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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The “Oh How did we go wrong?” Question

However Did Our China Crystal Balls Fail Us?

I have been noticing some people asking the question “How did we get China wrong?”

My thinking is that engagement by western people and western government with Chinese people has been very influential.  As much from the ideas that there are alternative ways of running an economy, organizing a society and figuring out how to constitute a state. I remember reading Qian Ning’s Liuxue Meiguo  留学美国 online at   http://www.shuhai.org/books/5750-%E7%95%99%E5%AD%A6%E7%BE%8E%E5%9B%BD/    [Studying in America]  back in 1996  (later translated into English by T.K. Chu and published by the University of Washington Press  https://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/QIACHI.html ]   Qian concluded that the demonstration that there are alternative ways of doing things  was the most powerful takeaway from the Chinese students encounter with US university education.

Governments and political parties have their own calculus of power which are much less open to foreign influence.  Insomuch as a political party or government is influenced by changes in the thinking of its people there could be some influence pass through.   True democratic opening would threaten the life of the Communist Party and its one-party rule of the people’s democratic dictatorship since 1949. The village elections that got so much attention during fifteen years ago were not a threat since the village is not a level of government in the PRC. They did have one election for a township government (the lowest unit of government) in Sichuan in 2005 thereabouts but the election result was immediately cancelled.

Things Just Keep on Changing

The degrees and kinds of engagement with China at a particular time depends upon perceptions of China and opportunities for cooperation at the state, business and individual levels. These change all the time. From the Soviet threat of the 70s, to the opening of the 80s as China, in the second founding of the PRC, underwent a vast re-organization all the while keeping intact the principle of party leadership and the people’s democratic dictatorship (My major takeaway from Zhao Ziyang’s memoir is that he really believed in legality and following the party constitution. Deng had a different idea. Party leader Hu Yaobang was revered by Tibetans for the tolerance and changes he wrought in his fairly brief period].   

So China changed, perceptions changed and assessments of the potential for cooperation on the government, business/organizations and individual levels kept on changing.

Now we have the Xi Jinping time in which the Chinese Communist Party is even more in a defensive crouch than before.  There has always been that element, but things of gotten steadily  trending tighter with mild swings up and down around sensitive dates  since Hu Jintao came in. The last years of Jiang Zemin might be remembered as much more open than the China of today.  The color revolution time in Central Asia sees to have given the Party a scare. Even the fake wave of country  wide demos of the so-called Jasmine Revolution.  The massive response to very little showed just how worried the party is. 

Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping are different as party leaders. I do see Hu – Xi continuity however in the narrow sense of a long-term tightening on differing or dissenting voices.  One of my Chinese friends after Hu’s first year said, give him time, he said “Everybody tightens up in their first year.”  But it kept getting tighter with the usual fluctuations. Hu Jintao did a lot for rural people. I was impressed at the improvements in rural areas of Sichuan I visited during my five years in Chengdu.   Peasants got health insurance albeit on at the level of an unemployed urban resident for the first time under Hu Jintao.  Hu doesn’t usually get credit in the West for the good things he did — a common problem for the Party since their credibility is generally fairly low at least outside of China. 

Engagement with Individuals and Organizations Influential; Party Sees Political Peril in Opening Up

So I would say that engagement on the personal and private organization level has been very influential.  How the government and Party responds is quite another matter.  A Chinese internal matter. In the end, only the Chinese change China.  The result of increasing influence of ‘western ideas”  (setting to one side the western ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin of course) seems to have been an even greater defensive crouch.

The Star Trek Timeline, Contingency, Teleology!

 So I think the problem is the question, or rather the idea behind “How Did We  Go Wrong?”  Guess the ESP didn’t work out.  It is a bit of a whiggish question, an ersatz foreign-Chinese brand of whiggishness to be sure  “China has been inexorably marching towards Xi Jinping for decades and we should have known that.” There are lots of contingencies, we just don’t know because we are on our particular timeline as they would say in Star Trek! 

Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy: It’s Not Only China

Where does the question come from?  As people who follow China, we often see issues the party and government addresses at home and in foreign policy as having domestic roots.  The Cultural Revolution for example, dominated Chinese foreign policy. He Qinglian points out in her recent book on Chinese language ideological and media infiltration work abroad (no English translation yet) 红色参透:中国媒体全球扩张的真相 [Red Infiltration: The Truth About the Global Expansion of China’s Media] Chinese diplomats worldwide became well known for passing out copies of Chairman Mao’s thoughts and encouraging revolutionaries in Africa, Asia and Latin American to be inspired by Mao’s thought.

My supposition is that much of this “How Did We Go Wrong” is a sort of “Who Lost China?” question.   In the U.S. it is a club for the current administration to beat up its predecessors.  One of my State Department friends used to joke about a new officer arriving at the Embassy.  The saying, probably which probably goes back to the ancient Babylonian Foreign Ministry, goes that all predecessors are incompetent; all successors are usurpers

Now I would have to caveat a bit and say that it always has been useful to keep the people’s democratic dictatorship in mind. China never did stop being totalitarian — though I think it is fair to say the PRC was refounded in the late 1970s since there were important breaks with the past, an important foundation element that remained was one Party rule and the people’s democratic dictatorship. 

China Totalitarian But Has Been Called Merely Authoritarian (Just to be Polite?!)

My thoughts on that continuity I put on another blog posting.   https://gaodawei.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/is-china-totalitarian-or-authoritarian/

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Job Description: Chinese Communist Party United Front Work Department

The role of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee in foreign affairs work was adjusted in 2018 to give it the leadership and coordination role of Communist Party and PRC state work in contacting individual Overseas Chinese [Chinese citizens] and their relatives and their organizations. A 2018 Chinese Communist Party document defines the scope of United Front Work Department’s tasks outside China.

Begin translation

United Front Work Department Role From Part 15 of Adjustment in PRC Central Committee “Plan for Deepening Reform of Party and State Organizations” (March 2018)

The Central United Front Work Department comprehensively manages overseas Chinese affairs. In order to strengthen the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over overseas united front work and to better unify and coordinate work with Overseas Chinese and Returned Overseas Chinese now residing in China as well as their relatives and so that mass organizations can more effectively carry out their role, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council has been folded into the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee. The United Front Work Department continues to do business overseas under the name of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council. After this adjustment, the main duties of the Central United Front Work Department in overseas Chinese affairs are to

  • Take the overall lead in overseas united front work;
  • Manage administrative matters in Overseas Chinese affairs;
  • Formulate policies and plans for overseas Chinese affairs;
  • Investigate and study the situation of Overseas Chinese both inside and outside of China and the state of work on Overseas Chinese affairs;
  • Take charge of overall planning and coordination of the work of the related departments and social organizations relating to Overseas Chinese;
  • Maintain contact with Hong Kong, Macao and related overseas organizations and representative persons;
  • Guide and promote propaganda work relating to the Overseas Chinese;
  • Promote cultural exchanges and Chinese language education etc.

The responsibilities of maintaining friendly contact etc. with overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese associations formerly assigned to the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council are assigned to the Chinese Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. The Federation will serve as a transmission belt for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government in contact with the vast number of returned overseas Chinese, their relatives and overseas Chinese residing abroad.

The separate office of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council is abolished.

