Henan 1995: Warning of Coming Blood Donation-Spread HIV Epidemic

Henan physician Dr. Wang Shuping, the author of the December 1995 report translated below, reviewed this translation and offered several explanatory notes which are included in brackets below. Wang Shuping is now a research worker at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Health officials in Henan reacted very badly to the warning of a coming HIV epidemic spread through careless practices at the rapidly expanding and very profitable blood plasma collection center where poor peasants sold blood.

Details are in Dr. Wang Shuping’s 2012 article How I Discovered the HIV Epidemic and What Happened to Me Afterwards . An excerpt:

The leaders from the provincial Department of Health asked me, “How come you could discover AIDS while others didn’t?” I understood very well that they wanted me to keep it secret, because exposing the epidemic would botch their job evaluation as officials. Dismayed, I said, “I hope you don’t upbraid me for now. You should go visiting the 17 stations of plasma collection that are collecting blood as we speak. In these 17 stations, there are at least 500 people who are being infected by hepatitis C and HIV every day.” According to newspaper reports at the time, Henan province alone had almost 400 stations of plasma collection, and most of the blood used in hospitals came from these stations. It was impossible to know how many hospital patients had been infected with hepatitis C and HIV. A police officer got hepatitis C from transfusion he received after being wounded in a chase. He and his family were deeply upset about it.

Following that, a retired leader of the Health Bureau came to my clinical testing center telling me, “You will be in trouble if you don’t close down the center.” The next day he came with a long baton and smashed the sign of the center with it. Then, he went into the rooms to smash the equipment. I tried to block him, and he hit me with his baton. Presently a lot of people crowded around us to watch. Some pulled him back. That way I got out of danger. I called the police station immediately, and when the officers came to get him, he cried and made a scene. He screamed, “Certain leaders sent me to beat her. Now that the police came, none of them is forthcoming!”

Report on Investigation of Hepatitis Virus and HIV Infection Among Blood Donors in Our Region

English translation of Dr. Wang Shuping’s December 1995 report 我区献血员中HCV及HIV感染的调查汇报

The twentieth century’s HIV/AIDS pandemic has already begun to spread in the Zhoukou region (Note: administrative region of China’s Henan Province then included Zhoukou city,nine counties). It already affects the majority of the counties and cities in Zhoukou region. The HIV/AIDS pandemic will have a serious impact on our region’s economic development and poses a severe threat to the health of the people of Zhoukou region. This investigation report describes that status of the epidemic in Zhoukou region), the causes of its spread, and urgent measures that need to be taken.

I. Rates of Hepatitis and HIV infection in Our Region

During 1994 and 1995 we sampled for Hepatitis B infection groups of plasma-only [paid] blood donors in the Zhoukou region who underwent a process that involves centrifuging whole blood, separating out the plasma, and then transfusing the remaining blood fraction back into the blood donor. The rate of Hepatitis C infection we found ranged from 18% to 84%. We also did a screening at our plasma-only blood plasma collection station for Hepatitis C antibodies after blood plasma collection as well as before blood plasma collection and found that the rates of infection after collection were 40.1% (201/501) compared with 18.3% (82/448) before blood plasma collection.

Currently, the rate of Hepatitis C infection after giving blood is 41.2% whereas the rate of Hepatitis C virus infection among normal people the rate is 0.85%. Recently we discovered that the rate of HIV infection among blood givers was 15.1% (62/409). [Wang Shuping note: We did not find any HIV positive infection in the normal population.]

Why were infections so high among [paid] blood donors and people who receive blood transfusions? The causes of this situation are analyzed below.

II. Causes of Infection

Causes of Infection in Blood Collection Stations

  1. Blood collection stations are operated to make a profit so the stations want blood donors to give as much blood and as frequently as possible and they often ignore the regulations. This also makes the blood donors physical condition decline as a result. [Wang Shuping Note: The regulations allowed blood to be given no more than two times per month. ]
  2. The blood collection stations did not screen for HIV prior to April 1995. Some underground blood collection stations are still not screening for HIV.
  3. Some blood collection stations knowingly take blood from blood donors who have tested previously positive for hepatitis and still less do they do they fail to give blood givers a physical examination and blood test.
  4. The blood collection stations take a great deal of blood plasma from the blood givers. The remaining fraction of the blood, because the blood collection station is operating in violation of regulations, they mix up the blood and people get contaminated blood by having leftover blood from another person transfused into them.
  5. People come to blood plasma collection stations in our region from provinces and cities in other regions of Henan Province. Some of these people are carriers of HIV infection and so by giving blood in our region bring HIV into our region.
  6. A large proportion of the people who work at the blood collection stations have not had medical training so they don’t have even the most basic understanding of how disease is transmitted. This results in some workers in the blood collection stations themselves getting infected by the Hepatitis C virus.
  7. The blood collection stations are operated to make large profits, so the workers at the blood collection stations have been overloaded for a long time. They work too fast and to save time and work often ignore the regulations for operating a blood collection station.
  8. The blood donors wanted to sell more blood in order to make more money so they are economically motivated to give blood at several blood collection stations. Some even give blood at two blood collection stations in one day. Many of them eat and sleep at the blood collection station so that they can give blood once a day. It is not unusual for them to give blood after taking an oral dose of a traditional Chinese medicine often used to treat hepatitis [Wang Shuping note: to reduce the level of the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) which checks for liver damage].
  9. Some biological products companies are aware of, but do not observe PRC state regulations and so try to buy blood plasma that tested positive for hepatitis. They do not always do any complete testing at of all of the blood plasma before they use it to produce gamma globulin, serum albumins and other blood products. It is not yet known whether those blood products can be contaminated by the AIDS HIV virus.
  10. Some leaders of blood collection stations have not the faintest idea about medicine. Their goal is making a profit. For the sake of reducing their capital costs they are content to completely ignore the health of blood givers and blood collection station workers.

Cause of Infection in Hospitals and Rural Clinics

  1. In our region there are still some hospitals that do not test blood donors donor blood for HIV and Hepatitis C virus, and then transfuse that blood into their patients resulting in cases of infection with HIV and hepatitis virus.
  2. Some hospitals still do not sterilize needles, injection equipment, as well as dental equipment after each time they are used on a different patient.
  3. Some rural township level hospitals only sterilize their injection equipment once a day. They do not sterilize the syringes after they are used on each person. The most serious cases are rural township level hospitals and clinics that only change the needle, but not the syringe, for example when vaccinating children.
  4. Village health rooms do not follow safety protocols for sterilization and often only use the same injector possess only one or two glass syringes which are cleaned and boiled in water at the end of day, and only change the needle but not the syringe for each patient.

We began a study of 76 people who had just registered at the blood collection station. We found that after seven months 68.3% had become infected with the Hepatitis C virus. We conclude that since the transmission mode of the Hepatitis C virus and HIV are similar, if this situation should continue, then HIV will spread rapidly throughout our region.

In order to protect the blood donors of our region and to limit the spread of HIV and the Hepatitis virus in our region, we make the following recommendations:

III. Recommendations

  1. Since at present there is no effective management of blood collection stations, all blood plasma-only collection stations, including underground blood plasma collection stations, should be closed immediately. Local laws and regulations are needed to manage these stations.
  2. People have been giving blood to blood plasma-only blood collection stations should not be allowed to give whole blood for therapeutic use. Procedures for handling blood used therapeutically should include testing twice before using the blood.
  3. The organization charged with responsibility for blood oversight should be given some authority. It should regularly inspect and at times make surprise inspections to sample the quality of blood at the blood collection centers and at hospitals in order to reduce the spread of HIV and the Hepatitis C virus.
  4. At all blood collection centers that collect whole blood should immediately provide training to their entire staff. This training should stress medical morality education. Training should focus on specific job-related tasks and be followed by an examination. Only those who pass the examination should be employed.
  5. For director of a blood collection station a person should be chosen who has high professional morality, has received a standard medical education, intelligent and conscientious, behave properly, does not hatch plots, and is not overly focused on their personal advantage.
  6. The chemical reagents used to conduct testing at blood collection centers and at hospitals should be centrally managed to ensure that inferior reagents do not come onto the local market and affect the quality of sample test results.
  7. The regional blood quality oversight committee should regularly sent send people to inspect all blood collection stations and hospitals. Stations and hospitals that have permits but do not operate according to the terms of their permit, which operate in violation of regulations, which are aware of hazards to public health but choose to ignore them, or which avoid testing by collecting the blood that they use should be severely punished.
  8. HIV tests should be given to everyone who has ever been a plasma-blood only blood donor and to people who have had a blood transfusion since 1992, who has had many different sex contacts, or has been an intravenous drug user so that people who are currently HIV-positive can be educated about HIV/AIDS as soon as possible, so that their families can be protected, and that greater harm to society in the future can be prevented and so reduce the speed of the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  9. Education about HIV/AIDS should be increased. More specifically, there should be weekly articles or programs in the newspapers and on television.
  10. All hospitals and clinics should use only single-use needles. Transfusion equipment used at blood collection stations should undergo high temperature sterilization before being disposed of. This equipment should absolutely not be resold.

Confronted by the current epidemic of HIV infection, the most important thing is that everyone has a strong sense of urgency. If those in the medical community do not properly understand the threat that HIV poses to our region, they certainly face severe criticism in the future.

As a medical worker and as someone who has worked at an anti-epidemic station and a blood collection station, I have a relatively good and detailed understanding of the problems of blood collection stations. If we take immediate and effective action, the problems described above can be brought under control.

The analysis of the causes and the recommendations given above may have some bias. However, we have seen how the HIV infection rate in our region has been increasing at a horrifying pace. Our conscience tells us that we must urge our leaders to take prompt action in order to save the people of our region.

Zhoukou Region Clinical Testing Center

December 16, 1995

Photos of the Chinese text of this report can be found among photos on or within several photos of this Flickr link.

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1993 Zhoukou, Henan: The Eruption and Sudden Surge of Paid Blood Donations

The HIV/AIDS epidemic that arose in Henan Province, China and other from dangerous blood banking practices and spread HIV/AIDS to at least many tens of thousands of people began with for profit blood sales by tens of thousand of poor peasants.

Below I have translated from a May 1993 press clipping apparently from the China Youth Daily [Zhongguo Qingnianbao] or the China Youth Guidance News [Zhongguo Qingnian Daobao] describes the social conditions out of which the epidemic grew.

More information about the 1990s HIV/AIDS epidemic is available from a wide range of sources including:

How I Discovered the HIV Epidemic and What Happened to Me Afterwards by Dr. Wang Shuping

My “AIDS Prevention” Journey By Dr. Gao Yaojie

Revealing the “Blood Wound” of the Spread of HIV AIDS in Henan Province by He Aifang [psuedonym, homonym for Henan Prevent AIDS]

as well as the Wikipedia and contemporary reporting and translations from the old US Embassy Beijing website available on the Internet Archive.

Along with some other US Foreign Service colleagues, I told my story of our work overseas in the pages of the Foreign Service Journal in the 2018 series “Diplomacy Works”. The story of my encounters with Chinese public health heros who spoke out at the risk of considerable official harassment of themselves, their families and coworkers appears in that series on the Foreign Service Journal website as “Slowing the Spread of HIV“.

My daughter Frances Cowhig has written a play with the help of extensive interviews with one of China’s public health hero, Dr. Wang Shuping, about the HIV epidemic and life at the Zhoukou regional bloodbank where Dr. Wang worked. There, Dr. Wang discovered and and spoke out about the epidemic of Hepatitis she found breaking out among blood donors. Predicting the outbreak of HIV, she called for the closing of local blood banks until the dangerous practices could be halted and staff educated in safe blood banking. She was ignored, beaten up and fired from the Zhoukou Regional Blood Collection Station.

The play, entitled “The King of Hell’s Palace” will have its world premiere at the Hampstead Theatre London in September 2019.

Youth Saturday Section Close-up on Society May 29, 1993

The Eruption and Sudden Surge of [Paid] Blood Donations

by Liu Yanzhang and Yang Yaping

At the Zhoukou Regional Health Department Anti-Epidemic Station, the big letters “Red Cross Blood Station” with the characters “blood station” conspicuous in red shock a crowd of wild imaginings into one’ mind. There, everyday except for Sundays and holidays, densely packed lines of old bicycles snakes along the narrow streets from 3AM until 10 PM. Waiting in two or three lines of bicycles, noisy crowds, a confusion of voices, the hundreds of peasants who come every day to give blood fill pack seal this tiny neighborhood fully watertight.

On January 11, we did interviews near where people parked their bicycles. A young fellow surnamed Zhang said “Usually five to six hundred people come here every day to give blood. In the cold weather like now about four hundred come. Most of the people who park their bicycles here are peasants who live within five to ten kilometers away.” He added, “Blood sellers come to the blood station between 4 and 5 AM to buy a registration number. People who live further away get up at 3 AM to ride in a big bus. Some even come the day before. The opening of the blood bank has made the various service providers nearby more prosperous.”

When the blood station opened, people go to wondering,

“Why are so many people coming and making so much noise all day?”

“Why are so many peasants selling blood?”

“The blood station is making a fortune!”

At the same time the other blood collection stations that opened one after another in such places as Fan District of Xihua County, Xiangcheng City, Huiyang County, Luxi County, and Shenqiu County were soon jam-packed with blood sellers. At present, the entire Zhoukou region, except for Xihua County and Fugou County which have not yet opened blood collection stations, every county and city has either opened or applied to open a blood collection station! An astonishing tidal wave of blood-giving has swept the entire region.

With many questions on our minds, we set out to interview the Zhoukou Regional Red Cross Blood Collection Station and the peasants who had come to sell blood there.

The Central Blood Collection Station

According to regulations, each county may have no more than one blood collection station. Each region or city may have only one central blood collection station. The Zhoukou Regional Red Cross Blood Collection Station, subordinate to the regional Health Bureau Anti-Epidemic Station, formally opened in December 1991. This blood collection station, responsible for all the blood used in medically in the region, also a blood plasma supplier to the Shanghai Institute of Products Co., Ltd. 【上海生物制品研究所】. The blood collection station takes each time from a healthy person 800 cubic centimeters of whole blood. The whole blood is then centrifuged to obtain 400 cc of blood plasma. The remaining red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are then transfused back into the seller. The blood donor gets paid a 54 RMB nutritional fee each time.

According to statistics, from the blood collection station’s opening down to the present, over ten thousand people have filled out blood donor registration cards. The vast majority of them are peasants from rural townships of nearby counties including some from rural townships of Shangcai County in the Zhumadian Region of Henan Province. In order to better organize blood donations, the blood donors have been divided up into blood troops from individual districts, townships, or villages. Every blood troop has a captain. Captains are responsible for recruiting new members to their blood troops and for arranging for all members of the blood troop to buy a registration number.

Every blood donor, before giving blood, must pay a registration fee for the physical examination they undergo before giving blood. Once they have passed their physical, they got to a collection room where they await blood collection and change clothes. For each member of the blood troop who gets onto a blood collection table, the blood troop captain (also known as a “bloodhead”) is paid one renminbi. Therefore the “bloodhead” is the “aristocrat” among the blood donors and earns a large income. The Zhoukou central blood collection station has 22 blood troops. Big troops such a the Tangzhuang Township, Shangshui County blood troop, may have more than two thousand members. Small blood troops might have between several dozen to several hundred members. The blood collection station arranges blood collections on different days by blood type and by county or district. The schedule of collections is distributed to the public about a week ahead of time.

In the course of my interviews I found that peasants coming give blood were satisfied with the service they encountered at the blood collection station. The equipment at the blood collection station is very advanced. The people who work there are very conscientious because the blood fraction that remains after the plasma is removed by centrifuging must be transfused back into that very same person who gave the blood. Therefore they must take great care in their work. A small error could cost someone their life. We asked the blood collection workers if they worried about this. They said no, we follow procedures very closely.

What the Blood Donors Said About Their Lives

The vast majority of the people who give blood at the blood collection station are peasants. Alongside them are also a very small number of urban workers and unemployed city people from the suburbs who have no land. Among nearly ten thousand blood donors, we found only one upaid ‘donor’. That was a young cadre from a Zhoukou region company within state foreign trade system. He wouldn’t give us his name. He regularly gave blood but was unwilling for this to be publicly known. We didn’t think it was right to inquire further so we left it at that.

Before undertaking these interviews, we had heard talk of people who had made a fortune selling blood and had used it to build a nice foreign-style house for themselves or to gamble. That may be so but we didn’t come across these kinds of people in our interviews. Most of the blood donors were there because of their straitened circumstances. Excessive financial burdens on peasants including many miscellaneous fees and family planning fines cut into their incomes. The peasants said, “Anyone with an alternative wouldn’t grab for this “lifeline”.

The peasant blood donors told us that in some areas peasants had to pay a fee of around 20 RMB for every cow, lamb or pig that they raised. They had to pay all kinds of miscellaneous fees. If they had a small three or four wheeled tractor they had to pay a fee for that too. If they dug a well they had to pay a fee. If smoke came out their chimney, they had to pay a fee for that too. They had to pay a fee of between 0.5 and 1 RMB for square meter of the land their house was built on. They had to pay 5 – 10 RMB for cutting tree, landscaping using cement and wooden pegs would cost 10 RMB. Some rural township ordered the peasants to grow tobacco leaves, those who had been planting wheat had to turn in their plows but even so they were assessed the fee for plowed land.

In some places, peasants were ordered to set some land aside in the fall to plant tobacco leaf; beforehand they were assessed a 20 RMB security deposit to ensure that they did so. Planting tobacco and cotton together in the same field makes no sense at all but peasants who refused to do so were fined. People who did plant them together only got a IOU at harvest time or were fined if they didn’t sell enough cotton. Some grassroots government cadres issued orders blindly, sometimes even countermanding their own orders very shortly thereafter. The peasants didn’t know what to do or couldn’t carry out the orders on time. The end result is that a lot of agricultural land lay fallow. The peasants all hated that situation.

One peasant blood donor said, “You can’t make any money planting crops for foodstuffs. If you harvest 400 pounds of wheat from each mu of land, you just about get your capital investment back. But then you have to sell part of your crop to the government at a below-market set price 【交公粮】, various deductions are made, and make payments to the rural township or village by a certain deadline. If you don’t pay then fines are added on. Sometimes they’ll come to beat you up or even pull down your house and steal things.”

Then there are family planning fines. “There are two games they play in the villages. One of them is the family planning fine. The other is the home site fee.” Very important and very difficult family planning 【计划生育 ‘planned fertility’】due to traditional thinking and village realities, family planning work is in fact very difficult.

During our interviews, we met a couple over 50 years of age who had been fined for having too many children. The two of them came together to sell blood because they were so very poor that they couldn’t even afford to buy salt. They were in a very pitiful state.

A bloodhead from Shangshui County said, ‘Their blood troop has three to four hundred people. Most peasants sell blood to pay fines, deductions, solve financial difficulties that came up. If an urgent problem crops up, sometime an entire family will come to sell blood. Therefore the blood troops include men and women, the young and the old, mothers and children.”

Joys and Worries of Blood-Giving

PRC national regulation state that for the sake of helping the dying and helping the injured, to carry out revolutionary humanitarianism, and to rescue people who are burned, injured, undergoing operations or are seriously ill, and to help the young, the old and the sick in households throughout the country, all Chinese citizens between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five have the responsibility to donate blood and blood plasma. Giving blood and plasma is a glorious and sacred business and a reflection of the ideological and cultural advancement of mankind. The economically advanced nations of the world have already developed a system of voluntary blood donations.

In China, however, because of its specific national conditions, and its level of economic development, and because the awareness and understanding of the people are different, the PRC has established a system of paid blood donations. Giving blood and plasma is good for your body. It is not harmful. The idea that giving blood is something shameful is foolish.

The person in charge of the blood collection station said, “We are in a large backwards plateau region. We have rich blood resources. In 1992, the central blood collection station had 50,000 blood collection person-visits during the pea calendar year. This brought direct economic benefits of 2.7 million RMB to the entire region. Given the poorly development state of the commercial economy in our region, and given that peasant health does not suffer from their blood donations, this is a viable method for escaping poverty. Moreover, since so very many peasants give blood, this is certainly good for improving medical care and public health in the entire region. There is no doubt about it. Improving the level of medical care for the people of the entire region is a good thing. “

What motivates peasants blood selling, however, is economic necessity. This means that Chinese peasants bear too heavy a burden. Much remains to be done in China’s rural areas. We must develop the collective economy so that peasants can become prosperous. That is the only way that Chinese peasants will be able to escape poverty. There is already no time to lose in improving the quality of government and Communist Party work at the grassroots.

Moreover, why is it that only very few city people and cadres give blood? Is it because our low living standards or because our inadequate understanding and our level of education is not high? Could it really be that we only have the right to use blood but we do not have the responsibility to give blood?

During our interviews we also came to understand that in some particular instances, blood was given in serious violation of regulations. Some people gave blood ten times monthly or even more frequently. Such frequent donations must affect that person’s health and the quality of their blood.

Particularly as the number of blood collection stations increases, will blood collection stations struggling to obtain more blood resources, lower their standards? If blood collection stations put more emphasis on profits, will their be unimaginable consequences? Strengthening the management of blood resources and of blood collection stations is already on the agenda. That will be a long road and things are developing very swiftly. How will the rapidly swelling blood-selling wave develop in the days to come? Progress although halting and uncertain is slowly become more steady.

Original Chinese text of the 1993 article is in the photo below and on my Flickr account.

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Court Cases of the “June 4th Protesters Against Government Violence”

Chinese court records give insight into the actions of ordinary Beijing people who went out into the streets in June 1989 to prevent a massacre of students in Tiananmen Square by martial law troops then charging into Beijing. This Chinese-language book, with an introduction by Song Yongyi has the English language title Court Files of Civil Disobedience Against Government Violence on June 4th, 1989 Chinese title: 六四抗暴者法庭档案

Like Liao Yiwu’s book of interviews, Bullets and Opium: Real-Life Stories of China After the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Court Files highlights the role of the majority of the June 4th arrested.  Not university students like the people in the Square but Beijing people of all ages and occupations.  Some of the student leaders escaped abroad and became well-known. Some of their defenders went to jail for years and are little-known or ignored. This book, which tells the other story of Tiananmen through contemporary court documents, helps redress the balance.

In May 2019, the Voice of America Chinese language service reported on this book. 六四30年:被忽略的“六四抗暴者”


 Court Files was edited by the Support Network for the Persecuted in China (Australia)  and published 2019 by Mirror Books HK. The book is on the publisher’s website at  https://w1.mingjingnews.com/index.php/shop/manufacturer/p007 (the website has other intriguing offerings including a book of oral histories done with Shanxi Province peasants)  ISBN 978-1-63032-799-6 contact address for the publisher in the USA is P.O. Box 815, Deer Park, NY 11729. 


