Blogger: Midnight Tea at the Public Security Bureau

Here is another conversation between the ruler and the ruled again. The following account is from Sina blogger yxmermxy on his dian3dao4luan7zao8 (癫3倒4亂7遭8) blog. The author signed Charter 08, and wrote this post entitled “What happened over tea before Spring Festival”, translated by CDT:

The principal participants of the “tea” included myself and three public security officers, one of whom was taking notes:

1) Where did you learn about ?

My answer: Online. They asked what website. I said you can find it using There are several websites that posted it, but they’ve already been shut down, like

2) Why did you sign [Charter 08]?

My answer: Democracy and the republic are concepts consistent with the constitution. Also, I agreed with it very much, so I signed.

3) What are the main points of Charter 08?

My answer: The main principals of democratic-republicanism.

4) Did someone coerce you into signing? (They seemed to suspect a pyramid scheme.)

My answer: I did it voluntarily. No one forced me to. I haven’t met any of the other people who signed it, but I do know some of them by name. I’ve read some of their articles.

5) Did you benefit in any way [from signing]? (Meaning: If there aren’t benefits, what point is there in signing.)

My answer: There weren’t any benefits in your sense of the word, i.e. monetary, but if the charter is carried out then the country as a whole will take giant steps forward.

6) Have you disseminated the ideas of the charter to others?

My answer: I don’t remember, but now that you’re asking me about the charter I guess I’m disseminating the ideas to you.

7) Do you have any plans to organize public actions around any important national events in 2009 — like reviewing troops for example?

My answer: Nothing concrete. The charter lays out a general way of thinking.

8) When and where did you graduate from college?

My answer: I graduated from Yangzhou University in 1990. After I told them that, one of the officers said: No wonder you’re so radical, you lived through that time.

9) Have you been in touch with any foreign forces?

My answer: No, I’m just a regular guy; I’ve never been in contact with any foreigners, unlike well-connected government officials who send their kids to foreign countries.

10) Who lives with you?

At first I refused to answer the question, but since they came to my house in the middle of the night I said, there’s my parents, my wife and my kid. They also wanted to talk to my siblings, but I refused, and they didn’t ask again.

The interrogation was rather friendly. All told it took about two hours. After it was over I read through the transcript; there were large portions missing — they’d written whatever interested them, but they hadn’t added anything or misrepresented me. After I signed it, the guy in charge stood up and said: We brought you into the station this late and to seriously warn you for your own good [ the Chinese phrase here literally means “to cure the sickness in order to save the patient”]. I hope you won’t participate in similar activities again …

(I smiled and shook hands to say good-bye to them.)

It was past 2:20 in the morning on Jan. 22, 2009, when I left the station (that’s when the public security officer finished taking notes; I probably arrived at the station around midnight.)






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