In May 2012, Chinese internet users reported on social media that public personnel (公务员), teachers and employees of some enterprises in the city of Panzhihua (攀枝花) in China’s western Sichuan province were being forced to donate the equivalent of one month of basic wages to a newly-established charity fund. Remarking on the rumors, propaganda officials in Panzhihua said that the poverty alleviation fund in question had already received donations totaling more than 50 million yuan, but that these had all been voluntary donations. However, many internet users from Panzhihua told a reporter from Guangzhou’s Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper that they had indeed been forced recently to donate a month of basic wages. In this cartoon, posted by artist Shang Haichun (商海春) to, a government official holds out a donation bowl in the shape of a red, upturned official Party seal. The bowl is filled with gold ingots, but the fat official approaches another poor resident demanding a “voluntary” donation.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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