Tips on Drinking Tea with Police

On her personal blog, Dechen Pemba of High Peaks Pure Earth has translated extracts from an article in Chinese magazine Wo Ai Yaogunyue, or “So Rock”. The article offers advice to readers who find themselves invited to “drink tea” with police over unharmonious online postings:

First express your refusal. If: A, no public security legal case has been registered; B, no criminal case has been registered; C, no other type of case has been registered; D, what you are doing at that moment is not a criminal offence, then they cannot issue summons to ordinary citizens, either on paper or verbally. If they do so, they are illegally using their authority to harass people with their indecent behaviour.

If they don’t give you anything in writing, and don’t let your colleagues also listen in to your tea-drinking session, and don’t inform your family, tell them that they are being illegal, let them know that you are someone who understands the law and, by not refusing to go with them, you were making sure that they “saved face”. Also, calmly tell them that that their illegal way of doing things doesn’t surprise you at all, there are Cops who are doing way more illegal things.

They may be very familiar with your various private activities and want use that to intimidate you. Tell them, “You know things that you should not know”, this in itself is a shameless act, since it’s private, people who know other people’s private activities should keep it secret, this is ethical. Tell them you had a one-night stand and want to tell them about it, ask if they agree to hearing about it.

The author’s recommendations grow increasingly confrontational as the article progresses, and are perhaps best regarded as objects of anthropological interest rather than practical guidelines.

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