End translation

(十五)中央统战部统一管理侨务工作。为加强党对海外统战工作的集中统一领导,更加广泛地团结联系海外侨胞和归侨侨眷,更好发挥群众团体作用,将国务院侨务办公室并入中央统战部。中央统战部对外保留国务院侨务办公室牌子。 调整后,中央统战部在侨务方面的主要职责是,统一领导海外统战工作,管理侨务行政事务,负责拟订侨务工作政策和规划,调查研究国内外侨情和侨务工作情况,统筹协调有关部门和社会团体涉侨工作,联系香港、澳门和海外有关社团及代表人士,指导推动涉侨宣传、文化交流和华文教育工作等。 国务院侨务办公室海外华人华侨社团联谊等职责划归中国侨联行使,发挥中国侨联作为党和政府联系广大归侨侨眷和海外侨胞的桥梁纽带作用。 不再保留单设的国务院侨务办公室。 http://www.cidca.gov.cn/2018-03/21/c_129927132.htm

When I did this translation of section 15 relating to the United Front Work Department and their role in contacting and working with Overseas Chinese (defined as Chinese citizens living abroad), Chinese foreign residents who have returned to China and the families, I got into a tangle and wondered just broadly is ‘family of Chinese citizens abroad” not necessarily themselves Chinese citizens construed?  

I found an unfamiliar term 侨眷 qiaojuan. Qiaojuan refers to the relatives of Overseas Chinese. That term is defined in the PRC Law to Protect the Rights of Returned Overseas Chinese and their Relatives   《中华人民共和国归侨侨眷权益保护法》[copied below] as the parents, spouses, children and their spouses, brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren as well as other relatives in a long-term adoptive relationship with Overseas Chinese or Returned Overseas Chinese. 

Challenge and Response

New Zealand: China Scholar Anne-Marie Brady on United Front Work Outside China and in New Zealand

Anne-Marie Brady, a long-time scholar of Chinese Communist Party United Front Work recently made a presentation to the New Zealand Parliament Justice Select Committee Inquiry into Foreign Interference

1. Efforts to control the Chinese diaspora

The CCP adopts a carrot and stick approach to those it targets within the Chinese diaspora community: financial opportunities and honours for those who cooperate; harassment, denial of passport or visa rights, and detention for family members living in China for those who do not. In the Xi era the most heavily policed sector of the Chinese diaspora are the Uighurs living abroad; along with Tibetans and activists from the Han Chinese community. New Zealand currently has a population of around 200,000 citizens and permanent residents who identify as Han Chinese, as well as smaller numbers of other ethnic groups within China, such as Tibetans and Uighurs.

Some of the key agencies: the CCP United Front Work Department and within it the State Council Overseas Chinese Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of State Security, PLA military intelligence, Chinese People’s Consultative Conference, the Zhigong Party, the China Association for Promoting Democracy, the Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the so-called “democratic” parties within the CCP-led political system whose main function is united front work.

Read Professor Brady’s entire presentation at https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/08/575479/anne-marie-bradys-full-submission# which include a discussion of the history and nature of United Front work, Chinese Communist Party interference in New Zealand’s internal affairs and how New Zealand might improve its resilience to such efforts.

Australia: Former China Correspondent and Australian government advisor John Garnaut on United Front Work in Australia

John Garnaut’s August 2018 article “Australia’s China reset” published August 2018 in The Monthly lays it all out.  Here are three paragraphs.  Read the entire article online at  https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2018/august/1533045600/john-garnaut/australia-s-china-reset

Reports have shown that the CCP is systematically silencing critics in Australia and co-opting Chinese-language media here to present favourable views. The party is “astroturfing” grassroots political movements to give the impression of Chinese community support for Beijing’s policies and leaders, while drowning out opponents. CCP-linked organisations are crowding out independent opportunities for ethnic Chinese political representation. They are channelling business and other professional opportunities to retired politicians and other influential Australians.

In 2015 the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) reportedly warned the major political parties that two of Australia’s most generous donors had “strong connections to the Chinese Communist Party” and that their “donations might come with strings attached”. In December 2017, an unsourced report in The Australian said ASIO had identified candidates at state and local government elections whom it believed had close ties to Chinese intelligence services “in what security officials assess as a deliberate strategy by Beijing to wield influence through Australian politics”. Most notoriously, a Labor Party senator, Sam Dastyari, was forced to retire after Fairfax Media revealed that he had recited Beijing’s South China Sea talking points while standing alongside a Chinese citizen donor – and then counselled the donor to place his phone aside to avoid surveillance of their conversation.

CCP interference reportedly grew so blatant that party officials used their arbitrary power over Australian prisoners in China and their capacity to influence elections in Australia as sources of diplomatic leverage. According to The Australian, China’s security chief, Meng Jianzhu, warned the Labor leadership about the electoral consequences of failing to endorse a bilateral extradition treaty: “Mr Meng said it would be a shame if Chinese government representatives had to tell the Chinese community in Australia that Labor did not support the relationship between Australia and China.”

Canada:  Concerns About Chinese Interference in Canadian Domestic Affairs and Rethinking China Policy

The National Post in January 2018: “How China uses shadowy United Front as ‘magic weapon’ to try to extend its influence in Canada — Its activities include influencing the Chinese diaspora to back China, co-opting foreign political and economic elites and promoting Beijing’s agenda worldwide”

Former Canadian Ambassador to China David Mulroney April 30, 2019 opinion piece “With lives at stake, Canada’s misguided vision of China demands a careful reboot published recently in The Globe and Mail argued that Canada needs to reconsider its China policy.


PRC Law to Protect the Rights of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Families
中华人民共和国归侨侨眷权益保护法


    (1990年9月7日第七届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第十五次会议通过 自1991年1月1日起施行 根据2000年10月31日第九届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第十八次会议《关于修改〈中华人民共和国归侨侨眷权益保护法〉的决定》修正)


