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Chinese blogger's home destroyed

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday April 03, 2007 10:17author by Ed Leeauthor address Hong Kong Report this post to the editors

And the birth of China's offical first citizen reporter

Wu Ping had been fighting for three years for her home in Chongqing, China. Last night, the bulldozers finally moved in.
Wu Ping's home
Wu Ping's home

I'm sure some have heard of Wu Ping's or 'Stubborn Nail's' heroic three-year defiance of a property developer in Chongqing.
Wu, who lives with her husband, was only one of the 281 families who rejected a compensation deal (3.5 million RMB) from the developer/Chongqing Muncipality for their land, hence the stubborness attributed to her by the local media. But Ms Wu defended her decision.
"I'm not stubborn or unruly, I'm just trying to protect my personal rights as a citizen. I will continue to the end," she was quoted as saying in the state-run Legal Daily.
China recently passed a landmark property law to protect people's property rights. But from the many comments left by Wu's supporters on a Chinese forum - some of whom were netizens on location reporting - one seemed to sum it all up: "In China, The Party is the biggest, and connections are stronger than the law. The law is a tool the upper classes use to suppress the common people and nothing more."
But their campaign ended last night when bulldozers moved in and struck down their motte and bailey-like castle. Wu reportedly remarked "Oh, well" when it was demolished. The couple have now agreed to move home.
But the controversy has moved beyond property issues as it had given birth to China's official first independent citizen reporter, Zola Zhou, who reported from ground zero with a camera phone and 1,000 RMB.
Could this usher in a new platform of Chinese journalism? The Chinese government currently requires all bloggers to register in their database but I'm sure it's not hard to get around the system. As more Chinese citizens have access to the Internet, so too will it play a bigger part in their lives, politically and others, it's a potential can of worms for the government.
In fact citizen reporting is already happening, some of course are not politically sensitive, such as netizens in Beijing reporting bad environmental practices and getting rewarded by it - because of the city's desperate clean-up for the upcoming Olympics.

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author by iosafpublication date Tue Apr 03, 2007 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just caught reference at the end of your report to the role citizen reporting is playing in spurring on one region to a self-awareness which includes and necessitates self-criticism. I'd suggest that's where progress (in the sense you want) will first be made and seen. Because it makes most objective sense to me and also because I've been learning about how Olympic events are organised on the human resources level this last year and know a Chinese citizen who has gone through the same curve and after many years working "and complaining & being self-critical" at the service of and independent of the Chinese state in Europe.
Chinese culture, shares aspects of self-awareness with many other oriental cultures which at first glance appear to have more in common with "pride" and "honour" than much else. It's a subtle difference which makes it more natural for such cultures to be slower than some in the west to embrace the positive benefits of a "loyal opposition". But the century progress of the poorest on the planet and the continuing safety of the rights the western societies built for themselves on the back of their imperialist global expansion are inseparable from the route China and the Chinese take.
Many of us are rightly terrified of the nightmare possibility of Nixon's US capitalists unfettered by legal restraint and Chinese employees without the benefit of workers' rights establishing the first truly globalised market at some point in the next generation. It would mean the collapse of hundreds of years progress on our behalf.

Sporting fair-play & the need for honest self-appraisal in preparation for the "show case" city ought offer opportunities to all Chinese to play as a team. We in the west are so blind to our own faults that when criticising those of another country immediately begin with the "who" (not "what" is wrong. It has never escaped the attention of others from China, Japan, Pakistan, India or to complete the list of potential trade and political partners of Asia - Iran) how much effort we put in to bickering between ourselves over what's worse about their state all the time illustrating how utterly impotent we are to change their states in any other way but military aggression.

I'd be very interested to learn more about the preparations for the Olympics. It is a global event of gigantic proportions which causes changes wherever it is celebrated and from wherever the athletes who are selected by their states come from. Not all of those changes are visible in the new city or architecture it leaves behind once the torch is passed. Just one thing on the giggle level - the most vigorously protected trademark of any non-commercial entity in the world are those of the IOC - it would be a bad idea for local entrepreneurial types to pirate copy the t-shirts. ;-)

I look forward to your next post Ed. thank you.

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