These days, many netizens in mainland China are are using various apps and VPN to get onto the real internet. We have Comrade Shi Bingfeng and his 烂尾楼。Many other Chinese netizens have also been revealing the truth about the state of China’s economy by showing deserted industrial estates and shopping malls.
But at the same time, there are wealthy “patriots” cloistered from the harsh realities who do not wish to know the ugly truths. Their main aim of getting onto the www is to quarrel with dissidents living overseas. A sobering blow hit one of these patriots recently. He is 18-year-old Liu Sitong, a keen follower and hater of a Taiwanese YouTuber who practically made a career out of taunting belligerent mainland netizens.
Liu swore to bring a case against the Taiwanese YouTuber and even did a live recording of his trip to the police station. He told the reception counter there he was there to make a police report against a Taiwanese pro-independence YouTuber. He was told not to record the procedure. Liu complied (partially) and secretly recorded the audio instead.
When his statement was being recorded, the officer asked him how he had managed to view the Taiwanese YouTuber’s video. Liu confessed that he had illegally used an app, 789 accelerator to get over the great firewall. The officer reminded him that his actions were illegal and before the youngster knew it, he was slapped with a fine of 3,000 yuan for accessing inappropriate content on the internet.
Liu shot a video (without showing his face this time) of him wailing with incomprehension, swearing to make the Taiwanese YouTuber pay. Netizens were at a loss whether to mock or to pity him. While Liu Sitong did not expect the PLA to overrun Taiwan and arrest the Taiwanese YouTuber because of his report, he did expect the poor Taiwanese YouTuber to be blocked from any access to the privileges of living in mainland China and he also expected to get a medal for speaking out against Taiwanese independence. Liu was shocked when he got slapped with a fine while the Taiwanese YouTuber continued his pro-independence taunts.
Liu Sitong must be mad with fury and confusion by now. He had shot videos of high tech, prosperous China (or rather his exclusive neighbourhood in Beijing) and uploaded on YouTube to show Taiwanese that they ought to feel sorry for themselves. He is obviously naive and ignorant, but with 。With his 789加速器, he ought to be able to educate himself and open his eyes to the rest of the world. Instead, he chose to police the internet for the authorities.
The incident has revealed yet another hard truth for these idealistic patriots. While the official propaganda machine warns and threatens Taiwan all the time, it has not made it clear to the general public that their freedom is restricted and all they are expected to do is to echo the slogans and threats. This ought to be very clear from the police officer taking his statement told him while his patriotic actions were commendable, it’s an offence to access prohibited content. That’s like breaking a law to do a good deed. The police gave him a discount and he only had to pay 1,000 yuan.
In recent times, hordes of netizens from China have tried to extend official propaganda onto the international platform in an attempt to beat the free, China-bashing world at its own game. How many of them are official 5毛 given permission to 翻墙? How many are unofficial patriotic volunteers like Liu Sitong? People in the latter group are now given a clear message what their rights are and where they stand. Just enjoy your material wealth and speak only when you are spoken to. Hopefully, there won’t be any foolish Chinese netizens who might thing that their country has jurisdiction over Taiwan and just about any Chinese person in the world.