As for XX in China, the Chinese people have the most right to speak on the matter

In its most recent press briefing, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke on the inclusion of China in the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. NBC wrote on it briefly here, but the full translation of Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei's statement on the matter (as posted on the MoFA website here) is below:

Hong Lei: The Chinese government protects the religious freedoms of its citizens according to the law. All of China’s many people have religious freedom, as specified in the law. As for the state of religion in China, the Chinese people have the most right to speak, and do not need the US to go off on the matter. The US should stop being prejudiced and respect reality, objectively and fairly seeing China’s policies on religion and the state of religious freedoms. The US should stop using the issue of religion to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and not act in such a way as to harm Sino-US mutual trust and cooperation.


I've noticed this phrase popping up a lot lately in contentious issues that other countries comment on: 


"As for XX in China, the Chinese people have the most right to speak on the matter"

An new addition to MoFA go-to statements? Time will tell.


Global Times on Shifang, Qidong

The Global Times posted an article in Chinese on the Shifang and Qidong incidents. There is also an English version, but it lacks key passages, namely those saying "The 'Shifang-Qidong Model' must be broken." My translation (a rough one) of the original Chinese version is below, emphasis my own. The Global Times' translation is in other ways far superior to my own. 


The Shifang - Qidong model must be broken

Not a month after the Shifang incident, on the 28th, an almost identical incident occurred in Qidong, which is in Nantong, Jiangsu province. Some local residents protested in front of the local government office in order to stop the planned construction of the Nantong large-scale waste water project. The situation got out of control, and the governmental body was attacked. One of the main officials was stripped of his clothing and humiliated, and computers and vehicles were destroyed. Nantong city quickly announced that it had “forever cancelled” the project, and the incident was brought under control.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that protesters in Qidong were inspired and encouraged by the Shifang incident. They were just as intense as Shifang protesters, and like them, they achieved their objective and solved their problem. Qidong’s municipal government may have also learned from Shifang’s experience in being hard first and soft later, using “urgent crisis solving” to achieve a “soft landing” in a short amount of time.

However, the Qidong and Shifang incidents show a pattern. They have clearly shown this: when there is a problem with government decision making, the quickest way to completely resolve the issue is to have a violent protest. If this model gains traction, it poses a disastrous threat to China’s societal stability. It could encourage people to refuse to trust the government and use radical methods to ensure their demands for their own interests are met.


 The“Shifang-Qidong Model”must be broken. Decision making can no longer be in the hands of the leaders. The participation of the people must be ensured; they can no longer just go through the motions. After this kind of decision has been made, once it is met with opposition by groups, the leader can’t just step down when he likes, it must be able to stand in the face of opposition.


Shifang and Qidong show that a fear of environmental pollution exists in our society. Once this fear is set off, it will create a force of destruction that cares for nothing else. From now on, large projects that affect the environment will be face an extremely weak social psychology. If the “Shifang-Qidong Model” persists, it won’t just impact social stability. China’s future development will also face an unprecedented challenge.

An unfair or unreasonable strategic decision making process is the main reason that Qidong and Shifang governments were not confident in the face of those mass incidents. Billion-dollar projects can’t be scrapped whenever you like. Didn’t they hesitate even to deal with property damage according to the law? These two places may be peaceful now, but the precedent they set for the entire nation was terrible.

You can’t just blame the two local governments. As of yet there is no universal method for dealing with mass incidents. One they reach levels that the law would need to deal with them, there is already very powerful pressure from the sphere of debate as well as existing stability maintenance measures that put the local governments between a rock and a hard place. They are only able to perform triage in these instances, and can’t make any carefully thought out or ordered moves.

At present, local government bodies’ decisions about how to deal with mass incidents vary randomly all over the nation. Local governments always put an emphasis on concessions or suppressions, or at least that’s the impression one gets.

The establishment of policy in China can only take shape as it is a assaulted this way. In the end, it will result in the perfection of rule of law. Some everyday people will take to the streets because they don’t trust the local government to solve problems through normal channels. And the all-to-easy suspension of the Shifang and Qidong projects shows implicitly that the people are right not to trust them. The government must strengthen its communications with the people to correct decision making. That is a precondition for having the courage to stand firm when faced with opposition.

When the public has demands, they must be expressed. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of modern society. By giving them proper channels to express these demands, radicalization of problems can be avoided, and would ensure there is nothing to fear. One can only hope that these two incidents can be seen as an opportunity for China to realize a policy for the democratic negotiation of policy.

China has developed so quickly in these past few years. Even though demands regarding interests are spreading, and there are many problems, the stability of the government has a firm foundation. Now is the time and place to carry out true reform as we look at the two representative instances of the Shifang and Qidong incidents. All local governments should see this as an urgent opportunity and not a time to panic. As long as you truly serve the interests of the people, they will understand.

