Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin has attracted colorful commentary to his Weibo account since he first said hello in March 2011. On March 22 he posted a preview of his editorial on a changing, rising China:
China’s reform and China’s rise have simultaneously been plunged into the deep end. These are two separate zones, not just one. They both are impacting the future of the Chinese people. We cannot attend to just one; both must be taken into account. China is groping for stones in the midst of the great river of human history. China was pushed into this river. There is no escape route from reform, nor is there an escape route from ascendance. The only way out is to move towards the other shore.
“Retweeted” 577 times and left with 487 comments as of May 14 (a few retweets have since disappeared), Hu’s post has its supporters and detractors. But as often happens on his Weibo, the detractors here are more vocal. Deng Bolun has translated select comments. Read the original post and all of the comments on Weibo.
PinchHim: What does “rise” mean? Is it the ability to face off with the U.S. military? Based on this standard, the 200-some small- and medium-sized countries never have and will never rise. They’ll never cross the river, will they? China’s rise won’t be marked by a military rise, but the rise of human rights. If there is no rise of human rights, China won’t withstand a single blow in a military face-off.
FutureOfFutureOfFreedom: The officials aren’t even willing to publicly announce their personal wealth. What’s the use of reform!
SillyLittleWeasel: Groan. Editor Hu wants to outline an even scarier future for those of us who can’t afford to see a doctor or buy a house. He tells us, “You’re all very happy now.”
DesertPoplarHy: What is the opposite shore like? Like North Korea or Taiwan?
SunJianguoOk: Where is the opposite shore? What’s there? Does it have the human rights, freedom and constitutional democracy that other earthlings enjoy? Solid policy comes from deliberation; a country’s nature and fundamental structure are very important. Ours needs to be reconstructed. A foundation must be lain for long-term development. The one-party system is definitely not going to work. Peaceful, rational and good-intentioned competition must be allowed! Oppose civil war, palace coups, brutal in-fighting and disgusting internal conflict! China will go toward a civilized rebirth! With freedom lighting the way!
孙 建国ok：对岸在哪儿？对岸有什么？有地球人都有的人权，自由，宪政民主吗？具体的政策出于商讨，国家的性质与基本架构很重要，需要建立重构，以为未来长 远发展奠定基础。一党制肯定不行了，要允许和平理性善意的竞争！反对内战，宫廷政变，残酷内斗，恶性内讧！中国走向文明新生！自由照亮前路！
JiaoChengJun: I completely disagree with the notion that Chinese reform has gone into the “deep end.” The concept is vague, it confuses everyone. Just say it. Should China Westernize? Should it have a separation of powers? Should multiple parties rotate through power? Why are you so talkative?! You should just ask the people.
UnmatchedHunger: Mr. Hu’s ass-kissing garbage talk. Two deep ends? Reform and rise don’t happen simultaneously? So-called logic and complexity are just fig leaves to coverall you lackeys! Grope your mom’s stones and cross the river, there’s obviously a bridge!
MaoMaoLovesFreedom2010: The masses crossed the river long ago. It’s just you and your master that still pretend to be holding on to the river stones as a matter of life and death!
YuZhengzhi: The only way out is for the Chinese Communist Party to pocket its pride and stop making empty calls for “serving the people.” Instead it should accept accountability to the people by realizing competitive elections for People’s Congress representatives, then gradually establishing a civil society of freedom, democracy and rule of law.
DukeOfHarmony: Sh*t, ten years into reform we were told we’re in the river, 20 years later we were told we’re still in the river, and 30 years on we’re still told we’re in the river. It’s getting deeper and deeper! If we keep going, won’t the entire population be “reformed” into the sea? How come we never make it to shore?
GraceLHY: Editor Hu’s style is my favorite. Every character is a Chinese character. Each sentence is disconnected from the next. He wrote 140 characters but said absolutely nothing. None of it resembles the Chinese language~
Pekinggdq: The problem is you’ll never reach the other shore.