One of the hottest topics on Sina Weibo in early May 2013 was a petition submitted through the official petition site of the US White House for action in the case of Zhu Ling (朱令), a Chinese national who was the victim of an unsolved poisoning case dating back to 1994. The online petition, made through the Obama administration’s “We the People” platform, alleged that Zhu Ling’s former Tsinghua roommate, Sun Wei (possibly known now as “Jasmine Sun”), had both motive and opportunity to poison her roommate. It asked that Sun, who some believe now resides in the United States, be deported and face investigation. The petition prompted a wave of sarcasm on social media in China directed at the country’s petitioning and legal systems. Some users quipped that China’s top official in charge of Letters and Calls was US President Barack Obama. In the following cartoon, posted by artist Kuang Biao to Sina Weibo, President Obama is depicted as a soaring superhero with a US flag for a cape.
One user re-posting Kuang Biao’s cartoon on Sina Weibo wrote:

[Five Major Similarities Between China and the US] 1. There are corrupt Chinese officials everywhere in China; there are also corrupt Chinese officials everywhere in America. 2. Chinese love to criticize the American government; American’s also love to criticize the American government. 3. China oppresses and exploits Chinese labor; America also oppresses and exploits Chinese labor. 4. Rich Chinese business people live in America; rich American business people also live in America. 5. American officials are all American citizens; many Chinese officials are also American citizens.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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