Qin Feng (秦楓), a reporter of Hong Kong based Phoenix TV blogged about her experience of covering NPC and CPPCC annual meetings this year, translated by CDT:
The two meetings have been going on for ten days already. Following the NBC representatives in and out every day, I have a direct observation and much closer encounter of the live performance by the delegates who “carried” public opinion. I have long heard the saying that there is a Congress Club. After reporting on the Congress consecutively for the past three years, I also strongly feel the existence of such club.
These few days, I have heard a few two hour reports and left the main meeting venue in the middle of the report to drink a glass of water. Outside of the meeting venue were twenty something tables for committee members to rest. They were seated by enthusiastic representatives who were in heated discussions. So I eavesdropped: they were not discussing about national issues and public sentiment.
They were all enterprises and government officials, smoothening connections, social networking, and recommending new people. Outside of the meeting, drinking tea in lieu of wine, how lively! There were not short of familiar faces. Hey, that lady in army uniform, you only appeared as a karaoke singer in high officials’ banquets during the first half of the year, and now how did you become a NPC representative?
I have voted for a NPC representative before and have a voter’s card. The registration counter posted the three candidates’ three photos and three brief introductions. I briefly looked through them. They were all people responsible for enterprise — State Owned Enterprise of course. At that time, I was a bit more serious, I didn’t even know them nor understand them, on what basis should I vote for them? Based on their brief introductions? Then I would be sorry for my voting right. But other than these three people, if I wanted to elect another person, the government would not allow. There were no other choices, so I abstained. This was the People’s representative elections I experienced.
I didn’t vote for them because I don’t want to let these people convey my hope albeit a tiny one. Because I know these people gained honor through exchanging glasses and lamps. And they don’t even qualify to convey my hope.
But I’d better shut my mouth off, to save these people from reflecting it overly fast – to NPC representatives, if you could reflect public opinion as accurately and as promptly as you would with frustrations vented by reporters, the Premier would not have had to drop tears twice when he heard about people’s difficulties. Thank you.