Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

Never extol misery, or say you’re 'moved' by suffering, and certainly don’t consider the hardships of the Chinese people as a badge of honor to be passed down to the next generation. Rather, we should reflect on and learn from suffering, so that suffering does not become perpetual."

— From a now-deleted post from WeChat account @青春好暖和 ("Ten Questions about 'Second Uncle'") that urged readers to interrogate rural misery instead of lionizing it

CDT Highlights

Latest

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

  • Recent News
  • Human Rights
  • Translation
  • Politics
  • Hong Kong
  • Information Revolution
  • CDT Bookshelf
  • Economy
  • Society
  • Sci-Tech
  • Law
  • The Great Divide

Hu Xijin Becomes Target of Nationalist Ire, Again

A number of Chinese internet users were under the mistaken impression that China’s stern warnings and the threat of a People’s Liberation Army attack on her plane might deter Nancy Pelosi from visiting Taiwan. Her safe arrival earlier this week left many shocked, upset, and confused, and was followed by a burst of jokes and laments about China being “soft.” Now that Pelosi is off the island—and China has dramatically reacted by encircling the island, firing missiles over Taipei, and canceling cooperation with the United States on a number of fronts, including climate—the anger directed at...

Zhou Xiaoxuan Loses Appeal in Landmark #MeToo Case

A Beijing court has rejected an appeal in a landmark #MeToo case, upholding a 2021 judgment that found Zhou Xiaoxuan, better known as Xianzi, had insufficient evidence to prove that Zhu Jun, a powerful CCTV host, sexually harassed her while she was an intern at the state broadcaster. Zhou told Reuters she is likely to apply for yet another retrial but acknowledged it is unlikely to succeed: “There may be basically no chance of re-starting it. But we also want to tell the justice system that we are making one last-ditch effort.” During the first hearing in December 2020, hundreds...

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

CCP Seeks Control Over Xinjiang Narrative As Xi Visits the Region

Over the past month, Xi Jinping concluded a “victory tour” of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, where his visits after years of absence signaled the CCP’s firm control over the two peripheral regions. The spectacles also served to burnish Xi’s credentials for assuming a third term later this year and to defy international critics of his human rights policies in both regions. However, recently documented CCP attempts to influence international opinion about these topics betray the government’s insecurity about letting its human rights record speak for itself.  On Wednesday, the Australian Strategic...

Translation: Wei Zhou Explains, “Why Did My Comment Disappear?” 

Popular online writer Shen Maohua, who writes under the pen name Wei Zhou, is known for his trenchant and often humorous essays, lively social media comments sections, and occasional brushes with platform censors.  In this classic Wei Zhou essay from March 2022, he tries to help his readers understand how and why some of their comments disappear from his WeChat public account. In the process, we gain insight into the methods of platform-based censorship, the relationship between an online writer and his readers, and the careful balancing act required to keep a popular social media account up...

Interview: Laura Murphy on Forced Labor in Xinjiang

Evidence of human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang has significantly increased over the past five years. As documented by researchers and human rights groups, the Chinese government has subjected members of these ethnic groups to widespread surveillance, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, forced sterilization, forced labor, family separation, religious discrimination, and linguistic assimilation. The accumulated evidence is strong enough for various governments, human rights groups, independent experts, and the Uyghur Tribunal to have concluded...

Voices of June: “Today It’s Us, But Tomorrow It Could Be You!”

“Voices of June” continues CDT’s monthly “Voices of …” collection of viral audio-visual content from pandemic lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities. Inspired by the original audio-visual compilation “Voices of April,” which was the target of intense government and platform censorship, the series seeks to circumvent censorship by amplifying the voices of Chinese citizens under various forms of lockdown and quarantine. CDT will continue to compile, translate, and publish these videos for as long as Chinese government censors seek to silence them. “Voices of June” begins with the...

