Netizen Voices: Li Chengpeng Ousted From Sina

Ouspoken writer, social critic, and "Big V" Li Chengpeng saw his Sina blog and Weibo accounts cancelled this week. (Northnews.cn)

Outspoken writer, social critic, and “Big V” Li Chengpeng saw his Sina blog and Weibo accounts cancelled this week. (Northnews.cn)

China’s influential “Big V” microbloggers have been primary targets in the central government’s ongoing crackdown on social media. Over the past year, many influential Weibo accounts have been cancelled, and some Big Vs have even found themselves under arrest. Earlier this week, the widely-followed Sina blog and Weibo account of soccer commentator turned social critic Li Chengpeng were both deleted. Soon after, the Global Times published an editorial titled “Radical Liberals Must Have a Sober Awareness of Boundaries” (激进自由派须有清醒的底线意识). While the editorial didn’t mention Li’s name, the Party-run paper’s editor Hu Xijin published a separate commentary on the inevitability of Li’s ouster [Chinese] under his customary pen name Shan Renping. Fei Chang Dao has translated excerpts from the Shan Renping commentary:

On the evening of July 7, the Sina Weibo account @Lichengpeng disappeared. Of all the Weibo accounts that have been banned during the recent period, Li Chengpeng’s is one of the most illustrative cases. Li Chengpeng is often referred to as “Big Eyed Li,” and is extremely representative of the “Big Vs.” His language is fierce, caustic, and pretty much always “cursing the government.”

[...] If a few radical liberals want to continue bumping against the line and being antagonistic, then that is their political and personal choice. They must bear the consequences of doing so, and its not something worth grousing about. [...] [Source]

Many of Li’s fellow netizens and former followers took to Weibo to comment on his expulsion and the state media commentary that followed.

于建嵘:When reporting incidents like a writer’s personal media accounts being blocked, the national-level media doesn’t question whether a citizen’s basic rights are being infringed on. Rather, it evaluates the “pros and cons of Weibo.” What kind of a mentality is that?!

一个国家级媒体,面对一个作家的自媒体被销号这类事件,不能从公民基本权利是否受到侵犯去进行追问,而是从“微博利弊”去衡量,这是一种什么心态和水平?!

胡泳:单仁平 [Han Renping]:”@李承鹏 [Li Chengpeng] Account Vanishes, it Was Bound to Happen Sooner or Later.” http://t.cn/Rve2Up4 In 2008, China entered a period of turbulence. After that, two people had a lot to say about many major public incidents. One of them is Han Han, the other Li Chengpeng. And now, one is stabbed from the back, the other publicly terminated. They were “doomed” to meet their end.

@李承鹏 被销号,早晚注定发生http://t.cn/Rve2Up4 2008年,中国进入多事之秋。此后发生的很多重大公共事件里,都有两个人的身影。他们一个叫韩寒,一个叫李承鹏。如今,他们一个被暗箭射杀,一个被明枪终结,“注定”走到了尽头。

The following comments have been deleted by Sina and retrieved via FreeWeibo.

张雪忠:The containment of expression and the censorship of ideas are the most ridiculous things in the world: a small group of people has absolutely and infinitely no confidence in society, yet they require society to devote absolute and infinite trust in their judgement and impartiality! Those who express their thoughts openly and publicly have to be monitored with secret standards by those who hide in the dark. This is the major reason that a society is intellectually dim and morally low.

言论控制和思想审查是世界上最荒谬的事情:一小帮人对整个社会怀着绝对和无限的不信任,却要求整个社会对他们的判断力和公正心怀有绝对和无限的信任!坦荡公开表达思想的人,必须由一帮藏在暗处的人,以秘而不宣的标准和不可告人的方式进行监控,这是一个社会理智蒙昧道德沉沦的主要原因。

冉雄飞:Speak up for Li Chengpeng! Even though I once had a lawsuit with him, I still support the Big Eyes’ actions as a “dissident”! A country truly needs an opposing voice. In recent decades, the government has been focusing on economic development, which is near-sighted and hurts the environment. It has also indulged in many crimes, including forced demolitions and corruption. It is not doing a good job, yet it does not allow the common people utter a word of complaint. If it wants to continue managing us, it has to first wipe its own ass!

冉雄飞:声援李承鹏!尽管我和他曾经打过官司,但我依旧支持大眼作为“政府异见人士”的所作所为!一个国家真的需要一些反对的声音,政府最近几十年主抓经济建设,的确伤害了环境,缺乏远见,又纵容太多犯罪像强拆和官员腐败,自己做不好还不允许老百姓说几句牢骚话,想要继续管理我们就把自己屁股洗干净了先!

莫鸣:Weibo celebrity, “Big Eyed” Li Chengpeng had his Sina Weibo and blog blocked. Then, the chief editor of the Global Times kicks him while he’s down with a weibo. All sorts of celebrities sobbed endlessly. In the literary circle, Li Chengpeng is known for his outspokenness, which has set him against many hypocritical “moralists.” This is a country where, though freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution, various means are regularly used to deprive people of those rights. People are even sentenced and locked up for speaking out. Telling the truth is risky, only lies may survive.

莫鸣:微博名人大眼李承鹏新浪博客微博被封帐号,某球时报主编更发表评论落井下石,各界名人唏嘘不已,李承鹏在文艺界素以仗义敢言著称,得罪了不少虚与委蛇阳奉阴违的‘道德者’,一个宪法规定有言论自由的国家,居然屡屡通过各种途径剥夺他人言论,甚至因言获罪失去人身自由,说真话有风险,只能假话连篇。

wshsh2011: From Li Chengpeng’s elimination to today’s Global Times editorial, the radical liberals should continue on. In the space of just three days, the higher-ups seem to have made a subtle change. In my humble opinion, every crackdown simply stirs up greater resistance. The government can make an about-face, and Mao-Deng tactics will only aggravate the crisis. Only in balance amidst the confrontation will the political situation hold. The world is moving towards freedom and democracy. Only an idiot would oppose the world.

从李承鹏被消号,到今天《环球时报》主编说,激进自由派应当存在下去,仅间隔三天,高层似乎有微妙变化。拙见以为,任何一次打压只会激起更强的反抗,目前政府要能运转下去,釆用毛邓的方式只能加剧危机,唯有对峙式的平衡,才能维系政局。世界潮流几近自由民主趋势,只有傻瓜才会与这个世界对抗。

Translation by Mengyu Dong.