[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Chinese blogger's home destroyed

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chinese blogger's home destroyed

I'm sure some have heard of Wu Ping's or 'Stubborn Nail's' heroic three-year defiance of a property developer in Chongqing. Wu, who lives with her husband, was only one of the 281 families who rejected a compensation deal (3.5 million RMB) from the developer/Chongqing Muncipality for their land, hence the stubborness attributed to her by the local media.

But Ms Wu defended her decision. "I'm not stubborn or unruly, I'm just trying to protect my personal rights as a citizen. I will continue to the end," she was quoted as saying in the state-run Legal Daily. China recently passed a landmark property law to protect people's property rights.

But from the many comments left by Wu's supporters on a Chinese forum - some of whom were netizens on location reporting - one seemed to sum it all up: "In China, The Party is the biggest, and connections are stronger than the law. The law is a tool the upper classes use to suppress the common people and nothing more."

But their campaign ended last night when bulldozers moved in and struck down their motte and bailey-like castle. Wu reportedly remarked "Oh, well" when it was demolished. The couple have now agreed to move home.But the controversy has moved beyond property issues as it had given birth to China's official first independent citizen reporter, Zola Zhou, who reported from ground zero with a camera phone and 1,000 RMB.

Could this usher in a new platform of Chinese journalism? The Chinese government currently requires all bloggers to register in their database but I'm sure it's not hard to get around the system. As more Chinese citizens have access to the Internet, so too will it play a bigger part in their lives, politically and others, it's a potential can of worms for the government. In fact citizen reporting is already happening, some of course are not politically sensitive, such as netizens in Beijing reporting bad environmental practices and getting rewarded by it - because of the city's desperate clean-up for the upcoming Olympics.

Also published on Indymedia