Chang Ping: Is Wu Hao a “Web Friend” or a Cadre?

China Media Project translates a column by Chang Ping discussing the relationship between netizens, citizens, and government officials in light of the recent “eluding the cat” case:

I believe that as a propaganda official Wu Hao’s objective was to come up with some fresh ways of doing things, and to draw more public attention to this affair — and these efforts deserve some affirmation. But the problems that have emerged in this process must also be considered carefully. And one of these issues is the lack of clarity in defining roles.

There is no question that this investigative team garnered such broad attention because it was organized by Yunnan’s provincial propaganda office. Wu Hao has said that “quickly exposing the facts, discovering the facts, investigating the facts and presenting the facts” was the responsibility of the propaganda office, and that’s why he stepped into the picture and came up with the idea of letting investigative team members go to the detention center.

At that time his role was as deputy head of the provincial propaganda office, and he had behind him a definite degree of official resources. Nevertheless, he was at the same time playing the role of netizen.

Read more
about Wu Hao and his role in this case, via CDT.

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