Last year, I was shocked to see fake news being shared on Facebook, praising China for being able to control the pandemic so well and at the same time shifting the blame for the origin of the virus on Western countries.
What’s even more appalling, is that such “news” (some of which were even supported by fictitious “experts”) are being shared by seemingly intelligent and well-educated people. Have they forgotten the initial denial and coverup? How much can we trust the reported “success”?
Such recap and summary videos are important because many people have short memories. Being reminded of the timeline helps prevent the propagandists from twisting the narrative when the audience has forgotten what was said before that. I’m not surprised if a few months into 2023, people may forget about the lockdowns in 2022.
“何不食肉糜” is a phrase often used by Chinese people to show how out of touch leaders are with the ground.
During the Jin Dynasty 晋朝 (after Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms), Emperor Jin Hui Di 晋惠帝司马衷（259—306）received a report from his officials that the country has been plagued by famine. People have been digging up the roots of grasses and clay to satiate their hunger. Many have starved to death.
Jin Hui Di was puzzled. Comfortable and well-fed in his palace, he asked his officials: “百姓无粟米充饥，何不食肉糜?”
“Since the people have no rice or millet to eat, why not eat ground meat?”
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sun Dawu’s fair and sometimes altruistic practices made many “loyal” party members and government-run operations look bad. Worst of all, these honest practices took many business opportunities out of the hands of people in power. He had also refused to pay bribes.
In 2003, he was arrested and charged for misusing funds. He was convicted and sentenced to prison even though there was no evidence of guilt on his part. Thousands of farmers protested, leading to his release on a “suspended sentence”. Having joined the WTO, China was well on the path of 改革开放 then and eager to fit in on the world stage.
In 2015, Sun criticised the brutal crackdown on human rights lawyers in China (709 crackdown).
Sun was arrested again in 2020 and slapped with a litany of frivolous charges. It’s a different China this time. Everyone in China was afraid of “trouble”. Other countries were afraid of trade sanctions.
When they couldn’t find any evidence to convict Sun, they rounded up his entire family, his staff members and held them hostage to make him confess. In July 2021, Sun Dawu was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
How can China be in such a mess? How is it possible that you can’t find good people out of the 1.4 billion. Well, here’s your answer.
The irony is that US diplomats who are not fluent in Chinese are allowed to enter China but Prof Link who is an absolute expert on China is blacklisted. He had merely translated the Tiananmen Papers and his views are not extreme or outright anti-CCP. The real problem could be, he knows or is in the position to know too much.
Wikipedia: “Eugene Perry Link is Chancellorial Chair Professor for Innovative Teaching Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages in College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside and Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He specializes in modern Chinese literature and Chinese language. Link is a Harvard University alumnus who received his B.A. in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1976. Link has been a Board Member of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) since 2021. CFHK is a US-based non-profit organisation, which presses for the preservation of freedom, democracy, and international law in Hong Kong.”
Prof Link grew up in an extreme Left family. His parents were fans of Stalin and felt that the Gang of Four in China did right. As a left-leaning American, he was positive about Chinese socialism, thinking that the system could be a solution to America’s problems. After setting foot in China in 1973, he started to have doubts about socialism.
Daily observations were enough to tell Prof Link that the real China was not quite the China that he read about in CCP propaganda. He doesn’t think that his values had changed after that. He just discovered that leaders in China were not honestly following the socialist ideals he embraced. The system in theory and the system in reality are two different things.
Link has translated many Chinese stories, writings and poems into English. During the 1989 Tiananmen protest, he was teaching at university in Beijing and was associated with dissidents from intellectuals to taxi drivers. Later, along with Andrew J. Nathan, he translated the Tiananmen Papers, based on leaked government documents.
In 1996, China blacklisted Link, and he has been denied entrance ever since. In 2001, Link was detained and questioned upon arriving in Hong Kong because of his involvement in the Tiananmen Papers. He has been banned from the PRC since.
This must be the scariest video made by Comrade Shi. He even threw in some creepy music for good measure. 😆
Having said that, a little explanation is in order. There is nothing very unusual about this deserted village. Folks living there had probably moved to the cities. Decades ago when burial was the norm, Chinese villagers would make coffins for their elders while they were still alive. That’s because without electrical tools, it took a long time to make a coffin and dead bodies couldn’t wait.
The smaller “coffins” are symbolic and not meant to be used. They are suspended high up because 升棺材 sounded like 升官发财. For better or for worse, such practices are now dead. Pun intended. 😁
When I was young, I got the impression from my elders that 排华 or purging Chinese people was purely an act of racism/xenophobia. I was made to believe that ignorant and unreasonable natives in certain countries were prejudiced against their Chinese immigrants and thus staged revolutions to purge and persecute them.
But the rapid dilution of our local scene by mass immigration in recent decades dragged me into the native’s perspective. With spare time to delve deeply into the culture, history and politics of the region in recent years, I realised that the trigger behind 排华 was not as simple and shallow as xenophobia/racism.
While most of the immigrants are decent folks and the natives are not saints themselves, only the most unscrupulous and unprincipled businessmen would welcome anything that brings wealth – without any 底线. The audacity of some ambitious immigrants, if left unchecked, can turn any society on its head. No dignified native person can accept that.
In response to the surge in Chinese immigration, illegal business operations and money laundering, the Thai authorities have now taken steps (probably viewed as racist by some) to stabilise and placate Thai society and prevent 排华 from getting out of control. Should we take a closer look at our super rich immigrants?
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