Preparations for the Welcoming of Secretary Li – A Killed Report
After photos of the elaborate ceremony welcoming Pizhou party secretary Li Lianyu home from the 17th Party Congress spread online, local officials, including Li himself, claimed that the outpouring of support was a “spontaneous” act. In the meantime, discussion and comments about this event in the major online forums have been banned. A netizen on Wenxue city exposed a report that was reportedly killed by a Chinese newspaper, revealing the extensive preparations that went into Li’s welcoming ceremony. Summarized and translated by CDT:
The story was about how the party secretary of Pizhou city, Jiangsu, Li Lianyu, was welcomed home by thousands of local residents after he participated in the 17th Party Congress in Beijing.
That day, at 5:30 in the evening, Century Avenue Road in the suburbs of the county was congested, which is rare. Firecrackers and fireworks were set off, suona was playing loudly, lion dances were performed, and big crowds were watching. Following a police escort, a shuttle bus covered with red silk drove slowly down the road. Then a middle-aged man got out and waved to the crowds.
This was Li Lianyu.
The previous day, city officials made arrangements to welcome Li, including installing brand new billboards along the highway, red banners hanging over office buildings, and colorful flags which stretched several hundred meters.
The village in the far west was the first one to welcome Li. Local villagers recalled that beginning at 4:00 pm, 200 villagers and officials were waiting at the junction. At noon, every villager received instructions to convene with the village cadres to welcome Li. The loudest fireworks and ten meter-long banners were purchased for the welcoming ceremony.
There were two other welcoming ceremonies held in front of Wunsha Electronics company and the Family Planning Association. About 200 workers from two local companies put down their work to participate in the welcoming ceremony.
More than fifty doctors and nurses from the People’s Hospital gathered together around 4:30 pm, and dressed in their white uniforms to welcome the leadership.
The local officials were asked to pick up small national flags and the party flags, which were made in advance. Because too many people went for the welcoming ceremony, flags were in short supply.
Nearly 200 students from a local middle school wore their school uniforms and their red scarves to welcome their “beloved Secretory Li” as the Young Pioneers.
At the most crowded sections, for several kilometers, cars had to stop and park for nearly one hour.
For a local leadership from Pizhou to participate in the party congress was a historical breakthrough since the establishment of Pizhou city eighty years ago. Local television said this historical breakthrough reflects the central government’s praise of the achievements of the city in the recent years.
Read “Li Lianyu’s glorious homecoming becomes a national portrait of the self-serving cadre” from China Media Project, which looks at coverage of the debacle in the domestic media and foreign websites.
See related CDT Slideshow: When a Delegate of the 17th Party Congress Returns Home