You can ask all the questions you want and you wouldn’t get anywhere. The government spokesmen will go, ‘Blah blah blah,’ and after four paragraphs it practically just amounts to a ‘No comment.’
You can delete my words, you can delete my name but you cannot snatch the pen from my hand. In the years to come this pen of mine will fight a long war of resistance, and continue to write for as long as it takes for me to see the light of a new dawn.
As in 1957, 1966 and 1989, Chinese intellectuals are feeling more or less the same fear as one does before an approaching mountain storm: the scariest thing of all is not being silenced or being sent to prison; it is the sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about what comes next.
We wanted to rebuke the lies of the official newspaper. Because we have a saying here in China: if you repeat a lie 100 times, it becomes the truth.
Many people have been shushed online. And many people have been sent to prison for one article. Isn’t it hypocritical for the party to say it wants to hear sharp criticism after it has already tightened speech?
Someone just delivered a strict order: at my book signing event, I’m not allowed to talk; the readers are not allowed to ask me any questions; I can’t even introduce myself or say ‘Happy New Year, thank you.’ I’m not even allowed to introduce the names of other guests at my event; they are not allowed to talk or answer any questions. They can only sit in the corner. I deeply feel it’s against my understanding of dignity. They are crazy.
You can have your so-called “freedoms,” but only because they have the freedom to punish you afterwards.