    第一条 为了保护归侨、侨眷的合法的权利和利益,根据宪法,制定本法。
    第二条 归侨是指回国定居的华侨。华侨是指定居在国外的中国公民。
    侨眷是指华侨、归侨在国内的眷属。本法所称侨眷包括:华侨、归侨的配偶,父母,子女及其配偶,兄弟姐妹,祖父母、外祖父母,孙子女、外孙子女,以及同华侨、归侨有长期扶养关系的其他亲属。
    第三条 归侨、侨眷享有宪法和法律规定的公民的权利,并履行宪法和法律规定的公民的义务,任何组织或者个人不得歧视。国家根据实际情况和归侨、侨眷的特点,给予适当照顾,具体办法由国务院或者国务院有关主管部门规定。
    第四条 县级以上各级人民政府及其负责侨务工作的机构,组织协调有关部门做好保护归侨、侨眷的合法权益的工作。
    第五条 国家对回国定居的华侨给予安置。
    第六条 全国人民代表大会和归侨人数较多地区的地方人民代表大会应当有适当名额的归侨代表。
    第七条 归侨、侨眷有权依法申请成立社会团体,进行适合归侨、侨眷需要的合法的社会活动。 归侨、侨眷依法成立的社会团体的财产受法律保护,任何组织或者个人不得侵犯。
    第八条 中华全国归国华侨联合会和地方归国华侨联合会代表归侨、侨眷的利益,依法维护归侨、侨眷的合法权益。
    第九条 国家对安置归侨的农场、林场等企业给予扶持,任何组织或者个人不得侵占其合法使用的土地,不得侵犯其合法权益。在安置归侨的农场、林场等企业所在的地方,可以根据需要合理设置学校和医疗保健机构,国家在人员、设备、经费等方面给予扶助。
    第十条 国家依法维护归侨、侨眷职工的社会保障权益。用人单位及归侨、侨眷职工应当依法参加当地的社会保险,缴纳社会保险费用。
    对丧失劳动能力又无经济来源或者生活确有困难的归侨、侨眷,当地人民政府应当给予救济。
    第十一条 国家鼓励和引导归侨、侨眷依法投资兴办产业,特别是兴办高新技术企业,各级人民政府应当给予支持,其合法权益受法律保护。
    第十二条 归侨、侨眷在国内兴办公益事业,各级人民政府应当给予支持,其合法权益受法律保护。
    归侨、侨眷境外亲友捐赠的物资用于国内公益事业的,依照法律、行政法规的规定减征或者免征关税和进口环节的增值税。
    第十三条 国家依法保护归侨、侨眷在国内私有房屋的所有权。
    依法征用、拆迁归侨、侨眷私有房屋的,建设单位应当按照国家有关规定给予合理补偿和妥善安置。
    第十四条 各级人民政府应当对归侨、侨眷就业给予照顾,提供必要的指导和服务。归侨学生、归侨子女和华侨在国内的子女升学,按照国家有关规定给予照顾。
    第十五条 国家保护归侨、侨眷的侨汇收入。
    第十六条 归侨、侨眷有权接受境外亲友的遗赠或者赠与。
    归侨、侨眷继承境外遗产的权益受法律保护。归侨、侨眷有权处分其在境外的财产。
    第十七条 归侨、侨眷与境外亲友的往来和通讯受法律保护。
    第十八条 归侨、侨眷申请出境,有关主管部门应当在规定期限内办理手续。归侨、侨眷确因境外直系亲属病危、死亡或者限期处理境外财产等特殊情况急需出境的,有关主管部门应当根据申请人提供的有效证明优先办理手续。
    第十九条 国家保障归侨、侨眷出境探亲的权利。
    归侨、侨眷职工按照国家有关规定享受出境探亲的待遇。
    第二十条 归侨、侨眷可以按照国家有关规定申请出境定居,经批准出境定居的,任何组织或者个人不得损害其合法权益。 离休、退休、退职的归侨、侨眷职工出境定居的,其离休金、退休金、退职金、养老金照发。
    第二十一条 归侨、侨眷申请自费出境学习、讲学的,或者因经商出境的,其所在单位和有关部门应当提供便利。
    第二十二条 国家对归侨、侨眷在境外的正当权益,根据中华人民共和国缔结或者参加的国际条约或者国际惯例,给予保护。
    第二十三条 归侨、侨眷合法权益受到侵害时,被侵害人有权要求有关主管部门依法处理,或者向人民法院提起诉讼。归国华侨联合会应当给予支持和帮助。
    第二十四条 国家机关工作人员玩忽职守或者滥用职权,致使归侨、侨眷合法权益受到损害的,其所在单位或者上级主管机关应当责令改正或者给予行政处分;构成犯罪的,依法追究刑事责任。
    第二十五条 任何组织或者个人侵害归侨、侨眷的合法权益,造成归侨、侨眷财产损失或者其他损害的,依法承担民事责任;构成犯罪的,依法追究刑事责任。
    第二十六条 违反本法第九条第一款规定,非法占用安置归侨的农场、林场合法使用的土地,有关主管部门应当责令退还;造成损失的,依法承担赔偿责任。
    第二十七条 违反本法第十三条规定,非法侵占归侨、侨眷在国内私有房屋的,有关主管部门应当责令退还;造成损失的,依法承担赔偿责任。
    第二十八条 违反本法第二十条第二款规定,停发、扣发、侵占或者挪用出境定居的归侨、侨眷的离休金、退休金、退职金、养老金的,有关单位或者有关主管部门应当责令补发,并依法给予赔偿;对直接负责的主管人员和其他直接责任人员,依法给予行政处分;构成犯罪的,依法追究刑事责任。
    第二十九条 国务院根据本法制定实
    施办法。省、自治区、直辖市的人民代表大会常 务委员会可以根据本法和国务院的实施办法,制定实施办法。
    第三十条 本法自1991年1月1日起施行。
    
     (资料来源:全国人大华侨委员会办公室法案室《侨务法律法规实用手册》)

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Father Murdered in Cultural Revolution, Liu He Now PRC Vice Premier

During my ten years in China, many people told me stories of barely imaginable cruelties that took place during the political campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s.

I knew Environmentalist Tang Xiyang. Tang told me how his wife, a middle school teacher, had been murdered by her own students because she refused to divorce him.

I knew Chongqing writer and former “rightist” confined to Mao’s gulags for two decades Kong Lingping. Kong was a mechanical engineering student at Chongqing University. His error was having parents with the wrong family background. Not even landlords, his parents had been school teachers during the pre 1949 Nationalist Period. His mother rejected his father’s urging that the family flee to Taiwan. No, she said, we have many friends who are communists. Everything will be fine.

I knew Chengdu writer Yin Shuping, who had been a very young war correspondent during the War to Oppose America and Support [North] Korea. Later in the 1950s, as a convinced communist and successful poet, Yin went on the Chinese delegation headed by Hu Yaobang to the Moscow Youth Congress. He got into trouble for defending fellow Chengdu poet Liu Shahe who had been accused of being a rightist. Yin Shuping was himself labelled a rightist and sent to the gulags for over twenty years.

The story of Vice Premier Liu He’s father reminds me of my September 2005 visit to Mianyang, Sichuan. While there, I walked in a city park with a physician from the adjacent hospital. As we walked through the park on a comfortable evening with many young families with children wandering about, the doc told me as we approached a monument topped with a red star, that here, during the Cultural Revolution, he had seen several people kill themselves there, feeling that there was no way to endure the intense persecutions of the so-called “struggle sessions” they were subjected to.

I read the inscriptions on the monument. Translated into English, there are

Long Live the Magnificent, Glorious and Correct Communist Party of China!


Long Live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!

I wonder sometimes how knowledge of this history, to the extent that people are able to become aware of it, affects the thinking of Chinese people today. After all China, for all the changes that have come since the refounding of the PRC at the beginning of reform, has much the same totalitarian operating system as before: absolute one party rule and the dictatorship of the proletariat led by the Party.

I remember striking up a conversation with a group of students I ran into on the Zhejiang University campus in 1998 after finishing a meeting in nearby downtown Hangzhou. The students told me that the Cultural Revolution could never come again. I mischievously remarked, “That is just what people were saying in the early 1960s — something like the Great Leap Forward will never happen again. The system is fundamentally the same. You have no institutional guarantees.”

Today I came across this May 2018 Chinese language article from the Epoch Times. Translated below followed by original Chinese text from the Epoch Times website.

Liu He’s Family Detail Revealed: His Father Was Persecuted to Death During the Cultural Revolution

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is e1b826a34d24db74be7284be5ac5a62e-600x400.jpg

[The Epoch Times May 26, 2018] (Epoch Times reporter Wen Pu report) The family history of PRC Vice Premier Liu He was revealed just before his the Chinese delegation returned to the United States for trade negotiations. Liu He’s grandfather, Liu Yulou, worked in the financial industry. His father was a senior Chinese Communist Party official who was persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution.

According to a May 25 Australian News Network [Aozhou xinwenwang https://www.huaglad.com/ ] report, Liu He’s grandfather Liu Yulou’s birth name was Run Chun and went by the name of Yulou, and lived in Lianghe Village in Changli County, Hebei Province. Liu Yulou was born on the 24th day of the fourth lunar month of the fourteenth year [1898] of the reign of the Qing Emperor Guangxu into a Lianghe Village peasant family. Liu Yulou’s father, Liu Guanru, an excellent farmer, supported his family by farming.