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

Censors Stifle Health Blog, Silence Its Defenders

Popular health-focused outlet DXY is the latest popular science outlet to run afoul of China’s censors and online nationalists. Five DXY Weibo accounts, with a combined total of more than 30 million followers, were simultaneously suspended for unstated reasons earlier this week. There is widespread speculation that DXY’s suspension was prompted by its criticism of the use of Lianhua Qingwen, a herbal medicine based on precepts of traditional Chinese medicine invented during the 2003 SARS crisis, as a treatment for COVID. Censors have also targeted those speaking in defense of DXY. At...

Zhou Xiaoxuan Loses Appeal in Landmark #MeToo Case

A Beijing court has rejected an appeal in a landmark #MeToo case, upholding a 2021 judgment that found Zhou Xiaoxuan, better known as Xianzi, had insufficient evidence to prove that Zhu Jun, a powerful CCTV host, sexually harassed her while she was an intern at the state broadcaster. Zhou told Reuters she is likely to apply for yet another retrial but acknowledged it is unlikely to succeed: “There may be basically no chance of re-starting it. But we also want to tell the justice system that we are making one last-ditch effort.” During the first hearing in December 2020, hundreds...

Viral Videos on Food Shortages and Quarantine Conditions During Shanghai Lockdown

After conducting nucleic acid testing on its 26 million residents this week, Shanghai remains under lockdown. The metropolis has reported over 120,000 cases of COVID-19 thus far, most of them asymptomatic. Nationwide, an estimated 193 million Chinese citizens in 23 cities are currently under lockdown—areas that account for 13.6% of China’s GDP, according to Nomura brokerage. Residents confined to their homes are largely dependent on some combination of government deliveries, individual online purchases, and collective purchases of food and supplies, but quarantine zone restrictions, a...

Human Rights

Latest

Zhou Xiaoxuan Loses Appeal in Landmark #MeToo Case

A Beijing court has rejected an appeal in a landmark #MeToo case, upholding a 2021 judgment that found Zhou Xiaoxuan, better known as Xianzi, had insufficient evidence to prove that Zhu Jun, a powerful CCTV host, sexually harassed her while she was an intern at the state broadcaster. Zhou told Reuters she is likely to apply for yet another retrial but acknowledged it is unlikely to succeed: “There may be basically no chance of re-starting it. But we also want to tell the justice system that we are making one last-ditch effort.” During the first hearing in December 2020, hundreds...

Politics

Latest

List of Derogatory Nicknames for Xi Leaked Amid Crackdown on “Typos”

A crackdown on “typos” used to spread “illegal and harmful information,” and the censorship of an unpublished draft novel, have illustrated the further narrowing of online speech in China ahead of the upcoming 20th Party Congress expected this fall.  Chinese netizens have long employed a rich range of homophones, variant characters, and “typos” to evade the grasp of the censors and automatic filtering for designated sensitive words. In mid-July, Weibo and Bilibili announced a crackdown on “typos” used to spread “illegal and harmful information.” CDT has archived and translated a plethora of...

Society

Latest

Netizen Voices: Online Anti-Japanese Sentiment Leads To Woman’s Arrest, Festivals’ Cancellations

After a photo of memorial tablets for Japanese war criminals in Nanjing’s Xuanzang Temple went viral, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs ordered religious groups across the country to conduct self-inspections and undergo patriotic education. The photograph touched off a wave of online anti-Japanese sentiment as well as reflection on the process of healing from atrocities like the Nanjing massacre. An official investigation conducted by Nanjing municipal authorities discovered that the tablets were placed there by former nurse Wu Aping in 2017 in an effort to rid herself of...

China & the World

Latest

Chinese Diplomacy and Soft Power in an Era of “Great-Power Competition”

Tensions between the U.S. and China have risen further over the past month. In late June, NATO named China as a security challenge for the first time. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mooted visit to Taiwan has prompted prognostications of a potential fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis. Adding fuel to the fire, some American lawmakers and former officials have urged Pelosi to “show strength and not cower to the bullying of the Chinese Communist Party,” cautioning that “timidity is dangerous.” Last week, Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang delivered an unexpectedly ferocious performance at the...