The book begins with an introduction by Song Yongyi, a democracy activist and scholar of the Cultural Revolution.  My translation of the introduction follows.

The original Chinese language text of the introduction is on the website of the Independent Chinese PEN Center 宋永毅:《“六四”抗暴者法庭档案》导读: 一个不应当被遗忘和冷落的六四民主运动的重要群体

Song Yongyi: A Guide to the “Court Cases of the “June 4th Protesters Against Government Violence”: This Important Group in the June 4th Democratic Movement Must Not be Forgotten or Ignored

The narrow, selective beam of history’s spotlight, focusing as it does on the doings of elites during important historical events, leaves other social groups, either intentionally or unconsciously, in the shadows. We often see this in writing about contemporary Chinese history in which the media and researchers forget or coldly ignore some social groups. For example, when we think about the victims of the many political movements the Chinese Communists have conducted throughout their history, it is the Cultural Revolution that immediately comes to the minds of most people. The names of famous victims including among the Chinese Communist Party leadership itself names like Liu Shaoqi, He Long, Tao Zhu, Peng Dehuai, and Deng Yu and from among literary circles and intellectuals names Xinfang, Lao She, Fu Lei, Rong Guotuan, Yan Fengying, Shang Guanyun immediately come to mind. During the Cultural Revolution, however, the people who suffered the most were in fact not the elite but people of humbler status and political outcasts.

Based on what we know thus far about the several great massacres that took place during the Cultural Revolution such as the August 1966 massacre in Daxing County, Beijing Municipality; the summer 1967 massacre in Dao County, Hunan Province and eleven other nearby counties; and the 1968 ten-month long massacres that when so far as cannibalism in the Guangxi Autonomous Region. Over half the victims in these massacres were people in the so-called Black Five Categories [Translator’s Note: people who had family backgrounds of: landlord (地主, dìzhǔ), rich farmer (peasants) (富农, fùnóng), counter-revolutionaries (反革命, fǎngèmíng), bad-influencers [“bad elements”] (坏分子, huàifènzǐ) and rightists (右派, yòupài) End note.] and particularly the sons and daughters of former landlords and rich peasants among in the Chinese countryside.

Who remembers the names of these people today? When we discuss the numbers of people who died unnatural deaths in the course of these political movements, we might assume that more people died during the Cultural Revolution than at any other time. In fact, however, if we examine statistics gathered by researchers both within and outside China, we find that the Cultural Revolution claimed two to three million victims. During the three years of the Great Leap Forward and the Great Famine of 1959 – 1961, lower end estimates come to twenty to thirty million deaths. Those twenty to thirty million people killed fall in a different category however – they were merely poor peasants. They had no education and no social status. To this day, unlike the people who suffered during the Cultural Revolution and their children, they are unable to make loud protests against these injustices though their writings or by speaking out in public. From that perspective, we researchers have incurred and debt and owe sympathy to people in those forgotten and neglected social groups.

The same goes for June 4th. When we think about the famous names from the democratic movement, of course we will never forget the names of student leaders such as Wang Dan, Chai Ling, and Wu’erkaixi. Even their voices and smiles have remained vivid in our minds. However, how many people will remember Dong Shengkun, Gao Hongwei, Wang Lianhui, Sun Yancai, Lian Zhenguo, Gong Chuanchang, Li Dexi, Sun Yanru, Zhang Guojun? What a string of unfamiliar names! These were ordinary people long referred to by the Chinese Communist Party authorities as “June 4th Thugs”. They were workers, peasants, city residents, office staff, teachers, and even lower-ranking managers among government or party workers. They were both young and old with many middle-aged and elderly people among them. Like the students, they felt passionately that China needs to become more democratic. They differed from the students in that they did not stand in the middle stage of history but instead acted to support and protect the student movement. When martial law was declared in Beijing and the shooting and the final suppression began, they often rushed forwards to block tanks and other military vehicles. They even blocked bullets on the outskirts of Beijing in order to protect the students in Tiananmen Square.

In the end, the biggest difference between their experience and that of the students was that they paid the highest price and were treated most brutally by the Chinese Communist Party. Many were sentenced to death or life imprisonment, harsher penalties that what most of the June 4th leaders who were arrested faced. People in this social group are mostly unsung heroes. Even during the thirty years that have passed since June 4th, they have been little-mentioned in overseas media. To say that they are a forgotten and It is no exaggeration to say that they are a forgotten and excluded social group would be no exaggeration. To address this gap in the study of contemporary Chinese history, the court files of the 108 “June 4 Thugs” have been collected in this book help fill that gap. the gaps in the study of contemporary Chinese history. I hope that this will give some measure of delayed justice and apology to this neglected group of people.

I.

That the Chinese Communist Party choose to suppress one social group more than another within the same democratic movement is certainly connected to the Party’s own political taboos and political considerations. One obvious fact is that these ordinary people are part of the great silent majority in Chinese society. If they were to be mobilized to participate a universal anti-communist democratic movement, then the Chinese Communist Party’s doomsday would have finally arrived because the Party’s social basis would be falling apart. If we were to consider the situation in the light of the Chinese Communist Party’s own experience of power and revolutionary theory, we could see that in the eyes of the Party, the student movement has only a “pioneer role” and that it is the workers and peasants who are the “main force of the revolution”. The Chinese Communist Party must prevent the spread of resistance into its own “main force.” Once it appears, the Party is naturally determined to suppress it.

Reading through the nearly 100 court files gathered in this book, it becomes apparent why the Chinese Communist Party is so jealous and so detests this social group within the Chinese democratic movement.

First of all, the unwavering faith that this social group demonstrated during the June Fourth Democracy Movement and their willingness to stand up for their ideals as they expanded the scope of their anti-violence activities regardless of the cost may be to themselves. When the June 4 crackdown started, with the sound of gunfire in Beijing’s Muxidi and rumbling tank columns smashed their way to Tiananmen Square, many student movement leaders and democracy movement elites went had to go into exile and find another way to resist government violence.

The people in this social group had a different idea. They did not admit defeat. Instead, they expanded the movement, spreading it nationwide in order to inspire more people to resist. They organized many strikes, market boycotts and student boycotts in localities all over China. They did things such as posting anti-government slogans, distributing anti-government leaflets, and organizing large protest demonstrations. We can read about many such cases in this book.

The first case, the sentencing of Chen Gang, Chen Ding and Peng Shi of Xiangtan City, Hunan Province, is typical. The Chen brothers had participated in the democratic movement in Changsha. After June 4th Beijing crackdown, their father was fearful and so got them them back to their hometown of Xiangtan. Unexpectedly, from June 7 to 9, 1989, they organized thousands of workers to make a protest march. They blocked the gates of the Xiangtan Motor Factory and called for workers to strike and protest the crackdown. On June 9, 1989, demonstrators (including Chen Gang’s brother Chen Ding) were injured by the police of the Xiangtan Power Plant Public Security Bureau. Chen Gang with over twenty others hurried to the Public Security Bureau to accuse police of mistreating demonstrators. They didn’t find the man responsible at the Public Security Department, and so went directly to the home of public security officer Fang Fuqiu’s family to look for him and to protest.

Another example, also from Hunan Province but from a different locality, Yueyang City, involved Hu Min, Guo Yunqiao, Mao Yuejun, Fan Lixin, Pan Qiubao, Wan Yuewang, Wang Zhaobo and Fan Fan. Before Hu Min and others were arrested, they were workers in Yueyang City. On the evening of June 7, 1989, Hu Min and many people heard speeches by college students who had just come from Beijing indicting Li Peng’s government for shooting people down in cold blood. People got so angry that they could not contain themselves. Therefore, the workers and other citizens of Yueyang City, along with thousands of students, sat on the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and put spare rails across the track, thereby blocking the Beijing-Guangzhou railway line. Subsequently, Hu Min and tens of thousands of people in Yueyang City spontaneously marched and smashed the gates and the nameplates of the city government. Hu Min and several of his new friends announced the founding of the “Yueyang City Workers and Students Alliance” and served as its president. That was why the Public Security Bureau arrested Hu Min and the seven people involved in the same case on June 10, 1989. Later, they were severely punished.

Guiyang is a remote Chinese city. However, Chen Youcai, Du Heping, Wang Shunlin and Zhang Xinpei, accused of “counter-revolutionary propaganda” in one of the cases included in this book were clearly outstanding.

According to the indictments filed by the Procuratorate of Guiyang City, Guizhou Province:

During May 17 – 19, 1989, the defendants Chen Youcai, Du Heping, and Li Weigang (charged in a different case) wrote a meeting notice “Citizens, today’s patriotic gathering to support the students will be held in Chunlei Square.” The notice was posted at the South Gate, Riverside Park and other locations. The notice resulted in a gathering of several hundred students and others in Chunlei Square from where they marched holding slogans calling for such things as “workers’ strikes, student strikes, teacher strikes, and business people’s strikes” and marched in the city to the provincial government offices. The defendant Chen Youcai made an inflammatory speech in front of the provincial government. The defendant Du Heping distributed leaflets during the demonstration. The leaflet contained incitements to action including “Do you still have any concerns that justify silence?” “It is better to light the torch of human rights.” They spread false rumors that our Party and the government put off student requests for dialogue have delayed the avoidance of Huo’s students’ dialogue requirements and that as time went on the government’s offense became ever more serious. They vigorously promoted propaganda that would incite social chaos.

During June 5 – 7, 1989, the defendants Chen Youcai, Du Heping, Zhang Xinpei, Wang Shunlin and others held several meetings and established an illegal organization the “(Guizhou) Patriotic Democratic Union”. The defendant Wang Shunlin drafted the “Report to the Compatriots of the Province”, Chen Youcai drafted the “Strike Declaration”, and the defendants Chen Youcai, Du Heping, and Zhang Xinpei circulated, revised and organized the printing of the “Report to the Compatriots of the Province”. The “Report to the Compatriots of the Province” spread rumors that incited unrest. The Report had passages such as “the government mobilized a large number of troops from other places, deploying tanks, armored vehicles, machine guns, armed helicopters and other weapons, brutally murdering outstanding students who are the future of the Chinese nation. This bloody suppression resulted in massive bloodshed, killing thousands of students and citizens. This is the likes of which has never occurred before in Chinese or even in all human history. Now the 28th Army has opened fire on the 27th Army that had brutally slaughtered the people. People of Guizhou Province unite! Arise! We who are not willing to be slaves shall build a new Great Wall. Fight against the real authors of chaos!” This is a unique thing in ancient and modern China and abroad. Now the 38th Army has opened fire on the 27th army that brutally slaughtered the people, and the people of the province unite! Get up! People who don’t want to be slaves complete our new Great Wall. Fight for the real turmoil!” They strove to incite disorder.

Also deserving mention are the outstanding women who had leading roles in the struggle against violence. Take Sun Baoqiang of Shanghai for example. Sun was originally a typist at the Shanghai refinery of a petrochemical group. On the afternoon of June 5, 1989 and the morning of June 6, 1989, Sun publicly condemned, at various places in Shanghai, the Chinese Communist Party’s violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Beijing and led the masses in setting up roadblocks to protest against the June 4th crackdown. She was sentenced to three years in prison for disturbing traffic. She was the only Shanghai woman imprisoned for June 4th.

Another woman included in this book was Shaoyang Teacher’s College education teacher Mo Lihua (pen name Jasmine). According to the “Criminal Verdict of the Intermediate People’s Court of Shaoyang City, Hunan Province”:

From the evening of June 3 to the morning of the 4th, after the counter-revolutionary riots in Beijing had subsided, the defendant Mo Lihua spent the evening of June 4 and the morning of the 5th in Shaoyang Teacher’s College with a small group of people who in a small group of thugs to give speeches in the Shaoyang City People’s Square. The speeches viciously attacked and slandered the Party and government for putting down the counter-revolutionary chaos in Beijing, calling it “the slaughter and suppression of the people by a fascist government”. They arrogantly demanded that, for the sake of those counter-revolutionaries, ‘a taller, more magnificent democracy goddess’ should be built. They paid respects to the spirits of the ‘noble martyrs’ who had been intent on overthrowing the central government.

She was finally sentenced to three years in prison followed by one year of deprivation of political rights.

That this social group remains devoted to democratic ideals and to opposing government violence after all their sufferings from imprisonment and mistreatment shows the depth of their commitment. Throughout human history, the depredations of tyrants have in turn bred an ever more determined and ever more mature opposition. If you have some familiarity with contemporary Chinese and overseas democratic movements, you notice that thirty years later, the names of these stubborn opponents of government violence still come up regularly.

Take, for example, the former worker Li Wangyang of Shaoyang City, Hunan Province. After the massacre in Beijing, Li Wangyang publicly put a big character poster on the traffic signboard of People’s Square in Shaoyang City on June 4th that “in order to oppose the bloody suppression of the reactionary authorities, we call on all workers to immediately strike and seize control of the main downtown traffic arteries.” That same day, some others paraded through the city with banners expressing “mourning for the deaths of the patriotic heroes”, shouting slogans such as “opposing bloody suppression,” “stop fascism,” and “mourn the dead martyrs.” On June 6th, Li Wangyang organized and held a “mourning ceremony” with thousands of students from Shaoyang Teachers College and other colleges. Li personally wrote a “eulogy”. On June 7, Li Wangyang went to the Shaoyang paper mill, sugar factory, gold pen factory, the meat factory and other work units to conduct anti-violence political propaganda and to mobilize workers to strike. For this, Li was sentenced to 13 years in prison and deprived of political rights for four years.

As soon as he was released from prison in 2000, Li insisted on participating in underground resistance to the Chinese Communist Party. As a result, Li Wangyang was again in 2001 convicted for inciting subversion of state power. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and deprived of political rights for four years. Upon his release from prison on May 5, 2011, Li was completely deaf and had to be carried home. He did however, join the China Democracy Party right away. On May 22, 2012, during an interview that Li Wangyang had with a Hong Kong Cable News reporter, he strongly affirmed that China would achieve a multi-party democratic system. The interview was broadcast on June 2, 2012. On June 4, 2012, Li Wangyang was awarded the “Free Spirit Award” by the National Association of Chinese Students and Scholars. At 4 o’clock on the morning of June 6, 2012, his relatives discovered that Li Wangyang had been killed in a hospital in Shaoyang City, Hunan Province. There was a strong reaction to the death of Li Wangyang both at home in China and abroad. There is no doubt that he gave his life to the cause of democracy in China.

The two women who stood up to government violence mentioned above, Sun Baoqiang and Jasmine, although they later went into exile overseas, have both remained active in the China democracy movement. In the twenty years since she left prison, Sun Baoqiang has been under constant surveillance by the Shanghai police which made her life difficult. Nonetheless, she continued to protest. Many times she spoke to the Voice of America and to Radio Free Asia to expose the illegal actions of the Chinese Communists to the entire world. She was determined to keep on writing to record the darkness, violence and the forced distortion of human nature under the Chinese Communist regime. In 2011, she published in Hong Kong the “Red Chamber Prisoner: A True Story from Yuandong Prison No. 1” which she “dedicated to all the victims and their families in the June 4th Movement”. Later, there she published other documentary literary works “Old Man Gao: Shanghai Edition“, “The Ugly Shanghaiese Series” along with many political commentaries. Sun Baoqiang arrived in Australia in early 2011. That same year, she was given political asylum by the Australian government and settled in Sydney.

Jasmine, went into exile in Hong Kong after her release from prison. She found a job as an editor. Since then, she has worked for a Swedish educational institution and as a freelance writer. Published works include “The Journey towards Human Rights”, “Tibet is on the Other Side of the Mountain – Observations of a Chinese Exile“, and “A Swedish Forest Walk“. She is now a famous overseas commentator. She has a large number of articles in overseas newspapers and magazines. She won the “Millions of Culture News Award” in New York and the “Human Rights News Award” in Hong Kong.

Secondly, these activities to oppose government violence have tended to be organized on larger and larger scales. This is one reason why the Chinese Communist Party is so deeply afraid of this social group. The anti-violence activities of workers and other citizens in Hunan and Guiyang, discussed above, all established fairly sizable resisting organizations. The joint court cases of Hu Min, Guo Yunqiao, Mao Yuejun, Fan Lixin, Pan Qiubao, Wan Yuewang, Wang Zhaobo and Fan Fan in Yueyang City, addresses their founding of the “Yueyang City Worker-Student Alliance”. The case of Chen Youcai, Du Heping, Wang Shunlin and Zhang Xinpei of Guiyang City, addressed the “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement” of the citizens including by the “(Guizhou) Patriotic Democratic Union”.

In court files collected in this book, these so-called “illegal organizations” are the basis for the aggravated punishment of these opponents to government violence. Similarly, Liu Yubin, Li Fenglin, Che Hongnian, Wang Changan, Wei Qiang, Ma Xiaojun and others were implicated in a “counterrevolutionary case” in Shandong. Their principal offense:

On the night of June 7, 1989, at the new school at Shandong University, in Room 237 of Building No. 10 they founded the counter-revolutionary organization ‘Jinan All-China Autonomous Federation’. The organization attempted, without a shred of legitimacy, ‘to organize a revolutionary armed forces to resist the anti-people’s military repression’, and set up eight committees including the ‘Revolutionary Military Committee’, ‘Urban Work Committee’, and the ‘Internal Affairs Committee’ to prepare to ‘prepare needed weapons’, ‘quickly investigate the situation in the military’, ‘eliminate the secret police’, ‘strikes’, ‘bring state organs under control’ and to sabotage railways and other transportation infrastructure etc. ” (from the “Shandong Jinan City People’s Procuratorate indictment”).

Even in the criminal verdict of the Chinese Communist regime against Li Wangyang, Li, after June 4th was said to have committed the special crime of, in the name of the ‘Workers’ Joint Autonomous Committee’, copying and posting big character posters about the June Fourth massacre such as “the truth about the tragedy of June 3”, “bulletins”, “news”, and “messages received”. Why was the Chinese Communist Party so deeply fearful about opponent to government violence establishing their own organizations? Naturally they fear that as this kind of mass organization advances, a political party that opposes the Communist Party could be the result, smashing the Communist Party’s one party dictatorship and implemented a multiparty system in China. Indeed, in this book we can also see that the idea of founding and opposition party and a multiparty system had already began to emerge among this group of people who were fighting government violence.

For example, take the case of Xu Wanping and Dai Yong’s so-called “crime of counter-revolutionary propaganda” and “crime of organizing a counter-revolutionary” in Chongqing, Sichuan Province. We see in that case that Xu Wanping was extremely upset about the June 4 crackdown and wrote these lines:

What stunning butchery!
Bloodied children
The mountains and rivers are sad
Hatred pours from my heart

and other poems. Later, he laid the groundwork for the “China Action Party” for the purpose of overthrowing the dictatorship led by the Communist Party. He wrote the “China Action Party Declaration”, “China’s Current Situation”, “China’s Tomorrow”, “Cannons Can Overthrow the Communist Party”, “About Propaganda Work”, “About Underground Work”, “About Organizational Work” and other articles. The plan for the establishment of the organization and the military establishment, including the “China Action Party Party Standards”, “Discipline”, “Oath”, the design of the “Party Flag” of the “China Action Party”, “Official Chapter”, “Army Flag”, ” and its military emblem. In his article, Xu clearly stated that “the goal of the Chinese Action Party is to overthrow the Communist Party’s autocracy and dictatorship, and to wipe out the Communist Party.”

Finally, the grounds for the Chinese Communist Party’s extreme hatred towards this group can also be seen through the lens of the self-defense actions undertaken by the group. The time in question is the entire period beginning from the declaration of martial law through the course of the massacres. As for the locale, the principal area concerned is the Beijing region. Although the materials collected in this book are far from covering the activities of all these opponents to government violence, the legal cases can serve as the first account in legal documentary format of the deeds of Beijing citizens in opposing government violence in the days of June Fourth. The simple table below was prepared to reflect that.


III.

Ever since the Twentieth Century, non-violent resistance as a form of social protest has become a powerful tool in social revolutionary and political reform movements. There are many expressions and examples of non-violence. Examples include civil resistance, non-violent resistance, and non-violent revolution. Examples include

  • The ten-year-long non-violent protest campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi against British rule;
  • The civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King and James Farmer adopted Gandhi’s non-violent approach in their campaign to fight for civil rights for African Americans.
  • In another non-violent movement of the 1960s, Cesar Chavez led protests of California’s farm workers.
  • The “velvet revolutions” that occurred in Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European socialist countries in 1989 overthrew their communist government and was another non-violent revolution.
  • The June Fourth China Democracy Movement also took place in 1989 was an even larger and more influential non-violent resistance revolution but if failed tragically.

Although we believe that the June Fourth democracy movement was a non-violent revolution, we need to respond to questions that arise from the table above. How should we view the armed self-defense actions of Beijing citizens as they opposed government violence? Although the words “non-violence” are often linked to “peace” or even considered synonymous with peace. However, proponents and activists of non-violence don’t believe that non-violence should be the same as the non-resistance of the lackey or absolute pacifism. Non-violence means not using violence and also means not doing harm or doing the least harm possible. Non-resistance means doing nothing at all.

Non-violence is sometimes passive but sometimes it is not. If a house with a baby crying in it is on fire, the most harmless and appropriate behavior is to take the initiative to extinguish the fire instead of standing passively to let the fire keep on burning. A peaceful rioter is likely to promote non-violence on some occasions but be violent on others. For example, a non-violent resistance participant may well support the police shooting at a murderer.

The same was true in the Beijing region after martial law was declared up to the beginning of the massacre. The rulers had already started their bloody crackdowns. People resisting government violence saw with their own eyes an eight-year-old child shot to death.

In this instance, in order to prevent insofar as possible military vehicles, tanks and armored vehicles from going to Tiananmen Square to slaughter more students. This was actually a reasonable measure aimed at keeping harm to a minimum. People are not made of wood. How can they be without feelings? When citizens with a conscious witness with their own eyes see children (like Zhang Maosheng) and the elderly (like Gao Hongwei) being shot in clouds of sinister bullets pouring out of armored vehicles, they took some actions that some characterized as “excessive” to handles those military vehicles. At the human level, this is completely understandable.

Throughout the entire Tiananmen incident, the biggest thugs were undoubtedly the Chinese government and its leaders Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, who gave the order to massacre unarmed students and other citizens. They often use the trick of stigmatizing the opponents of government violence as “arsonists”, “hooligans”, and “armed rebels”. Indeed, even some of these people did not commit any of these violent acts but merely strongly and resolutely condemned the June 4th massacre, severe punishments were meted out to them too by the Chinese Communist Party’s courts which sentenced them to prison for “counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement.”