Liu Yulou studied for a few years in a private school and wanted to get an education, his father did not take education seriously. When Liu Yulou was 13, he married him off early and wanted to tie him down to the land and the family farm. Liu Yulou got very upset about this. Finally, his mother-in-law sold her own land so that he could go to the Yongpingfu Middle School and then to the Daqing Bank’s banking school to study banking.

After graduating from the banking school, Liu Yulou entered the financial industry. He worked in Daqing Bank, Bank of China, Border Industry Bank, Agricultural and Industrial Bank, and Donglai Bank. He was a bank accountant in Dalian, Qingdao, Tianjin and Beijing, and later became a manager.

Later, Liu Yulou had to resign because he had offended his superiors. With the help of an introduction from his classmate Li Shuhua, vice president of the National Peking Research Institute he got a job at there. First, he taught an accounting class, and later served as an acting department manager and secretary to the acting general manager.

Liu Yulou had four children, the eldest daughter named Liu Zhilian, the second daughter named Liu Zhilan, and son Liu Zhiyan, and the third daughter Liu Zhiyu.

Liu Zhiyan, the only son of Liu Yulou and the father of Liu He, was was born on February 7, 1918.

At age 18, Liu Zhiyan joined the Chinese Communist Party and served as leader of the 5th District Team of the Vanguards of the National Liberation of China. He was then sent to work among the former subordinates of [note: warlord] Sun Dianying as the secretary of the CPC branch and as secretary of the local working committee.

In 1940, he began serving in the Chinese Communist base area successively as the head of the Propaganda Section of the Taiyue District Committee of the Communist Party of China, joint appointment as the first district party secretary and the political commissar of the First Military subdistrict of the Taiyue District; joint appointment as the Minister of Propaganda Department of Yuebei District Committee and the Secretary of the Shiliu County Committee; and joint appointment the Secretary of the Eleventh Jinsui Base Area District Party Committee and the Political Commissar of the Eleventh Jinsui Base Area Military Sub District.

In May 1949, Liu Zhiyan was transferred back to Beijing. He worked first in the Central Policy Research Office, then a Counselor in the Advisors’ Office of the Government Council. Then he was appointed Deputy Director of the Third Bureau of the Ministry of Personnel, and then Deputy Director of the First Bureau. In the autumn of 1952, he was transferred to the Central Organization Department, where he served as deputy director of the cadre management department and then served in various posts such as director of the second cadre management department. It is said that Liu Zhiyan was a relatively famous “pen” of the Central Organization Department documents. He drafted many documents, reports, and editorials

In July 1958, the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Organization Department send Liu Zhiyan to Yunnan Province where he served as secretary of the Kunming Municipal Party Committee and member of the Standing Committee of the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee. After the establishment of the Southwest Bureau in 1961, he successively served in posts such as as head of the Organization Department of the Southwest Bureau, Secretary-General, Secretary of the Secretariat.

At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Liu Zhiyan was first appointed as the leader of the Southwestern Cultural Revolution Committee, but was later considered to be affiliated with the faction of Liu Shaoqi and An Ziwen, and was purged. Liu Zhiyan thus became the object of brutal struggle sessions.

A Red Guard rebel faction booklet published at the time stated “The Southwest Bureau headed Li Jingquan and Liu Zhiyan, … must be thoroughly purged for the heinous crimes that they have committed during the Cultural Revolution!” The booklet also contains Liu Zhiyan’s “confession”.

On December 12, 1967, Liu Zhiyan, unable to endure unspeakable insults, killed himself by jumping from where he was being held on the ninth floor the Jinjiang Hotel in Chengdu. He was age 49. His son Liu He was was 15 years old when his father killed himself.

According to another overseas website “Democratic China website” [minzhuzhongguo.org] editor Cai Chu disclosed on October 24, 2018 that he had seen with his own eyes the horrible sight of Liu Zhiyan being persecuted to death.

In April 1968, Cai Chu went to the Chengdu Funeral Parlour to deal with the funeral of his friend. When he went into the freezer room to retrieve his friend’s body, he saw that the body at the lower left had a sign attached to it: “Liu Zhiyan, Secretary of the Southwest Bureau Secretariat, December 12, 1967”

He pulled the corpse out to look at it. “I saw the corpse was fairly long and dressed neatly. but the whole head was wrapped in gauze, wearing a cap and still had bloodstains.”

Cai Chu saw from the card, that the deceased has been dead for nearly half a year, but no relatives have come to mourn home. This made a deep impression on him.

Cai Chu asked the workers at the funeral home about him and was told that the accused Liu Zhiyan was detained at the Jinjiang Hotel in Chengdu, was subject to a struggle session there and killed himself by jumping off the 9th floor of the hotel.

However, there are also reports quoting Liu Zhiyan’s wife that Liu Zhiyan was beaten to death by the Chinese Communist Party rebel faction and that they faked a suicide by dumping his body from the ninth floor.

Liu He is the only son of Liu Zhiyan and his first wife. He was born on January 25, 1952. Liu Zhiyan had another son and daughter by his second wife.

Liu He studied in Beijing 101 Middle School, where others of the Red second generation also gathered. Xi Jinping was a classmate. In 1969, Liu He went down to the countryside to Jilin Province to join a production team. The next year he joined the Chinese Communist’s so-called “Ace Army” the 38th Army. Three years later, Liu He retired from the PLA and went to the Beijing Radio Factory where he was a worker and later became a cadre.

After the end of the Cultural Revolution, the college entrance examinations resumed. Liu He became part of the first batch of post Cultural Revolution college students. He studied in the Department of Industrial Economics at Renmin University. In 1988, Liu He worked at the State Planning Commission. He studied in the United States from 1992 to 1995 and obtained a degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.

Why was Liu He, the son of the “capitalist roader” Liu Zhiyan, not attacked at the same time as his father? In 1969, he could still be considered politically qualified enough to be accepted as a soldier. Some analyze it this way: after Liu Zhiyan divorced his first wife, Liu He lived with the first wife. Liu He’s political status should have been determined by that of the first wife and of his stepfather and so his father’s status would not necessarily affect his political suitability for joining the People’s Liberation Army.

Editor in charge: Sun Wei


刘鹤家世细节曝光 父亲文革时被迫害惨死

图为资料图。 (Getty Images)人气: 28987【字号】 更新: 2018-05-26 5:28 AM    标签刘鹤父亲文革刘植岩

【大纪元2018年05月26日讯】(大纪元记者文朴综合报导)中共副总理刘鹤,刚刚率领中方代表团从美国谈判回国后,他的家世再次被曝光。他祖父刘雨楼曾投身金融业,父亲是中共的高官,在文革时被迫害致死。

据澳洲新闻网5月25日报导,刘鹤的祖父刘雨楼本名润春,字雨楼,河北省昌黎县两河村人。光绪十四年4月24日生于两河村一个农民家庭。刘雨楼的父亲刘冠儒是一个种地的好手,靠务农挣下了一份家业。

虽然刘雨楼在家乡读了几年私塾,有志于学问,但是刘冠儒并不看重读书,在13岁时就早早给刘雨楼娶了妻子,想要拴住他在家乖乖打理家业。刘雨楼对此十分苦恼,最后是他的丈母娘变卖了自己的田产,供他上了永平府中学堂及大清的银行专修科。

