Li Qiming to appear in Court on Wednesday

Li Qiming‘s (李启铭) trial at Wangdu County People’s Court is scheduled to open on Wednesday at 9 a.m., reports YNET. Li is accused of driving drunk and having struck two students with his car at Hebei University, Chen Xiaofeng (陈晓凤) and Zhang Jingjing (张晶晶), who were inline-skating on the campus. Chen Xiaofeng, from Shijiazhuang, died from her injuries. Zhang suffered fractures in her leg. When campus security stopped Li, he reportedly told them that “My father is Li Gang” (我爸是李刚), and “sue me if you dare”. Li Gang is deputy director of the Northern District’s public security branch bureau (保定市北市区公安分局) in Baoding.

If the court follows the indictment, Li faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, according to the Global Times.

The New York Times described in November how the story became part of popular culture: a

gripping socio-drama — a commoner grievously wronged; a privileged transgressor pulling strings to escape punishment — that sets off alarm bells in the offices of Communist Party censors.

Once all the beans appeared to be spilled despite all alleged efforts to the contrary, the propaganda departments apparently decided that to air some grovelling – and unpleasant – public self-criticisms were in order to help pacifying the public.

ChinaHush republished several videos from the Chinese media in October.


Reality you can Believe in, January 22, 2011

4 Responses to “Li Qiming to appear in Court on Wednesday”

  1. As expected, this emblematic little drama featured in the Little Rabbit animation. cf Custer’s site. On the one hand, the average person in China is pretty pissed off with the Party, officialdom and govt departments, while generally believing that life is getting better according to a recent survey.

    JR. How do you square these two apparently divergent views? Something which must be addressed by all posters like myself who are particularly critical of the CPC.

    Of course the future path taken by the Chinese economy could make this squaring exercise redundant.

    (Footnote. I catch blocks of DW on the radio quite often and have they opted for factual and colourless reporting.)


  2. Custer’s would be this one, right? “Building a harmonious forest” (snickers). A bloody end to the year of the tiger.

    Yeah – how do I square this contradiction? The following is sort of my working hypothesis. It’s little more than that. After all, it’s part of my job to be a good observer, but I can’t read peoples’ minds.

    I think the way China represented itself during the years of the “great leap forward” and the “cultural revolution”, to itself and to foreigners, may provide a clue. Many foreigners believed that China was the world’s happiest country, even though even the official picture of those times has since been turned into one of a very bloody and unhappy period.

    People in China can’t even agree today which times were better – those of the guaranteed iron rice bowl and – reportedly – reliable basic medical supply, or today. It depends on where in China’s society you are, I guess, or where you see yourself.
    What strikes me most is that many Chinese people (in a way, most Chinese people I know myself, too), even if they belong to the heavily cited middle class, tend to think of themselves either as avengers or as victims in most situations of conflict – even of conflicting feelings of their own. I think what is left out of the account these days when we discuss China’s political system is that the same party that beat the shit out of the people decades ago is still in power, and people know what that brotherhood is capable of, if things should really get tough again.

    Besides, optimism is not necessarily a mood in China. It’s good manners. To be gloomy would be impolite, because it strains the “atmosphere”. Even between you and an interviewer. Besides, you won’t want to think of yourself as a loser.

    The latter point is true outside China, too. I knew a German family whose father was very successful, and they were affluent people. His wife had a big drinking problem. Sometimes, her daughter would find her drunk as a skunk at noon, when she was back from school. And you bet that they were a very, very happy family when asked.

    I wrote some time earlier that I’m not sure how much of the general climate of vengefulness and anger in China should be attributed to the maltreatment of the country by its ruling “elites”, how much to the years of imperialism (of which most Chinese, I believe, noticed very little, at least prior to the Japanese war), and how much to the “feudal centuries before that.

    But the mere advice that someone is very happy seems to mean little in China.


  3. P.S. – I think that the cartoon actually reveals a fairly constructive way to vent ones own anger, even though it is hardly nice.

    I think the Deutsche Welle is quite OK. But there are ups and downs. It’s beyond me how they can do a press review with quotes only from three English-language sources, while they’d only need to ask one of many Chinese-speaking colleagues to do one of the Chinese-language papers, too. The stuff in China’s papers for foreigners is, well, for foreigners, not for Chinese readers.



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