Mr. Sun Liyong, one of the editors of this book, was one such a “June 4th Thug.” Sun Liyong, born in 1961, was a full-time security guard of the Beijing Beichen Group Security Department. During the Tiananmen Democracy Movement in 1989, he actively participated in demonstrations, fundraising, and security work on behalf of the university students. After the June 4th massacre, he co-founded and published the underground publications “Democracy China” and “Tolling of the Bell” with Shang Ziwen, Li Aimin and Jin Cheng, condemning the June 4 massacre, demanding that the perpetrators of the government authorities be investigated and punished, and that the innocent arrested people be released. Sun was arrested in 1991 and sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of deprivation of political rights for counter-revolutionary propaganda incitement.

The rigorous repression of all opposition actions by authoritarian governments may lead to doubts about the effectiveness of non-violent resistance. For example, George Orwell, author of the famous novel 1984, believed that Gandhi’s non-violent resistance strategy only worked in a “free state in which freedom of the press and of assembly are guaranteed”. In other words, it is unlikely that resistance in a totalitarian country like like China could successfully be limited to non-violent struggle. Gandhi himself said that he can teach a violent person to learn non-violence, but he can’t teach a coward.

However, whether it is non-violent resistance or violent resistance to the autocratic government, the key word is actually the word “resistance.” The way of resistance can be determined by the specific circumstances of the resistance movement. If you give up the “resistance” at its core, whether you talk about non-violence resistance or violent resistance, you will lose its most basic meaning.

The dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party is certainly armed to the teeth with its atomic bombs and its tanks. The unarmed opponents of government violence who challenged it e resistance of the unarmed violent group were like insects trying to stop a car with their arms. Their chances of success were slim.

All this reminds me of the example from history of Qian Xuantong persuading Lu Xun to become a writer. At the beginning of 1917, Qian Xuantong, a professor at the National Department of Beijing Normal University, began contribute to New Youth magazine and actively supported the literary revolution. Soon, he became one of the editors of New Youth and tried every means to find suitable and excellent writers for the magazine.

One time Qian Xuantong rushed to the living quarters of his friend Zhou Shuren, who had studied in Japan, to write an enlightening article for the magazine. At that time, Zhou Shuren was very sad that he had not made any patriotic contribution to helping his country and saving the people. Qian Xuantong suggested: “I think, you could write some articles.” Zhou Shuren replied, “If the walls of an iron house are unbroken by windows the many people who sleep inside will soon all be suffocated. However, since I am die in my sleep, I feel no sorrow. Now you have awakened and you have aroused a few of the more clear-headed ones. Now that unfortunate minority will know the suffering that comes with their inescapable fate. Do you really think that you have done them any good?”

Qian Xuantong argued, “If a few people do get up, one cannot say that all hope has been lost in that iron house.” Zhou Shuren was moved. He broke his silence and wrote the vernacular novel “The Diary of a Madman” that criticized some ancient Chinese customs as a kind of cannibalism. That short story, published in the April 1918 issue of New Youth, was signed “Lu Xun”. From that day onwards, Lu Xun kept on writing. He wrote a long succession of novels, essays and other literary works. Charging forth into the vanguard of the battle against the Old World, Lu Xun became the bravest screaming madman in that old iron house built from the ancient rites of China.

“If a few people do get up, one cannot say that all hope has been lost in that iron house.” The fighters against government violence of June Fourth today are no longer isolated from the democratic movement in Mainland China and overseas. Therefore we must keep up the fight. We can never say that “there is no hope left in the iron house”.

Thus ends my introduction. Let’s draw encouragement from this book.

Written March 2019 at California State University at Los Angeles.

First published in “China in Perspective” . If reprinting, please list this as the source.

Published on the “China in Perspective” website on Friday, May 10, 2019

Posted in Famous Chinese Political Court Cases 中国政治名案, History 历史, Law 法律 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2011: Opponents of June 4 Tyranny Still in Prison

Chinese exile writer Liao Yiwu in his recent book Bullets and Opium (Simon & Schuster 2019) writes about the heavy price that the “June Fourth rioters” paid in many years of imprisonment as a result of their participation in the Chinese democracy movement and particularly their attempts to stop the murder of student in and around the center of Beijing on and about June 4, 1989. All these people are out of prison now, these thumbnail sketches from 2011 are still valuable as an historical document reminding us of the sacrifices these people made. Liao Yiwu discusses what happened to these brave opponents of tyranny in his book.

2011: Opponents of June 4 Tyranny Still in Prison

by Chinese Victims of Political and Religious Persecution Support Group

Spokesperson: Sun Liyong

It has been 22 years since June 4. According to our research there are still eight so-called thugs implicated in the event who are still in jail in Beijing.

1. Zhu Gengsheng, male, about 45 years old, after June 4 sentenced to death for the crime of counter revolutionary arson with a two year reprieve, and deprivation of political rights for life. Before his arrest, Zhu Gengsheng lived at first in a Beijing city government dormitory and then moved to the Gongzhufen area of the Haidian District. Zhu Gengsheng was sentenced to death in the first instance. The sentence was upheld on appeal but the Supreme Court in its review of the lower court sentence changed the sentence to death with a two year reprieve. After June 4, China Central Broadcasting showed a documentary of the riot on the night of June 3. The documentary has a scene of a burning tank in Tiananmen Square with a young man standing on top of it waving a banner yelling “We won!”

That young man was Zhu Gengsheng. Zhu Gengsheng’s father had been a secretary for the Nationalist government. Father was persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution. His mother raised him and his two elder sisters alone. Zhu Gengsheng’s elder sister worked in the pharmacy at the Beijing Tongren Hospital. In 2006, his elder sister took their wheelchair-bound 80 year old mother to visit him in prison. His mother told him, “I may not be able to come anymore” and hoped that he would return home soon. Later, his two sisters took turns visiting him. Zhu Gengsheng had not married. Currently Zhu Gengsheng is serving his sentence in Beijing Prison Number Two. He still has more than three years to go on his sentence.

2. Li Yujun, male, about 45 years old, was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve for “arson” after “June 4” and deprived of political rights for life. He was sentenced for burning an army truck on June 4th in Hongmiao, in the Chaoyang District of Beijing. Li Yujun’s parents worked at Beijing Textile Factory #3. His mother died of illness before 1989, his father remarried. After Li was sentenced his father never came to see him. Li Yujun has three brothers. The eldest brother was among those who, having graduated from high school in 1966 – 1968, missed their chance for higher education, and had been sent to a production team in Harbin and settled down there. He has basically never come to visit him. His second brother worked in a factory run by a middle school in Balizhuang. Sometimes his second brother came to visit him behind his wife’s back and would give him some spending money. His third brother worked in an automobile repair shop in Huayuancun and basically didn’t pay attention to him. Most of Li Yujun’s income came from washing clothes, doing dishes for other prisoners in exchange for some soap, toothpaste and towels. The prison authorities also gave him a 5 RMB monthly subsidy. Li Yujun was not married. Li Yujun is now serving his sentence in Beijing Prison #2. He still has over three years to go on his sentence.

3. Chang Jingqiang, male, 42, after “June 4” sentenced to life imprisonment and deprived of political rights for life for the “crime of counter-revolutionary wounding” for hitting People’s Armed Police at the door of the Beijing People’s Hospital. Chang Jingqiang is an only child. His father was a furnace worker at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who because he had long worried about his son got a cerebral embolism in 2000. Since then he had trouble moving around and was under the care of his wife. In 2005 Chang’s mother died and his father also died shortly thereafter. Before Chang Jingqiang’s arrest, he lived with his parents on Zhuanta Lane in the Xicheng District of Beijing. Later, when his father’s work unit allocated housing, they moved to Zhongguancun. When their apartment in Zhongguancun was torn down in 1998, Chang’s parents moved to Doudianzhen in the Fangshan District. Before his father died, he transferred the apartment and several hundred thousand RMB leftover from their relocation to his cousin to hold for Chang Jingqiang. However, after the death of his father, the cousin never got in touch with him. Nobody knows what happened to the apartment and the money. Currently Chang Jinqiang is serving his sentence in the Fifth Brigade at Beijing Prison #2.

4. Yang Pu, male, about 45 years old, condemned to death after “June 4” for “arson” with a two year reprieve and deprived of political rights for life. On November 26, 1990, he was transferred from Prison #1 to Prison #2. In 1993, while serving in Prison #2 a prison medical examination found that he had “bone tuberculosis” in both legs. He needed a cane to walk. Later he was sent to the Binhe Hospital. In 1994, he left Prison #2 for the sick prisoner group at Chadian Prison. Later he was sent to Yanqing Prison to serve his sentence. Because he has been ill and unable to work, he has not be able to earn a reduction in his sentence. Yang Pu is currently serving his sentence at the Yanqing Prison.

5. Jiang Yaqun, male, about 70, condemned to death after ‘June 4’ for ‘arson’ with a two year reprieve and deprived of political rights for life. In late 1993, Jiang was transferred from the Prison #1 to Prison #2 to serve his sentence. Jiang is unmarried and has no family. Jiang Yaqun, with three years remaining on his sentence, is now in the Yanqing Prison.

6. Miao Deshun, male, about 45, condemned to death after ‘June 4’ for ‘arson’ with a two year reprieve and deprived of political rights for life. Prior to his arrest, he lived in the Wukesong district and is unmarried. In April 1990, a physical examination at Prison #1 found that he had viral hepatitis (three other rioters living in the same cell also had viral hepatitis: Gao Hongwei, Yu Wen, and Yang Guanghui). In late 1993, Miao was transferred from Prison #1 to Prison #2. Miao had always refused to confess so he was picked out as the top anti-reformer. In 1992, Miao’s sentence of death with reprieve was commuted to life imprisonment.

Ordinarily life imprisonment can be reduced to a specific term of imprisonment after two or three years but he had to wait five years because he refused to confess. In 1997 his life sentence was commuted to 20 years imprisonment. Miao Deshun has a stubborn nature. In order not to cause problems for his family, in1997 he refused to see his parents when they came to visit him in prison and so they didn’t come to see him after that.

His resistance to reform and his refusal to take part in reform through labor result in frequent punishment by the electric prod. The most prods used on him at once was when four team leaders simultaneously used their prods on him. But nobody ever heard him asking the team leader for mercy. Three prisoners Miao Deshun, Shi Xuezhi and Liu Quan (Liu, over 50 years old, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for hooliganism after “June 4”.) Released in 2006, Liu Quan has to this day a hole in his head where martial law troops beat him with their rifle butts) were considered the most stubborn of all the prisoners. Miao Deshun, now at the Yanqing Prison, has more than six years to go on his sentence.

7. Shi Xuezhi, male, about 70, condemned to life imprisonment after “June 4” for ‘arson’ and deprived of political rights for life. In December 1990, Shi was transferred from Prison #1 to Prison #2. In April 1993, his sentence of life imprisonment was commuted to 16 years and six months. It is worth pointing out that during the summer of 1991, the Seventh Brigade where Shi Xuezhi was imprisoned got work from the Beijing Latex Factory which was exporting latex gloves to the United States. Shi Xuezhi wrote many notes in Chinese and English and put them in the gloves. On the notes was written: “Freedom and democracy will free China; request that kind-hearted people pass on this message to the China democracy movement overseas to ask them to save us ….etc.”

After he was found out, he was put in solitary confinement, both his hands and feet were cuffed with another set of handcuff linking the two cuffs together. Shi, then more than fifty years old, was stomped on by four police and then given electric prod shocks by five other police. Each session would last over half an hour, focusing mainly in the genitals, armpits, neck and face. The shock scorched his pubic hair. Shi Xuezhi never begged the police for mercy. When the pain was at its worst, he would only instinctively utter a few “Ah, ah”. During these three months in solitary confinement, Shi Xuezhi would often be taken back to his brigade to give him electric shocks. The prison authorities used this to intimidate the other prisoners. In 1998, Shi was transferred from Prison #2 to Yanqing Prison because of his age.

8. Song Kai, male, early 50s, condemned to life imprisonment after June 4 for “counter-revolutionary wounding” and deprived of political rights for life. On June 4, at the gate of People’s Hospital, Zhang Baosheng (at the time 15 years old, sentenced to ten years imprisonment), Chang Jingqiang, Song Kai and other Beijing residents captured a military ambulance, pulled a soldier (Wang Yuwen, who was awarded the “Defender of the People’s Republic” medal that year) from the ambulance where he was beaten by the crowd. Song Kai put a bucket over Wang Yuwen’s head for fear that the soldier would be hurt too severely. After Song Kai was arrested, he was brutally beaten by a few dozen martial law soldiers at the Fengsheng police station. The beating damaged the small of his back, leaving him handicapped for life forcing him to bend forward when he walks. In 1992, his family spent some money to have him treated while on medical parole but the treatment did not succeed. In late 1993, Song Kai was transferred from Prison #1 to Prison #2. In 1998, he was transferred to the Yanqing Prison.

Chinese text at http://www.2008xianzhang.info/JuneFourth/20090618%20sun%20liyong%20list.html

孙立勇:北京“六四暴徒”在押人员名单及情况介绍

“六四”已经过去了20年了,北京至今仍有8名当年的所谓“暴徒”被关押着,他们是:朱更生、李玉君、常景强、杨璞、姜亚群、苗德顺、石学之、宋凯。

(一)朱更生,男,45岁左右,“六四”后被以“反革命放火罪”判处死刑、缓期2年执行,剥夺政治权利终身。朱更生捕前住北京市政府宿舍院,后搬至海淀区公主坟一带。朱更生一审被判处死刑,二审维持原判,最高人民法院复核时改判为死缓。六四后中央电视台播放的6月3日夜的“暴乱”录像中,天安门广场上一辆坦克在燃烧,一个年轻人站在坦克上挥舞着旗子高喊着“我们胜利了”,这个年轻人就是朱更生先生。朱更生的父亲原系国民政府秘书,文革时被迫害致死,是母亲一手抚养了他和两个姐姐,朱更生的大姐在北京同仁医院药房工作。2006年,朱更生的姐姐推着轮椅带80多岁的老母亲探监,母亲告诉他,以后可能再也来不了了,盼着他早点回家——后来只有两个姐姐轮流去看他。朱更生未婚。目前朱更生现在北京第二监狱服刑,余刑还有5年以上。

(二)李玉君,男,45岁左右,“六四”后因“放火罪”被判处死刑、缓期2年执行,剥夺政治权利终身。判刑原因是6月4日在北京市朝阳区红庙一带烧军车。李玉君的父母是北京国棉三厂的职工,母亲89年前因病去世,父亲再婚,李玉君被捕判刑后父亲从没去看过他。李玉君有3个哥哥:大哥是老三届,在哈尔滨插队落户,基本没来看过他;二哥在八里庄一个中学校办厂工作,偶尔背着老婆去看一下他,给他点儿零花钱;三哥在花园村的一个汽车修理厂工作,基本上不管他。李玉君的生活费来源主要是靠给刑事犯洗衣服、刷碗换得一些香皂、牙膏、毛巾,另外就是监狱每月发放的5元人民币津贴。李玉君未婚。目前李玉君在北京第二监狱服刑,余刑还有5年以上。

对朱更生、李玉君情况的补充说明:1991年他们二人接到死缓判决书,93年才申报减成无期徒刑(1994年无期的判据书到手后开始生效),1996年他们两人由无期徒刑改为有期徒刑的减刑材料由中队上报到北京第二监狱狱政科,一年后的1997年仍没有回音,于是他们找中队领导询问。几天后中队指导员刘福利答复他们:报上去的材料丢了,究竟是监狱还是监管局或是法院弄丢的,我们也没法查,认倒霉吧,我们只能重新报。就这样,别人用两年时间即可改判为有期徒刑,他们却用了3年多。1998他们终于拿到北京中法的改判裁定书:有期徒刑20年。

(三)常景强,男,40岁(69年生人),“六四”后因“在人民医院门口殴打武警”被以“反革命伤害罪”判处无期徒刑,剥夺政治权利终身。常景强是家里的独生子,其父是社科院的锅炉工,由于常年为儿子着急上火,2000年患脑血栓,行动不便,由其母照料,2005年,其母去世,父亲不久也去世了。常景强被捕前与父母一起住在西城区砖塔胡同,后来常父的单位分房,搬至中关村,1998年中关村拆迁,常的父母又搬迁到房山区窦店镇,其父于去世前将房子和搬迁买房剩余的十几万房款交给了常的表哥,托他将来转交给常景强。但常父去世后常的表哥就与他不再联系了,钱和房的去向无人知道。目前常景强在北京第二监狱5中队服刑,余刑还有2年左右。

(四)杨璞,男,45岁左右,“六四”后因“放火罪”被判处死刑、缓期二年执行,剥夺政治权利终身。90年11月26日从一监转到二监,93年在二监服刑时查出双腿患“骨结核”,走路需要借用拐杖,后送滨河医院,94年离开二监去茶淀监狱的病号队。后转到延庆监狱服刑。由于他身体有病,无法参加体力劳动,因此一直没能减刑。目前杨璞在延庆监狱服刑,余刑尚有2至3年。

(五)姜亚群,男,70岁左右,“六四”后因“放火罪”被判处死刑、缓期二年执行,剥夺政治权利终身。93年底从一监转到二监服刑。未婚,家里无亲属。目前姜亚群在延庆监狱服刑,余刑尚有5年左右

(六)苗德顺,男,45岁左右,“六四”后因“放火罪”被判处死刑、缓期2年执行,剥夺政治权利终身。捕前住五棵松一带,未婚。90年4月份在一监服刑时查出患病毒性肝炎(另外当时同住一个监室的还有四个肝炎患者:高鸿卫、于文、杨光辉,均是“暴徒”)。93年底从一监转到二监,由于不认罪,被监狱定为反改造尖子。92年从“死缓”改为无期,一般情况下两三年即可减为有期徒刑,但他却等了5年,原因就在于他不认罪,直至97年从无期改为20年。苗德顺性格倔犟,为不给家里添麻烦,97年他父母去监狱看他,他不见,后来家里就不再去了。由于抗拒改造拒绝参加劳动改造,经常被狱警电击,最多一次有4个队长用警棍电他,但从没听到他向队长求过一声饶。在监狱里,苗德顺、石学之和刘权(50多岁,六四后因流氓罪被判15年,2006年刑满释放,至今刘权的头上还有一个坑,是被戒严部队用枪托子砸的)被公认为监狱里最顽强的。目前苗德顺在延庆监狱服刑,余刑至少在8年以上。

(七)石学之,男,70岁左右,“六四”后因“放火罪”被判处无期徒刑,剥夺政治权利终身。90年12月从一监转到二监,93年4月从无期改为有期徒刑16年6个月。值得一提的是:91年夏,石学之所在的中队(七中队)承接了北京乳胶厂出口美国的乳胶手套的活儿,石学之用中、英文写了许多纸条,放进手套里,纸条上写着:自有民主万岁;自由救中国;请好心人转告海外民运人士救救我们——等。后来被发现,被关禁闭,手铐脚镣加身,手脚用一幅铐子联上。当年50多岁的石学之被3、4个警察踩着,另外5个警察用电警棍电击,每次都在半个小时以上,电击的部位集中在阴部、腋下、脖子和脸部,阴毛都被电焦了,石学之从没向警察求过一声饶,痛苦到极点时,他只是本能地“啊、啊”叫几声。在三个多月的禁闭中,石学之经常被提回中队,进行电击,狱方以此来威慑其他暴徒。因为年龄大,98年从二监转到延庆监狱。目前石学之在延庆监狱服刑,今年年底前释放。

(八)宋凯,男50岁出头,“六四”后因“反革命伤害罪”被判无期徒刑,剥夺政治权利终身。6月4日在人民医院门口,张宝生(当年15岁,判刑10)、常景强、宋凯等许多北京市民截获一辆军用救护车,大家从车上把一个当兵(王玉文,当年被授予“共和国卫士”)的拽了下来,遭到众殴,宋凯将一个水桶扣在王玉文的头上,理由是怕把当兵的打坏了。宋凯被捕后在丰盛派出所内被几十名戒严部队暴打,后腰被打坏了,留下终身残疾,走路时往前探着走。92年时家里曾花钱为其保外,但没能成功。宋凯捕前住在西城区砖塔胡同,捕后不久离异。宋凯93年底从一监转到二监,98年转到延庆监狱。目前宋凯在延庆监狱服刑,余刑1至2年。

备注:
1、上面提供的8名“六四”“暴徒”的情况是由多个朋友提供,不一定完全准确;
2、目前这8名在押“暴徒”及亲属与外界均无任何联系。

中国政治及宗教受难者后援会 孙立勇
2009年5月5日于澳大利亚悉尼

Posted in Famous Chinese Political Court Cases 中国政治名案, History 历史, Politics 政治 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PRC Scholar: Mass Protests Unorganized, Not Stability Threat, Totalitarian System Can Handle Them

This article on mass protests [群体性事件】aka mass incidents in China appeared on Aisixiang, an academic website that carries some intriguing articles at times, and has gotten suppressed now and then over the years.  This article reproduced on Aisixiang originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of   Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (Social Science Edition) 2018, Issue 03.  http://www.aisixiang.com/data/115692.htmlThis article also appears on chinathinktanks.org.cn  http://www.chinathinktanks.org.cn/content/detail/id/vzo4bv92 an official website of the PRC State Council Development Research Center (DRC). 

The author, Yu Yanhong 余艳红,   is a lecturer in the International Relations Department of the  University of International Business and Economics  对外经济贸易大学  in Beijing. 


I have used Google Translate for the Chinese – English translation and have appended a copy of the Chinese text since. Sometimes good articles suddenly disappear I have noticed over the years. 


The main points using article excerpts:

1. Mass incidents have not affected China’s political stability,


“It can be seen that in the past 10 years, the mass incidents of Chinese society have risen from a relatively small number (scale) to a state of long-term high operation.If mass events as an independent variable will affect the political stability of Chinese society, then this independent variable has undergone such a significant change in the past 10 years, and political stability as a dependent variable should be reflected. However, according to relevant data released by the authoritative institutions of the international community on China’s social and political stability, we can hardly find the relevance of this.

We first use the Foreign Policy magazine Peace Foundation’s The Failed States Index and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators’ Political Stability and the two indices. (indicator) data. Because the two sets of data are annual indicators, and the indicator system covers the political stability of a country. In The Failed States Index, the greater the number of countries in the world, the lower the political risk of the country. In the “Political Stability” ranking of the Worldwide Governance Indicators, the higher the Percentile Rank of a country, the safer it is.

Although from 2007 to 2016, the number of mass incidents in Chinese society has soared and has remained at a high level, it can be found from Table 1 whether it is from the failure country index or from the global governance indicators released by the World Bank. From the perspective of “political stability”, the political stability and social order of Chinese society in the past 10 years have generally been steady and rising. The Failed Country Index shows that China’s global ranking has risen from 62 in 2007 to 86 in 2016. Similarly, global governance indicators also show that the overall percentile of Chinese society in these 10 years is relatively stable, with only a large fluctuation in 2011. In fact, if we continue to examine the rankings of other Chinese institutions in the 10 years of political stability in China from 2007 to 2016, this trend is still very obvious, see Table 2.

