Sunday, March 25, 2012

One Man's Death that Changed the World, A Tale as Heard on the Weibo

Nick Heywood (a name 'Neil Wood' was used in earlier report) was an otherwise ordinary English butler, who was hired by a wealthy oversea family who aspired British noble lifestyle. Heywood's job was to take care of one young man, a Harrow and Oxford alumni, who is currently study in Harvard. The young man's name is Bo Guagua.

Nick Heywood was found dead in Chongqing, a provincial-level municipality in southeastern China.

It is said Heywood's death triggered the first 'struggle between two lines' within the Chinese Communist Party since the end of the Great Cultural Revolution. The political fight already toppled a member of the strong Politburo. Half of the Chinese celebrated it as a most important victory for liberty in over 40 years; while the other half of Chinese wept as if they lost their sole hope in the higher-up.

The rumor has it that it all started as an ordinary detective story.

Englishman Nick Heywood was found dead in Chongqing. Naturally Wang Lijun, the Chongqing police chief, a legendarily decorated detective tried to dig out the truth. Clues led to the woman of house, mother of the young man whom Heywood had been attending to. The woman's name was Gu Kailai. Gu, a daughter of a PLA Lieutenant General, is the wife of Bo Xilai. Bo is the Party Chief of Chongqing, where Wang happened to be the deputy major and police chief. Wang's real identity is a most reliable henchman of Bo Xilai.

Later this year, the Communist Party of China will hold their 18th National Conference, while the once a decade power transfer will take place. Bo's son's oversea journey had been attracting uninvited attention and attacks from his political rivals.

A Daily Mail article might have shed some light on the mystery surrounding Wood's death. While Bo Xilai Built his political career as an anti-corruption iron-man. He had a lot to explain on his family's luxury life style, including his wife's high-flying law firm. Words in the media had implied Bo with his salary wouldn't afford sending his son to exclusive schools oversea, such as the Harrow School. In an opening session of the National People's Congress held at the beginning of this month, Bo purposefully told reporters, that Bo Guagua had been funded by 'full scholarship' in every school he went to, which began with Papplewich preparatory and all the way through the Harrow School to Oxford University and the currently enrolled Harvard University. While media reported some of these schools do not offer 'full scholarship' at all, the Daily Mail confirmed a long circulated rumor that Guagua had been suspended by the Oxford on academic performance. In a sense, Guagua's school report cards suddenly became the softest spot in strong man Bo Xilai's political life. While reporters burning night oil to unearth Guagua's course grades, someone fell into the position of having known too much of a taboo. Perhaps, a dead body wouldn't talk.

British citizen Nick Heywood was found dead in Chongqing in October, 2011. The Chinese officials decided Heywood would die of alcoholic poisoning (drunk), however his friends pointed out he had never drank before. While many foreigners had their first glass on their trip to China, because of the culture of binge drinking, the incident would certainly draw attention from stake holders.

Wang Lijun was not an ordinary henchman. So far Wang carried out all Bo's instructions, including many dirty jobs. With Bo's help, Wang had elevated to the role of the top cop in Chinese popular culture while Wang was the combination of the Batman and Spiderman who punish the bad guys, often stepping outside the boundary of law. Nevertheless, Wang's heavy-hand approach was strongly criticized by concerned intellectuals.

Wang's national fame might did some magic. Perhaps Wang somehow believed he was indeed the combination of the Batman and the Spiderman, as the Hollywood dog Bolt did. Anyway, one day in February Wang went to Bo's office and brought up the case that he had been investigating. The rest was history.

As Chinese have been watching from a distance in amazement, Wang was promptly stripped off his police duty. Cops who had been involved in the investigation were arrested, some allegedly were tortured to death. Heywood's body was immediately cremated in disregard of Wang's protest. A few days later, Wang walked in the General Consulate of the United States in Chengdu, Sichuan, a neighboring Province of Chengdu. Wang became the ever first 'Minister-level official' to defect the communist party. After dizzy power struggles within and without the consulate, Wang left the complex 'voluntarily' and surrendered to representatives from Beijing, who flew in to break an armed blockage by forces loyal to Chongqing.

In the following days, the communist party has been in a race to figure out how to handle the case before more details being released by the US. The US congress is on schedule to conduct a hearing on the case to find out on what ground Wang's asylum application had been denied. It is said that the Ambassador Gary Locke recommended to grant the asylum, but the motion was rejected by the State Department. Another blogger Dormant Bear 2012reported that the British government already initiated an formal inquiry through diplomatic channel regarding Wood's death. Financial Times said Bo Guagua and his wife had already been detained by the US on unspecified charges.

Many of the leads were posted on Sina's micro-blogging service webo by a former reporter Yang Haipeng in Shanghai. Yang's wife, a star architect, was sentenced to four years in jail on sketchy legal ground a few month ago. On the sentencing day, tens of thousands of bloggers in China changed their online avatar to photos of Yang's wife as a gesture to show support. It's just another example of how the communist party have been busy burying land mines so that they can step on one later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Returnee Leaped to Death

Thirty-nine year old Chemistry professor Dr. Cao Tingbing plunged out of a man's room on 9th floor of the Research Complex on March 16, 2012. Cao was the Chairperson of the Chemistry Department at the People's University (Renmin University) in Beijing. Born in 1973, Cao spent three years at Harvard as a postdoc researcher before returned to China in 2005.

