - and to double the number of uniformed security guards to six - showed the station was adopting double standards. Ma said the station did not take similar precautions when pan-democrats were abused several years ago.

Those threatening a boycott included members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Federation of Trade Unions and insurance-sector lawmaker Chan Kin-por.

Their decision was made after DAB legislator Lau Kong-wah, engineering-sector legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai, Liberal Party lawmakers Tommy Cheung Yu-yan and Vincent Fang Kang were recently surrounded and scolded by protesters as they were leaving the venue.

Yesterday, a number of people in the audience continued to voice their disapproval, especially when Basic Law Committee member Maria Tam Wai-chu, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung spoke.

When Tam and Lew were leaving, some spectators hurled insults at them. Tam said she was not cowed by the experience and would continue to speak on the program if invited. Lew also said the hissing did not upset him. Lam said he is willing to continue to appear on the program.

Lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing said she was unable to hear what other guests were saying. "Although I disagree with the opinions of some of the guests, it is intolerable that the audience is noisy to the point I am unable to hear what others are saying," she said. "I find this ridiculous." She also slammed RTHK for failing to address the problem earlier as the program has been going on for 30 years. The program's executive producer and host, Joseph Tse Chi-fung, admitted the spectators were noisy.

(Oriental Daily)  Lew Mon-hung is not afraid of Victoria Park brothers.  April 20, 2010.

Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung attended RTHK's <City Forum> yesterday to support the political reform package.  Obviously, he was booed and hissed by the "Victoria Park brothers" who "hijacked the programme."  No sooner than he open his mouth than his words were overwhelmed by the yells from the audience.  Actually, the pro-establishment representatives had said that they would boycott <City Forum> in the future, but Lew Mon-hung said that he had seen enough and would not be intimidated by a few "Victoria Park brothers."  So he continued to accept the invitations to appear in order to represent balance.

Hong Kong Broadband News news summary report

Lew Mong-hung and Maria Tam Wai-chu leaving the forum afterwards

(The Standard)  Risks heighten for jornos in quake county.  By Scarlett Chiang.  April 20, 2010.

At least 20 journalists covering rescue operations at quake-hit Qinghai province, including several from Hong Kong, have complained of acute altitude sickness, which has been blamed for one reporter's death.

A mainland newspaper yesterday quoted an official of the earthquake rescue team as saying that at least 20 journalists were forced to leave Yushu county after bouts of altitude sickness. The official said one reporter had suffered from flu for two days after reaching Yushu before dying due to lung edema. But the provincial external affairs department said it could not confirm the death. The rescue team at the scene also could not confirm the report.

People commonly experience altitude sickness at above 2,400 meters. Yushu lies at 4,000 meters.

As for the local media, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said some reporters suffered from altitude sickness but felt better after a rest. A female reporter and a photographer of Next Magazine felt faintness and breathing difficulties on Sunday. They recovered after using an oxygen bottle brought by a Ming Pao reporter for about 30 minutes. The association advised media organizations to provide support for frontline reporters.

TVB's news department said it has already bought insurance and emergency medical services coverage for its two reporters on duty in Yushu and advised them to stop working once they feel any discomfort. Now TV said its staff had been well-prepared with resources and medicine before they went to Qinghai.

(Nanfang Daily)  April 20, 2010.

Yesterday, a certain newspaper in Shenzhen published a report titled "a reporter died in the line of duty as a result of altitude sickness."  The reporter claimed: "On the morning of April 18, our reporter learned from the Earthquake Relief Command Center that a reporter died in Lanzhou after coming down first with the flu and then lung edema."

At around 2pm yesterday, the Qinghai provincial government said that they had no record of the death of a reporter and therefore they reject the Shenzhen news report.  At past 7pm last evening, our reporter went to the Qinghai Earthquake Relief Command Center where the Qinghai provincial information office deputy director Shi Changzhi said that they had immediately contacted the various departments within the command center as soon as they saw the Shenzhen news report but nobody knew anything.  Furthermore, none of the officials had ever been interviewed by a reporter from this Shenzhen newspaper.

