Nick Kristof continues his quest in search of topics that should be “sensitive” to Chinese by heading to Xinjiang
where he found little to write about. This follows earlier editorials on Tibet that we discussed here
On his blog, he tries to incite commentary with these questions:
Especially for those of you in China, do you expect the Olympics to go smoothly? Do you worry about the terror threat from Xinjiang?
My response (submitted as a comment on his blog) is here:
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from the IHT inspires me to write about a topic that’s been on my mind in recent months. The article is about the well-known Tibetan-Chinese writer Woeser. The title of the article alone gives you a pretty good idea of what its going to say: “Tibetan writer alleges harassment by Chinese police…” Woeser lives in Beijing, and is the daughter of a Han Chinese People’s Liberation Army general and a Tibetan woman. She also happens to be wife of Wang Lixiong (discussed previously
). She has written extensively about Tibetan issues for years, both in print and on her blog.
A more detailed feature on Woeser comes to us from the Washington Post, which has also kindly provided a platform for other Chinese voices: Wang Qianyuan, Yang Jianli. I don’t think it takes too much brain-power to guess the criteria by which the Washington Post selects its Chinese guest editorialists. Of course, I think it’s fair to say these three voices represent probably millions of Chinese voices, so I certainly understand the Western media’s right to feature their stories. My only question is… when will they give print real estate to Chinese voice that can speak for the other hundreds of millions of Chinese that disagree with them fervently?
All of this adds up to one question about the status of political dissidents in China: is the glass half-full, or is the glass completely empty?
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And the newest expression sweeping the Chinese internet: “I don’t give a $@*&; I’m just here to buy soy sauce.” (关我鸟事，我出来打酱油的)
It comes to us from Guangzhou TV last December, when an average man on the street was asked his opinion about a pressing social issue (the Edison Chen photo scandal if you must know). He gave a very, uh, candid and straight response.
This works very well with the Chinese sense of humor, and has just exploded in usage over the past few months. It’s taken on other meanings now without a clear definition… but I’d summarize it as: “I’m cynical as hell.” As rumors of official corruption after the earthquake were swirling, the emotional young Internet crowd often turned to this phrase when they felt frustration, but had little else to add… at least without having their post deleted by censors. (“More corruption? Whatever, who gives a $@*%, I’m just here to buy soy sauce.”)
This follows the “very pornographic, very violent” (很黄很暴力) expression which started sweeping the Internet a few months ago.