Fortress Besieged, Liuzhou edition

Danwei Picks is a daily digest of the “From the Web” links found on the Danwei homepage. A feed for the links as they are posted throughout the day is available at Feedsky (in China) or Feedburner (outside China).


“For 22 years, the image of the prison gates loomed in Feng’s dreams.”

I’m a prisoner. Let me in!: In March, China Daily ran a story about a man who voluntarily returned to prison after 22 years. Liuzhou Laowai fills in the missing pieces with a translation of a Procuratorial Daily story on Feng Junqiang’s two-decade odyssey outside the law:

Feng was now rich and frequently visited his mother but was too afraid to spend the night. His mother was in poor health and she began to beg him to hand himself in, finish his sentence and then be free. She wanted him to be a free man before she died.

In 2007, Feng bought his son a computer and accessed the internet for the first time. He found a webpage which had an article about how conditions in the local prison had improved greatly since his escape and began to consider complying with his mother’s wishes.

The King of Mean: Peter Guo, the Amoiist, sounds off about corrupt party bureaucracy:

The history is impartial to Cixi’s empire and Yuan Shikai’s restored dynasty; both of them were overthrown by the people. Therefore, I have said that the CCP will repeat the history again if no political reforms. Currently, almost all the nations surrounding China are implementing democratic system, including two small poor countries Nepal and Bhutan. I cheer that we have been surrounded by democracies except North Korea, the east hell. And how do you predict this nation, will it become the next democracy?

There is an other question. Are the civil servants elites, even the party members? It’s undeniable that most of the civil servants or party members are well educated. However, the system only opens the door to those people who take Marxism theories for granted, or obsessed with Communism, or have illusion on Communist Party, etc. Therefore, nearly all of the civil servants should have one kind of thoughts. This kind of people who show foolish loyalty to the party are always seen as brainwashed by outside world. Actually, I’m always astonished by them because of that they can’t even tolerate someone who talks democracy and freedom in front of them; the reason is not that they are one track minded but greatly influenced by educational system.

Why I will carry the Olympic torch: On the website of the San Franscisco Chronicle, Chinese-American Helen Zia explains why she is still proud to be an Olympic torchbearer.

Yuan breaks through 7 to the dollar: From Forbes:

China’s National Foreign Exchange Center has set the central parity rate for the yuan at 6.9920 to the dollar, breaching the 7.000 usd level for the first time.

Yunnan female film series review: On RealTime Arts, Dan Edwards reviews The Case by Wang Fen and The Park by Yin Lichuan, the first two films in Lola Zhang’s project to produce ten movies by first time female directors, all shot in Yunnan.

You can see a Danwei TV interview with Lola Zhang and Wang Fen here.

Why Beijing just can’t grasp Tibet: Pallavi Aiyar in Asia Times:

In the summer of 2006, I visited Lhasa as part of a journalistic contingent aboard the first Beijing-Lhasa train. Everywhere I went in the city ripples of excitement seemed to spread simply by virtue of my Indian nationality. Roadside sellers of bric-a-brac, monks in the Potala Palace, itinerant city guides, aged pilgrims: what this motley assortment of Lhasa residents had in common was the desire to talk to me about the Dålai Låma.

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