Yang Hengjun: History’s Most Solemn “Two Sessions”

Once an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a commentator and novelist living now living in Sydney. Yang promotes political reform in China, though he often writes about it in enigmatic terms. Commenting on Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign at the Diplomat, Yang says the biggest “tiger” that must be caught “is the institution that created so many corrupt officials.”

In a March 10 WeChat post, Yang suggests that Xi’s pursuit of “tigers and flies” hangs heavy in the air of the ongoing Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and National People’s Congress (NPC). Through a series of photos Yang contrasts the smiles worn by delegates last year with their furrowed brows at this year’s meetings. Even Shen Jilan, who has been an NPC representative since 1954, looks forlorn.

The photos begin with actor , a household icon who is now rumored to be among those under investigation for corruption. A luxury club he ran in the capital has closed and many of his TV shows have been suspended over the past few months. Chinese media report that he also regrets purchasing a private jet in 2009 [Chinese].

CDT has translated the WeChat post and added explanatory material:

Does Uncle Benshan have his lonely moments? Upon hearing that “snapping” sound, he looks back with a smile, finding not a flashbulb, but a similarly solitary cell phone. Think back to those days when Uncle Benshan was always surrounded… But now, what seems like a lifetime later, perhaps these photos can help a later generation reflect on the joys and sorrows of our absurd age… History will be proof. The 2015 “Two Sessions” will be the most solemn general assembly yet!

Does Uncle Benshan have his lonely moments? Hearing a “snap,” he looks back with a smile, finding not a flashbulb, but a cell phone as solitary as he. Think back to those days when Uncle Benshan was always surrounded… But now, what seems like a lifetime later, perhaps these photos can help a later generation reflect on the joys and sorrows of our absurd age…History will be proof. The 2015 “” will be the most solemn general assembly yet!

Last year, Uncle Benshan was still like this...

Last year, Uncle Benshan was still like this…

This year, he looks like this...

This year, he looks like this…

Mo Yan last year...

Mo Yan last year…

Mo Yan this year...

this year…

Directory Huang Hong last year...

Director Huang Hong last year…

Director Huang this year...

Director Huang this year…

is an actor, director, and until last week, the manager of the PLA’s August First Film Studio. The overseas media group Duowei writes that Huang’s dismissal could be connected to his relationship with Xu Caihou [Chinese], the former Central Military Commission general expelled from the Party for bribery last year.

This is Auntie Shen last year...

This is Auntie Shen last year…

This is her now...

This is her now…

Last year, Zhang Guoli and Jackie Chan's sons were doing just fine...

Last year, Zhang Guoli and ’s sons were doing just fine…

This is Zhang Guoli now...

This is now…

Zhang Guoli’s son Zhang Mo was sentenced to six months in prison and fined on drug charges in January. Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee finished a six-month sentence for marijuana possession in February.

Brother Jackie last year...

Brother Jackie last year…

This year...

This year…

Zhou Benshan: Did your son get out? Jackie Chan: He sure did. You haven’t gone in yet? Benshan: They haven’t told me anything clear. I’m still in suspense! (If he’d sold his jet, I bet there wouldn’t be a problem...) Jackie: Do you have any proposals this year? Benshan: I propose the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection figure out a way to set people a bit more at ease and stop being so indecisive. It’s killing me!

Zhou Benshan: Did your son get out?
Jackie Chan: He sure did. You haven’t gone in yet?
Benshan: They haven’t told me anything certain. I’m still waiting! (If he’d sold his jet, I bet there wouldn’t be a problem…)
Jackie: Do you have any proposals this year?
Benshan: I propose the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection figure out a way to set people at ease and stop being so indecisive. It’s killing me!

Sister Song Zuying last year...

Sister Song Zuying last year…

Last year, Big Brother and Big Sister were still like this...

Last year, Big Brother and Big Sister were still like this…

This year, Big Brother and Big Sister look like this...

This year, Big Brother and Big Sister look like this…

Sister Li Xiaolin's face was already like this last year!

Sister Li Xiaolin‘s face was already like this last year!
She hasn’t been seen this year…

Translation by Josh Rudolph.