"The death of a reporter?  Our preliminary position is that this is false."  Qinghai provincial party committee publicity department external relations division deputy director Wang Jian said.  He is person in charge of the news center at the Xining command post.  He said that the Shenzhen news report caused Phoenix TV to contact them for verification.  He immediately contacted the front line headquarters, which told him that they are unaware of such an incident and they have not release such information.  Wang Jian said that many reporters are experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness.  But as of 7pm, the Earthquake Relief Command Center has no information about any reporter dying in the line of duty.

I am not going to live too many more days.  I had not expected to receive the death sentence.  At this time, the appeal is unlikely to work.  I worked in law enforcement all my life and I have handled many big cases and caught many people who received death sentences.  I used to be worry about their families taking revenge on me, but it turns out that I will die at the hands of those who are on my own side.  Those whom I have crossed before could not do anything to me.  Instead, those who work alongside with me are doing to do this to me.  I am certain that because I was involved or aware of too many things, many people won't sleep easy unless I am dead.  My death will be good for them.  Of course, I can drag them down to keep me company, but my wife and child will be killed.  Everybody says that I am a demon.  But as a husband and a father, I could not be so uncaring towards my family.  Many people want me to die immediately.  I shall die, but not before I have my say.

They accuse me to taking a lot of bribes and fooling around with a lot of women.  I don't deny it.  I want to say that I should not be the only one to be blamed, even though I bear the greatest responsibility.  Anyone in my position would have taken the bribes and fooled around with the women, perhaps even more so.  If I didn't fool around with those female students, someone else would have.  They accuse me of committing rape.  Can that really be called rape?  Did I bite their nipples off?  Did I throw them out the window?  I only followed the rules of the game and did what everybody else is doing.  Who doesn't know that if a cadre takes no bribe and does not fool around with women, then nobody will trust him no matter how well he does his job.  Across China, there must be millions of cadres like me.  Purging Wen Qiang alone does not solve anything.

I want to say that I worked from being a patrol officer in Baxian county all the way up to becoming the deputy director of the Public Safety Bureau in Chongqing.  I did not do it through bribery.  Frankly, I am 10,000 times more competent than those police officers who get paid for doing nothing.  I worked hard at first, and the graft and bribery came later.  I may have been just a deputy director of the Public Security Bureau in Chongqing, but I could do anything that I want there.  Who gave me that power?  Where were my supervisors?  Who knew what I was doing but pretended not to know?  Since they won't let me live, I might as well as tell all: my corruption was not restricted to these sums of money.  Where did the rest go?  I took bribes to help people.  Sometimes, I can deal with the matters myself; at other times, I have to ask other people to help.  Do you think these other people will help without being paid?  Those people who took my money or gave me money are guiding people to tour the exhibit of the evidence against me.  I don't deny that the evidence is genuine.  But you should go and search these people's homes, and then you may feel that my collection of cash and art objects will look trivial compared to theirs.

I, Wen Qiang, is an educated person.  In history, the people applauded when criminals were beheaded at the Beijing street market.  But did anything change after the beheadings?  Did the Chinese people change over the centuries?  I don't think anything changed.  Executing me will insure that I don't talk.  But will that stop corruption and graft?  Yesterday, many people were setting off firecrackers in Chongqing after the verdict was announced.  When I closed the Zhang Jun case several years ago, didn't they also set off firecrackers in Chongqing?  Three years after I am dead, will they set off firecrackers in Chongqing again for some other case?  By that time, the people will probably think that Wen Qiang wasn't so bad after all.  In the latter part of my tenure as deputy director of the Public Safety Bureau, crime rates were somewhat high in Chongqing.  But compared to other major cities, Chongqing wasn't so bad.

Hecheng town, Qingtian county, Zhejiang province is one of the most affluent towns in China.  But over there, there are people gambling as much as 20 million yuan right inside the public safety bureau building without drawing any attention.  Such examples are innumerable.  No matter how bad Chongqing was, this could not have happened.  Who knows how many people are wiped off in Sanya city each day?  At least, I know who was being killed by whom in my jurisdiction.  The central government must surely know how well Chongqing compares to other cities.  You cannot convince me that Wang Lijun should be the public safety bureau chief or that Secretary Bo should be included in the Politburu's Standing Committee.

