China Works to Control Coverage of Bombings

McClatchy’s Tom Lasseter reports on the aftermath of the bombings in Fuzhou, whose perpetrator Qian Mingqi had fought for years to obtain due compensation for the demolition of his property. His story has met with silence or misrepresentation from the state media, but widespread sympathy among many Chinese.

Fuzhou city spokesman Li Wei acknowledged that China’s laws governing the seizure of property for public use are inadequate and corruption is rife in some local governments. Coupled with an increase of ordinary Chinese learning about the legal system, Li said, there are bound to be conflicts ….

Asked about Qian and the bombings, Li was dismissive.

“There’s no need for deep reporting on this person, because he’s only one man and he doesn’t represent many people,” said Li, a former judge.

Interviews with those who knew Qian suggest otherwise.

“He’s a hero. He’s the same as me: He did everything possible but still found no solution,” said Wang Julan, 60, who with her family owns a small car dealership in Fuzhou. “The government is not administering the country in a legal way. The Chinese people have no human rights; they are not getting what they deserve….”

“If you bribe government officials you can get anything done, even if what you want to do is illegal,” said Zhu Guoying, 48, who said a local Communist Party official had suggested that some cash under the table would help resolve difficulties when her restaurant and adjoining home were flattened for a hospital expansion. “But if you don’t bribe them, you can’t even get legal things done.”

See also earlier coverage of the bombings on CDT, and details of official media restrictions on reporting the story in our Directives from the Ministry of Truth:

From the Central Propaganda Department: To all print and TV media: The serial bombings in Fuzhou, Jiangxi must be referred as “5.26 Criminal Case.” No mentioning of “administration building” or “bombing incident” in titles will be allowed.

June 9, 2011 11:22 PM
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