Source: Global Times




Translation of an article about Beijing's Internet Clean-up Campaign


Cleaning up of Internet to Begin at Month’s End
Internet café computers to store browser histories for 60 days, until August 31st
  The Morning Post (Journalist Xue Juanli) reported that yesterday morning, the Beijing summer meeting on the cleaning up of the internet environment kicked off at Beijing International Hotel. In order to more completely clean up the environment of internet culture, protect minors’ physical and emotional health, and create a healthy, excellent summer atmosphere, from the end of July until August 31st, the city Internet Working Group Office and City Cultural Market Management Working Group will carry out summer internet environment renovation activities throughout the entire city.
  City people’s congress standing committee member, propaganda chief, and vice mayor Lu Wei, as well as the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Secretary  Fu Zhenghua both spoke at the meeting. The meeting laid out plans for Beijing’s summer internet renovation work, and clearly defined the requirements, main tasks, responsibilities and divisions of labor for the summer internet environment government work.
  It was revealed at the meeting that internet café cleaning and renovation will be increased, with special focus on ‘illegal internet cafes,’ investigating and dealing with internet bars that admit minors in violation of regulations, and eliminating hidden threats to safety in internet cafes, as well as assisting the greening of internet bars, among other tasks. The Cultural Management Department requires that all internet cafes require real-name registration of all patrons, and store a record of the computers for 60 days, saving the browser history of internet users. Public Security organs will establish an emergency reporting hotline on all major websites, so that netizens may conveniently report illegal activities.
  Additionally, the Beijing Internet Café Association and Beijing Internet Media Association also called for internet industry workers to strengthen their self-disciplinary behaviors, and realize the “Beijing spirit,” promoting quality internet cultural products and helping the all young people develop a correct life view, worldview, and values. One Beijing internet café manager, Mr. Xin, represented all internet café managers in his public pledge: “We will strictly adhere to all laws and regulations in our operations, and be conscious about fulfilling all of our societal obligations and duties. We will work hard to end the practice of admitting minors to internet cafes, and take responsibility for the internet environment in our internet cafes, in order to ensure that all information our patrons come across in our premises is healthy and positive. 



China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comments on Myanmar 6/26



Q: A foreign organization published a report today saying that China has forced some refugees seeking refuge in Yunnan to go back across the border into the warzone in Myanmar, and has refused to allow relevant international organizations to have contact with these refugees. What does China have to say about this matter?


A: I haven’t seen the report you mentioned. However, I would like to point out that the related statements you’ve made are inaccurate. Due to the fact that Myanmar’s military has exchanged sporadic fire as some minority groups have armed themselves, some citizens of Myanmar, out of safety concerns, temporarily entered Chinese territory, seeking out friends and family. They’re not refugees; after the situation quieted down, they returned to Myanmar. China has always provided necessary assistance to citizens of Myanmar living across the border who have entered its territory, in the spirit of humanitarianism.


Sina Weibo's 15 VIP Services

Introduction to special privileges of Sina Weibo’s new VIP service


  1. Exclusive VIP icon (“Weibo Members will be identified by an exclusive identifying icon, so you can express your valuable user identity at all times”.)
  2. Exclusive template (“Weibo Members can use exclusive individualized templates, so your home page posting box and buttons can be changed, and cool exclusive templates are continually being developed. Quick, take a look!”)
  3.  Exclusive awards (“Weibo Members’ exclusive awards will let you express your valuable user identity at all times.”)
  4.  Exclusive Weibo number (Are you still upset that your unique name is being used? Is your long account name giving you a headache? Get a “user Weibo account name” and enjoy this special privilege. You can choose from two kinds of Weibo account name services: 1) Individualized Weibo account name: enjoy a unique Weibo account name with a short address, exclusive icon, and shining awards. Your friends can find you by searching this account name, and write posts and private messages directly to your Weibo account name; 2) Log-in Weibo account name: use the most familiar account name to log in to Weibo, and accept your shining Weibo account name award.”)
  5. Exclusive customer service (“Weibo Members have an exclusive customer service team that provides you with services and assistance. This team will watch over you during your journey through Weibo.”)


  1. Quicker leveling up (“Weibo users can be faster by as much as 0.8 active days! Become a faster person!”)
  2. Increased attention online (Follow up to 3,000 users  - “Is the fact that you can only follow 2,000 people causing you problems? With this new privilege, it won’t be a problem for you anymore.”)
  3. Special promotion (“Before, you would refresh your Weibo page and no one ever asked after you! Now, with this privilege, you will have more opportunities to express yourself and win more fans through our Members’ section and other recommendation platforms!”)
  4. Ability to follow anonymously (“There are always so many people that you want to anonymously follow, but there is unfortunately a limit. Members service will let you follow up to 30 users.”)
  5. Block anonymously (“You don’t want to see posts by some users, but you’re not comfortable un-following them? Put them on your Weibo block list, and we’ll automatically block their new posts from appearing on your homepage. They’ll never know!”)


  1. Weibo Voice (“If you’re sick of text and pictures, why not yell out your Weibo post, and use your linked mobile device to dial 950-138-333 and post with Weibo Voice?)
  2. Special SMS for following (“A user’s posts are always lost in the mix. Special mobile following allows you to solve this problem! After successfully setting it up, the user’s Weibo posts will be sent to your mobile device by text the moment he or she updates. Be the first to the ‘sofa’ of celebrities’ posts!”)
  3. Birthday reminders (You forgot the birthday of a user you really care about! No need to worry, become a Weibo Member and you will be sent a friendly reminder. Users will even receive a Special Gift on their own birthdays!”)


  1. Text message security reminders (“Weibo Members can use their linked mobile device to receive security reminders via text message. You can protect your account security more quickly and conveniently.”)
  2. Change password settings by text message (In the event of an emergency, Weibo Members can send the phrase “Change Password” to 1069009043, and quickly change their password settings by following the directions sent back by text message.”)