Some citizens hate me for not punishing the criminals who hurt them.  Perhaps I should apologize to them before I go away.  In some of those cases, I took money from the criminal to fix the outcomes.  But if I didn't take the money, they would have gone to my supervisors and paid them off.  In turn, they would have ordered me to fix the outcomes.  So can you blame me?  I've got nothing against these citizens.  Would I hurt them for no reason?  If they are the victims, then so I am.  They said that I had been hero even though I was only doing my job.  Would I dare not be a hero when they asked?  Now they say that I am a crook.  Would I dare not be a crook?

There is a certain document which says that the crime rate among public servants is double that among the general population.  Furthermore, the crime rate among law enforcers is six times that among the general population.  We all know the reason why.  The people needed the government to watch over them and the government needed the law enforcers to watch over them.  But who is watching the law enforcers?  So what happens when the law enforcers are bribed by the public servants who are bribed by the people?  Who is going to cut through this stalemate?

In elementary school, I read an essay about how a little boy stole a vaccine syringe and brought it home.  His mother did not discipline him; in fact, she praised him for being smart.  So the little boy became spoiled.  When he grew up, he became a criminal.  On the day when his beheading was to take place, he begged his mother to breast-feed him one last time.  He ended up biting her nipple off because he hated her for not disciplining him early in life.  So my head is about to be chopped soon.  Whose nipple should I bite off?  I don't hate my mother because she never spoiled me.  When I was young, she told me about how the Kuomintang officials used to oppress the people and force the women into prostitution.  But  government officials nowadays are even worse, and I am just one of many.  It is this society and this system which made me turn out this way.  I am not shifting my responsibility to others.  I ultimately bear the most responsibility.  If I remained a patrol officer in Baxiang county back then, I would not end up this way.  My biggest mistake in life is to be greedy.  When I die, my child should change his name to something other than Wen.  My descendants should stay away from politics and government.  Calmness and serenity are blessings.

A vulgar little man with a big belly holding a beer bottle and BBQ meat sticks

A big-talking small-time hooligan

A simple-minded and honest laborer

A bookworm scholar

A traditional artiste one generation gap away

A handsome restaurant service worker -- he's got no money, though

A wealthy boss -- sleazy looks but his BMW has its advantages

A couple of parents proposing on behalf of their invisible son (photo of Brother Sharp)

A gay man -- "Let's become good sisters!"

A white-collar office worker -- seemingly nice but dirty-minded underneath (taking an up-skirt photo)

The playboy scion of a wealthy family -- unfortunately he does not think that she is up to his expectations

Grand reunion: What is a girl supposed to do?

"Tianxian MM," "Sister Furong," "Sister Phoenix" and other ordinary people became Internet celebrities, "Jia Junpeng, your mother wants you to come home for dinner" became a hot Internet phrase ... but netizens may not be aware that these so-called Internet fad which seemed to reflect public opinion were actually the works of certain groups of professional Internet promoter!

As the number of Internet users soar past 400 million in China, Internet marketing is entering a new phase which brings along much chaos.  Recently, an Internet promoter from Xiamen revealed the money chain behind these Internet celebrities.

Inside a non-descript office building in Stage 2 of Software Park in Xiamen city, a certain technology engineering company's Chief Executive Officer He Fei and his Internet promotion team were planning a project.

"Our goal is to find a unique product to build a hot topic, so that the company will gain a reputation in the B2C platform."  He Fei told our reporter with a smile: "This method costs a lot less than traditional advertising, but the results can be even better."

"For example, doesn't the currently very hot Sister Phoenix want a cosmetic make-over?  If a hospital hires her to make an advertisement for cosmetic make-over, the results would definitely be good.  If a bridal salon hires her to make an advertisement, the results just may be astonishing."  In He Fei's view, the Internet promoters who spent so much time to cultivate Sister Phoenix into an Internet celebrity are now ready to "harvest."  "Now that Sister Phoenix has become an 'alternate star,' the Internet promoters behind her are now 'star agents'."

He Fei had also done similar work before.  He and his team were hired to promote a certain online game company.  They made a plan: they wanted to focus on a pretty designer at the company and turn her into an Internet celebrity, followed by inserting product placements gradually ... at the time, He Fei proposed a price of 600,000 yuan.  Within this budget, the team only accounted for 20% for their part with the rest being spent on web advertising at the portals, networks, etc.

"But they thought that 600,000 yuan was too much, so the project did not go through."  In speaking about this project, He Fei still has some regret today.