Law

Latest

Zhou Xiaoxuan Loses Appeal in Landmark #MeToo Case

A Beijing court has rejected an appeal in a landmark #MeToo case, upholding a 2021 judgment that found Zhou Xiaoxuan, better known as Xianzi, had insufficient evidence to prove that Zhu Jun, a powerful CCTV host, sexually harassed her while she was an intern at the state broadcaster. Zhou told Reuters she is likely to apply for yet another retrial but acknowledged it is unlikely to succeed: “There may be basically no chance of re-starting it. But we also want to tell the justice system that we are making one last-ditch effort.” During the first hearing in December 2020, hundreds...

Information Revolution

Latest

Chinese State Media Reinforces Russian Disinformation About War in Ukraine

While the official position from Beijing is that China remains a neutral observer of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Chinese state media content suggests otherwise. Since the start of the war, coverage by Chinese state media outlets has shown a substantial increase in citations of Russian state media. The content of this coverage has leaned heavily towards pro-Russian and anti-Western narratives and has amplified conspiracy theories and other Russian-government-backed disinformation. This week, Chinese government officials and state media also began amplifying disinformation from Russian...

Culture & the Arts

Latest

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

The Great Divide

Latest

Viral Videos on Food Shortages and Quarantine Conditions During Shanghai Lockdown

After conducting nucleic acid testing on its 26 million residents this week, Shanghai remains under lockdown. The metropolis has reported over 120,000 cases of COVID-19 thus far, most of them asymptomatic. Nationwide, an estimated 193 million Chinese citizens in 23 cities are currently under lockdown—areas that account for 13.6% of China’s GDP, according to Nomura brokerage. Residents confined to their homes are largely dependent on some combination of government deliveries, individual online purchases, and collective purchases of food and supplies, but quarantine zone restrictions, a...

Sci-Tech

Latest

Censors Stifle Health Blog, Silence Its Defenders

Popular health-focused outlet DXY is the latest popular science outlet to run afoul of China’s censors and online nationalists. Five DXY Weibo accounts, with a combined total of more than 30 million followers, were simultaneously suspended for unstated reasons earlier this week. There is widespread speculation that DXY’s suspension was prompted by its criticism of the use of Lianhua Qingwen, a herbal medicine based on precepts of traditional Chinese medicine invented during the 2003 SARS crisis, as a treatment for COVID. Censors have also targeted those speaking in defense of DXY. At...

Environment

Latest

Zhengzhou Flood Anniversary: Censored Memorials and More Extreme Weather

This Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of floods in Henan on July 20, 2021, when historic levels of rainfall left almost 400 people dead and caused billions of dollars in property damage. Despite a January 2022 State Council report that chastised local officials for covering up the death toll, many residents were dismayed by the government resistance and censorship that met their attempts to publicly commemorate those who perished a year ago. The anniversary also coincided with a series of record-breaking extreme weather events across the country and around the world, bringing...

Hong Kong

Latest

CCP Seeks Control Over Xinjiang Narrative As Xi Visits the Region

Over the past month, Xi Jinping concluded a “victory tour” of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, where his visits after years of absence signaled the CCP’s firm control over the two peripheral regions. The spectacles also served to burnish Xi’s credentials for assuming a third term later this year and to defy international critics of his human rights policies in both regions. However, recently documented CCP attempts to influence international opinion about these topics betray the government’s insecurity about letting its human rights record speak for itself.  On Wednesday, the Australian Strategic...

Taiwan

Latest

Li Wenliang’s Wailing Wall, July and August 2022: “It’s Always the Victims Who Get Punished First.”

Two years and four months after whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” that emerged in the comments under his last Weibo post continues to serve as a repository for the hopes, dreams, worries, and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly collect and archive Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments translated below. Comments from July and early August covered a variety of topics related to current events in China and abroad. As always, there were expressions of gratitude and well-wishes to Dr. Li, interspersed...

Open popup
X

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.