On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, three separate explosions rocked government complexes in the city of Fuzhou, Jiangxi province. China’s Global Times newspaper called the incident a “suicide bombing,” and police authorities in Jiangxi later identified the suspect in the bombings as unemployed resident Qian Mingqi, saying he had carried out the attacks out of frustration with the handling of the case of the demolition of his home. The day after the bombing, brief news of the incident appeared in the CCP’s official People’s Daily newspaper, and the final editorial in a rare People’s Daily series calling for greater sensitivity toward issues facing ordinary Chinese said: “Behind most sunken voices [those ignored in the judicial and petitioning process, for example] are demands left unmet, and repressed antipathies that await easing. After his son is disabled in an automobile accident, a father from Yunnan province “detonates himself” outside a courthouse, taking the most extreme course of rights defense . . . ” This cartoon by online cartoonist Aberrant Hot Pepper (变态辣椒) was posted by Nanfang Daily Group cartoonist Kuang Biao (邝飚) to his own QQ.com blog with slight alteration to make it less “offensive” to readers. Kuang gave his blog entry the headline: “A good cartoon serving as a caution to China — here’s to our citizenry!” Below the cartoon Kuang wrote: “Seeing this, you need not say a thing . . . A good political cartoon is like an incisive commentary, better than a thousand words!” In the cartoon the artist presents two unmistakable alternatives. On the left, crossed out with an “X” (the option no-one wants), is an act of explosive violence, presumably a desperate act on the part of an ordinary citizen whose legitimate demands have gone unheard. On the right, the more acceptable option, is a hand casting a vote.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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