"It was awesome to lift someone up to the level of Sister Phoenix or Sister Furong."  He Fei is filled with admiration for those truly successful Internet promotes.  Although he does not have those kinds of big successes, he has been able to do well in small-scale projects.

Several years ago, He Fei represented the unsold sports shoes for an international brand.  In order to get rid of this inventory as quickly as possible, they went to some famous forums and made posts to complain as consumers that the company was selling fake shoes without any air cushions inside.  They demanded that the company compensate them 10 times their purchase price.  Then a "webmaster" interceded in the name of "justice" and said that the shoes were genuine, based upon comparisons with photos taken at the specialty store for the international brand.  However, the "consumers" refused to take his word.  The story ended with a live "dissection" of a pair of shoes in front of the company representatives and the consumers that confirmed that the shoes were "authentic."

"This 'Internet debate' drew a great deal of attention through postings and re-postings."  He Fei said proudly.  "The final result was that more than 700 pairs of shoes were sold at the cost of just over 1,000 yuan in expenses."

He Fei is not the only Internet promoters in Xiamen city.

"Xiamen is going crazy.  In order to promote the International Fair for Investment and Trade, they even invited Jia Junpeng to attend!"  Such was the hype campaign conducted by Xiamen Internet promoters.

The contents of this post was a series of Photoshop-ed photos: At various Xiamen landmarks, there were banners with sayings such as "Warmly welcome Jia Junpeng, Fan Meizhong, Sister Furong and Tianxian MM to attend the Xiamen International Fair for Trade and Investment."  However, this post did not seem to have drawn much attention.

"Compared to the big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, there is a lot fewer Internet promoters in Xiamen.  The market is far from being mature."  He Fei says that this team consists of only three person, two of whom were hired from Shanghai.  Presently, they are only planning on behalf of their company's own marketing.  Although some companies want to hire them to do promotions, they have refused so far.  "This is not so easy, because a successful promotional campaign takes up a lot of energy."

In cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, there are a number of professional Internet promotion companies.  These companies' websites showed that they have specialties such as "Internet forum marketing," "blog marketing," "video marketing," etc.  The successful case studies also cover an astonishing array of areas, including television series, infant products, beverages, etc.

"It is not easy to become an Internet promoter.  A good promoter must have broad knowledge as well as understand netizen psychology; he must have good planning skills as well as write well; he must have good media resources."  After several years of involvement in this area, He Fei realizes that this is not an easy business.  "Unless you have powerful Internet appeal, your posts will be drowned out and never be picked up."

There are about 1,000 Internet promotion companies in mainland China, employing at least 100,000 persons.  As the number of Internet users soar past 400 million in China, Internet marketing is entering a new phase which brings along much chaos.

"Internet promotion is a nascent business which has many problems."  A private company owner who had asked an Internet promoter to market his services said frankly: There are no standards for the price and quality of Internet promotion, so that one can spend big money and fail to achieve the desired results.

According to information, certain unethical Internet promoters not only hype brands, sell products and handle public relations crises, but they will also run massive campaigns to malign and libel their clients' competitors and even control public opinion to affect court decisions.  This phenomenon is known as "Internet triad scoeity."

When these Internet promoters work for a company, they will analyze group psychology and customize their messages to factors such as "angry young people," "hatred of wealthy people," "sympathy for the weak and vulnerable," etc.  When they write posts, they make sure that they make some spelling and/or grammatical errors somewhere to prove authenticity.  They will also hire a "navy fleet" consisting of university students and unemployed idlers -- usually, each team consists of 100 persons and each company worker manages 10 teams; if five company workers work on a project, that means the "navy fleet" may consists of fifty teams totaling 5,000 persons.  Some companies usually have the addresses of tens of thousands of forums.  So a single post is liable to show up at several thousand forums.

Since Internet libel is hard to prove and posters are hard to track down, companies find it hard to seek legal redress.  Thus, some companies are calling for legal reform to make the posters liable.

The Hong Kong University Press and the university’s Project for Public Culture at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) will co-host a book launch for Eileen Chang’s English novel, The Fall of the Pagoda《雷峯塔》on 15 April 2010.

