The Downfall of Gaddafi overshadows Beijing

The Downfall of Gaddafi overshadows Beijing
By He Qinglian on Oct 24, 2011
[translated from]

Reading reports and commentaries about Muammar Gaddafi by Chinese media, I got the impression that somehow the death of this dictator gets on every nerve of China, the distant nation in the East. While the Chinese public cheer his downfall in all sorts of ways, the reaction from the government cannot be more different: by resorting to various expressions to stress the cost, and the cruelty of Libyan civil war, the officials deliberately portray this spontaneous resistance of the people as a Western plot to get oil.

On “Occupy Wall Street” and Its implications

On “Occupy Wall Street”and Its implications
By He Qinglian  
Translated from:

Before Oct 15, the world thought “Occupy Wall Street” was the problem of the United States alone. Beijing in particular saw it as the American people's opposition to American capitalism, and said explicitly, merrily that this time round it got even with U.S. media which had been reporting for years "negative news" of China. It was after the day the Occupy movement was held in seventy-one countries across the world that people began to realize things are not so simple. The theme of the Occupy movement is to oppose such economic and social problems as unfair financial order, and the wealth gap. Many protesters also called on their government to cut expenditure. To be fair, no country in the world is not troubled by these problems. It's only that the institutional causes of such problems and the measures governments have taken to deal with them varies significantly.

Why China Leads the World in Mental Illness

By He Qinglian

The Guangzhou-based weekly newspaper Southern Weekend recently published an article titled “Serious ‘Political Mental Illness’ Shows the Harsh Political Environment in China.” The main point of the article is that the huge mental pressure on Chinese government officials is leading to widespread mental illness among officials.

This problem is especially serious for officials in positions related to relocation and demolition, the petition office, and other supervisory agencies. These officials are widely exposed to the dark side of society, which leads to extremely bad mental health conditions.

On May 30, 2010, the state-run magazine Outlook Weekly published an article titled “Research Shows More Than 100 Million People Suffer From Mental Illness in China, With 16 Million Serious Cases.”

This article was published soon after Foxconn announced that those who committed suicide at Foxconn factories in China suffered from mental illness. The article talked about the types of mental illness suffered by people in China and the causes. Looking at the Southern Weekend and Outlook Weekly articles together, one can see the facts.

First, the number of people in China diagnosed with mental illness is at a record high judged by any measure. According to official statistics, there are 1.4 billion people in China. More than 100 million suffer from a mental illness, which is 1/14 or greater of the total population. No other country in the world has gotten close to this number in the past 100 years.

Second, members of all the social classes in China can suffer from mental illness. The Southern Weekend article shows that officials suffer from mental illness due to the problems with the political environment.

The Outlook Weekly article mainly concentrates on the lower class. The article said: “Due to high medical expenses, combined with years or decades of depletion, many families have no money left. Even those with coverage can’t pay for the cost to enter the hospital and the supplemental costs, but most don’t even have coverage.” This basically translates into a new trend in China: Being poor equates to having a mental illness.

The two articles pointed out a common problem: The huge pressure during a transition causes social pressure. The pressure on the poor comes from basic living needs, such as a job, living expenses, medical costs, education, and the costs of various forms of unfair treatment.

The pressure on officials comes from the abnormality within the political party. Officials bribe each other to get promoted; political success relies on connections instead of performance. The values of officials are distorted. They are not allowed to act out of conscience and morality but instead must protect the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and twist themselves to adapt to the corrupt system.

For example, officials involved in relocation and demolition must have hearts as cold as steel. They cannot feel sorrow for throwing people out of their homes and have to view people committing suicide as “obstructing official orders.”

The situations in other departments are about the same. The petition office must face the endless streams of petitioners suffering from injustice. Supervisory departments have to ignore the corrupt acts of officials daily. The members of the accounting department have to close their eyes to fake accounts.

In this world where everything is turned upside down, with the constant blending of right and wrong plus the loss of morality, it’s hard to imagine the lives of the common Chinese people.

When I was still in China, a prosecutor who was my friend told me he was disgusted and tired of his job because he dealt with cases for corrupt officials every day. Some people who look good from the outside are so dark on the inside. After a while, he started to doubt everyone.

I work in media, and I was very furious for not being able to expose the dark facts about society. However, the darkness of 10 years ago is so much less dark than that of today. Many people in the mainland tell me that society today is 10 times darker than what I wrote about in my book “China’s Pitfalls.”

Living in such a dark society is guaranteed to increase the number of people with mental illness.

