Archive for December 16th, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Siege of Wukan: If you can’t govern a village, how can you govern what is Under Heaven?

Wukan (乌坎) may best be translated as “Black Ridge”, and it is a fishing village in the vicinity and administrative area of Lufeng City (陆丰市), a county-level city in the Shanwei municipal region (汕尾), Guangdong Province. After months of tensions about land requisitions, protests starting in September this year led to the Communist cadres and administration fleeing Wukan.

The village was then stormed by riot police, according to the Daily Telegraph, after which the officials switched from stick to carrot, asking the villagers to appoint 13 representatives with whom they could negotiate – only to seize and arrest five of them on December 9. On December 12, news broke that Xue Jinbo (薛锦波), one of the five arrested, had died in police custody. His body reportedly showed signs of torture. Since December 11, the village has been under siege, without food, water, and electricity, after police had made an unsuccessful attempt early in the morning to recapture the village.

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) quotes from an Oriental Daily News (東方日報, Hong Kong) article of Friday (today) which gives an account of the events from September until now.  At the beginning, the “Wukan incident” had been just another matter of corruption, according to the article, where proper handling by the authorities could have won the villagers’ hearts and minds back. But nothing had been done about the corrupt officials, and instead, foreign hostile forces (境外敌对势力介入) were used as an excuse to explain why the situation deteriorated and finally went out of control. This had triggered the wrath of Heaven and the resentment of men (天怒人怨 – i. e. strong resentment). RTI quotes Oriental Daily as asking if the authorities, the current Wukan incident, are focusing on serving the people, or on serving corrupt officials – and with a question which would be damning even in a European country, but particularly in the celestial kingdom:

When it comes to Wang Yang (汪洋, Guangdong Province’s party secretary), “if it is difficult to rule a village, how can you rule over what’s under heaven?” (“一村尚且难治,又何以治天下?”)

RTI’s article is written in simplified characters, for the benefit of potential Chinese readers (if they can get over the firewall). In turn,‘s Taiwanese website informed its Taiwanese readers on Thursday that according to the BBC, China had started to block microblog information on Wu Kan, which had led to internet users writing “WK” instead of the Chinese characters for Wukan.

Update [September 6, 2012]: the Sina article linked above has since been removed. See the two screenshots below for the original article:

online article, 1

online article, 1

online article, part 2

online article, 2

The siege of Wukan includes the villages fleet of fishing boats, according to the BBC report quoted by (Taiwan). The BBC in turn is quoted as quoting a Daily Telegraph reporter [Malcom Moore, apparently – see Daily-Telegraph link in this post’s second paragraph] who had visited the village, and who had said that twenty-thousand people in Wukan were in open resistance, and that the authorities were completely out of control. (Taiwan) also quotes China News Service (中新社), China’s second-largest news agency. China News Service quotes Shanwei’s acting mayor, as saying that the legitimate demands of the people had already been resolved, or were in the process of being resolved.

It remains to be seen if this means that the people of Wukan will be starved into submission, and a crackdown will start right away, beginning with the surviving twelve village negotiators who once dared to stick their necks out, or if the authorities will choose to serve the people (as the Oriental Daily puts it), rather than avenging their official’s humiliation. (They may also choose to take the earlier approach first, and the second approach later, once national and international attention has abated.)



» Scalpel gives Way to Hatchet, Sinostand, Dec 16, 2011
» Blocked List, Things You Don’t Know, Dec 14, 2011


Updates / Related

» The Foreign-Devils Pact, Malcolm Moore, Dec 15, 2011


Friday, December 16, 2011

Just a Side Note…

Thank you for your Consideration

Thank you for your Consideration

… according to WordPress statistics, this is Justrecently‘s 1,550th post in about three years and a half. This blog is an irrefutable reality.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Internet Management: On Stage, and Backstage

Remark: the following news article refers to weibo (微博), or weiboke (微博客). This doesn’t necessarily confine the set of rules in question to‘s Weibo, but to all kinds of microblogs, as Weibo simply means “microblog”, and any microblog platform other than’s Weibo would be a “weibo” in Chinese, too. Besides, it seems unlikely that a set of legislation or rules would single out just one provider. I’ll therefore translate weibo as microblogs in the following paragraphs — JR

[Update, Dec 16: while these rules seem to apply only for the Beijing metropolitan area, a BBC report suggests that they will affect all providers registered in Beijing – this would include Sina and Sohu. One could argue that this effectively turns the “Beijing city government’s regulations” into national regulations.]

China National Radio (CNR) Net, Beijing, December 16, 2011 – Beijing city government has announced the implementation of “Beijing City Microblog Development Management and other regulations”, saying that any organization or individual who registers an account with microblogs must provide information about his or her real identity, and websites that run microblogs must ensure that this information is true. The regulations also require that no accounts with false identity information are created, and that no “fans” must be traded.

中广网北京12月16日消息 北京市16日公布实施《北京市微博客发展管理若干规定》,提出任何组织或者个人注册微博客账号,应当使用真实身份信息;网站开展微博客服务,应当保证注册用户信息真实。规定还要求不得制造虚假的微博客用户,即不得买卖“粉丝”。

The regulations also demand that any organization or individual who registers a microblog account, writes, reproduces, publishes or disseminates information must use real ID information, and must not do so by a false identity, or an identity of someone else, and that companies and organizations must register with a code number.


A spokesperson for Beijing’s internet administration department said that the real identity information has to be given to the website running a microblog, while the username could be chosen freely. More folksy-put, there would be “a real name backstage, and a freely-chosen name on stage”.


The regulations point out that by adhering to the principles of active use, scientific development, legal administration, maintenance of security, the building and use of micro blogs, providers should play a positive role in society.


From a practical perspective, websites which operated micro blogs and users alike were called upon to disseminate information orderly, and to protect their legal interests. The public in general called for an honest network system, and the websites and micro bloggers should therefore communicate true, accurate information, and should not communicate false and harmful information.


The regulations stipulate that “in this city [i. e. Beijing], website operators and micro blog providers must go through the relevant business license approval procedures, and apply to the city government internet content administration departments, in accordance with the law, for auditing and approval”.


In a somewhat more detailed article*), the city government’s regulations are quoted as requiring already existing operators and providers to get the formalities of application and approval done within three months, as there had been “some” cases where operators and micro bloggers hadn’t performed their duties in accordance with the laws and regulations, and to implement the regulations with the users.


I seem to remember several previous attempts by either national or local governments to make the Chinese internet more “transparent”. If this local test in Beijing’s metropolitan area proves to be more successful, and if it is going to be spread to the rest of the country, remains to be seen. It would obviously make the CCP’s supervision much easier, and it would also be in line with the “social management” concept,



*) originally published by‘s IT website, republished by CNR.



» Online Guidance of Public Opinion, Nov 28, 2011
» BoZhu Interview: A Common Virtual Space, October 23, 2011
» Learn from Japan: a Normal Internet, April 23, 2011
» The Center Forever, March 13, 2011


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