The above rankings are published by the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) every two years (previously three years) to predict the risk of conflict in a country in the next two years. The higher the ranking, the higher the risk. It can be seen from Table 2 that the year in which the number of mass incidents in China has increased is precisely the year in which China ranks in the future. In other words, in Asia, the risk of social unrest and political instability in China is getting lower and lower. 

2.  Mass incidents are not a challenge to China’s political order 

“these events may have the purpose of collectively challenging the grassroots authority But the events are isolated from each other and do not have a common purpose, let alone to unite. In addition, the participants of the event may have a collective identity and class identity in the subconscious, but this identity has not yet risen to the level of “self-sufficiency”. More importantly, all such incidents do not have “political struggle”. Their targets are often specific economic interests. They do not try to challenge the basic national order, but just want to use different levels of government platforms for their own. Defend the interests. Yu Jianrong pointed out: “The act of defending rights, this is the main type of social incidents in China. Such events account for more than 80% of the current mass incidents in the country.” And “the rights act is mainly a dispute of interests, not The struggle for power is more economic than political.


3. China is a totalitarian state so is well able to prevent any challenge from emerging.[My understanding of passage below is a workable definition of totalitarianism — The state organizes everything and does not allow other entities to organize anything.]


“China’s current national penetration, organizational capabilities, and state control over society have actually created an unbreakable firewall for the political risks of mass events, enabling the state to effectively manage the risks of such events.

First, in terms of China’s national penetration capability, the state not only maintains a more sensitive vigilance for non-institutionalized and non-permitted organizations, even for those legally registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the state will pass mandatory Maintain a “contact” capability in the form of a government organization [22]. In addition, the top-down party structure of the ruling party also makes any organization outside the system not have the basic ability to challenge the existing order. More importantly, for leaders in mass incidents, the ruling party can also conduct procedural regulation through such methods as “party organization discipline” or through administrative absorption, thereby weakening the organizers of these events. Cohesion. If any group behavior is to form political risk, internal organization and institutionalization is a necessary condition, because the degree of organization and degree of institutionalization are often the indispensable dimensions for measuring the maturity of political behavior [23].

Secondly, China’s current state organization and control capabilities make it impossible for any non-permitted “inter-organizational political alliance” to emerge [24]. According to the existing sayings in the academic world, it is basically impossible for political and organizational alliances in China’s current mass incidents, because the state has strong organizational capabilities and control capabilities in addition to the above-mentioned strong penetration capabilities. In fact, China is not only a powerful state power system, but also a country’s infrastructural power [25], especially the government’s ability to absorb financial resources, social control and elites. This directly increases any The cost of action for an organization alliance that wants to challenge this order [26]. In the most extreme sense, this means that even those group events with a certain degree of political symbolism are a group of low-organized, low-institutionalized groups trying to confront a strong organizational, infiltration, and mobilizing ability. The overall state of financial absorptive capacity. In this case, the political risk of mass incidents is basically diluted to the point of no risk.

Begin Google Translate machine translation. Original Chinese text follows.

Yu Yanhong: Group Incidents and Political Stability: A New Explanation Based on Risk Model

Select size: TaiZhongsmall article is read 344 times Updated: 2019-03-28 00:09:42

Entering the topic: political stability of mass incidents● Yu Yanhong

Abstract: Many scholars who study Chinese mass events in the academic circles believe that the current mass incidents in China may threaten the political stability of Chinese society if they are not properly handled. However, by analyzing relevant statistics on mass incidents in the past decade, it has been found that large-scale mass incidents in Chinese society have not had a major impact on China’s basic political order.From the perspective of the risk model, the four factors dilute the impact of mass incidents on political stability and political order. From the perspective of political risk sources, most of the mass incidents themselves are not politically conflictable; from the point of view of risk control, the current Chinese state system makes it difficult for participants of mass events to form political alliances; in addition, the public is in the government. The dualistic tendency of identity structure and the current governance structure of China also constitute two buffer zones for preventing political risks. It is these structural and institutional arrangements that have limited the impact of Chinese mass events on political stability.

Keywords: mass incident political stability political risk government identity governance structure mass incidents political stability political risk governmental identification governance structure

With regard to the current mass incidents in China, many existing studies have warned the government almost in a prophetic tone. If improperly handled, mass incidents are likely to lead to different levels of political instability and even political instability in Chinese society. This kind of research and judgment in the academic circles actually strengthens the political anxiety of various levels of government on mass incidents. In reality, it has repeatedly adopted a high-pressure situation for such incidents. However, although the mass incidents in Chinese society have grown tremendously since the mid-to-late 1990s [1][2], even now, “the overall pattern has not undergone a fundamental change” [3]12, but whether it is from According to relevant statistics, it is still from the perspective of social reality that these mass incidents have not yet had a fundamental impact on China’s political stability.Why is there a huge contrast between this general forecast and actual results? Why did the number of mass incidents not have a big impact on China’s political stability? Will the mass incident affect the political order of contemporary China to a certain extent in the future? Based on these considerations, this paper attempts to propose an interpretation framework based on the existing research results in academia.

I. Concept definition

The concept of mass incidents has always been one of the important topics explored by scholars in this field (Xiao Tang Dart, 2012; Feng Shizheng, 2015), not only because there are many other concepts similar to this concept [4], but also because of differences Scholars do not have the same connotation when using this concept. Zhang Aijun believes that the essence of mass incidents is “defending rights”, so “group events” should be defined as “group rights rights events” [5]. Xiao Tang Dart pointed out: “Group incidents refer to group conflicts between the people and the people, especially the people’s resistance interaction with the government and officials.” [6] The collective incidents referred to in this article mainly adopt the official explanation. It refers to the incidents caused by internal contradictions among the people, the masses believe that their rights and interests have been infringed, through the illegal accumulation, containment, etc., to express their wishes and requests to the relevant organs or units, and their tandem and aggregation in the process of formation and formation. Wait for activities.” 1 This means that, in terms of nature, mass incidents are “internal contradictions among the people”, not “anti-government or “coup, riot and revolution” for the purpose of subverting political power, and it is not a terrorist activity against humanity. According to this, the current ultra-nationalist events in China do not belong to what we call group events. From a characteristic point of view, mass incidents are “illegal but not anti-institutional, gathering but not organized”, which makes such incidents have certain sporadic, destructive, turbulent, and difficult to control [7]115.

Second, theoretical model and data analysis

(1) Theoretical model

There are three theoretical models used by Chinese academics to explain and predict group events that threaten political stability: political participation models, collective mental models, and conflict escalation models. These models generally believe that China’s mass incidents, if not properly handled, will, to varying degrees, cause China’s current social disorder, political instability, and even political instability.

The political consequences of using a political participation model to study mass incidents are currently the most commonly used methods in academia. Huntington believes that “modernity breeds stability, while the modernization process breeds turmoil” and gives a classic formula of political participation/political institutionalization = political unrest [8]. Yu Jianrong (2010), Liu Wei (2016), Liu Yong (2010) and others all use this model to explain the political risks of mass incidents. They believe that “the problem of social and political stability in the process of modernization described by Huntington” is now China “provides a perspective on the social conflicts and stability that emerged in China’s reform and opening up process” [9]. Mass incidents “dissolve the stability mechanism of society from a deep level” [10]. Such incidents “directly affect the construction of a harmonious society, impacting the stable development of the political order” and ultimately “seriously affect the political stability of society” [11].

The collective mental model is based on the theory of collective action in sociology.According to the analysis of this model, collective unconsciousness is a major feature of group events. Under this collective unconsciousness, “people’s way of thinking is extremely simple” [12]. They “appear impulsive, changeable, irritable… the individuals in them become barbaric, brutal and fanatical” [13]. Ye Hong believes that “mass incidents seriously threaten social harmony and stability”, while “consensus mentality” is one of the main causes of frequent mass incidents [14].Liu Lin uses “unorganized” to define a major basic feature of China’s mass incidents. It is precisely because of “unorganized” that China’s mass incidents are difficult to control and eventually become “the most prominent social stability.” The problem becomes a signal of social risk in China” [15]. Chen Tan and Huang said that as an irrational behavior of collective behavior, mass incidents are “disorders of herd behavior” caused by multiple variables [16].

The conflict escalation model is exactly the opposite of the collective mental model. This model believes that mass incidents threaten political stability because the participants of such events are highly rational. Therefore, such explanatory models are game theory and collective action in society. The use of the field. When Han Zhiming analyzes why participants in mass events are willing to “make things big”, they typically use the logic of conflict escalation models. This kind of logic may intensify the “opposing sentiment between classes” and may even lead to violent interference by the government in the name of “maintaining stability” [17]. Huang Jie and others directly deduced the violent logic of Chinese mass incidents from the perspective of conflict escalation models: “differences in risk perception – coping strategies and behaviors – conflicts and escalations” [18].

(2) Data analysis

If group events do affect the political stability of Chinese society as analyzed by the various models mentioned above, then we can draw two hypotheses: First, in terms of quantity, the total number of group events and social and political stability Degree is inversely proportional. This means that, at least in terms of long-term trends, the years of high incidence of mass incidents, the political stability of Chinese society will have obvious changes. Second, from the scale, the scale of individual mass incidents and social and political stability Degree is inversely proportional. This means that if the size of individual mass incidents rises significantly in some years, then the political stability of Chinese society will change significantly from that year onwards.

Below we select the relevant data from 2007 to 2016, which is closest to our time point, as a basis to examine the changes in China’s social and political stability in the past 10 years. In terms of quantity, the absolute number of social events in China has increased from 80,000 in 2007 to 139,000 in 2011. By 2014, this number reached 172,000. Although there is a lack of statistics on data after 2014, However, according to the “China Social Mass Incident Analysis Report” published by Professor Zhang Mingjun, the overall situation of the group event has not changed fundamentally since 2014. The number of mass incidents in 2015 is even slightly higher than that in 2014. “In 2016, the number of mass incidents in China has basically maintained the previous level.” In addition, the “China Rule of Law Development Report NO.12 (2014)” issued by the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shows that the number of group events of more than 100 people has increased from 23 in 2007 to 163 in 2010, and even reached 209 in 2012. Start. In the first half of 2016 alone, there were 12 people with a scale of more than 1,000. 2

It can be seen that in the past 10 years, the mass incidents of Chinese society have risen from a relatively small number (scale) to a state of long-term high operation.If mass events as an independent variable will affect the political stability of Chinese society, then this independent variable has undergone such a significant change in the past 10 years, and political stability as a dependent variable should be reflected. However, according to relevant data released by the authoritative institutions of the international community on China’s social and political stability, we can hardly find the relevance of this.

We first use the Foreign Policy magazine Peace Foundation’s The Failed States Index and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators’ Political Stability and the two indices. (indicator) data. Because the two sets of data are annual indicators, and the indicator system covers the political stability of a country. In The Failed States Index, the greater the number of countries in the world, the lower the political risk of the country. In the “Political Stability” ranking of the Worldwide Governance Indicators, the higher the Percentile Rank of a country, the safer it is.

Although from 2007 to 2016, the number of mass incidents in Chinese society has soared and has remained at a high level, it can be found from Table 1 whether it is from the failure country index or from the global governance indicators released by the World Bank. From the perspective of “political stability”, the political stability and social order of Chinese society in the past 10 years have generally been steady and rising. The Failed Country Index shows that China’s global ranking has risen from 62 in 2007 to 86 in 2016. Similarly, global governance indicators also show that the overall percentile of Chinese society in these 10 years is relatively stable, with only a large fluctuation in 2011. In fact, if we continue to examine the rankings of other Chinese institutions in the 10 years of political stability in China from 2007 to 2016, this trend is still very obvious, see Table 2.

The above rankings are published by the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) every two years (previously three years) to predict the risk of conflict in a country in the next two years. The higher the ranking, the higher the risk. It can be seen from Table 2 that the year in which the number of mass incidents in China has increased is precisely the year in which China ranks in the future. In other words, in Asia, the risk of social unrest and political instability in China is getting lower and lower.

Through the simple analysis of the above three sets of data, we can find that in the early 21st century, China’s mass incidents did increase in absolute terms and in terms of the scale of individual events. However, the combined forces of these events are very limited. There are no serious political consequences of academic predictions, and they have not had a systemic impact on the stability of Chinese politics.

Third, an explanation based on the risk model

From the internal logic point of view, the emergence of a political risk requires not only the risk initiators have the desire to challenge the basic political order and political rules, but also the risk management party’s inability to effectively resolve such challenges. In addition, if there is a buffer zone between the risk initiator and the risk controller, the risk source has been diluted and resolved before the effective impact on social and political order, then this political risk also does not exist.

(1) Risk initiators

Tarrow, a scholar who studies social movements, believes that in order to become a political struggle, a social movement must have four conditions: a collective challenge, participants have a common purpose, a sense of collective identity, and a continuous struggle politics [ 19]. Looking back at the current mass incidents in China, these events may have the purpose of collectively challenging the grassroots authority 


But the events are isolated from each other and do not have a common purpose, let alone to unite. In addition, the participants of the event may have a collective identity and class identity in the subconscious, but this identity has not yet risen to the level of “self-sufficiency”. More importantly, all such incidents do not have “political struggle”. Their targets are often specific economic interests. They do not try to challenge the basic national order, but just want to use different levels of government platforms for their own. Defend the interests. Yu Jianrong pointed out: “The act of defending rights, this is the main type of social incidents in China. Such events account for more than 80% of the current mass incidents in the country.” And “the rights act is mainly a dispute of interests, not The struggle for power is more economic than political [7] 1167. Shan Guangding also believes that most of the mass incidents in China are caused by factors such as “interest damage”. Because of this, the ruling party and the government need new thinking on attitudes towards mass incidents and avoid excessive politicized interpretation [20]. Zhang Mingjun clearly stated in the “2016 China Social Mass Incident Analysis Report” released in 2017: “The interest appealing events still constitute the main body of mass incidents.”[3]3

The source of interest in mass events provides the greatest possibility for resolving the political risks of such events. It means that from the perspective of political identity, the participants of most events have no objections or challenges to the existing state, political system and ruling party. Even from the perspective of resistance politics, they do not agree with individual political roles (officials) and a certain level of government (mainly grassroots governments). Therefore, for such incidents, the government will calm down as long as the government gives the interests of the parties in a timely manner. From the perspective of the government, the transfer of economic interests does not involve fundamental political issues. The current process of political reform in China is itself a process of redistributing interests. In other words, such incidents actually provide an opportunity for political system reform, transformation of government functions, and construction of a service-oriented government [21].

(2) Risk management party

China’s current national penetration, organizational capabilities, and state control over society have actually created an unbreakable firewall for the political risks of mass events, enabling the state to effectively manage the risks of such events.

First, in terms of China’s national penetration capability, the state not only maintains a more sensitive vigilance for non-institutionalized and non-permitted organizations, even for those legally registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the state will pass mandatory Maintain a “contact” capability in the form of a government organization [22]. In addition, the top-down party structure of the ruling party also makes any organization outside the system not have the basic ability to challenge the existing order. More importantly, for leaders in mass incidents, the ruling party can also conduct procedural regulation through such methods as “party organization discipline” or through administrative absorption, thereby weakening the organizers of these events. Cohesion. If any group behavior is to form political risk, internal organization and institutionalization is a necessary condition, because the degree of organization and degree of institutionalization are often the indispensable dimensions for measuring the maturity of political behavior [23].

Secondly, China’s current state organization and control capabilities make it impossible for any non-permitted “inter-organizational political alliance” to emerge [24]. According to the existing sayings in the academic world, it is basically impossible for political and organizational alliances in China’s current mass incidents, because the state has strong organizational capabilities and control capabilities in addition to the above-mentioned strong penetration capabilities. In fact, China is not only a powerful state power system, but also a country’s infrastructural power [25], especially the government’s ability to absorb financial resources, social control and elites. This directly increases any The cost of action for an organization alliance that wants to challenge this order [26]. In the most extreme sense, this means that even those group events with a certain degree of political symbolism are a group of low-organized, low-institutionalized groups trying to confront a strong organizational, infiltration, and mobilizing ability. The overall state of financial absorptive capacity. In this case, the political risk of mass incidents is basically diluted to the point of no risk.

(3) Risk buffer zone

The reason why China’s mass incidents do not threaten the political stability of Chinese society is related to the current government’s “central weakness” government identity structure and the “party and government division of labor” structure in the national governance system.

1. Citizen’s government identity structure

It is generally believed that Chinese citizens differ in their support for the government [27]. This difference is mainly reflected in the people’s recognition structure of the central and local governments. Many surveys have shown that Chinese citizens, including participants in mass events, generally have a dualistic tendency toward government identity. According to the Fourth Wave of World Values ​​Survey, up to 97% of Chinese respondents expressed strong trust or trust in the central government [28]. Some studies have also shown that farmers’ evaluation of the degree of trust of party committees and governments at all levels decreases with the decline of the government level [29] [30]. Li Yanxia also believes that “the contemporary Chinese public has a greater degree of trust in the central government and local governments, that is, the differential trust pattern of the central public in the public” [31].

The citizen government recognizes that the structural dualism tends to be the result of many factors. The first is the structure of power structure. “The reason why the people trust the central government more may be because the local government seeks political trust with a relatively narrow scope, lack of desire and motivation, and lack of means and measures.”[32]53 Compared with many unitary countries, China’s The central and local government system is quite special. The central government can regulate local public opinion through the means of propaganda and departmental leadership, and organize and personnel departments to perform personnel appointments and dismissals for provincial political elites. Management will eventually form a government power structure of “central strength and weakness”, and the public government’s identity structure is the actual projection of this government power structure. Followed by media placement arrangements. The “News Network” broadcast by CCTV every day is the best footnote for this kind of media implantation. Scholars such as Hibbing believe that people’s recognition of different levels of government is affected by two factors, namely, the government’s visibility and the government’s closeness [32]. From the perspective of the government’s exposure, China’s central government level is often exposed as a positive image, and the local government level is often exposed as a negative image. In this way, the public’s recognition of the central government will naturally be higher than the local level. Finally, the difference between the central and local policy objectives. For local governments, stability and order have become the first performance of governance, and for the central government, some institutional arrangements have actually encouraged the local people to “collectively act” consciously [33], so the public The difference in identity will be further magnified.

Judging from the political risks of mass incidents, the dual tendency of the public in political identity, including the participants of mass events, has invisibly reduced the political risk of such events. This identity structure succeeded in creating a just imagination. It makes the participants of mass events often stay at the level of local government. The local government becomes the direct responsibility of the fermentation and intensification of various problems, while the central government can “put themselves into observers and judge The role of the corrector and the corrector, thus avoiding the possibility of “bottom-up system reflection and overall negation of the interests of the injured group” [34]. Some scholars even believe that the occurrence of many mass incidents, the policy imagination space previously given to the participants by the central government is itself a major incentive [35]; at the same time, this political identity structure will also be used strategically by the central government, thus From the positive, it strengthens its own ruling foundation and legitimacy. In particular, those mass incidents that have caused sensation in the whole society, the central government often appeases through public opinion guidance, leadership instructions, and punishment of local political elites. For those who are lost from the local government because of the incident, they are likely to be rescued through the central government.

2. The governance structure of “Party and government division of labor”

If the government’s identity structure of “central strength and weakness” makes the impact of mass events on political stability dilute vertically, then the governance structure of “party and government division of labor” dilutes the political risk of such events in the horizontal direction. .

The basic state governance model of modern China is different from that of the developed countries in the West. It follows a pre-existing political party, and then the political construction of the state, the establishment of the government, and the creation of a basic system through the political parties. Therefore, the ruling position of the Communist Party constitutes The foundation of the entire country.Therefore, on the issue of government (the ruling party), it is impossible for Chinese citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the government by changing the ruling party as the western developed countries do. However, at the same time, citizens must find other institutionalized channels to express political demands. .Here, the governance model of the party and government division of labor plays a role similar to the electoral system of Western developed countries. Because through the division of labor between the party and the government, the ruling party can respond to citizens’ dissatisfaction with the government by changing the government’s government, which is mainly composed of members of the ruling party, without changing its ruling status.

Realistically, there are two main ways in which the ruling party in contemporary China changes government officials: First, it is a regular, that is, every five years, the election of the main leaders of all levels of government. Second, it is irregular, that is, it can be carried out at any time. This model is often used to deal with mass incidents that have a greater impact. By changing the officials who have made major mistakes in dealing with mass incidents, the ruling party not only responded to the public’s needs in a timely manner, but also strengthened the ruling party’s ability to govern at another level, because the officials handled at this time were often government Members, not members of the ruling party, are punished.Even in certain special events (such as the Guizhou Pan’an incident), the ruling party punishes individual members (the secretary of the Pan’an County Party Committee) (dismissed), and will not cause the legitimacy of the ruling party as a collective symbol to be lost. Because the ruling party can easily raise the handling of such incidents through the media propaganda to the height of the ruling party’s self-adjustment ability. Therefore, in this governance structure of “party and government division of labor”, participants in mass incidents generally do not raise their dissatisfaction with the government to the ruling party, so the political risk of such incidents is once again diluted.

Fourth, from maintaining stability to governance: sustainable political stability

The research in this paper shows that the large-scale mass incidents in Chinese society in the past 10 years have not had a major impact on the basic political stability of Chinese society. This is mainly due to the fact that the original intention of most mass incidents does not have political purpose, and the current national system and governance model of China has also played a strong role in maintaining stability. But this does not mean that we can be optimistic about the political risks of mass incidents in the future.

With the deepening of social transformation, various structural contradictions have become more and more prominent, coupled with the systemic slowness, and ultimately social conflicts have moved from between the early people and the people, between the people and the enterprises. Political conflicts [36]. Recent related research also shows that the current mass incidents in China have a tendency to move from economic interests to political demands. “Growth rights protection is beyond the traditional framework of economic interests, and more involves complex balance of rights” [3]15.These behaviors mean that participants in some group events do not think about issues from the perspective of economic interests, but instead point the problem to the state and government as a whole in a systematic way of reflection, which involves reflection on their own political identity and identity. Questioning the authority and legitimacy of the government and dissatisfaction with the way and means of government governance. In other words, the emergence of such behavior means that one of the parties in the risk model that explains political stability may be changing, which may lead to the stability of our model’s stability in the future, so the political risk of mass events is The future is still unpredictable.