从银行专修所毕业后,刘雨楼投身金融业。先后在大清银行、中国银行、边业银行、农工银行、东莱银行供职,曾在大连、青岛、天津和北京等地任银行分号的襄理,乃至经理等。

后来刘雨楼因为得罪了上司而被迫离职,在同学、国立北平研究院副院长李书华的介绍下进了研究院。先当会计课办事,后来又担任起代理庶务课长,兼代总办事处文书。

刘雨楼共有4个儿女,长女刘植莲,次女刘植兰,儿子刘植岩,三女刘植荃。

刘植岩是刘雨楼唯一的儿子,生于1918年2月7日,也就是刘鹤的父亲。

刘植岩18岁就加入中共党组织,担任了中共先锋队第五区队队长,随后被派遣到孙殿英旧部工作,任中共支部书记、工委书记。1940年开始先后任中共根据地太岳区委宣传科科长、第一地委书记兼太岳区第一军分区政委,岳北地委宣传部部长兼屯留县委书记、地委书记兼军分区政委等职。国共战争时期,刘植岩任西北局工委委员,太岳军区第十三军分区政委,晋绥十一地委书记兼十一军分区政委等。

1949年5月,刘植岩被调回北京。先在中央政策研究室,后任政务院参事室参事、人事部第三局副局长、第一局副局长。1952年秋天,又被调到中组部,任干部管理处副处长、干部管理处二处处长等。据称,刘植岩是中组部比较有名的“笔杆子”。不少文件、报告、社论都出自他的手笔。

1958年7月,刘植岩被中组部下放到云南,任昆明市委书记、云南省委常委。1961年西南局成立后,他先后任西南局组织部部长、秘书长、书记处书记等。

文革开始时,刘植岩先被任命为西南局文革小组组长,但后来被认为是刘少奇、安子文一派的,从而被“打倒”,刘植岩因此遭到残酷地批斗。

在当时的一份造反派小册子中写道:“以李井泉、刘植岩为首的西南局,……对他们在文化大革命中所犯下的这一滔天罪行,我们必须彻底清算!”这本小册子中,还有刘植岩的“供词”。

1967年12月12日,不堪受辱的刘植岩在成都锦江宾馆9楼的关押地点跳楼自杀,终年49岁。父亲刘植岩自杀时,刘鹤15岁。

另据海外“民主中国网站”主编蔡楚去年10月24日披露,他亲眼看到刘植岩被迫害死的惨状。

1968年4月,蔡楚到成都殡仪馆处理朋友的丧事。到冷藏间去找朋友的尸体。看到左边最下面的尸匣外有一个牌:西南局书记处书记刘植岩,1967年12月12日。

他拉开尸匣一看,“见到尸身较长,穿戴整齐,但整个头用纱布包裹,戴着鸭舌帽,仍然有血迹”。

蔡楚说,从牌上看,“死者已经去世近半年,但还没有亲人来奔丧。这给他留下深刻的印象”。

蔡楚当时问殡仪馆工人,被告知刘植岩是关在成都锦江宾馆被批斗,从9楼跳楼自杀。

但也有消息引述刘植岩的妻子的说法说,刘植岩是被中共造反派毒打致死后,伪造自杀丢下楼的。

刘鹤是刘植岩与前妻的两人唯一的儿子,生于1952年1月25日;刘植岩与后妻还育有一儿一女。

刘鹤早年在红二代云集的北京101中学读书,与习近平是同学。1969年刘鹤到了吉林下乡插队,第二年加入中共所谓的“王牌军”38军。3年后,刘鹤退伍,回北京无线电厂做了一个工人,后来转为干部。

文革结束后恢复了高考,刘鹤成为文革后中国首批大学生,在人大读工业经济系。1988年,刘鹤进入国家计划委员会工作,并在1992年至1995年留学美国,获得哈佛大学肯尼迪学院公共管理学位。

对于“走资派”刘植岩的儿子刘鹤,当时为什么没有受到冲击父亲的冲击,1969年仍可通过政审当兵的问题,有分析说,刘植岩和前妻离婚后,刘鹤是跟着前妻生活,他的出身应该由前妻和继父的政治地位来定,所以他参军不一定会受父亲身份的影响。#

责任编辑:孙芸

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Party Worries Reflected in Beatings of Marxist Students

Just saw this posted today. A recounting of Party/Peking University staff/police abuse of students in the Peking University Marxist Society that was closed down late last year. A November 2018 Hong Kong Free Press report “Too Marxist for China? Radical students rattle Communist leaders” discussed the Chinese student Marxists.

Hong Kong Baptist Department of Journalism Professor Yiu Ming To 杜耀明 quote criticizing people who ignore Marx’s concerns for social justice and merely focus on his theory of surplus value, saying that is a great insult to Karl Marx.


The tone changed from a description to a diagnosis of the problem:

“The organized machinery of state doesn’t care at all whether it speak truth or lies. It doesn’t care at all about the harm that it does to our classmates. Even more, it doesn’t care whether its behavior violates the law or not. The logic of social stability coming before all else, what counts is whether a policy is executed forcefully or not. What counts most on this one hundredth anniversary of the May Fourth Movement is whether or not there still exist some disharmonious voices.”

Then a quote from Lu Xun’s preface to that famed Chinese twentieth century essayist’s (pre-1949 social critic much beloved by the Party — lucky for him he didn’t live to see the PRC or his pen would have got him into trouble fast with Chairman Mao!) preface to his book Weeds 野草 usually translated (more polite than me I guess) as Wild Grass.

I love my weeds, but I hate weeds all over the ground is made out to be a decoration. The fire runs underground, rushing forward; once the lava erupts, it will burn all the weeds and all the trees so that there will be no decay.”

[ Parenthetically, talk of weeds brings to mind the famous words of that old philosopher, Chairman Mao Zedong! Mao in his “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People” had quite a bit to say about weeds, some of whom were stinking intellectuals:

Literally the two slogans — let a hundred flowers blossom and let a hundred schools of thought contend — have no class character; the proletariat can turn them to account, and so can the bourgeoisie or others. Different classes, strata and social groups each have their own views on what are fragrant flowers and what are poisonous weeds. Then, from the point of view of the masses, what should be the criteria today for distinguishing fragrant flowers from poisonous weeds? In their political activities, how should our people judge whether a person’s words and deeds are right or wrong?”  ]

The article ends with a question and an answer. What kind of young people does today’s China need? The answer:

When they see decay, they must arise. What does it matter if along the way some dust flies around? Crisis is all around. Malicious flying bullets and the spewing of dark currents will not stop them because in their hearts are always new things.

The Chinese Communist Party has been bracing for a difficult year.

1984 Peking University Style—How Much Do You Know About It?

The morning of April 29, 2019.

Beijing’s Yizhuang Industrial Zone, Beijing.

Five young people disappeared there.

At 8:17 They sent their last message. Within half an hour, everyone’s phone was turned off.

They were five students who had belonged to the Peking University Marxist Association. They were taking advantage of the May First Labor Day holiday to spent the holiday working in a factory. At 8 AM the night shift had just ended.

What had happened to them up to that point?


Five plainclothesmen had been following Qiu Zhanxuan

They had sent a message the night before and said that the plainclothes policemen followed them from Peking University to Yizhuang, followed them into the factory, followed them up the manager’s office, and informed the factory supervisors in the factory that the students should be “watched closely”.

Plainclothesman, being followed, disappeared. Just the way it has happened before.

At the same time, contact as lost with one of their schoolmates, Shen Yuxuan of the Peking University Medical Department.


Screenshot from Shen Yuxuan’s WeChat account
“They pulled me out of the toilet”
“Tearing up stuff”
What
Restriction of personal freedom
Pulled out of the toilet?
Who pulled you out?

The night before, as usual, she and another classmate studied in the fourth classroom of Biochemistry Building.

