VIP Visit Brings Uproar to Mount Baekdu

Via Over the Wall:

On July 15, the governor of Jilin accompanied Beijing Party Committee Secretary Liu Qi on a visit to Heaven Lake at Mount Baekdu (Changbaishan), nestled between China and North Korea. The mountain was closed off to ordinary visitors for some time, leading to a tourist revolt. Angry visitors threw water bottles, blocked the road and demanded apologies and their money back.

Sina Weibo user @TimeBalm posted a series of captioned photos from the scene:

There were official police cars clearing the way up the mountain. Visitors were unable to move. Over 1000 people were shouting, “I want my money back! I want my money back!” and throwing water bottles and whatever else they could find! They were beat back, opposing special treatment! It got big. July 15 12:36 via iPhone

A group of people rushed the blockade. This leader was out of luck. He was surrounded. July 15 12:44

The license plate was ripped off. I heard it was from Beijing. July 15 12:47

The crowd swelled. Some people shouted, “Who does Heaven Lake belong to after all?!” July 15, 12:49

The crowd called, “Get out and apologize!” The coward shrank down in his car and didn’t come out. July 15 12:53

The conflict had already escalated to this point and they still didn’t try to save face. They won’t die of idleness fast enough! July 15 12:58

The situation eased and tourists continued up the mountain. This meant the people at the top couldn’t get down, and the ones at the bottom couldn’t get up. Things ground to a standstill. July 15 13:04

Trouble like this on Mount Baekdu only comes once in a blue moon. Chinese folks are already worked up to crisis pitch. This was way better than the view from Heaven Lake. A South Korean said, “When our leaders run into us, they make a point of coming out and shaking hands. China is just too much. Who besides the Three Fat Kims is this shameless?” A row of police officers arrived, shouting on and on, “Welcome, the People’s Police serve the people.” July 15 13:15 via iPhone

The two sides talk... With slogans thundering in the distance. July 15 13:20

It turned out to be Liu Qi, accompanied by the governor of Jilin. After the negotiations, I climbed up half the mountain. I saw rows of security guards all along the road, and all these hot chicks they’d invited. WTF! I got my money back and climbed the mountain for free. July 15 14:01

The day after the incident, a reporter spoke on the phone with an employee of the Mount Baekdu Heaven Lake Park Hotel, who confirmed that the mountain had been closed for Liu’s visit. The following is transcribed from that conversation:

Employee: Yesterday the mountain was closed. Yesterday a national leader came.

Reporter: Do you know who came?

Employee: Liu Qi.

Reporter: Is it true that because the mountain was closed, a lot of people weren’t able to go up?

Employee: Yesterday the mountain was closed. Later on people went up. After a while, after a bit it was over.

Reporter: Is it true that a lot of people shouted “I want my money back”?

Employee: I don’t know about that.

@NiuniuBaby writes, “Over 1000 people were waiting at the entrance. We heard that such-and-such leader from the capital was there. They didn’t admit any visitors after 2 p.m. They announced over the PA that the road up the mountain was under construction. Visitors blocked the road down so that the official cars couldn’t pass. It was quite a sight.”

@TeaWeakXiangchu tweets, “A big leader came to Mount Baekdu today and stirred up a lot of excitement. Several hundred visitors waiting in line to ascend the mountain tussled with park officers, armed police and the like. All of the visitors got their tickets refunded.”

@SeaBlueMtnFox tweets, “[Rabble, It’s Enough!] #XiongYan#: Please don’t believe it when they say ‘serve the people.’ In this society, it’s serve the VIPs and let the big shots run wild. Your lot is to stew in anger and mutter your dissent, not to criticize. Who made you rabble then?!”