Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dongguan Hold On

Dongguan is a prefecture-level city in Guangdong Province with a population of 8 million. The city situates itself between Guangzhou and Shenzhen. For decades, it had been known as the 'manufacturing capital' of the world. Recently, it is also dabbed as the 'sex capital' of China.

For whatever reason, the CCTV under the Central Propaganda Ministry named Dongguan in it's national news broadcasting, accusing it of harboring prostitution activities, a criminal offense in China. It came as a sudden earthquake. Over six thousands police combed the city, and 67 prostitutes and their clients were arrested in one night. It's an inconvenience and understandably disappointing for those who rely on the service. But the reaction from the public was interesting, to say the least. According to online data research, more than 80% of online comments support the illegal business. Shy of mentioned the word prostitution per se, online media and even some publication use banners with bold fonts to show support 'Dongguan Hold On', 'Dongguan Be Strong'. Data analytics studies suggested that the great majority of males posters mocked and taunted the CCTV and the police, while women who as a whole did not approve prostitution activities kept silence.

An off duty police officer was seen holding a sign on the street in Hong Kong to protest for a colleague who was arrested on a sex trip in Dongguan. Local residents also displayed banners with the phrase, 'our soul is not for sale', with an undertone of mocking the reporters of CCTV.

What made Chinese, known for being introverted otherwise, to publicly spoke up for such an embarrassing act?

In an unrelated incident hundreds miles away in Guan'an, Sichuan Province on the same day, a police officer confiscated a scale from a peddler who was selling vegetables without a permit. The officer then threw the scale down a ditch. It appears the peddler was not beaten or mistreated. Still passerby were engaged, and soon a brawl was ensued. Thousands of people who had no ties to the peddler surrounded the police force, and demanded an apology.

It's no secret that any public defiant to the communists party rule will predictably gain a standing ovation from the audiences, anytime, any where. In many cases, it doesn't matter which side was at fault. Bashing the government has been a fashion for intellectuals and often a marketing technique for businessmen.

Since assuming the power in 2012, the Xi/Li administration has arrested and jailed more dissidents than twelve years of Hu/Wen administration combined. But obviously, people did not blink.

Shouldn't 'they' be scared?

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