Eileen Chang (1920-1995) is now recognized as one of the greatest modern Chinese writers. However, she was at one time completely erased from official histories in mainland China due to the political leanings of her first husband, who collaborated with the Japanese when China was occupied. She was the most popular writer in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II, with English and Chinese stories focusing on human frailties rather than nationalist propaganda.   The Fall of the Pagoda is the English-language precursor to her semi-autobiographical novel Little Reunion (《小團圓》), which was a number one bestseller in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China in 2009. It is the first of a two-part novel series. The second part is called The Book of Change and will be released in Sept 2010 by HKU Press.

Like Little Reunion, The Fall of the Pagoda bears traces of Chang’s own life. The protagonist, a young girl called Lute, is growing up in Shanghai in the 1930s when the international settlement there was known as the “lonely isle” and was relatively safe from the invading Japanese army. Lute lives on-and-off with her divorced mother and spinster aunt; the tale is one of family tension and evolves from a comedy of manners into an opium-infused gothic thriller.

At the launch, Dr Roland Soong, the executor of Eileen Chang’s estate, will donate a photocopy of the manuscripts of Eileen Chang’s English novel The Fall of the Pagoda and Long River to HKU and share his views on Chang’s writing career. Perry Lam, Editorial Director of Muse, Hong Kong’s leading magazine about arts and culture, will analyse the book. Last year, Dr Roland Soong set up a HK$1 million scholarship fund at HKU in memory of Eileen Ms Chang, to create opportunities for students with backgrounds similar to hers, so that they could be freed from financial constraints and able to prosper and excel. The first recipient of this Eileen Chang Memorial Scholarship, Xue Jun Yuan of the Faculty of Arts, will share her thoughts.

This book launch is also supported by HKU Libraries and Faculty of Arts. The Project for Public Culture at the JMSC is sponsored by the Azalea (1972) Endowment Fund.

Date : 15 April 2010(Thursday)
Time : 3pm
Venue : 1/F, Main Library, Hong Kong University
Language : English

(Oriental Daily

Yesterday, South China Morning Post used a pictorial to report the presence of President Hu Jintao at the nuclear summit in Washington DC.  But this report started with a very shocking error.  President Hu Jintao was introduced as "President Hu Jintao(胡佳)."  Thus the president of the nation of presented as the human rights advocate Hu Jia who was sentenced to three years in prison for subversion.  Did SCMP wanted to make fun of Hu Jintao intentionally?

The photo was taken when President Hu Jintao flew into the US Airforce airbase in Maryland and was welcomed by American officials.  After the mistake appeared, the SCMP spokesperson stated that all those who handled the story -- from the reporter to the editor to the proof editor -- are not Chinese-speakers.  Simply put, they did not know Chinese.  Therefore, this incident was a human error.  The spokesperson also said that there will be a correction statement on the front page.  SCMP deeply regrets this incident and promises to deal with the matter seriously, including a full review of the proof-reading process in order to prevent a recurrence.

After listening to this explanation from SCMP, the incident becomes even more astonishing.  First of all, there are three characters in the name 胡錦濤 compared to two characters in the name 胡佳.  The two persons share the same family name, but the sounds and the forms of the other characters are completely different.  Besides, Hu Jintao's name must appear quite frequently in the news.  SCMP is an English-language newspaper which often adds Chinese translations when it comes to names and places in mainland China.  But they apparently even take front page stories lightly.  SCMP is a Hong Kong-based newspaper intended for Hong Kong readers or those who are concerned about Hong Kong.  But they don't even have a single editor or proof reader who knows Chinese?  If so, this is incredible and their explanation is just an excuse.

This is the not the first time that SCMP got into trouble!  Back in June 2000, a group of Hong Kong business/industry representatives went to meet Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji in Beijing.  Many of the city's super rich tycoons went, including the SCMP's owner Robert Kuok.  The SCMP mainland China news editor Willy Lam wrote an article on June 28 that took up two-thirds of a page to say Beijing was trading commercial opportunities in order to get the business community to support the re-election of Chief Executive Tung Chee-wah.  Robert Kuok was forced to write a "reader's letter" to SCMP to criticize Willy Lam for thinking that Hong Kong business people are "fools and idiots" and question his professionalism.

If SCMP could not even manage its own workers, its internal management must be a mess.  When a big mistake like this takes place, one wonders if someone inside deliberately made fun of Hu Jintao?  Even CNN GO called this the "editor's worst nightmare."  Indeed, scandals travel thousands of miles when they take place.

