Translation: Wailing Wall Comments on Xuzhou, Whistleblowers, Ukraine, War and Peace

Over two years after Dr. Li Wenliang’s death from COVID-19, the “Wailing Wall” attached to his Weibo account continues to act as a repository for the thoughts, hopes, fears and opinions of countless Chinese citizens. CDT editors regularly archive and translate Wailing Wall content, including the selection of comments below

Recent comments continue to be dominated by sympathy for the trafficked woman found shackled in a shed in Fengxian, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. Sentiments include doubts about the official findings in the case, including whether the woman identified by officials as Xiaohuamei of Yunnan Province could actually be Li Ying, a girl kidnapped from Sichuan; concerns about the woman’s current health and whereabouts; hopes that she would be allowed to speak for herself; and worries that the fighting in Ukraine would eclipse her story and cause people to forget about her plight. Some commenters contrasted the intense interest in Ukraine with the relative silence on the Xuzhou woman’s situation. Others expressed fears for Ukranians and others caught up in the fighting, along with more existential fears of war, and hopes for peace. Some commenters also mentioned the recent news that Dr. Zhang Yu, the whistleblower oncologist who exposed “mass misconduct” in tumor treatments by dozens of prominent physicians—some of which has since been confirmed by Caixin—was expelled from his position at Peking University’s Third Hospital. 

The following Wailing Wall comments were posted between February 17 and 28, 2022. Some of the most recent have not yet been published at CDT Chinese.

@什么时候的乐啊:War broke out. It’ll be the common people who suffer.

@哎祖国妈妈呀:There’s less attention being paid to Fengxian, terrible.

@阿水deng:Good morning, Doctor Li. These war-mongering lunatics are even scarier than the virus, aren’t they?

@飞云深处有人家: Dr. Li, why are so many people around me thrilled about the war between Russia and Ukraine, but they don’t say a word about the shackled woman in Xuzhou?

@秦小数:Doctor Li, can you grant my three wishes? 1. I hope the Russian-Ukrainian war will end soon, so peace can return. 2. I hope my parents will be safe and healthy. 3. I hope this year will be better for me than last year.

@Tony_Hu:Ah, this is pretty painful, but I never expected there’d be so many people in my family who support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Are wars of aggression always justified through propaganda?

@会非的猪:Dr. Li, war only brings disaster on the common people. I hope for more peace.

@漏沙5871:Good morning, Liang. Some will be happy that Russia has diverted people’s attention, but I’m still paying attention to Fengxian. [The commenter used variant characters for “Fengxian,” possibly to avoid censorship]

@食苕的仲:Today’s Weibo trending topics are dominated by those Russian barbarians, but I want to say that I will always remember the case of the shackled woman in Xuzhou. Although I’m male, I also have a mother, female classmates, and female colleagues.

@TearSpirit:Doctor Li, starting today (February 23, 2022), we have a common scar, a scar in the shape of a chain, a scar without a name.

@mzc2020:So Dr. Zhang Yu, who uncovered the scandal about tumor treatment, was expelled from Peking University’s Third Hospital. China is getting more and more chaotic. Until the medical system is improved, doctors are going to be overworked, patients are going to suffer, and hospitals will be the beneficiaries. 

@一一星仔一一:Dr. Zhang Yu was expelled because he refused to wallow in the muck [unlike the doctors he accused of malpractice and profiteering]. Your spirit offers moral encouragement to many people.

@努努是只大胖猫:I feel bad for those Ukrainian cats and dogs, too, Lao Li.

@航Hanswer:Comparing the comments made here today and in other places about the Russia-Ukraine situation, the people who come here are all kind, with heartfelt empathy and tenderness towards the world. I’m guessing that for a lot of people, this place is a kind of Pure Land [Buddhist Heaven]. 

@IAM顾   People or things that are considered good by the vast majority of countries in the world are truly good, while people or things that are considered good by just a handful of countries are not necessarily good. 

@你脖子上长的是装饰品:According to China News, the whole world is at war with China. Except for “Daddy” [Russia] and a few poor bastard countries.

@尤金格格: The whistleblower…the shackled woman…they use their own tragic experiences to awaken the conscience of each and every Chinese person.

@十三儿哈:People who have spoken out for Li Ying have been reprimanded. “Reprimanded” … sound familiar? Dr. Li, we couldn’t protect you back then, and today we can’t even protect an ordinary woman. We are so powerless.

@嘻嘻弗斯下山:The trembling maple leaves are scrawled with lies about spring. Our silence today shall be engraved on tomorrow’s tombstones. [The first sentence is from a poem by Bei Dao.]

@MJ_1919:Lao Li, that woman is not crazy. She should be allowed to speak.

@蔡文姬姐姐:Dr. Li, the night you died, we didn’t sleep a wink. Today, another deliberately misleading farce is being staged, right out in the open. The same tactics of “reprimand” are still in use. Maybe someday, having been “reprimanded” will become a badge of honor, a sign of personal integrity.

@简清欢_:Doctor Li, I heard that comrades-in-arms of Li Ying’s father have been reprimanded and told not to speak any more. Tiemu and Massa, the reporters who went to investigate the case, seem to have also been reprimanded and silenced. Many parties involved with the case have had their social media accounts banned or suspended. Dr. Li, can we really not save the shackled woman?

@牛逼plass:Dr. Li, I hope there are no chains, no oppression, and no 404 [no censorship] on your side.

@Bobopopo2014:On Russia vs. Ukraine, I stand with Ukraine. How about you? 

@DDayoze:I hope that tyrant goes to hell soon, so that the common people can live safe and normal lives. I stand with the Ukrainian people.

@ddl杀手律:Dr. Li, it feels like the world’s gone half-mad … agitating for war, losing sight of what matters …

@LhatseJampel:Russia invaded Ukraine, and Ukraine is still fighting back, defending itself. Many people have died, but a lot of people are joking about the war.

@爱帅就会赢: Dr. Li: Ukrainians are getting ready to expel the threat and win back their own freedom and democracy. They’ve elected a president who is up to the task.

@起个昵称都被抢完了:The world is in turmoil, and Ukraine is at war. In the suburbs of Chengdu, canola flowers are blooming everywhere. I want to pick a bunch of flowers and stuff them into the barrel of a gun. [Source]

CDT’s Wailing Wall archive, and selections here, compiled by Tony Hu.

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