Protests in Shifang over a planned copper molybdenum plant succeeded in halting the project, but not before armed police attacked civilians. Photos of blood-stained streets and tear gas clouds flooded Weibo, turning a local incident into a national affair. Without online scrutiny, Shifang officials who managed the crackdown may not have been relieved of their positions, and the plant may well have been built anyway.
The central propaganda machine isn’t taking the Weibo revolution sitting down, though. In a July 5 Weibo post, Global Times Chief Editor Hu Xijin chided netizens for snowballing small problems:
HuXijin: Chinese society perennially harbors discontent. This discontent forms as an amalgamation of various unfortunate circumstances. Through the Internet, a portion of this discontent will naturally be lumped in with the Shifang incident, which in turn will add to the difficulty for Shifang to deal with the aftermath. This is one reason why it’s so easy for any of China’s specific conflicts to balloon into larger issues. The authorities now must do more than merely communicate effectively with the people at large. Online discontent has in fact become a part of the incident. FEATURED OPINION
胡锡进： 中国社会长期都有一些不满情绪，它们是各种不如意的结合物。它们的一部分很自然会通过互联网转移到什邡事件上，反过来增加什邡的善后难度。这也是互联网时 代中国各地具体矛盾容易扩大化的深层原因之一。现在官方不仅要与什邡群众做好沟通，互联网上的不满情绪事实上也已经成为事件的一部分。摘社评
Some netizens were more than happy to add a little difficulty to Hu’s job. A selection of comments on his post are below. Read more from CDT Chinese.
Shanghai-BrotherHu: Still “featuring opinions,” I see. You’re such an enigmatic eunuch. Is it possible for you to stand straight and be a dignified person?
DesertTigerX: This guy’s just like clockwork, singing the praises of interest groups!
SuperWangDapao: Chief Hu’s gibberish, translated into human speech, reads as follow: Don’t f**king use the Internet to talk about your stupid feelings and ruin our work of ass-wiping in Shifang!
VRomanticSummit: Hu’s a poser. What he means is: You people should not feel discontent. You must trust the government1 and the Party. They will resolve everything. That’s what you mean, right? What the fucking shit. We can’t even have feel upset? You must really think you’re freaking Buddha or something.
V浪漫风云峰：胡装B的意思是:你们不该有不满情绪 要相信正腐相信党 他们会解决好一切的。 是不是这意思 劳资草尼麻痹 连不满情绪都不能有 你TM还真把自己当成如来了
1 正腐 zhèng fǔ (“completely corrupt”) sounds the same as the word “goverment” 政府.
XieWenVerified: First of all, media of all kinds should be allowed to report from the scene. Every single thing must start from disclosing the truth on the ground.
Iced_Tea: You people always complicate simple issues of right and wrong. It’s obvious the local government in Shifang acted against the will of the people and forced through their own self-serving agenda. All the people want to know now is who approved this project, who called the armed police into the city and who commanded the police to strike. These are simple questions that definitely have answers, but all you have to say is that “online discontent has in fact become a part of the incident,” complicating the issue to the point where it cannot be resolved.
冰 _红茶：你们这些人每次都把简单的事情对错复杂化.明明是这个什邡地方政府不顾民意,强行推行利己政策,现在大家要求的就是交代是谁拍板一定要上马这项目 的?是谁叫武警进城,叫武警打人的?这么简单的问题,一定有答案的事,你偏要拉上”互联网上的不满情绪事实上也已经成为事件的一部分”让这事复杂到只能不 了了之.
1UnderBerlinWall: Hu Xijin figured out another way to kiss the Party’s2 ass…
2 裆 dāng “crotch” sounds like 党 dǎng “Party.”
ProtectCountryTempleSnack: Here’s what I get from Hu Xijin: Before, no one knew what the real situation was, or the people’s discontent couldn’t make it onto the nightly news. But now, it’s different. With the Internet, the government’s job just gets harder and harder.
HanLei_Julius: “Opinion,” eh? Hilarious. I’m surprised I would even pay attention to someone like you. I want to see if you would dig up the same “underlying causes” and pick the same “opinion” if industrial waste flowed by your front door, or if it was your close friends being beaten by the authorities while trying to protect the environment.
FocusBressonUnfocusCapa: In this country, the most unstable element is that which holds up the Bolshevik regime; the most costly stability maintenance is again what holds up the Bolshevik regime. It echoes the internal factors which lead to the collapse of Chiang Kai-shek’s government: the cost of controlling society exceeded the ability to create and adapt social values.
XiaoXiangChirp: Bullshit! No matter what happens, it’s always because there’s something wrong with the people’s heads, or their conscience, or level of education, or morals, or life, or judgment… The government is always great, glorious and just!
IVAFeiFei2012: Little Hu, the people will remember you. There will come the day when you will have to eat the crap that has been spewing out of your mouth.
TimeFlowsLikeWater: Today it’s them, tomorrow it could be us (not you). So why wouldn’t we (not you) pay attention?
Translation by Little Bluegill.
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