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.