Netizen’s Comments on Current Events (With Photos)

Following images and commentaries are from a popular post in Chinese blogosphere, translated by CDT:

(1) The reason the Ministry of Education reduced the emphasis given to Lu Xun’s writings in middle school textbooks was not because Lu Xun’s articles were outdated—on the contrary it was because students might mistakenly believe after reading his articles that he was a modern author.  (via sophiatao)

[Ed.: The image on the left is Lu Xun, one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century.  The calligraphy on the right was penned by Jiang Zemin, former president of the PRC.  The words are a famous Lu Xun quote: “Fierce-browed, I coolly defy a thousand pointing fingers. Head-bowed, like a willing ox I serve the children.” (横眉冷对千夫指俯首甘为孺子牛)  Mao Zedong quoted this line in Yan’an and applied it to contemporary struggles saying that all Communists should “learn from the example of Lu Xun and be ‘oxen’ for the proletariat and the masses.”

Julia Lovell, who has translated Lu Xun’s writings, comments, “the beginnings of a Lu Xun withdrawal from Chinese school textbooks began, partly to make way for escapist kung fu texts. Perhaps the intention was to vary the literary diet of the young; or perhaps to redirect their impressionable minds from Lu Xun’s moody introspection towards a more exuberant self-confidence. Perhaps also it was an attempt to discourage the youth of today from Lu Xun’s inconveniently fault-finding habits. One of the excised works was a bitterly sad 1926 essay written to commemorate a female student killed by government forces in a peaceful demonstration – an inconvenient foreshadowing of the 1989 Tiananmen repression that the party is anxious to erase from public memory.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jun/12/rereading-julia-lovell-lu-xun)]

(2) In such a precious country, words are too valuable to utter (via:@ workbook)

In the hospital one sees people like these two, sitting at the entrance to the emergency room, holding the hospital bill and counting coins.  One, two…the small bundle in her clothes contains five more … (via: @ Chen Chen C).

(3) An airport taken over by self-help books on becoming successful

[Ed.: Titles of some of the books are “The Salesperson,” “The Chief Executive,” “The Salesperson’s Bible,” “The Business Sutra,” “Leadership,” “Speak Well and Your Future Will be Bright,” “Management.”

(4) After reading this banner milky tears fill my face . . .

[Ed.: The banner in front of this bakery reads, “No milk products used by this company come directly or indirectly from Chinese sources.”  Suspicion over milk products remains after products tainted with melamine poisoned large numbers of children and led to massive recalls. (The term 内牛满面 (literally: inner-cow fills one’s face) translated above as “milky tears fill my face” is a cute near homonym with 泪流满面 (tears fill one’s face).]

(5) Fishermen took to petitioning higher levels of government and to engaging in rights defense activities after not receiving compensation subsequent to the Dalian oil spill.

On the morning of September 2nd, the Z81 train rolled into Beijing.  Shao Deshan, the Village Committee Chairman of Hezuizi Village of Jinshi Beach of the Dalian Development Area, arrived in the capital along with more than twenty local large-scale fish farmers.  They were planning on delivering a formal petition letter filled with red finger prints to the Bureau of Letters and Calls located on Yuetan South Street in the West City District of Beijing.

The July 16th Dalian oil explosion and oil spill has become the worst maritime oil spill in Chinese history.  It has been about two months since the accident; however, there has not been a bit of progress in evaluating the damage or providing compensation.  There is no avenue of appeal available to fishermen, so they can only take the uncertain path of petitioning higher levels of government and engaging in rights defense activities.

(6) Member of the Chongqing People’s Political Consultative Congress: “The issuance of birth permits should be delayed to those whose moral standards are below the mark.”

Wang Xiaobo, member of the Chongqing People’s Political Consultative Congress, told reporters, “When couples apply for birth permits, there should be some standard set for families [measured by] an appraisal or test of their morality and ethical conduct.  The issuance of birth permits should be delayed to those who fall below the mark!”

[Ed.: The picture above is Wang Xiaobo’s.  Birth permits are formally required to have children in China.  The purpose of the permitting system is to ensure that couples do not have more than one child unless special circumstances apply.  A child born without his/her parents having prior obtained a birth permit may be denied a residency permit or “hukou,” which makes them ineligible for a broad range of government services.  Currently, all that is needed to obtain a birth permit is the presentation of the correct documents.  However, birth permits can still be denied in these circumstances if the birth quota in the region of the mother has been met or exceeded.  Below is a political cartoon created in response to Wang Xiaobo’s comments]

At the entrance to the office to apply for birth permits, a couple is confronted with a stack of books and a sign that that reads, “Appraisal of family standards, morality, and ethical conduct.”

(7) Conflict (via: Li Xiaoguai)

“Why’s it so noisy out there, could it possibly be another demolition?”

“No, it’s a group of angry youth (fenqing) who are protesting in front of the Japanese embassy.  They want Japan to hurry and give back the Diaoyu Islands.”

“Hey, I hear that of all countries China has the most land disputes with its neighbors.  Is that true?”

“I don’t know, but of all countries China is definitely involved in the most land disputes with its own citizens!”

“%@#…”

[Ed.: This cartoon is a commentary on the recent conflagration with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands.  It is also a commentary on the ongoing social unrest in China created by building demolitions.  Buildings are often demolished by the Chinese government in transactions in which the land is sold by the government to developers and the evicted owners given little or no compensation.  The problem has become so ubiquitous that it is one of the main causes of social unrest in China today.]

(8) This is indeed a major event. The Foreign Ministry worked overtime this weekend, pouring out condemnation. In my opinion, if everyone and everything is doing well – life is as one wishes, the wife, kids, home, car, work, leisure, health – are all ok, one can – under the guise of national sentiment – go and make a fuss about protecting the Diaoyu Islands. But if you have something of your own that you haven’t protected, first protect that and then we can talk. Don’t worry yourself about something so far off.  (via: Han Han)

[Ed.: The protester being hustled away by the police is carrying a sign that reads, “Little Japanese Devils.  I want to fight with you to the bitter end.  Junichiro Koizumi, You worship your father.  I will f*** your mother.” The contentious issue of sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands erupted again this month when a Chinese fishing vessel in the region was seized by Japan.]

(9) How Taiwanese people see the mainland

The Taiwanese have a more negative than positive view of China.  The predominant words used to describe the mainland government is “autocratic/totalitarian” and “powerful/hegemonic.”  The survey indicates that 54% of [Taiwanese] people have an overall negative impression of the mainland government.  Only 33% have a favorable impression of the mainland government.  (via: @ Ma Yingshi)

Taiwanese Impressions of the Mainland

Impressions of the government

Good: 33%   Bad 54%

Positive impressions:

Efficient: 4%

Friendly 4%

Strong and prosperous: 1%

Becoming more civilized: 1%

Pragmatic: 1%

Negative Impressions

Autocratic: 20%

Hegemonic: 17%

Undemocratic: 4%

Disingenuous: 3%

Corrupt: 3%

Impressions of the people

Good: 38%  Bad 47%

Positive impressions:

Friendly: 5%

Amiable: 2%

Hard working: 1%

Capable: 1%

Honest and sincere: 1%

Negative impressions:

Uncivilized: 24%

Interested only in material gain: 9%

Aggressive: 7%

Selfish: 4%

Nouveau riche: 3%