Why have they taken citizen Xu?

Written by Julen Madariaga on August 16th, 2009

Many blogs have written about this already, but I still want to do my own post for Xu Zhiyong, who was arrested 3 weeks ago. I have no new information to offer here – info will be forthcoming only when the police decides it – but if you are reading this please do not let the case be buried in the stream of your newsreader. Instead, take this chance to catch up with some background on this extraordinary person.

If anyone still harboured doubts as to the integrity and dedication of Xu, here is a new series of posts by Wang Jianshuo, a non-political Chinese blogger known for years for his honest writing, who happens to know Xu personally from the Young Leaders Forum. Xu is one of the rare cases of activists taken seriously by both Western media and the party’s mouthpieces. The last article quoting him on the People’s Daily came out just one week before his office was stormed by the police, and ironically it was about how government information should be disclosed.

There has been some speculation on the net – especially on Chinese official media – about whether Xu’s NGO really had taxes unpaid and why. This discussion is completely beside the point, unless the Global Times explains that it is normal to be abducted 3 weeks for a first-time, minor tax offense. No, the real reason why Xu has been arrested can be understood in this Xinhua article issued last week:

In the national Justice conference the Minister of Justice Wu Aiying required:  […] lawyers in our country must support the party leaders, adhere to the scientific development concept as a guide, uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics,  ensure the correct political direction in lawyer’s work.

The message is simple, you do things with the party or against the party. There is no middle ground, and trying to find it by studying hard and following the law simply will not do. Because the party leaders are above the law.

I am sure many high placed within the party are against this arrest, and I am sure many dare not speak for fear of losing their own position. It is not the first time I get to this conclusion: we will see real change in China the day there is some real leader with enough cojones to change things. Deng said “Reform” and reform it was, these ones say “rule of law”, and what a joke for the World. Bad times for the honest Chinese people.

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Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug

    “with enough cojones”

    Ha ha ha. I like that.

    My small contribution

    “Que viva el estado de derecho, cabrones”
    (with mexican accent)

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Aug


    I was hesitating a bit to write that, but then I thought aw what the hell it is August and nobody is reading let’s go with it.

    Actually I have seen quite a few English-speaking blogs using the term before, I think mostly Americans that got it from Mexicans. It is funny how a swear-word in a different language doesn’t sound so bad, I would never write the c word in my Spanish blog, but in English it sounds OK, even sophisticated…

    But most importantly, in my opinion there is no other word that defines better what some guys in the politburo are lacking.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Aug

    It is really worrying. It seems that the only way to celebrate the so called 60th anniversary of New China and the chinese people liberation is just tuning on CCTV and listen to the boring medley of patriotic songs and praises to the former leaders vision and enlightenment. To see those programs you really need a good pair of those you mentioned….

    One year more, one exception more. We are getting used to this exceptional mode situation… and this is dangerous, because then it becomes the norm.

    BTW since today noon I an not access many websites in Beijing (Yahoo, MSN, messenger, El pais, El mundo, Publico, flickr… -not even with until today usable roundabouts… ) Someone has meddle again with the GFW dials… what a mess.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Aug

    Haha, to see those programs you need a good pair of pillows, because you are going to fall asleep in 5 minutes.

    PS. No problem with the websites you mention in Shanghai. Perhaps it is just a temporary glitch(= Homer the GFW operator fell asleep on his donought and involuntarily hit a lever…)

    [Reply to this comment]

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