(Apple Daily)

Human rights worker Hu Jia who is presently serving a jail term showed up in American in the role of President?  The long-established Hong Kong English-language newspaper South China Morning Post reported yesterday on page A1 that Hu Jintao has arrived in the United States.  But they miswrote the Chinese translation of Hu Jintao's name as Hu Jia.  CNN followed up on the incident with "Whose Hu?"  Yesterday, SCMP took the rare step of recalling the newspaper.  Workers there complained that the various cutbacks at the newspaper is affecting news quality.  They also questioned why the newspaper was recalled this time but not on previous occasions.

Yesterday's SCMP front page story was Hu Jintao arriving in America to attend the nuclear security summit.  "Flying in, President Hu Jintao (胡佳) greets his US hosts ..." next to a Reuters photo.  There was nothing wrong with the English writing, but the Chinese name was mistakenly written as Hu Jia.  This mistake is sensitive and subtle.  After the newspaper reached the streets, SCMP insiders as well as Internet users were talking about it.  According to a SCMP worker, they were surprised and tried to find the 'cause.'  They speculated that an editor who did not know Chinese entered "Hu Jintao" into the computer but selected "Hu Jia" out of the list of candidates.

This mistake was circulated on Facebook, where people joked that SCMP is trying to support Hu Jia indirectly.  People were rushing out to get copies of the newspaper.  CNN reported the story under the title "Whose Hu?"  The SCMP spokesperson apologized for the error and promises to issue an apology in today's newspaper.

The SCMP spokesperson said that because the error occurred on the front page, they decided to recall the newspaper.  They will review the editorial process in order to prevent any recurrence.  But SCMP workers say that these types of translation mistakes have been occurring frequently.  For example, actress Sandra Ng (吳君如) was presented as the actor Wu Zun (吳尊).  Workers say that the company has been cutting back on staff.  Last year, they reduced the number of proof-readers.  Several months ago, they "revised the procedures" to reduce the number of editorial reviews from two to one.

Previously, the newspaper had different editors in charge of Local News, Finance, China News and Sports.  Recently, these groups were merged into one large group so that people were reviewing articles whose subjects they are not familiar with.  But the bottom line is that the main reason for the mistake this time is that nine out of ten editors did not know Chinese.  The workers did not think that any senior manager will be held accountable this time.  They pointed out that earlier this month, SCMP had published an editorial to oppose the job requirement for two languages/three dialects during hiring.  In retrospect, this seems quite ironic.  Workers also questioned: "This is not the first time that there was an error on the front page.  Why was it only recalled this time?"

Hu Jia's wife Zeng Jinyan laughed after hearing about the incident: "I hope that this was just an accidental error and not a deliberate gag."  She said that her ailing husband's request for medical parole has been turned down, but she will not give up trying to improvement his conditions inside prison.  "He will complete his term on June 26 next year.  I and his mother are worried that his condition may deteriorate during this time."  In April 2008, Beijing was found guilty of "subversion of state authority" and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.  Previously, Hu Jia had been working to defend the rights of AIDS patients.


(Ming Pao)

Has the human rights worker Hu Jia now serving jail time become the President of China?  The largest English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, South China Morning Post, misspelled the Chinese translation of Chinese President Hu Jintao as Hu Jia in a front page photo-story yesterday.  SCMP expressed its regret over the error, which may be due to the fact that the editors did not know Chinese.  Yesterday, SCMP recalled the copies of its newspaper.  There will also be an apology published in today's paper.

The SCMP spokesperson confirmed last evening that they recalled the paper because of a major mistake created by human error.  The cause may be because the workers did not know Chinese.  SCMP apologizes and its management will review the proof-reading process in order to insure that such incidents do not recur.  But she did not comment on whether anyone will be punished as a result.

Although this was just a slip and unrelated to manpower, some SCMP workers wondered if this was the result of the continual staff cutbacks and the lack of Chinese-reading editors.  Ironically, on April 4, SCMP criticized the government and large corporations for usually demanding job applicants to know two languages (Chinese/English) and three dialects (English/Cantonese/putonghua) on the grounds that this was prejudicial towards capable foreigners.

