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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Last Post

Everything that has a beginning has an end.

On February 19, 2011, prominent Chinese blogger and public intellectual, Mr. Ran Yunfei was taken into police custody. His arrest was formally approved later on, with the charge of suspicious of inciting subversion of state power. After being detained for 171 days, Mr. Ran was released with the conditions that he remain quiet for another six months.

This blog was created in late June 2011 with the purpose to translate some of Mr Ran articles into English, so that he would get a wider audience which may in turn transform into international pressure to help free him.

As may be recalled, Mr Ai Weiwei was detained by the Chinese authorities from April 3 to June 22. During his detention, there were international petitions for his immediate release. The one hosted at received over 100,000 signatures and thousands of comments written in support of the detained artist. To help the people in China to understand how the world responded to this, Ruan Ji created a blog to translate those comments -- and later, articles urging for Ai’s release, news reports of protests about this detention -- into Chinese.

I was one of the volunteer translators of that blog. After Ai’s release, I thought if Mr Ran Yunfei’s articles were translated into English, he might be able to get a wider audience, audience in the English world. In so doing he might receive the international attention he deserved, international attention, pressure, that would help free him.

This was how this blog started: translate Mr Ran Yunfei’s articles to help him get international attention.

In fact, people had been saying since early May last year that Mr Ran would be free. But in a country where all kinds of rumors can come out of nowhere, these must be treated with extra caution. So the project was started, and went on regardless of those rumors. Nearly two months after the project began, the released artist tweeted to urge the people to speak out for Ran Yunfei. And coincidentally, the next day I saw people confirmed that Mr Ran was released.

Since Mr Ran Yunfei's freedom is not fully restored, I decided that the translation project should continue—until Mr Ran is totally free and can again write to criticize whatever he feels to be not right in China.

Then on September 25, I was told that several internationally renowned scholars like David Kelly have been translating the best of Ran Yunfei's articles. His articles have been available in English before this project started.

In view of this, the project's continuation has become meaningless, it therefore officially ends today. There will be no more update from this blog.

Thank you.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Politics can be good

Hyperlink to source text in Chinese: 政治可以是美好的
Translated by @krizcpec

Listened to a talk by economist Mr Chen Zhiwu yesterday morning. What a talk! At noon my friends and I had lunch with Mr Chen, then in the afternoon I was occupied with other things. As a result, I didn't get the time to watch Obama's inauguration ceremony. But with advanced communication channels available, I can watch a recap this morning after I woke up.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Protest is a Form of Civic Education

Hyperlink to source text in Chinese: 抗议是一门公民课 
Translated by @krizcpec

In our country much of the common knowledge is blocked. Whether someone works as a politician, or a statesman, his compulsory course would be to face public protest with a proper manner. It was a disappointment that two days ago at Cambridge, Wen Jiabao made an inappropriate speech after a protester hurled a shoe at him. It indicated he didn't have the skills needed to face protesters.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Responsibility of Intellectuals

Hyperlink to source text in Chinese: 知识分子是有责任的    
Translated by @krizcpec

Ran Note: This is an informal interview that Za Zhiyang had with me while he was putting together in Western China a special feature on peach blossoms. It was to me a surprise that he would want me to talk in his special feature. And talk I would, happily of course. But like he said, these words, published with constraint, may sound somewhat incomplete – my apology for that. But it is my long held belief that we should speak in traditional media whenever we have the chance, so that our views can spread further. I would post the interview here in my blog so that more readers can read it.

As for the Ching Ming memorial, think I'd write about that two days later. Need to take a break and go to used books market to hunt for some books—haven't been there for quite some time now, I dearly miss it.

April 5, 2009, 6:53 in Chengdu

Sunday, 11 September 2011

How many bizarre incidents occur in China daily?

Hyperlink to source text in Chinese: 每天有多少荒唐的事情在中国上演?   
Translated by @krizcpec

In my earlier blog I ran a few editions of “Common Sense Weekly”, which had had to be discontinued because the objective I set to answer ten questions in each new issue was too difficult to achieve. Shielded from China are the many common knowledge which, despite higher learning is not needed to understand, many people just can't figure out.

And a lot of people blindly believe in the many deliberately misleading opinions which are not only popular, but also get publicized by the all forms of media repeatedly. What is worse, these people not just believe in these false information, they also help spreading them further across. These actions harm not only their own interests but also that of others.