At about 10:30, a few familiar faces appeared at the door of the classroom. They shutter of their camera clicked a few times as they took pictures of Shen. Then six or seven “teachers” from the Beijing University Medical School Security Office, security guards and two policemen pushed open the door and entered the room.

They told the other students to leave and went straight up to where Shen was sitting and said, “Are you going to get up? Will you walk or do we have to take you away?” They had no reason for telling the students to leave, so two students refused to leave.

Suddenly, a classmate was grabbed by the neck, pulled out of their seat, and with two arms twisted behind his back pushed as police forced him into a police car. He was punched and kicked. “Do you want some help?” he was asked as a policeman poured mineral water on him.

Then came the policeman’s usual technique: grab by the neck, cover the mouth, arms tied behind their back, and escort them to the security office. Using both carrot and stick methods, they beat, insulted, ridiculed this student until two o’clock the following morning.

Meanwhile, Shen Yuxuan sent this message to his to his WeChat group at 11:30:


Shen Yuxuan WeChat screenshot
“Being interviewed by police, they have to accompany me to the toilet”
“I threw up.”

I really couldn’t and didn’t want to imagine that scene. That evening I could only wait and worry.

At 2:20 in the morning, Shen Yuxuan classmates regained her freedom. It was said that this sudden assault was connected to the matter of the five students working in Yizhuang.

“If you dare to go out the school gate, you will be picked up right away!” This is the warning Shen Yuxuan got. And her mother, who had been called by the police from her hometown in Shaanxi Province, was told to watch her all night in her dormitory.

Even after all that had happened, everybody sighed and that thought that will be the end of it.

I never expected the same thing to happen again the next morning. Shen Yuxuan’s phone went from no answer to being turned off. No more was heard from her.

I was still anxious.

At three o’clock that afternoon, the students finally called her mother’s phone. She said, “I am with Shen Yuxuan somewhere in Beijing. I can’t tell you where” she said cryptically.

Shen’s mother said, “Yuxuan is fine.” The next thing we heard was Yuxuan yelling, “No, I am not fine. I am under house arrest!”

The classmates listening were shocked. Before they could say anything, the connection was cut off.

We tried to call again, but the telephone was turned off. We have had no news of her since then.

This was Peking University on April 29.

Make no mistake about it. This is not the plot of some 1920s novel. This is only one of the undercurrents that continues to surge through the Peking University campus, only to finally erupt at sensitive times like these.

The colors of Peking University today are black and white. Black and white are starker than color. There is more magical realism here today than in any movie.

While their classmates live a normal student life of going to class, studying and taking examinations, some other students are living a completely different life. In their life, some of their parents are nearly collapsed from mental exhaustion; other students face frequent interviews and even sexual harassment; some police remove all your clothes to search you; and threaten them with expulsion or handcuffs to make them confess.

Since since the demonstration of December 28 protesting the re-organization of the Peking University Marxist Society, their voices have not been head on the Peking University campus. Sometimes one might hear news about them online such as “Zhang Zhenzhen was forced to leave school” but there has been no real news. As far as I know, the “news blackout” on them did not mean that these students are no longer interested in the rights of people who work at their school. No, what is going on is not they have decided to end using the “weapon of criticism” but a fact that is hard for anyone to accept. They have been subject to pressure and restrictions on their personal freedom that go far beyond what anyone could have imagined.

On January 23, classmate A, after over 40 hours of exhausting police station detention and fatigue trial, was sent home and his cell phone, computer and ID card confiscated. HIs home internet connection was cut. His parents’ phone was monitored and he had to report whenever he left the house. This classmate was completely cutoff from the outside world. All this was done to lay the groundwork for the the next stage of high pressure and intense “ideological and political education”.

The police told her “If you don’t admit to your errors, you will be forced to leave school.” We can say that is was because “It can be because you are an unwed mother or because you are an unsociable, dark-hearted individual who hates society. Your choice!” Not until the second week of school was classmate A released from house arrest and allowed to return to school. Classmate A had already missed the two weeks for choosing compulsory courses. Another classmate B missed a make-up test. Perhaps it is just as a certain deputy party secretary in the sociology department says, “Cooperating with the work of the school is your first task, not academic work.”

After returning to school, the secretary of the Youth League Committee kindly student A: “Don’t get in touch with your old Marxist Society classmates. Don’t eat with them. They may try to drug you. Once you take it, you’ll be brainwashed.” This same secretary on the evening of April 3, persistently kept interrogating student A about the lives of the other female members of the former Marxist Society. He said that the reason that he had not gone to her dormitory to get her at the time of the December 28th demonstration was that he “was afraid that some of them are just too pretty and he wouldn’t be able to control himself.”

Those kinds of insults and slander are small stuff. There was more. There is also a classmate C. When the police and school counselor went together to her home, and told her parents that if she did not admit to her mistakes, she would be expelled and detained, her mother was so frightened that she broke down and knelt before student C and banged her head against the wall. Classmate C, heartbroken, could only tell her mother over and over that she had not done anything wrong.

In late February, once the new semester had begun, I thought that it was all over. But the classmates found, once school started again that what had come before was just an appetizer.

Two or three days after class started, a police officer appeared who claimed to have been entrusted by the school’s party committee to have a talk with classmate D. He was blunt. “If you are part of the ruling class you have to be able to deceive the masses”; “The capital needed to maintain social stability without deceiving the masses is too high.” Those words were shocking enough. However, the things that the police and school worker did over the next few days are too numerous to record:

Some students were held at the Yanyuan police station for up to eight hours. Several police took turns beating them in turn until their noses were bleeding.

Some students were asked to read in a loud voice the regulations on subversion and incitement to subversion in the criminal law. The police said, “This is your crime!”

After a few hours of constant interrogation, some students, with two people behind them pressing the pen into their hand, were asked to write a letters giving up their right to an education and assuming all legal responsibility and told that they could go if they signed.

Some students were stripped naked and made to lean over in order to check that “there is no recording device inside”;

The police threatened some students with “Whether you can go to school is a matter for the school to decide. We get to decide whether you can go to school.” Also, “Do not think that you can get the kind of job that your parents have.”

Some students were dragged out of class by three people from the political management building to Sciences Building No. 5 during the class. Sometimes the dragging process itself dragged on for a full hour;

……

Do you want to go to class? Do you want to go back to your dormitory to rest? Do you want to stay in school? Do you want to be released? We can do that. But first of all, you have to give up your human dignity, cooperate with our work, admit to your mistakes, and not take an interest in “things that are none of your business” then you can “get back on the right track”. If you wont, then I’m sorry, we can humiliate you, we can restrict your personal freedom, violate your privacy, insult your ideals and abuse you physically. Naturally, to use the words of the police, that is just fine. Once you leave the school gate, “we are sure that you don’t want to feel that you are in a detention center.”

Perhaps you think that this is a dead end. The police and school workers think that they have achieved a master stroke in ideological warfare. After all, in a physical assault is not the best tactic; psychological warfare should be your first resort. [Note: from classic novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms “Use your forces to attack their minds as your first resort; a physical assault is inferior. Psychological warfare should be primary, using military force should be secondary. 用兵攻心为上,攻城为下;心战为上,兵战为下 inspired by Sun Zi, Art of War (Therefore the best method is trickery, the second best is making a deal, the third best is fighting their soldiers in the field and the worst of all is an assault on a fortress. 故上兵伐谋,其次伐交,其次伐兵,其下攻城) ]

Three classmates from the School of Physical Sciences often got letters from the party secretary of their school’s party committee. Sometimes the letters were written to all three, sometimes the letters were written to them individually and sometimes to the entire school (you may have gotten it too). The letters cover topics such as historical, theoretical issues and sometimes issues in everyday life. The shorter letters were just four or five hundred characters, the longer ones could be two or three thousand characters long. All the letters came back to a single central point “the state is good and society is fine”. Now might the party secretary sending these letters to all the students in the school be an abuse of his authority as secretary of the party committee?

