Monday, June 18, 2007

Wen Jiabao's Tears

Premier Wen Jiabao is a typical example of a communism leader who grows up from the lowest class. His parents live an extreme low profile in a poor neighborhood of Tianjin. They have been known to their neighbors as nice old people, not many were aware of that Wen had been a senior Party official. Wen is very sympathetic towards the pains and daily struggle for living of the lower classes, and he never hesitates to show the emotion whenever he heard of the misfortunes of people. Whenever Wen is mentioned in a conversation, the first thing people think of him will be his tears. He cried for migration workers, cried for poor kids. However, after 5 years of seeing his tears on TV, and reading about his tears in newspaper every month, if not every week, people start to ask, when will he stop crying and start doing his job as a premier?

For more than 10 years, hundreds of thousands school age kids were kidnapped from roadside, store front and playground to be thrown in many private brick factories in Shanxi province. They were sold from one broker to another, until finally they found themselves modern slaves confined in the factories that are guarded by dogs. They were allowed to eat 15 minutes per meal, and work 16 hours per day. When they get injured, they are told to place earth to their wounds. If they can't keep up with the hard work, they are beaten and sometimes buried alive. Even so, the life in a brick slavery is rosy compared to those kids who were sent to mine slavery. Many live in underground caves forever, until there's no more to mine, and the slave master will simply explode the entrance and bury all the secrets. Their age? from 8 to 13.

Parents of 400 kids ask for help. A brave reporter, Mr. Fu Zhenzhong of Henan TV is outraged, and determined to help. He made 21 special reports after trips to Shanxi. 20 were aired, and the last was censored, and banned. Not only local government and police in Shanxi didn't give any assistance, but they touted, threatened and intimidated the reporter and the parents who were looking for their kids. In one instance, a child was saved from a slave factory, only to be sold by the local government to another slave master. The local government even stripped the child of the 300 RMB ($75) before sold him again for another $80. It's not until the online community was outraged that the central government step in. However, the real irony just starts.

The top inspector Tian Chengping sent by the central government was Shanxi's Party boss only two years ago. It was under his rein that evil slavery was fostered and protected. Whatever could people expect out of such a comedy led by clowns? They central government's propaganda arm claim they found some contract violations. Not even one single official is charged or even 'investigated'. It's merely a dispute over contracts (or lack of contracts). That's all.

What happened to the law enforcement officer (Mr. Shang Guangze of Yongji city) who sold the child rescued by the reporter from one slave camp, and caught on tape that aired to millions of houses? He was reprimanded and scolded for 2 levels of salary, roughly $4 per month. Nobody knows the fate of that child today.

People have learned not to trust politicians even as they speak into your eyes. When people watch Wen spoke with his tears, people thought they could trust in the tears. Although Wen Jiabao is very likable and cute, but people need a premier who acts upon people's need, not just crying over it.

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