Chinese Bloggers Get Wasteful Gov’t Official Fired
Citizen journalists in China have succeeded in getting a wasteful government official fired by reporting on a lavish party he threw paid for by government funds.
The Communist Party boss of Taizhou City, Zhang Aihua, had developed a habit of extravagant parties, high spending, and glad-handing industrial representatives, so much so that local residents had become angry at the excess.
At length, Jia Hongwei, a web forum administrator in Taizhou, joined other local citizens in outrage at Aihua’s latest blowout party. Hongwei brought his video camera and took images of the expensive foods and wines that cluttered the tables of Aihua’s party scene and posted them online.
The crowd of every-day Chinese harangued the official until he mounted a table to beg for forgiveness over a loudspeaker. “I was wrong tonight. Please forgive me. I’ll do anything if you let me go,” he is reported as having pleaded to the crowd.
But it was blogger Hongwei that seems to have been instrumental in urging the government to investigate the Communist Party boss.
As The Guardian reports,
Jia stopped recording when he left at about 8pm. Yet three hours later, he was sent a photo of Zhang kneeling on the table, face contorted in distress, a loudhailer in his right hand. He posted both the photo and video online that night, and they quickly gained traction on Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging service. Taizhou officials began investigating Zhang over the weekend.
Zhang Aihua was soon relieved of his position of power in Taizhou City.
Party Officials in Beijing have initiated a campaign to eliminate corruption and wasteful spending by often out of control party officials, a reform campaign to which Zhang Aihua fell victim.
China expert, however, warn foreigners that this incident isn’t necessarily proof that Chinese officials have loosened their stranglehold on Internet activities. Steve Tsang, an expert on Chinese politics at the University of Nottingham, pointed out that in this incident the blogger’s activities dovetailed with the government’s aims.
“I think if and when they [bloggers] are seen as crossing a line, and are focused on challenging the party, or party rule, that would be a different matter,” Tsang said. “I think the clampdown would be quite tight.”
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Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of " Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism" heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston
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