At an undergraduate party branch democratic life meeting, classmate E as attacked from all sides for belonging to “a two-faced faction”. All party members on his “democracy evaluation” form marked “fail”. All sixteen of them. Classmate E was speechless at this highly organized attack. Thinking about it, he could only draw one conclusion — he had spent too much time talking with the school’s workers. Doing that was not consistent with his status as a candidate for Communist Party membership. That afternoon at 1 PM two police officers appeared and prevented him from going back to his dormitory. They had had a talk with him all night. Classmate E tried twice to escape. The first time he was pined against the wall. The second time they grabbed him by the neck and forced him down on the floor. At 2 PM, some students came to see classmate E. They had heard his shouts coming from the the side of the main entrance to the department building. The undergraduate party branch secretary guarded the door and called the police in an attempt to force the students to drive the students away. They only left a little after 3 PM at the urgent request of classmate E. The Party strictly implemented this locale for handling party organizational matters. It became too a stage for the arbitrary actions of some leaders who carried out this kind of criticism and self-criticism!

There are many similar examples, but what is more suffocating is the daily tracking, monitoring, photographing, and harassment. Some students are warned that they are not allowed to use their mobile phones during class, telling them they should be studying hard (why don’t they say that when they have meetings with people for being late to class?) Several classmates after studying on their own for a few days in the self-study area next to the fifth floor elevator of building three, were shocked to discover that the monitoring camera that had been pointing at the elevator had been turned 180 degrees to point directly at them. Some other classmates found that the camera at the intersection in front of the express delivery service would gradually swivel to watch them as they walked by. If they walked back and forth, the camera followed them (advanced facial recognition is used here). Even if you get up early for running practice to get ready for the May Fourth Marathon and then to to the farm to have breakfast, there are plainclothesmen taking pictures to send to your parents as evidence that “those people are still having their gatherings”.

Two months later, the dark undercurrents finally, defying all common sense and expectation, erupted from the ground.

On April 29th, the nodes from which those dark undercurrents emerged were significant.

Two days later, would come for all workers throughout China will be their very own holiday, even though for most of them will have no alternative to spending it working overtime.

Five days later would come for young people across China, and in particular the teachers and students of Peking University, their very own holiday. The various news outlets, however, would devote it to speeches at big meetings and “Political-Ideological Face to Face” interviews.

What do these holidays mean?

Labor Day celebrate the glory of labor. On this date in history, the world’s workers united to fight for their own labor rights;

Youth Day celebrates the awakening of youth. The New Youth sought Democracy and Science. Hand-in-hand with the masses, they braved the hardships of reform;

Amidst these fine festivals, there is no place for young people who sought part-time work. They used to carry aloft the banner of “Marxism” at their school.

This black humor, full of irony as it is, tells us something.

The organized machinery of state doesn’t care at all whether it speak truth or lies. It doesn’t care at all about the harm that it does to our classmates. Even more, it doesn’t care whether its behavior violates the law or not. The logic of social stability coming before all else, what counts is whether a policy is executed forcefully or not. What counts most on this one hundredth anniversary of the May Fourth Movement is whether or not there still exist some disharmonious voices.

A former Peking University classmate who has already made Peking University’s internal blacklist (there certainly is a blacklist. Over thirty names are on it) is merely one of the victims of this logic. He is not the only victim.

Don’t you see, the atmosphere on this campus has already become much worse than it was even one year ago. These days, the loudest voice in the cafeteria is the rumble of the broadcast of the “Ideology and Politics Face-to-Face” interviews.

No need to ask anymore what is the kind of time we live in. The answer I want to give is what kind of youth this era needs:

“I love my weeds, but I hate weeds all over the ground is made out to be a decoration. The fire runs underground, rushing forward; once the lava erupts, it will burn all the weeds and all the trees so that there will be no decay.”

When they see decay, they must arise. What does it matter if along the way some dust flies around? Crisis is all around. Malicious flying bullets and the spewing of dark currents will not stop them because in their hearts are always new things.

https://telegra.ph/pkxsb1984-05-01

北大现实版1984,你知道多少?

May 01, 2019

2019年4月29日早上,北京市亦庄工业区。

五个年轻人在这里消失。

8:17他们发出了最后一条消息,但是随后的半小时,所有人的电话就已全部关机。

他们是原北大马会的五名学生,趁着劳动节的假期在工厂“打工过节”。早上八点是刚下夜班的时间。

在此之前他们遭遇了什么?

跟踪邱占萱的5个便衣

他们曾在前一天的晚上发出消息说,这几名便衣警察一路尾随他们从北大到了亦庄,跟进了工厂、跟进了经理办公室,还通知了厂里的监工要“严加监视”。

便衣,跟踪,失联。似曾相识。

与此同时,北大医学部。沈雨轩同学也突然失联了。

沈雨轩微信截图

前一晚,像往常一样,她和另一名同学在生化楼第四教室自习。

十点半左右,几张熟悉的面孔出现在教室门口,对着沈同学“咔咔”地拍了几张照。紧接着,六七名北医保卫处“老师”、保安和两名警察推门而入。

把其他同学打发走以后,他们径直来到沈同学的座位旁:“你们走不走?是你自己走还是我来请你走?”

这个要求毫无来由,两名同学不愿理会。

突然,一名同学被卡住脖子,从座位上拽起来,扭住双臂拖进了警车,被一顿拳打脚踢。想要呼救?一瓶矿泉水被警察迎面浇下。

接着就是警察惯用的手法:卡脖捂嘴、反剪双臂,押到了保卫处。在会议室里,他们对这名同学软硬兼施,殴打,辱骂,讽刺,直到凌晨两点。

另一边,沈雨轩同学在十一点半发出消息:

沈雨轩微信截图

我实在无法、也不愿想象这个场景。当晚唯有焦心地守候。

凌晨两点二十分,雨轩同学重获自由。据说,他们的遇袭和彼时正在亦庄打工的五名同学有关。

“如果敢出校门,直接被带走!”这是雨轩遭到的警告。而她的母亲,已经被警察从陕西老家叫了过来,被要求必须在宿舍楼里看守她一整夜。

就算历经波折,所有人都还是长吁了一口气,都以为这就是结束。

却没想到同样的梦魇在第二天早晨再次重演。雨轩同学的电话从无人接听打到关机,她再度失联了。

着急,还是着急。

下午三点,同学们终于打通了她母亲的电话:“我和雨轩在北京的某个地方,不能告诉你”,这是一种遮遮掩掩的语气。

沈母说“雨轩很好”,结果电话里立刻传出了雨轩的叫喊:“我不好,我被软禁了!”

话筒边的同学大吃一惊,还没开口发问,电话就被挂断了!

