In December 2010, Qian Yunhui (钱云会), a local village chief in Yueqing (乐清市) in China’s Zhejiang province who had for five years been engaged in a dispute with the government over land acquisition, died under what many Chinese saw as suspicious circumstances, being crushed under the wheel of a transport truck. On December 27, police officials from the Public Security Bureau in the city of Wenzhou, which has jurisdiction over Yueqing, held a press conference at which they said Qian Yunhui, 53, had “died in a traffic accident.” At the same press conference, Yueqing authorities said five policemen had been injured by “people unaware of the truth,” or bu ming zhenxiang de qunzhong (不明真相的群众). The use of this familiar term, habitually dragged out by government leaders over the years to broad-brush people taking part in protests or mass incidents, drew anger from many Chinese. One Chinese editorial responded by asking: “Is it the people unclear of the truth, or the truth hidden from the people?” [English commentary from China’s Economic Observer here]. In this cartoon, posted by artist Xu Jun (徐骏) to his QQ blog, a furious government official (identified by his imperial-era officials cap) holds an unfortunate blindfolded citizen out by the collar and shouts: “[These are] people unclear about the truth!”

David Bandurski

CMP Director

Latest Articles