8 votes

Chinese scholar and outspoken critic directly blames Xi Jinping for severity of viral outbreak

4 comments

  1. gpl
    Link
    A vocal critic of the Chinese government has become one of the first to directly blame the Chinese leader and the government's policies for the severity of the current outbreak. Accord to the NYT...

    A vocal critic of the Chinese government has become one of the first to directly blame the Chinese leader and the government's policies for the severity of the current outbreak. Accord to the NYT (you'll have to scroll down, as this is the live updates thread), he has since been confined to his home:

    After publishing the essay, Mr. Xu was ordered by the Chinese authorities not to leave his home, according to the friend, Rong Jian.

    A translation of the essay can be found here. It is very good and lays down very clearly why he thinks this to be the case, and at many points calls out the government in direct and unsparing terms:

    It is true: the level of popular fury is volcanic and a people thus enraged may, in the end, also cast aside their fear.

    ...

    The last seven decades [of the People’s Republic] have taught the people many lessons about the hazards of totalitarian government. This time around, it is the virus that is proving the point once more and in the most undeniable fashion.

    One can only hope that our fellow Chinese, both young and old, will finally take the lesson to heart and abandon their long-practiced slavish acquiescence. It is high time that people relied on their own rational judgment and avoided sacrificing themselves on the altar of the power holders. Otherwise, you will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. [The term “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, is often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]

    ...

    As I write these words I reflect on my own situation which also dramatically changed in 2018 [when the author published his famous anti-Xi Jeremiad]. For having raised my voice then, I was punished for “speech crimes.” Thereafter, I was suspended from my job as a university lecturer and cashiered as a professor, reduced to a minor academic rank. I was placed under investigation by my employer, Tsinghua University; my freedoms have been curtailed ever since. Writing as I do herein, I can now all too easily predict that I will be subjected to new punishments; indeed, this may well even be the last piece I write. But that is not for me to say.


    I am often worried that my perception of China and the Chinese government is hopelessly filtered through the lens of Western media which, implicitly or not, casts them as an adversary. Despite this, I can't help but agree with the essay and admire the writer for his bravery in publishing it. I recommend that everyone read it as it is exceptionally well written and lucid. While I am skeptical that it will lead to real change or spark mass movement, I do hope that it is not quickly cast aside.

    5 votes
  2. [2]
    JakeTheDog
    Link
    I thought that, relative to SARS and in line with "Western" standards, the CCP has reacted promptly and appropriately to the nCov? Is there any evidence of them dragging their feet and being...

    I thought that, relative to SARS and in line with "Western" standards, the CCP has reacted promptly and appropriately to the nCov? Is there any evidence of them dragging their feet and being uncooperative with global efforts?

    2 votes
    1. gpl
      Link Parent
      It is mentioned in the linked essay, but the initial response of the CCP was to censor discussion of the disease and reprimand those sharing information that was unauthorized. This was happening...

      It is mentioned in the linked essay, but the initial response of the CCP was to censor discussion of the disease and reprimand those sharing information that was unauthorized. This was happening in the vital early stage when it could have been confined and addressed. There are other complaints too, though I am less certain what those are.

      With regards to global efforts, they have blocked global help and resources being sent to Taiwan, where there have been cases of the disease, and have been relatively mum with the data they have collected when it comes to foreign scientists.

      5 votes
  3. sp00ky
    Link
    And now, ladies and gentlemen, watch in amazement as Xi Jinping waves his fingers and causes Xu Zhangrun to disappear right before your very eyes!

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, watch in amazement as Xi Jinping waves his fingers and causes Xu Zhangrun to disappear right before your very eyes!

    1 vote