再打,又是关机。她至今杳无音信。

这是4月29日的北京大学。

无需错愕,这不是1984的小说情节。只不过是一股在北大校园内持续涌动着的暗流,终于在这个敏感的节点喷发了而已。

如今的北大,黑色比彩色更鲜艳,现实比电影更魔幻。

当同学们都过着正常的按时上课、复习、考试的学生生活时,有同学却同时过着另一种完全不同的生活:在那种生活里,有家长近乎崩溃的神经衰弱,有学工频繁的约谈甚至性骚扰,有警察脱光你的衣服搜身,用退学和玫瑰金手镯威胁同学屈服认错。

自从去年1228抗议马会改组后,他们的声音就在校园里销声匿迹了,偶尔能从网上看到“展振振被退学”这样的只言片语,但一直没有确实的消息。就我所了解的,这种“被消失“并不代表这些同学不再关注校工权益,已经放下了批判的武器,而只能指向上面这些令任何人都难以接受的事实:他们受到了超乎想象的压力与限制。

1月23日,A同学在经历了四十多小时的派出所关押与疲劳审讯后,被遣送回家,手机电脑身份证被没收,家里网络被切断,父母电话被监听,出门要报告。总之,隔绝了这名同学与外界的一切联系,而这不过是为接下来更高强度更高密度的“思想政治教育”做铺垫。

警察对她说,你不认错就把你退学和拘留,警察们还说“你们要么单亲家庭,要么性格孤僻,心理阴暗,仇视社会”。直到开学后的第二周,A同学才被解除了软禁,准许回来上学,而A同学已经错过了两门必修课的选课时间,另一名同学B也因此错过补考!或许正如社会学系某党委副书记所说:“相比于学业,配合学校工作就是你们的第一要务。“

返校后,院团委书记善意地提醒A同学:“不要和原马会同学接触,不要和他们一起吃饭,他们可能给你下一种药,你吃了以后就被洗脑了。”同样是这名书记,在四月三日的晚上不停向A同学打听原马会几名女同学的个人生活情况,并说自己之所以没有像1228时说的那样去宿舍找她,是因为“怕某些人太漂亮,自己控制不住”。

这种中伤和骚扰不过是小儿科。还有一名同学C,寒假时警察和辅导员一并来到她家里,对家长说如果孩子不认错就开除拘留,导致她妈妈被吓崩溃跪地求C同学,还拿头撞门。C同学心如刀割,只能不断安慰母亲,告诉她自己没有做错事。

2月下旬,新学期开始了,本以为事情到此算是告一段落,但开学后同学们才发现,寒假发生的不过是开胃菜。

刚开学两三天,一名警察就自称受学校委托和家里委托过来找D同学约谈,言语之间毫不掩饰:”你做了统治阶级你也要愚民”,”不愚民维稳成本太高”。如果这样的言语已经赤裸的令人震惊,在接下来几天时间里,警察和学工们的做法只能说罄竹难书:

有同学在燕园派出所被限制人身自由多达8小时,多个警察车轮战训话,扇耳光,甚至打出鼻血;

有同学被要求大声朗读刑法中关于颠覆和煽动颠覆的条例,警察说“这就是你的罪名!”

有同学在几个小时不断讯问后,被两个人从背后按着,笔硬塞到手上,被要求写一个保证书:自愿放弃一切受教育的权利,自愿承担一切法律责任,说签完就可以走了;

有同学被全身脱光,上身趴在桌上撅着屁股,要检查“那里面有没有录音笔“;

有同学被警察威胁“你能不能上学是学校的事,让不让你上学是我们的事”,还说“你爸妈的工作也别想干了”;

有同学在上课期间被三个人从政管楼暴力拖拽到理科五号楼约谈,拖拽的过程长达一小时;

……

想听课?想回宿舍休息?想继续上学?想要自由?可以。但首先,你要放弃做人的尊严,要配合工作,要认错,要不关心“自己不该关心的事”,要回到“正常的轨道上”去。如果不行,那对不起,尊严可以被践踏,自由可以被限制,隐私可以被侵犯,理想可以被侮辱,肉体可以被亵渎。当然,用警察们的话说,这都算好的,一旦踏出校门,“相信你不会喜欢看守所那种感觉的”。

或许是觉得此路不通,警察和学工们又想出了思想战的高招,毕竟攻城为下,攻心为上。物理学院的三名同学经常能收到来自院党委书记的邮件,有时一起写给三个人,有时分别写,有时直接群发全院(你可能也收到过),内容从历史理论问题到个人生活问题,短则四五百字,长则两三千字,还有更长的,却紧紧扣住一个核心“国家好,社会好”。当然,群发全院同学邮件这样的操作,算不算党委书记滥用自己的公权力呢?

一次本科生党支部民主生活会,E同学遭到围攻,被骂“两面派“,他的“民主测评“表上所有党员都投了不合格 ,那可是16个人啊……这高度组织化的针对让E同学无言以对,想来想去,结论只能是一个--跟学校的工友们聊得太多了,不符合自己的预备党员身份。当晚一点多开完会两名警察进来阻止E同学回宿舍,要连夜约谈。E同学两次试图逃出去,一次被按在墙上,一次被卡脖子按倒在地。两点多有同学过来看E同学,隔着系楼大门都听到里面的呼喊声,而本科生党支部书记守在门口,报警试图把那个同学赶走。一直到三点多在E同学的强烈要求下,才得以离开。党进行严肃的组织生活的场所,也成了某些领导为所欲为的舞台,进行的就是这样的批评与自我批评!

这样的例子还有很多,但更令人窒息的是日常生活中的跟踪,监控,拍照,骚扰,有同学被警告上课不允许玩手机,要好好学习(耽误上课去约谈时怎么不说呢);有同学在三教五楼电梯口自习区自习了几天后,惊讶地发现原本对准电梯的监控调转了180度正对着自己;还有的同学发现,快递点前面十字路口的摄像头,随着自己走路的转弯缓缓转动,如果自己在下面来回晃,摄像头也会跟着摆动(真是先进的人脸识别啊,用在了这里);即使早上去五四跑步锻炼,去农园吃早饭,也有便衣警察拍照发给家长,作为“这些人仍然在聚集”的证据……

两个月过去了,暗流终于喷涌出地面,出人意料,又在情理之中。

4月29日,暗流喷涌的节点意味深长。

两天后,全国工人将迎来属于他们的节日,尽管他们当中大多数人,只能在加班中度过。

五天后,全国的青年,尤其是北京大学的师生,将迎来属于他们的节日,当然是在各个新闻平台滚动播放的庆祝大会讲话和《思政面对面》中度过。

节日的意义何在?

劳动节歌颂劳动光荣。历史上的今天,世界工人团结了起来,为自己争取劳动权益;

青年节歌颂青年的觉醒。追求民主科学的新青年,携手工人群众,共赴革新的风雨;

就在这么伟大光明的节日里,积极参与打工劳动的青年却不被允许存在,他们还曾在校内扛着“马克思主义”的旗帜。

这充满讽刺的黑色幽默,似乎能够给予我们某种启示。

组织起来的国家机器不在乎自己言语的真假,不在乎会对同学本身造成什么样的伤害,甚至不在乎自己的行为有没有违法,稳定高于一切的逻辑下,被关注的是政策执行是否有力,尤其是五四运动一百周年之际,还有没有不和谐的声音。

而已经上了北大内部黑名单(确实存在这样一份名单,上面有三十多名同学)的原北大马会同学,只是这种逻辑的牺牲品而已,但这不是唯一的牺牲品。

君不见,如今校园内的空气已经比一年前肃杀了太多,只有在食堂里滚动播放的“思政面对面”恍若时代最强音。

不必要再追问这是一个怎样的时代,我想回答的是,这个时代需要怎样的青年:

“我自爱我的野草,但我憎恶这以野草作装饰的地面。地火在地下运行,奔突;熔岩一旦喷出,将烧尽一切野草,以及乔木,于是并且无可朽腐。”

他们看到腐朽,便要奋起,哪怕途中尘土飞扬、危机四伏,恶意的流弹和喷涌的暗流也消灭不了他们,因为他们的心中,永远满怀着新的东西。

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