Lu Yuegang Letter of Protest to Head of Chinese Communist Youth League

Following an address to employees at China Youth Daily newspaper by the secretary of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, Zhao Yong, in which the official lectured the journalists on proper discipline, Lu posted the following letter on the paper’s internal server. It was subsequently leaked to the outside, become an international news story.
The translation of Lu Yuegang’s letter that follows is provided by Roland Soong at ESWN:
An Open Letter to Zhao Yong, Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League
To Zhao Yong:
We must have a honest discussion. On the afternoon of May 24th, 2004, you delivered a speech at the meeting with the middle-level cadres of the China Youth Daily, and you disappointed many colleagues including me extremely. As the representative of the current central secretariat, you created a bad image for the China Youth Daily. You looked like a petty official who “began to issue orders once you got a little power.” In your speech, you communicated many messages. But after eliminating the lies, the clichés and the dishonesties, there are three main points: (1) anyone who does not obey can get out of the door immediately, even though your original words were: “Anyone who doesn’t want to work can turn in the resignation letter and it will approved on the same day”; (2) the China Youth Daily is the newspaper of the League, and not an “abstract large newspaper”; (3) the newspaper cannot be operated on the basis of “idealism.” Your speech was full of hectoring, intimidations and ignorance.
On the first point, all the China Youth Daily colleagues who listened to your lecture realized that you were not making a tough threat. You were simply recounting the events that had already taken place. The treatment of Assistant Editor-in-Chief Fan Yung-sun, “Youth Ideas” editor Liang Ping and reporter Zhen Qiyan were obviously instances of “killing the chickens to show the monkey” to clean house, and this has created a great deal of confusion among the staff.
[Click HERE for full translation]

David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).