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I can't, I don't understand

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bù néng, bù míngbai 不能,不明白

I can't, I don't understand (Source: Pincong)

Inversion of the acknowledgement on the "admonishment notice" served to Dr. Li Wenliang, one of the first doctors to warn of a new disease that would later cause the COVID-19 pandemic.

In late December 2019, Dr. Li posted to a closed WeChat group about a "SARS-like" illness originating in a wet market in Wuhan. On January 3, two officers from the local Public Security Bureau forced Dr. Li to fingerprint a notice as agreement to cease from "publishing untrue discourse on the internet":

...The public security bureau hopes that you will actively cooperate with our work, follow the advice of the police, and stop the illegal behavior. Can you do this?

Answer: Yes

We hope that you can calm down and earnestly reflect, and solemnly warn you: If you are stubborn, refuse to repent, and continue to carry out illegal activities, you will be punished by the law! Do you understand?

Answer: Understood [Source]

Dr. Li died of COVID-19 on February 7, sending waves of grief and anger through the Chinese-speaking world, amplified by the state's initial reports that he was still undergoing treatment. A leaked photo of Dr. Li's "admonishment notice" triggered an online campaign to take a selfie with a sign, often written on a face mask, defiantly answering the same questions Public Security posed to Dr. Li. A montage of photos made its way onto the video-sharing platform TikTok. The campaign gathered enough momentum for the censors to strike back: Weibo users who tried to post the text "I can't, I don't understand" received warnings that their words were "in violation of the relevant laws and regulations" and were invisible to other users.

k***_: I can't, I don't understand. I know that everything will disappear, I know that everyone will be forgotten, but I will remember that I can't [Chinese]

See also Can you do it? Do you understand? and we want free speech.

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