Cartoon: “Take it Off. Now It’s Your Turn!” (Updated)

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The above cartoon, from Southern Metropolis News, has become an online phenomenon in China: More than 4560 websites have posted it. On Kaidi.net, one of China’s most popular online communities, this cartoon was visited more than 780,000 times in the last nine days and has received over one thousand pages of reader comments.

The related news event took place during the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, when one unnamed representative, a provincial-level official (“The Representative”), answered Caijing Online’s reporter’s question: “How do you see the proposal of publicizing government officials’ financial status?” The representative’s answer was, “Why don’t we publicize financial records of ordinary people?”

After Caijing.com.cn publicized this news on March 10, without mentioning the official’s name, netizens started to heatedly “publicize my financial status.” And the above cartoon became extremely popular in this context.

Here is the original dialogue between the Caijing reporter Wang Heyan (王和岩) and the representative translated by CDT:

Reporter: “Chairman So-and-So, How do you see the proposal of publicizing government officials’ financial status?”

The Representative answered with a smile: “I am sorry. I did not look into this question.”

Reporter: “Aletai in Xinjiang, and Cixi in Zhejiang are all experimenting with this… Would your province be willing to experiment as well?”

The Representative: “I don’t know.”

Reporter: “Have representatives discussed this question?”

The Representative, walking while answering: “No. In our Chinese Communist Party discussion group, no one discussed this.”

Reporter, not wanting to give up: “Would you raise such a proposal or suggestion?”

The Representative turned around and looked at the reporter: “No. If this needs to be publicized, why don’t we publicize financial records of ordinary people? Why are the profits of corporate bosses not publicized to their workers?”

“Why don’t we publicize financial records of ordinary people?” The reporter almost could not believe his own ears and asked immediately, “Corporate bosses? Do you mean managers from state-owned enterprises?”

The Representative answered: “No. I mean bosses of private enterprises.”

采访对白

记者:“某主席,你怎么看待官员财产公示制度?”

委员笑眯眯地回答:“很遗憾,我对这个问题没有研究。”

记者问:“新疆的阿勒泰、浙江的慈溪都在搞官员财产公示,贵省有没有意愿搞试点?”

委员说:“我不知道。”

记者:“这几天大家有没有讨论过这个问题?”

委员边走边说:“没有。我们中共组里没有人讨论。”

记者有些不甘心:“你会提这样的建议或者议案吗?”

委员看着记者反问:“不会。如果要公布,为什么不公布老百姓财产?那些企业老板的利润为什么不向工人公布?”

“老百姓为什么不公布财产?”记者几乎有些不相信自己的耳朵,赶紧问:“企业老板?你是说国有大企业的高管吗?”

Update: The discussion of this cartoon in mop.com has been blocked by the forum moderator. However, some netizens have made T-shirts featured with this cartoon and are selling them on www.taobao.com, according to this article on the Southern Metropolis News.

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April 14, 2009 2:17 PM
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