The concept guides action, and governments at all levels need to change the cognitive concept of group events, thus laying a cognitive foundation for reforming the current stability system. It should be recognized that such incidents are normal phenomena in a transitional society. In essence, the vast majority of mass incidents are still “internal contradictions among the people”, and it is also the “new normal” of Chinese society for a long period of time in the future. Therefore, it is not necessary to characterize all such incidents as “a major event affecting political and social stability.” More importantly, the political consequences of such incidents are not completely negative. It not only “can release social tension, maintain social structural flexibility, and have a social safety valve role”, but also “promote citizens’ rights awareness”. Improving the “government behavior of local governments” has certain positive significance [37].

From the perspective of structuralism, the issue of political stability is the result of both the “form of social structure” and the result of “form of political structure”. The former is attributed to the imbalance of social structure, while the latter is due to political opportunities (dialogue, participation). The lack of identity, approval, etc. [38]. Therefore, on the one hand, it solves a series of structural imbalances in social development from the perspective of social and administrative governance, enhances the government’s administrative responsiveness, transparency and openness; on the other hand, from the perspective of political governance, actively expands the institutionalization of citizens’ political participation. Channels, all citizens, including participants in mass events, gradually become one of the main bodies of governance, and they are involved in the political process by means of political absorption. The political pressure to release such incidents also helps reform the current The stability of the system makes the governance of mass events move towards sustainable political stability.

Note:

1 “Working Opinions on Actively Preventing and Properly Handling Mass Incidents”, China Office issued [2004] No. 33.

2 The above data are compiled according to the following materials, Zhang Mingjun and other “Analysis Report of Mass Events in the First Half of 2012”, “Analysis Report of Typical Group Events in Chinese Society” (2011, 2013, 2014), “Analysis Report on Chinese Social Mass Events” (2015, 2016), see: “China Social Public Safety Research Report” (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th); Chen Yu, “The Development and Change of Rural Political Stability in China in the Past 20 Years”, In the “People’s Forum”, No. 11 of 2014; Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, “China’s Rule of Law Development Report No. 12 (2014)”, Social Science Literature Publishing House, 2014, pp. 272-273.

Entering the topic: political stability of mass incidents

This article is responsible for: Chen Dongdong 
Sending Station: Love Thought (http://www.aisixiang.com), Column: Tianyi Academic >Political Science > Chinese Politics 
Link to this article: http://www.aisixiang.com/data/115692.html 
Source: Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (Social Science Edition) 2018, Issue 03 

Original Chinese text

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余艳红:群体性事件与政治稳定:一项基于风险模型的新解释

选择字号:大 中 小 本文共阅读 341 次 更新时间:2019-03-28 00:09:42

进入专题: 群体性事件 政治稳定

● 余艳红

   内容提要:学术界研究中国群体性事件的诸多学者都认为,当下中国的群体性事件如果处置不当,就可能威胁到中国社会的政治稳定。然而,通过分析近十年群体性事件的相关统计数据发现,中国社会大规模的群体性事件并未对中国的基本政治秩序造成较大影响。从风险模型的角度看,四项因素稀释了群体性事件对政治稳定与政治秩序的影响。从政治风险源上看,绝大多数群体性事件本身不具有政治冲突性;从风险管控方来看,当下中国的国家体制使得群体性事件的参与者难以形成政治联盟性;此外,公众在政府认同结构上的二元化倾向以及当下中国的治理结构,也构成了防范政治风险的两个缓冲地带。正是这些结构性与制度性安排,使得中国群体性事件对政治稳定的影响十分有限。

   关 键 词:群体性事件 政治稳定 政治风险 政府认同 治理结构 mass incidents political stability political risk governmental identification governance structure

   关于当下中国的群体性事件,诸多既有的研究几乎是以预言般的口吻告诫政府,群体性事件如果处置不当,极有可能导致中国社会不同程度的政治不稳定甚至政治动荡。学术界的这种研判,实际上强化了各级政府对群体性事件政治不安的心理,在现实中也对此类事件一再采取高压态势。然而,虽然中国社会的群体性事件从20世纪90年代中后期开始一度大量增长[1][2],即使到现在,“整体格局并未发生根本性转变”[3]12,但无论是从相关统计数据来看,还是从社会现实情况来看,到目前为止这些群体性事件并未给中国的政治稳定带来根本性影响。为什么会出现这种一般性预测与实际结果之间的巨大反差?数量惊人的群体性事件为什么并未对中国的政治稳定造成较大的冲击?群体性事件未来是否会在一定程度上冲击当代中国的政治秩序?基于这些问题的思考,本文试图结合学术界已有的研究成果,提出一种解释框架。

   一、概念界定

   群体性事件的概念一直是这一领域的学者(肖唐镖,2012;冯仕政,2015)探讨的重要内容之一,这不仅因为存在着诸多与这一概念相近的其他概念[4],而且还因为不同的学者在使用这一概念时其内涵也并不完全相同。张爱军认为,群体性事件的实质是“维权”,所以应该“把群体性事件定义为群体性维权事件”[5]。肖唐镖则指出:“群体性事件是指发生在民众与民众之间的群体性冲突,尤其是民众与政府和官员的抗争性互动。”[6]本文所指称的群体性事件主要采纳官方的解释,它是指“由人民内部矛盾引发、群众认为自身权益受到侵害,通过非法聚集、围堵等方式,向有关机关或单位表达意愿、提出要求等事件及其酝酿、形成过程中的串联、聚集等活动”。①这意味着,从性质上看,群体性事件是“人民内部矛盾”,而不是反政府或者以颠覆政权为目的的“政变、暴动和革命”,更不是反人类的恐怖主义活动。据此,当下中国少数的极端民族主义事件并不属于我们所说的群体性事件。从特征上看,群体性事件“非法但不反体制,聚众但非组织化”,从而使得这类事件具有一定的偶发性、破坏性、骚乱性、难以控制性等[7]115。

   二、理论模型与数据分析

   (一)理论模型

   中国学术界用来解释与预测群体性事件会威胁到政治稳定的理论模型主要有三个:政治参与模型、集体心智模型和冲突升级模型。这些模型普遍认为,中国的群体性事件如果处置不当,会在不同程度上造成当下中国的社会失序、政治不稳定甚至政治动荡。

   用政治参与模型研判群体性事件的政治后果是目前学术界最常用的方法。亨廷顿认为,“现代性孕育着稳定,而现代化过程却滋生着动乱”,并且给出了一个经典的公式即政治参与/政治制度化=政治动乱[8]。于建嵘(2010)、刘伟(2016)、刘勇(2010)等人都使用这一模型解释群体性事件的政治风险,他们认为,“亨廷顿描述的现代化过程中社会政治稳定问题”为当下中国“透视中国改革开放进程中出现的社会冲突与稳定问题提供了一个视角”[9]。群体性事件“从深层次上消解社会的稳定机制”[10]。此类事件“直接影响了和谐社会的建构,冲击了政治秩序的稳定发展”,最终“严重影响社会的政治稳定”[11]。

   集体心智模型则立基于社会学中的集体行动理论。根据这种模型的分析,集体无意识是群体性事件的一大特征,在这种集体无意识之下,“人们的思维方式极端简单化”[12]。他们“显得冲动、多变、急躁……身处其中的个体变得野蛮、残暴而狂热”[13]。叶宏认为,“群体性事件严重威胁着社会和谐稳定”,而“从众心态”则是导致群体性事件频发的主要原因之一[14]。刘琳则用“无组织化”来定义中国群体性事件的一大基本特征,也正是因为“无组织化”,才使得中国的群体性事件难以控制,最终成为“影响社会稳定最为突出的问题,成为中国社会风险的信号”[15]。陈谭、黄金则表示,作为集体行为的一种非理性行为,群体性事件是由多个变量引致的“从众性行为的失范”[16]。

   冲突升级模型恰恰与集体心智模型相反,这种模型认为群体性事件之所以威胁政治稳定,是因为此类事件的参与者是高度理性的,故而,此类解释模型是博弈论理论在社会集体行动领域的运用。韩志明在分析群体性事件的参与者为什么愿意将事情“闹大”时,就典型地运用了冲突升级模型的逻辑。这种逻辑可能激化“阶层之间的对立情绪”,甚至可能导致政府以“维稳”的名义进行暴力干涉[17]。黄杰等人则直接从冲突升级模型的角度演绎出了中国群体性事件的暴力逻辑:“风险感知差异——应对策略和行为——冲突爆发和升级”[18]。

   (二)数据分析

   如果说群体性事件确实如上述各种模型分析的那样,会冲击中国社会的政治稳定,那么我们可以引申出两个假设:第一,从数量上看,群体性事件的总体数量与社会政治稳定度成反比。这意味着,至少从长期趋势来看,群体性事件连年高发的年份,中国社会的政治稳定度会有比较明显的变化;第二,从规模上看,单个群体性事件的规模与社会政治稳定度成反比。这意味着,如果某些年份单个的群体性事件规模显著上升,那么该年前后中国社会的政治稳定度也有比较明显的变化。

   下面我们选择离我们时间点最近的2007年到2016年这10年的相关数据作为依据,考察这10年中国社会政治稳定的变化情况。从数量上看,中国社会群体性事件的绝对数量由2007年的8万起增长到了2011年的13.9万起,到2014年这一数字达到了17.2万;虽然2014年以后缺乏相关数据的统计,但根据张明军教授每年发布的《中国社会群体性事件分析报告》,2014年以后群体性事件“整体格局并未发生根本性转变”,2015年群体性事件的数量甚至较2014年“会略有增加”,“2016年中国的群体性事件数量基本维持以往水平”。此外,中国社会科学院法学研究所发布的《中国法治发展报告NO.12(2014)》显示,百人以上的群体性事件数量从2007年的23起上升到了2010年的163起,2012年甚至达到209起。而2016年仅上半年,千人以上规模的就有12起。②

   由此可见,最近10年,中国社会的群体性事件从一个相对较小的数量(规模)上升到一个长期高位运行的状态。如果群体性事件作为自变量会对中国社会的政治稳定造成影响,那么,这一个自变量在过去10年间发生如此显著的变化,作为因变量的政治稳定应该有所反映。然而根据国际社会权威机构发布的关于中国社会政治稳定度的相关数据,我们几乎无法发现这其中的相关度。

   我们首先使用《外交政策》杂志和平基金会的失败国家指数(The Failed States Index)和世界银行“全球治理指标”(Worldwide Governance Indicators)中的“政治稳定度”(Political Stability)以及这两个指数(指标)的数据。因为这两组数据都是年度指标,且指标体系覆盖了一个国家的政治稳定情况。在失败国家指数(The Failed States Index)中,某一国家如果在世界上的排名数字越大,则代表该国家的政治风险越低。在“全球治理指标”(Worldwide Governance Indicators)的“政治稳定度”排名中,一个国家的百分位排行(Percentile Rank)越高代表这一指标越安全。

image.png

   虽然从2007年到2016年,中国社会的群体性事件数量激增且一直保持高位运行态势,但从表1可以发现,无论是从失败国家指数来看,还是从世界银行发布的全球治理指标中的“政治稳定度”来看,最近10年中国社会的政治稳定与社会秩序总体上是稳中有升。失败国家指数显示,中国在全球的排名从2007年的62名上升到2016年的86名。同样,全球治理指标也显示,这10年中国社会的总体百分位是比较稳定的,仅仅在2011年有一次较大的波动。实际上,如果我们继续考察国外其他机构对2007年到2016年这10年中国政治稳定的排名,这一趋势依旧很明显,见表2。

image.png

   上述排名由美国马里兰大学国际发展与冲突管理中心(CIDCM)每隔两年(以前是三年)发布一次,旨在预测一国未来两年的冲突风险,其主要是按照各大洲进行分类,排名名次越前代表风险越高。从表2可知,中国群体性事件数量增长的年份,恰恰是中国的排名往后的年份。换句话说,在亚洲,中国的社会动荡与政治不稳定的风险是越来越低。

   通过上面三组数据的简单分析可以发现,21世纪初,中国的群体性事件无论从绝对数量来看,还是从单个事件的规模上看,确实一度剧增,然而这些事件的合力却十分有限,并未出现学术界预测的那种严重的政治后果,它们并没有对中国政治的稳定性造成系统性影响。

   三、一项基于风险模型的解释

   从内在逻辑上看,一项政治风险的产生,不仅需要风险发起方具有挑战基本政治秩序与政治规则的愿望,还需要风险管控方对此类挑战没有能力进行有效化解。此外,如果在风险发起方与风险管控方之间存在着缓冲地带,使得风险源在有效冲击社会与政治秩序之前就已经被稀释与化解,那么,此项政治风险同样不存在。

   (一)风险发起方

研究社会运动的学者塔罗(Tarrow)认为,一项社会运动要成为政治斗争,必须有四个条件:集体性的挑战,参与者具有共同的目的,具有集体认同意识,持续性的斗争政治[19]。反观当下中国的群体性事件,这些事件或许具有集体挑战基层权威的目的性,(点击此处阅读下一页)

进入专题: 群体性事件 政治稳定

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文章来源:《哈尔滨工业大学学报(社会科学版)》 2018年03期

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余艳红:群体性事件与政治稳定:一项基于风险模型的新解释

选择字号:大 中 小 本文共阅读 341 次 更新时间:2019-03-28 00:09:42

进入专题: 群体性事件 政治稳定

● 余艳红

但各种事件彼此之间处于孤立的境地,并不具有共同的目的,更不必说进行联合。此外,事件的参与者或许在潜意识里具有集体的身份与阶层认同意识,但这种认同性还没有上升到“自为”的层面。更重要的是,所有此类事件都不具有“斗争政治性”,其矛头指向往往是具体的经济利益,他们并不试图挑战基本的国家秩序,而只是想借助不同层级的政府平台为自己的利益进行辩护。于建嵘指出:“维权事件,这是目前中国社会群体性事件的主要类型。此类事件约占目前全国群体性突发事件的80%以上。”而“维权事件主要是利益之争,不是权力之争,经济性大于政治性”[7]1167。单光鼎也认为,目前中国的大多数群体性事件,起因是“利益损害”等因素。正因为如此,所以执政党和政府在对待群体性事件的态度上需要新思维,避免过度政治化解读[20]。张明军在2017年发布的《2016年中国社会群体性事件分析报告》中明确提出:“利益诉求类事件依然构成群体性事件的主体。”[3]3

   群体性事件的源头利益性为化解此类事件的政治风险提供了最大的可能性。它意味着,从政治认同的角度来看,绝大多数事件的参与者对于现存的国体、政体以及执政党等都没有提出异议与挑战。即使从抗争政治的角度来看,他们不认同的也主要是个别政治角色(官员)以及某一层次的政府(主要是基层政府)。因此,对于此类事件,政府只要适时给予当事人利益上的满足,事件就会被平息。而从政府一方来说,进行经济利益让渡并不涉及根本性的政治问题,当下中国的政治体制改革过程本身就是各种利益重新分配的过程。换句话说,此类事件其实也为政治体制改革、政府职能转变、建构服务型政府等提供了契机[21]。

   (二)风险管控方

   当下中国的国家渗透能力、组织能力以及国家对社会的管控能力实际上为群体性事件的政治风险构筑了一道牢不可破的防火墙,从而使得国家能够对此类事件的风险进行有效的管控。

   首先就中国的国家渗透能力而言,国家不仅对那些非制度化与非许可性的组织保持一种较敏感的警戒性,即使对那些合法登记的非政府组织(NGO),国家也会通过强制挂靠某一政府组织的形式保持一种“联络”能力[22]。此外,执政党自上而下的党组织结构也使得任何游离于体制外的组织都不具有挑战现有秩序的基本能力。更重要的是,对于群体性事件中的领导者,执政党还可以通过诸如“党的组织纪律”等方式进行合乎程序的管制,或者通过行政吸纳的方式进行分化,从而削弱这些事件组织者的内聚力。而任何群体性的行为如果要形成政治风险,内部的组织性与制度化是一个必要条件,因为组织化程度、制度化程度往往是测量政治行为成熟度必不可少的维度[23]。

   其次是当下中国的国家组织与管控能力使得任何非许可的“跨组织性的政治联盟”基本不可能得以产生[24]。按照学术界的已有说法,当下中国的群体性事件基本不可能进行政治与组织上的联盟,因为国家除了上述极强的渗透能力之外,还具有极强的组织能力与管控能力。实际上,当下中国不仅是一个国家权力强大的政体,同时也是国家基础性能力(infrastructural power)[25],特别是财政汲取能力、社会管制能力与精英吸纳能力强大的政体,这直接增加了任何想要挑战这种秩序的组织联盟的行动成本[26]。在最极端的意义上,这意味着即使那些具有一定程度的政治象征意义的群体性事件,也是一群低组织化、低制度化的群体试图对抗一个具有强大的组织能力、渗透能力、动员能力与财政吸取能力的总体性国家。在此种情况下,群体性事件的政治风险基本被稀释到毫无风险的地步。

   (三)风险缓冲地带

   中国的群体性事件之所以不会威胁中国社会的政治稳定,还与当下中国公民“央强地弱”的政府认同结构以及国家治理体系中的“党政分工”结构有关。

   1.公民的政府认同结构

   一般认为,中国公民在对政府的支持度方面存在差异性[27]。这种差异主要体现在民众对中央与地方政府的认同结构上。诸多调查都表明,包括群体性事件的参与者在内的中国公民普遍存在着一种政府认同结构上二元化倾向。第四波世界价值观调查显示,高达97%的中国受访者表示非常信任或比较信任中央政府[28]。有的研究也表明农民对各级党委和政府信任程度的评价随着政府层级的下降而递减[29][30]。李艳霞也认为,“当代中国公众对中央政府和地方政府信任度差别较大,即公众的中央地方的差序信任格局”[31]。

   公民政府认同结构上的二元化倾向是多方面因素导致的结果。首先是权力结构安排。“民众之所以更信任中央政府可能是因为地方政府寻求政治信任的范围相对狭小、愿望与动机不足和手段措施上的匮乏所导致的。”[32]53与很多单一制国家相比,中国的中央与地方政府体制是比较特殊的,中央政府可以通过宣传部门归口领导的方式规制地方的舆论,通过组织与人事部门对省级政治精英进行人事上的任免,还可以通过财权对地方各种事务进行管理,最终形成“央强地弱”的政府权力结构,而公众的政府认同结构正是这种政府权力结构的实际投射。其次是媒体植入安排。央视每天定点播放的《新闻联播》是这种媒体植入的最佳注脚。美国希宾(Hibbing)等学者认为,民众对不同层级政府的认同度受两种因素影响,即政府的曝光率(visibility)和政府的亲近性(closeness)[32]50。从政府的曝光率上看,中国的中央政府层面被曝光的往往是正面形象,地方政府层面被曝光的往往是负面形象。这样一来,公众对中央政府的认同度自然会高于地方。最后是中央与地方在政策目标上的差异。对于地方政府来说,稳定与秩序成了执政的第一绩效,而对于中央政府来说,一些制度性的安排实际上鼓励了地方民众“集体行动”的自觉[33],故而民众对这两者的认同差异就会进一步扩大化。

   从群体性事件的政治风险来看,包括群体性事件的参与者在内的社会公众在政治认同方面的二元化倾向,在无形中使得此类事件的政治风险性大幅度降低。这种认同结构成功制造了一种公正想象。它使得群体性事件的参与者往往将具体的不满停留在地方政府的层面上,地方政府成了各种问题发酵与激化的直接责任主体,而中央政府则可以“将自己置于观察者、评判者和校正者的角色”,也就避免了“利益受损群体进行自下而上的体制反思与整体性否定的可能”[34]。一些学者甚至认为,很多群体性事件之所以发生,中央政府先前赋予事件参与者的政策想象空间本身就是一大诱因[35];同时,这种政治认同结构也会被中央政府策略地运用,从而从正面强化了自身的执政基础与合法性。特别是那些引起整个社会轰动性的群体性事件,中央政府往往会通过舆论引导、领导人批示、对地方政治精英进行惩罚等方式进行安抚。对于那些因事件“闹大”而从地方政府那里流失的合法性,很有可能会通过中央政府重新拯救回来。

   2.“党政分工”的治理结构

   如果说“央强地弱”的政府认同结构使得群体性事件对政治稳定的影响在纵向上被稀释的话,那么,“党政分工”的治理结构则在横向上稀释了此类事件的政治风险。

   现代中国的基本国家治理模式并不同于西方发达国家,它遵循的是一条先有政党,然后再由政党通过革命缔结国家、建立政府、创建基本制度的国家建构路径,因此共产党的执政地位构成了整个国家建构的基础。故而,在政府(执政党)认同的问题上,中国公民不可能像西方发达国家那样通过更迭执政党的方式表达自己对政府的不满,但同时,公民又必须找到其他制度化的渠道表达政治诉求。在此,党政分工的治理模式发挥了类似于西方发达国家选举体制的作用。因为通过党政分工,执政党可以在不改变自身执政地位的前提下,通过更迭主要由执政党成员组成的政府的方式回应公民对政府的不满。

   现实地看,在当代中国执政党更迭政府官员的方式主要有两种:一是定期性的,即每五年一次的各级政府主要领导人的选举。二是不定期的,即随时可以进行的,此一模式经常被运用于处理那些影响较大的群体性事件。通过更迭那些在处理群体性事件上出现重大失误的官员,执政党不仅及时回应了公众的需求,而且也在另一个层面强化了执政党的执政能力,因为此时处置的官员,往往是以政府成员而不是执政党党员的身份受到惩罚。即使在某些特殊的事件(如贵州瓮安事件)中执政党对个别成员(瓮安县委书记)进行了惩罚(被免职),也不会使得作为一个集体符号的执政党的合法性流失,因为执政党很容易通过媒体宣传的方式将对此类事件的处理上升到执政党自我调适能力得到强化的高度。故而,在这种“党政分工”的治理结构中,群体性事件的参与者一般不会把他们对政府的不满上升到执政党那里,因此此类事件的政治风险再一次被稀释。

   四、从维稳到治理:可持续性政治稳定

   本文的研究显示,最近10年中国社会大规模的群体性事件,并未对中国社会基本的政治稳定造成较大影响。这主要归因于绝大多数群体性事件的初衷本身不具有政治目的性,此外当下中国的国家体制与治理模式也发挥了较强的维稳功能。但这并不意味着未来我们就可以对群体性事件的政治风险持乐观态度。

   随着社会转型的深入,各种结构性矛盾越来越突出,再加上体制性迟钝,最终社会冲突从早期的民众与民众之间、民众与企业之间走向“官民、干群之间的政治冲突”[36]。最近的相关研究也显示,当下中国的群体性事件已经有了从经济利益走向政治诉求的趋势。“群体性维权超出传统的经济利益框架,更多的涉及复杂的权利均衡”[3]15。这些行为意味着部分群体性事件的参与者并不是从经济利益的角度思考问题,而是以系统反思的方式将问题指向作为整体的国家与政府,其中涉及对自身政治认同与身份认同的反思、对政府权威与合法性的质疑以及对政府执政方式与手段的不满等。换句话说,这种行为的出现意味着我们在此阐释政治稳定的风险模型中的一方可能正在发生改变,从而有可能导致我们模型的稳定性在未来发生变化,因此群体性事件的政治风险在未来依旧具有不可预期性。

   理念指导行动,各级政府需要转变对群体性事件的认知理念,从而为改革当前的维稳体制奠定认知基础。应该认识到此类事件是转型社会的正常现象,从本质上看,绝大多数群体性事件依旧是“人民内部矛盾”,它在今后相当长的一段时期内也是中国社会的“新常态”,故而没有必要将所有此类事件大而化之地定性为“影响政治与社会稳定的大事”。更重要的是,此类事件的政治后果并非完全是负面的,它不仅在一定程度上“可以释放社会张力,保持社会结构弹性,具有社会安全阀作用”,而且对于“促进公民的权利意识”、改善“地方政府的施政行为”等,都具有一定的积极意义[37]。

   从结构主义的视角看,政治稳定问题既是“社会结构的形式”的结果,也是“政治结构的形式”的结果,前者归因于社会结构的失衡,而后者则因缘于政治机会(对话、参与、认同等)的缺失[38]。因此,一方面从社会与行政治理的角度解决社会发展的一系列结构失衡问题,增强政府的行政回应性、透明度与公开性;另一方面从政治治理的角度,积极拓宽公民政治参与的制度化渠道,将包括群体性事件的参与者在内的所有公民逐步作为治理的主体之一,以政治吸纳的方式让他们介入政治过程之中,释放此类事件的政治压力,同样有助于改革当前的维稳体制,使得群体性事件的治理走向可持续性的政治稳定。

   注释:

   ①《关于积极预防和妥善处置群体性事件的工作意见》,中办发[2004]33号。

   ②以上数据根据下列材料整理而成,张明军等《2012年上半年群体性事件分析报告》、《中国社会典型群体性事件分析报告》(2011,2013,2014)、《中国社会群体性事件分析报告》(2015,2016),详见:《中国社会公共安全研究报告》(第1、2、5、6、8、10辑);陈莺《近20年来我国农村政治稳定的发展与变迁》,载《人民论坛》2014年第11期;中国社会科学院法学研究所《中国法治发展报告NO.12(2014)》,社会科学文献出版社2014年版,第272-273页。

进入专题: 群体性事件 政治稳定

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本文责编:陈冬冬

发信站:爱思想(http://www.aisixiang.com),栏目:天益学术 > 政治学 > 中国政治

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文章来源:《哈尔滨工业大学学报(社会科学版)》 2018年03期

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Major Change in PRC Political Operating System under Xi?