The mistake occurred on the second edition of SCMP yesterday.  Chinese president Hu Jintao had arrived early morning Hong Kong time in Washington DC to attend the global nuclear security summit.  So SCMP revised its front page and used the latest photo of the arrival of Hu Jintao for a photo-story.  The problem was that the caption has the name Hu Jintao mistranslated as Hu Jia.

... A reader told us that he wanted to purchase a copy of SCMP from a newsstand last evening, but he was refused.  The Hong Kong newspaper vendors association confirmed that they received notice from SCMP not to sell any of the remaining copies of SCMP pending return.

(The Standard)

We all make mistakes. Some of them leave us embarrassed, some bring us out in a cold sweat, while others just make us feel silly. So, spare a thought for Hong Kong's other English-language newspaper which, we suspect, is experiencing all three emotions.

Yesterday, on its front page, next to a photograph of Hu Jintao arriving in the United States for a nuclear summit, ran a caption which included a Chinese character translation of the president's name. Or so they thought. In fact, the translated name was that of Hu Jia, a mainland dissident jailed for inciting subversion in 2008 - talk about compounding an error. Soon, the blunder was the talk of the blogosphere and all over the TV news.

To be fair, red-faced editors corrected the mistake for the paper's second edition, but the damage had already been done. A spokesman also apologized for the error and put the blame on foreign editors who do not know Chinese.

(People's Day)  Is author Mai Jia right to call Internet literature 'garbage'?  April 9, 2010.

Author Mai Jia shocked many when he called Internet literature “garbage” at a seminar held on April 7. "If I had the right, I would eliminate all Internet literature," said Jia, to everyone’s amazement. “The rise of the Internet is proof that humanity is coming to an end.”
Mai Jia said that 99.99 percent of writing on the Internet is “garbage,” and only 0.01 percent is worth reading.  

It is shocking that Mai Jia says that. Of course he can voice his opinion, but how can he be so exasperated? It shows that some traditional authors simply cannot understand, accept and adapt to the flourishing of Internet.

As a pioneer of modern conventional literature, Mai Jia became famous because his works were adapted for television and movies and won him great success. How does he have so much hatred of the Internet literature?

We have entered the age of Internet, and nobody can change this fact. Facing this new era, Chinese traditional writers fail to seriously study the new situation and to adapt to new development, but rather they rail against the Internet literature. It shows not the strength but the weakness. It is incomprehensible. Even if you speak viciously against Internet literature, can you really prove the traditional literature is greater? I think not.

In comparison, the Internet writers rarely speak ill of the traditional literature. Even though they have time to do that, they do prefer to write some more works and leave it to readers to make evaluations. Internet literature writers neither talk against others, nor make a display of themselves. It is an expression of confidence. Shouting to others cannot prove he is elegant and civilized, but instead shows he is unconfident

The attitude of Mai Jia on Internet literature is very representative. Many share his view. Many people think that the works on the Internet have a lot of problems and are low-level, untrustworthy. Some people cannot to shut all Internet out of China. This is also the basic reason that the writers like Mai Jia are hostile to network literature.

Honestly speaking, the real reason why the Internet literature it hated by some people is it dares to face life, defies the political power and criticize the fake, the bad and the ugly sides of society. It upholds truth and glorifies the good and the beautiful sides. The points expressed by the Internet writers are more representative of individual opinions. The Internet has come to mean a refusal to be enslaved.

Although some traditional literary writers appear to be aloof from politics and material pursuits and show complete contempt for the network literature, they actually reveal how outdated and irrelevant they are in the new era. Some people who used to be a leader and a role model for others are always judgmental about the "disorderly" behaviors.

It is regrettable that the writers are so afraid to face the times and the readers. Your abuse of the Internet literature cannot hinder its development. On the contrary, to refuse new things ultimately brings failure.

The rise of the Internet is important evidence to prove that humans have made a lot of progress. Many myths and lies are exposed because of the Internet. For those people who benefit from the status quo, it is obviously a threat. Only if tradition continues, can they enjoy the benefits forever. Whether Mai Jia thinks so or not, just like many other people who hate and fear Internet, he has such a heavy heart. Accepting the existence of Internet is perhaps the attitude that we should actively promote.

(Mai Jia's blog)  April 10, 2010.

After receiving a text message that informed me about the situation, I went on the Internet and searched around.  I found that my "Eliminate the Internet" statement is being criticized by netizens.