Cao of Guangshan, Henan Province, graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology in 1996, then from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in 1999 with a Master's Degree. Cao then received a Doctor's Degree from Beijing University in 2002.

Cao left a death note. It is said the main contributor of his death was work pressure and relationship with colleagues in the Chemistry Department at the People's University. Cao is survived by a little kid, and a jobless wife.

Dr. Tu Xubin, a lecture of Zhejiang University, also a returnee with a PhD from Northwestern University in Chicago, jumped to his death in 2009.

update: July 28, 2012

Professor Li Jianxin of Beijing University revealed that Dr. Cao committed suicide after seven of his colleagues in People's University turned him in to the Family Planning authority on his second child.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Justice Department: Lawyer Must Pledge Allegiance to the Party

The Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China issued an ordinance that all practicing lawyers must pledge allegiance to the Communist Party before entering the field.

The ordinance specified that new lawyers who passed the qualify examination and those who were readmitted must take the pledge within three months at places arranged by local Justice Bureaus.

The pledge includes, among others, 'I support the Communist Party's ruling'.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Colored American Not American Enough

While a student athlete tried to shoot free throws on March 15, 2012, chanted could be heard: Where's your green card. The pep band of the University of Southern Mississippi made the chant at least twice towards Angel Rodrigues, who looked not white nor black. Rodrigues is a US citizen, born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

The incident echoed what happened a few years back, when Michelle Kwan lost to a white player Sara Hughes in 2002 Olympic, the Seattle Times put out a big headline: "American outshines Kwan". Without any doubt, for mainstream media, white people are in the least more American than colored beings. Born and raised in California as a US citizen and a four-time world champion by the time, Kwan is one of the most popular figure skating athletes in the US. Kwan was featured in the first page of the Seattle Times's pre-Olympics special section as a more decorated player on ice, still she was deemed not white enough to be American after the game. And this was not the first time Kwan was booed when she lost to a white player. In 1998, MSNBC applauded "American Beats Out Kwan". The 'American' is Tara Lipinski, who is white of course.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Public Radio Caught Fabricated Entire Investigative Report

During the budget wrestling last year, one item the Republican wanted to cut was the public radio. The administrated resisted, and valued the irreplaceable role of a government controlled public radio network. succeeded in keeping this government sponsored propaganda venue. Yesterday WBEZ, a Chicago based public radio station, was caught fabricated entire contents of an investigative news report regarding factory conditions in China.

The show, Mike Daisey's Story about Visiting Foxconn, was commissioned by public radio producer Ira Glass.

Through its 'This American Life' show, a program distributed through PRI, Public Radio depicted a horrified working condition of factory workers in China with a shortened version on January 6, 2012.

After the preview, although the station was alerted that the report was fabricated, the local correspondent cited 'Cathy' was not in existence, the public radio still went ahead to air the entire one hour show with the fake stories, but packaged it as a news item on March 16, 2012.

The faked story was a hit to become 'the single most popular podcast in the program's history. It amounts 888,000 downloads and 206,000 streams and widely cited as the utmost reality of factory conditions in China. Across America and in the world, numerous campaigns used the non-fiction report as a motivation to block Made-in-China products.

After the public radio was caught fabricating stories and then packaging it as a non-fiction investigative news item, Mike Daisey stated on his person blog that he 'stand by' his work, which uses a 'dramatic license'.

Dog See Mother Cooked

A Witness reported a shop owner killed and cooked a pet dog on the sidewalk in front of his shop. The female dog is the mother of the white puppy on the right. The puppy tried to see what happened to his mother, but was kicked away several times. The puppy saw his mother was killed and processed and then cooked from a few yards away. It's possible that the shop owner decided only one dog is needed to watch the shop.

The witness sighed the puppy was like the Chinese people under the communist rule.

The picture was taken in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province at 1:10 am on March 17, 2012.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Honor Student Arrested at U Maryland

19 year-old Alexander Song of Fulton, MD was arrested yesterday. Song, a sophomore student, is a member of exclusive Gemstone program at University of Maryland's flagship campus.

Song is alleged to have posted a message about shooting rampage on campus the next day. A student saw the message, and alerted the police.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Delegate Detained During the Annual Extravaganza

Zhang Mingyu, a Delegate of the Chongqing People's Congress, was detained by police in Beijing, while the National People's Congress was in session from March 5th to 14th.

Zhang's room was broken through by police from Chongqing Municipality in the afternoon of March 8th. A Deputy Police Chief (Mr. Tang) flanked by 4 armed policemen took Zhang from his room during daylight. On March 7th, Zhang announced he would disclose explosive evident that would prove corruptions in Chongqing.

According to Chinese law, a delegate to the People's Congress could not be arrested before he is stripped off his membership by the House.

Both the Party Chief Bo Xilai and the Governor Huang Qifan are attending the National People's Congress in Beijing. The annual sitting is deemed an extravaganza show of democracy under the communists rule. Bo's henchman Wang Lijun defected to the US's General Consulate in Chengdu last month. Zhang revealed a few days ago that another senior official of Chongqing committed suicide.

It is believed that Chongqing police had received permission from Beijing to carry out this obviously unlawful arrest.