Feng Zhenghu: On the Phone with New Old Friends
After he was denied re-entry to China eight times, Feng Zhenghu lived in Tokyo’s Narita Airport for 92 days in 2009-2010. Now Feng is telling the story of his airport odyssey on his blog, and CDT is translating his account.
This is part 39. Read previous installments here.
December 11, 2009
Today is December 11, my 38th day camped at Japan’s doorstep.
At 8:00 a.m. a reporter from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation called to schedule an interview in a half hour. I was in the middle of eating my breakfast, a bowl of instant noodles. At 8:41, he called again, this time with a Ms. Wang interpreting, and so I spent about 16 minutes answering questions.
Afterwards, I wrote a short letter congratulating Beijing Spring on their 200th issue and thanking them for awarding me the 2009 Freedom Pioneer Award. I wrote, “I feel truly fortunate, and express my deepest thanks. Although I have been working hard to advance the cause of freedom of expression in China, to win my freedom to return home, and to uphold the cause of personal liberty, there are many more pioneers who have worked even harder than I have, and made more difficult sacrifices. I am fortunate to find myself living in the age of the Internet, so that everything I do can be made known to the masses, who have supported me to the utmost degree. I myself am no more than member of the masses, striving to create a new era of freedom in China.”
Thanks also to Twitter follower @sfufoet. I’ve just read your message explaining how to temporarily substitute out my broken keyboard, so I’m not worried about it anymore. I’ve turned on the On-Screen Keyboard and I am using it right now. Thank you also for idea to use a USB keyboard. A small keyboard like this would be much more convenient than holding my laptop. It’d be both smaller, and also cheaper. In my panic, I forgot about this solution.
At 12:30 p.m. the on-duty head immigration officer delivered the ninth official letter, the same as yesterday except for the date, and took a picture with me. Afterwards, I sent out “Feng Zhenghu Presents the December 11 Official Letter (No. 9) from the Government of Japan to the Government of China” to online media outlets, with a picture of the letter attached.
At 2:17 p.m., I was interviewed over the phone by the Catalan Corporation of Media (Radio). The interviewer had their own interpreter, and the interview lasted 15 minutes.
That evening reporters from Das Erste and The Financial Times also interviewed me over the phone.
Nowadays I can chat casually with these reporters as if we were old friends because we’ve become so familiar with each other. Chinese officials are really muddle-headed. Thanks to them, this whole mess has accumulated a bundle of funny stories. It’s really pretty hilarious. [Chinese]
Translation by Nick.