During my ten years in China (Beijing 1996 – 2001 and Chengdu 2007 – 2012) with some Washington-based China watching in between, I saw a steady decline, especially after Party Secretary Hu Jintao came to power, in what little openness there was. Within that overall tightening trend, there were fluctuations with tightening around special dates such as the two meetings in March, June 4, Party Congress time and National Day and some relaxation after those sensitive dates passed. 

PRC Consistently Totalitarian with Tactical Adjustments

When I look at China, I see a great deal of continuity in the government and mechanisms of power. Still the same totalitarian state is has been since 1949, but a much more clever one that is willing to use openness and increased freedoms tactically for the sake of economic growth and reducing resentments.

Still never willing to give up the option of the Party imposing itself to protect the bottom line — the unquestioned leadership of the Communist Party in what Mao Zedong called the “people’s democratic dictatorship”. And so unwilling to make any constitutional changes (or better said institutional changes) that could threaten the leadership of the Communist Party. In China interpretation of the PRC Constitution is reserved to the National People’s Congress — a Chinese court cannot make a ruling based on the PRC Constitution.


Another special characteristic of the system was special intense themed crackdown campaigns that might last a month or two and annual campaigns focused on a month or so. April always seemed to be fighting trafficking in persons month for example.  

Banned Underground Best Seller Gave the Bottom Line


I can’t help of thinking back to the banned, underground 1996 best seller anti-corruption novel The Wrath of God 

“But we can’t not have an anti-corruption campaign. Not only will the masses not allow us not to do anti-corruption work but the State itself could fall as corruption deepens. Therefore, if we don’t do anti-corruption work, the State will collapse. If we fight corruption, the Party will fall; if we do not fight corruption the State will fall. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place; we can only fight corruption for a time and then let up for a while. This is the only way to save both the Party and the State. We try to survive and develop within the cracks of a policy that is constantly wavering between the left and the right.”   

 Could that still hold true today?  The Wrath of God (literally Wrath of Heaven) 天怒 is available online at http://www.shuku.net/novels/tiannu/tiannu.html


Thinking about the repression of dissent in China, I suppose if the system now had become capable of sustaining a continuous anti-corruption campaign, why couldn’t it become capable of fighting dissent continuously as well?   

Institutional Background of Endless Enforcement Fluctuations

China is such a vast and complicated country that often defies generalization. Nonetheless trying to generalize, though doomed to fail, can be helpful.

China is much more decentralized than one might expect a unitary state to be. For much of its history too it has been fairly decentralized with central control only reaching down to the county magistrate appointed by the Emperor. The local great and good were in effective control at the grassroots. When the PRC was established, central government control reached down a level further to the urban and rural township level 乡镇 in each county albeit not to the village level. That is why the PRC was able to have village elections — the village is not a level of government so elections don’t affect the PRC political system.


My understanding was that the periodic tightening and loosening and the campaign mode of periodic enforcement actions was a structural result of the

Chinese decentralized party and state governance system.  The tiao and the kuai (vertical and horizontal slices) aka the dual leadership system shuanglingdao zhidu 双领导制度   I especially like the discussion in Pu Zuqiang’s 中华人民共和国:政治制度  http://product.dangdang.com/9181990.html  

The difficulty of the dual leadership system is that although each functional department reports to both the local leader and to the corresponding functional department at the next higher level of governance, the powers of budget and personnel (with the exception of naming the functional department chief) is largely controlled at the local level.   This results inefficiencies of the transmission of orders down (sometimes Chinese documents talk about the transmission belt) and information upwards.  Indeed, local authorities sometimes try to prevent upper levels about knowing about the local dirty laundry.  Assisting local leaders in that has been part of the function of party propaganda and media control at each level of party committee.   

I remember visiting the environmental bureau of Shanxi Province in 1998 or so.  An official there gave me a frank answer to my question about their relation to the environmental authorities in Beijing and the neighboring provinces.  The official told me,

“The central environmental authorities just come through once a year to give us a report card. We have practically no contact with the environmental authorities of neighboring provinces.”

In trying to understand how this system works or doesn’t work, I wondered how US dysfunctionalities might multiply if the federal court system and all the regional offices of US government departments were abolished and the US federal government had to depend upon the state courts and state authorities to enforce federal regulations.  Just a thought experiment, but helps illustrate the consequences of differences in government structure. 

End of Cycles (?), Re-assertion of the Center, More Consistent Enforcement Under Xi Jinping

One thing I found remarkable about the start of Party General Secretary was the seemingly permanent anti-corruption campaign or dare one imagine the end of campaigns and just consistent enforcement.  Periodic strike hard campaigns last a few months after which the enforcers presumably take a vacation seems to have been the pattern up to them.  Xi Jinping greatly ramped up the size of the party discipline and inspection function, increased the frequency of inspections and then — perhaps breaking the system — set up branch offices of central government agencies in the provinces.


Breaking the Dual Leadership System, Enforcing Central Control Trend

I remember from the beginning of Xi’s first term that the statistical authorities were also setting up offices in some provinces to better audit statistical data.  One of the first things I did getting to US Embassy Beijing S&T section in 1996 was to read the China Public Health Annual from cover-to-cover. The national picture was just about completely inconsistent with the national pictures. Some estimates for the prevalence of some contagious diseases nationwide were higher than the highest estimate of any province. So there was a lot of data massaging going on when the provincial data reached the national level. When one does try to correct data for inaccuracies, it is easy to introduce new inaccuracies.

Given the closed nature of many Chinese local government units that gave rise to the wise saying “For every measure that comes down from on high, a countermeasure to defeat it emerges from down below” 上有政策,下有对策 statistical quality has remained a problem, albeit probably not as serious as it was twenty years ago. During the Great Leap Forward, one central government statistical official went so far as to say “Never forget the principle of partisanship in the statistical services!”


 It would be ironic if Xi does not bring China the rule by law, but instead bring it rule by Party rule.  More consistency at least.  One side effect of the anti-corruption crackdowns has been officials are even less likely before to make difficult decisions — they feel they had better play it safe.

A friend in Chengdu told me that had become a big problem in Sichuan, scene of a big anti-corruption crackdown shortly after Chairman Xi took over. One reason for the crackdown in Sichuan Province was probably the personal links many officials there had to Zhou Yongkang, a disgraced former top leader and former rival to Xi Jinping. Corruption is rampant so leaders can easily use anti-corruption campaigns to not only fight corruption but also rivals. The background to the novel “The Wrath of God” mentioned above is then PRC Party Secretary Jiang Zemin’s determination to destroy his old rival, the then-Mayor of Beijing Chen Xitong.

I looked around a bit and found a good Baidu (Chinese Wiki) article on the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese Communist Party at https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E7%BA%AA%E5%BE%8B%E6%A3%80%E6%9F%A5%E5%A7%94%E5%91%98%E4%BC%9A/1299041?which has a long section on the 2014 changes. 

These materials reflect an important assertion of central control which may well reflect this assertion of central control.

———————————–
The italics and bolding are mine.
I copied below a lightly edited Google Translate translation of the section on the 2014 changes.  The article has an early 2015 perspective; I’d guess it was copied from some party publication. — I notice that part of it is from a People’s Daily article that also appears on the website of the Discipline and Inspection Commission http://www.ccdi.gov.cn/yaowen/201412/t20141230_134390.html  although it is properly sourced there.  Presumably plagiarism is too small a fly for the Commission to swat. 

A busy reform year for the system

On June 30 this year, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee convened and reviewed the “Implementation Plan for the Reform of the Party’s Discipline Inspection System” to specifically deploy the reform of the discipline inspection system proposed by the Party’s 18th National Congress and the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee. The central and all levels of discipline inspection and supervision organs have been reformed, and the conditions with immature conditions have been piloted first. The pilot experience has been matured immediately, making the discipline inspection system undergo a huge change in the year:

— The awareness of the party committee in the construction of the party’s style and clean government has been greatly strengthened. In the past, the “top bosses” of many units believed that the building of the party’s style and clean government was the responsibility of the secretary of the Disciplinary Committee and the head of the discipline inspection team, and held an attitude of “it is already getting a lot of attention so I will not concern myself with it” with regards to the work of combating corruption and promoting honesty. In 2014, this thinking was completely reversed. The leaders of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection have hosted a special symposium to interview provincial (district, municipal), central and state organs, central enterprises and institutions, and state-owned financial institutions. The party secretary) called for strengthening the party’s concept, implementing the main responsibility, and transmitting pressure at various levels.

——The traveling inspection team system has been strengthened and special inspections have become the new normal. In 2014, it completed regular inspections of 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (including Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) and special inspections of 19 departments and state-owned enterprises and institutions. After the second round of inspections by the Central Inspection Team in 2014, the coverage of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps was fully covered in less than two years. At the same time, on the basis of special inspections of six units in the first two rounds of pilots, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched a new form of special inspections in the third round of inspections. Compared with the previous system of regular traveling inspections, the period of special inspection was cut nearly in half but this system is more flexible. If there is a problem, there will be an inspection. If there is a problem, that person will be investigated and investigatory leads followed up.

Another remarkable feature worthy of attention is that the case clues were immediately transferred to the special investigation and action moved ahead quickly. At present, Xue Wandong, the former general manager of Sinopec Petroleum Engineering and Technology Service Company, and Wang Xiaoran, the former president and party secretary of the China Recording and Video Broadcasting Corporation of the Ministry of Culture, Zhang Zhijiang, deputy general manager of China Unicom Network Branch and general manager of network construction department, Wang Gangjian, former director of China Radio International Film and Television Translation Center, Zhang Wenjiang, assistant general manager of Shenhua Group, and Ren Yong, assistant general manager of Dongfeng Motor Corporation and other relevant staff members were all investigated for serious violations of the law before the end of the inspection.

—— Establishing organizations in localities that report directly to the center has been accelerated, and the superior disciplinary committee has further strengthened the leadership of the lower level Disciplinary Committee. On December 11, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee reviewed and approved the “Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection,” and decided to first have an important influence on the political life of the party and the country in the Central Office, the Central Organization Department, and the Central Propaganda Department. Seven central and state agencies set up a central disciplinary committee. In order to implement the requirements of the leaders of the above-mentioned disciplinary committees in dealing with corruption cases, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has started pilot reforms in Hebei, Zhejiang, Henan, Guangdong, Shaanxi, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the Ministry of Commerce, and the General Administration of Customs since April 2014. It will be fully promoted in 2015; the nomination and inspection of some district and unit disciplinary committee secretaries and deputy secretaries also carried out the new requirements of “the above-mentioned disciplinary committee and the organization department as the mainstay”.

———————————–

[Section on 2014 changes from  记录检查委员会  [Party Commission for Discipline Inspection; tidied up Google Translation translation. Chinese text appended]

System Changes in 2014

In 2014, the Supervision Department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the discipline inspection and supervision organs at all levels were very busy. This was because the Party Central Committee stressed the great importance to the work of building a clean and honest government and of anti-corruption work.

“Catching Tigers” and “Swatting Flies”

Let’s talk about “fighting tigers” first. The fall of Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou broke the customary “conventions” and also showed the central government’s firm determination to not tolerate corruption and not to be soft on corrupt elements.

In Shanxi Province, the investigation and punishment of “collapse and corruption” has not slowed down due to the fall of the the party standing committees of five provinces. From January to November this year, Shanxi investigated and handled 141 leading cadres at the county level and above, including departmental cadres 21 People, the former “top leaders” of the five major coal-producing coal groups in Shanxi Province were all smashed. The two municipal party committee secretaries and four mayors of Gaoping City were investigated and dealt with. The anti-corruption efforts were so astounding. After the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection appointed the Standing Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Supervision, Huang Xiaowei, as the Standing Committee Member of the Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Disciplinary Committee, the former Director of the First Discipline Inspection and Supervision Office of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Chi Yaoyun, went to Shanxi as the Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection. The central government attaches great importance to Shanxi’s anti-corruption work, and will never “only catch a certain number of corrupt people and stop after reaching that point”, but must fight corruption to the end.

The army’s anti-corruption entered a new high in 2014. Xu Caihou became the first former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission after the founding of New China. Yang Jinshan, Gao Xiaoyan, Ma Xiangdong and other senior military leaders were investigated. The number and level of investigations were all in recent years reached a new high.

Summarizing the characteristics of the cases investigated in 2014, it will be found that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection focused on three types of people: one is the cadres who after the 18th National Congress did not give up but still persisted in their behavior, such as Wan Qingliang, Han Xiancong, Tan Li, etc. Before the investigation, he was still playing golf and eating and drinking in the clubhouse. Second, focus on cadres who were reported by other cadres or were repeatedly reported on by the masses. For example, Song Lin, the former chairman of China Resources Group, had been publicly reported by the masses for a long time. Third, key cadres who are now in important positions and are likely to be promoted, such as Mao Xiaobing, former member of the Standing Committee of Qinghai Province, and Pan Yiyang, former member of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Let’s talk about “swatting flies”. On the “Cases Under Investigation” section of the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision, you can see that almost every day, the investigation and handling of cases submitted by provinces, cities, and departments. According to incomplete statistics, as of December 28, the number of cases published has reached 688. Various departments in various regions have successively investigated and handled a number of major cases that have influence in the local departments of the region. The national discipline inspection and supervision organs accept complaints, reports, letters, talks, settlements, filing cases, closing cases, giving disciplinary sanctions, and suspected crimes transferred to the judiciary. A number of indicators, such as the handling of the organs, reached the highest value since the establishment of the Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Busily Rectifying the “Four Types of Work Styles”

From December 15th to 18th, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the implementation of the eight central regulations, the four-episode TV feature film jointly produced by the Propaganda Department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and CCTV will always be on the road to implement the spirit of the eight regulations. The Sujing Documentary were broadcast on CCTV during prime time and got a strong response from the public. The films showed how this year, the central and all levels of discipline inspection and supervision organs have implemented the spirit of the eight central regulations and have not slackened. They have continued to work around one node: on the eve of the “May 1st”, the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was revised.

The “Four Types of Work Styles” supervision reports the through train, and the weekly name is notified by the name; on the eve of the “Dragon Boat Festival”, the website of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission’s Supervision Department launched the “Clean and Good Dragon Boat Festival – Discipline Inspection and Supervision In Action” topic, and opened a reporting window to welcome cadres and masses. The public funds are purchased for the unreasonable winds of the banquets and other festivals; on the eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection opens a report window for the “Four Types of Work Styles” such as giving gifts of moon cake, and at the same time resume the weekly notification of violations of the discipline inspection and supervision organs at all levels. Work in the spirit of the eight regulations of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee; on the eve of the Spring Festival of New Year’s Day in 2015, the website of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission’s Supervision Department also launched the “Four Types of Work Styles” issue supervision and reporting exposure area during the Spring Festival of New Year’s Day. Reports from the people about misuse of official funds to purchase greeting cards or to give presents for Spring Festival and other improper work behaviors.

In order to strengthen the supervision of the “Four Working Styles” issue, the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection has established a monthly report system, and monthly reports on the investigation and punishment of violations of the eight central provisions of the central government, and regularly publishes investigations and investigations to the public. According to statistics, as of November 30, the country has investigated and dealt with 73,332 issues in violation of the spirit of the eight central regulations, and handled 96,788 party members and cadres, including 29,026 party and government disciplinary sanctions.

In addition, the website of the Supervision Department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection also established a weekly and weekly notification system for violations of the eight regulations on the eve of the “May 1st” and “Mid-Autumn Festival”, and successively notified the local surnames that a number of units in various regions of the country violated the eight regulations. The typical case has played a strong deterrent effect. According to incomplete statistics, as of December 28, the provincial and municipal disciplinary committees had notified 925 typical problems 134 times.

A busy reform year for the system

On June 30 this year, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee convened and reviewed the “Implementation Plan for the Reform of the Party’s Discipline Inspection System” to specifically deploy the reform of the discipline inspection system proposed by the Party’s 18th National Congress and the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee. The central and all levels of discipline inspection and supervision organs have been reformed, and the conditions with immature conditions have been piloted first. The pilot experience has been matured immediately, making the discipline inspection system undergo a huge change in the year:

— The awareness of the party committee in the construction of the party’s style and clean government has been greatly strengthened. In the past, the “top bosses” of many units believed that the building of the party’s style and clean government was the responsibility of the secretary of the Disciplinary Committee and the head of the discipline inspection team, and held an attitude of “it is already getting a lot of attention so I will not concern myself with it” with regards to the work of combating corruption and promoting honesty. In 2014, this thinking was completely reversed. The leaders of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection have hosted a special symposium to interview provincial (district, municipal), central and state organs, central enterprises and institutions, and state-owned financial institutions. The party secretary) called for strengthening the party’s concept, implementing the main responsibility, and transmitting pressure at various levels.

——The traveling inspection team system has been strengthened and special inspections have become the new normal. In 2014, it completed regular inspections of 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (including Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) and special inspections of 19 departments and state-owned enterprises and institutions. After the second round of inspections by the Central Inspection Team in 2014, the coverage of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps was fully covered in less than two years. At the same time, on the basis of special inspections of six units in the first two rounds of pilots, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched a new form of special inspections in the third round of inspections. Compared with the previous system of regular traveling inspections, the period of special inspection was cut nearly in half but this system is more flexible. If there is a problem, there will be an inspection. If there is a problem, that person will be investigated and investigatory leads followed up.

Another remarkable feature worthy of attention is that the case clues were immediately transferred to the special investigation and action moved ahead quickly. At present, Xue Wandong, the former general manager of Sinopec Petroleum Engineering and Technology Service Company, and Wang Xiaoran, the former president and party secretary of the China Recording and Video Broadcasting Corporation of the Ministry of Culture, Zhang Zhijiang, deputy general manager of China Unicom Network Branch and general manager of network construction department, Wang Gangjian, former director of China Radio International Film and Television Translation Center, Zhang Wenjiang, assistant general manager of Shenhua Group, and Ren Yong, assistant general manager of Dongfeng Motor Corporation and other relevant staff members were all investigated for serious violations of the law before the end of the inspection.

—— Installing organization in localities that report directly to the center has been accelerated, and the superior disciplinary committee has further strengthened the leadership of the lower level Disciplinary Committee. On December 11, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee reviewed and approved the “Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection,” and decided to first have an important influence on the political life of the party and the country in the Central Office, the Central Organization Department, and the Central Propaganda Department. Seven central and state agencies set up a central disciplinary committee. In order to implement the requirements of the leaders of the above-mentioned disciplinary committees in dealing with corruption cases, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has started pilot reforms in Hebei, Zhejiang, Henan, Guangdong, Shaanxi, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the Ministry of Commerce, and the General Administration of Customs since April 2014. It will be fully promoted in 2015; the nomination and inspection of some district and unit disciplinary committee secretaries and deputy secretaries also carried out the new requirements of “the above-mentioned disciplinary committee and the organization department as the mainstay”.

