“Having Tea” with State Security

China Media Project has translated author Yu Jie’s recounting of his interrogation session, or “drinking tea,” with state security agents during the writing of his recent book, China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao. During the questioning, security officials asked Yu about an article he had written for an overseas website:

Did you write this, State Security Zhu asked.

I said, of course I wrote it. I put my name to everything I write. I’ve never written anything anonymously. I take responsibility for every piece I write.

State Security Zhu said, look at this sentence about how “the leader of the Communist Party has not only terrorized more than a billion people in China, but seeks to extend the violent rule of the CCP around the world.” What “leader” are you talking about? And what do you mean by “violent rule”?

I said, “party leader” refers to the chairman or general secretary. From Mao Zedong right on down to Hu Jintao. “Violent rule” is bit more complicated. In the Maoist era, tens of millions perished in the Great Starvation, and countless families were destroyed in the Anti-Rightist Movement and the Cultural Revolution. People were gunned down on “June 4th” in the Deng Xiaoping era. And today, children die needlessly as shoddy buildings collapse in the Wenchuan earthquake, or they are poisoned with milk powder and sickened with bad vaccines. If this isn’t “violent rule” then what is it? And then there is the CCP gunning people down in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Another officer who had been silent all along was suddenly goaded into a frenzy. He confronted me, saying, did you not see Uighurs massacring ordinary Hans? The government has an obligation to send police and troops to bring order, and to protect people’s safety and property.

I said, I don’t deny that Uighurs killed Han Chinese, but the violence of the authorities solves nothing. The greatest power of violence is in the hands of the government, and the government must apply it with utmost caution. What’s more, why do you think this ethnic conflict occurred? It’s because the ethnic policies of the government were flawed.

Open popup

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.