The Hands that
Hush Reform

In late 2011 China has been seized by an intensified political
chill across the board, continuing what appears to be a general
tightening trend since August. He Weifang (贺卫方), one of China’s
leading proponents of rule of law and press freedom, posted on his
Sina Weibo account on December 11: “The ship of reform has come
upon dangerous shoals. The red city to the West [Chongqing] resorts
to endless scheming. Utopia [the radical leftist website] is fierce
as a starving tiger. And the Nanfang Daily Group [known for its
bolder reporting] is as quiet as a cicada in the frost.” This
cartoon, which He
Weifang appended to the above post on Sina Weibo
, is drawn by
artist Kuang Biao (邝飚), and depicts a lawyer (holding a book that
says “law”) and a journalist, both with their mouths forcibly shut
by a dark figure in the background. The anonymity of the figure in
the back strikes home the point that China’s political future
remains uncertain in the midst of jockeying ahead of next year’s
Party Congress.