2014这一年编辑

2014年,中央纪委监察部和各级纪检监察机关都很忙,而这种“忙”的背后,反映出党中央对党风廉政建设和反腐败工作的高度重视。

忙着“打虎”“拍蝇”

先说“打虎”。周永康、徐才厚的落马打破了以往被坊间认为是约定俗成的“惯例”,也显示了中央对腐败现象绝不姑息、对腐败分子绝不手软的坚定决心。

而在山西,对“塌方式腐败”的查处力度并未因5名省委常委的落马而减速,今年1月至11月山西共查处县处级以上领导干部要案141人,其中厅级干部21人,山西五大省属煤炭集团原“一把手”全部折戟,高平市两任市委书记、四任市长“前腐后继”被查处,反腐力度之大令人咂舌。中央纪委继委派中央纪委常委、监察部原副部长黄晓薇任山西省委常委、纪委书记后,又空降中央纪委第一纪检监察室原主任迟耀云至山西任省纪委常务副书记,也充分说明了中央对山西反腐败工作的高度重视,绝不会“抓到一定程度就收手”,而是要对腐败问题一查到底。

军队反腐在2014年进入一个新高潮,徐才厚成为新中国成立后首个因贪腐落马的军委前副主席,杨金山、高小燕、马向东等一批军队高级领导干部接受调查,查处人数和级别均创近年来新高。

总结2014年查处的案件特点,会发现中央纪委将查处对象主要聚焦在三类人身上:一是十八大后不收敛不收手的干部,如万庆良、韩先聪、谭力等人,在被查前还在打高尔夫球、出入会所吃喝玩乐;二是问题线索反映集中、群众反映强烈的干部,如华润集团原董事长宋林,长期被群众公开举报;三是现在重要岗位且可能还要提拔使用的领导干部为重点,如青海省原省委常委毛小兵、内蒙古自治区原党委常委潘逸阳等。

再来说说“拍蝇”。打开中央纪委监察部网站的“案件查处”栏目,可以看到几乎每天都有各省区市和部门报送的案件查处情况。据不完全统计,截至12月28日,发布的案件信息已达688条。各地区各部门相继查处了一批在本地区本部门有影响的大案要案,全国纪检监察机关接受信访举报、函询、谈话、了结处理、立案、结案、给予党纪政纪处分、涉嫌犯罪移送司法机关处理等多项指标均达到了纪委恢复组建以来最高值。

忙着狠纠“四风”

12月15日至18日,在中央八项规定实施两周年之际,由中央纪委宣传部与中央电视台联合制作的四集电视专题片《作风建设永远在路上——落实八项规定精神正风肃纪纪实》在央视黄金时段播出,社会反响强烈。正如片中所反映的,今年以来,中央和各级纪检监察机关贯彻落实中央八项规定精神毫不松懈,围绕一个个节点持续发力:“五一”前夕,中央纪委监察部网站开通了纠正“四风”监督举报直通车,每周点名道姓通报曝光;“端午”前夕,中央纪委监察部网站推出“清廉过端午——纪检监察机关在行动”专题,开设举报窗口,欢迎干部群众对公款购买赠送粽子等节礼的不正之风进行监督;“中秋”前夕,中央纪委监察部网站开通公款送月饼等“四风”问题举报窗,同时恢复每周通报曝光各级纪检监察机关查处的违反中央八项规定精神问题;在2015年元旦春节前夕,中央纪委监察部网站又推出元旦春节期间“四风”问题监督举报曝光专区,欢迎广大网友对公款购买赠送贺卡、年货节礼等不正之风进行监督举报……

为了加强对“四风”问题的监督力度,中央纪委建立了月报制度,每月通报全国查处违反中央八项规定精神问题汇总表,定期向社会公布查处情况。据统计,截至11月30日,全国共查处违反中央八项规定精神的问题73332起,处理党员干部96788人,其中,给予党纪政纪处分29026人。

此外,中央纪委监察部网站还先后在“五一”和“中秋”前夕建立了违反八项规定案件周周通报制度,先后点名道姓通报曝光了全国各地区各单位一批违反八项规定的典型案例,起到了强烈的震慑作用。据不完全统计,截至12月28日,各省区市纪委先后134次共对925起典型问题进行通报曝光。

忙着改革体制

今年6月30日,中共中央政治局召开审议通过《党的纪律检查体制改革实施方案》,对党的十八大和十八届三中全会提出的纪律检查体制改革进行具体部署。中央和各级纪检监察机关立行立改,条件不成熟的内容先试点,试点经验一成熟立刻推开,使得纪律检查体制在一年中发生了巨大的变化:

——党委在党风廉政建设中负主体责任的意识得到大大强化。以往,不少单位的“一把手”都认为党风廉政建设是纪委书记、纪检组长的责任,对反腐倡廉工作抱着“事不关己高高挂起”的态度。2014年,这一观念得到了根本性的扭转,中央纪委领导同志多次主持召开专题座谈会,约谈省(区、市)、中央和国家机关部委、中央企事业单位、国有金融机构党委(党组)书记,要求强化党的观念,落实主体责任,层层传导压力。

——巡视制度改革迈出新步伐,专项巡视成为新常态。2014年完成了对21个省区市(含新疆生产建设兵团)开展常规巡视和对19个部门和国有企事业单位的专项巡视。2014年中央巡视组第二轮巡视结束后,在不到两年时间内实现了对31个省区市和新疆生产建设兵团的巡视全覆盖。同时,在前两轮试点对6家单位进行专项巡视的基础上,中央纪委在第三轮巡视中全面推开专项巡视这一新形式。与常规巡视相比,专项巡视用时缩短近一半,但更加机动灵活,哪里有问题就巡视哪里,谁问题突出就巡视谁,循着问题线索而去。另一个值得关注的显著特点是,专项巡视中发现案件线索立即移交查处、动作很快,目前中石化石油工程技术服务公司原总经理薛万东,文化部中国录音录像总社原社长、党委书记王笑然,中国联通网络分公司副总经理兼网络建设部总经理张智江,中国国际广播电台影视译制中心原主任王刚建,神华集团公司总经理助理张文江,东风汽车公司总经理助理任勇等6家单位的有关工作人员,均是在专项巡视尚未结束时已因严重违纪违法被立案调查。

——派驻机构全覆盖步伐加快,上级纪委对下级纪委的领导进一步加强。12月11日,中共中央政治局常委会议审议通过《关于加强中央纪委派驻机构建设的意见》,决定首先在中央办公厅、中央组织部、中央宣传部等对党和国家政治生活具有重要影响的7家中央和国家机关设立中央纪委派驻机构。为落实查办腐败案件以上级纪委领导为主的要求,从2014年4月开始,中央纪委在河北、浙江、河南、广东、陕西和国务院国资委、商务部、海关总署开展了改革试点工作,并将于2015年全面推开;部分地区、单位纪委书记、副书记的提名考察中还贯彻了“以上级纪委会同组织部门为主”的新要求。

Posted in Law 法律, Politics 政治 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imprisoned Rights Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Gets First Family Visit in Four Years

Online article by Li Wenzu, wife of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang. Held incommunicado for three years, Wang Quanzhang was finally tried in December 2018, convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Original Chinese text follows the English translation.

I Finally Got to See My Husband Wang Quanzhang

The police led me, along with our son Quanquan and my sister-in-law Wang Quanxiu, into the conference room.

I stared at the man seated behind the glass wall and was able to recognize him as Wang Quanzhang. Excited, I smiled and waved but he only looked at me out of the corner of his eye without any expression and turned his head away from me. I started to get anxious but there as no time for that so I hurriedly sat down and picked up the telephone. Quanzhang, still expressionless, put his head down and dialed the phone.

I struggled to hold back the feelings flooding through me. Looking him in the face, I laughed, “Husband, long time no see…

Quanzhang’s eyes didn’t seem to focus. He didn’t look me in the eye. He stared with an empty gaze. I couldn’t tell what he was looking at. He slowly replied, “Long time no see.”
I quickly put our child in front of me, saying, “Quanquan, talk to Daddy.” When Quanzhang saw our son, the corners of his lips budged a little. That must have been a smile.

Quanquan excitedly called out “Daddy!” and asked, “Daddy have you been getting enough to eat?” Quanzhang replied slowly, “I am eating well. I eat fried dishes, steamed buns, steamed stuff buns, and I get supplemental meals too. I get everything I need…”

I picked up our son and my sister-in-law Wang Quanxiu took the phone and asked, “What do they give you for your supplemental meals?”

Quanzhang listened to Quanxiu’s question, looked me in the eye and then looked to one side. His expression again became wooden. From his mouth emerged a mumbled “What do they give for me for supplemental meals…”

Quanzhang started to scratch his head as if he were lost in deep, painful thought. He shook his bald head back and forth.

Suddenly, Quanzhang got anxious. His voice climbed an octave as he said, “I’m fine! Jail is very good for me! It’s not at all the way you think it is!!”

I hurriedly took the telephone back from Quanxiu and started to calm him down. “Quanzhang, don’t get excited, don’t get excited. Talk more slowly..”

Quanzhang got even more agitated. He looked away from my line of sight, lowered his head and chattered away, “I’m fine! I’m fine! Jail is very good for me. I have gotten fat. My high blood pressure is better now. I don’t even need to take medicine! Now I just take a calcium tablet. I take one every day. I have good living accomodations too…”

I started to cry, seeing Quanzhang’s thin face. He is 5’10”. Before he weighed 200 pounds. Was he really fat now? He was fair skinned before but now not only has his entire face darkened but the skin on his hands is dark too. Before he had two perfectly aligned front teeth. Now, to my surprise, I saw a wide chink between them.

I couldn’t stop crying. I just cried and cried. Quanquan sitting on my lap took tissue paper from my hands and wiped my tears. Quanzhang raised his head and looked me in the eye. His expression was still dull and wooden. He sat there and watched me cry as if I were a stranger and not the wife whom he hadn’t seen for four years.

My eyes blurred with tears, I looked at Quanzhang and now Quanzhang looked away again. I am his wife. Why doesn’t he look at me?

Quanzhang seemed to calm down a bit. He picked up a paper in front of him and said, “There is something I have to explain to you. I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember it so I wrote it down on paper.”

I listened intently to hear what he was about to tell me. Quanzhang began to speak rapidly, “I am worried about you… You shouldn’t be doing this. I think that it was becase Bian Xiaohui asked to see her husband in prison that she was detained. I am worried about you. Don’t do anything…”

(The case of Bian Xiaohui occurred before Quanzhang went to prison. Bian Xiaohui is a university student whose father was deprived of the right to receive visitors in prison because the father practiced Falung Gong. Bian insisted that a lawyer meet with his father and demonstrated in the street with a sign to protest. Bian was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison.)

Quanzhang kept saying over and over that he was worried about me, keeping his eye on the paper the whole time. Then he stopped as if he didn’t know what more to say and was looked for it on the piece of paper.

I quickly reassured him, “I am fine, Quanzhang. I am fine.”

Quanzhang again started to get agitated. He stared at the paper. He looked very troubled. His voice got higher again. “Don’t do this. I am worried about you. Take care of Quanquan, make sure he does well in school. This could have a bad effect on Quanquan!”

I comforted him, saying “Quanquan is fine, don’t worry about him!”
Quanzhang bowed his head, not looking at me, saying in a low voice, “This is bad for Quanquan. You don’t see it! You don’t know!”


I was astonished at Quanzhang’s reaction. He picked up the paper and turned it over and over in his hands. He didn’t look at me again. I saw that the paper was densely packed with his handwriting. His eyes didn’t see me. He looked down at nothing in particular. No matter what I said, he wouldn’t accept it.

Quanquan, sitting next to me, couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed the telephone to soothe his father, “Daddy, I am fine. I am really fine!” Quanzhang seemed not to have heard what Quanquan said. Out of his mouth still came that mumbling, “You can’t see it! You don’t know….”

Again I couldn’t help myself. I cried again.

The telephone beeped. Quanzhang said woodenly, “We have one more minute.”

Quanquan yelled, “Daddy, I love you!”. Quanzhang seemed robot-like as he responded woodenly in an even tone, “I love you too.”

The connection was cut off. Quanzhang got up. We got up too. The child put in hand on the glass. Quanzhang, with a wooden expression on his face, put his hand on the glass as well. Then he turned and left. I watched my eyes full of tears as his back receded some ten or so meters away. My tears flowed again. Four years. Astonishingly, he resembled nothing more than a well-programmed but rather dull wooden man. He didn’t even look back at his own wife and child.

Li Wenzu
June 28, 2019, at 8:30 pm in Linyi

May They Soon Be Reunited 早日团圆

drawing by Chinese artist Badiucao https://twitter.com/badiucao reproduced here with permission of the artist.

Chinese original text: https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1squasr

Prison Visit Ticket from Jianyi Prison, Shandong Province for a 30-minute visit on June 28, 2019 to prisoner Prisoner serial number 371503940 Wang Quanzhang, in the newly received prisoner section of the prison, by two relatives [elder sister] Wang Quanxiu and [wife] Liu Wenzu.

[Photos below from public entry of Wang Quanzhang wife Li Wenzu’s Facebook page.]

Linyi Shandong Province Prison Visitor Card
Reverse side of visit card from Linyi Shandong Provincial Prison
“The bearer should know:
1. The bearer should obey rules set for the visit.
2 During visitor processing, present this card and your national ID card.
3. This card is personal and may not be transferred to another person.

我终于见到了王全璋

我拉着儿子泉泉,和全秀姐一起被警察带着走进会见大厅。
我眼睛紧紧盯着玻璃墙里面坐着的男人,认出了那就是全璋。我激动地朝他笑并挥手。但是他瞟了我一眼,没有表情,还把头扭向一边不看我。我心里紧了一下,但顾不上多想,赶紧坐下,拿起电话。全璋没有表情,低着头,开始拨电话。
我努力平复着翻江倒海的心情,看着他的脸,笑着说:“老公,好久不见了……”
全璋的目光仿佛没有焦距,并没有与我四目相对。他目光空洞,不知道看向哪里,慢慢回了一声:“好久不见。”
我赶紧把孩子推到前面,说:“泉泉,叫爸爸。”全璋看见儿子,嘴角微微上挑了一下,算是笑了一下。
泉泉兴奋地叫了一声爸爸,说:“爸爸你吃得好吗?”全璋慢慢地回答:“吃得好,有炒菜,有馒头,有包子,有加餐,什么都有…..”我抱着儿子,全秀姐拿过话筒,问了一句:“加餐都加的什么?”
全璋听了全秀姐问话,朝我看了一眼,目光又转到一边,表情又回到木木的,嘴里喃喃道:“加餐加了什么……”
全璋开始挠头,仿佛陷入痛苦地思考中,左右晃着自己的光头。
突然,全璋一下子焦躁起来,说话声音都高了八度:“我很好!监狱对我很好!不是你们想的那样!!”
我赶紧从全秀姐手机里接过电话,开始安抚他:“全璋,别着急,别着急,慢慢说…..”

全璋更焦躁了,眼睛避开我的视线,低头不住地反反复复唠叨:“我很好!我很好!监狱对我很好!我长胖了。我高血压好了。我不吃药了!现在吃钙片,每天都吃。我住的也很好…..”
我眼泪流了下来,看着全璋瘦削的脸,他身高176,以前可是180斤的体重啊。他这叫胖了?他的皮肤本来是白皙的,但是现在除了脸变得很黑,手上的皮肤都是黑的了。他本来整整齐齐的两颗大门牙,中间竟然有了极宽的牙缝。
我的眼泪一直流,一直流。坐在我怀里的泉泉把我手里捏的纸巾掏出来,给我擦眼泪。全璋抬头看了我一眼。他的表情依然是呆滞的、麻木的。他看着我流泪,仿佛在看一个外人,而不是他四年未见的妻子。
我泪眼模糊地看着全璋,全璋又把视线移开了。我是他妻子,为什么他不看我呢??

全璋好像平静了一点儿,拿起了一直摊在他面前的一张纸,说:“我有事要交代你。我怕自己记不住,就写到纸上。”
我竖起耳朵,想听他交代事情。全璋开口,急促地说:“我担心你……你别做了…….你看卞晓晖就是要求会见,就被抓了。我担心你……你什么都不要做了…….”
(卞晓晖是全璋以前的当事人,是个大学生,自己父亲因练法轮功被剥夺会见权,卞坚持要求律师会见父亲,举牌抗议,就被抓了。判了四年。)

全璋反复说担心我,眼睛却盯着那张纸。说完一句,好像不知道再说什么,眼睛就在纸上找。
我赶紧安抚全璋:“没事,全璋。我没事……”
全璋又开始暴躁了起来,眼睛盯着纸,很痛苦的样子。嗓门再一次提高:“你不要做,我担心你。带好泉泉,让泉泉好好上学。泉泉受影响,对泉泉不好!”
我安慰他:“泉泉很好,你别担心!”
全璋低着头,不看我,低吼了起来:“泉泉不好,你看不出来!你不知道!”
我被全璋的反应惊住了。他拿的那张纸,他放在手中翻来覆去地,他再没看一眼。我看见上面密密麻麻写满了字。他眼睛不看我,无目的地看着地下 ,我说什么他似乎都无法接收。
泉泉在我旁边忍不住了,抓过电话,安抚着爸爸:“爸爸,我很好。真的很好!”全璋仿佛没有听见泉泉的话,嘴中依然叨叨着:“你看不出来。你不知道……..”
我眼泪再一次控制不住地流出来。
这时电话里“嘀”的一声,全璋木木地说了一句:“还有一分钟了。”
泉泉喊了一句:“爸爸,我爱你!”全璋仿佛机器人一般,木木地回复了语调平直的一句:“我也爱你。”

话筒里没声音了。全璋站起身,我们也站起身。孩子把手贴在玻璃上,全璋表情木木地也把手在玻璃窗上放了一下,然后转身,走了。十几米的路,我看着他的背影,眼泪又流了出来:四年了,他竟然像编好程序的呆滞的木头人,连回头看我们母子一眼都没有。

李文足
2019年6月28日晚8:30于临沂

Posted in Famous Chinese Political Court Cases 中国政治名案, Law 法律, Politics 政治, Society 社会 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PRC State-Sponsored Trash Talk/Media Infiltration in New Zealand

New Zealand Professor Anne-Marie Brady recently translated an anonymous poison pen letter on Chinese media infiltration in New Zealand and gave it to the New Zealand Parliament. This new information fits the pattern seen around the world and discussed in He Qinglian’s recent book published in Taiwan 紅色滲透:中國媒體全球擴張的真相 [Red Infiltration: the Truth About the Global Expansion of Chinese Media] that examines Chinese Communist Party and government infiltration and efforts to control Chinese language media outside of China.  https://gaodawei.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/he-qinglian-concerns-as-taiwan-faces-red-infiltration/   

See also Professor Brady’s work on Chinese Communist Party united front work and attempts to infiltrate Chinese communities overseas.

Read Professor Brady’s submission to the New Zealand Parliament and her paper “Magic Weapons: China’s Political Influence Activities Under Xi Jinping” to understand better the pattern the letter discussed here fits into.

Supplementary Submission to the New Zealand Parliament Justice Select Committee Inquiry into Foreign Interference Activities, 2019 Professor Anne-Marie Brady My qualifications to speak on this topic: I am a specialist in the politics of the People’s Republic of China (PRC, China) and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Party-State system; as well as polar issues, Pacific politics, and New Zealand foreign policy. I have published ten books and close to fifty scholarly papers on these topics. I was educated in Auckland, Shanghai, and Canberra. I am a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker with dual degrees up to PhD level in Chinese Studies and Political Science and International Relations. I am a Professor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury, as well as a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, and a member of the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (New Zealand). I have taught graduate and undergraduate courses at East China Normal University, Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, Beijing University, and Renmin University.

My comments in this submission are based on conclusions in my research published over the last thirty years. In researching these papers and books I referred to many thousands of Chinese language CCP materials and the comments I make here are based on those sources, as well as secondary sources on the CCP’s united front work. Justifications for supplementary submission of materials: I am forwarding my paper “Magic Weapons: China’s Political Influence Activities Under Xi Jinping” as a supplementary submission document, as the paper was referred to several times during the oral submission meeting of the Justice Select Committee Inquiry into Foreign Interference on May 9, 2019. One of the members of the Justice Select Committee also asked for concrete examples of how New Zealand is being affected by corrupting, corrosive, and coercive foreign interference activities and the paper provides many examples which answer this question.

From Professor Brady’s Twitter feed:

Not Merely Trash Talk but Evidence of PRC Infiltration of NZ Domestic Chinese–language Media

The interesting thing here is not so much the Chinese language trash talk literature here explicated but that it is state-sponsored trash talk.  Students of Chinese language will find the notes interesting in themselves!

I have copied extensive excerpts from the file since I suspect many people will be put off by the trash talk and may not persist to the notes. This is not mere trash talk about a New Zealand politician but state (or should I saw Party) sponsored trash talk in NZ domestic Chinese language media and direct PRC interference in New Zealand domestic affairs.

Read the entire file at https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/52SCJU_EVI_78888_JU67811/e6823069b9502f8828fa31a9cfe381b0896d1a39

Cover Letter to Anonymous Expose Translated the New Zealand Parliament by Prof. Brady

Prof. Brady’s introduction to the English translation of the letter


Translator’s Note: As requested by the Justice Select Committee1 I have translated the Chinese section of an anonymous letter I received on February 13, 2018, which I provided as a supplementary submission to the Committee. The letter is relevant to the Justice Select Committee’s Inquiry on Foreign Interference Activities in New Zealand as it provides concrete examples of how the Chinese government directs New Zealand’s Chinese language media. The model of control for the diaspora media is similar to that in the Chinese Mainland, it does not matter who owns the media outlet, they must work within CCP censorship guidelines or be forced out of business. 2 The only exceptions are Falungong papers and a few other hardy dissident media platforms. The diaspora commercial media–like the PRC media— operates “between the Party line and the bottom line”. 3 

The anonymous letter alleges that the Chinese government is behind an “evil and obscene attack” on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the New Zealand Chinese media (as well as against the Right Hon Winston Peters). This translation translates an example from the New Zealand Chinese media of that slander against the New Zealand Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Peters. This translated section is from a post on the HouGarden website in January 20184 and screenshots of user posts in response to the original story. HouGarden is a Chinese language, New Zealand-based news and property website.5 The letter outlines how the Chinese government is allegedly directing and controlling the New Zealand media Chinese-language platforms via a combination of incentives and punishments. The letter provides photographic evidence to back up these claims. 

Translated by Professor Anne-Marie Brady, University of Canterbury, New Zealand6   

Warning: the translation, as well as the Chinese original, contains vulgar language that may offend some readers.


From Professor Brady’s notes to her translation of the letter: 

2. As discussed in Anne-Marie Brady, “Magic Weapons: China’s Political Influence Activities Under Xi Jinping,” conference paper presented at the conference on “The Corrosion of democracy under China’s global influence,” September, 16-17 2017,https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/magic-weapons-chinas-politicalinfluence-activities-under-xi-jinping. 3 Zhao Yuezhi, Between the Party Line and the Bottom Line: Media, Market, and Democracy in China, Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1998. 

4 The original post is here: https://nz.hougarden.com/news/winston-petersgodfather-24012018, but the comments section has now been removed. 

https://nz.hougarden.com/news/localhttps://nz.hougarden.com/. 6 I am a specialist in the politics of the People’s Republic of China (PRC, China) and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Party-State system; as well as polar issues, Pacific politics, and New Zealand foreign policy. I have published ten books and close to fifty scholarly papers on these topics. I was educated in Auckland, Shanghai, and Canberra. I am a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker with dual degrees up to PhD level in Chinese Studies and Political Science and International Relations. I am a Professor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury, as well as a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, a nonresident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, and a member of the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (New Zealand). I have taught graduate and undergraduate courses at East China Normal University, Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, Beijing University and Renmin University.