When the majority of citizens in a country are under such huge pressure, with so many with mental illness, then the living conditions in the country must be seriously wrong.

The government should improve the environment to reduce the pressure on common citizens. The Chinese regime, however, doesn’t do anything to reduce the pressure. Instead, it follows the butcher Stalin, regards anyone with a different view as having mental illness, and then politically persecutes those said to have mental illness.

In May, Outlook Weekly wrote about this. It reported that due to the lack of mental hospitals, the law enforcement agencies would be in charge of young patients with mental illness. Dissidents and those with different views are to be treated as though they have mental disorders.

These cases are not decided by doctors but by CCP organizations. The local CCP organizations identify the cases and send them straight to law enforcement. These methods are very similar to those implemented by Stalin in Russia.

At this point, I think readers should understand who turned China into the world’s leader in mental illness. I also understand the reason so many Chinese people immigrate to other countries: to live a normal life.

He Qinglian is a prominent Chinese author and economist. Currently based in the United States, she authored “China’s Pitfalls,” which concerns corruption in China’s economic reform of the 1990s, and “The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China,” which addresses the manipulation and restriction of the press. She writes regularly on contemporary Chinese social and economic issues.

via Why China Leads the World in Mental Illness | Opinion | Epoch Times

Why has Chinese media’s coverage of the “Occupy Movement” turned cold?

Why has Chinese media’s coverage of the “Occupy Movement” turned cold?
By He Qinglian on Oct 17, 2011

Those who keep a close eye on information from Chinese media would find that after October 15, Chinese media’s coverage of “Occupy Wall Street” became much less enthusiastic all of a sudden. While before that date every media outlet had special reports of the movement that were placed at prominent spots of their websites; the massive global “Occupy Movement” received almost no attention.

Why is “Constitutional China” still an unfulfilled dream?

Why is “Constitutional China” still an unfulfilled dream?
Written on Oct 10, 2011 by He Qinglian
(translated by krizcpec, Slight modifications made on Oct 17, 2011)

Among the things being discussed in marking the centenary of Xinhai Revolution, an important topic is that despite having implemented constitutions over the course of a hundred years, China remains unsuccessful in its attempt to become a constitutional country. And the Chinese could probably set a world record for the effort they made in implementing constitutions: altogether fourteen constitutions had been enacted in over a hundred years, yet the country is still unable to bring about constitutionalism after having a constitution in place; and that the enactment of a constitution remains the easy task when compared to the implementation of constitutionalism, which remains an impasse.

Why Do Political Families tend to Appear in China

Written by He Qinglian on Sept 13, 2011
Translator could not be identified (yet)
Slightly modified on Oct 14, 2011

Breeding the Political Family (Original Title given by the anonymous translator)
Reproduced from
Post Posted by "nin-nao-hiah"

A report, “Investigation of Political Families in Zhong County,” was published by Southern Weekend on Sept. 1. The author, Feng Junqi, is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Beijing University. He was once a vice mayor and assistant to the mayor in a county in central China. This experience gave him the opportunity to observe the county’s intertwined political relationships.

How deep is China's quagmire of local debts?

How deep is China's quagmire of local debts?

Written by He Qinglian on June 17, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

These days Beijing became really anxious, the heavy debts of local governments had worried them. After spending more than two years indulging itself in the imaginary title of the “Savior of the world's economy,” China has now to rescue its own banking system, which balance sheet revealed dire problems that had long been hidden. Just when the China Banking Regulatory Commission announced plans to strictly control the credit risk of local financing platform, people discovered that the debt-to-capital ratio of the Railways Ministry had reached the tolerance limits, posing huge potential risks.

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (II)

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (two)
Written by He Qinglian on September 29, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

On September 25 Euromoney named Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, as Euromoney's Central Bank Governor of the year 2011. The interesting thing was what Zhou Xiaochuan listed as the reasons for being awarded in his speech delivered at the award presentation ceremony.
The reasons he gave were:
First, in response to financial crisis, China's central bank has taken a moderately loose monetary policy and expanded the money supply, effectively supporting the real economy;
Second, since the beginning of this year China has adjusted timely its monetary policy and implemented a prudent monetary policy, namely monetary tightening.

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (I)

China's Economy: a cycle of arson and firefighting (one)
Written by He Qinglian on September 22, 2011
(translated by krizcpec)

In this past six months, I have almost completely stopped discussing China's economy. There's nothing more to say after I have done repeated analyzes of its various aspects. However, it's interesting that Premier Wen Jiabao, despite being responsible for managing the country's economy, has been talking enthusiastically about politics instead of economy for more than a year now.