In one of Sina Weibo’s most popular posts over the weekend, with more than 25,000 re-posts by Monday morning, prominent Chinese scholar Yu Jianrong (于建嵘) sent this message to police in his parents’ hometown of Qidong County in Hunan province.

I ask the police bureau in the Chengxi Police Substation (城西派出所) in Qidong County (祁东县), Hengyang City (衡阳巿), Hunan province — do you have no shame?! My mother is 82 years old and had to return from Beijing to renew her personal identification card, and you say she will have to wait there for a month before it can be issued. You even force her to pay 10 yuan as a phone notification fee (电话通知费)! You must explain to me: why are phone calls so expensive in a county town? She has suffered a stroke (有严重的脑溢血), and if you set off her condition by working her up, I’ll definitely come after you!

The post, which includes a photo of Yu Jianrong with his mother, prompted a lively debate on Sina Weibo about the proper limits of power.

By 11am today Yu Jianrong’s post had drawn more than 13,000 comments.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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