  My comments in this translation and in my submission to the Inquiry on Foreign Interference in New Zealand are based on conclusions in my research published over the last thirty years. In researching these papers and books I referred to many thousands of Chinese language CCP materials and the comments I make here are based on those sources, as well as secondary sources on the CCP’s united front work. 


7 老皮, Lǎo Pí which can be translated as “Old P”, “Old Skin”, “Old Pi”, “Old Leather”, “Old Fur”, “Old Naughty”, “Old Rascal” and potentially also interpreted to mean “Old Fart”, “Old Bum”, plus many other dialect interpretations listed below, is the colloquial nickname commonly used in the New Zealand Chinese language media to refer to the Right Hon Winston Peters, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition government (2017-). The phrase could be interpreted as insulting and pejorative. It is certainly not the correct transliteration of Mr Peters’ name in Chinese and it is unusual to see media outlets using a potentially derogatory nickname in reference to a person’s actual name. The following remarks are based on consultations with colleagues and native speakers of Chinese of different age groups and linguistic backgrounds. Thanks to the many who assisted with this translation; more than can be listed. 


The official translation of Mr Peters name is: 温斯顿·彼得斯, is phonetic, using standard non-offensive characters for transliteration of the common English names “Winston” and “Peters” [the characters used mean: Warm. This. Pause –That. Obtain. Those]. It is the norm in Chinese translations to use non-offensive characters to transliterate foreigners’ names. Chinese dictionaries list standard transliterations of common foreign names. Xinhua News Service sets the norms on how foreign political leaders’ names should be transliterated and there is an official translation available. Yet in the New Zealand Chinese language media, the Right Hon Winston Peters’ name appears frequently as 老皮, or else as “皮特斯” a transliteration using the character 皮 (as discussed above, the surname Pi, skin, leather, fur, naughty, raffish, rascal, along with other meanings) as the choice of first character for his name. 


In 2017, the CCP formalised its efforts to implement censorship controls over the Chinese diaspora media, see “The 2nd Overseas Chinese New Media Summit Forum,” Sina, August 30, 2017, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2017-08-30/doc-ifykpuuh9583106.shtml. This policy has been the unwritten rule for at least 20 years. As the anonymous letter I submitted to the Justice Select Committee illustrates, regardless of who owns a foreign Chinese language media outlet or China focused media outlet, it must now conform to CCP censorship guidelines or it will be forced to close by means of intimidation such as removal of advertising or vexatious court cases. Thus, given that New Zealand’s Chinese language media are under pressure to closely follow the “Xinhua line” in their reporting of China-related issues, it is unusual and significant that they are using the 老皮 phrase to denote Mr Peters. 


A NZ-based website has discussed the significance of the New Zealand Chinese language media using 老皮 to transliterate Mr Peters’ name. This analysis concludes that the term is pejorative and it is meant to insult, see https://www.kannz.com/winston-peters/


According to University of Pennsylvania Sinologist Professor Victor Mair, in Dongbei topolect the term 老皮子 indicates people who are raffish or disrespectable. In Shaanxi 陝西 topolect “老皮” has a complex and essentially disapproving meaning: it could mean “老油條” (sic, “slippery customers”, “devious geezers”), people who are considered “很二” (reckless), and those who behave like scoundrels. The term “老皮” may also have an ironic meaning. For example in Shaanxi topolect, Tom cat in Tom and Jerry is referred to as “老皮”. (Victor Mair, email communication, 16 May 2019). The term also appears in a variant form in Wuhan topolect as 老耶皮 nao3ye1pi, a derogatory term for an older person. See Dictionary of Wuhan Dialect, Jiangsu Publishing House, 1995, and an example of the term in use here http://bbs.cnhan.com/thread-20983041-4-1.html (Jichang Lulu, email communication, May 21, 2019). 


A google search of “老皮 Winston Peters” in the news media appeared 98 times. For example the NZME publication the Chinese Herald, sister paper to the NZ Herald, often uses the term. See for example: 

 8 宝宝 Bǎobǎo,is a pet name that could be translated as “bubbie”, “baby”, “bubs”, darling”, “precious”. Here it appears to be used ironically. 

9 干爹, gandie, traditionally meant foster father, adopted father, or godfather. But in modern usage it has come to mean “Sugar Daddy”. It is used to describe the relationship between an older man and a much younger woman. An example of use by netizens is a China-based Wikihow page on: “How to fish for a sugar daddy” 如何钓到多金“干爹” https://zh.wikihow.com/%E9%92%93%E5%88%B0%E5%A4%9A%E9%87 %91%E2%80%9C%E5%B9%B2%E7%88%B9%E2%80%9D See also PRC state-media usage: China National Radio via People’s Daily Online listing the heroines of Sugar-Daddy Culture. 细数“干爹文化”的女主 角们(组图) http://legal.people.com.cn/n/2013/0228/c188502-20629417.html And some New Zealand-relevant sources http://www.chinesenzherald.co.nz/news/socialmedia/this-is-us-20180523/ 

新西兰一周收入 8000 纽币,“找干爹”网站毁三观! https://m.sohu.com/n/419626621/ 

10 This sentence parodies a famous Tang dynasty couplet by Wang Bo 王 勃, “落霞与孤鹜齐飞,秋水共长天一色” from the poem “Preface on King Teng’s Pavilion” (滕王阁序). Victor Mair has translated the key phrase as “Evening clouds descend and fly along together with a single lonely wild duck/Autumn’s waters coalesce in a single shade with the outstretched heavens.“ (Victor Mair, ed., Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 550.) Email communication, Professor Olga Lomová, Charles University, May 21, 2019. 

11 钦定 qinding, a term used when the imperial court issues a decree. 

12 一对狗男女, yidui gou nannű. This is an extremely vulgar term in Chinese, as it is in English. An explanation of the meaning here: https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/106417414.html  13 In other words: a warning, not a reward. 


14 啊登 Ah Deng is a mildly disrespectful name for Prime Minister Ardern, see also 阿爾登, which commonly appears in Taiwanese reports on NZ. Ah Deng simply repeats the sound of Ms Ardern’s name in Chinese characters without any particular meaning. However, the official translation of Jacinda Ardern’s name in Chinese used by the PRC government and in the PRC media is: 杰辛达·阿德恩. In this translation of Ardern, the characters for her surname can be translated as “Ms Moral Empathy”. 

15 Commonly an abbreviation of the phrase 扯鸡巴蛋, a vulgar term which is equivalent to “what a wank”. 

16 老来得子 Refers to a popular love story in Chinese of intrigues concerning the children of a young woman and her much older husband. https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E8%80%81%E6%9D%A5%E5%BE%97%E 5%AD%90 

17 On the current Confidence and Supply Agreement of the Green Party to the Coalition government see https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/NZLP%20%26%20GP%20C% 26S%20Agreement%20FINAL.PDF

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Lawyer Dan Harris on How US business in China Can Protect Itself

Two May 2019 articles by Dan Harris of the Harris Bricken law firm  how on how US and I expect Canadian business in China can protect themselves somewhat against the recent Chinese government extraordinarily aggressive enforcement of both laws and regulations. One must keep socialist legalities in mind.  


“What concerns me most about this latest announcement though is that some companies operating 100% legally in China are going to get pushed out simply because of who they are and for that there likely is little to no cure.”

Perhaps we are in the middle of a business climate race to the bottom! Petty bourgeois legalities place some restraints on the US and Canada.  There are conceivably less in the People’s Republic.


I copied the first few paragraphs and each article with URL  links to the articles on chinalawblog.com


Corporate legal person reincarnation is one of Harris’ suggestions.


 “If your WFOE or your Rep Office or your Joint Venture share is American or Canadian owned, consider forming a new company (“Newco”) in a country with good relations with China and selling the WFOE Joint Venture share or Rep Office package to that Newco.”

Want to Keep Your Business in China? Do These Things NOW

By Dan Harris on May 31, 2019

China today announced that it will be ridding China of unreliable people and companies. See China is establishing an ‘unreliable entities’ list that will include companies and people. Specifically, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced it will kick out of China “foreign enterprises, organizations and individuals that do not comply with market rules, violate the spirit of contract, block or cut supplies to Chinese firms with non-commercial purposes, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”

What exactly does this mean for your company if it is doing business in China? What can you do to reduce the risk of being deemed unreliable and being booted out of the country?

If past performance is any indicator of future performance — and I firmly believe it is — we know well what foreign companies must do to avoid China problems going forward and we set out those things below. Before anyone panic (too much), let me just say that for the past decade or so, China has consistently gotten tougher on foreign businesses in China that are not operating legally there and though this announcement is a really big deal, it is more a change in scope than it is in kind.

Read the rest online at https://www.chinalawblog.com/2019/05/want-to-keep-your-business-in-china-do-these-things-now.html


and

The US-China Cold War Starts Now: What You Must do to Prepare

By Dan Harris on May 8, 2019

Since the very beginning of US-China trade negotiations we have been unequivocally negative on the likelihood of a deal and we have taken huge amounts of heat for that, via hate e-mail, online, and even from our own clients, some of whom have accused us of being too cynical or too negative about China. Our response to all of this has been consistent. We just kept saying that NOW was (and it still is!) the time for foreign companies (especially those that sell their products to the United States) to work hard on reducing their China footprint.

We first publicly sounded this warning call back in October, 2018, in China, the United States and the New Normal, though we had been warning our own clients months about this for months. This “New Normal” post was an attempt to get in the face of those who had been sending our lawyers hate mail because we had in a September 2018 post predicted manufacturing orders from China were declining and would continue to decline:

I got a badly written and vituperative email yesterday in response to my post, On the Impact of China Tariffs: Is This a Dead Cat Bounce? In my post I predicted a large decline in manufacturing orders from China, starting in the next few months. The email accused me of “hating China” and wanting “to impede its peaceful” rise and of being “jealous of its progress.” All this because we have been writing of late how so many of our law firm’s own clients and so many others are leaving China, or looking to leave China. We have been getting quite a lot of these sorts of emails lately.

Read the rest online at https://www.chinalawblog.com/2019/05/the-us-china-cold-war-starts-now-what-you-must-do-to-prepare.html

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He Qinglian: Concerns as Taiwan Faces “Red Infiltration”

He Qinglian has a good commentary in the May 28th Dajiyuan (Epoch Times in Chinese) discussing her just-concluded three week speaking tour in Taiwan. A bit of an ad for her recent excellent  book (I’ve been reading it — (full disclosure) she sent me a copy) .  Red Infiltration: Global Expansion of Chinese Media Just Published in Taiwan earlier on this blog at He Qinglian’s New Book Red Infiltration: Global Expansion of Chinese Media Just Published in Taiwan

 I recommend Red Infiltration (not translated yet helas) to anyone who is sinoliterate. The book is well-organized and not a difficult read. 

The conclusion to her article really really grabbed me.  


“Taiwan’s difficulty in safeguarding its democracy is not less difficult than was building democracy in Taiwan. Nothing is smaller than the democratic system that was built that year. If we look at the world’s four largest Chinese communities, we see Hong Kong with its freedoms and the rule of law but no democracy. Under the erosion of “one country, two systems”, freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong are now in jeopardy. Singapore has democracy (elections) and the rule of law but no freedom. Mainland China has neither democracy nor rule of law nor freedom. Among all the world’s largest Chinese communities, only Taiwan has it all.

Taiwan contradicts the argument that “Democracy is not suitable for Chinese people.” This is what I most worry about when I look at Taiwan. I believe that some Chinese people agree with me and along with me hope that the people of Taiwan will cherish their hard-won democratic rights and use their votes to elect leaders who can protect Taiwan’s political security and protect Taiwan’s democratic system. #”

That passage reminded me of a lunch I had a few years ago when I worked in China. I was dining with a Chinese Communist Party member and his friends.  During our conversation, I mentioned that China can learn a lot from Taiwan democracy, and really should be looking to Taiwan rather than the United States since it is much easier to learn from a society that has the same Chinese culture and the same language — in order learn about how a democratic society operates.  The Party comrade paused, looked around the table, then up at the ceiling as if looking for bugs and then said to me in a low voice “We all know that but we can’t say so!”

He Qinglian: Concerns as Taiwan Faces “Red Infiltration”

On May 25, while I was flying back to the United States from Taipei, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry issued a high-profile statement disclosing that Taiwan’s National Security Council Secretary-General Li Dawei visited White House National Security Advisor John Bolton during his US trip and that the name of the Taiwan’s representative office in the United States had changed from the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNA) to the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs (TCUSA). This has important political significance for Taiwan given the pressure it is under from Beijing. Taiwan made this statement not only China sees Taiwan as a Chinese province which has not yet been united with China and has never given up its determination to force unification by military force but even more important, because of Beijing’s “Red Infiltration” of every sector of Taiwan society has put very much on its guard. Under these circumstances, maintaining a closer relationship with the United States has become a safe option for Taiwan.

Red Infiltration has become “the Elephant in the Room” in Taiwan

My new book, 《红色渗透:中国媒体全球扩张的真相》[Red Infiltration: The Truth About the Global Expansion of Chinese Media], was published in Taiwan in March 2019. At the publisher’s invitation, my husband and I went to Taiwan in May. This was my first trip to Taiwan since 2000. I have been there three times in all. My first two trips were short and busy. This time, I decided to stay for longer – 24 days – so that I could share the speaker’s platform with Yu Jie. Invitations poured in and so the itinerary kept changing so we had only five or six days for traveling around Taiwan. We were able to meet a cross section of the most representative people in Taiwan. I gave over ten lectures at National Taiwan University, Zhongzheng University, Sun Yat-Sen University, National Taiwan University of Political Science and many other institutions. I took part many symposiums, gave over ten interviews, and had a good opportunity to meet people in Taiwan. I only had two meetings with readers of my book but the publisher was quite happy about them.

During discussions of my my book I found that although “Red Infiltration” analyzes the Chinese Communist Party’s global propaganda efforts and only Chapter Five “The Chinese Government’s Red Infiltration of the Chinese Government of the Taiwan Media” addresses Taiwan and my work was based on documents and materials published in Taiwan over the past twenty year, I was amazed at the strong reaction and deep resonance the book found in Taiwan. Whether it was in discussions after my talk or during panel discussions, have caused me to be deeply shocked and resonate. Whether it is the dialogue after the speech or the discussion, people from all walks of life in Taiwan basically agree with my analysis of the Chinese Communist Party’s red infiltration of Taiwan:

  1. Politically, a group of pro-communist people within the Kuomintang Party acts as the Communist Party’s agents in Taiwan. These people are found in all walks of life in Taiwan. People in Taiwan know their names. During Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency, Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Party became very close. During this time, the signing of the cross-straits integration service agreement with the mainland showed that some people serving China’s political agenda had done their work.
  2. Economically, most Taiwanese businessmen who invested in the mainland have maintained good relations with the Chinese Communist Party to protect their own interests. A small number of Taiwanese businessmen dare not show their true attitudes even if they do not like the Chinese Communist Party. This makes it easy for mainland China to achieve its goal of “using business people to constrain government officials” and let Taiwanese businessmen exercise their influence on Taiwan’s political circles.
  3. Culture: infiltration of Taiwan’s media industry and universities. Red Infiltration includes a detailed analysis and description of the infiltration of the Taiwan media industry. In academia and publishing, permission to visit the mainland is used to exert control over academia and the publishing industry. If you are friendly to the mainland, academics can visit the mainland every year and be received by relevant units and help finding needed research materials. The publishing industry can maintain cultural exchanges with the mainland and export books to the mainland. The mainland is a big market so this is is a powerful incentive.
  4. The Chinese Communist Party is infiltrating Taiwan from top to bottom, from the palace temple culture down to the grassroots level. Most observers focus on political and economic affairs, so this is not very well known. I looked into it and found that an expose was written about this in 2017. In 2016, more than 100 small district heads [lizhang] from Taipei City went to Shanghai. The six-day and five-night trip cost them only NT$15,000 [USD 500]. In Shanghai, the Shanghai Taiwan Affairs Office hosted them. They were photographed under the banner “The Unification of China is Our Responsibility”. In 2017, some netizens broke the news that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was sharing a draft proposal for a Chinese Taipei Village Chiefs Federation and called on the Taiwanese small district [li] and village chiefs join it. Taiwan’s China Broadcasting Network examined this document, which addresses environmental protection culture and care for the elderly. Many people in Taiwan are suspicious of this and wonder if this is an effort by the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office to extend united front work to the grassroots level in Taiwan. The initiator of the preparatory meeting is Qin Ronghui, the president of the Taipei City Small District Chiefs’ Friendship Association. Taiwan’s village head and city small district chiefs are elected officials and so the Taiwan government cannot interfere. Taiwan people do worry however . However, Taiwanese are generally worried that during the 2018 and 2020 elections these local small district and village chiefs will canvass for candidates backed by the Chinese.

This is all very obvious so how did they ever become the neglected “elephant in the room”? The reason is very simple. The fight between the two major political parties in Taiwan has been going on for a long time. If someone brings them up, people will think that it is because they belong to the Green Camp [Democratic Progressive Party DPP]. Both Taiwanese scholars and think tanks have brought these issues up too but they are immediately labeled and the other camp generally refuses to believe them. Moderates also see this is just an argument between the political parties. I rarely go to Taiwan, and I have no connection with the two parties in Taiwan. However, I have published four books in Taiwan, which have had some influence. For people on Taiwan, an objective observation by an outsider is seen a being about the reality of Taiwan and is more readily accepted.

Taiwan’s Biggest Worry

Although the relationship between Taiwan and China is a relationship between Taiwan and the mainland, it is actually a triangular relationship between Taiwan and the United States. Talking with people from all walks of life in Taiwan, everyone said that the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party is close ideologically to the Democratic Party and accepts who most of its positions but the Republican Party in the US is more willing to help protect Taiwan’s security. People also realized that the Sino-US trade war has heated up and the relationship between the United States and China has deteriorated. This is a good time for Taiwan business people to return home. Taiwan has lost its status as one of the “Four Little Dragons”; its economy has been weak for for two decades. Taiwanese generally attribute this to Taiwan’s investment in the mainland and the hollowing out of Taiwan’s economy.

Now an opportunity has arrived but it is hard to see whether Taiwan will seize it. The 2020 election is just around the corner. Everything will be on hold until the new president takes office. At present, the two possible candidates for the DPP are Tsai Ing-wen and Lai Ching-te. The two possible candidates for the Kuomintang are Han Kuo-yu, Guo Taiming, and Ko Wen-je . The opinion polls of these people are constantly rising and falling. I have also asked a lot of Taiwanese people. American polls, which have traditionally been regarded as model polls, were not accurate in 2016. Has polling in Taiwan also been affected by party disputes? The answer is that some parties are competing for influence, but they have not seen the big mistakes of the US 2016 election. They generally draw conclusions based on a number of polls.

Having talked with dozens of people from all walks of life in Taiwan, although they all know that the results the 2020 elections in the United States and in Taiwan will affect Taiwan’s fate, no one can say what the results of the 2020 elections will be. Still, we can make some comments.

First, Taiwan voters know that their votes are important. If people want to be elected, they will need to [do grassroots politicking/canvassing] — “grab votes”. If you are not from Taiwan, it is hard to understand what “grab votes” means. Regarding Guo Taiming, many people in Taiwan have noted his strong, even overbearing character. Someone who demands a great deal of respect may well not be able to stand “grabbing votes”. An employee of Guo Taiming’s company was typical. He said he would never vote for Guo Taiming. He is a successful entrepreneur but that does not mean that he would make a good president.

Second, voters see the issues of Taiwan’s local elections and presidential elections differently. In 2018, Taiwan’s largest political party was indeed “Punish the DPP.” Both blue and green voters were dissatisfied in the third year of Tsai Ing-wen’s administration. Among them, the most ridiculous was the “eighteen beats” reform for that affected the interests of military personnel, public servants and teachers. The “weekly mandatory day off and one leave day” policy made both labor and employers unhappy. On other issues as well, such as green energy policy and legalization of gay marriage, the DPP lost the support of much of its base (lower and middle class people) in Green Camp. The Taiwanese I spoke with thought that this was unfavorable to Cai and was beneficial to Lai Qingde. However, the a local intellectual was the most optimistic. Voters views on unification or independence will be the most important factor in the presidential election.

Everyone believes that what happens in the coming months will depend on many things – the candidates, events in China or the United States. For instance, the Sun Flower Movement in 2013 came without warning.

Everyone admits that Beijing will definitely interfere in the 2020 Taiwan general election, but cannot predict just how it will intervene (without causing resentment in Taiwan) Taiwanese people generally have an impression: General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party is very strong, but he speaks off the cuff and often changes his mind. He mentioned Taiwan in his January speech (warning that unification with Taiwan is unstoppable and proposing a “one country, two systems” Taiwan plan, adding that he will not promise not to use force). Domestically Xi first pushed for the reform of state-owned enterprises than backed off. In the Sino-US trade war, Xi suddenly flipped over the negotiating table after over a year of arduous talks etc. Understanding the temperament of this elusive leader of the temperament who abolished “term limits.” No matter who is elected as the president, Taiwan will have to get along with him for more than one term. has to get along with him for more than one term. “That will be very tough.”

When asked if the Chinese Communist Party will, because relations with the United States are tense, choose to focus on a different contradiction and attack Taiwan? My answer is no. The reason is: Tibet, Xinjiang and other frontiers are not peaceful. Sino-US relations are tense and China’s own military reforms are far from complete. There are also many contradictions within the ruling group. Infiltration is the more likely threat to Taiwan. For the Chinese Communist Party, “spending money to buy Taiwan is better than fighting Taiwan”. This is an effective tactic. The people of Taiwan have become “frogs in warm water.” The pain of Hong Kong is not the pain of Taiwan. As regards to Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party has long indoctrinated 1.4 billion Chinese that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.” has long been the settled view of most Chinese.

Taiwan’s difficulty in safeguarding its democracy is not less difficult than was building democracy in Taiwan. Nothing is smaller than the democratic system that was built that year. If we look at the world’s four largest Chinese communities, we see Hong Kong with its freedoms and the rule of law but no democracy. Under the erosion of “one country, two systems”, freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong are now in jeopardy. Singapore has democracy (elections) and the rule of law but no freedom. Mainland China has neither democracy nor rule of law nor freedom. Among all the world’s largest Chinese communities, only Taiwan has it all.

Taiwan contradicts the argument that “Democracy is not suitable for Chinese people.” This is what I most worry about when I look at Taiwan. I believe that some Chinese people agree with me and along with me hope that the people of Taiwan will cherish their hard-won democratic rights and use their votes to elect leaders who can protect Taiwan’s political security and protect Taiwan’s democratic system. #

Chinese original text at http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/5/28/n11285579.htm

何清涟:台湾在“红色渗透”之下的焦虑感

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