According to recent reports in Chinese media, a number of local governments in the city of Yongzhou (永州), Hunan province, have been found to have “teachers” on the payment rolls who are not actually teaching, apparently a common way to cook the books and pocket government finances. When reporters approached one local education official in Yongzhou about this problem, the official reportedly said: “These are local [government] finances, not national finances. What does it have to do with you journalists?” The official apparently could not understand why reporters from the outside, whose interests were not directly impacted, would bother prying into this local matter. In this cartoon from Wuhan Morning Post, posted by artist Cao Yi (曹一) to his blog, a proud man-horse representing a local government munches from golden goblets containing RMB bills. He pulls a cart loaded with small children, suggesting not just the relevance of this matter to local schoolchildren, but also invoking the recently red-hot issue of child abductions in China. Spotting a journalist off to one side taking pictures, the man-horse says: “What does this have to do with you journalists?”

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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