Monday, March 08, 2010

Hubei Governor Li Hongzhong Shined at the 11th National People's Congress

In the morning of March 7, 2010, the Hubei Province delegation held a press conference to advocate the progress made in Hubei. A female reporter Liu, Jie asked what did the governor think about the Deng Yujiao case, where local officials of Hubei gang raped a waitress in public.

Governor LI Hongzhong (Wikipedia, Official Home Page) was apparently annoyed. He asked the reporter who did she work for? The reporter replied, "People's Daily" (a Party owned propaganda newspaper). The governor reprimanded the reporter, "Are you really (affiliated with the People's Daily)? Don't you know you are the Party's mouthpiece (mouth and tongue in Chinese)? What the hell direction are you steering your readers' opinion? I will talk to your boss!"

In a move which to stun everyone in the room, the governor grabbed the reporter by her breasts to pull her close to himself. The governor then robbed the reporter's breasts while the reporter sobbed silently in tears for about two minutes that's when he found a hidden recorder pen in her bra with a string hanged on her neck. Without raising his voice, the governor broke the string in a swift and affirmative act, and passed the recorder pen to a Hubei official accompanying him. He then tossed the reporter's credentials out in front of a roomful of other reporters.

The reporter is Jie LIU, a reporter of "Beijing Times" (Jinghua Shibao in Chinese), a Beijing based daily newspaper under "People's Daily".

The governor is LI Hongzhong, deputy Party secretary of Hubei CCP, a member of the 17th Central Committee of the CCP, and a representative of the (current) 11th National Congress. Li has been the governor of Hubei Province since the end of 2007.

The episode was promptly described by reporters at the scene by twitter-equivalent micro-blogs, and appeared on many blogs, including those operated by influential mainstream traditional media, such as "Southern Weekends", "Finance", etc. Audios and videos of the incident flooded video sharing sites.

The last time in history when an official Chinese reporter (reporters in China are government employees) had a dispute with an official happened in April 1957, before the commonly considered communism dark era of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1969). Assistant Agricultural Minister ZUO Ye had a verbal exchange with a reporter due to over-crowding during a USSR delegation's visit in Beijing. Hundreds reporter were jailed as a result.

The recorder had been officially issued back to the reporter by the Hubei provincial government the next day according to online reports. However, no apology was offered. Media demands an apology, and some reporters threatened of further action with a 24 hours note.

Download or listen the original audio before it would be harmonized.

In his annual state of the country State Council Government Work Report delivered on March 5, 2010 to the 11th National People's Congress where the incident took place, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, '...... (the government) should facilitate people's criticism and monitoring of the government. At the same time, the government should encourage media to monitoring its operation. Authority should work under the sunshine."

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