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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.

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