My first reaction was that this is the Internet where people can say whatever they want regardless of the consequences.  In a country with all sorts of restrictions, this is obviously a good thing.  Alas, we have a window through which our tongues can taste the ecstasy of free speech.  In a certain sense, this is what I do because I have a nasty, smart tongue.  I frequently think that if I were born twenty years ago, I would be destined to be a 'rightist' just like my father.  Even if I did not go to jail, I would be given a label.  My father was a peasant, barely literate and did not read books or newspapers.  But incredibly, he was marked as a rightist counter-revolutionary.  In truth, my father was 'lucky' to become a rightist for two reasons: (1) he dared to speak his mind; (2) there were very few 'genuine' rightist in the countryside so they had to find people to meet the quota.

My second reaction was that the Internet is really scary.  Overnight, the Internet can morph one person into another, wrong into right, lies into truth.  Of course, I have enough reasons to believe that this is nothing that needs to be taken seriously.  Today, being criticized on the Internet is a joy (or pain) that everybody gets to enjoy.  The Internet is as wide as the sky, and it is impossible to complain about the sky.

My third reaction was that netizens really cared about me.  I toss out a joke somewhere and it led to such a huge response.  "If I were given the power, I would 'eliminate the Internet'."  The problem is: Who can give me this power?  This was just a fool's dream.  It was just me making fun of myself out of frustration.  Since this is the Internet era where everybody can speak as they wish, why can't I make fun of myself?  At least I find that someone of my 'status' can still have dreams as well as make fun of myself.

I have a son who is thirteen years old.  It is a daily "struggle" for me and his mother to make him use the Internet less often.  Frankly, my son is not yet an "Internet addict."  When we see him and we tell him, he signs off as told. 

But I know about another true experience.  I have a friend whose son is absolutely brilliant.  At age 11, he was ranked number two in the nation in playing the bass violin and also among the top students in the city.  The family spent more than one hundred thousand yuan to get him into a top school.  Actually, the school's leaders came to his home to ask him to enrol.  In the first year of high school, this excellent child changed.  He skipped class frequently, he did not come home at night and his parents ran out of tears to cry.  He did not even take the university entrance exam.  He vanished and the police could not locate him.  Fortunately, this prodigal son has returned home and is now attending a good school.  Who is to say that everybody is so lucky? 

Every Chinese person wants their son to do well, including me.  I frequently tell my friends that I am under great pressure to make sure that my son do well.  Sometimes I am given to various thoughts and ideas.  I have said many times: If you can guarantee that my son will do well, I am willing to meet all your demands, including not writing anymore and taking away all I own (even if you want an arm).  Although this is a joke, it is still the truth.  If a child does not do well, it is a loss for the parents.

Finally, let me explain what really happened.  My speech was at a literary forum on the subject of <The state of literature in the age of the Internet>.  This was a purely idealistic and relaxed discussion that does not even deal with the issues of bringing up a child.  Let us summarize what I said: "Using what people have said before, I am a shameless person because my books have sold 5 million copies (note: people have said that any writer who sells more than 10,000 copies is 'shameless').  With respect to the the Internet, I say: If you give me the power, I will eliminate the Internet.  (laughter)  With respect to Internet literature, I think that 99.9% of it is garbage and only 0.1% is excellent.  Trying to find the good is like finding a needle in the ocean: It is there but it is practically invisible.  Morong Xuecun and Annie Baby are two survivors who emerge from Internet literature.  From their experience, I deduce that no matter what garbage Internet literature might be, I believe that we will be defeated by someone who comes from the world Internet literature.  The greatest advantage of Internet literature is that there is no gatekeeper on publishing.  Anyone who loves to write can write and publish as they please on the Internet.  Certain talented writers will gain experience and fulfill their talents.  Personally, I think that the Internet has resulted in a cacophony and it is a constant challenge for me to stay aloft ...

Then I spoke about myself, which I won't repeat here because it has nothing to do with the Internet.  I was the last speaker at the conference which ended immediately afterwards.  Therefore, nobody rebutted me.  As to the Internet reports about who rebutted and challenged me right there and then, I think that they are just Internet rumors.

I am grateful for the tip.  Even though I realize that it is unwise to try to dispel Internet rumors, I have always believed that people are not always wise and therefore I allow myself to act unwisely.