Monday, June 25, 2007

Netizen Arrested for Exposing Luxury Government Building on the Net

A Shangdong Tengzhou netizen was arrested after he posted a message on the Xinhua (New China) Net, a website sponsored by the central government, pictures of luxury local government buildings.

Mr. Ma of Tengzhou, Shangdong province posted a message titled, 'Have a Look at the Luxury Government Buildings of Tengzhou' at Xinhua Net on June 14, 2007. Xinhua Net was an online affiliation of the Xinhua News Agency, the official news agency of communism China. Days ago, the Central Disciplinary Committee of the CCP asked people to post luxury government buildings on the Xinhua Net, so that they could start investigating misuse of public money. Besides fulfilling the holly duty of helping the Party, contributors would be rewarded with gifts as stated by the central disciplinary committee. Two days after Mr. Ma posted the photos, the filed chief of the China Legal News Jinan (capital city of Shandong Province) station, who is a personal friend of Mr. Ma, posted on June 16th, 2007 that Mr. Ma had been arrested by local police.

If Xinhua Net hadn't deleted pictures of the luxury government buildings posted by Mr. Ma, this would have been another case of the wrestling between the central government and local officials. However, it's likely the central government was behind the arrest of Mr. Ma because the prompt tracking and arrest of an anonymous post. This was reaffirmed when those pictures were deleted by the Xinhua Net. In the Chinese government architecture, the Xinhua News Agency functions partially as the investigative arm of the top leaders. No local governments have power to constraint the functioning of Xinhua.

The Propaganda Division of the CCP Tengzhou Committee told the media that Mr. Ma was arrested on charge of criminal impersonation because he claimed to be a reporter of Legal Daily.

The young generation of the Chinese online community was shock on Mr. Ma's arrest. However, elder people who had been through the previous 'movement' cycles of the CCP still have vivid memory of the pattern of how CCP rooted out 'unreliable' citizens by inviting criticisms from the public. The Great Chairman Mao often proudly refer the technique as to smoke the snakes out of their holes.

Tengzhou was the birth place of Micius (480-390 B.C.). Mencius (372-289 B.C.) praised Tengzhou (then State of Teng) a "Good State".

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